Upgrading the Acer Aspire One A150 netbook

It was a sudden decision to head to Sim Lim. I made several acquisitions there:

  1. Laptop memory, it’s a 677 Mhz DDR2 (1GB) SO-DIMM whatever Kingston RAM.
  2. Desktop memory, it’s a 800 Mhz DDR2 (2 GB) Kingston RAM.
  3. A SATA to USB convertor.

I opened up my Acer Aspire One bravely voiding the warranties. I own an Acer Aspire One that I gotten upon a SingNet contract renewal. It’s a netbook that came at a time I wanted to get a notebook. I treat it as a sign from the gods that I should delay a notebook purchase (to yet another year). It comes with 1GB memory, of which 512 is soldered onboard. I followed a hardware guide to open the netbook and add in new memory.

For the Acer Aspire One A150, the maximum amount of memory it can go is 1.5 GB. I chose the option to rid the 512 MB RAM and placed in a 1024 MB RAM. I don’t really know what I was doing. I hesitated before I buy but I thought, heck, it’s just 18 bucks and I’m already here so let’s get it and try it out.

Acer Aspire One A150 opened up to add memory 1
Acer Aspire One A150 opened up to add memory 1

Here’s how it look like when it’s all naked. It’s the first time I opened a notebook and I’m extra careful with everything. I didn’t follow the full instructions as it didn’t suit my model but the guide still help a lot.

Acer Aspire One A150 opened up to add memory 2
Acer Aspire One A150 opened up to add memory 2

It become apparent that Acer designed the netbook without upgrading concerns in mind. The DDR2 slot is located all the way inside, you have to unscrew everything, rid the keyboard, the daughter board and sound card to reach the memory slot. I almost given up at the keyboard stage actually (that’s when I realized the guide has 4 more pages).

I fixed in the RAM and put everything back and am glad it is all working fine. But it’s certainly a task not for the fainthearted.

I also fixed in more RAM in my desktop my Windows Vista and Windows 7 are both significantly quicker. Photoshop did launch slightly quicker. I don’t feel an improvement in the start up time though. As for the netbook, I have yet to feel much improvement actually.

The accidental success of the MDA rap video

Went to BlogOut! today! I couldn’t stand nouns having appended with an exclamation mark as I always felt confused when I try to make a proper sentence. Anyway, BlogOut! (not again…) is pretty good today. The whole theme is basically social media: good, no social media: bad. Well something along the lines.

One of the more interesting things being brought up in the discussion is the MDA (Media Development Authority) rap which most considered ridiculous. As much as I dislike (and would often cringe) the video, I actually watched it around 10 times. I shared the link with all my friends and give them something to laugh about. Almost everyone I showed thought it is the most embarrassing thing that come out from Singapore.

The video spread so quickly within days. It wasn’t even supposed to be on YouTube, it seems to be more of an education video for visitors of the MDA website to educate them of what the MDA is about.

It’s accidental success (or major failure as view by some) did achieve something quite unplanned. And that is now a lot more people know of MDA’s existence. Before the video, I doubt as much people heard of MDA much less know what they do. With one video, MDA got into Techcrunch and Digg. I could probably even get you a bunch of local blogs which discuss it.

It may be a horrible video to watch but it spreads and if you were to measure success by the increased awareness of MDA and their purpose, I think the video scores. What’s worse than bad publicity is no publicity.

Well, let us appreciate the MDA rap once again:

How to optimize MySQL database with a command

When you delete large portions for data from your MySQL table, the database becomes more fragmented. It is always a good idea to re-optimize your MySQL database especially if you have a lot of varying characters (VARCHAR). Here’s the command to optimize just one table:

[code lang=”sql”]OPTIMIZE TABLE foo[/code]

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But I am looking for a more command line solution and here it is:

[code lang=”bash”]mysqlcheck -op database_name[/code]

The ‘o’ refers to optimize. And the ‘p’ is the option for password requirement. You’ll be prompted for the password.

If you’re logged in as user ‘john’ in your SSH, the MySQL username will be ‘john’. If that’s not what you want, use option ‘u’ like this:

[code lang=”bash”]mysqlcheck -op -u user_name database_name[/code]

And to optimize all databases:

[code lang=”bash”]mysqlcheck -op -u user_name –all-databases[/code]

You can also use option ‘r’ to repair.

Note that the optimization only works for MyISAM, InnoDB, and ARCHIVE tables.

Bye Apache, Hi Lighty

As planned, Apache is no more. Say hi to Lighty

Lighttpd logo fly light

Made a few silly mistakes along the way and almost accidentally deleted my folder of pictures even. Things got a little more responsive. I haven’t used any caching solutions for WordPress. Caching is going to be tough work.

I just let PHP CGI spawn happily:

[code lang=”bash”]
PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2655 www-data 16 0 99816 31m 3804 S 0 12.4 0:22.67 php-cgi
2651 www-data 16 0 96060 29m 3308 S 0 11.6 0:04.91 php-cgi
2656 www-data 16 0 93976 26m 3968 S 0 10.2 0:24.59 php-cgi
2654 www-data 16 0 94008 26m 3856 S 0 10.2 0:24.88 php-cgi
2653 www-data 16 0 91612 25m 3200 S 0 9.8 0:03.52 php-cgi
2657 www-data 16 0 89840 22m 3784 S 0 8.7 0:24.06 php-cgi
2652 www-data 16 0 89580 22m 3980 S 0 8.6 0:04.27 php-cgi
2650 www-data 16 0 86716 20m 3196 S 0 8.0 0:03.94 php-cgi
2313 mysql 15 0 139m 17m 4368 S 0 6.7 0:19.83 mysqld
2649 www-data 23 0 71676 6232 3708 S 0 2.4 0:00.01 php-cgi
2647 www-data 23 0 71676 6224 3708 S 0 2.4 0:00.02 php-cgi
2672 root 15 0 53468 2696 2136 S 0 1.0 0:00.00 sshd
2645 www-data 15 0 55084 2628 892 S 0 1.0 0:00.22 lighttpd
2433 root 15 0 36676 2124 1676 S 0 0.8 0:00.00 master[/code]

Lighttpd don’t exactly take up a lot of resources too.

Tonight I’ll fix the server

It’s been requiring almost a daily restart. I think it’s probably MySQL or Apache’s fault. Or perhaps it’s just my fault for being a miser not wanting to pay for more. Either way, I’m going to fix it. So far, I’m done with the virtual hosts. Lighttpd isn’t as hard as I thought. PHP is working fine already. I’m still in the midst of testing if WordPress works. Once I’m done with that, it’s “sudo apt-get remove apache2”.

Channel NewsAsia got onto Digg frontpage

This is a first time for me:

Michael Jackson’s newest songs released after his death

channelnewsasia.com — Michael Jackson has recorded more than 100 songs in secret, but is refusing to release the tracks until after his death. The singer has amassed a stack of tunes but only wants them to be heard by his children, 11-year-old Prince, 10-year-old Paris Katherine, and five-year-old Prince Michael II, after he dies, according to biographer Ian Halperin.More… (Music) [Source: Digg]

And for Michael Jackson? Something totally not related to Singapore. Looks like it’s more traffic for Channel NewsAsia

Allowing self-signed certificates for pfsockopen and fsockopen

This is more of a personal note. I’m kinda busy, I’ll write more next time perhaps. Use this if you want to connect to HTTPS that is self-signed SSL certificates.

This is for placing in front of pfsockopen and fsockopen.

NTU student stabs professor

I wonder if this is stress-induced:

NTU’s final year engineering student stabs professor

SINGAPORE: A Nanyang Technological University (NTU) spokesman had confirmed that a final year student from the School of Electrical and Electronics Engineering stabbed a professor Monday morning.

The professor at the engineering faculty was in his office when the student stabbed him with a knife in the back.

Prof Chan Kap Luk, a Singaporean and in his 40s, is said to be the supervisor of the fourth year student in a project.

After stabbing, the male student, who was in his 20s, slit his wrists and jumped.

His body was found at the bottom of a building at the engineering block, which was about five-storey high. He died from his injuries.

Prof Chan received medical treatment for cuts and is in stable condition.

NTU said both parties’ next-of-kin had been notified. (Source: Channel News Asia)