Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My First Raid at Big Bad Wolf Sale

So my daughter has turned one, and I'm finally preparing for the next big step of parenthood, teaching.

I got a heads up from my sister, the Big Bad Wolf sale expert on this coming event. I woud've missed it simply because the sale is held at Mines Convention Center, a whooping 27km from where I live and for some reason, driving to and from there always seems daunting. Unlike the baby expo at Madvalley Megamall which is almost becoming a biannual pilgrimage for me.

After getting many tips and dos and don'ts from my sister, I finally made the journey to the Big Bad Wolf sale on 8 December.
My first haul
Ironically I did all the don'ts

1) I went on a peak hour
About 3pm on a Sunday. There was already a beeline from the highway into Mines. Spent more than 30 minutes just to get from the highway into the convention center.

2) I park at the convention center
I parked there, lucky me I got a spot not too far from the stairway. The entire place is packed with cars, many were not as lucky as me to get a parking that quickly

3) I browse before deciding if it need/want it
I was told of horror kiasu story of kiasu patrons snatching everything in sight. On the contrary it was rather peaceful and organized. Browsed many books before deciding to pick one up into the box. Mainly because many of the good books were already sold out on the first preview day.

Conclusion
The only reason of going there is because of cheap books. I got a Bart Simpson comic book ISBN 978-0-06-145022-8 for RM3 with the recommended price of USD14.95 The price is that crazy. However many of the books have poor content quality, especially children books. There is one Hestle & Gretel book where towards the end, after killing the witch, Hestle & Gretel looted the Witch's gold and give it to their stepmother to appease her. Personally I find that unacceptable both morally and for any children. Heck even Show White is about vanity, jealousy, attempted murder and cohabitation with 7 men. The evil queen in Snow White was not punished for her crimes and poor Snow White has be to rescued by a stranger's kiss. So much for empowering woman.

The only thing that are worth getting is from the reference section such as picture encyclopedia of world firearms. The history section too has good quality picture books on world war 1 and 2 priced at a ridiculous RM20 each. I would get them for my own personal library, but then again, I do most of my reading online. Almost all my light reading comes from Wikipedia.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Growing up Dad

It's going to be a year since I became a dad. Parenthood is a fun and exciting journey, and no matter how much planning I did, something ought to catch me unprepared.

Now that "me time" is almost non existent, and the lack of blogging and reading has taken a toll on my vocabulary, not to mention grammar and spelling (thank programers for spell check). And blogging now is as difficult as writing form 3 essays for the first time.

It's funny that whenever I've thought of a new post, the content, ideas, presentation, it just disappeared whenever I log into blogger.

Anyways what I REALLY wanted to blog about is how my baby changed me. Funny as it seems that I've vowed not to have children, thanks to public display of tantrums in shopping malls and fast food restaurant.
When I have my baby girl, those public display of tantrums is no longer annoying. I no longer give the "evil eye" for their lack of parenting, but rather "I feel you bro", and give them some space to calm their child. My girl has yet to turn 1, so that gives me some time to prepare for the terrible two.

I also owe it all to my sister for parenting tips, as I was not caught flat footed not knowing what to do when my baby girl is out. I used to be the trial and error during childhood days since I'm the eldest of the pack. Like the time I was the first to experiment with the online university enrollment system. All my peers, and I do mean ALL, choose the traditional way of postal enrollment some even asked me why not use postal as backup instead of putting all eggs in one basket. Blind faith worked back then, and also because the big M was still boss of the country.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Signs of Aging

Not too long ago I had an unexpected departure of my Galaxy Y. Though I had been searching for new phones these past two months, I wasn't prepared for the upgrade to come so quickly. The one benefit of having done my 'homework' so early is that I already had a clear idea what phone to get next. Unlike my other phones succeeding the K750i, all of it wasn't planned, and bought at a haste resulting in years of less than satisfactory ownership.

Long story short, I bought myself a Sony Xperia SP. I wanted the L actually but Aeon Big (previously Carrefour) didn't have it in stock. It is only after I've swiped the Mastercard did I only thought of checking out Jusco instead, and earn an extra 1000 Jusco points.

So having returning to work with a new phone, I was elated like a 10 year old on Christmas morning. I installed all the useful apps that I regularly used, like BBC news, Voice recorder and Call blocker. With remaining 4Gb of space I started browsing the play store for games. And that's when Christmas was over. There's nothing that interest me anymore other than the regular SNES oldies. Unlike the days when I had the Iphone3GS for a few months playing new games every week, the sense of wanting to play has died off. Even casual games like Angry Birds was not installed. I just find it meh. During idle times, I just read the news on BBC or browse Facebook. Long gone were the days playing Charadium on the loo or multiplayer tron during lunch hours.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Parking ramps is not meant for pedestrains

Viewer discretion advised: killing of a child


Driver held after child fatally crushed by car
By Yang Jian | August 17, 2013, Saturday | PRINT EDITION
A WOMAN is being held by police after the car she was driving crushed an 18-month-old boy to death at the entrance to an underground parking lot in southwest China.

The 40-year-old driver’s Audi struck the child’s buggy on Thursday morning at a community in Kunming City, capital of Yunnan Province.

After stopping as it emerged from the car park, the vehicle suddenly accelerated, carrying the boy, his mother and sister for 3 meters before striking a wall.

The buggy was trapped between the car and the wall as the boy’s mother and sister frantically banged on the vehicle to alert the driver.

The child was left unconscious and bleeding from his nose and ear, his mother told media yesterday.

He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after suffering severe head injuries, a doctor there said.

Police confirmed the case as a traffic accident and said the driver was under investigation.

Surveillance camera footage showed the family taking the buggy into the parking lot at 11:41am, when a black Audi A8 emerging from the lot drove toward them.

The car stopped briefly when the pedestrians also halted to let it go first, but then suddenly accelerated and struck the mother and daughter and crushed the buggy against the wall.

Footage showed the driver remained in the car for about a minute afterward, as neighbors rushed to the scene, alerted by the mother’s cries.

The mother attempted artificial resuscitation on her son.

The boy’s father said the neighborhood’s property management company was partly responsible as there are no ramps for baby buggies to access the residential complex.

Residents have to climb 30 steps to enter the community, a resident surnamed Liu said.

Instead, some residents would go down into the parking lot and take an elevator up into the complex.

The father said the family knew that it was unsafe to take their small child into the parking lot but it was impossible for his wife to haul the buggy up the steps.

A property management worker said notices told residents not to walk in the parking lot, but these were often ignored.

“We have long warned residents not to walk into the parking lot to take elevators,” the worker said.

Everyone is to be blamed for this freak accident.
1) Parking ramps is not meant for pedestrians. See how difficult it was pushing the stroller down the ramp.

2) The driver should not be driving at all. The accident seems almost deliberate. Maybe it was.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Guilty until proven innocent

Many months ago I blogged about how someone contacted me on the pretext of buying china tabs from me. The email heavily resembles a Nigerian scam, stating large quantity purchases, and the reply email was different form the earlier one.

So, I did what I thought was right, posted a blog post to name and shame that would be scammer. And I still think that it was the right decision.

Having found out the public post about him with his email exposed, he asked for that post to be removed. Of course I ignored it. So, he complaint to blogger and blogger had it removed WITHOUT informing me about the removal. No emails, no messages in my google+, no comments in the blog post. Nothing.

So, that pissed me off big time.

I've deleted my google+ account that instant and uninstalled chorme and google maps form my PC. I've sent them a complaint about the blog post removal, but still no word from them.

The next decision was difficult, pulling the plug of banana talk.

I've already back up the content, ready to move anytime.

but as fate turns out, I found a good app at the play store for my daughter and I just have to leave a 5 star rating for it. It's that good (i don't normally give app reviews or ratings) To do so, I need a google+ I feel that it's not fair to punish others for the misdeed of the evil google.

yes, it's kinda oxymoron of me to condemn google by using blogger. it's like having a facebook sucks fan page in facebook itself.

anyhow, screw you google

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday, April 19, 2013

Winning Isn't Everything

So, I was on Facebook, like I always do and there's this famous picture of a biker dude riding his super bike with his land whale female companion at the back with sparks flying out the wheel arch. Obviously the sparks were shopped as I've seen the non spark version eons ago. Secondly it's against the law of physics for the spark to be the way it was shown.

So, the person who posted that picture into FB ask if that was possible, and her motor head fiance said, "yes", with every reply back and forth explaining how (friction, tires having wire reinforcements, etc) but he missed the point of the spark trajectory and also sparks from tire wires don't produce sparks the size of fireworks. They are barely noticeable unless the cameraman is paying attention. For example, a drifting Lamborghini


So, being a smart ass I gave my explanation on the sparks being shopped. After all, you can't really debate against laws of physics. Then the motorhead gave another explanation of the sparks being fireworks instead. Totally running off topic of his earlier 3 post reply on friction and reinforced wires in tires. And that was my cue to stop.

I've already proven him wrong, there's no point humiliating him in front of his girl.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Last breath

The title is more dramatic than it actually is.

Just 2 days ago I finally had my last wisdom tooth removed. The extraction was long overdue and I was actually hoping that it'll fall out on its own since there's nothing at the opposite side to stop it, until the gums started growing over the empty space where the opposing wisdom tooth suppose to be. Hence I was chewing on my gums for the past week or so. I had my other wisdom tooth removed many years ago, at about 1 year interval from each other. This final one is the last and was one of the smoothest. Though there was a small mishap where one of the root broke in the cavity. No biggie as the dentist was very experienced.

Now to the main point. The following day after the extraction, I got a little feverish. In fact I was slightly feverish the night before but recorded a healthy 36.5 degrees Celsius. At work giddy, light headed and flu like aches at the hips, my mind started playing tricks. I felt the desire to be close to my daughter and wife. Then this thought came through, how will the living be affected by their loved ones dying in their arms? Sure It's a nice way to say goodbye, but I bet it might be traumatic for the living who have to carry on living for the rest of their lives with that incident tattooed into their memory.

I've never been in those situation before so I can't tell how it'll be like or how long it'll take to live it out. But it's a point to ponder none to less.


Monday, April 8, 2013

As Seen on TV


Lets face it, we have our own TV heroes, weather is it a movie or soap opera, there will always be one fictional character that we are fond of, and hence which is why those shows quickly become our favourites. But what if that fictional character materializes? How fond of them are we then?

For starters, all of us like a cynical character, weather Dr House, David Brent and even Simon Cowell. We find them amusing and looking forward in seeing them again week after week because they are the person that we can't be.
Sure you can cynical in real life, just see how far it'll get you, like when Ricky Gervais (the office) did the opening at the Golden Globes 2011, his peers weren't laughing that loud, some none at all. He was in character, a character whose realm is within the confines of the TV screen (or laptop if you are watching it on the laptop).

On the side note, some people are gullible enough to think that there is such thing as the lucrative world of hitman and assassins. Some would think that it'll take thousands to end ones life. Shockingly, no. Not in this country as far as I know of. Labour is cheap, income gap is wide, foreigners a plenty and tinted full face motorcycle helmets is not illegal. Almost all hit jobs were carried out by gunmen on motorcycles. No high calibre rifle, no piano rope, no car bombs. It's the matter of finding someone desperate enough for cash. Can't afford someone with a gun? there's always muscle for hire armed with machetes.

Furthermore, you can't run away from the tax office. If there's such thing as a full time contact killer that's handsomely paid like in Looper or Mr47, the tax department will be the first to question how was the tailored suit paid for.

Lastly movies and TV shows are just there to entertain. Its made of 1% story and 99% movie magic.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Government that spends your money to promote itself is one we can afford to let go






Seriously BN, fuck you. You spam the airways with your theme song, that I can take. You littered the streets with your flags since mid 2012, that I can take. But when you spam my cellphone with your rubbish, that I cannot and will not tolerate.

Want my vote?

I'd like to see your corrupt party members hung drawn and quartered. Only then I'll vote for you.

When things in motion

It's inevitable. A month ago I was like all gong-ho trying to get the blogging habit back, but it was rather short lived. I've even began posting short post that interest me, but after clicking that post button, it did not feel right. Felt like I've cheated in an exam. Hindsight, the feeling of cheating in exam is not guilt, but rather the cheap thrill of pulling off a small crime. For a 17 year old that is. At 31, it's guilt.

Very much like exercising after years of couch surfing, youtube on bed and late nights at Kayu. Taking my daughter for evening walk around the pool already made me sweat. Those crunches and chin ups will have to wait.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Reinventing the Wheel

Every once in a while some random thought on mods would just creep into my mind. Lately it's about centrifugal supercharger which I read about in Option. It's the HKS centrifugal supercharger for the CRZ and I was immediately interested. It's small, compared to roots type, and runs cooler than a turbocharger. Furthermore installing a roots type supercharger (Sprintex) would always require a manifold swap, something that I'm not that keen about, and Sprintex is already doing it for the Neo for a whooping RM10 000. HKS centrifugal supercharger complete kit for the CRZ is RM15k.

So I went to Alibaba to find out the price for a centrifugal supercharger (picture above), and it's USD900 (about RM 3k) for a brand-less prototype. It's still expensive compared to locally sourced turbochargers which are refurbished units. But with the Neo, turbochargers isn't a wise choice due to its cramp engine space where the hot turbine will smoulder with radiator return hose if the turbine mounted on an upward manifold, or the radiator fan if mounted on a downward manifold. Furthermore I've already have a super limited Formworks 4-2-1 headers which I'm not willing to let go.

Then the idea came, why not make my own centrifugal supercharger?

When I say "make", I do not mean the whole thing. It'll most probably be getting a refurbished turbo charger, remove the turbine, and replace it with a pulley system. And the whole thing need to be less than RM2000. The cost of the project should not be more than 2/3 of what's readily available or it won't be cost effective, furthermore I'll be spending lots of time on this, and time is money.

So, here's the plan,
1) Research
Identify the right compressor, internal parts of the gear/pulley system
2) Tabulate cost
Price of parts, machining cost. RM2000 or less, project carry on. More than that no go.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Life Hacks

So I was surfing during the holidays (like how I spend my free time on regular days) and stumbled upon these life hacks. My mind was blown. If only I've know about these when I was 17, it would make my life a whole lot easier, fun and smarter.
 
This is self explanatory. Gaming and snacking at the same time. No bowl needed. Now that I've stopped gaming altogether I won't be doing this.

I could've saved lots of money by doing this back in the days. Simple yet effective. Now with mass produced plastic CD covers, paper covers would cost a tad more, especially if I were to print on it, and the time it would take folding them. I've yet to try this out though since I believe that the paper shown is in legal size. Since Malaysia adopted the ISO paper size, this hack have yet to be tested if it works for my work.

Lastly, something that keeps the zipper up. Zipper coming off was the main reason jeans wasn't my choice of fashion after high school. Many times has I gone on dates and only finding myself constantly checking if the zipper is undone. And no, girls don't take advantage seeing an open fly like a guy would.
One thing though, peeing would be a bitch having to undo the button and then releasing the zipper.

Monday, February 4, 2013

BR1M


Bribe money distribution starts today. Have you gotten yours yet?

That's how the federal government is going to spend Rm3billion, part of my tax money. I'd rather they use the money to teach people to fish then to give them fish when they are hungry.

RM3billion can be put to better use like upgrading existing hospitals, hire more hospital staff, hell I don't even mind nurses and doctors getting bonuses because they contribute to national healthcare. And don't get me started on the 1Malaysia clinic, that's just branding. Our healthcare is almost fully subsidized by the government way before this 1Malaysia branding gimmick, fees has always been RM1 for the less fortunate patients.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Listen...

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Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen, Listen,

Sunday, January 13, 2013

112

The People's Uprising came and went, and I didn't pay any heed to it. Due to the fact that my entire day was taken up with meetings, and that I was totally unaware about it until a customer told me about it 2 days before the event. I would have known sooner if I've not muted Pakatan Zombies in my Facebook news feed. Even if I did know about it, it still won't reignite my enthusiasm like what Bersih 1 did.

First off, the rallies preceding the first Bersih is very politically motivated, from my point of view that is. Especially the some of demands in Bersih 3 is downright ridiculous. The People's Uprising is no different either. But what differs this time is that there's no aggressive police intervention. Seems like BN is adapting to the situation well, though the same should've been applied to the earlier rallies. I guess better late then never.

Source
How the next general election plays out is anyone's guess. There will be die hard BN supporters, and there will be Pakatan Zombies, like the name suggest, mindless drones. And there will be people like this dude. Kudos to you.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

China Tablet (Q8 A13)

================19 April 2013 Update================

As of date the tablet has gone wonky. It's horrendously slow with the wifi on. Performance picked up when the wifi is off. Sometimes when the wifi is on it's unable to get internet connection (wifi icon grey instead of blue). Manage to fix it once by restarting the router, but I doubt it's the router's fault as my other devices seems okay.

I saw the messages and request, thanks for the feedback and inquiry, will try to get to those as soon as possible

======================= unnecessary introduction=======================

 China tablets is not an unfamiliar thing. It's been flooding the market ever since the iPad and Galaxy Tab became an instant hit with consumers. What kept me away from China tablets is the piss poor performance of slow processors, resistive touchscreens and running on dated Gingerbread when every other android tabs are running on Honeycomb.

Then came IceCreamSandwich.

The first time I demo the new slim, "dual core", capacitive touchscreen, ICS China tab was probably mid 2012 at Giant hypermarket. It was being marketed as a Taiwanese product. And I was really amazed at how fluid the performance of that tablet was. A 4GB unit was selling for RM299 that comes with a tab cover with integrated keyboard and 2GB SD card for "free". The price really caught my attention as it's cheaper by its older siblings by at least RM100 minus freebies. Since then, I've been on a mission to seek the cheapest "dual core" china tablet and give it a go. I can afford to lose RM300 for a play thing.

After many months of searching online, I've finally found one dealer near my place. Though not the cheapest as its advertised at RM199 for a 4GB unit. The cheapest I ever came across is RM170 with terms and condition, which normally means bulk buy and a zero return policy.

=======================/unnecessary introduction=======================

So I responded to this advertisement which advertise the following spec:
Processor A13 power
Dual Core GPU/CPU 1.3Ghz
Ram - 512 - DDR3
ROM - 4-8 GB / SD card - 32 GB (tak termasuk)

7" HD inch LCD Screen
Brand : Hannstar Taiwan
800*480 HD resolution

Android 4.0.4 ICS boleh upgrade ke 4.1, touch screen 5-point Glass smooth like ipad

Almost all the other tablet advertisement of the similar price range list the same A13 processor. They probably got it from the same supplier.

Anyways I paid RM230 for the highest spec version which is the 8GB tablet with front and back camera. The RM199 is for 4GB tablet with single front facing camera. The sales person also promoted the leather case (without built in USB keyboard) for RM25 and a capacitive stylus for RM10 which I politely declined.

What you get:
Tablet
Manual
Charger (ala nokia port)
USB data cable
Reverse USB for keyboard/mouse interface

The first thing I did when I got home was download and launch Android hardware info and did a hardware check.

======================= tablet hardware specification=======================

UNKNOWN Q8 A13

SYSTEM (Android 4.0.4)
 Model: Q8 A13
 Manufacturer: Unknown
 Device: Nuclear Evb
 Product: Nuclear_evb
 Brand: Q8 A13
 Android Version: 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
 API Level: 15
 Fingerprint: softwinners/nuclear_evb/nuclear-evb:4.0.4/IMM76D/20120917:eng/test-keys

DISPLAY (800x432)
 Size: 800x432
 Refresh Rate: 84.82 Hz
 Default Orientation: Landscape
 Physical Size: 5.68" (14.42 cm)
 Density: 160 dpi (Medium)
 Pixels Per Inch: X: 160; Y: 160.42

PROCESSOR (ARMv7)
 Processor: ARMv7 Processor rev 2 (v7l)
 Cores: 1
 Max Frequency: 1008 Mhz
 Instruction Sets: armeabi-v7a, armeabi
 NEON Supported: Yes

MEMORY (353 MB)
 System RAM: 353 MB
 JVM Max Memory: 48 MB
 Internal Storage: 782 MB
 External Storage: 3375 MB

BACK CAMERA (1.9 megapixel)
 Effect: None
 Effect Values: None, Mono, Negative, Sepia, Aqua
 Exposure Compensation: 0
 Exposure Compensation Step: 1
 Focal Length: 3.43
 Focus Areas: (0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
 Focus Distances: 0.10, 1.20, Infinity
 Focus Mode: Auto
 Focus Mode Values: Auto
 Horizontal View Angle: 51.2
 Jpeg Quality: 90
 Jpeg Thumbnail Height: 240
 Jpeg Thumbnail Quality: 90
 Jpeg Thumbnail Size Values: 320x240, 0x0
 Jpeg Thumbnail Width: 320
 Max Exposure Compensation: 4
 Max Num Detected Faces Hw: 1
 Max Num Detected Faces Sw: 0
 Max Zoom: 6
 Min Exposure Compensation: 4
 Orientation: 0
 Picture Format: Jpeg
 Picture Format Values: Jpeg
 Picture Size: 1600x1200
 Picture Size Values: 1600x1200, 1280x1024, 1024x768, 800x600, 640x480
 Preferred Preview Size For Video: 1920x1080
 Preview Format: Yuv420sp
 Preview Format Values: Yuv420sp, Yuv420p
 Preview Fps Range: 5000, 60000
 Preview Fps Range Values: (5000, 60000)
 Preview Frame Rate: 30
 Preview Frame Rate Values: 15, 30
 Preview Size: 640x480
 Preview Size Values: 1600x1200, 640x480
 Prop Facing: Back
 Prop Orientation: 0
 Recording Hint: False
 Rotation: 0
 Smooth Zoom Supported: False
 Vertical View Angle: 39.4
 Video Frame Format: Yuv420sp
 Video Size: 640x480
 Video Size Values: 1600x1200, 640x480
 Whitebalance: Auto
 Whitebalance Values: Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Warm Fluorescent, Daylight, Cloudy Daylight
 Zoom: 0
 Zoom Ratios: 100, 133, 166, 200, 233, 266, 300
 Zoom Supported: True

FRONT CAMERA (0.3 megapixel)
 Effect: None
 Effect Values: None, Mono, Negative, Sepia, Aqua
 Exposure Compensation: 0
 Exposure Compensation Step: 1
 Focal Length: 3.43
 Focus Areas: (0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
 Focus Distances: 0.10, 1.20, Infinity
 Focus Mode: Auto
 Focus Mode Values: Auto
 Horizontal View Angle: 51.2
 Jpeg Quality: 90
 Jpeg Thumbnail Height: 240
 Jpeg Thumbnail Quality: 90
 Jpeg Thumbnail Size Values: 320x240, 0x0
 Jpeg Thumbnail Width: 320
 Max Exposure Compensation: 4
 Max Num Detected Faces Hw: 0
 Max Num Detected Faces Sw: 0
 Max Zoom: 6
 Min Exposure Compensation: 4
 Orientation: 0
 Picture Format: Jpeg
 Picture Format Values: Jpeg
 Picture Size: 640x480
 Picture Size Values: 640x480
 Preferred Preview Size For Video: 1920x1080
 Preview Format: Yuv420sp
 Preview Format Values: Yuv420sp, Yuv420p
 Preview Fps Range: 5000, 60000
 Preview Fps Range Values: (5000, 60000)
 Preview Frame Rate: 20
 Preview Frame Rate Values: 20
 Preview Size: 640x480
 Preview Size Values: 640x480
 Prop Facing: Front
 Prop Orientation: 0
 Recording Hint: False
 Rotation: 0
 Smooth Zoom Supported: False
 Vertical View Angle: 39.4
 Video Frame Format: Yuv420sp
 Video Size: 640x480
 Video Size Values: 640x480
 Whitebalance: Auto
 Whitebalance Values: Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Warm Fluorescent, Daylight, Cloudy Daylight
 Zoom: 0
 Zoom Ratios: 100, 133, 166, 200, 233, 266, 300
 Zoom Supported: True

SENSORS (1)

MC32X0 3-AXIS ACCELEROMETER
 Vendor: DMT
 Range: 29.41995
 Resolution: 0.114030816
 Power: 0.5 mA

OPENGL 1.X (Mali-400 MP)

GENERAL
 Renderer: Mali-400 MP
 Version: OpenGL ES-CM 1.1
 Vendor: ARM

LIMITS
 Texture Size: 4096x4096
 Texture Units: 8
 Viewport Size: 4096x4096
 Modelview Stack Depth: 32
 Projection Stack Depth: 32
 Texture Stack Depth: 32
 Lights: 8

COMPRESSED TEXTURE FORMATS
 ETC1, Paletted

EXTENSIONS
 GL_OES_byte_coordinates GL_OES_fixed_point GL_OES_single_precision GL_OES_matrix_get GL_OES_read_format GL_OES_compressed_paletted_texture GL_OES_point_size_array GL_OES_point_sprite GL_OES_texture_npot GL_OES_query_matrix GL_OES_matrix_palette GL_OES_extended_matrix_palette GL_OES_compressed_ETC1_RGB8_texture GL_OES_EGL_image GL_OES_draw_texture GL_OES_depth_texture GL_OES_packed_depth_stencil GL_EXT_texture_format_BGRA8888 GL_OES_framebuffer_object GL_OES_stencil8 GL_OES_depth24 GL_ARM_rgba8 GL_OES_EGL_image_external GL_OES_EGL_sync GL_OES_rgb8_rgba8 GL_EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture GL_OES_texture_cube_map GL_EXT_discard_framebuffer 

OPENGL 2.0 (Mali-400 MP)

GENERAL
 Renderer: Mali-400 MP
 Version: OpenGL ES 2.0
 Vendor: ARM
 GLSL Version: OpenGL ES GLSL ES 1.00

LIMITS
 Texture Size: 4096x4096
 Texture Units: 8
 Vertex Textures: 0
 Combined Textures: 8
 Viewport Size: 4096x4096
 Renderbuffer Size: 4096x4096
 Cubemap Size: 1024x1024
 Vertex Attributes: 16
 Vertex Uniforms: 256
 Varying Vectors: 12
 Fragment Uniforms: 256

VERTEX NUMERIC PRECISION
 Int: [-2^24, 2^24]
 Float: [-2^127, 2^127], 2^-23

FRAGMENT NUMERIC PRECISION
 Low Int: [-2^11, 2^11]
 Medium Int: [-2^11, 2^11]
 High Int: Not available
 Low Float: [-2^15, 2^15], 2^-10
 Medium Float: [-2^15, 2^15], 2^-10
 High Float: Not available

COMPRESSED TEXTURE FORMATS
 ETC1

EXTENSIONS
 GL_OES_texture_npot GL_OES_compressed_ETC1_RGB8_texture GL_OES_standard_derivatives GL_OES_EGL_image GL_OES_depth24 GL_ARM_rgba8 GL_ARM_mali_shader_binary GL_OES_depth_texture GL_OES_packed_depth_stencil GL_EXT_texture_format_BGRA8888 GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_OES_EGL_image_external GL_OES_EGL_sync GL_OES_rgb8_rgba8 GL_EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture GL_EXT_discard_framebuffer 

GRAPHIC MODES (RGBA 32bit)
 RGB 16bit (565)
 RGB 16bit (565), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit
 RGB 16bit (565), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x4
 RGB 16bit (565), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x16, Non-Conformant
 RGBA 16bit (5551), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit
 RGBA 16bit (5551), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x4
 RGBA 16bit (5551), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x16, Non-Conformant
 RGBA 16bit (4444), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit
 RGBA 16bit (4444), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x4
 RGBA 16bit (4444), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x16, Non-Conformant
 RGB 32bit (888)
 RGB 32bit (888), Depth 24bit
 RGB 32bit (888), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit
 RGBA 32bit (8888)
 RGBA 32bit (8888), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit
 RGBA 32bit (8888), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit
 RGBA 32bit (8888), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x4
 RGBA 32bit (8888), Depth 24bit, Stencil 8bit, Samples x16, Non-Conformant

FEATURES (22)

GRAPHICS
 OpenGL 2.0

ANDROID HARDWARE
 android.hardware.bluetooth
 android.hardware.camera
 android.hardware.camera.autofocus
 android.hardware.camera.front
 android.hardware.faketouch
 android.hardware.location
 android.hardware.location.gps
 android.hardware.location.network
 android.hardware.location.provider
 android.hardware.microphone
 android.hardware.screen.landscape
 android.hardware.screen.portrait
 android.hardware.sensor.accelerometer
 android.hardware.sensor.compass
 android.hardware.touchscreen
 android.hardware.touchscreen.multitouch
 android.hardware.touchscreen.multitouch.distinct
 android.hardware.usb.accessory
 android.hardware.wifi

ANDROID SOFTWARE
 android.software.live_wallpaper

GOOGLE
 com.google.android.feature.GOOGLE_BUILD

Created with Hardware Info 2.1.0


=======================/tablet hardware specification=======================

It's not a surprise that the its not as advertised. Not only the model name is not the same, the manufacture is not named in the hardware. Even the user manual stated a dual core 1.2ghz tablet with 512mb of ram. The results is also verified with Antutu




======================= Antutu Benchmark =======================



=======================  Comparison with Galaxy Tab =======================


============================== Multitouch =============================


This tablet has 5 point multitouch. Though tracking and accuracy is much to be desired. Using the stock developer option under settings I was able to demonstrate the 5 point multitouch. However when in actual use, like pinch zooming in BBC news, Opera and Little Dragons it take a second or two for the gesture to be recognized.
It could most probably be the fault of software as live tracking shows acceptable lag where the displayed input was trailing a few mm from my fingers.

============================== Dissected  =============================

Taking apart the tablet is a fairly simple process of running a fingernail along the part where the top frame meets with the bottom cover. I had the opportunity to witness how it was done while at the shop. For someone who's not used to opening electronic devices, they would definitely think that something will break by opening the tablet. So here it is, opened up. the circuit board is screwed onto the front frame, along with the screen. The battery is mounted at the back of the screen and as you can see, there's no label on the battery. capacity is anybody's guess.

The main processor is an Allwinner A13 chip as printed on the chip itself. The QC sticker is blocking the "Allwinner"
Taking a closer look at the circuit board and there's two memory chips labelled 256XDDR3 which suppose to deliver 512Mb RAM, however Antutu and hardware info tells otherwise. It could be undersized RAM and intentionally labelled 256. Even though the video processor of my laptop is using shared memory from the RAM, hardware info will state the correct amount of RAM and at what slot. Then again, I'm comparing a laptop with a tablet of dubious quality.

Wifi chip is a Realtek and the motor socket for vibration is unused.

The circuit board is properly anchored with screws onto the case with the screen in between. I will need to remove that to take a look at the opposite side of the circuit board.When the time comes.

============================== Connectability =============================

It only has wifi, no bluetooth, no 3G. I was able to install bump, but didn't manage to get it to detect the device i'm bumping with.

The only plus point about this tablet is how it manage to get connected via wifi so effortlessly and manage to maintain good connection. I've had problems with my Samsung galaxy Y and S2 to get a stable connection with my home unifi router. The Samsungs will connect but data transfer is painfully slow, sometimes none at all. Oddly enough, no problems with laptops, and this china tab. Streaming via pps.tv that came preloaded with the tablet is lag free. Speaking of preloaded apps, this tablet came with abundant of it, mostly cracked or free versions.

But when the tablet is in hibernate, it turn off its wifi. When the tablet it awoken it will re-establish connection, which will cause a brief moment of unresponsiveness.

============================== Usability =============================

The stock rom for this Q8 A13 tab is sluggish especially at cold starts when its been hibernating for a long time, like 4 hours. Launching applications directly waking from hibernate will result in that app not responding and having a "App is not responding, wait/close" notification. But once it had warmed up, its quite usable, with allot of patiences.

Also, the stock rom does not come with swipe keyboard, so a separate app has to be installed for it which will only lag the performance of the tablet further. Typing regularly for me is quite a challenge as I've grown too used with swipe. The predictive text that comes with the stock rom is really pathetic.

It comes with Play Store and it works with my account for both free and paid downloads. At the moment I've yet to receive any unverified transactions in my credit card bill, so far so good. It's rather unfortunate that I'm unable to tell if the stock rom is embedded with any malware as I don't know programming.

The tablet does play 3D games smoothly as advertised, however only selected ones like Raging Thunder which seems to work well with low end devices. Play Store won't allow me to install NOVA or Modern Combat. I was able to install Eternity Warriors and Frontline Commando but the loading time is a real let down. Even where's my water took forever to load when the app is launched. Its not something that I'll play during breakfast as breakfast will always be served before the level loads. At the moment children software does not demand the latest and greatest hardware, and its able to perform modestly well on the Q8 A13. So it make a cheaper alternative to the iPad or Samsung Tab for toddler use.

============================== Final Verdict =============================

For RM230 it's an okay deal if you are not expecting Galaxy S2 performance.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

1 Year Hiatus

So it's been a year since I last blogged. Actual-wise, it's an unplanned hiatus.

Did I missed blogging?

Definitely.

There are times where I've came across of some thought provoking topics, normally from radio discussions, like liteFM and in the later half of 2012, I switched to BFM which suited my taste of serious dialogues and discussions and oldies in between. Also I like to think of it as Bieber Free Music.

2012 marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I got married a day before 2012. And became a father in late October. During the wedding I realized that I'm really lucky to have friends that I never thought I had. Were were mere aquatints and facebook buddies during the early car club days. Then I MIA for a good 2-3 years before inviting them as my wedding buddies at moments notice. Been hanging out with them since the wedding till the day my wife given birth to our beautiful daughter. Then fatherhood came, it totally changed me as a person. Now my daughter's needs come first, children are no longer annoying noisy beings. If a child cries, it's always a reason, deciphering the cries is a challenge. Thinking back, its rather amusing that I vowed not to have children, then flip flop back and fourth on that topic with my wife as my age nears 30. Past that age, supporting a child financially through university, and having the energy to keep up with a child that's constantly on a sugar high will be many folds tougher.

So here it is, the first post of 2013, finally dusting off the virtual cobwebs in this blog.