Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A short trip to French village, Bukit Tinggi Bentong (Berjaya Hills)

My family has made a short trip to the French village located at Bukit Tinggi, Bentong, Pahang (a.k.a. Berjaya Hills), which is near to Genting Highlands and Janda Baik.

The French village is located uphill, quite some distance away from the junction linked to Karak Highway. The road condition is worse than that of Genting Highlands or Cameron Highlands. Fortunately, there is not much car on the road.

Before entering the premise, we need to pay RM12 per adult and RM8 per child, which I think is a bit expensive.

There are 2 hotels over there, namely The Chateau and Colmar Tropicale. The accommodation price is pretty expensive. Unless you want to enjoy the calm and silentness of Berjaya Hills, otherwise you will most likely find boring staying there.

During our visit, Samsung was having some team building event there, so we can see some crowd. Otherwise, I think the staff over there will easily outnumber the tourist.

Bukit Tinggi is a good place for photo taking, especially for marriage couples. It has nice scenes, and some good looking swans at the lake near the village entrance too.

The French village is actually quite small, takes less than an hour to visit. Beside the Colmar Tropicale hotels, there are some western restaurants selling food at high price, some souvenir shops, a video game center, and SPA center.

There is a Japanese garden nearby, with waterfall, a koi pond, and some Japanese huts. Japanese traditional costumes are available for photo shooting rent in the bigger hut there. There suppose to have a Japanese restaurant, but we couldn't find it.

My overall comment: Bukit Tinggi is not too bad for scenic visit, but it can be much better than what it is now. It has good "hardware" but lack of "software" to make it attractive.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Edge giving away iPad Mini 16G or Samsung Galaxy Note 8 in 3-year subscription bundle

From now until 31 August 2013, you can get the following at the price of as low as RM1413.60 (with CIMB credit card, option for 12-month 0% interest EPP easy payment plan):

  • 3 years subscription of The Edge Malaysia (printed + 3 digital access)
  • 3 years subscription of The Edge Singapore (1 digital access)
  • 3 years subscription of The Edge Review (1 digital access)
  • iPad Mini 16G WiFi & cellular or Samsung Galaxy Note 8
This deal looks attractive if you have intention to buy the iPad Mini or Samsung Galaxy Note 8, as RM1413.60 alone is an attractive price to get the phablet with credit card payment and 12-month interest free instalment. Now, on top of that, you can get 3 years subscription of 3 weekly papers from The Edge.

This deal is also attractive if you do not have intention to own the phablet. If you manage to sell it out, your 3 years subscription of the 3 weekly papers will be free or almost free of charge to you. In addition, you can get a pretty good cashflow, as you only need to pay the RM1413.60 over a 12 month period, but you can collect the full cash once you sell out the phablet.

Click here for more information about The Edge collection deal.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Garmin releases MalFreeMaps 2013.20 and MalSingMaps 2013.20. Now MalFreeMaps lane assist feature is available.

About 2 weeks ago, Garmin released Navteq City Navigator SG/MY NT 2013.20 map update. Now, the MalFreeMaps 2013.20 and MalSingMaps NT 2013.20 are also made available for free download.

The long anticipated Lane Assist feature is finally available in this new release of MalFreeMaps 2013.20 now.

Click here to download the installation file of MalFreeMaps 2013.20 and MalSingMaps 2013.20 from Garmin server.

If you have moved the MalFreeMaps and/or MalSingMaps map files from Garmin Nuvi 2565LM internal storage to microSD card, you have to do it again, because the installer from Garmin will respectively install the new MalFreeMaps and MalSingMaps into the GPS internal storage memory.

Attended PhillipCapital 4th Annual Investment Conference 2013 @ Istana Hotel

I have just attended the PhillipCapital 4th Annual Investment Conference 2013 held at Istana Hotel on 20 July 2013.

Overall, it is a good investment conference, with topics covering stock investment, derivative investment, gold investment, etc. Speakers include famous fund managers such as Chen Fan Fai who made his name in Kenanga and now is the Chief Investment Officer of Eastspring, Ang Kok Heng the Chief Investment Officer of Phillip Capital, etc.

The maximum harvest I reaped from this conference is a booklet called Hugh Young's Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing distributed by Aberdeen Asset Management to their audience of Bharat Joshi's talk on Golden Rules of Investing. Hugh Young is the co-founder of Singapore-based Aberdeen Asia.

The 10 Golden Rules are:
  • Treatment of minority shareholders
  • Remember that companies are about people not asset
  • Balance sheet strength is critical
  • Understand what you're buying
  • Be wary of overambition
  • Think long term
  • Benchmarks are measuring devices not portfolio construction tools
  • Take advantage of irrational behaviour
  • Do your own research
  • Focus on industries in which it is possible to have a sustainable competitive advantage
If you want to know more about these 10 golden rules of Hugh Young, you can click here to read the article on this topic posted by Aberdeen Asset Management. Alternatively, you can also try to get a copy of the booklet or eBook from Aberdeen, or from Amazon, Apple iTunes, etc.

Most of the speakers are talking from the macro-economics viewpoint, and they are kind of bullish to the near term local and world economics.

Chen Fan Fai in his topic "How is an Asian Fund Managed?" honestly pointed out that, in the long run, most of the fund managers are underperform the market index.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Updated my HTC One to Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)

The HTC One smartphones in Malaysia receive our Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) update from the previous Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) since yesterday 12 July 2013 around 4.00pm onwards.

The whole update started with a small "bug fix" update to enable the phone to upgrade to Android 4.2.2 successfully. After installing the "bug fix" update and reboot the phone, a larger 440+MB update is made available to the phone, which will update it to Android 4.2.2.

Among the new features and improvement brought to our HTC One with this update are:

  • Able to show battery level in status bar

  • Quick Setting panel, which is accessible by tapping on the top-right icon of the notification screen, or by doing a 2-finger pull down.

  • Configurable Home button. If switched to the 2nd option, the 3-dots soft menu button the appears in certain apps will also be eliminated.

  • Daydream function

  • Lock screen widgets (but very limited selection)
  • Instagram feeds to Blinkfeed
  • Apps able to also move from launcher bar to home screen or vice versa by drag-and-drop. Before this, can only move by drag-and-drop from app drawer to launcher bar or vice versa.
  • Improved camera functions
  • More tidy Gallery app
  • Additional music player (icon is golden headset) beside the existing (icon is read headset)
  • WeChat pre-installed
  • ... and more
Note that the "Developer options" (which include the USB Debugging mode toggle) is hidden from the Settings screen in Android 4.2.2. To unhide it, go to About > Software information > More and tap on Build number for 7 times.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Solution for Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) unable to run after Windows update

Yesterday, the automated Windows update of my laptop installed some updates, and one of them related to Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) failed.

Since then, the Microsoft Security Essentials unable to run, and the Action Center keeps on telling me that there is no antivirus and spyware protection running on my Windows 7.

I managed to fix it by this way:

Note: If you directly reinstall MSE without running the OneCareCleanup tool, the installation will stop halfway, giving out a 0x80070643 error.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Move the map files from Garmin Nuvi 2565LM internal storage to microSD card

The Garmin Nuvi 2565LM SG/MY GPS navigator comes with 3 preinstalled maps, namely:

  • Navteq City Navigator SGMY NT (gmapprom.img)
  • MalSingMaps SGMY NT (gmapprom1.img)
  • MalFreeMaps SGMY NT (gmapsupp.img)
These maps, especially their junction view JCV files, have taken a lot of internal storage space of the GPS, left over with just around 200MB of free storage.

Unlike my Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS navigator which only supports 1 map file, namely gmapsupp.img in the SD card external storage, the Garmin Nuvi 2565LM SG/MY GPS navigator supports multiple unlimited map files in the microSD card external storage.

When the free space in the Garmin GPS internal storage become lesser and lesser, you will experience the GPS acting slower and slower. Therefore, it is a better idea to move the map files from its internal storage to external microSD card, in order to make space for the GPS to work smoother and act faster.

Note that at least 1 map file (the gmapprom.img) must be kept in the GPS internal memory, or else your GPS with no map in its internal storage might face problem booting up.

MalSingMaps is initially stored as .System\gmapprom1.img in the GPS, while MalFreeMaps is initially stored as map\gmapsupp,.img in the GPS.

In order to access the hidden .System folder, you need to drop down the Organize menu and select "Folder and search options" in Windows Explorer. Then, go to the View tab and make sure "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" is checked, while "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" is unchecked.

Alternatively, you can also open the command prompt window and use the "cd" command to access into the hidden .System folder.

Here are the steps to move MalSingMaps and MalFreeMaps from Garmin Nuvi 2565LM internal storage to microSD card. A class 10 microSD card is recommended for faster read/write speed.

  • Create a new folder in the microSD card and name it as "Map".
  • Create another new folder in the microSD card and name it as "Garmin".
  • Create a new folder inside the Garmin folder and name it as "JCV".
  • Move the 3 files gmapprom1.img, gmapprom1.sum and gmapprom1.unl from .System folder of internal storage to Map folder of microSD card.
  • Move the 3 files gmapsupp.img, gmapsupp.sum and gmapsupp.unl from map folder of internal storage to Map folder of microSD card.
  • Move the 4 files SGMYMAL.JCV, SgMyMal.sum, SgMyMfre.JCV and SgMyMfre.sum from .System\JCV folder of internal storage to Garmin\JCV folder of microSD card.
  • Use the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" function to unmount both the internal and external storage of the GPS from Windows.
  • Check that you can still access to the 3 maps in the GPS, including the 2 maps that are now residing in your microSD card instead of the GPS internal storage.

  • Check that the junction view in your MalSingMaps and MalFreeMaps are still available to you.

Congratulation, you have just freed up about 672MB of valuable storage space from your GPS internal storage. Your GPS internal storage should have around 950MB of free internal storage space now.

If you want to install more maps into your Garmin Nuvi 2565LM GPS, just put the map file into the Map folder in its microSD card, and put the JCV file (if available) into the Garmin\JCV folder in its microSD card. The map files in the Map folder can be of any name, as long as the extension is .img.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Garmin Nuvi 2565LM, my 2nd GPS navigator

My Garmin Nuvi 255W GPS navigator which I bought in 2009 is still working fine, but for some reason my family needs a 2nd GPS navigator, so I have purchased a new Garmin Nuvi 2565LM.

It is a genuine AECO unit that comes with 2 years warranty and with AECO and MCMC stickers, sold at RM650 with some free gifts (screen protector, carry case, home charger, etc.). This price is even cheaper than the price I bought my Garmin Nuvi 255W about 4 years ago!

Some of the differences/enhancements of Garmin Nuvi 2565LM from Nuvi 255W includes:

  • A larger 5" screen (255W has a 4.3" screen)
  • Supports microSD card (255W supports normal size SD card for additional storage)
  • Faster and stronger GPS satellite signal detection. It is able to get some GPS signal even indoor near the window.
  • Better and faster search function. It no longer need to specify the location for the search target as in 255W.
  • Automatic speech recognition (ASR) to issue voice command without the need to touch the GPS.
  • Bluetooth integration with Android smartphone, which is able to make or receive hands-free call as well as displaying the phone's address book on its screen. When getting a call, it is able to display the caller's name or phone number. If a Point of Interest (POI) contains telephone information, it is able to make call using the Android phone as well.
  • Customizable Main Menu. I think the default layout is pretty good, so I haven't tried this.
  • Remember last parking spot (when it is removed from its mount).
  • "Go Office" beside "Go Home".
  • MyTrends predictive routing.
  • Route preview among faster time, shorter distance and cost saving.
  • Custom avoidances by area or by road.
  • Trip Planner.
  • ecoRoute, which I haven't tried yet.
  • Built in compass.
  • Calculator.
  • Unit converter.
  • User definable display on bottom left-hand-side of the map. Can display either one of travel direction, elevation, time of day, vehicle speed, time to arrival, distance to arrival, etc.
  • Integrated driving recorder, which I haven't tried this. It needs an additional GDR camera to function.
  • Rear camera video support.
  • Preloaded with 3 maps - City Navigator, MalFreeMaps NT and MalSingMaps NT. Also preloaded with Custom POIs including AES spots.
One thing I dislike about this Garmin Nuvi 2565LM is that, its speaker volume is softer and screen display is dimmer when using battery compared to when it is plugged to the car charger. This could be a "feature" to save the battery juice, but the variance should not be too big. I find it to be either too soft when using battery at 70% volume, or too loud when using charger at 90% volume.

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