EngLee's Path

A blog about Eng Lee's life, a freelance programmer in Royal Klang Town (Malaysia).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Few Days in Langkawi Island

So much work keeps coming. Sometimes I thought I would take a break to relax after I finish my current project. It would be really.. really good. However, just think of it, will the day ever come? The work just keep coming. So, with so much work in hand, I was with my family, for a short three-day trip in Pulau Langkawi last week.

During my time there, I still can see many places I have seen 4 years ago, when I was there with my UTM coursemates. I really enjoy the trip last time. Some of the places were renovating. Some look totally different, especially the Underwater World.

Glad to find my Dopod D810 GPS is working properly there! I didn't check whether the malsingmaps covers roads in Langkawi before I go.

The new Toyota Innova that we rented. It costs us RM260, slightly expensive than normal package because we reach in the morning, left in the night of the third night. It costs around RM250 for normal 3-day-2-night, and still negotiable.

The Seven Wells waterfall. We didn't climb the stairs up to the real seven well but we really enjoy ourselves at the waterfall below the wells. Imagine the ice cool water splashing on your back in a hot and sunny day.

Another nice waterfall, the Temurun waterfall.

We choose to go on the Mangroove boat trip. We were brought around in a boat to the places at the north-west of the Langkawi Island. We went through a cave in boat, we see monkeys, we see bats in another cave, we see snakes, we see eagles, we see lots of Mangroove trees (of course), we had a nice seafood meal on a floating restaurant. With so many things, it costs somewhere RM500 per boat. Oh, we also see many different weird fishes from sea, which they caught and kept at a place to show the special abilities of the fishes.

The seafood in a floating restaurant. They served 3 fishes, 2 plate of prawns, fried rice and some vegetables.

The Black Sand Beach. Don't know why it's black, it's just black.

Spend an evening at Tanjung Rhu. The scenery is undoubtedly beautiful, especially during sunset. We also found that there's sandbar connecting Tanjung Rhu beach to opposite island. That means you could walk to the opposite beach (which is about 2km away) without getting your shirt wet!

We spent about RM25 per person to get ourselves into the Underwater World. I would say all the animal, fishing, everything were great except for ONE thing. That is the 3D cinema, showing a very tedious story. The 3D effect is really bad, especially if you have seen the quality of those 3D videos in Disneyland.

You can find penguins in Underwater World! The ones with yellow eyebrow look exactly like those you can find in Happy Feet.

I didn't had the chance to get on the cable car last time and I thought I must go up the hill this time. But no luck for me. It was closed for maintenance. If you are going, make sure you check when it will be down for maintenance. They have a monthly scheduled maintenance. Besides that, they will not run it when it's raining. So, plan properly.

Found this at the Oriental Park at the bottom of cable car station. Does it really free? Why put up the stand when they are not putting up the price? Or they are keeping it blank to cheat some Mat Salleh?

Burned rice or beras terbakar. You will find a place where the Langkawi once used to burn the rice they harvested when Siam attacks them. When they don't get to enjoy it, they don't let the Siam have it as well! Good... die together!

It was a nice trip. A place I look forward to go again for a low cost and relaxing trip.


Friday, July 25, 2008

Replace MyKad at Putrajaya

It was a great experience to replace my I/C or MyKad at Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara (JPN) or you would call it National Registration Department.

First of all, why do I need to replace my I/C? I just went to Public Bank the day before to open a bank account to borrow some money (economy is bad). After everything has been properly filled up, they wanted to verify my MyKad. The IRIS device failed to read the chip. Actually, I'm already expecting that because it has broken more than a year ago. Then, I thought I could use passport to verify myself. Maybank would request for passport when my I/C failed.

The Public Bank staff insisted on using I/C, and she suggested me to change it at JPN Putrajaya which only takes one day to process. ONE DAY TO PROCESS?! Is that really a government department? I remember there were some reports about this earlier. I thought I'll check it out.

Yesterday, I woke up damned early in the morning and drove to JPN, Putrajaya. I didn't know where is the exact location, but I managed to find it in my GPS. Anyhow, it's not hard to find because it's located at Presint 2, at the road where all the Merdeka parade was held.

Unbelievably, the whole process to register and take picture took me less than 5 minutes. There are about 18 counters for replacing or getting a new MyKad. Another thing I must praise is their efficiency and courtesy. They certainly deserve the praise and gone to the next level.

Yesterday evening, I called their hotline and well-mannered, they told me that my I/C is ready! I was supposed to wake up early to collect it this morning, but I'm just so lazy. I'll probably get it later today.

However, there is still one point for improvement. When I reach there, I had to park my car at a parking lot beside a construction yard. All the parking lots in the building are reserved for their employees. I don't care to leave my car under the sun, but the parking lot that shares the same entrance with construction site is just so bad.

Oh, forgot to mentioned about the cost. I had to pay RM10 for replacing MyKad. Other costs would be the petrol from Klang to Putrajaya (50KM one way) and RM5.90 toll (one way). By doing the maths, it actually quite expensive to do it there.

(100 x 0.25) + (5.90 x 2) + 10 = 46.80

UPDATE: I forgot to include a second trip to collect it. So, it would be at the cost of RM36.80 + RM46.80 = RM83.60!

It's far but it's worth the trouble. If I were to replace it in Klang or Shah Alam, it would take 10 days. You wouldn't know whether it's a real 10 days.

Some pictures:

The floors are well labeled. You know where to go once you are there.

There's a small garden in the building. Look at how our tax money are spent.

Nice cafe with the running numbers, so that you don't have to wait at the counters.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

One Hour from Klang to Klang

I thought after leaving my nine-five job (or should it be eight-nine job?) at Kuala Lumpur, I don't have to stuck in traffic jam for hours. It just happen again few minutes ago. I had to go to Public Bank Taman Chi Liung (somewhere near Klang Hospital).

It took me less than 15 minutes to get myself there, but when I'm on my way back, it took me more than 40 minutes to cross the Jambatan Kota (the Klang bridge). Blame it on the construction blocking one lane of the bridge.

While I was swearing the authority, an ambulance appear behind me. I can see that all drivers would like to give way, but there weren't any place for us to squeeze. If there is someone almost dying in the ambulance, I can only wish him luck.

I was told that it would be closed till next third quarter of 2009. Next time, I am not going to take the risk again. I'll just come back using the Connaught bridge through Sentosa.

Anybody had to travel through the way everyday? Any better route for me?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Newly Renovated UOB Bank

Recently, the UOB bank near my house just renovated. They installed lots of new machines, replacing all old machines. It looks good.

My parents have been using the bank's services for a few years, for their good services and walking-distance location. Surprisingly, today my parents were waiting for me to help them bank in some cheques. I thought that's a trivial thing that they could do it themselves?

The silly bank management, after the renovation, removed all the envelope-style cheque deposit machines, replaced with those machines that you will need to key in every detail at the machine. What a brilliant idea to save some trees but I believe they will lose lots of their customers.

Why I say so? Firstly, I notice that they had long queue during peak hours. How much time do you need to drop the envelope? Five seconds! How much time do you need to key in account number and cheque details? Errr.. at least few minutes!

Secondly, how many people, especially the older generation, will actually spend time to learn new things like this? OK, it's not really a new technology. But, my parents have been filling up the cheque deposit form for the past decade. Do you really want them to change? They don't really touch computers or such machines for the past decade! Besides that, who should take the responsibility if the things are entered wrongly?

Thirdly, I believe the old-style machines should be more robust than the new machines that do lots of processing. The old-style machine only accepts the envelope, than print a slip. The new one requires more processing. They also need to embed a scanner inside. So, when you have more functions, you fail more.

When I was there to deposit the cheques at 10:00pm, two of the machines are out of order. I will have to queue for few minutes, waiting for the one person before me. YES, I AM QUEUING AT 10:00PM! The other machine, went offline while I key-in the details half way. The guard has nothing to say. He can only smile to us.

For this, I would give a thumb-up to Maybank which keeps the envelope-style cheque deposit machine at their branches.

I was wondering, if you were driving few kilometers to the bank to deposit the cheques, and you had a situation like this, what would you do? (Remember! 1km = RM0.30!!)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Three Sport Sessions In One Week!

Apart from career perspective, two of the things that I want to get after I left my full time job are to go for more sports and to sleep more. I think I have achieved one of them in this very first week!

I went for golf on Thursday. I went for badminton with UTM seniors yesterday. This morning, despite very sleepy, I woke up for jogging at Taman Rakyat.

After jogging, I went to a mamak stall at Pandamaran. I was surprised to see the shop is so crowded early in the morning. I was then informed that it is actually famous for its roti canai.

The roti canai was very thin and crispy. Besides that, it is not as oily like what you can find elsewhere. The pre-packed nasi lemak on the table was not bad as well. I bumped into many friends and relatives there. Maybe I need to bring some name cards there, so that I could promote my services. Haha!

I hope sport activities like these will keep coming!


Friday, July 04, 2008

First Time on a Golf Course

Yesterday was my first time on a golf course. I wasn't prepared for this first time. I don't have golf set. Even my golf shoes were bought the day earlier. I remember I don't even do well when I went for driving range last time.

I knew I had to try it, though I was forced to do it this time. As we reach Kundang Lakes Country Club at 8:00am, we went for training at driving range first. My performance at driving range was much better than how I did last time.

The fee for 9 holes at Kundang golf course was not expensive. It was at around RM25 per person. We also rented the cart which costs more. I find it hard to control the cart in the beginning.

I actually felt nervous first time playing in the course. I was unable to stroke the ball properly when I'm on the course. On a par 5 hole, it took me 12 strokes!

We were unable to finish the 9 holes due to rain pouring down heaving when we were playing the 4th holes.

Anyhow, it was a great experience. Call me up if you are interested to go for driving range training. I seriously need more training!


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

First Page of My New Chapter

Today morning was indeed a different one. I woke up at 9:10am, NOT 7:00am anymore.

Sadly, that's the only thing that really changed. I dressed in office wear meet with a group of suppliers, negotiating on how their system could be linked to my system. Next, I have a quick lunch at KFC in a petrol station.

Second half was spent with a different group of system users. We discussed on how the system can be improved and what should be done in the later phases of the system. The discussion took about 4 hours. The 4-hour discussion is very tiring, but fruitful.

I finally reached home at 8:25pm, slightly better than my eGENTING days. I'll have to begin writing draft of discussion into formal specifications now....


I'll need some more time to judge.