Archive for the 'About me' Category



How To Watch YouTube And Other Streaming Video On Your Old TV

Wednesday 22 April 2015 @ 10:35 am

image8I have a google chromecast device which works well for my flat tv with hdmi input but then we wanted to utilize our old TV, you know those old big fat televisions of yesterday. Yes, we still have one of those. So how do you make your old TV smart? That was something I had to figure out and eventually did.

In this post, I will share with you step by step how to watch YouTube and other streaming video on your old TV.

Before you start, you will need

  1. a smart phone
  2. a google chromecast donger
  3. a hdmi to av adapter
  4. a usb charger wire
  5. usb charger plug (optional) and
  6. a red yellow white composite cable.

If you have never  used a Google Chromecast donger before, then please read my old post How To Use Google Chromecast To Watch Streaming Video From Google Chrome Browser before you proceed with the rest of this tutorial.

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Step 1 – Power up your google chromecast dongle by putting the usb end into a usb charger plug and plug into an electrical outlet. If you have your desktop pc nearby, you can use the usb port from your desktop pc, then you won’t need the charger plug.

Step 2 – Insert the hdmi end of your google chromecast dongle into your hdmi to av converter.

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Step 3 – Insert one end of the composite cable to the output end of the hdmi to av converter

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Step 4 – Insert the other end of your composite cable to the composite cable input of your old tv. This can usually be found at the back of your old tv. Just follow the color codes when you insert the wires. Red for red etc.

Step 5 – Power up your hdmi to av converter by inserting one end of the usb charger wire to the converter and another to a usb inlet nearby. Again, you can use the usb port from your pc or you can use the usb charger plug.

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Step 6 – Open up the YouTube app on your smartphone. Click on the Cast to TV button (It is the little rectangle with wavy lines on one end right beside the “What To Watch” link.)

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Step 7 – Select your chromecast. I named my Living Room.

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Step 8 – Tadaa! That’s it. You can now watch YouTube from your old TV! Congratulations if you made it this far. We’re watching a minecraft video on our old TV. Our old TV just became smart. Cool isn’t it?

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Extra Tips For Watching Streaming Video Without Lag – Use An Alternative Browser For Casting V ideos Instead of Google Chrome Browser

You can cast any video that you are watching from any site by casting it from your google chrome browser. However, I find a small lag between the audio and video when I do that. In order to prevent the lag, you can download a browser app specially for casting web videos as well as local videos on your smartphone or ipad to your TV. I’m using an app called Video and TV Cast for Chromecast. It works well with no lag so I can watch any streaming video I want on my old TV not just YouTube videos. However, this app does not support rewind or fast forward for free users. :(

Bonus Tip: (Alternative way to watch streaming video on your old TV. Can be used for older generation Apple devices only)

If you are using an old generation iphone or ipad ie those that use a 30 pin adapter instead of the lighting 8 pin adapter, then you can use the following to watch any streaming video from any website on your TV easily. It is an AV Cable for iPad and iPhone. Remember, this only works for the older generation devices.

 

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The AV Cable has 3 parts. Plug the 30 pin adapter to your old generation iphone or ipad, plug the usb part into a usb port to charge and power up the device and finally plug the composite cable into the red yellow white composite input of your old TV. That’s it!

 

 

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Here is the difference between the 30 pin and 8 pin adapter. The 30 pin one is larger in size. This is the part where you plug into your iphone or ipad when you need to charge it. So check whether you have a 30 pin adapter if you wish to use this option.

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Scribd Teams Up With Marvel Comics

Wednesday 11 February 2015 @ 7:39 am

I have an annual pass to Scribd for one year as an author of ebooks on Smashwords. My ebooks are listed on Scribd. Today I received an email from Scribd informing me that 10,000 comics and graphic novels have just been added to Scribd. Woohoo! They include titles from Marvel, IDW/Top Shelf, Valiant and more. My husband is a Marvel fan especially Thor, Silver Surfer and Doctor Strange. I just downloaded my first copy of Thor on my device. It looks great. I love it.

 

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In addition, I’m going to be saving all this shelf space. I have no idea where to put all our comics as we keep on buying and loath to throw or give away because we re read them.

 

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I’m so in love with Scribd. I think it is really worth it. Anytime I feel like reading anything from romance or action novels to self help books, all I have to do is search the genre and most of the time I will find something I want to read. In fact, I’ve got so many books stored in my library, all half read. They include the many Minecraft books for my boy. When my free annual subscription expires, I will be back for more monthly subs. I’m hooked.




A Birthday Gift For My Star Trek Fan Spouse

Wednesday 3 December 2014 @ 3:13 pm

My husband is a Star Trek fan. We have the Star Trek Original Motion Picture Collection and the Star Trek The Next Generation Motion Picture Collection in our DVD collection. He watches both these sets of DVD over and over again. So for his 50th birthday in early 2014, I have decided to include Star Trek The Complete Original Series DVD Seasons 1-3 in the gift basket I am doing for him.

Since it is his 50th birthday, I am doing something special by making a gift basket on my own. The gift basket will contain all his favorite things, favorite movies, favorite comics, favorite scent, favorite family pictures which I did into a photo book and more. It is so much fun to do all this planning. I have already started collecting all these things to be put into his gift basket since early this month even though his birthday isn’t until February 2014.

I think he will love the Star Trek The Complete Original Series DVD or Star Trek TOS the most. Although we watched them when they were playing on TV previously, it has been a long time since. He jokingly calls me “The Entertainment Officer” at home because I plan all of his entertainment needs. I know him very well and what he likes and Star Trek happens to be one of his favorite series. He will love to watch the Star Trek team boldly go where no man has gone before.

To me the best gift for a Star Trek fan would be this original TV series that first introduced the original Star Trek Crew; Captain James T Kirk, Spock and Leonard McCoy and all the adventures of the USS Enterprise.

How many episodes does the Star Trek TOS have?

Season 1 – 29 episodes
Season 2 – 26 episodes
Season 3 – 24 episodes

Here is a list of the Star Trek Original Series episodes with all the titles and the order in which they were broadcasted.

The DVD is the remastered version. It is amazing to watch. Even though the original series first began screening in 1966, they don’t look outdated at all. Highly recommended for all Star Trek fans. This is where it all began.

My Favorite Star Trek Captains

My favorite Star Trek Captain is Captain James T Kirk (1966-1969) followed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard (1987-1994) but that’s just my personal opinion. The other Star Trek Captains are Captain Benjamin Sisko (1993-1999), Captain Kathryn Janeway (1995-2001) and Captain Jonathan Archer. (2001-2005).

That is why I recommend Star Trek The Original Series and Movies as a starter gift for the Star Trek fan followed by Star Trek The Next Generation Series and Movies collection and I did not include Star Trek Voyager Complete Series in my recommendations.

Tip for Buying DVDs online:

Make sure you check the region code of the DVD when buying online. If you do not have a multi-region DVD player, you will not be able to play DVDs from other regions.

Region 0: Multi-Region

Region 1: USA, Canada, US Territories

Region 2: UK, Europe, Japan, South Africa, Middle East

Region 3: South East & East Asia

Region 4: Australia, New Zealand, Central & South America

Region 5: Africa, Indian Sub-Continent, Russia, all former USSR countries, North Korea, Mongolia

Region 6: China




Father Has Dementia

Saturday 15 November 2014 @ 7:15 am

Father Has Dementia. Father has stroke related dementia. I didn’t know that strokes could cause dementia. I’ve always related the symptoms to stroke as half paralysis but not dementia. I didn’t know it at the time but stroke can cause dementia. Cognitive decline related to stroke is usually called vascular dementia or vascular cognitive impairment to distinguish it from other types of dementia

It is hard to lose Father to dementia. Losing anyone you love is never easy. Losing someone you love slowly is never easy. Father has his good days. Some days its like having Father back again. Some days we get to see Father’s Old Self.

This lens is for my Father. Father’s Day is approaching, however, I don’t think gifts hold any more meaning to Father. In a way, this lens is sort of a gift to Father, a tribute to my father.

About Father – Before The Dementia

In his younger days, father had to look after 5 kids aged from 10 to 18 and a wife stricken with cancer who later moved on

Mother died when she was 46. I was 10. Father became a mother and father to the 5 of us. I was the youngest. The eldest was 18. Father was a policeman and the eldest son in his family. He was strict, strong and many were afraid of him. He was also a neat man.

Mother had cancer. She lived for a year from diagnosis till the time she left us. At the time, we were rather poor. There were no good hospitals where we lived. Father had to travel for 6 hours to get to a hospital. Sometimes he had to travel up and down, looking after us as well as mom.

When mom died, Father became both a mother and father to us all. He never remarried. He looked after the five of us single handedly and worked through till his retirement while making sure we had shelter and education.

IT IS OUR TURN TO LOOK AFTER YOU NOW FATHER.

When Father Started Having Dementia, These Were His Symptoms – Dementia turned my father from a strong personality to a meek and docile one

We didn’t know whether father was having Dementia or Alzheimer’s Decease. Here is a good read about The Difference Between Dementia And Alzeimer’s. In short, it is mentioned in the article that “Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia and that is the main difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s”.

These are some of the signs and symptoms of dementia that father had.

  1. He started to become forgetful. Sometimes he would leave the tap running and not know it.
  2. His personal hygiene became lost. Father was an extremely neat and tidy person but dementia took that away from him.
  3. He refused to take a bath. I don’t know why. I would ask him and sometimes he said the water is too cold. Sometimes he said he was afraid of falling. Whatever it is, he refused to take a bath. It took hours, sometimes days to persuade him. Sometimes he would get angry.
  4. He started having repetitive behaviour. Sometimes he would take rolls and rolls of tissue and roll them up into a ball over and over again.
  5. His personality changed. From a strong, proud man, he now became a meek, docile person.
  6. He started having incontinence. He couldn’t make it to the toilet on time. Sometimes, he did make it to the toilet but he didn’t know what to do next. He would look at me and ask for direction on what to do next.
  7. Sometimes he could not recognize us.
  8. He started to have delusions and hallucinations. Sometimes he talked to someone who was not there. Some days he talked about war other things. Those things were very real to him. At those times, we have learned that the best way is to agree with him. Just smile and nod our heads and listen.
  9. Time started to have no meaning for him
  10. I think due to some of the medication he was taking, he would have what we call “awakenings” where he would be just like his old self, alert and exactly like the way he used to be. On those days, he would not be able to sleep for 24 hours or more. He would be most agitated and excited. He would read the papers from cover to cover and call any one of us up in the early hours of the morning or night. After these episodes, he would sleep for 2 to 3 days as if his brain was exhausted after all the activity.

Losing Someone To Dementia Is Like Losing Them Slowly, Painfully, Slowly and Surely

It is hard to make the transition from being a child to becoming a parent to your parents

I will not forget the first time I had to help father take a bath. I felt very sorry for him. Sorry that he had to lose his dignity like that.

My Father has been through a lot. He has had another stroke. He had to feed from feeding tubes. He had a colostomy surgery and is now on wheelchair. He needs help to get up and about.

Strangely the second stroke, though disabling him, seemed to have improved his dementia a little bit. These days he is more alert and can recognize us most of the time. That is the most important thing to us. This ability to recognize the ones you love. When he sees us, he usually has a big smile when he is alert. We touch him a lot.

Touch is important in human communication. It is important to look him in the eye and stroke his hand when talking to him otherwise, he does not realize that we are talking to him especially if we are sitting beside him and not in front of him. We must look at him directly in the eye and touch him. When he has delusions, we just listen and smile and sometimes agree before we divert his attention away.

If You Think Someone You Love Is Having Dementia, You May Find The Following Links Useful – Here are some useful links to sites which offer you information abou




5 Types Of Blog Posts And How To Write Them

Monday 27 October 2014 @ 11:42 am
5 Types Of Blog Posts And How To Write Them

5 Types Of Blog Posts And How To Write Them

This post isn’t a technical post about the how tos of blogging including SEO and all those technical jargon. Instead, it is a personal post written from the heart and from the experience of a blogger who has been blogging for 10 years.

I have been blogging since 2004. At the moment I write and maintain 5 blogs regularly. They include this blog which focus on me and the things I like to do including online writing, a parenting blog, a blog just for mothers, a health blog and a quotes blog. After writing for some years, I find that I basically write 5 different kinds of blogs. They are:

1. A Personal Blog Post

This was the first type of blog post I started writing. If you are writing a personal blog post, you can write things which are a little bit more personal. You can limit your readers to only those close to you if you like or just yourself. It depends on the individual. Some like to post lots of photographs which is really a nice thing if you don’t mind sharing. Readers love photos. However, I like my anonymity.

Can you remain anonymous and still write a personal post? Yes, you can. I have been doing it for 10 years. I write posts that are personal yet not too revealing. It is okay to be personal without being too personal on your blog posts. You will still get your readers and followers if you remain true to yourself and keep your writing voice genuine. Instead of using personal photos, you can still include photos to make your posts interesting. Post photos of objects and scenes instead.

2. Instructional Blog Posts Or How Tos

I enjoy making crafts with my children. So I find writing how tos or instructional blog posts a natural progression from my personal yet not too personal blog posts. They are a nice way to record and keep our crafting moments in a digital format for keepsakes.

When you write these types of blog posts, you  must remember to include lots of photos and step by step instructions to make it easier for your readers. I have written many instructional blog posts like this and this.

3. Curations

After blogging for some time, I started writing curations. Whenever I write a curated blog post, I always put myself in the shoes of the person searching for information. What is this person looking for and how can my blog post make a difference. Then I try to include everything that will help this person who is doing an online search find all the things that they want to know about that subject on a single page. This is the most important factor of all. You have to be an expert curator in order to write such a post so that your post makes a difference to that person instead of being a mere copy of a search engine.

When writing this type of blog post, remember to include relevant links, videos, photos and always seek permission for use of photos.  Here is an example of one of my top posts on my parenting blog. It is a curated post of  Homemade Teacher’s Day Gift Ideas. Some of the ideas are my own while some others are from my FB friends. I sought the permission from all of them to post their ideas on this post.

4. Reviews Or “Selling” Posts

At one time, paid posts were very popular and many companies looked for bloggers to link to their products, services and websites. It is not so popular now but this is just another way of writing. Sometimes, you may write a paid or sponsored posts while at other times, you may write to sell, for example if you are an affiliate marketer.

For example, I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. So from time to time, I do write posts to “sell”. This is an example of my review type or marketing oriented post: 10 Cute Dollhouses For Girls. In a way, this is a curation type of post too.

Photos and descriptions are very important. However, do note that the behavior of someone who is searching the internet for information is different from someone who is searching the internet to buy something online. The person searching to buy something may be more interested in photos of the product and will not have time to read lengthy reviews so keep it short while providing the necessary information they need. Photos and videos are helpful. Just put yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information and think of what YOU would like to see and read in the blog post. That is the best SEO advice anyone can get. You don’t need to know what SEO is or how to do it if you just prefer to write. You will get your traffic just by putting yourself in the shoes of the person searching for information.

5. Articles

Finally, you can write articles of any subject you feel you have the confidence tBlogging Tipso share in. I like to write a lot of parenting articles that change over time. I used to write breastfeeding articles, now I write about kids education in grade school. You can write about your gardening projects or your pets, it is up to you or something more technical.

I consider this post an article type of post. Articles MUST be genuine and not copied from somewhere else. Do not copy and paste or spin articles from somewhere else on the web.

Extra Tips On Writing Blog Posts That Get Read

  1. Keep your blog content fresh, relevant and up to date
  2. After writing your post, create a “cover” for your blog post, then pin your image to invite people to come to read it. Writing blog posts isn’t only about writing. Think of it as creating a magazine with a nice layout that calls out to the reader to read.
  3. Share your blog posts on social media, FB, Google Plus, Twitter etc.

 

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