Friday, August 15, 2008

3 Cars 1 Brand, RM 1 Million, which 3?

Recently, I asked a few friends. "If you had to spend RM1,000,000 for 3 cars of the same brand in Malaysia, you can't buy and sell but just have to get 3 cars, which 3 would you get". I had varied answers and the one that was expected was a 323ci, X5 and 523i. Of course at that time, we were not sure if it fits into the RM 1 Million budget and it DOESN'T. They cost RM343,800, RM568,800 and RM349,800 respectively. Well, it just shows that firstly cars are more expensive than we thought! Anyway, my choice was obvious, as the title of this blog, it will be the V50 (family sports wagon), S80 (executive) and the C70 (weekend). They cost RM 223,500, RM 268,500 and Rm345,266, which is within the RM 1 Million.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Peugeot 407

Ok, back to what I am more interested in ... food, cars and life. Over the weekend, I was in Jusco Equine Park and there were 2 peugeots on display, namely the locally assembled 206 (Bestari) and the 407. I am not sure how many of you are aware that the locally assembled 407 comes in two guise, a normal specification and a premium version. The "premium" version has leather seats and a GPS system integrated into the middle console. Although the car itself may be quite handsome, there are 2 very troubling problem with the locally assembled 407.

1) One of the key attraction of a peugeot (or most french cars) is the front driver and passenger seats. They are body hugging yet extremely comfortable that indirectly gives you unprecedently confidence when driving the car. Stepping into the locally assembled 407, this un-explainable feeling of disappointment is immediately there. The seats, although comfortable, just lost the peugeot thing ...

2) The premium version sports an additonal "bump" on top of the middle console. This is for the radio display and so on as the space where it is located on the normal specification version is now taken over by the integrated GPS. The problem with this bump is that it looks worse than some after-market add-ons! How can a company that is trying to portray some form of luxury make such a decision? My old Wira's rear sunshade had more class or luxury feel to it than this "bump"

That is just "sitting" in the car. The car may be great to drive but I don't think I will be spending more than RM120,000 whereas a more "luxurious" car (in comparison) can be had for less.

However, when I went over to have a look at the 206, it did not give me this feeling of being shortchanged. Although I never liked the shape of the 206, it does make me want to give is a try.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Puzzling Sequence of Events

Ok, this is something that have been puzzling me concerning the sodomy case of DSAI and Saiful. If you are sodomized, or raped, you would make a police report instead of going to the doctors to find out if you were sodomized, or raped. Wouldn't that be the normal sequence of events. Only after you have made the report, you may be told that you need to go to the doctors for the embarrassing inspection.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hey, KC's blog on

Ha hah ... finally managed to see a friend's blog that's listed on KC's blog about the BBQ over at my place! Check this out ...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Terengganu Government's decision on E200K

Just thought that I share my point of view on this matter. It may well be true that it would be cheaper in the longer term to purchase the Mercedes E200 Kompressor instead of continuing with the problematic (so he claims) Proton Perdana. I don't find this hard to believe, in fact, I would also think so. The state government got a good deal with paying approxiately RM240K per E200K. From my own personal experience with the Perdana, it is firstly a fuel sucking machine and secondly, it does have a problematic gearbox. Now, if you have to factor in that the Merc is more than twice the price ... over the next 5 years, what would the difference be ... I am not sure but from guesstimates ...

1. Probably a savings of a few thousand in terms of petrol
2. Probably cheaper maintenance of maybe RM50K per car
3. But more importantly, the lost of use of the car would cost the state exco time which may cost more than RM200K in 5 years! That's just an arbitrary figure

BUT, that's not the point. Would a Accord/Camry 2.0 or even a 2.4 not be a better choice? Let's not go into the new Nissan Sylphy. If the Terengganu state have say gone with the Accord 2.0, the difference may be Rm50K per car but I strongly believe that just the maintenance savings is sufficient to justify it over the next 5 years.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Malaysian Politics? Or Malaysian Narrowmindedness ...

Never thought that I will ever be interested in anyway about Malaysian politics but the the recent hoo-hah that's happening makes me wonder about Malaysians in general? I understand that in Islam, sodomy is a crime and also in our federal laws ... BUT IF the charges are true, does it really matter to the general Malaysian public? Granted it is against the law, but if a politician is bi-sexual, my thoughts as an ordinary Malaysian on the street is ... SO?

Assuming that 40% of Malaysians are non-muslims, 10-20% follow the Hudud law (which from my understanding that without witness, there's no crime), and there's doubt on the
charges/claims (hence assuming 50/50 believes in it), that would mean that these charges against DSAI are irrelevant to most ordinary Malaysian. I am not claiming to speak on behalf of others but it just doesn't make sense politically to charge someone of sodomy as it is suicidal to the other party .... now, could it be all a bigger plot from the "effected" party? I guess it doesn't matter to me. However, the other on-goings is somehow more interesting to me, I am more interested to know about RPK =) This is because that he claims is universally wrong no matter which angle or from which country you look at it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ok, I have known about for sometime now but have never really put any of these into action. "These" refer to, twitter, digg and so on. Now, the mind boggling thing to me is that how does these 24 x 7 companies generate revenue. They can't all be targeting for online advertisers and they need to generate substantial revenue in order to maintain their sites. Any comments on this?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Graduate's Dream Job

How would you react if you, as a recent graduate, were asked if you would like a job as a part-time blogger and part-time marketer of digital media products. In short, you are suppose to spend you time online most of the time at work, surfing and writing official blogs about something? You get paid a better than average salary for a graduate, you are given a reasonably free-hand at doing your job BUT you are expected to deliver results quickly. What would you think?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Saga (BLM)

Hey, just got delivery of a new Saga last week and actually did not find much to write about. The usual excitement surrounding a brand new car just wasn't there. In fact, prior to buying the car, I did not even start the car! And what's worse, when dad took the car and drove it over the next day, there just wasn't any urgency to give the car a try! Something is wrong here ...

Ok, a few days later, I had the car to myself. It is a basic car, it works fine, the car ignition definitely sounds better than a Perodua's, every seem to fit well EXCEPT the steering cover which vibrates all the time even at standstill. It has this continental feel to the accelerator which basically means it is on the heavy side (nice, I like it like that) and the gear changes is relatively pleasant. Overall I can't really fault the car, other than some kinda expected minor stuff. Are we in the era where we do expect deficiencies in a Proton and we live with it?

Wendy's back in Malaysia @ Sunway Pyramid

Finally, Wendy's (the fast food chain from the US) is back in Malaysia. Due to the fact that I have not visited Sunway Pyramid for a long time, I just thought that I drop by for a light dinner, having already ate a slice of lasagna for tea. Anyway, for a fast food stop, 2 adults and 2 kids (below 6 years old) spent nearly Rm50/- on a supposely light meal! I had this Big Mac lookalike but it's 2 x 1/4 pounders and it was filling! The shrimp burger was interesting as it had real prawns (ok, ok shrimps in them) whilst the big kiddo had a whole burger to himself (incidently, he also had a serving of lasagna for tea at 5:30 pm!). Overall, it is quite a disappointment but a welcome addition to our regular KFCs, A&Ws, McDs and Burger Kings.

Oh, some interesting observation at Sunway Pyramid. The parking system is excellent, well ... for me anyway ... BUT it seems that we have many uneducated or illiterate Malaysian. It's weird that they can afford cars in the region of hundreds of thousands but not only they can't read but they don't even know numbers! I mean, it was clearly shown that there are X number of car parks where, even says 200+ on the floor above, yet ... I noticed that there's a Toyota Wish trying to park at a corner that's not a parking lot and a BMW 3-series (ok, it's an E46 but hey, it's still a BMW) not parking in a proper lot. How difficult is it to drive further up to get a parking lot?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Blackberry or Not?

Due to the nature of my work, that is ... being in many places all the time everytime and anytime ... I have been asked to consider carrying a Blackberry . Now, why do I need to thin about this? Well, for the record, I think that the mobile phone is the worst invention of the last century. What!?! I hear you say ... my opinion is that the mobile phone has made humans somewhat incapable of planning their time well, meetings can be arranged and canceled within 5 minutes and we just don't try to be on time anymore as being 3 minutes late is ok since we can just call and inform the other party.

Wait, let's go back to the Blackberry ... why am I thinking about it, 'coz eventhough I think the mobile phone is bad (which incidently, I think of the same of the Blackberry), I do carry a mobile phone with me for the last 13 years! I have the same mobile number for the last 13 years and it has kinda stuck on me ... so, now what?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Education ... on road safety ...

I read the New Sunday Times today, and it is very sad to hear about

"M. Sanjev Raj was in the arms of M. Mariayee, 49, who was in the passenger seat of the Toyota Vios when the 11.30pm accident occurred.

They died on the way to hospital.

They were believed to have been seriously injured after hitting the dashboard. Mariayee was then flung out of the car while Sanjev fell to the floor in front of the seat." New Sunday Times, February 17, 2008.

I am sad at the lost of lives but I am actually very angry at the fact that these are well to do Malaysian citizens who are able to afford a Toyota Vios and yet they drive on the highway with the kid in the front seat together with the grandmother who is probably also not belted in (since she was "flung out of the car"). I see this a lot on our roads and being Malaysian, we take sympathy at the family when this happen ... but being an ANGRY person, I would want the law enforcement to charge the father (presumably the driver) with intention to murder.

... sad ... sad ... sad ... ANGRY ... ANGRY ... ANGRY

The Internet Penetration ...

As I was browsing the papers today, my normal Sunday morning habit, a classified advertisement on rooms to let caught my eye. It say "wifi available". To me this is interesting as it is now considered a differentiation point and soon, the availability of wifi (presumably Internet access as well) will be as common as saying the room has a door. Maybe, the term full furnished in future will also mean that it includes Internet access.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Saga on the road!

Last night was the first time I saw the new Proton Saga on the road, well ... technically speaking, in the car park at The Curve in Damansara. It looks ..... ordinary .....

More on Brute Force Password Cracking

On my last post, I mentioned that I was able to crack a password within an hour since the password used is only 5 characters long. I forgot to mention that it was done on a low end Celeron PC. Immediately after that I started on another file of which I misplaced the password and it took me 14 hours to unveil the 6 character long password. I then began to search the Internet for more information and realized that there's this company by the name of rixler that can crack a Word or Excel document password within 10 seconds or thereabouts.

Being curious, it set me thinking. A powerful server with a good algorithm instead of brute force sure can generate income. So, since brute force attack on password is similar to just a basic search, then this method is super-parallel. In other words, by parallelizing the program, the performance improvement should exceed the number of processors. So a basic dual Quad core CPU server would probably still be able to on average crack the password in less than an hour for a 6 character password.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Brute Force Attack on MS Word Password Protection

It seems that a brute force attack to uncover Word document's password doesn't take very long on a standard PC these days. I was able to uncover a password protected Word document within 1 hour on a low-end Celeron D running at 2.4GHz. The document's password had 5 characters, that's it!

So, my advise is for those who wants to make life more difficult for others, opt for passwords that are at least 8 characters long and preferably it doesn't start with a number ;)

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Value of Linux Certifications

I have been conducting a certification course for Novell Certified Linux Professional and a question pop'ed up from one of the participants. What's the value of a Linux certification? There are basically 3 bodies that provide some form of certification, Redhat, Novell (SuSE) and the distribution independent body the Linux Professional Institute. Does certification mean that you have the necessary skills to administer a Linux server?

It is question that can be easily answered by stating that a certification gives employers and clients the confidence that the person working on their Linux server has sufficient good working knowledge to do so. It will be interesting to obtain more information from readers on your options on Linux certifications.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Technopreneur Development

If you have a job title called Technopreneur Development on your business card, what does it mean? How are you suppose to be preceived? What are your qualifications? It is a job description that is sometimes difficult to define but recently I was thinking about it.

In a nutshell (IMHO) Technopreneur Development would mean that the position is to assist startups from inception till ... when? Where does it stop, is it until failure (then you are not doing a good job), by time (which is incorrect as some are faster than others) or by revenue? My believe is that it is until the time when the Technopreneur hires professional managers to manage his/her enterprise (which would sometimes mean never!).

How do you qualify to be one? This is highly dependent on the expectations but I guess it is someone who has a keen interest in being a technopreneur themselves but would like to learn from the mistakes of others =) The person does not need to have prior experience as a technopreneur, as that would be a position called the "mentor" or "advisor". The person must possess a logical mind and have him/herself explored being an entrepreneur.

So what does the person do, other than wait for the budding technopreneurs to seek assistance, my guess is that the person should organize networking sessions so that participants can learn from each other. Organizing networking sessions is tough, but some suggestions would be to work with IASA or other professional bodies (win-win situation, they get access to more potential members as well), organize talks and freebies from suppliers such as QuickBooks or HR Consultants (win-win situation, they get to present their product to a group of potential customers) and experience technopreneurs (who may be seeking to also network).

Just some thoughts out loud ...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Number of new SAGA for 2008

Just read from (this site is so far the best automotive blog for the average Malaysian), that "Proton also aims to sell between 4,500 to 5,000 units of the new Proton BLM every month. The Proton BLM will be launched on the 18th of January 2007." Hmphhh ... this means that my prediction is on the dot (assuming that they "aim" to sell 5,000 which means that marketing wise, it has to be better than 5,000 per month).

Friday, January 04, 2008

Used Class-D Car?

Interesting question was asked during our weekly midnight supper meeting this week. If one is looking for a Class-D sized car, i.e. think Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Peugeot 407, etc, what would one get for a single, early 30s, IT professional, on a heavy side (weight and size) who is looking for something that's reasonably enjoyable to drive? This is in the context of being in Malaysia as consideration for support and spare parts come into play.

Our dear friend after some quick thinking, believes that the Honda Accord will depreciate greatly in price once the Year 2008 model is available locally. I kinda agree with him and also with the fact that the Honda Accord is kinda dull to drive also. Maybe some harder absorbers would help. I think it would be the safest bet for him to go with the Accord.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

This is probably very late in terms of news, but worth a mention I guess. Proton has started to accept bookings (RM500/-) for the new entry level Proton (codenamed BLM for Base Line Model) and it is almost certain that it will have the official name of the SAGA. Now, the price ranges from RM31.5K to RM40K and although it is still somewhat expensive, i.e. around USD9K for an entry level car, I predict that it will do very well here in Malaysia and possibly even in the region.

I would safely say that Proton will be looking at possibly at least 60,000 units in the year 2008 itself or even 90,000 unit maximum. Well, that will just be bookings and depends on many other factors such as world economy, local economy and whether Proton can produce sufficient numbers. I have little doubt that quality (which has been Proton's biggest issue of late) will considerable effect the sales. Will revisit it in year 2009 to check if this prediction is correct.

Too lazy to post pictures here but you can go to to see or wait for 2 weeks for Proton to launch the car.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year 2008!

I just realised that I like to add an exclamation mark at the end of each blog title ... I wonder why? Anyway, Happy New Year 2008 to all out there.

Time for me to work harder this year, first thing ... MYOB, QuickBooks or PeachTree?