Sunday, March 27, 2011

Daytime Robbery In KLIA

Airport, the gateway to a country. It's often the place the visitors have the first impression to a visiting country. This is also why many countries compete to build not only huge but also to outrun the competing countries in its design. In this aspect, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KLIA was one of the best airports in the region.

I have hosted quite a few visitors from other countries due to my job. All of them were indeed very impressed with KLIA and praised its services. In one of the occasions, the visitor told me he tasted a good local delight in one of the food corners in terminal building during his last trip. After few questions, I figured out it's "roti canai" aka "pancake with curry" by the foreigner.

As a good Malaysian, I was proud and happy to hear that and decided to bring the foreigner to try it out again at Pelita Nasi Kandar near my office.




Thumbs up!

This was the reaction I got from the visitor. It's perfect with a glass of milk tea, the teh tarik, according to him.

"Let me take this, it's just a small bill." To complete my duty as a good citizen, I told the visitor that I would pick up the bill.

"No! No! No! This isn't cheap in your currency!!!" What a big reaction I got from the visitor??!

Anyhow, I insisted and settled it, showed the bill to him...

I was confused with his reaction.

The total bill was about RM12. Apparently he paid about double (the bill I paid) for him alone with only a slice of "pancake with curry" in KLIA and a glass of drink.

"Isn't the airport a duty free place? Why is it so expensive? And Pelita is much tastier!" He felt cheated and conned.

Well (or bad), I could only silent.

I was curious to find out and went to the same stall (I guess it's the one from his explanation) in my recent trip. This is what I found out...

It's not only double but almost 10 times overpriced!

From my travel experience, I don't find the food in other airports even the airport in neighbor countries is deliberately overpriced like this.

KLIA a 6 star airport? But do I get a 6 star chef like whom working in a 6 star hotel to cook the "pancake" for me?

High rental? Then it's the fault of the management office. Why other airports can sell at street price?

I can't find any justifiable excuse for the price above. We always hear many people condemning the government is slaughtering us in every aspect, perhaps no exception to the tourists too.

Greater KL? Perhaps it defines Greater inflation, Greater con jobs, Greater prices.

Vote wisely for a better living, and next generations.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kindle The eBook Reader

Do you like to read? How many books you bring along when travel?

I dislike paper books and think it's waste of weight allowance (and go green), so I never bring any paper books but e-books on lappy or phone when travel. But these days there are better gadgets such as tablet and ebook reader that let you bring not one but many books with you when travel. The Amazon's Kindle is one of the best selling ebook readers...

The Kindle Wifi and its lighted cover.

Don't get wrong, that is not a stick on guide on the screen, it's the actual e-ink display on the screen, no difference when it's powered on...

It looks simple just like a paper printout and very light to hold. If you try this and any tablet like iPad reading the same content for a long time, you likely would buy my idea that the e-ink display is friendlier to the eyes and the weight is comfortable to hold in the hand.

Move to the bottom...

Up/down switch, a headphone jack, USB for data transfer and charging and power switch.

Kindle comes with TTS Text-To-Speech feature that it can read out the e-books for you. I only try English, no Chinese and unsure if it's capable for other languages. Good feature for physically challenged users.

What about the cover?

Leather built; a string to hold the lids tight when close. Well cushioned on the inside and 2 gold conductive hooks that lock the Kindle in place in the cover as well as to power up the LED light...

The pullout LED light for reading in the dark. No battery needed but drawing charge from Kindle.

Put the Kindle on, pull out the light and it lights up automatically...

A bit bluish in bright area. Let's try it in the dark...

Looks natural. Should be good for reading in dark cabin when travel.

That's all on the hardware. On the soft side, it supports quite a number of file formats, or you can easily google Kindle converter to get the software to convert the source to ebook format.

Overall, I'm impressed with it even though read book is not my habit nor hobby. Too bad currently there is no color version of Kindle, which likely I will get one for my IT magazines. But if you are a book worm, you should consider getting one.

p/s: this unit is a gift to a friend.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


What comes to your mind when you read the title?

If you understand Malay or use Google Translate you learn that bawang is onion...

First thing comes to your mind might be bad breath and fart a lot if eat too much onion. Have you ever thought of using bawang as shampoo? Or even thought of Jackie Chan with bawang?

Yes. Indeed Jackie Chan is linked to bawang. Check this out...

Oh apparently this "Bawang" ain't that "bawang" aka onion, but 霸王 that means bully or despot in Google Translate By the billboard, it's a world leading brand in professional hair darkening and anti hair loss shampoo, and Jackie Chan is the product ambassador...

Does Jackie Chan have bad breath or fart a lot? I wish I am close to him that I would know his habit. Or is he a bully? I do not know but guess not since he is (or was) also the ambassador for HK Police Force. Or maybe he is getting bald??


And if you try to relate this bawang aka onion to this brand "Bawang" via wikipedia, "Doctors were known to prescribe onions to facilitate bowel movements and erections, and also to relieve headaches, coughs, snake bite and hair loss." Oh, bawang aka onion believed to ease hair loss, so it could be a very well thought brand naming. Hehe...

Nevertheless, hopefully I don't need this in my lifetime. And share your experience if you ever use it. :)

How To Use DLE USB Charger

A reader asked about the free USB charger from Digital Lifestyle Expo 2010...

Life has been hectic, good and bad. Finally got some time to relax now in JB and hopefully it's not too late to share how to use the free gift now.

Whenever deal with charger or electrical and electronic stuff, we must first find out the technical specification of this charger...

Shown above, it can charge Lithium battery with max 5V or 4.2V to be precise, and deliver 250mA. What this means to you? Check the specification of your original charger, you can safely use this USB charger as alternative if the DC output voltage (V) of the original charger matches this. Otherwise do not use it or you might fry your device. The ampere (A) is not really a concern, higher A means you can charge faster. Most genuine chargers range from 500mA to 1000mA, so 250mA probably means the charge time is at least double up when using this USB charger.

It's an intelligent circuitry that it can automatically detect the anode (or positive) and cathode (negative). And it can be used as TF card reader! TF card is aka SD card. I did not try this feature though as I don't have a spare SD card.

Now let's understand its structure...

There are 2 adjustable pins to fit different size of batteries. One for + positive and the other for - negative. Now check out the battery...

Align one pin to the negative contact on the batter and the other pin to the positive. Make sure both are secured at their position...

One green LED lights up, means you've got the + and - polarity aligned correctly...

Now plug it either into your PC's USB or an USB charger like below...

A red LED lights up and it starts charging! Enjoy the portability of this charger!