Monthly Archives: May 2013

My iPad Mini Problems

In my previous blog post, I’ve mentioned the good and bad points of my iPad 1, and the desire to get myself an iPad mini as I like the weight and size. Finally after searching for many weeks, I’ve finally found a used iPad mini at the right price.

I’ll be using this iPad mini mainly for reading, both for ebooks and magazines such as National Geographic, and initially I just want a basic 16Gb device, but after searching, and considering a while, I decided to get a 32Gb one, as I’m a gamer too. Some good iPad games can be as big as over 1Gb, and therefore 16Gb is not feasible for me. I do not want to complain about not having enough disk space later.

At apple store (in Singapore), a 16Gb iPad mini cost $448, and a 32Gb cost $578. To fork out close to $600 for another iPad, it’s quite painful for me. So I thought of getting a used, or second hand one. I’ve been searching through forums, ebay, and other buy/sell websites for several weeks. Not much people are selling their iPad mini. Even if they do, most of the people are selling either 16Gb or 64Gb. I’m not sure why.

Finally, one fine day, I came across a seller willing to let go of his 3 month old 32Gb iPad mini. I contacted him immediately and able to purchase it end of the day. He was willing to sell me at $430! It was a snatch, even cheaper than a 16Gb model!

After work, I rushed down to meet him and true enough, he was there with the iPad mini. The transaction took less than 10 minutes and next thing I knew, I was off to purchase a new screen protector and a good iPad mini case to protect my previous new toy!

Problem Number 1

When I was back home, I quickly hook up my new iPad mini to my laptop. Eagerly waiting for my iTunes to appear, nothing happened! (I knew things wouldn’t go so smoothly!) I unplugged and plugged in the lightning cable several times but my laptop only detect the ipad mini as a camera. The common window box appeared, but unable to sync with iTunes.

“Cool, cool,” I told myself. I hated this kind of thing, but I knew somethings were unavoidable. So I plugged in my iPhone. It worked! It was able to sync nicely with iTunes. Next, I plugged in my iPad and it did the same. So things were normal, but I wasn’t sure why my iPad just couldn’t sync.

I tried to google for solution but couldn’t find any. There were many people facing similar issue, such as with their iPod Touch. “This should be a common problem.” I thought to myself. I called my brother, who was another Apple fan and he told me to delete the backup of my iPad and iPhone. Sometimes it could cause this problem. I did as instructed but still, nothing happened to my iPad mini. I was deverstated!

I’ve searched the internet and there were several solutions to my problem. I’ve tried them but none helped. Nevertheless, these solutions (for PC) did help many people and if you were facing the same issue, you could try:

Check 1: Go to your Control panel and under “Add or Remove programs” you should see Apple Mobile Device Support.

Check 2: Go to your Control panel, Administrative Tools, Services, you should see Apple Mobile Device. Stop the device, then Start it back again. When you right click and select properties, Start Up Type should be Automatic.

Check 3: Right click on “My Computer”, under “Properties”, go to “Hardware” and “Device Manager”. Under “Universal Serial Bus controllers”, you should see Apple Mobile Device USB Driver.

Missing iPad Driver

That’s my problem. I could not find my driver for my iPad mini. I tried with Iphone and it appeared. Enough was enough. I decided to call Apple hotline (1800-My-Apple) and to my surprise, after just 2 rings, the Apple representitive picked up the phone. I told him my issue and he told me to follow several steps to uninstall iTunes, and all Apple related programs.

Initially, I tried to just uninstall and reinstall back iTunes, but it did not help. I decided to follow his steps and after about 30 minutes of painful waiting, I plugged in my iPad mini and walla! The screen I’ve been waiting for appeared! These are the steps you MUST follow through:

Go to Control Panel and remove the following software, then restart your computer:

  1. iTunes
  2. QuickTime
  3. Apple Software Update
  4. Apple Mobile Device Support
  5. Bonjour
  6. Apple Application Support (iTunes 9 or later)

After removing all components, restart your computer and reinstall the latest version of iTunes.  I suggest you immediately do this step once if your iDevices cannot sync.

The whole issue was the missing driver. Perhaps even updating my iTunes to the latest version doesn’t help to install the driver. We have to uninstall and reinstall the whole iTunes for it to work. And don’t worry about your songs, podcasts or movies. They will still be safe inside your harddisk. No data will be lost.

Problem Number 2

Just when I thought I could enjoy my new iPad mini with all my podcasts and apps, another problem surfaced. This time, it was a much bigger issue. At night, before I sleep, I have the habit of charging all my devices so that they will be fully charged the next day. At about 4am in the morning, loud explosion happened just besides me.

I got a fright and jumped out of bed. My iPad mini charger exploded, causing my whole house power to trip. I’ve to reset my circuit breaker in the middle of the night and burnt smell was everywhere. I was thinking why all these happened at the same time! I was so tired! After checking, my charger and lightning cable was burned.

IMG_2701IMG_2699 iPad Mini Charger Burnt

The next morning, I called back my seller and asked if the charger was original. It was. “How could this happened then?” I asked. He had no idea and frankly speaking, it wasn’t his fault either. However, he felt responsible for all these happennings and decided to give me another charge with cable. What a nice guy! He told me that he had many Apple products, so he did not mind giving me.

I met him that evening and he passed me the items. Because of this incident, we became closer and chat a lot about Apple. I still love Apple products and love my iPad mini. I’m using it and it’s great. So do you have similar experience? I’ll like to hear! Share with me through the comments below.

Advertisements

How My eBooks Are Selling in Apr 13

How times flies. I’ve just blogged about earning by writing ebooks in March, and it’s already half way past May. If you never take action, or do anything that can build up your future daily, time really can fly and when you start noticing, it’s too late. You can’t turn back the clock anymore. Listen to me, start doing something, anything …. that can shape up the future you want.

Alright, Apr had been a very busy month for me. I’ve to take care of my housework, my new ebook business has just kick off and I need to manage the team well. Luckily, the share market is currently at the rooftop, so there’s nothing much for me to monitor. I’ll just wait for a crash before going in again. Right now, I’ll just stay put, collecting my dividends.

Updates for Lulu

As you know, I’ve self published my ebooks through Lulu.com and it’s quite a pleasant journey. Lulu enables me to distribute my ebooks across most of the platforms (PC, Mac, iTunes, B&N, etc …). As a publisher, the most important factor is to make sure your ebooks are easily accessible for everyone. However, kindle is not part of the distribution list. It’s powered by Amazon and a rival to Apple.

Image

In Apr, sales from Lulu had been good. I’ve made a total of 279 sales (including free ebooks) and a profit of $82.73. Not bad, considered zero marketing and promotion. Plus these ebooks will stay as long as Lulu is around, making me some passive cash every month.

How Exactly I Write My eBooks

Previously, I’ve mentioned that I do not write my own ebooks. So in this post, I’ll show you exactly how I do it.

1. Plan

First of all, you need to plan. As a manager of your ebooks project, you need to balance the profits and losses. Reinvest the profits well to generate more sales. That’s the rough idea.

2. Get finding topics

You have to write tons of ebooks to generate a good income. The rule of the game is simple. The more ebooks you published, the more income you’ll likely generate. You are very unlikely to be the next J.K Rowling, so forget about writing on 1 story and expect to be a billionaire. Start from small, evergreen topics.

I’m always focusing on topics that will outlast the test of time. My ebooks can be read 6 months later, 2 years later and even 10 years later. The content is evergreen and useful for different generations of people. Example of such topics are:

  • How to manage your time well.
  • How to swing your golf club
  • How to run a marathon (lastest ebook)

There are tons of topics to think of. Come out with your own list of about 20. Then you are ready for the next step, that is ….

3. Find lots of ghostwriters

I don’t write my ebooks. I hire ghostwriters to write for me. I’ll just give them the topics I want, and hire them to do the rest. At any point of time, I’ll have about 10-15 ghostwriters writing for me concurrently. The reason is simple. I want to pump out as many ebooks as possible. It’ll take 1 ghostwriter approximately 10 days to finish 1 ebook. So 1 ghostwriter can complete about 3 ebooks per month for me. With 10 ghostwriters, I can publish about 30 ebooks per month, about 1 per day. Not bad!

Of course, things are not so easy. You have to go through the contents to make sure the things they’ve written are not rubblish. I do not want to be branded as a bad writer, as these ebooks will be under my name. Therefore I’ll go through each and every single ebook before I published them. This is quality control 🙂

4. Finding these Ghostwriters

So the next question, where to find these ghostwriters? Well, the best place will be Elance and Odesk. You just sign up for a free account, then write down the requirements you’ve set for them. Once done, the writers will start bidding for your project. You can select a few and get them to start working on your ebooks.

As for payment wise, I’ll only pay them for a complete ebook. I never pay them by stages. Some writers will request to be paid 10% for the first part, then 40%, followed by the last 50% etc … I don’t do that. No ebook, no deal.

Some writers can be negotiated to be paid by the sales of ebooks, which mean that you’ll pay them royalties for every ebook you sell. If they are a good writers, and their ebooks sell well, they can in fact earn more in this way. Try negotiating with them!

5. Your Job Now

Once you’ve got your first ebook, published it! Then at mean time start looking for a new ebook deal. This process can go on and on, as long as you like. Use the profits you’ve earned from the previous sales to fund your new projects. Plant as many seeds as possible so you’ll get more fruits in future. It’s about managing your projects, funds and time.

Remember, earning money online isn’t difficult. All you need is to know how to do it, and well, do it! If you never take any action, nothing will happen. I hope this post will help you publish your very first ebook. And if you do, pls send me a copy, I’ll gladly review it!

So have your started? I’ll like to hear your plan and experience in the comments below. Happy writing!

I Want iPad Mini

This post is more relaxing, talking about my hobbies and favorite pastime. I’m a workaholic, never doubt that. But nevertheless, I still need to have my own time for entertainment and leisure. If you keep stretching a rubber band, no matter how tough it is, it’ll break one day. I’ve been through that before, where I worked basically 16 hours a day and eventually I was worn out. I was totally sick of my day job. I was scared to go back home as I knew at that time it was the beginning of another work, which was my business.

My wake up call was when my girlfriend (my wife now) told me that I did not spend enough time with her. I did not prioritize her in my life and finally, when I was about to lose her, I realized money was something additional to benefit our lives, not being control by it.

I let go all my businesses, and strangely, my earnings did not dip. I was able to maintain my earnings while working less than half the time spent. I knew the power of passive income, but that was the first time I truly felt it.

I decided to slow down my pace, spent more time with my family and wife. I have time for myself to do the things I enjoy (besides making money) and life is good. I’ve came to a stage where I start to leverage on my fruits which I’ve planted for many years. This feeling is nice. However, I am still finding new ways to make money. I’ve slowed down, but I will not stop. That’s my passion!

Thing I Truly Enjoy

If you ask me 1 thing I really like to do during my free time, I can tell you it’s reading. I wasn’t sure since when I took up reading as my number 1 hobby, but over the years, I spent more and more time reading. I can really get myself lost in books, as if I’m watching a movie inside my brain.

I tend to read everywhere I go, queuing up at food court, traveling inside MRT, lying on my couch, etc… I just make time to read. I also make the transition of reading from physical books to digital ebooks. I purchased my kindle keyboard and downloaded tons of ebooks from Amazon. I like the feelings that I will never be bored with my kindle around. It is really a fantastic device, and I strongly urge you to get one if you like reading ebooks.

However, 1 bad thing about kindle is that it can’t, or not convenient to read RSS feeds. I subscribed to lots of feeds to push to me. I want the most updated news in order to keep up with the market. I’m a trader, an investor and I welcome news more than anything else. I have to read my RSS feeds separately on my iPad 1. When I’m going out, I have to carry 2 devices (excluding my iphone) which after 1 year, I realize I’ve lost 10kg. Eventually, 2 months ago, I decided to let go of my kindle. I read all my ebooks (ePub, Mobi, Pdf) from my iPad 1, and of course my RSS feeds as well.

iPad 1 Biggest Disadvantage

If you are a user of iPad 1, the biggest complain you’ll have is – the weight! iPad 1 is freakly heavy, over 700grams! With my casing, my iPad 1 is closed to 1 kg! I can’t hold my iPad with 1 hand for long. If you don’t believe me, try reading with 1 hand. I bet you can’t hold for 5 min!

My arms felt so tired each time I was reading inside MRT. 1 hand usually hold on to the bar, the other hand holding my iPad. After a while, I just couldn’t take it. I’ll keep my iPad and read from my iPhone instead. It’s too heavy for reading.

I’ve been doing my research. iPad 2, 3, 4 all weigh around 600 grams, slightly lighter than iPad 1, but the best reading device I find now is the iPad Mini! It works totally like iPad 3 with the weight of over 300 grams only! iPad mini totally kills it off! The only drawback is the price. I’m planning to get a 2nd hand iPad mini if the price is right. Anyone wants to sell me?

My Favorite Apps

Once a while, I’ll like to talk about my favorite apps, apps I’ve checked, reviewed and used myself. I only recommend the apps that I find really good at the current market. Below are some of the apps I’m using right now:

Google Maps

Ever since Apple kills itself in its own game, Google is the leader when comes to map. I often find myself pulling out this app when I’m navigating places. You can find the place you are looking for, your current location and just follow the map to get there. You’ll never get lost!

FlipBoard

Perhaps the biggest free news app you can find. Flipboard provides you with any news you want, from business to politics to sports. You can link your Twitter/ Facebook accounts and read your updates from there. You have to download Flipboard!

Newsify

My RSS reader. Newsify sync with Google Reader (which will cease soon) and brings your feeds beautifully. The layout is quite similar to Flipboard. You can sync your RSS feeds and read it offline, which is the biggest reason I’m using it. I hope Newsify will continue its services when Google pulls away Google Reader.

Spending

This app is simple. It’s job is to track all my spending. You can create groups such as Family, My Friends, Outings, Meals, etc … and track your spending every time you pull out a dollar.

Day One

This is for me. Day one is a diary when I can talk to myself. Some of the sensitive topics I’ll like to remember can be saved inside Day One. It’ll sync with your Apple account and you can download all your content with any Apple devices. I can write with my iPad and read from my iPhone. Convenient!

Lift

This is the latest app I’m using. I’m finding myself getting more and more unfit. This app basically allows me to form a hobby. I can start a task, or hobby and tracks it daily. Currently, I’ve started “50 Push Ups” and “50 Sit Ups” daily. I think I’m going to kill myself.

Well, these are some of the common apps I’m using. What about you? Do you have anything interesting to share? Let me know in the comments below. See ya!

 

Learning Extra Income Through Legit Paid Surveys in Singapore

If you are my regular blog reader, you will know that I’ve created several streams of passive income, and yes, I’m living in Singapore and it’s possible that Singaporean can earn some extra cash while working full time.
 
I like my job. I get to enjoy chatting and having fun with my friends at work. I love the challenges I will encounter, and the fulfilling feelings when I’m able to solve these problems. Many people advise me that I should go full time with my own businesses. But I have second thoughts on that. I can work on my businesses anytime I want. I’ve gone through the good times when my earnings were 5 digits, and bad times when my accounts were terminated. I want a stable job and not really going into the riches. I want to know that my family can have something to eat and somewhere to live for the next month.
 
There are many pros and cons when you are working for yourself. There will always be risk and you must be prepared to lose everything overnight. I’ve encountered this many times and numbed to it. I have adsense earning me over thousands per month, and lost it overnight due to some unknown reason.
 
However, apart from my usual Clickbank, ebooks, trading, etc …. streams of income, I enjoy “working” on another type which is totally risk free. This source of income can be done anywhere in the world. It’s very convenient and you can earn during your leisure time. Are there anything like this? Yes, and I’ve been doing it for many years. It’s called paid surveys.
 
What Are Paid Surveys?
 
Do you remember times when you are walking along the street and suddenly, someone approached you to do a survey? Major companies are engaging these survey companies to conduct market research on the topics they want. When you fill up a survey form on the street, that guy who handed you the form will earn a small token on money, vary from $1-$10 per completed survey. That’s how they earn.
 
These survey companies are moving online. Instead of engaging people to grab people on the street, they are sending out surveys to subscribers who wants to help. These people (like me) will do the surveys and after completion, we’ll be paid! The amount depends on the length of the survey. The longer, the larger amount we can earn!
 
Why Companies Want To Pay Us?
 
Big brands, such as Singtel, Coca Cola, Nike, Samsung, etc … are desperate to find out what the general market wants. They don’t mind spending tons of money on market research, and after collecting these data, they can create their products to suit these niche of people.
 
In fact, reports have proved that if you do a good market research, the success rate of your product will be multiple times higher! Therefore, instead of just whacking on any ideas, these companies will laser focus on the market and give them what they want.
 
How Paid Surveys Work?
 
Like any other websites, you just have to register an account with the company. Once your registration is successful, you’ll be able to receive notifications through emails telling you that there’s a new survey waiting for you. Do remember, usually only qualified surveys will be paid, however, some generous companies do pay you a small token of appreciation for participating in their surveys. Qualified surveys cater to the needs of the paying companies that they want to research on.
 
For example:
Company A wants to find out what’s the most popular smartphone nowadays for male teenagers age 15-21 living in Singapore. So, to qualify, you have to be a male, age between 15-21, living in Singapore and holding a smartphone. Half the time, you will not be qualify for the surveys, but do not feel disappointed, there’s always another one waiting for you.
 
Who Can Qualify To Do Paid Surveys?
 
Everyone! Basically I’ve signed up for a dozen of paid surveys sites to email me as frequently as possible. When I’m traveling in MRT or waiting for my wife to shop, I’ll just check my emails for any new surveys. Yes, I’m a good time management person 🙂 There are many paid surveys companies targeting just a geolocation audience. But don’t worry, I’ve made some money doing paid surveys in Singapore, and it’s real!
 
Paid Surveys A Scam?
 
This is the most common question I received. Even my close friends do not believe there’s such a thing. Haha, there are so many ways to make money, just that you have to broaden your minds. Yes, there are some companies that do not pay you even though you have reached the minimum withdrawal amount, but these companies will not stay for long. You can try out one or two companies first. If you feel comfortable, just sign up more. Anyway, you have nothing to lose, don’t you?
 
Proof of Earnings from Paid Surveys
 
Well, as you can see from my previous post, I’ll try to show some proof of my earnings. Not to show off, but rather to proof to my readers that it’s possible to make a second income while having a full time job. And there are many ways to go about it. I’ll continue to find and test new ways which allow me and my readers to earn some extra income. Who knows, maybe one day I decided to make a full time income online.
 
I’ve joined many survey sites many years ago, and quite active about it. But along the years, I’m more focus on my other internet businesses and totally forget about them. One of these sites is GlobalTestMarket. When I logged in recently, I found that I still have 1905 points. I was quite excited as this newly found wealth comes at the right time – enough to motivate me to find more paid survey sites!
 
 Image
 
But how much does 1905 points worth? I’m not sure too. I’ve checked their FAQ but there wasn’t any post mentioning it. I decided to email GTM and checked with them. This is the reply I get:
 
 Image
 
Can you believe it! 1000 points = USD$50. I almost hit USD$100 and I totally forget about it. Lucky I checked back all my accounts.
 
Another survey earning proof I’m going to show is lesser than GTM. However, it’s another reliable site you can trust. I’ve just joined this site – ipoll and just 1 night, my earnings are:
 
 Image
 
Amazing right? You have to try to believe!
 
So, What’s The Game Plan?
 
If you just want to kill some time and make some money, paid surveys is definitely the way to go. It’s risk free and you can earn anywhere you want in the world, even when you are on holiday! I’m definitely going to squeeze as much juice out of it as possible, making it another experiment, then track my earnings as usual.
 
I’m going to find as many legit sites as possible that allow me to do the surveys in Singapore. After that, I’m going to study more about these surveys, the frequency and probably have a list of companies sorting from highest paid to the lowest. If you want to earn some extra cash to buy an ipad mini, start registering these few sites below:
 
2. GlobalTestMarket.com
3. iPoll.com
4. sg.toluna.com
6. Spidermetrix7. sg.ipanelonline.com
 
There are many other sites, but I have not test them and therefore unwilling to release these sites yet. Nevertheless, the 7 sites can keep you busy for a while. Just wait for my next update for more paid survey sites. If you want to know more, you can always follow me on Twitter. I just realized my twitter list is going to past 8000 followers! Thanks for all my loyal followers who have been through good and bad days with me. I really appreciate that!
 

So do you have some good paid survey sites to share? Do leave a comment telling me about it. See ya!

Fitbit Flex Wristband for Tracking Your Fitness Goals

Technology has improved so fast that people can are able to track and measure almost everything, from loudness of sound to brightness of the TV, etc …. Alright, these examples are lamed, I know. I’s 6:54am and I am still in my sleepy mode.

When I saw this device, first impression that came to my mind was – I Want This! I’m a person who likes to measure and track things, especially performance. When you are in business, you have to track, your sales, expenses, revenue, etc … After a while, tracking becomes part of your life.

Image

Fitbit Flex Wristband is not for tracking your expenses. It’s for people who likes to exercise. This beautiful wristband is is using Bluetooth to pair with your idevices, more commonly use for iphone.

From the start when your on Fitbit Flex, it’ll start tracking the number of steps you’ve walked, distance traveled, and automatically calculate the calories burned during these period. It even can show how many minutes are intense cardio activities and normal cardio activities.

Not only that, this amazing wristband can also track how your sleep. Numbers of times you woke up per night and it also served as an vibrating alarm so your partner would not be disturbed. It just serve as a personal trainer to suit your life!

Once you’ve purchased it, you can download the free app to your iphone and start tracking your daily activities. The graphs and charts will be plotted automatically. With 1 look, you’ll be able to tell if you’ve bit your fitness goal for that week.

I should say, I do like this amazing device. The good point is, even if I do not work out, I’m still able to track my body performance, and if I have enough good rest at night. The vibrating alarm is definitely a plus point. However, Fitbit Flex works only with iPhone 4S and 5 only. So if you are a workout freak, I suggest you get one today!