Sunday, May 25, 2008

Malaysian Artistes for Unity

Today, being Monday, is not exactly a good day for me. My pick-up was running low on diesel and needed refuel really bad when I left my house in Bandar Bukit Mahkota. When I reached the Shell on the exit to Taman Salak South, I realised that I left my wallet at home.

I decided to take a chance and drive to my office in Kelana Square anyway (still about 20km away). I pulled out my GPS and plotted the shortest route to office. I had to resort to fuel saving methods like switching off the air-conditioner and rolling downhill without accelerating... LOL.

I made it to office amidst the traffic jams and expensive tolls. The first thing I did after getting into office was to look for Joe and George to get a loan... LOL. Thanks George!

Getting down to work, I checked my emails and deleted most of the stuff. In one of the emails, I received a URL that linked to a site called Malaysian Artistes for Unity from a colleague. I almost did not click on the link as I was going through tons of emails (normally I will not check office emails over the weekend or during holidays).

Turns out that the Malaysian Artistes for Unity website is a brain child of Pete Teo, who called up his artistes friends to get "together to make an anti-racism national unity song and music video.”

I rarely listen to songs or music. My ringtone is the latest theme song of Ben 10's Alien Force. The only time my radio is switched on, is when I wanted to listen to the news or news related to traffic conditions.

But I gotta say that, after watching the video, I just had to download the MP3 just so I could listen to it on my notebook over and over again!

This is turning out to be a great Monday here in my home!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Toyota Hilux Incident in Eagle Ranch, Port Dickson

On May 9th, my colleagues and I went on a sort of team building trip to Port Dickson. A lot of activities were planned including an exciting treasure hunt and a few team building exercises. (See "Misadventures on a Recce Trip to Rachado Lighthouse in Malacca", which was in preparation for this team building trip.)

One of my main responsibility was to book and pay for lodging enough for 32 people. We were on a very tight budget and the Eagle Ranch Resort was the perfect place for us as they have dormitories that could accommodate us all.

I arrived at the Eagle Ranch Resort at around 3:35pm and managed to check-in and pay for the dormitories by 3:55pm. After that, I was to proceed to Tanjung Tuan check-point to meet the rest of the treasure hunters.

As I reversed my car out of the parking lot, I did not notice that there was a drain behind. My right rear wheel went over the curb and dropped into the drain, which was about 3 feet deep.

I did not even feel the bump or the curb (as the ground was almost the same height as the curb) when my wheel went over it! My right rear absorber was caught on the curb and the wheel was dangling over the drain. I engage my 4-wheel drive and tried to maneuver out of the drain.

I tried that a couple of times to no avail and was at a lost of how to get out of that predicament!

Lucky for me a few cooks from Eagle Ranch came over and offered to help. After some brainstorming and some major teamwork (not what I had expected to be doing... :-), we got together some sawn logs, chopping boards, car-jack and a long log to try to provide traction for the dangling wheel. You can see what we did from the photos below.

We managed to raise the truck using the car-jack high enough for us to insert the sawn logs beneath it in the drain.

The long log was inserted between the wheel and the curb using the chopping boards as leverage.

We lowered the wheel on top of the sawn logs (making sure that the hand brake was on). Right after that, I could easily drive off the curb while engaged in 4-wheel drive... :-)

The cooks laughed as I took photos of them helping me out.

The cooks were very modest as I thanked them.

With my truck out of the drain, they proceed to clear the "tools".

All in all, I considered that day to be a very fortunate day. Again, the most important thing is that no one was injured and that with teamwork, we could easily solve an almost impossible problem... :-)

My other misadventures with my Toyota Hilux:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Online Form creation Wizard in Google Docs?

After reading a blog post (Facebook bans Google’s Friend Connect) from Garret Rogers' blog, Googling Google, I decided to try my luck and sign-up for a preview of Google Friends.

While filling up the sign-up form, I noticed that the form was "Powered by Google Docs". I did not remember Google Docs as having any support for online form creations and it was a pleasant surprise for me. In fact, it was released sometime in February this year and had seen some updates since.

Anyway, I had thought that the only application missing from Google Apps was an online form creation wizard coupled with a simple workflow engine, and only then will Google Apps be perfect for almost all small companies!

This important form creation feature of Google Docs is hidden inside the Spreadsheet. In order for me to create an online form, I will need to first create a new spreadsheet. Then only will I be able to create the online form from within the spreadsheet. In my opinion, there should be a link on the main Google Doc page to easily create the forms (btw, the link already exist, see below).

Also, it is interesting to see submitted form data stored in their respective spreadsheets as a way to manage the data. Pretty cool approach!

Here's how my test form was created:

1. First go to

2. Sign-in with your Google account.

3. Create and Save your form.

4. Preview the forms and invite your friends to use the form. A notification will be send out to you on where to view all the submitted data.

5. When your friends have submitted the forms, all the data will be send to a spreadsheet in Google Docs. You will need to access Google Docs to access the form data.

6. The forms can also be added and accessed from your iGoogle page.

Btw, the form that I created can be embedded in any websites as an iFrame.

Right now the type of forms (and form fields) that can be created are limited, but I am sure that Google Docs' innovative team will not disappoint us... :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Useful Addons for Firefox

I have been using Mozilla Firefox as my primary web browser when version 1.5 was released back in 2005. Prior to that I was using Internet Explorer.

The main reason I switched to Firefox was primarily due to the "gesture" navigation add-on feature. From what I can remember, "gesture" was first introduced as a browsing feature in Opera, but I did not like the way Opera render web pages. Firefox 1.5 renders web pages to my liking and it became my primary web browser till this day.

Currently, I am using the latest Firefox 3 Beta 5. But I was waiting for the "All-in-One Gesture" add-on to support this current beta version before I made the full switch. Unfortunately, the "All-in-One Gesture" add-on has not been upgraded to support Firefox version 3.0 yet.

Then along came the "FireGesture" add-on. It is very customisable and comes with other cool features! It was the catalyst that made me switched to Firefox 3 Beta 5 full time... :-)

The other cool Firefox add-on features that I found to be indispensable for me are:
  • Flashblock - Gotta love this extension!!! It is perfect for blocking those annoying FLASH-based content. You can choose to load them whenever you want by clicking on those placeholders on the web pages.
  • Grab and Drag - A very useful scrolling feature for browsing web pages that exceeds the boundaries of the browser window. When activated, a hand will appear as your cursor that will allow you to grab and drag the web page to scroll in all directions.
Btw, there are many cool new features for Firefox 3.0. If you are interested to find out more, you can check it out here - Firefox 3.0 new features.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Misadventures on a Recce Trip to Rachado Lighthouse in Malacca

Last month, George and I went on a recce trip to Port Dickson/Malacca and the Rachado Lighthouse to scout and plan out the routes and puzzles for a "treasure hunt" for a group of colleagues and friends.

A number of mishaps happened along the way. First off, George was supposed to keep his GPS tracking on so that we could refer to it later. Also, he was happily taking geo-tagged photos with his HTC P330 throughout the recce, only to later find out that his GPS position was not acquired and thus all his photos were geo-duds... LOL...

Luckily, I was there to save the day by relying on my Dopod D810 (Pre-HTC model) to capture those much needed geo-tagged photos.

MORE at The Wild Geeks Adventure Club: Misadventures on a Recce Trip to Rachado Lighthouse in Malacca

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Amazing Amazing Connie Talbot

I received an email from a colleague today asking me to view a video on Youtube called Britain's Got Talent TV show. It showed a pretty cool and entertaining Michael Jackson-type dance with a twist. Watch here.

Under the related videos sections, I saw a link, "Britains Got Talent * Connie, 6, WOWs Simon Cowell !!!" Now, to me, anything that can WOW Simon Cowell must be something fantastic. And boy oh boy, it was not only fantastic but AMAZING! You have just got to watch the amazing Connie Talbot below:

This little six years old really amazes me!

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