Sunday, April 27, 2014

ACTA

acacia-design.com

I've been taking the Advanced Certificate in Training and Assessment (ACTA) course at the Institute of Adult Learning. So far I'm about halfway through, and if all goes well, I can get the full certification before the year is over.

I won't go into too many details, but suffice to say that it has revolutionized the way I approach teaching. For one thing, I now better appreciate the difference between lecturing and facilitation.

It's a course I highly recommend to everyone, whether or not you are working in the training industry.
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Using Four Different Cloud Storage Services Simultaneously

Cloud storage is all the rage these days.

And for good reason, too - it certainly reduces the need for have to lug around a thumbdrive all the time. And instead of having to go through the hassle of cutting-and-pasting plugging-and-unplugging the thumbdrive every single time, all you really have to do is to drag and drop the file you want into your designated folder, and..... hey presto. It's there on your other designated computer.

You need to grab the file from another computer that isn't yours? No problem. With a little more effort you can grab it from the website run by the cloud service provider.

Now, we all know of several cloud storage providers, and many people swear by Dropbox. It's not hard to see why. Its simplicity is hard to beat. The only real issue with it is that it doesn't come with a whole lot of free cloud storage (2 GB free; perhaps a couple gigs more if you carry out some tasks for them), and prices go up quite quickly the more storage you need.

Which is why I decided to go with..... FOUR cloud storage services.

Screenshot from my desktop. How I grouped them together this way is a story for another time.

Dropbox was the original killer cloud storage software. It originally came with 2 GB free, and I was tearing my hair out trying to figure out how to get more storage. Sure, there were certain tasks you could carry out for more free storage (like talking about Dropbox on Twitter), but the only real way of getting more free storage was to refer my friends to the service. And for some reason, no one seemed enthusiastic about signing up for Dropbox.

This was until I bought a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 tablet. And immediately..... I hit paydirt. Samsung had a joint promotion with Dropbox, allowing me to claim a massive 48 GB of free storage space.

On top of that, since I was a postgraduate student at NUS at that time..... a little geeky thing called the Great Space Race helped me out. And NUS was right at the top of the race among all the universities and academic institutions in the whole world. That got me another 25 GB.

End result? I got a massive 79.4 GB of free space for absolutely nothing.

On top of that, various other cloud services were holding promotions at different times. I received 50 GB from Box, 15 GB from Google Drive, and 10 GB from Microsoft OneDrive (aka SkyDrive). So that's a total of 79.4 + 50 + 15 + 10 = 154.4 GB of free storage space.

One might say that four cloud storage services are a major hassle, but I beg to differ. I simply delegate different services for different uses. OneDrive might hold all of my MS Office documents, for instance, while Google Drive handles my photographs.

So with all that free space, you might be wondering whether a thumbdrive is ever really necessary. Not so fast, wise guy. At this point it's still quite suicidal to put all your trust in cloud storage. It is totally possible for you to successfully put the file in your cloud folder in one computer and have it not appear on another designated computer due to syncing problems. 

And like it or not, you have to put your trust in these companies to actually not look into your files. At the end of the day, you are putting your files on their servers, after all. It is hardly advisable to put your most sensitive files in cloud servers.

That being said, cloud services are highly convenient and sure make life a little easier for everyone.

If you have multiple computers and have never tried a cloud service, you're missing out on a lot. Trust me on this.
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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Rain

It has often been said that we often do not appreciate the little things in life until you no longer have them. It is only then that you suddenly realize how much you needed those things and how much you wish you could have them back.

Take rain, for instance.

From todayonline.com

No many of us like it when it rains. We get our clothes wet, our plans might get thrown into disarray, and that outdoor birthday party you had been planning for months suddenly gets derailed by a sudden thunderstorm. Or as we say in the Army, Cat I.

However, when you haven't had rain for a whole month, and the grass and trees are brown and parched, you suddenly wish that you could have it again. It doesn't help that Singapore has had several relatively hazy days with a strong whiff of smoke in the air.

Then suddenly, out of the blue, the skies opened up and it rained.

To be sure, it wasn't a whole lot of rain. It was more like a light drizzle lasting only a few minutes. Even so, that light drizzle was certainly a welcoming gift and certainly brought respite to Singapore.

So if there's something that we can all take away from all this, it would be this: appreciate the little things in life. You never know when they may actually turn out to be bigger than you thought.
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The Web of Fudge.... Revived!

Hi, everybody.

Welcome to the all-new, resuscitated version of The Web of Fudge (TWOFF). I say 'resuscitated', because if you've known me long enough, you would probably know that there was a semi-serious version of TWOFF that ran from 2005 to 2013. It dealt with all manner of issues ranging from snippets of my everyday undergraduate and postgraduate life to my two cents on current affairs.

Then, just prior to graduating from the National University of Singapore, I decided to take the site down, for I felt that it might be in contravention of the employee code of conduct
at my new place of employment. However, after several months of having a niggling thought at the back of my head that I really should get back to writing TWOFF, I decided to check with the Human Resource department at my place of employment on their take on this matter. The response was that as long as I stayed away from controversy and posted in a responsible manner, there should be no problem at all.

So here I am again, posting once more in The Web of Fudge. I sure hope I can post regularly on my take on current affairs and snippets of everyday life here in Singapore.

So, let's go web-swinging! Set off the fireworks!

From wikipedia.org
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