Friday, September 29, 2006

I Hate The Federal Highway

It's almost a week now I'm practicing fasting which I do every year. I now must leave my office before 5pm to avoid the traffic jam in KL City. I hate driving in the traffic jam because it is a waste of my petrol money I've poured in for my car. Take a look at this video taken by some dude at PJ Hilton Hotel. The building is just nearby my building and it has a good view of how the Federal Highway looks like when it is jammed pack.

Happy fasting to all my muslim friends

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Broad Horizon Vs Narrow Horizon

Once in a while, I go to this cycle of complacency. It happens to all of us whether we are poor, middle class or rich. The reason is because we have our own comfort zone and we love the feeling of having security in our lives. The cycle would then goes down and this is where I feel the urgency to take charge of my life and start to change. However, the sensation feeling is short lived and later on, I would be back again with my same old routine and habits. I’m not really sure I love or hate this type of cycle but I do know that I badly need to change.

I just finished watching the final episode of Third Watch on my free national television. Did some searching on Google and found out that Third Watch started airing the show since September 1999 and ended on April 2005. I loved that show very much eventhough it may be fictional, but it gives you a glimpse of what going on in the real world or at least what is happening out there. Plus on every episode, there will be a moral of a story usually subconsciously embedded.

Going back to the head title of my post. I guess you all heard that we need to diversify in order to survive or you need to take risk or don’t put all your eggs on one basket, spread it. These advices are all given by so called experts. Do they really apply them in real life, I’m not so sure about that. From my experience here is what I’ve found.

I had this idea of setting up websites and blogs for specific niches. I did all the research, set up plans and draft out some process plan. Unfortunately, the plan remains on the piece of paper I’ve drafted and never went out for production. What was I’ve been doing wrong? It then hit me when I’ve been reading other blogs that we are all given the same equal amount of time in a day. The one who can position and leverage what they do is the one who will be on top of what they do. So, what leverage do you have right now? Me, I underutilizing the leverage I have so most probably I need to sharpen the skill that I have with me.

The other thing that really bugs me is, should I be focusing broadly or narrowly. My career seems to not going anywhere simply because I’m doing all kind of jobs in all kind of direction. Having focused on too many things lead to my failure for advancement. I do think I need to reprioritize my goal and most importantly write it down and recite it everyday. Normally we fail to do that when complacency starts kicking in.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

How To Produce A Quick Business Proposal in 2 hours

Today, I had a presentation meeting for my company with avery big well known organization. Well, thanks to one of our competitors whoever they are, we won’t even have to finish up the presentation.However, we had to come out with a proposal for them.

In the company where I work, I’m the only person who is qualified and has been doing the dirty work of producing countless proposals for the past nearly 2 years. Normally, my boss write up most of the proposal but eventually I am the one who had to edit and proofread whatever he had wrote. Sometimes,he will come to me and ask for what sentence should he use to write. His spelling and grammar is the worst I’ve ever read. I’m not sure of because of my blogging skills built up during the years has improved my writing, but I do know that I can write many times better than my boss. There are times he spent hours and hours just for 2-3 pages on a proposal. I could just have just crank it out in just a few minutes if he just had the courtesy to pay me or give me a raise or something. For whatever reason, I still need his approval before whatever proposal under the company's name can be submitted.

So how do you write a quick business proposal for a client in 2 hours? My advice is very different from a conventional book or articles. Here is 10 bulleted points of what you should have before you can write a quickbusiness proposal:

  • You need to have an extensive amount of details over what you are going to propose
  • You are able to use Microsoft Word or whatever word processor, like the back of your hand
  • You need to be able to handle the printers in case of something goes wrong while printing
  • You are comfortable in crafting out formal sentences
  • You can mix and match the details and customize it according to the client’s need
  • You need to keep track of all the documents you have
  • You need to be able proofread the entire documents on screen quickly
  • You have done countless of mistake on countless of writings before
  • You are able to multitask by opening up a lot of active tabs on your windows taskbar
  • You can handle the application crashes if it happens

Now there you have it. There is no short cut if you wantto be good in something. You have to spend time and effort in whatever things you do.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Yahoo Photos Phishing Prevention

In early May 2006, I lost my almost 10 year old Yahoo Account to a phishing site which looked exactly the same as a login for Yahoo Photo. Wondering what lies behind the site, I simply key in my yahoo account information eventhough I was logged in to Yahoo on a different tab. 10 minutes later, I was automatically logged out involuntarily. I tried to log in again but didn't succeeded. Tried to recover my password but the phishing system was way too advance to scramble my information detail. Searched for some hackers but they charged a hefty $150 for one account but I have doubt that these hackers will just take away my money, steal all the details on my address book and emails and laugh at all my emails. So, I had to let go of my Yahoo Account permanently.

After so much of waiting, finally Yahoo introduced a new system that could actually prevent you from the phishing site:

Yahoo Account Phising prevention

Basically, what this thing do is it labels your Yahoo login site with your own colour and label tab. The step below is how you do it.

Making the tabs

First you can choose whether to have a seal text or an image seal tab.

Choosing a colour scheme

For my login, I chose to have an image and the colour red.

Adding an authentic photo

An authentic and legitimate seal for my Yahoo login.

Final result

The only problem is it's limited to your browser of choice and it can only use on your own computer. Let me elaborate on that, I use Flock and Firefox both at the same time. The image seal above is created for my Flock browser. My Firefox browser doesn't have the seal. So, this mean it must be configured to each and every browser that you use. Still, it's a good practice to prevent your account from being phished. Yahoo is now using Ajax in it's web application. They are now are almost cool as Google. We'll see a lot of features from Yahoo in the next few months till 2007. Untill then, stay cool..

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I Waited 53 Days For My Car

I can't believe I've waited 53 days for my red Proton Iswara Aeroback 1.3 to get restored back to its working condition. That is equivalent to almost 2 months of waiting. On the 4th of July 2006, my car got robbed under the sunny daylight at the DBKL car park of KTM Komuter Segambut Station. You can read all about it here. My car is covered under Kurnia Motor Insurance since it is still under finance of a bank. I didn't fork out any money because I have agreed and gave the permission for the workshop appointed by the Kurnia to take care of my car.

After getting my car out of the police station, I waited patiently and made regular calls to the workshop who is charge of the process. Unfortunately, I was turned down regularly by the delay the Kurnia Insurance adjuster. The workshop told me that it is normal for that to happen and they are working hard to push them to make the claim approval quick. Well, that didn't happen. I'll summarize the entire wait I had to endure:
  • 5/7 - 31/7 (27 days)
  • 1/8 - 10/8 (10 days)
  • 11/8 (the day Kurnia approve my claim)
  • 12/8 - 26/7 (15 days of waiting for the appointed workshop to restore my car)
The claim that Kurnia Insurance awarded me was RM3800 gross. I don't really want to know how much is the exact cost the workshop spent for my car because I'll be wasting my time just to find that information. Beside, I haven't spent anything eversince the incident occured back in July. I just wanted to get my car back so that I can hit the road again. A piece of advice, better send an e-mail to Kurnia Insurance rather than calling them. For some reason, it's very difficult to get through their operators.

Look at the images I've compiled below:

My Proton Iswara Aeroback Restored 1
View from the rear
My Proton Iswara Aeroback Restored 2
The driver's seat view
My Proton Iswara Aeroback Restored 3
All done and nice.

I also updated and made a new gallery for the above pictures taken. You can access it using the links below:

My insurance coverage will be expiring by December 2006. I think I'm going to change insurance company due to my policy expiration. I recently find that there are so many motor insurance packages available and the banks are also offering such packages. The insurance industry is really taking off at such rapid pace these days. Unfortunately, I wish they pace up their process instead of taking such a long time. Mine was 37 days before the claim got approved after all the required documents were submitted.

One more thing was, a week after I've picked up my car from the workshop. I received a phone call from the workshop and they told me that I need to send the car back to their workshop for a re-inspection of the insurance company. So, I sent the car to them last Thursday. Kurnia Insurance procedures is really strange. I think it's time to change to another insurance company in hope for a better service.

In the future, I think I'm going to try my best to avoid any engagement that involve insurance companies.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

International Hacking Competition 2006 at UiTM

Yesterday after my Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) class, I went to an event at the main hall of the university. If you didn't know, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) was my former university where I did my diploma there. During my years there, the facilities were being upgraded and there were a lot of development for new building and infrastructure. I could only experience a few of them before I finished my studies there back in 2003. This year, I'm back again as a student eventhough I'm not taking a major course.

The event I went was:

International Hacking Competition 2006

You can click on the image above to see some pictures the student have taken. I'm just giving out my reviews on what I saw and experience yesterday. Firstly, I wonder why they call it 'International Hacking Competition' when there was no international people participating. However, I do want to congratulate the effort that was done by the organizers. There were a few other organizations that opened up their booth. I didn't go the talks they've conducted because of time constraint but I wish I had went to the 'hacking class' on Friday.

Overall, I could see how hacking is an interesting subject. Hacking is not a bad thing, it maybe useful in an event of certain circumstances. I can pretty much do hacking myself given time and determinations. Hacking is learnable if you have the will, the brain power and creativity to resort on other alternatives. The key is to try, try and try until you succeed. You'll never know what you can achieve when you never done it. So, DO IT!!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Experiencing Back The Bus Ride in Kuala Lumpur

It's the month of September already. My schedule are so packed already eventhough it's a new month. Anyway, I got back my car after nearly 2 months of waiting for it to be restored. I'll write about my restored car it in my next post.

Last 26th August 2006, since nobody was available to send me to pick up my car at Setapak (the workshop appointed under my insurance policy) I decided to go to the place by bus. Eversince Rapid KL took over from Intrakota, I have no idea of how their latest bus fare is like. So, I did a bit of digging on the net before I got on the bus, but the official website of Rapid KL is so confusing. The maps were too small for me to see and it dissapointed me because I had to search for the information. I have no clue about their bus sytem eventhough I got off the bus. I then found that Wikipedia provide a better more comprehensible information about Rapid KL System. I'm puzzled of why is a big corporate government owned body could not provide the essential information about their own services on their own website. Why?

How To Get To Taman Danau Kota From Sungai Mas Plaza, Jalan Ipoh.

I live nearby Sg. Mas Plaza, Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur. The bus station is a 10 minutes walk from my house. It would cost me RM3 if I were to take a taxi just to get to get to the bus stand. This is the landmark of my place:

Sungai Mas Plaza, Jalan Ipoh Kuala Lumpur

Here is the place where I took the Rapid KL bus. It is one the hub in my area:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The routes available here are:

210: Sungai Mas - Taman Batu/Taman Muda/Ampat Tin - Warta Lama
222: Sungai Mas - Jinjang Utara/Taman Beringin
225: Sungai Mas - Taman Bukit Permai
234: Titiwangsa - Jalan Ipoh - Sungai Mas
236: Sungai Mas - Jalan Kepong - Metro Prima

I need to go to Titiwangsa and switch to another bus to get to Taman Danau Kota. Here's the bus I took:

Rapid KL Bus no. 234

The journey then took about 20 minutes before I arrived at Titiwangsa bus stand. I was glad that the bus stick with its routine unlike the old days where some buses waited for people to cramp into the bus before they took off.

Rapid KL Bus Stand at Titiwangsa

At first I thought I just paid the bus fares once and I can just go anywhere using the ticket I bought for the whole day. That is what Rapid KL advertised on the radio, television and their brochures or billboard. I then found out that it was just for certain travel within the zone. I got confused but I paid the fares while switching the bus. I couldn't figure out what buses is available at Titiwangsa because there were too many of them.

Spotting the colour code on Rapid KL Bus

The above picture is how to spot the colour codes that Rapid KL has implemented in their network routes. To read more about the colour codes, read all about it here.

Rapid KL bus tickets

The above image was the ticket I bought. To get to Titiwangsa, I paid RM1 which I can use to get back to where I was from. I then bought the RM2 to get to the destination to pick up my car.

The Rapid KL Bus Environment

I didn't sweat much since the bus is air conditioned and it was comfortable enough despite of the crowd. If I'm not mistaken, I took the bus number T20 (Titiwangsa Jln Pahang - Jln Genting Kelang - LRT Wangsa Maju Giant: Hulu Kelang). The journey lasted around 15 minutes.

My restored red proton iswara aeroback

Glad to found my car has been restored before I went up to the workshop's office. I don't really mind walking a few distance as long I can get there. The whole journey took me about 55 minutes. Compared that to if I'm driving, I could have save 20 minutes. Oh well, at least is comfortable and safer than riding the motorcycle. I saw two minor motorcycle accident this week. I also save money by taking the bus. A taxi ride would have cost me around RM20 from my house to the destination I was heading.

As a conclusion, I still prefer if I had the bus information earlier instead of trying to figure it out by asking people and observation.