Friday, 19 May 2017

Try out Carrybeans

Hi all,

As most of the bots know, this blog is ancient. The owner is currently working on a website for Travel and Adventure, called Carrybeans.

You can browse the articles by going to and take a look.

Happy viewing!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Problem updating Adobe Lightroom CC (2015)

For anyone who stumbled around trying to look for a solution.
WARNING! This is a kludge solution. Try this at your own risk.

Problem: Updating Lightroom resulted in an error box with the contents:

Unable to extract downloaded file. Press Retry to try again. Error Code: U44M1I210.

Readers can visit this page on which has a thread where other users who got the same error posted more details and workarounds.

My workaround was slightly different. In my case, when looking at the installation progress window, it stops at 50% and pops out the error above.This means there was something wrong with the downloaded version of the installation file. So I got to poking around and found the installation file at this location:

and deleted the setup.exe file.  

I then re-ran the "Check for App updates" function and it redownloaded a working copy of the setup file. Installation proceeded without any problems after that.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Counterfeit USB drive

Holy Macaroni! I didn't post up anything in 2013.

OK. Some friends have found these in the market recently and it pains me to know that these things are being sold to unsuspecting members of the public. As the title says, I'm referring to counterfeit USB drives.

These things are selling for dirt cheap (around RM20-30 I think) and advertised as having 256Gigabytes (henceforth abbreviated to GB) of capacity but in reality, these drives may only have 2GB or less of REAL storage capacity. The controller chips have been reprogrammed to report to the operating system that there is more capacity than the real capacity. So what happens when you try and copy an 8GB file into a 2GB USB drive masquerading as a 256GB drive? A whole lot of broken files. Don't worry, the only corruption you will get is on the USB drive (hopefully).

You can perform a search with your favourite search engine about these things but up until recently, I have not been able to get my grubby little hands on a sample of these. OK, on with the show:

A bunch of innocent-looking USB drives from Kingston, you might say...

But let's take a look at the quality of the plastic.

Here's a genuine Kingston USB drive (in purple/red). Note the quality of the plastic seams around the body. It is nice and smooth, and it fits well together without any gaps.

I ran a test using a drive testing tool which you can get from a reputable German website. I've only tested around 40GB of writing and reading out of the allegedly 256GB capacity since this 40GB test takes about 24 hours to complete. And the results are:

Warning: Only 40000 of 262134 MByte tested.
The media is likely to be defective.
6.8 MByte OK (14080 sectors)
39.0 GByte DATA LOST (81905920 sectors)
Details:0 KByte overwritten (0 sectors)
0 KByte slightly changed (< 8 bit/sector, 0 sectors)
39.0 GByte corrupted (81905920 sectors)
0 KByte aliased memory (0 sectors)
First error at offset: 0x00000000006e0000
Expected: 0x00000000006e0000
Found: 0x0000000000000000
H2testw version 1.3
Writing speed: 847 KByte/s
Reading speed: 1.03 MByte/s
H2testw v1.4

The software, H2testw 1.4 can be downloaded from here.

This software writes files to the drive and tries to read them back to see if it is the same. If the files do not match, it will kick up errors like the above.

As you can see from the test, it even fails to keep a good copy of the file in the first 6 megabytes of the drive, so I don't think it would hold your other data any more securely without errors or corruption.

Here's another view of the USB drives. Note the lack of substantial hardware in the green counterfeit drive on the right. It looks... kind of empty inside.

The bottom line is: if  something looks too good to be true, be VERY careful.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Shooting with Joj and Nana

We had a funny outing with Joj and Nana this morning. Had to shoot him during an assignment. Here's some shots of Joj in action:

Maybe can call him St. Joj or something, since he can work minor miracles :P

Last bit with the lovely couple, Joj & Nana.

P.S. Hopefully more pics will be up soon, heh heh heh...

Friday, 18 May 2012

D3 installation almost done

Hi all boys and girls (and humans), looks like this baby is almost done:

If you're downloading the game from the Internet (around 8GB+ worth of game files, 15GB+ when installed) you can actually start playing when the downloads finish off the first segment. That's when it finishes the Setup phase and enters the Playable phase. I'm guessing it downloads the game files first, leaving the cinematics for later. You can see an earlier screenshot in this post.

I've also received the box from Joanna who grabbed the stuff from the Poslaju HQ herself since she got pissed off because they did not deliver the parcel to her AT ALL.

Anyway, let's have a few shots of the box itself:
When you open her up, you'll get some nice box art:
Inside AND out:
Let's take a look at the content, shall we?
Those cards on the upper left are guest passes for Diablo 3 (three of them) and the last one is for World of Warcraft. The Diablo 3 guest passes allows the guest to play until you kill King Leoric in Act 1, so it's more like a demo or preview to reel in more victims, err customers. Same thing for the WoW guest pass, it only allows you to play until level 20. Both have limitations on what you can do in-game.

Along with the guest passes, we also have the game DVD (lower left), a small Getting Started manual (lower, middle ground), a notepad (white rectangle on lower right) as well as a redemption card for pre-orders (wait, this one was not in the box, and I think it doesn't do anything anymore).

As far as players go, everyone seems to be rushing into the North America servers, even though the ping is terrible since we're on the other side of the world. I guess the frustration of over 12 years of waiting is driving everyone nuts.

I still have two Diablo 3 guest passes left to give out, in case anyone wants a taste of King Leoric's nasty zombified hand...

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

What time is it?

[Public Service Announcement]

*Ding Ding Ding Dingggg*

It is now 9 pm on the 15th of May.

Do you know where your Diablo 3 is located?

*Ding Ding Ding Dingggg*

Thursday, 20 October 2011

My journey with discrete graphic cards

 Picture taken from

For PC gamers all over the world, one of the most important components of their gaming rig would be their graphic card. This is the component that is tasked to crunch the numbers and convert them into images that can be displayed using a monitor. If the card is powerful enough, it allows the gamer to increase the graphics details to make the game look better (more eye candy).

A discrete graphics card is an add-on card that is attached to the motherboard, as opposed to an integrated graphics controller you get on most low-medium end motherboards.

My first taste of better graphics came in the form of a Voodoo 2 that I bought along with my PC while I was still in university. Lets see if I can recall the graphic cards that I have used so far:

  • Voodoo 2 (lets start with this 16 MB of RAM goodness).
  • Nvidia Geforce 4 MX 440 (a whopping 64MB RAM, or was it 32?).
  • Nvidia Geforce 6800GS (256MB RAM).
  • Nvidia Geforce 6800GS in SLI mode (I think I cooked these cards to death in my poorly ventilated casing).
  • Nvidia GeForce 7200 as a stopgap measure because both the 6800s were unstable.
  • ATI Radeon HD3850 (512MB RAM) from another friend trying to clear off stuff.
  • and lastly, I am currently using an Nvidia Geforce GTX 560 (1GB RAM).
So far, the GTX 560 from Gigabyte ( the one pictured above is the Ti version, mine is non-Ti) has been a dream to play with, most of the games can be set to maximum detail and are still very much playable (on a 1680 x 1050 pixels monitor). According to reviews, this card can go up to full HD (1920x1080) for gaming and it can still be more than capable of serving most gamers, but I don't have a monitor that is large enough to do that kind of testing.

Lets see how long this will last me.

If only Diablo 3 came out sooner grrrr....

Monday, 1 August 2011

Twilight: New Moon

Today marks the 1st day of fasting for Muslims this year. Yes, Hari Raya is 1 month away, so happy fasting to all my Muslim friends and family members, wherever you are.

Anyway, the title of this post is in reference to what I viewed today when I returned home from work. The sun had already set and the bulan sabit (crescent moon) was hanging in the sky near the hill that has the RTM transmission tower. So I grabbed my trusty camera and the longest lens I could find, and snapped a few shots. Getting a nice angle was a pain, since there were so many TV antennae and telephone wires crisscrossing my view. After running in and out, climbing a car or 2, I finally got a no-so-bad shooting angle from a bedroom window upstairs.

By the time I got to my vantage point, most of the light had faded from the dusk sky. And this was the least sucky photo I could find.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that photo, and if you came in here expecting some kind of movie or book review of a certain vampire fantasy franchise, I'm sorry but you just got...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blur blur fellow

Hi and welcome to a ranting post.

I've been getting missed calls and stupid SMSes from a mobile phone number for the past few weeks that has left me feeling very annoyed. The missed calls I didn't answer, because they usually end before I could  answer the phone. The SMSes were usually addressed to someone named Nor, and the SMSes seem to be asking to want to know this "Nor" better.

This afternoon, the guy decided to send an MMS to me with his mug, possibly trying to impress this "Nor". See below:

The picture seems to be taken in some kinda workshop. After I received this MMS from him, I tried calling this number, but no one answered. Then I tried sending an SMS telling this fellow that I was not who he thought I was, and hopefully it got through, since he did send a "sorry" SMS after that.

So, for those guys who want to get a girl's number, please make sure it is the correct number before you show up at your first date and end up meeting with someone bigger and hairier than you (and his friends).


Monday, 13 June 2011

Dead lens walking


I brought my problematic Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens to a camera shop on Sunday to see what's wrong with it.

The technician said that there's some internal problem with the aperture, and to service it might cost around RM300 or more, since the spare part for this particular lens is very expensive, compared to the newer IS version of this lens. So I decided to look at other options, probably sourcing a 2nd hand lens to replace this one.

The only incident that I think could have damaged the lens would be during Hobbycon 2010, I forgot which day it was, but there was one day when I took my camera out of my bag, and was fiddling with it, but it slipped out of my hand and bumped onto the table, which was about a one-foot drop. I immediately switched it on and made a few test shots that time, and it seemed to be functioning well.

It only had major a major malfunction when I took it to Kuching after Hobbycon. During that time, it was spotty, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Luckily I brought along my 28mm F/1.8 along on that trip, or else I wouldn't be able to snap anymore photos. During the rest of the trip, it didn't seem to be malfunctioning, so I just let it be.

The problem manifests itself when I select an aperture that is smaller than the maximum aperture for that particular focal length. For example, the maximum aperture at 18mm is f/3.5, so if i were to set the aperture to f4.0 or above and shoot, the lens would crap out and my camera would complain, saying that there's no communication between the lens and the camera body. Initially I tried all the "clean contacts with eraser" methods but it still would not solve the problem, hence the visit to the camera shop.

Anyway, I'll have to see where I can source for a replacement for this lens, since I was planning to sell it off with my old camera body.

Loot from students

Here's another post after a long break. First of all, let me show you what's new:

Isn't she a beauty? The curves, the colours, the... hey waidaminute, I was referring to the photo frame! The girl's photo came with the frame, so don't get any ideas.

The photo frame was part of the Teacher's Day Loot I received last month (ya, slowpoke me). The rest are shown below:

There's a card, 2 bookmarks, a notepad, a face towel and of course, the photo frame above. The smaller loot came in the small brown gift bag above. O wait, I think they came separately, but I stuffed them all into the same bag because I was trying to shoot people during the occasion.