State of equipment servicing services in Singapore

My electric oven had stopped working after a long period of disuse. I hadn’t got time to troubleshoot the reason for it being out of order, (Out of order:  (of a device) not working properly or at all. Conversely, what do you call an equipment which is in working order? In order? It’s called ‘working’)

Repair man says he will be arriving during the afternoon from 4 to 6pm. Does that mean I’ll need to roll out the red carpet while waiting for Emperor Repair Man’s grand entrance?

Considering there is a charge of $60 for a onsite diagnosis (no repair or parts) and I’ve still got to take time off from work to let this guy in. This is becoming quite an expensive endeavour.

Is there a way/method to fix a specific time (ie. 6pm) for the repair man to arrive?

How to stop Spotify from starting up after login

I thought I had left the Spotify app running when I shutdown the Mac. It turns out that Spotify set itself up to start up after login.

The more interesting thing is that you can’t disable this automatic startup from the Spotify app.

The method to stop Spotify from starting up after login, is to:

  1. Go to > System Preferences > Users and Groups > Login Items
  2. Select Spotify  and click on the  (minus) icon.


Fish food

Caught my eye when reading the online news this morning.

Antidepressants found in brains of fish in Niagara River

The discovery of antidepressants in aquatic life in the river raises serious environmental concerns, says lead scientist Diana Aga, PhD, the Henry M. Woodburn Professor of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.

“These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,” Aga says. “It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned.”

Wastewater treatment facilities have failed to keep pace with the growth of Americans taking anti-depressant drugs, which has risen 65 percent between 1999 and 2002 and 2011-2014, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Treatment plants typically ignore these drugs, which are then released into the environment, Aga says.


I had an inkling of this madness when a study found drugs in the River Thames but this takes the cake since Red meat is bad, Vegetables has levels of pesticides.

Now, does the AVA test for these? I would think the risk of drugs found in sea-dwelling fishes is much lesser than those caught from rivers close to human inhabitation.


Went Macritchie for the treetop walk last weekend. It was a short walk, with a fair bit of people on the trails.

I saw a few Gurkhas walking the trails as well, with a backpack behind them. I’m sure it’s part of their training regime.

I recalled jungle training during my army days and kinda missed the navigation in jungle bit.

Feeling inspired, I reached out to my army buddy and found he’s part of a group organising such trail walks.

I’ll be starting with the walks on the following weekend. I’ll be reusing the old army fieldpack (no webbing) still in serviceable condition. The fieldpack took me from Singapore to Brunei to Thailand, sustaining only superficial cuts.

On a side note, I can’t fathom how a person can get his fieldpack damaged beyond recoverability. Did I get my fieldpack from a good batch? Hmm…

Repairing an unbootable Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

Updating this blog after a busy weekend. I came into possession of a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro ultralight which could not boot up. The BIOS showed the stock 256 GB SSD was not recognized – uh oh not a good sign.

Quickly went to Sim Lim to pick up a replacement (and one with a larger space) mSata SSD – Samsung  850 EVO 500 GB and prepared for the operation.

Something at the back of my head was stopping me from replacing the SSD, so I thought to give another spin on the repair bandwagon. After some mucking around, I managed to resuscitate the Y2P, not after downloading a Windows 8.1 ISO (its free to download but you will need to key in a serial number if you are doing a bare metal install) from Microsoft.

The magic is found within the Repair Options -> Command Line in the Windows 8.1 thumbdrive.

c:\> bootrec /FixMbr
c:\> bootrec /FixBoot
c:\> bootrec /RebuildBcd

The Y2P started to boot up normally. I was able to log into the Windows 8.1 desktop.

All’s well.

Expand iPhone storage using a OTG storage device

I saw a colleague using an OTG storage device to transfer a zip file from the Android phone to the laptop. Thought that I could find something similar for the iPhone.

Turns out that you can access Photos and Videos on the iPhone only. Made sense because Apple would be providing base filesystem access which is disallowed by the sandbox.

Sandisk OTG iXpand Flash Drive

Another easy Saturday (wireless mouse cleaning)

Went to the library to study in the morning, followed by lunch at Fortune Centre and coffee at Mellower (hipster joint, I know).

Recrimped 1 x RJ45 cable and researched for a wireless mouse to replace the two I currently have. Both wireless mouse have scrolling problems (missed scrolls)

Just as I was about to hit Pay on the online website, a thought came across. Why don’t I try cleaning the scroll wheel on the mouse? So I gathered the tools:

  1. Screwdriver,
  2. Denatured Alcohol,
  3. Can of compressed air.

Opened up the mouse and removed the scroll wheel assembly. Surprisingly clean, despite it going places and more than 8 years old. (Dangling white connector – I’ve removed the two-wire connector from the base PCB)

Removed the scroll wheel and wiped the wheel slits clean. The slits triggers a counter in mouse programming to keep track on the number of clicks, thereby translating it to scrolls.

Did you note a possible JTAG header where the ribbon ends? 🙂

Cleaning the scroll wheel with Denatured alcohol on cotton buds and a few blast of compressed air helped to remove the minute debris stuck in-between the slits.

Note the white connectors from the outer shell connected back to the base PCB. A quick test after cleaning and saved another $40 under 10 minutes of work.

Very Naise.

Camera function in Whatsapp main page

[Update July 8th 2017] Surprise surprise! WhatsApp added filters for photos!

Just noticed I can access the camera from the main page in the latest WhatsApp update. I guess there are more people using WhatsApp to send pictures.

After taking a picture, the segue (/intent) transitions to the WhatsApp contact list. Select the contact and the picture is sent.

A copy of the picture resides in the image gallery.

NRIC validation via IVR

Quick blurb! Was making a banking transaction when I was prompted to input NRIC via IVR. Keyed in an incorrect NRIC number and to my surprise, I was informed immediately to rekey! What a good way to test for valid DBS bank accounts (since the NRIC is linked to your bank accounts)!

Thanks DBS!

*There’s likely to be some analytics run on the background to temporary block phone numbers. I have not tried. I will not be held responsible for anyone testing this out.