Sunday, September 30, 2012

Teaching Chinese

Date:  Sep 30, 2012

Teaching Jay Jay is getting harder and harder… HaHaHaHa

But we are Chinese, and we must learn Chinese.  So, I have to try harder.

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This week on the Chinese 早报, I selected this passage for him to learn.  It helps when you ask him to write the down those Chinese characters that he does not know.  Of course, he does not need to learn every single words, but those that often used, must know how to read.  Got to have patience.  Also must make it as fun as possible.  For example… On your head (头) and wear a hat, is buy 买.  If you add $10 (十) on top then, you can sell 卖.  HaHaHa...

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Yesterday, while practising the Berries (百力果) homework… I made a slight mistake.  I wrote down the Pin Yin on top of those characters that he does not know.  And he really knows how to read Pin Yin.  I was very proud of his Pin Yin, and I think 甘老师 did a very good job teaching him the Pin Yin.  But if you covered up the Pin Yin, he does not know how to read.  HaHaHaHa… That is wrong!  hahaha

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So, today, I wrote the Pin Yin on the empty space and let him find… So, this is better approach… 

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Also, I found it that if he only learn Chinese in Berries, and not practise at home, that is not enough.  Sorry son, I have to give you extra care and practise just to be sure.  You are Chinese, so, I need you to be like a Chinese.  :)  hahahaha  to do so, simply revise the 课文 as and when you can.

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Now, he is practising his violin before the class.  :)  加油!廖新杰!

Air Fryer Vs. 油炸鬼 / 油条

Date:  Sep 30, 2012

We buy our dough fritters (油炸鬼 / 油条) from Clementi.


It is very tasty when you first bought it hot.  However, after half a day, it becomes very soft and rubbery.

Not to worry, air fryer come to the rescue.


It is amazing… the crispiness… Very nice taste.  No oil at all.

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Jay Jay of course love is so much.

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Click the following youtube to listen and see the crispy sound of the fritters.  HaHa you must turn up the volume to listen to it.


Scramble Eggs

Date:  Sep 30, 2012

Early Sunday morning.  What do you eat?  

How about scramble eggs?  Guarantee 3 minutes done!

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Prepare 3 eggs in a bowl.

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I used this Japan Hokkaido brand of better… very amazing nice.

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Add butter into your eggs.

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Add how much you need.  This is how much I need.

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Scramble for 30 seconds or so.

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Add salt.

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Use a microwavable bowl.  Big bowl.

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Use the microwave to make your scramble eggs.

Put the bowl with eggs in.  High heat for 15 seconds.  Take out.

Use a folk to stir it.

Then, put the bowl back in.  High heat for another 15 seconds.  Take out.  And use a folk to stir it again.

So, you repeat this motion until 4-6 times (depends how cold your egg is from the fridge).  And you will soon see your scramble egg is forming.

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There you go… I nice butterly scramble eggs!  Yippee….

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Overwrite You DNS to Speed Up your Internet Surfing

Date:  Sep 30, 2012

Some users subscribed to a 100Mbps Internet Fiber Broadband at home, and they didn't find it different on the Internet Surfing speed compared to 10Mbps plan.  This is sometimes because most of the website you visited are far far away, and the link to reach that far far away web site is some what congested, etc.


For non-novice Internet users … There is a couple ways to speed up Internet Surfing experience.

One of the non-intrusive way is to change your DNS setting on your router, or your computer or IOS device.  Why non-intrusive?  Because you need not to tune your TCP settings (some chim settings to speed up by modifying the operating systems parameters).

(This is for people technical enough to change their DNS settings from their ISP on their PC, IOS devices, etc)

Change it to

(I am an Apple Fanboy.  So, usually, I will use OpenDNS instead of Google!)

Once you have done this, you will find that your Internet surfing experience indeed increase by a lot and a lot.  It really speed up.


- Usually your ISP will not have super fast server/PC to run the DNS server.

- Usually your ISP will not cache (remember) large amount of DNS addresses in their DNS server.  So, if they cannot find answers, they will need to look up "authoritative DNS" to give answer.  Sometimes, the time for a WEB Server to give you a WEB page is much faster than these DNS Server asking around, what is the IP Address for that WEB Server or WEB site.  So, the key is to cut down these asking questions processes.

- So, what OpenDNS and Google Public DNS does is to have a huge super fast DNS server an stored almost everything in their DNS cache.  So that, when people ask for a IP address for a particular website, OpenDNS or Google will likely always to have an answer on the spot.  It saves a lot a lot of DNS addresses on their DNS servers.

- Also, it can quickly determine where you are?  Geo-location based on your IP address.  And then, return you the CORRECT answers (i.e. the closer IP addresses to you).  In order to speed up Web page browsing, some web site invested in CDN network, so that they keep a copy of their web site at the caching server located nearest to you.  So, visiting Apple web site, instead of getting the web page directly from US servers, the CDN direct you to get it from a local or nearer "caching server" (last time we used to call it proxy servers).

The above DNS belongs to OpenDNS and it is safe to use.  Google also come up with their own Google Public DNS.  But comparing both...

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Here is the website you should read.

 If you want to be very safe and don't want your kids accidentally visit the porn sites, etc.  These are the two addresses.  It is called Family Shield.  See… …

This has pretty good info regarding why and how OpenDNS can help increasing the speed without giving out too much info about yourself to everyone.

OK… remember my other posting… Magic DNS??

I shared the info of 2 new sets of IP addresses to use if you want to watch Amazon Videos or Netflix.  By changing to use OpenDNS, you will not be able to watch Netflix or Amazon Instant Video using the or  So, a correct design will be… the router is configure overwriting with OpenDNS addresses.  And if you watch Netflix or Amazon on iPad on the bed, then, you overwrite the iPad DNS settings.

If you want to know more about Amazon Video, here you are.  I am a Amazon Prime users, not only I am getting Video, when I buy stuffs from Amazon, I got special discount price for most items, and 2-days FREE DELIVERY.  And the Amazon Instant Video is HD quality and much better than Netflix.  Netflix is adaptive video, it changes the video quality dynamically when the Internet went bad.  So watching Amazon Instant Video is pretty much enjoyable experience.  I currently watch it on my iPad lying on my bed.*Version*=1&*entries*=0&docId=1000739191

Saturday, September 29, 2012

ASUS NT-56U Black Diamond Upload Speed Problem

Date:  Sep 28, 2012

For the past few days, my home Internet UPLOAD speed, either from Singtel or ViewQwest has been shown running very slow… As shown… I can have > 80Mbps download speed, but the upload speed is always kept slightly below < 10Mbps.

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For days, I have been searching for answers.

I asked ViewQwest if they capped my upload speed?  They said NO.

So, I started to do test.  And from my analysis, the 10Mbps capped seems to come from my router.

I am using an ASUS NT-56U Black Diamond router.  It is one of the best WAN-to-LAN router according to the Router Chart from

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I love this router… But I just got to find out what went wrong.  Then, I found the culprit.

I updated the firmware few weeks ago.  And it actually resets some settings.

If you navigate to the EZQoS Bandwidth Management tab…

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And if you click on any of the button, such as "Gaming Blaster", you will see the following POPs out.

And here is the fine print notes:

- QoS can be enabled only when you set the uplink speed manually.

- We recommend that you set the uplink speed higher than the bandwidth that your ISP has provided.

So, I see the measured uplink speed somehow was measured to be 10403.42 Kb/s

So, that is roughly about 10Mbps.  No wonder, all my speed test result, regardless of using SingTel or ViewQwest always kept at 10Mbps.

So, I changed it to be equal to my ISP speed, which is 100Mbps. 

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And here is the result… Close to 80Mbps download speed and about 45Mbps upload speed.  This is what it used to be.  The reason why I cannot get full 100Mbps is because...

1.  My CAT6 cable at home was poorly pulled by my contractor.

2.  Between my ASUS router and the ONT from my ISP, I am using a Aztech Homeplug.  :)  That loses a few Mbps.

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Now I am very happy.

Btw, you don't have to turn on the Gaming Blaster or any thing at all with this sort of speed.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Amazing Photobooks

Date:  Sep 28, 2012

A childhood memory can always be found on a photo book.  We used to have lots of lots of photos books during younger age.  But then, there was no handphone, smart phones, digitals cameras back then.  We need to buy 12 / 24 / 36 flims to shoot photos.  So, every photo is very expensive, so, there is such thing called posing.  :)

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Yes.  No mistake can be made.  Then, we develops photos.  The photos back then were very very precious.

Nowadays, what we do?

We have smartphones such as iPhone who takes good photos.  We have digitals point and shoot cameras.  We have DSLR.  And we are capable of taking thousands of photos a year.  And we are capable of taking more than 5Gbps of photos (I am not talking about RAW photos).  

Is that good?  or bad?  

Actually is BAD!  Because, we take so many photos, and we forgot all about the essence of taking photos.  It to capture that moment and let people see it handy.  Yes, we bring it along with our iPads or iPhones, and we show it to our friends.  But the feeling is just different.

I received these when I get home.

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A closer look, oh… it is from Photobook Express.

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I made these photo books on Monday, submit and order a copy of it and it arrives.

These three photo books comes with full page of high quality glossy photos as cover page (front and back). 

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There are more than 10 layouts you can design with.  You can add text, images, etc.  But I did not do that, because I am lazy.  

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There are landscape, portrait and square books you can choose.  Each books has 48 pages.  Each page can place maximum up to 7 photos.  There are more than 10 layouts you can choose from.

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The photos are printed grossy and looks very nice.  This is how your kids going to grow up by looking at their photos.  We printed many photos books before, where my wife printed those out at the HP @ Depot road.  Those quality are not not as good.  But the cost is cheap.  These books are not printed  from HP.  It is from Photobook Express.

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What exactly is Photobook Express?

HaHaHa, I got these from an IT show at Suntec City.  I think about 3 years ago.  It was on sales, and I got these 5 vouchers for $350 plus like that.  A savings of 35% something like that.  I thought it was a good deal back then, as it allows you to print 48 pages, with 7 photos on each page.  We are talking about 336 photos in a book.

And they always run the promotion during the IT Shows, Comex, PC Shows, etc.  They are just like Printer Cartridges.  Where you always get it cheaper during he shows.

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And I bought those 3 years ago.  And I was so busy and I forgot to use it actually.  HaHaHaHa.  When I clean up my desk and I found these, the expiry is Dec 31, this year.  So, I thought I better use it now otherwise, I will be wasting those.  

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And they have a Photo Express SINGAPORE Edition for Mac OSX.  It runs on my iMac running Mountain Lion.

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The interface is pretty easy to use.  Drag two photos from your iPhoto and make it the cover page.  (the text will disappear when you submit).

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Then, you go to each page, select a layout.  You can place 2 photos or up to 7 photos in a page.

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The different layouts.

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You can choose different mask for each photos.

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Different background...

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Add in stickers… chops, etc.

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Once you are satisfy with your work… and you are done… press the little green shopping cart on the upper right corner… Then you will be brought to a E-Commerce site, where you put in the order, the address to sent to, and use Pay-Pal to pay if there is any extra fees to pay.  It's that simple.  At first I thought it is very hard.. but after I learn a few things… I am getting very familiar with it...

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So, remember, if you take photos, try also print out a photo books for your kids.  It will come handy.  He can bring it to school to show his friends what he has been doing for the past years, past few months, etc.  It will be fun. 

When they had nothing to do, you will see them flipping the photo books.  And put a smile on their faces.

They will remember each trip you bring them.  Well, you spent so much money to give them vacation, better to make them remember.  hahaha

Have fun!  Don't forget, wait for the IT shows and get the promotion.








LWPS Lantern & Movie Night

Date: Sep 28, 2012

It's Lantern night today at Lorna Whiston Pre-School. It's a yearly event where kids will walk one big round with the lanterns and Parents.

There are riddles that kids need to solve.

Jay Jay reads the "Rabbit" riddle.

Jay Jay on stage guessing the Rabbit riddle.

We brought our picnic mat and baskets too. Of course food too.

Kay Kay has a Thomas Lantern.

So as Jay Jay.

Let the lantern wall begins.

It's fun and a very dark journey.

Patents and kids enjoy the walk.

The round moon are shining. Amazing photo taken with iPhone 5.

Here comes Kay Kay!

When they are back, the kids enjoys the cartoon.

For the parents, we get to watch Stuart Little with the kids!

What a enjoyable night!

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