Saturday, October 23, 2010

Windows Live Essentials 2011

So my laptop does an update for me once there is a new update available. Recently, it updated this thing called Windows Live Essentials 2011. I thought the update was more like updating some glitches or bugs in the Operating System (Windows 7) or some programs used, but hey to my surprise, after installing the update, my Windows Live Messenger icon disappeared. At first I was freaked out a little, thinking that my new laptop was infected with a virus (the poor baby), but after finding the missing program in this machine and clicking on it, it opened… Windows Live Essentials 2011 (I believe it is still in beta mode). Plus a new messenger.

Honestly, I am not much impressed with the new messenger. One thing that really annoys me is that if I wanted to change and/or beautify my screen name, I would have to change the name that appears in my e-mail as well. There is no way (as of now) to have a separate screen name. Another thing is the personal messages/status updates section. If I wanted to edit it, say change just a word or two, it erases the whole of what previously was written and I would have to write whatever it is all over again (it sort of reminds me of how people update the Facebook status thing). Geez, talk about backwards evolution. Even my MSN Plus! does not fully work (i.e. cannot see different coloured nicknames), but after visiting the website, they are about to release a new version in December. Too bad I have to wait that long. Hopefully the new version allows me to edit my screen name without changing my name in the e-mail.

There is a plus side to it, I guess. One thing is the changed signing in layout thingy. If you do not get what I am babbling about, picture is below.

Signing into messenger

Once signed in, they have this social feeds thing (just like Facebook so you can stalk your friends list) and also MSN feeds to get all kinds of news. Seeing as how I do neither (maybe just a little bit of stalking, but hey I already have Facebook for that), I find this as unnecessary. At first it appears like this big window (as the picture below), but they also have this option to collapse it and return it to the normal messenger sized one.

Expanded versus the collapsed

Sorry for the bad picture. I was too lazy to arrange two different pictures while writing the post so I merged the two pictures of the window size together. On to the other features… So the new messenger or maybe it is the Windows Live Essentials program, also allows you to connect with other services such as social networking sites (i.e Facebook, MySpace), blogging services as well as the many other services that updates with news regularly or requires an update. What it does, I do not know because I did not link any. Perhaps it will give you more updates in the social feeds. Maybe anyone who uses that option can tell me about it and whether it is great or not.

I guess that is pretty much it for the messenger. There are other programs that came with the Windows Live Messenger.  Like the Windows Live Writer which allows me to update my blog without signing into Blogger and clicking for a new post. I find this pretty useful since I am such a lazy pig to sign into Blogger and clicking for a new post. I just realized that perhaps people have been using this program for some time and I am like a jakun just discovering this new thing for the first time. In any case, I love this program and perhaps it will get me to update the blog more. Whee!

For the benefit of those who did not encounter this awesome Windows Live Writer, the program requires you to register your blog in first. When that is done, whenever you want to use it, the program just signs you in automatically, opens this window that looks like Microsoft Word and there you go, you can create a new post already. It is like writing on Microsoft Word except with blogging options. It also incorporates your blog layout while editing so you can immediately see how your post would look like when published.

writer   While writing the post I took a print screen

Even uploading pictures is a breeze because you can just take it from your own computer and insert (like how you insert into Microsoft Word) without going through the blogger’s or any other image uploading sites’ uploading picture window and loading thing. I cannot find the right words, but I will just assume you understand my blabber.  

I am pretty sure there are other programs that came with Windows Live Essential 2011(Movie Maker for example), but I have only explored two and that seems good enough for me. I just hope there is a good update for the annoying Messenger or some good script update from MSN Plus! 5. I will have to wait for December I guess. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know

Here's something about restaurants you might want to know.

Who doesn’t love eating out? It’s great not to have to cook for yourself, but it can also be anxiety-inducing to think about someone else cooking for you. Just what happened to the food before it arrived on our table? Was the meat handled correctly? Did the cook wash his hands? Frankly, some of the common practices of the food service industry might surprise the average customer. I talked to some seasoned industry professionals to discover what words of wisdom they had about the behind-the-scenes scene at their favorite spot. It’s helpful advice, but best not to read on a full stomach.

1. Don’t Be the Last Table of the Night
Most servers complain about the party who walks in at five minutes ’til closing time, but what makes late-night dining ill-advised isn’t the inconvenience. Besides being a pain, it’s doubtful that the food will be very good. By the end of the night, the kitchen is in full clean-up mode, so entrĂ©es are more likely to be haphazardly thrown together than carefully prepared. They’re using ingredients that were prepped hours ago, and cooking them in ovens or fryers that contain the accumulated buildup of an entire night’s service. Sometimes chefs cook and clean at the same time, increasing the likelihood of your steak being sprayed with drain cleaner or particulates from the bleach they’re using to mop the floor. Photo: Cedric's Pics (cc)

2. Vermin Happen
Any place where food is stored is going to attract pests, and in large cities with older infrastructure (like Boston or New York), vermin are simply an unpleasant fact. Most restaurants battle against it every day, but it’s inevitable that sometimes customers are going to see a roach or a rat. Rare is the restaurant where they’re not at least an occasional problem. Even clean restaurants can attract pests, so seeing one isn’t an indictment against the restaurant’s cleanliness. Usually, if it doesn’t seem like the kind of place that would have bug problems, it’s probably a more-or-less isolated incident. Sadly, though, there are indeed restaurants where the pests seem right at home. Ben, from New York, says, “Customers should try not to freak out if they see something, and if they can subtly point it out to a manager or server, they’ll probably get a freebie or two.” Photo: Big Fat Rat (cc)

.... To read more, click the link below.
Five Secrets Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know - DivineCaroline

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Psycho Family

This is a dedicated post to my Psycho Family from Sunway University College. I appreciate you people loads, and when needed, you psychos are there. Now, to know about my psycho family, I shall need to inform you of all the members, starting from the very top.

Granny/Nana/Nanny Vanessa

She's the oldest (according to family rank), the most long winded, most detailed, most "ma fan" person I know. Also, she likes to over use quotation marks. Leave them alone, Vanessa!

Relax, granny, relax.

She's really cheerful and bubbly. Her laugh is contagious. It sounds like a wicked witch, but nicer. There's this one time when I was feeling really low to the pits. I checked my mail and there's this mail of hers with a link to her blog(!only those with researching background may attempt to read her blog!). It cracked me up and made me laugh. So thank you, Granny, for that bit of insanity and laughter. Besides her insanity, I do think she gives good advice as well. I've seen her in action. Therefore, find granny when you need some opinions; she's got loads.

Uncle Ian

He's granny's first son. He's the uncle that splurge and brings back stuff from China for the whole family. He talks a lot and have the most questions next to granny in lectures. He likes pretty and sexy chicks only (ahem, ahem). Just joking (= He likes all women.

Opps, did I flip the pancake too hard?

Did I tell you he likes cooking and designing? What a great uncle! Due to three particularly horrible incidents, some of us had to remind him during an exam, "Check your pockets!". He's always offering to get things for us when he goes China. One time he gave me a pocket mirror for my birthday because in class I was looking for a mirror. Thank you, uncle, for that.

Auntie/Sister Fizah

In the same rank as Uncle Ian, we have Auntie Fizah. Sometimes she acts like a younger child and she thinks she's our sister (we still call her aunty). The confusion is probably due to Mommy and Daddy picking her up from pasar malam and never really establishing her role in the family. Therefore, she has identity crisis.


Quite pretty for a pasar malam auntie, eh? She always like to emo. But nowadays, it seems she has dropped her emo habit because apparently, "I've been looking for a lost key to unlock my very tiny heart~~ Finally, I FOUND it" (Noor Hafizah, 2010). Sudah cite, mak cik. She's very caring. I remember when I was doing my assignment last minute (one day before due date) and then she lecture me because I haven't even started the Introduction/Literature Review. She gave me an SMS to remind me to start it and finish it. Next morning, get more scolding from her because I haven't finish it yet. Ganas oh this auntie.


Note to Daddy: Do you know how hard is it to find good solo pictures of you? I was choosing between a drug addict picture and a picture of your serious face eating cake with cake clinging to the side of your head. After more searching, I gave up, and ended up choosing this horrible one:

Phantom of the Opera's Son

Old picture for the win! Muah ha ha ha! Hm... so about daddy, he's a very concerned daddy. Very fierce and like to scold people. But also very easy to bully because of his soft heart as well as his love for his family. He's creative and lecturers love his brain. They wanted to preserve it, but were agonized when he escaped from their evil plans to extract his brain and went to Korea in hopes they will forget about their plans in 1 year's time. However he failed to realize that his escape plan means leaving 80% of his family behind to fend off the evil lecturers' brain washing scheme. Oh well, at least we're still surviving and still sane... I think.


Next to Daddy is of course, Mommy. She has this rabbit in her possession that I just want to pinch, scratch, claw and squeeze due to it's overload of cute-ness. It's a stuffed toy, of course. I will never do those to a live animal. Say 'No' to animal cruelty. She's just as cute as the rabbit.

How to say "I love you" in Korean?

She is very bright, like a star. Always smiling and happy, not bothering people with her problems. In some ways she is also a very blur Mom. I think this is due to her late night sleeps. Sleep early ah, Mommy! Old already need to take care of yourself more.

She likes cold jokes a lot which the children do not understand at all. There was this one time when she asked "What does Bunny do not like to eat?". Me and Arinah came up with different sorts of answers (e.g. carrot, meat), but in the end she said the answer was "Bun". Why? It is because of Bunny's name. After telling the answer, Mommy proceeded to giggle (syok sendiri). However, me and Arinah just stared at each other blankly. I think it took us more than 10 seconds to fully understand it. We ended up laughing not because of the joke, but because both of us had blank stares while Mommy remained delightfully happy with her clever joke.

The Triplets

Finally we get to be introduced to the highlights of the family; the triplets. Below is a picture of the three children in order of oldest to youngest (from left to right).

Arinah, Mei Li, and Me. Clickable.

Nothing much to say about us. Just that we are not normal, I think we need counseling. Arinah Kakak is trigger happy, she laughs non-stop for no reason. Mei Li Jie is a Depressed, Random, Lying Cat (inside joke) and I am apparently a Crab by day, Vampire by night (wth). I do not know why I am the last. It is really sad. I will always get bullied by the other two. But I still love my sisters. *insert big happy smile here*

Here is our family tree that we (the triplets) made:

Slowly figure out which balloon is who

That's all about my lovely Psycho family. The ones who stuck with each other through thick, thin, long and short. Remember our karaoke sessions; how we made Daddy sing "Barbie Girl"? Remember when we wanted to strangle the person who hurt Arinah? Remember the night in the train and that we wanted to send someone off to Thailand? Remember we were so hard working on climbing 300 steps in Langkawi just to reach the waterfall and when we reached, thought that wasn't the place and climbed some more? Remember who broke the bed in Penang and who looked so p-r-e-t-t-y with make-up on? Remember whose facial expressions was so expressive and thoughts were so abstract? Remember who thought that the girl in the mirror was someone else? Remember who was so hardworking in getting to know some pretty ladies *winkwink*? Hehehe.

I hope that by reading this, all family members will smile on your sad days and have a laugh on the good days.