Saturday, March 28, 2015

BIOS security update for Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro and Yoga 3 Pro laptops

On 27 March 2015, Lenovo has released the latest BIOS update (version 76CN42WW) for Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro ultrabook laptop.

On the same day, Lenovo has also released the latest BIOS update (version A6CN49WW) for Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro ultrabook laptop.

This latest version BIOS for Yoga 2 Pro and Yoga 3 Pro respectively fixed all merged issues from previous, and also fixed the security issues in the Intel UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) module.

You can click here to go to the download page of the latest BIOS update utility for Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, and click here to go to the download page of the latest BIOS update utility for Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro.

The BIOS update is pretty straightforward. Make sure that the battery level of the laptop is at least 80%, and it is plugged on to the AC power supply. Then, run the downloaded BIOS Update Utility.

The new BIOS will be flashed with the InsydeFlash utility from Windows 8.1. After that, the system will reboot itself, and the BIOS update will be performed.
After the BIOS update completed, the laptop will reboot itself again and back to the Windows login screen.

There is no data lost for this BIOS update. Even the BIOS settings and passwords remain after the update.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Using SQLite Expert to develop and administer SQLite3 databases

SQLite is today's de facto database for mobile development, particularly as the local database used in Android and iOS apps. It is also widely used to handle data storage in embedded system.

In fact, SQLite is also a good choice for lightweight database to handle data storage and query for Windows / Linux / Mac applications. It is released in the public domain and free for use (compared with other non-free alternative such as MS Access database). It is serverless and doesn't need installation nor configuration of database system (compared with alternative such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, etc.)

Now come to the big question: how to create, develop and maintain the SQLite databases?

There are quite a number of tools available, some are free and some are non-free. I have chosen SQLite Expert for use in Windows development environment.

SQLite Expert comes in 2 editions: the free Personal Edition (free for both personal and commercial use), and the non-free Professional Edition with additional features. You can click here to find out the feature differences between the 2 SQLite Expert editions. The Personal Edition should be good enough for most SQLite application developers.

SQLite Expert is able to handle Unicode data, Views and Virtual Tables.

SQLite Expert has a nice and easy to use GUI. It even comes with Hex Editor (to edit fields with binary data) and Image Editor (to edit fields with image data).

It has a powerful visual editor for database table creation, restructuring and maintenance, which able to handle columns, indexes, foreign keys, triggers, unique and check constraints.

It also has a handy Data Definition Language (DDL) viewer to show the DDL of tables.

For the Professional Edition, you will also get a Visual SQL Query Builder, able to import and export data, Lua / Pascal scripting support, etc.

If you are in search for a good database tool for SQLite3, I strongly recommend this one to you.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Opened a CIMB AirAsia Savers Account

I am switching over my traditional CIMB savings account to a new CIMB AirAsia Savers Account for better interest rate and additional benefits that come with this online savings account.

CIMB AirAsia Savers Account is an online savings account in partnership with AirAsia. It is paperless, and you won't get any passbook nor paper monthly statement. Transaction details and online statements are available in the CIMB Clicks website.

 So, what's the big deal about this CIMB AirAsia Savers Account?

  • It offers an interest rate from 0.15% up to 1.00%. No big deal as some other banks are giving higher rate than this, but this rate is also higher than the traditional CIMB savings account or CIMB basic savings account.
  • If you maintain an average monthly balance of above RM5,000, and there is no over-the-counter transaction in that month, you will get a monthly RM5 cash rebate. Consider you are keeping RM5,000 in the account, that will translate into 5/5000 x 12 = 1.2% additional interest rate.
  • If you maintain an average quarterly balance of above RM3,000, you will get automatic entries into a Quarterly Contest to win holiday packages, complimentary flights, E-Gift Vouchers and other prizes. Every average quarterly balance of RM3,000 entitles you to one automatic entry.
  • If you maintain an average quarterly balance of above RM1,500, you will earn 250 AirAsia BIG Points quarterly. In my experience, the AirAsia BIG Points are very difficult to collect through buying air tickets from AirAsia, this seems to be a faster way to collect more points easily.
  • If you maintain an average monthly balance of above RM3,000, you will get E-Gift Voucher on your birthday month.
  • You will have priority booking benefit to grab the best deals during AirAsia sales one day before the general public.
If you already have a CIMB savings or current account, and you already have access to CIMB Clicks online banking facility, you don't even need to visit to CIMB branch in order to open a new CIMB AirAsia Savers Account, as you can do it inside CIMB Clicks. That's how I did it, and my new CIMB AirAsia Savers Account was opened instantly after I clicked the Confirm button.

To open a new CIMB AirAsia Savers Account from CIMB Clicks, just drop down the Apply For menu and select Savings Account. Then, select "CIMB Bank AirAsia Savers Account" under Product Type.

To link your CIMB AirAsia Savers Account with your AirAsia BIG Shot ID, click here.

If you need to lookup your AirAsia BIG Shot ID number, you can click here.

Click here to get more detail about CIMB AirAsia Savers Account from CIMB website.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.