Bazaar happenings in the clementi neighborhood

I happened to chance across a post on Sammy Boy Forum last night. It was said there was actually a special massage parlour in Clementi Ave 2 area. It was just a few streets away from my place.

I got curious. It felt so strange that what normally happens in sleazy places like Geylang could actually happen in heartland areas like Clementi!

This afternoon after finishing my session at the gym, I decided to take a walk. I finally arrived at block 354, this is where commerce mainly takes place in this area.

I managed to locate the “Da Jie Niang Dou Fu” shop easily. The “Da Jie Niang Dou Fu” shop is a landmark which one of the members of the sammy boy forum posted.

I started walking down the main stretch of block 354. Upon detailed study, I realised there were actually three shops which looked quite suspicious. They were mainly located towards the end of the 5 foot way before it took a left turn. Out of the three shops two were empty while the first one was occupied by two PRC chinese looking ladies. I guess this must be the one. Having confirmed that this location that the members of the sammy boy forum posted was no bullshit but the real thing, I kept on walking down the 5 foot way and took the left turn.

It was not before long that i chanced upon this really eriee looking shop. I stood outstide trying to figure out what this shop was supposed to sell, when the proprietor of the shop beside that one told me to speak to the owner.

Apparently this shop is run by Shaiful. I wonder if he is related to the first shop keeper that talked to me.

This Shaiful is a pretty interesting character. His shop has been around for the past 5 months. He apparently runs tours to places around Southeast Asia to sites that a supposedly haunted.

Seems like his next trip is happening on the 9th this month to Vietnam. This whole thing seems pretty bazairre and interesting. If you are a really interested to find out more about his trips just head down to location stated here on Things To Do Singapore

His website is still under renovation, it is www.soulhunterz.org. I wonder when he would get it up. But I am definitely looking forward to it.

A series of natural disasters – Water Elements

The later half of this years sees the multiple eastern parts of the world affected with water element based natural disaster.

Flooding in Taiwan (Water)
Flooding in India (Water)
Tsunami in Samoa (Water)
Indonesia (Earth and Water)

I wonder how true it is but some one even told Alena that she should change her name to remove the water elements in it, or else more bad fortune awaits.

I wonder if any Feng Shui Master could do any fortune telling with regards to this whole series of Water Element Disasters.

Migrating WordPress sites from One Hosting Service to another

Recently I have been building a lot of wordpress sites. Mostly I start building them on my local testing server. Thereafter when all the developement and testing has been done, I will migrate them to the live servers of clients.

here are the two normal things to look out for when doing migration of wordpress sites for them to work properly in a different server

First place to look at is the wp-config.php file

You need to change the following

define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘your_database_name’);

/** MySQL database username */
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘your_user_login’);

/** MySQL database password */
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘your_user_password’);

/** MySQL hostname */
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);

The localhost might be something depending on the configuration of the live server.

Next you need to do some changes in the wp_options table

Change entry option_value with corresponding option_value upload_path” to the root path to your wordpress installation.

To find out the root path simply create a php file with the following syntax and dump in it to the root folder and run it.

<?php
$p = getcwd();
echo $p;
?>

Hopefully this is helpful

What A Tough Nut to Crack

One of my cousin just came back from China, apparently before she came home the locals gave her a bag of walnuts. My cousin’s family having no idea how to eat walnuts decided to give it away. So it ended up at our place.

There it sat on my dining table. Until of course, who else but Alena caught sight of it. Hence the walnut eating campaign started. There she sat with my mon on the dining table, the of them started cracking and munching away.

I got curious so I decided to join them after a while. Apparently these walnuts could be categorized into two groups. Those with smooth surfaces and those with not so smooth surfaces.

All the while just picking the first one off the top my fingers could get on, I picked out the smooth ones. They cracked easily.

It was until a few walnuts later that I chanced upon this particular walnut with very very textured surface. It looked almost like a piece of art.

“Yummy “, I thought to myself “I wonder how this one tastes like.”

Hence I put it under the nut cracker. It wont bulge. Despite having applied the same pressure as I did the others. It was a tough nut to crack.

I guess it does require some science to crack this particular nut. Taking it out from the nut cracker, I examined the nut in closer detail. After some long and hard thinking process, I concluded it was best to crack it in the middle where the fault line was.

Through indeed it cracked, however that was not the end of this nut cracking campaign, the flesh was so well protected by this tough out husk that it required more subsequent cracking before one could get at the flesh.

Haha, funny how come a simple walnut eating experience could turn so scientific so fast.

Programmable Digital Touch Screen Photo Frame

I am currently helping Satheesh source for digital photoframes which allows for touchscreen as well as open API programming. Apparently after exhausting all the search results over Google, I realize there are actually none in the market. Ouch!

It seems while smaller gadgets like Iphone and the Android phone offer these functions, most currently existing gadgets don’t. I suddenly got me thinking, what is the possibility of assembling one such hardware, the corresponding operating system and the specific software that allows this functionality.

Perhaps Google or Microsoft might discover this as an interesting untapped market and build a light operating system for this. Then again perhaps not, in the case of Google.

I think the installation of a Linux box on such a system might work. Then again it leaves me thinking of the hardware aspects of it. Well that really is foreign territory then.

The dawning of the new age

With on the onset of the latest trends happening in the internet, borders are actually being teared down. Compared to 5 years ago the type of sites I am now building for clients is a totally different breed.

Back then, clients were all asking for sites that look sleek, cool and standalone. When I first built an ERP system for my second company Frontiera Group that was integrated with the EBay API, none of the other companies in Singapore were doing.

Nowadays instead of looking sleek and cool, clients are actually demanding for sites that are CONNECTED!

Yes! connectedness. This is the new buzz word with this web 2.0 trend that has dawned upon us. By connected it means the ability to populate multiple strategic places with our intended content with just the click of a button.

A simple illustration could be that of ThingsToDoSingapore.com, a single entry on ThingstodoSingapore.com results in a post on the Facebook Fan Page, your own facebook profile page as well as a post on the Twitter Page. Plus and update on Ping.Sg

At the same time, it aggregates contents from YouTube.com and other blogs too.

Not to say the other mirror sites:

blog.thingstodosingapore.com
thingstodonear.info
thingsfuntodo.com

Companies are starting to demand for increased ability to put contents in front the face of their target audience with less effort. That is the expectation that an IT company has to meet in the Web2.0 age.

Thankfully all hope is not lost, no single programmer has to spend long hours in front of the computer just to create those functions. We have the open source community to back us up. All we have to do is to just fill up the gap when we do find one. What we fill up, we give back to the open source.

In this web 2.0 day and age, power is no longer held in the hands of the few but divided amongst the mass.

Then again on the other side of things. while this utopian view is what most observe, conforming to social norms, a few tends to rise to the top. This commonly is called the black swan.

It is indeed worrying. Consider these black swans as the hubs and the rest of us as spooks. Suppose if someone does cripple the hub, the rest of us the spooks will definitely get affected.

Such a scenario was experienced on ThingsToDoSingapore.com when the Russians decided to do a denial of service attack facebook one day due to some renegade Russian expressing one radical view too much over the internet and harnessing too much support.

Due to the connectedness ThingsToDoSingapore has with the facebook connect API, it experienced slow loading times for the period until the facebook team fixed the Russian problem.

While it seems connected is a good option, it does have its pros and cons like all systems.

Domain names as the new landed property

During a conversation with Jim, a few weeks ago, he mentioned how sub domains could actually be captilized and subsequently monetized. Having thought long and hard about it, this idea suddenly occurred to me.

The most important about domain names is not really how cool it sounds but rather how closely it matches a set of keywords very commonly searched but not much competed for.

I think ThingsToDoSingapore.Com was such a case. Just yesterday, while researching on google keyword tool, I chanced upon another new set of keywords Things Fun To Do, and hence I created a new site. ThingsFunToDo.com.

So why spawn all these site, think of it as investing in real estates. While most physical real estates are very expensive and allows you an ROI of in best case scenarios 100%, domain names are difference, costing as little as just $20 per year, it is like buying a vacant lot. What you do on this lot really determines its selling price after. Even a subsequent selling price of $2000 would mean an ROI of 1000%.

So why not go for it? The game plan thus is to generate content that reinforces the positioning of the domain name, thus over time, increases the ranking of the site on major search engines.

Once thus done, you would then have on your hand a cash cow which you could start milking. The easiest way is to put up the lot for sales at a premium price. However another even better way is to actually, sublet out tiny plots of that virtual lot and become a land lord. Why not? This will really ensure a nice and comfy income in the long run.

Updating facebook fan page externally without the use of the Facebook API

Recently I managed to find time and hence decided once again to start work on my Things to Do Singapore!

One of the new features I had in mind of implementing was this auto updating of new sites to the Things to Do Singapore facebook fan page. The other thing I had in mind to do was to decrease the loading time experience for the site. The third thing I attempted to do was to improve the usability of the site. The second and third issue I believe is a constant task to work upon.

So back to the first feature. I researched for a long time on the facebook api site on how to update the facebook fan page automatically. Apparently apart from using the Open Streams API there was no other way around it. I further read that this was a tedious and complicated process. Hence I thought rather than have waste too much effort in the process of recreating the wheel, I researched for readily available solution.

This was when i chanced upon this page that talks in details on how to do auto import entries from a blog to a facebook fan page. Thus I did. I am glad he wrote what he wrote. There are so many features on facebook that sometimes i don’t even know if one exist when it actually does.

Working on photography.name1price.com

After talking with Peter the other apparently it seems I need a chunk of code which I could use to list out the sub categories in my wordpress photography system over at photography.name1price.com

I found this chunk of code over here

if (is_category()) {
  $this_category = get_category($cat);
  if (get_category_children($this_category->cat_ID) != "") {
    echo "<h1>Subcategories</h1>";
    echo "<ul>";
    wp_list_categories('orderby=id&show_count=0&title_li=
&use_desc_for_title=1&child_of='.$this_category->cat_ID);
    echo "</ul>";
  }
}

This is from Yoast

Let’s see if it is what I am looking for.

chains chains and more chains…

What a night! Alena who sat beside me on the bench was once again in tears. I watched her, not knowing what to feel. She seemed totally agreeable with the first two terms I set for our relationship but not the third.

Term 1 : We will never ever have kids
Secretly still I think she is coveting that I will have a change of hearts 5 to 6 years down the road. Seriously though I have no intentions at all of bring another child to this world only to be imprisoned by life immediately. Memories of my childhood behind locked doors and grilled bars and afternoon stuck bored brainless in school are still vivid in my mind.

Term 2 : We will never ever commit to the purchase of houses
Was out with Madelyn the other day, heard from her she and her husband just got themselves in a 30 year mortgage. I guess they should be old and immobile by the time they finish paying off their loans. My life out of prison has just started, I am a freeman!!! I don’t really feel any motivations to head back in again for another 30 years of my life.

Term 3 : I will need to wander off alone for months
A life of wandering is the ultimate symbolism of freedom in its purest essence. Being restricted from such would be no different from a life of imprisonment, such a life is no life at all!

I wonder how she would not come to see of it this way? What is the point of keeping me around always, when I will only get more grouchy and restless, causing more annoyance than good to those around me with my presence. My feet is begging for the taste of hitherto unwalked paths and the horizon beckons.

It seems like I have over the past few months dug out all the most unlikely haunts there are to be found on this tiny red dot and am almost to the extent of being able to memorize all the places like the back of my palm. It was so torturous. I just need some new playgrounds to get lost in.

Truth is recently, the sight of my family and Alena only reminds me of the invisible chains they have in their hands. Chains they unknowingly but inevitably will use on me. Chain which Alena aims to build using her tears and quarrels and my parents their constant nagging. Instinctly I felt threatened, very threatened. Even my visit to my relatives yesterday didn’t help.

Oh yeah, this relative of mine was out with serious intent to do some brain washing. “????” The fruit thus fallen soon becomes the root. That was the four lettered gift she bestowed before I left. Prior to my departure, I agreed to have those four words written in my diary but nothing more. Quietly, I actually thought to myself she could go screw herself with that four word of hers. No offence but who is she to dictate how I should live my life. Just the thought of it left an extremely foul and pungent taste in my mouth.

Debts owing should be coming in over the next few weeks. I have finally put a curb to the two most massive drainage to my capital over the past 12 months, Alena and my parents.

I have paid my dues to my parents for the year at least and Alena is on the brink of starting her job in Singapore. Not that the pressure I exterted on her didn’t help. One could look at it as cruel but I don’t really feel the incentive to provide the fish forever. I don’t run a charity organization. There is no such thing as a free lunch, or in my case a constant free lunch. She has been feeling stressed recently from her job search. Hey tough life! too bad. Time for her to seriously get her kick together and move along.

Chains chains chains… All these chains, the time will soon come to drop them all. Lucky on the commercial side there are not much new bondages coming in. Good keep it that way. It will facilitate my shifting. Perhaps I am selfish, perhaps I am heartless. If such is the case, so be it. I only live once and I aim to live it!