Driving with Shell V-Power Racing!

Racing

The first time I experienced Shell V-Power Racing was earlier this year. I liked how it works for me, so I did a bit of reading up. To my surprise, I found out that it’s the first performance fuel in Malaysia, which has been around for 10 years! Can’t believe that it’s been around for a decade and I only got to know about in it 2016!

Station

Anyway, I tested it out recently and was pleasantly surprised, which was when I started using Shell V-Power Racing. I’ve been using it for 2 weeks since and it’s been very beneficial to me, as someone who drives a lot every day, a road warrior if you will (though not the Mad Max kind). You can really feel the performance when accelerating from a dead stop.

V-Power Racing

Shell V-Power Racing is formulated by 120 scientists and specialists around the world dedicated to the research and development of fuel. When you start accelerating from traffic lights (for example), you can really feel the fuel unlock a lot more power from the engine and better yet, it’s now Euro 4M compliant, so the emission standards are better for modern Euro 4-compliant cars too.

Shell develops the fuel by leveraging its Technical Partnership with Ferrari. Shell V-Power Racing contains a unique double action formulation, which is designed to unlock the potential of your car and actively clean your engine, in addition to reducing friction to produce more power. Awesome stuff!

Shell V-Power Racing uses the same Friction Modification Technology (FMT) used in Shell V-Power race fuel by Ferrari Formula 1 cars. It’s designed to reduce friction by introducing a surface coating component, which protects critical engine parts. I really like how Shell V-Power Racing cleans my engine while I’m driving and I’m sure that will have a lot of benefits down the road.

Shell V-Power Racing also helps unlock valuable energy by enabling a more efficient energy transfer from the fuel to the wheels. The way Shell V-Power Racing removes existing deposits can also enhance the responsiveness of your engine and with regular usage, Shell V-Power Racing can even help maintain a new car’s performance and in some cases, even recapture an engine’s performance!

Interesting fact: Shell V-Power race fuel supplied to Scuderia Ferrari’s Formula 1 team contains at least 99% of the same types of compounds normally found in the Shell V-Power Racing road fuel we get in Shell stations in Malaysia!

It’s nice to finally have a performance fuel, which not only actively cleans your engine, but is also formulated to reduce friction in critical engine areas and deliver high performance. These benefits are designed to give you an edge throughout the day, whether you are making short or long trips.

Shell Euro4M

Shell V-Power Racing is now available in over 45 stations around Malaysia. Drive into your nearest Shell station now or check out the list of stations where Shell V-Power Racing is available.

The Best Day of My Life

riding bicycles

Greetings everyone! I am back after a short hiatus – major stuff to sort out and everything is peachy now. In fact, I just had one of the best days of my life with my dear and the kids. It was actually quite a simple thing, I wonder why we didn’t do it earlier.

bicycles

We got a bicycle for the little one (second hand, person is moving out of the country) for just RM 40 and the big one got a new (and larger) bike for RM 200. There’s one bicycle at home, which is for adults and one day after work we just took the kids to the park!

happy us

It actually started out with me trying to ride the new bicycle with the little one while the big one is finishing her school. She had a quick dinner after that and we all cycled to the park. The kids kept wanting rides so it was the most exercise I did for to date! I also had to cycle with my dear at the back – we tried it the other way round, but she couldn’t even start cycling coz I was too heavy. smirk

setting sun

I gave so much rides and raced with the big one so much that I felt like puking. It didn’t help that I was still wearing my work clothes so I overheated and was nauseous for a good hour! I had fun though, and so did my dear and the kids. It’s the wholesome family fun that I’ve always wanted to have and I’m glad we did that!

elise dustbin

The funniest thing was watching the little one run with her short legs chasing after her sister. Haha! Too cute. The simple pleasures in life are the best.

It was nice that I could take a lot of awesome photos with just my phone too, which reminds me…

Short mention:

tranfering smartphone data

I’m using my Sony Xperia Z1 [link to my review] now and I’m constantly amazed at the new things that it can do. My previous phone is a Sony Xperia S and I used the Xperia Transfer app to sync everything on my old phone to the new one so it’s up and running.

xperia transfer app

The Xperia Transfer app can be downloaded from Google Play and it works for *all* Android devices. What if you have a Windows or iOS phone? Sony PC Companion and Sony Bridge for Mac (it’s an executable on your new Sony Zperia Z1 smartphone – just connect the microUSB) performs the same function.

how to use xperia transfer

Thus, whatever platform you’re using right now, you can do a direct transfer of your data, contacts, photos etc into your new Sony Xperia Z1 so you’ll be ready to go! :)

Sony Xperia Z1™ waterproof review

sony xperia z1 waterproof

You might have heard about this new wonder device. It’s not just a phone, but a high quality digital camera! It has everything except the kitchen sink…which leads us to the next point. Xperia™ Z1 is not just water resistant, it’s waterproof! To illustrate that point, I have submerged it in 6 inches of running water in my (you guessed it) kitchen sink.

xperia z1 waterproof

It still works perfectly and I have sent a joke text to my better half asking her where my phone is. Haha! It’s actually waterproof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes. This is achieved by flaps covering the microSIM, microUSB port, microSD card slot. In a smart move by Sony, the headphones jack in the Z1 doesn’t have a flap you need to keep closed. It’s rated at IP 55 and IP58 which means it’s not just waterproof, it’s also dust resistant!

sony xperia z1

Yup, this beautiful smartphone has been called “an almost perfect balance of form and function” by Forbes Magazine. The Xperia Z1 has it all:

20.7 MP camera with BIONZ™ for mobile

xperia z1 camera

The Xperia Z1 is powered by a large 1/2.3” 20.7 MP Exmor RS™ mobile image sensor, Sony’s award winning G Lens (the same kind you’ll find in their conventional compact digicams) and their tried-and-true BIONZ™ for mobile image processing engine.

I bought the Sony Xperia S when it first came out and one of the things I noticed is that the night mode takes a huge toll on the processor, which causes the screen to lag. This doesn’t happen anymore – the Xperia Z1 has its own dedicated processor!

The Xperia Z1 takes awesome photos, and handles the tricky light-and-dark situations well with the HDR mode. It also has four major Social Camera Applications to deliver new experiences and there’s a widget which allows you to put that right on the screen by default.

info eye

Info-Eye™
This is a “visual search” feature that provides related information on landmarks and other items such as books, wine or even groceries simply by capturing them with the camera. It’s like Google and Wikipedia combined, except you don’t type in your search string but take a photo instead!

info eye search results
Info Eye search results using bar code…

info eye search
…and the Image results! It works perfectly!

Social Live
This broadcasts the shots that you take to Facebook and the best thing about it is that you’ll get your friend’s comments right on your camera screen! This is the best in-house app I’ve had the pleasure of using and I’ll write about this in more detail soon – you need to be at an awesome event like a concert or while traveling to get the full impact of what this can do and what it means! :)

Timeshift Burst
My favorite feature by far – the Xperia Z1 takes 61 images in 2 seconds – a second before and after pressing the shutter – so you can scroll back and forth to find the perfect image. This is for all those times you “missed a shot” coz you took out your smartphone too late, it’ll never happen again.

AR Effect
There’s also a range of overlays that automatically detects faces and people and creates pictures using augmented reality app. I’ll dedicate a post to the camera and video features of the device – there’s just too many awesome features to describe in a general review.

ar effect

The Xperia Z1 also can shoot full 1080p HD video with stereo sound!

(and you can take a still image while the video is recording too)

5” Full HD screen

The Xperia Z1 has the latest Sony BRAVIA™ technology optimized for mobile. The beautiful and rich 5” screen uses a Full HD TRILUMINOS™ display which results in vibrant and incredible viewing experience. It’s the best screen I’ve ever seen on a smartphone!

sony xperia z1 screen

You can try it out at any Sony Center and be blown away at the crisp text and wide palate of natural colors. The Z1 also includes X-Reality™ for mobile and ClearAudio+™ for optimized video viewing. These are technologies usually found in their high range LCD TVs!

Software and performance

The Xperia Z1 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2.2 Ghz quad-core CPU and 4G LTE. It’s the first consumer smartphone to come up with this latest and super fast quad-core processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 features a GPU and dual ISP for incredible graphics and 3D performance – you’ll notice this if you play Unreal Engine based games on Android.

xperia z1 screen

Sony has also made changes to the stock version of Android and there’s four toggles in the notifications drop down that’s set to sound, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, brightness and settings by default. Swiping to the right in the app drawer brings up a menu that allows you to sort apps and also uninstall apps – you no longer have to go to the exact page in Google Play to do that anymore.

The Xperia Z1 also has 4 shortcuts at the main phone screen to reflect Sony’s concept for this phone- WALKMAN™, Album, Movies and PlayStation® Mobile. Yup, it’s an MP3 player, camera, video recorder and gaming device all rolled into one portable smartphone!

It does all those tasks very well too – there is no lag or slowdown of any kind even with intensive widgets on the screen that pulls Facebook and other social media feeds, multiple tabs open on the default browser (Chrome) and it tackles the most graphically intense Unreal Engine games with ease.

The 3000mAh battery performs well too – I can easily use the Xperia Z1 for a full day without having to recharge. That’s largely due to the highly effective Battery STAMINA Mode which uses a lot of useful tricks to preserve battery life. It shuts off certain apps when you’re not actively using them (you can customize this so that your favorite apps will run all the time) and turns off functions you don’t need until you wake up your screen again.

Design and other features

The entire phone has a premium feel to it from the single piece of aluminium (which also acts as an antenna) surrounding the front and back tempered sheet glass. The Sony Xperia Z1 is a long rectangle shape with an impressive build quality.

xperia z1

The On/Off button is now located on the right hand side in the middle instead of top right. All the buttons are placed right and the headphone jack is the lone item on the top which is perfectly situated to prevent snagging or accidental pressing of buttons while listening to an audio book in MP3 (which is what I do more than listen to music).

The speakers produces surprisingly well-defined sound too.

The Xperia Z1 weighs 170 grams which might seem a tad on the heavy side for people not used to it but I’m loving mine – it’s a high quality digital camera, gaming device, and smartphone in a sleek package that gets double takes. It not only looks good, it feels good too – and the fact that it’s also waterproof and shock and dust resistant is just icing on the cake.

xperia z1 unboxing

The Sony Xperia Z1 retails for RM 2,399 and if you purchase it now, you’ll get three months of free unlimited music streaming from Akazoo, a preloaded social media music app. This is valid from October till December 2013. You can also download six (6) movies (offer valid till 31st December) via Xperia Privilege app, which is also preloaded into the device.

There’s a lot more to talk about but this is already way over 1,000 words so I’ll write more on the awesome 20.7 MP digital camera, 1080p Full HD video recording, nifty apps like Social Live and other apps. I’ll also do a special on underwater photography and my annual Chinese New Year fireworks and firecrackers roundup. I also have the SmartWatch 2, which is a NFC/Bluetooth watch that can sync via NFC to get Facebook updates and allows you to control your phone remotely from your wrist.

smartwatch2

I love my new toy(s)! :D

Check out the Sony Xperia Z1 experience!

I’m wearing Hoya BlueControl lens!

Check it!

eye test

I bet you didn’t know I have problems with my eyesight. I have shortsightedness of -2.50 on my right eye with astigmatism of -1.25. No, I don’t wear spectacles. I’ve never done any form of vision correction surgery. I don’t wear contacts either. It has constantly been puzzling people how I can function visually.

aud hb

It’s coz I’m heavily left eye dominant and my left eye has close to perfect vision. However, I do experience a lot of eye fatigue and dry eyes especially since I’m in front of a notebook almost 16 hours a day! The worst thing is, I didn’t even realize the eye irritation and general fatigue until I started wearing my new ByWP frames with Hoya BlueControl lens.

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #1: Staring at your screen for too long will cause your eyes to water. Remember to blink!

I’ve already known about the -2.50 myopia and -1.25 astigmatism on my right eye. I just came up during an eye test when I was a kid and my mom forced me to wear specs when I was 12 years old. I didn’t want to coz they made me very dizzy so I stopped wearing them after less than 3 days.

Fast forward 19 years later (yes, I’m 31) and I decided to drop in to get my eyes checked. I’m a heavy user of digital media – I’m on computers most of the day! I decided that having BlueControl lens will help me in my eye troubles.

prescription lens

I was torn between the Reykjavik Eyes MR 12 (RM 1,100) which is a frame made out of a solid piece of titanium so is just a single piece and the ByWP BY11031MB (RM 1,280) which is handmade with stainless steel in Germany and uses a hinge instead of screws on the side and finally went with the latter after viewing it through one of their machines which photographs you with different lenses so you can choose what looks best.

frames camera

It came back in just a few days. The Hoya BlueControl lens actually has a bluish-purple coating on it that can be seen at an angle. I thought that was really cool. I have worn it for a week and I’m glad I finally went in to get my vision fixed. The Hoya BlueControl lens works very well if you’re a heavy user of digital media. I’m probably the one of the heaviest digital media users around!

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #2: Take regular breaks! Looking away from your screen at something green for 20 seconds every 20 minutes will make a *huge* difference.

BlueControl is actually an anti-reflection coating that reflects part of the harmful blue light emitted by flat screen displays, indoor energy savings lights and sunlight. I am exposed to either of the three during my 16 wakeful hours per day. Blue light is also known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light and comes from the blue end of the visible spectrum.

reykjavik eyes

It’s known as the strongest light as blue light passes through the cornea and crystalline lens directly into the retina. I have LCD and LED computer and television screens, smartphones, tablets and GPS devices. I didn’t realize how tired my eyes were before wearing the BlueControl lens. It’s one of those things that you realize in hindsight.

old team

It’s a “Hey! I’ve been missing out on all this comfort!” moment.

hoya bluecontrol

It not only neutralizes the harmful blue light from the digital media world we are in now but also reduces glare. I found out that wearing my ByWP frames with the Hoya BlueControl lens makes me *a lot* more comfortable. It requires a double affirmation technical grammatical error coz I feel wonderful now when I’m in front of the notebook.

ByWP-BY11031MB

It’s the small things that you notice – chatting in Whatsapp on your smartphone doesn’t fatigue or strain your eyes too much. Watching movies on the LCD screen doesn’t make your eyes dry. I found out that it actually helps regulate sleep too! I’m always up late and staring at the notebook and the excessive blue light can cause sleeplessness.

blue control

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #3: Keep your distance!

There really is something to this BlueControl lens. It’s like the movie Hackers where the main character Zero Cool wears shades to cut what he calls “razor burn” (more like CRT glare). This has actually come to effect with the LCD and LED screens of computers and smartphones today

rach vanda hb

Wearing my BlueControl lens makes me feel much more comfortable with none of the eye fatigue I have actually *gotten used to*.

bluecontrol

It’s the best RM 600 I spent! Those are for the ByWP frames, the BlueControl lens are kindly furnished by Hoya for review. You can’t change the digital media world that we’re in so maybe these lens would help you too. Get more tips & tricks on healthier eyes at the BlueControl website.

Aftermarket chargers

Well, I got a new charger this afternoon for A$25.

The charger. It didn’t come with any packaging and the shop proprietor told me that if it
doesn’t work, I’m welcome to bring it back for a full refund.

Made in China by Tian Ye Electron Company. Tian Ye translates to Sweet Coconut in English.
Hah!

Well what do you know…it actually made the optimized charging detector trip. I don’t know if
it actually uses optimized charging coz it’s not official Ericsson merchandise after all. I didn’t
feel the need to time the charge cycle to see if it actually charges faster or just trips the
optimized charging detector. =D

The bad thing about the charger is it’s unusual orientation. The plugs actually goes in sideways
so it needs to be at the end of the power board. Notice the green LED indicator.

Well, all in all, it works well and isn’t too expensive. I’ve seen one of those USB chargers
that charges using the USB port of your computer. They cost A$15 and take power off the computer
main power supply so they don’t need to be attached to a power source. It seems pretty nifty but my
USB ports are all taken so I didn’t get one of those.

Why cordless optical mice suck…

or why cordless optical mice using rechargeable Ni-Cd batteries and used by a guy who does not
wait until the batteries are discharged before recharging suck. Ni-Cd batteries are particularly
sensitive to the “memory effect” [batterybank.com]. Hmm…I
think I’ve lost track of what I wanted to say. I meant to post something along the lines of
“wh00t I found my missing battery”. Anyway, some background info. I use the Logitech Cordless Freedom
Optical
[Logitech] keyboard/mouse combo. The good thing is that they look cool. The bad
thing is that they require batteries (being cordless) and I’ve noticed that my CS skillz have
gone downhill ever since I used this mouse. Anyway, I’m digressing. The meat of this post:

1. I have 8 rechargable Ni-Cd batteries

2. 4 are for the keyboard and 2 are for the mouse with 2 as backup so that I always have a fresh
set.

3. I lost one of them a couple of weeks ago.

4. I found one of them today when I picked up my laundry. It had rolled under a chair.

5. wh00t

Oh Joy! Thou hath not forsaken me!

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