Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Two nights ago right before the day I'm starting my new job, there was chaos on my neighbourhood. Well, actually it was everywhere in KL I supposed. From what I heard, that night was a night to chase away the sky devil. So, the fireworks were intended to do the jobs. There was also "Flying Tanglungs" decorating the sky. I'm not so sure if it is correct or not, but every year I keep seeing more and more of these fireworks. The most interesting part, there was also fireworks during "Hari Raya Aidil Fitri".

Anyway, I was wide awake during the firework display just outside of my bedroom windows. So, again after Chinese New Year 2007 Firework Display, I present 3 more videos I shot during the night's firework show that lasted almost an hour:




Oh well, nothing much happened. Let's see another one:




My car is parked just in front of outside my house. Lucky these people didn't played with big firecrackers or something could have happen to it.




I got crazy and just enjoyed the show.




It didn't stop there as there were 3 places where the fireworks was launched. It was a really busy night.

Either way, I still had a good night sleep after all the fireworks settled. Looking for more fireworks next year.

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/27/2007 07:56:00 am | 0 comments
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Last July 2006, I got a call from True Fitness and invited me for a tour and a free pass to try out their facilities for one week. I chickened out from them after looking at the price. I've blogged about it: Are You Health Conscious?.

Last Thursday, I got a call from True Fitness again. They are again inviting me to come and pick up their 1 week free trial pass. Only this time, they have a system that sends out SMS to remind you of the appointment you made with one of their consultants. I missed my appointment I made on last Friday evening because my boss had a farewell evening tea for me. Yesterday, they called me up again and scheduled another appointment. I was hesitant at first but thinking about it, "Oh what the heck!". The appointment was made this morning at 11am.

I think I should take back what I've said in my previous post by just save your money and jog some place free. If you have the time and money, go ahead and become a gym member (No sales commission for me though). Your health is far more important than your money. It is so easy to crawl back into your unhealthy lifestyle especially for a TV potato couch like myself. At my former office, there is a gym and a swimming pool just 4 floors below that I can just pop in and work out. I never did. Tomorrow, I'm going to work at a new office and that place is also equipped with a gym and swimming pool (I'm just so lucky, don't you think? hehe..). Hopefully, I could make use of it wisely before I consider a paid gym membership.

So, back to gym tour. Again, I had another tour with the gym consultant by the name of Kimy. He's a nice Malay dude (skinny like me also) and I was really comfortable with him. During the tour, I did noticed a couple of new machines and here a tip, if you don't like the crowd when you want to work out, crawl out from your bed and come do it on a Sunday morning. There is less crowd during that time. I also had a 'fat test' where I scored "Acceptable". I think I should increase that level to "Good" and build up more muscle to gain more weight.

Now comes the hard part, pricing. After Kimy did his True Fitness presentation, he did the dissapearing act and call upon his manager. His manager came out and discussed about the price that would be affordable for me. There was a joining fee of RM500 and RM140 processing fees. All that was slashed and I only need to pay a RM50 deposit to secure a price of RM159 per month. Their price has now gone up from the last time I went there. I thought they are going to lower their price as more and more people are signing up with them. Anyway, they preferred paying using credit cards, unfortunately I don't have one. I then managed to talk to Kimy to hold on to that price until I have the cash to pay up for the membership. However, I finally got my free 1 week trial pass for me to use all of their gym facilities.


I then tried working out using the threadmill and a ski running machine. My leg trembled after that since I have long never went on working out. I think I should cut a few hours of watching TV and plan out more time for working out.

By the way, while Kimy was giving me the presentation in the lounge, there was a couple in front of me across the table and the guy I saw look really familiar. I'm not really sure if he was the guy since he wasn't with his girlfriend or maybe his girlfriend looks different or so. Furthermore, I've never even met the guy yet but he has an awesome blog. The guy was wearing a sleeveless shirt and a short (black and dark blue), a pair of rimless spectacles and some big sized sport shoes. Elaneman, was that you?

Stay healthy and prosperous everyone.

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/25/2007 03:47:00 pm | 6 comments
Saturday, February 24, 2007
There an old saying which I find very important relating to jobs: "If you're the smartest person where you work, quit". What does that mean? Basically - if you work with people smarter than you, you'll learn a lot. If you don't, you won't.

I'm finally glad I am officially resigned from my job right now. Eventhough I got a new job waiting ahead of me, I'm taking the liberty of having the 'jobless status' over the weekend. I sure feel very relieved as the burden on my shoulder is now gone. However, I do expect to receive calls from my replacement who will be asking on what to do and stuff she is still struggling to understand, it doesn't bother me anymore as I am feeling happy right now.

Alright, let's see what my role are and what I've done for the former company that I have served for 27 months or 2 years and 3 months:
  • Taking over the technical role of the company by learning the software solution that the company represents. (December 2004)
  • Taking over the reception/administration role of the company by learning book keeping, documents filing, preparing payroll and doing clerical work such as proposal and edit and proofreading the boss's marketing letter and proposals. (February 2005)
  • Brought in some help (my brother) into the company to assist me on technical support. (March 2005)
  • Single handedly developed the company's website which includes a wordpress blog. (April 2005)
  • Brought in another help (a girl I met on Friendster) on board the company to assist me on book keeping and reception. (May 2005)
  • Organized a 1 week training session for one of the company's client at Intekma Resort Shah Alam. (May 2005)
  • Cleaned up and packed all the company's stuff and documents to a temporary office in Subang. (June 2005)
  • Took up an IT practical student from a polytechnic after my book keeping staff resigned. (July 2005)
  • Moved to a brand new office suite at Amcorp Mall, PJ. (September 2005)
  • Took up another IT practical student from a local private institution. (October 2005) *These practical students are sometime worthless, they don't have their own initiative and needed to be spoon fed. What's going on with them?
  • Became a project coordinator for one of the company's client doing IT implementation. (October 2005 - April 2006) *The project was discontinued for some odd reasons.
  • Pulled in a good friend of mine into the company to become a data entry officer for the IT Project. (January 2006)
  • Prepared countless of proposals and marketing letter for the boss and sent it out.
  • Update the company's websites and the blog.
  • Taking care of technical documentations eventhough I have no idea at first.
  • Resolved technical problems concerning the company's computers and internal network.
  • Taking any inbound calls for the office.
  • And other stuff which can be endless to list here...
Wow..that's a lot of stuff that I have done. The price paid for the job I did was only RM27,000 for approximately 27 months. Quite cheap don't you think so? Even my replacement is going to get paid RM18,000 per year. I wonder how am I going to get a cheap labour guy like that for my own company when I have one. Oh well, I could have make more money if I went to a bigger company. My friend all thought me as crazy for doing such high valued job for a fraction of the price. Just as the saying "If you're the smartest person where you work, quit", I kind of feel used by my company furthermore underpaid. I do feel stressed out knowing about that but I am still determined to think that there must be something rewarding awaits me after this. Maybe there is in my next new job next week, we'll see.

Here's some slide show pictures of me at my former company:





So, what do you think of my former office? Anyway, if you need some inspiration regarding careers and jobs read Technical Revenue: Why I Work At Google by Paul Tyma, a Google Inc. employee. They are in on different level. Gosh..how I envy them!

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/24/2007 01:46:00 am | 0 comments
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Back in 2004, after failing through my telemarketing job. I went on pursuing my interest in the personal development world by attending free seminars around KL city. Most of the seminars that I went involves on wealth creation as I was crazy to get rich back then. Although I still dream of becoming rich which so many of us do, I now like to keep it real and just consider money as just a financial tool to get what we want. The first sales job that I went promise an income of RM2,000 to RM4,000 per month by just being on the phone. I then realized that I hate telemarketing and most of all cold calling. It just gives me the creep to call an unknown person and sell them stuff which even myself doesn't have yet. If you are an extrovert person, I think you'll have no problem to warm up your conversation.

Enough of crapping out. Here's a video which took me a whole day to convert and then upload it to Google Video (I'll write about "How I convert from VCD to MPEG format to upload to YouTube or Google Video" later). It's a 30 minutes preview video that was normally shown before you came into the introduction seminar. I got a hold of the VCD while working with Marco Robinson. I Hope it would be useful to share this video with all of you readers on the internet.





For more information if you are interested on sales training or wealth seminar, you can log on to Total Wealth Makeover blog created while I was still working with Marco Robinson.

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/22/2007 03:24:00 pm | 0 comments
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
This post is brought to you by:


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posted by Encik Ash at 2/20/2007 02:05:00 am | 1 comments
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I have been living in Kuala Lumpur for more than 10 years already. The place that I live has a mixture of Chinese, Malay and Indian so when the festive season of our culture came, we have the same opportunity to observe and enjoy them together. Yesterday was a wet day since it was raining from early morning till the evening despite the weather department forecasting a dry spell because of the El-Nino phenomenon.

Anyway, last night was the day before Chinese New Year so after midnight, as usually for the past couple of years, I can see fireworks just outside of my bedroom windows. I guess the Chinese community are now getting richer and richer. Although firework is illegal in this country, they never seem to fail getting supplies of them. Wait till 'Chap Goh Meh' comes, that time there will be more fireworks everywhere from where I live.

So, armed with my father's 3 years old Kodak Easy DX6490 with built-in memory, I took this video from inside my bedroom window. You can hear my voice in the video, so now you know how I sound like ;-)




Gung Xi Fat Choy!

For a better view of the video, click here.

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/18/2007 02:21:00 pm | 2 comments
Friday, February 16, 2007
This post is brought to you by


For serious online entrepreneurs, it can be quite challenging to juggle all those detail tasks. We all have the same amount of time in a day, so in order to do more for less, we always need help. However, help alone is useless if the help that we want doesn't fit the job. This is where we have to trade something in order to get what we are going to achieve. We outsource!

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/16/2007 01:10:00 am | 0 comments
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Last Saturday afternoon, after skipping 2 week of classes for my CCNA certificate, I went on an escapade. Being a bootstrapper, the escapade was of course, a cheap and affordable one. The place I went to was The Malaysia Agriculture Park (Taman Pertanian Malaysia Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam). Previously, the place was named Taman Pertanian Bukit Cerakah but that was a long time ago.


Here's better map for you to see where you are heading:


The entrance ticket for the park is RM3 for adult and RM1 each for your children's. You have the option to ride on the park's bus/coaches, rent bicycles or just walk on foot. No fees for riding the bus/coach but you need to pay RM3/hour for the bicycle ride. Before we go further, I would like to introduce you to 3 beautiful ladies who accompanied me to this beautiful park:


It's every man dream to be escorted by ladies to such wonderful place such as the Malaysia Agriculture Park. Am I lucky or what? One of them is actually my girlfriend though. You can guess which is 'the one' later in this post.

The Malaysia Agriculture Park has many sections (as you can on the map above) such as the Orchid Garden, Cactus Garden, Animal Park and many more. So, if you are going to explore all those places, I suggest you come early as you can. I however went there 30 minutes before the main gate is closed (Closed at 4.30pm). So, there are a lot of places that I've actually missed out. Anyway, the main reason I came there was to visit the highlight of the park which is the Four Season Temperate Garden. That is the place where I can see and touch snow. It is basically a big giant freezer adjusted according to the current climate of the other part of the earth but that is what makes the place so special.

Isn't she lovely? Well, don't get distracted yet. Let's go and buy the tickets to enter the garden:

I think RM3 is cheap enough. Ice skating at Sunway Pyramid cost RM14 which is 5 times expensive. It's hot and humid outside, let's go inside quick.
Four Season Temperate Garden Diagram

Now this is a diagram shown before entering the four season temperate garden. You don't want to look at it? Well, let's go inside and touch some snow.
Enjoying the snow
Look at them, they like it in the cold weather. At least for the first couple of minutes. There is a sign telling the visitors not to stay inside the temperate garden for more than 3 minutes. We actually spent almost half an hour inside there and my hands almost got numb. We took as many pictures that we can before we went outside to warm ourselves up. I wonder how is it like to be in such a cold country.

For the rest of the trip:



The last time I went to Malaysia Agriculture Park was nearly 5 years ago. At that time, the hanging bridge was still there and I had the opportunity to experience it. It was a long, tough and exciting walk. Unfortunately, a few days later after that, there was a storm and from the news it was announced that a tree fell onto the hanging bridge. So, the hanging bridge walk is discontinued until today. I think I'll pay this place another visit because there are so many places I've missed because the lack of time.

For more information, you can visit the links below:

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/15/2007 07:28:00 pm | 0 comments
Friday, February 09, 2007
After I went to The "Wow" Windows Vista Launch, I head to an IT superstore on the 3rd floor of Low Yat Plaza. A friend of mine works there. He has been working there ever since he graduated from his Diploma in Electrical Engineering and is still there. I don't know why he doesn't change jobs like I do (I'm going to be in my 4th job next month), but he might have a nice reason to stay there I guess.

The good thing about having a long serving friend at an IT store is, you can always ask for a greater discount than everybody else. So, after surveying other speakers they have in store, I've settled down on Sonic Gear Morro 200 2.0 Multimedia Speakers. The price of this speakers was RM19 but I got it down to RM17 by my friend there. It was a steal since the speaker was on promotion. This speaker is not for me, it is for my girlfriend's Acer Aspire 3683 laptop. I've tested the Acer Aspire 3683 laptop speakers and it has a pathetic built-in speakers.

Sonic Gear Morro 200 2.0 Multimedia Speakers

So, how does it score after I tested it out? I'll go into the features I like first. The speakers is USB powered, that means no additional bulky power adapter needed. I hate to have another power adapter because my power cord plug extension is already full. So now I can just plug my speakers into a vacant USB port and enjoy the music. I really like the sleek futuristic black design an the illuminating blue LED. Plus, the speakers have a headphone jack in case you need a private moment. If you have a headphone directly connected, you'll notice that even if you set the volume to the max, it doesn't sound good enough. This speaker will juice the sound up, kind of like an amplifier.

However, the small 6 watts speakers when tune up to a higher level, you'll hear a cracking noise. Since it is not built for high performance and it is the cheapest quality speaker I can find, you get what you pay for. I tried a trance music on my My Dell Inspiron 630m, the built-in speakers for that laptop does a better job than Sonic Gear Morro 200 speakers.

Still, as a bootstrapper, I value the practicality and the look of this speakers and for RM19 a piece, it is quite a bargain.

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/09/2007 12:28:00 pm | 1 comments
Sunday, February 04, 2007
I got back this evening from Low Yat Plaza, Bukit Bintang Plaza to have a peek of the Windows Vista and 2007 Microsoft Office launch. Most people in Malaysia is aware of Low Yat Plaza being the premiere IT shopping paradise and people going there is on a buying mode making sales easier for shop owners and salesperson, maybe that is one of the reason Microsoft decided to host their launch there and hopefully making more sales of their products:



Knowing the bad traffic at Bukit Bintang and the high parking fees, I went there with my old trusted motorbike thus saving me a lot money (I spent only RM2 just for my motorbike petrol). So, after I parked my motorbike at the free motocycle parking bay inside the Low Yat Plaza, the new Windows Vista logo greeted me:



It's actually a time capsule where there is a timeline of the Windows product family:



Inside there is also some showcases of the 2007 Microsoft Office and some of the beautiful GUI presentation of Windows Vista. I've never seen the Windows Vista in action before so it is quite awesome.



The view of the grand stage. I arrived there just 10 minutes before 6pm. I was supposed to go there yesterday night for the official launch and watch the presentation. Unfortunately, I had other stuff planned so I postponed my visit to today. Maybe because the show was almost over, so the crowd wasn't too many or maybe they are much more interested to go and shop inside Low Yat Plaza rather than wandering outside.

Anyway, before I went to Low Yat, I had a glimpse of Windows Vista by installing Thoosje Vista Sidebar. Here's my Vista desktop view:

Ashrufzz Desktop Vista View


Windows vista button has no "Start" word anymore. It is now just a sleek logo of windows. My desktop hasn't been configured that way yet. Well, it is a Windows XP Home Edition still and I have no intention to upgrade to Vista yet. For me, the highly beautiful graphic user interface (GUI) that Windows Vista incorporate is rather resource consuming so you better have at least 1GB of RAM or even better, a good graphic display card such as ATI Radeon or equivalent. Mine is a shared memory of 512MB RAM with the motherboard chipset. My FireFox browser normally consumes more than 50% of my computer memory so those awesome GUI will just add to slowing down my system.

Until I can afford to pay RM800 for an original copy of Windows Vista (Basic full version), I think I would just settle with a piece of software (like the one I'm using now) to mimic the Windows Vista feel. Moreover, the current Windows XP is still usable and working fine. There is no need for an upgrade at the moment. Either way, if you feel like upgrading, then go ahead. Hope your hardware is good enough to crunch those sleek, stylish and shiny transparent desktop environment.

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/04/2007 09:55:00 pm | 0 comments
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Back in early November, after realizing that BCB MasterCard Debit card has been discontinued, I wrote that I wanted to apply for a Public Bank Visa Electron as a change. I finally did, here's a picture of my Public Bank Visa Electron debit card:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It took me a while to obtain this useful debit card for my online transaction. Firstly, I'm guilty of procrastinating thing and secondly, I was doing something else, that is for sure. However with my new pay on my upcoming new job, I am going to be eligible to apply for a credit card. Still, if I wanted to be debt free, I think I would be better staying away of those addicting credit cards. As you know, with more buying power comes greater paying responsibilities.

So, laying out the steps, here's a step by step explanation of what I did to get my hand on this debit card.

Step 1

After doing some extensive research on forums and other people's blog, the right thing to do to apply the card is to dot it online on Public Bank's website. Why apply online? From the input I received, if you go to your nearest branch, they will give you a form and asked you to post your application to Public Branch HQ nearby KLCC. Save yourself the petrol money apply it here.

Step 2

After you have finished Step 1, you'll be asked to print out the filled up application form, sign it and attach a photocopy of your Malaysian Identity Card. Post the form along with your photocopy of IC to the Public Bank address given. Now, your job is done, be patient and wait.

Some details here, I sent the application online on Wednesday 27th December 2006, post the application form using the snail mail on Thursday 28th December 2006. Since I live in KL, it should take like a day to arrive to Public Bank HQ. I could send it myself on my motorbike but it too much of a hassle, beside I'd be better spending 30 cent on postage than RM2 on my motorbike fuel.

After 21 days (or 3 weeks) which was on the 18th January 2007, I got my approval letter sent to me at home. The letter as you can see on the above includes my brand new card number and asked me to deposit at least RM25 into my approved debit card in order for them to send me the physical card. The RM25 should remain inside the account at anytime to make sure the card is active. If I don't deposit any money into the account within 2 months, the card would be discarded.

Here's the not so good part. On Monday 22nd January 2007, armed with RM50 cash to deposit. I went to my nearest Public Bank branch in Batu 3, Jln Ipoh, KL and found out that there was no cash deposit machine. There was only an ATM machine and a cheque deposit machine only. Since it was after working hour, I couldn't deposit the money over the counter. So, I returned home pissed and did an online transfer using Maybank2u instead. Maybank2u charges RM2 for interbank transaction and they say that it will take them 2 business days to complete the transaction. Yet another delay. My advice is to just do an online transfer and pay those RM2 service charge. You'll be a lot glad doing that fighting your way to the bank.

4 days later or on the 26th January 2007, my Public Bank Visa Electron arrived on my doorstep by the national courier service Poslaju. Still, I have no idea whether the card can be used or not because on the package letter, it says that the PIN number would be mailed separately. I did however tried verifying my PayPal account to receive a pending USD27 on my Paypal account (I'll blog about how I got my PayPal verified later).

Overall, it took me 30 days or a whole month to obtain my Public Bank Visa Electron. It could be done earlier but you need some extra effort I think. Now, that finishes my report on getting a Public Bank Visa Electron Debit Card. What I need right now is my PIN number to check my online statement (if there is any).

Related post:

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posted by Encik Ash at 2/03/2007 03:43:00 pm | 5 comments