Monday, August 31, 2009

Makan-Makan: De' Chiengmai

This will be a short post as it is about food. I had it during my parents visit last week. My sister brought my parents there and I happened to be able to join them.

By the time I arrived, they almost finished the food! Luckily, they left most of the seafood for me - no pictures coz too hungry.

About the place:
It is situated about 1.7km away from Sungai Buloh Hospital

GPS Location:
N 03° 13.464 & E 101° 34.120

Spacious, Posh, Away from city, and Clean!

Food Quality:
You gotta try it yourself. Since I had Thai food for a year in Bangkok, the taste comes very close to those in good Thai restaurants around Krung-Thep area!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ASUS K40AB Price vs. Performance?

My sister recently told me that she is looking for a notebook with RM 2k budget. I told her about the hottest selling ASUS model K40AB-VX001L. The reason why I recommend this notebook to her is simply because the GPU specification is above average users' requirement and the price tag is only RM2099!

This notebook is running on dedicated 512MB video memory (VRAM) - Just imagine playing Call of Duty 4 with higher graphic settings - phenomenal! Well, this GPU would really help my sister(an architect) in her daily sketches using AUTO-CAD.

Specifications as below:-

Model: Asus K40AB-VX001L-LINUX
Display: 14" HD LED Slim (1366x768) Color-Shine (Glare-type),Vesa Like
Operating System: No OS (Linux only)
Processor: AMD Athlon X2 QL64-2.1GHz
Main Memory: 2GB RAM (Added 2GB to make it 4GB)
Hard Disk Drive: 250GB HDD
Video Graphics & Memory: ATI Mobility™ Radeon® HD 4570, 512MB VRAM
Optical Drive: 8X DVD Super Multi-Dual
Video Camera: 1.3MP
Fax/Modem/LAN/WLAN Integrated 802.11 b/g/n
10/100/1000 Base T
Interface 1 x Microphone-in jack
1 x Headphone-out jack
1 x VGA port/Mini D-sub 15-pin for external monitor
4 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x RJ45 LAN Jack for LAN insert
Audio Built-in speaker and microphone
Altec Lansing® co-brand speakers
SRS Premium Sound
Battery 6 cells: 2200 mAh
Product Dimensions: 34.5 x 24.9 x 3.1~3.55 cm (W x D x H)
Weight: 2.35KG

My brother-in-law and I went to hunt for this glossy lappy @ Low Yat. We ended up buying it from Evernew IT shop as they have branches all over the malls around Klang Valley. I also made sure that the seller provides us the XP drivers as nowadays, newer notebooks have limited driver range for Windows XP.

Once I came back from LowYat, I installed licenced XP Pro, drivers and Service Packs. According to some users, XP drivers is not available easily and they have to ask other forumers to send them. My case is different,... the drivers supplied by the sales guy worked smoothly without an issue.

I also bought myself a Samsung Laser Mouse with Selectable Sensitivity Switch (1600dpi, 1200dpi, 800dpi, & 400dpi) because I have to give away my current mouse to my sister. :P

Installation was very smooth and speedy as the dual core AMD Athlon X2 QL64-2.1GHz processor did its job well. I then imaged the entire partition for 5-minutes-future recovery. I might want to consider ASUS notebooks in future as this company is good in producing reasonably priced versus performance laptops!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Water Pump

I had my car repaired yesterday after the FRIM early morning ride. This time is it due to the water pump. In order for you guys to know if the water pump starts giving problems, check the list below:-

- Clucking noise from the belting area @ engine compartment
- Acceleration a little heavier
- Engine sound is louder during heavy acceleration (as if engine is going to fall off the car)
- Poor fuel consumption

I went to my mechanic at Jalan Gasing to confirm it. He took a small steel pipe and placed one end to the engine parts and the other to his ear. It was a bit funny but it worked. He could confirm where the sound came from - the faulty engine water pump.

According to him, the brand that I wanted him to replace (GMB) has fake units from China. Being afraid to get cheated by possible low quality production, I opted a Japanese water pump named BTKS - haven't heard about it but I have more confidence than the other brand.

The mechanic flushes all the dirt from my radiator before installing the new pump. He used proper sealant for the gasket and he also pressurised my radiator to 20psi(if not mistaken) using a pressure canister in order to detect any leakage after the pump replacement. I like the way he repairs my car as he does not like to rush just to complete the job faster. It was worth waiting for his quality job.

The car feels so much better now with better fuel consumption due to smoother engine run. No more repeated clucking sounds. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Faulty 4 - Gang Extension module

Last Friday morning was a shocking experience for me. As I was having my quick breakfast by just munching at my cubicle, I heard an explosion (small one). I ignored the sound as I thought it was not serious because the munching sounds caused my ears to be less sensitive.

All my colleagues stood up and look at me. I felt strange and I asked, "what are you guys lookin at?" By the time one of them came over, I could smell burnt pvc material very near to my office notebook. My colleague who walked over told me that she saw a spark followed by the small explosion sound. She also added that the explosion has caused power tripped to all their cubicle sockets. I replied "Ehh? Really" and they looked at me angrily.

I sniffed all around the notebook area and finally I found the first socket of the 4-gang extension module got burnt. I didn't bother much as I had to attend training downstairs.

The same explosion occured right after lunch time when I was experimenting the same 4-gang extension with another socket. This time, my colleague Justin warned me not to play with it anymore.

Being a stubborn person, I asked Lydia, whose father is an electrician about the problem. She asked me to dismantle the module and I did. I saw burnt marks on both sockets and we found out that each of the socket is connected to an LED and a resistor.

We have concluded that the resistor might be faulty and could not take the load and burst. So being an office McGuyver, I cut loose all connecting LEDs together with its' resistor and assemble back the extension module.

I did few testings and it works fine! So, the lesson learnt is -> never purchase the 4-gang extension with light indicator! That would add more electronic components to the module and one the component fails, it would cause explosion. Beware. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Satria's Faulty absorbers

Lately, I feel funny when driving my car especially the braking and cornering. I could not stop my car within the distance I expected it to do and also my car sways during cornering.

My newly installed Bendix brake pads are good and served me well for the past few months but still, braking is not efficient enough and my car has been too bouncy as well. I suspected something amiss with the suspension system and my assumption was absolutely correct after I heard clunking sound on the front left of my car after climbing the ramp of the office basement parking area.

This is scarry as the whole car is now unstable due to no proper support by the absorbers. Since the Satria is quite old, I think I forgot to replace the shocks and coils after 65000km. Oops!

Two days ago, I dropped by my favourite spare parts shop around PJ area to get new absorbers. I selected Kayaba shocks because they are less expensive and reliable. KYB Malaysia actually manufactures shocks for many Japanese cars such as Vios, Latio, Grand Livinia and so forth.

Since there is no other brand for the coil springs, I ended up buying APM coils for both front and rear absorbers. I bought oil-based for the front and gas-charged for the rear. I ended up damaging my wallet for RM 470.00 without installation.

Here's a short calculation for the total cost:
- KYB Front oil-type shocks = RM88.00 x 2 = RM 176.00
- KYB Rear gas-charged shocks = RM 58.00 x 2 = RM 116.00
- APM Coil springs (Front) = RM 46.00 x 2 = RM 92.00
- APM Coil springs (Rear) = RM 43.00 x 2 = RM 86.00

I think, the whole cost spent on the car (for 4 wheels) is still cheaper than my Rock Shox Tora fork of my mountain bike. Maybe I should quit mountain biking eh? LOL

I have yet to install the shocks due to busy weekdays' schedule and hopefully my mechanic near Jalan Gasing can install them with reasonable price.

Upcoming activity(ies)

Coordinates :