Microsoft Surface Pro – Crash!

Writing this post to comfort anyone who (still) holds faith in Microsoft Surface Pro. You are here because your Surface Pro, be it 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 had crashed, you have tried all means to power on/off, reset your surface using a USB recovery drive, forced a shutdown/restart/boot or whatever, but none of it worked.

Also, you stay in Singapore where there is no physical service centre and the reviews online are scaring you. Me too.

I still had about 1 year of warranty, so I have nothing to lose if I sent my malfunctioned surface pro back for repair (actually I was very worried that they would return me a refurbished set with a million scratches).

(1) Log in to your Microsoft account: https://account.microsoft.com/account?lang=en-gb

[Please log in to the account that you have added/registered the surface pro to. If you have not added/registered the surface pro, just log in to any Microsoft account and register it.]

(2) Click on the device which you wish to repair.
a. You should see a “Start order” button, click that.
b. Answer a few questions regarding your device (e.g., issue type and elaboration on your issue).
c. Fill in the shipping address (the address you wish the courier will pick up and deliver to).
d. Select service method (select warranty if it hasn’t expired).
e. Select shipping method (select courier which will be free if your warranty hasn’t expired).
f. All is set, you will receive a confirmation email with an order number and some information regarding how to pack your device.

(3) Steps to take before shipping away your beloved device:

Step 1: Verify your serial number
If you have multiple devices, please make sure the device you return for service matches the serial number provided in the email. (Serial number can be found at the back of surface pro.)
 Step 2: Back up your device
The device you send over might be replaced if it could not be repaired. If you still can log in and access your files, back it up. If you cannot even log in to your laptop, you can say goodbye to the files in there unless the files are stored in OneDrive.
 Step 3: Erase your data
Once again, if you cannot even log in, you cannot erase anything. Well, you can hope that your laptop is so beyond repair that all your information is gone.
 Step 4: Prepare your device or accessory for shipment
Please pack your device carefully so that internal and external components are well protected during transit. Put lots of bubble wrap and make sure there is a box to hold everything because that is required by Singpost.


Surface Book customers: Remember to include both the Clipboard and Keyboard that were originally paired together to avoid your device being sent back to you unrepaired. (Once again, this instruction is only for Surface Book users, NOT Surface Pro.)
 Step 5: Schedule a pick-up for your shipment
SingPost will call you within two business days to arrange a pick-up of your non-functioning device or accessory. Please note that pick-ups are scheduled within a three-hour window, Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

(I missed the first call from Singpost which came at around 7pm and they called again the next morning at around 11am. Do keep a lookout for the call as it could be very troublesome if we missed the call.)

If you do not receive a call from SingPost, please call +65 6845 6485 and reference the order number to arrange a pick-up.

12 days after shipping my device away…

I received a Surface Pro in a sturdy box. I opened the box with trepidation. It looked new! I searched ‘high and low’ for scratches…I was very sure it was not the original device because I could remember where the scratches were and now there was no scratch at all!

I set up the device and was happy all is well thus far (using it to type up this post) 😊

May your experience with Microsoft Support be as good as mine!

Cheers,
PinkOlifant

How to Invest in Cryptocurrency?

Beginner’s guide in using coinhako for cryptocurrency investment.

Eyeing at the cryptocurrency market but unsure of how to start? Frankly, I thought I would be the last person to invest in crypto. If I can open an account and invest in cryptocurrency, you definitely can.

A New Look for Coinhako

I was introduced to this beginner app – coinhako*.

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█ How to sign up or download? █

► Sign up for a free account either via the website or via the mobile app (Apple iOS or Android Google Play).

► PinkOlifant invites you to enter my invitation/referral code: 8PArTAq when you sign up!

► I would strongly encourage you to download the mobile app version so that you can buy or sell at your fingertips, unless you are on your desktop/laptop all the time.

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█ How to deposit SGD into the wallet? █

► The “wallet” you see in the app serves like “DBS PayLah!”. You transfer money from your bank to this wallet in order to complete transactions in this app.

► There are some rules to adhere to when you make a deposit to this “wallet”.

(a) Only make FAST transfers
NO PayNow, GIRO, SWIFT, over-the-counter or any other kind of transfer.

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(b) Only transfer funds from a bank account under your registered identity.
Differ a little is fine, for example, your bank account is registered under “John Tan Ah Beng” and the name in your official document is “Tan Ah Beng” or “Tan Ah Beng John”.

(c) Do NOT include words such as bitcoin, cryptocurrency, coinhako, etc.
Cryptocurrencies operate independently and in a decentralised manner, so even people without a bank account can transfer money to another at low or no transaction cost 24/7. Of course, there are other benefits which I shall not dwell on. Just don’t use any word related to cryptocurrency in your transfer comments to avoid a bounced transaction for which you may be charged!

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► When making a deposit, make sure the following tally:
Recipient’s name / Payee’s Name ➡ Beneficiary Name on your Coinhako App
Bank / Organisation / Institution ➡ Bank Name on your Coinhako App
Bank / Payee Account Number ➡ Account Number on your Coinhako App
Comments ➡ Deposit Code on your Coinhako App

► Once you have submitted the transfer, the amount should reflect in your “wallet” within minutes. If it doesn’t, submit a query ticket at support.coinhako.com. I have not submitted a ticket thus far.

█ How to buy or sell cryptocurrency? █

► PinkOlifant cannot tell you exactly which cryptocurrencies to buy…if I can I would have become a billionaire! However, there are some tricks or tips which can help us in forecasting the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies less blindly.

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► Visit coinmarketcap.com to have a look at the “Market Cap”, “Circulating Supply”, “Price” and “Volume (24h)”. “Market Cap” is calculated by multiplying “Circulating Supply” with “Price”. A strong “Market Cap” shows that the coin is relatively mature and stable.

► Would recommend beginners to focus on the top 10 coins. When you are more familiar with how cryptocurrencies work, you can explore other coins with lower “Market Cap” and invest in the potential ones by researching the funds and projects they are doing.

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► Buy low, sell high is definitely the rule of thumb. Look at the performance of the coin over 1Y (one year), 3M (three months), 1M (one month), 7D (seven days), 24H (twenty-four hours), 1H (one hour) before rushing into buying a coin. For beginners, we can take advantage of the “support”, the lowest points across the longer time frame (1Y, 3M and 1M), and buy the coins when they reach the “support” line. (Read this article to learn more about support and resistance.)

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This paragraph is solely a personal opinion.* The above graph is in USD, showing the price of Bitcoin over the period of 1Y (one year). There were two points where the prices fell close to 30.0k. So 30.0k is definitely a strong support in this case because it is quite unlikely that the price of Bitcoin will fall below that. Therefore, it is also quite safe to say that we can buy Bitcoin if it ever falls below 30.0k. Of course, whether it will ever fall below that level, it may, it may not, so we have to frequently update ourselves with crypto news as well as look at the directions in which the prices go.

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► You can set price alerts for the coins you want to buy or sell. Ask the app to alert you when the price falls below a certain level or when the price increases to a certain level. A piece of advice would be not to always take nice whole numbers as the benchmark. Prices do not always fall nicely to a “20” or “250” before rising or falling.

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► Once you have decided to buy a certain coin, press “buy” and complete the transaction within 15 seconds because the price will fluctuate here and now. If you are too slow in deciding, the price will change. (Besides coinhako wallet, you can also transact using GrabPay or credit/debit cards. Ensure you have linked the account or added the cards to prevent last-minute panic!)

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► There will be a 1% platform fee for all buying and selling. Use promo code “COINGECKO” to reduce it to 0.8%! (Don’t forget to sign up using this invitation link: https://www.coinhako.com/affiliations/sign_up/8PArTAq or enter the referral code: 8PArTAq)

► Do note that the buying price will always be higher than the selling price, so it is definitely not recommended to sell at the buying price!

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█ Final Words! █

► Set a limit: As a beginner, please do not dump your entire savings into this extremely volatile market. Set a limit to how much you want to invest, start small and learn as you invest.

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► Strategise: Record down the transactions you have made, preferably using excel or spreadsheet, so you are aware of the average cost should you have bought a coin at various prices. Think about whether you want to hold the coin for the long term or just wish to earn a certain percentage of profit from it. You can also find out more about the Dollar-Cost Averaging (DCA) strategy.

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► Diversify: As the saying goes, “don’t put all eggs in a basket”, we should look at a couple more coins and not just invest in one. Always do some research about the coin before purchasing. As there are no regulations yet, there are histories of FAKE coins where the creators just run with all the money invested into a coin.

Wishing you all the best in your crypto journey! – PinkOlifant


*PinkOlifant will not be responsible for the consequences of using the product(s) introduced on this blog, such as losses associated with the risks of investing.
PinkOlifant does not endorse individual vendors, products or services mentioned in this post.


Feel free to contact me @pinkolifant93@gmail.com or find me on Facebook @PinkOlifant 🙂

So, let’s talk about haemorrhoids/piles

I hope to gather all necessary information in one post for you so you do not have to open so many tabs to understand about haemorrhoids/piles. To whoever reading this, I feel you :’)

1. What?

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles (Chinese: 痔疮), are abnormally enlarged and bulging blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum1.

Two types –

(A) External
• develop near the anus
• covered by very sensitive skin
• painful swelling may occur if blood clot develops
• feels like a hard, sensitive lump
• bleeds only if it ruptures

(B) Internal
• develop within the anus beneath the lining
• painless bleeding and protrusion during bowel movements
• can be pushed back if mild

Internal Vs External haemorrhoids

Four degrees2

1st degree: bleed but do not prolapse
2nd degree: prolapse and retract on their own (with or without bleeding)
3rd degree: prolapse but must be pushed back in by a finger
4th degree: prolapse and cannot be pushed back in

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2. Why you and me?

Common contributing factors1,3:

  • Ageing (it’s ok, we can learn how to prevent it from worsening!)
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea (watch your diet!)
  • Pregnancy (noble mums)
  • Hereditary (it’s ok, we can learn how to prevent it from worsening!)
  • Faulty bowel function due to overuse of laxatives (are detox products necessary?)
  • Straining during bowel movements (linked to constipation)
  • Spending long periods of time in toilet (stop bringing your phone everywhere…)
  • Weight-lifting (your choice :))
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Author’s experience:

Of course, the fact that you are reading this post means that you suspect yourself having pile(s). I want to tell you that it is alright, almost one in two will be affected by pile at some stage in their lives1. I spotted mine when I was fifteen. It did not bother me for years although it did become slightly larger and one day in my early 20s, the second pile appeared out of nowhere. Usually they would not be affected as I pass motion but they would swell if I attempted extremely spicy food such as Mala :P. Nonetheless, slight swelling and occasional constipation did not deter me from eating what I wanted. Until things got worse.

Whenever I passed motion, the swelling of my piles worsened. I thought that the way I wiped was not clean enough so I would wash with soap BUT this action is a big NO NO4. (Soap can dry out and irritate piles! Water is sufficient.) Soon, I experienced itch so severe that my sleep was disrupted. Like most of us, I felt embarrassed about my condition and never wanted to visit a doctor but the itch was killing me. I scratched my head to think of something that I can apply to temporarily stop the itch. I googled and found out that tea tree oil might help!5 After application, I didn’t bother if it will help and rushed my ass, literally, to the nearby polyclinic. Thankfully, I could feel the itch subsiding as I made my way there.

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I was anxious about the examination by the doctor as it was so embarrassing. However, I was told to lie sideways, hug my knees, and pulled down my pants to the extent that only my buttocks were exposed (so yeah our reproductive organs are safe). The examination was quick as my swelling piles were already waving their hands in the doctor’s face. I was given a tube of Proctosedyl ointment and eighteen days’ worth of Diosmin tablets.

Application of the ointment was extremely tedious and I would suggest if you end up having to do a deep application, wash with water and dry the area before inserting the cannula. The ointment (all kinds of ointment actually) is very greasy. To me, the ointment did not help much so I would not recommend you to buy ointments online to try to cure the piles on your own. After diligently eating the medication prescribed, my piles no longer swell. Unfortunately, they are still there.
What can I try to do to prevent surgery?

4. How? (Home remedies VS Non-Surgical Procedures VS Surgeries)3, 8

Home remedies:

a) Prevent constipation
– moderate-fibre diet (more fruits, vegetables & whole grains)
– drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses of water per day)
– exercise regularly (at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week)

b) Avoid holding off bowel movements for too long

c) Avoid sitting on the toilet for more than 5 minutes (just don’t bring your phone or book in, it is very doable)

d) Topical treatments
– Apply over-the-counter haemorrhoid cream (Effectiveness varies between people)
– Use pads containing witch hazel or numbing agent (I personally did not try this before so I am not sure about its effectiveness)
– Apply tea tree oil (as mentioned under experience)
– Insert suppository for piles (I personally did not try this before so I am not sure about its effectiveness)

e) Soak regularly in warm bath or sitz bath (Effectiveness varies between people)

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NON-SURGICAL PROCEDURES:

a) sclerotherapy – a chemical is injected into the haemorrhoid to decrease its size, which will happen over several weeks

b) rubber band ligation – a method to cut off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid by tying an elastic band around it, causing it to fall off in up to 10 days

c) electrotherapy – a gentle electric current is applied to your piles to shrink them

d) infrared coagulation – an infrared light is applied to shrink the piles by cutting off blood supply

e) Oral medications Used to treat small bleeding piles

SURGICAL TREATMENTS:

a) Haemorrhoidectomy – complete surgical removal of the piles

b) Stapled haemorrhoidopexy – removal of piles using a special stapler device (less painful than “conventional” haemorrhoidectomy)

c) Transanal haemorrhoidal dearterialisation (THD) – Using an ultrasound to locate the problematic blood vessels and stitching the piles

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5. When? (to seek treatment)

Usually it is fine to live with piles as long as they do not bleed or swell severely. However, if they cause irritation, result in unbearable itch, swell continuously without showing any sign of recovery, it is highly recommended to seek a doctor’s advice whether to undergo a surgery to remove them or not.

To note, do not be overly optimistic about the surgery, piles do reappear after surgery. In fact, about 5% of the patients redeveloped piles after surgery.6 The success of the surgery depends heavily on the effort of patients to lead a healthier and “piles-friendly” lifestyle.

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6. Where? (to seek treatment)

Specialist Services at Singapore General Hospital:
Call 6321 4377

Specialist Services at Mount Elizabeth Hospital:
Call 6250 0000 (Orchard) / 68986898 (Novena) or make an appointment online (https://www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/make-appointment)

Or you can visit the nearest polyclinic and request a referral to one of the governmental hospitals.

7. Do haemorrhoids lead to cancer?

As I was researching about piles, I came across “anal cancer”. The signs of anal cancer such as bleeding from the anus or rectum, a lump near the anus, itching or discharge from the anus, and a change in bowel habits7 are very similar to that of haemorrhoids. There is no way for us to tell the difference unless we go for tests, if you are worried, please see a doctor to correctly diagnose your symptoms.

On the other hand, if you are sure that the condition you have is piles instead of cancer, then good news to you, research shows that there is no relationship between piles and cancer1. But once again, we cannot be too optimistic about anything. A healthy and active lifestyle is the way to go!


  1. Haemorrhoids. (2018, December 12). Retrieved April 19, 2021, from https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/patient-education/haemorrhoids
  2. Tan, K., Cheong, W., Dr, Lim, F., Dr, Lieske, B., Chong, C., Lee, K., Dr, & Tan, I., Dr. (2020, October 8). Haemorrhoids or Piles. Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.nuh.com.sg/Health-Information/Diseases-Conditions/Pages/Haemorrhoids-or-Piles.aspx
  3. Ng, C. (2020, October 29). Should you get surgery for piles? Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.mountelizabeth.com.sg/healthplus/article/surgery-haemorrhoids-piles-treatment
  4. Hemorrhoids: Home remedies, lifestyle changes, and overview. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317114#:~:text=Hemorrhoids%20are%20highly%20sensitive%2C%20and,blood%20and%20make%20bleeding%20worse.
  5. Gotter, A. (2018, April 12). Tea Tree Oil for Hemorrhoids (1323669709 971843726 D. Wilson Dr, Ed.). Retrieved April 20, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/tea-tree-oil-for-hemorrhoids#benefits
  6. Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract (2008). SSAT Patient Care Guidelines: Surgical Management of Hemorrhoids. Available online: http://www.ssat.com/cgi-bin/hemorr.cgi.
  7. Anal cancer treatment (pdq®)–patient version. (2020, April 17). Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.cancer.gov/types/anal/patient/anal-treatment-pdq#:~:text=Anal%20cancer%20is%20a%20disease,a%20lump%20near%20the%20anus.
  8. Colorectal Surgery, Singapore General Hospital. (2018, April 24). Hemorrhoids (Piles). Retrieved April 24, 2021, from https://www.kkh.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/hemorrhoids-piles/treatment

What do we learn at a Standard First Aid Course? (Recap)

Last weekend, I completed and passed my Standard First Aid Course. My course spanned over two days, approximately 8 hours on each day. I feel that the course can be shortened if the trainers did not dwell so much on their personal stories (which some were not very relevant and I suspect exaggerations…).

I will be receiving the license shortly which will allow me to provide basic first aid for two years, afterwhich I will have to attend and pass a refresher course to renew my license every two years. I strongly encourage anyone reading this post to attend one! Who knows, you may be able to save the lives of your loved ones during an emergency.


Theory

The total number of slides I received was 212. Sounds daunting but trust me it is not that difficult! I have summarised the key points that you have to know before taking the Theory Test below. The test typically consists of 30 MCQs.

Things to know and memorise:
– First Aid is a form of emergency care/treatment to anyone who is injured or suddenly ill, before the arrival of doctor/nurse/paramedic. (Non-invasive treatment only!)
Reduce contact with body fluids: PPE > Gloves > Plastic bags > Bare Hands (To wash thoroughly afterwards!)
Primary Survey: “DRSABC” (AKA Doctors ABC) [This is very important as it will be tested in both theory and practical. D for Danger, R for Response, S for Shout, A for AED, B for breathing, C for Continuous Chest Compressions]
Recovery Position [To remember that if victim is breathing and unconscious, we have to put them in the recovery position to keep airway open until the paramedics arrive.]

( I was introduced to “My Responder App” which I find the function of locating the nearest AED super useful.)

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InjuriesKey Points to Note
Head InjuryDo not shift or move victim unless in danger.
Heat DisordersHelp to move victim to a cool place, during severe cases, wrap the victim in cool wet sheet until body temperature falls to 38 degree Celsius.
Fits/Convulsion/
Seizure/Epilepsy
Do not put hard objects in the victim’s mouth, try to prevent victim from injuring himself/herself.
FaintingRiase legs to improve blood flow to brain.
Diabetic EmergenciesIf victim has low blood sugar, provide surgery drinks or sweets to victim.
Stroke“FAST” (F for Face, A for Arms, S for Speech, T for Time) helps you to determine if the person is having a stroke.
ChokingAbdominal thrust for victims whom you are certain that they are choking. Chest thrust is to be performed on obese or pregnant victims.
HyperventilationDue to hyperventilation, there will be deficiency of carbon dioxide in the body. Do not use a paper bag to breathe in exhaled air again.
BleedingDirect pressure should be applied on the wound. Tourniquet is the last resort.
FracturesAn open fracture refers to a fracture in which there is an open wound or break in the skin near the site of the broken bone. Using a splint to secure to body part helps to reduce pain.
Soft Tissue Injuries“RICE” (R for rest, I for ice, C for compression, E for elevate)
BurnsWrap casualty with a big sheet of wet material if available and lie him/her on the ground and roll him/her.
Heart AttackOccurs when one of the coronary arteries is blocked by cholestorl deposits and/or blood clots. Place casualty in a comfortable position and assist him/her with own medication (if available).
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Practical

Bandages: You will be taught how to use a triangular bandage and a roller bandage. For triangular bandage, you will be required to learn how to make a broad and narrow bandage, how to tie a reef knot and how to make an arm sling and an elevation sling.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR): Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is no longer a must. However, one can still perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if one is comfortable with it. Elbows should be locked, only heels of palm should be touching victim to direct force towards lower part of sternum.

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Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
PurposeTo be performed with CPR to increase the chances of survival during a sudden cardiac arrest.
FunctionIt detects and analyses the heart rhythm to prompt the operator whether defibrillation is required. When a shockable rhythm (Ventricular Fibrillation) is detected, shock will be advised.
RecommendationThe usual AED is recommended for use on children above the age of 8 and the weight requirement is at least 25 kg.
AED DangersExclude AED dangers, namely metal, water and gas, before setting up AED.
Chest PreparationCut/remove clothing > Move necklaces away from the path between the pads > Shave hair at pads areas if necessary > Dry wet chest > Remove medication patches > Place pads four fingers away from Pacemaker (if applicable).
Placement of PadsThe electrode pads are to be placed one to the right below the collar bone and another below the left nipple.
Arrival of ParamedicsTo report the estimated duration of CPR performed and the number of shock given to the victim. To ask paramedics for the hospital which the victim will be sent to, and return AED to owner.

Save lives, be a first aider 🙂

Stay Safe,
PinkOlifant

Citizenship Ceremony

Finally, I have received the letter (hard copy) to attend my Citizenship Ceremony. FYI, I renounced my previous citizenship in Oct 2019, everything was pushed back due to COVID-19.

For those who wish to have a peek at the letter, here it is:

Front
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Back
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Do note the stringent dress code required and remember to bring (a) the letter and (b) your identity card / identity card collection slip!

Unfortunately for those of us who are attending the ceremony in the midst of COVID-19, we will not be provided with any food or drinks, heard from my parents who attended years back that the food was not bad :/

In any case, stay safe everyone, and hope that everything is well for you 🙂

PinkOlifant