Quickie life update

Thanks to the awesome people at Exabytes Malaysia, Ink to Screen (this website) and my realname blog is now SSL-certified. It broke a few things in the process though, so if you see it, let me know.

I wrote this entry mainly as a small update to remind myself that I exist and this time exists. The days are passing by quicker and I don’t seem to take too much note of them. I don’t want to reflect and see that I didn’t write or take note of the things happening at this time.

I don’t want gaps in my memory, basically. That’s the main reason why I’m writing this. Besides, my journal is already full of my emotional ups and downs (and even that’s kind of drying up), so this should be more about my day-to-day.

So here’s a short list of note:

  • While I can take some spicy food (Nyonya Colours’ weak Chicken Curry being one of them), apparently Indomie Mi Goreng Original is too spicy for me.
  • Summerfield Chocolate Milk is delicious. However, it also triggers my lactose intolerance (current record is 20 minutes on an empty stomach)
  • So does Farm Fresh. As both are about the same price (Summerfield tends to go on discount more often though) I will usually buy based on what’s available.
    • Chocolate milk is a lovely <3 indulgence.
  • Work is both interesting and terrifying. On some days it is great, on others I wonder why in the world did I think I can go from consumer-facing to pure corporate. It’s a learning curve and I’m impatient to be done with it.
  • I sometimes feel like I am reverting to a immature brat, because I would rather hide my head in the sand and pretend certain interpersonal issues do not exist.
    • Other times I vaguebook or subtweet to lash out at people and hope they will pick a fight with me. Juvenile, I know.

On a slightly longer note, I am also slowly moving to a biphasic sleep cycle. Or a somewhat similar cycle. It’s a very straightforward change and takes advantage of the hours I wouldn’t be able to spend socialising cause people are not around.

My current working hours are 6am to 3pm. I get home by 4pm, go to bed, and take a 2 hour nap or so. By 630pm I am ready to meet people or have dinner or, as you can see from the video above, start playing some computer games. This means I sleep a bit later at 1030pm. Doing so lets me spend more time with the people I care about, including sitting in front of the TV watching China dramas with mom.

The reason for the switch is because I am going to have a medical check-up this Friday. I need to fast for 8 hours before doing my blood test, and since I set my appointment for 11am this means I needed to stop eating around 2am. Problem? I am usually asleep by 9pm or have my dinner at 6pm, and I know enough that if I don’t have a bite by 8am I would be starving.

Waiting till 11am? I think I might faint.

So… what’s up with you?

[Quickie] i-Rocks Crystal USB Keyboard

i-Rocks Crystal USB Keyboard in Black on my office desk

TL;DR: The i-Rocks Crystal USB Keyboard, also known as i-Rocks IK6, is an actually pretty decent piece of hardware, great for the sale price I got it at, but definitely not at full price.

So a few days ago I was at Digital Mall with the Bear after watching Guardians of the Galaxy. We were browsing for a cheap keyboard for me to use in the office; the keyboard on the Dell Latitude I was using drove me nuts.

As it turns out, it was Labour Day weekend, and so everyone was having a sale. We passed by Jayacom and saw people lining up like crazy. Bear and I decided to skip that queue and just go on our normal route when in Digital Mall. This means heading up to AllIT and working our way down.

When we came down an hour and a half later, I was already half-set on getting a cheap RM19 keyboard from V-tec (despite seeing an e-View at RM17 but that was mushy as hell) when I came across the Jayacom Labour Day sale.

The first thought that went through my mind was “Ah, so that was the crazy queue.” The second, of course, was to see what they have. As it turns out, they still had stock of the keyboard deals. Of the three, only one was not a keyboard bundle.

They still had 2 units left of the i-Rocks Crystal USB keyboard, aka the IK6.

I actually still had my doubts about the keyboard even after buying it, mainly because the videos about the sound was quite loud. I wasn’t sure if my colleagues were going to kill me when they heard it.

As it turns out, it’s a case of “it sounds loud on video, but is really quiet in real life.” Which it is. The i-Rocks is very soft compared to even some of the membrane keyboards I tested, but it has this really nice solid feel when typing. At the very least, the rate of errors I made during the test was far lower than it had been on the Latitude.

And in case you wanted to know what I was typing, check it out below. Note that I didn’t use the entire video, just parts of it as the OnePlus 2’s mic actually picked up the conversations in the office.

This is a rather quick typing and sound test to see how loud the key is in real life.

If you listen to a lot of videos, the iRocks, which is supposed to be mechanical, sounds really loud. However, in actual life, they are very muted. In fact, I think they are actually much more silent than even a good old Dell or Logitech rubber dome, depending on which you get.

This video was taken in my office, and I shall stop the recording now because I think that is enough for the day.

[Geekiness] Batch wav to mp3 conversion

Girl with headphones. Image by Matthew Henry on Stocksnap.io

This happened while I was trying to convert my Yuta Tanaka CD that the Wind_Goddess returned. I had already ripped the audio to wav, and now I wanted a mp3 batch.

Here’s the silly thing. The first few results told me to download random software, and I forgot I had the best batch wav to mp3 conversion software already on my PC.

Hello Audacity, you lovely little thing!

So here’s how you do a batch wav to mp3 conversion.

Easy Batch .wav to .mp3 conversion with Audacity

Step one: Import music files into Audacity

Step 1: Open Audacity. Drag and drop your files into the window. If you are going to make any changes to your music, then use the Make a copy of the files option as your import method. Otherwise, Read the files directly from the original should do the trick.

Note: you will need to select this for every file you’re importing, so I recommend doing it in small batches unless you want to spend the next 10 minutes clicking “Ok.”

Step 2: Export Multiple from File

Step 2: Once they’ve all been imported, select “Export Multiple.”

Step 3: Selecting your export format and other details
Step 3: This is where it gets fun. Specify your format and the bit rate. Then select Split files based on tracks. When naming files, the easiest is to Use Label/Track name.

When you click on Export, the usual metadata box will appear, and you can populate the details as needed. By the way, this is also a manual, file-by-file process, so if you have hundreds of files, you may be here a while.

And then while it converts, go and have an ice-cream or have a drink and sandwich before coming back to your new mp3 files! Many thanks to this Audacity thread for the help!

Fixing Eliminate Render Blocking

Render (1)

“Eliminate Render Blocking CSS in Above-the-Fold Content”

This particular error has been bugging me for quite some time. I’ve been reluctant to hard code the error away due to fear of screwing up. A few weeks ago I came across the Speed Booster Plugin and it seems to have solved my problems.

Only thing is that there’s no “list down what steps you need to activate” settings text list. It’s either having to watch their promo video or download the settings file.

So you can consider this to be a step-by-step to setting up Speed Booster with W3 Cache. I am actually considering moving away from W3 due to Yoast’s advisory, but for now this will do.

Setting Up Speed Booster With W3TC

  1. Install both plugins.
  2. Deactivate W3TC. Activate Speed Booster.
  3. On your Speed Booster page, enable all plugin options under the Main General Options and Remove Junk Header Tags.
  4. Click on the “Still Need More Speed” option.
  5. Tick everything BUT Disable all above CSS options on mobile devices.
  6. Scroll down, click on Save Changes.

Reactivating W3TC

  1. Reactivate W3TC.
  2. Under General Settings, ensure the following are ticked:
    • Page Cache Enabled and Disk: Enhanced
    • Minify is enabled > Minify mode Auto > Cache Method Disk
    • Browser Cache is enabled.
    • Verify Rewrite Rules is also ticked.
    • Click Save all settings and move to the next section.
  3. Under Page Cache, ensure the following are ticked (you can experiment with which you prefer):
    • General: Cache Front Page and Feeds.
    • Purge Policy > Page Cache, ensure the Front Page, Post Page and Blog Feed are ticked, if they are not already.
  4. Under Minify, ensure the following are ticked (everything else unticked):
    • Rewrite URL structure
    • Under HTML & XML, ensure only that Enable is clicked. Inline, Don’t minify, leave the rest unticked.

Final result?
Passed

That’s it. Once done, save everything, purge all cache, and then run Pagespeed. Good luck.