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Showing posts from September, 2013

Buying a House in Auckland - Mortgages and Interest Rates

This post retraces a section of the house hunting and buying "journey" that my Wife and I have been on recently; having bought a house in Auckland. Many aspects of the process were both trying and interesting - and I reckon, worth writing about. In this post I ramble through a few of my thoughts on mortgages and mortgage repayment, interest rates, and loosely how they relate to the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Interest ratesWe have found a few particularly useful resources for coming up-to-speed with what's gone on historically with interest rates in NZ and globally, including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's (RBNZ) website, which provides a great overview of what's happened with fixed and floating mortgage interest rates since 1990. Also, Tony Alexander's weekly overview (includes a useful "If I were a borrower what would I do?" section), which is quite candid, and very useful. I found the following chart on the RBNZ website...

[Source - The …

Rewriting and/or Refactoring Software - Recommended Reading

As time goes on, the world is becoming more-and-more automated by software. This essentially also means that there is an exponentially growing surface-area of legacy application code. This matter is especially pertinent to older software product companies, which may have deep bases of legacy of code to grapple with.

Here are a few recommended readings for those who deal with legacy code...

Refactor vs. rewrite
Joel Spolsky wrote the following article way back in 2000, entitled "things you should never do, part 1":

Spolsky is a very good writer,  and expresses simple ideas very well. This article says that it can easily become a strategically disastrous move to rewrite an application from the ground-up. Spolsky recommends against doing that, if at all possible.

On the other hand, there Dan Milstein prodives a counter-argument to Spolsky's, in the following recent response (only 13 years later!):…

"The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" - a Review and an Observation

Watched this film yesterday, on the recommendation of a person who's judgement I trust. Also, it gets a pretty high rating from IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes.

[Source - Google:]
What I realised is that like many great movies, above all, what makes this film great is it's study of the composition of the three main characters. "The Good" (Eastwood) and "The Bad" (Van Cleef) are consistent in their behavior; fair and ruthless respectively - they are interesting elements. "The Good" is essentially a Spaghetti Western version of "Robin Hood". "The Bad" is simply a complete psychopath. By far the richest and most interesting character is "The Ugly" (Wallach) - AKA, "Tuco".

Tuco is vengeful, confused, greedy, clever, frustrated, skilled, brave, passionate, conniving, cowardice and empathetic - the list goes on. Despite this tangled mix of characteristics, as…