Satria R3: Life at 2000 clicks

“Tweet tweet, tweet tweet”, goes the stock alarm of the black stallion some of us know as the Satria R3. Then the Captor. I open the unfamiliar door and wiggle my way into those snuggly red-black Recaro SR4 semi-bucket seats. Adjusting it slightly for optimum reach and leg positioning, I grip excitedly on the MOMO Tuner steering. Keys in the ignition, crank. I am greeted by an enthusiastic growl then muted burble. My heart races.

Fast forward 2,000 kilometres. It’s amazing. It’s been a month since that fateful day I collected my car. Many days of driving pleasure no doubt! My first impressions of the nippy sudo-race car were positive, although slightly marred by the usual Proton QC problems like power windows, flimsy plastics and questionable installation quality. And drive, I did, while considering suitable fuel to feed the tuned 4G93P lump.
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On The Mac Side

Need a fuss-free computer that doesn’t break the bank? How about a RM2,000 Mac? Impossible? Think again. Or perhaps Think Different, whatever fits the situation.

According to the infamous rumour site Think Secret, Apple is reported to be readying an entry level Mac, to be targetted at PC users who buy the iPod and have concerns over compatibility. Codenamed “Q88”, the Mac will be sold sans a screen and should be revealed sometime in January.

The lowest priced Mac in Apple’s stable is currently occupied by the eMac, starting from RM3,300.

Details are sketchy at the moment, but it is obvious that Apple is taking advantage of its stronghold of the digital music player market with its successful iPod and iPod Mini variants. The sleek music player has seen 2 million units shipped, contributing $537 million to Apple’s bottomline in the 3rd quarter of 2004.

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On the .Mac front, Apple is planning to increase storage space of .Mac subscribers to as much as 1GB, in addition to new services in 2005. This is a welcome moved considering the increasing demand for bigger storage amongst netizens. Competition from Spymac, GMail and Yahoo Mail is fierce and bigger storage can only benefit subscribers of .Mac.

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Malaysia Mac User Group (myMUG) is officially open!

The Malaysia Mac User Group (myMUG) website is finally launched!

For Mac users, non-believers + naysayers, PC-converts and curious by-standers alike, MyMUG is THE place to walk and talk Mac. Currently in its infancy, the site is simple and functional. BTW, if you are interested to contribute reviews, news, ideas, feel free to drop a line Azul or Wei.

The myMUG forum has been the virtual meeting space for Mac users in Malaysia and has been running for about a year. The official MyMUG website completes the delivery – a useful Malaysian Mac resource centre.

Registration is free. Visit the site and forum now!

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V-Power : Real Performer or Over-priced Unleaded Petrol?

Fellow enthusiast Eric had questioned my choice of fuel for my spanking new Satria R3. Since some time ago, I’ve religiously fed my Persona with Shell V-Power and now my SR3.

To be totally honest, I neither have substantiated evidence nor literature that V-Power actually works and warrants the premium RM1.57/litre price it enjoys over the rest of local motor fuels. After some reading of mostly layman and marketing information, no actual scientific explanation is found besides the vague “purer, highly refined petrol with a unique base fuel reformulation that helps unleash extra energy for power and responsiveness…” I had always assumed that V-Power was more expensive due to a higher RON rating (in the vicinity of RON98). However none of this is supported by any literature in black and white although the Shell website does mention that V-Power at least conforms to RON97, at minimum.

However, through experience using V-Power and testing with other fuels like Caltex, Vortex Gold, Mobil + Esso Synergy F-1, I can attest that cars, especially of lower capacity engines, seem to perform better with obvious increase in power and response.

Shell.com says,
“Shell V-Power is a unique formulation that was developed based on Shell’s extensive experience as a Formula 1 technical partner to Ferrari. Utilising technology previously only available to Formula 1 racing teams, Shell V-power brings track-inspired performance to the road. It is a purer, highly refined petrol with a unique base fuel reformulation that helps unleash extra energy for power and responsiveness as quick as your reflexes. Shell V-Power is a totally redesigned petrol; not just one that’s been enhanced with additives. “

Somewhat typical marketing talk and almost hard-to-believe claims,
“With the help of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, Shell went on to prove Shell-V-Power’s supreme performance on the race-track. After a couple of hot laps, the racing petrol in Schumacher’s Formula 1 Ferrari was substituted with Shell V-Power. The results were stunning.

Shell V-Power performed almost as well as the racing petrol. So well in fact, that even Michael Schumacher was surprised at the marginal difference in performance!”

Despite the lack of facts, I will continue to use V-Power for my car simply due to reason that there is a notable increase in power delivery and response. On track days and special occasions, I pop in a can of Aerotech Afterburn, an octane booster, which unleashes a few more horses. Very addictive too 🙂

So, what’s your choice of motor fuel, and why?

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Satria R3 – 850kms and counting

It’s been exactly a week and 850kms have passed. I have 150kms before the much-anticipated 1,000kms mark. I can’t wait for the first service to get all the metal gunk out from the engine block with a fresh supply of engine oil.

Fuel consumption seemed to have improved a tad since the first refuelling. Numbers are below:

Fuel Consumption
1st Refuel
V-Power : 38 litres @ RM1.57/l – RM60
Mileage : 380km
Approx consumption : 10litres/100km

2nd refuel
V-Power : 38litres @ RM1.57/l – RM60
Mileage : 420km
Approx consumption : 9.04litres/100km

Quoted fuel consumption figures are 12.74litres/100km for urban driving and 6.72litres/100km.

I’ve done mostly urban driving, without revving over 3,000rpm which translates to speeds of less than 110km/h. So far so good.

On with more driving!

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Mac OS X 10.3.7 Update

Apple quietly releases a much-needed update to Mac OS X, after the rather buggy and slow 10.3.6 release. Been experiencing application slowdown, Finder freezes, quirky networking in the previous release.

The 26MB 10.3.7 update installed without problems. Everything seems slightly snappier. No problems or known problems as yet.

According to Apple’s technotes, the update resolves the ‘flash of lines’ display issue which also affected my G5 immediately after installation of 10.3.6. The update also addresses issues with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft as well as some Firewire and networking problems.

Full details below:
About the Mac OS X 10.3.7 Update (Delta)

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Flash iPod in the works?
There are heavy rumours that Apple is secretly developing a Flash-memory based iPod. The original iPod, with the Mini iPod and latest iPod U2 SE + iPod Photo have already taken the world by storm, shortages already reported moving towards the Christmas holidays.

A Flash-iPod would address another chunk of the MP3 player market, one which Apple already dominates. Booming sales of the iPod is complemented by 200 million downloads from the iTunes Music Store reiterates the strength of the Apple music device. There seems to be no stopping Apple’s surge in sales and market share at present time.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Mini iPod!

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Satria R3 – Links

For curious and interested enthusiasts, here are some links for the Satria R3.

Zerotohundred.com Forums -> NEW SATRIA R3 Topic

Team Matrix Motorsport R3 mods

R3-Satria (GTi)

Race Rally Research

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