So IN LOVE with Microsoft #OneDrive!

I had some issues with my OneDrive app on my iPad since couple of days ago, so I decided to send a feedback to them about 3 hours ago.

And barely 3 hours later, Microsoft OneDrive team wrote back to me to ask for further details to help me with the troubleshooting. They have impressed me, really efficient and professional!

I started using OneDrive a few months ago when I saw them offering 1TB of free storage. Upon futher exploration, I found out that using their app, I could make changes to my Microsoft documents on my iPad directly. To me this is very useful as I can create and edit documents on the fly, and then send it via email with just a click if necessary. I have connected my gmail to OneDrive, you do not need a microsoft email to set up your account. You can also connect your office email to Microsoft. If you are using the desktop version, you can also connnect your Skype account within Web Outlook. This definitely helps those who use Skype to communicate at work.

Minutes after I sent OneDrive team my reply with what happened exactly, they came back to me with a solution. That was really fast!

I followed their steps, and tadah! Everything is working now! These guys are so awesome.

I’ve tried so many cloud services before, and whenever it comes to technical help and troubleshooting, it has never been as smooth as what I have just experienced. Microsoft OneDrive is something I really strongly recommend. If you are looking for an alternative cloud storage, why not try OneDrive a chance?

My Macbook Air got attacked by MALWARE!

Got attacked by MALWARE!!!

Got attacked by MALWARE!!!

I nearly died from a heart attack. I was doing some research for my work, and realised weird popups in my browsers, and having issues to access some websites.

I knew it was malware, but on my Mac??? Anyway I told myself there must be a way. I need my laptop to function properly so that I can work. I quickly googled for Apple’s helpdesk number, called them up.

I kept praying this call will help me fix my problem. I can’t remember the name of the lady who helped me, but she has been most patient and helpful. My machine is quite old, although running on SSD, but it’s still quite slow.

She guided me through each step, to restarting my Mac in safe mode, downloading the malware removal software, and ultimately solving my problem. Although the call was around 15 minutes, but it felt like forever to me!

I’ve always taken Mac’s stability for granted. “Aiyah, you don’t get attacked by viruses on Mac.”, but it happened. No matter how reliable one product is, it will always welcome detractors. Before my MacbookAir, I have had 2 other laptops, fully loaded with different types of antivirus softwares. However there were still attacked from time to time. Each operation to remove the bugs and rebooting the machine was a NIGHTMARE. Sometimes I even had to send my laptop to the shop for repair, and I would be handicapped for a few days. So when I tried to use my Mac after removing the malware, and it worked, it was a HUGE relief! I would have given her a BEAR HUG if she was next to me!

This is my first heart attack incident with Mac, and I hope it won’t happen again.

I am curious about how Mac gets attacked by malware, can anyone enlighten me?

 

Neurogenesis: Grow new brain cells

Just a couple of days ago, I came across this very interesting Ted talk:

Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret talked about how we can actually grow new brain cells. If we can grow new brain cells faster then the rate we use them up, it will improve our quality of life. It’s not just about becoming smarter, and cope better with greater challenges, it also makes us happier.

We are always under so much stress, that we produce so much cortisol. This is the hormone produced whenever we face stress, and they cause our fight or flight reaction. Overtime, these cortisol will damage the hippocamus part of our brain. I am not a doctor, neither am I a nurse. I just have a keen interest in finding out how our brain works, therefore I’ve read up quite abit on this area.

A little stress is good, but we feel overwhelmed when it gets too much. In worst case scenarios, we get eaten up by the stressful situation. We feel stress, and we produce cortisol. We try to fight and make the situation better, and if we failed, we produce even more cortisol. More and more cortisol gets produced, until they flood our brain. However deep down in our hearts we want to make ourselves feel better, and think of a solution to fix the problem, or even just to move on. When we see someone in distress, we will always tell the person to take it easy, go do something that makes them happy. I guess the whole reason to doing something that makes them happy is not just about producing endorphins. But it helps them to generate new brain cells, and they will help to combat the negative processes in our brains.

Sandrine has shared some very actionable advice on how we can improve on the rate of neurogenesis. If you only have time to watch 1 video this weekend, I strongly recommend that you watch this one.

 

Latest internet food sensation- Nissin chawanmushi

If you are a foodie and constantly looking for great food ideas on social media, I am pretty sure this would have shown up on your newsfeed:

The internet’s latest culinary masterpiece: Cup Noodle Steamed Egg【Taste Test】

Image credit: Rocket News24

Image credit: Rocket News24

I saw this on my newfeed a couple of days ago, and I’ve got friends sharing the link with me as well.

I love cooking, and I love Japanese food and culture! Of course I’ve tried making my own chawanmushi.

Mavis' homemade authentic chawanmushi

Mavis’ homemade authentic chawanmushi

I try to keep my cooking as authentic as possible. I will do everything from scratch, and take no shortcuts. For my version of chawanmushi, I made my own dashi, using dried kelps and bonito. As you can tell from the picture, my chawanmushi was loaded with lots of ingredients, Japanese fish cakes, thinly sliced Japanese mushrooms etc. And to get a nice smooth texture on the top, it takes patience to filter the egg mixture carefully so that you don’t get any trapped air bubbles.

It can take me half a day to cook chawanmushi. The actual cooking time is not long, but there is a lot of waiting time required. Such as to cook the dashi, wait for it cool down, soak the mushrooms in hot water etc. The water used to soak the mushrooms will also be used to cook your chawanmushi, it gives that extra flavour.

As you can tell, it is a lot of effort and time to do a good chawanmushi. So when I saw the article that you can easily make a steamed egg out of leftover Nissin cup noodles soup, I was VERY skeptical. However, it just showed up on my feed OVER  AND OVER AGAIN. And my friends spared no mercy in sending me the link.

I finally decided I shall give this a try, since I do eat quite a fair bit of Nissin cup noodles.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

I felt hungry last night, so I decided to have supper- Chilli Crab Nissin cup noodles. Rocket News24 tried the recipe with Tomyum soup, I shall try with my favourite Chilli Crab flavour.

Chilli Crab Nissin Cup Noodles

My supper- Chilli crab Nissin cup noodles

Added hot water, waiting for the noodles to cook

Added hot water, waiting for the noodles to cook

I was watching my favourite TV series, Mad Men as I ate my supper. Yes, cup noodles and Don Draper. So romantic! <3

Left some soup for my experiment

Left some soup for my experiment

I usually would add an egg into my noodles and eat it together. But for last night, I decided to keep the egg for the experiment. And I had to control myself from finishing the soup.

So I poured the leftover soup into my glass, and added in 2 eggs. (I had quite alot of soup leftover.) Then I sent the glass into the microwave oven. I set the oven temperature to Medium High, and time at 3 mins.

Chilli crab chawanmushi cooking in the oven

Chilli crab chawanmushi cooking in the oven

According to Rocket News24, the time was set at 2 mins 40 secs, and the steamed egg turned out well. The temperature of each and every oven differs, cooking time will differ as well. I was afraid my glass will break under too high temperature, so I set it to Medium High. On the other hand, I was afraid my eggs will undercook, so I set it to 3 mins. However I think 3 mins could be too much time, the top of the eggs turned out rather browned.

Top view of the steamed eggs

Top view of the steamed eggs

You can see there are 2 distinct colours, brown on the top, and cream on the bottom.

Chilli crab flavour chawanmushiCloseup of chawanmushi

If I were to try it again, I might set my oven temperature to medium, and then cook at 3mins, and increase the time accordingly if the bottom of the eggs are not yet cooked. Alternatively, you can add a piece of aluminium foil on the top of the egg halfway through cooking, to prevent the top from browning. I’ve heard too many stories of microwave exploding because of aluminium foil, so I dare not try. I rather play with the cooking times.

So how does it taste like? No surprises. Chilli crab steamed eggs lor.

Close up of the steamed eggs

Close up of the steamed eggs

For someone who loves eggs, Nissin cup noodles, I do quite like this recipe. It’s a quick and easy fix for late night suppers. Minimal washing, and I can accept that. If you love eggs like me, this is one easy recipe you can try. However, this recipe is no way comparable to the REAL chawanmushi. So please lower your expectations!

I have some Indomie instant noodles which I brought back from my last trip to Jakarta. I will try this steam eggs recipe with my Indomie the next time!

Disclaimer: This post is inspired by Rocket News24. All pictures are taken by me unless otherwise stated.

 

Server Migration completed!

I am most grateful to my friend Peiyong for helping me migrate the server! (And also to allow me have my blog on his server! :p)

All the while I have been wanting to do more experiments with my blog. However due to WordPress limitations, there were much restrictions. But with this server migration, I can do much more things now! Previously I tried so hard to implement GA code on my blog, but I couldn’t do it. Unless I upgrade my WordPress account, which I refused paying for.

The downside of not using WordPress as a server anymore is you lose some of the features, such as social sharing functions etc. If you want it back on your blog, you got to insert them manually. For non techies, this can be quite a challenge. (I feel damn paiseh to ask my friend to help me on such small things, he’s done alot for me. I promise, I will bake him cakes and breads as rewards.)

Just want to say it again, THANK YOU Peiyong! 🙂

Thinking about #Hashtags again

I have a particular interest in hashtags. Given the nature of my job, I see hashtags everyday, deal with them everyday, and wonder about them everyday.

I always think if people understands the purpose of hashtags. Are they using hashtags for branding, content curation, or just mere bagging for more likes and followers. No doubt riding on the right hashtags is a strategy digital marketers use to expand fanbase and reach, however it is always a meticulous and well-thought plan. And decent marketers will not ask you to spam hashtags. (NO, don’t use all 30 hashtags in 1 Instagram post.) It doesn’t mean the more hashtags, the more likes you will get for your post.

I find it a pity that many people take rather nice pictures and share it to social media, but they throw in a whole basket of hashtags. Using too many hashtags affects your branding. Yes, you have a branding even if it’s your personal social media account. A strategic use of hashtags will in turn help you increase your followers and engagement over time. All the more important if you are investing good money in doing up good images, good videos to share on social. Especially if you are a brand selling premium product, you want people to feel the premium through your digital and social media marketing efforts. Using too much hashtags won’t help you deliver the premium feel.

Day 14: #Celebratelife365

I have many people asking me my reason for blogging again. I started my blog because I wanted to have my own platform to experiment with digital activities, as part of my learning.

Today, I did a very geeky thing. I searched for my own blog on Google, and checked for its SERP. It’s been 5 months since I started this blog, from God knows which page of my search result is on to being on the second page, that’s quite an improvement. Yay! And I am not doing this as a full time job. I wil start working more on the SEO and SEM part of my blog when I have more time. Right now my focus is to finish up my final paper for a marketing module.

Off to bed now! It’s been a long day. Goodnight everyone!

#celebratelife365 #thrive

Understanding Search Marketing in deeper context

I am halfway through my NYU Search Marketing class. Cramming all lessons over the weekend. I chose this life, I am not complaining.

As I listened to the classes, I missed the days that I login to Omniture everyday at work. Everyday I am starring at different data, especially keywords and search traffic. Besides working with numbers, creating pivot tables and drawing different charts, it was also starring at page source. Sounds very geeky, but I think it’s so fun to investigate them. What are the keywords and tags, are the analytics tools tagged properly (this was of utmost importance to me! No proper tagging, I will get crappy data!)

However I am no techie. I do not aspire to be a coder. (even though many studies have shown coders are in huge demand) I am happy to have working knowledge of codes to do my work, I don’t need to how how to code a website. I’ll leave this to the developers and engineers.

On the surface, many people will think that Search Marketing knowledge is for people in the media agencies. As I go along in my class, it’s become more and more evident that people on the creative side needs to have the knowledge too. As a digital creative agency, if clients want to build a new website, you need to consider the technical aspects, search aspects of creating a good website. How do you optimize? (As in my previous agency, Proximity Singapore, “optimize” is the everyday word we hear!)

It’s not just having a crazy idea, but it’s not a website that Google will index properly. You need to factor in the technical considerations. For example, to have breadcrumbs in a page. Breadcrumbs help your page to rank better, but also helps in improving user experience.

Search Engine Optimization, whether you are on the creative or media side, digital or social specialists, it will always interact with your work. If you don’t, you might be avoiding it.

For me, it’s now back to lessons.

#Thrive

A working student’s life

I finally have a taste of what it’s like to work and study at the same time. Life in advertising agency is crazy enough, but I wanted more madness. The adrenaline drives me to achieve even more.

Time passes by too quickly. I’m halfway through one of my modules, and the other module lasts for 2 weeks. It’s just started, but it will be over before I know it.

Never ruled out the fact that I will never have such an experience. Secretly it was something I want to try out.

What I’ve learnt in class has been really useful to my work.

4 more weeks to go.

Cheers!

#thrive

WordPress upgrade

In case you haven’t realize,  I’ve upgraded my wordpress account to a paid one.

Nothing to be surprised about, the upgrade is to do digital experiments with backend and analytics.

A girlfriend once told me, I always seem so busy. I guess I tend to look for trouble, always looking for something to fix. Never ending.  More things to fix in the backend for this blog.

Chinese New Year is coming soon. It’s going to be a busy holiday.