Sneak Peak on ASTRO's Next PVR/Setup Box

This is just in , I was reading the forums the other day and managed to get latest information on the up-coming ASTRO Plus. Its just a hype/rumour yet. I am not sure what are in store for us. Anyhow , does it matter ?. This is the information that I’ve extracted from this original source. On top of that , I’ve added my thoughts and cool alternatives (if you don’t have the moola to fork out that much of money).
First of all , you may ask What is ASTRO Plus (according to this guy , the name of the new setup-box isn’t confirmed yet – Think of it as Malaysia’s TiVo). Its a replacement for ASTRO Max. Its way better then Astro Max and it does more then just recording. According to the author who posted it, it has many new features. Firstly it is capable of outputting HD , meaning that once ASTRO launches HD Service (whenever that is) , this decoder can output HD , however its only through Component (The Red,Blue,Green cables) and not HDMI (what a surprise). That isn’t the issue here as Component is capable of outputting 720p and 1080i. So thats not an issue , Full HD users might rant as there isn’t any option to enable full use of 1080p. Does it matter ? It does for some. Okay thats the box overall
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The Current Economic Issues

Republican leaders speak to reporters on Monday after the bailout bill failed to pass. (Source : CNN)
Republican leaders speak to reporters on Monday after the bailout bill failed to pass. (Source : CNN)

Well as the old saying goes by , when US catches a cold , the rest of the world sneezes. I think its true , especially when the $700 billion  Bailout Plan by the US Government failed to pass at the Congress .Of course , both parties will start to point fingers to each other and blame. Thats not the issue her , but rather what will happen to the US Economy and not to mention to the world economy. Obviously , US is going to cut imports for sure , but when they cut imports , countries such as Japan , Malaysia , Singapore , and a lot of countries woud be having a big problems. Its sad , many of the investors are shaken. I am sure its not going to be an easy fix for this , as it takes time and obviously people’s purchasing power will be reduced and inflation might shoot up again. This also will slow down tthe whole market as well , who knows – new Intel chips , graphics card mght be delayed because of this (I am just speculating – Nobody is prefect enough to predict how would the market be tomorrow). I’ll be blogging more on this as I get news. For your information , both of the presidential candidates ,  McCain and Obama has quickly responded to this issue. I guess both of them are very interested in resolving this issue and winning the heart of voters !
Now lets get back to Malaysia , I guess by increasing the intrest rate , purchasing power of consumers would decrease and it would make it bit harder for the people to invest on properties such as houses , commericial lots. Of course , its one of the ways for the Government to reduce the inflation rate otherwise it would be going sky-rocket high ,  This would encourage people to save , to offset the current inflation. Guess folks , this is the right time for you guys to save $$$$

My HTPC + HD Experince

Behold my HTPC - What , the picture is too blurrrryyyy ? You can't see. Read on more *Its a suspense* - WARNING : You might be addicted to it!

Over the past , I think 5-6 years (I would say my entire life). We have been using a simple CRT Setup + SAMSUNG Home Treater (acts as an amplifier and outputs sound to 5.1 speakers). Its about time to move on to HTPC World. There are many advantages of using a HTPC + LCD Together (Trust me it sucks on CRT – Well you can load Media Centre and watch movies but thats just bout it. Don’t think of surfing the Web or playing games on the CRT TV as Resolution is just going to suck. No matter what). If you want to have a look at the pictures , please feel free to do click on Read More to read my in-sight comments and thoughts on my current HTPC setup and as well as pictures – I do believe a picture says a thousand words
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September 16th Should be a Public Holiday

Our country (Malaysia) has just celebrated its 51st Independence on 31st August 2008. Now what concerns me is that , the actual date when Federation of Malaysia was formed was on 16th September 1963. What concerns me that on that very day its not a public holiday for us Malaysians.

Malaysia Day celebration in 1963. (Majulah Malaysia means Onwards Malaysia) - Source Wikipedia
Malaysia Day celebration in 1963. (Majulah Malaysia means "Onwards Malaysia") - Source Wikipedia

For Sabahans , its a public holiday because it is the birthday of Sabah’s Head of State. Great ! – Not to honour our country. For those who are in residing in West Malaysia , you may not feel the pinch but how about those who are from Sabah and Sarawak , they would feel it. Its like they aren’t being respected and the very day when Malaya was known as Malaysia is not a public holiday. This is the very day , when our First Prime Minister – Tunku’s Abdul Rahman’s dream turned into a reality. He actually wanted to form Malaysia to free Singapore  ,Sabah and Sarawak from British colonisation. 
Not to mention these days politicians are just opening their mouth and saying we aren’t patriotic enough and not showing our support to the nation. Now , how could you set an example to us , as a politician you must lead and show us you truly care for the nation. At least , I hope that our politicians would declare as a state holiday for Sabah and Sarawak at least. I hope that my cries and the cries of Sabah and Sarawakians are heard as well. Please , do it for the sake of our Nation and remember this year’s National Day Theme is all on Unity , “Unity Is The Core of Success” – Its a nice slogan and together we must stand as one nation (Also the Federal Government must acknowledge Sabah and Sarawak’s contributuion to our country. Yes – a lot , right from crude oil to our national landforest that lures tourists from all over the world) 
 
 
The Unity Band - It symbolises that malaysians should be united as one race
The Unity Band - It symbolises that malaysians should be united as one race

 
 
I hope they do declare it as a state holiday for Sabah and Sarawakians. Thats my plea , I hope its being heard by the officials as I do believe that We (Malaysians) must learn to respect each other (even states and our differences in language , cultural background and religion). Oh if you’re interested to know more on how Malaysia was formed , you may want to click here

Superb Debate

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Tonight was one of the bests debates that I’ve seen. The issues that they disused were something hot. I do have to admit that both parties were good in their debate , I would say equally good. From my view point , most of their points were pretty much on attacking one another instead of discussing the issue fully itself , that is how to solve issues on land problems and further improve the Penang Government. Anyhow , as a student myself I find it interesting to get the in-sight scoop on how they speak and how they think. Plus , I think they should have more of this kind of debates , so that many people will benefit for it , especially the rakyats (citizens). Broadcast it live in Television and Voila , the whole of Malaysia could spectate it and come up with their own judgement who is right and who is wrong , such debates also do encourages young Malaysians and even the old Malaysians alike to think out of the box and to choose the right people to manage and maintain their state government and then the whole country. Its after all , the choices of the citizen itself. Anyhow , I hope to see more of the debates in the coming future that has this same style as it would be educational and at the same time entertaining (well sort of) for the citizens to watch (Ey its better then watching Knight Rider) 
 
My Verdict : Its up to you (as a Citizen of a Malaysia) {If you aren’t , well uh….I don’t know what else to see. Maybe this case applies to your local politics too} to decide who is right and who is wrong. Who has the stronger point and the weaker one. There is no clear winner in debates. It is how you accept it and interpret it , after all you’ll have to use it your inner voice and your judgement to determine who is telling the truth and not. Trust me , your inner feelings and voice will never be wrong (maybe , but the probability of it being wrong is pretty slim – No I don’t have any factual evidence , I’m just saying it out of my experience) , that will guide you. It works for any case. Apart from that , I hope there will be more debates , I’m expecting one debate from the Indian Community. It would be great if they can focus on the issues which Indians in Malaysia are facing. Kudos again to the organisers for organising such a great debate for us to watch !. I’ll try to get if someone posted a youtube clip and update it !

RM 159 for Laptop + 3G Modem + 3G Access

While most of us are striving for WiMax , Celcom has come up with a good deal to lure more potential buyers to switch to Celcom (I am guessing that want to put up with Maxis – as most of the people choose maxis because they provide a modem with it rather , which is somewhat innovative as 3G Modem is expensive and not many people can afford it. If you think for the long run , you’ll certainly buy but then you must think of an average consumer. Would he/she buy a modem for RM 400-500 , the answer is certainly not and celcom failed to attract its customers because of this. Guess they have planned something to pull more customers in , thinking that they could save.
 
Well actually if you calculate , you wouldn’t be saving that much. The Laptop is just only a Dual Core Pentium Core Laptop , surely you can get one for a very cheap price from HP ,but then you wouldn’t be having any Broadband service. If we take a look at the plan , its RM 68 a month for the 384Kbps Unlimited Internet Package and it doesn’t come with modem. For the one that comes with modem , it costs roughly RM 100. So by adding extra RM 54 a month you’ll be getting a laptop also. I am not sure for how long is the contract but the good news is you get to have the laptop and the modem. After the contract , you’re free to switch providers (Who knows – DiGi might roll their 3G Service by end of this year or by end of the next year and it will be just nice for you to hop on into DiGi)
For students , especially if you are unable to get streamyx or if you are hunting for a laptop for your assignments , then I would highly recommend you to go for this package. Most likely you wouldn’t be needing a fancy laptop with dedicated graphics , Intel Core 2 Duo and other goodies if you are going to use it for assignments and online work. I mean this laptop is fine if you want to run basic games and productivity applications such as Microsoft Office. So if you are are student or if you know someone who is looking for a laptop and Internet access , then ask him/her to get this
 
P.S – This is just my thoughts. I am not advertising Celcom or anything else nor getting paid by them to post this blog entry !
 
If you’re a power user , this so-called package isn’t worth it as you know by now that you could save roughly RM 200-300 if you buy the items separately. Not to forget that you wouldn’t be tied with a contract !
I don’t have more information or URL , but you can call celcom (03-36308888 or 1111 from your Celcom Mobile) for more details or just go to one of their centres 

Celcom Latest Offering
Celcom Latest Offering

Avoid paying RM 200 penalty for Maxis Broadband

 

OMG No Contract - Oh wait there is a RM 200 Handling fees if you say goodbye within 12 months !
OMG No Contract - Oh wait there is a RM 200 Handling fees if you say goodbye within 12 months !

 
 
Ha , thought of sharing this with you guys. As most of you know , I was an ex-Maxis Wireless Broadband user. At first it seems to be pretty good and the speeds were great and I was even able to run peer to peer programs. Then it went all bad , they started to block most of the peer to peer application and even gaming ports (blocking p2p is fine but gaming ports – thats madness). Thankful , I made a wise decision – which is to ditch Maxis Broadband and to switch to Streamyx. Surely , you may say ‘Ah..why streamyx ?’.Before I answer that question you must understand that we have limited choices here in Malaysia. Streamyx is still the King of all lousy broadbands here. If you think Streamyx is the worst – think again.  I Thought of sharing this cool tip that worked for me and couple of friends of mine to avoid paying RM 200 early penalty termination fees. Shall we get started ?
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Ack Streamyx Again !

Great just great. Yesterday it was a disaster for streamyx users nationwide (Malaysia) , lots of streamyx home/basic users couldn’t even surf any local links and international links at all. It just times out. So I called up TM to enquire if its any problem on my side or on their side. They said that there is no maintence and they suspect that I am not using the latest version of Windows. So they asked me to contact my PC Vendor to upgrade my OS. Thank god , I was being paitence yesterday (yeah – paitence is virtue – correctos 100%) , so I just kept quiet and let him explain. So finally he ( the streamyx call centre dude) himself deicded to file a report on this issue. Bam , I wonder if the technicial team are going to enterain such report. Nevertheless , they managed to fix the problem today (12 pm – I believe). Anyhow , the connection seems to be great and so far no issues.
But still TM doesn’t admit anything. If you go to the official streamyx site there isno mention on downtime or anything like that
*Sigh*

RM 1.92/litre for Taxis – Now stop overcharging us !

Woke up this morning , read the papers and guess what taxi drivers get 720 litres of petrol @ RM 1.92
which is in fact great , now these taxi drivers do not have another  excuse reason to hike up the fare. In fact , I do hope that the images of our Malaysian Taxi System will be repaired as they are known for overcharging and not using the fares. No , I am not bashing the taxi drivers as I do understand why they are hiking up the fare and not following the metre (Am I contracting myself here ?) . Anyhow , its a wise move by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister , Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad. I do hope that by doing this , it would improve our Taxi Driver Images. Let us wait and see how is the reaction – only time will tell !. For now , it seems to be a good news and a sigh of relive for taxi drivers. Lets put this into realilty. I’ll blog or update the status on it for you guys !. Guess I should be wiring on public transportation system too as well.