Azhar Kamar is a graphic designer, web developer and lecturer from Singapore who tells stories about web design, coding and all that jazz. He loves milk, pizzas, honey and all things sweet.

Latest Articles
27 Jan 10

How to Convert CSV to XLS – Microsoft Excel Tutorial

There are some cases where you might need to convert a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file to an XLS (Microsoft Excel Workbook) file. An instance would be, saving accounts from your cPanel. At the top right corner of the List Accounts page in WHM cPanel, there’s a Fetch CSV link. When you click that, you’ll be directed to a page with a big chunk of characters and commas. Now that’s a CSV formatted document and it’s easy to convert that to an XLS file.

Save in Notepad as .CSV

First, copy all the text and paste them in Notepad or any editing software you prefer. In Notepad, click File > Save As… and under Save as type, choose All Files. In the File Name field, input your desired name and remember to add a .csv at the end of the file name.

Open in Microsoft Excel

Now, navigate to the CSV file you saved earlier, and open it with Microsoft Excel. You’ll notice that now the values in the document are arranged in table cells. Neat! Now all you have to do is save it as an XLS file and you’re done. You’ve just converted a CSV file to a Microsoft Excel Workbook file![adsense1]

26 Jan 10

Make It Yours Contest – Dell Design Studio

Make It Yours Design - Dell

Here’s my design “Celebrate Your Creative Self-Expression” for Dell’s Make It Yours contest.
+ View enlarged

Vote for it now! Share with your friends. Your family. Your neighbours. Your cats and hamsters. Share it with the whole world! Ok read on for instructions on how to vote.

Voting Instructions

1. Register here. You will then receive a confirmation email.
2. Click the acknowledgement link in the email.
3. And now you can vote! Here’s the direct link to vote for me: Celebrate Your Creative Self-Expression

About the Make It Yours contest by Dell

The Make it yours contest from Dell is about celebrating your creative self-expression. Simply create your own original design, sign up to the competition and submit your artwork. All your designs, drawings, sketches or doodles are welcome. The only requirements are that your design is original, it expresses your creativity and it belongs to you.

Important Dates and More Information

The last date for voting and submission of the entries is 5 February 2010 and the winners will be announced on or around 19 February 2010. For more information, visit

22 Jan 10

Littering & Spitting Fines in Singapore – Singapore, The Fine City

I was going to the toilet at Boon Keng MRT station when I saw a 5 men outside, making a hell of a commotion. They were arguing about something and I was clueless until I heard the guy who seemed to be dominated by the other 4, saying “…but I was just clearing my throat and I spit…”. So, it was a case of a spitting offence. Just last 2 weeks, my colleague was fined $300 for littering a cigarette butt in the drain. And a few months back, my boss was fined $150 for littering a cigarette butt too. Unfortunately for my colleague, the fine had been doubled during her time of offence.

Fine Amount for Littering and Spitting in Singapore

Littering in Singapore carries a fine of $300. And so does spitting. Yes, Singapore is strict with its rules and regulations, but it’s a trade off for a clean and safe country with a high standard of living. And of course, that comes with a high cost of living.

Who can Fine You for Littering and Spitting?

The government body, NEA (National Environmental Agency), is the main enforcer who is issuing the fines. They are everywhere, most active during the lunch hours, 12PM to 2PM. I’ve seen them before, they are dressed in a white polo t-shirt bearing the NEA logo at the chest area. These personnel carry a bag where all their equipment and fine notice forms are. Other organizations that can fine you include the Singapore Police Force, SMRT officers, Park Rangers and even security officers/guards. So, be on the look out everytime you wish to throw a tissue paper or clear your mouth full of saliva inconsiderately.

How Do You Pay a Fine?

I myself was fined once, about 5 years ago, at Marina Promenade Park (now the Singapore Flyer) for littering a cigarette butt. At that time, it was $150 and I had to pay the fine by going to the NEA headquarters at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Now, technology has allowed for paying fines electronically and you can do so online or through AXS machines islandwide.

Remember, Singapore is a Fine City.

13 Jan 10

Create a Directory Website using Joomla & Sobi2 – Online Web Directory is a directory site created by yours truly using Joomla together with a great extension, Sobi2. Sobi2 is an easy-to-use and highly customizable directory extension developed by

Creating an Online Directory using Sobi2

If you have ever tried making a web directory just by using Joomla’s sections, categories and articles then you’d understand the painful process. The Sobi2 component makes it easy to add categories, sub-categories and entries.

Sobi2 Key Features

Sobi2’s layout and design can easily be customized too. One great thing is that the Sobi2 component comes with a form whereby anyone can add their own online shop into our directory. With this, users and visitors can contribute in populating your directory and it will keep on expanding.[adsense1]

Most Popular Sobi2 Plugins, Modules & Extensions

Here are some of the hottest addons for Sobi2 Component.
SobiSEF Plugin
Reiviews & Listing
Report Listing
OpenSEF Plugin
Radius Distance Search Plugin
Gallery Plugin
Featured Listings Plugin
Download Plugin
Media Plugin

11 Jan 10

Photoshop Tutorial – Retro Pop Art Effect Using Simulate Pressure & Color Halftones

Here’s a great tutorial on how to create a Retro Pop Art portrait in Photoshop. It’s for intermediate Photoshoppers, so be sure to know your stuff first before jumping into this tutorial. This tutorial requires a lot of the pen tool, brushes with simulate pressure, some drawing and tracing skill, good color combination and halftones. Read more

5 Jan 10

Top Free Anti Virus Software – Get rid of Trojans, Worms, Adware, Spyware, Malware & Spam

Computer viruses can make you really tear your hair apart. Almost everyone who have used a computer would most probably have experienced at least 1 kind of malicious program be it a computer virus, malware, adware, spyware or trojans.

What is a Computer Virus?

It is a malicious computer program or application that has the ability of copying itself and infecting computers in a large scale. Note that malware, adware and spyware are not categorized under computer viruses because they cannot reproduce, copy or clone themselves. Worms and trojan horses are examples of computer viruses that can copy themselves and infect PCs.

How to Prevent Virus Infections and Remove Viruses

When you purchase a computer or laptop, be sure to get yourself a good and popular Anti-virus software like Norton AntiVirus or ESET NOD32 too. Buying an anti-virus software is an essential investment for the future if you want to make your cyber experience a long and fruitful one, without headaches and heartaches. Otherwise, here’s a list of great free anti-virus software.

Top Free Anti Virus Software

Here are a few of the best free anti-virus software:
AVG Anti Virus Free Edition
avast! Home Edition
Avira AntiVir Personal
BitDefender Antivirus 2010
Spyware Doctor 2010

3 Jan 10

Chitika Affiliate Marketing – Publisher Sign Up & Ad Setup

Chitika users, check out this tutorial that guides you on how to sign up as a Chitika Publisher and setup Chitika Premium ads. Chitika Publisher Sign Up

29 Dec 09

Directory Websites – Maximize Your Adsense Earnings and Website Revenue

There are all sorts of website categories such as blogs, forums, info-sites, mashups, directories, e-shops, and the list goes on and on. But which of these works good if you’re integrating Adsense ads? Well, according to my research, experience and knowledge, a directory site is one of the best kind of website you can do if you want to maximize your Adsense earnings. And it’s easy to create.

Directory Sites And Adsense

A directory is an approach to organizing information – a list of categorized data like a telephone directory, classified ads or one of the most famous directory, the Yellow Pages. The great thing about a directory is that it can have tons of pages! The information can be updated by you or any registered user that wants to populate the directory, hence allowing for anybody to help you update your directory site by adding data. And when you have thousands of great pages indexed by Google, your chance of getting high traffic will increase. And that’s when your Adsense earnings shoot up too!

Creating a Directory Website

I’ve used Joomla for less than a year, and at the start, I didn’t like it as I thought it had too much functionality that was quite redundant. But once I learnt the A to Z of it, I understood that Joomla is a very versatile, expandable and powerful Content Management System! I use the Joomla CMS together with the Sobi2 extension to create a directory website.

Example of a Directory Website with Adsense is an example of directory site integrated with Adsense developed by yours truly. You can Add Your Company into our listing for free, simply by registering as a user. The administrator will then have to approve the entry before it gets appended to the respective category or categories of the directory. Check it out!

And may the New Year bring great blessings to you!

5 Dec 09

Adsense Text Ads – Choosing the Font, Size and Color Theme

This is one of a few basic techniques that is important to a Google Adsense publisher, or any text ad publisher. You must know how to choose the suitable font, size, and most importantly the color theme for your Adsense text ad as these factors may determine a significant increase in the amount of clicks you get on your ads.

When I first started out, I used colors that stand out in contrast with the web page contents. My website’s color theme was black, green and blue and I customized my Adsense ad unit using pink and orange for text and yellow for the background. I noticed for a month that the click-through rate was very low. So I tried blending the ad with the page content and walla, the amount of clicks gradually increased.

Blending Adsense Ad Units with Content in a Web Page

An ad unit should blend in with the rest of the content in your web page by following the color theme of the web page. Blending is easy, just match the colors of the links and text of the ad to your web page – that’s it. You’ll also have to be quite good in color mixing.

In this blog, the font and color theme of the ads match with the other contents. There’s one image ad at the top of this blog (used to be a text ad) and 2 ads within the blog post. I chose images only for the top 2 ads and am still experimenting. I feel that with my blog design, image ad banners would look much better than text ads.[adsense]

Adsense Font Family and Size

A thing to note about the font size of the text in Adsense units is that they may vary according to the ad unit dimension and also the number of ads that appears in the unit. So sometimes the font size and even the font family may change even though you have specified them at your AdSense administrator panel.

Well that’s it for now, the other important technique in the art of Adsensing is ad placement and I will discuss that soon.

Have a good day!