22/12/2014

Every school boy's dream


A must have for every school boy as well British secret agent: James Bond's Aston Martin DB5. Well I don't have the cash to get my hands on the real thing and most probably will never but at least I could get my hands on this which now sits handsomely beside my computer. Quite well built I must say but I would really like the Corgi toy version which I had when I was a kid. In the mean time, I'll just dream my life away.






15/12/2014

Presentation blunders: Learn from my mistakes


Navigation Pane unactivated
Navigation Pane activated
A recent presentation I gave to the top brass at a state government body left me personally embarrassed because although the Secretariat had earlier tested my slideshow file as functioning well when they inserted it in the notebook to be used for presentations, during the actual presentation, the slideshow suddenly crashed during the middle of the show and I was only given a very limited time to present my case. The Technical officer was bewildered, came over and managed to restarted the slideshow but on a second and third re-run, it still crashed halfway. Time passed by so quickly and eventually I was asked to elaborate my presentation base on memory which was not good because I don’t have a good memory. To make matters worse, the Chairman and Secretariat also did not get a hardcopy of my presentation so they were eager to see my presentation but to no avail. Eventually, discussion proceeded on a verbal basis and ended quickly. later, discussions with an IT personnel came up with these following recommendation:
  1. Always start to present a slideshow in pdf format but change to .ppt or .odp format unless the Meeting request for it. This is because the .pdf format is more stable than a .ppt or .odp file and is more compatible to any computer operating system be it Windows, Mackinstosh or Linux. Organisation charts and links are permanently locked under the .pdf format but will likely run wild if the .ppt file was running under a Linux operating system and vice versa with an .odp file running under a Windows operating system.
  2. Make at least 3 hard copies of the slideshow, one for the Chairman, another for the Secretariat and the last for yourself. This is because anything can happen and there must always be PLAN B and discussion may end with that hardcopy and it is wiser that all have the same version.
  3. Keep a copy of the orginal .ppt, .odp and even .pdf file in a thumbdrive even if the Secretariat said the file emailed to them is A-OK!
In the .pdf presentation, turn off or deactivate the Navigation Panel tool to optimize the full size of the screen. This is usually as in the Acrobat Reader application, under Menu bar/View/Navigation Panels/Show Navigation Panel. It was a bitter experience but here I share it with you so you won’t be like me should it happened to you.

22/11/2014

Beefing up the Peugeot 407: Phase 2




The exhaust system represents Phase 2 of my Peugeot 407 upgrade. It consist of a 4-2-1 extractor, a mid and rear muffler, all had to be customized from scratch because there was none off-the-shelf in the local automobile industry yet something I wanted badly having lived my driving life with  modified cars. The 4-2-1 rather than 4-1 version was preferred for torque rather than power. The improved release of the exhaust gas then showed weakness in the stock rear muffler with irritating resonance between 1,500-2,500 rpm. A custom rear muffler was built but the rear space was inadequate to quiet the exhaust as close to the stock so a fairly large mid muffler had to be built. All these modification will definitely auto-calibrate the oxygen reading in the exhaust which usually will require a full petrol's tank consumption of which at the point of writing this article, I have not even used up 3/8 of the tank. However, driving the car in style as I usually do in town, I find that I am getting better and better fuel consumption because I usually do 2 return trips to Kuala Lumpur and back in 1/8 tank but can now do 3 return trips. All this means I should get even better mileage if I were to use the car outstation. Well, still too early to get consistent results!


17/11/2014

Kemboja, 2014




A business-cum-pleasure all-expenses paid trip to Cambodia I enjoyed over 3 days from 13-15/11/2014. I was invited by the Royal University of Agriculture at Cambodia in cooperation with NGO GIZ of Germany to give a talk on "Quantum GIS and landuse planning in Malaysia". Wifey came along and it was a bit of a pre-wedding anniversary  as it is tomorrow. We stayed in the city in a cosy, intimate place called Anise Villa which we enjoyed because it did not have that typical hotel environment. As the first day was travelling day, we took time in the afternoon to visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum fairly close by and later to the Russian market also closeby by tuk-tuk, a popular term taken from Thailand. Much of our souvenirs were bought there but I suspect we were sitting ducks to the local sellers. At first, I thought I was alone but later wifey too said she felt the air within the buildings in the Genocide Museum tended to be on the heavy side. The next day, I spent the day at the University and gave my talk in the morning and joined in the hands-on topology cleaning during the workshop while wifey spent the day at the central market and made herself a tourist. We returned home on the third day on the 11.10 am flight. All in all I enjoyed it very much as this was our first visit to Cambodia. I went back with fond memories of patient Kembojans driving in their  hectic traffic jam and superb high-end Kembojan ice-creams....and wifey said just like the Siamese, we hardly saw any fat people around. 













02/10/2014

Off to Awana Hotel, Genting HIghlands

Destination: Awana Hotel
Yet another meeting organized by my department, this time at Awana hotel, a subsidiary of Genting Resort located midway up Genting Highlands and fame for its golf course. It was held for 4 days and 3 nights from 29.9.2014-2.10.2014 so some heavy stuff was expected. Still, we had time to karaoke during the last night. Later, we were given a site visit and technical briefing on the construction of the 21st Century Fox theme park, the first outside USA scheduled to open in 2016. Food was delicious and the room very well provided and maintained. The Genting road is much wider than before and now has humps at all critical junctions. Going down the Genting road always gives me the creeps.

Nice view from 19th floor
Genting cable car
One World hotel
21st Century Fox theme park site 
Briefing on slope and embankment design, construction and monitoring
Look at the size of the piling holes
As winding as it gets

28/09/2014

Grand Lexis , Port Dickson weekend retreat


Sabrina's birthday was just past round the corner and she got her birthday wish. Wifey took the whole family plus two of our nieces together for a weekend retreat at the Grand Lexis Resort, 2 km. north of Port Dickson town centre which is neighbour to the long established Glory Beach hotel. From the looks of it, I believe the nieces were enjoying the weekend holiday treat more than Sabrina. Well it does not matter because we are a closely knit family. For a 5 star hotel, the price of the food was reasonable, delicious and plentiful. The room was humongous with excellent facilities and you get what you paid for. All in all, an enjoyable weekend for the family as well as Sabrina.








21/09/2014

No RIP for my HTC One S

A few weeks ago,  my elder son complained that his HTC SV guzzles battery life. As father,  I hand-me-down my Sony Xperia TX to him and gave him a week to decide whether he would accept it,  his first reaction was that he felt the 4.7inch screen to be bulkier than his HTC's 4.3 screen. After 3 days,  he hand-me-down his HTC to my younger son who has been glued daily to it. I pulled out my previous HTC One Side but in order to hide the long cracking across the screen, gave it a dark blue wallpaper.  It still functions well and is the faster of my smartphones.

Bitten by the flower bug

Under the shade of the high tension wire, wifey and me went to a nearby nursery as lately,  it appears as if wifey has been  bitten by the flower bug. The veranda which was usually bare short of two bicycles have become a pretty sight. I am hoping it will last that way forever.