How to renew lapsed motorcycle road tax in Malaysia

With my intention to wake up the red devil, the very first thing that I have to do is to make the bike road-legal. This means, I have to get a new insurance and road tax for the bike. Since my bike's road tax expires on December 2012, it has been more than a year, therefore I can't renew my road tax the usual way.

Luckily, there are JPJ officials in my contact list, so rather than get myself confused, I send him a message asking for the actual process.

Good news! Now I don't actually have to go to PUSPAKOM to do vehicle inspection (that would save me RM20.00). Here's the complete process:

  1. First, get insurance cover. You can choose to either buy insurance for a few days to cover the need to bring your motorcycle to JPJ, or you might as well buy the entire one year of insurance coverage, since it is a requirement for the road tax to be issued.
  2. Second, bring the insurance cover note and your motorcycle registration card (geran) to any nearby JPJ and ask to apply for a "Permit Perjalanan Sementara (Untuk Pemeriksaan)" (temporary permit).
  3. Now that you have both insurance and the permit, go back home and bring your motorcycle over to JPJ. Don't forget your cover note and registration card.
  4. Just tell the officer you want to renew your lapsed road tax and that you bring the vehicle for inspection with you. They will carry on with the inspection, and once everything is ok, you'll get your road tax renewed

Remember, make sure your vehicle is in good running condition, all lights are functioning. Otherwise they might not want to approve your road-tax renewal until you rectify the issues.

Waking Up The Red Devil

The red devil (my trusty 2010 Ninja 650R) has been in deep sleep for almost two years now, and I have been craving to ride for a long while. Shortage of funds doesn't help in this aspect. It's one of my hobby that I have been neglecting for a while.

It is time to wake up the little beast and take him back on the road, where he belongs.

I did a thorough inspection, and found a bunch of items that needs to be fixed or replaced:

  • The headlight circuit. For some odd reason the high-beam keeps blowing the fuse. So I practically have no lights at the moment. Something I can fix hopefully, with some knowledge of vehicle electricals and trusty workshop manual.
  • The starter relay needs to be replaced.
  • The radiator fan needs to be replaced. My radiator fan burnt itself out few years back and I have it replaced with a makeshift fan motor (that I personally think not strong enough). To buy a genuine OEM part in Malaysia proves to be prohibitively expensive (almost RM1,200 just for the fan alone!). So I've decided to order used parts off ebay and see how that fare.
  • The radiator hoses needs replacing. Since we're in this topic, might as well go for the aftermarket silicone ones!
  • Radiator needs flushing. It's been quite a while since I did that.
  • The tyres needs to be replaced. It's been more than two years old.
  • The chain and sprocket sets needs replacing. I used a 42T rear sprocket for a while. While it gives better cruising RPM, I kind of miss the acceleration of the stock one. So back to the original.
  • The bobbins needs replacing. I shattered one side when I went down two years ago. I got the new one in hand, but my allen key decided to go missing. So need to get a new allen key for that size.
  • Finally, to make it road-legal, I have to take it to PUSPAKOM and JPJ for inspection and road-tax renewal.

Phew, that's quite some list. I guess I'll do it slowly as I have time. Can't wait!

First week impression of Pixelmator

In my previous post titled 'Going Cold Turkey On Photoshop: The 30-day Trial', I explained why am I looking for a Photoshop alternative. One of the best way to do this is to go completely cold-turkey with it. It's been a week that I have not fired up Photoshop yet, and most of my graphics editing is done with Pixelmator.

First Impressions

I am not quite a big fan of dark interface on apps. Maybe I'm a little old school - I like mine in boring light greyish color.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 11.24.41 PM

This isn't a big issue though, it's just a matter of getting used to it. So far I've been doing good. However, one thing that I find hard to tolerate is the lack of application window. The floating window of Pixelmator is driving my OCD scale up to 11 trying to keep it neatly positioned on screen.

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 11.25.43 PM

If anyone knows if it is possible to make the toolbars and panels dock to the sides of the screen in Pixelmator, it would be a great help.

Is it a good replacement for Photoshop?

Yes, and no (to a certain extent). I love the fact that Pixelmator opens PSD files flawlessly (sans the support of smart objects). So transitioning is very easy for me since I can keep the PSD files and access them anytime via Pixelmator.

If you want to do a lot of raster manipulation and photo editing, compositing, etc. Pixelmator will do the job extremely well. It is also very fast in performance.

What I love the most is the effects browser, which have a similar feel to iMovie's panels. Just double-click and it's there. Very handy.

Their image content detection is awesome. If you're using Pixelmator's move tool you'll notice that it actually tries to read the image and see what's in it, and suggest the best option for you if you want to manipulate parts of the image. Think of it like Photoshop's Content-aware features, but on steroids.

The Catch

The only issue is that if you are working in a team, then either all of you have to switch to Pixelmator or, pray so that you don't have to give out the source files. Otherwise they have no idea how to open that file.

These are some of my initial impressions using Pixelmator. I still have three weeks worth of trial time on it to see if it fits my needs.

Going Cold Turkey On Photoshop: The 30-day Trial

Ever since I've known the world of web design in 1997, my standard tool is any syntax-highligting text editor, and Adobe Photoshop. I guess back then there isn't much tool created for web graphics that is as good as Photoshop, thus naturally, it is the tool of choice for general graphics manipulation.

There is one thing that bugs me though - the cost of the software itself, relative to the purpose of it being used. Photoshop is way more powerful, and way more capable than just being used to create buttons, backgrounds and occasional photo retouching.
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Using Built-In Responsive Preview Tools in Web Browsers

The word 'responsive' has been overly used these days, which reminds me of the word 'AJAX' around five years ago.

So what on earth is a 'Responsive Web Design'?

To put it simply, a responsive web design is a design approach that aims to create websites with optimal viewing experience in any (or a few, if your website is targeted) screen size, with minimal panning, resizing and scrolling needed to read the contents.
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Record Your iOS Device Screen Cast without Jailbreaking

If you're a iOS app developer, there will be a time where you actually need to record a screencast from your iOS device (namely iPhone, iPod Touch and the iPad). The traditional way to do this is either you use third-party applications on the device (read: need to be jailbroken), or a more standard direct-tv-out-into-video-capture-device method.

Now there is an easier way to do this - enter Reflector.app.
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Malaysians Trading in Social Media – ‘Malaysia Boleh’ or ‘Asal Boleh’?

This is an observational post about habits of quite a number of Malaysian (especially online sellers). No offence intended to honest online traders out there. I love you guys for bringing us lower-priced items!

Me and a bunch of friends created a group on Facebook called the 'Malaysia Superbike Exhange' (MSE) in order to direct buyers/sellers of any kind of motorcycle accessories and rider apparels to do their posting/trading within the group, so we can keep the other discussion groups clean of trading posts. Continue...