Category Archives: Diary

Finally Upgraded to a Meshed Router Network – Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8)

When I moved into this current home thereabout five years ago, mesh routers were expensive. And I opted to set up my home network with two routers. One was set up as a router and another one as an access point. With dual-band, I ended up with 4 SSID, which was a nightmare to connect. It also made my Sono connectivity kind of wonky as I had to connect all my Sono devices – Playbar, Sub, two SL One, and Roam – onto the same network and kind of defeated the purpose of a router/access point setup. I should have opted for a mesh router network solution when all SSID collapsed into one!

Paired, from the factory.

After much research, I have decided to pick up a pair of Asus ZenWiFi AX (XT8) as my network solution. The Lazada 6.6 discount was generous. It is a midrange product and it suits my need.

Looking back, setup was still easier than in the early days when I had to go through the menu and figure things out. Now, I just need to connect the routers, download an app, and configure the network from there.

Except, the QR code scan didn’t work for this model. I had to go through a manual setup by manually connecting to a temporary network (and I had to guess which one of the two, which wasn’t that difficult judging by the network strength). I had to guess an alternate option to set up through the app (not ZenWiFi but a generic Asus router because the app doesn’t support the QR code setup of this model!). The node did not work immediately. I had to try to extend it manually. It seemed to have failed and then magically, the app recognize the node.

Cool thing. My mesh network is up! Took me a while to figure out how to upgrade the firmware (the app is really not that user-friendly). But I got that sorted.

Switching my Sono app to the new network was a pain. First, each device would try to connect to my new wifi and it would fail. Next, the Sono app would prompt me to manually reset each Sono device and connect to a temporary wifi (Sono). It would fail once but the next time it would work. Then it would take 3 mins or more to update the network.

Each and every Sonos device! I have 5.

Of course, I couldn’t guess which of the Sonos SL One – left and right – the Sonos app referred to. It was kind of a guesswork.

Next, resetting the wifi of the Mi Robot Vacuum was much easier than Sonos.

The rest were standard procedures. Like my gaming laptop, Nintendo Switch …

What a hassle. But I enjoy one single SSID for sure!

And WiFi 6.

When Thunder Rolls at Five

C moved out about a week ago. The exact date was April 21, a Friday. There is no good or bad timing. I had a one-week medical leave and was there almost full-time through the process. During that week, I was counting all the remaining moments with Bailey. Because Bailey would be moving out as well.

A picture of Bailey taken on that Friday late afternoon, home alone, just he and me. He probably didn’t know that I wouldn’t be moving out with him.

Dogs are amazing companions. Just that I am not good with responsibilities when it comes to pets. Perhaps … no, most definitely I have inherited my dad’s genes. My dad is never good at looking after pets. My mom had to do all the daily chores. Turtles, goldfish, birds, rabbits, and a dog. I have probably missed out on a few species. But that is my dad. And here is me. The only thing perhaps both of us were good at was raising butterflies from caterpillars. And I know why. Because dad and I do not need to look after the entire lifecycle of a butterfly. As butterflies flew off our hands, that ended our responsibilities.

I don’t miss the morning noises. Bailey would either wake me up for his morning walk at 7 am and/or during his feeding time at 8 am. He would bark with his undivided enthusiasm toward food. I don’t necessarily miss the late afternoon walk although most of the time while he was living with me, I enjoyed the walk away from work. It can be so refreshing and relieving. The walk was a good cure for work stress. I don’t miss the mess he was used to leaving behind. Like his fur on the floor and on the surfaces (as he was blown dry after his weekly shower). Or his saliva marks. I don’t miss the hassle of having to guard my lunch or dinner or snacks all the time. Because in his mind, we are a pack. And pack shares food.

Having said that, whenever it rains in the morning, I thought of Bailey if he would be okay having his short walk in the rain. Today while I was driving, at the traffic light, I saw a young lady trying to ask her dog – a Singapore Special – to walk with her only to have that brown dog dug in and refused to walk. Just like Bailey often did. I chuckled a little. At times I wonder if Bailey misses me. I don’t know where I stood in his eyes of the hierarchy. To the least, I would think that he saw me as his pack. Whenever I eat apples, I am reminded of how Bailey would eagerly wait for me to feed him apples, resting his chin on my thigh just to remind me that hey, we are a pack.

And when thunder rolls at 5 pm, I would wonder if he would be in time for his eagerly anticipated late afternoon walk. Different people have different ways to cope with losses. For me, I write.

Bailey is a guard dog. I have witnessed on multiple occasions that he made sure no one was left behind. Perhaps Bailey doesn’t miss me per se. He just feels anxious that I am the one who is left behind.

My Prism+ X270 Pro 27″ 165Hz WQHD 1500R Curved Gaming Monitor

In a strange way, while I don’t blog on a regular basis, I have never missed an update on my gaming monitors. This traces back all the way to 2004. To recap:

2004 / $1,000 / 17″ Samsung / Resolution unknown
2007 / $550 / 22″ Samsung / 1980 x 1200
2011 / $310 / 24″ Samsung / 1980 x 1080
2023 / $379 / 27″ Prism+ / 2560 x 1440

Back in 2007, I have upgraded my gaming monitor and 16 years ago, my then-monitor had a larger screen then my CRT TV! I had some interactions with Samsung service centre and not unlike my recent encounter with Prism+, I had a 1:1 exchange. My latest monitor is one from Prism+ replacing my 12 years old gaming monitor.

On the left, my 27″ Prism+ curved gaming monitor. On the right, my Lenovo Legion 5 pro 2022 model.

Ever since I have upgraded to a gaming laptop (note: back then, GPU was super overpriced thanks to crypto farming), I had always wanted to upgrade my gaming monitor to at least 2k resolution. I have done a fair amount of research on G-sync and G-sync compatible. Since my gaming laptop has questionable capability to connect to a G-sync or a G-sync compatible monitor (via a USB-C through Display-Port), I do not incline to invest on a $1k to $1.2k monitor (note: those ROG monitors are so yummy). I have decided to support a local brand – Prism+.

I must say, the first Prism+ monitor I have received was faulty. After a rather lengthy interaction with the super friendly service support team, I have a 1:1 exchange and this replacement works perfectly, as it should. To be frank, this sort of scenario happens to big brands too. Such as Sonos and Samsung. So long as my current monitor works in the next … 12 years like my good old Samsung, I would be grateful.

But seriously, the moment I upgrade my desktop to a 4080 graphic card, I shall be looking for a 4k resolution gaming monitor, preferably an OLED.

In any case, this brand new monitor of mine is good for gaming as well as for work. I am a happy man!

I Had An Accident And Visited Singapore General Hospital Twice

What bothers me most is not one day I am fine, another day I end up with a scar on my brow. What bothers me most is that I do not recall how it happened.

I was on a bicycle in the early Saturday morning. I must have been cycling pretty fast because when I collected my bicycle from the security guards who cared for me before the ambulance arrived, it was in the lowest gear (or was I really cycling fast at the moment of the accident?). The bicycle looks okay. In fact, while my face took the most hit, my body besides a few minor scratches with a bit of soreness was okay too.

But how?

If I were to fall off at a high speed, I would have ended up with some nasty scratches on my exposed arms and legs. According to eyewitnesses, I hit a pillar. But how? Wouldn’t the bicycle take the first hit? Wouldn’t I have hit my back while falling down? I was wearing a helmet. How would my eye get hit so badly?

I said I was being assaulted. But no one believes me.

Nothing was stolen though. Not my wallet, not my iPhone nor my Rolex. Just me fell unconscious with pools of blood next to me, according to a photo taken by one of the security guards (I don’t even want to know how my iPhone was being unlocked while I passed out).

I don’t recall riding in an ambulance. I was in and out of consciousness. I gradually gained the notion that I was in a hospital. The bright white light, lying on a bed, being wheeled to and fro. At one point, I heard a male Philipno nurse with a kind voice speaking to me, “Would you like a plastic surgeon? $500”. Whatever energy I have left, whatever brain power left I could process the information, I said, “Yes”.

It was probably one of the best decisions I have made in life.

I remembered doing an MRI. My first. I waited a long time until the plastic surgeon arrived. I didn’t get to see her face as she was wearing a mask. But I recalled seeing the physical scar on her arms. It looked like a burned mark. I couldn’t help but wonder: was it why she wanted to be a plastic surgeon?

27 stitches, I had. She told me that because she needed to stitch up my face, the stitches have to be close to each other. It took a long time. Towards the end, I could feel the pain. But I endured. (On the record, she has done an amazing job.)

In fact, after I was discharged, I was given three types of painkillers. The normal one. The stronger version. And the extreme version.

But I didn’t take any. Even the nurse who took out my 27 stitches one week later was impressed.

I don’t like painkillers unless I absolutely need to. I’d rather manage the pain instead.

Like thinking happy thoughts.

I was alone when I had my accident. I had someone, my angel, who couldn’t contact me, went around the neighborhood looking for me. Looking back, I am grateful. I am not alone. I contacted her in the end, when I gathered enough energy to do so.

Due to the blood loss, I was feeling weak after I left the hospital. Before I was discharged, I was told by the Accident & Emergency (A&E) that I would receive an SMS on my appointment to remove the stitches on Friday. I Googled. Stitches on the face area have to be taken out within a week.

I worked on Monday because there were important meetings. That was tough. So hard to present and focus, even without a webcam on.

I took the rest of the week off, a much-needed rest from my intense work life of mine.

On the following Friday, I waited for the SMS that never arrived till late morning. I couldn’t wait anymore so I called up Singapore General Hospital (SGH). The main line asked me to call A&E, which I did. A&E said that they have missed booking the appointment for me but I could turn out at Clinic H any time.

So, I cycled to SGH and headed to Clinic H at block 3. SGH is HUGE!

At the registration counter, I was told that I have no appointment. I explained my situation whereby I desperately needed the stitches to be removed. The receptionist disappeared to consult a doctor. After a while, she came out and told me that Clinic H doesn’t remove stitches. Clinic J does. Clinic H is “ophthalmology”. Clinic J is “plastic”. In my case, it is both “eye” and “plastic”.

Where is Clinic J? Just next door.

So I headed to Clinic J and repeated the entire process. They took my doctor’s referral letter (essential for insurance claims) and asked me to wait in front of the treatment room.

The plastic surgeon who attended to me was different from the one who operated on me. She did some basic diagnosis and said that I am ready for stitch removal. She asked if I wanted to book a follow-up appointment with her. At that point, I said no. And immediately, I regretted it.

The nurse who removed my 27 stitches asked me to count as she operated on me. To be honest, I would rather think happy thoughts. I like her though. She was from Malaysia now a Singapore citizen. She has been with SGH for 17 years. “Too long,” she said. “You look young,” I said. I meant it. At the end of the treatment, she asked if I wish to take a photo of the 27 stitches removed. I politely declined. She commented that black stitches are so hard to spot against my eyebrow. I agreed. She said the stitches should have been in red or blue color. To that, I also agreed.

Bad news. The receptionist has lost my letter of referral. I have to get it reprinted. Somewhere somehow.

After the treatment, I was told to visit the pharmacy to get my cream to minimize scarring. The doctor said that it would be expensive. $90 (more like $70). In a heartbeat, I said, “I want it”.

It’s for my face, for god’s sake.

It took me more than 1 hour to get a tube of cream.


At the A&E, it was chaotic. I explained to the nurses that Clinic J has lost my letter of referral. I needed it to be reprinted so that I could proceed with my insurance claim. Very grumpily – understandably so as A&E can be stressful – the nurse printed the letter and more.

According to the report – which I wouldn’t have a chance to read had Clinic J hadn’t lost my letter – the MRI scan was good.

After I got the letter, I had lunch and returned to Client J wanting to book an appointment with the plastic surgeon who “looked after me” in the morning. It took me a long time to recap the summary to the receptionist. Way too much effort. But at least I have the follow-up appointment booked.

With that, I cycled back home.

Timeline for reference.

10:45 – No SMS from SGH and hence called the main line.
11:45 – Got a queue number from Clinic H.
11:55 – Asked by Clinic H to approach Clinic J instead.
12:55 – Exited from treatment room with all stitches out.
13:05 – Arrived at the hospital pharmacy to collect my tube of cream.
14:15 – Got my cream from the pharmacy. Headed to A&E for the reprint of my letter of referral that Clinic J has lost.
14:50 – Had lunch at Coffee Bean. Tuna sandwitch with coffee, S$17.
15:15 – Finished lunch and headed home.

“Shen” the T-Rex in Singapore

I am a massive fan of anything dinosaur. It is fascinating that creatures so giant and out-of-the-world looking existed for hundreds of millions of years in the past, we now get a glimpse of what some of them look like. I recalled years ago I read an online article that one British museum would exhibit dinosaur fossils, I had made a commitment to revisit the UK one day, which I did before the pandemic.

This T-rex is going to be on display in Singapore Victoria Concert Hall till Sunday. After which, it will be transported to Hong Kong for an auction. The open bid I’ve read is going to be above $100m.

Back to today’s adventure, I planned to do two things this weekend. One is to watch a Japanese movie called Wandering. Another one is to view this T-rex before it leaves Singapore.

I slept relatively early on Friday night. I had pizza. And the wine was good. On Saturday, I woke up at 4 am and could not go back to sleep!

Actually, I managed to fall back to sleep at 7 am and then, woke up at 9.30 am because the movie was screening at 10:55 am. Wandering is an arthouse movie. There were limited theatres that screened it. 10.55 am was the only timeslot and there were in total 3 people watching the show, including me.

My plan was to have McDonald’s breakfast. But by the time I left my apartment, it was 10:10 am. Fortunately, there are four buses to reach Funan. I reached the cinema 15 mins ahead of schedule. And my plan was to take a walk to Victoria Concert Hall after the show.

So I thought!

No. I went to the wrong cinema. It should be Plaza Singapura instead!

No time to waste, I called Grab transport. It took the driver 5 mins to pick me up and 10 mins to reach the correct cinema.

Phew. I made it. Just nice.

I will write about the movie in the next post. After the show, I had a really expensive burger meal at Five Guys. So expensive that I could only afford the burger (S$16.50!) and was unable to afford the fries and drink (S$13.50!). I mean, no way I am going to pay S$30 for fast food. Imagine I had a date. That would have cost me S$60. I felt thirsty after the meal. But no time to waste!

I took a train to Raffle Place and walked to Victoria Concert Hall where my friend T-Rex was. As expected, there was a really long queue for walk-in viewers. I have all the time in the world and didn’t mind the wait. There were two young female staff – very elegant looking, dressed in black suits and black dresses under a very warm sun – who approached the visitors and asked if any of us had registered online (and hence, skipping the queue). I wanted to joke with them that I was not a buyer and hence, did not register. I didn’t. I just replied that I was a walk-in. “One hour from here?” I asked. One of them replied, “Yes, likely.”

Looking back, the wait wasn’t that bad (compared to that British museum at the top of this post). Within half an hour, I entered the hall and met T-Rex.

My first impression was … “Shen” – also means god in Chinese – didn’t look that complete. I mean, the one at that British museum was one of the most complete T-Rex unearthed and restored. It is hard to say how much of “Shen” was reconstructed (usually there is a display on this info by the dinosaur fossil, a diagram showing real fossils versus reconstructed pieces). And his skull looked rather fractured.

“Shen” certainly looked fearsome. Thanks to the ringfencing of the parameter, it was rather easy to take pictures from all angles. Just that, because there were so many people, My iPhone kept on capturing photos of human heads inside T-Rex’s jaws.

Kind of funny.

I wanted to chill a bit more at the Singapore River. The weather was good. But it was 4 pm. I have to return home and walk the dog.