Category Archives: Gadget

“New” MacBook Pro

My MacBook Pro was bought in December 2009 around Christmas time for around €1363.71 (received on 9 December 2009). It was almost five years ago. It had the version 10.6.8 of OS X called Snow Leopard. As time passed, I felt the performance of the Mac, especially the battery’s life kept degrading.

Yesterday morning, I saw a notification that my MacBook Pro was ready for an OS upgrade to latest version 10.9.5 Mavericks for free. What a surprise. After skipping two major OS versions (Lion and Mountain Lion) over the years, Apple finally offers a free upgrade of OS and what’s more, it still supports the old MacBook Pro from five years ago.

The update takes 5.3 GB which took me around one day of downloading yesterday and I only managed to installed it this morning.

Installing Mavericks

Installing Mavericks

There are lots of great features in this upgrade. There is the iBooks app that could only be found in iPhone or iPad previously, Messages to send free messages to all Apple products, battery life enhancement (my old MacBook Pro runs like a new MacBook Pro now and it is so incredibly quiet).

Mavericks 10.9.5 is installed

Mavericks 10.9.5 is installed

 

iBooks on Mac

iBooks on Mac

Messages on Mac

Messages on Mac

One thing that I need to get used to is that the scrolling direction has changed. Last time, whenever I was browsing a web page, I used to scroll down to move the page down. Now I need to scroll up to move the page down. Basically, it becomes the same scrolling direction on a touchscreen like the one on an iPhone or iPad.

I never thought that I would have a “new” MacBook Pro again. Thank you, Apple!





Sijil Simpanan Premium = Samsung Galaxy Trend

What is Sijil Simpanan Premium (SSP or Premium Saving Certificate if translated in English)? SSP is a kind of saving offered by Bank Simpanan Nasional that is managed according to the Mudharabah contract (Islamic Law) with a Profit Sharing Ratio. The selling point is that all SSP holders are eligible for monthly draws to win prizes while retaining your saving. For more detail, you can go to Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) website.

Sijil Simpanan Premium

Sijil Simpanan Premium

So why am I mentioning SSP in this post? It is because I own RM 800 worth of SSP myself, which are equivalent to 80 units of SSP. The more units you have, the higher the chance for you to win prizes (like a BMW, what do you think?). RM 700 out of the RM 800 worth of SSP were given free by the Yayasan Sarawak as gifts for good academic performance in PMR (RM 200 given in 2002) and SPM (RM 500 given in 2004). The remaining RM 100 worth of SSP was bought with cash.

After holding the saving certificates for so many years, I received a letter from BSN announcing that I won a Samsung Galaxy Trend phone.

Sijil Simpanan Premium Draw

Sijil Simpanan Premium Draw

The number won was from the oldest certificate dated in 2002. After 12 years, it still generates “profits”.

I just returned the form and attached photocopy of my IC and photocopy of the certificate to the sender and hopefully I will get the phone soon. Probably will sell it for a profit.

Here is a photo of the phone googled from the web:

Samsung Galaxy Trend

Samsung Galaxy Trend

 

Asus Zenfone 5

Asus Zenfone 5

I “upgraded” to Asus Zenfone 5 recently after carrying 2 phones (Nokia 1200 for prepaid and iPhone 3GS for broadband) with me for the last 2 years. I won’t have done so if I didn’t have the RM 360 SEC vouchers given by kooperasi (read here for detail). Now I can retire my old phones, but what should I do with them: throw them away? keep them in my drawer to gather dust? or … ? This is a hard question.

iPhone 3GS and Nokia 1200

iPhone 3GS bought in 2009 and Nokia 1200 bought since last century

There are actually 3 models of Zenfone. The Zenfone 4, 5 and 6. The numbers don’t represent the generation of the phone where I first used to think. They simply mean the sizes of the screen which are 4, 5 and 6 inches respectively. Please head to Asus website for more detail.

Initially I was thinking of simply buying Lenovo A316i which is on the SEC site  just to spend the vouchers so I won’t waste them. However, I chose Zenfone at the end due to the recommendations from some of my colleagues and due to the fact that it has dual-SIM support (I have 2 SIM cards).

The Zenfone 4 costs only RM 299 which I could paid fully with the vouchers. But under the STRONG influence of my colleague who mentioned that with just RM 200++ additional money, I could get a way better performance with Zenfone 5 which is priced at RM 599. So I listened and pre-ordered the phone on 1 July 2014 from the SEC store near BJ Complex.

Asus Zenfone 5 Receipt

Asus Zenfone 5 Receipt

I had to pre-order because it was out-of-stock. And I had to pay RM 239 in cash out of my pocket in order to make it RM 599 to pay for the phone. I chose the black color version but due to limited stocks, I had to wait until 12 July 2014 (12 days!!) to get the product. According to the seller from SEC store, the manufacturer won’t give them more stocks (Zenfone 5) if they didn’t sell more Fonepad. One Fonepad sold == one Zenfone 5 in stock. The Fonepad is really not in good shape.

Zenfone 5 Package

Zenfone 5 Package

Zenfone 5 Unboxed

Zenfone 5 Unboxed

In the box, you get the charger, ear-buds, USB cable, phone, warranty and user manual. First thing I did with the phone is to buy a screen protector from a mobile shop in the BJ Complex which cost me RM 10.

I had to charge it for 8 hours before the first use in order to make the battery last longer according to the seller. So I followed.

Another thing I had to do before I can use the phone is to convert my existing SIM cards which are mini SIM cards to micro SIM cards (Zenfone 5 only accepts micro SIM cards which I was only aware of after getting the phone). People from normal mobile shops won’t cut the SIM card for you because they could bear the risk of ruining the SIM card. So I had to go to the service provider, which is Maxis, to get the micro SIM cards.

I thought they (Maxis) will cut the mini-SIM cards for me. But I was wrong. They actually just gave me new micro-version of the SIM cards for both my prepaid and broadband. They will need your IC and you will need to fill in 2 forms for 2 SIM cards and pay RM 10. That’s all.

Micro SIM Cards vs Mini SIM Cards

Micro SIM Cards (on the left) vs Mini SIM Cards (on the right)

After inserting the micro SIM cards, the Zenfone 5 is ready for use.

Zenfone 5 is ready for use

Zenfone 5 is ready for use

But wait, where are my contacts? I had to follow this guide to transfer all my existing contacts from iPhone to Android.

So in conclusion, I only spent RM 239 (cash) + RM 10 (screen protector) + RM 10 (micro SIMs) = RM 259 to “upgrade” to a latest phone. Considering that I spent more than RM 3000 on my last iPhone 3GS (with all the accessories), this is a real bargain!

Get one for yourself!


New ASUS Zenfone 5 16GB 4G LTE (Unlocked) A500KL 5″ Micro Sim 2GB RAM Black

Update 19 May 2015: It has been more than 10 months after owning the ASUS Zenfone 5. So far, it is still offering great experience for me and it almost never hangs or lags which is very crucial to having a great experience using a smartphone. The only time it caused issues was due to one problematic software update happened last year. But right now, all the updates are good. During this period, many of my colleagues or ex-colleagues converted to ASUS Zenfone 5 from their old phone. A total of 7 of them from what I see! It is really a bargain considering its performance and its price. You can get one too: New ASUS Zenfone 5 16GB 4G LTE (Unlocked) A500KL 5″ Micro Sim 2GB RAM Black