My Internet was blocked by bad DNS

My internet connection was working fine just the day before. And this morning when I powered up my PC, no connection could be established. I didn’t know I have a bad DNS problem and was wondering what could be wrong.

I checked my other PC in the LAN network including my mobile phone and they all could connect online. Looking at the error message, it said it was blocked by my browser. So the first thing that came to mind was my PC firewall. The quick way to test it was switching off the firewall. Unfortunately, no connection could be established.

The next step was to try disabling the anti-virus. Even that didn’t work.

Trying to pinpoint the error, I tried running other browsers. Perhaps my current Google Chrome browser was getting cranky. Unfortunately, Mozilla Firefox and Opera browser didn’t work either.

Finally, after giving the error message a second look, I realized the error message came from Open DNS. In my bid to overcome the blocking of certain sites by the Malaysian government, I have switched from TM net DNS primary/secondary servers to those of overseas.

A quick change on my Local Area Connection properties TCP/IPv4 Primary and Secondary DNS server address to another one, voila! My connection was established. This time I switched over to Google’s DNS server.

So most likely the Open DNS gateway servers were down, or they too started implement some kind of blocking procedure. Fortunately I still have some other alternate choices to try.

Well that solved my problem, though it took me about 2 hours to figure it out! What a time waster!

Nested Cloud Storage and NTFS Symbolic Link

Having a bunch of free cloud storage from the likes of Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box.com and many others, you could embark on a synchronization strategy to back up to your precious files up in the cloud and even give you a convenience or two.

Scrounging around the internet I found you could do some rather interesting sync and backup using the cloud storage on offer.

As of this writing, I have:

Google Drive = 15GB variable with email storage
SkyDrive = 7GB plus a free 1 year 20GB storage for being a Windows Phone user
DropBox = 2GB, can be bump up by doing various task, and recently a link from my mobile Samsung Note 2 gave me a bonus 48GB storage for two years!
Box.com = 10GB
Ubuntu One = 5GB
Amazon = 5GB
Apple iCloud = 5GB


Wordpress is still the top blogging platform

Of all the blogging platform that I have tried, Somehow Wordpress is still the best. Having just moved my website with Wordpress to another web hosting, I decided to find out just what was its market share. It didn't take me long to find out.

The information was fairly new, published around mid of 2013. Information was compiled from Technorati top 100 blogs annual study. Looking at the pie chart, Wordpress has a whopping 52% usage as compared with other blogging platform be it self-hosted or from the Wordpress.com website.

Moving my Wordpress Installation

I'm moving my Wordpress installation to another webhosting company once again! It's one of those things, sort of like shifting house for one reason or another. Migrating the entire website is no easy task. Especially if your website is as complicated as mine!

Though I still have another 5 months of hosting left, I decided to move it earlier as I foresee I will be busy with work and other matters for the next coming months. Even now, I can't seem to find the time to blog about my favourite things. Anyway, will just have to do a better job on time management.

My personal website has been on a stand alone budget web hosting. I decided to migrate it to my other shared web hosting and save some cost. There is perfectly nothing wrong with Cynet web hosting, it is really cheap and yet very stable. You could customized your hosting requirement based on how active is your website. If you needed more storage or more bandwidth, just upgrade to higher hosting solution. I have been using it for 3 to 4 years, but decided to consolidate my various websites (and save some cost too).

Chrome New Apps Extension

Like I said, changes from Google are rather annoying and the recent Chrome changes made me scratched my head for many days. This year, Google has made a lot of changes to their apps and software. And changes means having to re-familiarize the layout on how you usually get your work done and re-learning where are all those buttons and settings!

So after the recent Chrome update, suddenly my Chrome App Shortcut extension dissappeared and was replaced with the history panel, which was also rather uglily miniturized. Initially I thought I messed up my Chrome settings but couldn't remember if I changed any settings. It was as though I had some amnesia to what I did wrong to Google Chrome.

Android Phone is the most popular OS for Smartphones

The Android onslaught has made it the most popular smartphone O/S. The recent IDC figures shows a whopping 79.3% market share domination! Leaving the other competing platform in the dust. The nearest contender from Apple IOS only managed a miserably 13.2% market share. And my second favourite Windows Phone platform still has a lot of catching up to do standing at 3.7%.

Smartphone OS market share for 2nd quarter of 2013

Microsoft Outlook Live Will discontinue multiple linked account

Log in to Microsoft Outlook Live Hotmail account today and saw the message flash. It mentioned that it will discontinue the multiple linked account feature. The message didn't show again after I re-login. Looks like in the webmail world of Microsoft and Google, lots of changes were happening!

Google decided to merge the storage partition of Gmail, Drive and Google+ Photos (Picasa), which seemed rather convenient, and now Microsoft decided to disable the linked account feature, which was rather inconvenient but improved security.

In the online world, there is always this trade off between convenience versus security and they are usually mutually exclusive. If you want more convenience, you will get less security and vice versa. Knowing that black hat hackers are constantly probing and attempting to break into any online systems and email accounts, and losing your email was a big deal especially if it was your main account for banking, password recovery and other important correspondence. I suppose giving priority to security over convenience seemed like a logical choice.