Month: October 2019

Transcend USB C SD Card Reader Quick Test

My pet peeve with the MacBook Air Retina is the lack of SD card slot and I’ve never been without one since I started using laptops. I do a considerable amount of multi camera video shooting making the loss of SD card slot more than just a minor annoyance. I can’t effectively do my work if the camera need to be tethered to the laptop during file transfer.

The first solution I used is an el cheapo SD card reader from al-Murah and USB A to USB C adapter from Mr. DIY. The total cost is less than RM10. However the form factor is super clunky and had too many parts. It’s awkward to insert and remove the SD card while the thing is attached to the laptop. Worse, it made the next port crowded.

Enter the Transcend RDC 2 that have SD Card, Micro SD and USB A port. The design with that short bit of cable gives better clearance and handling. Priced at RM59 this solution is 6 times more expensive.

Is the Transcend faster? Yes, but not by much. Definitely not 6 times faster.

El Cheapo SD Card Reader
Transcend SD Card Reader

As you can see, only the write speed is significantly higher while read speed is almost identical.

While we at it why not we test the USB A port on the Transcend.

Direct USB C connection as baseline
Connected via Transcend
Connected via Mr. DIY USB A to USB C Adapter

Adapters do incur speed penalty but in this case Transcend is absolutely horrible. Almost 90% loss of performance compared to the baseline. This pretty much relegate the port for charging phones or used with keyboard and mouse.

Conclusion? If you really need a robust SD card reader on regular basis then the Transcend might be worth it. Else any el cheapo one will do. The USB A port is a nice bonus but the speed penalty is way too much for any serious use.

The Joy of Homegrown Vegetables

Perhaps this is not the most economical way to get our vegetables. Growing our own vegetables required time, fertilizer and equipments. However it is definitely the most satisfying as we can cook it in a very simple and just let the flavor came through.

Another positive side effect is that we are seeing less rotten vegetables in the fridge since we don’t need to buy as much from the market. It’s also very educational for the whole family especially the kids. We as adults also don’t know much about farming but the learning and mastering is definitely rewarding.

The Best Kacang Pool in Bangi

The bean and beef gravy is exquisitely spiced topped with onions and chili. It is paired with a thick toast slathered with ghee. The killer move here is two eggs fried with ghee. To be really over the top they also include crispy papadoms and one lime.

Salt, fat, acid and heat – all there and balanced. Yours for only RM7 at Restoran Sri Bestari in front of Kompleks Pendidikan Islam Bangi. x IIUM Student Union

Today marks the official launch of IIUM Student Union by Dr. Maszlee Malik. Our involvement is simple – we are providing fundraising solution. Really looking forward to help the student union achieve financial sustainability in the long term.

Imagination + Accurate Throwing = Superpower

Research had shown that there’s two things that separated human from the rest of the animals:

  1. The ability to imagine
  2. Accurate throwing capability

These two ability combined is enough to make us able to kill all other animal no matter how ferocious. With our imagination we were able to devise traps and coordinate attacks in groups. Once the beast is trapped we can simply kill them off with projectiles.

The sharpest claw and the longest horn are no threat to human once we can predict the attack and kill the beast from a distance.

To think of it, the military drone is the direct descendant of these two unique God-given capability. We just imagine where we want it to go (including places we haven’t been) and we can throw any weapon with uncanny precision.

Gig Worker vs Freelancer

Gig Worker vs Freelancer
Gig WorkerFreelancer
Skill LevelLowMedium to High
Ownership of Means of ProductionPlatformWorker
Pricing PowerNo PowerSet Own Price
Wage TrendDefinitely Going DownVaries according to market demand
Able to Choose CustomerNoYes
Skill DevelopmentNoYes
Require Higher Education?NoMaybe

Another thing I notice is that for Gig Worker the skill is never offered as a diploma or degree. For example, there’s no degree for taxi driving but there’s a degree in graphic design. Likewise there’s no diploma for food delivery but there’s diploma for culinary arts.

Repurposing Old iPod

This iPod is too slow and the battery is busted. So what I did is just install Alfred and hook it up to the charger so it can function as CCTV. Setup is easy and you just need to sign in using the same Google account on all your devices. The app is stable enough despite the aging hardware and I had it turned on for 3 days straight at least.

Billboards + Waze = More Money

Billboards + Waze = More Money

Driving past rows of billboards along the highway I thought of how wasteful this ad medium are. It costs a lot to put up yet you don’t know who looked at it and there’s no way to retarget the audience.

Then I saw Waze running on my smartphone sitting at the dashboard. Well, Waze do know who had driven past the bilboards. It knows the gender, age, mobile phone type and so much more. If simple geofencing produced too many match then can narrow down by how many times the audience had driven by or where they live and so on.

Google can pretty much partner with any billboard provider to offer ad retargeting service. They can also sell the analytics data for the billboard provider to serve their clients better. Or perhpas it will only make it more obvious how useless billboards are.

The idea sounds rather creepy and invasive but technically it can be done. There’s no need for additional hardware to be installed. Just supplying the data to sell more ads slot.

Perhaps Google had secretly trialed this service. Who knows?

Simple Pocket Pizza

Seven years and three kids after our wedding, we still have a pile of unopened wedding gifts – our extended family and friends had been very generous. One of it is a sandwich maker. On the box it suggested to do pocket pizza.

So we just take two slice of white bread, a slice of mozzarella and some leftover bolognese sauce. Cook in the sandwich maker for four minutes and we have ourselves a piping hot tasty breakfast.

Thanks a lot to whomever gave us this sandwich maker!