Slickdrums Chronicles

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Get Your Sales Emails Noticed And Opened!

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If you are in the sales industry and have done scores (and scores) of email blasts, you will no doubt find it frustrating if only but a handful replies, not including those “Please remove me from your mailing list”, back to you – if you’re lucky!

Well, frustrate no more!

Here are 6 Rules of Getting Your Emails Opened  by BNet.

Have a blast,

SD

 

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5 Reasons Why Stargate Universe Isn’t In the Top 25


I am an avid fan of the Stargate series. I love everything about Jack O'Neill, Sam Carter, Teal'c, Daniel Jackson, General Hammond, John Sheppard, Ronan, Teyla, Rodney, Carson Beckett. The others were pretty okay but these were the series makers!

I always felt that producers Brad Wright & Rob Cooper had the right formula for the Stargate series. It was almost like magic. I take that back - it was MAGIC! People loved the characters. They were likable as were the episode plots & story arcs.

But now, with the Stargate Universe, it anything but magic. And I am anything but avid. No chemistry, no humor, no adventure, no likable characters (except just Eli - if the rest died, it might be a show saver!!).

5 reasons why Syfy has lost its touch on Stargate series:

1. A CopyCat. Nobody loves a copycat, a wannabe. Who in the friggin' ascended universe would want to see a Battlestar-Galatica or Star Trek Voyager wannabe? No one, that's who. Not even the Ancients, that why they had the foresight to leave Destiny a whole long time ago!

2. Dark, Grim – Get Real! In line with the BSG , why would anyone in their highly developed super-human mind want to watch dark & grim when we get it on real life? After a tough day at work, being barked at by the boss, scrambling to handle the work load, pulling a muscle due to stress, the last I want to see is... yup, you said it - grim.

3. Unlikable, un-stick-able characters. Characters are really REALLY annoying & totally unlikable.. except Eli. Hey, when we watch shows, we want to like the characters. That's plural, not singular. Not get mad or annoyed with them day in, day out. Likability has its appeal - like ratings appeal. Last I checked, SG:U isn't even on the top 25 shows.

4. A reality show episode plot. Seriously, what is this? Where are the hordes of aliens and aliens living on planets? Where's the adventure? What's up with freakin' reality show style going on? No one wants another real-life drama style.. especially on a sci-fi movie. It’s Sci-Fi, for goodness sake! 

5. A missing (or yet to be seen) story arc. Its already pretty late in the series and yet there's no story arc here. Again, what's up with BSG & Star Trek Voyager wannabe: finding the way back home. But Star Trek Voyager was way more interesting even with this “We are trapped in some bloody universe finding our way back home” theme. Oh boy, it's going to be another long season...

The only and ONLY thing I like: superb effects!

... Unfortunately, not enough for me to stay on as a fan. I am just looking forward to the Atlantis tv movie. And yes, after Season 1, if things don’t go back to magic of Stargate, I am going to leave SG:U to spend my time with truly great shows!

Have a blast!

SD

 

iPhone App Secrets

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Grace’s Sunrise Service Pictures

Last Sunday was an awesome time reflecting on our Lord Jesus’ resurrection. Our church had a sunrise service right in a park! It was cool & shady during our service from 7.30 –9.30am. In fact, that morning, someone snapped a picture of a double rainbow just before we began!

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Praise & Worship led by Eddy Quay & Team! We had a special choir & orchestra team as well!

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The congregation during praise & worship

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My niece, Nivee, obviously having a rockin’ time!

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Our church ‘grounds’ literally for that day!

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Ps. Henry, as usual, sharing passionately

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Another view of the church

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From behind the trees…

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Our little ‘camp site’..

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My brother, Ranjit, sis-in-law, Sagun & nephew, Nischal, all ready for breakfast..

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Free breakfast for all provided by the church. Instead, we went to a mamak nearby to avoid the long queue here..

Stay blessed!
SD

iPhone App Secrets



The DIY-Geek: Recovering Your Router’s Corrupted Firmware

Kyocera KR1 Mobile EV-DO Router

Image by Laughing Squid via Flickr

If you are anything like me, you are probably the type of person who would like to do stuff on their own. Especially, when it’s a knucklehead of a problem, like when your router’s firmware is corrupted.

Recently, my brother passed his old router to me (believe it or not, I was using a DSL modem – and was quite happy with it!) to test out and use. So I said to myself, “Why not?” Since I have some experience with a router before, I plugged this in, logged into the router (via the IP address supplied by manufacturer) & happily experimented. Then I went online to check if there were any new updates. There weren’t but the oldest update was seemingly newer than the firmware on the router, or at least, that’s what I thought.

Anyway, long story short, the techie in me got the update downloaded and when I tried to update the firmware, it gave me an “EAccess Violation Error”.. I tried a few times to no avail, and it even gave me a “Peer connection reset / closed” (or something to that effect) error a few times!

So finally, after much struggle, I managed to upload it and get it started again! Learning from my mistakes, here’s what to do and to avoid:

1. Make sure you disable your anti-virus software.
This gave me that “Peer connection reset / closed” error. Also disable any other programs from your anti-virus sitting in the system tray (the right-bottom). Disable them all.

2. Make sure Window’s firewall is stopped.
Go to My Network Places > View Network Connections (on the left bar) > Left-mouse click Local Area Connection > Properties

localconnection

Advanced tab > Settings

AdvancedSetting

Click on the Off button > “Okay” all windows

FirewallOff

The worst headache of all if not stopped – the nagging, irritating, backaching “EAccess Violation” error! Arrghh.. Ok, now you know.

3. Make sure you are connected via cable, not wireless.
Common sense. I didn’t make this error, in case you are doing it.

Voila!
Now you can update your firmware to your hearts content! Just 3 steps to ensure your firmware is up & running. Once this is done, you can get your firewall & anti-virus back up again!

Happy Routing!

SD

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The Ultimate Jam Session: Real-Time, Across The Globe Via The Net!

We hear about collaboration over the Net every now and then, but this really takes the cake! 8 artists from 4 continents connected via the Net jamming to 1 song!

It may seem little surprise since many may think there are many professional artists who record tracks and email or upload the tracks via the Net. In fact, there are. However, I have yet to see any major label artists collaborating real-time over the Net like this! Well, this is the music revolution of tomorrow.

This collaboration is called Jam Session 2.0. Check out the full video below and for info on the lyrics and on the artists who collaborated , visit: http://dumbfoundead.com/track/jam-session-20. You can also download the song for free at the site.

Kudos to the artists of Jam Session 2.0!

Jam Session 2.1 beta, anyone? :-)

SD



Why The Star's TV Show Reviews Are Redundant

When I read about the review on Monk's upcoming new season (check here for the official website) on The Star, imagine how ecstatic I was! I am currently a late bloomer on Monk and am catching up on the previous seasons (just finished Season 3, moving on to 4). So I was really all excited when I read on The Star of a new season to tie up the loose end.

Being a noob at Monk, I didn't realise, of course, that Season 8 tied up the one major, and not to mention only, loose end - Trudy's death. Imagine my surprise when I surfed Monk's site at USA Network and found that there weren't any new Season coming up AND that Season 8's finale, besides being the most watched tv series, was about catching Trudy's killer. And that's that. No more Monk.

So I was rather upset and surpised that The Star got it late - six months late! Apparently, Season 8 was aired in the US in August! So, after re-reading carefully again, I found out they were talking about Season 8 and not a new season. So here's the funny thing, they published the article, an US review which mentioned the new season 8 when, in  fact, the season's over in the US. Which only means that it was an old review that they had published. No doubt over here in Malaysia the last season of Monk is just being aired. But come on! Treat us with some respect & intelligence!

Just because they are airing the freaking season late doesn't mean The Star has to treat us viewers like morons! In case you publishers didn't notice, people who do follow the series, even noobs like me, can Google and find out how pathetic your very, VERY late article is. The Star could always write a review even when the show began last August to update Monk fans.

The Star can always have the courtesy to mention that the TV network here is airing the last  season of Monk and mention when it was originally aired in the US. They could start treating viewers intelligently by writing what is exactly true. And not publish an old US review and pretend that it's new.

So this is where journalism gets thrown out of the window, huh? Publishing stale news.. riggggght!

Have a blast!
SD





iPad Won't The Tablet Killer As Thought, Unless ...

They change the name, for one. Well, that's not true. Regardless of the name (although it's well above & beyond most people how these creative gurus couldn't come out with a more appealing name), the iPad will be THE mobiletainment ever built until & unless it makes a few changes first!

As noted in Mashable, the iPad seemed to be lacking a few details in meeting today's society's mobiletainment needs:

- No camera: There is no front-facing camera for video conferencing, and there is no back-facing camera for taking photos. This is a major omit from the device. Hell, most netbooks and smartphones have a camera or two.

- No multitasking: You cannot run multiple apps at the same time. To make this a useful device, it needs to be able to do things like run Last.fm while tweeting. This is one we hope Apple will fix with a future iPhone OS update, but for now it can’t run multiple apps.

- No HDMI Output: You can’t plug your iPad into your TV.

- No USB port: You can’t plug in your favorite keyboard into the device…or anything else, really. It will plug into your computer via the same cord you charge iPhones and iPod touches with.


Now, to Apple's defense, the iPad does have the Dock Connector to USB Cable, to TV & Video Adapters and such. However, what it doesn't have on it, is the drawback.

I get it. Apple, or Steve Jobs, wants it sleek & stylish. Still, the society using notebooks for surfing, downloading, work etc wants in-built solutions so they don't have to carry an extra few Dock Connectors to connect their thumb-drives or external drives!

So there.. it seems that the big guns like HP, Asus or even HTC-Google can still come out with a guns blazing and still win over the tablet territory. Unless....

Check out the Why iPad Sucks list on Gizmodo.

Have a blast!
SD




Forget The Tablet, Think iPad

I know, right? iPod, iPad? It’s really mind boggling (do people still say this.. Mind boggling?) these innovative gurus, especially the High Guru Steve Jobs, couldn’t, for the future of Apple in the mouth, come out with something less.. like a woman’s product?

Okay, before I get smacked by a woman for discriminating against their wonder product, Apple’s new UltraThin iPad is the NEW wonder gadget due this April. And believe me, it will make the hardest critics drool in anticipation to play this new baby!

Forget the tablets, looks like Apple is set to turn the tables against PC makers by making the tablet a myth, and the iPad, corny as it sounds, the new lingo for cool mobile computers!

Check out Mashable’s Review on iPad.

Is this like cool or what!

SD

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Making The Best Pizza By Listening To Harshest Critics

Most companies, especially those in the F&B industry, would hardly ever place themselves in front of a firing squad. So as to speak.

Domino's Pizza got tired of the complains about their pizzas and decided to hear it for themselves. The focus group wasn't shy about their opinion of the pizzas. While it was hard to hear it out (especially when you're head chef and you have to listen), they listened and return back to the drawing.. kitchen table.

Check out the Pizza Turnaround videos.

Read about it in BNET's interview with Domino's Chief Marketing Officer, Russell J. Weiner.

Have a blast!
SD







Beginner Drum Lesson #2: Grip Technique + Rebound Strokes

I found this video on Vic Firth Educational Series an A+! This is, by far, the best instructional video on grips & rebound strokes. In fact, it had helped me improve my own drumming!

This video is by Mark Wessel and although the series is mainly for the snare drum percussionists (drumline), it is a technique for all drummers. If you get this wrong, then you only would have to suffer.

A lot of beginner drummers out there are learning very weird grips that are not even within the scope of drum stick grips! Plus many drummers are still using a whole lot of wrist power than fingers to employ the rebound stroke. Lots of difference!

I’ve found that learning it right the first time saves time and builds strength & muscle memory.

2.1 Practice Suggestions & Concepts

2.2 Correct Grip Techniques

2.3 The Rebound Strokes

Have a blast!

SD

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Dream of Playing Mike Portnoy's Purple Monster?

 

Now you can! Albeit, a virtual one. Still, this gets you close to the real thing and you get to see the complete view of MP's kit!

Play it here!

Have a blast!
SD




19 Weight Loss Secrets From All Over The World

If you were resolving to lose weight this year, fear not! Here're 19 Weight Loss Secrets that has been compiled very nicely by Reader's Digest from 18 countries!

Have a blast!
SD








Beginner Drum Lesson #1: Drumstick Tips - Finding Your Tool

I have always been amused at how beginner drummers tend to just buy sticks off the shelf without knowing if it's right for them or not. And funnily, lots of time the drum teachers don't help explain either.

Here's a video that helps explain how to find your right sticks before you start learning drums!



Visit http://www.freedrumlessons.com for more Drum Lessons!

Have a blast!
SD




Moritz Mueller's Drum Solo at AMPA Switzerland 2008

Amazing drum solo pieces by Moritz Mueller at the Appearance Musick Producktiv Aarau (AMPA) in Switzerland 2008. Be inspired & enjoy!




Have a blast!
SD




Malaysian Entrepreneurs: Getting Funding For Your Startup!

Cradle Fund is organising a talk where entrepreneurs can meet the people who run the show at Cradle.

So, if you are looking to fund your idea or product in IT, Biotech, Manufacturing or Retail  then make yourself available for this event!

Date: 19th Jan, 2010
Venue: Management Institute of Malaysia (MIM), No. 227, Jln Ampang
Time: 9.30am - 1.30pm.

This event will help you understand the whole application process where you are able to obtain RM150,000 to jumpstart your idea or RM500,000 to push your business.

Email raja.adrena@cradle.com.my to confirm your attendance before 5.00pm, January 8th. Pls note that seats are rather limited and it's by first come first serve basis.

Have a blast!
SD





A Day in Phnom Penh City

Slickdrum’s notes:

My last entry for the Cambodia trip. Before anyone asks, “Is it REALLY ending?”, it’s has ended. Been pretty busy with my web project and the Christmas event in church that I didn’t have time to complete this last bit.

So, here it is!

The next day (if you missed out the previous post, check it here), after having breakfast with Irene & her colleague (excellent Bircher Muesli btw at the Inter-Continental Hotel), I planned my trip with the head concierge, Muth Makata, who gave fantastic advice and helped me arrange the itinerary with the tuk-tuk driver.

So, off we went to our first destination, Phsar Toul Tom Poung (Russian Market). My first ride ever in a Tuk-Tuk! It is pretty amazing!  I must say that they ride rather safely and it’s pretty cozy. The only downside it’s rather dusty out in the open.

Inside a Tuk-Tuk! View from inside the Tuk-Tuk

On the road Traffic at Phnom Penh roads.. don’t be fooled by this pic!

Phsar Toul Tom Poung is rather large, more like a large square, with lots of shops around and in it. Just like the market in Siem Reap, they sell a variety of things, mainly for tourists. Inside, you will see the wet market & food stalls (which I don’t recommend for tourists!).

Inside Phsar Toul Tom Poung Shops inside Phsar Toul Tom Poung

Phsar Toul Tom Poung Shops lined up all around the Phsar

I just only breezed through the market just to experience the culture. After Phsar Toul Tom Poung, we went to Phsar Thmey (Central Market), the more visited and famous market in Phnom Penh.

At Phsar Thmey Phsar Thmey.. the old building under renovation works

The large central building, however, seemed closed and all the shops are in the area surrounding it. It’s nicely built with concrete structure to house the shops.

Shops at Phsar Thmey Nicer looking shop lots at Phsar Thmey

Inside, it’s much cooler than that of Phsar Toul Tom Poung & Phsar Chas in Siem Reap. Again, the shops here seem to cater towards tourists. You will also see Tuk-Tuk drivers at the entrance vying for your service as they see you leave the place.

After a nice walk around, I decided to move on to the next destination: Street 240. I had thought that there would be shops promoting arts & craft here (read it in the map), but it wasn’t as I expected. So, we had to scrap that plan and go to Riverfront or Sisowath Quay.

Wat like structure at Riverfront Not sure Wat's this.. heh

Along Riverfront The river

The Riverfront area is a very famous tourist spot. Here, lined along the river, you will find many eateries and pubs.

So after being dropped off, I was eager to check it out. I walked along Sisowath Quay, amazed at all the shops lined up and the number of tourist at this place. As a tourist, you will be at ease here!

I was also looking for a wifi spot where I can drink a nice hot mocha and surf as well. After a nice walk all along the Quay and reaching near the end, I backtracked and found a place to get a nice hot drink. It’s quaint little restaurant called El Mundo which had free wifi.

at El Mundo Cafe Good place to cool your feet down

However, I discovered that I forgot to bring my multi-adapter as my power cable couldn’t fit the power outlet. Resigned to a nice mocha and some garlic bread, I decided to check out the Foreign Correspondent Club (FCC) for lunch later.

Again, all along the shops, you will MANY Tuk-Tuk drivers and motorcycle taxis seeking your dollars. Politely smiling & declining them, I made my way to FCC.

Here, I had a triple decker chicken sandwich with fries. And quite fortunately, my power cable could fit to their outlet! So, it was lunch and surfing. Since I had to planned to meet with the Tuk-Tuk driver who drove (or rode?) me all morning around 1pm, I had only so much time to surf. I doggy bagged the untouched half of the sandwich and fries (I don’t eat them much), I made my way back to the meeting point.

Royal Palace 

On the way in the Tuk-Tuk, we passed the Independence Monument that’s in the middle of a roundabout.

Independence MonumentUp close.. The Independence Monument

When we arrived at the hotel, I gave the sandwich & fries to the Tuk-Tuk driver. Am sure he needed it more than I did.

That evening we took the Tuk-Tuk to try out the Frizz Restaurant, one I came across from my research online, in Street 240 (I saw it when I was there earlier).

City at Sunset A Sunset view of the City!

Frizz RestaurantInside FrizzThe place you must try.. Frizz Restaurant!

We tried their Fish Amok, which was superbly incredible, and the Saik Moan Char Trob (Chicken & Eggplant), which was also equally heavenly! For dessert, we had the Apple pie & ice cream! A Home Run!

Apart from Khmer food, Frizz serves international food as well!

Fish Amok Frizz Signature Dish, The Fish Amok!

Chicken & Eggplant Another tongue-talizing dish, Saik Moan Char Trob!

Apparently Tuk-Tuk drivers have this arrangement with tourists. They offer their services to fetch you back so: 1) you don’t have to worry about going back (not that you would have any problems here but think about the convenience),  2) they are guaranteed pay day! As long as I wasn’t being cheated, I thought the arrangement was good for us.

Public Bank in Cambodia! Can you believe it? Public Bank!

Good Bye Cambodia!

The next day was time for us to leave beautiful Cambodia.  We had made arrangements for a driver (the same one that took Irene & her colleague the day before for their appointments) to take us to the airport.

DSCF0211 The Motorcycle Horde!

As always, Phnom Penh traffic is bustling about. You get to see lots of motorcycles, cars and carts.

Traditional carts Man powered carts

The Phnom Penh International Airport is much better than the domestic, of course. And as we made on our way through the customs, we saw a cute & friendly litte thing, a cocker spaniel, that was a drug dog!

Phnom Penh International Airport Phnom Penh International Airport

Just coz I'm cute don't mean I soft! Appearances can be deceiving.. This little cutey is a police dog!

The waiting area had some shops & a restaurant. So we plopped our bags at a table & shared a nice big cuppa and went to do some souvenir shopping.

And as we boarded the Malaysia Airlines plane, we ended an awesome, AWESOME adventure in this beautiful land!

See you soon, Cambodia! 

Thanks Cambodia!