A Plethora of Events – Family, Streamyx, Traffic Spike, Doujin Overload 2009 and Whatnot

Hidayah and Syazwan Feeding the Fishies
Hidayah and Syazwan Feeding the Fishies

Family and Chocolate Cake: Mama and I baked a chocolate cake last night for the whole family. I didn’t have enough butter for the topping, but it turned out ok. Even the spatula was gone. I had to spread the choc over with just a spoon. It turned out quite ok, though, for a rushed cake. My brother went back to Kuantan with his wife and kids earlier this evening. I had fun with the kids. They’re so naive, how cute! Sometimes I think time flies by too quickly. My brother’s already 32 years-old, going on 33 and my eldest niece is going to be a preschooler in a couple more years. Wow. And I’m going on 22 this year! Okay, denial mode ON now! Before they left, they gave me RM250 for pocket money *is grateful*. Now I have more spare fund to ease my worries where rent is concerned.

The aforementioned choc cake Hidayah and our cat Jesse

Streamyx: PPoE auto mode doesn’t work anymore. I have to login manually. It started around 7.35pm last night when the link suddenly went down. I panicked for a while before logging in straight away into the router management. My login info was gone, and all IPs were reset to 0.0.0.0. The status showed all services in red.

I called 100 at around 9pm. I have to salute the customer service this time for being prompt. The recorded message was saying ‘We’re sorry, but our c–‘ when a guy picked up the phone and asked me what’s wrong. Before he could ask me to do what normal protocols usually require (ipconfig, ping IP blablabla), I told him I’ve done all that and gave him the IP number and the packets sent/received from the ping. Before he asked what OS I’m using, I told him I’ve tested the connection on Vista, XP, Fedora, Ubuntu and even Mac (I still have my old iBook LOL). I didn’t lie. In my state of panic, I practically brandished all of the gadgets and tested them one by one. I even told him direct connection didn’t work.

And so my report was filed. A moment later, I calmed down completely. I logged in to the router again and played around with the settings. A little bit of tweaking here and there lighted up the data LED, and I was delighted. ThenI found out that I can only do manual connection. Well, sucks, but for some reasons, manual connection is so much faster – proven by downloading some backup files from my Myotherdrive storage account.

One strange thing is that while not logged in, my currency converter widget works perfectly well. It usually demands a connection to the internet to function. Without connection, it will show ‘No data’. So why? Such a mystery, or that I’m just a moronic noob in this field.

Traffic Spike: There was a sudden spike in traffic because of the eduFire post yesterday, which left my jaw hanging. I’m glad I’ve switched servers, or the site would totally be down. More than 300% over the usual daily traffic. How scary and this siteisn’t supported by advertisements to cover for unexpected damages. Must be careful.

Doujin Overload 2009 & Manga Studio EX 4.o: I got the license! Now I’m clearing out my laptop’s space to accommodate this new program. No more shaky outlines even if the tablet’s precision is not up to par. I guess I’ll practice more. Hijrah is getting really excited about this year’s Doujin Overload. We’re thinking of reserving a table this year. We’ll see how things goes, and if we have the budget. I don’t have the confidence. She’s always the more professional one anyway (and she’s good with people). The problem with July is that it’s winter. Auckland’s rain is always unforgiving (last year we had a storm, said to be the worst in a decade).

Stuck Pixels: The blue vertical line of doom is back for the second time. I think I’m frying the graphic card because I leave the laptop open for way too long, or the LCD is being a darn prick. Since it doesn’t show over white background, I don’t mind much. I’ll let the laptop rest tonight and try to get rid of the pixels tomorrow when I wake up.

Ah… Less than a week left before I fly back. Do. Not.Want.

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eduFire for Quality Online Learning Experience

edufire This is written from a perspective of a student and a private tutor (not on eduFire, though). I’m really happy the beta days of eduFire is gone. It’s all live now, and lessons range from free of charge to extremely affordable. If you’re serious about learning new languages, I highly recommend making full use of eduFire. I’ll be referring to it as eF from now onwards.

I first heard of eduFire via Tofugu, a Japanese culture blog I’ve been following for a long time. I’m not new to online tutoring, but I was a little bit curious about this new program. My Japanese friends told me they enjoyed learning English on ef. I didn’t register straight away, nope. I just lurked around for a while until I got too busy and forgot about it. I was reminded of it again near the end of last year, and thought “Why not give it a shot?” They even give lessons for free!

It’s just like signing up for courses in university. Registering for a class is not a hassle at all. In a nutshell, the process you go through is simple: 1) Sign up for free, 2) find a course you’re interested in, 3) look at the timetables, 4) register for the class if it’s not yet full.

Usually even if the course that you’re interested in is full, the tutor would open up another session to give more people the chance to learn. Tutors on eF are also very friendly. Just introduce yourselves in the forum and you’ll see what I mean.

One on one video tutoring is available too if you’re not comfortable joining a crowd. You’ve got to love the learning panels. You have a panel showing you your tutor, a lesson panel and an interaction panel. I might have missed some, but that’s basically it.

Another good thing about eduFire is that it gives you the chance to get to know people from various parts of the world. The exposure is something you need, especially in regards to language learning. Different language, different rules. Think of eduFire as a small melting pot for foreign languages and learning combined. With its cost-friendly lessons, there’s no need to fork out more than $25 per session anymore. Even if you don’t want to take up classes, you can play language flashcards. They’re good for language training.

I’ve been tutoring a small group of students in learning Malay and creative writing in English through Skype all this time. Think I could give tutoring on eduFire a shot? I don’t know. I signed up for a student account, so I have no idea if I could switch to being a tutor from my current account.

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Microwave Choc Cake For the Win!

Messing around with the microwave is always fun, provided you know what you’re doing. This serves as something to get rid of my boredom. Maybe you’d like to try doing this too sometimes, if you happen to read this. All you need:

6 tablespoons of butter (or 50 grams), softened or melted.
1/2 cup white sugar (less or more to your liking)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup floor
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk (fresh milk, low-fat milk, whatever)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

You can actually bake this in anything you like, provided they aren’t plastic. And make sure the milk is not cold. Cold milk doesn’t do the butter good, or so I’ve been told all of the time.

Personally, I don’t care much about following orders of which one you have to put in first. I just go ahead and beat the hell out of them in a large mixing bowl. If you prefer a mixer, you can do that too.

Grease your choice of mold with butter and pour the mixture that you’ve beaten. Put it in the microwave, on high power, for about 2 to 5 minutes (or until you think it’s ready). Different microwave, different time. I’d advise you to bake only the amount that you wish to eat as it could harden over a long period of time if exposed. Once you have the mixture, you can store it in the fridge, and bake some whenever you feel like eating.

Still bored? I demand you to check out this video now for great lulz. If you’ve seen this, just laugh anyway.

Lol, I must have been bored when I did all this.

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