Samsung Galaxy S4

We all have our choices of devices and gadgets in our lives. I have mine, and being the person who is trying to “set the technical direction” of technology usage in the family and my extended family, I want to make sure that everyone gets the best value for money out of every purchase.

I thought I’ll start with a gadget that is the closest to ourselves, and one that everyone reading this post has at least one. Phone.
But before we start, I want to mention the driving force of every purchase I made and will make. It’s value for money, not price. Basically, I’m willing to pay a higher price if I feel it has better “value” to other options.
So, let’s start with my current phone, Samsung Galaxy S4.

My previous phone was Samsung Galaxy S3, but when my dad asked me for it, I gave it away.
There were countless choices last year for smartphones, but here are my thought process.
1. iPhone or Android phone? Or maybe Windows Phone?
iPhone 5S was an exciting option, but my corporate phone is an iPhone, so there is no point in bringing two iPhones along. Buying an Android phone allows me to have the best of both worlds. I didn’t consider Windows Phone for a simple reason that apps were not easily available for the platform. I know it has half of the top 100 apps, but how about those specialised apps that we need? Apps to book taxi, capture and manage baby’s feeding time (DailyConnect), bank apps, etc. Those are not in Windows Phone Marketplace and they may not ever be.
2. Which Android phone?
My criteria is it shouldn’t be TOO big (e.g. Galaxy Mega or Galaxy Note 8), and reasonably easy to hold in one hand. It should have a very good camera, 4G LTE, enough processing power and RAM to handle my hundreds of apps to be installed onto it. It should be very popular so it’s very easy to find a casing and screen protector for it.
The choice was then clear, a Galaxy S4 it is. BUT wait, there is more.
3. I installed a stock Android ROM onto it.
I looked at every single bloatware software that Samsung put on this phone. I tried the Multi-Window, AirView, Gestures, ChatOn, whatever bells and whistles Samsung put onto it. It was fun, for a day, but in the end, I never ended up keeping them turned on. Which means, to me, they are useless and has no value to me besides eating up the phone’s memory and battery life.
When Android KitKat 4.4.2 was out, I flashed it to the phone, and never looked back since. The memory usage is now much lower, battery life much longer, and I didn’t miss any of Samsung stuff.
4. Why not Nexus 5 then?
I considered it, but the camera was not up to S4’s quality, and the availability and warranty is spotty at best in Singapore.
So, that’s why I chose Galaxy S4 as my current phone. Up next, tablet.

Moving from to self-hosted WordPress

I have been blogging on platform for many years now, and I thought why don’t I try hosting one myself. I will then have full control over it, I can link my domain without having to pay USD12/year to WordPress.

The process turned out to be very simple.

Go to -> Store -> My Domains. Jot down all DNS records that are there (I have the domain hosted with Bluehost, emails, calendar, etc. with Google Apps, and photos with Smugmug).

I went to my domain provider, Namecheap, changed the nameservers to Bluehost, go to Bluehost cPanel, add all these A, MX, and TXT records, and voila, my domain is moved from WordPress to Bluehost just like that.

In Bluehost, I use Mojo Marketplace to auto-install the latest WordPress, then I export all my posts from old and import into this new instance of WordPress. Within minutes, I have moved all my blog posts, pages, categories, tags, and comments over.

Easy peasy.