Monday, April 16, 2012

On the move again

Now my company is moving me from Singapore to Colorado Springs, so I will be leaving Chinese-speakers mostly behind! Not done any Chinese practice in Singapore really. But I have been running, so I'll maybe write some thoughts on Singapore and running up here.

Meanwhile items on sale at this blog:

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Laowai now AngMo

So I've moved now from Beijing to Singapore. This new contract is indefinite and a big promotion, so I should be here at least 2 years. More rain, less variation in temprature. More English speakers, bigger variety in ethnic mix. And now the 'old foreigner' becomes the 'red hair' in the local slang.

The hunt for cereal

This is a very very sad blog post, but in my googling I didn't find this info online anywhere, so I thought I'd share in case it helps anyone else in the same dilemma as me: can't find Shreddies breakfast cereal in Singapore!

So, Fairprice and Carrefour let me down here and most Cold Storage stores do. But the Bugis Cold Storage has Shreddies. Plain ones, not just chocolate or frosted. Horrendously expensive (about $11), but some things are worth it...! Bugis cold storage is in B1 floor at Bugis Junction shopping mall, which connects with Bugis MRT station.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Overloaded tricycles

I often see hugely overloaded bikes and tricycles around Beijing. Often they seem to be piled high with enormous mounds of cardboard or plastic or some other, literally, garbage. However, sometimes you see a delivery like this double-bed:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

VPN in Ubuntu

So, some people in China have a VPN and this can be tricky to set up. It took a while to work out all the tweaks to get Ubuntu VPNing. I recently had to re-do this because I accidentally messed it up. Here's the tips (NB this was an SSL VPN, not PPTP as PPTP can have trouble running over routers and/or PPPoE, I believe... in any case it doesn't work for me!:Go to the networking icon in top-right and click edit connections and use VPN tab of Network Manager.
  • Don't select "make available to all users" even if you want it to be available to all users
  • Don't enter a password in Network Manager, you will be prompted for one when trying to connect the first time and can save it in the gnome keyring which works better, but managing the gnome keyring can be a nightmare and its sometime better just to create a new VPN with the same settings!#
  • May need to change the default port for SSL connection to 80 (I did: perhaps the GFW is blocking the default port?)
  • sudo /etc/init.d/network-manager restart can sometimes fix things
  • A hard reboot can sometimes fix things! Yes, I know you "shouldn't" need to.
Ubuntu really should work on making network manager easier to do VPN and force a restart of it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Beijing air quality

Just in case you don't know, there's a twitter feed from the US Embassy's pollution monitoring station that lets you know particulate and Ozone levels. Or you can just look out the window and see how far you can see!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Latest youtube favourites for my girls

Thanks to a Firefox plugin that lets us "cache" the videos, the girls like quite often to look at pre-approved videos on our computer. No Lady Gaga for them even if they like the music!

Anyway, they're current favourites are some of the eurovision numbers form this year and previous ones and also some awesome Billy Joel stuff: Uptown Girl and Tell Her About It.