MacBook keyboard keys

In this blog post, I am going to share with you how to get the lacking keyboard keys on a MacBook’s keyboard.

Essentially, you are missing the following keys:

  • HOME / END.
  • DEL key. This is different from the MacBook’s “Delete” key (which is equivalent to the “Backspace” key).
  • Page Up / Page Down.

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7 simple methods to achieve success in life

Source: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2016/03/started-bottom-now-im/
Tips for success
  1. Study hard when you’re young
  2. Work hard when you’re older
  3. Never shy away from making connections
  4. Leverage your network for opportunities
  5. Life 10% below your means -> save 10% of your income
  6. Don’t foster any addictions (alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling)
  7. Don’t fall for scams

Those really are “proven steps”!

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The stereogram experience

I first learned about stereograms in 2001. Back then, the term was new to me and I had no idea that it was possible to see 3D shapes on a 2D screen with the naked eyes.

What are stereograms you ask?

A diagram or computer-generated image giving a three-dimensional representation of a solid object or surface

Wikipedia, as usual, has a nice article explaining stereograms.

After a long week of trying hard, researching and learning various techniques, I managed to see my first stereogram:

snowman-softsource
3D snowman

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How to turn your bookshelf into an e-book library: Digitizing all of your books

digitizing-books-scannedSince I moved to the US, I collected around 350 books. I love books and the thought of giving them up is not a pleasant thought.

Each time I used to move from an apartment to another, the majority of boxes would be packed with books. Each time I travel somewhere for a long period, I miss being able to grab a book from my bookshelf and start reading (most of my books are old and they do no exist in digital format anyway). It is clear that I have attachment to those books.

To break this attachment, I had to make a couple of decisions. The first was whether to just forget about the books, leave them on the shelves and get myself busy with another chore. The other decision was whether to scan and /or give away the books. With that came other questions like how to scan books and convert them to eBooks, what methods to use, how much efforts would it take to convert the books, etc.

I decided to get rid of the books and the trim down on the space they occupy. For the reasons outlined later in this blog post, I chose to destructively scan my books. By scanning the books, I get a digital and searchable copy of my books (in PDF format).

In this blog post, I will share with you different ways you can use to digitize books and then the remainder of this blog post will illustrate how I destructively digitized all of my books and what tools I used. Continue reading

Sleeping tips – Basic Sleep Hygiene

This is a multi-part short article about sleeping tips to help you improve your sleep.

Basic sleep hygiene

Like you have food hygiene principles, there are also a set of sleep hygiene principles that can help you get a good night’s sleep:
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  • Slow down your mind: do relaxing activities before going to bed, do not keep on working and then abruptly try to go to sleep. Your mind will keep on “rolling” and will take the problems with it. Slow your mind down before going to sleep.
  • Don’t feast at night: Unless you want to watch lots of action dreams or nightmares, do not eat heavy meals before going to sleep! You don’t want to make your body busy digesting. You want to have your body rejuvenate itself.
  • Avoid bright lights: Don’t stare at bright screens too long before going to sleep (like your phone or tablet). Instead, read a physical book or if you have to, use a dimly lit e-ink based reader like Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite.
  • Avoid caffeine at least a couple of hours before going to sleep: to some, drinking caffeine will not help them fall asleep fast or soundly at night.
  • Your bedroom is for sleeping only: while you can do other “stuff” in your bedroom, keep unpleasant and distracting activities outside the bedroom essentially. No computers, eating, playing with your electronic devices all night long, etc…
  • Organized sleeping time: your body loves order and routine (same like your mind loves patterns). Make a habit to sleep no longer than 10PM each night and learn how to wake up naturally without an alarm.

…and the list goes on, but you get the idea.

Now you may ask “What if I still cannot fall asleep?”

The answer to this is a topic for another blog post in this series. However, if there is something I learned during my quest for better sleep is the fact that if you are in bed, tossing around and around not able to sleep then don’t stress about it! Accept that fact and relax until you eventually lose consciousness and drift into sleep.

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4 things to consider when looking for an apartment to rent

Apartment-for-rentThis year I set about to start looking for a new and cheaper place to rent in the Pacific Northwest / Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue area. I tell you, apartment hunt was like an adventure.

I learned a lot from this ordeal, so I am going to share with you a few tips on how to make an informed decision about renting an apartment. Continue reading