The importance of having a website.

I’ve been scouting around for my paper suppliers and I must tell you, it has been a super horrific experience. It almost seemed to me that there are no paper merchants in Singapore as I was only greeted by less than 5 legitimate paper merchants in Google. Not to mention that out of these 5, I am already purchasing from 2 of them.

I need paper! So what did I do? I decided to go the traditional way and source from YellowPages (Singapore). I input the word “Paper”. I was excited cause the teaser header said “200+ results”. However my anticipation was met with a sore disappointment. I was brought to 200+ entries of ….

“Joss Paper”.

The search at Yellow Pages isn’t exactly very intuitive I would say. I couldn’t find the paper I needed. I tried Paper Products, I was brought to toilet rolls and plastic products. I tried Printing Paper and I was brought to printing presses and paper bags. This is getting absurd.

Until I finally figured out the keyword: Paper Distributor

I was extremely happy as there were a sizeable amount of results until…

Yes you guessed it. It was a complete listing of paper distributor companies that didn’t have any more information other than their company name, telephone and fax. Am I going to be going through the whole list just to get what I want? Don’t they have like a website or something that I can easily extract some information? I called one, that was close to my office, up. Really excited cause that office was within walking distance… Only to hear that they sell…

“Waste Paper”

I felt that I have been led through a merry go round chase. Urgh. I continued ploughing through the list and realised that most paper companies don’t even have a simple website! Even those that listed their sites had defunct links. I googled, Yahoo-ed, dog-piled their names only to be appalled by the lack of web representation by these companies.

Oh my god.

It was only in the end, it was by some fluke googling that I found the paper merchants association in Singapore. (now how would one even know that there’s such an association in the first place. We don’t know what we don’t know. I didn’t know that paper distributors are known as paper merchants, it was only after this experience that I found out) I clicked on it and found 1 guy who was relatively near my office and had a website. I visited it. Great! The links are working, albeit the whole website was made up of stitched up Jpeg files. But I found what I needed to find. He stocked the kind of paper I wanted so I made the phone call and am now going to meet the salesperson.

See how one website makes the difference? Especially in this day and time where the younger ones are going to be taking over the business and the older ones are retiring. Really having even a page summarising or stating what you have will help your company a lot!

If you’re a traditional bricks and mortar company, go get a website! You already know how essential it is to stay competitve in today’s world.

If you’re a budding web design firm, come up with packages, cheap ones for these people to take up. Let them put a few pictures, list down their products and location. Get a nice looking email. And fax these packages to them from the emails listed in Yellow Pages. Put these packages in the fax!

Trust me, people read the faxes and the best way to get their attention is to fax such packages to them. Nothing interests my colleagues more than the packages that web design companies send over. Not so much of collaterals that says “Hi, we are a web design company, come look for us.”

Try  it 🙂

April 12, 2007 at 11:16 am Leave a comment

Hello World

I do notice that I haven’t blogged at this space for the longest time ever.

Most of it is due to the sheer fact that I was confused on how I could reposition this blog with respect to my blogspot and xanga blogs now that I am done with my technical postings for a little while. Nonetheless, I have decided that I will be focusing my efforts on my entrepreneurship journey here.

What entrepreneurship one may ask? I’m currently developing a mini high-tech product under the umbrella of my family business and I am doing it solo at the moment. My feng shui for the year reads that I should be working alone as the year of the boar is not too conducive for team environments in my case, that’s why I’m going solo.

Yeah right. 😛

There are many reasons, the pros and cons as to why I am doing it this way and I will talk about them in my future postings.

This wordpress will document all my thoughts on starting out this business, working through a product and bringing it live. It will also contain my lessons and the things I learn, both the hard way and soft way into this space. While you’re here, I intend that you will derive as much value as possible from my experience and be able to bring this repository of knowledge with you into your own entrepreneurial endeavours.

April 10, 2007 at 3:41 pm 2 comments

Dummy’s Guide to Setting up OLSR on WRT54G and Openwrt

This is a step-by-step guide for people who want to manually set up an OLSR Network but do not want to use available firmware such as Freifunk or what-a-mesh.

1) Prepare your router. As usual, you need some kinds of basic configuration for your routers. I followed: Krishna‘s AODV guide – Device Configuration:

nvram set lan_ifname=vlan0
nvram unset lan_ifnames
nvram set wifi_ifname=eth1
nvram commit

nvram set wifi_proto=static
nvram set wifi_ipaddr=<adhoc IP address>
nvram set wifi_netmask=<netmask>
nvram set wl0_mode=sta
nvram set wl0_infra=0
nvram set wl0_ssid=<adhoc essid>
nvram commit

The above commands will break the br0 (default bridge that connected the vlan0, vlan1 and eth1). If you don’t break it, you cannot run OLSR, or rather I tried running OLSR with the bridge on, but it doesn’t work.

Remember, your wifi_ipaddr AND your lan_ipaddr has to be on different subnets. (If you’re not sure about subnetting, I would recommend you to google and learn about it first before attempting this OLSR) How to change lan and wifi address the easy way? Open your webbrowser and type in “192.168.1.1” (assuming that your lan IP address and wifi ipaddress have never been changed before, else just type in one of those addresses)

2) Load your OLSR module.

  • Connect your router to the internet
  • Go to the webinterface and look for installed software.
  • Look for OLSRD. You only need that.
  • Click install.

OLSR will automatically install on your router.

3) Configure your OLSR configuration files. The configuration was referenced from the Howto on the openwrt wiki.

  1. SSH (telnet or putty in) into the router. If you haven’t changed the user name and pass, they are: Username = root , passwd = admin.
  2. Type vi /etc/olsrd.conf to edit the configuration file. Vi is a text editor and quite tricky to use. I suggest that you do available vi tutorials online.
  3. Under the olsrd.conf file, look for “Interface”. You can look for this by typing “/Interface” and hit enter. (Assuming you’re using vi). Add in your wireless interface. IE, the interface on your router that refers to the wireless components. For me, it’s eth1. Check your router’s specifications if you’re not sure.
  4. Add forwarding rules to your /etc/firewall.user. Forwarding rules refer to rules that allow your router to forward packets from one place to another. You can follow the rules in the howto. I’ve verified that they work.
  5. If you have wired hosts connected to your routers, remember to add the network_ip and netmask in to the hna4 field within the olsrd.conf file. For example, my lan network is 192.168.10.1/24 and all my connected clients will get an ipaddr of 192.168.10.x (where x is between 1 and 255, excluding the 1 and 255). Hence I will enter 192.168.10.0 255.255.255.0 in my hna4 field.

Save the above settings. (In vi it’s the following key sequence to save: “ESC”, “shift+:”, “x” and then hit enter. Reboot your router (or restart olsrd) and your olsr node is set up!

You will be able to ping from a connected client on one router to another connected client on the other router. For eg, I can ping from wired client  (ip 192.168.1.123) of r1 (r1’s wifi = 192.168.0.1) to wired client (ip 192.168.2.123) of r2 (r2’s wifi = 192.168.0.2). If you can’t ping, make sure that your computers are not running any firewalls and you have set your router’s firewall rules to forward packets.

Tadah. You have your own OLSR mesh. Yummy.

November 7, 2006 at 11:37 am 13 comments

tHim’s first lucid dream.

This came quite unexpected as I kind of slacked off in my dream recall exercise since the 2nd dream log. Well what happened was this morning, I fell asleep after I woke up at 8am. I was in a fairly conscious mode. I started to dream of my current home and that it is in its pre-movein state. The rooms were empty and there were no lights. Suddenly a consciousness kicked in and said, “Hey, this can’t be true, I have already moved in!”. I was so bloody happy and suddenly my world started to twirl around me. I knew I was going to wake up, so I did what the dream forums recommended, and that was to open my arms and spin on the spot. I felt myself being drawn back into the dream.

It was great and I kept telling myself, “this is a dream, this is a dream”. Suddenly, Luyee popped by and I decided to explore something with her. There was a “Victoria’s Secret” castle that had play stuff in it. I flew in and then Qiuju popped by. I knew I cannot jump out of the castle because I will definitely wake up. So I decided to walk upside down while holding her hand and that feeling was just amazing!

However, the lucidity was lost soon after as I left the castle. Luyee turned into my mom and it seemed pretty normal to my logical mind that I am awake. I asked myself, so am I awake? My mom prodded me and I felt pain. (didn’t know that the pain test fails for me) And I fell back into my dream state.

The rest of the dreams? I saw a super bloated Frank (da frank) and he was telling me he liked me and kept trying to hug and kiss me. But I was faithful to The Boyfriend and I kicked his ass out of the classroom. Then I told da frank that if it happened before I went to the US, it might have worked out. Then he replied, well, I was much fatter then and he himself was more eligible then. Wow. I just told him to scram off. Then I went back to my classroom and made friends with the Indian girls there.

And then I woke up. This is so exciting. LUCID DREAMING IS FUN!

September 28, 2006 at 10:29 am 10 comments

Dreams Day 2

I remembered my dreams last night. The details are fuzzy, but I thought I would just type out what I can remember here…
1) I was at some family dinner and somehow I moved to a double storey maisonette HDB in the west. Then there was a roof top garden designed like a football field and there was some funny structure that allowed you to drive a car up. There was a cathedral look-alike building that had a thick layer of moss.

2) I dreamed of Jaron and Jeremy. Weird like crazy.

2) I was in a room with Kelvin and Mei and one funny guy, we were talking about words such as “la-boosh”, “hah!”, “kepoop”, “alcras” and things like that. Trying to form a chain of words. (Could this be a manifestation of the name that I have been trying to look for?)

Yup, I realised that these dreams are way weird but I couldn’t pick that out while I was within the dream itself. Things that I don’t do normally actually. I will continue intenting to remember my dreams and pick out dream signs.

I want to master lucid dreaming 🙂

September 19, 2006 at 3:56 pm 1 comment

Dream Log – The attempt to lucid dreaming

Yesterday I read up a couple of techniques to get started on lucid dreaming. I have been trying for 2 weeks but was unsuccessful. Then I found out that if I’m not a natural at this (like how Kaifeng is), I must start by having a dream log first. This morning, when I woke up, I just thought to myself, damn what an uneventful night. As I tossed around in bed, I suddenly remembered that I had 3 dreams (perhaps more but the rest were forgotten). I was so excited that I must blog it down here!
(more…)

September 18, 2006 at 10:36 am Leave a comment

On Entrepreneurship – the old fashioned way

Dad has a pretty unique style of doing his business that most modern marketing/business gurus will seldom agree. People nowadays go for high tech/personal development books, you hear Blue Ocean Strategy, Innovators Dilemma, 21 irrefutable laws of leadership where they teach really revolutionary ideas about entrepreneurship, leadership, high tech strategies. Very engaging, and it takes a lot of practice to put them into life (which I am attemping to right now).

I try to get dad to move towards this direction all the time and can get quite frustrated when it doesn’t really go my way. Is my way, (the way of the books), really the best way? Sometimes I let my obstinate self get the better of me and I tend to forget that I am the one who’s reaping all the creature comforts from dad’s way of doing business. I forget that as much as I have read, I have not really implemented these ideas into life, yet. I forgot what it means to respect one’s ideas. But today, I managed to pull myself out from this rut and got down to understanding what is dad’s philosophy of doing business.

So, what is his philosophy? Just do it.

What? Just do it.

What about the SWOT analyses and Porter’s 5 forces and … ? Just do it.

I was stunned. I went on and ask him, do you have any plans for your company? Like the system on how you would like your customers to process their photos/documents before they send it to you for printing?

Dad’s reply was a short but surprising one: I have a basic idea, just set up some basic stuff, get the customers in and learn at the same time. Refine the system as time passes.

At this point, I still felt a little bit uneasy. I mean, I did discuss a lot with my friends on the possible methods to run the company and improve sales for Dad but whenever I told them that dad doesn’t do all the high technology analysis and marketing concepts, they were just as astounded and shocked as me on how my dad would just jump in and do a business this way but yet survive very well till today.

Then a realization struck me while I was taking a swim with him just now. The reason for dad’s success can be summarised in 2 points:

  1. He always had a goal whenever he starts on anything new, which is to bring the business to the state that he initially envisioned it out to be. And he let’s “U” take care of it. It is summarised as, 船到桥头自然直。 (A chinese saying that when a boat reaches the destination, it will naturally fall in place with the direction it’s supposed to be at) Intention manifestation at work, subconsciously. He focuses on a goal and handles any challenges that comes along the way.
  2. Just do it. This is the very essence of manifesting a business. Too much cow talk and bull shit does not make a business until you move your ass and start getting it done.

These are the 2 biggest points that I got out of chatting with him. I am not saying that it is the 100% true philosophy to start a successful business because that’s very debatable. But they are really very relevant points and elements for a business which I will learn to incorporate them in at my own experimentation and discretion.

Thanks dad! Good stuff! 🙂

September 12, 2006 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

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