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150W to Power My Computer

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In the previous post, I found out that it takes 150W to power my personal computer which I always leave on the entire day. I felt bad that I am not contributing to the “Go Green & Save the planet” cause. I actually use my person computer for a variety of things throughout the day but there was definitely a way to optimize the usage. Here are tasks that require my computer to be on all the time:

  1. File Server (mainly used for backups)
  2. Torrents
  3. PVR System
  4. Personal FTP Server (mainly used for syncing settings with my work computer)
  5. MyCast Orb Sharing

I immediately saw that I can give up MyCast Orb Sharing, since I haven’t used it for months. Read on…

1500VA of Battery Backup for Omninoggin.com


I recently purchased an APC BACK-UPS XS 1500VA LCD for $120 to prepare for California rolling blackouts/brownouts. I’m not sure if this is going to be worth it yet since I still cannot supply backup internet access in case of power outage. So if the power goes out, omninoggin.com along with a few other sites will still be forced offline. The great news though is that all of my precious hardwares are completely protected from over/under power issues. Here are some interesting facts I found out while installing this battery backup unit:
Read on…

Kombucha Detox Tea – The Miracle Drink?

Kombucha

Have you ever seen one of these bottles selling in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s? Do you ever wonder what it is and why the heck each bottle cost $4? A few months ago, I decided to find out what it is myself and forked out $4 for a raspberry flavored one. Once I opened the cap, the liquid started fizzing and foaming (naturally carbonated). I took a sip and it tasted nothing like what I was expecting. The drink was quite sour and had an odd after taste to it. I didn’t like it at all, but I figured that I should finish it and make it worth $4. About fifteen minutes later, I was in for a surprise. Read on…

WP-Super-Cache Released!

What more can I say but “GPL FTW”. This is what happens when you release something under GPL and do not put in much effort in supporting it. Someone else takes it over and releases a better version of your own code leaving the consumers to benefit! Donncha O Chaoimh from Holy Shmoly! released WP-Super-Cache, a WordPress caching plugin built on top of WP-Cache. From Holy Shmoly!, here are the differences between WP-Super-Cache and WP-Cache:

  1. A plugin and hooks system. A common complaint with WP Cache was that hacking was required to make it work nicely with other plugins. Now you can take advantage of the simple plugin system built in to change how or when pages are cached. Use do_cacheaction() and add_cacheaction() like you would with WordPress hooks. Plugins can add their own options to the admin page too.
  2. Works well with WordPress MU in VHOST or non-VHOST configuration. Each blog’s cache files are identified to improve performance.
  3. Normal WP-Cache files are now split in two. Meta files go in their own directory making it much faster to scan and update the cache.
  4. Includes this WP-Cache and protected posts fix.
  5. Automatically disable gzip compression in WordPress instead of dying.
  6. As Akismet and other spam fighting tools have improved, the cache will only be invalidated if a comment is definitely not spam.
  7. Version 0.2 supports gzip compression

Did you see that? Supports gzip compression! Finally, an easy way to enable gzip and WP-Cache. The best part of all of this is that the automatic WP-Cache enabling method still works for this plugin since it was built on top of WP-Cache. I encourage everybody to upgrade!

Bypass iTunes, Rockbox Rocks!

Rockbox Banner

“Rockbox is an open source firmware for mp3 players, written from scratch. It runs on a wide range of players…”
– rockbox.org

The Apple iPod line has always been the bottom of my sh*t list. Don’t get me wrong, the iPod is stylish and the music quality is great. The only beef I have against the iPod is its music management. Almost everybody I know (including my non-geeky-girlfriend) hates how you have to use iTunes to get music onto the iPod. Here is the beginning of an endless list of iTunes woes:

  1. iTunes is DRM compliant
  2. iTunes is a slow P.O.S. software.
  3. iTunes thinks you don’t know how to organize your own music, so it sticks your music into your iPod the way it thinks it ought to be organized.
  4. iTunes will automatically delete songs from your iPod if it cannot find them in your library (image if you’ve moved a few of your music folders and did not update your library)
  5. …you may add your own woes in the comments…

Notice that I did not mention “iTunes cannot be bypassed” in the list because, I have finally found a way that lets you do exactly that, bypass iTunes! Read on…

Make Your WordPress 10X faster During Traffic Storms


This tutorial will augment the technique of automatically enabling WP-Cache during heavy load with the ability to switch to a low-bandwidth WordPress theme at the same time.

Few reasons to do this

1. WP-Cache messes with your site statistics, so you do not want to leave it on when your site is not being hammered.
2. You don’t want to use a bandwidth efficient theme all the time because it’s not pretty-lookin’.
3. During traffic storms (e.g. Digg Effect), every 1/100 second optimization tweak counts.
4. If you host your site on a shared host, you will most likely have a bandwidth quota. Switching to a leaner theme conserves your bandwidth (duh!)
5. If you host your site on a home connection, your upload is not up to par with most hosting services, so you need to use that small pipe efficiently.
6. Each “IMG” tag, even if it’s a 1×1 pixel gif, requires an HTTP request to your web server. If you have 10 images on your page, and 10 users are loading your page, that’s 100 simultaneous calls to your server already. Leaner themes usually means less/no images, giving Apache some break.
7. If you’re server is non-uber, you don’t deserve to administer it.
Read on…

Automatically Turn on WP-Cache During Traffic Storms


I am a semi-fan of WP-Cache. On the good side, it reduces strain on apache by staticising WordPress pages. On the bad side, it messes with my site statistics and makes development hard (I always forget that the page I’m working on is being cached). I like my statistics, but what if I suddenly get a traffic storm? If my site gets dugg, there is no time to worry about statistics. I would need all the help I can get to serve pages efficiently. This is why WP-Cache should be off by default and automatically turned on during traffic storms. Read on…

Quit Smoking the Easy Way


I would like to admit to the public that I was a smoker for 2 long years. As a blogger & coder, I was very vulnerable because I often hit writer’s/coder’s block. Now that I am an experienced ex-smoker, I would like to tell the world that smoking is not a choice or a habit. It’s an addiction. Nobody smokes their first cigarette thinking that they will continue to smoke for the rest of their life. I remember smoking my first cigarette because I wanted to be cool in front of some people. I thought that there was no way one cigarette would get me addicted. I then thought that two would not get me addicted. Then three, four, five… slowly but surely, I became a 5 sticks per day smoker. The nicotine trap is so subtle that if you are not always carefully paying attention to it, then you would continue to burn your life away. Read on…

Setting up Sendmail on FreeBSD 6.2

Previously, I mentioned that I was not able to successfully send emails via sendmail. This functionality is quite useful because WordPress, among other things, uses sendmail to send emails to you when someone leaves a comment on your post. So it turns out that because most public mail servers (i.e. gmail, hotmail, etc) do not trust my “omninoggin.com” mail server domain, all messages I sent were refused. After hours of research, I found out that I can route my mail traffic through my internet service provider’s mail proxy (SBC Yahoo!) to get this to work. Read on…

Lower Your Cell Phone Bill by Changing Your Billing Address


Back in my younger poor-college-student years, I’ve always been pissed that my cell phone bill was always substantially more than what my monthly plan costs due to cell phone taxes. Arnold taxes the average Californian 13.18% of their cell phone bill. If you tack on federal tax (5.48%), an average Californian will pay an extra $7.46 per month in taxes for a $40 per month plan. That’s about $90 per year. I was looking for ways to reduce this number and this is what I did:

  1. Researched which state had the cheapest cell phone tax (found out that it was Nevada with 1.14% tax rate).
  2. Opt for e-statement, so Sprint emails me statements instead of sending me a paper statements to my home address.
  3. Change my address online to Caesar’s Palace Casino:
    3570 LAS VEGAS BLVD S
    LAS VEGAS, NV 89109
  4. Start supporting the Nevada State government and watch my bill go down.

Here is the result of changing my billing address. Read on…