Saturday, December 08, 2012

The 30 Best Web 2.0 Tools For Teachers (2012 Edition)

Edudemic's Recommendations

If you're looking to try out some of these tools, here are the top 5 tools we recommend you try out (if you haven't already).

Slideshare - Get the credit and audience you deserve for your presentations! They may be embedded in a website just like this one or even on a fancier site like the NYTimes, etc. - A stellar social bookmarking service that is being used by a ton of teachers right now. We try our best to keep the Edudemic feed updated!

PlanBoard - It's an online lesson planner made for teachers. Create, share, and manage lesson plans with simple and easy to use lesson plan templates.

Evernote - Featured in Edudemic Magazine numerous times, we love all things Evernote. It's insanely popular in education and useful for teachers, students, parents, and just about anyone who wants to remember what they've done.

Dropbox - I use Dropbox every day. I had to up to the 100GB size and feel like I'll never fill it up. Great for backing up everything, accessing files remotely (even from your smartphone and tablet) and sharing things. I've seen it used for handing in homework on a regular basis. Also, you can get an extra 3GB free if you have a .edu address!

The Best Web 2.0 Tools For Teachers

  1. Google Drive
  2. Dropbox
  3. CloudMagic
  4. Jumpshare
  5. Weebly
  6. Issuu
  7. ePubBud
  9. Text2MindMap
  10. EdCanvas
  11. KeepVid
  12. TubeChop
  13. GoAnimate
  14. TodaysMeet
  15. Slideshare
  16. Voki
  17. Prezi
  18. Record MP3
  19. Delicious
  20. Jing
  21. Pixlr
  22. Loopster
  23. Evernote
  26. LiveBinders
  28. Zamzar
  29. Poll Everywhere
  30. VoiceThread
  31. PlanBoard
  32. TeachersPayTeachers (TPT)
  33. Gnowledge

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Tutor tutor

Finally, got this tutor website.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Local Time Difference

wordpress WP-o-Matic plugin 
wp set to UTC+8
server time is MDT (UTC-6)
So server time is 14 hours later.
So is the cron job.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Break into VC

What do you do as a Venture Capitalist ?

VC vs PE
in summary :

It depends on your goals – if you're trying to make the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time possible, PE is better.

If you're from a pure finance background and you like the work and transaction experience you get in banking, PE is better.

If you're more interested in starting your own company one day, you prefer relationships to analysis, or you want a better work-life balance, VC is better.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Why companies Hire Consultants

Today's post departs from its usual focus on recruiting to take a 5,000 mile view of the consulting industry and its purpose.

Consultants can have a negative reputation – charging $2 million for 12 week's work
that results in stacks of PowerPoint slides, all of which are archived into a dusty closet (digital or otherwise) soon afterMcKBain Group leaves the premises.

When consultants' recommendations are implemented, employees often argue that the actions are not beneficial and don't reflect day-to-day business realities.

That's one side of the story.

Below, I'll paint a more positive (and personally held) view on the 6 reasons why companies hire consultants. Through it, you'll have a better view on business consulting and the consulting industry as a potential career.

1) Staff augmentation – the least impactful role that consultants can play and self-explanatory. Companies often have short to medium-term staffing needs (in the case of government work, this can extend for several years) due to a variety of factors (eg, recent downsizings, sudden expansion). Consultants in this situation "plug a hole" for the company by filling the role of full-time employees. While expensive, it's common work for operational consultancies (eg, Deloitte andAccenture) and, to a lesser extent, for government consultancies (eg, Booz Allen)

Further reading: Interview with a Booz Allen consultant

2) External change force aka "political cover". It can be hard for companies to do what's right (sacred cows and all that jazz) – particularly when it comes to job layoffs, salary and benefit changes/reduction, major operational and strategic shifts. Hiring consultants can be a way to reach the desired conclusions with sufficient political cover in case certain parties are unhappy (eg, a displeased Board or disgruntled employees) or things go wrong ("Despite the significant cost uptick, we implemented BCG's recommendations to the letter – I'm not sure what we could have done better")

3) Best practices across industries and functions (eg, organization, supply chain) – consultants have the rare privilege of:

  • Serving multiple clients in the same sector (eg, Beverages, Enterprise Software)
  • Serving multiple clients facing similar problems across different sectors (eg, Latin American expansion, Southeast Asia outsourcing)

This enables them to recognize common attributes of effective solutions, applying lessons learned in applicable situations. This knowledge is partially institutionalized at each consulting firm (in the form of white papers, databases, post-project reviews, etc); however, much of the information exists in the collective heads of partners and to a lesser extent, senior consultants.

A former McKinsey partner put it best when he called business consultants "masters at reinventing the wheel"

4) Analytical horsepower

A corollary to staff augmentation, companies may need help solving issues and executing strategies where their skillsets and knowledge are insufficient. Consultants can be of great value given their training and capabilities. A note here on big vs boutique: big consultancies have abreadth of resources that they can bring to bear on problems (eg, data mining and analytics, primary market research). Boutiques may have specialized expertise on specific dimensions (eg, retail pricing best practices, financial industry benchmarks).

Further reading: Global consulting firms versus boutiques

5) Fresh perspective

Companies often need a fresh set of eyes – you'd be amazed at the amount of value consultants can add based on the most mundane observations and insights. Critics contend that this is an example of consultants selling "glorified common sense", but for front-line client employees, it can be easy to fall into daily routines without a critical eye towards measurement, analysis, and improvement.

6) Training and skillset augmentation

I'd argue that every consulting project – particularly ones with heavy client interaction – incorporates client training as a major ingredient. The best recommendations are worthless if clients can't implement and maintain suggested changes. Thus, a large part of what consultants do is educate client employees on necessary knowledge, skills, and mindsets.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


1. Soundbar - Renasas R8C MCU + Intersil DAE-4p
    a. remote control
    b. LED / LCD indicator
    c. 2.0/2.1 channle
    d. 4 buildin sound effect
    e. different EQ settings
    f. Wired/wireless subwoofer

2. 2.4G remote control - Nordic solution LE1 + LU1 
    a. PWM output
    b. buttons to report page up/down
    c. working mode indicating

3. NEC IR protocol - MSP430 implementation

4. UPS Control - Freescale JS16
     USB HID Power class

5. Remote Keyboard - Nordic solution
6. FTK touch pad for windows 8 - ST solution, absolute value, support windows 8 multitouch gestures.
    a. convert I2C data to USB and report to windows 8
    b. ST MCU to convert touch panel data to standard USB HID data
    c. support mult-touch and gestures defined in windows 8
    d. need more to enable track pad.

7. Remote Keyboard + touch pad - nordic + elan
    a. remote key board CAP led
    b. paring scheme
    c. switch touch pad running mode
8. DALI lighting slave MCU - freescal SH8
    a. IEC 60386 - 101/102/107 standard
    b. extra input to smooth PWM output
    c. over heat protect
    d. analog signal to adjust output

Thursday, August 30, 2012

what's new in HID - windows 8

Design Guide

The Design Guide has been rewritten to provide a more comprehensive coverage of HID support in Windows 8. This rewrite includes a new Overview, a section describing HID Clients, a section describing HID Transports, and a section describing Non-HID Legacy Devices.

HID Over I2C

The HID protocol originally targeted human interface devices like: keyboards, mice, and joysticks. It was originally developed to run over USB. For Windows 8, Microsoft created a new HID miniport driver that allows devices to communicate over an Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C bus).

Related topics

Design Guide

HID Over I2C

Related Resources:




what's new in HID - windows 8

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

NXP DALI solution - M0

NXP is making it easy for lighting designers to upgrade from 8-bit microcontrollers without increasing costs. The extra-low-power options available with NXP microcontrollers make it a compelling solution for DALI lighting systems, where total energy savings are a critical factor.

The DALI evaluation systems feature the LPC1114 Cortex-M0 based microcontroller and can steer lighting drivers for solid state or compact fluorescent lighting applications.

USB in a NutShell

SimpleLink WiFi Module from LS Research


  • Embedded Wi-Fi and Networking Software Including Drivers, Stack, and Supplicant
  • Best-in-class Link Budget:
    • Tx Power: +20dBm at 11Mb-CCK
    • Rx Sensitivity: –89dBm at 11Mb-CCK
  • Compact Code Size (as low as 6KB Flash and 3KB RAM) Required
    for Host Microcontroller
  • FCC/IC and Wi-Fi Certified, ETSI-tested, Production-ready Module
    Offered by LS Research
  • U.FL with Dipole Antenna or Chip Antenna FCC/IC certified,
    ETSI-tested Design Guides Available
  • Integrated TCXO and Power Management
  • Small Form Factor Module (21mm × 14mm × 2.8mm)
  • Full Industrial Temperature Range: (–40°C to 85°C)
  • Proven Wi-Fi Interoperability
  • Complete Platform Solution Including API Guide, Sample Applications,
    Support Community, User and Porting Guides are Provided by TI
  • Antenna Design, Certification, Design Customization Available through LS Research

HID Over I2C Protocol Specification

The Human Interface Device (HID) protocol was first defined for universal serial bus (USB)-attached input devices. These include, for example, keyboards, mice, remote controls, and buttons. The protocol itself is bus agnostic and has been ported across various transports, including Bluetooth and other wired and wireless technologies. This specification identifies the protocol, procedures and features for simple input devices to talk to HID over I2C.

This protocol has been implemented on Windows 8 operating systems. For additional details on how this protocol works on Windows 8, please refer to details in the Human Input Devices section of the Windows Driver Development documentation.

This information applies for the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8

Included in this white paper:

  • Overview of HID
  • Pertinent scenarios
  • Descriptors and reports
  • Power management
  • Example: Sensors implementation

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

How to Print Date on Photo

1. Picasa Add Text
2. Download photo dater. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Guide to Buying and Shipping From Amazon to Singapore

Guide to Buying and Shipping From Amazon to Singapore

This guide is written for Singaporeans or those living in Singapore, and is last updated on 16 Feb 2012.

It should help you decide whether to buy from Amazon. I have bought items from all Amazon branches except from the China, Italy and Spain branches.

In this guide, Amazon US will be referred to as, UK branch as etc.

For buying digital content like mp3, ebooks, etc, read Guide on buying Amazon Digital Content Outside of US.

1. Introduction

Why buy from Amazon?

1. Even after including shipping cost, some items are still cheaper than local prices. This is particularly true for books and video discs from Amazon US.

2. Their variety is amazingly huge.

3. Their customer service is excellent. They have great return and refund policies. You'll have to pay for return shipping charges though.

4. There is no GST if your package (including shipping cost) is under SGD$400. If you want to get SGD$600 worth of stuff, you should split them up into two orders, each under $400.

When is it not suitable to buy from Amazon?

1. If you need the item urgently. Shipping time varies. Shipment may get delayed at customs, post offices, etc.

2. They don't usually ship electronics to Singapore. Visit Amazon Global page to see products that ship globally.

If you do want electronics, you can use services like vPostComgateway or Borderlinx (Citibank card users only) who act as third party forwarder to ship your items to Singapore. surface shipping is free for certain dollar amount so you just have to pay for the forwarder's shipping charges. I once paid $25 to vPost to ship a software package, the size of 3 CD cases, which is very expensive. For Comgateway, it's US$23 to ship a Kindle and case.

3. Generally, the more expensive the item is in Singapore, the more you'll save from Amazon. When price differences are small, it's not worth the effort and you should support local retailers instead.

2. The different Amazon branches

I shall now talk specifically about each Amazon branch. The shipping charges listed below are all meant for shipments to Singapore.

(box) is a per shipment charge, (item) is per item. There can be many items in one box shipment.

Note that sometimes Amazon might ship your items in separate shipments (at their cost). Happens when your items come from different fulfillment centres.

Also listed are the sales tax, which is only applicable to their local residence. We don't have to pay their sales tax - item will be cheaper as a result. For example, if you're getting a book that cost $100 Euro from Amazon Germany (sales tax of 7%), you'll only need to pay $93 Euro. Shipping charges still remain the same. (source)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard Shipping 17-31 days
    Books - US4.99 (box) - US4.99 (item)
    Disc - US4.99 (box) - US3.99 (item)
  • Expedited Shipping 12-19 days
    Books - US13.99 (box) - US5.99 (item)
    Disc - US13.99 (box) - US3.99 (item)
  • Priority Shipping 3-7 days
    Books - US29.99 (box) - US5.99 (item)
    Disc - US29.99 (box) - US3.99 (item)

I've had rare occasions where boxes take two months to arrive.

Generally, the more expensive a book is in Singapore, the cheaper it is in USA. It depends on currency rates of course.

For bulky or heavy items, there's an additional surcharge of US8 (standard shipping) or US10 (expedited and priority shipping). Anything more than 5 pounds (2.26kg) is considered heavy. (source) - (Sales tax: 16% for electronics)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard airmail 8-12 days
    Books - UK5.49 (box) - UK2.99 (item)
    Disc - UK2.09 (box) - UK1.49 (item)
  • Priority Express 2-4 days
    Books - UK20.99 (box) - UK1.59 (item)
    Disc - UK20.99 (box) - UK1.59 (item)

Sometimes books here are cheaper than on Amazon US. This price difference is due to exchange rates and sometimes the book distribution agreement. Their per item shipping charge is lower.

The delivery is about 10-14 days, from my experience with Standard airmail. (source)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard 8-12 weeks
    Books - CA9.99 (box) - CA5.49 (item)
    Disc - CA4.99 (box) - CA2.49 (item)
  • Expedited 2-4 weeks
    Books - CA15.99 (box) - CA8.99 (item)
    Disc - CA9.99 (box) - CA3.99 (item)
  • Priority 3-7 days
    Books - CA19.99 (box) - CA9.99 (item)
    Disc - CA19.99 (box) - CA4.99 (item)

If you're not going for Priority shipping, the shipping time is very long. The per-item shipping charge is quite high. (source) - (Sales tax: 7% for normal products, 16% for electronics)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard 7-9 days
    Euro14 (box)
  • Express 2-12 days
    Euro40 (box)

There are no per item charges. This is the best place to do bulk purchases. However, items sold in Europe are relatively pricey. You might be able to find some electronics that can ship direct from Amazon Germany.

The delivery is about 2 weeks, from my experience with Standard shipping. (source) - (Sales tax: 5.5% for normal products, 16% for electronics)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard 12-15 days
    Euro13 (box) - Euro1.90 (item)
  • Express 2-6 days
    Euro19 (box) - Euro1.85 (item)

Again, items in Europe are pricey. There are per item shipping charges in addition to the box charges. (source)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard 12-15 days
    Euro14 (box)
  • Express 2-6 days
    Euro20 (box)

There's no per-item charge so this is also the place for bulk purchases. Items from Amazon Italy are also quite pricey. I've not bought here so I can't comment on the shipping time. (source)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • Standard 12-15 days
    Euro14 (box)
  • Express 12-15 days
    Euro20 (box)

There's no per-item charge so this is also the place for bulk purchases. Items from Amazon Spain are quite pricey. I've not bought here so I can't comment on the shipping time. The standard and express shipping times are the same but at different charges. (source) - (Sales tax: 5%)

Shipping charges and delivery times:

  • International Express 2-5 business days
    Books - 1900 yen (box) - 300 yen (item)
    Discs - 1400 yen (box) - 300 yen (item)

The only shipping option is International Express. The per shipment charge is expensive, but per item charge is relatively cheap.

Shipping is very fast. I've the shipping date confirmation on a Friday and it was here next Monday.

In general, the Japanese books in Kino are 20-30% more expensive than Amazon Japan (with per item charge but no per box added). Buying from Kino means you don't have to pay the hefty per shipment charge. Again, if you're buying a few books, Kino's price doesn't look very good already.

Amazon third party merchants

If Amazon doesn't ship the item you want overseas, try the Amazon third party merchants. Merchants who can ship overseas will indicate on their page with "international shipping available". Each merchant has their own shipping rates and time. Generally, their shipping is more expensive than Amazon.

There's no consolidation orders for different items even if bought from the same merchant. E.g. If you buy a book and a DVD from a merchant, it will be shipped out in two boxes, and hence there will be two per-box charges.

3. Examples on calculating shipping charges

I shall use Amazon US shipping rates, the Standard Shipping, for these examples. Price of the items are not included.

For an order of 1 book:
US4.99 (box) + US4.99 (item)

2 books:
US4.99 (box) + (2 x US4.99) (item)

2 discs:
US4.99 (box) + (2 x US3.99) (item)

1 book, 1 disc:
US4.99 (box) + US4.99 (book) + US3.99 (disc)

The box charge, or per shipment charge, is always there.

By the way...

If you find this article helpful, consider making your purchase through any Amazon link on my blog. I get a little commission for those purchases, at no additional cost on your part. The other simple way to help is to hit the Facebook Like button to share this article with your friends.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Remove unwanted empty lines

Use either of the following commands to delete all empty lines:

  :g/^$/d  :v/./d  

If you want to delete all lines that are empty or that contain only whitespace characters (spaces, tabs), use either of:

  :g/^\s*$/d  :v/\S/d  

In the second command, v operates on lines that do not match, and \S matches anything that is not a whitespace, and d deletes the flagged lines (all lines that have no characters, or that have only whitespace characters).

You may want to condense multiple blank lines into a single blank line. The following will delete all trailing whitespace from each line, then replace three or more consecutive line endings with two line endings (a single blank line):

  :%s/\s\+$//e  :%s/\n\{3,}/\r\r/e  

The e substitute flag means that no error is displayed if the pattern is not found. In the second command, \n in the search pattern finds newline, while \r in the replacement inserts a newline.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Documents Required to Register a Birth 
Documents Required to Register a Birth 

Parents/Informants are required to produce the following documents to the Registration Officer when registering births: 

  • Notification of Live Birth (BD 50) issued by a doctor or midwife.
  • Original identity cards of both parents. (Parents who are non-Singaporeans are required to produce their foreign IC/Passport, entry permit and embarkation/disembarkation cards issued by the Singapore Immigration and Registration Department.)
  • The parent's original marriage certificate.
  • A letter of authorisation from the parents of the child, if registration is done by another person other than the parents.

Ethnic Characters of Child's Name 

Parents are requested to choose their child's name carefully and have it ready at the time of the registration. Ethnic characters of the child's name in Chinese, Jawi or Tamil can be included in the child's birth certificate. This is optional but parents/informants must ensure the accuracy of the ethnic characters furnished. 

Parents/Informants of births will have to write the ethnic characters in the birth certificate himself or herself. If they are unable to do so, they will have to bring someone to write it on their behalf. 

Surname of Child 

Any surname of the child to be entered in respect of the registration of the child's birth shall be that of the child's father. In cases where the child is illegitimate and the father is not an informant of the birth, the surname, if any, shall be that of the child's mother. 

Amendments to Birth Certificates 

Parents/Informants are advised to check all particulars entered in the Birth Certificate before signing the document, and before it is laminated. Any changes or amendments to a birth certificate after it has been laminated will have to be made at the RBD located at the Singapore Immigration & Registration (SIR) Building, 10 Kallang Road.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Linux find the memory used by a program / process using pmap command 

Linux find the memory used by a program / process using pmap command


You can find the memory used by a program (process) by looking into /proc directory or using standard command such as ps or top. However, you must calculate all memory usage by hand i.e. add Shared Memory + mapped file + total virtual memory size of the process + Resident Set Size + non-swapped physical memory used by process.

So how do you find the memory used by a process or program under Linux? Use a tool called pmap. It reports the memory map of a process or processes.

pmap examples

To display process mappings, type
$ pmap pid
$ pmap 3724


 3724:   /usr/sbin/lighttpd -f /etc/lighttpd/lighttpd.conf 0000000000400000    164K r-x--  /usr/sbin/lighttpd 0000000000629000     12K rw---  /usr/sbin/lighttpd 000000000bb6b000   4240K rw---    [ anon ] 00000035ee600000    104K r-x--  /lib64/ 00000035ee819000      4K r----  /lib64/ 00000035ee81a000      4K rw---  /lib64/ 00000035eea00000   1304K r-x--  /lib64/ 00000035eeb46000   2048K -----  /lib64/ 00000035eed46000     16K r----  /lib64/ 00000035eed4a000      4K rw---  /lib64/ 00000035eed4b000     20K rw---    [ anon ] 00000035eee00000      8K r-x--  /lib64/ 00000035eee02000   2048K -----  /lib64/ ..... .... 00002aaaac51e000      4K r----  /lib64/ 00002aaaac51f000      4K rw---  /lib64/ 00007fff7143b000     84K rw---    [ stack ] ffffffffff600000   8192K -----    [ anon ]  total            75180K

The -x option can be used to provide information about the memory allocation and mapping types per mapping. The amount of resident, non-shared anonymous, and locked memory is shown for each mapping:
pmap -x 3526

 3526:   -bash Address           Kbytes     RSS    Anon  Locked Mode   Mapping 0000000000400000     700       -       -       - r-x--  bash 00000000006ae000      40       -       -       - rw---  bash 00000000006b8000      20       -       -       - rw---    [ anon ] 00000000008b7000      32       -       -       - rw---  bash 00000000098de000     536       -       -       - rw---    [ anon ] 00000035ee600000     104       -       -       - r-x-- 00000035ee819000       4       -       -       - r---- 00000035ee81a000       4       -       -       - rw--- 00000035eea00000    1304       -       -       - r-x-- 00000035eeb46000    2048       -       -       - ----- 00000035eed46000      16       -       -       - r---- 00000035eed4a000       4       -       -       - rw--- 00000035eed4b000      20       -       -       - rw---    [ anon ] 00000035eee00000       8       -       -       - r-x-- 00000035eee02000    2048       -       -       - ----- 00000035ef002000       4       -       -       - r---- 00000035ef003000       4       -       -       - rw--- 00000035ef600000      12       -       -       - r-x-- 00000035ef603000    2044       -       -       - ----- 00000035ef802000       4       -       -       - rw--- 00002aaaaaaab000       4       -       -       - rw---    [ anon ] 00002aaaaaaba000      12       -       -       - rw---    [ anon ] 00002aaaaaabd000      40       -       -       - r-x-- 00002aaaaaac7000    2044       -       -       - ----- 00002aaaaacc6000       4       -       -       - r---- 00002aaaaacc7000       4       -       -       - rw--- 00002aaaaacc8000   55112       -       -       - r----  locale-archive 00002aaaae29a000      28       -       -       - r--s-  gconv-modules.cache 00002aaaae2a1000       8       -       -       - rw---    [ anon ] 00007fff9bff4000      92       -       -       - rw---    [ stack ] ffffffffff600000    8192       -       -       - -----    [ anon ] ----------------  ------  ------  ------  ------ total kB           74496       -       -       -

Good way to release product to customer.

It sounds like there are other differences between your release and debug build then simply the absence/presence of the -g flag. Assuming that's the case, there is nothing you can do right now, but you can adjust your build to handle this better:

Here's what we do at my place of work.

  1. Include the -g flag when building the release version.
  2. Archive that version.
  3. run strip --strip-unneeded on the binary before shipping it to customers.

Now, when we get a crash we can use the archived version with symbols to do debugging.

One thing to note is that if your release version includes optimization, debugging may be difficult even with symbols. For example, the optimizer can reorder your code so even though the debugger will say you crashed on line N, you can't assume that the code actually executed line N-1.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

compare binary files

cmp -l file1.bin file2.bin | awk '{printf "%08X %02X %02X\n", $1, strtonum(0$2), strtonum(0$3)}'

gvim -d <(xxd -c 1 ~/file1.bin | awk '{print $2, $3}') <(xxd -c 1 ~/file2.bin | awk '{print $2, $3}')