Sunday, May 24, 2015

Eco Breeze EB-2228 ceiling mount air circulator with LED lights and ionizer

I have recently installed an Eco Breeze EB-2228 ceiling mount air circulator with LED lights and ionizer.

It is basically a small fan with energy saving motor (claimed to be able to save up to 30% electricity) function to improve air circulation and regulate the room temperature, best working together with a nearby air-cond. It will boost the cooling effectiveness and efficiency of the air-cond, and claimed to be able to save up to 20% electricity consumption cost of air-cond too.

Under the fan is a 360 degree air jet rotation grill, which can let us manually direct the air blowing direction by stopping the grill rotation at a fixed position, or to let the air circulate 360 degree by keeping the jet rotating.

Surrounding the grill are several blue and white colour LED lights (the black dots in the photo above. They are off when the photo was taken), which will produce a soft, dim, aesthetic lighting.

There is a built in ionizer, which can be manually turned on or off.

At the outer part are 4 E27 lamp bulb base, which can put in LED bulbs. The light bulbs do not come together with the air circulator package, and need to purchase separately. In the photo above, I use the 5 watts warm white (yellowish) LED bulbs, which are pretty bright when all 4 of them are turned on.

This Eco Breeze air circulator comes with an all-in-one remote control, which can control separately for:
  • Fan on/off
  • Fan speed (slow, medium, high)
  • Louver vent oscillation on/off
  • Ionizer on/off
  • On/off timer (2, 4, 6 hours)
  • Light on/off
  • Circulation among 5 lighting modes
The 5 lighting modes are:
  • Single LED blue light
  • 4 LED white light
  • Air circulator internal blue light
  • 2 diagonal light bulbs
  • 4 light bulbs
After installation, this Eco Breeze EB-2228 air circulator is flat with the ceiling. It needs a 6 inches space above the ceiling to fit in completely.

The fan blades is pretty short though. Therefore, do not expect the wind produced will be as powerful as normal ceiling fan or wall fan, which has longer blades than this air circulator. After all, it is meant to circulate the air and best working together with nearby air-cond or ceiling fan, rather than blowing air like normal fan by itself.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Yale YKB/200/CB2 20 hooks security key cabinet box with combination lock

I have just purchased a Yale YKB/200/CB2 20 hooks security key cabinet box with combination lock to secure and organize my apartment keys.

This key box with powder coated black surface can be wall mounted. It can be secured with its 3-dial resettable combination lock. This keyless access design is the main attraction for me to buy it, as most other similar products are using normal key lock, causing the user to still need to carry the key to unlock the box.

This key box is pretty small. Its dimension is 20cm x 16cm x 8cm. It contains 20 key hooks inside, able to store many keys. You can lock your car's remote control and apartment door/lift access RFID cards in it too.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

JetBox air-cond cleaning service by Dustbox Solutions

Dustbox Solutions has just performed an impressive cleaning service for the 4 units of air conditioners at my home today.

Engaging a good air-cond cleaning service provider is not easy. The price to clean one unit of split wall-mounted air-cond (for both indoor and outdoor unit) in Klang Valley can range from around RM75 to around RM200.

The price tag might or might not be related to the following factors:

  • Type of cleaning (e.g. chemical clean, water clean, ...)
  • Type of air-cond (e.g. inverter type normally cost more, higher HP normally cost more, ...)
  • Technology use
  • Comprehensiveness of the scope of service
  • Workmanship
  • After service warranty period
The Jetbox air-cond cleaning service by Dustbox Solutions cost me RM120 per unit, regardless of the HP of the air-cond, which I find is value for money. All my air-conds are normal type (not inverter type), and the one with the highest power is 2 HP.

The payment can be made using credit card on their website while booking for their service online. There will be surcharge if you opt to pay by cash when the actual service commenced on site.

The company sent 2 workers to my house, and they used about 45 minutes to clean one unit of air-cond with their JetBox power cleaning technology. They carry a blue JetBox with them to perform the cleaning, which I was told the machine is R&D from their own company.

They have even put up the video below in YouTube to explain about the JetBox indoor unit service.

The scope of service covers:
  • Outdoor unit checking for compressor fan, running capacitor, refrigerant gas pressure, and copper pipe liquid.
  • Indoor unit checking for swinging flap function, water leaking observation, visual check, air temperature check, and air flow check.
  • Refill of R22a gas.
  • Outdoor unit cleaning with chemical, rinse the condenser coil and compressor cover, check fan bearing and lubricate.
  • Indoor unit cleaning with chemical covering coil unit, barrel fan, covers, filters, louver & drain pan, treat condensate drain with anti-algae, disinfect and wipe cover.
I was given a detail service report for each unit of the air-conds (the scope of service listed above is copied from the checklist in the report), and 3 months of workmanship warranty.

If there is any faulty in terminal wire, supply wire, relay/fan capacitor, compressor, motor, gas leakage, run capacitor, etc., their worker can perform a repair for you with additional repair charges.

I am satisfied with their service and will engage them again for air-cond cleaning service in the future.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Investment opportunity in TravelCenters of America (NYSE:TA)

Some background information provided by the company to its investors:

TravelCenters of America (NYSE:TA) is the largest publicly-traded operator/franchisor of full-service highway Refuel-Replenish-Refresh (RRR) travel centers in the United States.

As of 31 March 2015, the Company's business included 251 travel centers, 175 of which were operated under the "TA" brand name and 76 of which were operated under the "Petro Stopping Centers" brand name located in 43 states.

TA and Petro Stopping Centers have the largest sites on average, with full-service offerings that include diesel and gasoline fuel, truck maintenance and repair, full-service and fast food restaurants, large convenience stores, car and truck parking and other services dedicated to serving professional truck drivers and highway motorists.

As of 31 March 2015, TravelCenters of America also operated 60 convenience stores with retail gasoline stations, primarily under the "Minit Mart" brand name.

When the US market opened on Thursay 7 May 2015, TA share price hit a 52-weeks record high of US$18.10 right after it announced its first quarter result. Surprisingly, right after the stock price hit this 52-weeks high, it slumped down all the way to close at US$14.98 on Friday 8 May 2015, wiping out more than one month previous price gain since its rally from March 2015 onwards.

Graph snapshotted from Google Finance

What's going on? I think The Specialist has written a nice article to explain about the situation in Seeking Alpha website titled "Oops, TravelCenters Of America Did It Again - Buy Time?" and I am pretty agreeable with his view. I'm not going to repeat the content in his article here, you can click the link and read his report if you are interested.

The diagrams about TA below are taken from NASDAQ Stock Market website.

The chart above shows that TA's revenue (US$1.407 billion) dropped a lot in first quarter of fiscal year 2015, compared with previous years in 2014 and 2013.

However, its EPS (US$0.41) recorded in the quarter increased a lot compared with previous years in 2014 and 2013. This means its profit margin actually jacked up a lot, which is the key argument point of The Specialist in his article.

When we look further to more older data...

we'll find out that TA actually used to make lost in first quarter almost every year, and its earning has a cyclical pattern which is normally weak during the 4th and 1st quarter, and will turn strong during the 2nd and 3rd quarter.

From here, we observed that:
  • TA's result in Q1-2015 is actually very impressive. It is a hefty 40 fold from previous year, not to mention traditionally it is "suppose" to make lost during this quarter.
  • Barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect TA's result in Q2 and Q3 will be better than Q1, as that is its cyclical trend for years.
In fact, we can see the institutional investors have more buying than selling of TA during this price drop after it hit 52-weeks high.

One month ago, Zacks Equity Research has written a report explaining the 3 Reasons Value Stock Investors Will Love TA, and I believe the points are still intact as of today.

So, is this really a great investment opportunity given by its price drop? You can continue to find out more facts and figures about it.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for sharing of point of view only. It is not an advice or recommendation to buy or sell any of the mentioned stock counters. You should do your own homework before trading in the stock market.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Disabling customized ringtone in Whatsapp message notification

Recently, whenever a person in my Android phone's contact who I have set a customized ringtone sends a Whatsapp text message to me, my phone will play the ringtone as if the person is voice calling me.

This is very annoying and not a Whatsapp "feature" I want. Firstly, it really confused me as I always tought the person is calling me instead of sending Whatsapp message to me. Secondly, the ringtone MP3 is quite long to play. Imagine how frustrating to wait for it to stop everytime it plays just because a new Whatsapp message is received.

Luckily, I found the place to disable this annoyance.

To disable it in Whatsapp, go to Settings > Notifications and untick the checkbox of Contact Ringtone under Message Notifications.

This is another Contact Ringtone for Whatsapp calls which you can see when you scroll down the above screen, and I am OK with that.

If Whatsapp really want to put a feature for customized message tone, they should make use of the SMS tone instead of the call ringtone. I consider this as an annoying bug, and ought to be fixed in their next version release.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Updated my Samsung Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000) to Storm CyanogenMod 11 with Android 4.4.4 (Kitkat) from stock firmware of Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)

My first generation 7" Samsung Galaxy Tab (GT-P1000) is aged, but is tough and still functioning well.

Although it only has a single core CPU, 512MB RAM and 16GB internal storage, it is still capable to handle most of the task as an Android tablet, especially with the newer firmware of Android Kitkat and above.

However, its official firmware by Samsung is stuck at the last generation Android version 2.3.3 (Gingerbread), last updated a few years ago.

Luckily, there are supporters and developers who keep working on its latest unofficial firmware. One of them is Storm31 who makes customized version of Cyanogenmod Android OS for this Samsung Galaxy Tab.

With this unofficial firmware using Android Kitkat, the Samsung Galaxy Tab runs even smoother,  more powerful and more feature rich than its latest stock Gingerbread firmware.

I have successfully updated my GT-P1000 from stock Android 2.3.3 to Storm CM11 Android 4.4.4, and I'll share with you how to do it.

First of all, backup all the data in your tab that you want to save to your PC or to its external SD card. Warning: this upgrade will wipe out everything and no user data will left behind in the tab. You better save all the data you want to save now.

Then, remove the external SD card from the tab. If you keep the SD card in the tab, the data in it might be wiped out too.

Download the following files: contains the latest official stock firmware for GT-P1000. You'll need this in case you bricked your tab along the upgrading process. This will restore your tab back to its original state with stock firmware of Android 2.3.3 (but without any user data).

Inside it you'll also find Samsung USB driver for Windows which you need to connect your computer to your tab in order to perform the upgrade. If you have already installed the Samsung USB driver in your computer before, then you don't need to install it again.

Inside it you can also find Odin 1.7, the firmware flashing tool to flash the firmware file(s) from your computer to your tab using the USB cable. contains the ClockworkMod (CwM) Recovery, the CM 9.1 firmware, and a later version of Odin 1.85.

Note that you cannot upgrade your firmware from stock Android 2.3.3 directly to CM 11. You need to replace the stock firmware with CM 9.1 first, then update it to CM 10.2, then only to the latest CM 11 or upcoming CM 12.

You need to replace the stock Recovery in the tab's ROM with ClockworkMod Recovery in order to flash the CM firmware from the SD card (either internal or external) into the tab. is the firmware flash file of CM 10.2. is the firmware flash file of CM 11. If there is a newer version than this, you can use the newer version instead of this one.

CyanogenMod Android does not come with Google Play Store and Google Play Service, that's why you need to flash the Google Play Store and Google Play Service into your tab. Once you have the Google Play Store (previously known as Market) in your tab, you can use it to install more Google apps and Android apps into it.

After you have done backup of all the data you want to save from the tab to your PC, removed the SD card from the tab, charged the tab to at least 90% battery level, and installed the Samsung USB driver, you are ready to start this upgrade process.

Step 1: Unzip in your PC.

Step 2: Power off your tab. Then hold down its Volumn Down button, at the same time, long press the Power button. Your tab will go into Download mode with screen looks like below:

Step 3: Execute Odin3 v1.7.exe inside the Odin3_v1.7 folder.

Step 4: Connect your tab to your computer using its USB cable. You should see the first box in Odin's ID:COM section turns yellow.

Step 5: Click the PIT button and select the file gt-p1000_mr.pit.

Step 6: Click the PDA button and select the file GB_Stock_Safe_v5.tar.

Step 7: Click the PHONE button. If your tab is GSM-based (Asia/Europe/Middle East/Oceania/Africa/Rest of the world...), select modem.bin inside the folder JPZ Modem. If you are an American T-Mobile user, select modem.bin inside the folder T-Mobile Modem. If you are AT&T (USA), TelCel (Mexico) or Telstra (Australia) user, select modem.bin inside JK3 Modem instead.

Step 8: Click the Start button. The flashing process will begin. Let it run until you see a green PASS! box. Do not power off your PC or your tab, or disconnect the USB cable before you see the green PASS!.

In any event you bricked your tab, you can come here and perform Step 2 to Step 8 above to bring your tab to live again.

Step 9: Your tab should reboot. If not, reboot it. The Android initial setup screen will appear, don't bother to fill in any information, just tap on Next or Skip until you reach the home screen.

Step 10: Turn off your tab. Disconnect its USB cable from PC, and put it into Download mode again (Volumn Down + Power).

Step 11: Unzip in your PC.

Step 12: Now you can execute the newer Odin3 v1.85.exe inside the Samsung Odin3 v1.85 folder.

Step 13: Connect your tab to your computer using its USB cable.

Step 14: Click the PDA button and select the file CF-Root-TAB7_XX_OXA_JQ1-v3.3-CWM3RFS.tar inside ClockworkMod Recovery folder.

Step 15: Click the Start button to flash ClockworkMod Recovery into your tab.

Step 16: Power off your tab. Now you can plug back the external SD card to the tab if you want.

Step 17: Reboot your tab until you get back the Android home screen.

Step 18: Set your tab USB connection to Mass Storage Mode.

Step 19: Transfer the file inside CyanogenMod v9.1 for Galaxy Tab GT-P1000 folder to the tab's SD card (internal/external).

Step 20: Turn off your tab. Go into Recovery mode by holding Volumn Up button and at the same time long press the Power button.

Step 21: From the Recovery menu, select Install ZIP then Choose ZIP from SD Card. Locate and select the file, then confirm the selection. CM 9.1 will be flashed into your tab and replace the stock firmware. Wait for the process to finish. If there is any error, repeat this step again to reflash CM 9.1.

Step 22: Reboot your tab. The Android initial setup screen will appear, don't bother to fill in any information, just tap on Next or Skip until you reach the home screen.

Step 23: Repeat Step 18 until Step 21 for CM 10.2. The file to flash this round is Note that updating from CM 9.1 to CM 10.2 might not be so smooth and might need to repeat Step 21 a few times before a final success.

Step 24: Reboot your tab. The Android initial setup screen will appear. This time, you can fill in your information, and connect to your local WiFi, until you reach the home screen.

Step 25: Repeat Step 18 until Step 21 again for CM 11. The file to flash this round is

Step 26: Finally, flash the minimal Google apps. Repeat Step 18 until Step 21 again. The file to flash this round is

Step 27: Reboot your tab. You will find the Google Play Store appears in your home screen.

Step 28: The keyboard that comes with CyanogenMod might be too basic and primitive. I replaced it with iFlytek Voice Input for Pad which you can install from Google Play Store.

Now, you can enjoy your GT-P1000 tab with new generation of Android and the CyanogenMod experience.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Updated the BIOS of my Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro to Version 76CN43WW

It was just shortly about a month Lenovo last released the BIOS security update Version 76CN42WW for the Yoga 2 Pro ultrabook laptop, now there is another new BIOS update Version 76CN43WW.

Lenovo informed that this BIOS for Yoga 2 Pro Version 76CN43WW release on 29 April 2015 will increase the stability of DRAM.

You can click here to go to the download page of the latest BIOS update utility for Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro.

The BIOS update is pretty straightforward. Make sure that the battery level of the laptop is at least 80%, and it is plugged on to the AC power supply. Then, run the downloaded BIOS Update Utility.

The new BIOS will be flashed with the InsydeFlash utility from Windows 8.1. After that, the system will reboot itself, and the BIOS update will be performed.
After the BIOS update completed, the laptop will reboot itself again and back to the Windows login screen.

There is no data lost for this BIOS update. Even the BIOS settings and passwords remain after the update.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.