Author: Mark Leong

Yes 4G mobile broadband

Yes, it is fast!

This evening I had the privilege to try out Yes, YTL Communication’s new mobile broadband solution. Above is a screenshot of a speed test I did about midnight. As anyone who is used to Malaysian broadband can attest, clocking in a download speed of 10.5 Mbps is pretty good.

Yes has a simple pay-as-you-use price plan: 9 sen for a 1-minute call, 1 SMS, or 3 MB of data. Coverage of Peninsular Malaysia is said to be at about 65%.

For more info, price plans, videos and coverage maps, see http://www.yes.my/.

Gravatars: Globally recognized avatars

A what…?

Most people have never heard of an online avatar, let alone a Gravatar, so let’s begin with some definitions.

An online avatar is an image or icon used to represent you on the Internet, usually associated with some contribution you have made, such as a comment or a post on a forum.

A Gravatar is an avatar that is hosted by a third-party (Gravatar.com), which is associated with your email address. When you contribute a comment or post on a website that supports Gravatars, such as a WordPress blog, it will check with Gravatar.com and display your avatar if you have an account with Gravatar.com.

From the Gravatar.com website:

Your Gravatar is an image that follows you from site to site appearing beside your name when you do things like comment or post on a blog. Avatars help identify your posts on blogs and web forums, so why not on any site?

Why get a Gravatar?

You should sign up for a Gravatar so that on websites that support Gravatars, you will have a profile picture next to your comment or entry, instead of a generic icon, like the one on the right. On such websites, having a Gravatar helps distinguish your comments or posts from the others around it.

Setting up a Gravatar

  1. Prepare your image:
    • It must be square
    • It can be up to 512 pixels wide
    • It will be displayed at 80 pixels by 80 pixels by default
  2. Go to http://www.gravatar.com/ and click on the sign up button.
  3. Check your email Inbox and follow the instructions in the email from Gravatar.com.
  4. Upload your image.
  5. Try out your new Gravatar by leaving a comment on this post!

Speaking on “How to set up an online blogshop”

Workshop on "How to set up an online blogshop"

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of joining the Emmagem.com team in conducting a workshop at an event co-organised by the New Straits Times (NST) and Gorgeous Geeks on how to start an online business. The event attracted just under 100 participants, one from as far away as Perlis! Thankfully my journey from home didn’t have to start as early as his, as the workshop was held at the NST office in Bangsar.

My session was on “How to set up an online blogshop”. I began by introducing online shops and blogshops, and then moved on to the main part of the session, walking the participant through how to set a blogshop up at zero cost. Then I gave an overview of upgrades and expansion options, before concluding with a discussion on longer term strategies for running a blogshop. (In case you’re wondering, a blogshop is an online shop that uses a blog engine as its Content Management System.)

Workshop on "How to set up an online blogshop"

The two-day event was part of the WOMEN NETPRENEUR 2010 (WNET2010) programme organised by Gorgeous Geeks, MDeC, the US Embassy, Warisan Global, Emmagem.com and NST. Other workshops that weekend covered topics including business strategy, product sourcing, marketing, eBay, PayPal and product photography.

I enjoyed facilitating my part of the workshop, especially in being able to help the participants get to grips with some new tools and technologies to help them develop their businesses. Many thanks to Emmagem.com, Gorgeous Geeks and NST for the opportunity to get involved!

Photo credits: Women Netpreneur on Facebook.

How to register a Malaysian business online

Update:

According to https://www.malaysia.gov.my/en/ssm-elodgement, the online service has been suspended. Quote:

Please be informed that the temporary suspension of e-Lodgement Services – Companies Commission of Malaysia will take effect from 1 April 2015.

Types of registration

Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (The Companies Commission of Malaysia) offers two types of registration: business and company.

  • Business registrations may be either sole proprietorships or partnerships. They are relatively easy to do yourself and cost below RM100.
  • Company registration involves the formation of a new legal entity, either a Private Limited Company (Sdn Bhd) or a Limited Company (Bhd). Registering a company is a lot more expensive and complicated.

This write-up is on how to register a business online.

Why should you register a business?

Pursuant to section 5A(1) of the Registration of Businesses Act 1956, the person responsible for a business has to, not later than 30 days from the date of the commencement of the business, apply to the Registrar to register that business.

Registering a business online

Government portal registration

  1. Register at https://www.malaysia.gov.my/registration/

SSM Subscriber Registration

  1. Login at https://www.malaysia.gov.my/login_main
  2. Go to http://www.ssm.com.my/en/eLodgement-services/
  3. Click on the link entitled SSM Subscriber Registration
  4. Follow the instructions to register
  5. Complete payment of RM5

Name enquiry

  1. Go to http://www.ssm.com.my/en/eLodgement-services/
  2. Click on the link entitled Application for Business Name Approval (ROB)
  3. Follow the instructions and submit the form
  4. Wait for the confirmation email – repeat this section if your name is rejected

Business name registration

  1. Copy the ROB approval number e.g. ROB12112010-xxxxxxxxxSB
  2. Go to http://www.ssm.com.my/en/eLodgement-services/
  3. Click on the link entitled Online Registration of Business (ROB)
  4. Follow the instructions and submit the form
  5. Complete the payment of RM30 (owner’s name) or RM60 (trade name)
  6. Wait for the confirmation email

What to do if you something doesn’t work

  • If it is a problem with windows/tabs not loading, try turning off your pop-up blocker or switching to another web browser.
  • Use the contact form, email address or phone numbers listed on http://www.malaysia.gov.my/en/contact-us

More info

WordPress hack: Force wp_list_pages() to print current_page_item class

The wp_list_pages() function displays a list of WordPress pages as links and is often used to display navigation menus. When it prints the list of links, it adds a CSS class current_page_item to the list item tag of the current page. This allows custom styling to be applied to the link e.g. to highlight a link to indicate the page that the visitor is on.

The limitation with this is that it only works if you are viewing a page or an attachment, or are on the posts page (as set in Settings > Reading).

I was working on an archive page for a custom taxonomy and wanted to have the current_page_item CSS class added to the list item of a particular link of my choice. After poking around a bit in the wp_list_pages() code listing, I discovered it’s possible to hack the $wp_query object to make wp_list_pages() do what I wanted it to.

Here’s how:

// Get the ID of the link you want highlighted. Either:
// - hardcode it (as below)
// - or query the database to get it
$the_id = "1";


// Make a copy of the $wp_query object
$temp_query = clone $wp_query;

// Trick WordPress into thinking we're on a page with ID $the_id
$wp_query->is_page = 1;
$wp_query->queried_object_id = $the_id;

// Display pages
wp_list_pages("title_li=");

// Reset $wp_query
$wp_query = clone $temp_query;

Notes:

  • $wp_query->is_page needs to be set to 1 (true) because wp_list_pages() does not set a current page unless is_page() or is_attachment() or $wp_query->is_posts_page returns true.
  • If you only want this code to run when you are on certain page you can wrap it in an if statement that checks a WordPress conditional tag. In my case I only wanted to run this code when a taxonomy archive was being displayed so I used is_tax().
  • See http://www.jenst.se/2008/03/17/wordpress-get-id-by-post-or-page-name/ on how to query the database by post/page name to get an ID.