When the Mind Goes AWOL


I did not check but this probably one of the longest gap when it comes to blogging.

Working 7 days a week including working up to 10 at night on the weekdays sure pulls the energy from the mind. Somehow, I still force myself to take a late night shower (I have tried but I could not bring myself to bed without a shower…it simply feels too “sticky”) and sometimes put the clothes for washing. Then it is off to the bed and wake up again at about 6.30 am (without alarm) after the alarm goes off at 5.45 am, 5.50 am and 6.00 am (I am rarely aware of the time I switch off the alarm on 3 separate occasions).

I went back home for a couple of days just before Father’s Day. My kids were waiting for me at the front door as I got down from the taxi. First to hear was my youngest’s voice calling me loud and the next is my son rushing to open the front gate. They were indeed very excited to see me back (although it was for a few days). We slept very late that night with my son having tonnes of story to tell (as usual) with the youngest chipping in with her own baby language and jumping on my stomach as she often do. When I falling off to sleep, she even passed me her favorite blanket. My wife had a list of her own for me starting with the washing machine which have been giving some trouble (I almost smiled when I heard the washing machine mentioned).

Yes, I missed my car too. My wife had forgotten to get it washed before I came back but it did not matter much. Driving for that few days and despite being stuck in traffic jam did not deter me from having a great time driving. Ya, Malaysian drivers are still one of the worst kind out there and pesky motorcyclists remains the parasites of the road but some how it was different for that few days. Perhaps after almost a month of being driven around from the workplace and to the apartment and judging on how others drive the car made me miss my own driving. Perhaps.

I miss the good old Malaysian food as well (and yes, that includes my wife’s cooking). Somehow the limau panas tasted better than ever and it did not cost me a bomb for me to have a good healthy lunch with plenty of vegetables. A far cry now where a simple nasi campur have plenty of rice and chicken but almost non existing vegetables and it cost as much as dining in 5 star hotel. But I found the perfect place to dine (yes, it is still expensive) but somehow healthier than the other more premium looking place. This is one reason why home is still the best place to be.

It was a short break indeed and soon it was time to fly back for the overseas assignment.

FD

The night before I flew back overseas was great. We had a good dinner and a quick shopping for the essentials. My son had wanted to buy a rabbit (he knows the right time to ask me) but there was no time to go to the pet shop. I told him that we will revisit this once I am back. My son knew that I was flying out the next morning and I saw sadness in his face but my daughter was still too young to understand things (the same happened to my son when he was small to a point that he thought I worked at the airport). And that night, my son presented me with his “Father’s Day” wish card which was lovely and very touching indeed. He always have something to say that leaves me speechless and it was the same case this time around.

This morning, I had a good conversation with an elderly gentleman taxi driver (he was 72 years old but drives perfectly) who had served in the Air Force back in the 1960s and at once was attached to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. When he heard that I was from Malaysia, his first question was this – “What had happened to Malaysia? From a country that had a good chance to be one of the powerful country in the region, it had turned into a country that full of crime, corruption and going down the drain”. I kept my silence. Not that I am not angry with a foreigner speaking badly of my beloved country but because I saw in the old man’s eyes, he was very disappointed. He was sincere. He knows the nonsense that the so-called leaders are doing on a regular basis (in case you don’t realised by now, the country is running on auto pilot on a very regular basis and has come to a point, had become a heaven for terrorists from all around the world and religion extremists). There was some truth in what he said. Just like the old man who is a foreigner, we are asking the same question.

Oh, never mind. No point talking about it now. The only way we can clean the house proper is through the elections. I don’t see the logic of the corrupt, the extremists and the short-minded ones to be continued to be voted in to rule this country. There will come a day when the corrupt, the lazy and the selfish are caught, stripped naked and lashed by the millions on public grounds. We seems to have more bad things lining up compared to good things and this gets amplified when one is abroad where there is more unity among the people, extreme view of race & religion is non-existence, very strict control & enforcement at the borders to keep the foreign criminals & scammers away (we on the other hand are welcoming them with open arms) and there a general direction and accountability from the local politicians (I say “general” because politicians from matter from which country, era or background will never be angels).

That’s all for now, hopefully I can write something next week but for now, I am squeezing all available free time on catching up on sleep.

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Prepping in Malaysia Part 4


Now that the GE13 has ended and Pakatan had settled the issue of the Menteri Besar in Selangor rather peacefully (thank God!), probably it is a best time to go back to our daily routine and one of it would be on prepping.

Read these first:-

canned food

(The canned food in the storeroom. Having enough food and clean drinking water for the family draws the highest priority on my prepping list but of course looking for storage place without it is left on the open is fast becoming an issue – I blame this on housing developers not having basement as a standard house designs in this country. It’s time to be highly creative with storage)

The world did not end last year but it was not the end of prepping as we moved over to 2013. We still had sporadic water disruptions although it was not that bad at my residential area – the water supply resumes the same day although some of my colleagues still had water disruption for days. We have yet to hit the big one on natural disasters including solar storms and global wide pandemic. On the other side of the coin, the recent general elections went rather peaceful and things soon got into a routine just a few days after it had ended although politicians are keeping the fire up the wrong issues for their own political reasons (appointment of the “once banned, once running fugitive” Hindraf’s Waytha as a Deputy Minister and uninspiring Cabinet Ministers however could be good reason to be concerned). So the panic purchase of essential goods before the elections did not happen although I did see more people with extra rice bags in their shopping carts this time around.

There have not been that many changes to my own level of prepping at home other than rearranging some of the storage and cleaning out some of drawers to keep more things.

We now have at least two 10 kg bags of rice on “standby” – when we use one up and pour the load into a separate rice container (which holds about 15 kg of rice), this bag is quickly replaced with a new bag. We had stocked up more on salt, sugar & cooking oil (even since the local store ran out of sugar one day) – all that we use in our daily cooking and always in demand. Storage of the canned food now includes bottles of sauce for spaghetti (my wife nowadays cook them for dinner). I have also added couple bottles of honey – which will come handy if we run out of sugar and of course does not have any expiry date. Air-tight containers (recycled from long titbits containers) are a good way to store spices and other small items – containers are easily stacked up. Instant noodles remains one of the more essential items in the store-room and have a drawer on its own and we now 00include dry noodle packets – it’s cheaper and flexible enough when it comes to cooking them. We stick to the principle of “storing what we eat and eat what we store” – this is to ensure stored food does not expire and we always the “latest” food stored.

One key thing that has improved greatly compared to last year is the understanding among family members on the need for prepping – so they all help out whenever they can when it comes to prepping. Prepping is no longer “sounds Greek”. No more weird looks when I talk about prepping. Family members do their own sundry shopping and whenever possible, now adds to the number of items in the “prepping” storeroom. This of course puts more strain on the available space so we had to be more creative in storing. Despite the rearranging things in the storeroom, squeezing every little bit of space, it is clear that we are running out of storage fast – the renovation of my kitchen (we hoped to get plenty of storage space once done) had to be kept on hold as we have not finalised the contractor, design & the budget.

And when it comes to storage, we also have non-food items to content with – spare batteries, candles, water filters, toiletries, garbage bags and washing items. My son’s room had the space and with a large cabinet in one corner with some old clothes and non essential items taking up precious space, it was time for another round of house-keeping. We threw away 1-2 bags of old DVDs from my collection and at least 3 large bags of old clothes (this one will go into the neighbourhood recycle bin) – we had cleared enough space to store our bathroom essentials – packages of soap bars, tooth pastes, tooth brushes, shaving blades, etc. At another corner, washing essentials – floor cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, tiles cleaners – all kept in place with proper ventilation and far from reach of children. And just like anyone running a storeroom anywhere in the world, inventory checking is a must and we often do that before month end and before we prepare the next month’s shopping list. It also gives us the chance to check on the expiry dates, condition of the items in the storeroom, rotate or use them accordingly and work out the quantity in the storeroom.

Next on the item is drinking water. There is still no rainwater harvesting system in place but this year (thanks to the water leaking into the bedroom), we managed to fix the leaks up at the roof and the water tanks. We can now be assured that we will always have at least full water tank in place should the water supply disrupted without notice. The two 15 litres containers for drinking water remains unchanged – I thought of adding another container but space in the kitchen is at a premium. So I decided to maintain the large raw water drum in the storeroom with a planned replenish cycle of 6 months. There are no plans to add any new water drums / containers until perhaps after my kitchen have gone through the overdue renovation (I already can imagine one corner to stack up with water containers – actively used for drinking and cooking).

When it comes to prepping, one cannot run away from the concept of bug-out-bag or as some would call – “mobile prepping”. I thought I have a reasonable bug-out-bag which I bring along when I go out to work or on long distant journey. My version of the bug-out-bug is not extensive although I want it to be – most of the items are stored in the house instead of the bag. But the more I think about it and as more prepping is done at home, it is clear that my bug-out-bag still has a long way to go before it is considered a bug-out-bag is sufficient enough to sustain for the next 72 hours. So I decided to re-designate it as more of a “get-home” bag (with key things – food, water, utility knife and clothes) than a proper 72 hours bug-out-bag. Work on a proper bug-out-bag have to take a back seat for the time being although I have the right bag for it (tucked away somewhere).

There is still outstanding work to be done namely on improvement of safety and trying to grow own vegetables in our small garden to minimise costs. We tried it before with chillies and tomatoes but the vegetables that we grew did not do well after attacked by pests. We still have 7 months to go before end of the year, so there’s still time to get things done. Perhaps with a mini greenhouse for the plants. For those who have not think about prepping, there is always time and opportunity to start this. We should have “always be ready” mindset so that when the tough gets going, we should always have Plan B lying around somewhere.

To be continued and happy prepping…

Prepping In Malaysia Part 3


Update 1: Some 300,000 residents living in Cheras and Ampang will celebrate the New Year without water supply as it will take Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) up to one week to restore the service to their areas (source). Still think that we need a major disaster to happen before we start prepping? All it needs is a fault in the pump house and you are out of water for a week – that is a real case scenario right here in Malaysia.

Back to the original post

(Remember; when disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed. — Steven Cyros)

Kuantan Flood

(Streets or rivers in Kuantan? Yes, it is a yearly affair for those who live along the East Coast but the West Coast has its share of flash floods too. We may not have killer hurricanes or earthquakes or volcanoes, unlike our nearest neighbours but we do have our share of natural disasters. And given the frailty of our infrastructure, maintenance and dirty politics, we are also exposed to possible blackouts and water supply disruptions. Are we ready for it? Image source: TheSun)

Welcome back, a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just one more post on “2012” before the end of 2012 (please read Part 1 here and Part 2 here). The world as we know it did not end last week and we will likely to have a very smooth journey into 2013 but it did not deter me from prepping for unforeseeable disaster in the future. If you have been following up on this blog, I talked about Mayans and 2012 way back in 2007 (almost 5 years before the deadline on 21.12.2012) but I did nothing back then – no storerooms, no bug-out-bags, no canned food, no water storage, nothing. But then, counting down towards 21.12.2012 and as I realised the importance of preparing for emergencies, it has become a good excuse to be a prepper. Moving forward, the challenge would be to maintain the same prepper’s mindset beyond 21.12.2012.

Anyway, it was interesting to read the various comments in the net & mainstream media when the world as we know it did not end last week. Some were positive (especially from fellow preppers – they were determined more than ever) and some were not. Some even ridiculed the Mayans civilizations – an ancient civilization that had fully developed written language and a well developed understanding in art, architecture, mathematics and astronomy. What if we got the Mayan calendar all wrong and we are off the mark by couple of days or years? Wouldn’t that be interesting? Others ridiculed the fact that there are people prepping for doomsday. Was it a sign of people not believing in having Plan B or taking things for granted? – I don’t know but based on what I have read in the papers, there seems to be some misconceptions on prepping.

1. The world did not end on 21.12.2012 and nothing will happen in the near future.

Now if we analyse the hype of 21.12.2012, it merely mentions that the Mayan Long Calendar (by some extension and interpretation, the world) ends on 21.12.2012. The thing is Mayan had never predicated what would cause the end of the world (if one takes the end of the calendar to be the end of the world).

A number of possible disasters (both natural and man made) have been mentioned as the possible cause of the end of the world – major earthquakes, super volcanic eruptions, high possibility of a bull eye’s hit by large asteroids (or dark comets), ark floods, giant tsunamis, an all-out nuclear war (triggered by rouge countries or terrorists) and civil unrest, solar storms, drastic polar shift, ice age, break out of plagues, alien attacks, etc and even though we were lucky enough not to see it happening on 21.12.2012, some of it remains a major threat to mankind

Our rich history of mankind is dotted with incidents of major disasters that had wiped out thousands or millions in the past. We only need to turn to our history books and remind ourselves. Can we say for sure that nothing will ever happen in the future?

2. Prepping is a waste of time, resources and money – we can always get things from the hypermarket even on a bad day.

In the same manner we are grateful that we have a spare tire in our car when we hit a puncture in a dark lonely road or we had brought along the umbrella when it starts to rain, there is no harm coming up with a fall-back plan – a Plan B sort of. No doubt prepping takes time, resources and money but can we call it as waste?

Being in Malaysia where at the worst, our “disasters” are confined to flash floods, blackouts and water interruptions, we need not spend the time and money preparing for the worst. When disaster strikes, we simply wait for the Government to send help (in form of relief centres, financial aid and sundry items). Some may decide to spend time with relatives and friends until the time of disaster simply passes over. But what happens if we are to face a disaster that is not familiar to us – say solar storms and extended blackouts and water interruptions or a major plague (still remember H1N1? It’s almost end of 2012 and it is still here) and when it will some time before the Government can do something about it?

And don’t forget that we are also cursed with the usual mentality of doing things at the last moment. If we know that we need to hold-on on our own for a few days before we can rescued, rushing over to the hypermarket to stock up on food and water at the last minute could be overwhelming experience – not only we have fight our way to little food and water that may be left, buying things at the last moment could be expensive too (it’s a different story if one have been building up the storage over a longer period)

My grandmother was one of the earliest supporters in the family when it comes to prepping and she insists (to this day) that I am doing the right thing. She went through the Japanese occupation of Malaya and May 13 and she knows all too well the importance of storing up food, water and other essentials when disaster strikes and it is not safe to venture out.

3. Buying canned food as part of prepping is dumb as it does not last long and if nothing happens, it goes to the waste.

It’s a fact that canning is still one the best ways to preserve food and has a long shelf life, some with 2-3 years before it can be “unsafe” to eat. Canning has several advantages when it comes to storage too. It does not need refrigeration, easy to stack up, highly portable (great for bug-out-bags), completely sealed and well cooked during the canning process and this kills any bacteria that may be present and still keeps the nutrients intact.

My idea of prepping is to continue to store and keep something that we use and eat on a regular basis. Forget about keeping canned food for disasters – even normal days we still use canned food on a very regular basis and that includes sardines (and mackerel) which is great for curry or sambal and is a good source of protein, tuna spread (my son love it with bread for breakfast), baked beans and green peas. We simply decided to buy extra 5 cans instead of the usual 1-2 cans whenever we go for our shopping and over time, we would have stocked up enough cans that can be used for the future. So we did – we bought 5 cans, use up 2 cans for our usual cooking and keep the balance 3 cans in the storeroom and the cycle went on until we have a sizeable storage of canned food that can used in the event we cannot venture out to buy food.

All the canned food have been properly labelled and arranged based on expiry dates – the one with the longer dates are stacked up at the back whilst the one going to expire soon is stacked up at the front. And we only buy those canned food that we use on a regular basis (nothing exotic) – so this rotation of cans will make sure that we don’t end up having expired canned food and if nothing happens, we can still use it for our regular use (when I started prepping, my canned food was running out faster than I could store them).

4. All house water tanks are enough to last for 3 days (taking into consideration the 72 hours factor), so what is the big deal in storing more water?

We use water for drinking, cooking, the toilet and shower and perhaps to water the garden and wash the car. But when the taps goes dry, we need to conserve whatever water we have, primarily for drinking and cooking – we can only survive an average of three to five days without water.

When I talked about water storage for 3 days, I was talking about drinking water and for a family of 8 (5 adults and 2 children) and excluding whatever left in the house water tank. As recent as 2012, there are places in this country that had experienced water supply disruption lasting up to a week. My friend had water supply to his housing area disrupted for more than a week and after numerous complaints, they finally sent some water tankers for the residents but guess what, it was sent when most of them was away at work and it was not enough to cover all houses! That almost started a riot. And more recently there have been threats of water disruptions as well.

Ask yourself this question – will your house water tank last your family for at least a week? If yes, good for you but if it does not, what is your Plan B if you experience water disruption? Wait out for the Government water tankers who may or may not show up at your residential area or when you are away at work? Or rush over to your local sundry shop and buy crates of expensive mineral water (forget trying to replenish your water storage with the water kiosks in front of the shops – it may have gone dry too)? Or store up water upfront when you still had water in your taps and recycle them often so that the water in your storage remains fresh and safe? Which one is easier to do?

5. Preppers are people who are simply afraid to die (ya this was one of the more interesting one that I read). When it is time to go, nothing stops you from going.

Tell me one person who is not afraid of death? Suicide bombers perhaps. Yes, all of us have to “go” one day but does it mean we will leave it to our fate and go down without a fight? What about the people who have beaten the odds and survived from a near impossible situation? Still remember of those who crashed in the Andes and survived? The fact is no one wants to die and if you have people to take care (family, relatives or friends), you will do whatever it takes to keep breathing and survive. And you don’t have to be a prepper to do that – just ask anyone who have a family to take care of. So, it’s nonsense to link preppers to people who are afraid to die.

We are grateful that 21.12.2012 was not the end of the world but in the same juncture, it should be the start of prepping. The future is uncertain and we should not take things for granted. No one is forcing anyone to be a prepper but think about it, especially if you have small kids and elderly parents to take care of.

Sleepless At Home


Just a quick update for this week….

(The new Boss’ feet on a Giant’s palm – still a long way to go before we can allow the Boss to be independent and does not need us to keep a close eye all small things at night)

This blog was started long after our Big Boss was born otherwise this post below would have been a repeat. But then again, whilst the post is not a repeat but the actual experience is.

For the first few days, things was not so bad – with the new Boss in town, we had plenty of people “volunteering” to take care of the baby when it is time for sleep. But we knew that sooner or later, the tasks of taking care of the baby will fall entirely on us. And that means sleepless nights with the baby “waking up” every 3 hours for milk, change of diaper and sometimes a mere excitement. But before that, there was a need to rearrange the sleeping logistics for me, my wife, the baby and the Big Boss who in recent months have decided (without our prior approval) to sleep with us for a simple reason – it was warmer at his usual sleeping place.

At first, we decided that my son had to sleep in his usual sleeping place with the bed reserved for my wife and the baby. I decided to sleep on the floor with a thick blanket & a small mattress (which was surprisingly rather comfortable). We then thought of setting the alarm so that we will wake up on time for feeding and in between we were hoping to catch some sleep. Disruptive sleep for at least a few months was something we had long anticipated from the beginning and had mentally prepared for it. It all sounds good on paper but we soon found out that the baby had other ideas for the night. At first, the baby had been sleeping all evening long and just when we decided to go to sleep; the baby is so wide awake.

At first we thought it was the same as our son when he was an infant who often stay awake at night but keep silent and take his own time to sleep off. Our second baby was different – not only she is wide awake but also get restless once we switch off the main lights and turn on the smaller lights (it was too dark and she was not used to the sudden change of light in the room, I guess) and when we switch the main lights again, it was too bright for her to sleep off. It was tough to balance the ambiance in the room and this was the case for a few days until we had an idea and decided to switch on the bathroom lights and leave the bathroom door slightly opened. This leaves just enough light which balanced the overall lighting in the room – it was not too dark and not too bright. And we put a softer bed spread which did the trick – the baby sleeps off faster and somehow was less restless now.

But this does not happen all the time and to ensure an even “quieter” environment for the baby, I decided to sleep in my son’s room which helped a bit. I am sure in time, the baby will get used to my sleeping musical notes (aka snoring) just like how my wife have done (so I like to believe) but not for now. Damn, the baby is super sensitive and wakes at the slightest sound in the room – my deep breathing, pulling of the blanket loudly and even a simple turn of the body on the bed causes her to wake up and searches for the source of the sound.

But for now, a little peace and quiet and a dim light should be enough to lullaby the baby to sleep but the frequent waking up to check on the baby, to prepare for the feeding and lack of REM sleep does cause a major havoc in the morning when I wake up to go to work. I usually can wake up at the first ring of the alarm (sometimes even before the alarm rings) but now with 2 – 3 loud rings, I am still deep in sleep and only with “accidental” (if you can call it) awakening, I opened my eyes and realized that I was late for work and rush to shower. But it somehow felt “OK” when I opened the bedroom door to get ready for work and I see my wife, the Big Boss and more importantly, the baby is fast asleep. At least they are resting well now.

The saving grace of the whole affair is that I don’t work on the weekends and with most of us at home are available to keep an eye on the baby, we can afford to wake up late (although it is not for long) whilst the baby under the care of other family members. Yes, it is still a long way to go before we can march off the new Boss to sleep on her own bed but until now, it is night duty for some of us.

Birthday Cakes


[This post is a bit overdue]

What is a birthday without a birthday cake, right?

My son celebrated his 2nd birthday twice this year (a record sort of in my family) – one was in Taiping and another when we came back home. It has been some time since that function but as I was running through my photos, I realised that even the decorations on the birthday cakes has come a long way since my childhood days.

In those days, cakes were pretty much standard, there were not much decorations on the top and plenty of cherries on the side. Sometimes there were not enough cherries on the cakes, so every one of us will be “fighting” for a piece.

(The cake in Taiping – Spiderman, Doraemon, Mickey Mouse and Garfield made courtesy call to the birthday party. By the way, those “snow covered houses” was edible)

These days, the thing that what is worth fighting for, among the kids, is those decorative toys on the top of the cake. The toys on my son’s cakes were quickly snapped up even before my son had a chance to hold them (not that he wanted to – he is busy with other things). Doraemon seems to a favourite with the bakers in Taiping and Puchong – it was on my son’s cakes on both occasions.

(The cake at home – Doraemon was there, so did Pikachu. Not much on the cake – perhaps it is due to the size too)

The cake in Taiping had a more generous decoration compared to the one at home. That should give you some idea of the cost of living between the 2 areas (the size of the cake also mattered).

I wonder what more will be on the cakes in future.

My golden rules on computing


(Glasbergen’s cartoon says it all – cartoon source: http://www.glasbergen.com/)
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Definition of a computing – an act of operating & using a computer (I guess soon the word “act” may be need to replaced with the word “art”)

A number of my relatives & friends asked me a lot of things on computers – perhaps because I work in an IT industry or because they are just not sure on how it works and what is needed to use it effectively. Quite a number are just afraid to use it (one example is my Dad).

This is my 10 rules on computing based on what I have encountered so far:-

1. Home computer is for games, games, games and games. Ya, sometimes you can use it for internet surfing, listen to music or doing monthly home budget (rarely) but never, never for office work. Why? This is because you will end up playing solitaire instead of doing the office work. Trust me; it has happened to me like 1,000 times now

2. Surfing the hardcore porn site in the office is extremely prohibited but surfing it at home is excusable (especially for the first timers). When I first hooked internet to my home PC and told my friends about it (years ago), the first thing I got from them was a list of the “best” porn sites.

3. Computers are not like a “good bottle of wine”, getting better as it gets older – upgrading of hardware & software is part and parcel of computing. These days, the technology is moving so fast that fast that a brand new PC can be obsolete in the very next week.

4. Don’t stare at the computer screen the whole day (even if you are staring at Aishwarya Rai’s picture on the desktop). It is not good for the eyes. Take a short walk often – to be away from the computer but not to extend of going for long break to have “teh-tarik” downstairs.

5. Two background applications must be running in your PC all the time when you are surfing the net – anti-virus & firewall. I am surprised to know that there are people actually surfing without even a basic firewall – their excuse: “I only check my email mah”. I am currently using avast for home anti virus and zone alarm firewall – all is free & legal to use too

6. Hard-disc is not like our stomach that “grows” while we eat more & more. When the hard-disc is full, it is full. Period! So, always do house-keeping – uninstall unused applications, burn critical data into a CD and clean-up the “ever-growing” music library. My target always been to maintain at least 50% of free space in my hard-discs

7. Have you heard about this word – “Backup”? Ya, most of us will be aware of it only after our hard-disc has given up on us when we need it at the most critical hour. For sure at that time, one of our colleagues will pop in and ask “Never backup ah?” I keep a small folder of my personal files in the house PC and also on my pen-drive.

8. Try buying a PC magazines once in a while to catch up with the latest trend, tips and news on computers. It only cost about RM10.00 per month and comes with a free CD bundled with trial software. Alternatively, surf PC related websites such as PC Magazine or PC World for similar knowledge. Once you have done that, you can now show off your knowledge at the office or at a relative’s house and be called a “PC expert” in return.

9. Prolong the life of your PC by switching off the PC when it is not in use. This is evident when using the office PCs – most us take for granted that it is “not our PC” to take care and leave the office PC switched on. Only once I saw smoke coming out from one ex-colleague’s PC which was left on for almost a week (my friend took long leave and conveniently left the PC on with all applications running!)

10. When you hit a problem with the computer, don’t be quick to call the Helpdesk. Try to diagnose the problem first and try out several options (shutdown and restart the PC will be a good start). Sometimes, the solution can so simple that someone from Helpdesk will be cursing you when he had found out where the problem lies

This had happened to me once; I got a call from my ex-boss saying that her monitor went dead and asked me to check it. After checking the PC for a minute or two (and after I walked down 5 floors to her office), I found the cause – she forgot to switch on the electricity for the monitor.

(Filed under Del.icio.us Tag: Software)