About Online User Counter

If you have been wondering about how online user counters work, I would share my five cents worth of knowledge.

It detects the number of users online by tracking their IP addresses. Each IP address will be stored for an amount of time, unless the visitor triggers the script again and the counter restarts. At the same time, the script will count for the number of IP addresses stored to determine the number of users “online”.

A problem arouses when multiple IP addresses are detected from a visitor and the number of count exceeds the correct amount. This is the reason why a few months ago, sometimes you can see the number of my website’s online visitors reaching more than twenty.

For most free online scripts hosted by free service providers, they store each visiting IP address for fifteen minutes; however, in order to save bandwidth, they do not provide auto refreshing. A regular visitor will not stay in a blog for more than five minutes and thus the storing of IP addresses for fifteen minutes will be very inaccurate, on the other hand, will be very flattering for the owner.

The greatest problem about free service providers is that when their bandwidth has reached the limit or their server is down, the browser will take some time to try and load the script before it gives up, such that, visitors might think it is the problem with your website and give up waiting.

In order to solve the problems of inaccuracy, especially for the multiple IP addresses problem, I have implemented a free online PHP script in my webhost, which is adjustable. Since I have limited each storing of IP address to be only five seconds and with its auto-refresh function, the inaccuracy counted by time is at most five seconds.

For my website, it is displayed as “X readers online”.

Sold My First Flat

[Wednesday, 27 December, 2006]

I was behaving quite like a zombie in the morning for the lack of sleep and disappointment of the unsold flat, which could have been sold a week ago.

I was actually quite excited for the arrival of the valuer and Kelly had taught me more things this morning. The valuer was a girl who looked quite young and pleasant. She came with papers to note down things and later, took out a camera to take photos. I thought she had a nice job for she got to travel more than me to look at houses, and also able to practise photography.

Rahman was late for a while and he brought down the couple and their son. My instinct was right this time that the buyers were willing to buy the flat. I supposed it was partly due to the fact that they were urgently looking for a new house and Rahman’s team worked so swiftly that they did not want to hold on to any client. Of course, the buyers, Mr Low and his wife were very easygoing people.

We went down to the stone table but it was too windy. Later on, Rahman finally got his name card for both Kelly and I. We moved to the community centre. I was surprised to see Mr Low having very long name and Kelly told me he was a Chinese who had converted to Muslim. I was very impressed with him for it must have taken him a lot of sacrifice to be with his gorgeous wife.

We finally got the paper work done with Kelly’s help. Actually, Rahman was handling the JTC resale flat for the first time as well. Even though the flat was finally sold, I knew well I did not make much from the little commission; it was so pathetic for I had made almost ten trips down and the travel fee and time wasted was enormous. The greatest worry was how I was going to answer to Francis when Kelly did not want anyone else to know that she was helping us. And also, since the case was closed after so much helps from Kelly, I did not feel proud.

After reaching home, I was dead beat from the lack of sleep. I was also quite disappointed that Vivi was actually out with another guy, her senior in school, to catch a movie instead of accompanying me. That guy insisted her to date with him out of so many girls in Singapore but her mum had ordered home in the midst of the romantic movie. Seeing her nick in MSN was a sickening thing when she was apologising so much to him.

I did not doubt her loyalty but her naiveness that people always took it for granted. The day sucked to the maximum and I was getting so weary perhaps due to the numerous travelling in the bad weather that I dozed off many times.

It was during evening, she called me while she was going for tuition and she told me she had dinner with the same guy who insisted it in order to forgive her for her mum forced her home earlier. Maybe some people would think she was so lovely to repay her mum’s debt but I only cared about how weird it was for a guy to ask so much from an attached girl.

Kelly had arranged to meet me at 9pm for Mr. Low wanted to pay for the exercise fee immediately so as to proceed with the flat faster. It was a bad timing for I was going to miss my favourite channel 8 show. Weirdly, my mum had not returned home with my dinner at such late hour as she was kind of forced to join a religious gathering with great food; I thought those people were very hypocrite to force people into their believe.

I was wearing very causally as I thought I had to just pass her the document. Then, she was late for she was doing her holy task of helping Jenny with some stuff. Suddenly, she called me and asked me to go down to McPherson Road and I was so stunned. The exact location was Pipit Road which I had not heard before. There were a few persons in the queue but they were all not in the same way as the cab driver who came next.

I got into it and soon, started chatting with the uncle. He thought I was from China for I was speaking in Chinese all along. Later on, he introduced me to a china website where he got many cheap China goods. He told me that he was working nearly twenty years in the sales line before switching job. It was a good experience to be his customer and partly thanks to Kelly that I was getting noisier, but of course still not even half of my past standard.

I thought my job was to pass Kelly the documents but she brought me up to Mr Low’s house at block 54. I was very embarrassed for wearing shorts and the NP t-shirt. Then, Kelly got me to fill in the forms and she guided me by the side. However, I did not understand the whole procedure still.

After everything was settled, we went down to the void deck to settle the payment. I returned her the $172.50 from Mr Low for the valuation fee and she insisted me to take $25 from her as cab fare. From then, I deducted that she would never take the commission from Mingfa and I as we planned to divide the small amount between the three of us. She had put me to so much shame for she was helping us so much that she was wasting so much of her time and money.

It was pouring heavily still and we sat there to discuss over how to talk to Francis. I reminded her that it was obvious someone had been helping us and she finally agreed to let Francis know about it. Francis was praising Mingfa and me for doing the valuation despite the risk that we would be wasting the money if there was no buyer, which was different from what he said to me in the afternoon.

At this point of time I was quite lost. The society seemed so dark that no one was completely trustable. From Kelly, I knew many things about our team for she was a great observer. So far, I had not seen anyone as hardworking as her and I really wished to learn more from her in a way such that Francis would not be angry in any way. It was pretty obvious that Mingfa and I were neglected somehow and we had no choice but to accept Kelly’s kind help, which had benefited us so much to start off into the field.

She insisted to see me into the cab before she rode home in her bike.

Back to Square – View House

[Tuesday, 26 December, 2006]

This morning I woke up with disappointment but I was actually quite expecting it that Andrew and Jessica did not want the Haig Road flat. The first thing I did after opening my eyes was to check the phone and I was totally dejected.

My holiday mood turned gloomy and I knew clearly I had to redo everything again – showing of clients to the flat. Kelly acted immediately to my forwarded message and she messaged all the numbers of agents in the newspaper who were holding flats to that area so that the agents could bring their clients who were interested in that area over for a look.

I got calls and finally, someone called Hanna was interested but she was quite furious over the commission of the flat. By then, I realised most agents in the market did not know about the JTC resale flats, which was not as simple as what Francis had said. However, she gave me a second call and confirmed about the viewing and she gave me her associate’s number, who would be bringing the clients down.

I did not reject the appointment which was at 8.30pm on the same day because I knew hard work would pay. However, I was already saturated in moodiness.

Just as I left my house, Mingfa told me he would not be going down since it was pouring heavily and he lived so far away; I was very fine with it for I had told him earlier about this plan that I would go down alone. So, I went back to the same place to board the bus 10 and proceeded with the boring trip once again.

Front view at night

Back view at night

As I waited on alone at the flat, Kelly called and said she was not coming anymore due to the heavy rain. It was a blessing actually for not taking up her time. Since the valuer would be going down the next day, she would collect the keys from me in the morning.

I was surprised when another number appeared in my phone instead. I realised this team consisted three or more people and the final member sent over was Rahman. He appeared quite “beng” and did not even carry his name card along, but later, I realised he was very friendly.

The clients were a Muslim couple and the lady was quite gorgeous. In fact, both of them were very nice people. They were very interested in the house but had to see to their son’s liking. Then, Rahman arranged another appointment the next day with me.

I was in fact planning to work at Bianhong’s place to replenish my wallet but I had to give up the deal.

It was nearly 9pm and the channel 8 show, 百万宝, was beginning soon and I actually thought of going to the auntie next door’s house to watch it but was too shy to place the simple request which she would certainly accept. It was still raining and as I got down, Kelly asked me to call another agent to arrange an appointment. Rahman had also called me to urge me to talk to the valuer to push the value of the house up. I was delayed for around fifteen minutes at the lobby for I did not have enough hands to hold my file, my phone and the umbrella.

I reached home at nearly 10pm and got even more moody for missing the show.

The Fragile Internet

A respectable person, whom I could not remember, had told me before that the internet was so solid built that even an atomic bomb could not destroy it. This was quite true for the network was laid all over the world, interconnecting each other, that there were always multiple routes for the signals to be travelled; but I always reserved my doubts.

I was totally amazed when the MSN was down that was caused by the earthquake in Taiwan and I had never thought of the impact could be so big. There was no connection to several websites and I almost thought Max-Online was giving the problems.

There were lesser people coming online and blogs were not updated. Reports showed that more earthquakes would continue to strike Taiwan and I was not sure what other problems would it cost.

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Natural Disasters, please do not take away our privilege of using the internet!

After all, I get to learn that the laying of physical network is magnificent work that it will take at least three months to fully stabilize the network. Whereas, ships are transporting diver cable men to repair all the damages, which is so cool.

Hopefully those lamers in the internet will learn to appreciate internet and stop causing annoyance to others. If you cannot contribute, at least do not destroy.

Dinner with Gil, Chua and Rehan

[Monday, 25 December, 2006]

Chua had initiated an outing the day before. He had flooded my phone with messages and I was more than happier to have someone organising a simple gathering. He managed to get Gilbert and Rehan who were so keen to keep in contacts.

Gilberto at the stairs at Cityhall MRT

Gilbert reached Cityhall the earliest after going out with his friends and I joined him as soon as possible after recovering from hangover. Both of us walked around Raffles City while waiting for the two of them. Finally, Chua called Gilbert and arranged to meet at Suntec City’s Convention Centre. Even though Gilbert had clearly told him I was right besides Gilbert, he called me after finishing talking with Gilbert. Chua was indeed interesting.

Yellow flowers

Yellow flowers again

Pink

Orange

White

Yellow

Gilbert and I took the main road instead of using Citylink which he claimed it was faster. Along the road towards Suntec City, we saw many beautiful flowers and took photos. We finally met up with Chua and Rehan after waiting for a while. We went to the food court (pathetic for a gathering but too bad we were not rich except Rehan) which was crowded and decided to go to MacDonald’s instead.

Gilbert had his special order again with Fantastic burger and a cake from McCafe, which made him the longest queuing customer. Scenery was nice for at the far corner there was a sweet girl with two foreigners. Rehan updated us about camp and both Gilbert and I were quite excited that our prediction had come true though it was sad.

I was not sure what was wrong with Shep that she still failed to gain popularity of her subordinates, which was a big tragedy to me. Ben seemed to be at loggerhead with a new sergeant and that was quite expected with his frankness. AVA was going down the drain and the regulars, including all the scholars, had failed to see the problems with the management. At least, I was sure everyone knew clearly people at my times were actually doing our jobs and some people like me were actually doing things out of our job scopes.

Chua, Rehan, Me

Rehan’s car

We went to the Adidas shop and Chua bought his bag. Then, we accompanied Rehan to the car park and it was the first time I ever stepped deep inside. It was divided into colours with alphabets and was really huge.

After Rehan left, we went to G2000 shop and I bought a pant for near thirty bucks after a forty percent discount. Then, we went to search for Chua’s ear piece and finally we went back to the food court for Chua claimed that he was hungry again. He bought a bowl of noodle and then Gilbert got a bowl of soup as expected. Chua insisted to treat me to a drink with the reason that he had not treated me for very long. Anyway, I was really amazed at the prices for almost every drink cost $1.50 except for my small cup of tea, which was $1.

Gilberto

Chua

We sat down at the food court for quite some time. Then, we started asking questions and Chua was really so interesting.

We left for home at around 10pm and I took bus 196 at Nicoll Highway.

Santa on Bicycle

[Monday, 25 December, 2006]

It was Christmas Day finally and I was preparing to deliver the present over to Vivi when she sounded very sleepy. I tried to keep her awake but instead, I lost a lot of time doing that, which was a mistake. I had not cycled for so long since after my operation and this time with the new tyres, I used less strength than before to do the same amount of job.

It was a challenge against myself. I reached her place near 1am and gave her more than thirty calls which she did not pick up. I got so disappointed because usually her friends could easily wake her up when they wanted to chat with her over the phone. Standing at the corridor, I had so much doubt that I could take good care of her.

I made the wasted trip there and I was not sure how my mum felt about it. At least I had proven that my left leg was capable of paddling though it might still not be able to withstand jumping. It was quite an unlucky morning for when I got to Yan Kit Road, the roti prata was sold out. I decided to go home empty-handed and the chain came off. For the first time I fixed it back but got my hands so dirty.

It was a boring day ahead. She had organised a party at her house since her parents did not allow her to go out to celebrate. I seriously did not understand what grudges her parents bear with me but from what she told me, I could not go even though I was not very interested as well.

It was till night time when I decided to deliver her present over, her friends were leaving. Since she told me her dad was sending them to the MRT station, I decided to stop by Outram Park MRT station. It was raining but I decided to proceed on. After waiting for quite some time, I called her to check for her location and realised her dad was sending her friends to Woodlands MRT instead. In the rain, I cycled straight to her house and luckily her brother came to the living room and I quietly caught his attention to pass him the present without letting her mum know.

After that, her brother and I started to bluff her that the present was given by her brother and she believed it. Since the day before she had received some chocolate with “I love you” label inside, she insisted that present was from me. No matter how I explained and swear that I was not so stupid to make her grow fat, she refused to believe me.

In the end, I realised her group of friends who went to her house was actually friends introduced by a smoker cum playboy who tried to break us months ago. The disappointment was so heartbreaking. Then, she was busy entertaining that playboy for she did not invite him over due to a conflict between him and another guy.

Alas, I concluded that she was so naïve to easily believe other people and yet she always had doubts in me. Another disappointment was that she would never ever keep her promise to stay away from people whom I disliked.

Free Food and the Christmas Present

[Saturday, 23 December, 2006]

I was waked up early by some free food. My neighbour told my mum about the reopening of the PosBank Tanjong Pagar branch and then my younger brother and I were waked up after she finished bathing. I did not want them to takeaway for me and thus I followed them down instead.

By the time we got there, the crowd had already dispersed and there was no track of food. I felt quite relieved somehow.

We went to the market instead and had nasi lemak for breakfast. I had to foot the bill for my elder brother was not there and I could not let my younger brother do it. I really felt so heavy on my shoulder. Money had being such a big issue for me. It was so pathetic for I was having no income for so many months already and mostly thank to the property agent job.

Back at home, I dozed off quite soon and into afternoon, I started worrying for Vivi’s Christmas present. Even though she claimed that she did not need one as she knew how broke I was, I knew clearly she was such a dreamer who would fantasize for a great Christmas.

All the burdens were driving me so mad that sometimes I really wished I could just bang my head on the wall and end all the worries. But for this I must admit my stupidity because I could not do it like others who would simply enjoy their lives without thinking for others.

Seriously I wonder why some people who have wealthy parents can waste so much money without thinking of what kind harsh lifestyle many others are living in; the worst case is when people who live in poor families try to live wealthy men’s lives.

For me, I know my own status and situation well that I will live a poor man’s life until I get enough money to finance my younger brother through the university, allow my mum to retire, get my own house and finally further my own studies. I do not know how long I will take, for I am not a great man and never have the ability to command through my softness. However, I will try to grow stronger each day.

Anyway, the day went on with me arranging a time with Jielin to meet up at Far East Plaza. She suggested 6pm but I realised I could not make it and delayed it for fifteen minutes. I cut through the crowds in very “stylo” pace, feeling so great that my left leg was able to do the job. I met John, Khong Wee and Gin Seng on the way and later realised my timing was just nice. I gave her a call when she was only at Great World City’s bus-stop and even doubted it was already the time we were supposed to meet up.

I was waiting there like a fool but was able to see countless babes. After she arrived in her ugly spectacle, she did her job well by suggesting items to buy. I was considering a cap but felt it was stupid since I did not like Vivi to wear any. So, I stick to my initial plan to get her a bag. Then, I realised I ought to be knocked to some sense for spending so much on her again when I was so broke. I hated myself.

I walked Jielin to the bus-stop and accompanied her till her bus came. Then, I chose to take bus 167 even though I knew well the road would be jammed badly during the festival. Sadly, I could not get a good view of the sceneries and decoration for I was sitting at the centre of the last row of seats.

A Sudden Delight

[Friday, 22 December, 2006]

This was a very special day and I was so happy to receive news of two buyers interested in the flat. I thought my first even client would be someone who would be my very close friend.

I thought in a few days’ time I would eventually clinch my first flat and would eventually mature to a higher level of experience. I saw lights along the path.

I had plans for the next few days and especially the upcoming chalet. I thought I would get started the beginning of next year with Kelly’s tactics.

Things often do not go the way as planned.

Festival Greetings

[Sunday, 24 December, 2006]

During Christmas Eve, I had started to receive wishes through SMS. I began flooding my friends’ phones as well. The following list was by order of the earliest person who sent me greeting messages…

Ah Boon, Ivan Ng, Tze Siang, Peh, Sichun, Siu Hang, Andy, Da Zhang, Gan, Chee Keong, Guoxin, Guoxiong, Guanhong, Chong Guan Sheng, Davin, Joshua, Jianhao, James Tan, Hwi Keng, Lim Kian Hwee, Li Jie, Benny, Lynn Tan, Nicholas, Nelson, Reuben, Paul, Rehan, Clement, Meijuan shi gu, Wanling, Terry, Kok Chiang, Peixian, Wenhao, Wencai, Wah chuan, XX Liang, Weiqiang, Zhengfang, Wanying, Zong Yi, Chris, Nyan, Vernye, Kenny, Yongming, Pang (2SIG), Zongda, Anthony, Weijian, Yanling, Thiam Huat, Wenchang, Wanxin, Phua Kian Ann, Tze Khit, Giel, Hafeez, Shilin, Gin Seng, Gilberto, Kachua, Jason Lim, Yuan Le, Zhirong, Baha, Mingli, Gina, Bianhong, Sem Chi, Chunlin, Jielin, Yingying, Kelly, Sherry, Yuxing, Davian, Yiwei.

Thanks for the greeting. I feel so good somehow to have friends who still remember me. At least it makes me realise your number is still in use. By the way, if you do not receive any message from me, I doubt your latest number is in my list anymore – please drop me a message somehow to update me.

First Setback

When I thought everything was almost fixed and that I would be having a few days of holidays until New Year, I woke up with disappointments.

Andrew and Jessica replied me negative about the flat. I was not sure what was wrong but they seemed to be so interested in it last week. However, since the night before I messaged them, they did not reply immediately, I could sense their lack of interest already.

I got last Saturday’s straits times from my neighbour and the auntie told me their adopted dog had passed away last Saturday. Things were not going right this day. Kelly continued to help Mingfa and I do all the shit. After I received a call from an agent, I realised Kelly had started messaging the agents found on the newspapers. Just when I was trying to alias with her which numbers I should message, I realised my neighbour had given me the wrong portion of Classified advertisement.

I would not have felt so moody if Josephine did not give the ring that her client had wanted to pay for the deposit last week. I hated to repeat the process again and in a sorrier state.