Monday, October 29, 2007


I quote this from the Slice Of Life:

Recognizing our life values, determining how we want to achieve them and taking steps to act on them is self-empowering. When you realize that you are doing what is most important to you, your happiness level shoots right up.

No one likes feeling stuck. It is important to know what you really want and then take some action towards it. Even if progress is slow, you will feel better going in the right direction.

No matter how stressed you are, take a break from your routine to admire the sunrise or share coffee with a friend. It is the moments which make us happiest - yet how many of them slip by unnoticed?

I guess I have to slow down sometimes. Have too much on my mind nowadays. Yesterday I managed to ban myself from 2 accounts because I forgot the pin number. This proves that next time when I'm troubled, I better not touch the computer. I just hope I remember how to reset the PIN number.

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Integrating Thunderbird into Spotlight

Updated 25 Dec 2007: Updated the new Thunderbird mdimporter link and added a note about Leopard
Updated 25 May 2008: Leopard Integration with spotlight link

I personally like Firefox and Thunderbird, and I've been using it on my Mac. My pet peeve with Thunderbird was that I could not search my emails in spotlight. No longer... I found a post that helped me integrate Thunderbird emails into spotlight. You can see the original post here.

These are the steps to integrate Thunderbird emails into Spotlight (I'm using Thunderbird
  1. Download and install the Thunderbird mdimporter. This is a plug-in that tells Spotlight how to index Thunderbird emails.
  2. When you unzip it, you should see a folder called Thunderbird.mdimporter. Drag or move this folder to /Library/Spotlight/
  3. Run your Thunderbird and goto Thunderbird > Preferences > Advanced > General > Config Editor
  4. Type mail.spotlight.enable in the filter box
  5. Double click on the mail.spotlight.enable to set the value to true
  6. Close Thunderbird, reboot your mac, and start Thunderbird. At this point, Thunderbird will start to create folders that end with .mozmsgs in your Profile. This will take some time, especially if you have thousands of emails.
That should be it. After waiting for quite a while, I started searching and I could see the emails. The emails will appear under the Documents section. However, it seems that sometimes clicking on the search results will launch the Thunderbird mail client, and sometimes it doesn't. I'm not sure why. It might be my email.

Anyway, so far, this is sufficient for me. Makes my searching a whole lot easier. :) Hope this helps...

Note: I realise from forums that for Leopard, you will need Spotlight to enable indexing for System files in order for the Thunderbird indexing to work. I do not have Leopard so I'm unsure if this is true.
I have given up integrating Thunderbird into spotlight in Leopard. Read about my frustrations here.

Deferment payment scrapped. So what??

I refer to the previous post on the overblown property market. Finally the government has decided to cut off the deferment payment scheme for Singapore properties, effective immediately. I've ranted about the overblown property market since last July!

That only proves one thing. The people up there has no idea what is happening down there. Not on the ground, not knowing what's happening, and relying all on "figures". Being reactive instead of being proactive.

HDB resale prices blowing upwards, HDB not building cheap housing for the masses, and instead shrinks from its responsibilities by out-sourcing their job to private developers. Look at the most recent development in Telok Blangah Towers. Minimum pricing for 3 room flat is $187,000. Household income cap is $3,000! Can you tell me if a person with a $3,000 household income can afford to pay $187,000 for a 3 room flat? Not to mention that the ceiling for the 3 room flat is $238,000! Since when HDB has a new vision of providing retirement homes for the rich??

The writing is already on the wall since the start of the year that there will not be enough housing for this year and the next year. Yet, HDB did nothing! It's time to change the vision of HDB. It's no longer in providing affordable homes. Strike that one out. They need to re-look at their vision.

And we gave these people a raise???

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lower USD means higher inflation, not lower inflation!

Today just read that a minister reflecting that lower US dollars (USD) equate to lower inflation. I disagree with that statement. I'm also unsure why I heard more than 1 view that lower USD equals to lower inflation.

First of all, international prices for most commodities, like wheat, corn, sugar, natural gas, and of course oil, is all priced in USD. All things constant, if the demand and supply remains the same, and the currency went down, the price will go up. Therefore, all these essential goods will rise in price. Therefore, how does a lower USD lead to lower inflation?

Furthermore, since they are all essential goods, there's no running away from it. Can you cook without cooking oil? Can you have rice without wheat? Can you run our power plants without natural gas? Price of flour went up by 20%. Price of chicken went up by 20% because of the higher price of corn feed. Soon, petrol will also rise because of sky high oil prices. Cooking oil? Sugar? Most hawker centres have also up their price mostly by 50 cents. Some people say GST, but I think it's also because the price of food has gone up by a quite a bit. This, coupled with the unpopular GST raise, is causing most hawkers to hike their prices.

Singapore controls the inflation by currency strength. However, can Singapore afford to keep strengthening the currency? The manufacturing sector has been declining due to the strong Singapore dollar. Those companies who pay their staff in Singapore, but sell their goods overseas will be affected badly if the currency strengthens further. Therefore, I don't see how MAS can keep strengthening the currency without affecting the competitiveness. In fact, a lower USD can be detrimental to companies in Singapore, but that's another story.

Don't forget the major supermarkets are currently absorbing the 2% increase in GST. What will happen to the inflation next year?

If the CPI still shows a low reading for October, something is very wrong with the CPI. I see price hikes across the board the most this year, and I don't see the price hikes stopping until at least 2010.

You mean no one knows the price of commodities are priced in USD??

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Believe in yourself

I quote this from the Slice Of Life:

Before you begin any endeavour, you should be confident that the end result is possible. Don't focus on whether it's been done before or not. Don't listen to others who might be feeding you with negative thoughts. Be clear in your own mind that the goal can be achieved.

More crucially, believe that the end result is possible by you. We often hold limiting beliefs about our own ability to achieve goals. We may believe the goal is possible, but we often don't think it's possible for us to achieve it. So identify those beliefs that are holding you back and take time to address them.

Now that you know you can achieve your objective, how much do you want it? The more we want to achieve a goal, the bigger the hurdles we'll jump over to get there. So choose a goal you really want; take the time to ask yourself why you want it and how badly you want it. What are the values underlying that goal? Is it a desire to help people? A yearning to be your own boss? Or is it to do something that allows you to spend more time with your children?

Next you have to believe that you deserve the end result. Hidden under the surface in many people is a belief that they do not deserve to succeed. Because of some deep-rooted experience that caused their self-esteem to decline, these people often choose to remain where they are, or even slide, because they feel that they are not worthy of success and happiness. When they try to take action, this belief restricts them, they lose motivation, and fail. But always remember that if you work consistently toward your goal, you deserve all the success you get.

Believing in yourself, and believing that you can do it, is the key that will open the door to more opportunities. Hard work is definite, but the result will be worth it. Ganbatte everyone...

Monday, October 22, 2007

No use owning a car in Singapore

I really want to laugh at what our Transport minister said about the effectiveness of ERP.

I quote a section from the ST:
Dr Fatimah Lateef, MP for Marine Parade GRC, had asked the Minister if the ERP scheme has met the objectives that it was meant to achieve and if it has improved the traffic flow on expressways especially during peak hours.

In his reply, Mr Lim said since its implementation in 1998, ERP has been effective in maintaining average travel speeds on priced roads within the optimal speed range through regular reviews and rate adjustments. For example, average speeds on the expressways have remained at above 45km/h during peak hours.

"The use of ERP to manage traffic has made it possible for more Singaporeans to own cars than we otherwise could, and our vehicle population has grown from 680,000 in 1997 to 800,000 in 2006," he added.

"It has also allowed the Government to rely more on car usage charges and less on car ownership taxes to manage traffic demand, and as a result, vehicle ownership taxes have been reduced. "

2 problems with this quote.

First problem: The question was on improving the traffic flow in expressways during peak hours. Do you know that a racer bike can travel at 50km/hr? You're saying that traveling at 45km/hr is considered as improving the traffic flow?? I've been driving for quite a few years on and off and I remembered that last time, the traffic jam was never as bad as now. ERP has an effect when the COE was at around $30,000. Now?? Why don't our minister try traveling at our expressways during 6-7pm and see if the traffic flow is smooth? Remember... CTE. I recall someone said 35km/hr? I think I can achieve that speed on my bicycle.

Second problem: Allowing more Singaporeans to own cars. This really reminds me of a scene in Bruce Almighty where he granted the wishes of all the townsmen to strike "Toto". In the end, everyone got $1 (some small amount). This is exactly the same problem. First of all, what's the use of a car? It's for a person to travel from point A to point B in the least possible time. I can safely say that if I take the MRT to work, or back home at the peak timing, I'm faster than most of the cars. Just imagine you spend $40,000 to $50,000 on a car (cheapest one), which travels slower than a racer bike and the MRT. And he still thinks its an achievement?? Well... maybe the last paragraph of my quote is the actual achievement he is indicating.

All in all, I think the transport system in Singapore is screwed up, starting from the COE. You want to restrict cars on the road, then do it properly, not half-heartedly. Singapore is small... COE is meant to keep the population of the cars small enough so that the speed of travel is acceptable. Traveling at 45km/hr is not acceptable. It's slower than a bicycle for goodness sake. I would say 60km/hr as an acceptable average speed. That was the speed I remembered long ago when I was driving an old 1.3litre car.

The minister also forgot to mention that what other problems cheap cars has caused. Anyone notice the number of accidents in Singapore? Anyone notice the dangerous driving you see everyday on the roads? When cars are cheap, people don't care. You get parents giving a car to a 21yr old kid as a birthday present. I don't mind if its responsible driving (I've seen some), but sad to say that most of the examples I've seen is not the case. Look at the profile of the drivers getting into accidents and you'll also know what I mean.

Sometimes, I really do wonder why I bother to read the newspapers... As a matter of fact, I skipped this article. Someone else mentioned it. Oh well...

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Fujitsu E8410 has no WinXP Pro!!

Back in March, I had a bad experience trying to get a WinXP laptop. Just today, I identified one laptop which will suit me. That's the Fujitsu E8410. New model, and it comes with 3GB RAM (freebies). I've checked that it supports WinXP.

Went down to a shop, and they called up Singapore Fujitsu headquarters. What did they say? They said that there's no more stock for WinXP and there will not be any stock coming in because Microsoft will stop supporting it end of the year!

What??!!!??!? Again I get this stupid problem! Last time was that the laptop could not even support XP. Now, this one can, but no Win XP because of the stupid support problem.

Ok Microsoft, you have forced me to go towards Apple. If I cannot find any reasonable laptop that supports WinXP Pro, I will be getting a MacBook Pro instead, with the newest Leopard. Since I need to start on a clean state, I will start with a Mac. I will just dual boot it to WinXP Home Edition in case I need to play some games.

Yeah Microsoft... You have done it. By the way, did I mention that my current Macbook battery lasts 5hours?

Expose at Esplanade again!

Updated 25 Nov 2007: Song Repertoire
Updated 15 Jan 2008: Conductor's blog

Last year, we performed at the Esplanade Concourse. Coming 13 Jan 2008, we will perform at the Esplanade Concert Hall, as part of the Beautiful Sunday Series... Free concert as per last performance. A little excited, and nervous. I guess I have to push in some time to practice. It's not everyday you get to perform in the esplanade. I've already missed chances to go Europe and Japan, I will not miss this one. Esplanade Concert Hall... Wow.

Sometimes, I really miss playing in small groups, which is what we call groups of 10 or lower (smaller than Expose). However, based on my time schedule, I would think its almost impossible to squeeze in time to practice more pieces. :( Oh well... Guess its always give or take.

This is the repertoire we're playing coming Jan 2008, as far as I know:
  1. Anime Medley
  2. Impressions of Japan
  3. In the Mood
  4. Michelangelo '70
  5. Simple Gifts
  6. Malaguena
  7. Prince of Egypt
  8. Tinsagunu Hana

Practice practice practice...

Realised that my conductor has a blog. The latest music and stuff we are doing can be found at his blog.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Leave your mark

I quote this from the Slice Of Life:

ONE: You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in Someone's hand.

TWO: You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you'll need it to become a better pencil.

THREE: You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.

FOUR: The most important part of you will always be what's inside.

AND FIVE: On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.



We are just like the pencil, who can make a difference in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. Don't ever underestimate what you have the power to do!

How many times have we tried to disappear in a corner, not wishing anyone to know of our existence? How many times have we not make an opinion on something that we feel strongly about?

What matters is we dare to do, we dare to fail, and therefore we learn from the experience. Do not underestimate yourself.

Inflation up more in 2008!!

GST up in July, despite increasing signs from the global economy that inflation will go up higher. Now they have to eat their own words and revise the inflation rate from 1.5% to 2%.

And now they say the price of flour will be up 30%! It will cost 20 cents more to buy bread. Reason is due to bad weather. If it is due to weather, rice crops will also be affected sooner or later. I did not forget that the price of oil is now USD90! I think 2008 inflation will be at least 2.8%.

Come on... Global warming has been quite obvious for the past few years. It doesn't take a genius to see that it will very soon affect crop harvests. The government insistence that the GST raise will not hit inflation, in the face of so much information, baffles me completely, and I'm not even an economics major.

I'm still very sore of the fact that the government did not invest in anything related to solar energy, despite being in the BEST place in the world to research into it. And they were just mentioning about why we cannot win the Nobel prize for Singapore. With this kind of "forward-looking" government, I wonder what the future holds for us. I don't even want to think about Nobel prize.

Worker's Party... Ganbatte!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Important Macbook shortcuts in WinXP

I thought I would list some of the "shortcuts" I deem important when using WinXP on the MacBook. It caused me alot of "pain" when I first started using. :) This is based on BootCamp v1.4
  1. MacBook delete key is the backspace key in WinXP. To delete, press Fn Delete.
  2. To right-click in WinXP using the trackpad only, put 2 fingers on the trackpad, and click.
  3. To make sure that when you press F1, it activates your help instead of lowering your brightness, goto Control Panel > Boot Camp > Keyboard, ensure that the checkbox is unchecked, and click OK. Actually, this is also important if you're playing games.

You might ask... How about that stupid time problem I have everytime when I boot into boot camp? Actually, I've tried everything, including changing the registry, but the problem is still there. The reason why there is this problem is because the Mac stores the GMT time in the bios. There are only 3 easy ways which I know that can resolve it:
  1. Change your time zone to GMT +0 (not +0800)
  2. Set your windows to auto-sync with a time server. However, this assumes that you're always connected to the internet, and this will also screw up your time when switch back to the Mac OSX.
  3. Change it manually everytime you switch to WinXP (Currently what I am doing now).

Leopard is already out, and I think it is sort of official that Apple will not be supporting the Bootcamp for Tiger. Darn. If you do not have the BootCamp v1.4, you can download it here.

Hope it helps...

Visit Rhinestic's Knick Knacks @ Etsy for handmade goods and supplies!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Can town councils invest their funds into the stock market??

Seems like Creative Technologies has revealed something that we were not aware of. It seems like one of the top 10 shareholders of Creative is Holland-Bukit Panjang Town Council. For those who do not know, Creative's market value has dropped by almost half since the beginning of this year.

My question is are town councils allowed to invest their funds into risky investments like stocks? To my knowledge, sinking funds are meant for renewing the estate, and further improving it. If there are any excess, the owners who paid should have a say in it on how it is being spent, be it a covered walkway from the MRT to somewhere, repair work, lift replacements, etc etc.

Why are they allowed to invest in the stock market? Who will be responsible for any lost of money in these risky investments? There's a difference between a fund manager and a town council member. The fund manager is given the authority to invest the funds for a higher return. The town council members do not, and should not, have such authority. Fund managers at least have the necessarily certificates, the town council members? Investments is no easy walk in the park. Look at Temasek's investment to Shin Corp and you'll know the reason. Risk management especially is important for any investments.

I think the Singapore government owe us an explanation on this.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Do not remove the battery from your laptop

Just read today in the Digital Life where somebody complained that the laptop CMOS battery ran out in less than 3 months. Why? I can guess. That person might have removed the battery from the laptop, and did not keep the laptop plugged into a live socket.

There's a myth going around that removing the battery of the laptop will extend the battery life. That might be true for laptops built before 2000, but for current laptops, you should not. Every laptop has a small battery internally. This battery stores all the information of your laptop, like what's your BIOS password, what harddisk type you have, etc etc. With the laptop battery in, the laptop will use the laptop battery's power to keep this information intact, otherwise, it will use the small little battery in your laptop. The laptop battery will also "re-charge" the small little battery. Remove the battery and remove the power socket, I think you can guess what will happen to that tiny weeny battery inside your laptop.

I have posted about this a few months back. You can read about the misconceptions of lithium-ion batteries here. In case you do not know, the laptop battery is also known as the lithium-ion battery. It's the same type as your handphone battery.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Are people too egoistic??

Just yesterday, I saw another fight broke out in the MRT. What I overheard was that they fought because one of them did not say excuse me when passing through.

This is one of the stupidest reason to fight. Just because of "excuse me", they want to go to the police station for it? MRT is a very crowded place. Therefore, pushing in the crowd is quite normal. Some people are so soft spoken in public. Sometimes, you can't even hear their "excuse me". Furthermore, some like to stand near the train door like a statue, and do not let passengers disembark. How not to push? Some even pretend not to hear the "excuse me"

This really sets me thinking if people are becoming very egoistic. Putting one self above others. I've seen many cases where they apply rules to other people, but do not apply the same rules to themselves. To me, that's super hypocritical.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Judging that many Singaporeans are Christians, I'm just wondering if these people actually just selectively listen, based on what benefits themselves. Ok, I do not want to go into a religious debate over this but this is getting way out of hand. One rule for themselves, and one rule for others. Sometimes, I really think that morale has taken a back seat in everyday life. To be fair, this attitude is not confined to Christians, but to know the rule, and to break it knowingly, it speaks quite well on the "standards" these days. Action speaks louder than words.

What on earth do they teach in school nowadays? What on earth are parents teaching their children nowadays?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Passion and Curiosity

I agree totally with what Prof Peter Ng, director of Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at NUS, said about the work mentality here.

A short quote here:
I do not believe good scientists can be 'developed' and 'planned' for. I also do not agree that the best scientists have the best grades in school. The best scientists are those who started with passion and curiosity - asking questions and solving them. Regardless of whether the questions involve a dollar sign. These are the men or women who will change the world.

That is what is wrong with the mentality here. All the recent government initiatives always involve a dollar sign. You will save $x if you implement this technology. You will earn $y if you bring in this attraction. When you try out something new, how on earth can you guarantee its success 100%? Come on... Even trying out something tested and proven do not give you 100% success rate. One example is our famous Windows Blue Screen of Death.

So in the end what happens? Singapore is always a follower of technology, not an enabler, because they do not have people who are serious in seeing the final outcome, but only interested in having a name on their resumes. Ok, I admit the corporate world is like this, but if you're really serious in changing the culture, then things must be done differently. There always pros and cons on doing things differently, and if we're destined to be only efficient, and reliable, then so be it. You cannot have everything without taking the pros and cons of every choice made.

I've also known some people who said they are "passionate" about their job, and yet, when I ask further on how "passionate" they are, they fail outright. When you're passionate about something, you enjoy it. That's the key word. That means if you're passionate about the job, you enjoy going to work, you enjoy going the extra mile to see that the final product is almost perfect, you enjoy the journey, you enjoy reading up on it with no strings attached, etc...

To enable this kind of work culture here, you must first have 2 groups of people. 1 group who is willing to think ahead, and do things that are not done before, even if its only locally. Another group, which is the most important, is the people who are willing to accept that things can be done differently. Over here, you can never get the latter group. Why? A hint... Who's the biggest consumer of services here?

Singapore can be efficient, but we will never change the world, at least for now.

What's wrong with working your way up??

Friday's paper was mentioning about the 4th university, and how it should be different, and yet the same. However, I take offense on what the minister said about working your way up. He mentioned that the 4th university should not train "salaryman" who spends their whole life working their way up the corporate ladder.

What is wrong with working your way up? Working your way from the ground is the best way to learn and train yourself in the ropes. Whatever you learn in schools are only the very basic foundation of working life. The problem now with most jobs is that people are skipping levels.

For e.g., in software, people are designing software without being involved in the development process at all. They have absolutely no experience in developing an application, and yet they are managing one. And people wonder why projects have a high failure rate...

I mean even MM Lee has mentioned that to train the next PM, it takes more than 10 years. Why 10 years? Because he/she has to work their way up. Earn their stripes so as to speak.

Now a minister is saying this is not encouraged??? What the world is coming to? Am I going to meet more of these kind of people who know nothing of what they are managing??

Friday, October 12, 2007

Every little thing makes a difference

I quote this from the Slice Of Life:

"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.

To this, the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."

Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"

At this, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he said, "It made a difference for that one."

How often are we guilty of this? Thinking that it would never make a difference and finding excuses for ourselves? Very often we get caught up in the frantic pace of life that we sometimes forget the little things that we use to do, thinking that it won't make a difference. Dinner with parents for e.g.

It's good to slow down once in a while.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Adding Safe Mode to Boot Menu

You might ask why do you need to add this option into the Boot Menu. Well, first of all, some people might not be fast enough to press F8 to see the boot menu, and with the introduction of the Intel mac, the F8 key doesn't work. Therefore, I would say this option is quite useful. With the boot menu, you can actually press F8 to access more hidden options.

To enable safe mode in the boot menu, please do the following:
  1. Goto Control Panel > System
  2. Click on the Advanced tab
  3. Under the Startup and Recovery section, click on the Settings button (The 3rd button from the top)
  4. Click on the Edit button
  5. Locate the line that has the /fastdetect in it. It should be the last line
  6. Copy that line and paste it to the line below it
  7. Add the word "Safe Mode" to that new line that reads WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP ... ...". E.g. WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional Safe Mode"
  8. Add this to the end of that new line: /safeboot:minimal/sos/bootlog ( = leave a spacing)
  9. Save it and exit. You can opt to change the minimal to network if you wish to go to safe mode with network option

This tip also works for WinXP Home Edition. I've tried it on both. The default option should still be the normal mode Windows mode. You can change the default timeout in the section from Step 1 to Step 3 if you think 30 seconds is too long.

Reboot and you should see the changes. Hope it helps.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Macbook is not Windows friendly

As of BootCamp 1.4, I don't really like WinXP on the MacBook. Sometimes, you get rare cases of blue screen when you're just copying files. The worst part is when you go into Safe mode, your keyboard and trackpad will be disabled! Unless you have an external keyboard or mouse, you cannot do anything in Safe mode on the Macbook. However, my colleague told me that Bootcamp 1.2 is ok in Safe mode. Hmmm...

The most irritating is the time problem. My time keep screwing up, and I have not found a way to resolve it permanently, unless I change my time zone to GMT.

Other than the above, Windows function quite okay on the Macbook. I was able to do development on it, and play some games on it. However, all these things are quite irritating. I wonder if Leopard will have this problem too.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

CPF not a cheap source of funds??

I read with great interests in our Minister's rebuttal on why CPF is not a cheap source of funds. Their reasoning is that CPF has no need to buy up the bonds, and people in the open market will always fill up that vacuum. I believe he is not economics trained?

Interest rates depends all on demand and supply. Lending $1,000, and lending $1,000,000,000 is very different. If I lend someone $1,000 for 1 week, I might not charge interest rate if I know this person will definitely pay me back, and I don't lose much interest for 1 week. However, if I need to lend $1,000,000,000, this changes alot. I would demand an interest because this amount is huge, and the risk starts to become higher. Even then, I might not even loan that amount.

Fast forward to the bonds issued by the government, yes. You can always issue the bonds at 2.8%, to be locked in for 10 years. Question is, will any fool buy the bonds where some banks will give you the same interest rate for far lesser amount?? Granted, its risk free, but banks have a much shorter lock-in period than bonds. In order to attract the investors, you would have to increase your interest rates. Therefore, you have the right to issue the bonds at 2.9% for 10 years, but don't expect the take-up rate to be high.

Come on... 2.8% for bonds stretch for 10 years?? Do you know that inflation hit 2.9% in August in just 1 year alone?? GST increased from 3% to 5% in 2003, and 5% to 7% in 2007. Which fool will lock-in their money and see their purchasing power being eroded away with that measly interest rates on the bond??

Not a cheap source of funds?? You're kidding me.

Do HouseKeeping on Your Macbook Wireless Connections

Have you ever wondered why your MacBook's wireless takes longer and longer to connect? I've finally found the configuration in the Mac for you to "prune" the number of wireless networks you have connected, and set the priority in which the Mac should try to connect to those networks. In addition, you can set it such that it will connect to preferred networks first, before attempting to connect to other networks.

Please do the following to activate the above change:
  1. Click on the Apple Logo from the top left hand corner
  2. Goto Location > Network Preferences
  3. Click on the AirPort and Click on Configure (Airport is your wireless for the Mac)
  4. Under By default, join , choose Preferred networks. That means you prefer to connect the networks indicated in the list shown
  5. The list of networks shown in this screen are all the networks that you have connected to so far. The network on top will be the first network the Mac will try to connect to. You can re-order the list by clicking on the network name and dragging it to the top
  6. To add a network, click on the + button
  7. To remove a network listed, click on the network, and click on the - button
  8. To edit the network listed, click on the network, and click on the Edit button. You will be able to change the password
  9. Click on the Apply Now button at the bottom right hand corner to save your changes

That's all to it. I've been searching for this feature high and low because I was wondering why my wireless takes such a long time to connect. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Cherish your time

I quote this from the Slice Of Life:

Give allowance of time. Avoid tight schedules and aim to arrive early by 15 minutes or more for all activities. Too often, stress is created by my ambition to squeeze too much activity into a limited time.

Plan time for things that matter. Plan time to enjoy my hobbies, time to spend with my loved ones, time to go on a vacation and time to play my favourite sports.

Spare time for little things. Spare some time talking to a child, pouring myself a good cup of coffee, comforting someone, cleaning the toilet, learning to cook Mee Siam from Mommy, helping the old lady to cross the road, marvelling at the sunset, or just watching the street busker performing.

Why some people just have a habit of being super late? This creates additional stress to yourself. Maybe that's why I'm usually smiling. :D

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I quote from the Slice Of Life:

Empowerment arises from the three Cs: choice, courage and change. They are yours to claim. You have the opportunity to create a future that's very different from your past. And remember, not choosing is also a choice.

You can always do things if you first have the courage to believe that you can do it. Next is to have the will to do it, which will most probably lead to changes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

CPF Changes Update

I have updated the CPF Summary post based on the ministerial statement provided by choozm. Thanks choozm...

Basically, the updates include the amount that cannot be used for CPF Investments (the sequence of lock-in), and the draw-down age and bonuses for the elderly.

The CPF changes are really confusing. I'm not even sure if I have got it all right. It doesn't help that the newspaper reported it differently from the ministerial statement.
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