Monday, 22 June 2020

My Contribution To The 2020 MY Garden Birdwatch Survey

The annual MY Garden Birdwatch Survey was held this year on the 6th and 7th June, 2020. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, the bird count must go on. I don't have much of a problem with this myself as I always do my count at home. And besides, in early June 2020, the Malaysian government has already relax the lock-down rules somewhat, although social distancing must still be adhered to.

I conducted my count this year at 8:00 A.M on 6th June 2020. I only did one count as time was not at a premium lately.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Used Refurbished Lenovo PC, One Year Later

A little over a year ago today, this was toggling in my head: should I purchase a brand new personal computer, or should I get a used unit. A brand new PC isn't exactly cheap, while a used refurbished unit may have reliability issues. A tough choice, a tough decision that I had to make.

Refurbished Lenovo PC Model M70e

I took a gamble in the end. A used refurbished unit it was. It had been a nail biting moment since then.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Shopee Woes .. No Invoice No Receipt

I just bought myself a tablet from Shopee - a Samsung Galaxy Tab A (T-295). I could have bought it from Lazada, but the price on Shopee was more competitive. So, Shopee it was. Shipping was fast, and I duly received my order within 2 days.

Now to register my purchase with Samsung Malaysia. A simple task I thought, but wait, no tax invoice or receipt was issued to me. I double checked in the package. Zilch,. nothing.

So I messaged the seller, requesting for one. I waited. And waited. No reply.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Giving e-shopping A Miss For Now

"Stay Home, Buy online, We Will Deliver to your home"

says the online banner, or something like. Sounds good to me since we are having a Covid-19 lockdown in my country. All the local shops for none essential items are closed, by the way. This includes pet shops and computer stores.

So off I went on 27th March 2020, ordering some pet food for my cat as we are down to the last packet. And after 10 days, I have yet to receive my order. The delivery status hasn't changed since day one - No Delivery Logistics Information. I did contact the seller and they say that they are affected by the lockdown. I wish they would explain more.

Monday, 16 March 2020

Restoring Aomei Backup On WinXP

I first took a backup of my Windows XP system drive (C: in this case) with Aomei Backupper Standard (the free version) last May 2019. I had never done a restore-from-backup with Aomei before as I do not have a spare hard disk drive. Restoring to my healthy WinXP partition is an option but it seems a bit too risky for me. As a consequence, this thought had been bugging me since: Will my restore from Aomei backup work?

Fast forward to 2nd March 2020. My Windows XP kept rebooting that fine morning. The login screen never appeared. I tried mounting the C: drive from Ubuntu. It failed with an error - the NTFS file system on my C: drive was totally screwed. Only one thing to do now - a full system restore from my Aomei backup.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Going Off The Air

The local Malaysian TV broadcast went totally digital some 4 months ago. So, what have I done? Did I buy a new digital TV or a digital decoder for my Panasonic flat screen analog TV?

Believe it or not, I did absolutely nothing. Why? Because there is absolutely nothing for me to watch on any of the local Malaysian TV channels. In my opinion, they have gone from bad to worse over the last couple of years.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

My First Download Of The Edge Financial Daily

I was a regular at The Edge Markets (previously The Edge Daily) some 15 years ago. So much so that when I was forced to register as a user at that time, an offer was made to me for downloading e-copies of their daily newspaper, The Edge Financial Daily. I don't have the bandwidth then as I was on dial-up and so, I did anything. I just toss the link into the bin. Besides, all the financial information that I needed was readily available in the local Malaysian daily English newspapers then, The Star in my case.

Fast forward to February 1st, 2020. On this very day, The Star decided to do away with the closing stock prices of Bursa Malaysia, the foreign exchange rates and closing commodity prices. Gone too are the dividend payout rates and dates, and the bonus/rights issue announcements that were regularly published every Monday. All that they have now are just news articles in the business section, no numbers.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Oriental Honey Buzzard Video At 1080p

It was not too long ago that I lamented about having to downsize my Oriental Honey Buzzard video from 1080p to 720p during post-processing. As luck would have it, the bird returned to my neighbourhood again about 3 weeks ago. With the help of my tripod, I managed to capture the bird again on video at 1080p resolution with my Canon Powershot SX530 HS camera. I am not sure if it was the same bird again though.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Steps For Saving H.264 MP4 Videos In VirtualDub2

How I wish that saving my edited video files in VirtualDub2 is as simple as clicking on a single button or option like in Avidemux. Unfortunately, there isn't one.

It took me quite awhile to figure out the parameters and the steps to save my video files in the H.264 format in the MP4 container in VirtualDub2. I use the parameters in the video files that were produced by my cameras as a guide. My uploaded VirtualDub2 post-process videos were accepted by Dreamstime, no rejections based on technicalities. So I assume that what I have done must be correct.

Yes - after a lull of 2 years, I have rekindled my love affair with VirtualDub, albeit with one of its younger siblings VirtualDub2. Not bad considering that I only have a 2GB RAM, Pentium Dual Core 2.7 GHz computer and I could get my video processing done in a reasonable amount of time.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Faulty 1GB Kingston RAM

Trouble-shooting a computer problem is never easy. Worse if these are passive devices that emit no sound or visible faults, unlike their mechanical counterpart.

My 1 GB Kingston RAM module for example. I replaced it with another 2 GB Kingston module and the random computer crashes that I had just went away. Pinpointing the source of this problem though was more that a half-year journey of pain. It got to a point where I could not get anything done as the computer crashed as soon as it booted up.