Browsing Category: Musings

Google Docs for writers

Inserting Links the lazy way in Google Docs. Gif from Tech Crunch

I love the Google Docs Office Suite. I rarely use the collaborative tools (that’s changing now thanks to Prose-ACK! and Pulp Toast) but I use Docs often to write my blog posts, edit scripts and write my novels. Last week, I found a very cool feature by accident that made my eyes almost pop their sockets. Today, I learnt of another time-saving feature that made me headdesk. And it is these two features, with Google Docs’ output to epub function, that makes me think that Google Docs might just be ready for epics of more than 50,000 words.

Insert link the lazy way
This is the feature you see in the gif above. Inserting a link is now much more intuitive and easier than ever. All you need to do is highlight, select “Insert Link” or press Ctrl + K, and the tool will immediately suggest links related to your highlight. I knew of the “insert link/research” feature as part of the research tools in Gdocs but did not use it until today (at the point of writing).

TechCrunch has a great article about this! And an old one too. ^^;

Automatic outlines!
I was proofing a fairly long contest Terms and Conditions document when I alt tabbed to another window. In doing so, my computer lagged and took my input keys to mean that I wanted to check my document’s outline. I didn’t, but it was a very cool way to see the content. Of course I had to apply it to my other projects, and it was here I discovered a tiny shortcoming.

Docs can detect outlines if you turn them into headers or bold them to make them stand out, but if you don’t and leave them as it is (aka Chapter 1, instead of Chapter 1), then it won’t detect them as outlines and will leave it as is. Still, fun!

Output to epub!
This was announced a few months ago and is the feature that made me giddy with delight. Epub is the most commonly used ebook format, and I actually used it to read Bloodschild (my current WIP novel) on my phone to get a feel of how it’d read on a mobile. I had to jump through a few hoops to get there (among them installing Calibre and tedious formatting) and so being able to output directly to epub makes my life easier.

Plus this also means I should be able to put Chap Fan on sale as an ebook, and so you can now take economy poetry with you!

Caveat: Now, I mentioned earlier that Docs may finally be ready for epics of more than 50,000 words. The reason I say this is because Docs has had difficulty in my experience, handling documents of over 51,000 words. Sometimes it’s the act of copy pasting from my Q10 to Google Docs it has problems with. Other times it’s me trying to add to the story that does it.

So can Docs handle a 100k word epic? We shall find out soon. And with that, good night (I should stop writing before I sleep, it’s bad for my schedule).

[Weekly Update] Oops late!

image
Where are we going?

Today’s going to be a rather brief update. Work has pretty much swallowed my brain, and I’d like to keep some brain cells for my fiction. So today’s weekly update covers:

  • Joseph Campbell, he of “The Hero’s Journey”
    Mythology has always been one of my loves and the way he explains how culture, mythology, and religion intersect is mindblowing. It’s the difference between listening and feeling it in the gut, as opposed to the head.

  • Moon Prism Makeup!
    Eh, not actually, but close. Thanks to the smog, I’ve started to experiment with foundation to protect my face. So far, it seems to be helping with the minibreakout I had, but it’s still early days.

  • Spending time with people I care about
    Had great dinners over the past few weeks; from dinners with jie to the tenta to mom’s birthday to an old friend I haven’t spoken to in years. It was a good week to socialise.

  • Took over dad’s phone
    The USB port for the Z1 took off, so I switched to dad’s OP2. I’d rather have my dad back.

  • No rushing around
    This week is comparatively quiet compared to the madness of the last few weeks. Nuff said.

[Weekly Report] Stashes

Stash

I originally had a blog entry about migrating from Windows 10 32-bit to 64-bit planned, but that is kinda shot for the time being, mainly because I am too tired to write it.

That was supposed to be my weekly update on last Thursday, but as you can tell, I’m still trying to get into the swing of things. The past one month has been rather eventful, though I think I am adjusting slowly to the new arrangements.

Some quick things: I finished Doulou Dalu (by which I mean I’ve caught up to the latest chapter) and have started on Spotify’s playlist of Joseph Campbell’s lectures. It’s compelling enough that I am considering upgrading to Premium for the next 6 months to listen to the lectures, simply because if you are on free, it shuffles the playlist.

The commute to work has had the unexpected benefit of me paying more attention to my body and my period. There is definitely a correlation between my feelings of uselessness and my period. Additionally, I’m exposed to pollutants so much, I’ve actually begun wearing foundation as a way to protect my skin.

Which brings me to my next point. Some of my primary clients are in the makeup business, and so I’ve been getting more makeup stuff. The bright red Silky Girl Moisture Boost is new, as well as the Maybelline Eyeliner. The rest are stuff I’ve had for a few months now.

So let’s see how long I can continue this trend. Hopefully this will be enough for the time being and I won’t feel the itch to buy more makeup.

Weekly Update!


Pigeons playing by the pool!

Kinda late, mainly because last week was insane. This is why.

Seriously considering creating a new blog series called “NaoRenovates.” Have had two looks at the house, and yeah, it’s been a crazy Chinese New Year week.

Right now, I’ve finalised a renovation wishlist and it’s been given to a contractor for a quotation. I’m going to call HomeMark on Monday tomorrow to see if he needs to measure my house first before recommending the kitchen cabinet or if I can just drop by his office on Saturday to get his opinion.

I’ve also been looking for beds. Right now I’m looking at the Florence Genoa Elegance mattress, which comes with a very simple headboard and divan frame. It’s a bit on the high side of my budget but I like how the mattress feels.

Appliances-wise, I’m still shopping about, but it’s most likely going to be from HLK stores, simply because they seem to have the best prices and savings.

The renovation list is mainly all about the small stuff. Issue with it are simply the room sizes. You can tell it’s a family-oriented home, simply because the living room takes up the most space with the rest of the rooms being rather small.

We shall make do the best we can!

Weekly update!


What in the world is a Standard Male?

Yes, I missed last week’s report, but achievement unlocked, at least a blog post every week so far?

The past one week has been crazy.

I said goodbye to my company and will embarking on a new adventure after Chinese New Year.

I also got the keys to my house on Tuesday (WHICH IS THE PART I’M EXCITED THE MOST ABOUT, CAN YOU TELL???) and with it, all the new homeowner headaches that come with it.

Most of which I got done today.

Paid for the water to be reconnected to the house. Syabas says it’ll take 3 working days, so I’m looking to have running water by next Thursday latest at the house. Applied for the meter to be reconnected to the apartment, this will happen within 3 working days. And then also changed the name on the Cukai Taksiran aka Land Tax with MBPJ. That needs to be paid, but I think I’ll only do it tomorrow.

So yes, HOUSE!!!!!

Which brings me to a relevant tip.

If you are purchasing a home in Malaysia and the home owner has closed both the electricity (Tenaga Nasional) and water (Syabas in Selangor, not sure for other states), make multiple copies of your COMPLETED Sales and Purchase agreement (aka SnP or SPA, depending on what your lawyers use for acronyms).

You will also need copies of your NRIC (if a Malaysian citizen, not sure for foreigners, sorry!). Bring at least RM500 with you in cash, or just RM200 (for Syabas) and a credit card if you don’t want to carry so much money.

I would also recommend taking a full day off.

For Tenaga, aim to be at the Kedai Tenaga by at least 1130am. I was in the New Town branch, and there was a short queue. You can apply online for the power to be reconnected, but I found the offline application to be quite painless. Get a form, fill in, and then show it to the Customer Service Officer. You’ll be submitting the application form, a copy of your NRIC and your SnP.

Hint: if the account is closed, bring along the old account number. That way, when you submit the completed form and your SnP copy, they’ll be able to confirm and let you know the status of the power meter in your new property. Then take the number and wait till they call you.

Remember I said to bring cash or credit card? Once your number’s up, they’ll process your application and take a deposit. This will be dependent on the previous usage of your new house, so they’ll charge you a rough average. Mine was about RM250, and I opted to pay by credit card.

Once you’re done, grab a snack or head over to the 11th floor of Menara MBPJ to change the land tax to your name. You’ll need to submit just your SnP copy and complete the form. Depending on the queue, this can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. Mine was done on a Friday, so it took about 20 minutes, mainly because they had to look up the name of the property.

It’ll be about time to break for lunch, so go and have something to eat before you get into the car. Aim to be at Syabas by 3.30pm latest (I went to Jalan Templer). This is where it gets tedious; you’ll need to get a form from the counter, fill it up (and they ask a LOT of questions in that form) and then submit it with your SnP and NRIC copy to the customer service counter. They’ll ask for a witness to sign your document; just ask any customer there to sign for you. They usually will.

The first submission stage is where Syabas’ process annoyed me. The first customer service person flipped through my documents to make sure all the sections were filled, and then asked me to take a seat; her colleague would process the documents first. This was a twenty minute wait as there were a lot of people before me; it seemed that what she was doing (the second colleague) was simply removing the irrelevant sections of the form, double checking my details, and then RESTAPLING everything.

Really though, did you really need two copies of everything Syabas, and did you really need to have the customer service person do that when the counter person could? No wonder Syabas loses so much money; this process could have been streamlined in so many ways without incurring as much wastage!

Oh yeah, once she calls out for your number, take it and have seat. This part took about ten minutes; when my number was up, I submitted the document and then paid the deposit, which was only in cash (this is why they have an ATM on the premises). Then I had to wait for them to complete the stamping procedure.

By this time, it was already 4.45 pm, and the doors were closed (Syabas closes at 4.30pm, so you will want to be INSIDE the building before then). Once you’ve collected your stamped copy, you’re good to go. Water services will resume 3 working days after you’ve done everything.

With that, congratulations, you’ve just completed the pre-renovation stage!