Finally! Fixed the sort order of the posts in WordPress

Had been puzzling over the sort order of the posts in WordPress since a recent upgrade. For no reason, it kept showing the earliest post first instead of latest.

Here’s the solution!

// GROUP BY auswerten
function plw123ngb_posts_groupby( $groupby ) {
if( preg_match( "/(|[ ,.])id(|[ ,])/i", $groupby ) ) {
// GROUP BY auf post_date setzen
$groupby = 'post_date';
return $groupby;

add_filter( 'posts_groupby', 'plw123ngb_posts_groupby' );

Hardware, Musings

D-Link DGS-1005D shows compatible Non-IEEE 802.3ad (ALB) but not DGS-1008D!

Happily setup the DS1511+ and parity checking finally completed after 10 hours for 3 x 2TB hdd. Tried to setup network link aggregation (IEEE 802.3ad) since the 5 port variant showed compatible so my 8-port must work no? NOPE! Failed and had to just enable “Network fault tolerance only” mode which only kicks in if 1 NIC fails. I’m now looking at a 55 MB/s transfer rate and wondering how can I boost this?!

If you’re wondering, why do i need more speed? Well, when trying to transfer almost 3 TB worth of data, you want all the SPEED you can get! (DS1511+ has advertised 165.91 MB/sec Writing, 197.8 MB/sec Reading)

Did some research to understand bit more in depth and came across a post that asked the questions swirling in my head.

What exactly are the technical differences between the two Link Aggregation modes (“IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation” and “non-IEEE 802.3ad Adaptive Load Balancing”) that are supported by Synology? Is “Adaptive Load Balancing” the same as “Static Link Aggregation”, for example? The help-text in the UI does not really clarify this.

The answer?

Feature: ‘IEEE 802.3ad Dynamic Link Aggregation’ vs. ‘Adaptive Load Balancing (ALB)’
Load Balancing: Tx/Rx vs. Tx only
Layer 3 Address Aggregation: yes vs. IP and IPX only
Layer 2 Address Aggregation: yes vs. no
Requires a switch that supports link aggregation: yes vs. no

Static Link Aggregation (SLA) is a form of IEEE 802.3ad, but is NOT supported by Synology. ALB is NOT a form of IEEE 802.3ad, but IS supported by Synology.

If you need to get even more info, read Intel’s explanation.

So now, should I go into overkill mode and bring back the Linksys SRW2024 (now rebranded under Cisco) from the DC? or go with a more sane 8-port Zyxel ES-2108-G?

Hardware, Musings

Time to stop flirting and get serious with a business-class NAS : Synology Diskstation DS1511+ with 5 bay hotswap

After a few years of attempting to build my own NAS with a self-assembled PC (RAID-5 using a FastTrak SX4000 ATA raid controller), a Linksys NAS200 (horrible buy) and trying to work with Microsoft’s Windows Home Server via the Acer EasyStor H340, I’m finally throwing in the towel and going for a proper NAS DS1511+ from Synology.

Synology Diskstation DS1511+

Synology Diskstation DS1511+

Microsoft’s next WHS doesn’t impress and frankly I’m more comfortable with Linux to run a 24/7 appliance.

Thinking back, I should have just gone for the quality product when it comes to data reliability. Many thanks to Alan Soon’s posts and reviews on the unit as well as the HDD test. Got 3 x Seagate Barracuda 2 TB LP (ST2000DL003) and will add 2 more WD 2 TB green hdd for 10TB of storage (less after raid config). This will hopefully let me have peace of mind when it comes to 11+ years worth of work and memories.



Development, Musings

Lot of time flying these days and more time to read

Past 3 months have gone by rather quickly. With a new opportunity and managing a new team in KL, lots of challenges are encountered with the remote meetings and daily scrums.

Attend Certified ScrumMaster conducted by Jesse Fewell in KL from 8th to 10th November. The great part? I’m now a Certified ScrumMaster! With one year or more of practice, I’ll be applying to be a Certified Scrum Professional.

Scrum is a relatively common sense approach to project management, I’ve enjoyed learning about the process and how it reacts to dynamic business needs. For teams who are new to process (as in my team), it’s definitely challenging as it requires a high level of transparency to daily work and significant openness to embrace change. There are many barriers to bring a team to such a level ranging from old attitudes and behavior and tendency for most people to be very reserved with their opinions.

Couple of books have helped open my mind to how a business can benefit from having a sense of urgency and not being complacent about their success.

Leading Change

A Sense of Urgency

Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions

Managed to read this in an hour or so while waiting for RT to start. Good book to read after you’ve read the previous two. Found myself laughing at some parallels to real life. They may be penguins in the story but lots of people behave a lot like that.

Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools

Currently we’re using Pivotal Tracker (coincidently met JB Steadman from Pivotal Labs Singapore during a networking session) with Google Docs for most real-time collaboration of documents.

Skype has been tremendous in helping bridge communications but I think Mumble or Ventrilo might be better to maintain better comms. Video might also be necessary soon as a lot of times, facial cues are an important part to communication

The Art of Scalability: Scalable Web Architecture, Processes, and Organizations for the Modern Enterprise

There are a lot of interesting lessons to learn from this book, still 1/3 of the way through it but the topics on hiring, capacity planning and team dynamics is a good read.

Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition


Re-installing Windows XP on a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (910) with a USB drive

Quick n dirty Guide to Re-installing Windows XP on a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (910)

For fun to get blood pressure to suitable level.

  1. Go to Dell website and look-up the manual for the netbook. Note they mention re-installing operating system requires a optical drive and installation media. They forgot to add “Sucks to be you if you don’t have it”.
  2. Curse Dell for not providing restoration disc or thumb drive and wasting your time.

On a separate Windows machine

  1. Download WinToFlash (
  2. Prepare a USB thumbdrive (1GB or more) and Windows XP CD-Rom (don’t have it? Borrow a suitable version that matches your netbook’s license)
  3. Unzip WinToFlash
  4. Run WinToFlash specifying your Windows XP CD Drive and USB Drive and let it transfer. Wizard mode works.

On Netbook

  1. Plug USB drive (with XP transferred) to Netbook
  2. Boot from USB Drive on Netbook
  3. Choose Option 1, run through XP setup process in text gui. Take note which your windows is going on, 1 (dell formatted) or 2 (most probably the case)?
  4. When done copying files, boot in Option 2 in graphical gui.
  5. When XP is done with setup, you might encounter a hal.dll missing error.
    • Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: <Windows root>system32hal.dll
    • Continue to boot from USB but select the debug boot “Debug boot rDisk 1 partition 2″ in boot.ini on USB drive [multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(2)WINDOWS=”Debug boot rDisk 1 partition 2” /fastdetect]
  6. Allow Windows to finish setup
  7. Fix c:boot.ini (hidden file) to set default boot to “multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)”
  8. Copy i386 from USB drive to c:
  9. Start patching and installing Dell drivers from Dell support site
  10. Curse Dell again for not providing restoration disc or thumb drive and wasting your time.


This is quick guide for me to read if I ever need to do this again (I hope not). Works for me, if it doesn’t work for you. Post questions to WinToFlash forums instead.

Development, Homepage Posts, Musings

Back to basics in Mobile Development

I’ve been holding off starting iPhone development for some time. The recent iPad announcement coupled with the lack of progress in the Windows Mobile world has lead me to making a decision to try out a new platform (finally). With the purchase of the MacBook Pro, it’s time to dive right in and start from basics again. I first started in Palm development (horrors of C++), moved on to .Net (C#) and now with Objective-C, it seems “C” is the common thread linking my mobile development path.

Time to dust off the great “C – How to Program” and gettting started with the first book “iPhone SDK Development“!

Development, Musings

Day 2 with Google Wave

Impressions after more partipants have gotten their invites. Wave is a huge mess once everyone tries to talk (not unlike a real life meeting). You can also hijack a person’s message if you want to so that can be rather distracting. Still not sure how it’s going to work unless we work on a project using only Wave (I wonder if Sales could be convinced to use this though).

Performance-wise, its rather bad once a huge wave or even an ongoing one with 2 people starts to load, cpu utilization goes up and it definitely feels laggy. KC mentioned that he had shown me a similar XMPP style code collaboration tool in Eclipse so real-time messaging isn’t something new.

On the plus side, I really liked SAP and Salesforce demos especially the customer support bot.  Check it out here.  Can’t wait to see what gadgets are being developed!

Some things I’ve found out to make it a better experience if you’re starting out the first time

To add a wave to the public timeline, do this

  • Add contact “” , force add it even if the submit button remains disabled.
  • Add “” as a participant in the Wave.

More waves are appearing locally and here’s an effort to organize them
Making a Singapore Google Wave List

Actual Waves (about Singapore) , you can search by doing this “with:public singapore” or whichever keyword you want to look up. You’ll need wave access for following links.

Tweety, add to your wave and once you authorize in the pop-up (lower right bottom corner of Chrome), you’ll be able to post to Twitter and read status updates within Wave itself.

Most importanly, treat this as a new experience and forget about Outlook and Notes (I try everyday to forget I’m using it). Wave is messy, its gory but what’s not to like about a mash of IRC, ICQ, Forums, Search, Widgets(or Gadgets) and Google way!

Development, Musings

Day 1 with Google Wave

Managed to get Google Wave access yesterday and have been testing out the various features. An area of interest to me is how to best reduce the UI clutter of various windows and incoming streams as I keep up to date with news and try to work at the same time.

The concept of waves to mash up all the various streams into conversation threads seems like a great idea but definitely requires more polish to succeed.  I can see myself using it if gmail was tied directly in today. The idea of “wiki” style collaboration on documents in real time could really improve how things work in most places. However the barrier would be resistance to change (happens in any product that dramatically changes how people work). Google’s idea of pushing their brand and products to schools (great work on signing up MOE) is definitely the right step to get young minds hooked and warm up to the idea of new ways to work and collaborate.

Some gadgets I’ve tried

While waiting for the invite (took 2 weeks!) I  came across some good reads and discussion on this very early dev release (thanks Google for the invite, hopefully more will be able to experience a more polished product soon).

Lastly, here’s an embedded wave just to test out the interaction

[wave id=”!w+3ZQOxMf0E”]


Useful applications to make life easier in web design and development

Just put up this list to share with others in the team so thought I might as well post it here since it could be useful to folks starting out in web development. Do feel free to add on to the list if there’s something useful for us to use.

Mind Mapping
XMind (Thanks to @David_Shen for introducing this .. much nicer than Freemind! I use this for meeting notes, to-do lists and jotting down ideas)

Color Palette
Color Palette Generator

On Screen Rulers
JR Screen Ruler

Screen Capture

Hard Core Editing (i.e. know your markup)

Firefox Addons
Web Developer Toolbar
User Agent Switcher


IE Tools
IE 6 and 7 Internet Explorer Toolbar
IE 8 has built-in developer toolbar

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 (it really does its job well, have tried hard to replace it without much success)

Adobe Fireworks CS4 (started using Fireworks since Macromedia days and its my favorite program when a mock or design is needed)
Balsamiq (Just started using this recently to improve my pen n paper process and its working out nicely)

Great reading for design/dev ideas
Web Resources Depot
Smashing Magazine

Hope this helps you in your daily work. Happy coding!


Places I’ve worked in (and had a desk)

Walked past the old office in Chinatown yesterday and realised that over the years, I’ve had a desk in various parts of Singapore and tried to recall where they were. The list so far in chronological order

  • American Express – The Concourse, Beach Road
  • RBR Networks – KA Centre, 150 Kampong Ampat
  • JuzPC – Kallang Place and Circular Road
  • EdLabs – Chinatown (South Bridge Road)
  • Societe Generale – 80 Robinson Road
  • Asis-T Solutions – Choa Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio
  • Cornet Technologies – Purvis Street and Chinatown (New Bridge Road)
  • VISA – Caltex (Chevron) House, 30 Raffles Place (Highlight was the Aeron chair!)
  • IConnectE – Circular Road
  • SPH – 1000 Toa Payoh North News Centre
  • iProperty – United Square, Singapore and The Boulevard, Mid Valley City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • bellabox Singapore – 26A Temple Street
  • bellabox Australia – Level 1, 289 Flinders Lane Melbourne VIC & Unit 6, 83-87 Dover Street Cremorne VIC

Other places which I’ve had to frequent (almost felt like second office at one point!)

  • KC Dat – Lok Yang Way
  • Nippon Express – Alps Avenue and Toh Guan Road East

Offices I’ve visited and really liked the view/environment

  • NTUC and Microsoft – One Marina Boulevard (had the pleasure of being there when building was being built)
  • Google – Temasek Tower, 8 Shenton Way
  • Pivotal Labs Singapore – Tras Street