Forum Article on Toto Jackpot

Leave a comment

Just read this article on the ST Online Forum. Was surprised that such letters are published, albeit online.

In it, the writer actually wrote about why there is a discrepancy in the jackpot for this Friday’s draw (23rd July 2010).

He argued that there was no winner in the Monday draw, which had a jackpot of S$3.3m, so the snowballed prize should be S$5m. This, together with this Friday’s GSS Jackpot of S$5m, should add up to S$10m, not the S$8.3m that Singapore Pools estimated.

Come on, they have auditors for such lottery draws, ranging from 4D to Toto and Singapore Sweep. I’m pretty sure they would have notified Singapore Pools if the jackpot was estimated wrongly. Seriously, have we really run out of things to write about and publish in the forums?

That said. I bought my Toto tickets today, at the Singapore Pools just beside the clinic, while waiting to see the doctor.  Have you bought yours?

Good luck to everyone! Huat ah!

Do Away With Installations. Go Portable!

1 Comment

Last week, I saw a friend’s post on FaceBook announcing her switch to Chrome because it can be installed without admin privileges.

I suggested that she used portable apps which doesn’t even require installation. I also provided her with some instructions on how to get Adobe Flash working on portable Firefox and Chrome and she had the fully functional browser that she was looking for.

I’m quite surprised that portable applications remain fairly unknown despite their ease of use and portability. Perhaps it’s because Microsoft have us all trained with the mindset that installation is the only way to get applications working on Windows. That coupled with the fact that default Windows installation is with full admin rights make application installations seem like the natural thing to do.

Portable applications (or portable apps, as they are more commonly known) are applications that have been modified to run separately from the underlying Windows OS and store application settings and data in files rather than in Windows registry. This takes away the reliance on Windows and makes the applications self-sufficient and portable between various Windows machines. PortableApps.com is the goto place to find all apps portable. It has a full online community dedicated to make applications portable.

I started using portable apps more than a year ago when I had problems with Windows on my laptop which was running rather slowly, probably due to the clutter from the installed applications. I searched online for standalone applications that does not require installation and found PortableApps.com.

Now, I carry my apps, such as Firefox (with all my favourite plugins and extensions), gVim, 7-zip and OpenOffice around with me on my portable harddisk and USB flash drive. On my office laptop, I have Firefox, putty, Chrome and Thunderbird running off the harddisk for better performance. Because they are portable versions, I can archive and backup my emails easily by simply copying the data directories. At home, apps like XnView and mplayer are run off my network drive on my home machines for viewing photos and videos.

Another thing I like about portable apps is the ability to maintain multiple versions of a particular app on a single device. Currently, I have 3 versions of FireFox on my flash drive. I normally use Firefox 3 for normal browsing, but I use Firefox 2 occasionally at work to access legacy webpages. And I’m testing out the new Firefox 4 beta, and loving it! It also makes upgrading a breeze, all you need to do is download the new version, click on the .exe, and select your present application folder to unpack and upgrade. All this done with your data intact! Do make sure that the application is not running when you are upgrading though.

The freedom of being able to carry the applications I prefer around and using them on any USB-enabled Windows machine is great. Although being portable does mean that the applications have slightly bigger footprints and might run a bit slower than their Windows-integrated counterparts, I think it’s a fair compromise for the convenience they provide.

Pros:

  • No installation required
  • Convenient to use
  • Portable on removable media like flash drives and USB harddisks
  • Maintain different applications versions in separate directories
  • Upgrading is a breeze

Cons:

  • Slightly slower
  • Not all applications are portable
  • Bigger footprint

Instructions to get Flash working on Firefox Portable and Chrome Portable:

  1. Download Firefox Portable or Chrome Portable
  2. Extract the browser application to a directory
  3. Download Flash installer from http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/xpi/current/flashplayer-win.xpi
  4. Use an archival software like 7-zip Portable to open the package
  5. Copy the files, flashplayer.xpt and NPSWF32.dll,
    • For Firefox: into the Data\plugins directory
    • For Chrome: into the App\Chrome-bin\Plugins directory (might need to create the Plugins folder)

    Traitor to God?

    Leave a comment

    Blogging about this to serve as a reminder to myself about an incident that happened during Saturday’s sunset Mass on 3rd July at Queen of Peace church at Tanjong Katong. Attended Mass with the boy as the wife was busy with work that day.

    The boy was being his usual mischievous self and started busying himself by climbing up and down the kneelers and pew before Mass. At first, the guy sitting directly behind us was somewhat amused by his antics. However, as time went on, he became annoyed and found it distracting. I tried to pacify the boy by carrying him and sitting him on my lap, but, being a restless 3-year old, the boy tried to wiggle and talk his way to freedom and made even more noise, especially during the homily.

    The guy could not tolerate any more and made loud shush sounds during the Eucharistic Prayer in an attempt to hush the boy. I knew we were in for it, but what shocked me was that he made a scene during the distribution of the Communion. He started with “You think this is Macdonalds?” and when I tried to reply and apologize, he let of a barrage of admonition loud enough to attract stares from the rest of the congregation queuing to receive Communion. Some of the comments he made include,

    • “…If you can’t control your son, go to the back. Other people want to pray…”
    • “…We can go to speak to Father Lee (the parish priest) after Mass about this …”
    • “…You can go complain to the Archbishop if you are not happy…”
    • “…Don’t talk about the Gospel to me…”
    • “…You are a traitor to God…”

    He made the 4th comment when I tried to quote Mark 9:37. I think the most hurtful comment was the last one. How does making noise during Mass equate to being a traitor to God? Was so shock by the whole incident that all I managed was a weak “Why come to Mass when you are so angry?”. But, it was enough to defuse the confrontation for the moment. I felt his stare on us for the rest of the Mass. I just smiled at him after I returned from receiving the Communion, and he simply stared back. The boy was also shocked by the incident and kept quiet for the rest of the Mass.

    There were other kids in the congregation making noise around us, but I think we bore the brunt of his anger because we were sitting in the pew directly in front of him. I guess what goes around, comes around. Before the boy came into our lives, I used to also wonder why parents couldn’t control their kids during Mass. Now I’m experiencing it first hand.

    A close friend asked whether I tried to occupy my boy with books or colouring during Mass. My reply was “What’s the point of bringing them to Mass then?”. I remember attending a homily in which the priest encouraged parents to bring their kids to Mass to cultivate the good habit from young. He also said that we should get them to sit and listen rather than occupy them with some other activity. Someone else asked why I didn’t let him play with my iPod Touch. Given his expertise with the controls of the device, it would be even more disastrous. Imagine him playing the JJ Lin YOG Cheer at maximum volume in church. I think we will be thrown out  by the wardens before the Mass even began.

    It was definitely an experience I will not soon forget. However, it will not discourage me from bringing the boy to church, as that will certainly make me a traitor to God.