Smart TV Experience with Google Play Movies & TV

Always wanted to try using Smart TV. Finally, this time, I had the chance to experience it. 

It was not an easy journey. I have to admit. So want to share my User Experience (UX) with you all. 

Because it involved 2 different branded Smart TV from different manufacture date, hence, pre-loaded apps were different. Apps? Yes. You will need those app to view movies etc. bought through Google Movies & TV. 

To start:

A. On your tablet or android Google Play, top left menu - Movies section, search for movies you want to rent or buy. You can pay by using credit card or use your redeemed $$ from gift cards. I bought $25 gift card and rent a movie. 

DO REMEMBER which Google Account you use to rent for the movie. 

For renting, you will need to watch your rented movie within 30 days from the date you confirmed to rent it. And you will be required to "activate" the rental by saying Yes to watch now. Once you activate, you have 48 hours to watch it, unlimited times.

B. Once you purchase and activate, you can watch the movie via:

1. Your android smartphone or tablet - After you rent the movies, you can find it on your Library. Good thing is you can download the movie on your device and watch offline. HOWEVER, if you do that, you will not be able to watch it on other device. Remember this. Otherwise, you will be very frustrated (like me) when trying to watch the movie on any other devices. 

2. Chrome (browser) - Which you will need to install Extension - Google Play Movies & TV. Double check your Chrome Setting and ensure under "People" section, it is using your Google Account that used to rent the movie. If not, remove the once stored in your Chrome and sign in with the Google Account with the rented movies you want to watch. 

3. Your smart TV - If your TV does not have Google Play Movies & TV, you can try YouTube. I tried both on different smart TV. Sign in using the Google Account with the rented movies. Latest smart TV version may have Google Play Movies & TV. Under it, you can go to My Library to find what movies you can watch, either resume or start from beginning. While on YouTube, I did not find it under Library but History ... so you may want to do something to make the movies to be found under History, e.g. watch it briefly on your smartphone. 

Have not try on iPhone yet... Share with us if it works on the iOS app. :-)

That's it. 

It took me quite some time to complete the UX "testing". As I cannot find any details online, hence, I just want to share quickly here with you all. 

Enjoy :-) 


3 UK - Internet with Legs - Travel to USA, Which mobile data service/SIM

Planned a trip to USA. It is always very difficult to get "connected" when travelling to USA.

This time. I found 3 UK packet of "Internet with Legs". Checked online which ISP they will use when in USA - AT&T and T-Mobile! Thinking, ok. No harm to try. Not sure if it is true, will update later after my trip to USA.

This packet come with 1Gigabyte mobile data 3G & 4G that can be used internationally! It comes with one UK mobile number, which I think you may use for SMS and call if you go to Europe and top-up with the right plan.... not sure.

Anyway, I just hope it will work in USA.

How I activate it... on the instruction. It seems very easy and also if you search online, it also looks very simple. HOWEVER, from my experience. No.

I am in HK and will need to activate it in HK, which I have internet access at office.

The step:

*Follow the easy instruction (put in the SIM), wait a bit until you see the signal found and keep your mobile on, as you will need it for registration an account at My3 UK.
*Go to My3 UK page to register https://www.three.co.uk/My3Account/Login - using your mobile nr state on the card and you will receive a SMS with a temp password.
*It will strangely auto assign an email to you BUT actually you cannot login using that email. Read carefully the info on screen that will lead you to register the account with your preferred email address. I used my private gmail.

Done. I thought... but No.

After 2 days, I tried to login My3 and check "Data Allowance"... still showing "Sorry...." nothing there. W.T.H. @#$%x

I switched on my smartphone (support 4G & 3G). Entered the APN info which I found online which is "three.co.uk". Force data on with data roaming on too. Nothing happen. No patience to wait for online chat to open for chat. I did below and successfully activated the card.

The step below:

*Switch on the mobile and wait for the signal showing with the little "R" next to the signal strength bar and double check the ISP is showing "3".
*Add new APN using - 3internet (I am using Sony Xperia, so Android, very easy to add.)
*Switch on data and data roaming

VOILA! Immediately received a few SMS telling me it is activated.

Logged in again to My3 account. Showing the Data Allowance with 1G and International Setting was on with "UK and Aboard" selected. (images shown below).

Hope it will also work in USA after I activated it in HK. Will update after my trip to USA. :-)

Updated on 25Dec16

Tested the 3 UK Internet with Legs in USA. It worked great.

It supports both AT&T and T-Mobile, which is an advantage when comparing starter pack of a specific service provider. 1G data is not very enough for me. But I think you can select other plan with more data. Just be aware if highest data plan will support tethering.



Wordpress - Remove "Leave a comment" under Theme Unite

Just having a hard time trying to remove the link of "Leave a comment" (not using CSS code to hide, as for those who have experience will know how to get in as well, so it needed to be done from the php). So just sharing here. Hope it will help you a bit.

What I did:
*First make sure Comments are not allowed. Under Settings-Discussion
*Make sure all Pages no comments allowed too. Under Pages - select all pages ; go to Bulk Actions (select Edit) - Apply; Change the Comments to "Do not allow". To check if all ok, go to Pages list - mouse over selected page - select "Quick Edit" - take a look at the field "Allow Comment" if it is checked.
*Last. Login to your web server. Find the content.php under wp_content-theme-unite. Make a copy of the content.php as backup. Edit it. Remove this:

Reload and the "Leave a comment" link should disappear.


London is big. If you have time, you should consider to stay for at least a week or two. There are so many things you can do and experience in London. So what to do in a week? Recommendation is base on staying at 1 hotel in Shepherds Bush.

Reason selecting Shepherds Bush: This is not a trendy place yet BUT hotels in Shepherds Bush are mostly very well located close to either Central (Red) line or Circle (Yellow) or Hammersimth (Pink) line AND it is close to LHR. I always book a car for the airport pickup from https://www.247airporttransfer.co.uk/ for both airport pickup and back to airport when leaving.

After arriving a hotel in Shepherds bush, head to Central line tube station, where you can buy an Oyster card for your week of stay in London. Don't go to the Gold Hawk or Shepherds Bush tube station, as you will not be able to buy a new Oyster card there. Their Ticketing office opening hours are unpredictable....

After that, you can have a leisure walk at the Westfield big shopping mall, going to Mark & Spencer (inside the Shopping mall) or Waitrose to shop for anything from lights to heavy ready meals, fresh fruit salad, great bakery, desserts, etc.. Leave some room for your food trips later during the week. :-)

When to arrive: If you only have 7 days 6 nights, I always suggest my friends to arrive on Friday. So that they can experience all the weekends markets as many as possible.

Presuming you will arrive on Friday,(leaving HK or Asia on Thur night/evening/afternoon)
*Day 1: After arriving hotel in Shepherds Bush, freshen up. Go out and stay awake by walking around. (to prevent or shorten your jet lag) First get your Oyster card at Central tube station. If want to go out for food, try the restaurant at Westfield mall (it is on the left of the Central tube station exist, when you are facing the bus terminal). Book a table at Jamie Italian for dinner (otherwise, you won't get a table) before wandering in Westfield. While you are browsing inside the mall, keep all the pricing as "reference". Wait till later...

*Day 2 Sat: There are 2 choices. Walk from hotel to Notting Hill Portobello Market, enjoy street food or nice lunch and dinner in surrounding area. We tried a few restaurants there ... will fill this in later, as I forgot the name... OR go to my favourite Borough Market. A lot of great food, bakery, famous pork pie....Borough Market is close to the original site of Shakespeare Globe (now residence, opposite to FT building)at Park Street, if you continue walk along the river side, you will arrive the new Shakespeare Globe Theatre and further down is Tate Modern. Tower Bridge is not far from Tate Modern. From Tate Modern, have a walk across the Millennium bridge to the other side to St. Paul's Cathedral. After that, you can take bus for about 2-3 stops, get off and visit the Monument. Tower of London is about 5-10 minutes walk from Monument. Wandering around that area can use up one full day!

*Day 3 Sun: Heading to Spitalfield Market near the Liverpool tube station. A lot of local designers showcasing their products in this market. Around lunch time, you can consider to go to Maltby Street (Ropewalk, next to an old bridge) market for interesting food. Maltby Street is on the other side of the river. Then, go to Westminster, last stop on day 3.

Day 4 Mon: During week day, supposedly, less "human traffic" at major tourist spots. Go to Convent Garden, China town (Leicester Square), .... to be continued.

#London #HotelDeals #伦敦旅游攻略


Move / Copy Data from Windows under Mac Parallels

My macbook pro is dead suddenly and I need to back up some files which I stored in the Windows 7 installed on Mac OS via Parallels. This is how:
*Setup VM Ware on your other Mac
*Connect your mac HDD from the dead machine to another mac
*Look for Users/user/Documents/Parallels/*.pvm file
*Select that pvm file and right click then select "Show Package Contents"
*Look for a file e.g. Window 7-0.hdd (which should be quite large in file size). Select and right click then select "Show Package Contents"
*Look for a .hds file. Copy it out on your other mac where you installed the VM - Virtual Box and then rename the extension from .hds to hdd.
*Run the VM and create a new VM. Do select the right Window version and allocate the same size of your .hds file to avoid any issue. Then, you can connect to Google Drive and back the file you need to.

I do not know how to enable to move files from VM to your another mac's HD. So I was using Google Drive. And one tips, when trying to login to Ctrl+Alt+Del on Windows 7, you will never be able to do it via Mac keyboard. So after you click on the VM, when you are prompted to enter Ctrl+Alt+Del to login, look for the VirtualBox VM menu on your Mac - Under the menu "Machine" there should be an option call "Insert Ctrl+Alt+Del". Select it then you can enter the login details to go into your Window 7.


Finding my check in / checked luggage

After a few years being a business frequent travelers, I thought I can share with you all my check in/checked luggage experiences.

In those days that I always needed to fly to USA for work (now to visit my brother), a Delsey 4-wheeled soft-side luggage lost 1 wheel after 2 U.S. trips! And it was so difficult to get the airlines to admit that loosing 1 wheel the luggage was not usable any longer and it was so tedious to get them paid. I told myself, be patience in order to find out how the process really work. I followed their "instructions" and waited for their repair shop to say it was not able to be repaired, then I got a new bag delivered to me but different brand and of course much cheaper than my Delsey which was usable only if you are not traveling because even it was a 4-wheel bag, after loaded with half volume. It cannot be really moving smoothly as my broken Delsey, so it was used as a big "box" at home for storage. That was the 1st soft-sdie luggage I bought.

I had been a Delsey fan hard side luggage for 10+, since I had been working with a software company which required me to travel frequent, far and long. When nr of travels getting more and more, my favorite hard-side 2- & 4-wheel were too heavy and not big (capacity) enough. Sometimes, I also don't understand why I can travel lighter when I was younger... probably I care less about "the look". Now I need to have at least 3 pairs of different shoes and at least 1 suit, different tops and bottoms for at least 4-5 days to cover 2-week trip. Sometimes need to bring different blazers if weather is cold. HENCE, I need a bigger luggage and it is better to be as light as possible.

Despite replacing my Delsey soft-side with a Samsonite soft-side as urgent replacement, it is too heavy for "regular" travel. So it becomes a "storage" box and I just used it again in this 20-day U.S. 1-location trip to see if it will survive back to HKG.

My sister bought a Rimowa (2-wheel) during discount period at Lane Crawford for her 1-year master degree course in London. So my first Rimowa - cabin 2-wheel, when I was traveling to Zurich and bought it in Germany. Very light, even I put my laptop in. Since then, I also bought 1 x 29" Salsa and 1 x cabin but 4-wheel. For the Salsa, I bought it in NYC to replace my broken 25" (only discovered at hotel, so cannot claim anything) hard-side Delsey. From NYC > HKG, first time, the HKD4,600 (approx) luggage was dented! "LOVE" the ground handler in U.S. airports! After a few years using mix of Salsa+2-wheel / 4-wheel Rimowa, I stop using the Salsa now but bought different brands for checked luggage. Worry that even it is Rimowa, it can no longer stand the crazy luggage handling. But probably, I need to use it again soon...when go to Berlin?!

I have been to 4 trips to Berlin. Each trip, my checked hard side luggage was broken by the ground handler. Not sure what I should use for my next business trip to Berlin!

Within 3 years, I have 4 renew 4 broken checked luggage, which I did not have time to file claim with airlines. Among the 4 broken, 3 were claimed using polycarbonate. The one using polythene was broken/cracked seriously after 2 trips (one trip was to Berlin, which I cannot use scotch tape but had to hunt for new luggage). Each trip, luggage weight was about 23kg.

After wasting so much now on replacing luggage (which I cannot claim neither with airlines or on my business expenses), I am lost re what to buy, as the polycarbonate Wagner 29" is scotch-taped on small cracks after 2+ years over 10+ trips. Aluminum seems to be the best option but too heavy. Polycarbonate - is Bayer version stronger/ than version made in China? But how to tell?

To replace my cracked Wagner, bought a Timberland Boscawen, which is 100% ABS. Suggested retail price is USD400. See how long can it last!

If you are Rimowa, Samsonite, Delsey, I think you can use me as "tester" for your 28 / 29 inches luggage! Be sure you allow for international speed repairing or replacement! With luggage that cost HKD3,000+ should really have these type of international services.


What is social media

Being asked about social media, what we have been doing?

Nothing major is my answer. If anyone feels that putting messages on different social media platform=doing social media. Wrong.
If anyone feels that social media=online PR. Wrong.

Social Media platform is too "casual" for traditional PR-thinking people. Social Media platforms are not for you to just spread the messages out. Each message needs to be matched with the "characters" of each social media platform. That's part of content marketers' tasks. And, sorry, social media platforms allows more than just posting messages. Hence, the person in charge should know how to leverage the technical capabilities of each social media platform and develop interaction elements to go with e.g. different campaigns you may be running. This is beyond a traditional PR person's conventional thinking and mindset.

Hence, when selecting agency to assist on this area, be careful. Hence, as well, using social media is not free. It may probably one of the most expensive channels due to: 1. the short time span of each message and 2. high $ investment on creation+management of campaign with the right interaction element.
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Sony Xperia Z - Pattern Lock Issue

My friend's Sony Xperia Z cannot be unlocked after upgrade to Lollipop over the air from the patch by Sony. HOWEVER, his phone was being rooted before, hence, somehow the touchscreen somehow misaligned.

Wanted to try using the Sony PC Companion to install from scratch but due to the pattern lock can only be input half-way...cannot.

Solutions: Use OTG + an USB Mouse, then, I can draw the unlock pattern using the mouse.

Happy. Now next step is to try reinstall from scratch to fix the screen issue...just want to share with whoever has the issue of the pattern lock cannot be recognized through the touch screen.


A la bakery - Central, Hong Kong

Walked pass this bakery on Thursday. Thought I should try. First thing I will always try is croissant. The consistency and taste are very close to those that one can find in traditional boulangerie in France or Switzerland. Which I have been looking for sooooo looooong...

Tried also the mini green olive bread which seems like bread made from pizza dough mixed with olive. Like it. Will definitely try the one with basil & sundried tomato. :-)

Tried also their plamier (butterfly biscuits). The consistency is same as like what I missed. Happy. But the very strong butter taste...not sure about the butter...

Next target will be macaron and cakes.

If you have not tried, I recommend you to try.

Sorry, did not take any pictures... can't wait to try and ate them all within 10 mins....


London. I love you. I hate you.

My feelings towards London is always mixed.

I love him when strolling at the South Bank area, wandering in my favorite Tate Modern, starring at those surrealism pieces, peeping through the narrow window of Tate Modern to get the "real masculine look" of the bridge and St. Paul Cathedral.... Love him so much.

BUT interactions with people, systems.... their attitude, rigidity.... I hate him.

That's all.

From marketing point of view, to get London being loved, the "integrated" solutions is not just on the "surface" but the root too. "Tourism & Travel" is a mix of Product Development & Marketing Services.


HER (2013)

Because I like the game that I saw in HER 's movie trailer. Hence, on the way to KL, I saw this movie on CX725...and I wish I had an OS1.... This is what can really become true by using "big data" + data generated by continuous interaction with one individual... + tolerance of illogical "feelings". Should this be a "scary" movie instead?

It is creepy and it is like a super fast computer, processing an ocean of unstructured data, finding connections among the scattered data, learning (new data) as the same time => Analyze => Responses (Results) catering to your “needs, emotions, the environments you are in” I wish I were there…. Because of the technology I want to have and use. Because of the living space they have... alone but connected.

Human being behavior is traceable and so predictable...hence, being manipulated and influenced?

Deep thinking. Introspection.


Rice Cooker Recipes I had in London - Good for single and when you are sick...

When you are living alone and/or you are sick no one can cook for you, you want food which is easy to make, healthy, and no need to worry....if cook in a pan, it will burn, dry, trigger fire alarm... In that circumstances, a rice cooker is needed.

As a woman, monthly I will feel sick, like all other women but sometimes mine is a bit worse. Hence, during my 2-month trip in London, I needed a rice cooker for making simple rice dish which is healthy (can keep my "Chi" circulating), not oily, no MSG, no dairy product). Just dump ingredients in the rice cooker and let it cook...

Bought a simple not fancy rice cooker from Agros. Ingredients from M&S, Wholefoods, Chinese Supermarket near Piccadilly Circus.

First two easy recipes for you to try. :-)

*Recipe 1*
4-6 x chicken drumstick small size with skin from M&S (can be chicken wings or breast but with skin. If you are suffering from flu or coughing **DO NOT USE CHICKEN**. Use lean sliced pork instead)
Ginger, Soy sauce, Black Chinese mushroom from Chinese supermarket
Sugar, Rock salt from Wholefoods

How to


*Wash drumsticks and dried them with kitchen towel.
*Finely chopped ginger.
*Marinate drumsticks: Put drumsticks, finely chopped ginger, soy sauce, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt in a zipper bag. Soy sauce must cover the drumsticks. Massage and mix all ingredients well. Leave for an hour to marinated. U can do this in the morning, put in fridge and can use for dinner!

-Black mushroom-
*Washed black mushroom quickly to get rid of the dirt. Soaked whole black mushroom in tap water until it soft normally take 20mins for medium size. Cut them into slices. Keep the mushroom water. You can also buy sliced dried mushroom in Chinese supermarket ...or use mushroom that you like... just it will not have the chinese mushroom fragrance.

*Wash/Rinse 1.5 coffee cup (1.5 dl size) of rice in the rice cooker's container and leave a bit of water (not cover) together with the rice. Add the sliced mushroom and the mushroom water in. BUT make sure rice is only about 1/4 inch covered by "these" water. Dry the bottom of the container and put back to the base. Electricity plug off.

To cook....

*Switch on the rice cooker. After putting the contain back to the base, plug on, press the "Cook" button down.
*Heat pan and brown the drumsticks and add the marinated sauce in the pan for a about two minutes. Off fire.
*When see the rice cooker steam coming out, (still can see some water boiling in the container) open the lid pour the drumsticks and marinated sauce from pan into the rice cooker's container. You can stir them in to the boiling water-rice mixture or just lay them on top evenly.
*Put the lid on and let it continue to cook. Make sure the rice cooker "Cook" button is down. Once rice is cooked, it will be switch to "Warm" (that is the cook button is up). Let the heat to continue cooking for about 5 mins.


Note: Try if rice is cook. If rice is not cooked thoroughly due to lack of water, add a bit more water in, close lid, and press the cook button down and let it continue to cook. It is always better to have less water then too much water and end up like a ... chicken mushroom porridge.

*Recipe 2*

Cherry tomato from Holland from M&S
Ginger from Chinese supermarket
Scottish salmon from M&S
Rock salt and pepper from Wholefoods

*finely chopped ginger
*Wash salmon, cut it into small pieces and season it with salt, pepper, ginger
*Wash/Rinse rice quickly and leave them in the rice cooker's container with about 1/2 inch of water cover the rice. Dry the container and put it back to the rice cooker base. Electricity plug off.

​ How to...
*Rice cooker plug on. Press cook button to start cooking.
*When water start boiling, open lid and add the cherry tomato evenly into the rice cooker's container (depending on how much rice you are cooking, for 1.5dl coffee cup of rice you may put 12-14 cherry tomato, if you like to be a bit more juice, put more. No need to chop.) Close the lid and let it cook for another 5-10 mins.
*When it close to drying up (meaning rice is almost fully cooked), open lid and put the diced seasoned salmon in evenly on top of the almost-cooked rice and tomato. Cover lid and let it cook till the cook button go to "Warm" (you will hear "tak"). Let it continue cooking for another 5 mins.


**IMPORTANT NOTE** If you are sick, especially if you are having fever/flu/coughing, DO NOT USE CHICKEN. Replace it with lean slice pork. And DO NOT USE ANY GINGER. Ginger and chicken both are food ingredients which will generate "heat" inside your body, which normally only will make your fever/flu/coughing worse base on my experience.


Maltby Street Market, Sunday. London - Probably Best Beefburger....at the moment :-)

Best beef burger, probably. It is the type of burger that you probably will not want to eat with your boyfriend or first date.... extremely finger-licking messy - WARNING!

BUT you do need to have someone to eat with you... Great to have Declan and David together at Maltby Street Market (London).

It "affects" not just your mind but your taste buds... craving for 2nd round after 2 hours. Something special is in there. BTW, the bread seems like making with sundried tomato. So the tomato favor infuse in every bite! It was EXCELLENT made.


One Kensington Restaurant, London

Staying in London for 2 months...one advantage is that I can try different restaurants, go to different weekends markets and share my experience with others.

I am not a picky person but just when comes to food, if you position as a good restaurant, I will have high (proper...) expectation of it.

When my colleague said this restaurant - One Kensington - is good. Really? was my response. Immediately, visited their website to check their menu out. Ummm.... very basic simple menu wor, nothing special.

I was proven wrong, after I spent a night there last week. I had venison as starter, crab tagliarini as main, and black forest as dessert. Did not look very special in "text" BUT the chef "reinvented" each dish to his own version. Interesting and unexpectedly good. Really enjoyed all the food I tried that night. Will definitely go again, again, again... before I leave.

Yes, Chef, you should be in HK too!! Well, probably can first organize a evening event for selected HK foodies. :-) Miss the venison....


Jamie's Italian by Jamie Oliver, Piccadilly

Went to try Jamie's Italian after work by myself, before his first restaurant to be open in HK. Ordered 2 dishes, Crispy squid and wild mushroom risotto.

The squid was very good, although I will prefer the chopped chillies to be on the side... Then, waited for more than 20 minutes. Finally, I had to leave without eating the main course, i.e. the Wild Mushroom Risotto, and went to Whole Food instead. Disappointed. :-( Not sure if I will go to either of their restaurant again in coming 6 weeks in London, despite there is one very close to our office in London....

Bad experience and very unhappy. (The server was very nice though. One positive point.)

The pricing is reasonable and not expensive at all. So if you will be in London and go try, after all we see him quite often on HK TV. You may be luckier than I am. :-)

One word of suggestion to Jamie, if all dishes will come with chilli, in HK market, that may not work. HK water is too "heaty", if eating more "heaty" food... not good for health.


Day 1 London

It is the first day after arrival on Saturday. Hectic. Trying to find my way to here and there and competing with time and sunshine... ^_^ Yes, sunshine. It was a beautiful day that will be wasted if not walking under the sun a bit more.

Went to Monument after about 10 mins walk hoping to get a monthly ticket credit to my Oyster card...Closed on Sunday!! Was told to go to Bank station, so another 10 mins walk... Open from 12pm till 1:30pm only!! F. Finally went to Liverpool Station. Did not get the monthly ticket, as there is a need to fill in personal details...So, no. Wasted so much time running around to get the weekly pass instead. Why a monthly ticket will be similar price to a month of using 7-day pass? Interesting, always find UK pricing strategy of these public transportation monthly tickets is a joke.

On the way back from Bond street to the apartment, another joke. Don't take the information shown on the Tube map seriously - Central line connecting with Circle and District line at Bank station is another F. joke. Walking up and down is much much further away than going out of Bank station and then walking to Monument above the ground with fresh air!! I can see the tourists just follow the sign and did not realize that they were being fooled.... somehow. Grumpy day despite the lovely sunshine. Love & Hate to my ex - London! 2 months here!! God. @_x


Berlin. Introspection.

Berlin. Been here 3 times already. None of these trips that I have really went for a stroll relaxingly. This time, 80% weather was good. But walked too much at the fairground, so "rest,rest,rest" is more important.

I would like to share some tips...if you are to arrive in Berlin on Sunday. To find supermarket, food, the simplest way is to go to HauptBahnhof. There are two big supermarkets there and all shops are open. IT IS A VERY BIG STATION!

I am a person who needs to have internet connection all the time. However, unfortunately, the apartment that I like to book does not have very good internet connection. I will need to rely on 3G data.

Last year, I was glad to find Congstar startpack in one of the dm shops. Yesterday, I found them also at the dm shop at Ku'damm! They are using Deutsche Telekom (i.e. T-mobile) network. BUT very sad, at the apartment I rent, there is no 3G connectivity but only Edge for Deu. Telekom, so I cannot work....searching... O2, e-Plus, Vodafone has 3G signal! Only Deu. Telekom does not have... :-( In dm store, they also have one from blau.de (e-Plus network).. Tried a startpack yesterday at Euro8.45 only.... Waited for about 6 hours before the SIM was activated successfully. Happy! And they have EU weekly package, which is also another good stuff. (Airport Express shuttle)


Melpo's Music

Whenever I listen my music, I feel regretted that I did not go to the audition for an 1/2-hour live broadcast when I just graduated from secondary school.

I missed a few opportunities when I was stupid and naive. A piece of potato bread, really. Everybody probably wanted to "eat" with butter & jam. ;-p

Perhaps, may be suddenly, I will receive call again.

While waiting, sharing some of the songs that are always "around" in my mobile, tablet, laptop.... They are more important than food to me. Glad that I found this website...when I was attending a full day class...(you know, something to keep myself awake).

Sharing my first playlist here.

That's Melpo music. by Melpo on Grooveshark


Travel to London? So far. Vodafone PAYG FreeBee is best!

It was a very painful research for a SIM card with data, voice and text AND allow tethering. Turned out, I bought 3 eat-all-you-can (at GBP15, valid for 30 days with unlimited data...) and Vodafone FreeBee (topped up of GBP20 to get 1G data to be used within 30days, 500 min voice, unlimited text). Tried to get it tethering during presentation around 3-5pm UK time near Victoria station. Results, 3 - cannot get connected and cannot use; Vodafone FreeBee - super speed connection.

Just information want to share this information for those who has been researching very hard before they travel to London.

Additional information after using it for a few days. Got problem that the top up for GBP20 package seemed not register successfully on Sunday (here for more info). Went to store...useless. Called "191" customer service and they fixed it straight away so I can continue with my presentation on my laptop. Happy.


3rd time at Agora Place Asakusa

Third time staying at Agora Place Asakusa and tried the alternative way to this hotel using Keisei Skyliner from NRT to Ueno station. I had heavy luggage - one checked-in (23kg), one cabin with heavy laptop, and a small handbag - but managed to get through to the train and then taxi at Ueno station. Happy. The whole journey took about 60mins. Train + taxi. Bought a Keisei skyliner return ticket + 2 days metro pass = JPY4,880 + Taxi around JPY900 from Ueno train station to hotel.

Glad I tried this. Whoever will book this hotel in Asakusa, this may be the best route, if you have luggage like mine and you are a female with on one who can assist you..... next time to Tokyo, I may stay somewhere else to experience and explore, depending on when will that be. :-))


Why Chengdu, staying at Dorsett Grand

Have been to Chengdu for a few times, due to work. Staying at Dorsett Grand Chengdu is 'mandatory'. However, I am glad that is mandatory, after been to a few so-called five stars hotels and eating there... sorry, I prefer to stay and eat safe at Dorsett Grand Chengdu.

The hotel is new and most importantly to me is it's location. Close to underground, can walk from hotel to the famous shopping street to look for my Japanese pork chops place. A restaurant run by Japanese, very good food! Also walking distance to Wide and Narrow allies. If the weather is not hot or raining, the walk is very pleasant.

Chengdu has been growing so fast, it may soon taking over Shanghai in terms of foreign investments. If you have not been in Chengdu before, suggest you to go there and experience this city yourself. I still see a lot of construction sites CO-development by big names, Swire, Jardine,Chinese Estates Holdings, etc..And if you have more days to spend, you can take a trip or two to nearby beautiful mountain areas.

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Asakusa, Tokyo - Japan: Cherry Blossom, Temples. Happy :-)

I haven't been to Japan for more than 15 years! This last trip on my round the world meetings journey was great (although I was not feeling well and cannot eat as much I would love to).

Trip from Narita Airport to Agora Place Asakusa was pleasing via Limousine Airport Bus, luggage handlers can speak English and they assist you upload and download the luggage. Love it. Then, after leaving the bus at Tokyo City Air Terminal, right on the opposite side across 2 automatic doors, Taxi stand for taxi to the hotel.

The hotel is clean, white, lime, warm, very comfy and fresh. It is a budget hotel and you can rent or purchase amenities (plus other things you need, e.g. hair dryer, extra cushions, etc.) at lobby. On the corner, there is a iMac. No problem, if you forget your laptop. A great convenient accommodation concept to me. Like it a lot. PLUS they have laundry room for guests with washing machine and dryer operated by coins.

For ATM, inside the 7-Eleven (just a few mins walk from hotel), I can withdraw money from my HK account, a metro station is only a few minutes walk, and a supermarket is within 5 mins walk as well. So convenient, what else you can ask for for a picky traveller like me who does not like too much human contact, greetings, etc. from those 5-star + hotels, which sometimes are quite fake, to be honest.

My first exploration stated on Friday, taking metro to an office for meeting in Akasaka, hence, lunch around that area. Was taken to a super great ramen shop: 赤坂麺処 友 I haven't eaten such good ramen for so long, since my favorite ramen shop run by a Japanese in HK was closed. It raised my expectation for ramen next time.

After meeting, I was taken to Cherry Blossom places. Stunning. I felt so lucky, they were open earlier this year, so I was in time to see them bloom bloom bloom. A good start of the Year of Snake, 2013? :-)

I did not have much time to explore the city. Next time, I will be able to share more, when I go there again for leisure.

So, just a few images to share. Haneda airport is about 50mins by taxi to Agora Place Asakusa http://www.agoraplace-asakusa.com and it costs about JPY8,000-9,000 without traffic. So it is worth it if you have luggages and if share with 2-3 others.

Nowadays, when I travel, I will spend more on transportation from airport to hotel and save on accommodation instead, as there are more and better choices now than before. Enjoy.


Holiday - Lugano & Milan

When I was preparing for this trip, not long, only 10 days-nine nights. I was not able to make up my mind of going or not to London and was a bit sad that I finally decided not to go London but spent a few nights in Milan instead.

Result: Unexpected. I did not regret.

When the plane landed MXP, I started worrying how to get to Lugano...turned out, it was very easy and convenient. It was only about 1.5 hours away from MXP by the comfy bus and they assisted to load your luggage to the bus too. Loved it. :-)

Then spent CHF18 for a 3-4 mins Taxi ride from the Lugano FFS to the apartment hotel I booked. It was actually only 10 mins walk from the Lugano FFS but spending CHF18, I did not need to waste time wondering where and how...

I was happy to see that the apartment (Maraini Resort) was so big and for myself for 6 nights with a fully equipped kitchen and dish washer!! It also has an indoor swimming pool at the ground floor. Wish I could swim.

Did not waste a second. I went straight out and looked for markets, supermarkets, shops, buses, preparing tickets for the other trips to Zurich and Milan,..etc.etc..

Spent a night at my friends place and had great dinner with them. I always like their sweet & sour tofu, very delicious and innovative, and the seasonal dish - braise duck with brussel sprouts. They tasted so good that I wish I had 2 stomachs! (China Restaurant ZEN, Adilswil, Zurich)

On Sunday, went to Foxtown for a walk. A lot of people! And met a good looking Russian lady from Siberia, we found our way from the train station to there. But actually the bus stop was just opposite to the train station. Hey, it was so hidden, who will know where it is! Anyway, we had a good walk and chat under a sunny day which was enjoyable and good.

A trip to Germany Singen & Konstanz was always so great with friends, although it always a shopping & eating trip. It was also full of people!

Then, spending a hectic day to find Swiss Custom to stamp my tax refund forms so I can get tax back before going to Milan. Glad to find them at Chiasso.

Then, went to Milan! Tutto Solo!

Felt a bit scare but pretending not and walk like locals straight from Milan Centrale to hotel. Yeah!

The stay at Crown Plaza Milan City was great, although the room is 50% of the size of the apartment in Lugano, it is right at the exit of M3 - Sondrio and tram/bus of 90,91,92, which its bus stop is just opposite to the MXP airport bus area. If follow straight this bus/tram line, you will find the shopping street Bueno Aries (like Nathan Road in HK! ;-p)

There were not too many bakery, so I headed to Duomo for food, actutally, pastries & bread...

On Sunday, last day in Milan, went to a market only open in the morning till 12pm, and I bought old HK coins dated back 1863! This market is near the main post office just a 2-3 mins walk from Duomo at M1 - Cordusio stop. The buildings and surroundings are stunning. Must more attractive than the shopping area around Duomo! After spending an hour or two on my plate of Ossobuco with Milanese Risotto, I went to another place which I have never been before, even I went to Milan for more than 5 times. That's Castello Sforzesco. I love it love it. I LOVE ANCIENT ROMAN & GREEK STYLE ARCHITECTURE! THE PILLARS, THE FRESCO, THE DOME, ROMAN SCULPTURE...Errrrr

I made a correct decision to stay a few nights in Milan alone, so I can explore the city, not shopping.

Next time, I will stay in Lugano and have a real relaxing 2 weeks holiday!


My mushroom risotto. Best consistency I have ever head so far....because I made it. :-)
My second attempt was disaster, as I was lazy not pouring soup ladle by ladle. So don't be lazy, if you want to make wonderful risotto yourself!


Alternative Solutions to Sharing iWorks Files

Spent a day to look for different solutions. Now quite happy with the solutions found.

Keynotes on iPad is one of the best apps which I always use, apart from Flipbroad. I spent money on the app and then money on the connector to projector....so of course now, need to think about how I can share the file easier without using email but something like Dropbox.

Unfortunately, when you try to share the presentation though sharing function on Keynote, you cannot share through Dropbox but WebDAV and Dropbox does not have WebDAV yet. Hence, searching searching.....

Below may be probably the best solutions:
*Sign up an account smestorage.com
*Pay USD5 to install iSMEStorage app on your iPad
*Setup the mapping to Dropbox
*Send a screenshot of iSMEstorage installed on your iPad with your smestorage account login name to support and request for activation of the WebDAV service

That's it. Like it so far. :-)


Natural Pain Killer

Not sure if this is good or bad. I can't stop myself from digging for natural pain killer instead of keep taking Ponstan or Panadol every month.

After much Googling in the past 2 days, I learnt about Cyclooxygenase (COX). Inhibiting COX can provide relief from pain and inflammation. Cooked Maitake (Grifola frondosa) may inhibit both COX 1 and COX 2. And flavonoid found in a variety of fruits and vegi (apple, apricots, blueberries, pears, raspberries, strawberries, cabbage, onion, parsley, tomato, citrus fruit, tea, cacao) can inhibit COX2.

Now, I have a bag of great mushroom, going to make it in rice, risotto, etc. etc..Make it as pesto is better so can be kept in a bottle and eat when require.

Will buy fresh one more from Japan now regularly.


Flashing my Vodafone 845 to Gingerbread

It was a daunting task, which I always tried to avoid. BUT because of the error that can't be fixed without flashing either to a new Android ROM or to factory ROM. Of course, I selected to flash it to a higher version of Android and the result was great and everything seems responding faster then before when it was installed with Eclair.
Tried to flash to IceCream Sandwich, but the ROM and everything seemed not working very smoothly with this low end phone
So, Gingerbread - Healthy and tasty ;-)

Below were what I did, after 2-day-overnight testing & trial....sorry, sister, don't have time to try and find out how to bridge the digital TV to other wi-fi devices....

It was difficult for me as the error also causing, nothing can be downloaded & installed on the phone, so I can't download anything that can help. One particular tool is - ROM Manager. I will suggest you to install it now and back it up when you still can now for just in case.

Steps by steps FYI:

1. Rooted your device (non manual process is to use z4root, but it is no longer available in Android Market, otherwise, follow the manual steps which you can easily found the information via Google)
2. Installed ROM Manager
3. Download cyanogenmod ROM cm-7.2.0-RC0-U8120-KANG-signed-update16a.zip, latest update is 16a, you can find it in xda-developer website.
4. Download G-apps, also can be found in xda-developer
5. Last file to download is recovery clockwork 5.0.26 zip file and then rename it into update.zip

Mis en place completed. Now 'making & baking it'.
The make & bake process:

1. copy all the zip files onto SD Card root.
2. Switch on the phone by pressing Call+Volume Up+Power buttons. ROM Manager menu will come up. Select the option to make a 'fake' recovery action to recover from the update.zip file. Complete, Reboot, then turn off the phone.
3. Switch on the phone by pressing Call+Volume Up+Power buttons. ROM Manager menu will come up. Select Install zip from SDCard and select the cm-7.2.0*.zip (Ginger bread Vodafone 845 ROM. Complete, Reboot to system (may take about 15-30mins, make sure your phone has the power to wait.)
5. Switch on the phone by pressing Call+Volume Up+Power buttons,again. ROM Manager menu will come up. Select 'Install zip file from SDCard, select the gapps*.zip file, so essential Google apps can be installed too.


After the installation, last time to boot to ROM Manager menu to wipe all data with factory reset to basically clear up all the stored data in the phone that will create issue on accessing Android market and install any apps to the phone.

It was not too difficult but just confusing (sometime and different people may encounter different bugs/error during the process...), thanks to the ROM Manager. So if you are interested to flash your older Android phone to Gingerbread, enjoy! :-)


My trip to Seoul - Enjoy being lost.

Upon arrival, I was lost already. Ummm...where was the bus station to hotel...online it reads first bus from airport is around 5am...so most of us waited till the service desk open around 6am, so we asked "Where is the bus stop?"

The 'luxury' of taking this bus was that bus driver will assist you to load and unload your luggage. Korean men are usually very helpful (probably older generation?), they will assist any female with their luggage. Thumbs up.

Lost again after getting off the bus...where is the apartment...ummm...looking left right front and back....all Korean, no Chinese, no English. Guess-Walk-Go. Fortunately, found it in 5 mins. with my luggage. The weather was nice but very cold, down jacket with cashmere was not enough. Now I understand what there are so many shops selling fur.

Went straight out trying to get ticket - T-Money...Got it at 7-11. Funny, someone asked me where to get ticket at the MRT...do I look so much like Korean..? The area I was staying - Daelim seems like a residential area and close to factories area via Line 7. Every night after 10pm, MRT was packed. And there is a 24hr Korean restaurant near the apartment, so felt quite safe walking back to hotel every night after 11pm. Headed to Dongdaemun. Lost again. Couldn't find the MRT. Whatever. Really looking forward to going to Seoul and will spend morning at Dongdaemun to experience how Korean spend overnight in this area.

Learnt how to make kimchi. Very interesting, but preparation may take longer than really making it. To prepare the huge chinese cabbage, it needed to be prepared one day ahead and with heavy object on top of it to try get rid of the water inside it and one needs to turn the kimchi every 4 hours...Happy that Ryoko can join me for fresh seafood lunch and then Korean BBQ dinner. So great.

Trying to walk from MRT to Hermes through short cut....ummm...lost again, no map, nothing. Fortunately, met a guy who took me there and he can speak fluent English, because he studied in UK and US before. Nice.

Next time, really should have a good Seoul map. A map that should have korean & chinese street name, english pronunciation, bus stops.