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Sunday, May 02, 2010

ASB OD with Maybank

I haven't been blogging for quite some time and I don't really like that. I always believe that good bloggers need to blog on regular basis. I always enjoyed good blogs that I subscribe via my Google Reader. Blogging is like online freelance journalism. People will always come back for good journalism.

In order to kick start my blog running again, I shall try to blog every month. As time goes by, I shall try to blog every fortnight, before finally settling to blog every week (most ideal situation for myself). I don't really have that much time to blog usually, so I shall try to at least dedicate good 20 minutes to write every entry.

At the moment I am trying to get an Islamic overdraft (OD) with Maybank. After reading almost all ASB backed OD at Matjoe's blog. I decided that I shall give it a try. I am going for Islamic OD as I am kinda religious person (at least I like to think that I am) or more correctly, at any given time if I can get to use an Islamic product or alternative, I shall try. Before explaining further I suggest that you read Mat Joe's excellent write up on the issue.

Some of the challenge I have encountered during the whole process:

1) Less knowledgeable Loan Officer : 1st branch I go to was the Maybank branch at Sea Park (as it was near my house). I thought a place nearer should be better. The loan officer end up telling me that it is not possible to get an Islamic OD against ASB. However when I tried going to Bangsar's Maybank branch, the officer there informed me that it is actually possible, only that it has to be done manually therefore it shall take a longer time (a lot lot longer time as I soon discovered).

2) You will need to have a credit line more than RM10k. Maybank will give you a credit line or loan to a minimum of 10k meaning your ASB Certificate would need to be worth at least RM12k. I made a mistake of just making a 10k cert so I have to to up an make another Cert worth RM12k (costed me another RM10 & another LRT trip to PNB plus valuable time).

3) Maybank very slow.. Almost 1 month already from my ASB Cert date and I still yet to see any Loan Offer letter. However, only Maybank offers Islamic OD against ASB so far, therefore I am being very patient. I am not a big fan of Maybank actually, but my Saving Account is with Maybank along with my credit card. They do have good products line up but they customer service really suxx. What I do now is to call my loan officer every fortnight and ask him for an update. That's the only way to speed things up in a GLC, constant never ending follow ups (I should know better, I am working in one as we speak).

4) Higher profit rate: BFR - 0% instead of better rates by CIMB or RHB. Again the only bank to offer a product that you want rule.

I guess that's it for now, I shall update more should more progress comes my way. Hope you guys enjoy my long lost post =) Adios!~~

P/S: I took about 50 minutes to write this post. Got to think and type faster.

P/P/S: Next time I shall write about one of these topics 1) 0% Balance Transfer by Credit Cards, 2) My Current Credit card, 3) Random personal thoughts. Any preference you readers?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Who says you can't teach an old dog a new trick...

In case you're wondering when the heck did I get myself a dog, no I didn't. It's a metaphor and in this case it's my aging Toshiba Satellite 2410 (the dog) and Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron with NVidia GeForce 4 420 graphic card enabled (the trick).

I love my Toshiba laptop. It's my 1st laptop ever and costed me (rather, my father) a bomb back then. It was around when I met my syg and have been serving me obediently like a dog. However, if it's a dog it will be like 8 years old, matured yet healthy with slight limps here and there. List of defects; hinge broken (this little guy is on crutches, a stack of CD), DVD drive kaput, fan not working (on USB cooler pad 24/7), battery long time dead and even the CMOS battery needs changing. Occasionally I need to reset the BIOS clock & date.

So for the little trick I chose to install the Wubi for Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron. My good friend H & Z asked me, why 8.04, why not just get the latest version which is the 9.10 Karmic Koala? Well, my lappy is already like 8 years old and I wanted to get the earliest edition that can work on my laptop. Plus, it has Long Term Support until April 2011 which meant that technically Canonical will support it until then. Also, why Wubi and not dual boot? I can't even restore my laptop to factory default using CD restore (DVD kaput) and I still want to maintain my Windows XP so Wubi seems like the perfect choice for me.

Here is a list of tools I uses to make the installation work:
1) Ubuntu 8.04 LTS ISO
2) Wubi Installation Guide
3) Daemon Tools Lite
4) Guide to install NVidia driver by wkmiberly
5) Geforce Go 420 Nvidia 1.0-9631 Black Bar Fix

Let's go through this step by step:

Step 1
Download the Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron ISO files and the Daemon Tools Lite program. To download version 8.04, you will need to click at [Alternative download options, including Ubuntu installer for Windows] before the option to download it becomes available.

Step 2
In my case I needed the Daemon Tools to mount the ISO file, before running Wubi from the mounted ISO image in order to proceed with installation. My DVD drive is already kaput remember.

Step 3
Run Wubi installation from the mounted ISO image. Personally I allocated 8GB for the whole system, which I believe is more than enough. It will take time for it to completely install everything and it will prompt you to restart after some time. After restart, always remember to wait until the it prompt you to choose whether to boot Windows or Ubuntu and choose Ubuntu. Otherwise your lappy will boot into Windows by default.

Step 4
After you have succesfully install Ubuntu and logged in, it will prompt you that there are updates to be applied and also a restricted driver is available but not used (the NVidia driver). Better do the system updates 1st. It will download approximately 200+MB in order to update your Ubuntu so this will also take a while, depending on you internet connection. Restart will be required again.

Step 5

Now you will to install the NVidia driver. You can follow the guide on #4 on how to install it. I simply went to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers and check the button, close and save and it will install the related NVidia GLX driver. Hold down your horses mate, don't just restart you computer just yet after installation. You need to follow Step 6 first or otherwise you will get the dreaded black screen mentioned in the guide above.

Step 6
You need to add the following line in your xorg.conf file.
To edit your xorg.conf, type the following line in the Terminal.

sudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Just follow wkimberly post to add the following line in Section "Screen" of your xorg.conf

Option "UseDisplayDevice" "DFP-0"

You shall get the infamous black strips on the right of your screen after you restart.

Step 7
Now you will need to apply solution as suggested by EdWiget.name guide. When you try to run;


in the Terminal it will prompt that it is not installed yet. Just do as it recommend and run;

sudo apt-get install nvidia-settings

and it will install it accordingly and just follow EdWiget.name guide until the end. Voila!~~ When you restart the black strips will be gone and you would be able to run on resolution 1024x768.

Check out my new revived Toshiba~~ =)

Next, I shall pimp my Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron and show off the result to you guys. =) Till then, have fun!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Perth Trip Dec 09 (Part 6)

Day 9

Day 9 is quite interesting than previous day. Today on Friday, the Freematle Market is open (Fri, Sat, Sun) that's why we specifically set today as our day out to Freemantle. Freemantle Market is Malaysia's Central Market (CM); they sell crafts and stuff whilst not necessary the cheapest you can find around in Aussie. I believe it's built to cater tourist coming in during weekend. At the back of the market is a farmer's market where they sell fruit and vegetable fresh from the farm at reasonably cheaper price. Being fresh is the advantage here, nothing can beat fresh local produce like the Pasar Tani in Malaysia.

The second and more important visit is the borong souvenirs session. We stopped by E-Shed here and bought all our souvenirs need here. Here I bought Alia a Koala n Kangaroo teddy to compensate on my absent for almost 10 days now. I also managed to find a lovely kangaroo pouch for my sayang. Soon after, we had our seafood lunch by the jetty, very nice and fresh albeit being slightly more expensive than at Squid Shack. Afterwards, we made our way home without going to popular tourist attraction like Freemantle prison.

Day 10

We are supposed to go back today when we were offered to take monetary compensation by MAS instead if we could go home tomorrow instead. My parents and I both took the offer since tomorrow is still a Sunday and we have accomodation available here in Australia (extended crashing at my bro's place). You should see how happy my mum was, even yours truly. It's not everyday that people give you money for doing nothing so I just want to say Alhamdulillah. This must be how people who strike the lottery feels, best yet I don't even have to buy a lottery ticket (which cost money and is Haram anyway). They gave us a slip that we go to the travel exchange to exchange for cold hard cash. Free and easy..

I am also planning to claim against my insurance as well, on my estimate we might be able to get another RM250 each. So guys, I would recommend travel insurance if you're going anywhere next time. It's cheap, provide you with peace of mind, and even give you extra money for getting money from the airline. Say what..

Anyway, I am not quite sure what to do with the insurance money however, but I will figure it out later. But MAS money, I have reimburse Papa for my ticket coming here and split the balance with my wife. Some of you might not agree with me splitting the money with my wife, but it's just a small compensation for being away an extra day. Yes I love my dear wife very much =)

I guess that's it. I shall come up with expenses breakdown for your guide (if i am still berminat or not in workaholic mode) and paste inline website link on previous post. It's been nice writing out this travernal (travel journal), and I hope u enjoyed it too. Till next time Cheers Mate!!~~

Friday, December 11, 2009

Perth Trip Dec 09 (Part 5)

Day 7

It has been harder and harder for me to write entry as I became mentally and physically wary of all the holiday. I see myself as an avid workaholic and not working for almost 7 days is tiresome. However I had pledged to blog all the way, so blog I shall.

Since we're back in Perth city we had planned to visit Asro's faculty around this time. Asro gladly played the good host and showed us around the university. We took a few good pictures and proceeded to the bell tower of Perth, possibly the biggest musical instrument in the world. We didn't go up however, as the fare seems a bit expensive.

Day 8

As before on the previous day, we make a little bit tour to the city centre again. Today tour consist of going to the Perth Mint. After that we went to explore and shop around Hay Street. There's a little place called London gate along Hay Street which was very unique in styling. I believe I had bought enough souvenirs for everyone. As you can see that's not much I would like to blog nowadays, as the Perth city tour is pretty much the same. So I shall leave it at that. Ciao~~

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Perth Trip Dec 09 (Part 4)

Day 5

As I am writing this down, I kinda have lost track on how many days I have been here in Australia. I heard (also read from my wifey blog) that Alia have been going on and on about Kangaroo, Koala n Australia. Haha my little sayang is so cute, I guess I do owe her a trip here. Maybe I can organise a mini trip next year, budget permits.

Anyway on to my travel journal.. Gloucester Motel was the best place I guess, also the most expensive. The family suite comprises of two bedrooms that can fit 3 peoples each, so technically the accommodation is for 6 person. Imagine the space~ Btw, we checked out of the hotel by 10 am & checked out the world renowned Gloucester Tree, which is basically a giant Karri tree with platform on top of it for fire lookout in the early days. At first my inner King Scout instinct is boiling it's saying 'I must conquer the Gloucester Tree in order to prove my manhood'. However half way up I was already getting height fright and breathless and it dawned upon me that I'm no longer fit enough to go all the way up. Dang.. I need to work out more on my Wii. Maybe next time with Alia. =)

After that we went out and checked out the berry and lavender farm that was recommended by the hotel receptionist. She said that the pancake there is to die for. And so indeed, it was one of the most delicious pancake I have ever tasted ever. Yes ever. Enjoy the pic over here and feel the pancake. On my way out, I asked the girl at the counter to send my compliment to the chef (chewah macam makan hotel je) which turn out to be herself. I believe she was flattered and she deserved it, I hoped I made her day as she had mine, sweet, tasty, creamy and wonderful.

We headed to straight to Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse near Augusta, located at the most South Westerly point in Australia, where the Indian Ocean and the Southern Ocean meets. The sea breeze was crazy strong, I bet you can even set a wind farm here too and get lots of electrical juice oozing. The view was spectacular and I wished that I had a panorama capable camera which sadly the camera doesn't support not that I know of.

We decided to just check out one of the caves there although the entrance fee is quite expensive AUD20 per adult to be exact, and went straight to the Jewel Cave. It was quite fascinating that they managed to built a sturdy platform inside the caves without damaging it. I believe some of the caves in Malaysia can also be commercialised in such way to attract tourist. However it would require a proper fund from the govt, which will open up a whole different issue. Anyway, as a tribute to my LOTR reference, Mines of Moria guys..

Afterwards we checked into an amazing cottage called Bussels Bushland Cottages in Margaret River. The interior deco of the cottage is amazing and it even got a real life working fireplace and also, satellite TV. Just a nice touch of traditional and modern. As before I tried out my fire lighting scout skill and managed to make the fire burning for a while before it started to burn out. Man living in farmland sure is tough.

Day 6

We checked out of our last paid accommodation for the trip by 10 am. We went to a chocolate factory here in Margaret River and I bought some chocolate for souvenirs. Along the way Mama lost her spectacle somewhere and we back-tracked trying to find her specs. Sadly it remains missing. We headed straight to Busselton Jetty hoping to go in the underwater observatory. Alas it was closed for renovation work so I have to settle for some photos near the part of the jetty that is still open.

We headed back to Perth and visited Fizah later that night. Fizah is the daughter of Pakcik Zaki, a family friend of my parent. She's studying for Master here in University of Western Australia, the university where my dear Kaklin is supposed to further her studies next year. They were very welcoming, even though we had dropped by on short notice, and even cooked us some meehoon. We went to take a beautiful night scene on top of King's Park, which is kinda like Hyde Park for Londoners. The view of Perth City from the top of the park is amazing and I have to say that the picture didn't do justice to the actual scene.

As I wrote this entry, I realised that we haven't took any picture with Fizah. Hmm.. Anyway, till my next blog guys. Adios..

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Perth Trip Dec 09 (Part 3)

Day 4

I think I have write up quite a bit for day 4 journal in Papa's laptop, however it turn out jumbled up. Maybe because I didn't manage to save properly before the laptop shut down. Anyway here I am typing it all over again. We started our day checking out from Albany Inn and we headed straight to Denmark (an actual city in Australia not a country in Europe). Here we stopped by the town centre and checked out the largest barometer in the world, the Bert Bolle barometer. Every 6 minutes, air will be pumped out of the water to create a vacuum. As the water level rises, it boils when it reaches the top of the barometer, even though the temperature is only 20 Degree Celcius. Amazing!

After talking to the information centre, they recommended us to go to one of the animal petting farm nearby. It was such a great experience. We were given a bag of pellet each to feed the animal. There were quite a variety of animals they have over there, my favourite will be the Koala, Kangaroo and Alpaca. All the Koala did was sleep sleep sleep and eat and then back to sleep. I wish my life was like that. I was quite an experience to able to touch as well as to hug these animals. I do wish I could bring my family here, especially Alia. I know for a fact that she will be very happy.

After that we headed to the valley of the giant tree. They made a fascinating suspended steel bridge in the middle of the forest. You can practically touch the top branch of the tree and the view of the forest from up there, I'm lost for world. I could almost imagine myself like Merry and Pippin riding up the enormous Ent ready to make battle with Saruman's Uruk Hai. I believe they do have this in Malaysia but none were built as sturdy yet simple like this.

Then we're off to Gloucester Motel in Pemberton. It's quite late now (1am to be exact) so I shall update this tomorrow. Till then, ciao!~~~

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Perth Trip Dec 09 (Part 2)

Day 2

I bet you guys are eager to find out where little Frodo had gone today. We woke up early and headed south, on our way to Albany via Albany Highway. It takes 4 hour to reach there and I have to say that the journey was very long. However we got an extra virgin Toyota Corrola with only 1000KM in and it was a spanking smooth rides. It got auto cruise and rented GPS navigator. I enjoyed the ride very much. If only it could drive itself like Bumblebee and kick Decepticon arse while at it.

On the way, we passed through Mount Barker and stopped by a Cherry farm. The lovely madam showed us around the farm and thought us how to pick cherries. You will be suprised that there is an art on picking cherries. If you pick cherries, you shouldn't accidentally nip the bud otherwise it will not grow cherries the next blossoming round. We came in with the intention to pick the cherries ourselves, but we weren't allowed to because of this reason. The farm lady was very cheerful and friendly though and we bought about 1kg of cherries from her.

Next up we went straight to Albany and checked in to the Albany Discovery Inn. Lovely place with good interior deco. Do check out the pics. The innkeeper was friendly and helpful and recommended a fish and chip place at Emu Point. Yum yum, the fish and squid is delicious and fresh, made using locally captured fish and squids. The squid just melt in your mouth like butter. I can't explain it better, you just have to taste it yourself. We went to go for a lookout at Melvin Road, on one of the highest peak of Albany overlooking the city just after sunset. Marvellous view. You can even see the Albany Wind Farm, which we are going to go tomorrow from afar.

Day 3

The next morning we went straight to the wind farm at Sand Patch road. It's kinda cool, cos when I studied in Imperial, my final year project is regarding the wind power turbine. I consider myself a Gaia Capitalist (thank you Richard Branson) and very pro environmentalist and idolises Al Gore. I believe I'm the only person in my office who make it a point to print on unused side of recycled paper. This trip really excites me. There are 12 wind turbines operational in the farm with total power generated around 20MW enough to power 15k Western Australia (WA) homes for 20 years (yes I memorised it, and yes I'm a geek). I didn't get a chance to go to a wind farm in UK so this trip meant a lot to me (we did planned to go but there was no takers. As you would have guess, students are always broke and they rather spend their money buying beers rather than looking at some giant windmill).

After that we went and tapau some lunch at Squid Shack. We went to the Gap and Natural Bridges along with the Blowhole and Salmon Hole in the Torndirrup National Park. The Gap is actually a beatiful rock formation at one of the coastline and the Natural Bridge is a natural stone bridge that connects a "gap". No, the Blowhole is not what you think it is (notti boy), it is actually a gap on a rock formation blows jet of water as big waves crashes on the rock, and the water get force into these natural tunnel and gushes up in the air. Try to imagine the top of a whale which sometimes blow jets of water up in the air, but on a rock instead. Sadly it didn't "blow" today as the waves did not pound against the rock hard enough. That's just sound weird, hehehe..

Lastly, the Salmon Hole is not exactly a hole, but a quiet and nice beachside kinda like a lagoon where the salmon sometimes passes by to look for shallow water. Alas we didn't bring any spare short and shirt so we didn't go for a dip. After that we went all the way to a blueberry farm in Denmark (no it's a place in Australia, not a country in Europe) and just make it there around 3.30pm before it closes at 4pm. This time we got to pick the berries ourselves and even get a discount for doing it. I bought my lovely wife a jar of blueberry jam (wait for it honey).

Later that evening, the town centre of Albany is having a Christmas Pageant (read: parade). It's kinda nice for them to organise it, kinda like a small community activity in the suburban area. We stayed and watched for a bit before going back to the inn. I still have like 4 hours worth of free internet coupon and intended to use it tonight as we're checking out tomorrow. That's the reason I'm putting up this post now. Anyway, I shall update again as I go along and till then Adios Mate!~~