Monday 4 April 2022

PeMon my little grey friend

 14 August 2007(?) – Sun 27 March 2022  (Age 14 years 6 months)

Memories of my little grey friend by Marcus Khoo 28 March 2022

2007 - so pivotal for the Khoo’s

When a little grey kitten chased pen tops into shoes

Throw the top and away you were gone!

Trotting back with bright eyes that shone

Swiping yellow toy or a simple blue string

You knew not what pleasure you would bring

No matter the years you had behind

You’re forever a kitten in my mind


“Where’s the kit?” is what Jan would say

Now - check the places to see where you lay

Sometimes come running with tail up high

Or with throaty miaow – for food you would cry

“Hi Babes” would I say to a grey ball on bed

        A silent miaow from your little raised head

In “do not disturb” mode – when your sleep was so light

        Your response was a gentle claw or a bite


Now when about two - what a tragic event

        Hit by a car round in Berkeley Crescent

Then that long “op” was to repair your rear hock

        Your stressful saliva that seemed not to stop

Cat sitting volunteers - well they’ve been a-plenty

        (To always ensure our home was not empty)

To them was presented a kill you had hunted

        with feathers and corpses, they were confronted


Hunting skills were so many and  sight to behold

        That first RAT(!) - on our kitchen tiles cold

And all of those mice! – caught to show off your skill

        With signature Miaow that announced the kill

Now when at Petter Close, in garden facing South

        You sprung and in “mid-air” caught blackbird in mouth

I’ll never forget that you once caught a bat

        T'was constantly amazed with your skills as a cat


I remember so well into bedroom you bought

        An intact and living magpie you caught

What panic in me - but none did you show

        I thankfully coaxed it out of window

And to see you walking on top of a fence

        was clearly to show off amazing balance

Now when Martin came over with ankle steel plate

        The loss of one canine was sadly your fate


Being led outside - in my mind this is etched

        Demanding long strokes on your body outstretched

And being led to the bathroom - you did this a lot

        For nuzzling session and your “silly” flop

To open a door? – your battle oft won

        No sound, just sit, look up, till done

But trips to the vet – a decision hard pressed

        A heart wrenching cry would make us so stressed


Some demands you would tell us by scratching at doors

        They had to be opened – said the sound of your claws

And when to bed late - at midnight about

        A stroke of your back and purrs would sound out

At night, sometimes atop bed you would park

And commence a wash cycle - even when dark

Scratching to gain access to our bedroom eaves

Or demanding Miaow's - whatever you pleased


Antics during my bathing - with bathroom door closed

        You’d be on the bath side and paw at my toes

And I remember sometimes on my blue towel you’d sit

        And just stay there as company with me for a bit

Sometimes you would bound up to the sink

        And demand the tap to be opened to drink

Never mind me, for if shut was the door

        You’d sit looking up and then scratch with your paw


When attempting to satisfy your culinary taste

        So much food was shunned and sent to waste

Oh! what a fussy eater you became

        “Finest choice morsels” was the name of that game

Now what did you love most on your white dish?

Ah, your favourite - raw tuna fish!

But for you my little kit, no cost would be spared

        'Cause it celebrated all our experiences shared


Since once you filled our lives with gladness,

Now there is only distress and sadness

Our last weeks together so incredibly hard

Your fading away like being pierced by a shard

No more wash cycles for you and no appetite

No more darting around – just a loss of fight

So we knew when it was the loving thing to do

To say goodbye and for me was too soon


I now find it difficult - so hard to stand tall

        Never again to see you my little furball

A hole I have here right in my being

        because your trotting – not again will I be seeing

I will always remember the kitten cat you were

Not that shadow of yourself with the matted fur

And now I must get used to us being unreachably apart

But please rest assured you will forever be in my heart



Wednesday 17 June 2020

How to remove the title bar from a SharePoint online Site Page

When you create a new SharePoint Team site (either directly or indirectly via a Teams team) you always get a "home" page that does not contain a title graphic.

Strangely if you create your OWN site pages then you ALWAYS get the title graphic and can't remove it from the GUI.

If you ever delete that default page then you can't ever recreate that page from the GUI.

Fortunately there is a way to switch the title bar "off" via PowerShell.   The secret is to change the "layout type" to "Home".

These are the steps inside an ADMIN PowerShell:

Firstly install SharePoint PNP with

[PS] Install-Module SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline -SkipPublisherCheck -AllowClobber

If installed already you may wish to update your version with:
[PS] Update-Module SharePointPnPPowerShell*

With that done, enter your admin credentials with
[PS] $creds = Get-Credential

Then set the name of the page you want to change:
[PS] $PageName = "Home"

Then set the URL of the site that has the page you wish to change (use your tenant)
[PS] $LoginUrl = "https://{tenant}"

Now connect to the site
[PS] Connect-PnPOnline -Url $LoginUrl -Credentials $creds

or with MFA you may need
[PS] Connect-PnPOnline -Url $LoginUrl -UseWebLogin

Now to do the switch:
[PS] Set-PnPClientSidePage -Identity $PageName -LayoutType Home

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Getting a 4K external screen working with a Surface Book 2

I note that there are many posts around the Internet about this topic - how to get a Surface Book 2 driving a single external 4K screen.
Many authors state that the screen is always reported as a HD scren 1920x1080.
This is what I found:
The lowering of the resolution can be simply related to the use of HDMI to drive the screen.
Now I am not saying it is not possible with HDMI but an immediate solution is simply to ditch HDMI and use the DISPLAY PORT connections from Surface Book 2 to screen.
Hold on you say, there isn't a mini display port socket on a Surface Book 2.
Yep true - you will need a Surface Dock and then you will be given two.
Just connect from the mini display port on the Dock to the Display port input on the screen, tell your screen to accept input from the Display Port and Voila!
Hope this helps someone.

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Changing your Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) options in Microsoft 365 without asking IT

When your IT department switch on multi factor authentication (MFA) for your company Microsoft cloud system you only have one chance to set it up - when you are first challenged.

Trouble is that you may want to change your MFA settings (i.e. how you get the second challenge).  For example, from an SMS message to your phone  to "Microsoft Authenticator" approval on your phone.

So, just go to :

and follow the prompts!

Thursday 31 January 2019

Checking MD5 SHA1 and SHA256 hash codes with Windows 10

It is a good practice to check the integrity of a downloaded file to make sure you actually get exactly what you are meant to get.

This can be done if the owner provides a hash code.  The hash code could be MD5, SHA1 SHA256 and I am sure there are or will be others but I will just comment on these three.

When using Windows 10, you don't need any special utilities to do a check.
Just open a command prompt
Type "command" in Windows Search next to the Windows button
Select "Command Prompt"

With the command prompt now open, go to your downloads folder
For example:

cd \users\(your_username)\downloads

Now, for an MD5 hash:

checkutil -hasfhile (yourfile) MD5

For an SHA1 hash:

checkutil -hasfhile (yourfile) SHA1

For an SHA256 hash:

checkutil -hashfile (yourfile) SHA256

The checkutil utility will display the hash of the file which you will need to compare with that supplied by the original owner of the file.

C:\users\marcus\Downloads> certutil -hasfile gpg4win-3.1.5.exe MD5

MD5 hash of gpg4win-3.1.5.exe:
CertUtil: -hashfile command completed successfully.

Thursday 13 April 2017

What are the differences between Roland TD30K and TD30KV v-drums?

What are the differences between Roland TD30K and TD30KV v-drums?

Interestingly pretty much everything about these two kits are different. 
In fact the only think they have in common is the TD30 Drum Module itself. 
Here is a brief overview

The TD30K
  • takes up less space since the stand is smaller
  • is less expensive
  • has smaller toms
  • has black cymbals (one 2 trigger and two 3 trigger)
  • has a black stand
  • has smaller Hi Hat cymbals
  • has a smaller bass drum
  • needs a hi hat stand, bass drum pedal and throne (does not need a snare drum stand)
  • ideal for studios and practices and places where space is a premium.
  • has upgradability potential (i.e. you could purchase a PD-128S-BC at a later stage and use the snare drum as a fourth tom)
The TD30KV
  • has stage presence with a chrome stand
  • has metal gray cymbals instead of black ones.
  • has the snare drum on a separate stand
  • has larger floor toms
  • has more sensitive pads all round
  • has slightly larger cymbals (two 2 trigger and one 3 trigger)
  • has a larger bass drum
  • needs a snare drum stand, hi hat stand, bass drum pedal and throne
  • is more expensive
A comparison table of the individual components for you:

Drum Module
MDS-12V – Black
MDS-25 - Chrome
Bass Drum
KD-120BK 12”
KD-140-BC 14”
Snare Drum
PD-125BK 12”
PD-128S-BC 12”
Mounted Tom 1
PDX-100 10”
PD-108 10”
Mounted Tom 2
PDX-100 10”
PD-108 10”
Floor Tom 1
PDX-100 10”
PD-128 12”
Floor Tom 2
PD-128 12”
Hi Hat
VH-11 12" 
VH-13-MG (metallic gray) 12"
Crash Left
CY-12C 2 trig
CY-14C-MG (metallic gray) 2 trig
Crash Right
CY-13R 3 trig
CY-14C-MG (metallic gray) 2 trig
CY-15R 3 trig
CY-15R-MG (metallic gray) 3 trig

For me the TD30K does the job since it is lower entry price and still delivers that the amazing drum module.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Lawn care

Lawn care and advice

I am no lawn expert but I take pride in the lawn at the back of my house.  Here are the things I have learned about lawn care.  I have arranged my findings by Month.


Not much to do on the lawn this month.  Keep it free from fallen leaves and other detritus that may come down.  Typically no mowing this month.  Try not to put heavy loads on the grass and if you need to access other areas of the garden for other purposes, put down boards to spread the load.
If you want turf then it is actually possible to lay turn in January if you get a fine spell


Again, not much to do on the lawn this month.  Don't let worm casts build up - you can swish them away with a broom (a traditional "Witches broom" is ideal for this).  If you want to lay turf then this can be done in February.


The lawn gets much more attention from March onwards.  Make sure you keep the lawn clear of leaves and other rubbish.  You can use a rake on the lawn to get rid of thatch - but be careful not to damage the grass since it is still "tender".  If you had turfed then you may wish to consider rolling the lawn.  Rolling, instead of just flattening, actually strengthens the grass.  First cut for the year should be done at a high cutting height which should be done just to get the grass the same height again - you will lower the blades as the year goes on.
Pick out the weeds if there are any.  I personally like to pick them out manually.


This is the feed and weed month.  Remember to read the supplier instructions carefully.  Start mowing more regularly but leave the grass at least about 30mm high.  You can dig out unwanted patches of wide leaved grass this month too.  You can reseed if there are any blank areas


Once a week mowing can start this month and since this is a growing month.  Feed and Weed is ideal for this month.  Please remember to carefully follow the supplier instructions.


Once a week mowing can turn into twice a week mowing in June and a Summer feed could be in order.  The blade height can be systematically lowered but don't go too low.  Luxury lawns composed of fine seeds can be cut to 15mm but no home lawn should really be lower than that.  Shun the tendency to cut too short - you can kill the grass.  Keep the grass moist and water if there are dry spells.  Trim the edges for a nice border.  Manually take out weeds if they start to appear.

July and August

Likely to have twice a week mowing now. Keep on top of the weeds. you may need to water the grass in dry spells.  If you go away on holiday then make sure someone cuts your grass (high) at least once a week.


This is a busy month for lawn lovers.  Fristly you won't need to mow so much and you should increase the height of the blades.
You may find worms all over your lawn so you may want to discourage them with a treatment.  You may be able to find some at garden centres but pesticides that kill worms are not available any longer.
If you have bare patches then you may have a leatherjacket infestation so this is the month to treat it with something like Nemasys and if you are treating for leatherjackest you may also want to treat for grubs.
You need to feed and weed this month too and get rid of moss by scarifying.  There are plenty of Feed and Weed treatments available.  Also this is the month for aeration of the lawn either with spikes or with a plugging machine.
If you wish to overseed, this is the best period for sowing seed but laying turf should ideally wait till next month.  If you know the seed type of your grass then overseed this month.  Personally, I like to protect the seed with some pegged down fleece.  It lets water and light through but stops birds eating all your expensive lawn seed.


Regular mowing will typically come to an end this month - but a few mowings should still take place!  Make sure you don't cut too shot.  Keep the lawn clear of leaves and dig up coarse unwanted grass.  You can still seed this month and this is the ideal time to start laying down turf.  


Keep an eye on the weather and the length of the grass.  You may need to cut the grass with the blades set high this month.  Make sure leaves do not choke the grass by clearing them away soon.  Too late for sowing seed now but you may be able to lay turf if there is a break in the weather.  Keep an eye on worms again this month and treat if necessary.


Relax, make sure you keep leaves off the lawn and try not to walk all over the grass when it is soaking wet.  If you need to manage your flower beds and the lawn is the pathway to them, then use boards over the grass to spread the load a bit.