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A change of perspective in life. Productivity boosts?

Archive for the ‘First posts (first = 1st month)’ Category

UP #1: Is it possible to create something out of nothing?

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Back in summer, I attended a seminar called ‘Breakthrough to Success’ by Chris Howard

Chris Howard's Breakthrough to Success seminar - absolutely fantabulous!

Chris Howard's Breakthrough to Success seminar - absolutely fantabulous!


(free admission!!). It was a fantastic event, lasting for three days, although, I have to say, when you attend a few more of these seminars with NLP-enabled practitioners, it’ll occur to you that they resonate!! (i.e. most of what they tell you is exactly the same thing…you’d have thought a ventriloquist was pulling the strings! XD)

The aspect that left the greatest impression on me, however, was one of Chris’ trademark sayings (every one of the self-improvement coaches has one):

‘It’s never a question of resources, but of resourcefulness.’

It’s ‘when there’s a will, there’s a way’ all over again, which makes perfect sense. But there are certain implications of this saying that concerned me, similar to what Robert Kiyosaki said, that ‘you don’t need money to make money’. While true to a certain extent, isn’t this conflicting with one of Newton’s universal laws on the conservation of energy (you can’t create more of it, you can only convert it into another form)?

To demonstrate this, let’s put this into application.

Let’s introduce Bob. From a very young age, Bob has lived in poverty with his family, and always aspires to change this situation when he grows up. At school, he always had problems with learning – his style just wasn’t compatible with what teachers wanted, earning him many frowns from teachers and peers as a result. Coupled with having to hear his family argue about finances night after night, he finally decided, into his early teen years, ‘that’s it. That’s enough. I’m going to do something about it.’

What to do next?

What to do next?


Without as much as a single note, he left home.

On his own, he found some part time jobs as a cleaner to sustain his living expenses, as well as taking on odd jobs around the neighbourhood where he rented a single room to live in, but his true aspiration has always been something much larger, much greater than working as a mere cleaner, not that he didn’t enjoy his job now – he had, luckily, found himself an understanding employer to work for. That was – to build an empire of his own.

Years went on without contact from either his family or friends. ’Not that it mattered anyways,’ he thought to himself. As angry as he could have been with his life, the acceptance that the circumstances he found himself in wasn’t ideal kept him progressing and moving on, despite the many challenges in life that he was confronted with. Many times over, he was ‘visited’ by social workers, most of whom he was able to evade on numerous occasions. Surprisingly (and to his relief), they, too, left him well alone in the pursuit of his dreams.

Taking on the challenges of his job at daytime, and studying vigorously at night time from the extra books and courses he bought with spare cash, by the age of 18, he finally felt he knew enough to start pursuing his dream – to build his own business.

Studying late at night

Studying late at night


Over the years, he had experienced enough to become adept at interacting with the occasional customer who would pay attention to him, which, if not by his age restriction, would have earned him a rightful rank as a skilled salesman. Alongside, he also knew that to build a business, he was going to need to use up one thing he worked so hard to build up over the years – leveraging relationships.

Always bearing innate interest for fiddling with computers (he accidentally knocked into a CPU once in the office, rebooting the PC when a manager most needed it, earning him a few credits with his superiors, and sparking off his zeal in computers) Bob decided that he was going to center his business around selling hardware. Darting from bank to bank, he attempted to secure startup capital, however, seeing his age and (lack of) qualifications, each bank manager laughed heartily at him and said, ‘Go back to school, kid!’ Despite that, he persisted, and finally collected financing from the most unlikely avenue – his employer, who turned out to own a VC firm apart from his restaurant.

Decided to sell hardware

Decided to sell hardware


From that point onwards, he quit his part time job, and worked 24/7 on his business with a partner that he found (from the previous business he worked in before). The first month was disastrous. Far from breaking even, they managed to incur huge losses, and were almost left with nothing. The situation steadily deteriorated until the sixth month, when they finally realized they spent too much on products, but not around the infrastructure of the business. Slowly, in redirecting their focus towards their marketing efforts, more customers were visiting the small local store, and sales started to climb up, in their second year in operation, they were able to turn losses into profits.

The path to success

The path to success


…I’ll leave the rest to your imagination.

Obviously, I just made that out of the blue, but it’ll serve well as a case study for the purposes of our discussion here.

When Bob grew up, he had nothing other than broken (non-existent) familial ties. When he left home, he went to look for something – namely, a job. In doing that job, he managed to create something else of great value – relationships with his superiors and some customers. In his business, he secured startup capital that he was sure to have gained from the positive ties he maintained with others in the company, earning him recognition from his boss. From the losses they sustained in the first months of operation, they gained experience to turn it around into a profitable business. Do you see how this all comes together?

Bob's 'Gains' Hierarchy

Bob's Hierarchy of 'Gains'

Each layer on top is a resulting spin-off of the bottom layer!! This is just ONE representation of what could be (in this case, from Bob’s story), obviously, but it does help with the visualization of monitoring our gains. The repertoire isn’t lateral. It’s not defined in bullet lists. It’s defined in a hierarchy!!

As you’ll have noticed, I put two big question marks in the bottom layer, because, honestly, I have no idea what this could be. I have speculations, but it’s not enough to become a universal factor of this universal principle.

The bottom layer should be...?

The bottom layer should be...?


This could easily have been ‘Knowledge’, since pretty much everything stems from it. You can not have money, but you can’t not have knowledge. Similarly, you need knowledge to talk and enter a conversation, from the basics of linguistics, to pop culture references, and the latest trends (trust me, you don’t want to go underestimating the potency of trends, this could very well become a division (and a mélange) in maths, social psychology and sociology that addressed this field!)

But the factor that ties us together isn’t knowledge, it’s emotions. If the factor that underlies our hierarchies of gains is emotions, it would make perfect sense. Like, for example, the first emotion that we probably receive is love from our nurturing mothers, and accrues from the experiences we’re subjected to throughout infancy. What we receive, or the lack of what we receive, will ultimately deliver what we gain. Emotions are carried in the inflections of our voice, which elicit responses from others, which lead to consequences…you get the idea. Everything, I believe, has an emotional stem because we, as humans are creatures of emotions. Through genuine interaction, the world progresses.

My answer to the question is simply this: no, it’s impossible to create something from nothing, possibly because it contradicts the very scope of our perceptions of nature (that everything is ‘as is’, and no more). The purpose of the hierarchy is to extrapolate from Chris’ saying, and provide it with a tangible scope. It’s true that it’s never a question of resources, but of resourcesfulness, and that you CAN make money with no money – but only if you already have something, and that very something isn’t measured in money. It corresponds with the bottom level of the hierarchy of gains that we’ve demonstrated here today – knowledge (or imagination)(1)and emotions. Fortunately, we all have some experience of acquiring knowledge and undergoing different emotional roller coasters, regardless of our diverse cultural and ethnical backgrounds, and that, alone, is sufficient to form a basis for what we gain in the future.

Broccoli and tiles - what's the connection?

Broccoli and tiles - what's the connection?


If any of this sounds cryptic or crazy, that’s fine. You can blame it on me. My thoughts are usually in disarray. If there’s one day I can’t assimilate a broccoli with the tile of a building outside of my apartment which I’m staring at now, watch out for that impostor…But, for the most part, I’m perfectly sane, thank you very much. XD

Look forward in hearing from you!! XD


  1. Okay,  Einstein supporters. I know, I know, it’s often the case that ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’. So very true!!

UP #2 and #3 teaser: The illusion of inertia

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Have you ever felt lost? Like, say you really wanted to learn something, e.g. programming, but the more you learn it, the more you feel that it’s out of your reach?

Well, it’s not that you’re not progressing, it’s more like the illusion of inertia’s gotten the better of you.

Really, you’ve made progress. By how much, I can’t say. Heck, I’m not omnipresent!! But it’s undeniable that you’ve improved from the day that you made a commitment in doing something that you really wanted to achieve from the first day. In the middle, though, you sorta become lost. What’s going on?

This principle’s gonna be short, because it’s really simple. Well, first of all, let’s have a look at what’s happening.

  1. You define your goal.
  2. You define your motivations
  3. You define a timeframe (which ALWAYS turn out wrong)…

n.    You’ve finally achieved it!!!

Two very important things are happening here to create the illusion of inertia:

1. Success comes at an instant and lasts for an instant. It’s realization, enjoyment, and you’re back to work.

(A more philosophical way to say it is probably, ‘It is but a flicker of your work, a bright, flashy flicker, yes, but all the same, a flicker’) The effort you put behind that success is ENORMOUS!!! But the moment of success is so short. The relative size of both benchmarks of action just can’t be compared. Do you get an ant to fight a tiger? Probably not.

(Yes, I’d like to define the two ‘literal’ benchmarks of action as 1) effort and 2) results (can be success or failure), but of course, there are many other ‘behind the scenes’ components of it.)

2. You miscalculated how much time you needed.

Many times over, we either overestimate or underestimate the timeframe in which we carry out our projects. And most of the times, that’s perfectly fine, because it’s extraordinarily difficult! (In 21 years of time, I take that back, because the human mind will be mapped out (supposedly) by then! Perhaps, we’d understand ourselves better… XD) So, if we went faster than we expected, we’d feel it’s not progressing to our expectations. Obviously, faster is better than slower, but it depends on the person, really. If s/he is highly unrealistic, then you can expect a HUGE gap between what is in reality and what is in his/her imagination. So, underestimating how much time you need for a project can be detrimental to your perception of progress. (Heck, imagine if you couldn’t calculate an approximate timeframe for it. How frustrating is that!! If you’re in an explorative field, for example, just like the Nobel prize winners of Physiology/Medicine of this year [2009], Dr. Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Dr. Carol W. Greider and Dr. Jack W. Szostak, for discovering the properties of telomerase in the protection of chromosomes, imagine the patience you’d have to have!!!)

That’s the scope of it.

But, of course, this section is called ‘Universal principles’ for a reason, from the basis that they have a universal range of applications. The illusion of inertia is applicable only to the personal improvement field, particularly in measuring progress, which is why this piece is a teaser for UP#2 and UP#3.

Thoughts, criticisms, comments welcome!!! Any ideas of what they could be? They’re mentioned in the passage! Look forward in hearing from you! (I’d offer a prize as an incentive, really, but if I’m still using a wordpress domain, you can estimate my, ‘hem-hem’, [lack of] wealth  ~ XD)

Charging wireless headphones…

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This is probably a solution applicable to a very narrow group of readers, but I’m going to write about it anyways.

If anyone’s bought wireless headphones before, I’d imagine some of you would, at some point, have been frustrated with charging the headphones, if you had a stand. You’d pray and pray and pray and hope the green light of salvation would be indicated, but no! You get a no-light response from the stand.

The fix is quite simple. It does take a bit of fiddling, and I’m not sure if this works through all wireless headphones models, but the theory’s still gonna be similar.

First of all, let’s have a look at the causes of headphones not being able to charge:

1. You can listen and not charge, or charge and not listen, or be able to do neither of those things.

Diagnostics: It’s broken. The small chip that’s used to control the circuitry is malfunctioning for some reason, probably due to physical damage, e.g. dropping it, or the original chip wasn’t manufactured properly. In that case, you can be riskily explorative and try to take the casing apart and solder the components back on (not recommended), or you can take it back to the manufacturer and get if fixed (recommended!).

2. Sometimes, you can ‘seemingly’ charge while putting the headphones in the stand, other times, you can’t do anything to get the green light on. It’s irritating.

Diagnostics: If the headphones can only charge in a certain position (you fiddle around with the headphone until the green light stays permanently on, or you move the stand around), metal plate connectors are loose. That’s what I had in my case. My charging stand had two metal connectors, which were interfaces of contact with my headphones, which, similarly, had two metal pieces. No matter how hard I tried to move around the headphones, they wouldn’t charge. So, in the end, I had to resort to a manual fix: to slip small pieces of paper behind the two metal connectors in the stand (they were slightly flexible), so the metal connectors propelled forwards to touch the metal contacts of the headphones.

3. They just won’t charge no matter what I do. No indicator light comes on.

Diagnostics: This can be one of the following:

a. You don’t have rechargeable cells (batteries) in the headphones.

Happened to me a gazillion times. I was like, ‘why the hell won’t it just charge?!’, and realized that I didn’t have the default batteries in the container.

b. You didn’t switch it on.

Bit obvious. But it can happen. Again, with my cats running lose in the house, it’s a wonder none of my clothes are ripped yet.

c. You put the wrong headphones on.

This probably sounds right out dumb to you, but it can happen to the most brilliant of us. The maxim? When it’s right in front of our eyes, we don’t usually spot it.

Oh, forgot to mention which ones I use. XP The headphones I use are Philips SBC HC8524, but yesterday when I checked the website, they had a newer model. Great headphones, by the way, here’s a pic:

Bought it during at a 10% reduction in a local hardware convention. Great deal!!

Well, that’s it for this post!

Looking forward to hearing from you ~ XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 14, 2009 at 4:26 pm

The secret to screenshots

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Hey guys! XD

I think many people have taken screenshots from their computer at some point in their lives, right? And I’m sure you’ll all agree with this: it’s difficult to edit the corners, edges, to make it look like the window is completely separate, so you can put a decent screenshot in a tutorial, a report or something. It’s really a pain in the ass!

No worries, mate, the solution’s right here.

It’s so simple that you’ll probably marvel at its stupidity, but the point is…IT WORKS! So, even if it’s sounds a bit mundane, just bear with me for now.

Okay. Let’s say, we want to take a screenshot of the command prompt. So, we open the command window, press ‘fn + prt sc’ (it might be a little different for yours, no worries), and we get something like this:

ScreenShot Desktop

ScreenShot Desktop

(That’s my desktop, btw. If your screen is wide like mine, with resolutions 1280×800, 1440×900, 1680×1050, 1920×1200, you can download wallpapers off It doesn’t stretch! On a more serious note: the kitten and the puppy were, and still are, alive in the making of the photo.)

So, you decide to crop it and you get something like this:

Screen Shot Crop

Screen Shot Crop

But it still isn’t the neatest screenshot you can produce. Compare it with this:

Perfect Screenshot

Perfect Screenshot

Completely different results!!

So, what’s the trick?

As I said, it might sound a bit banal, but it’s easy and it works. Watch closely:

The Secret Behind Screenshots

The Secret Behind Screenshots

Yes! That’s it! All you’re doing is to open up a notepad window behind the window that you want to take a screenshot of, and walla! You’ve got the perfect screenshot.

Okay, let’s say, we want to do take another screenshot, but featuring our desktops. We can’t put the desktop window on top of notepad, so what can we do? The principle’s pretty much the same, all you have to do is to insert a white background, and hide all your desktop icons.

Here’s an example:

Compare this…

Desktop Screenshot

Desktop Screenshot

With this…

Perfect Desktop Screenshot

Perfect Desktop Screenshot

The second’s much better, isn’t it? XD

Well, to save you the hassle (just kidding, it’s really easy, all I’ve done is to specify a rectangle of size 1920×1200, which is a very large screen XP), I’ve put up a file with the largest white background I can think of, so you can easily change your desktop background take screenshots of your desktop.

Download jpg (White Background 1920 x 1200): Download jpg here

Download png (White Background 1920 x 1200): Download png here

All you have to do is to change your desktop to a white background, and you’ll be able to take screenshots easily with that.

Hope you found that useful! XD

If you’ve got any more tips like this, feel free to post it in comments (I DO check comments every now and then), and I’ll post it as an entry! Credits go to you 100%, of course, and if you’ve got a blog, website with the tutorial/tip on it, do tell me, and I’ll add it in the credits section! Thanks ~ XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 8, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Recycle Bin Restoration (Why do we delete it in the first place?)

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I remember vividly, just a little under a year ago, when I attended an IT conference. Well, it’s called an IT conference, but really, it’s just a sales pitch by a Microsoft

Microsoft Logo

Microsoft Logo

representative introducing (after one-and-a-half-years) new features of Vista (I think that’s before SP1). The speaker was really funny and all, but it completely failed to deliver. I mean, it was so mundane as to teach people how to change folder views! If it was useful, I’d have thought it’d be good for a refresher. But, needless to say, it was quite disappointing. I was hoping that it’d introduce PowerShell and its functionalities, since there were confirmations that Microsoft would be releasing a better, enhanced and more powerful version of the command prompt for tech users, which never happened. But, really, anybody can use the command prompt, since the commands are so versatile and easy to learn.

However, what struck me as bizarre wasn’t the speaker or the content itself. It was the Q&A session that we have after each hour (the conference took place over the span of four weeks, and it had one three-hour session per week, if my memory serves me right). The speaker, who was called Ivan, would summarize the main questions asked in the session, and it was then that the funniest question of all was asked (by many people, mind you),

‘…how do you restore Recycle Bin?’

I was dumbstruck. Apparently, so was Ivan. I mean, why would you delete Recycle Bin in the first place?

The answer lies in a curious misnomer in the right-click options of Recycle Bin. There are only seven folder operations available in the right-click menu:

Recycle Bin right-click

Recycle Bin right-click

–          Open
–          Explore
–          Empty Recycle Bin
–          Create Shortcut
–          Delete
–          Rename
–          Properties

…and many people (myself included) thought that ‘Delete’ would clear the contents of the Recycle Bin, when it was the ‘Empty Recycle Bin’ button that did the job. But of course, as soon as you hit ‘delete’, *WHAM*, it’s gone. (less the sound effects XD)

So, as silly as this’ll sound, I’m going to talk about how to restore Recycle Bin.

If you use Vista:

  1. Right-click on the Desktop (on a clear space)
  2. Click Personalize

    Personalization Window

    Personalization Window

  3. Under the left hand corner, you’ll see a link that says ‘Change Desktop Icons’

    Change Desktop Icons Link

    Change Desktop Icons Link

  4. In the new window, check the ‘Recycle Bin’ box

    Desktop Icon Settings

    Desktop Icon Settings

  5. Click ‘OK’ and the icon will appear on your Desktop

If you use XP:

It’s much, much more complicated in XP. And for users that have never used the registry before, it’s generally not recommended. However, you can still give it a shot, if you feel confident with learning a few things today.

(Alternatively, there’s a program called Tweak UI that you can download to the same effect. It’s under a set of tools that Microsoft calls ‘Power Toys’ that extend the current capabilities of your PC. There’s one that allows you to manage multiple desktops, for instance, similar to the desktop rotating cube you get in Linux.)

Direct link:
Direct link 2:

To restore the icon using the registry…

…first, you MUST backup your registry. If you make any mistakes, and modify a different value, it could crash your PC, since the registry stores values for EVERYTHING that makes up a PC, including software, hardware, user settings, even the kernel. So here’s how you do it:

If you use Vista…

  1. Click start, and in the search box, type ‘systempropertiesprotection’
  2. A window that looks like this should open, in which you click ‘Create’

    System Properties Protection

    System Properties Protection

  3. Then, you simply type in a name which describes it, and click create.

    Create Restore Point

    Create Restore Point


To restore your PC from your restore point, you simply click the ‘Restore point’ button above it, and the wizard will take you through the restoration process. (Remember, this restores ALL your files, not just your registry settings. I’ve never tried it out to see if it overwrites my current files, so you might want to back up the documents, media and other files you’ve got on your PC now.)

If you’re using XP…

  1. Go to Start –> Run, and type ‘%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
  2. Simply follow along the wizard, and it’ll take you through creating a restore point.

I don’t use XP, so I just took a photo from the Internet~ XD

Restoration is from the same window, just above the create restore point option, and the wizard will take you through it similarly.

So, reverting to editing the registry setting, here’s how you do it on XP:

  1. Go to Start –> Run (Alternative key: Windows + R)
  2. Type in ‘regedit’
  3. Press ‘Enter’
  4. Locate this key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\HideDesktopIcons\NewStartPanel

    Registry Key

    Registry Key

  5. In the window that’s besides the root structure, right-click this DWORD value: {645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}, and click ‘Modify’.
    Registry Key Hierarchy

    Registry Key Hierarchy

    Note the little arrows beside each hive (like a folder), to see what’s in the folder, you have to click the little arrow beside it, which turns black.

  6. In the Value Data box, type 0. ‘1’ hides the icon, ‘0’ displays it.

    Modify Registry Key Value

    Modify Registry Key Value

Voila! Done.

Again, for technical savvy people, or even an average PC user, this post will be of little interest or may seem redundant, however, it does highlight an important feature of the Windows operating system: the registry.

To be honest, the instructions to restore the recycle bin came directly from the Microsoft support website, because I’m not really familiar with the registry as well myself. You can find the links here:

Restoring recycle bin:
Back up and restore registry:

But, I think I’m going to do a bit of research on the registry, play around with it for a bit, and if I’ve discovered any useful properties of the registry, I’ll be sure to put up some posts about it. (For students, this will be very interesting – if you have the command prompt disabled at school, a line in a simple VB Script will help enable it, and you can very easily re-enable some of the access privileges set by your school. Not encouraging obliteration of the school system, of course. Just convenient access to files on the school server. XP)

I’d love to hear your thoughts! XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Would it be ideal to have codenames before entry headings?

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SpyGlasses (Image source: was wondering, it might be easier to search this blog, once it gets bigger, if we had codenames before entry titles. For example, for any posts that come under the Universal Principles category, I’ve placed ‘UP’ to the left of it, and placed a counter just right next to it, e.g. UP #0: Numbers, numbers everywhere. Pretty dull name, I know, but it’ll get better in no time. XD

So, what do you guys think? I’d really appreciate it if you voted in the poll box just below this ↓, thanks!!!


Written by imicrothinking

October 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Verbal diarrhea

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There are two practices universally frowned upon in writing:

  1. Excessively long phrases, paragraphs
  2. Excessively rare words that nobody knows (apart from the author)
Verbal diarrhea - ever seen people who can't seem to stop talking? Funny to watch on 2x rewind XD

Verbal diarrhea - ever seen people who can't seem to stop talking? Funny to watch on 2x rewind XD

There are exceptions in both cases, of course. It’s okay, for example, to have long paragraphs when you’re writing a thesis on telomerase (still not recommended). When you’re a specialist in a field, it’s necessary to use words nobody else knows about. For example, ‘panthera tigris tigris’ (Bengal tiger) doesn’t become ‘an orange mammal with orange fur and black stripes found in Bangladesh and India’. That’s redundant.

But, when we have a choice, it’s often better to keep things short and simple.

One of my teachers used to refer to this as ‘verbal diarrhea’, which makes perfect sense. It also suited me very well because I had a bad habit of typing in font sizes 10 or below, and cramming everything in one paragraph. Why? Because I thought I could save a piece of paper! (As I make more entries, you’ll see I can use VERY roundabout methods to achieve a goal, usually quite mundane… XP )

That’s never too wise a decision to make.

Then, there’s the problem with using difficult words. When writing, I think many students ask themselves this question at least once: sesquipedalian verbosity or simple English? Apparently, most associate ‘outstanding work’ with ‘the need to utilize rambunctiously complex locution to impress the professor’. According to Robert Cialdini, a professor of social psychology, author of the best-selling books ‘Influence’ and ‘Yes!’, this will backfire right back at you.

Here’s one of the examples in his book ‘Yes!’ to demonstrate the point:

‘“We’re leveraging our assets and establishing strategic alliances to create a robust knowledge center –one with a customer-ruled business structure using market-leading technologies to maximize our human systems.”

Huh? This apparently means, “We’re consultants.”’

–          Yes!

pg. 162, Lines 5-10
Robert B. Cialdini

Simon & Schuster Inc., 2008

So, the next time you see someone trying to use uncommon word, remind them of the type of reception it’d get.

Expected: Prideful glee on the author’s side
Also expected: ‘Huh?’ and a frown to readers


Firefox’s surprise – good or bad?

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I was casually blogging yesterday, and making some changes after reviewing my entries, so I clicked the ‘update’ button to implement the edits. Then I noticed something strange.

In a separate tab, I’ve opened up my blog to check that the HTML renders okay in the browser. I was navigating away from the page, because I wanted to check something up online about goodwill (bad!). Then I clicked the ‘back’ button to navigate into my blog…only to find that the changes weren’t made!!

Obviously, anything loads faster from cache (kinda like a storage area for frequently accessed data, can be webpages, video data, etc.), and that’s what Firefox did. Instead of loading the most current version of the page automatically, we have to manually click the ‘refresh’ button!

Refresh Icon (Image Source:

Refresh - was it always manual?

Way vintage.

I think the giant tech players are really trying to push offline surfing as a notion. For example, in Chrome, when you open the window, even if you don’t have an Internet connection, it loads the pages that were open last from a specified memory location. (Sorry, guys, still haven’t figured out how it all works so far… XD)

It’s just so much easier if it just added a conditional statement to the browser code, saying, ‘if network connection established, send GET request to web server and translate to IP address with DNS, send back to browser, interpret HTML tags, CSS,  cookies’. In fact, all it had to do was to copy the entire subroutine (bunch of code) for delivering webpages to the user, and add a the ‘if’ condition to it!

Oh well, that’s just a thought from a distant user.

What do you guys think? Firefox should change? Really doesn’t matter?

Feel free to leave a thought! XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

Where do copied objects vanish off to?

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Back when I was on Yahoo Answers, I saw a question that was very similar to this. Since I don’t have a photographic memory, I’m going to paraphrase it. It went something like, ‘I’ve copied many photos off the Internet, but I can only seem to paste the last item I’ve copied. How can I access the previously copied items?’ I was struck that this was a basic operation on all operating systems with a GUI, and yet I didn’t know it! Well, being the researcher that I am, I looked it up instantly.

Funny function, ‘Ctrl + C’ is. I remembered from Harry Potter when McGonagall was entering Ravenclaw’s common room, she was asked, ‘Where do vanished objects go?’, to which she replied, ‘Into non-being, which is to say, everything.’ While the arcane field of magic contradicts with the precise nature of computer science, the answer proves to be a good representation of what the clipboard is.

Simply put, the clipboard is a temporary, stack-based memory storage location, which, after you logout, will clear its contents. When you copy things from different places, our PCs seem to be able to magically access and transfer the copied data across completely different applications. But, as we now know, the copied data (copying is evoked, or called forth, by user input, which is linked to the programming interface, or the friendly screen we see, e.g. in Windows, Ctrl + C is copy because Microsoft defines it to be, not because it’s there by coincidence) is stored in a location in volatile (temporary) memory called the clipboard, which is accessed by applications through the defined user input (or Ctrl + C in Windows, Command + C in Mac).

However, a clipboard is stack-based. It means that every new item you copy in an operating system is stacked on top of the last item, replacing it. So, by default, most applications only allow one instance of a clip (the copied object) to be stored in the clipboard (the memory location).

This drawback is defined by some applications, in which software developers and programmers develop a clipboard manager, allowing for multiple instances of clips to be stored. For example, Microsoft Word allows up to 24 clips to be stored in the 2003 and 2007 versions.

To access the clip in the 2003 version, you can simply go to Edit à Office Clipboard to display the window. (If an icon that looks like Clipboard Icon is in the status bar, then it’s already on.)

To access the clipboard in the 2007 version, you can simply click on the clipboard button as seen below:

Clipboard Access

Clipboard Access

(Note: You have to click the tiny arrow beside it.)

And the clipboard will be shown:

Clipboard Image

Clipboard Image

For convenience, it’s easier to simply automatically have the clipboard pop-up every time you open Word. You can do this through clicking at the options button below, and checking the ‘Show Office Clipboard Automatically’ radio button.

In Vista, when you switch on Clipboard, a clipboard icon will appear in the status bar (at the bottom of your window). Double clicking it will open the clipboard window in the active Office application (i.e. Word, Excel, Access, Powerpoint, Groove, OneNote, etc., whichever you’ve got on top).

Clipboard in Status Bar

Clipboard in Status Bar

But, note that clipboard can only be used in the Office suite. You can’t use it for applications such as Photoshop or Fireworks.

(Obviously, the ‘trick’ is to open a Word window all times, so you can have the clipboard manager open to use. You paste it once, and copy and paste it again in your other application.)

Hope you found this useful! (Sorry, techies, this is for newbies like myself, but check out the programming sub-category in computer section, I’ll be doing some more articles when I get more proficient in programming! XD)

Share your thoughts on this post!! XD

The best way to eat green peas

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Hey guys!

Breakfast, as usual, is macaroni for me. My aunt keeps pestering me on about artificially enhanced foods, and she’s absolutely right, but I’m not going to spend hours fixing up a complex breakfast just because it’s more natural!

Well, I thought, ‘hey, why not just put in some frozen vegetables, so we can have a more nutritious breakfast?’ You know the pack that has peas, corn and carrot in it? That’s exactly it. While I’m okay with carrots and corn, I don’t particularly like the peas, because it feels like as if you’re eating chunks of mashed stuff with them.

So, what to do?

I remember a long time ago, my aunt (other aunt, I’ve a lot of aunts and uncles XD) told me that the best way to eat something you don’t have a preference for (but still have to do it because of certain circumstances…i.e. being polite), is to mix it with something that you really like.

Like, we often hear stories of parents blending eggs into a smoothie and saying it’s ‘magical water which can make your dreams come true’ or something, which is obviously contrived. But, the point is, IT WORKS!! Kids dig that stuff!

That’s not going to work with teens or adults. But I think we can replicate the same effect just by commingling food – a mélange of the good and the bad to nullify the taste. In the worst case scenario, everything doesn’t suit your tastes, if it’s really bland or something that you just don’t like, you can just imagine eating stuff you really like…while holding your breath. (Works, trust me! You won’t feel you’re eating the taste, you’ll just feel the texture of it in your mouth!)

I mean, obviously, don’t just try and mix in anything. A minus and a negative, in our case, nullifies. But in other cases, it can turn re-ealy negative. For instance, you love tomatoes. Fish, not so much. You try and eat tomatoes with fish. Not the best combination possible. If you want to breathe while eating, choose something with a similar texture to what you don’t like eating, so you’ll just feel as if you’re just eating the stuff that you like!

Or, conversely, you can just hold your breath…

Do you guys ever have a similar experience? I’d love to hear your stories!!! XD

Written by imicrothinking

October 6, 2009 at 10:20 am