How to Read Google Play eBooks on Kobo eReader

Since I get frequent discounts on eBooks through the Google Play Books store (details about how to do that here), I'm in the habit of buying my books there. My eReader however is a Kobo, which is set up to buy from the Indigo store. Here's how I load my books from the Google Play Books store onto my Kobo eReader.
  1. Buy your eBook in the Google Play Books store.
  2. Click the ellipsis next to the book title in your library and click 'Download EPUB'.
  3. Download and install Adobe Digital Editions. This is free software that will let you load your EPUB file onto your Kobo eReader.
  4. Open Adobe Digital Editions and go to 'File', 'Add to Library'. Select the EPUB file that you downloaded in the previous step.
  5. Plug your Kobo eReader into your computer and wait for it to appear in Adobe Digital Editions. You should see it in the list on the left-hand side of the screen.
  6. Click and drag the eBook from your library to your Kobo eReader.
That's it! 
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Ergonomics: Working Comfortably From Home

Working from home is something very new to a lot of people who are suddenly shifting their workspaces in order to keep a safe distance from their coworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With considerable experience both working and studying from my home office, I thought I would dedicate a post today to my favourite tips for how you can work a desk job from home both safely and comfortably.

  1. Make sure that your desk is set up in a way that is healthy for your body. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has some really great resources to help you do this properly, including how to position your monitor and how to adjust your office chair. You will significantly reduce your risk of repetitive strain injuries if you set up your space correctly.
  2. Wherever possible, set a clear boundary between your work space and your living/recreation space. This is easier to do if you can dedicate a room as a home office, but it also applies to smaller homes. Resist the urge to work from your laptop while lounging in bed. It might seem luxurious but you don't want to blur the lines between a space intended for relaxation and a space meant for work.
  3. In addition to setting boundaries for space, make sure you set boundaries for your time as well. The Canadian Psychological Association emphasizes the importance of respecting your work hours and preserving time for yourself and your family. Maintain a healthy balance of work and life and you will find it easier to be productive and happy with both.
  4. Give your eyes regular breaks from staring at your computer monitor. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends following the "20-20-20 rule", which involves looking at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  5. Take coffee breaks the same way that you would when you are in the office. Set aside time to connect with your colleagues over instant messaging or phone calls to keep in touch. Not only is this good for your own personal well-being but it will help you to maintain your professional network which is so important for your career. I used to really dislike the awkwardness of small-talk in the office, but I recently learned that it serves a very important function. Check out this 2019 article from the New York Times that highlights to usefulness of socializing with your coworkers: The Awkward but Essential Art of Office Chitchat.
  6. Don't eat lunch at your desk. Give yourself a proper break, eat somewhere else, and maybe go for a walk if the weather is nice. You'll feel refreshed and have a more productive afternoon.
  7. Change out of your pyjamas, brush your hair, and wear something nice. I'll never understand people who feel the need to wear formal business attire in their home offices (unless they're on a lot of important video calls, of course), but you will feel better if you get dressed for the day - even if you have no intention of stepping foot outside or seeing another living person.
  8. Get help if you need it. Working from home can be a really drastic change for some people, and it's important to keep an eye on your mental health. From my own personal experience I highly recommend cognitive therapy.
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SQL Server: Sorting by Column Numbers

If you've come across this post then you are likely aware that in SQL Server you can use the ORDER BY clause to sort by specific columns by name, but did you know that you can also do it by number? It's a quick and dirty way to sort without having to spell out each column name.

Here's an example of how you could sort by the LAST_NAME column:


Or, you can accomplish this same thing by using '3' in the ORDER BY clause. This tells SQL Server that you want to sort by the third column (which is LAST_NAME):


As with everything in tech you'll find varying opinions on whether or not this is a good thing to do. I would say that it's worth using if you're just writing a quick ad-hoc query. It can save time. On the other hand, if this is something you plan on saving or reusing, I would advise entering the column name instead. This way you know it will keep sorting the way you intended even if you add other columns later on that end up changing the position of the column by which you wanted to sort.
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Power BI: Subreports

Great news for Microsoft Power BI users: they've just released an update that allows for the creation of subreports! This lets you to embed one report inside of another, something that can get fancy if you start passing parameters from the main report to the subreport.

In order to use this new functionality you will need to download the latest version of Power BI Report Builder.
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