Huawei P9 smartphone

Huawei P9

I got a chance to play around with the new Huawei P9. It’s co-engineered with Leica and meant to reinvent smartphone photography. The thing that jumps out the most is the dual-lens at the back of the phone. That’s right, this smartphone has TWO lenses instead of the usual one at the rear. It also has 2 sensors so you can capture more light. I took it out to snap photos during the weekend.


Nowadays, smartphones are primarily used to take photos of weekends, food and miscellaneous daily happenings to post to Instagram, Facebook, blogs. That’s what I use mine for anyway, and the image quality so good that I don’t feel the need to carry a regular digicam or dSLR anymore. It’s still not as good as a dSLR, of course, but the Huawei P9 is really close, close enough that I’ll choose the portable smartphone any day.

Professional Mode

The Huawei P9 has dual 12 MP cameras with a professional mode! This allows you to control all the aperture, shutter and ISO settings and save photos in RAW so it feels like a dSLR.

Tokyo Secret

The technologies packed into the smartphone camera is quite impressive too – there are now built-in dual-core ISP (image signal processors), professional DSP, and depth-measurement ISP for improved image focusing, speeds and processing. This allows you to take action shots of fast moving objects in low light conditions.


There are several presets you can use to take good photos well, like the HDR mode.


The P9 has a feature which automatically takes documents too! I found that quite useful.


The lens are co-developed with Leica so the image quality is really good.

Honey Wings

I love how bright and vibrant the colors are.

Pocky Brazilian Orange

I got this new Pocky Brazilian Orange just to show off the intense color production of the camera. I can’t go back to using faded looking smartphone cameras after this beautiful shot. Oh, and the Pocky is pretty good too, it’s a Japan import to celebrate the Rio Olympics and it tastes intensely orange-y.


This is the Panoramic mode.


The camera will also auto-detect faces and focus on them.


There’s also a 8 MP front facing camera for selfies too! This was taken in pure darkness and the built-in flash went off, illuminating my face well enough to temporarily blind me. It also colored my face pretty decently, when you keep in mind that this was taken with zero other lighting, it’s really impressive. I remember when 8 MP was a lot for a rear facing camera in a smartphone and now even the front-facing ones are 8 MP. Amazing!

Beauty Mode

The Huawei P9 also has a dial for “Beauty” which can go from 0-10. You remember those third-party apps that some teenagers use to artificially enlarge and add shine to their eyes and add a BB cream smooth sheen to their skin? It’s all built-in now – no need for 3rd party apps.


I took one as a demonstration. This is ultra boosted up to a 10 so it looks mildly ridiculous. I personally don’t approve of apps like this coz I don’t like how it looks. I don’t use them myself but that may be due to the fact that I already have nice eyes genetically (thanks mom). I can see that a lot of people like them though, so to each his/her own.

P9 Home

The smartphone also does everything well. I like the automatic step counter and the vivid 5.2” FHD display. The 3,000 mAh battery is pretty useful too. I don’t need to recharge every few hours and it works for up to 24 hours at full capacity in my daily tasks. There’s a fingerprint sensor and a virtual triple antenna with WiFi+ 2.0 which switches automatically between HSDPA+ and WiFi networks. I love the feel of the aerospace-class unibody aluminum and 2.5D glass. The Huawei has all the functions of a modern smartphone you’ll expect and more.


I actually saw the Huawei P9 advertisement in the cinema and thought it looked like a brilliant smartphone. As the smartphone market matures, non-camera technical specifications have increased so much that it makes little difference even in the most graphics intensive games. As such, it falls to other things to differentiate one smartphone from another and I like the direction the Huawei P9 is taking with the camera. It’s the most useful thing on a smartphone for most people and I appreciate how the superior camera and lenses allows me to capture high quality photos in such a small and sleek handset.

Save electricity like a boss!

El Nino

It’s the El Nino season and that means we’ll have plenty of hot, sunny days to look forward to! Or not. Most of us dread the heat wave that comes every time this year. We turn to the air conditioning on full blast and shut ourselves indoors to stay away from the heat. Heck even our home appliances like fridge operates on more electricity to stay cold; influenced by the residual heat from our home.

TNB has released figures which shows Malaysians use a peak demand of 17,171 MW last month (a staggering figure and an all-time high) and there have been news reports which featured a few residents getting shocked by their bill (not literally).

Here are some other tips which might help you cut down on electricity usage and save a little:

Air Con

1. Clean your air con filter

This really helps. Keeping your air conditioner filter clean is important in making in run efficiently. More cool air flows out of a clean filter so to take a huge amount off your bill, take out your filters and start dusting them. It’ll also help make the air cooler!

2. Watch the lights

Turn off the lights when you’re going out. You really don’t need a lamp to be on while you’re out, it just wastes electricity. That little bit can really add up so make sure all your switches are off before you go out. If you tend to be forgetful, you can try sticking a bit of tape beside your switch to remind yourself to switch it OFF before you leave. This works wonders in an office too – put something up like “Last one to leave, hit the lights”.

Lights Off

3. Use energy saving light bulbs

The energy saving light bulbs might cost more at first but they really do use a lot less energy in the long run. It’s just a little bit more to pay up front and you can easily recoup the cost back via energy savings (and then some). There are also slim florescent lights like the T5 variants which provide more brightness while consuming less energy so if you’re still using an old model or a non-energy saving bulb, make a trip to your local hypermarket to pick up one and start taking a huge chunk off your bills today.

5 Star

4. Look for 5 stars

Have you seen these stickers around electrical appliances? This is actually a rating that can help you reduce electricity consumption. Whenever you need a new kettle/fridge/washing machine (or any other electrical appliance) make sure to see how efficiently they run. These stickers rate each device and they can really cut down your bill over the long run. Make sure to go for as high a rating as possible, 5-star if possible. Those are the most efficient appliances and you can rest assured that buying a 5-star device can give you 5-star savings.

5. Turn off the computer

We love to be on Facebook and watch YouTube videos and some of us has even taken off the settings so the notebook or PC is on forever. The features to turn off your monitor and hard disk after a set amount of time is there for a reason – when you’re not using it, it’s better for the device to be off. This can really help you save so make sure the settings are correct and when in doubt, just turn off your computer when you’re done.


Need more cool tips to help you save? Surf on over here!

Horlicks NutriQuest Malaysia Game Review


I have been navigating through floating platforms, jumping on evil robots and trying to avoid deadly lasers for the past few weeks. Yup, it’s the Horlicks NutriQuest Malaysia game for iOS and Android! I’ve been fiddling with it when I have a bit of free time on my smartphone and have progressed quite far in the game. Here’s my review (with a few tips and tricks to help you breeze through it if you’re having a bit of trouble).

Kill Metaloid

The starting levels in the City are quite easy. The virtual camera pans through the entire level from the end to the start and zooms into your character the first time you drop in so you can see the layout. There are actually TV screens at the start of some levels (see picture above) and they show you how to learn new mechanics e.g. jumping higher or picking up boxes.


There are also convenient arrows which shows you the proper way to go. However, it’s right to ignore these levels sometimes as there are secret areas you’ll need to go to in order to collect all the coins and stars.


Here’s one example. You can only access this secret area (which is inside a building) if you double back and ignore the directional arrows.


There are plenty of “save points” like the arrow above – make sure to use them frequently as you might fall into a laser grid or bump into one of Mr. Greedy’s robot henchmen! You’ll be able to start again here with all in-level progress saved if you fail. There’s a protective bubble in the first 2-3 seconds after you respawn so make the most of it. It makes you invulnerable for a while so you can get through the difficult bits that foiled your attempts last time.


The Horlicks Stars are the most important things in the levels (aside from coins and bags of coins). You need them as a measure of success and if you don’t get enough, you can’t progress to the next level e.g. Jungle. Make sure to grab all the coins you see too, especially the big bags!

Big Money

You’ll see how many coins and Horlicks Stars you collected at the end of each level. There are usually 3 stars per level.


The later levels will be more difficult as there are Metaloids which can kill you. The trick is to jump on them to kill them first.


Be sure to periodically upgrade your character. You can upgrade three (3) boosters – Tall, Strong, and Sharp. I suggest using Tall first for your first run-through and Sharp last as it only affects the VR Levels (more on that later).


You can also upgrade your pickups. Health is very important, and Magnet can be useful if you have trouble with side scrolling platform games as it helps you pick up coins and stars.

NutriCoin Code

There is a screen for inputing the Horlicks NutriCoin codes you get from Horlicks packs too! Horlicks Nutricoins can be used to redeem Horlicks Nutriquest prizes such as character keychain, baseball cap and watch. You can redeem them through the Horlicks website here.


There is also a character change screen so you can pick the hero that you like from the 4 available. This is just an aesthetic choice but it’s nice for Horlicks to represent minors and female characters.


The progress screen shows how far along you are – there are 10 levels to a map and 4 maps in total (City, Jungle, Factory, 4th Dimension) for 40+ levels!


You can also pick up boxes in later levels.

Throw Box

These boxes can be thrown at Metaloids to kill them.

VR Terminal

Another important thing to watch out is for the VR Terminals. This allows you to enter into a bonus level where you get to pick up coins and stars! The Sharp attribute would be important here as it allows you to stay longer in the level.


Some are quite hard to finish so I suggest you do as much as you can first, then go back and upgrade Sharp and try again for more time.


Watch out for boosters in-game which temporarily gives you powers to be Taller, Stronger or Sharper!


There are some places which requires keys to pass and it would be shown with a padlock.


Just grab the key and it’ll open. Enjoy the game! Hope you had as much fun as I did in your quest to be Taller, Stronger and Sharper. You can download it for iOS or Android.

Horlicks NutriQuest Roadshow @ Orange Concourse, Sunway Pyramid

Horlicks NutriQuest Game

I was at the Horlicks NutriQuest event over the weekend. It took up one of the concourses of Sunway Pyramid and the Horlicks NutriQuest roadshow is open to the public. However, on the event day, media and bloggers were invited to join the exclusive campaign launch session. The roadshow was meant to introduce a new game for iOS and Android which is incorporated with the story elements of being Tall, Strong and Sharp in the mobile game play. The story elements are coincidentally also what Horlicks is all about. Horlicks wants to engage kids of all ages through fun adventures available online and on ground by being Tall, Strong and Sharp!

Horlicks MidValley

Dr Greedy is the key character in the game. He is an evil scientist and the mastermind of the robbery in the Horlicks Factory because he does not want our kids to benefit from the nutrition provided by Horlicks. I also met him in person over the weekend. Haha. He (and his Metaloids) destroyed all Horlicks caches to prevent kids from growing Tall, Strong and Sharp. You’re one of the adventurers that steps up to stop him. This was reflected in the booths too – in addition to the one which had demos of the game running, there were three (3) activity booths.

Horlicks Tall

Tall is a Horlicks NutriQuest booth set up according to your height. Thus, this goes up if you’re higher and down if you’re lower. It’s all about giving a fair chance to kids, so it’s set to your relative height. You’re supposed to catch the Horlicks star. Are you tall enough to defeat Dr Greedy?

Horlicks Strong

Strong is where they set up a Bop Bag. This is a HUGE plastic Dr Greedy which has been bottom stabilized so it never topples over. You try and punch it as hard as you can to earn a stamp on your card. This is meant for kids but I tried punching the Bop Bag as hard as I could. It actually went over but didn’t topple, just as it was designed to do. Nifty.

Horlicks Sharp

Sharp is where they had a wild west rogue’s gallery of Dr Greedy and his henchmen. You’re armed with a semi-automatic Nerf gun full of foam darts. Your aim is to take out the entire board with just one bullet each. It was quite a challenge since Nerf guns don’t always shoot straight. I had fun at this booth, as did most older kids.

Nerf Gun

Stacy Wallace, the General Manager of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Malaysia launched the Horlicks NutriQuest Campaign and the mobile game app with the media after that. We also had lunch at Delicious courtesy of GSK. I have two kids and there was one (1) watch in the media kit so I asked her if it was possible to get another one. Thanks to her, I managed to get another one so the kids won’t fight. :)

Horlicks NutriQuest

Plus, she’s a mom too so she knows how it’s like having two kids. You either don’t give it to them at all (since you only have one) or you get another one and she was kind enough to procure another watch for me. What’s this watch, you say? Well, it’s an item from Horlicks which you can redeem too!

Horlicks Fun

Each Horlicks pack will have Horlicks NutriCoins inside within the duration of this campaign and the Horlicks NutriCoins can be redeemed for both in-game levels *and* exclusive prizes through online redemption.

Horlicks Event

I’ll showcase more about the Horlicks NutriQuest interactive adventure game in a separate post. Horlicks also offers 23 vital nutrients which are essential for growth and children development and I though it’s a great idea for the NutriCoins to be redeemable for awesome merchandise like watches in addition to in-game levels such as to unlock exclusive levels in the 4th Dimension world.

Dr Greedy

No, I’m not acting cool. I’m defeating Dr Greedy in-game and IRL at the same time! The game is very we-well-polished and fun, go download it for either iOS or Android now!

Driving with Shell V-Power 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!


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 money exchange app!


I always have one eye on the currency exchange rates. It’s become a bit of a habit for me, since I left Malaysia to study in New Zealand when I was just 15 years old. I spent over 4 years in Australia for my university and spent a lot of time traveling around the world after that. I’ve been to multiple destinations in Europe (Germany, France, London, Amsterdam and Georgia) as well as Sri Lanka, Taiwan and China and Hong Kong.

Champs Elysees

I have travelled to Korea on a business trip and made my way to Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia on work related trips too. I’m both a leisure traveler and a business traveler so I can see things from both sides. It’s important to be able to check the money exchange rates quickly, especially if a trip is short-notice. I’ve known about the website but now they have a mobile app!


I went to download the eForex app to review it and I’ve kept it since it’s so useful! You have to register to use all the features and it can be a bit of a hassle. However, it’s an important step since you need to provide your personal details anyway when you exchange money in person. This way, you only have to do it once!

I felt better with that knowledge and entered all my details, which allowed me to create my own profile.

eForex App

The eForex app basically allows you to check live rates and buy foreign currency anytime anywhere from the app. They do it well with a minimalistic and easy to understand interface. You’re shown the few major options where you can instantly purchase currency or check your favorite currency rates live.

Today Exchange Rates

I really like the one-click instant update feature. You just need to click on “Today’s Rate” on the main landing screen in order to see all the major world currencies on one page from USD, Euro, GBP, etc. These are today’s live exchange rates and I’ve been clicking on it several times a day to monitor USD and the Japanese Yen since I will be travelling again in a couple of months.

Add Favorites

You can also set your favorite currencies here. Just click on the “…” options on the right and “Add to Favorite”. This will remember the currencies you exchange the most and put it in the Favorites List.

Favorite Currencies

There is also a wonderful feature where you can just input a single number in Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) and it shows you the equivalent rates today on ALL your favorite currencies. This allows me to type in 10000 and instantly see how much RM 10,000 would get me in JPY, SGD (my sister and dad lives there), NZD, USD and Euro. Very nifty!

Pick Up

There is also a sidebar where you can see where the nearest Pick-up Points are. You can browse through the list or enter in your current location to see if they have a branch nearby. eForex app is made by Merchantrade so they have a lot of outlets.

Kota Damansara

You can also see exactly where the outlet is (and use it to open Google Maps) or click to call the place directly. This allows you to easily purchase foreign currency and go and pick it up at a location. You just need to bring along your MyKad/IC (for Malaysians) or your passport (for non-Malaysians) along with your Transaction Confirmation Slip or eForex Pin Number (which is shown in the eForex app).

eForex Purchace

The online payment system is secure and you don’t need to carry huge amounts of cash to money changers anymore since you’ve already paid via the app. You can even purchase now and collect the foreign currency at today’s rate up to 6 months down the road – a great feature that is usually reserved for large companies! This is the first app in Malaysia which allows you to buy currency directly from the app.

Travel Reminder

There are also other awesome features like Rate Alerts (so you can know when your favorite currency hits a certain point) and Travel Reminder (which prompts you to buy currency when you’re about to fly off). It’s a simple app to navigate, yet with lots of important features which makes eForex an awesome app for frequent flyers, whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure.


Check it out by typing eForex in Google Play or App Store and you can download the free app and see how it works out for you. I’m quite fond of it, instead of having to type in “100 USD to MYR” in Google (which is a shortcut to see today’s rate, albeit from a US perspective so it’s not accurate) I can just click on the app to see a host of my favorite currencies rates updated live. I can now get the current confirmed exchange rate instead of an estimate to see if it’s a good day to exchange money. Lovely!

6 Rakuten Shopping Hacks for Ultimate Value!

Kit Kat Baked Cheesecake

I have been fascinated with Rakuten ever since a friend of mine told me that she got a pack of Kit Kat that’s exclusive to Japan from the site. These are the awesome bakeable (!!!) Kit Kat bars from the Land of the Rising Sun. They’re actually called Baked Cheesecake Kit Kats and they’re mini Kit Kat bars you can bake in the oven!

Snickers Square

You actually have to put them in the oven before you can eat them. I bought a pack for my better half to try.

Taiwan Apple Milk Tea

There’s all sorts of wonderful discoveries to be had on Rakuten. In a sense, their tagline “Shopping is Entertainment” holds very true for people like me who likes to discover new snacks which can only be purchased in certain countries.

Ritz Smoky Bacon

There are specialized shops in Rakuten that offers Japan exclusive products. You don’t have to fly over there to get something which is localized in Japan anymore, for example their Rose Wine Pocky, which is only available in Kobe. You can find it on Rakuten within a click of a mouse or a search string, which brings me to my first hack:

1. Browse often for the best deals

You have to go through your favorite category (mine is Food & Drink) to discover the latest exotic Japanese products. They have a lot of seasonal, limited edition and new items being listed all the time so if you miss going on for a week, you might completely miss out on a certain limited edition item.

2. Become a member and shop for free

Signing up as a member on Rakuten is free. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t become a member since you get rewarded with Rakuten Super Points. Rakuten Super Points is an alternate payment method in Rakuten – it is equivalent to cold hard cash so if you accumulate enough, you’ll be able to buy (redeem) something for free using your Rakuten Super Points!

3. Take advantage of the 5X Rakuten Super Points Giveaway

Rakuten is now giving away Super Points in the form of a 5% rebate! This is equivalent to 5% of your purchase being given back in the form of Rakuten Super Points. 1 Super Point is worth RM 1 and these points are available 24/7 – there’s no limit on the amount of rebate you can get. Yes, you can use this like cash to offset your next purchase!

4. Get additional 5% discount on Wednesdays with Mastercard

Wednesday is the new shopping day coz you’ll get an additional 5% off if you use Mastercard to make your purchases! This little known trick will allow you to stretch your budget further. Here’s a tip for you – hold off your purchases until Wednesday, just remember what you planned to get and pay for your shopping cart when the next Wednesday rolls along for maximum value.
For example, you can get this limited edition Japan exclusive Nestle Kit Kat Red Pepper for RM 69 from Okashi World.

Nestle Kit Kat Japan Red Pepper

You need to pay RM 69 usually but after Mastercard 5% discount on Wednesday, you just need to pay RM 65.55.

You also get 3.45 points from that via 5x points!

5. Grab their weekend coupons

Rakuten gives out coupons every weekend and this is a great way to get more value out of your purchases. Each weekend comes with a different coupon value so check in every weekend and claim your coupon for discounts on top of your purchases.

6. Save on shipping

Look at the shipping options closely. Some shops have free shipping built in, others have a minimum spend, some have free shipping for certain couriers, while some have multiple courier service providers which vary in price for the same product.

Pringles Multi Grain

Do you have any more Rakuten Shopping Hacks? Let me know in the comments and we’ll see how well it works. The best ones going around now are the 5X Rakuten Super Points giveaway!

Cadbury Shortcake

Have fun while shopping for the latest stuff from Japan, whatever your interests are in Rakuten!

Titan Raga Moonlight Collection Launch @ Svago, KLCC

Titan Svago KLCC

I have heard a lot of good things about Titan. They’re one of the largest watch manufacturers in the words (5th largest to be exact) and ranked among the top 100 luxury watch companies. Brought and distributed in Malaysia by Chronosoft Sdn Bhd, I’ve seen their timepieces around and when I heard about the launch of their Moonlight collection, I dropped by Svago in KLCC to check it out.

Titan Raga Moonlight

The Moonlight collection by Titan is inspired by the beauty of objects captured in moonlight. Mr Vijesh Rajan (Business Head International Division, Titan Company Limited) was there to share the stories behind the creation of each of the watches.

The Taj

I was particularly impressed by this one. It’s inspired by the Taj Mahal and features Swarovski crystals. This is called The Taj and is described as “a stunning illustration of the iconic monument, these timepieces draw inspiration from the awe-inspiring silhouette of the Taj Mahal on a full moon night”.

Mystic Luna

Mystic Luna is inspired by the moon goddess Luna and I like the beauty and elegance of the design.

Titan Moonlight Collection

Titan only uses Swarovski crystals exclusively in their Moonlight collection. The range is priced between RM 375 to RM 1,985 and there were models there to showcase the timepieces.

The Moonlight collection is under Titan Raga, which is a range of exquisite watches for the modern women. This leans towards the more mature and luxurious target market and often features precious stones and gems embedded into the timepieces.

Titan Edge

I also managed to examine their Edge range, which is the slimmest quartz watch in the world. You can see just how thin each one is. Amazing.


I also got a limited edition Titan watch!

Titan Watch

Titan creates a range of limited edition watches for the Penang Bridge International Marathon each year and this one retails for RM 525. They’re also one of the sponsors of the event and the official watch for the Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon.


This particular watch has a large face with 100 meter water resistance.

Titan Penang Bridge International Marathon

It has the Penang Bridge International Marathon emblem engraved into the back of the watch.

Titan Watch Design

I like how there is a LCD display with digital timekeeping in addition to the regular chronograph and the day of the week is displayed as well.

Titan Men Watch

The leather strap offers a practical functionality and I personally prefer leather straps for versatility but you can swap it out if you want.


I’ve been using this watch exclusively for almost a month now, both in KL and in my business dealings in Sarawak and I love the way it’s appropriate for both work…


…and play.

Titan Watches

Titan has a range of watches for both men and women and if you’re keen to hear more about it, drop by their website at Titan World or interact with them on the Titan Facebook page.

Honesty, integrity and respect for all people

My dad is a firm believer in the rule of law. He doesn’t go against the system, not even for “victimless crimes”.

Mom Dad
My Mom and Dad

Let me give some context to this anecdote – this was almost 30 years ago, when we were living in Kuching. I knew the time and place coz the Royal London Circus had come to town and I was very keen to go and see it. We were living in Kuching at the time since my dad was posted there as a Nazir (translates loosely to Inspector).


He was on a School Inspector salary so we didn’t have much, but we made do. What my dad did back then was to go to schools and inspect the implementation of the syllabus and the state of educational institutions. If you’ve been to high school in Malaysia, you’ve probably seen someone like him – he was the guy that sat silently behind in classes to watch what the teachers teach and how the students interact.

My family and I on a holiday – from left – my grandma, sister, me, my mom and dad

That’s not how he got his strong ethics though, that has always been there. He always told us to put our seat belts on, at a time when no one did (early 80’s). Since the circus was in town, the roads were jammed due to everyone illegally double parking. It was a long walk to the circus and we were going to be late and I was badgering my dad to just park and go.

He wouldn’t have any of it. With my late mom’s urging, he nearly caved in but he didn’t. Instead, he drove to a Shell station, which was really far away and nicely asked the attendant if he could park there. The attendant didn’t have the authority to say yes or no, so calls were made (this was before cell phones) and we waited almost 30 minutes before someone called back to say we could.

It was only then that we left the car in the Shell station and walked 30 miles (it could have just been 1 kilometer, but still, it seemed far back then) to the circus. My dad had been working all day and was tired and I could appreciate how hard it is to keep up with a young kid like me (I understand this better since I have kids of my own right now). I am all the more appreciative now that he didn’t go the easy way and was patient enough to wait till the proper authorizations were done before taking two hyperactive kids to the circus. I was grateful that they allowed us to park at the station premises after the circumstances were explained.

That incident made a long lasting impression of the good people at Shell.

Fast-forward to today, I always make it a point to go to Shell for my petrol needs. Not only because of the good impression that I have of the company, but because of their superior service. The attendants are very attentive to all their customers, and I can always rely on them to fill up my tank dutifully while I grab some snacks from the Select Store. To up the game – my fuel tank was once filled by the station manager – and she didn’t mind it a bit, even though she could have just asked the service attendant to do the job. This is customer-orientated service. No matter what position they hold, they are dedicated to making sure that customers are well-taken care of.

Grand Old Lady
In front of the Grand Old Lady site, Miri, Sarawak

Shell was the first company to extract oil and gas in Malaysia. The site of the first well producing oil is still here (although it’s no longer functional). It’s called the Grand Old Lady and it’s located in Miri, not too far from where I was born in Sibu.

Shell Station

Shell in Malaysia employs a significant number of people and contributes not just to the economy, but also towards road safety awareness, scholarships for Malaysians, and quality-of-life corporate social responsibility initiatives like the “We Care, We Share” community care programs.

Shell also has core values that my dad can relate to – honesty, integrity and respect for all people as their business principles. Tell me, what are your Shell #StationStories? #ShellKita

Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop Review

Acer Predator Launch

I have a problem which I’m sure a lot of other games share. I own a relatively new notebook (bought it earlier this year) since I need a portable device to use for work when I’m out and about. However, I believe that notebooks should be dual purpose and it must be able to handle the games I play when I’m home too.

Buy Games

Unfortunately, that isn’t a reality for the majority of us with regular notebooks. I can’t play a lot of the new games for this very reason. I didn’t buy even buy Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void until two weeks ago coz I knew my (relatively new) notebook can’t handle the graphics on the highest settings and I *want* to play it on the highest settings.


Hell, I’ll even go so far to say that I deserve to.


However, you can’t expect that in a normal notebook. There simply isn’t enough processing and graphics card power in a notebook format. Thus, I mostly play Hearthstone, a relatively non-intensive game. Anything remotely related to FPS (first person shooter) and MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genres are out of the question. Games like Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Alien Isolation, Heroes of the Storm just doesn’t run well on work notebooks.

Acer Predator Box

Enter the Acer Predator laptop. It’s a notebook that’s built to gamer friendly specifications. I was amazed when I scrolled though the technical details. The Acer Predator laptop all run the latest and most powerful NVIDIA GeForce notebook GPUs! The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 980M has been rated to run at up to 70% of their desktop counterparts.

Acer Predator Unboxing

That’s a huge figure if you know anything about notebook gaming. Previous notebook GPUs can only achieve less than 40% parity with their desktop counterparts. Finally, we have a gaming laptop solution which is almost equal to the most powerful desktop gaming machines (and definitely more powerful than most mid-tier gaming desktops).

Acer Predator 15

You can at last run the latest and greatest games like Call of Duty: Black Ops III on a notebook and get better performance than all but the highest end desktop machines, courtesy of the Acer Predator laptop series. I was lucky enough to get an Acer Predator 15 for review. This laptop is equipped with:

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 15.6″ display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 128 GB SSD drive + 1 TB SATA HDD

This unit retails for RM 6,999. You can also get 24 GB DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM and a 256GB SSD drive for RM 8,999. I can tell you that the graphics card alone is easily a third of the cost when you buy it from stores, this is not as expensive as you think, gamers spend this amount for GPUs all the time.

Acer Predator Gaming Series

I say this coz I heard a lot of people commenting about the price during the launch of the Acer Predator. I silently thought to myself “These people have never played a single game in their lives, much less know about GPUs and the price of the latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics card”. I didn’t say it out loud coz I didn’t want to appear to be condescending but that’s the point of the Acer Predator laptop series.

Acer Predator

It’s for GAMERS.

FrostCore Acer

There’s Predator FrostCore, the swappable fan design which injects this powerful gaming rig with extra cold to keep heat down and performance up. It’s additional cooling, the notebook is already cooled, but if you don’t need the DVD drive, you can swap out the bay easily by a switch via the back.

Predator FrostCore

Pop in the Predator FrostCore and you’ll see a noticeable change in your performance.

Watch Dogs

I found out that putting the Predator FrostCore in for games like Watch Dogs gives a 5-10 fps (frames per second) increase. This is on the highest quality settings with all the bells and whistles (4xSSAA anti-aliasing etc).


I also liked the Killer DoubleShot Pro technology. It basically uses BOTH your WiFi and Ethernet to combine and optimize bandwidth. You can use this by selecting the fastest one (which can differ according to circumstances) to dedicate to your game or select one to use for your game and the other for streaming.


This is perfect for Twitch streamers. You don’t need a lot for your games but NVIDIA ShadowPlay takes a lot of bandwidth so you can use the faster one (be it Ethernet or WiFi) for uploading ShadowPlay recordings to Twitch or YouTube Gaming.


The Predator SoundPound 4.2 boasts four speakers with two powerful subwoofers and Dolby Audio surround sound. I was quite surprised at the fidelity of treble notes and the intensity of bass in a laptop. The Acer Predator 15 I had was LOUD!

PredatorSense ProZone

The PredatorSense intelligent gaming keyboard control and customization options lets you set up keyboard macros (essential for anyone who plays World of Warcraft and similar games). It’s quite useful for RTS (real time strategy) games like Starcraft II also. The Predator ProZone keyboard is insanely accurate and has four (4) customizable backlight zones and programmable macro profiles you can share. The backlight is very useful if you’re gaming in the dark and you can set the intensity as you wish – notice how the W, A, S, D keys are brighter than the surrounding ones.

You can use up to three (3) monitors including one NVIDIA G-SYNC monitor with the Acer Predator gaming laptop too so you can setup the most immersive gaming experience at your home. The features above are standard in all Acer Predator laptop series.


The Acer Predator series is not for the average Joe who fiddles around with Microsoft Word and uses Excel once in a while to do their taxes. It’s not for the casual gamer who thinks Angry Birds or Bejeweled is the pinnacle of gaming. It’s for gamers like us who plays AAA titles like Call of Duty. It’s for the competitive gamers who participate in DOTA tournaments. It’s for Twitch streamers who wants to play Counter Strike: Global Offensive and have enough processing power to do it in the highest resolution and quality settings while rebroadcasting it to their fans.

Acer Gaming

The gaming industry has grown exponentially over the past decade and games are now the biggest budget titles and earners instead of Hollywood films. This trend will continue and for those of us who enjoys playing games, you’ll want to have a high end notebook, especially if you’re someone like me who only wants one (1) device to do it all – both work and games.

Find out more at the Acer Predator website.

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