My HP Elitebook 845 G10 Laptop Nightmare

After 5 years, my trusty ThinkPad T480 was starting to show signs of decline, randomly crashing every few minutes even through OS reinstalls. Considering the advancements in laptop technology, I decided to replace it with a HP Elitebook 845 G10 instead of repairing it out of warranty.

On paper, the Elitebook 845 G10 looked like my ideal laptop - light, equipped with the latest AMD processors and the only business laptop I could get that had upgradeable memory. Based on a glowing review from Notebookcheck, I purchased it in Sep 2023 for S$2324 (US$1760). This includes a 3-year next business day response onsite warranty.

I expected a premium experience at that price but got a 3-month nightmare instead. I’ve been lied to by tech support. Response times for repairs are always 2-3 weeks instead of the next business day due to part availability. An attempted repair by a technician shorted-out the motherboard, leaving me without a working personal laptop for weeks during planned downtime at the end of last year. I’m sharing my experience to process the trauma from this nightmare and to save someone from going through what I did.

Using YubiKeys In 2023

(updated )

I’ve been using a YubiKey 5C NFC for almost a year now and finally decided to get a second one to serve as a backup in case I lose my original key. Since I’ve just finished setting up my second YubiKey, I wanted to document my experiences in the hope that it would be useful for anyone thinking of using a YubiKey (or any FIDO2 compatible key).

Building An Open-source Personal Backup System

If you’re reading this, you probably have data that you can’t afford to lose.

I procrastinated on implementing automated backups for years until my laptop started failing a few months ago. Fortunately, I didn’t lose any data but that was the final wake-up call that I needed.

Here’s how I did it.

Book Review: The Effective Engineer

My rating: 3.5 / 5

How do the best engineers deliver more value while working the same number of hours? That is the question that this book promises to answer.

Introducing Beets-audible: a Beets plugion for managing audiobooks

I am a huge fan of audiobooks, and they are my favorite way of consuming fiction.

For the last two months, I have spent much of my spare time on developing Beets-audible, a Beets plugin for managing audiobook collections. This is my first side-project that has attracted interest from others in the form of bug reports or pull requests. In this post, I will talk about the motivation for this side-project, the technical challenges that I encountered and the hack that made it possible.

What I Learned After 9 Months of Coach Training

If you had told me two years ago that I would become a coach, I would have asked if you were out of your mind. After all, I wasn’t a “people person”. And this involves regularly talking to people that I didn’t already know? No way, give me some code to work on instead.

Two weeks ago, I graduated from a 9-month ontological coach training program by The Coach Partnership and am now working towards certification. In this post, I’ll talk about what coaching is in general, how ontological coaching differs from other types of coaching, and share what I’ve learnt along the way.

Goals For 2022

I’ve been in a reflective mood as the new year begins. That seemed like a good time to think about what I want to achieve in 2022.

These are my goals for 2022 and what I’ve learned in the process of writing them down on paper.

Lagom P100 Coffee Grinder Review

(updated )

The Kinu M47 Classic hand grinder that I got last year has served me well and I’ve made many delicious coffees with it. However, I did not expect that I would get an espresso machine (the Lelit Mara X) soon after the M47. I also severely underestimated how painful it is to use a hand grinder to grind coffee for espresso.

Hence, I started seriously considering an upgrade to an electric grinder. Here’s how I selected the Lagom P100 as my endgame grinder of choice and my review after two months of use.

Kinu M47 Classic Manual Coffee Grinder Review

I finally decided to invest in a high-end manual coffee grinder and in doing so, go further down the rabbit hole in pursuit of that perfect cup.

I’ve been experimenting with using different beans to develop my sense of taste for different flavours in coffee. However, I had trouble differentiating between beans with very different taste profiles - they all seem to taste very similar when brewed with my French press. After learning about the importance of an even grind size, I began to suspect that my previous entry level grinder might be to blame.

I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade all the way to the Kinu M47 Classic. Here’s a quick review after a month of use.

Book Review: Leadership and Self-Deception

My rating: 4 / 5

This book presents some simple ideas on how often we deceive ourselves in an accessible way that will probably make you feel uncomfortable by the time you’re finished.

That being said, if you’re already familiar with the value of observing the self, the ideas here won’t be too foreign.

An Introduction to Web Accessibility

If you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to web accessibility, this article is for you. I’ll introduce web accessibility, how it is measured by the WCAG and simple but impactful changes you can make to your sites today to make them more accessible.