Genting Theme Park

Last month I get to bring my family to visit Genting Theme Park in Genting Highlands for the first time. This is the second time only that I visited Genting Highlands. The first time was 10 years ago with my wife on a motorbike mind you. Even then we didn't get to enter the Theme Park because it was still expensive. 10 years and 3 kids later only can we afford to go in,so sad I know.

From the Karak highway to the top of Genting Highlands took us about 30 minutes with minimum traffic. The road was winding and sometimes steep so one would be really reckless to speed up or down those roads. I parked behind the Resort World Genting staff quarters for free but we had to walk a few way down to the entrance. One day unlimited pass for adults cost RM42 while children 12 and below RM31. If you book and pay online you'll save about 12 ringgit and skip the queue at the counter.

Once you get in, you'll be spoilt for choice for which ride to take. You could guess which ride is popular by the number of people in the queue. The most popular rides like Flying Coaster and Space Shot would take at least an hour of queuing. The less popular ones will have a short or no lines at all. If you'd like to try all the rides, It'll take you two days minimum. So it's best if you come early in the morning, check in at a hotel if possible and try as many rides as possible until the evening.

The outdoor theme park itself is quite big and you'll get tired easily walking and waiting in line for every ride. Fortunately there are plenty of benches to rest on and eateries and food stalls are aplenty. The food price however is rather expensive. Somehow since it's Genting Highlands, they have to charge twice or triple the price in K.L. Nevermind the fact that they're just slightly over an hour ride from the city. You could bring your own food and have a picnic at the park but if you intend to stay long you'd no choice but to buy from one of those overpriced restaurants.

The climate at Genting Highlands is pretty cool, a lot cooler than Cameron Highlands for sure. When I was there there where fog and mist everywhere with cool breeze blowing from the clouds. All in all, Genting Theme Park is a cool place to bring your kids to play and have fun. The entrance fee is more than worth all the rides that you can try. It's best if you come early in the morning and book a hotel so that you can rest there overnight after a tiring day at the park.

By the time I post this, the Genting Outdoor Theme Park would already be closed forever to make way for the new 20th Century Fox theme park opening 3 years from now. So we are probably one of the last visitors to the theme park. I'm pretty sure the new theme park will cost a lot more from the current one. Genting Theme park had been a fun and memorable experience for me and my family. Let's hope we can do this again soon.

Nasi Lemak Maybank Sea Park

Today I feel like having nasi lemak for dinner. Not just any typical nasi lemak but something special. So I searched around on the interweb and found a few well-recommended nasi lemak place including this one near Sea Park in Petaling Jaya.

The official name for this stall is Bumbung P.J Ibumie but they're also well-known as Nasi Lemak Maybank and Nasi Lemak Bumbung. The setting is entirely outdoor so I presume the business will be affected when it rains. They open from 6:00 in the evening until late at night. I took my family to sample their famous nasi lemak with fried chicken. The verdict: I like the nasi lemak but the sambal is not spicy at all. I prefer my sambal hot, the hotter the better. The fried chicken was ok too. My son Adam Farihin accidentally (as always) tipped over his newly served drink but they offered to replace the drink for free which is cool. You can find Nasi Lemak Maybank in Sea Park near Petaling Jaya next door to the Maybank branch there. Just set your GPS to Sea Park or find Maybank Sea Park on Foursquare.

A little caveat, the stall is located right next door to a Bak Kut Teh restaurant so if you're ultraconservative you should bear that in mind. I'm sure they don't mix things up or share utensils or anything but still I thought you should know that. Somebody commented on Foursquare that they add plastic bag while frying the chicken to make them extra crispy but I'm sure that's utter nonsense. They would be crazy to do that when the kitchen area is open for all to see. Overall I'd give the food 3 out of 5 stars.

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Samsung NP370R4V review

I was in the market for a new notebook recently. I was looking for an entry level laptop between 11" to 13" and a budget of around RM1,000. I had three laptops in mind, the Asus Vivobook, a Samsung Chromebook and the Samsung NP370R4V. The Vivobook was small, thin and cheap from as low as RM900 but I find the build quality rather poor after testing it for a while. The Chromebook was also small and thin but a bit pricey at RM1,200. The Chromebook despite being a real beauty, I find the OS option and hard disk space a little restricted. 16GB is definitely too small to do anything despite it being a solid state drive and I'm not sure whether the hardware fully supports Windows on it.

So I came to pick the Samsung NP370R4V which features 14" screen, 500GB SATA hard drive, 2GB RAM and 1.6GHz Pentium processor. The notebook is quite affordable too at only RM1,079 and it is really thin compared to other entry level notebooks with similar specifications and price. Other features include 2 standard USB port, 1 USB 3.0 port, one HDMI port, card reader, webcam and an ethernet port. This notebook weighs just 1.81 kilos and less than an inch thick at 0.90".

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking this notebook is made of aluminium but it's not. Just plain old silver-colored plastic with some texture on the palm rest. But what else do you expect at RM1,079? Anything more solid would just drive the price up so plastic is fine with me.

The NP370R4V comes with a non-removable internal battery and no DVD drive hence why it's so thin. It comes with a full-sized chiclet keyboard which is essential to me in a notebook. I wouldn't dream of typing on those hideous close-spaced keyboard of yesteryear. The keyboard gives a soft tactile feedback. The trackpad is quite spacious but that's where the good thing end. The left and right click button feels rather plasticky and made a noticeable noise every time you click it.

Another grouse that I have to highlight is that you tend to accidentally touch the touch pad especially with your right palm whenever you're typing causing the cursor to jump around on the screen which is quite annoying to say the least [Updated]. Although you can disable the touchpad with the Fn + F5 key, I'd rather it not happen in the first place. Speaking of the Fn or function key, I can't get it to work or response when I first installed Windows. It's only after I installed the Samsung Easy Display Manager that I can get it to work. Why do I'm so bothered about the Fn key? Because without it I cannot adjust the screen's brightness which is not very bright at default setting. The NP370R4V comes with a cute little charger and probably the ugliest carrying case I've ever seen from Samsung. I mean, it would not look out of place in 1979.

You can access the RAM and hard disk by only removing one screw below the notebook. The ventilation port is located beneath the notebook as well and it can get quite warm after prolonged use so you don't want to place it on your lap for long. Also avoid putting on your bed or mattress because chances are they will block half or most of the air vent causing your notebook to overheat. Other than that, this notebook runs very quietly and you can hardly detect any noise from it.

Performance-wise, the dual core Intel Sandy Bridge processor is quite speedy for a budget notebook. You could do regular office work, some serious web-browsing, video playback and non-graphic intensive games without a glitch on the NP370R4V. I managed to played FIFA 13 and The Sims 3 with the lowest graphic setting on this notebook which uses onboard Intel graphic. Obviously if you wanna play the latest and coolest games on your laptop, you'll have to get at least a Core i5 laptop and third-party graphic chip like Nvidia or AMD and spend 2,000 ringgit more. Video playback is smooth and the sound quality is acceptable for me. The 14" screen is a plus because I have more screen real estate compared to smaller laptops. The 3 cell battery last slightly over 3 hours with regular use. Although I don't mind something longer but this ain't no 10 hours battery MacBook Air so I'll have to take it as it is.

The NP370R4V comes with DOS and no Windows so if you're not willing to learn or code in DOS you might want to install Windows. Luckily Samsung provides all of the drivers and software at their website. Doing a clean Windows installation is probably best because you can avoid/skip all the standard bloatware from Samsung. My current setup is Windows 7 and the latest Ubuntu dual boot. I just had to have a non-Windows OS on my laptop for work purposes. The first thing I did was to upgrade the RAM to 4GB. It has two RAM slots so you could bump the RAM up to 16GB if you want to. The processor supports 64 bit OS so you can also install a 64 bit version of Windows 7/8 on this machine. You can download all the Windows 7 32 bit drivers from the official Samsung website or you could also download the ones that I already downloaded and tested which works here.

Overall I think the Samsung NP370R4V is a decent entry-level, budget 14" notebook. Although Samsung doesn't call it an Ultrabook, it's still a lot thinner than your average notebook at that price point. I love the chiclet keyboard, big screen and crisp display of this notebook. Apart from the overly sensitive touchpad [problem solved, see below], I have nothing but good things to say about this notebook. If you're looking for a slim notebook below RM1.2k with decent specs, I would highly recommend the NP370R4V. Of course if you have slightly more budget, you could get any of those Ultrabooks from Samsung, Sony, HP or Dell which works and looks just fine. Else, the Samsung NP370R4V Series 3 offers the best value for your money and a good looking notebook too.

After much research I found out that the latest driver update for the Elan touchpad resolved the over-sensitivity problem. Apparently the touchpad is manufactured by Elan not the usual Synaptics. Download the driver for Windows 7 from here and change the palm tracking & sensitivity setting to maximum. You can also finally use multi-touch and few other cool features with the new update.

Eid 2013

Eid should be the happiest day of all for every Muslims. Well that's how it's supposed to be anyway. This year I have every reason to cheer and look forward for Eid. New job, steady income, bonus, happy & healthy family. It was good all round. Alhamdulillah.

I applied for leave starting from Raya eve until 6 days later. My wife however had to work until the very last day so we didn't get to leave town until she finishes work that day. But it's okay. The important thing is we get to go home and celebrate Eid/Raya with our family and loved ones. Better late than never. Our kids had gone home a week earlier with their aunt who came by to pick them up here just so that they could spend a little more time with their grandparent. Travelling home on Raya eve has it's advantages. For once, traffic was not so bad because many people had gone home already, gradually since last weekend. After a couple of stops including dinner somewhere in Kuala Lipis, we arrived safely in Pasir Mas a little after midnight from a 10 hours journey.

Celebrating Eid in my hometown in Pasir Mas is always special to me. It's where I always celebrated Eid since as long as I know, before I got married and took turn to celebrate it in Tanah Merah as well with my wife. Raya morning has that special kind of magical feeling so to speak. Something that I could not explain with words and just experience it every year on 1st of Syawal.

We had the same routine as always. Pray at the mosque, go visit the deceased at the cemetery and come home to feast and ask forgiveness amongst our family members. Last year I can't even afford to give out Raya monies to my nephews and nieces which is totally embarrassing for a 32 year old guy like me. This year, thankfully I get to give them out gleefully to everybody, parent and grandma included.

Third day of Raya, I went to meet my father and stepmother in Kota Bharu. Since he's got his own family since a decade ago, it's the only way we could meet. Although brief, it's great to be able to catch up and chat with your dad even for a while.

Overall, Eid 2013 had been very good for me. I get to go home without so much traffic and jam. I get see my loved ones and celebrate Raya without a worry in the world. It's only when you've been down to the bottom and crawl back up again only you realize how lucky you are and how grateful you should be. Selamat Hari Raya to everyone and Maaf Zahir Batin sincerely from me.


Since I only get around 50 readers for every post nowadays maybe I should write here more and not worry what other people think? It's not like anybody leaves comments anymore, right?