Aaron Tan's Blog

  • Multilingualism and technology

    This is the English version of a post originally in French, accessible here. Ceci est la traduction anglaise d’un article écrit en français, disponible ici.

    As a computer engineering student, and somebody who lives in the information age, it never ceases to amaze me how prevalent technology is in every industry of modern society. You’d have to be in a prison or living on a desert island with no civilisation to be unaware of its spread! And yet, in spite of how it’s everywhere, it still has growing pains when being used by people who make use of multiple languages every day.


  • Le multilinguisme et la technologie

    Ça fait presque une année depuis la dernière fois que j’ai écrit quelque chose plus longue que quelques paragraphes en français; donc, je me suis dit que je devrais pratiquer… en écrivant un article!


  • Open With in macOS, Windows, and Ubuntu

    So you know how you can right click on a file and have options to open it with different programs? That’s what I wanted to do when I was working on my Quaver Lyrics Finder project. So here’s how I did it, making it work for macOS, Windows, and Ubuntu, and how it handles in PyQt.


  • On the Ontario Election

    Whew, now that midterms are over, there are a few things I want to talk about in the Ontario general election. This isn’t an opinion about who got elected or who I voted for, or any strongly held political beliefs. It’s just a small post about why some people I know didn’t vote.


  • Elobeth Bands Review

    You know the drill: disclaimers first! Elobeth, a smartwatch accessories maker, reached out to me after I published my Fitbit Versa review, and graciously offered to send me two watch bands in exchange for a review.

    So to be clear: Elobeth has given me these straps, but otherwise hasn’t looked over this review nor seen its contents before I’m putting it online. All they wanted was a review, whether positive or negative.

    I chose the stainless steel strap, pictured to the left, and the classic silicone strap. I’ve worn each strap for a week, going to class and sleeping with either one of them on.

    Let’s go!


  • Creating an executable with PyQt5, PyInstaller, and more

    While I was working on the Quaver Lyrics Finder project (it’s my first time writing Python, please be gentle), I wanted to make it into an easy-to-use program that most people to use. That meant:

    1. Looking native, presenting a GUI when clicked.
    2. Turning it into a self-contained executable file that does not rely on having Python or other dependencies being installed.
    3. Creating a file that users could download in an expected file format. This means having a .exe or .msi for Windows, a .dmg for macOS, and a .deb for Ubuntu.

    Here’s what I did.


  • Back to school

    It’s been a good ride for the past four months on co-op, but it’s time to get back to school.

    Looking at my schedule, one of the things I don’t like is that every single day starts at 8:30. I’m not a morning person, and I don’t drink coffee, so I’m looking forward to being a zombie at all of my labs. Another thing is that there’s a big gap in the middle of about an hour and a half or so in the middle of the day. It’s just enough time for a good lunch, but not enough for anything else, really.

    As for the courses, it’s the standard 1B ECE courses of 2018. Slightly worried about ECE 108, after hearing about the mess that it was last semester (Paul Ward…), but I should be mostly OK for all the other ones. They mostly seem to be harder versions of the course that I took in 1A.

    Since I’m going to be busy being sad about the workload in university, this blog is probably going to be updated much over the next four months. Got a few posts in the pipeline though, so watch out for those!

    Here’s to a great semester, meeting new people, and great new experiences.


  • Thanks Fitbit for a great co-op!

    So last Friday was my last day at Fitbit, and I’m a sad to leave. Maybe it’s because it’s the first time that I’ve done a co-op, but this experience was really something special. Got to meet a bunch of new people, first at Waterloo, then San Diego/San Francisco/Boston and Bucharest, had a trip to C A L I F O R N I A, and learned so much about… everything!


  • HYPE

    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つGIVE WAR INFINITY AVENGERS༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つGIVE WAR INFINITY AVENGERS༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ

    ༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つGIVE WAR INFINITY AVENGERS༼ つ ◕◕ ༽つ


  • A (comprehensive) review of the Fitbit Versa

    Fitbit Versa on wrist with Carta clock face

    So… disclaimers first. I’m currently an intern at Fitbit. This is both good and bad in that the only reason I can write this review is because I have access to the hardware and have worn it for two months, and bad because there’s probably some kind of subconscious bias sneaking past my best attempts at an honest viewpoint. A manager also read this to make sure I’m not saying anything that I’m not allowed to say, but otherwise did not influence the rest of this piece. Make of that what you will, but I am writing this completely of my own volition, and all opinions in this post are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer. 😊

    Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s review this watch!

    Shameless plug: I made this clock face and you can download it here.