22 Feb

My “New” MacBook Pro mid 2015, reinstalling / formatting macOS Operating System High Sierra

Should I say…this is my FIRST MacBook Pro.

Charging it to full power first.

I have never owned a MacBook Pro before. I have owned a MacBook, MacBook Air, but never a MacBook Pro.

Why “New”? Because it is actually a pre-owned unit from a friend. It is Mid 2015 model.

Running Itel Core i7 2.5 GHz, 16GB RAM.

Retina Display 15.4 Inch (2880 x 1800 pixels). With AMD Radeon R9 2GB display card.

Why “New”? Because it is not an new unit but pre-owned. I bought it from a friend at a good price. He prefers using his iPad Pro for his work, so selling this MacBook Pro away. Of course, because I asked about it, then only he is willing to sell to me.

Then the nightmare came…or should I say…learning process.

He has tons of stuffs in the MacBook. I bought a Seagate 1TB portable disk to backup the data for him using Time Machine (around 500GB of space required). Then proceed to “reformat” the computer.

Google is your best friend. Yes, a simple search revealed that you can do a complete clean install of your MacBook.

Step 1

Shutdown your computer. Restart and at the same time press COMMAND + R keys. You will be presented with the macOS Utilities screen.

Step 2

Go to Disk Utilities. Select Erase the disk and all data will be deleted. (there is no turning back once you do this. Make sure you backup any important files first).

Step 3

Reinstall macOS operating system. OK, this is where the problems start. I tried “Reinstall macOS” but it just won’t allow me to download the macOS installation files. I have connected to the internet correctly. Tried two different locations / WIFI, still same.

Tried for hours…and no go.

Google again and again, my steps were correct.

I even tried “Restore from Time-Machine”, but can’t.

Went home, brought the MacBook Pro with me home to continue troubleshooting. Repeat again and again to reinstall, no go.

Before I went to bed, I google and then read again the details on Apple website:

Start up from macOS Recovery

macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS depending on the key combination you use while starting up. Turn on or restart your Mac, then immediately hold down one of these combinations:

Command (⌘)-R Install the latest macOS that was installed on your Mac, without upgrading to a later version.*
Option-Command-R Upgrade to the latest macOS that is compatible with your Mac.**
Shift-Option-Command-R
Requires macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later
Install the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.
* If you’re selling or giving away a Mac that is using OS X El Capitan or earlier, use Command-R to make sure that the installation isn’t associated with your Apple ID.
** If you haven’t already updated to macOS Sierra 10.12.4 or later, Option-Command-R installs the macOS that came with your Mac, or the version closest to it that is still available.

Yes, there is a hint there. Remember my first step of getting into the macOS Utilities was by pressing COMMAND+R keys, Apple seems to suggest that there are other options as per above.

So, I tried rebooting the MacBook with Option+Command+R keys. Yeah! Something different shown! There is an INTERNET icon running, showing that something is being downloaded I supposed.

Then I begin installing the macOS.

Sorry, NO GO.

A new error page shown that the installation cannot be done on the drive with installation file inside.

Stuck again.

Step 4

Erase the partition!

Yes, go to Disk Utilities again and erase the partition! You will see TWO partitions, and you can only erase ONE now.

Step 5

Go to “Reinstall macOS” now and you can now install macOS! It takes several hours to download the installation files, so be patient. Go take a nap or exercise! Don’t stare at the screen!

Step 6

Install and configure your new macOS system on the “new” MacBook Pro!

After successfully install a clean macOS operating system on my “new” MacBook Pro, I now understand why I can’t download the installation files in Step 3. My MacBook Pro is from year 2015, and the macOS of that time is Sierra, but the current version is High Sierra. So Apple does not allow me to download High Sierra macOS directly. I can only use OPTION+COMMAND+R to install the same old operating system available for my MacBook.

After installing a fresh macOS Sierra, Apple still allow me to download and update my macOS to High Sierra. In fact, my MacBook Pro is downloading the update now while I am blogging with it now.

or 

Above is my experience of installing a fresh clean macOS on my MacBook. I have been a Windows guy for years, so this way of reinstalling or formatting macOS is totally new to me. However, after this experience, I am now more confident of troubleshooting my mac now. It is actually quite easy once you know how it works.

Happy troubleshooting! Don’t give up!

5 Feb

Brinno BCC200 Time Lapse Contruction Camera Pro, distributed by ShaShinKi in Malaysia

Time Lapse Contruction Camera Pro by Brinno, BCC200.

Complete set with camera, weatherproof casing, clamp, 2GB memory card.

For long term project recording, one set of 4AA battery can last 80 days of recording none stop. Press one button and all photos will be combined into a time-lapse video.

ShaShinKi Sdn Bhd is the distributor of Brinno brand in Malaysia.

4 Feb

My breakfast, Dosa

Love this Indian food outside my house, dosa.

(Dosa is a type of pancake from the Indian subcontinent, made from a fermented batter. It is somewhat similar to a crepe in appearance. Its main ingredients are rice and black gram.)

RM1.50

12 Jan

Malaysia @ 22 degree C, 12th Jan 2018 (Coldest we ever experienced)

Malaysia has the coldest weather we ever experienced or remembered. Wake up and saw the temperature reading at 22 degree C. Even colder than the air-cond that we normally set at 24 degree C. No, we seldom use air-cond at night nowadays, as we prefer natural air from outside.

Humidity shows HI, which is too high for the meter to record. I think that is above 85% RH.

Even my car also showing 22 degree C outside temperature…

No Air-cond in the office today.

11 Jan

My first robot, the Mi Robot Vacuum

My wife bought two cleaning robots few weeks ago, more precisely we should call it toy, as it really is. Just a randomly moving toy with a paper mat velcro beneath it. It was RM100+ each.

My wife has wanted a cleaning robot for long, only me didn’t realized that earlier. Silly me. So the cleaning toy she bought served as a wake up call.

So, few days later I Google some info online, and then only I saw Mi cleaning robot. It seems to be of good value at RM1000+, yet getting great reviews from many comparing it against the much more expensive iRobot Roomba 980 or Dyson 360 Eye. Mi is well known for its better value for money products, so I decided to give it a try.

This is a smart robot. You need to download Mi HOME apps to connect and communicate with the robot. Yes, it can be used in Malaysia.

You can put the charging station anywhere, as long as it is within the reach of Mi Robot.

Mi Robot Vacuum is doing a very good job in cleaning up my house. It can go to almost every corner that we don’t even bother to clean. Including beneath the cupboard, bed, racks…etc. It sucks up dust very well.

The vacuum is pretty strong, but the best part is the thoroughness it cleans. It can cover up the entire accessible area of the house very well.

Dust is hard to clean by bloom, and we are lazy to use vacuum ourselves daily. This is where Mi Robot Vacuum shines. The dust cassette is located on the top, just open the cover and pull out the dust cassette and throw away the dust.

There is a filter inside the cassette that filters out the air before blowing it out from the robot. The filter needs to be changed after 150 hours of usage. Side brush can last 200 hours, Main brush 300 hours, and sensor needs self cleaning every 30 hours of usage.

We are happy with its performance these few days. Hopefully long term use is still proven to be good and we plan to get ANOTHER unit for our office.

8 Jan

Non-Landed and Service Residence Property Price Analysis in Johor (Year 2017)

Malaysia house hold income level, published by Bank Negara Malaysia.

https://www.bnm.gov.my/files/publication/qb/2017/Q3/p3_ba2.pdf

7.1% of Malaysia household have income > RM15,000 per month.

Recently I checked again the Brickz.my website and found some really useful data from it. We can actually view all the transactions of Service Residence in Johor, or even whole Malaysia.

Malaysia

Figure below shows total non-landed property transactions took place from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017 for the WHOLE Malaysia.

(3,635 Projects/Townships (19,092 Transactions) from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017)

Kuala Lumpur

Figure below shows the total non-landed property transactions took place from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017 in Kuala Lumpur.

(773 Projects/Townships (4,183 Transactions) from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017)

Penang

Figure below shows the total non-landed property transactions took place from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017 in Penang.

617 Projects/Townships (2,818 Transactions) from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017

Data below shows the transactions of all Service Residence in Malaysia from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017.

For a more meaningful comparison, we should just look at the price of service residence in a particular States. So I filter to just Johor below.

Below are all non-landed property sold from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017. A total of 1425 transactions took place (new and pre-owned).

Johor

Figure below shows all Service Residence sold from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017 in Johor.

So, what can we learn from the above?

  1. 30 Projects/Townships (198 Transactions) from Dec 2016 to Oct 2017
  2. Median price = RM338,000
  3. Mediam price Psf = RM446
  4. Only ONE unit sold at above RM800k (RM900k sold price)
  5. Only 4 units sold at RM700k and above (2.02%)
  6. Only 9 units sold at RM600k and above (4.545%)

Those that bought above RM600k units will have difficulty reselling later, as not many can afford such figure. For investor, price range of RM300k-400k is the most popular one.

Investment? Or Burnt?

Today’s Sin Chew Jit Poh newspaper mentioned about the property challenge in Year 2018. Highest unsold property in the past 10 years.

The total unsold property in Malaysia in the first quarter of 2017 is over 130,690 units. Double the figures from annual average from year 2004 to 2016. This is mainly due to many completed projects in 2017, especially high rise. Johor has the highest unsold figure, 27%, followed by Kuala Lumpur 14% and Penang 8%. 83% of the unsold properties are priced at RM250k and above, not affordable to many. 61% of the unsold property are non-landed type.

From the above data, I calculated that there are over 21,524 units of high rise property in Johor that is unsold yet. Only 1425 units of non-landed property transactions took place in the past 11 months (Dec 2016 to Oct 2017), and that includes new and pre-owned unit. In comparison, Kuala Lumpur has 4,183 transactions took place in the same period of time, and currently has much less unsold non-landed property than Johor.

Let’s said all 1425 transactions are new units (so many high rise in Johor are newly built in the past few years), it still needs 166 months to get all the 21,524 units to be sold. That’s around 13 years and 10 months. Of course this is just a very rough calculations, but you get the idea of how much is 21,524 unsold units means in Johor.

Kuala Lumpur has 11,161 units of unsold non-landed property, and at the rate of 4,183 transactions in the past 11 months, it only requires 2.45 years (29.35 months) to digest. Again, just a rough figure and to give you the idea of how bad the property condition in Johor.

Penang has 6378 units of unsold non-landed property. At the rate of 2818 transactions in the past 11 months, it requires only 2.075 years (24.9 months) to digest. Since Penang has lots of high rise, said 50% are new transactions and 50% are pre-owned resale transactions, still it takes only 4 years for Penang to digest all the leftover non-landed property.

Thought from a 22 Years Johor Residence

Johor has huge land. Most people in Johor prefer landed property, and there are still many newly pushed out landed property development in Johor. Price of landed property is similar to high rise (RM400k-700k for a 2 storeys teres house). Those who bought high rise are mainly just for investment, but due to the large amount of unsold high rise, it is quite impossible that owners will get good return of investment in the nearby period.

Buying non-landed property in Johor is not a good investment. There are just way too many unsold units, and most Johor residence still prefer landed property. Kuala Lumpur and Penang are still much better chance of getting good return of investment as compared to Johor, but one need to select the location and developer wisely. With so many unsold units, some small developers might run into financial trouble and stop the project halfway. If such case happened, you will still need to pay monthly loan to the bank but have no property to stay or sell.

7 Jan

Roti Canai in Malaysia

Roti canai is a very popular food in Malaysia. There are many different types of variety, eg. Roti canai kosong, roti telur, roti tissue, roti planta, roti bom, etc.

I went to purchase roti tissue for my Emmanuel, he requested it when I reached home in the evening. I told him to finish his dinner first, then only went buy the roti for him.

Roti tissue is thin crispy type coated with sugar and sweet condense milk.

5 Jan

Blood Test + Body Checkup + Breakfast

My wife and I went for body checkup today. The last time we did was few years back, so we decided to do one for the peace of mind.

Bood test, X-ray for chest (recently got a few cases of TB that I heard about, so better do x-ray for lungs), heart beat, ultrasonic scan of liver, etc., poo, urine…etc.

Went there at around 8.45am, finished the test within an hour, then we went for breakfast at Moonlight cafe at Bukit Indah.

The coffee is 3-in-1 instant type though, I think is Ah Huat white coffee. Bad. I didn’t even finish it.

3 Jan

Telco Digi in Malaysia Cheating? False Price Advertisement

Today I want to place my order of Samsung Note 8 at Digi website (www.digi.my). But upon checkout, I saw price difference.

This is the price I saw and the plan I selected at Samsung website.

Samsung Note 8 is officially retailing at RM3999 (incl. GST). Digi said Discount RM971, so my final price is RM3028 (RM3028 + RM971 = RM3999). So I assumed RM3028 is incl. GST price.

WRONG!

Digi price is BEFORE GST!

During checkout, I am surpriced to see the total price went up to RM3591.28! There is RM203.28 GST imposed on the advertised price!

This is FALSE advertising, and CHEATING! RM3028 + 6% GST = RM3209.68, that’s only RM789.32 difference from the official RM3999 SRP Samsung Note 8 Price, not RM971 discount as mentioned by Digi.

No, I am not going to buy the phone at digi.my website until they remove the DOUBLE GST Charges or false advertisement!

Update: 5.56pm, 03 Jan 2018

I sent some messages to Digi FB page on the issue, and the person replied that the price at digi website is all BEFORE GST.

This is so very wrong!

1. Malaysia law requires all Malaysia merchants to show price incl. GST

2. False advertisement by Digi on the total discount!

1 Jan

Megumi First Day to Primary 5

Her first day to school in Primary 5, wearing new uniform design being a prefect in the school. She is very proud and happy of it, and woke up at 5am to prepare herself. I woke up at 5.30am, and prepare breakfast for her.

My big girl…

1 Jan

My 2nd Panasonic LED 3 Blade Ceiling Fan F-M12GX VBHQH (48″) for the Study Room

I was thinking how to make the study room brigther. Installing extra lights would be a headache (I can’t DIY myself).

Then I decided to install the same fan that I have installed in my dining room. The LED light from the Panasonic fan is really bright.

Dining room fan changed, Panasonic LED 3 Blade Ceiling Fan F-M12GX VBHQH (48″)

Paid extra RM30 this time, as there is no discount coupon available.

Below is the existing fan before I removed it.

There are already 4 downlights in my study room. Photo below can’t really show the with or without LED light from the Panasonic fan, but in reality, the difference is HUGE. I am satisfied with the change. 🙂

One thing I noticed about this better quality fan is that there is no squeaking sound after long time of usage. I have a Panasonic yuragi 5 blades fan in my master bedroom for nearly 10 years, and it is still perfectly quiet (no squeaking sound) when operating. The cheaper fan in my other bedrooms are already giving noise when turning at higher speed. Definitely different quality.

I chose this over another Panasonic 5 blades led fan model for this 3 blades type is shorter in diameter, does not block the original downlights in the room. This is important, as you do not want to create shadows when the fan turns.