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Yahoo’s A Fickle Girlfriend: Microsoft’s Dumped, Google’s Loved!

Jun 13th, 2008 | By | Category: Google AdWords, MSN AdCenter, News & Updates, Online Marketing, Pay Per Click, Technology Brands, Yahoo Overture

A few hours ago, Yahoo gave up on its talks with Microsoft and decided that a search deal with them wasn’t going to be worth it. Pretty expected reaction considering Microsoft had dumped Yahoo and refused to buy the business as a whole after Yahoo had acted all cheerleader like in the last negotiation.

So, guess what Yahoo did. Like an insecure little high school girl, they signed a 10 YEAR deal with Google … now Yahoo search is going to show Panama ads, as well as Google ads.It’s a non-exclusive deal (which means Yahoo can exercise judgment in showing yahoo, google or any other ads), and it’s up for renewal in four years.

Okay, I agree that I’m being a little too critical … my bad. I was just hoping that Yahoo could give an interesting fight in the market place … I look forward to good competition in my market place.

As Wall Street reacts, you can see that Yahoo stocks are way down … Google & Microsoft stocks are up. I guess who know who got dumped and desperately found a new boyfriend. Blah!

Jerry Yang’s phone call with investors was interesting, he said there was a possibility that Yahoo could sell Image ads inventory to Google in the deal too. Yeah right, there’s a long way to go before Google gives up on its Image ad potential and decides to take cues from Yahoo.

I think the situation is pretty ridiculous.

  • Reports say that this could add as much as $800 million in revenue each year. Microsoft offered Yahoo $48 BILLION! For the Yahoo share-holders, this increased revenue is going to take decades to come back to them.
  • I certainly don’t think it’s great for competition. Google is a great, innovative company. But if Yahoo & Microsoft all give in, I don’t think it’s going to be good for the whole industry.
  • Who in their right mind is going to advertise on Yahoo Panama any longer? I’ll just place my bets with Google and because of the competition there, Yahoo will be forced to show Google’s ads instead of its own there.
  • I’m not a huge fan of Microsoft Live. They haven’t hit the pulse of customer requirements yet … but Live.come has some interesting new business models (like the one that rewards customers for shopping from there). I would have liked to see Yahoo’s muscle behind that to see if it works …

But as a advertisers and an advertising consultant, I have to admit … my job just got a lot easier.

To all my dear clients, we’re shutting down Yahoo accounts in the next 6 months … although the ROIs are great, it’s going to get harder and harder to gain any traction with such little traffic.

Let’s jump on the AdWords bandwagon!

So, now’s a good time to get started on the Google Platform. Advertise with Adwords. Analyze with Analytics. Test with Website Optimizer.

Making A Site For An Artist

Jun 3rd, 2008 | By | Category: News & Updates, Online Marketing, Website Branding

A few days ago, I was called by someone who found out I was in the web business. She’s an offline graphic artist – A painter for those who speak english :) . Clearly, she was excited about having a website and told me she wanted to have a website to display her paintings online.

Now, in the old days that would’ve meant a tedious HTML concoction which I would have to update every time she had a new painting. But in the new world, my job has become very simple. Blogs have evolved into “Photo Blogs” … blogs specifically for the purpose of showing off photos. And I thought this is perfect for a painter showing off her photos.

As I dealt deeper, here was the criteria she wanted for her site:

  • Simple site to display her paintings
  • She should be able to update it herself
  • Have pages like “About Me” or “Contact Me” for her profile
  • Display full sized images if people click on thumbnails

She was willing to leave all the design issues to me, so I went ahead and deployed one of my favorite photo blog templates, did a little bit of logo customization, uploaded her content and wallah! We have a brand new website.

(Okay you got me, there were a lot of little steps like hosting setup, domain setup, wordpress setup, template customization, testing plugins, proof-reading content, bla bla bla … but if I had typed them out, it would have taken the “wallah” magic away from the paragraph :P )

Overall, it’s a simple effective website that works pretty well … check it out (click on the image below). by Rachit Dayal

Visiting Startup @ Singapore 2008

May 26th, 2008 | By | Category: Entrepreneurship, Online Marketing, Personal Stories, Technology Brands, Website Branding

Saturday was a very interesting day – I was judging business plans at Startup @ Singapore 2008. S@S is a business plan competition that allows young entrepreneurs to put their bright ideas into a plan, and if its good – earn about $30,000 in prize money to get it started.

I was allocated into judging for a room which mainly focussed on web services and online applications. I guess it made sense – my co-judges in the room – Alex, Shir Li, Mr Boon and Col. Chan – most of them also specialized in online media and web portals.

Here’re the contestants:

  • A very interesting new dating site. Instead of messaging profiles, you’d bid on events that other people had set up. Going for events is certainly less daunting than messaging people based on their profile. Although we thought there were more interesting applications for this, it was a smart idea.
  • An online marketplace for digital artists. There was actually nothing ground-breaking about this (technologically), but these guys knew their market well, and they were fulfilling a need and niche that nobody was bothering with.
  • A venture by an Ivy league alumni. Something about marketing to Ivy leage alumni because they’re rich. Seemed like an idea that would make money – but the guy who was presenting the idea wasn’t able to relate to us in the room. He seemed to be speaking to a group of academics at MIT, instead of real world businesspeople. Idea with potential. Absolutely no plan. Terrible, loud presentation.
  • Another online dating venture from the founder of a popular dating company. And a generally smart idea. The best part about this venture was that this team had the experience and connections to actually make money with this venture. Their differentiation was that it would be an online video speed date. Good idea, except many judges felt that the Intellectual Property is very weak. Any dating site with deep pockets can replicate the technology
  • There was another company which just sort of chickened out at the last minute. I have no respect for them. They worked so hard to create a business plan and couldn’t show up for a presentation! Grrrr…
  • Anyway, it was a tough fight in our room with the top three team being placed very closely. One company understood the market very well. Another had the experience to make this work. And a third had an industry-changing concept. Tough fight.

    In the afternoon, our room fought it out with the other judges from other rooms – There were some good ideas in other rooms too. But we were the only room to take three teams to the delibration room (Everyone else brought only 1 or 2).

    Anyway, after hours of fighting, we decided upon one team advancing into the finals. To be honest, I think they need some work and I’d probably invest my money in one of the other two teams. But the decision was unanimous and they did a good job.

    An interesting afternoon for me – met a lot of great people in my industry. And other judges who were luminous in their own industry. And it gave me a lot of thoughts about what makes a good business vs what wins a business plan competition.

    Revolutionary ideas win business plans. It’s as simple as that. Revolutionary technology. Or revolutionary market potential. Or revolutionary team.

    I wouldnt necessarily invest my money in revolutionary businesses – but at least that’s a tip for anyone else who participates in a business plan competition :)

    One of the writers I admire is called Yanik Silver. He just spent the weekend with Richard Branson and wrote up his 34 rules for maverick entrepreneurs. Should be a must read for anyone in business.

    Further Reading: 34 Rules for Maverick Entrepreneurs

    Brand New Site People!

    May 23rd, 2008 | By | Category: Copywriting, This Site, Website Branding, White Papers & Reports

    After spending three whole weeks building other people’s websites, it was finally time to upgrade my own site. I wasn’t able to upgrade it in most of May because of my ongoing website sale (there were hosted videos that I didn’t want to touch). But now that the sale is over, I can finally deploy the brand new site!

    Here are the salient new features of the site:

    • Wider – More content for you to read
    • Cleaner – A lot fewer colors and more white space
    • Carousel Homepage – See the top area of the home page
    • Magazine style

    There are a lot more changes – and this allows me to add more stuff to the site – I’ve been dying to add all my free white papers, some free tools and some other goodies on the site. And this wide structure finally allows me to do that!

    This weekend, I’ll be judging Startup@Singapore Business Plan competition – So expect to hear about that. Moreover, I’m just finishing designing 3 sites (and starting on 3 more) … so plenty of web design and wordpress tips coming up. Finally, all my old white papers on Web Design, Google AdWords and Usability are coming back online next week.

    Blog Redux

    May 10th, 2008 | By | Category: This Site

    After many months of laziness on both my blogs ( and … I’ve finally decided to do something about it. So, I made the painful decision to shut down and focus all my blogging energies on

    Actually, it wasn’t all that painful. Both my blogs have been dead for several months now. So, it was an easy decision to focus my energies on just one blog. The only thing that was stopping me from merging the two blogs was this:

    • was a very personal blog – I wrote about my inner thoughts, experiments with personal development, my growth in skill of using NLP and Hypnosis and even a fair bit of romance! I didn’t know if that stuff would be appropriate for this blog.
    • I have a very annoying bug in my blog … every few days, my web hosting automatically creates a folder called “blog” … which stops my blog from being accessible! I have to log in and delete that folder and that usually causes a delay. I still haven’t figured out a cause, but I’m biting the bullet and doing the merge anyway – If any of you have any ideas of why my web host would create a “blog” folder by itself … then please drop a comment here.

    So, I guess you can expect a bunch of short posts from me regularly now … spread over a variety of topics.

    Here’s What I Expect To Be Doing Over The Next Few Days

    • Importing all the blog posts from my old blog – It could be a bit of an issue, because that is WordPress 2.0.2 and that version didn’t do WordPress WXR exports yet (WXR is a very nice XML based backup system for wordpress, exports all posts and comments into XML … makes it easy to backup and move blogs).
    • Handle domain and file structure issues with the old blog – I haven’t decided whether to shut down the old site or not. Maybe I’ll keep it as a gallery of some of my old infamous posts. Otherwise, I’ll be doing 301 redirects from that site to this.
    • Fixing the automatic folder creation problem – Somewhere in my web hosts karma, I’ve pissed it off. So it automatically creates a “blog” folder which I don’t want. I have to figure out a solution for that.
    • Publicize my “May Income Tax Website Sale” … There’s less than a week left in my website sale, and I might do a little promotion on it, before raising my prices again on the 15th of the month.
    • Do a visual upgrade – A good blog theme I’ve been customizing has been waiting in the wings for a while. I have to come around to deploying it in the next few days.
    • Celebrate my two years of blogging! May 11th, 2006 was the first time I wrote a blog post … it was a deeply personal (and surprisingly incoherent blog).

    Thanks for reading – it’s good to be back kids!

    I Can Bend Spoons!

    Feb 12th, 2008 | By | Category: Health & Healing, Hypnosis, NLP, Personal Development, Personal Stories

    Do you remember the great scene from The Matrix, when Neo meets a little kid who’s bending spoons?


    A couple of weeks ago, some friends of mine had gone for a spoon bending class  here (Singapore) and they came back to show off their spoons. At that point I started believing that if they could do it, I could too!

    And this morning I got an email from Pete that we will be doing spoon-bending at the next coach training. I expect to be elsewhere during that time, so I figured let me bend spoons this morning!

    I’m not new to hypnosis singapore … but I am relatively new to meditation. So when I googled “spoon bending”, I was hoping to find some sleight of hand or trick for doing this.

    Instead, I stumbled upon this site … and the instructions seemed easy enough. And then I saw this video – that really got me pumped up! It was the first hour of my awakening in the morning, so I decided that today … instead of meditation, I’m going to bend spoons!

    I’ve read reports that people weren’t able to do it without the company of other “believing’ people … but I guess it’s all about belief. I’m really pumped up and pretty sure I can do it … and after meditating for about 30 seconds and mentally chanting “Bend Bend Bend”, I was able to bend the spoons!

    (Although I haven’t yet tried it in front of other disbelieving people … that’s an experiment for another day!).

    Like someone in the forums said, the spoon didn’t bend by itself. I still had to put force to bend it … but it was easy … it became softer (like rubber) for a few seconds.

    It was only first time, so I started with two spoons – one thin and one thick. When I started, I could only bend the thin one about 90 degrees. The second time, when I had fine-tuned my bending routineI hadn’t been able to bend it without meditation. It definitely did feel much softer, like it wasn’t steel but something else.

    My Strategy for spoon bending is as follows:

    My strategy is only slightly different from the one at … I guess I customized it knowing myself. But I’m pretty sure it will work for you.

    • Take a bunch of spoons and “feel” which ones will bend (Yeah, I know it sounds cooky, but I did it anyway. I don’t think it made a huge difference, I could’ve bent any one of them).
    • Before you begin, try to bend the spoon by brute force. You won’t be able to do much (unless its a really skinny spoon). This is important so that you can be amazed by your own power later.
    • Make sure you watch the video above, so you know what happens to the spoon. That will help form the visualization pictures in your head.
    • Gently have a conversation with the spoon – and say “You Will Bend For Me”. Really believe it (shouldn’t be that hard to believe after the video).
    • Start meditating/deep breathing. As you breathe in, imagine the energy from the universe going through you and collecting in the form of a golden ball on the top of your head.
    • Breathe deeper. Start rubbing the spoon at the point you want to bend it (best to start with the point between the handle and valley).
    • With every breath, continue to imagine the golden ball growing and say to the spoon – You will bend for me.
    • Continue this deep breathing for about 30 deep breaths. Make them faster and more energetic towards the final 15.
    • Then stop for a second. Look away. Look back at the point you’ve chosen. Imagine the golden ball of energy shooting in a straight line to the point you’ve chosen.
    • Say out loud “Bend! Bend! Bend!” and start bending the spoon. It will become softer like rubber.
    • It really will be softer, it’s okay to use force to bend it, remember to be in an energetic trance state and command the spoon to bend.
    • If it’s your first spoon, it will probably just bend a little bit. That’s okay, you bent a spoon! Now do it again and twist it this time.

    Here are the pictures from my first time:


    If anyone reading this decides to try this … or wants to learn this at The Pathlight Centre’s hypnosis course in Singapore, please leave a comment!

    Microsoft Offers to buy Yahoo! for 44.6 billion!

    Feb 1st, 2008 | By | Category: Google AdWords, MSN AdCenter, Technology Brands, Yahoo Overture

    In my last post, more than six months ago … I had outlined a plan for Yahoo to slowly recover from its missteps.

    Well, I didn’t see any of those steps happening. Instead, Terry Semel (the then CEO) was kicked out. As of January 31st 2008, he’s also been kicked out of the board of directors.

    In his place came in Jerry Yang, the founder of Yahoo. Yang proclaimed that he would make fundamental changes – start by optimizing the work-force and no major announcements.

    Well, at least he stuck to the no major announcements part …

    In the six months since Yang took over, Yahoo!’s search market share is gone down further, it’s revenues have been barely keeping even and it just announced it would lay off 1000 people.

    Well, apparently that’ll do the trick. Because 2 days after the job-cut announcement, Microsoft has made an unsolicited bid to buy Yahoo … for 44.6 billion! That’s a 31% premium over the current market price. Since that announcement less than an hour ago, Yahoo’s share prices have jumped up too.

    Now, 44.6 billion might seem like a huge number … but it’s really not that big. Consider Google, which is three times its size. Even facebook, a new kid on the block has a unofficial market cap of almost 15 billion.

    Anyway, as a marketer … these business details are not my concern. So, I’ll make my predictions about what’s gonna happen in the marketing world if this merger goes through …

    • First off, the merger is not going to be painless. Anti-trust organizations around the world are going to complain because Yahoo & MSN both have tremendous market shares outside the US. So wait for a few months of haggling.
    • When the merger happens, there will be major internal problems in the new Yahoo. Back in the day, Yahoo was one of the most innovative companies around. And Microsoft was the “grown-up kid”, the company that did things the slow, old fashioned way. Then Google came along and they did things at breakneck speed. So, now Yahoo’s stuck between Google & Microsoft in innovative company culture … and joining up with Microsoft will only make it slower.
    • Obviously, MSN AdCenter and Yahoo Search Marketing will eventually merge. Expect that merger to take 2 years. Add another six months for the aQuantitative system to merge. And when all of that happens, the system will still be inferior to Google AdWords. MS-Yahoo is not going to catch up in the search game in the next few years, but they will continue to struggle anyway.
    • One area they will succeed will be business advertising. They will start bidding higher prices and acquire exclusivity to websites important for business customers (they’ll probably look at another troubled company – Cnet networks next). What that will do is it will create two different market segments in Online Marketing – big companies will rush to MS-Yahoo, smaller players will mainly work with Google. And MS-Yahoo’s growth will not come from text ads, they will have to give that up.
    • Another area they will succeed is business applications. Despite Gmail’s hype, Yahoo mail and Hotmail have 30-50 times the number of subscribers. Despite Google Docs’ buzz, MS Office (and it’s online edition) will have way more revenues. If Microsoft ports its successful desktop applications into a hosted, subscription model and spread that cost over 3-4 years, there will be many more takers than Google Docs.
    • And finally – my biggest prediction. MS-Yahoo will eventually gain credibility and buzz again. Not in online marketing, but in mobile marketing. They will be considerably ahead of Google in coming up and selling Mobile apps and getting licensing/subscription/advertising fees for those. And that’s where the future lies for this merger – a brand new area. Search advertising is a lost cause for the next 5 years.

    Well, those were my thoughts … what do you think about this merger? Comment back!

    Are You A Right-Brainer Or Left-Brainer?

    Oct 10th, 2007 | By | Category: NLP

    Here’s a very simple test to see if you’re using your right brain more … or your left brain. I found the awesome graphic at here …

    Look at the image below – is the dancer turning clockwise? or anti-clockwise?

    As the link says, people who see the dancer turning clockwise are using more of their right brain. If you’re using the dancer turning anti-clockwise, you’re using more of the left brain.

    You can make a conscious effort to change the direction of the dancer (I closed my eyes and imagined the dancer going the other direction … when I opened my eyes, the dancer changed direction to anti-clockwise) … but the first instinct of the dancer’s direction is probably a good bet.

    So, what does it mean if you’re right brain or left brain?

    Both sides of the brain control different sides of our personality. If you have to narrow it down – Right brain is creativity … Left brain is logic.

    If you wanna break it down … this graphic should explain things for you …

    Using this knowledge in real life …

    I first learnt the concept of right-brain and left-brain while spending time with Adam Khoo … here’s a guy who learnt this concept of whole-brain-learning, mind maps and speed reading and applied it all through his life.

    And so I learnt that our left brain is the one that control logic and analytics. And all through our life and education system (school, college), we focus on building our skills for the left brain.

    But our right brain is the “holistic” learning centre. It is in charge of creativity, feeling, fantasy, possibility … and we need to make an extra effort to train it in order to get the most out of our lives.

    Since the time I learnt about this concept, I have been training both sides of my brain and I must say I’m more satisfied with my thinking now. When I need to be analytical, I’m much better at making strategies. When I need to be creative, I’m much better at feeling and dreaming possibilities.

    In fact, this last weekend I was coaching the Patterns of Excellence program … and I noticed how much better participants learnt because we stimulated both sides of the brain (with activities, self-learning, pictures etc). I’ve also seen it before at kids education programs where whole-brain learning is encouraged.

    (By the way, if anyone is interested in improving the productivity of your career and holistic life … or for getting your children better at studying and performing in school/university … then contact me for details. I have been organizing these kind of programs for a while now and give you more details).

    Anyway, the moral of the story is that you have to train both sides of your brain. The next time you need to study better, stop staring at the words – draw pictures and doodle – they’ll help your learning. Or the next you need a solution for a problem, stimulate your right-brain with some activities to invoke thought!

    Take care of both your brain :)

    Honey, it’s not working out … My humble experiences with Ubuntu Linux

    Sep 17th, 2007 | By | Category: News & Updates, Personal Stories, Technology Brands

    I’m a little heart-broken.

    For the past 4 years I’ve been having an on-and-off affair.

    There are moments when I’m attracted to her. (It’s usually when things are going bad with my regular love … then we experiment for a while and give “us” a shot).

    Initially, she manages to dazzle me. Every time, she comes across with some new bells & whistles …

    But after a while, I start noticing the flaws.

    • Like how it is to understand her …
    • She never likes to try out new things …
    • Always has to be different from my alternatives …

    After four years, I’m ready to call it quits …

    It’s not a girl on my mind.

    It’s not a boy either (seriously you guys, you have to think of better jokes in your head … no no, the other head ;) ).

    It’s something that’s a lot closer to my heart … my computer’s operating system.

    I’ve been using some form of Windows since 1991 … that 15 year relationship can really give you moments when you wonder – “Do I deserve better than this?”

    And those are the moments, when Linux steps in and offers something more attractive looking.

    • Linux is free!! (Never underestimate the pain of parting with $200 for buying a new copy of Windoze …)
    • Linux is geeky … being a tech entrepreneur, writer and geekhead … there’s a certain charm in getting to conquer the geekiest of operation systems …
    • I’ve been testing it for years, and it’s gotten easier and easier to set up …
    • The new Ubuntu Linux is probably the best looking Operating System out there … in my view, nicer than Mac OS X and Windows Vista …

    A particular dire set of circumstances, started the affair this time …

    A few months ago, my desktop died. I don’t really know why … I even had some chap at Sim Lim cheat me out out of $150 to diagnose and fix a non-existent problem. In any case, I couldn’t quite figure it out.

    So I bought a new hard disk. Slotted it in. Bought a new graphics card. Slotted it in. The photo below is me trying to get my hardware to work (not that kind of hardware … I meant computer hardware … you naughty naughty girl).

    Then I couldn’t find my original windows CD. I couldn’t even find the pirated CDs I used to keep in college.

    So my choice was two-fold:

    1. Spend $200 to get a copy of Vista from Sim Lim
    2. Test my luck with Linux

    Usually I lean towards buying Windows and getting it over with. I’ve tried Linux every now and then … and it’s just too painful to start using.

    But in this case, coincidentally, my laptop was undergoing some bad spyware/virus issues. And I was exceedingly pissed because even after spending $75 a year on OneCare Live – Microsoft’s lame attempt at an anti-virus + anti-spyware … my computer had been infected.

    So, to refuse handing over my S$200 to Bill Gates’ wealth, I decided to spend $0 and all my patience in trying to make Linux work.

    Like I Said … Things With Ubuntu Linux Started Out Real Well …

    I popped in the Ubuntu Live CD … and I booted my computer. And wallah! it worked!

    (Actually things weren’t that smooth. My new hard disk was SATA and my old hard disk was IDE. And I had to play with my BIOS for several days … to bring a climax to the problem. Yeah, it sounds real kinky. But I’ll save you the technical details and skip to the fun part).

    Nevertheless, so Ubuntu Linux booted up … looking clean, gorgeous and fast.

    I immediately liked what I saw:

    • Most major applications I needed were already there (OpenOffice, Mozilla Firefox, a basic media player, automatic updates)
    • It automatically recognized my external hard disk! In the past, “mounting” external devices was a pain in Linux (yes, I’m aware of the sexual connotations of the phrase)
    • Networking automatically worked. For my desktop, it worked with Internet almost immediately. For my laptop (in the past), it had worked with wireless quite seamlessly too.
    • With Mozilla and OpenOffice installed – I could do my most critical tasks – check mail, read news and edit presentations.
    • It looked pretty damn nice. I love the “human” theme … (apparently that’s what the word Ubuntu means in Swahili, the south African language)

    So, I thanked the heavens that I was back in touch with the world (over the virtual web, of course).

    But slowly, it dawned upon me … that many of my needs weren’t being met

    • None of my movies or music would work. Apparently mp3, wma, divx, avi are all protected file formats … so installing codecs would be illegal. Took me hours to find and download the right codecs to play my 200GB of movies!
    • I couldn’t use so many of my fancy hardware devices – my windows mobile PDA-phone, my portable scanner, my external sound card etc etc
    • Software installation is quite a pain. There’s a known repository of software that will install the windows way (download setup files and then install) … for everything else, there’s a whole bunch of command line tweaking required.
    • The damn thing can’t recognize screen resolution properly. On my laptop, it stretched a 1024×768 resolution on my widescreen. On my desktop, I had to go find custom drivers by ATi (my graphics card manufacturer) to enable my 1280×1024 resolution on my LCD.
    • All my regular Internet Marketing applications wouldn’t work! My web design, graphic design, adwords editor, email client etc etc … and that’s really mission critical to me …

    The above screenshot shows the kind of web design and graphic design work I have to do in windows … and when you’ve spent 3-4 years getting used to the interface of one application … switching over is real hard.

    But those same applications don’t seem to work in Linux. Now, I’m a resilient guy and so I thought I’d make do with open source alternatives instead …

    • Instead of Adobe Dreamweaver, I decided to try Nvu. Actually I’ve used it before … it’s okay, but no match for Dreamweaver
    • I thought I’d try GIMPshop (a copy of Photoshop) … instead of Adobe Fireworks, my regular graphics design app.
    • I tried to use OpenOffice Presentation to replace MS Office Powerpoint … but OpenOffice is no match there (on the other hand, the OpenOffice word document can stack up very well against MS Word)
    • I didn’t know which BitTorrent client to use. And because Linux downloads everything from their servers, their servers are super slow … so half the applications wouldn’t install.
    • I even tried this thing called Wine – it’s a way of running windows applications on Linux. I got some of my appz to install properly … but they didn’t run right.
    • Somebody on a forum recommended that I install Windows as a virtual desktop … great idea jackass … if I’m spending $200 on buying windows, then I’d want to use it properly. Not spend my efforts getting used to Linux.

    But those open source applications just don’t do all that I need … I am working on a new product that is a series of educational videos. So, the content for the product had to be done in presentation format.

    I tried switching over to OpenOffice … but it’s just too hard to use. Instead, when I moved back to MS Powerpoint, life seemed easy again … simple things like text resizing and font setup are a lot more intuitive here.

    Then, the final straw came when even Linux started throwing the blue-screen of death at me.

    In the middle of things, it would hang and die. In all fairness, I probably don’t know how to configure it right. Or it could be the fault of my hardware. But I don’t care … all I want from an Operating system is an easy learning curve.

    Ubuntu Linux is a commendable step forward …

    I’ve seen Linux over the years, and it has matured tremendously. For home users, who only need to see movies, browse the web and check email … it’s as good as Windows.

    I particularly love the Ubuntu distribution of Linux … it looks beautiful … and it has a Live CD (so you can run the OS off the CD without messing up your existing installations) … and it can even install as a software inside of
    Windows (try Wubi … it’s a risk free way of trying Linux without messing up windows).

    But it’s not good enough for Advanced Users …

    But it won’t do it for advanced users. If Dell sold a desktop bundled with Ubuntu, I’d feel confident giving it to my grandma. But the learning curve to do important things is just too much for me.

    So if you need to pick up a new skill (let’s say photo editing, web design), then try an open source alternative. If you can learn them on one platform, you can use them anywhere …

    • Use Mozilla Firefox for browsing the web. It looks the same across Windows, Mac & Linux
    • Use OpenOffice for office applications. The Word processor is awesome. The Powerpoint & Excel alternatives are just OK. But its FREE.
    • Use Nvu for web editing. If you’re just beginning, it may be good enough for you and its cross-platform.
    • Use GIMPshop for photo editing.
    • Use Inkscape for vector & graphic editing.
    • Use Ubuntu as a secondary operation system. Install it within windows and get used to it … before you switch.

    For working professionals, who focus on something special … don’t bother unless you have a lot of patience and free time. Test these software on a secondary computer in your free time … they have the potential to mess up my livelihood.

    So, my advice to anyone who’s very comfortable with Windows – don’t switch.

    Yes, it costs extra money to buy Windows, Office, Dreamweaver, Photoshop etc … But if you’re already adept at using those things, those extra 1000 dollars are well worth it. They will save hundreds of hours of re-learning and frustration later on.

    iPhone In Singapore?

    Aug 28th, 2007 | By | Category: Personal Stories, Technology Brands

    A few minutes ago, I was in one of my moods … you know, the ones in which you have a strange craving for the iPhone.

    I knew it wasn’t coming to Singapore any time soon, but I figured I could spend some time on the site and get my fix on some other apple products instead.

    When I first went in there, I noticed a box at the bottom that said iLife ’08 – A Guided Tour

    Hell, I’m lusting so much after iPhone that I’ll take anything with an “i” in front of it … so I click the damn button.

    And then the introductory video opens up … except, it’s not for ILife ’08 … it’s for iPhone!

    (I’ve zoomed into the relevant portions of the above page to prove my point … the logo says “iLife ’08″ … and the video is for the iPhone!

    So, is getting ready to announce the iPhone? Is that why an extra iPhone introductory video is roaming around the Apple Singapore website?

    Who knows … I sure hope so. I’m eating bread & Jam from now until next year, just so I can afford an iPhone!

    Anyway, go watch the video in Small, Medium or Large size here.