Us Against The Numbers –> -3.7% interest, 50 sen on ATM, RM1.00 per month

-3.7% on interest per year. 50 sen on every 5th ATM transaction. RM1.00 per month subscription fee.

What’s going on? To accept the fact that it is YOUR bank who gives you 0.3% in interest per year on your savings balance is catastrophic enough. I wonder why they call it a ‘Savings’ account when your hard-earned money is actually eroding gradually due to inflation each year, which in case you weren’t aware – a number that hovers around 4%. Each year. Bloody hell. And if you could cough out RM1,000 for a fixed deposit, you’d reduce the damage of capital erossion due to inflation to about 1%. But still its 1% against you. Not in favour of.

Swell.

Not only do they throw in a paltry 0.3% interest in your savings, they also (bloody hell) charge your for ATM withdrawals. 50 sen for every 5 transactions. Why is that? Imagine this, your home bank, nothing to do with MEPS or withdrawal through a common interbank network.

To top it all off, they will be introducing a ‘subscription fee’ effective 20 December 2004. A subscription fee? For what?

“Since the launch of Maybank2u.com in June 2000, we have provided a wide range of services to enable you to enjoy security and convenience in online banking. Our goal is that you, as a valued customer, will always receive quality products and services. This access to Maybank2u.com has been made available to you on a complimentary basis. “

In this day and age, I would assume that online banking IS part and parcel of banking service, complementing existing conventional banking. Not an ‘optional’ feature. And definitely not an extra. Especially not a paid, subscription-based one. That’s dispicable. Shameful almost. Is this how you repay your so-called ‘valued customer’? The billions you make each year from your customers still warrants charging them for ‘infrastructure’?

“Should you choose not to subscribe to Maybank2u.com, you can alternatively use our other delivery channels, such as our Kawanku ATMs, Kawanku Phone Banking or visit our branches for your banking and bill payment transactions. However, we trust that you would continue to use Maybank2u.com for a nominal fee to enjoy the many services and time-saving conveniences available.”

Wow, thanks for the choice, buddy. And also thanks for telling your customers. There was no official announcement to your customers via mail, email, phone, or whatever channel left to not be chargeable, about the subscription fee except through Maybank2U.com. Was fortunate that a friend had highlighted it to me, for I would have missed it otherwise.

Talking about banks – I was at Citibank to help a friend pay for his credit card bill. When he dropped me off at the Citibank branch on Jalan Ampang I was shocked to see the amount of people queueing to make payment at the Cash Deposit machines. So this is how ‘convenient’ modern day banking is huh? How about giving customers you so aggresively give credit cards to better service? More machines? More branches? It took me 30 minutes before it was my turn. Plus no air-conditioning. Great. 100 inpatient, annoyed and sweaty people, in very long lines. Really nice. And some slow-pokes who either don’t read very well or are virgin ATM users. I am so glad I am not a Citibank customer. Really. I am.

So my dear friends, how is YOUR bank treating ya?

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Breaking a Virgin : Gentle or Hard + Fast?

There seems a dearth of literature on proper ways to break-in or run-in a new engine, whether for a virgin car or motorbike. Car manufacturers recommend a gentle break-in, especially from 0km – 3,000kms. Motoman, a tuner based in the States, however, seems to think otherwise.

The controversial MotoMan wrote “Break-in Secrets” after applying his methods on over 300 new engines. He claims that by using his methods, engines would experience a dramatic increase in power over all RPMs, internals remaining cleaner and more efficient overall. His principles and examples apply to all 4-stroke engines – motorbikes, cars, airplanes, snow mobiles, lawn mowers!

So really, how true is this?
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The Street Shootout is back!

The popular drift and time attack challenge organised by Proton is making a comeback at Sepang on the 4th-5th December 2004. Held in conjuction with the Proton Track Carnival Sepang 2004, the 4th SSO in the series will be the last for the year.

The Time Attack challenge will see the Pre-Viagra class (below 1300cc) reintroduced into the series along with Eat Me (below 1600cc), Hung (below 2000cc) and Rocco (above 2000cc or Sports Cars). Sub-categories would include BSD Team Trophy, Old Skool and Honeyz (for the racer babes!).

Entry fees will be RM80.00 for either the Drift Challenge or Time Attack.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up! Click here for details. To register, click here.

I will be attempting to improve my previous 14th-15th position (driving my the only 1.8 Wira in my class). Hopefully I will get my Satria R3 by then. Would be nice to see what times I can set at Sepang!

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Mac OS X Lagfest

If you haven’t downloaded and installed it already, the Mac OS X 10.3.6 client and server updates are available for download from Apple servers. Released yesterday, noted improvements and changes are:

– network volumes are now available in the Finder sidebar and Desktop for convenient access
– improved file sharing and directory services for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) PC (SMB/CIFS), PPTP, and wireless networks
– improved support for NTFS formatted volumes
– improved reliability of user logins, mounting of home directories in a networked environment, and launch of network applications
– improved PostScript and USB printing
– improved font management
– improved disc burning and recording functionality
– improved Bluetooth compatibility for Apple Wireless Keyboard and Mouse and Bluetooth phones.
– iPods connected via USB 2.0 are now recognized by iTunes and iSync
– improved Open GL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphics drivers
– updated Address Book, Calculator, Disk Utility, DVD Player, Image Capture, Mail, Safari, Stickies, and QuickTime applications
– improved compatibility for third party applications
– additional support for FireWire and USB devices
– FileVault, FireWire 800 and WebDAV improvements from Update 10.3.1
– previous standalone security updates and Bluetooth Update 1.5.1

Important note:
Apple has identified an issue with external FireWire hard drives using the Oxford 922 bridge chip-set with firmware version 1.02 that can result in the loss of data stored on the disk drive. Even with the improvements available in this update, Apple recommends you update the firmware on your FireWire drive. Please contact your drive manufacturer for more information.

The update is available via Software Update, or you can download the 92MB standalone update (which I usually recommend for bigger updates like this).

Updated life so far…
Initially all was good. No notable difference. No crashes. No new bugs. But later in the day I got some puzzling display anomalies never before seen on my G5 or my Sony 21″ CRT. Horizontal lines appeared intermittently, flashing on an off randomly on screen. Restarted the comp to see if that helped. Nope. Still there. Could be the updated display drivers which came with the combo update. Or could it be the display finally giving way?

Dunno. But today it has behaved. However, I feel the G5 is sluggish. Some tasks lag especially in Photoshop. Switching apps too. I’ll do an update_prebinding to see if that helps.

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96/99 UK-spec Proton Persona For Quick Sale!

I have a UK-spec Proton Persona 1.8 SEi sedan for sale. Need to sell this fast.
Specs as follows:

Engine
1996/99 Proton Persona 1.8 SEi sedan (UK-spec)
4G93P Single-cam MPI engine
1834cc
Pipercross drop-in filter with cold-air intake
Custom downpipe + 2″ stainless steel exhaust system
Apexi muffler
Lightweight cam pulley
MMC engine mounts (new)
MMC timing belt, bearings (new)
Bosch Super 4 plugs
Q8Oils SW10-50 FT fully-synthetic engine oil

Transmission
F5M22 Manual
(one of the very rare single-cam manual cars in the market)

Brakes + Suspension Kit
Front – EBC Blackstuff + stock disks
Rear – stock disks and pads
APM R-Tech short-stroke absorbers
Eibach Pro-Kit Springs

Rims + Rolling Stock
16″ 6-spoke JRD
Falken Azenis ST115 (front) – 70%
Falken Ziex ZE-512 (rear) – 70%

Exterior
Stock 2K purple (newly repainted in Feb ’04)
MIVEC/Mirage bumper, fender + lips
MMC Electronic flippable side-mirrors
Rare Daihatsu bee-sting antennae
Original GSR rear spoiler

Interior
Stock with GTi console
Sports pedals

ICE
Stock Blaupunkt cassette headunit
4 speakers

Relevant info
Mileage: 120,000 miles
Car serviced every 5000-6000km, no major accidents.
Responsive and reliable. Exhaust very quiet at idling. Test to believe and appreciate. 40litres returns about 420-450kms.
MIVEC spotlights available. Will include if wanted. Slightly rusted.

Loan from MayBan Finance can be arranged. RM28.5K max @ 4.75%.

Going for RM32K o.n.o. Interested? Drop me a line!

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Satria R3 – Booked! (but not without hassle!)

I’ve never been this excited or nervous about a car. Seriously wierd. It was much anticipated. In fact, I grew so impatient I was logging on to the ProtonEdar site at 2.00pm. Kiasu! Bookings for the race-bred Satria R3 began at 3.00pm sharp today. When the official R3 booking page came up at 3.00pm, I was number 2.

But much as I expected it, the credit card transaction did not go through. Fuck. This cannot be happening, I whined. After multiple attempts, the online transactions were still timing out. I gave Adian (Head of the R3 project a call), telling him about the problem. He checked with the credit card transaction provider and called me back later. 3.15pm and still no confirmation of the car.

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iMac G5 Launch : Where did the computer go?

MyMUG crew – Sean, Azul, me, Alvin, Chris (Azxel) + Juan (Qwerty)

The where-in-heaven’s-name-is-the-computer iMac G5 was officially launch with much fanfare and excitement last night at Velvet Underground : Zouk. Rudy of the Hitz.fm Morning Crew emceed and he was as entertaining as he was funny and spirited. I had attended the event with some of my colleagues, a couple who are Mac-heads, like yours truly.

I am not a biggie fan of the new iMac form factor, but I think simplicity has its advantages. It does look sleek and minimal, definitely saves plenty of desktop space. Plus the G5 processor brings it one level up from the previous G4 offering. Nice, nice quality display (choice of 17″ or 20″) I have to say.

The highlight of the day was definitely Jit Murad who did a 45-minute skit. He was hilarious as usual, with a quick swoosh, transforming into Renee Choi, world reknowned hair stylist and *fooooh* blowdry specialist from Sungai Wang! 😀 He was funny, as usual. Talented dude, and Mac user, no doubt!

Audience was also fed with games, giving participants chances to win Apple merchandise – mostly polo tees and ‘Book bags. Did I mention exclusive? Ok.

All in all, it was a fun event. In fact, I think it was one of the better, more happening ones ever organised by Apple. Well done! And btw, the picture you see up there are some of the MyMUG members who came to support the event. Cheers people! See ya online!

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