Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Enable Remote Desktop for Vista Home Premium

I'm still new to Vista and I'm expecting it behaves as XP, but i'm wrong in many ways. One of it is Remote Connection. Apparently you can't remote desktop to Vista Home Premium as there is no terminal service. Luckily I found a nice site with simple steps to follow.

1. Download termsrv.zip for SP1.
2. Extract Termsrv.zip to a temp directory
3. Start “Command Prompt” in Administrator mode (Run As Administrator)
4. Run the corresponding batch file for your Vista edition
5. Allow TCP Port 3389 on Windows Firewall or any other firewall product.
6. Done

Perhaps, I can remote desktop to my HTPC and download BT :) , I'd setup DDNS and able to rdp from my office too to bypass firewall.

Patched Sky DG934G Router

About 1 month ago I received Sky router with Sky custom firmware, and it is a black Netgear DG934G aka DG834Gv3. Since I no longer with Sky, I intent to return the router as I was expecting Tiscali wifi router last week. Unfortunately the router didn't come, so I decided to patch Sky router in order to get after referencing skyuser.co.uk

I was able to go online at home since yesterday night :) I was told Tiscali is supplying Siemen router.... never heard of it. By using Netgear router, i can setup DynamicDNS in order for me to connect home from office.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dixons Deals for the Week

Dixons is running a week long discount until 4pm Friday 25th April 2008.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Skype Unlimited for a Monthly Subscription

Just notice today Skype is running a monthly subscription plan. It is quite a deal if you are paying SkypeIn and SkypeOut each month.

Pew's Mini House Warming

One of our Malaysian friend rent a new house at the town center, so we went there to have dinner and play UNO & Pictionary game. We were having a good time.

Friday, April 18, 2008

IKEA sales: 21% off on 21 years old

IKEA is having nationwide sales on 19/4 only, Saturday. Discount up to 21%.

Energy Saving Tips

As the oil price now at $115 per barrel, most of us are paying expensive fuel and enerygy compare to 1 year ago. Here are some tips to reduce your energy bill.

Heating Tips

  • Time your heating to go off 30 minutes before you leave the house, and come on again 30 minutes before you are due to return.
  • Turn the room thermostat down by 1?C. This can save around £30 a year.
  • Make sure curtains or furniture are not in front of a radiator.
  • Draw the curtains at dusk to keep heat in rooms.

Using Electrical Appliances
  • Switch off appliances such as microwaves, TVs, videos, stereos, and computers, as they use energy when they are left on standby. A staggering 85% of the energy used by the DVD player is consumed when it is not actually in use.
  • Unplug equipment e.g. mobile phones, shavers and electric toothbrushes—once they are fully charged, otherwise they will keep drawing electricity.


  • Avoid leaving the fridge door open. Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge; allow it to cool first.
  • Defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently and cheaply. If it seems to frost up quickly, check the door seal. It makes sense to avoid putting your fridge next to an oven or boiler. If possible, keep the freezer in a cool room or garage.

Washing machine and dishwashers

  • Only wash full loads or use a half-load or economy programme. Always use a low temperature programme as modern washing powders will be just as effective.
    Modern dishwashers use less energy and water than washing up by hand.


  • Match the size of the ring to the size of the saucepan or you will be paying to heat the air.
  • Gas flames should only heat the bottom of the pan (not the sides)
  • Use a lid on saucepans, so the contents heat more quickly and you use less energy.
  • Pressure cookers, steamers and microwaves save energy.

Tumble dryers

  • In summer dry your clothes outside when possible.
  • If you are drying your clothes indoors, don’t put them over over a radiator. This stops the heat from reaching the rest of the room. Try putting up a clothes rail in an unheated room, opening the window slightly to allow damp escape and shutting the door to stop heat being drawn into that room.

Hot water

  • Only boil as much water in the kettle as you need.
  • In hard water areas, you need to deal with limescale to keep your kettle working efficiently for longer. At least twice a year, soak the element overnight in vinegar.
  • When washing up or running a bath turn the thermostat on your hot water tank down to 60c. This is a comfortable temperature for most people.
  • An ordinary shower uses just two fifths of the water for a bath. In contrast, power showers use as much water as a bath and sometimes more.

Extracted from http://www.energysavingadvice.co.uk/

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Use BroadbandChecker to check your phone exchange

I came across BroadbandChecker and able to identify which BT exchange my landline is connected to. Imediately I know this is not the nearest exchange from my house :(

It also accurately check which broadband package is available for you.

Update: 28/4: I tested my speed using speedtest.net and I have a moderate line for my 8mbps Tiscali plan.

Malaysia shows on TV8 Web Site

Sometimes back I discovered watching Malaysia news is possible at NTV7 website, and now I found 1 of our favourite Singapore talent show (SUPERSTAR) is now available in 8TV (Malaysia version). All I need is a broadband connection at home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

UK Housing Market Confidence dropped to 30 years low

Today, the following BBC News attracted my attention the most as it is related to housing market.

Confidence in the UK housing market fell in March to its lowest point in 30 years, according to a closely watched survey of property surveyors. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (Rics) said that 78.5% more surveyors reported a fall than a rise in house prices in March. This was the gloomiest reading since Rics began the survey in 1978. The results come after leading mortgage lenders offered similarly downbeat views on property prices. Rics said the next six months would be crucial for homeowners and would-be buyers in the UK.

The falls in prices are particularly marked for flats and maisonettes and in certain parts of the country. The sharpest falls were in the East Midlands and East Anglia, while slower falls were recorded in north-west England, Wales and London.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Maplin's P2P Download Server for £59.99

Maplin has an interested P2P Download Server for £59.99. I have no idea about its power consumption, but if I don't have my Asus Nova P20, I'll consider one.

Goodbye Sky, Hello Tiscali

Today I checked with Sky Broadband and I was told my broadband is not activate for the number i gave but for the old number that BT cancelled. It has been 2+ month I have not surf a web at home in UK.

I cancelled my Sky Broadband and going to send back the router. My initial plan to use Sky was for the BT connection rebate (£124.99) and £10 16mbps unlimited plan. However, I only eligible for their 8mbps plan with 40gb download limit (£17 per month) as the exchange my phoneline connected to doesn't has Sky equipment. And this morning, I confirmed BT is not charging me a connection fee as they waive the amount having my old number no longer valid. All the trouble for £124.99, I think it worth the wait.

Now, I just signed up Tiscali Unlimited plan with no download limit (£8.49 first 3 months, £14.99 later). Hopefully there will be no hiccup this time. Finger cross.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Budget airline OasisHongKong has ended

18 months ago, OasisHongKong got its headline as the first long haul budget airline serving route between Hong Kong and London. I got to know yesterday it is closing its route and they are suspending their business. It is sad that we did planned to go HongKong via Oasis.

"It is with regret that Oasis Hong Kong Airlines announces that the airline has applied to the Hong Kong Court to appoint a provisional liquidator on 9 April 2008. The Court has appointed Edward Middleton and Patrick Cowley of KPMG as the provisional liquidators, and they have assumed control of the airline with effect from 1400h the same day Hong Kong time. "

More info here.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

First Direct 7% ISA deal

I just came across FirstDirect and it is offering 7% tax free Regular Saver ISA. The catch is you can't use the £3600 allowance at once, but can only break it to £300 per month.

Bank of England dropped interest rate to 5%

Just announced during lunch time today, Bank of England will drop a quarter percent of its interest to 5%. A welcome news to the mortgage rate but not so good to saving rate.

For Sale: PCTV Hybrid Pro Stick 330e & Dicota Notebook Lock

Doing a bit of room cleanup yesterday and found out I have 2 redundant items I wanna sell off

Pinnacle PCTV Hybrid Pro Stick is an ultra-compact USB 2.0 Tuner for digital terrestrial and analogue TV that comes with a mini remote control and rod antenna. Thanks to the included Pinnacle MediaCenter software, PCTV Hybrid Pro Stick turns your laptop into a portable remotecontrolled multimedia jukebox with PVR. New: Analogue A/V inputs allow capturing from camcorders, VCRs etc.

Fully compatible with Windows Media Center (Windows Vista Home Premium and Ultimate or Windows XP Media Center Edition; remote separately available)
Analogue TV standards: PAL, SECAM
Certified for Windows Vista

Pinnacle Store is selling for £69.99, I'm looking at £40.

2.)Dicota Notebook Lock

Looking for £10.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

BT line is reconnected, but broadband speed will be slow

This morning I tried my phone and it works. That's the good part. When I put my phone number in sky broadband website, I got this outrages poor result. It only support up to 256kb???

Tonight I'm going to test the distance from exchange to my house by calling 17070, then option 3 (fast test), then option 1 (authorize), and option 2 (ring back test). It should then ring back and let me know the distance in meter.
Update 11/4: I checked today, and the speed is now acceptable. 17070 fast test is not working now as it required authorize mobile phone or pin code.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Timber Fence for Garden

Bellway didn't put up timber fence panel for the entire garden, and is charging £4xx to get it done for 1 side.

We got our timber fence sorted and the wire fences were gone, but they are in my Snow in Spring. Paid £240 to get 1 side having the other side belongs to the neighbour. Cherlyn's colleague recommended Shrivenham Fencing, and we are happy with their work and speed.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sony Vaio VGX-TP1E HTPC for £499.99

Yesterday I went to PCWorld Swindon to check out a home surround system and saw this discontinued HTPC from Sony. The price is good but only for the display set. The spec comparable with my Asus Nova P20 as the processor is slightly older, but the hdd space and graphic card are better. The price include a keyboard with touchpad on it.

I spent about £450 in total for my Asus Nova P20 + logitech keyboard.

Snow in Spring

On Sunday morning, Cherlyn woke up at 10am and screwed "Snow". Then we were excited and get our camera ready for picture. This is the first time we actually see snow in our backyard, and it was about 1cm thick. Strangely, we were expecting snow during Xmas not Spring. Forecast said it will snow again today.

First guest of our house

Last Saturday night we hosted my chinese colleague and his wife for a dinner. We got stream fish with corriander, green curry chicken, vege with prawn and lotus soup with pork.

Friday, April 04, 2008

BT cancelled my phone line!

I'm speechless on such a bad service. They cancelled my line without any notice and I spent 1 hour to arrange a new connection.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Velocix to offer Singapore MediaCorp Channels

Cambridge-based Velocix has secured a contract to provide MediaCorp, a national broadcaster in Singapore, with live broadcast streaming services via its Digital Asset Delivery Network.

MediaCorp’s viewers will receive live, on-line, bi-weekly episodes of talent search program, Star Search, and international game show, Deal or No Deal, with Velocix’s delivery technology providing multiple live video feeds from both stage and backstage areas.

The service provided by Velocix will help MediaCorp cope with a substantial increase in demand from viewers watching live on-line episodes of its TV programs, together with an increase in subscriptions to its VOD service MOBTV (MediaCorp On-line Broadband TV).

Velocix is offering 1 month free trial. For MediaCorp contents, only Star Search and Deal or No Deal are available.