Wednesday, 26 November 2014

B&W Bun (Chinese: 包)

I would like to share with you this yummy lotus paste steamed bun that I had over the weekend. I especially like the lotus paste that really tasted like lotus paste and not just insanely sweet like some that you find out there! And it's not those that are more flour than paste. Yes, this one was a lucky find.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Letting Go Fuel Subsidies and Hoping for Better Aducation

Two things this evening:

No more fuel subsidies from 1 December 2014 - an eventuality which had long been in the making. RON95 and diesel pricing will be based on the same mechanism as RON97. I only hope that the subsidy money will be put to good use.
"...fuel prices would be determined on a monthly average price, which will be announced at the end of each month for the following month."
And, our prime minister has the ambition to take our aducation to the top of the class.
Najib said the government realised the country's educational system needed to be continually improved to produce knowledgeable individuals who were ethical and had a competitive edge.
via The Malaysian Insider.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Apple, Handoff My Sorrows

Recently, I've managed to test out Handoff with Pocket, the app that saves a copy of a webpage for offline reading. While reading on the Mac, I had wanted to move to a different spot in the house. Being a small house, this different spot is only less than 5 meters away but in a different room.

Even though mini, my Mac is still desktop class so what better time to test Handoff by bringing the iPhone along. To my pleasant surprise the Pocket icon appeared on the bottom left corner of the lock screen. I just needed to swipe that icon upwards (similar to swiping the bottom right camera icon to take a quick photo) and voila! Pocket launched and I resumed my reading.

However, I grieve because I didn't know that Handoff is not supported on my iPad generation 3 but works on the first iPad Mini! You know, I tried to put it behind me when Apple released the 4th generation iPad just six months after the 3rd generation with a much more powerful processor and a Lightning port. Oh the pain!

Handoff and Instant Hotspot

Handoff and Instant Hotspot are supported by the following Mac models, and require OS X Yosemite:
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2012 and later)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 and later)
  • iMac (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
  • Mac Pro (Late 2013)
Handoff is supported by the following iOS devices and requires iOS 8. Instant Hotspot requires one of these iPhone or iPad devices with cellular connectivity and iOS 8.1. Instant Hotspot also requires Personal Hotspot service through your carrier.
  • Phone 5 or later
  • iPhone 4s (sharing iPhone calls only)
  • iPad (4th generation), iPad Air, iPad Air 2
  • iPad mini, iPad mini with Retina display, iPad mini 3
  • iPod touch (5th generation)

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Get ready for work!

In what felt like just a blink of the eye, it's once again the end of Sunday. Sigh. Work begins in just a few more hours. :(

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Pixel Density Race

It had always been THE digital camera sensor megapixel race (mostly with megapixels so high that's not necessary but instead compromised low light photography) but recently it's pixel density. Sharp has got a 4.1" screen with 736ppi. And for the future...
Sharp is working to scale the size of the screen up and keep the high pixel density right now. The goal is to produce a 6-inch screen with 4K resolution and 736ppi in the future.
via Android Community.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Streaming Music - Impending Doom?

I was happily going about with my recent Spotify Premium account (RM10 per month with Maxis) only to read about its (and all the other streaming music services out there) impending doom as more and more artists back out remove their songs. Taylor Swift is one of the higher profile ones. Then, there's this other report that the highest streamed single only earned its authors $4,000 each.

Streaming music sounds too good to be true, especially to consumers, and as more artists come out to voice their opinions, it may indeed be true that the returns are way too little. With iTunes sales dropping, even Apple is rumoured to be on the verge of launching their own, what with the purchase of Beats.

These services don't seem to be losing out anytime soon, unless artists like Taylor Swift could convince others through their actions. It would be interesting to see how the streaming services react should the situation change for the worse. Well, there's still digital streaming radio to fall back on should things get too heated up...

Today's Superbike

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the world's most energy efficient, zero emission, and yet the fastest ever superbike:

A photo posted by @ionbuck on

Friday, 7 November 2014

The Force Awakens

Star Wars Episode VI - The Force Awakens sounds much better than The Phantom Menace and I can't remember what Star Wars Episodes II and III are called.

Una foto publicada por Star Wars (@starwars) el

iPhone 6 Plus Not Replacing the iPad Just Yet

One of the main reasons why my colleagues bought the Samsung Notes was the "larger screen vs. older eyes" thing so it's not surprising that people would love the iPhone 6 Plus, too. I had seriously consider upgrading to a plus-sized iPhone in its next iteration (a big maybe now considering the huge price tag that this premium phone carries) and ageing eye sight is indeed one reason.

The other reason is awesome battery life. The third reason is a potential replacement for my similarly ageing iPad 3rd generation. However, news that Paper (the awesome drawing app by FiftyThree) isn't coming to the iPhone 6 Plus in the near future is a detraction altogether. There is life for iPad, yet.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Down Memory Lane with Spotify

During my 4-hour journey home, I had the opportunity to listen to the two Spotify playlists that I’ve made available offline - Television Theme Songs and Themes From the Movies.

It was back to the days of Friends where it’s like you’re always stuck in second gear or when the Swiss Army knife was THE thing that could've made my childhood as resourceful as MacGyver. There were Threes Company and a Full House of memories in the Television Theme Songs playlist. The bizarre Twilight Zone theme was also featured. Yup, everything was as fresh as a “prince in Bel Air” back when Will Smith still raps.

 The Themes From the Movies playlist reminded me that although life’s like an impossible mission with a beast at every corner, sometimes, there’s beauty in it. It was a disaster having to remember Kevin Costner’s exposed ass from Robin Hood and Dances with Wolves. Thank goodness the music was great, even when it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My First Days with the Mac Mini

I didn’t do much with the little teeny weeny desktop computer from Apple other than to install Spotify, Steam client, Gimp (because I’m totally confused with the iPhoto app - there are simply too many weird albums and events (what’s that?!) popping up… it got me so confused that I went to download the more complicated Gimp!). I also installed Civilisation 5 via Steam, a gift from my bud. Haven’t got the time to mess with the game yet, though. Been busy with something just as "mini" lately.

As I type more on the Mini, I discovered OS X or rather the Mac’s idiosyncrasies such as there are no page up, down or home and end keys. Did I tell you I had been a Windows user all my life since 3.11 days? I had some problems holding “ctrl + arrow keys” to skip words because on the Mac keyboard, it’s “option + arrow keys”. I’m also still confused with the file system like where should I keep photos. Oh yeah, I discovered that shortcuts are called aliases on OS X and “delete” on the Mac keyboard is actually “backspace”. If you want to do the Windows “delete” thing, you will need to hold “fn + delete” on the Mac!

Nonetheless, sitting back and surf the web is such a breeze, especially with the very nice Magic Trackpad. I can’t stop saying all the good things about the Magic Trackpad. Spreading four fingers would reveal the desktop (though I only have a “Applications” and “Games” folder on it but I’m sad to know I will fill up a large portion of it with stuff eventually). Tapping three fingers and holding on the top of a window will move it. There are a tonne of options to activate on the trackpad preference. Double tapping (which also means “right click” in the Windows world) on a word would produce a list of menus and one of them is to quickly look up the meaning of it. Nice. Unfortunately, with everything good, there’s still always something to complain. I can’t seem to be able to double tap and hold on to an icon or folder or window to move it. I need to press down on the Magic Trackpad.

Another reason I had to buy a computer was to backup my iPhone and iPad and I couldn’t help wondering why in the world would iTunes be THE app that does the job. The name itself would depict it as a media player app but I don’t suppose this bothered anyone else. I’m also puzzled why couldn’t I select to automatically backup on both iCloud and iTunes?

As you may notice, this post is quite unstructured. This and the Getty image above reflect rather well my current learning curve with the Mac and OS X so I guess that's enough confusion for the day. :P

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Under the Sea

This song was in my head for the past few hours, so I thought I should share. From Disney's The Little Mermaid and performed by Samuel E. Wright as Sebastian (a red Jamaican crab, apparently), Under the Sea is one of those in-movie songs from Disney that would occasionally pop into my head. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

My first hours with the late 2014 Mac Mini

First comment I received upon delivery to my doorstep (ordered via online Apple store - took just about 3 working days to arrive) was in the tune of "really? That's all?" because a much bigger desktop was expected. There were just three packages:
1. Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad
2. Mini DisplayPort to VGA adaptor 
3. THE Mac Mini, of course 

Next up was to open the packaging and set up the Mac Mini. Pairing the keyboard and trackpad was a breeze as it was all automated even before the Mac load up the OS. Connecting to my wifi was a pain because I kept getting disconnected so I disabled it. Finally, after keying in my name and password as the admin, I am in OS X Yosemite. 

Frankly, my heart dropped a little expecting to see the colours pop out like from an iMac or a MacBook but I know, I’m using the poor guy’s Mac so it’s my screen that’s not producing the colours. I quickly went on to launch that gear-looking program called “System Preferences” to set up my wifi and proceeded to install apps from the Mac App Store. The first one was, amusingly, Pocket, followed by Feedly. I still can’t quite get over why I searched for Pocket first but it is a great app after all.

Next, I started to chat with my bud via Messages (that was after setting up and getting it connected to my Apple ID, of course) and he reminded me all about Apple’s sandbox so I had to download Google Chrome browser by first launching Safari to go to Chrome’s website to download the installer. Installing third party software that’s not Apple approved was not easy at all (first time using OS X, remember?). After the installation a window popped up and I was staring at it not knowing what to do for quite awhile until I clicked on the huge Google Chrome icon and dragged it out of the window. Ah, so that was how it should be done. =.=“

I spent the rest of last night and the wee hours of this morning reading through my RSS feeds via Feedly and then, bed time. Oh did I mention that I was pleasantly surprised by the Magic Trackpad and OS X’s awesome gesture controls? It was almost like using a touchscreen and not a desktop! Gosh, I wonder why Microsoft never made the trackpads even half as good. It’s all in the software, right? After just a night of using the Magic Trackpad, I absentmindedly did the same gestures with my office laptop trackpad only to be reminded that I was using Windows.

And with that, I would like to end this post and prepare for bed, TONIGHT. ;)

Why the iPod classic had to go - straight from the lion's mouth

Engadget nailed it:
"We couldn't get the parts any more," explained Tim Cook. "They don't make them any more." While the iPod Classic isn't exactly a creaky transistor radio just yet, that's how it went down. "We would have to make a whole new product.... the engineering work to do that would be massive." The difficult truth that some of you probably don't want to hear: "The number of people who wanted it is very small."
So the story is no more parts and it's not worth it to redesign it because not "many" people want it.


First blog post from my first ever Mac, a Mac Mini. Came across this cool photo via flickr Blog and because I have a thing for Minions, I really thought I should share it here.

via flickr blog.