Tuesday, January 29, 2019

PTPTN announced 2018 dividend for SSPN-i and SSPN-i Plus

The Malaysia National Higher Education Fund (Perbadanan Tabung Pendidikan Tinggi Nasional, PTPTN) has just announced dividend for year 2018 for the education savings schemes SSPN (Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional, consists of SSPN-i and SSPN-i Plus) on 29 January 2019.

The 2018 SSPN dividend payout rate is 4%, amounting to RM114.55 million. This rate is the same as previous payout for 2015-2017.

On top of that, SSPN-i account holders may also receive an extra 0.5% on top of the annual dividend of 4% that is deposited into their accounts under the newly launched SSPN-i Loyalty Rewards scheme.

The eligibility to receive this SSPN-i Loyalty Rewards extra 0.5% dividend is:

  • Account has been opened before year 2016.
  • Consistent new deposit has been made during year 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • No withdrawal has been made during year 2016, 2017 and 2018.
  • Minimum balance in account is at least RM1,000 by 31 December 2018.
  • Accumulate at least RM500 new deposit into the account during 1 January 2019 until 30 April 2019.
  • The 0.5% dividend is given for the amount of new deposit during 1 January 2019 until 30 April 2019.
  • Maximum amount to be given would be RM8,000 per account.

In 2018, the amount of deposits in  SSPN was RM1.13 billion, with 678,829 new accounts opened by depositors.

According to PTPTN, the number of SSPN accounts opened to date is 3.91 million, with deposits amounting to about RM4.5 billion.

Historical SSPN-i dividend payout rate is as below:
  • 2018: 4.00%
  • 2017: 4.00%
  • 2016: 4.00%
  • 2015: 4.00%
  • 2014: 4.25%
  • 2013: 4.25%
  • 2012: 4.25%
  • 2011: 3.75%
  • 2010: 3.25%
  • 2009: 2.50%
  • 2008: 4.00%
  • 2007: 4.00%
  • 2006: 4.00%
  • 2005: 4.00%
  • 2004: 3.00%

You can proceed to the Online SSPN-i Statement of Account website for checking of the transactions and amount of savings in your kid's SSPN account.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Fixed MySQL Workbench installation problem with missing Visual C++ Redistributable package (2015)

MySQL Workbench is a very useful unified visual tool for database architects, developers, and DBAs working on MySQL and/or MariaDB. It provides data modeling, SQL development, and comprehensive administration tools for server configuration, user administration, backup, etc.

MySQL Workbench Community Edition is free for use, which you can download from MySQL website. It is available for MS Windows, Ubuntu Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux Fedora and macOS X.

MySQL Workbench is a very good companion to work together with Laragon. In fact, it is among the few (if not the only) free MySQL database administration tools that is able to let user design database with EER diagram and also able to reverse engineer the tables of existing database into EER diagram. This feature is normally available only in the commercial version of other database administration tools.

If you are using Windows 10 and trying to install MySQL Workbench version 8, you might hit with a error during installation saying that Visual C++ Redistributable package (2015) is missing, and you need to install that before you're able to proceed to install MySQL Workbench.

Unfortunately, this problem cannot be simply resolved by installing Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package (2015), because the installer program will tell you that it has already been installed.

In fact, this problem is caused by the newer Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package (2017) already installed in your Windows system. Its installation might have deleted some registry keys used by the Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable.

The solution is to repair the installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (note: not to install or repair the 2015 redistributable, but the 2017 one). It is advisable to repair both the x64 and x86 versions of Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable.

To do so, go to Windows System > Control Panel > Uninstall a program and locate for Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (x64). Right click on it and select Change (note: is Change, not Uninstall). Then click the Repair button to start the repair process.

You might be required to reboot your Windows at the end of the process.

When it is done, continue to do the same for Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable (x86).

After this, try to install MySQL Workbench again. The installation process should be OK now.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Converting video files to be playable from USB drive in Toyota PX-3834A-I display audio head unit

The Toyota PX-3834A-I display audio is the stock DVD-AVX head unit of Toyota Vios 1.5L E/G variants.

It is able to play the following multimedia files in a USB thumb drive:

  • Audio music in MP3 (*.mp3), WMA (*.wma) or AAC (*.m4a) format
  • Video in XVID (*.avi or *.mp4) or MPEG (*.mpg) format
  • Picture in JPEG (*.jpg) format
For audio files to be playable, they need to have a sample rate between 8,000 Hz to 48,000 Hz and bit rate between 16 kbps to 320 kbps.

For video files to be playable, they need to have a frame size of either 720x480 (4:3 NTSC) or 720x576 (5:4 PAL).

When the car parking handbrake is engaged, the video will display on the screen, otherwise, there will be a statement on screen saying that the video will not be displayed while driving, while the music in the video still continue playing. This is a safety feature so that the driver will focus on driving instead of watching video on the screen.
In order for any video to be playable in this Toyota PX-3834A-I head unit, the easiest way is to convert it into MPG format with the following custom settings:
Conversion can be done using a free software called Freemake Video Converter. Alternatively, you can also use another free software called Format Factory to do the conversion.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Benefits of Honda Insurance Plus (HIP) package compared with other insurers

Malaysia Honda car owners have the option to renew their car insurance with authorized Honda dealer under Honda Insurance Plus (HIP) package , or to renew it themselves with general insurance company.

The price of HIP is generally higher than other insurers. In addition, most general insurance company will give a 10% discount if you renew your car insurance with them online, using their website without going through any insurance agent.

Anyhow, below are the benefits of HIP compared with other insurers:

Underwriting Terms:

No excess clause up to 10 years. The insurance policy covers 100% of the cost of any accident repair to your Honda car.

Other insurers may impose excess or even decline based on age of vehicle, vehicle model, age of insured and/or claims history.

Agreed Value:

100% sum insured up to 10 years. The sum insured is based on purchase price for 1st year, and subsequently based on recommended Insurance Service Malaysia (ISM) valuation price.

100% pay-out for theft or total loss.

Other insurers' agreed value might be unconditional based on market value.

Betterment Charges:

HIP betterment charges for old car repairs up to 10 years:
  • 1st to 10th year = 0%
Other insurers betterment charges for old car repairs:
  • 1st to 4th year = 0%
  • 5th year = 15%
  • 6th year = 20%
  • 7th year = 25%
  • 8th year = 30%
  • 9th year = 35%
  • 10th year and above = 40%

Body & Parts Replacements:

Honda genuine body and parts replacements with 6 months warranty or 10,000km service warranty.

Road Assistance:

Round-trip free towing service up to 450km. Free labour for roadside repair service up to RM200 per event.

HIP 24/7 emergency assistance contact: 1800-18-1177.

Free towing service and/or roadside repair service varies among other insurers. Some may not be available.

Claim Approval:

Speedy claim approval for value under RM20,000 for the vehicle repaired at Honda Authorized Body & Paint Centre.

Other insurers follow standard claim procedure which may take up longer time.

Other Services:
  • One stop centre
  • Road tax renewal
  • NCD withdrawal
  • Policy cancellation to transfer NCD
  • Issue cover note for change of engine / chasis / vehicle number
  • Assist in issue cover note for the extension of period of cover
  • Advice on the insurance rules & regulations
Which the insured might need to carry out the tasks by themselves if insured with other insurers.

However, HIP policy excludes the following:
  • Own death or bodily injury
  • Liability against claim from your passengers
  • Theft of non-factory fitted vehicle accessories unless otherwise declared
  • Consequential losses, depreciation, wear & tear, mechanical or technical breakdown failures
  • Loss/damage arising from an act of nature
Also, when your vehicle is driven by an unnamed driver or a person who is under the age of 21 or a holder of a Provisional/Probation Driving License, the compulsory excess of RM400 is applicable in the event of claim.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Laragon the free WAMP platform better than XAMPP, WampServer, etc.

The Windows-Apache-MySQL-PHP or Windows-Apache-MariaDB-PHP (WAMP) is a web application server platform running on Microsoft Windows operating system, derived from the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP (LAMP) platform.

In most cases, the LAMP platform is used for production server of web applications, while the WAMP platform is used as local development environment for web application programmers who work on Windows computer. Even so, the WAMP platform can also be used for production server.

XAMPP and WampServer are among the most popular WAMP environment that is free for use. There are many more options available in the market, both free and commercial, including the younger Laragon.

For Apple Mac OS users, there is also a MAMP platform available in both free and commercial Pro option.

I found Laragon to be better than XAMPP and WampServer, because it is very easy to install, very straightforward to use, very flexible to turn features and plugins on/off, very easy to setup new project, and it comes with a unique auto virtual host feature to give each project a nice URL to access from web browser. More importantly, it is lightweight and usually consume less than 4MB RAM when running, the servers are fast to start and be in up-and-running state. Its PHP execution is also pretty fast compared with other WAMP platforms.

The list of services to be started by Laragon can be easily selected in the preference page. You can also modify the default running TCP port at ease.

Laragon WAMP comes pre-installed with Apache, MySQL, Nginx, PHP, Node.js, Redis, Memcached, yarn + ngrok, git, HeidiSQL, Notepad++, etc.

HeidiSQL Portable is its default database tool to access and administer the MySQL. The popular phpMyAdmin can also be automatically downloaded included with a simple mouse click.

Additional services such as MongoDB, PostgreSQL, Python, etc. can be easily installed and added with a single mouse click from the Tools > Quick Add menu.

PHP extensions can be easily switched on/off in the PHP > Extensions menu.

To start new project with popular content management system or PHP framework such as WordPress, Drupal, Laravel, Symfony, etc. is also a breeze. With a single mouse click in the Quick App menu, the framework will be automatically downloaded and installed by Laragon.

Even if you choose to start with blank project, an empty database schema is automatically created for you in MySQL.

Laragon supports multiple versions of Apache, MySQL and/or PHP, which you can select which version to run for your project. Editing their INI configuration file can also be easily done in Laragon.

You can click here to download and install Laragon into your Windows computer.

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