19 Jul

TM UniFi FREE Speed Upgrade (from 5Mbs to 10Mbs)

Got an sms from TM few days ago…

RM0.00:TM: Congrats! Your UniFi speed will be upgraded to 10Mbps! FREE upgrade, NO contract. Restart your modem after 24hrs to enjoy new speed. T&C apply.

Today only I remembered about it. So I did a test before and after, to see if there is any significant difference or not in real.

Before I restart the modem, I did a Speedtest.  tmbefore

Below is after restarting the modem.

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Yes, quite a significant improvement in speed, as what TM promised, 10Mbps.

TM has been calling me for several months pursuing me to UPGRADE to their 10Mbs package with extra RM10-20 monthly fee (can’t remember exactly the price), but I told them no. Main reason being I still able to surf smoothly with the 5Mbps package, so no urge to upgrade. TM no longer offering 5Mbps package to the public, it seems that it is more economical for them to maintain and keep all users at 10Mbps minimum.

Glad that I didn’t “upgrade” with fee.

9 Jul
Bought a Haagen-Dazs Green Tea ice-cream from AEON Taman Universiti, Johor, 2 days ago. Today when consuming, found the ice-cream to be ice like, not ice cream.
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The expiry date is in Dec 2016.
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It is really hard and the ice-cream is like frozen ice cube. Before you start suspecting the problem with my refrigerator, I have the same taste ice-cream stored inside without problem last month. I also have the Baskin Robin ice-cream store in the same compartment next to this Haagen-Dazs bought at the same time from AEON that tastes perfectly! Yes, we almost finish the 1 Litre Baskin Robbins as it tastes so good and smooth!
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I suspect the Haagen Dazs ice-cream was melted and refrigerated, no smooth texture at all.
6 Jul

Hitachi 18kg Top Loading Washing Machine HTC-SF180XWVSL

Taking the Raya sales ride, so we decided to get a new washing machine for our home.

We are currently using the front loader LG washing machine, which uses very little water in washing, which we doubt it is clean. Several hand rinse after washing confirmed that there are still a lot of detergent residue left on the cloth after washing. This is bad and worrying as my boy likes to bite on the shirts or cloth.

So here we go shopping for a new washing machine today, and we chose Hitachi for I have seen the model in newspaper recently promoting it as the latest model and technology. Furthermore, we decided on Japanese brand as got no confident on Samsung or LG Korean brand anymore.

Original price RM2799, RAYA discount RM300, becomes RM2499. Then the good Malay salesman give another RM100 discount to sweeten the deal (we didn’t asked, but was considering either the 16kg or 18kg models). At RM2399, the 18kg model is at the same price as the 16kg model, so we go for the 18kg of course.

Hitachi 18kg Top Loading Washing Machine HTC-SF180XWVSL

Inner view, metal drum, said to have self clean function. My wife said the banana was purposely put inside to give you an idea on how BIG the drum is…

This is our old LG front loader washing machine.

Delivery can only be done after Raya, which is next week. Not a problem.

6 Jul

Garden shed? 

Need a place to keep the tools of our garden. Finally we went and bought these metal cabinets yesterdayyesterday. RM805, free delivery. Keeping our car porch tidy. 

17 Jun

AirAsia, morning shines

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Sunlight shines at early morning, 6.45am.

Arrived at 6.40am in the morning, beautiful sunrise on the left, and two AirAsia planes were resting on the right waiting to serve again. Took out my Samsung Note 5 to take a few quick snap before the ground crew came to ask the other passengers not to stop there. Yeah, many were snapping photos of the beautiful sunrise and plane, but most took the other plane as below. Stunning sunrise right behind, but not so easy to capture using phone camera. Still better than no photo… 😀

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Very hardworking planes. AirAsia.

26 May

Review of the Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon

A customer sent this lens for trade in few days ago, and I am excited when I saw the box!

Sigma 120-300mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Lens for Nikon (Compatible with Sigma USB Dock) (Sigma Malaysia)

Yes, the lens is now officially my property…until I put it up for sale that is.

Here’s some of the views of the lens on my Nikon D4.

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120-300mm 1:2.8 DG

DG stands for digital, which means its design is optimised for digital camera sensor. Filter diameter is 105mm, which is huge! Yes, Sigma made a 105mm UV filter for it, and it comes with the lens from the original owner.

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Lots of buttons on the lens. Focus (AF/MF), Focus distance setting (Full, 10m ~ infinity, minimum ~ 10m), OS (ON or OFF), Custom (not sure what is it yet).

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The lens is heavy…really heavy I must say. However, after trying out the Canon EF 800mm F/5.6 lens just few days before, this lens weight seems much more manageable. Yes, it is still heavy though, especially when mounted on an already heavy Nikon D4 body.

This lens comes with a tripod collar, and a big tripod shoe, which means you should really use it on tripod or monopod.

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Even with Nikon D4, the lens is still able to balance well on the tripod collar.

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The lens comes with a strap eyelet, which is a blessing I must say. Put a strap over it and you can now lug the whole setup by the lens not the camera body. This makes holding it much easier.

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The lens does seems a bit boring in focal length especially after I just tested out the Canon EF 800mm few days before. No, this lens is definitely not for bird shooting, as it is way too short. The power of this lens is its f/2.8 aperture, which render really nice bokeh and makes your subject stands out really well. Move a little and you can change the background colour of your subject easily.

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The lens is sharp. Yes, really sharp and has no back or front focus issue. Below is the 100% crop of the above shot. You can count the eyelash of the rabbit!

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Since this lens is the new ART design, you ca use the Sigma USB dock to calibrate front or back focus issue if any. This being the SPORTS model also means that it is the premium one.

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Even for indoor shots, this lens is able to render the background nicely. The good thing being a zoom lens is that you can conveniently adjust the zoom ring to frame your subject the way you want, without having to walk forward or backward. 120mm to 300mm seems like a good range!

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Kids were having fun outdoor with the rabbit and insects…and I have my fun too!

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Lastly, my lovely wife join the party too!

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Conclusion

This is definitely a great and fun lens to have! I shall have more fun in the coming few days!

20 May

My new toy, Nikon D4

Upgraded the Nikon D3s that I owned since Feb 2012 to Nikon D4 last week. There were some problems with the Nikon D3s that pushed me to the disposal of it. First is the shutter problem. The shutter will get jam every now and then. You have to press the shutter 2nd time to “rewind” it. No big deal but felt irritating some time. 2nd problem is that one of the CF slot has a broken pin when I was using the SD-CF adapter last time. This will have corrupted RAW file when I use that slot. Since D3s has two CF slots, so again no big deal but mainly just emotional.

The buyer of my D3s knew about the problems of the camera, so he offered me a price which I think is reasonable, and I decided to move on.

No, this isn’t a brand new D4, but one with shutter count near to 60k. Since Nikon D4 shutter can last over 300k, I have no worry. The slightly irritating part is the rubber grip that got expanded. Changing all the rubbers on the D4 body costs slightly less than RM500. I don’t feel like spending that money at the moment.

Below are some test shots that I got from the D4. Initial impression is that autofocus is very accurate and sharp. One of the main reason why I want to upgrade is because of the AUTO shutter speed in Auto ISO setting in the camera. Yes, you let the camera choose the ISO automatically, and choose the lowest shutter speed based on the focal length of your lens. Eg. If you are using 200mm focal length, the D4 will set its shutter speed to 1/200s minimal. When you zoom down to 28mm, it will automatically set the minimum shutter speed to 1/30s. In D3s, you need to set the minimum shutter speed in the menu, if you set 1/200s but shooting at 50mm focal length, you are basically shooting at too high shutter speed and wasted a few stops and forcing the camera to set at higher than needed ISO. I hope this makes sense to whoever that is reading… 🙂

Nikon could have updated this small feature via firmware in the D3s, but they didn’t. Too bad…

Here’s some shots…
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Full frame view

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100% crop

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Full frame view

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100% crop

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Full frame view (click to enlarge to 100%)

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Full frame view

 

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100% crop

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14 May

ShaShinKi Family Charity Fun Run

Today, 14th May 2016, Saturday, we, ShaShinKi family is having the charity fun run at Pulai Springs Golf Resort!

We saw the charity fun run a month ago, and decided to have all of our office members participating the event. The day fall on the normal working Saturday in our office, so we decided to take a day off and let everybody joining the fun run!

We invited their family members to join us as well (sponsored by ShaShinKi), but they were too shy…

My family of 4 joined the category C 5km run, while the others join the 10km run individual category B. Participation fee of category B is RM600K per person, and Category C family group is RM150 per family. Of course, all paid by ShaShinKi.

All proceeds from the charity fun run go to supporting Pu Sze Chinese Primary School.

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12 May

Lydia’s Birthday 2016

Yesterday was Lydia’s birthday. I did a little ShaShinKi logo for her and shout to the world…

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I then tried few header background and finally mod one myself the following…

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This is the special day webstore…

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This is the original ShaShinKi webstore…

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Happy birthday, my dear! May God continue His blessing on you and give you good health, peace and love!

5 May

Interview by SITEC on ShaShinKi.com / Dr Koh (Aiming for Success: ShaShinKi)

As the top 10 finalist of Malaysia Top E-Commerce Merchant (TopECM) 2016, SITEC has interviewed us for on our experience and story. We are glad to be featured in their website.

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Aiming for Success: ShaShinKi

April 29, 2016 11:40 am Published by Leave your thoughts

A passion for photography can be stoked or snuffed by something as simple, yet integral, as being able to find the right gear.

SITEC speaks to Dr Koh Kho King, founder of Malaysia’s first online store for cameras and photography accessories, on his e-store and emerging as a finalist in the Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards 2016.

ShaShinKi, which means ‘camera’ in Japanese, was started while I was still pursuing my PhD in Japan.
Photography has been my passion since 2000, and I started Malaysia’s 1st online photography community a year later.

 

Dr. Koh Kho King

Founder , ShaShinKi

When Dr Koh started out, it was a small scale operation, and he dealt mainly through email and forums in small amounts. However, towards December 2005, he decided to switch to using a website to showcase the products that he would be able to get from Japan for his customers and friends, and in December 2005, ShaShinKi was born.

However, 2005 was a time when e-commerce was still very much a youngling in Malaysia, and Dr Koh noted that this had caused the site difficulties in attracting customers.

Many were scared of buying things online, or paying before touching the physical goods. We started by telling our potential customers about our connection with PhotoMalaysia.com, as well my reputation in the photography community in Malaysia.

Dr. Koh Kho King

However, people started gaining confidence in their services, and through word-of-mouth endorsements from their friends, ShaShinKi was able to close online deals for orders larger than RM 50,000 – and for customers that they haven’t even met!

When I started ShaShinKi, it was not about the money, but rather the passion in photography and the excitement of getting hard-to-find photographic accessories from Japan to my photographer friends in Malaysia – Dr. Koh

Another challenge then, according to Dr Koh, was the design and features of the website itself.

He shared that now there’s a plethora of e-commerce software that are readily available at very affordable prices – a luxury that they did not have back then, and he relied on “OSCommerce”, an open-source software.

 

A lot of the customisation was done manually on their own. Although it was hard in the beginning, they now benefit from having full control and knowledge of the software, and can perform modifications easily according to their needs.

Though ShaShinKi had less than 50 SKUs when they started in December 2005, the number quickly grew to more than 300 SKUs in 2006. However, things started to slow down for ShaShinKi, due to the misconception that cameras should not be bought online. It did not help that ShaShinKi was the only e-commerce player dealing with cameras.

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Competition started to show itself in the form of several other camera and accessory stores in 2008. When their competitors started pushing out more SKUs than they did, ShaShinKi stepped up to the challenge, and decided to source for more brands and products.

Now, they have over 19,000 active SKUs in their inventory. Dr Koh thanks the competition for motivating them to work harder, offering more to customers as they had no space limitation to work around.
Also, customers can contact ShaShinKi, and even Dr Koh, through the numbers published on their site, for help with either their order, or even if they need advice with photography.

We are not here just to sell cameras. We are here to provide solutions to our customers. From time to time, we also get customers emailing to thank us for our services and how we managed to get things that they couldn’t find elsewhere, this is the most satisfying moment in our work.

-Dr. Koh

Dr Koh opines that the Malaysian e-commerce industry is still in its infancy, albeit with a huge potential and with lots of room for all players to grow, and that the e-commerce volume in Malaysia only caters to around 3% of the total retail sales in year 2015, whereby Singapore is already surpassing 7%.Comparatively, other developed countries’ percentages stand at around 15%. A lot of successful e-commerce merchants in Malaysia are new young entrepreneurs, instead of those already with successful physical stores or chain store businesses.

Dr Koh thinks that many may mistakenly think that business will come automatically right after setting up an online store.They cannot be further from the truth.

He noted that young entrepreneurs often spend their time studying customer needs and designing their website with personal touches, working tirelessly to promote their websites. Some of the tools they utilise include social media, organic reach optimisation, and others.

A lot of time and effort goes to make one’s e-commerce business success, not unlike running a physical store.

Dr Koh had also professed excitement at hearing about the Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards, as there was finally recognition for e-commerce businesses in Malaysia.

I didn’t think about winning, as there are many other bigger e-commerce merchants in Malaysia in different industries, but I did keep high hopes about being able to make it to the top 10, as we are quite influential and popular in our own industry of photography.

– Dr. Koh

Dr Koh and his team’s trip from Johor to Kuala Lumpur for the awards night were not in vain as they emerged as a finalist in the competition, going home with RM 1,000 cash, a trophy, a cert and other goodies.

Dr. Koh also urged all e-commerce merchants to participate in the Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards next year, so as to gain more connections with the players in the industry and get more exposure to the world.

We are honoured to be recognised as being among the top 10 e-commerce merchants in Malaysia for the year of 2016. Such a recognition will give us extra exposure and lend confidence to new customers who have not tried our services before. Dr. Koh


Original article at:

Aiming for Success: ShaShinKi