All posts by spidey

Remove a WiFi Network From Your Computer

One day you may suddenly experience a jerky, intermittent streaming of your favourite FM station on your PC. What happened? After all you have the whole 10Mbps bandwidth to your greedy self in your home castle. Read on for a possible scenerio.

Now you recall…a week ago, your service provider failed and your kind neighbour offered you the temporary use of his WiFi, which you can access from your house. One week later, you may have forgotten and your PC still automatically latches on your neighbour’s WiFi because depending on where you are sitting in your house, your neighbour’s signal may be stronger than your own WiFi. Now recall further that he subscribes to a different service provider and he has a slower connection ( 4 Mbps? ) compared to your 10 Mbps. Ah, so that’s why you experience such poor audio streaming of your favourite FM station. So how to remove that slower WiFi Network?

1.  Go to your Windows Control Panel and click on Network and Sharing Centre.

2.  Click on “Manage Wireless Networks” on the left hand menu.

3.  Right-click on the wireless network that you want to remove.

4.  The pop-up context menu offers you the option to “Remove Network”. But hang on….maybe you should just click on “Properties” and remove the automatic connection. Then you still have the option to manually connect if you need to.

Time to have tea now.




How To Fix A Plastic Bolt Without A Washer

While this Tip shows a quick-fix to a problem with securing a toilet seat, the same method can be applied to similar problems with other plastic situations.

seatA toilet seat, usually with a hinged cover, is bolted to the toilet bowl for a flush system. The bolt is usually made of plastic with one end flared to secure the seat to the bowl. The problem is, very often the flared end of the plastic bolt slips right through the hole of the hinge’s base. You can get a metal washer but it would rust in no time. Anything else (stainless steel washer, plastic washer, etc) would be too much of an effort to find/buy, if at all available.



seat-3A view of the component parts. The seat, the hinge, the plastic bolt and nut.




seat-5aSee the bolt inserted in the hinge but is able to slip out of the hole.




seat-6aAll that’s required. A chisel-like tool ( a large screwdriver will do fine ) and a hammer ( or a rubber mallet, if you are a stickler about using the right tool ).



seat-7Use the screwdriver+hammer to make indentations in the plastic bolt’s flared end.




seat-8Compare the two bolts: one has the indentations completed.




seat-9Both completed. Just a minor tip here: in a paired situation ( two bolts, two lamps, two batteries…etc.) always repair both/change both together. If one has failed, most likely the other will fail soon too.



seat-10The bolts now stay well in place in the hinge. Re-bolt the seat to the toilet bowl and we’re done..

Hide Site Title

WordPress is now an incredibly popular way to build a fully functional website from the traditional blog base. In fact is now a full-blown CMS in its own right. With lots of templates, many of which are free, it is easy to see why it is so popular.


Let’s assume you now use a template (say, Twenty Twelve) to create your website. While it allows you to write your Site Title and Site Description (Figure 1), chances are that you will want to replace it with a snazzy logo title image (Figure 2). Why would you  want to do it? Well, the most compelling reason is there for you to see. Which one looks better?


But why don’t you just select the desired font type and size and colour instead of creating an image? Simple answer is that you want to be sure that all visitors on all machines with all browsers (ok, ok….almost all) will see the same  snazzy logo title image. If you just changed the text font type….some machines and/or browsers may not have that font installed and they may end up seeing your title in (probably!) boring Arial or Times Roman! Certainly not what you intended in your site’s design.

OK, now you have replaced the text title with your image logo-title. So that’s simple enough, what’s the problem? Well…you soon learn that without the text site title, your SEO sucks. For your SEO ranking, the appropriately named site title and site description are critical because they are picked up in the meta title tags. So what’s the solution? An easy obvious way is to choose (in the template) not to display the header text. That way, the  site title is hidden and yet it is still picked up in the meta title tags. But the tagline is part of the header text and gets hidden as well. The solution is simple! Display the header text (site title and tagline) but hide just the site title instead. How? Colour the site title text the same as your background (eg. white, or whatever). The search engines’ crawlers do not care what the colour is, they will still pick up the site title text. (Figure 3). So you can have your cake and eat it too! By choosing to display the header text, the site’s tagline or description remains visible, which is normally desired.



Of course, you should customise your template using a Child Theme and the code chnage in its CSS style sheet as follows:

.site-header h2 a {
color: #ffffff;
display: inline-block;
text-decoration: none;


Why auto Spell Correction is a bad, bad idea

Why auto Spell Correction is a bad, bad idea on a smartphone. Most of the time when we make a spelling mistake on “normal, common” words, the recipient would still be able to make out what we mean, even without the Spelling Correction. However, when we want to use an acronymn, an abbreviation or a foreign word, we do not want the Spell Checker to offer a “correction” and make it without us noticing it. That’s disastrous! If you have ever been caught in an embarrassing or difficult situation because of this, you will know what I mean. Therefore, I make my case for “No Spell Checker” as the default, unlike the present situation where it’s already implemented as the default and very often we don’t even know how to turn it off.

Two cases to illustrate:

1. I typed and sent a URL to a friend by SMS. He kept saying the link doesn’t work. I checked and it worked on my original document. Much later I realised that when I typed the abbreviations GMBO, the not-so-smart-phone kept auto-correcting it to GUMBO. And of course I didn’t realise that at the time.

2. A friend texted me to say that his friend would be calling me. I texted back to ask whether that friend could speak my dialect or English. He replied, “Try hollowness”. Of course, I sent a burst of ???? to him. He then realised that his phone had auto-“corrrected” the dialect “hokkien” to “hollowness”.

I rest my case.






My Travel Advisory!

Boy, do I have some exciting things to share with you!

I am planning my family’s European Holiday for August 2013. I started planning this more than a month ago, so I have the time to experiment and explore various options.

First, the “technical” part….which travel Apps should I use? Here are the (super) apps that I’ve settled on…you can check them out:

1. Tripit

Tripit will automatically (if you allow auto import) consolidate your flight and hotel reservations and prepare the complete itinerary for you, on your PC and on your smartphone. How cool is that?

2. Frommer’s

Frommer’s Travel Tools include currency converter, time translator, tip calculator, flashlight, packing list, postcards and guides. How convenient!

3. MapQuest Travel Blogs

Arguably the best travel blog app for you to record your trip. Don’t trust your memory; record your trip details as you go along.

4. TripAdvisor and Expedia

I use these two in tandem… I use the Expedia map to view the cluster of hotels around the main train station. Then I use TripAdvisor to read the reviews of the hotels to shortlist them. Finally, book through Expedia.

5. TripAdvisorCityGuides and fotopedia

Both give excellent free travel guides for various cities.

6. Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and Rough Guides

Other excellent travel guides but only some samples are free…..mostly chargeable. But check them out.

You can easily find all those Apps by name in your iTunes Store or Google Play. Check them out!

5. For the budget airlines, I look at easyJet, RyanAir and Vueling. Due to time constraint, I am not taking the intercity trains (which can be more expensive than the budget airlines). The cities are London-Venice-Rome-Barcelona-London in 9-days. Of the three, easyJet is the most generous with the hand luggage (bigger size and no weight limit).

8. And a most useful tip…. Do NOT buy in advance your airport transfers (bus); buy only when on board your bus as the flight may be delayed. Duh! Perhaps that’s too obvious.

Here’s wishing you a safe, pleasant, happy Holiday..wherever you may go.

What Promo? What a Shame! (5)

Another marketing lesson.

The Apple iPhone 5 and Samsung Note2 mania hit our shores recently.

While my better half settled for the Samsung Galaxy S3, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the iPhone 5 which I had been waiting for over a year. And what better time to get it than when the service providers are all trying hard to outdo each other with their better plan? But here’s where my nightmarish experience began.

Initially I thought of changing from my current service provider to “M”, as my limited research seemed to indicate that M’s offer was better.  Off I went to Sunway Pyramid and found long queues at M’s outlet there. This was more or less expected since apparently M was the more popular of the service providers. The staff asked, “Are you an existing M-customer?  No, then please fill in the waiting list here.” I noticed that there was also a long list of existing customers as well. I figured that I’ll have a long, long wait coming. My fear was confirmed when the next day at IOI Mall, it was the same story at the M’s outlet there.

I resigned myself to the fact that I’ll have to stick to my service provider and so the next day I went to my current service provider’s branch in State New Town. First impression was very good. The receptionist there greeted me nicely and when I told her that I am an existing customer who wants to upgrade to the new iPhone 5 plan, she indicated that I was to go to the next available counter, apparently beating the queue like I was a VIP. Unfortunately it all went downhill after that. The girl at the counter attending to me had to hunt a bit for the special iPhone 5 plan to show me. Hey! This is supposed to be the latest, hottest deal for C this year…and no proper plan? I looked at it and enquired what data rates do I get for each of the plans in the list. She didn’t know and spent the next 10 minutes or so, hunting for the info. And there was no glossy brochure, just another photocopy. I asked a further question and realised that I’m better off studying the info myself. I then decided on a package and asked for a white 64GB unit. Another 5 minutes later….disappointment, no white 64GB unit; only black. OK, OK, I’ll take it. Then I spent the next 15 minutes twiddling my thumbs. She was running around talking to various people and then came to tell me that maybe she quoted me the wrong price. I protested and she checked again and finally told me the system was not updated to print the receipt at the offer price! So will I accept a manual receipt? Yes, yes, I will. All in all, it took about 1-hour to handle my new purchase! Am I the first iPhone 5 customer, I asked? Yes! Hmmm.. Next, I just assumed that my contacts list from my old Nokia will be transferred to the iPhone, but horrors, no! Sorry, we don’t have the equipment to do that, she said. What!? Such a simple value-added service should have been a given. What a disappointment! OK, when will my new phone’s SIM card be activated? Within 2 hours, she said. Sigh! Never mind, I was still feeling euphoric clutching my new iPhone 5 (finally!) in my hand with great anticipation, I left for home.

Guess what? After 24-hours, the new SIM card was still not activated. Off I went back to the branch the next day. Long queues again. The receptionist said that I’ll have to wait. I asked her why couldn’t she just take my phone and enquire from a technician inside what’s wrong? Sorry, she said, I must go back to the same counter where I registered the phone for them to check. OK, so can I have a queue number? Sorry, she said, the machine “rosak”. So how is the crowd to know whose turn is next? Anyway, I managed to get to a counter eventually (not exactly proud of how I got there) and told the  girl there of my problem. She checked and said the system was down yesterday; another “Rosak”. Wow! OK, she then managed to finally activate my phone,  after about 30 minutes of infuriating frustration.  I couldn’t help wondering how this service provider will be able to cope if they had as long a waiting queue as the other Service provider. More than 1 hour to register a new purchase/plan? More than a day to activate the SIM card?

So what promo? What a shame! Why don’t the Marketing Folks look into the details before launching a campaign? Sad.




Watch What You Say!

(Attention: Original Author…. please contact so that due credit can be given for this excellent article. Thanks to Mr. Bugs Tan for highlighting this article.) 

Watch what you say!

Sometimes it’s good to be reminded:


Your words, your dreams, and your thoughts have power to create
conditions in your life. What you speak about, you can bring about.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your job, you might lose your job.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your body, your body can become sick.

If you keep saying you can’t stand your car, your car could be stolen
or just stop operating.

If you keep saying you’re broke, guess what? You’ll always be broke.

If you keep saying you can’t trust a man or trust a woman, you will
always find someone in your life to hurt and betray you.

If you keep saying you can’t find a job, you will remain unemployed.

If you keep saying you can’t find someone to love you or believe in
you, your very thought will attract more experiences to confirm your

If you keep talking about a divorce or break up in a relationship, then
you might end up with it.

Turn your thoughts and conversations around to be more positive and
power packed with faith, hope, love and action.

Don’t be afraid to believe that you can have what you want and deserve.

Watch your Thoughts, they become words.
Watch your Words, they become actions
Watch your Actions, they become habits.
Watch your Habits, they become character.
Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny

The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than
you settle for.

When Bad Things Happen To Us

In one episode of “House”, when Dr House was debating with his team on a terminal case, the good doctor scribbled on the board:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Bargain
  • Acceptance


According to Dr House, when bad things happen to us, we tend to deny that it could ever happen to us (“It cannot happen to me”). When we realise that it is true, we get very angry over the situation (“How can it happen to me?”). We then enter into the next phase, “Why did it happen to me?”, and get depressed. When we pull  ourselves together, we  then tend to start bargaining for a  way out of the situation. When we finally realise there’s no way  out, we eventually accept our fate.

Since then, I discovered that this is the Kuebler-Ross Model (ref: Wikipedia):

The Kübler-Ross model, commonly known as The Five Stages of Grief, includes denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In no defined sequence, most of these stages occur when a person is faced with the reality of their impending death and applies to survivors of a loved one’s death as well. The hypothesis was introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969 in her book On Death and Dying, which was inspired by her work with terminally ill patients. Kübler-Ross was inspired by the lack of curriculum in medical schools that addressed death and dying, so she started a project about death when she became an instructor at the University of Chicago medical school. This evolved into a series of seminars; those interviews, along with her previous research, led to her book. Her work revolutionized how the medical field took care of the terminally ill. Her five stages of grief have now become widely accepted.

Have you ever been in such a situation?

What Promo? What A Shame! (4)

Yesterday I took my family for a treat at a fancy Western Restaurant on Bintang Walk. I was attracted by a large poster outside the reataurant promoting their alliance with a loyalty card. It said very clearly that members could get loyalty points or redeem their points in the restaurant.

Well, the three of us ordered our dinner and drinks, and I gave my loyalty card to the waiter and asked him to check my points for redemption against my dinner bill. After about 10 minutes, he brought my card back and said rather nonchalantly that their “machine is out of order and cannot check the card“.  I couldn’t believe it but held my peace.

After the meal, I went over to the cashier and said that I would like to check my loyalty card for my points. He swiped it and lo! the slip printed ourt my points! I told him that someone else told me that the machine was broken and my card could not be checked…but he said “no problem”. OK, so far so good. Next, I said that I want to redeem my points against my bill. The guy looked confused and off he went to get another guy who was obviously his supervisor. The second guy berated the first guy on the “right” procedure to swipe my loyalty card and my credit card and I thought to myself, “Good, here’s someone who knows his job!”.  That is..until I asked to redeem my points and he looked just as confused by my request as the first guy. He paused and then said that I could not redeem my points but he has credited the new points to my loyalty card. I pointed out to him that the poster outside clearly said that I could redeem my points in the restaurant…but he said that he does not know about that procedure.

I decided to let it go….but I wonder if the new points are even credited to my card at all!

Once again…..a grand promo plan but poor execution where the front-line staff have no clue as to what to do about the promo at all!

Do you have a similar experience? Tell us about it!

Golden Rule, Silver Rule, What Rule?

With the present (or has it always been like this in Mankind’s history?) chaotic state of the World, we all try to look for Rules that we can live by; that which may bring some sanity to the madness we face everyday.
What follows is largely from the material contained in Carl Sagan’s “The Rules of the Game” in his book “Billions and Billions”.

Most of us can relate to the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. 
However, Confucius debunked the Golden Rule. He asked, “Shall the Masochist inflict pain on his neighbour?” and other similar questions that exposed the weakness of this rule in that it does not take into account human differences.

The Silver Rule, “Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you”, is more realistic and among the famous practioners of this Silver Rule were Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The nonviolent civil disobedience based on this rule helped to create significant change in India (Gandhi) and USA (Martin Luther King).

For a world in conflict,

Continue reading Golden Rule, Silver Rule, What Rule?