December 11, 2018

How to Control Xiaomi Web Camera Sharing Permissions

This post came about as a result of another earlier post on How to share a Xiaomi webcam/video camera to multiple Mi accounts. A reader wanted more privacy control over his web camera after being shared with other accounts but could not find the necessary settings. After a few back and forth, it got apparent that even across Xiaomi products, the level of controls are not consistent and I thought this was worth a post by itself to show where to find the settings and get more feedback on the inconsistencies.

To set the context, I am using Xiaomi Home Security Camera 1080p (it's the China website because not all products are available in every market, just compare the photo with your web cam).


The below steps have been tested and are same in Mi Home IOS versions 4.8.7 and 4.9.2, but I noticed differences compared to version 3.19.0, so do take note which application version you are using.


November 23, 2018

In Cloud Computing, What is the Difference Between Scalability and Elasticity

In Cloud Computing, we often hear the terms 'Scalability' and 'Elasticity' being thrown around, often being used interchangeably. Recently, I was listening to an online course describing Cloud Computing concepts, and the way these two terms are described got me thinking about the differences.

So far, there is no general consensus on how to draw the line. I have seen explanations which put Scalability as adding resources while Elasticity as adding AND removing resources. I have also seen descriptions that says Scalability is to be able to scale an instance's resources, while Elasticity is to be able to add/remove additional instances.

I am of the opinion that demarcating the differences purely from the perspective of resource adding and removing is too simplified and a little ambiguous, while the latter view of instance resource vs new instances is really still talking about Scalability (Vertical Scaling vs Horizontal Scaling - explained at the end of this article).

June 24, 2018

Powerpoint File Size Does Not Reduce Even After Deleting Slides

Updated 10 Jul 2018 - After some testing, I find that those "extra" template slides appear when you try to copy some slides and paste to another deck with "Keep Source Formatting". So if you frequently encounter this problem, you could be like me, often having to take content from different decks and piece together a customized deck for the work on hand.

If you work with Powerpoint slides a lot, you may have seen some pretty big slide decks, especially if it contains lots of photo or video content. This presents an issue when sending over email with attachment size limits. Most of the time, deleting slides or compressing content will help to reduce the size. 

If you had came upon this article after googling, you probably had just encountered a similar frustrating experience as me. Even after removing most of the content, the Powerpoint file size essentially remains the same. Most online posts revolve around talking about how to compress the ppt files. Not many discuss why certain ppt decks remain stubbornly big even after deleting content. The only closest I could find was this Microsoft Community post which did not help much.

Quick tip - A simple workaround I found to reduce Powerpoint file size was to copy the slides into a new ppt and save the new file. Beware that even though I had Copy and Paste with "Keep Source Formatting", I still sometimes encounter funny results, for example shape sizes becoming distorted. So do check through your final slides before sending it out or using for presentation.

June 19, 2018

How to Add Borders Around Images or Photos in Microsoft OneNote

Updated 10 Jul 2018 - Another quick tip, the steps below can be reversed, you can copy an image into OneNote first, select the image, and then choose to insert a 1x1 table, which will achieve the same result.

Ever since I started using Microsoft OneNote in my work laptop, I have found it useful for taking quick notes or just jotting down random notes while working.

One peeve I have is why Microsoft does not allow me to put borders around images. Sometimes, you just need the border around a picture to make the note readable, especially if it has the same white background as OneNote.

You would have thought this is a simple and straight forward feature. Word has it, Powerpoint has it, Outlook has it. Even Excel has it. So it seems all the main buddies of OneNote in the Microsoft Office Suite have this, except OneNote itself.

If you are like me and need the border, fear not - Tables to the rescue!


May 6, 2018

How to Turn on HTTPS for Blogger Blog with Custom Domain

Updated 24 Jun 2018 - Bonus tip for setting up non-www to www redirection

Google has been offering HTTPS for subdomains under blogger (e.g. https://techrantz.blogspot.com). As for custom domains, for sometime, the only available methods were either to use alternative means like Cloudflare or an unannounced method involving Blogger in Draft mode. These methods, while working, were not so ideal. 

It took a while, but Google has now finally and properly extended HTTPS to blogger websites using custom domains too.


To turn on, simply go to Settings > Basic. Look for the "HTTPS" section, there will be two settings as shown below.