Friday, December 18, 2009

horrible efficiency and touch screen fury

Try loading this site

It's takes so darn long to load for my maxonline ultimate plan.

The menu and navigation sucks too. Anyway once you're in. Here was one thing i saw before i gave up. Cost savings is way too painful. Hardly efficient.

Note on Avanade Catalog Win Touch 7 - did you see the lag on the touch screen? Urgh! I can just imagine a person or myself at the screen in a shopping mall whacking at the screen in anger.

Ok, I'm a person who hates the iphone because it just doesn't respond to my fingers and that just drive me nuts. Still I am happy with my Samsung i780 because it gives me the qwerty option.

More on touch screens, I've tried some drum kit program on a HP touch screen PC and that massively sucks, maybe it's fun for a non musician, but you'll never be able to keep any beat. Probably just a shop gimick. But it totally put me off the HP touch screen.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

CPF quiz

IM$avvy Financial Literacy Quiz

Looks like a survey disguised as a quiz. The questions are basic and/or CPF rule specific and you can sort of guess what the "correct" answers are whether or not you actually do that.

Hence, I'm a "guru". Yah right.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

setting up simple samba on centos 5

Here is the quick and dirty way to get your samba file share. I did this on my VM for easier file transfers

1) system-config-securitylevel - select SAMBA

2) vi /etc/samba/

These are the lines I uncommented and modified. # and ; are commented out.

workgroup =
netbios name = test-l1
security = user
passdb backend = tdbsam

comment = Public Stuff
path = /home/samba
public = yes
writable = yes
printable = no

3) smbpasswd -a

= your linux/windows username

4) /etc/init.d/smb reload

5) vi /etc/sysconfig/iptables

-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m udp -p udp --dport 137 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m udp -p udp --dport 138 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 139 -j ACCEPT
-A RH-Firewall-1-INPUT -m state --state NEW -m tcp -p tcp --dport 445 -j ACCEPT

Monday, October 12, 2009

installing live messenger 9 on windows server 2008 64bit

Well I'm back to windows 2008 again on my desktop and one of the annoying things about the server version of vista is that it prevents the installation of things like Live messenger.

To get Live messenger 9 and all the other good live stuff;

1. Downloaded the Live messenger 8.5 MSI file from this link

2. Install the MSI file.

3. Download the Live 9 client "wlsetup-custom.exe" from Microsoft as normal and install

I'm guessing the MSI doesn't do a check of version of windows before installation, and the live client just does an upgrade if one program already exists.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

getting a command prompt using ssh to dns-323 funplug

Oddly, the answer is this:


That's what you type into the bizarre ash promptless window to get a prompt

If you don't know the context of this post, after you install funplug on your dns-323, this is after you setup your NAS for SSH access.

  1. start a command window
  2. telnet your DNS-323 ip address
  3. /ffp/start/sshd start

Monday, September 28, 2009


The DNS-323 already comes with a bittorrent client these days, but here is how to extend the use of the NAS for other jobs.

These are the more practical uses for funplug:
  • remote administration of the nas (openssh, dns-utils)
  • web server (lighttpd)
  • distributed filesystem (glusterfs)
  • media server (mediatomb)
How to get started

Ports used in the DNS-323 using iana as reference

printer 515/tcp spooler
netbios-ssn 139/tcp NETBIOS Session Service
www 80/tcp World Wide Web HTTP
ftp 21/tcp File Transfer [Control]
https 443/tcp http protocol over TLS/SSL
microsoft-ds 445/tcp Microsoft-DS
telnet 23/tcp Telnet
netbios-ns 137/udp NETBIOS Name Service
netbios-dgm 138/udp NETBIOS Datagram Service
ssdp 1900/udp SSDP
plysrv-https 6771/udp PolyServe https

Friday, July 17, 2009

cutting IT costs

After watching the day the earth stood still on DVD, I decided to write about cutting cost and of course recycling and how we can stop killing the earth and hopefully the holes in our pockets.

Let's set some ground rules for IT.

1. IT is ruled from business needs. Exception: There are IT business out there and these guys are thriving, because businesses need IT or rather buy IT. There is a difference between needing IT and buying IT which I hope to cover later.

2. IT is viewed as a cost to the business. Exception: Unless they start a shared service center and start charging other departments, but that's still funny money.

3. IT is expensive and difficult to quantify. Exception: This is normally comparative, but even comparatively, the figures are all fake, so don't believe the sales people.

So with those 3 rules in mind, we can tackle how to reduce this unfounded cost for the following business functions:
  • Emails - reduce cost by moving to a service provider if not get a service provider and bargain to death
  • Office software - reduce cost by using free versions of office or google docs, apps, etc. Microsoft office isn't really that expensive as well depending on scale, but it's only good when you can pick up the phone and ask Microsoft where the print button is, otherwise, it's the same value as Open Office.
  • LOB apps - this gets a bit varied and not a one size fit all solution. Depending on the complexity of the application, we are normally set in the limitations of the software. This means that the problem lies within the software. All I can say is prevention is better than cure. Make sure you get the right application so that you do not have to undo the extensive damage and commit to all that extra $$$ you don't even know you're spending.
  • Helpdesk support - larger organisations might need this and you get someone to run by and help, the ideal answer to save costs is not to do this, transitioning to that state with service management.
  • Infrastructure - everyone says virtualisation, I say just turn what you don't need off and also organise your machines, centralise where you need to centralise and distribute where you need to distribute. Utilise desktops as nodes where there is less criticality, etc. What works at home, works at work. VMs are also useful for specific purposes of course, at the moment mostly for development work.
  • Backups - some people say you can't stinge for a proper backup. I agree, but there are multiple ways you can do backups and save those dollar. Software: most backup software is already included in the operating system or even given free, e.g. rsync, DFS, etc. Hardware: buy good value storage and organise your data. Practise Information Lifecycle Management and age your data.
  • Office IT supplies - do not burn CDs, keep everything in soft copy and use virtual clonedrive if you need to use an ISO. Do not print, read off the screen and bring your notebooks to meetings. Use natural light when you can and leave work early to go home :)
Hopefully with these points to all the different aspects of your IT, we can reuse and recycle while saving those bucks. And if these pointers do reduce those bucks, you would have quantified it as well as a saving on your P/L.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Windows 7 review

I've installed windows 7 RC again. Not the beta on a VM, but a real machine. I figured, I'll run it through the workstation test.

So far the results of the tests are (for windows based OSs)

1st place: Windows 2008 Server / workstation
2nd place: Windows Vista 64 bit ultimate / home premium - strictly for media center purpose, which is important.

Pros and cons of Vista

Let's revise the pros and cons of Vista before we proceed with Windows 7. And I mean pros and cons, because after using Windows for so long, I can't determine if it's a bug or a feature.

1. Time to boot

Yes, vista takes ages to boot, but after it does, don't shut it down. simple solution. Yes, we don't know where everything is, but it's a searchable

2. Driver problems

No salvation there, I bought a mac to solve that problem, but I still kept the vista 64bit ultimate windows desktop for my xbox media center extender. Now that PC has broken sound, but that's another story and I don't think I'm going to bother fixing it, although I am starting to question the use of the machine, since I hardly use the media center extender these days.

3. Lots of software

Sure, plenty of windows software out there that is 32bit and still installs into the Program Files (x86) directory. Compatibility mode is alright and there are tools to help developers determine if the OS can run the application (ACT).

4. All round good stuff

So, if there is anything you learn about Windows, it doesn't play well with just about anything. you need to go look for some logo somewhere, but since machines are just about self sufficient and you really don't need to plug anything in, e.g. usb midi interface, it's a safe and fun computer to use.

Verdict on Windows 7

And if you think I spent all this time talking about Vista for no reason, that's because, all the niffy stuff I like about Vista is in Windows 7. The boot time is great in windows 7 but it was good with XP for the first few months also, so I'm not holding my breath. So while using Windows 7, I do get all the vista flashbacks, so I can't say there is much of a change other than the boot time and response. Maybe it's like the iphone 3g 'S' thing.

What I did to get it off the ground:

Installed, and it was pretty quick, CD image didn't work though, so had to use another cd. Ok, that worked, decided to install cloneCD so I can load my software ISOs.

It's a funky non certified driver but Vista dealt with that. Windows 7 went all crazy and kept restoring itself to before the driver was installed and it also took out my ethernet card, so i couldn't get back on the network.

After a few reboots, mad clicking and selecting rubbish, I left it powered off for a week or so before I started again at a wireless access point and started patching it. (yes wireless still worked for some reason)

I've installed all the essentials things that most people will install and more, windows live messenger, firefox, office, visual studio, sql server 2008 and yes, it complains and its a series of weird patches to get it going. In fact it's still going. I need to update to all the SP1+ before it can be used.

So while I wait for my visual studio sp1 to be downloaded and my sql server 2008 install (still launched and waiting for requirements), I can conclude that while it's a flashy operating system, it's not for the weak hearted. Debugging is still necessary and there will be times you find yourself very lost.

I would recommend that you take this time to consider ubuntu or the mac os for personal use, or if you have limited or work requirements, this is still a good OS to use and I'll stick with it after all the pain I went through.

how many ways to blog

I'm trying to blog from flock now. It's a firefox based browser with preloaded add-ons intended to make my life easier. I think it's great however it shouldn't be used on public computers or shared computers, because of all the auto logon stuff that happens in the background.

Still the best features is that I can drag my photos from picasaweb from the webpage into the upload tool and it will be plonked into facebook, photo bucket or flickr. So it does improve productivity provided you already have some sort of personal workflow.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Idiots" guide to using manual mode on DSLR

Step 1: Observe the amount of light around you to set ISO

ISO 200 - 400 : outdoors or (flash photography which is not described in this post)
ISO 800 + : indoors or night shots without flash

Step 2: Know your light meter

The trick of photography is light. it's just to adjust the amount of light that comes through the lens. Looking through the lens is like looking through a HUD, other than the focus ring, you will see a light meter. it indicates if it is too bright or too dark.

the answer is simple, keep it in the middle. To do this, the 2 things you can change is the aperture and the shutter speed. you just toggle with the 2 until you get the meter indicator in the center.

Which one you do first depends on your personal preference. This is how I do mine.

Step 3: Set Initial Aperture

I first set my aperture to the largest which is the lowest number, e.g f2.8

Step 4: Set Initial Shutter speed

Depending on my focal length, I set my shutter speed to the same as the focal length. This is a setting that in longest possible to not have camera shake.

Step 5: Increase Aperture or Shutter speed

Ideally you will notice that the photo is overexposed from the light meter. You can take a test shot to be sure. If it is underexposed, go to Step 6*.

Otherwise, you have a choice to increase your depth of field by increasing your aperture, or if the object wouldn't sit still, increase your shutter speed. Do this until the light meter is centered and the photo is just right.

Step 6* (optional): Increase ISO and shorten focal length

I can increase my ISO and repeat Step 5.

I can also adujst my focal length (if possible) from 50 mm to 18 mm and slower my shutter speed to 1/20. This will work if the object is not moving.

Friday, April 17, 2009

how technical is photography

The thing I realise is about technical people is that they love their digital SLR cameras. The question I have is how much of it is art and how much is technical.

Sure, there is the technical aspects of photography, balancing the iso, aperture and shutter speed. Picking the right lens for the job. For tech guys, it seems like, what's the fastest shutter speed, what's the lowest aperture,

Maybe art comes in the form of "what is the job?". It's not about taking a photo of an object, landscape or person. I think there always need to be some story which makes the photo successful.

If someone can answer the question on why is Singapore so hard to shoot, my answer is that's it hard to capture a perfect city. It's way too boring and hardly flawed. Not to mention the excessive cloud cover that makes everything even more boring.

Well, I haven't been blogging here, but I've started a new photo blog as well just to remain creative.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kraftwerk gig

I'm sure these robots wouldn't find it offensive to take pictures of them while the song was going. The band was off stage for a change of clothes and the gig still went on.


Classic analogue tones with German precision. Great gig which makes you want to either get a new synthesizer or a Audi A4


Some songs\sounds sounded like they came from a kiddy Casio keyboard demo song.

Installing ubutun on old intel macbookpro

After gettting a new last of the intel macbook air, I decided to install ubuntu on my older mac. The setup was fairly simple after download...