Saturday, March 31, 2012

Islamic fixed deposit that pay upfront profit (interest) immediately when certificate is issued

I have sold a little shares recently, and thought that I am quite unlikely to reinvest the money into share market for the next 1 month. Short term fixed deposit is in my mind.

There is a kind of short term Islamic fixed deposit (Murabahah) that will pay upfront profit (interest) immediately when certificate is issued or account is opened. You will get your fixed deposit return immediately, without having to wait for its maturity date.

Such product in Maybank is called "Profit Now! Account-i (PNA-i)" and the one available in CIMB is called "Fixed Return Investment Account-i (FRIA-i) - WhyWait". Both their profit rate for 1 month deposit is 3% per annum, which is the same rate as most other 1 month fixed deposit products in Malaysia now.

I have chosen Maybank Profit Now! because it is very convenient. The account can be opened with Maybank2u online banking eFixed deposit placement function, and I don't even need to visit the bank to open this account.

I put in RM10,000 for 1 month fixed deposit, and immediately get back RM25.41 in return.

Of course, if I make an upliftment (take out the FD money before maturity date), I won't get back the full RM10,000 principal as the upfront paid profit will be deducted from it.

In this way, I could get triple-tiered interest for the short term deposit, which are:
  • 3% per annum for the FD
  • 0.3% per annum for the interest of the FD which was deposited back to my savings account
  • 5% bonus interest on interest
It is better than leaving the money in my share trading trust account, isn't it?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

80% discount for Advanced SystemCare Pro (3 PCs license) @ $12.97 only

From the 1st release of Windows 95 to the latest release of Windows 7, it is a common issue of all computers (regardless PCs or servers) running on Microsoft Windows OS that over time, the OS will become slower and slower, and the harddisk storage will also filled up with more and more junk files.

Advanced SystemCare by IObit is the tool to restore and maintain the performance of your Windows OS close to the moment it is freshly installed. There are 2 versions of it, the Free version with basic function, and the Pro version with tonnes of functions to clean, fix, optimize and tune up your Windows computer.

I have been using Advanced SystemCare Pro for more than a year, from Version 3 until Version 5 now. For each new version release, they introduced more and more functions, and it never fail in tuning up my Windows computers so far.

One of the beauty of this software is it can automatically and quietly perform its scan, fix and clean tasks when your computer is idle.

Just to share with you that now, there is a promotion for this software until 31 March 2012. You can get Advanced SystemCare Pro license for 3 computers, and a Windows Tweaks Guide eBook in PDF format, at the price of $12.97 only, which is 80% of their normal price. This price is even cheaper than my Norton Internet Security annual subscription fee.

The license will last for 1 year, and you get unlimited software update and upgrade as well as technical support along the period.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Accessing Citibank Online website during weekends

Citibank Online user using Internet Explorer 9, do you notice that every weekend you will have problem accessing to that website? You will get the error message as below, and this problem has been around for a few weeks, yet remains unfixed.

Luckily, there is a workaround. Do you see the Citigold tab on top? Well, you can successfully login to the website using Citigold login page. That's the trick.

Alternatively, you can also access to Citibank Online website using other web browser like Firefox.

It is somehow weird that this problem only occur during weekends, but not weekdays.

Let's see how long the Citibank folks will take to get their website fixed this time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Garmin releases MalFreeMaps NT 2012.10 for free update

Good news to all MalFreeMaps (MFM) supporters!

Garmin has worked together with the MalFreeMaps community to come out with its first release of MalFreeMaps NT 2012.10 map for Malaysia / Singapore / Brunei.

This MFM NT map supports Junction View (JCV), compared to the community version of MFM.

Its map file gmapsupp.img is 52.03 MB, much larger than the gmapprom1.img map file of MSM NT 2011.40 (38.87 MB).

You can click here to download the installation file of MalFreeMaps NT 2012.10 from Garmin server.

Friday, March 16, 2012

5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses

After writing about the 8 Qualities of Remarkable EmployeesJeff Haden continues to write about the 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses, which I would also like to share with you.  The original article is published in Inc. website which you can find it here.

Here we go...

Remarkable bosses aren’t great on paper. Great bosses are remarkable based on their actions.
Results are everything—but not the results you might think.

Consistently do these five things and everything else follows. You and your business benefit greatly.
More importantly, so do your employees.

1. Develop every employee. Sure, you can put your primary focus on reaching targets, achieving results, and accomplishing concrete goals—but do that and you put your leadership cart before your achievement horse.

Without great employees, no amount of focus on goals and targets will ever pay off. Employees can only achieve what they are capable of achieving, so it’s your job to help all your employees be more capable so they—and your business—can achieve more.

It's your job to provide the training, mentoring, and opportunities your employees need and deserve. When you do, you transform the relatively boring process of reviewing results and tracking performance into something a lot more meaningful for your employees: Progress, improvement, and personal achievement.

So don’t worry about reaching performance goals. Spend the bulk of your time developing the skills of your employees and achieving goals will be a natural outcome.

Plus it’s a lot more fun.

2. Deal with problems immediately. Nothing kills team morale more quickly than problems that don't get addressed. Interpersonal squabbles, performance issues, feuds between departments... all negatively impact employee motivation and enthusiasm.

And they're distracting, because small problems never go away. Small problems always fester and grow into bigger problems. Plus, when you ignore a problem your employees immediately lose respect for you, and without respect, you can't lead.

Never hope a problem will magically go away, or that someone else will deal with it. Deal with every issue head-on, no matter how small.

3. Rescue your worst employee. Almost every business has at least one employee who has fallen out of grace: Publicly failed to complete a task, lost his cool in a meeting, or just can’t seem to keep up. Over time that employee comes to be seen by his peers—and by you—as a weak link.

While that employee may desperately want to “rehabilitate” himself, it's almost impossible. The weight of team disapproval is too heavy for one person to move.

But it’s not too heavy for you.

Before you remove your weak link from the chain, put your full effort into trying to rescue that person instead. Say, "John, I know you've been struggling but I also know you're trying. Let's find ways together that can get you where you need to be." Express confidence. Be reassuring. Most of all, tell him you'll be there every step of the way.

Don't relax your standards. Just step up the mentoring and coaching you provide.

If that seems like too much work for too little potential outcome, think of it this way. Your remarkable employees don’t need a lot of your time; they’re remarkable because they already have these qualities. If you’re lucky, you can get a few percentage points of extra performance from them. But a struggling employee has tons of upside; rescue him and you make a tremendous difference.

Granted, sometimes it won't work out. When it doesn't, don't worry about it. The effort is its own reward.

And occasionally an employee will succeed—and you will have made a tremendous difference in a person's professional and personal life.

Can’t beat that.

4. Serve others, not yourself. You can get away with being selfish or self-serving once or twice... but that's it.

Never say or do anything that in any way puts you in the spotlight, however briefly. Never congratulate employees and digress for a few moments to discuss what you did.

If it should go without saying, don't say it. Your glory should always be reflected, never direct.
When employees excel, you and your business excel. When your team succeeds, you and your business succeed. When you rescue a struggling employee and they become remarkable, remember they should be congratulated, not you.

You were just doing your job the way a remarkable boss should.

When you consistently act as if you are less important than your employees—and when you never ask employees to do something you don’t do—everyone knows how important you really are.

5. Always remember where you came from. See an autograph seeker blown off by a famous athlete and you might think, “If I was in a similar position I would never do that.”

Oops. Actually, you do. To some of your employees, especially new employees, you are at least slightly famous. You’re in charge. You’re the boss.

That's why an employee who wants to talk about something that seems inconsequential may just want to spend a few moments with you.

When that happens, you have a choice. You can blow the employee off... or you can see the moment for its true importance: A chance to inspire, reassure, motivate, and even give someone hope for greater things in their life. The higher you rise the greater the impact you can make—and the greater your responsibility to make that impact.

In the eyes of his or her employees, a remarkable boss is a star.

Remember where you came from, and be gracious with your stardom.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The trick of installing all software in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 successfully

Recently when I tried to install Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Design Standard into a PC, 2 of the software were having error during the installation process, and unable to be installed. They are: Acrobat X Pro and Photoshop CS 5 (64-bit).

After some trial and error, I finally found the way to get all the software in the Adobe CS 5.5 suite to completely installed into the PC running Windows 7 Professional (64-bit).

The error encountered during the installation of the 2 software above was caused by the latest version of Adobe Reader and Flash Player already installed in the PC, resulting in dependency problem to some of the older version components in Acrobat X Pro and Photoshop CS 5 (64-bit). The 32-bit version of Photoshop CS 5 is successfully installed though.

The trick is, uninstall Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Shockwave Player, Adobe AIR and any other Adobe software newer than CS 5.5 (released in early 2011) from the PC, and reboot the Windows system.

Then, install all software in the CD of Adobe CS 5.5 to the PC. The error encountered before should be eliminated by now.

After installation, run the software update to update the installed Adobe software to latest version.

Then, reinstall the latest version of Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Shockwave Player from Adobe website. If you still need the Adobe Reader to read PDF files despite you are having the more powerful Acrobat X Pro, you can install it from Adobe website too. Adobe AIR should be installed along the CS 5.5 installation process, you can check and update it to the latest version as well.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Disabling/Enabling touch screen function of multi-touch screen monitor

It is cool to have a multi-touch screen monitor, but sometimes we just need to temporary switch off the touch screen function of the monitor to avoid disruption, especially when there is flying insect hitting the screen at night.

In fact, toggling the touch screen function is pretty easy in Windows 7.

Go to Windows > Control Panel > Pen and Touch and select its "Touch" tab.

Uncheck the "Use your finger as input device" option as shown above and click OK, your monitor's touch screen function will be toggled off immediately. To get back the touch screen function, just check back this option and click or tap on OK.

Friday, March 2, 2012

8 Qualities of Remarkable Employees

Today I read about this great article written by Jeff Haden, and would like to share with you. The original article is published in Inc. website which you can find it here.

Here we go...

Great employees are reliable, dependable, proactive, diligent, great leaders and great followers... they possess a wide range of easily-defined—but hard to find—qualities.

A few hit the next level. Some employees are remarkable, possessing qualities that may not appear on performance appraisals but nonetheless make a major impact on performance.

Here are eight qualities of remarkable employees:

1. They ignore job descriptions. The smaller the company, the more important it is that employees can think on their feet, adapt quickly to shifting priorities, and do whatever it takes, regardless of role or position, to get things done.

When a key customer's project is in jeopardy, remarkable employees know without being told there's a problem and jump in without being asked—even if it's not their job.

2. They’re eccentric... The best employees are often a little different: quirky, sometimes irreverent, even delighted to be unusual. They seem slightly odd, but in a really good way. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a plain-vanilla group into a team with flair and flavor.

People who aren't afraid to be different naturally stretch boundaries and challenge the status quo, and they often come up with the best ideas.

3. But they know when to dial it back. An unusual personality is a lot of fun... until it isn't. When a major challenge pops up or a situation gets stressful, the best employees stop expressing their individuality and fit seamlessly into the team.

Remarkable employees know when to play and when to be serious; when to be irreverent and when to conform; and when to challenge and when to back off. It’s a tough balance to strike, but a rare few can walk that fine line with ease.

4. They publicly praise... Praise from a boss feels good. Praise from a peer feels awesome, especially when you look up to that person.

Remarkable employees recognize the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words is even greater.

5. And they privately complain. We all want employees to bring issues forward, but some problems are better handled in private. Great employees often get more latitude to bring up controversial subjects in a group setting because their performance allows greater freedom.

Remarkable employees come to you before or after a meeting to discuss a sensitive issue, knowing that bringing it up in a group setting could set off a firestorm.

6. They speak when others won’t. Some employees are hesitant to speak up in meetings. Some are even hesitant to speak up privately.

An employee once asked me a question about potential layoffs. After the meeting I said to him, “Why did you ask about that? You already know what's going on.” He said, “I do, but a lot of other people don't, and they're afraid to ask. I thought it would help if they heard the answer from you.”

Remarkable employees have an innate feel for the issues and concerns of those around them, and step up to ask questions or raise important issues when others hesitate.

7. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation often springs from a desire to show that doubters are wrong. The kid without a college degree or the woman who was told she didn't have leadership potential often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong.

Education, intelligence, talent, and skill are important, but drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job.

8. They’re always fiddling. Some people are rarely satisfied (I mean that in a good way) and are constantly tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, adjusting a process, tweaking a workflow.

Great employees follow processes. Remarkable employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can't help it.

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