Sunday, 18 January 2015

Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power: What Do You Want to Achieve in Life?

[This is part of the book: “Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power”. Links to the different versions: Online Version in this Blog; Printed Version in; eBook Version: Google Play / Google Books / Kindle]

This is a very famous question that everyone would have thought about or even have been asked many times in their life.

So here I am, asking this question again. Don’t skip this chapter because the answer will be something that you have never heard before. I am here to tell you that what everyone wants to achieve in life is exactly the same thing.

So, what do you want to achieve in life?

Some of you might say to earn a lot of money. Ok, but my next question is “for what”? Well, you may answer: “To buy flashy cars, luxurious house, etc.”

But what if money cannot buy you all that? I am not joking, that happened during China Cultural Revolution, where you can only use ration coupons to buy things. If that is the case, would you still be looking to earn a lot of money? I am sure, you will not.

Since this is the case, then money is not exactly what you are looking for. It is the things that money could get that you are really pursuing, such as flashy cars, luxurious house, etc., isn’t it?

However, imagine this: Driving flashy cars and living in luxurious house made you the target for criminals and gave you tremendous worries every day. Would you still long for flashy cars or luxurious house? I don’t think so. So what are you really trying to achieve then?

Well, at the basis of it all, what we are trying to achieve all the time is “gratification” – the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfilment of a desire or goal.

Do you know what HERMES, Bottega Veneta, and Louis Vuitton, are selling? Handbags? Leather goods? Well, how I wish they were just selling that. If they were just selling that, then the price of those would be “raw materials + labour + distribution cost + mark-ups”. It will not cost an arm and a leg.

What had also been priced in is another most important thing that they sell – “gratification”. Can you imagine the gratification that you get when you splurge on luxury goods?

If you do not derive that gratification from those luxury goods, it is unlikely that you will pay that high a price for it.

Gratification is not just derived from purchases; it can also be derived from the ‘feel-good’ feeling when you have done something good.

For example, when you helped an old lady to cross the road or gave up your seat to someone else, the feeling of doing something right is great, isn’t it?

One point to take note on this example is that gratification is not derived merely from the act of “giving up the seat”.

Imagine this: A lady came over to your seat and used her umbrella to knock on your head, demanding that you gave up your seat for her because she felt that you should.
Would you? May be not. But even if you gave up your seat out of shyness or whatever, you will not feel the gratification.

So remember, gratification is the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfilment of a desire or goal, not related to the act itself.

Now, imagine this: How nirvanic[i] it would be, if we can all make this gratification perpetual, isn’t it?

Therefore, what we are all trying to achieve in life is the same commonality, which is what I called the “State Of Nirvanic Gratification”.

So how does this “State Of Nirvanic Gratification” feel like? Well, if you are a Singaporean, then you are very lucky. Did you realise what the acronym is?

Yes, the feeling of “State Of Nirvanic Gratification” is the feeling you get when you said: “SONG ah!

For Type 1 & Type 4 persons, having others perceiving them as smart, are SONG to them. That is why they are always trying to show-off. Of course, Type 1 persons have the capability to do so, but not Type 4.

The problem with Type 4 persons is that even though they created troubles for everyone, yet they still felt SONG. Look into the parliament, it is not difficult to see many of the Type 4 persons devising stupid policies, giving silly replies, yet felt so proud of it.

For Type 2 persons, the ability to appreciate the surrounding and simply breathing nice air is considered SONG for them.

Please note that the reverse is not true, i.e. if you feel that appreciating the surrounding and breathing nice air is considered SONG, it does not mean that you are Type 2 person.

Type 2 persons are very smart, yet low profile. That is why they will continue to enjoy the SONG quietly until someone disturbed it.

Type 3 persons felt SONG when they have good food. Remember the phrase: “民以食为天”, which means that food, is the most important thing to commoners.

If the People are SONG, why would a bunch of 17-year-old boys bothered to climb up to the top of the building to paint “Fxxx PAP”?

If the People are SONG, why would a 71-year-old uncle[ii] scribble at the bus-stops complaining about CPF[iii]?

Shouldn’t the 17-year-old boys be studying? Shouldn’t the 71-year-old uncle be enjoying his retirement?

When commoners had to worry about having proper meals, worried about their livelihoods, would they be SONG?

When People are not SONG, merely looking at the poster of the ministers would make them TL, not to mention seeing them or listening to their speeches.

So how do we make people SONG? Well, let’s talk about the key pillars of Singapore.

Singapore is where it is today, not because of any particular person or party, but because of the key pillars that were erected. Whether it was done consciously or unconsciously, it does not matter, but those are there.

Hawker centre is one of the key pillars for Singapore’s stability. It ensured that Type 3 persons can continue to feel SONG. However, the implementation of private hawker centres is a big step in the wrong direction. [Much more can be said about hawker centre, but I shall leave that out for now.]

There are things that are implemented to get revenues; there are things that are implemented for stability. Without knowing the key pillars of Singapore, blindly knocking down the pillars is asking for trouble.

Housing is another key pillar. Mr Lee Kuan Yew once commented on the Home Ownership Scheme as follows:

“... to give every family a stake in the country. In other words, that we should find a way to give them ownership of their own homes, their own apartments. Then if their son had to go to war and fight, they are fighting for themselves.”

May I know how many percentages of Singaporeans own at least an inch of the land of Singapore?
Given the current price of HDB and the long instalment period, how many people really own a home?

Worse, today, many Singaporeans had to pledge back their HDB in order not to end up sleeping on the street in their old age.

Think about this: After 80 years of toiling, at the end of it, People still ended up with nothing. For whom do you think were they busying their life for? Why did we design Singapore as such? How is it possible that their future generations will be better?

Given these, how SONG do you think the People are?

BOSS Wisdom: “The basis of social stability is to ensure that everyone is SONG. Understanding and protecting the key pillars of Singapore is critical to achieve this.” – BOSS

[i] “Nirvanic” is a feeling of eternal and indescribable bliss.
[ii]Uncle” is the way Singaporeans addressed the elderly or older people.
[iii] CPF is supposed to be Singaporeans’ pension fund. However, many people are unhappy because they felt that it is not adequate and there are simply too many restrictions related to it. 

[This is part of the book: “Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power”. Links to the different versions: Online Version in this Blog; Printed Version in; eBook Version: Google Play / Google Books / Kindle]

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power: How Far Would You Go to Protect Our Home?

[This is part of the book: “Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power”. Links to the different versions: Online Version in this Blog; Printed Version in; eBook Version: Google Play / Google Books / Kindle]

There are a lot of talks about the purpose of National Service. There are also talks about how National Service disadvantaged Singaporeans.

I recalled an advertisement that stated: “How Far Would You Go to Protect Our Home?”

So here I am, asking this question to you: “How Far Would You Go to Protect Our Home?”

I shall leave the rest of this page blank. Think about this question to yourself before you turn over.

[Once you are ready, please turn over to the next page]

Great, I hope you have some answers.

If your answers focused on “How Far” or “Would You” or “Protect”, then you are not thinking in the right direction.

This is because the basis of that question is “Home”. If the “Home” is not defined correctly in the first place, the rest of the words such as “How Far”, “Would You”, and “Protect” are all meaningless.

The reason why you had jumped to those words is because subconsciously, you had assumed “Singapore” as your home, which it may or may not be.

So, what is a “Home”?

Home is the place in which one’s affections are centred.

So technically speaking, this place can be anywhere; however, this place must be the most suitable and most conducive place to build the home.

In the past, there is no doubt that Singapore was the best place, but today, given how our leaders labelled us with all sorts of names, given how the People are worried about jobs and retirements, etc, is Singapore still the best place to build a home?
What was so valuable of Singapore that was worth protecting? In other words, what was the uniqueness of Singapore that you cannot find elsewhere?
It is our belief, embedded within our Pledge. Our Pledge is one of the strongest in the World:

We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation.

Today, are we united? Do you think there is justice and equality? Have we achieved happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation as a whole? 

If we adhered to our Pledge, like what we did in the past, Singapore is really a great place to build our home and of course, worth protecting because nowhere in the World would you be able to replicate this spirit.

Pledge is a guiding principle for a country to progress. If leaders are not following the guiding principle of a country, what do you think they are following? Don’t ask me, ask them.

In closing, let’s recall what Mr Lee Kuan Yew once said:

“... Keep Singapore happy and make the people feel that they are wanted, not step children or step brothers but one in the family, and a very important member of the family...”

“What are our priorities? First, the welfare, the survival of the people. Then the democratic norms and processes, which from time to time we have to suspend.”

“... to give every family a stake in the country. In other words, that we should find a way to give them ownership of their own homes, their own apartments. Then if their son had to go to war and fight, they are fighting for themselves.”

When people felt that they do not have a stake in the country, why would they not question the value and the purpose of National Service?

BOSS Wisdom: “The basis of national security is to give everyone a stake in the country, something that people are willing to give up their life to protect.” – BOSS 

[This is part of the book: “Basis Of Singaporean Spirit - People Power”. Links to the different versions: Online Version in this BlogPrinted Version in Amazon.comeBook Version: Google Play / Google Books / Kindle]

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Having Problem with Your Phone's GPS? Follow These Steps!

[If you are unable to access this site in the past weeks, it is because I have closed it in mourning of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, departed on 23rd March 2015.]

[Note: Kindle version of my book: "Basis of Singaporean Spirit - People Power" is now available here. I am setting it at a very low price of $2.99. Get it early as I will increase the price along the way. I have also enabled "Lending". For those who have purchased the book, I have set this to be free for you.]

[Updates: The book is also available in Google Play / Google Books. Follow the link given or you can simply search for "Basis Of Singaporean Spirit".]

I was having problem with my phone's GPS for the past few months. Felt like throwing my phone away. Well, lucky for me, finally got it resolved!

Therefore, this post is a compilation of what I did and my suggestions to you to avoid all the troubles!

There are various methods that people employed, so I am going to list them here, from the least invasive to the most, summarised as 3 simple steps.

Note that the phone mentioned here is Samsung Galaxy Note 3. What really worked for me is fixing the connection to the GPS Antenna, which is the last step.

1) Rebuild the Code - Using NV Rebuild
This method basically instructs the phone to recompile the code. The steps are:

Access The Menu (for Samsung Note 3)
if doesn't work, enter *#197328640#

Activate the Menu
Menu Key, select Key Input, enter Q
Menu Key, select Key Input, enter 0000
wait some seconds...

Select the Rebuild Menu Item
click UMTS > Common > NV Rebuild > NV Rebuild > System, Protocol, GPS, IMS

Restart Phone

The following is the full video.

Well, it worked for some people, but it didn't work for me.

There are also talks about doing a factory reset, well, I would avoid that because it doesn't seem to work well for most people, worst, as the name implies, it reset your phone!

If you think doing a backup and restore would be enough, well, too bad, it doesn't restore your phone to the original state, i.e. some of your application status and configurations will be lost, worst, some of your game status will be lost too! My Bluetooth profile was also lost too. (This is at least true when you are using Samsung Kies 3 to backup and restore).

2) Tighten All the Screws Behind the Phone
The basis of this step is that your screws might be loose, which resulted in the components losing contacts.

For me, at least, it allowed my phone to be able to detect a few GPS satellites and occasionally getting a Location Fix. However, the signal was unstable and it kept dropping. I was not able to use any navigation software at all.

Be careful when tightening the screws. You need to make sure you have the right screw driver in order not the destroy the screwthreads.

3) Improve the Connection of GPS Antenna to the Motherboard
The basis of this method is to make sure that your phone's motherboard is connected securely to the GPS Antenna.

In most phones (at least for most Samsung's), all the antennas are embedded in the phone back cover and the connections to those are using components that looks like a "7". The problem with this component is that it is not as 'springy' as a spring and it tends to stay in its shape after being depressed for a long time. Of course, if you have dropped your phone, it might have been depressed even further, thus losing contact with the GPS antenna.

This is how that connector looks like.

Notice the 2 metal pieces, with gold colour on one end? These are the connectors located on the motherboard to connect to your GPS antenna that is located on the back cover of your phone.

Therefore, sometimes tightening the screws at the back of your phone improves the GPS because it increases the contact.

On Samsung Note 3, those 2 connectors for the GPS antenna are located on the top right corner of the phone (on the right of the camera).

To improve the connection, all you need to do is to use your screwdriver and slightly bend the connectors upwards (be gentle and careful).

The following video shows you the details.

Of course, if you are a curious person like me, you will noticed that there are many other such connectors on the motherboard. Those correspond to WIFI, bluetooth, etc. So which is which? Well, who cares?

If you are a Kiasu* person, then do what I did, bend all those connectors upwards, which means all your antenna signals will all be improved! I used to have only 1 signal bar for WIFI when using my phone in the toilet, after doing this, I now have 2 bars! [100% increased! Ha!]

If you are interested to know more on the antennas, take a look at this video.

What really worked for me is this last step. Now, I can get a GPS lock within 5 seconds. Signal level can go as high as 35 and accuracy as good as 10 feet (Using GPS Test tool). Many of my GPS satellites are now in green colour.

[Screenshot of GPS Test, Captured on Note 3]

I hope you have enjoyed this post. Good luck!

Lastly, thanks to the Internet and all the great people for sharing the info. BTW, I was being quoted 300 bucks to fix the GPS by replacing the motherboard! The sales person was simply too greedy, if he had told me to replace the GPS antenna and charge lesser than 100, I would have accepted it. What really pissed me off was that one of the screws was deliberately left loose!

Well, what can I expect of service people and their company? At least this incident highlights that the basis of service centre is to earn money, not to service you.

Anyway, lucky for me, I ended up fixing it myself for only 4.95 - the price to get a set of mobile phone screw drivers.

* Kiasu - A Singapore term which literally means: "Afraid to Lose out". Therefore, in order not to lose out and to play safe, the person will tend to do more that necessary - just in case.