Monday, December 12, 2016

It's not worth your time going to Cameron Highlands

I've heard about the massive jam during public holidays between Tanah Rata to Brinchang, two main towns in Cameron Highlands. This long holiday weekend, we experienced it ourselves. We can be stuck in a stand still jam for almost an hour just moving from one town to the other. At any hour. It's just not worth your time. I wouldn't want to come back on a public holidays.

Friday, December 09, 2016

Apple Music randomly says Music no longer available

What just happened? My tracks in Apple Music randomly is not available for play, as per screen shot above. I'm not sure if it was due to the transition to Malaysia Ringgit. But it seemed to happen to another friend as well. But not the same track though and so it seemed pretty random. I've tweeted to Apple Music as well. Hope it's a technical glitch that they can resolve asap.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

AppStore in Ringgit Malaysia - LIVE now!


Wow, that was fast. Just a few days after informing us that iTunes Store, App Store will be transacted in Malaysian Ringgit, the change goes live now!!

And it looks like they are using $1 USD to RM3.90!

Apple Music is $14.90/month for individual and $22.90/month for family.

Interesting times ahead!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Apparently Apple Watch is a hit

According to Tim Cook, that is, Apple Watch Series 2 is selling like hot cakes. He's trying to correct IDC who is saying that's Apple Watch sales is in declined!

I believe Tim Cook simply because I just had lunch with a buddy, who bought a pair of Apple Watch, one for himself and another for his wife. He's pretty careful about his purchases and for him to buy two watches - that must mean something.

I secretly wish for an Apple Watch myself and I realize there are so many different prices. Unlike iPhone which is just two models there is the Apple Watch Sport which has aluminum case and the Apple Watch Stainless Steel which has stainless steel case and sapphire crystal glass. The price is almost 3x more in the Stainless Steel.

Most watch wearer know that stainless steel and sapphire crystal is the way to go. I wouldn't want a watch that gets dent easily, like an iPad, iPhone and Mac - that aluminum unibody is not able to withstand daily torture a watch goes through. I mean, you don't want to pay RM1,200 for a watch and to see it get dented in the next moment.

But what I find interesting is this article in Wired. It's a must read if you are buying an Apple Watch as far as I am concerned. It seemed Stainless Steel, just like any other Stainless Steel watch you buy from Tag Heuer or Mont Blanc, is even easier to scratch than the aluminum! That's news to me! Go check it out!

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Apple AppStore in Malaysian Ringgit

In case you did not receive the memo from Apple, there is plan for all transactions of App Store, iTunes and Apple Music to be conducted in local currency. That's good news to me, depending how they priced it finally, as we are not in the mercy of USD fluctuations. No dates set yet though. Coming soon.

Matias Quiet Pro Review

TL;DR  Matias Quiet Pro is a mechanical keyboard for PC and Mac based on customised alps mechanical switch technology. It's more tactile than Cherry MX Blue but as quiet as the MX Black. Can order online and shipping cost to Malaysia is just US$15!
We have many threads in lowyat.net on mechanical keyboard club. I think it is version 15 now. So, I think there is a vibrant community here who loves mechanical keyboard. I have also spoken to a few people here. Many have heard of Matias keyboard but there are not much discussion about the keyboard here. Most of the popular discussions centered around popular brands that are readily available here such as Razer, SteelSeries, Filco, Ducky, Rosewill. And most of these are Cherry MX switches.
Matias has been around for years - I believe all the way back in 90s, so it is an established company. Yet it is still relatively unknown here maybe because their main target market, in the earlier years (and even now, I guess) are the Apple user base. Their flagship product, Matias Tactile Pro (which is now in it's 4th revision) is inspired by the Apple Extended Keyboard, which was Apple's mechanical keyboard for the Macintosh from years ago. Matias website even called it the "best keyboard Apple ever made rises again". They had a strong presence in the Mac market. Like the Apple Extended Keyboard, the Matias mechanical keyboard is based on alps switch (*1)
So, I received a Matias Quiet Pro keyboard a couple of weeks ago. Quiet Pro is the silent version of Tactile Pro and while Tactile Pro is Mac only, Quiet Pro is available for the PC. I have used an alps switch base keyboard for 20 years - this was the keyboard that came with my first Acer PC running a intel 486DX processor. It was ancient and I have upgraded my PC many times but have not replaced the keyboard because I couldn't find something that is better. I didn't realize that it was mech keyboard then and that there are other mech keyboards. Such ignorance was bliss. Also, in my first job, I have been using the IBM Model M keyboard for 3 years, so I remember how it was using a great mechanical keyboard.
 
In the past few months, I am looking to replace this Acer mechanical because I am using Windows 8 and I am fed up with the lack of Windows key in the Acer keyboard. At the same time, I have a friend who sold me a Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013 on Cherry MX Blue. And I also ended up buying a second hand Noppoo 84-key Cherry MX Black keyboard. The Blue is clicky and tactile. The Black is silent and linear. I will review the Matias against the Razer and Noppoo. I didn't try any other mechanical keyboards.
 
Box is pretty standard and professional looking. I like the handle for easy transporting
Firstly, there's not much that can be said on the unboxing. It's a well designed and professional looking box and I love that they put a handle on it for easy transporting. When I carry it into the office, it raised a few eye brows and I get to talk about why I bring a keyboard to work. I think many will find it strange. Inside the box is just the keyboard in a wrapper covered by another layer of bubble wrap. There is a catalogue and a warranty card. Pretty basic. Let's move on to the review. A review of a mechanical keyboard usually centred around 4 things: build quality of the case, build quality of the key caps, the underlying switch mechanics, and other additional features.

I don't know what font they used but I love the big size font!

The keyboard When I first opened the box, the first thing that struck me was how pretty (is this a right term?) the keyboard is. The huge lettering and the textured key caps jumped out at me as very different from the Razer and other laptops keyboard and yet strangely familiar due to years with the Acer and the IBM Model M. After the initial good impression settled in, I saw that it has a glossy case, not my preferred look. But as I put it beside my Dell monitor, which was also glossy, they were such a good fit together that I am able to look past it, but your mileage may wary. Having said that, strangely, it didn't attract as much fingerprint as my friend's 2012 Razer BlackWidow which was glossy. So perhaps it is the material being used. According to Matias, the plastic is made of polycarbonate, material, is harder than ABS and is scratch resistant. I think the new iPhone 5c is also made of polycarbonate. In Matias website, there is a side profile of the keyboard and it showed a seam where the bottom case joined the top. It looked coarse in the photo but in reality, it was joined really well and looked classy. That doesn't bother me at all because the general aesthetics of the keyboard is nice. 

The keys are aligned in a uniform manner. And they are very solid and do not wobble
 

Key caps
The keycaps are made of ABS material (source from geekhack.org). It is textured. They felt very good, unlike Razer's rubbery and sticky feel. The keys is thick and tall, reminiscence of IBM keyboards.
I love how solid the key cap felt. The space bar is the winner here. As a non touch typist, I tend to rest my left thumb on the left edge of the space bar and pressed the space bar. In the Razer, during the midst of a high speed typing, this caused the space bar to 'squeak', because of the high force pressing on just one edge of the space bar. Sometimes, the space bar wobbled. I think it is because of the way Razer designed the stabilizer. On the contrary, the space bar in Matias was totally solid. Pressing that left edge is like pressing the middle of the space bar. The key didn't wobble and felt like dislodging. If I tried to wiggle the Enter, Shift and Backspace keys, they were totally sturdy where as the Razer would wobbled.

Big and bright white lettering. Notice the slit for LED to light up the Scroll Lock and Num Lock. Also, do note thevolume control keys beside Num Lock and the new Tab key on the num pad for easy data entry

The photo above give a closed up look at the key caps. They are sculpted, meaning the key caps are curved. You could put a small cylinder on it and it will sit comfortably without rolling off. This means that your fingers can rest on it and if you are a touch typist, I would think that your fingers would not slip to another row.
 
I am not sure what font type was use. It was big, white and legible - very pleasant to the eye. The website said the letter was lazer-etch but I couldn't feel a 'ditch' (infill) being cut into the key cap, instead the lettering felt bulged above the key as though the letter was painted on the key.
Razer had their retro font which is nice but need some getting use to. Noppo's font is also good but they chose a yellow/gold colour and against a black key pad, they do not stand out and bright as the Matias. Among the 3 keyboards that I currently owned, I can tell how cheap Razer key cap feels. It's crazy - in geekhack.org, a keyboard enthusiasts forum, many people there hates Razer. I didn't get the hate until I have the Matias. And I now see how overpriced the Razer is as compared to the Matias and Noppoo when comparing the build quality of the case and the key caps.
 
Matias Quiet Switch
 
Image extracted from diatec.co.jp website
The current demand for mechanical keyboard probably reached the mainstream due to the gaming industry. In Malaysia, for example, you can see many retail outlets carrying Razer or Steel Series products. There are probably one or two stores carrying Filco. We also have many Apple reseller retail stores like Mac City and Machines but I don't think I have ever seen a Matias in these stores. As such, people are more familiar with the Cherry family switches and I bet not many are familiar with alps. The oldies who used Apple Extended keyboard some older IBM-compatible PC like Acer or Dell may still remember how these felt. How do you explain alps switches then? The moment I typed on the Quiet Pro, I felt at home. It felt like the Acer I owned albeit a little stiff. I think perhaps the keyboard is still new. Compared to the Razer MX Blue, it is also stiffer - I am not sure of the actuation force required for the Matias alps. 

In comparison, Razer now felt too light. Noppoo MX Black is similarly stiff even though it is a linear switch. I think the stiff feeling is probably the thicker and taller key caps compare to the Razer. It is not a bad thing at all. Rubber dome keyboard or membrane keyboard does not have thick and tall key caps. They are light. I think I can get used to the stiffness. I enjoyed the tactile feedback of the Matias. I find it it is more tactile than the Razer. I would have love the clicky sound but that is only from the Tactile Pro model, which is for the Mac. As I used all 3 keyboards, I tend to prefer Matias > Razer > Noppoo. A better comparison would be with the Noppoo MX Black. It feels a lot like Noppoo MX Black minus the tactility.

Jeff Atwood at Coding Horror recently released a new mechanical keyboard called CODE keyboard. It used the "ultra rare" Cherry MX Clear switches. The keyboards were sold out within weeks on launch and there is no restocking because of the unavailability of the MX Clear. Mr Atwood described the MX Clear as more tactile than Blue and yet more silent than Brown. This is exactly what Matias Quiet Pro reminded me of - more tactile than the Razer MX Blue and it is very quiet. As quiet as the Noppoo MX Black. Perhaps, this alps switch is comparable to the rare MX Clear switch. So if you want the CODE but missed the pre order, you can get the Matias. I have decided to take the Matias to work (because of the quiet keyboard and because I type more at work) and leave the Razer for home use. The Noppoo will probably be my 'traveller' keyboard for LAN parties or something.  

Other thoughts:  
The Matias has a few additional features/omissions:

1. There are 3 USB ports - on the left and right side of the keyboard. The third is on the back of the keyboard, beside the cable. The beauty of this is that these ports are powered by ONE USB cable to the PC. The Razer took up two USB ports - one for the keyboard and one as passthrough and yet on the keyboard, Razer only give you one single port, located on the right side of the board where your mouse hand will knock into whatever device you plugged in there (bad design, Razer!!)

2. There are dedicated keys for volume up/down/mute above the num pad. Very nice! I hate keyboards with additional round buttons above the Function F1-F12 used as media or browser keys. They create unnecessary clutter. Fortunately, Matias does not do this but instead placed additional keys on the same row as the Function F1-F12 keys. These 4 keys are the Num Lock and 3 volume keys, making it looked really clean and professional. The slot where the Num Lock was originally located in other keyboard was taken by a new Tab key for ease of data entry for finance people. Other media controls such as Play/Stop, Forward, Reverse, are controlled via a Fn and F1/F2 keys.  

3. The Fn key took the slot of the windows Menu key, meaning on the right side of the space bar, there are no Windows key and the Menu key. Some people may not like it. 4. No back light .. I kinda like the Razer backlighting but I don't know what I will do if one of the LED burnt. So, maybe it is good not to have backlighting.


In conclusion, I think Matias Quiet Pro is a solid and quality mechanical keyboard, on par with many of the popular ones made by Filco, Das, Ducky or WASD keyboards. They have a wide range of products from Quiet Pro to Tactile Pro to tenkeyless to a Bluetooth mechanical. The only problem for them in Malaysia and in the region is probably awareness and that they are using alps switch, something that are popular among Mac community. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they shipped their product to non-US/Canada countries out of Taiwan, meaning the shipping cost is a mere US$15. That made this keyboard very attractive for the keyboard enthusiasts in this country. If you owned Cherrys, curious about the rare Cherry MX Clear, heard of alps and Topre and buckling spring and would like to own one each, Matias is something that is reachable.
 
(*1) Alps was made by Alps Electric Co, a company in Japan which later exited the keyboard switch market and produce car stereo, Alpine. See the similarity? Alps, Alpine.

Season Greetings

Received this nice Christmas package today. Wishing my readers a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. Somehow the mood is not here yet. Perhaps after I opened a bottle or two. Cheers!

Welcome Wordpress!

Welcome to the all new, sexy Ringgit! Loving Wordpress very much. So much flexibility, the support from the engineers was excellent and the themes, omg! So many beautiful themes. Highly recommended blogger platform!

Monday, December 05, 2016

Moving Soon

After almost 13 years with Blogger, I decided that I would like to look for another sexy host. Wordpress come to mind and I have good experience with Wordpress. As such, Ringgit will be moving soon.

I also have a sexy domain: ringgit.me
Easy to remember.

This move will happen in the next 24 hours or so....

See you in Wordpress!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Is Apple the reason Maxis cancelled free Spotify Premium?

Last Friday I received a SMS from maxis, largest telco in Malaysia. They will be cancelling the free Spotify Premium subsidy from next month onwards. This was a perk for those who signed up MaxisOne 98 and above and is one of the reasons I stick with MaxisOne.

In a time when telco are competing to retain clients, its puzzling why maxis would want to do this. The only reason I could think of was that Apple had a hand in this.

Apple need to urgently increase their Apple Music subscriber. They have only 17M world wide paying subscribers vs Spotify's 40M. Now that Apple Music is also available on Android, there is no excuse from the telco not to offer or subsidise Apple Music anymore in Malaysia. Oh yeah, if you don't do it, maxis, maybe you will be the last to launch iPhone 7.

This underhanded way of twisting the telco's arm is not new to Apple. Remember how they twisted AT&T to follow their terms during the initial launch of iPhone 10 years ago? I'm not surprise if Apple is behind this Spotify cancellation.

Well, I will love to go back to Apple Music. I've tried Spotify and I miss the curated playlist. But you can't argue with free Spotify Premium. And if maxis is subsidizing Apple Music, all the better!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Forum shutdown

I have shutdown my forum. It was fun while it last. I enjoyed setting it up and playing around as an admin. There were some technical challenges and I learned so much from overcoming it. But, there are no participation. And I did not want to pay USD$10/month for a dead place.. And so it has to go. Too bad.

Haze Again

I thought we would end the year without haze. I guess a haze free Malaysia is now a pipe dream. It’s back this week. Getting worse. Wtf is wrong with Indonesia?

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

How to use a iPad with a wired mechanical keyboard?

If you hated poking into the glass of your iPad to type, you have two choices. One is to buy a Bluetooth keyboard and wirelessly connects the keyboard to the iPad. This is fine but most of the Bluetooth keyboards are not mechanical keyboard, except the HHKB Bluetooth or the Matias Laptop Pro.

Your other choice is to hook up your wired mechanical keyboard to the iPad. But you need to purchase a connector to do so. Apple is selling a USB to Camera Connector kit for RM139 and another newer one which is USB3 and have a additional lightning port to charge your iPad for RM189.

It looked like this:
I suggest getting the RM189 kit because of the ability to charge the iPad and to also provide some power to the keyboard that you plug in. The issue is Apple limits how much power goes out of the iPad into the USB device. If the keyboard requires more power than what Apple provides, you will get a pop up box saying "the connected device requires too much power".
It really made a hell of a difference when you can use a mechanical keyboard with the iPad. And it works across all apps. And you have more space to read and type because the virtual keyboard is hidden when an actual keayboard is presence.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Poh Kong Tesco Ampang RHB Credit Card Scam

This morning I received this SMS:

RM0.00 RHB: MYR 3998.00 was charged on your card num**97 at POH KONG-AMPANG TESCO on 03/08.Call 03-92126568 if you did NOT perform this transaction.

Looks totally legit, like something that I will get from my bank when I purchased something. Problem is, I don't have a RHB card. I called the number and there is a telephone automated service as well. These guys really go all the way. But suspecting something is amiss, I did a Google search and sure enough, it is a scam! They used to do it using CIMB Bank but now changed to RHB.

Be careful of this scam. Typically I don't do this in my blog. I consider myself scam savvy street smart but I almost fell for this. I imagine many other people would have easily fell for it.

The key thing is NEVER call the number in SMS message. ALWAYS, ALWAYS call your bank's official number.

3 reasons Malaysians should choose Spotify over Apple Music

I was a big Apple Music fan. I went for the 3 months trial when it first launched and then continue paying the subscription. Later, I stopped, thinking I don't really have much time for music only to realize that I cannot live without having instant access to songs. I subscribed again.

Yes, Spotify is more popular in Malaysia and I think around the world. But I am a huge Apple fan and I have a lot of historical data in iTunes - I started using iTunes when it was just version 4. And I have stuck with iTunes all these years because it remember the songs I starred, it keep track of my play count and because of these data, I could create Smart Playlist such as "My top songs I have not listened to in the past 3 months" or "Recently played songs that is in my top 20 list" or "Songs in my library which I have not listened to". When Apple Music was introduced, it still uses iTunes library and as such my analytic data are still being kept and updated and it was great. 

But I have since switched away from Apple Music. Here's 4 reasons why:

1. Discovery
Apple Music have beautiful curated music - these are songs put together by experts employed by Apple. And as such I have discovered many new musics or old ones that I know of but do not know the name. But as you use more and more, you realize many of the curated music are repeats. Spotify have the same thing but Spotify have something else - it allows users like you and me to publish our playlist and allow collaboration, so people (or even friends) of the same era or love the same genre can contribute to build playlist of long forgotten songs. You can follow friends or follow a playlist. When you share a playlist with a friend within Spotify app, all of you can have instant messaging and discuss about the playlist, what sucked and what should be added. The social aspect here is excellent.

2. Speed
I am on maxis. Spotify has partnership with maxis. I don't know why but I feel that browsing and searching for music on Spotify is so much spiffy and faster. Apple is supposed to be king of User Experience but sadly, Apple Music is not as snappy as I like. Maybe too much graphic. But yeah, we are here to listen to songs, not looking at graphics. Well, actually I am a album art whore, I admit, but even then, I'd love to be able to quickly listen to a song and not wait for some syncing to happen.

And did I say that searching for a song or album is super fast in Spotify? Maybe Apple Music does not have servers in Malaysia. Spotify does and it shows in the speed. Whatever searches are local to Malaysia network and is INSTANT!

3. Free
Seriously, who can argue with free? If you are a MaxisOne 98 Plan and above, you get free subscription to Spotify Premium. That's free vs Apple Music MYR$12/month. Free vs 12 bucks per month! And even if you are not on MaxisOne Plan and is just a maxis user, there is a 30% discount for subscribing to Spotify. Not only that, when you are listening to Spotify, it does not use your usual internet quota. maxis let you stream for free! 15GB Spotify data/month free! FREE! FREEEEE!

Yeah, the free part probably have a strong weight-age over my decision to finally dump Apple Music for Spotify. But I think user experience and speed is equally important and I don't see myself paying and yet using something inferior to the competition.

Apple, you need to up your stuff man, just saying!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Reality of life in Malaysia

This picture I took in Damansara Jaya is pretty interesting. You see a super expensive Brietling car. I'm not even sure how much it cost but it probably cost as much as a double storey house in a affluent location, meaning extremely expensive. And yet, the society this car is in is just so uncouth and uneducated, with mindless littering everywhere, despite a trash can nearby. Also, the fact that such a beautiful car is also dented at its side, probably while negotiating tight corners, shows how disparate the rich and the poor are. The gap is growing wide. Social unrest is inevitable.

Monday, July 18, 2016

When We Were Young

I enjoy Adele's songs. But I must say that her second single from her album 25, is my favourite of all. I'm a nostalgic person and this song capture nostalgia very well. The song is about you attending a party and the attendees are people who was in your life when you were younger - your friends, colleagues, bosses, school mates. And it is about a song about reluctantly growing old. Such a beautiful number sang by someone who is just 25 year old, no where able to reminiscence about old times, and yet, beautifully crafted and delivered. She's simply marvelous!

Monday, July 04, 2016

Corporate Rebranding

Years ago, I still remember watching an Apple keynote where Steve Jobs announced that most of Apple's products at that time, Apple TV, iPod, iTunes and iPhones (I am not sure if iPhones were launched then) are none computer related. So, it doesn't make sense for the company to be called Apple Computers. Instead, he said they are rebranding the company as simple, Apple.

0.02 Ringgit blog was launched in 2003. It's almost 13 years. Our money is worth shit. Inflation for the past 13 years probably have grown 500%. There's GST implemented last year which burden the population even more. We even implemented a rounding scheme such that if your retail bills is $2.56, the retailer is obliged to round it up to $2.60. Similarly, if your bill is $2.52, it will be round down to $2.50. If someone spotted a one sen on the road side, no one bothers to pick it up. The sen is totally worthless. And as such, my 2 sen opinion, if I still keep at insisting it be 2 sen, is worth shit too.

Therefore, we will do away with the 0.02, the 2 sen, and will now be known as Ringgit.

I hope the Ringgit is still worth something!

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Rio water sport is infected with virus

The water in Rio de Janeiro, the city where Olympic Games 2016 is being held, is very dirty. It is actually sewage water and full of virus and bacterias.
Athletes have already been strategizing to protect themselves. Some will try to build up immunity by arriving early, while others plan to avoid the water until just before competition in the hopes that the symptoms won't kick in until after the Games are over (the incubation period for viruses can last up to 10 days) via wired

What I don't understand is, why did the Olympic Council allow Rio to host the Games? And why do athletes participate and risk their health?

The only thing I can think of is that the sportsmen are treating this as a challenge. The challenge of a non-safe environment and how do you win by overcoming these circumstances. If this is the case, then looks like being dumb prevails against common sense.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

4 practical tips for choosing the right mechanical keyboard

I have been a big fan of mechanical keyboards all my life. And for the past 3 years, I have made many purchases and tried many switches. Heck, in my forum at loopgit, I even have a dedicated mechanical keyboard category so we can discuss this particular human user interface when using a PC or a Mac.

A keyboard is a keyboard, many will tell you. But, the moment you ventured into mechanical keyboard, you are looking at a big onion with many layers that you can peel. Much like mechanical watches or fountain pens, which functions are pretty common but the fact that they are both mechanical in nature, there are many choices and deviation.

So, how do you know which keyboard is right for you? Read on for some tips base on my experience of trying out various mechanical keyboards. You might also want to review the different type of switches in this article if you are not familiar with the keyboard switches.

Tip #1 - what is your typing style?
Before deciding on the type of switches, look at your own typing style. Are you someone who pound on the keyboard using only a few fingers much like a finger pecking at the keyboard? Or are you like the professional typist who put both hands on the middle row (ASDF and JKL;) and is able to type with both hands at the slightest touch?

Someone who is a pecking on a keyboard will naturally like a heavier switch. That is because a lot of time, you are pounding on the keys and you will appreciate a much more tactile feedback from the key being depressed and bouncing back at you. Heavier switches such as MX Clear, MX Green, Buckling Spring are suitable to you.

Some who can touch type usually prefer a lighter switch that accentuate at the slightest press, so that they received the tactile feedback and know that they have press that key and can move on. In this case, lighter switches such as MX Brown, MX Blue or Alps (Matias) switches are suitable for you.

Tip #2 - are you bothered by the sound of typing?
Do you love the click clack noise when using your keyboard? Or are you in an office environment where the sound of your typing will be annoying to your co-workers? Gone are the days of an office where all you can hear are the sound of old typewriters click clacking away. These days, office are pretty quiet stuff and using a noisy mechanical keyboard might turn people off. On the other hand, perhaps your boss will think you are working very hard when they hear you typed.

So, if you like to listen to the click clack noise from your keyboard: MX Green, MX Blue, Buckling Spring and Alps (Matias TactilePro) are the one you are looking for.

And if you like to be incognito when typing on a mech keyboard, then MX Clear, MX Brown and Alps (Matias QuietPro) are the one you should consider. In fact, Matias QuietPro claimed to be the world's quietest mechanical keyboard. And they even recorded the sound of typing on various keyboard switch. You should head over there and listen to the recording to determine which keyboard is sound is right for you. Here's the link).

Tip #3 - do you have limited desk space?
There are various sizes to a keyboard. Mechanical keyboards will give you even more different sizes. There are the full 104-key keyboards. This one include the number pad on the right:


There are the TKL keyboard. TKL stands for Ten Key Less. Basically, it does away with the number pad (total of 10 keys there) and therefore the keyboard is shorter. Very good for gaming because your mouse hand will not need to stretch too far to the right.

There are the 60% keyboard which are small and portable. Notice that the 60% did not have the Function Row (F1 to F12). It also does not have arrow keys. These keys are achieved through pressing a combination of Function and another key.


Comparing the 60% Poker Keyboard to the Full size Razer Blackwidow.
Depending on how much desk space you have, you might want different keyboard. Most people will take the 60% if they travel around with their keyboard for instance a student will take the keyboard to connect to the University's lab PC instead of using the one in the lab, which is frankly, pretty gross out.

Tip #4 - Do you care about replacing the keys?
I am not sure how OCD some of you are but they keys are made of plastics and plastic do wear out over time. For instance, some of the letters might disappear because of the oil and grim from your finger. The best thing about mech keyboard is that each of these keys can be taken off and replaced with new ones. You can even replaced with colourful keys such as this:


Now, if you care about replacing keys, then you have to make sure the keyboards that you are buying are using standard layout. Typically, the alpha keys (ABCDEF.... ) are standard size. What is not standard are the modifiers which are the SHIFT, CAPSLOCK, TAB, ALT, CONTROL, WINDOWS. SPACE BAR. Many keyboard manufacturers do not use standard key size for the mod. For instance, the Razer keyboard pictured above are not standard. And that means, they are not easily replaceable.

Most keyboards use ABS plastics. It's the same plastic materials used by Lego. That means, they keys are very colourful and vibrant, much like Lego blocks. The problem is that over time, they keys became very glossy. Look at your laptop now. Are the keys shinning and glossy, as though covered in oil? It's gross, right? Some keyboards have keys made of PBT plastics and those are the best. It feels a bit coarse and does have some matte texture feel but these plastics do not shine. If you own a old IBM buckling spring keyboards, notice how that over the years (20-30 years) they keys does not shine and the letters does not go away? These are PBT plastics.

And there you have it
Four practical tips that you can quickly ask yourself and it will help you determine the type of keyboard you should look out for. As for the brand and price, we can discuss in the forum. Head over there.

System Shock Remake

I started gaming back in Form 3, at the age of 16, when I joined the school computer club and have access to Apple // for the first time in my life. Back then many people who came to the club played games like Rescue Raiders, Digger, Karateka but my favorite genre has always been role playing game (RPG). I was hooked to games like Might & Magic 1 and 2, Ultima IV, V VI. When I bought my very first PC, the first game I bought in original boxed copy is Ultima Underworld. Underworld was made by this company called Looking Glass Technologies and they are a company that was visionary, talented and ahead of its time. The games they churned out redefine the genre. They impact they made to gaming is out of this world. Games made by them are innovative, technologically advance, replayable and does not conform to the norm.

One such game was System Shock. At a time when people were playing using floppy disks, they came out with a fully audio gaming experience on a CD! Instead of reading journals left by the citizens of Citadel Stations, we get to listen to their audio logs in full speech. That was the power of the CD but at that time, not many people have CD-ROM and as such, not many games are released on a CD. System Shock was one of the first. Also, 3D first person shooter was just being introduced but System Shock has full 3D including looking up and down (instead of just a lateral left-right view) and that was a first of its kind too.

The game was so good that when System Shock 2 was released a few years later, the comp.pc.games Usenet (back then, this was the equivalent of a world-wide internet forum) exploded with so many discussions about the game. You knew, then, that this is the game everyone in the world was playing and talking about.

22 years later, one company, Nightdive Studios, managed to secure the IP rights to the System Shock brand and now they have started a Kickstarter to remake the first System Shock using current technology! This is like the gamers' wet dream come true!

Check this Kickstarter video out (I admit, it is a bit cheesy):

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What to pack in modern day travelling

Well, recent all guys trip to Cameron Highlands thought me some stuff about what to pack for a trip. For one, an iPhone with Apple Music subscription is really key. During the drive, connect your iPhone to the car Bluetooth and voila, all your playlist are available. And if any of the guys have some special requests, you have millions of songs available at your finger tips. We had a good time reminisence listening to old Canto pop, thinking of the good times at school when these songs were a hit. And it creates lots of conversation topic as well when nostalgia hit.

Second, and this is where I made the mistake of not thinking about it, you need an Apple TV! Apple TV is very small and portable. If we were to bring the Apple TV, we can easily connect to the hotel/apartment's TV and you have the whole catalog of YouTube and even Apple movies available to watch!!! Even if you don't own the show, it's worth renting it so that everyone can enjoy! You don't need to have the hotel wifi connection. Remember that you have your iPhone with you. You can always do a Air Play from the iPhone to the Apple TV. That's the whole point of it. And don't forget with maxis new data plan, there's LOADS of data for you to play videos or listen to songs. Maxis even have extra data just for video playback.

Third, you definitely need an iPad - for the times when there's really nothing to do (rare, because there's so much to gossip and catch up), you can play some games on the iPad. There are some board games like game such as Settlers of Catan where 4 people can hunched around the iPad to play the game. Or the iPad can be passed around. Well, I brought the iPad but thankfully, we didn't come to this stage of needing it.

Gay Social Network App in Malaysia

So, I was browsing the iOS App Store today to look for some new apps to play around with. I went to see the Top Paid category, being curious what my fellow Malaysians are paying their hard earned money for. Imagine my surprise to see a gay boy social networking app, Grindr, being the number 4 top paid app. And ironically, number 2 is a Holy Koran app. Holy Koran being number 2 is not a surprise, Malaysia being a Muslim country and having majority Muslim. Also this is the holy month of Ramadan.

But the contradiction between the gay app and the religious app is just too glaring!! What does it mean? We have a lot of gay people in the country? Malaysians are known to be cheap skate. People usually pirate software or they jailbreak their device. And yet, we see people paying for gay app. Perhaps, the Apple owners, known to be owned by more affluent consumers, are majority gay boys(*)? This is interesting! Let's discuss!

(*) The reason I said "gay boy" instead of "girl" is because when you clicked on the app and look at the screenshot, it's mainly photos of good looking boys/men.

Forum Dilemma

In my quest of learning to set up a internet forum, I learned a lot of stuff including registering a domain, setting up email servers and of course, being able to install and set up a forum. There are some cost involved: to register a domain, loopgit.com cost a yearly fee, to run the forum software requires an cloud server in Digital Ocean, which cost me RM$40/month (about USD$10). The forum software itself is open sourced and therefore, free, but the hosting server is not. Fortunately, the email service that I subscribed to, mailgun.com, gives me free 10,000 emails every month.

So, my actual cost is the Digital Ocean server hosting of USD$10/month.

Now that I have set up a forum, I'd like most of the comments from this blog to be channeled over there, as a way to discuss about something I posted. The problem is, after running it for about a month, I have maybe 3 or 4 registered users, which is really pathetic.

The root of this issue is the identity of a forum. If I am selling something, the forum can be used to provide customer support. Or to build a community of customers who are using the product to talk about it. If I were someone famous like a celebrity or even famous blogger like John Gruber, then the forum could be a place for the fans to get together and to discuss about the new albums or the new blog post. If this were a community of a residential area, for instance, Bandar Utama, then the forum can be used to talk about living in Bandar Utama.

But for a private person who are not even famous, my forum is totally dead. No one wants to join a forum of an unknown individual. It's not even a corporation selling things nor a non-profit entity providing a service. In an age where there are so many ways to communicate - a Whatsapp group among friends, a Facebook page of a residential association, an Instagram for sharing photos - it's hard pressed to run a forum, especially one without a true identity and purpose.

I will probably give it another month or two before I bring it down. USD$10/month, while not a lot, is still money.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brokeback Mountain

Another old men trip to Cameron Highlands. Very nice and cooling. I’m amaze at many new hotels coming up. There’s this new place called Nova. They have Old Town White Coffee, Teh Tarik Place, Watson and even Hometown Stemsboat. This place is getting more commercialize by the minute.
Nova from afar. 

Looks very modern.

Love the view from our hotel... Fresh air. Very relaxing.

Friday, June 17, 2016

LRT3 and Bandar Utama

There is going to be a LRT line connecting Bandar Utama to Klang. It's aptly named LRT3. The first station is in Bandar Utama, beside the current MRT station opposite TV3. It then turn into Kayu Ara before the Shell Bandar Utama station along the Damasara river, having a second station to serve Damansara Utama residents. Then it come out of Sprint Highway and supposedly have a 3rd station, called Tropicana station in Merchant Sq.

However, recently, they decided to relocate the Tropican station from Merchant Square nearer towards the Lebuh Bandar Utama bridge.

This was the original location of Tropicana Station:

I am a bit puzzled of the new alignment Tropicana station. It was originally proposed to be put near Merchant Square, which is a commercial area very near Tropicana, BU11, BU12 and Bayu Puteri apartments. If you enter into NKVE using Damansara Toll, Merchant Square is to the left of you as you turn into left towards Subang Jaya/Klang and KLIA.

Consider this map, taking directly from lrt3.com.my

You will notice that the LRT line will come from Bandar Utama along Kayu Ara and then become parallel with Sprint Highway. As it passed Petron petrol station opposite the Boulevard commercial shops, it cut across the road at the point near the current burnt down furniture shop. Once across the road, it will elevate itself because the LRT line need to go above the Lebuh Bandar Utama bridge (aka the Sony bridge) towards NKVE. This also implies that this station will be elevated, as high as the line, higher than the bridge and Lebuh Bandar Utama.

What puzzles me is the location of this station. Why did they move it from Merchant Square to near the bridge? 

There are a lot of space between the bridge to merchant square and I believe this space will be used to build a multi level parking to support the station. However, why do the station have to be on the right side of the empty space, near the bridge, instead of on the right side of the empty space, near Merchant Square. I would think that putting near Merchant Square not only will serve the commercial area, but it will also serve residents in Bayu Puteri Apartment, Pangsapuri Damai, which are more densely populated and transport and parking has always been an issue to them.

And so, the only reason that they are putting on the left side, near the bridge, is to serve the BU11 and BU12 residents. I mean, why else would it be? And here in lies another puzzle. The station is going to be elevated. Are they going to build a pedestrian bridge to connect to Lebuh Bandar Utama? If they are, then this poor bridge is going to be even congested because of cars picking and dropping passenger. At this moment, this 4 lane bridge are facing huge congestion every morning due to the bottleneck at the bridge. I doubt they will be able to add another lane, because it’s a bridge and it’s going to cost a ton of money to add another lane just for cars to pick up and drop passengers.

Assuming the above does not make sense, then the road to the station where cars can drop/pick up passenger has to be using the current Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 road, parallel to Sprint Highway. This is highly probable. Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 is not a busy road. It runs in parallel to Sprint Highway and people use this road to go into Tropicana Golf course. This road can be widen enough for cars to drop and pick up passengers. If this is the case, then, why put the station near the bridge instead of near Merchant Square? There is more reasons for the stations to be near a commercial area.
The other funny thing about this station is that assuming Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 is used to come to the station whether to park or pick up, how will the cars go back into Bandar Utama or Damansara? This road is parallel to Sprint Highway with a toll station beside it. There is no way for cars to U turn into the highway back to Damansara. They have to go along the Tropicana Selatan 1 road, into the housing area, pass by BU 11 and BU 12 and then back to the bridge! This is again going to put a lot of pressue on the current existing road infrastructure.

I wish the authority made more clarification on this. Their website is shitty as it does not show anything except stations and some mumbo jumbo about why LRT3 will benefits people.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Stephen King

I love to read Stephen King's work. My only of his work started about 10 years ago. Before that, I have always thought Stephen King's story are ghost related. You know, those supernatural beings that haunt old houses. In reality though, his work is not really related to spirits or undead, even though it is always categorize under horror. His stories are just very disturbing and, well, horrifying. For example, look at this synopsis of a short story he wrote. I stumbled upon it today.


"Survivor Type" is written as the diary of a disgraced surgeon, Richard Pine (real name Richard Pinzetti), who, while attempting to smuggle a large amount of heroin on a cruise ship, finds himself marooned on a tiny island in the Pacific with very limited supplies and no food. A self-proclaimed "survivor" type, his diary entries documenting his day-to-day activities become more and more disjointed and raving, revealing his slow mental decay and eventual insanity caused by starvation, isolation, and drug use. Determined to hold out for rescue, he goes to horrifying lengths to survive. After breaking his ankle while attempting to signal an airplane, he amputates his foot, then realizes he has to eat it to survive. He continues to amputate his own limbs to use as a food source, ingesting the heroin as a crude anesthetic during the operations. Although he initially keeps track of the dates (the entries begin January 26), his increasing mental instability causes him to lose perception of days passed (finally ending his entries with "Febba" and "Fe/40?"). His last few diary entries, barely comprehensible, indicate that he has cut off and eaten everything below his waist, as well as his ears, and drools uncontrollably as he ponders which body part to consume next. The diary entries end when he cuts off his left hand to eat. ("lady fingers they taste just like lady fingers").
The ending implies Richard would later be found dead, probably the result of self-cannibalism, since the diary was apparently found and read, and Richard mentioned he would have destroyed it right before being rescued. via wikipedia


See? It has nothing to do with ghost. But it's the sort of deranged ideas that he put into his novels are what made him unique. There are many more example of his work that's equally disturbing and leave a vivid image on your mind, that will last weeks after you read his books. Some of my favourites are Pet Semetary, Thinner, Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Misery, 11/22/63.

What's your favourite Stephen King book?

Ergonomics

Last evening, a few friends gathered for dinner and the topic of old age and resulting body aches came up. Many claim to have this perpetual neck pain, myself included, and it’s probably caused by too much time spent on a laptop and iPhone which caused our heads to be looking downwards for a long time. And so, the advise was to always keep your head straight up.

This morning, I started improvising on my workplace. 

What do you think?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

End of Blogging?

One of my readers asked me if I’m going to stop writing in the blog now that I’m spending more time in the forum. Well, I want to say that the blog is still the main point of entry, where the discussion forum serves as a comment section for readers to discuss about the topic I blogged. Having said that though, blog is very much a one way street. I write about what’s on my mind for anyone interested or cared enough to read. And it’s really just a brain or emotional dump. On the contrary, the forum encourages multi way discussions where everyone can chime in and it’s anonymous and safe. Forums can be fun if the right community gathers. Building that community is not easy though. At any rate, I’ll still blog untill the forum grows big. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

Integrating Discourse forum into Blogger

Phew, this took a while.. I decided to have a better commenting system as compared to the current stock one provided by Blogger. It allows better conversation among all my readers, provided they still care about commenting. Anyway, I've always wanted to run a forum software. One of the most modern ones, which is mobile ready from ground up, is Discourse.

I wanted to share the steps that I did and some of the observations I made when following some of the online documentation. But Blogger is not friendly when sharing code snippets, where as Discourse, the forum that I set up, has great support for codes. So, please click on the comment/discussion below and read on :)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

50 Dead - Orlando Shootings

Seriously! Does America ever learned? I remember reading President Obama being really vocal about gun control and then people went mental, saying he's abusing their Second Amendment rights. The President said that during his tenure, there have been the highest number of shooting incidents in the USA. Why are the Aemricans not learning a thing or two? And now, it's a possibility of being Islamic influenced. Donald Trump must be rubbing his hands in glee at the prospect of lashing out to the Islamic community!


Impressions: Supersharkz Swimming School

We have tried the swimming school in One Club Bandar Utama but it wasn’t very effective. The instructors does not seemed to have a proper methodology. They are good swimmers teaching swimming lessons part time. We went with a private instructor who taught 4 kids only and after two full lessons, we felt that the girls didn’t learn anything. We decided that we needed to look for another school. 


It so happened that I saw Supersharkz Swim School in the factory area of Kota Damansara when I was around there for a meeting. This is a specialized swimming school and they were from Puchong and they expanded a branch in KD. 

We went in to take a look

Nice and proper reception counter, with staff in yellow uniform, as compared to One Club’s temporary table manned by some part time school kid. 


I love how they have proper program for each level. I think this is similar as One Club except that Supersharkz have a detailed curriculum. 


The view right after the counter, walking into the pool area...


There’s a nice cafeteria as well as a waiting place for parents to hang out when the kids are swimming. 


The same view from the cafeteria overlooking into the pool. I think there are a few good points about the pool - one, it’s indoor which means there will be lessons regardless of weather condition. And it’s not so hot for us poor parents waiting for the kids. 


Secondly, the pool are salted instead of filled with chroline. This is for hygiene purposes and of course, it’s better for kids with sensitive skins. Quite thoughtful of them. 


This particular pool is for toddler which is 6 years and below. This pool is heated! So for those worried about their babies catching cold, have no fear. They have classes for kids below 3, in which parents joined the classes. For 4-6 year old, it is instructor guided. 

The one thing I really like about Supersharkz is that the instructors followed proper SoP when teaching the kids. First the kids have to sit down at the side of the pool for warming up. Then they straddle by the side of the pool and learn to navigate by walking around the pool. The kids will hold hands in a circle and learn to dip their heads into the water while blowing bubbles. They then learn jumping and hopping in the pool. Lots of fun activities to orientate them into the water and remove the fear of water. 

It’s this standard SoP that I find lacking in One Club which made it difficult for the kids to learn especially if the instructors themselves are not trained to teach. Because of the SoP, you can have replacement class on another day with different instructor without needing to worry if they will fit in or not. 

The girls thrive very well in this school. They enjoyed it and I can see good improvements in Supersharkz as compared to One Club. 

The school was setup by Mark Chua who was a national swimming champion. 





I love the murals and words of encouragement all over the place. Good to read them every weekend and be reminded and get recharged. 

Highly recommended!!!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Blogger vs Wordpress

So, the more I work on the layout of this blog and trying to integrate to a forum software, doing sexy web 3.0 stuff, the more I find that Blogger is very limiting, including not enough support or template from people in the 'net. As such, I am seriously thinking of migrating over to Wordpress. I have had this blog for almost 10 years, but I think I needed a fresh start. There are many guides to migration and keeping all the comments and posts, so I don't think I am afraid of losing content. But what about all the post count and site visit? I need to think hard, but for the sake of change and modernization, I might just do it.

Regardless, just bookmark ringgit.loopgit.com

When I switch, you will be automatically move to the new site.

Comment

You might notice the lack of comment buttons. I've removed them in preparation for a forum integration. Should be up by this weekend. Stay tuned!!


Thursday, June 09, 2016

ringgit.loopgit.com

So, I have been messing around with domains and very recently bought a domain, loopgit.com for RM5/year. Very cheap! I am not sure exactly what it means but it sounds very open source-y. Strongloop and github combined to be loopgit.com.

And it turned out you can really buy any domain that you like for maybe around RM60/year. Pretty good, imo.

And so, if you type ringgit.loopgit.com, it will redirect you to this blog.

I have other plans for loopgit.com - I am thinking of setting up a forum for my readers to collaborate and discuss stuff. Maybe you can even discuss my posts in the front page.

I hope I have time to play all these stuff, it is pretty interesting to me.



Breaking News

I read a lot of news. And often I saved or shared those which I find news worthy. If you read this blog on a desktop, the news I shared are shown in a widget on the right. Come join the discussion if the news interest you.


Choice of coffee shop

This morning, I had a choice of 3 coffee shops to go to for my breakfast. Typically people would choose the one with good food but I have an entirely different preference which annoyed my wife. 

I choose a restaurant with good air circulation as my priority. I hate eating and sweating. 

Second priority goes to a restaurant with good tea. Not may restaurant make the same tea and some are very consistent. 

If both were met, then I’ll think what I want to eat or whether that coffee shop has great char kuay teow or wantan mee. 

This morning though, 2 of the 3 restaurants met my criteria or having great air circulation and serving great tea. I went to one yesterday, and so I thought I should go to the other one, which served very good curry noodles. Surprisingly though, I decided to skip curry noodles and went back to the coffee shop which I ate in yesterday. The reason? The curry noodle shop have very lousy phone reception, which means no internet at all!!!

Looks like internet connectivity now plays a part as well!

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Getting old…

What is unchanging and true? I don’t know. But I’m beginning to think that life is all about the connections we create – the relationships we make with people great and small. We have been given so much. What did we do with it? Were we merciful? Were we kind? Did we love enough? Money and power will mean nothing at the last breath. The only thing that’ll count was how we treated one another. That keeps me awake at night. Perhaps it should. via waiter rant
Great retrospective article in waiter rant. I think as we age, inevitably, these are thoughts that pop into our mind. But are we going to do anything about it? Or are we just going to be idle and pass time at our home, watching TV, playing a game of chess or just waiting for time to pass?

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

WhatsApp mic

One of the charms of instant messaging like WhatsApp, iMessage and Skype is that you don’t need to talk to someone when you want to communicate something. It works well for many of us who are anti- social, in fact, even the social guys who loves to talk still use WhatsApp to communicate. It makes one wonder if people are just being lazy to talk or they prefer to just drop a line and two, go about their way and then come back to attend to the response. 

In WhatsApp, on the right side, there is a microphone icon. Pressing and holding it allow you to record short messages and sent it over. On the other end, they see it as a playable link. 

I find it awkward to use that feature. It’s like talking on the phone and what’s worse is that you can playback your own voice. And most often than note, we are uncomfortable with how we sound. 

But lately, I do value the usefulness of the voice message especially in Malaysia when you have to send messages to people who does not read English, e.g. one of my contractors who fix electricity is from Klang and he cannot speak/read in English. And I can’t type Chinese. The best way? Send him a voice message. The weird thing is, I should have just call him and talk over the phone and yet, we both find it so convenient to send voice message. Once I started using this feature, it became apparent to me that there are many people doing the same thing publicly. You will see people holding their iPhone and pointing the bottom speaker into their ear to listen to the message. Talk about anti social!

In fact, in one particular WhatsApp group, some people use it to broadcast a very lengthy blog - it’s used almost as a very easy and convenient way to deliver a podcast! Who would have thought that WhatsApp is an engine for podcasting! It is actually being carried out actively in a couple of WhatsApp group I was in.

I think before we know it, WhatsApp voice message is going to be the de facto communication standard. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Best Decision Ever

You know how sometimes you think back to your past and you came across certain incidents in your life, and the decision you made at that point in time? And how, in retrospect, you feel you made one of the best decisions ever because you see the benefits now?

I have a few life changing decisions that, in retrospect, were the best I’ve made: marrying my wife, choosing to bite the bullet and bought our current house vs looking for houses in other areas. But what I really want to talk about today was choosing SKTM was perhaps the best decision I didn’t know I was making. 

Jane was not an easy child to bring up. She was extremely fearful of people, things and change of environment. She expressed her fear through tantrums and screams and inconsolable crying. She was afraid of her kindy, and so we suffered her fear and screams for the first two years while she get used to the kindy. She only enjoyed her kindy in her this (and final) year. That was a relief for one short year. Even that short year saw some changes in her life where her mother had to work part time and so there were some baby sitting arrangement - which she didn’t like and cried as well.  

Without doubt when she went to Primary One early this year, it was another change and a very traumatic one for her. So, we had hell in the first quarter of 2016. But at that point in time, we really did not have any choice when it comes to education unless we have lots of money, which we don’t. We prayed and hoped for the best. Praying that she will get used to school. If kindy took her two years, perhaps this will take equally as long? My mood was not the greatest during that time. I have tolerated this for almost 6 years. What’s another two years right? I tell you, the negative energy then was toxic and draining. I dreaded going home. I hated school holidays. I disliked weekends. My co-workers thought I am a bad father for not liking weekends and school holidays. I have no mood to play computer games. I could have escaped by having excuses such as working late, go drinking with colleagues in the pretense that it was business socializing but that’s just not my character. We need to go through this together, husband and wife and family. But freaking hell, there were times I was just so pissed. I used Awesome Notes to write my feelings when she was screaming and I was angry. Looking at my notes now gave me a chill, because while you don’t keep grudges against your child, I could tell through these diary entries of how toxic it was for us. 

But the whole thing underwent a 180 degree transformation the moment she went into SKTM. From that very first day at school in April, the turn around was instant! There wasn’t even a cooling period, or a period of slow recovery. It was abrupt and complete. And for the past two months, we had bliss. The interactions was pleasant. She was lovely. Sure, she still fight with her sister Kat over little things, but those were just quarrels, and there’s reason for the quarrel. But that fear-induced screams and tantrums were not there anymore. They just disappeared into thin air, poof! And were distant memories. I do not know if it was the school, or it was the super compassionate class teacher, or it was just the ball fitting into the circular hole. It just clicked and all is well. I have started back my Apple Music subscription. I find myself enjoying music. I have just completed Offworld Trading Company, a computer game. My life is slowly picking itself back up. I might just be able to join the MBS boys’ trip to Cameron Highlands this June. We will see!


Friday, May 27, 2016

Rimbayu’s Wisteria


I went and see this show unit and found this particular design very tastefully done. They really maximize the floor space making the house very spacious and bright. Really liking it a lot. 

Uber in Malaysia

I have started taking Uber when visiting clients. It is so convenient especially when going down town to Kuala Lumpur. Uber is comfortable and I could do my email, WhatsApp, Twitter, phone calls or reading while in the car, stuck in the jam, without needing to worry about tapping and driving. But the more important feature for me is that it accepts American Express corporate card. At the end of the month, when I sit down to do my expense claim, I could automatically pull these expense from Amex into my system without needing to key-in each trip! Uber also conveniently provide me email receipts and all I need is just to print them and attach to my claim. Super duper easy. What is your Uber story?



Management > Technical

IBM failed in its true identity years ago when management started making more than their top technical staff. It was not unusual for top rated staff making more than their management chain in the early Watson years. Matter of fact it is the core issue for most US based companies, management seems to thing their job is more difficult than the high end engineer developing the next generation of products. via Cringely
Oh my, this statement is so direct, to the point, of the whole issue with tech MNC companies. It’s actually kinda sad. It is happening in IBM, hp, Microsoft, Oracle. Even Dell or Lenovo. And it is the reason why tech startup is becoming successful such as Google, Facebook, etc. The money should go where the skills are. Not where management, project managers who just know how to track progress.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Put this near your heart


My 5 year old daughter made me this and she told me that when she married and not living with me, I have this purple love that she made to keep it near my heart so she’s always near me. 

This little girl is always thinking far ahead and have some wild imaginations. 


MOE Advertisement

MOE Advertisement


Well, well, well. What do you know? I saw this advertisement in The Curve. I didn't expect MoE, Ministry of Education, to advertise about education in a popular mall. Why? Are people not going to schools? Are people sending kids to private schools? To international schools? Or perhaps home schooling are getting more popular. Ever wonder why, Mr MoE?






What's interesting though, is that the photo above featured students from SKTM. My daughter said she recognise the girl in the photo and upon inspection of the badge in the photo, she's right!

IFTTT and Evernote and Awesome Notes

IFTTT and Evernote and Awesome Notes
In my quest for the perfect Blogger iOS tool, I'm trying this oldies called IFTTT. This is a popular tool that connect two apps together to create a workflow. IFTTT stands for "If This Then That". I could connect Evernote to Blogger which means if I create a new Evernote document, it will publish to Blogger. Pretty nifty huh? There's thousands of this "recipe", one of the popular ones is "If I create a new contact, update Google Spreadsheet". That's really cool.

Now what happens if I create a note in Awesome Notes, the best notes taker for iPhone, sync it to Evernote. Will IFTTT take this recipes and publish to Blogger?

Tags:
May 26, 2016 at 11:10PM
Open in Evernote

abc Children Specialist

So we sent our kid to this children specialist in Center Point for fever caused by runny nose and phlegm. Very simple symptom right? But, the bill turned out to be RM263! wtf! Seriously! The consultation was $90, which is already more expensive than our usual child specialist. But then, the doc started giving out 5 bottles of medicine - one cough, two to clear phlegm, one to prevent lung allergic and one fever med. Each of these cost $35 or $40! My gosh!!!! Seriously! Are you kidding us?

The Doc is very patient and will take time to explain, which is really nice. But I just  don’t understand why she wanted to push so many medicine. Is it necessary?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Swiss Bank BSI shutdown!

Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said BSI’s behaviour was "the worst case of control lapses and gross misconduct that we have seen in the Singapore financial sector”. via FT
Monetary Authority of Singapore - want to keep image of Singapore as being clean! Kudos to Singapore! And shame on you, Malaysia.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Is AI a problem for Apple?

The BlackBerry’s success came to an end not because RIM started releasing worse smartphones, but because the new job of the smartphone shifted almost entirely outside of their capabilities, and it was too late to catch up. via marco.org

This eye opening article painted a grim future for Apple, if Google's gamble on artificial intelligence is right. Everyone's into some form of AI. Google, IBM with their Watson, Microsoft and Apple with Siri. Is this the future of computing? And if the future of computing lies with machine like intelligence being the centre of our life, will those scary scenarios portrayed by movies like Terminator or Space Odyssey come true one day? 

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 A...