Friday, January 08, 2021

What I am doing in 2021 so far

Markets seem to be becoming more interesting with the Classic Capricorn effect appearing in the Singapore Stock Market in 2021. Nothing more can be done this year as I've spent the entire pandemic downturn positioning a leveraged portfolio to tackle the upside. My only hope is that we deploy the vaccine quickly so that the economy can get back to normal. 

I don't have tickets to sell this week so I am enjoying a nice new year break, I've been really trying to enjoy this "unprecedented" cool weather, bringing my mum to Haji Lane for artisanal coffee and croissants. I regret that I can't travel with my mum as the pandemic kicked in months after I lost my dad, so I will do as much as I can within this island while the weather is good. The cold weather is a gift that makes Singapore seem like a Western country in autumn. 

As you can see, Haji Lane can be quite beautiful in the early morning without the crowds. 

Programming for me has become the "Tai-Chi" of the mind. I did not want to do anything too critical to my web app, so I've been doing some simple 2-3 hour projects to sharpen my skills. 

My first project is to figure out how computers produce PDFs with programming code. Things are simplified so much these days that there are library routines to convert HTML into PDF files if you know a little bit of programming. I managed to create a simple reporting tool I hope to deploy for my future batch of students. 

The stuff can mostly be found on my web app, so I was wondering how I can add some text into a reporting system. Instead of doing data-entry, I thought I should teach myself web-scraping so that I can populate my report with text descriptions. 

Web scraping is a lot harder then I thought because dynamic websites run javascript on the client. In the end, I employed Selenium and BeautifulSoup to write a program to fetch text based on stock ticker symbols from the web.

The final result is a program that can produce a description of a company using only the stock ticker symbol. Looks really simple but there are so many new things I need to pick up to do this. 

Actually compared to days I was doing Computer Science for 'A' levels programming has become a lot easier, but the demands on the programmer is a lot higher because they need to assemble something that can work and scale for a business within a few weeks. I used to spend months building a library to create and populate text/graphics on a window before I can even write my program - and there are no Youtube videos made by Indian programmers during my time. 


  1. Does it matter if one has to go overseas for a vacation? My view is that simple island walkaround is sufficient. A stroll in the park connectors is enough for me.

    Different perspective.


  2. At 24 degrees centigrade, it feels like autumn in Singapore. Enjoy it while it lasts !