10 Easy Ways to Reduce Energy Consumption

Here are 10 simple things you can do to reduce energy consumption around you. Remember, every bit of energy saved translates to lesser carbon emissions.

1. Switch off lights and fan when not in use.

Not only does it save energy, turning off your lights increases the life of your bulbs as well. Even if you’re leaving your room for 10 minutes, switching off the light saves you 6.6 Watts if you’re using a single 40W fluorescent lamp. Do that everyday and in 1 month, you save about 200 Watts. That’s turning off one lamp for 10 minutes a day only. The same applies for fans.

2. Cycle if you’re going somewhere near.

If you’re going somewhere near, try to cycle instead of driving. Cycling reduces carbon emissions and it saves you petrol also, not to mention getting the much required exercise. I used to drive when I want to get a burger from a nearby burger stall. But now I find it easier to just cycle there. Afterall, I do enjoy the cool night air.

3. Don’t boil too much water.

Boiling water takes up a lot of energy because water has very high heat capacity. If you’re boiling water just for a cup of tea, keep water level to a minimum. Plan ahead if you are going to boil more water. Don’t boil more than necessary.

4. Save water.

A little known fact: it takes energy to pump water. The more water you waste, the more the pump has to work to get that water to you. Simply turn off taps when not in use, fix leaky faucets, don’t keep the water running when brushing your teeth, use a bucket to wash your car, and I’m sure you can think of many more ways to conserve water.

5. Keep showering duration to a minimum.

This is especially true if you’re using a water heater. Again, like boiling water, water heater uses a lot of energy. Try to take just 15 minutes to shower. And usually it is unnecessary to put the heat to maximum. Try to get accustomed to colder water by gradually reducing the temperature. Soon you might not need a water heater except for very cold days!

6. Hibernate your PC when you’re not using it.

Hibernating your PC can save you a lot of energy. When in hibernation, your PC’s power consumption is virtually zero. Hibernate if you need to leave your desk for more than 10 minutes. And because it doesn’t take long for a PC to come out of hibernation, you can resume work almost immediately after you return.

7. Carpool.

This might not be for everyone, but if you can, try carpooling. It saves you a lot of money and it helps the environment also. And it also reduces the amount of traffic on the road to some extend. Now I’m carpooling everyday since we’re all having classes together. Now instead of 2 cars, just 1 car needs to get stuck in the jam every morning.

8. Keep your appliances serviced.

Cleaning the blades of a ceiling fan, changing the filter of a vacuum cleaner, keeping the radiator coils of a fridge clean and oiling the bearings of a food processor can greatly increase the efficiency of the device. Higher efficiency means less energy wastage and you get your job done faster. Keep your appliances in good condition and they will help you save energy.

9. Turn off the aircond when not needed.

Try to avoid using air-conditioning if possible. Use it only on very hot days, not everyday. This applies to cars also. During colder nights or mornings, switch off the aircond and wind down the window instead. Or put the aircond to a lower setting. By reducing the use of the aircond, you will get better gas mileage.

10. Read books instead of watching television.

Save electricity by spending more time reading than watching the television. Get a good book and spend around 1 hour each day reading when you’re supposed to be watching television. I suggest getting a copy of the Reader’s Digest. You’ll soon find yourself hooked to it.

You may think that one person cannot change the fate of the planet. But hey, if 100,000 people do the same, that’s going to make a lot of difference. Be the change, take action today. Tell your friends about it. Every little bit helps. Continue reading

Ulu Yam Fishing Trip

Since I was unable to fly back to Kuching this weekend due to the Inti Alumni gathering on friday night, I decided to follow my friends to Ulu Yam to fish. I can say that the last time I fished was about 10 years ago. And today wasn’t our lucky day either. 4 hours and no fish.

Unrelated: Very first Inti Alumni meeting for year 2008.

This is the reservoir of a dam. So it’s a man made lake. As usual, click for a bigger version.

The lake. South of it is the dam. Click here for Google Earth coordinates.

Fishing 101 by Shufi.

Preparing the equipment. Hooks, weights, floats and bait.

Live bait: crickets and earthworms. I’m not a very big fan of creepy crawlies so I went with artificial bait.

Marzuki brought liver as bait.

Waiting for the fishes.

Then we decided to quit fishing and go dip in the waterfall. It was slightly further from where we were fishing. We went to a different site the last time we came here for a barbecue.

Artificial waterfall.

These pipe carries the natural waterfall’s water to create the artificial waterfall you see above.

Can you believe how cold the water is?

The disappointing thing was that after we were done with the waterfall, we realized that our cars were broken into. 2 fishing rods and some fishing equipment and some loose change in the cars were missing. The cars were parked by the roadside and it was in bright daylight. We suspected it was the doings of mat rempits.

Anyways, it was good to be able to admire how great nature is. We could be monkeys swinging from tree branch to tree branch, but instead I’m typing this out on a device that works by manipulating electrical pulses and you’re probably reading this halfway round the world (for US readers). Nature, through the process of evolution has led us to this, but soon, we might lead nature to destruction if we don’t control our pollution levels.

Save the earth, do your part to reduce pollution. Continue reading

Hot Captcha

As computers became smarter and smarter, you need more ways to keep them from auto submitting forms on the Internet. In a previous article, I talked about captcha hacking. Now someone has found out a better way to defeat the bots.

Prove that you’re a human by taking the hot captcha test here. Don’t worry if you fail, sometimes it may not be very obvious ;)

I’d like to see a bot beat that. Continue reading


After watching some high powered coilgun videos, I’m seriously considering reviving my coilgun project. At the peak of its development, it can easily punch through 3 cans. Making it portable would be too dangerous indeed.

Powered by 80+ flash capacitors and running at 960v, this bank can kill you if you touch it.

One of the best investments on this gun is the SCR, rated at 1200V and capable of withstanding 1990A of surge current for 10ms. I used to use relays to fire the gun until I ran out of relay because every firing caused the relay contacts to weld together.

For bullets, I used nails with diameter of 5mm, perfectly capable of puncturing through almost anything organic. It was insanely powerful and fun. But the lack of a proper platform caused this project to be shelved. Development stopped after I left Form 5.

Here are videos of other people’s coilguns.

Will post up some videos this weekend if I get around to revive it. Continue reading

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