Saturday 31 January 2015

Apple iOS 8.1.3 software update

Apple released an iOS 8.1.3 update recently. My advice is to wait for a few days to a week to see the end users' responses to the update before taking the plunge to update it. Well, I have 3 Apple Devices at home and I don't want to risk updating every device before it is 'safe'. However, I think I can take the risk as I have an iPad Air which I can update before I update the rest of my iPhones. I don't think it can address all the issues and bugs but with minor or incremental patches, it should be better than no updates at all.

iOS 8.1.3 software update

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Pitcher plant propagation

I bought a pitcher plant about a year ago. It was quite small and I think it was about $18. I used perlite and peat moss in 1:1 ratio. The plant grew well initially and the pitchers became bigger. I did a research  on it and it needed distilled water or rain water. I didn't want to risk it using tap water so I bought bottled distilled drinking water from the supermarket. Sometimes, I tried to collect rain water or just placed the pot in the rain. The tap water may kill the plant. Another thing, his plant needs indirect sunlight to do water and remembered to keep the roots moist. Never let it dried up for more than 2 days, the pitchers will dry up and die. If the conditions are optimum, the pitchers can survive for a few weeks.

You may want to capture some small insects for the pitchers. The peat moss and perlite have not much nutrients for the plant. It relies on the insects that are trapped in the pitchers to provide the additional nutrients it needs. I didn't see insects getting into the pitchers so I manually capture insects and place them in the pitchers. This will help it to grow.

I made a mistake when I transferred the plant to a pot. It seemed that the medium was too packed and there was no air going into the medium. The plant started to dry up and slowly dying. I needed to save the plant. So, I cut the plant into two portions which each portion having at least three leaves. I scrapped the end of the stem with a scissor and dipped into root hormone powder. Again, I used perlite and peat moss. This time, I used shallow containers. I used a plastic bag to cover it and left it for a month.

After a month, the plant will start to grow new leaves and you will know that the propagation is successful.

New buds will emerge from the crown and soon more leaves will appear. You need to be patient and wait for the leaves to grow. Keep the plant moist all time and it needs indirect sunlight. However, I noticed that the parent pitcher plant had shorter stem intervals between the leaves and thus, it was very difficult to propagate because you would need a certain portion of the stem to be scrapped away on the skin. But it can be done and you just need to be careful and skilful.

Mini pitcher propagated from a parent plant
Pitcher compared with a 20-cent Singapore coin
My D.I.Y. pot using plastic bottle
The other plant is in another glass container which I will upload once I can take a good photo of it.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

Google Adsense Alternative - Chitika

I have signed up for Chitika and placed ads in my blogs since 28 November 2014. The revenue is pathetic. To date, I have only $0.05 in my earning. There are 1852 impressions and 14 valid clicks. Looking at the numbers, I cannot tell whether this ads network is good or not. I have the impression that the revenue will be higher if the clicks or impressions are from USA and Europe.

Chitika report - breakdown by month
From USA/CA, I only got 121 impressions with 0 clicks. The valid clicks are from international regions. I don't know the CTR and CPM from USA/CA as I have zero from the regions. Hopefully, in another few months, I get more visitors from the USA/CA regions to have some data to share. Well, I have only $0.05 in my account now but I'm not giving up on Chitika yet. I hope to drive more traffic from USA/CA to view my blogs and give me comments on how to improve my blogs.

Chitika report - breakdown by channel

Looking at the report with the breakdown by channel, hover app and chitika default ads settings have the most impressions. Valid clicks came from chitika default. From the report, it does not seem to set the hover app in my blogs and I have set it off for now. I will only have chitika default setting and will monitor it for the next months.

So far, I have Infolinks, Chitika, RevenueHits and Bidvertiser. Only Infolinks and Chitika have revenue, I would recommend Infolinks for now but I have not yet reached the threshold for payment. So, I'm not sure whether there will be payment from them but I will let Infolinks stay in my blogs for now.

Of course, the best ads network will be Google AdSense but it is difficult to get into the program and also to maintain it. Most people will get their account disabled due to invalid clicks activities. However, Google will not re-instate the account eventhough you may be innocent. Some people have nothing better to do and clicked the Google ads to create invalid activities and when Google detected this, they will disable your account. So, ads network should not be your sole income and I would recommend people to start blogging and when they are ready, apply Google AdSense and just leave it there to generate income. You may not want to promote it because that way, someone who hated you may click excessively on your blogs. Well, it is a chicken and egg situation. On one hand, you want to increase traffic to your blogs, but the other hand, you don't want to risk people click bombing your blogs. That will be the end of your partnership with Google AdSense because once you have been disabled by Google, you cannot join the program again and forever!

Saturday 10 January 2015

Pruning avocado seedling to keep it dwarf

I planted the avocado seedling on 1 January 2015. After 10 days, I think it is time to prune the seedling. The third avocado seedling had seven leaves and I thought I would leave only 3 leaves after pruning. However, I did not want to over-prune it so I just cut away the top 2 leaves.

Third seedling
I used a sharp penknife and cut at an angle to remove the top two leaves. In the internet, some people recommended not to use a pair of scissors because the cut would not be clean. Most recommended a razor blade or sharp knife. The cut area will be able to heal faster and less likely to get an infection.

Sharp penknife to cut the stem at an angle
The cut area is clean and there is no juice or sap coming out from the cut area. I did not clean the area. I hope this is the correct way and will monitor the health of the seedling for the next few weeks. If everything goes well, new buds will appear at the base of the leaves and new branches will grow from there. Some people recommended to remove the small leaves along the straight stem. I'm not sure about this so I just keep them.

The cut area of the seedling
I will update this in SG My Garden Is Good blog. Come and visit the blog to see the progress of the seedling. I will also show the pruning photos of the second avocado seedling.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

iOS 8.1.2 updated!

I had updated my iPhone 6 to iOS 8.1.2 and so far there is no issue encountered. Battery life on iPhone 6 did not improve and become worse. I think it is comparable before and after the update. I have taken screen image captures on the battery usage for at least 3 days but I'm too lazy to post it in this blog. I will try when I happen to find them. So, if you are worried that your iPhone 6 or 6 PLUS has issue updating to iOS 8.1.2, you don't have to worry anymore. Update and enjoy! Just a note, I'm not liable for any damages to your iDevice when you update.