• NH and friends NoktahHitam is my alter ego. I am a nocturnal Web Developer at Laman7. Part time innovator, full time procrastinator.

  • “The only good is knowledge; the only evil is ignorance.”- Socrates

Teaching Sara Trigger Words

Gosh it’s been a while since I updated anything here. Good thing is, I’ve narrowed down my readership, so it does feel a little private. That aside, I’ve already started teaching Sara some trigger words.

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Clap – she’d clap and grin ear to ear, showing her chipmunk tooth.

Raise your Hand – she’d only raised it up to her shoulder. Lazy kot?

Salam – she’d shake hand a like a gentleman, no kiss on the hand

Flying Kiss – she’d point to her lower lip and out. No muahs sound.

SARA (stern tone) – she’d throw anything she’s holding. Most of the time, she’s holding a lump of dust or hair.

Sara is 10 months old. She has started taking a few baby steps when she was 9 month old, but having difficulties stabilizing her postures. She’d fall and get up, try again and again. It must be painful. That’s what we (as an adult) should be doing, pick ourselves up after every failures.

Get up and go!

I See Fatherhood Differently Now

When I was younger, I used to imagine how my kid(s) would look like. Imagined how I’d changed their diapers, teach their first word, read bedtime stories and a many things a father would do. Yes, I am one of those few boys who love kids. I was the strange one.

Despite having a soft spot for kids, I never wanted to own the responsibilities of raising a human being. It was too much to handle for me.

But God have His way, we were blessed with a beautiful child.

The tiny chores, changing diapers, patting to sleep, teaching words, washing off the poop were nothing mystical. It is easy when you’ve done enough to break your noob-ity. Like Miyagi said, everything is impossible if you did it the first time. Some how I enjoy being able to do this and bachelorhood seems like a thing of the past.

Now, I come home to two tired ladies, one needed an evening nap, the second couldn’t wait to have her dinner. For once, I feel needed. I feel like I finally belong somewhere and that without me, they’d miss me like crazy. I have Allah to thank.

Happy 1st Father’s Day to Me.

What Killed Blogging? And 3 Ways to Fight Back for Traffic

Blogging used to be fun, especially when you received comments, whether it’s funny, thought provoking, witty, shitty, including the plain boring yes-sir-what-ever-you-say-is-right. All these comments are makes a blog lively.

Now you’ve got to compete for attention, popularity and time. I have facebook, twitter, instagram and whatsapp to blame for that. And 3/4 are owned by facebook.

What does that tell you? The limited attention that people pour in to reading blogs.

But the trend are subsiding, people tend to ditch mainstream. People are looking back for quality content to put them out of misery. Someone they can relate to. Something they can share a passion with. Some means of making additional money. Whatever it is, everybody is looking for something.

So here are 3 points that will make your blog spring back to action.

1. Focus on Title & Content.

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If you write like a robot, you probably end up reading your own content. Even Siri can perform humanly response, you can do better. Readers naturally spend 5 seconds (or less) and decide to continue reading and the next 5 seconds for the intro. So make that 10 seconds count. Never EVER EVER EVER (3 times) write a misleading title. If you were caught once, you’re doomed. Nobody likes to be cheated.

2. Simplistic Design.

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Let me tell you something, people hate banner ads. HATE as in you being handed out flyers as you reach the ground floor from the 1st floor escalator, you tell yourself to just throw it away no matter how cool the design is. More banners = more people hate it. Indirectly, this will affect how they feel about your blog. Mobile friendly is no longer an option (NH is not mobile friendly *knocks on head*), it’s a must.

3. Speed of Loading.

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Nobody has the patience to wait for your website to finish loading. Cut down on the images or at least warn people of the slow loading so they can decide to read now or later. Use proper CSS, remove the javascript that you dont need. Reduce the plugins. Install WP-cache. There are loads of things that can be done to improve speed. If it takes more than 5 seconds to get a response, you’re dead my friend.

The judgement is, does your title suck? If no, proceed. Then is it too much clutter (filled with banner)? If no proceed. The last, is it slow? If no then read.

3 judgement for blog

 

As always, good luck. Do let me know if you have further points to add. Would love to hear your input.

The Amazing Spiderman 2 Review (No Spoilers)

I am a sucker for super heroes movies, I guess most boys are. The new Amazing Spiderman 2 landed on a perfect day, labor day.

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We watched ours at MBO Subang Parade. Normally we could just walk in and get good seats, anytime anywhere any movie. That was the beauty of MBO. Since they  changed their logo, website and cinema experience, they start to pull in more traffic. I remember those days it only cost RM 8 for MBO (vs TGV at RM 11), now it’s RM 14 for box office movies. The seats were nice and roomie, but since we had to accomodate Sara, we got the couples seat, RM 30 for a pair.

Spiderman – Andrew Garfield version is a lot better than Tobey Maguire’s version. The effects were nicer, scripts were relevant, the setting and the casting was near perfect. Both Emma and Andrew played their roles really well. There was 2-3 moments that really struck me, I could feel dust in my eyes. Having real life couple on set makes a lot of difference.

There were a few people commented on my Facebook Timeline saying it was boring since a lot of talking involved, personally it stroke the perfect balance between action, comedy, drama and romance. I strangely wanted to see more of drama and romance instead of the actions. I bet the kids wants nothing but actions all the way.

They wanted to portray that even though he is invincible physically, he was emotionally frail. Much like my tagline, “even heroes have the right to weep” and this spidey did just that. The emotional tension and asking himself why do this, should be set as precedence to our daily life. It does echo really well in this movie, especially towards he end.

Everyone is a hero, so let’s act like one.

ps: Sara had her first movie today!

I Never Thought Jungle Trekking Was Hard, Until I Tried SkyTrex

I am big fan of outdoor activity, jungle trekking is nothing more than a stroll in park for me. #SkyTrex hit me, how hard can it be? It turns out, it was really hard.

Few months back I PM-ed Azlan, the marketing manager for SkyTrex and asked him to accommodate bloggers. In return we will blog about SkyTrex. So he agreed to give SalamMedia (my marketing startup) some free passes to the Extreme challenge, the most difficult route. I did call in last minute to downgrade to Big Thrill, but Azlan insist we have ‘fun’. His definition of fun is definitely messed up.

Here’s some pictures of the awesome activity.

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Safety first! The harness does hold up the sack really well.

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I went first. Flying fox looked easy, yeah because this is the practice version.

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There’s a limit to number of people per platform. 1 monkey per tree.

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This is about 20m from the ground and we had to climb that!

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Flying into nothingness. I did imagine what if I stopped half way. That’s my fault for having a fat lazy bum. Thankfully it was one of the most memorable flying fox I have ever done in life.

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or what if I missed the platform, slipped and fell?  I can feel the movement in my bladder when I saw this picture taken by Abdus

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One of my favorite route, I call this the hammock. Reminds me of Sara’s baby hammock.

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Monkey bar, only for the weak. I took the easier route, glide on the ropes. Haha

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This V shaped string requires a lot of balancing. I did mess this up while trying to do too much in a single leap. I ended up almost loosing my head when the rope strangled my neck. Thankfully a hero doesn’t give up easily. I pulled myself up and retraced the step. For the moment, it did feel like defusing a timed bomb.

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Ammar decided to sleep, programmers sleeps at dawn. Can’t blame him for being sleepy all the time, their sleeping habits is all over the place!

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This was the easiest, if you know your way around the ropes. Noticed one glove? Yeah, I dropped one while trying to fart.

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The pulley is made in France, land of Peugeot and Zidane, it’s very sturdy for flying fox. The carabiner is also solid.

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Some camwhoring with ‘le wife.

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Every time I took a challenge, I enjoyed the scenery. It was breathtaking and downright beautiful. The guys at SkyTrex really planned the route well.

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Aisyah nearing the finishing line. I was a bit sad to see end. I really wanted another hour.

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The monkey swing was the last challenge and it almost broke my back!

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They even provided a hashtag for SkyTrex.

If there’s one complain from me is the plastic pipes which are being used extensively in the challenge. I guess because it’s cheap and strong hence the extensive iterations of it. Those pipes are slippery and sometimes too big to hold. It does require and additional effort just to grip it properly. Despite that, I am still giving SkyTrex a 5 star.

The SkyTrex Brochures

Conclusion

Overall, SkyTrex nothing but awesome. I could feel my adrenaline rushing up and down my veins while writing this blog post though it happened sometime last March. The greenery was perfect, the staff were really helpful and playful, which was good. They gave moral support and never wanted us to quit half way (but some participant did, age is really a factor).

My best recollection of #SkyTrex was the flying fox. It was the only avenue for me to be lazy, to enjoy the scene and for the first time, it felt like I kicked my acrophobia in the nuts that day (fear of height). I walked out a taller person, knowing that I’ve conquered my fear. If there was a stress meter, I’m sure it was down to zero.

Who is this for? Young executive, students, family, couples, Ranjits, Kumars, Chins, Alis or whoever wants quick escape, nerve wrecking, eyes squirming, lose bladder control or scream your lungs out, this my friend is for you. My advise, do wear long pants to avoid blister, bring your own gloves for better grip, and seriously, take your time doing the challenge, enjoy the scenery and don’t focus on completing it soonest.

If you want more information, check out the official site.