Saturday, April 07, 2018

How durable is the Apple Watch Series 3?

The Apple Watch came with a fixed number of watchfaces. There is no third party watchface support. So, getting the Nike+ is a better bang for your buck as you get additional 2 watchfaces and I must admit that the Nike+ watchface is one of my favourites!

I recently bought a Apple Watch Series 3, Nike+ edition and I am pretty pleased with it. While the battery is not as long lasting as my Pebble watch (5 day vs 2 days for the Apple), the brightness of the OLED screen, the heart-beat sensor, the size and how well it works with the rest of Apple devices (Mac, iPhone, Airpods) made this a must-have if you are heavily into the Apple gated garden. One thing I was extremely worried about is how durable is the aluminium body? I have seen MacBook Air or iPads get dented over a drop. Imagine a watch on your hand which is super exposed to hitting doors, tables, walls .. and having a dented aluminium watch body is glaringly ugly on the wrist.

Well, it seems I might not have to worry so much because it is pretty durable:
From iMore:
First, Apple has chosen to use a harder aluminum alloy — 7000 series. While the standard 6000 series aluminum is plenty strong for a watch, 7000 series aluminum offers roughly double the hardness and twice the tensile strength, approaching figures typically seen in mild steel. This means the anodized surface will have a much harder underlying structure to resist scratches and dents.
More importantly, Apple has deployed some advanced anodizing technologies. Anodizing is an electrochemical process that "grows" a uniform layer of aluminum oxide across the surface of the part, and there are a number of different methods for making this happen. In anodizing, the raw aluminum part is placed on a metal rack and (after a quick acid bath to clean the surface), is dipped into a tank of sulfuric acid. While in this tank, a positive electrical current is passed through the metal rack and the anodizing parts, while the negative end of the circuit is located in a metal plate inside the tank. This current causes oxygen molecules in the sulfuric acid to bond to the outer layer of the aluminum, creating a skin of aluminum oxide - a ceramic material that is far harder than the underlying aluminum.
Sounds pretty convincing, isn't it? How about impressions from other people? Read this thread from QuarterToThree:
I have a Sport series 0 I got day one 3 years ago. Couple of minor dings and I wear it every day.
or
My Sport 0 had no scratches on glass or body of every day use for 2 years. 
or
If you are worried about durability of the Watch, don’t be.
finally, one person's view of the Series 3:
For my most recent purchase I went with an aluminum Nike edition Gen 3, just because didn’t want to invest too much since I wasn’t sure I’d use it any more than my old one, and despite being concerned about durability. I needn’t have been concerned in either case; I use it a lot more than my first Apple Watch, and it’s currently in perfect condition after a few months.

And if you think about it, there was no scratch-gate outcry associated with Apple Watch. I think it should be safe and ok! Let me know if you have heard otherwise.

Additional photos and captions below:
The Nike+ comes in a black box. It's very classy!
I was surprised to see that Apple include a shorter writsband in case our hands are smaller. Very thoughtful of them. I am using the shorter one as my wrist are not big.

The Apple Watch Series 3 Nike+ edition has a nice Nike+ logo etched behind it.
Very small, subtle, not very loud.
The back says Apple Watch. Series 3. Nike+. 42mm.
Aluminium Case. Ion-X Glass.
Composite Back. GPS. WR-50M.
And I'd really recommend browsing this article below:
The best Apple Watch face and complication combos

So we've put together our own watch face and complication combinations grouped by activity. Going flying? We've got you covered. Want the perfect face for your morning commute? We know just the thing. Love the hell out of Siri? Here ya go. 
There are what feels like hundreds of more combinations out there, and the ones you'll find below are just some examples of mixing and matching apps and designs. 


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Honda Malaysia CRV 2017 Recall - No Need to Panic

So, it seems there is a product recall which affected the new 2017 CRV. You can refer to this website to see whether you car is affected => https://productrecall.honda.com.my/


I am one of the 1st batch of 2017 Honda CR-V owners as I took my car in July 2017. Two days ago, I received a call from Honda Malaysia (*) regarding this recall and then I went to the website and entered my Chassis Number and sure enough, it was listed as being affected in the website. I suggest you checked yours if you haven't. The Chassis Number can be found in your car registration card.

So I made appointment with Honda service center and send the car for inspection. The service agent told me that during assembly, some batches of car did not have a certain drummet (spelling?) installed onto the electric steering wheel motor and as such, water could potentially seep in and causes the motor to degrade and jam over time.

When they inspected my car, they told me that my car was ok because the drummet is in place and so, they do not need to replace the steering wheel motor. That motor cost MYR$1900, but of course, Honda will replace FOC for you if your vehicle is affected.

Please go and check and call Honda to service. You don't want your steering wheel to jam while driving! Very dangerous.

(*) I saw in forum that someone else received a letter from Honda Malaysia. Your mileage may wary.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

It was 23C a month ago

I meant to blog about this. We had bizzare weather just last month. For almost a week, our weather was around 23C and wet. I remember sleeping without a/c or ceiling fan for almost a few days straight.

Many of us wish Malaysian weather were like this for long. But I hated the wet. Every morning, we had drizzle, so it was a mess and it was such an inconvenience when sending the girls to school.

I guess you can’t win everything.

I joined The Club, Bandar Utama

I decided to join The Club, Bandar Utama, as a member of their sports club. For just RM$750 a year, I get access to their gym and their gorgeous, amazing Olympic sized swimming pool, every day, all year round. Parking to the club is free, of course. And I can bring guests - adult is just $11 and $7.50 for kids. This make it the most cost affordable for the girls to be able to practice their swimminf on weekends.

The girls are learning to swim and swimming needs practice. They don’t have any avenue to practice. While The Club is opened to public on weekdays, and they do opened up till 10pm, so technically I can bring the girls for their practice on weekedays, it’s just not practical because I only left office at 6.30pm.

Being a member, I can bring them for a dip during weekends. And we tried that last weekend. I can tell that being able to “play” creates a lot of self confidence in them to be comfortable in water. When they have their lessons, thats not play. That’s listening strictly to teacher and performing to a certain expectations. When playing, it’s all fun and being able to swim as they play just made playing in water extremely joyful.

Not only that. While they are having their one hour lesson, I could just go for a quick 30 min lap as a form of exercise. This is a great motivation for me to get some workout.
I have access to gym and I’m even thinking of asking my friend to go for a once a week gym session with me.

Lastly, I wanted to kick myself for not joining as club member earlier - as a member, we get 10% off in house lessons. I’m already paying $330/month for both girls’ swimming lesson. 10% less means $33 savings which is half the monthly price of membership! It’s almost a no brainer to be a member if you have two kids taking swimming lessons there! Duh!

If you are already a One Card holder with season parking, they combined everything into just one card, which is smart.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A mech keyboard nerd's thoughts on 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard

My old Thinkpad has reached its end of life and so the company issued me a new notebook. By default, they issued a MacBook Air, but I tried to justify for a MacBook Pro. The only way I could get a Pro, according to the guy who looked at my job scope, was that I would be assigned a 2015 MacBook Pro 13", the one that has many ports. I wasn't thrilled about an older model but I know that I will not like the new MacBook Pro (the space grey with Touch Bar and ONLY USB-C ports) due to many unpleasant stories I read about it. 

New MacBook Pro from work. My company is cool, in this sense!
So, it was a shock to me that when I tore open the packaging to see that I was given a 2017 MacBook Pro 13", the one without a Touch Bar (a.k.a. MacBook Escape), instead of an older 2015 model. I was not sure how I felt about it. On one hand, having the latest and greatest is always good - beautiful & bright retina screen, super slim and light - I dare say that it is smaller and lighter than even the MacBook Air. On the other hand, I was pretty worried about the dumb, unreliable, poorly built "butterfly" keyboard, the lack of (Thunderbolt and USB-A) ports, no Mag Safe 2. Above all, I am really worried about the keyboard. Me, being a mechanical keyboard aficionado.

ooooh! so slick and classy and beautiful!

The MacBook Pro 13" is slightly smaller than the MacBook Air 13"

See, I can't even attach my mechanical keyboards to the MacBook because it does not have a USB-A port! I need a #donglelife just to do so! It's kinda ridiculous, at times.

The keyboard (and trackpad) is important to the overall experience of using a laptop because that is what a user touch and feel a computer on a daily basis. Sure, the retina screen is equally important and this screen is just so beautiful. Coming from 4 years of MacBook Air, retina screen is astounding to behold and no one should go back to ugly non-retina screen ever. But the keyboard where you spent the days click clacking on is equally important because the feel of it will determine how pleasant or unpleasant your experience with the MacBook Pro is going to be like.

I didn't like the keyboard in the beginning. The stupid way they made the left/right arrow keys to be full size made locating the arrow key cluster very difficult and confusing. The smaller travel is not satisfying. No way this is better than my old MacBook Air's scissor switch nor any of the Topre or MX mechanical keyboards I am using.

But after using it daily for almost 4 weeks, I have to admit that it does grow on you. The nice click clack sound it makes, I think due to its shorter travel, thus able to hit the bottom pretty easily, feels like the sound I get when typing on a clicky switch. I don't need to feel the actuation. Instead, the sound already tells me that I have actuated, so I can move on to the next key - and surprisingly, this experience made my typing to be pretty fast and accurate.

look at the height of the keyboard; very slim and very short travel...

There were some complaints on dust or bread crumbs getting into the key, causing them not to work and as such, Apple had to replace the whole keyboard(!) so I was careful not to eat near the Mac, which is also ridiculous that we had to adjust our lifestyle over a machine. Let's see how this goes in the next 6 months or one year. Surely I will nimble some food. Will the keyboard fails?

The other complaint was that after 7 months, frequently used keys will see their lettering being smudge - more like the black layer of paint/plastic being worn off. This is typical in keyboard but this is the first time I hear of one tearing away in less than a year. If that is true, then the quality of the plastic used are really poor and Apple should be ashamed of themselves.

So far, my experience with the keyboard is pleasant. Hope this keeps up!


Monday, September 25, 2017

Don't WhatsApp /SMS when driving

This morning, we received news that one of Jane's classmate passed away after fighting for her life for 4 days. She was cycling in her Ara Damansara neighborhood - just taking a ride to a friend's house around the corner - and she was knocked by an incoming car. I am not sure if the driver was texting while driving or if he was speeding .. but the point is that a 8 year old girl died because of an accident with an incoming car who was not able to stop in time. She had a concussion to the head and was in coma. The doctor know that her brain had blood clot and swelling but because she was not responding, they were not able to operate on her. And so the family suffered through 4 days of anguish waiting - praying for her to respond, so that they could operate on her .. and on the 5th day, she stopped breathing.

I don't pretend that I am an angel here - I did text before behind the wheel.. but incidents like this served as a REAL reminder to me that I should not. THAT TEXT IS NOT WORTH IT. Any messages CAN WAIT. IT. CAN. WAIT.

And as a reminder, please turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving in iOS 11. With this turn on, when the phone detect that you are in motion, it will not buzz when there are incoming SMS/text ... I think any notifications will not ring - so if you have incoming Whatsapp, Twitter, eMails, the phone remain silent. This is a good feature that should be the default in ALL phones!

Friday, September 15, 2017

My opinion on iPhone X

I'm a huge fan of everything Apple. And yet, I don't have the latest Apple gear. I'm not that rich to buy every Apple gear there is out there. I don't have the latest iPhone (I'm still using a 6 Plus), I don't have a MacBook with TouchBar (using an Air) and I don't have a iPad Pro (using an Air 2). And yet, I do go and take risk on new Apple tech - when they launched iPhone 3G, I was in line for it, then when they had the new, all glass design of iPhone 4, I was in line as well. iPhone 6 Plus was their first big screen iPhone and I jumped on it. AirPod was new and I bought it out of faith.

So, now the iPhone X is in totally unchartered territories for an iPhone - new form factor, new OLED screen, Face ID, no home button nor Touch ID. Unproven battery life. Wireless charging, etc etc.

Without Touch ID, many of my existing apps may not work, especially the banking ones. There will be immediate impact on existing apps.

Will I take the leap?

I would, if it's $3000. I might even bite at $3999. But at almost $5000, it is a hard bullet to swallow. I don't want to be carrying an equivalent of a new state of the art custom built PC with GTX 1060 graphic card! There is always a risk of losing the phone, dropping it (and thus cracking the all glass of enclosure). Is it water proof this time? I'm not even so sure of that.

I've never lose a phone in the 10 years of owning iPhones so I'm pretty careful but even then, I'm wary of holding a $5K device.

Cool tech, super beautiful phone, but the price just ain't right. Sighhhhhhh....

How durable is the Apple Watch Series 3?

The Apple Watch came with a fixed number of watchfaces. There is no third party watchface support. So, getting the Nike+ is a better bang ...