Day to Day

What will my occupation be if computer science never exists

What if computers never existed? What if the world we know today operates without computers, internet, smartphones and all those technology under IT industry? What will I be working as? What kind of job will I be having now? This is a question that I have thought from time to time and its possibilities. This might also apply if I never had a chance to study computer science.

Librarian / Part Time Writer

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

Throughout my schooling days, and even till now, I have always loved reading and writing. Libraries are my favourite haunts until the advent of eBooks. In a world without computer technology, I would probably be camping in libraries still. The rows of bookshelves with all the books, with the quietness of the library is a suitable environment that gives peace and comfort. The different books provides access to different world out there to satisfy this mind of mine. With a flair for administrative tasks and some OCD to engage myself in the classification and arrangement of books and materials, I might probably go be a librarian and do some writing in my spare time. Something to escape life itself perhaps.

Health/Medical Professional

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

The next option would be to strive to be in the medical profession. My favourite subjects in my schooling days were the sciences, especially Biology, which I top the class/school from time to time. I would do the extra reading during my free time and I remembered my school’s science HOD would lend me some of his books from time to time to give me more exposure to the different aspect of biological sciences. I did aspire to be a doctor and if somehow I could not make the cut, I would still want to work in the medical profession line. I believe it is a noble job and it helps people. Something to make my life more useful and meaningful. Even if computer science exists, I would still have chosen this path, but alas, fate makes fun of man.

Monk

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Monkhood might be an odd one but I think it is something I would go for if I am still single at the mid-stage of my life. I won’t call it a job/occupation but it is something that I have seriously considered at one point or the other.

Goldsmith / Jeweler

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Coming from a family of goldsmith, it is a path that I would prefer not to take, unless I have to, probably to take over the family business if it is still viable. As much as I like the glitter and shiny gold bars, it doesn’t excite me that much and I admit I do not have interest in jewelry making. I had done retail sales in this industry and that is probably where I am headed should I choose this path.

What will you be working as if computers never existed? Feel free to leave your comments!

Day to Day

Crypto Noob Doufu – Primitive Beginnings

Join Doufu in his noob journey into the cryptocurrency rabbit hole. Experience the excitement, the angst, the fear, the greed and most importantly, the lessons learnt. We start off with the usual disclaimer that I am not a financial advisor nor am I giving financial advice. I am just sharing my experiences, thoughts and opinions for entertainment purposes. Always remember to DYOR (Do Your Own Research)!

In this post, part one of the “Crypto Noob Doufu” series, we look at how it all started. What I did not do back then and how I jumped on the bandwagon later. Hop on and enjoy the trip down the memory lane.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I first heard of Bitcoin back in 2013 through an internet article. It seems to be some sort of thought experiment to me that was pretty novel and it caught my attention. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much information (at least for a beginner), and especially Bitcoin in those days was pretty much under the radar. I saw the potential in blockchain technology and wanted to be part of it, even though there wasn’t a real life use case for it – yet. The idea of using it as a replacement for fiat and as a global currency was revolutionary but I knew it wasn’t realistic and practical. That is a story for another day. Further research didn’t gather much steam and it seems that you have to own a bitcoin to get started. There wasn’t any exchange or places that I could easy get or purchase a Bitcoin and hence, in the end I gave up.

Photo by Worldspectrum on Pexels.com

Fast forward to late 2019, my brother re-introduced me to the world of crypto “investment” after recommending me to sign up for a Crypto.com account. Back then, I didn’t sign up due to some issues. First, they had stopped all new sign ups in Singapore to comply with the local laws and regulations. Second, there were problems with the KYC (Know your customer) approval process. Opportunities wait for no one and I decided not to wait. I jumped on the crypto bandwagon with Coinhako.

Coinhako Logo on Coinhako Blog

“Investment” funds started flowing into the Coinhako account in early 2020. To be honest, it was more like gambling than investment. I had not a single clue on what I am buying or doing. The first crypto asset I bought was Bitcoin (BTC), this was pretty much a no brainer. The second one, of course, Ethereum (ETH). Next stop were the altcoins, Polkadot (DOT) and Ripple XRP. I didn’t spend a lot of money, because I didn’t have much – unfortunately – hard truths. In total, I pumped in about 600 dollars in fiat throughout the whole of 2020. This portfolio bagged a 2x increase which I liquidated before the end of 2020, thanks to the volatility and fed’s money printing adventures.

Crypto.com logo from Crypto.com website

2022 was quite the opposite of 2021. I took a hiatus due to the events in the family and work. When things had settled down a little with some pocket of breathing space, it was already somewhere Q3 of 2021. The period of easy money was replaced by learning things the hard way. The highlight of the year was DYOR (Do your own research). I finally got my CDC (Crypto dot com) account running and it took quite a while to understand how the whole thing/ecosystem worked, and yes, paid quite a bit of “learning fees” in the process. It was then I realized this was different from 2020. I was more rational back then and in 2021, I totally FOMO-ed. I have fallen into the rabbit hole and I can’t get out.

Gemini Logo from Gemini Exchange website

I had also created a Gemini account in order to get my BAT (Basic Attention Token) coins from Brave browser. How it works is Brave browser will serve you advertisements (which you have to enable, it is not turned on by default), and they will pay you in their native token (BAT). You can then use these tokens to tip other content creators that you want to support. However, to cash out the value of these tokens to fiat money, you will need to accumulate a minimum amount of token and sign up and link your account either with Uphold or Gemini.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

So far, my “investment” in crypto has been in the red by at least 50%, which is no difference from my china tech stocks holdings, but it has been a learning experience which I should have learnt 10 years ago. Better late than never. Hence, the reason for this series, to share my journey, thoughts and experiences so that no one would make the same mistake as I had. Feel free to leave comments to share your thoughts and experience too.

Once again, please be reminded that these are my own opinions and are not financial advice. I am not a qualified licensed financial advisor. And I will not be liable for any damage or losses arising from usage of these information. Please do your own research. If you are interested in signing up for a crypto exchange account, you can use my referral links below.

Crypto.com
Use my referral link https://crypto.com/app/wpp4d7nqvz to sign up for Crypto.com and we both get $25 USD 🙂

Coinhako
Check out Coinhako – The platform to buy, sell and store your crypto assets. https://www.coinhako.com/affiliations/sign_up/173349_36362274

Gemini
Have you seen the Gemini app? Try it using my code and we’ll each get $10 USD of Bitcoin. https://gemini.com/share/axnymaaud

Day to Day, Reviews

Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite

Pebble was the last smartwatch that I had owned few years back. I liked it for its simple design, and the features that one cannot find in a traditional smartwatch, such as counting the steps you have taken, changing of watch face, amongst others. After the company ceased operations and the watch broken, I went back to using my Seiko 5 Automatic watch (Yeoman’s Watch Review has a post on it here). Until now.

Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite

Introducing the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite.

Why the return to a smartwatch? I still like my automatic watches but with the COVID-19 situation brewing and concerns about my current health status, I got curious and decided to get an affordable one. So far, I am quite pleased with it, in terms of pricing, features and reliability when compared to my prior experiences with smartwatches.

I used to own a few Pebble watches before they ceased operations. Back then, smartwatches aren’t popular and as feature packed as current day products. A classic Pebble watch will set you back by about SGD$100 in those days if I remembered correctly. I got my Mi watch for less than that now. Those classic Pebble watches are like the current Mi watch I have now, simple and easy to use, but the similarities stops there. The Mi watch offers more functionalities and features, such as touch screen, heart beat sensors, GPS, and more!

I still miss the classic simple clean design of the original Pebble watch. What I don’t miss is their reliability. They don’t last very long and they tend to fail a few months just shy of the end of warranty period (I guess it is a good thing for consumers?). I had 3 replacements for it, with the last one upgraded to a newer model for free. That too, failed within 6 months. Pebble customer support was good though – they offered 1-to-1 exchanges, no questions asked.

Pebble Classic Watch

What’s in the box?

The box as it is
And there is the watch sitting there
That’s what is inside the box

This is pretty much what is inside the box. Lite. You get the watch (with strap), a user manual and a charger. Actually I think they can even go further by switching the user manual to a card with an URL to the manual online. I mean you are using a smartwatch, you definitely have internet connection and a browser somewhere, no? If they could get the watch to power by using a microUSB or USB C connector, that would even be great. Less material use, less cost and hopefully cheaper pricing for consumers.

Specifications in Brief

  • 1.4″ LCD TFT display at 320×320 resolution
  • Weight at 35g with strap
  • Dimensions at 41mmx35mmx10.9mm
  • Water resistance to 5ATM
  • Battery at 230 mAH
  • Strap material TPU
  • Heart rate-sensor, Compass, 6-axis sensor, L-sensor, Barometer
  • GPS/A-GPS/GLONASS

Experience and Usage

You can use the watch straight out of the box without pairing/syncing but I don’t recommend that. If that is your use case, you should be buying a conventional watch instead. Download the Xiaomi Wear app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store to pair with your watch. It will open up more options for you to play with.

I have been using it for a few months now and am quite pleased with it. The display is crisp and clear and even after wearing the watch for the whole day, it is still comfortable. Battery life typically lasted me for the whole week with room to spare. I like the build quality too and for that price, it is value for money. The best part is it has all the basic features that a smartwatch should have with extras like GPS and heart beat monitoring feature at that price range. It is currently my daily driver.

Conclusion

There are many types of smartwatches out there and they all vary at different price range. It is really hard to say which are the best for you as it depends on your use case and budget. Having said that, when shopping for a smartwatch, you should not focus only on the watch aspect, but also on the mobile app support in terms of ease of use, functionalities, pairing and so on.

I would recommend the Xiaomi Mi Watch Lite for a first timer or if you would like something easy and simple to use. It has all the basic smartwatch features, with GPS and heart rate monitoring. It is extremely attractive for those who might not have a big budget but want to try out a smartwatch for themselves. It is affordable and at that price range, it doesn’t compromise on build quality.

Catch it during a sales if there isn’t an urgent need to get one or wait for the next version to be available in your country.

Day to Day, Thoughts

Onwards 2022

Welcome 2022. As the new year begins, it is time to plan and improve upon last year’s experience. No, this is not about making new year resolutions. We all know resolutions don’t work most of the time. Apart from learning from past experiences and making improvements so that we can be better, it is also about exploring new areas and alternatives for the new year, to find new opportunities to grow and excel.

Rebalancing. Last year has been a pretty chaotic with a lot of surprises lurking round the corner. It has been extremely hectic, both at home and work. I’m not the only one who has experienced this. I believe most people do. As the new year starts, it is time to take stock of matters and rebalance our lives. For me, that would be focusing on providing quality time with my family, carving out time for health and exercises and balancing on resources to areas that I have neglected last year.

Knowing what matters. We have many priorities in life, some more important than others, but they do not necessarily have the same weight for everyone. For instance, some people value family more than anything else in the world, some view material wealth above all. No matter what you deem as most important, it is vital to devote and focus on things that matters the most to you. The rest are just noise.

Picking up new skills. Progression is a must, otherwise we will be going the way of the Dodo. We risk being left behind if we stay stagnant and picking up new skills gives you more confidence and open up new doors. This year, I will continue to pick up new skills and improve myself, not necessary at work but also in different areas of my life. There is no limit to improving yourself.

Remembering to live in the now, the present moment. This is self explanatory I hope. The past is gone, you can never get it back again. The future has yet to come. Now is the time when you can write your future. A good example would be when you are with your family, enjoy the present moment with your loved ones. Stop thinking about work and checking your mobile phone for work email. Be in the now with your family. And when it is time to work, focus on your work and not surfing mindlessly on the internet.

Continuing to write. Writing is a hobby that I have always liked. Although I am not good at it, it serves as a way to perhaps release pent up ideas and thoughts. If it is possible, I do hope to pen down my experience so that someone might find it useful for them. I am currently working on a mini project to bring “I am Doufu” to another platform to get a feel into new technologies and/or concepts. Stay tune for updates in this blog and/or my Twitter.

I think that it is a good practice to reflect and set a guide on what you want to explore or achieve in the new year. Not to set a hard target or timeline but something to point you in the right direction. As proven in 2021, things will not always go the way you want but having a plan and direction is still better than floating around aimlessly.

With that let us embark on our adventurous journey towards 2022!

Photo by suzukii xingfu on Pexels.com
Day to Day, Thoughts

Year in Review 2021

In a twinkle of an eye, 2021 is ending soon and 2022 is approaching round the corner. A lot of things have happened this year and it made January 2021 seems just like yesterday. People says, “Times flies while you are having fun.”, unfortunately this year does not seems fun at all. Not at all. But let us have faith and conviction that no matter what happens, we can make lemonades out of lemons. And reviewing the year’s events and performance let us learn and do better.

The early part of my 2021 started with venturing out on a new development platform – Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) with a new CRM consultant. An exciting new prospect was an understatement. It has become a challenge, and at times a source of friction, even for the company as a whole. However, it is still a work in progress and I hope that in 2022, we are able to get the resources we badly need and put ourselves (and the company) in a better position to grow from it. To be honest, I am fine with working on Microsoft CRM under certain conditions, but Microsoft Business Central 365 is still the best platform to work with as compared to Microsoft CRM.

Work From Home (WFH) was relaxed in the first half of the year until the COVID-19 Delta variant arrived at our shores. During that time, we moved office from Golden Mile Complex to Golden Mile Tower. It was not a big move, as compared to the move from Mandai Estate, but we missed the toilets at complex, for they are much cleaner. We definitely miss the good memories we had in Golden Mile Complex office and it was more cozy and brighter there.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, Chinese New Year, birthdays and other family gathering and celebrations are more toned down. We still get to celebrate quietly together and we treasure our relationship and family event more. We definitely prefer to have more family gatherings and celebrations as long as it is safe to do so.

The 3Q of 2021 was a period of worries and sadness. My father in law passed away in a traffic accident and we do miss him badly. To me, he was one of the closest person I had as a fatherly role model. After that, our families got quarantined for COVID-19 as some of our family members caught it. As the country starts to open up and ease into an endemic state, more of my friends and colleagues start to get quarantine orders. It was unnerving.

This year has been pretty much stressful and naturally when under stress, health issues arises. There has been a lot of trips to the hospitals and clinics and I really hope these will end. Also, my old injuries on my front teeth has returned to haunt me and I had to see my dentist more frequently than I would have liked.

In 4Q of 2021, a few of my long time colleagues decided to join the “Great Resignation”, and with no replacement in sight and the company expanding to Malaysia, the rest of us have to make do with what we have. Tensions at work has been rising too, especially so from the recent accusation to the management that a senior member of the team has been idling. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone knows that the team has been working hard, including the senior members, and especially the manager. The insane number of nights and weekends burnt to deliver our services to the customers that could have been spent with our families and loved ones was discredited and it has upset and demoralize the team. It has certainly been rough for us.

Last but not least, here are the top 5 posts/pages of 2021

  1. Hugo – First Impression
  2. NAV2016 – How to Import Excel Data into NAV
  3. Business Central – How to use PromotedActionCategories
  4. Lenovo ThinkPad X13 AMD
  5. Bookmarks

As the end of 2021 draws to a close, let us not kid ourselves that 2022 is going to be a better year. More likely, it is going to be filled with even more uncertainties and disruptions. But let’s be hopeful for the future. Let us pray that we have the strength, resilience, kindness and compassion to meet the challenges ahead. May we all grow stronger and more matured from these ordeals.

“Vivere Militare Est”

Day to Day, Reviews

Hugo – 6 Months later

It has been roughly 6 months, almost half a year since I signed up for my Hugo account, got my Hugo card and wrote an article about it here. I will be sharing some of my thoughts and use cases today so that you can gain some insights or benefit from it.

But first, let us get some things sorted out before we continue. This article, including the previous one, are not meant to be financial advice. The purpose of these articles are to share my thoughts and experience so that you, as a reader, can use them as a reference. What you do after that is based on your own choice and responsibility. With that out of the way, let us continue.

An Overview

Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

A lot of things has happened for the past 6 months, and my peers would agree with me that this year, 2021, seems to be worse than 2020 when COVID-19 struck.

  • Delta variant in Singapore around the 2H of the year
  • China regulatory crackdowns and Evergrande issue
  • Inflationary risk
  • Rise of cryptocurrency trading and NFTs
  • Huge uncertainties in the market
  • Omicron variant getting ominous

So what do I think of Hugo and where it stands amidst all these noise and chaos? Here are some quotes from the article “Making the Singaporean Case for Gold” by David Fergusson, CEO and co-founder of Hugo.

… the gold market is still one of the most liquid markets in the world, with roughly US$200bn traded on recognised exchanges, making it the 3rd largest financial market.

Making the Singaporean Case for Gold, David Fergusson (2021, para. 10)
Retrieved from https://hugosave.blog/singaporeans-buy-gold/

Thus, having gold in their portfolios can serve to dampen out the volatility. Not only is it liquid, but Gold is also one of the rare asset classes that are non-correlated. This means that you can put it in your portfolio as insurance, and you can be comfortable that if the world around you blows up (or when your Bitcoin value goes in the opposite direction as the moon), your Gold will provide you safe-haven performance and lower the turbulence somewhat.

Making the Singaporean Case for Gold, David Fergusson (2021, para. 13)
Retrieved from https://hugosave.blog/singaporeans-buy-gold/

Given the current amount of uncertainties in the economy and markets, and with an increasingly bleak outlook for 2022, it would be prudent to plan for the worse. In this regard, I do think that Hugo is one of the options to consider as a safety net or hedge against rough times. Even our government has increased gold reserves by 20% lately.

Photo by Alizee Marchand on Pexels.com

There is an idiom, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. That is why I am using Hugo as one of the tools I have to dampen volatility when the going gets rough. I do applaud their Wealthcare® buddy concept which encourages people to spend smarter, save for their goals and grown their wealth. These are good financial habits to cultivate for everyone. However for this article, I will cover my use case(s) for the following:

  • Roundups
  • Money Pots

Roundups

I would use my Hugo Visa Debit card on small purchases such as public transport, grocery shopping, and day-to-day small expenses. Do not underestimate all these small expenditures, with Roundups, they amount to quite a bit of cash. If you have lots of small transactions daily, you can probably just rely on Roundups for gold purchases instead of manually doing dollar cost averaging (DCA). Having said that, I still do buy gold from time to time during the occasional dips in prices. For bigger purchases, I would delegate these to my credit cards that offer better rewards and/or cash backs.

One of the initial hurdles I had when making use of Roundups was changing my habits. I was used to using one credit card for all my purchases, hence there was a need for conscious effort to adjust my usage to maximize the benefits accordingly. I have an odd habit though. Instead of automating bank transfers to my Hugo account, I would do it manually. It serves as a reminder for me to be aware of my expenses and where my money is going. Sometimes by doing too much automation, one might take for granted certain details in life and when there is a problem, it might be too late.

Money Pots

To be honest, I’m not using Money Pots at the moment as I do not have a use case for it – yet. To some it might be helpful, such as enforcing a saving habit to park a dollar each day to buy a toy or gadget for their birthday. It would be nice if there is a way to earn interest or reward points by fulfilling goal targets under certain conditions. Or perhaps, gamifying it could encourage its usage or provide more incentives to achieve their goals. Just my 2 cents.

My Thoughts

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

Gold provides a practical option to diversify your portfolio and dampen volatility. With Hugo, it is more accessible and easier now. However, it has no lack of competitors vying for attention and a share of investment money. The latest entrant are digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They are changing the status quo as we speak.

For instance, we now have a wide variety of gold-backed cryptocurrencies available on the market. Some examples are Tether Gold (XAUT), DigixGlobal (DGX), PAX Gold (PAXG), Perth Mint Gold Token (PMGT), and Gold Coin (GLC). All these digital tokens are backed by physical gold and they allow fractional purchase, which means one token is worth X gram of gold.

MAS frowns on cryptocurrencies or tokens as an investment asset for retail investors. The prices of crypto tokens are not anchored on any economic fundamentals and are subject to sharp speculative swings. Investors in these tokens are at risk of suffering significant losses.

“The Future of Money, Finance and the Internet” – Speech by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore, at Singapore FinTech Festival on 9 November 2021
Retrieved from https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/speeches/2021/the-future-of-money-finance-and-the-internet

In terms of safety, under Hugo General Terms, Section 7.6 (e), it is stated that – “Your funds are protected to the extent the safeguarding bank, DBS, is a Deposit Insurance (DI) Scheme member bank under the Deposit Insurance Scheme of the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation Limited, SDIC.”. Hence your money in Hugo is covered under SDIC similar to a bank.

And under the Hugo Gold Metal Agreement, under Terms of Custody – “Hugo shall store for the Customer precious metal sold by Hugo to the Customer or deposited by the Customer at the designated Storage Facility, subject to the terms of this Agreement. All metal held in storage shall remain the property of Customer at all times.”. I also like that in their agreement, you are able to transfer your gold assets under certain circumstances.

When examining the terms of one of the major cryptocurrency exchange in Singapore – monies in fiat wallet are not covered under SDIC. Crypto assets in the exchange might be insured but only under certain circumstances.

Photo by Ann H on Pexels.com

In my humble opinion, buying gold through Hugo is much more easier and safer as compared to gold-backed cryptocurrencies now. Although it is not as sexy nor exciting compared to other investment products out in the market now, i.e. (Roboadvisors, ETFs, ESG funds, digital assets), gold has been around way longer and it will continue to be relevant in the future.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against crypto assets, in fact I have invested into them. The general consensus is typically allocating about 5%-10% of your portfolio in crypto assets. Moving forward, it is inevitable that digital assets/cryptocurrencies will work together with existing financial instruments to create new products and opportunities which will be very different from now.

Once again, please be reminded that these are my own opinions and are not financial advice. I am not a qualified licensed financial advisor. And I will not be liable for any damage or losses arising from usage of these information. Please do your own research. If you are interested in signing up for a Hugo account, you can use my referral link here.

Updates

Is Gold a Bad Investment? My current views and thoughts.

Coding, Day to Day

Business Central – Code vs Text data type

When I first started doing NAV/BC development, I would get a bit confused over the purpose of Code and Text data type from time to time. After all, they are quite similar in function and role. Both of them store a string of text. It is also quite novel to me after working with Java, C++, VB.NET to see this type of data structure.

In the beginning, I assumed that Code data type’s role is for primary key and text is for everything else. While this is a fair assumption, I realized this is not the case as I gained experience over the years. There are use cases where you might want to use a code over text and in others text over code data types.

I have seen people using Code data type for storing record descriptions when a Text data type would be a better option. I have also made similar mistake when I started out, using a Code data type to store password when I should be using a Text data type.

Text data type denotes a text string, they are general purposes and comes with a lot of text manipulation functions. The Text data type is a value type, such that every time you use a method on it, you are creating a new text string object in memory. This means that there will be an allocation of space for each instance you are using it, which equates to overheads. It should not be a deal breaker unless you are dealing with and/or need to manipulate massive amount of textual data.

Code data type denotes a special type of string. The values are always converted and stored in uppercase and all leading and trailing spaces are removed. A Code variable cannot be null. That is what makes it so suitable for use as a primary/unique/referential key data type.

Day to Day

Bypassing 2K Launcher in Steam for Civilization VI

The 2K launcher broke down for my friend and I today and we are unable to run my Civilization VI game from Steam. This is so annoying. Why do they have to package in a launcher for Steam, it is just an extra and unnecessary in starting the game. Thankfully, Reddit has the answer but theirs is based on the older Steam version. Here’s what we had done to resolve the issue by skipping the launcher and running the client straight from Steam.

  1. In your Steam Library list, right-click on Civilization VI
  2. From the pull down menu, select Properties
  3. Under General, enter the game exe path in the Launch Options field
Launch Options

The default path should be the following for DX11 – “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI.exe” %command%

The default path should be the following for DX12 – “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI_DX12.exe” %command%

If the path does not work, try replacing Program File (x86) with Games. Your path will look something like this – “C:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\Sid Meier’s Civilization VI\Base\Binaries\Win64Steam\CivilizationVI_DX12.exe” %command%

Credit: https://www.reddit.com/r/civ/comments/mlompp/psa_how_to_bypass_the_launcher_in_steam/

Please game companies, stop making dumb and useless game launchers that just crash or go nuts. We can’t even play the games properly because of that.

Day to Day, Reviews

New Monitor Unboxing – Acer K234Y

If you had read my last post, my Dell monitor of 6 years has been laid to rest and I got a replacement for it, a necessity considering the current WFH (Work from Home) arrangement. I ended up choosing the Acer K234Y instead of its Dell competitor based on price, delivery speed and from past purchase experience.

Acer K234Y as shown from Acer Singapore website

This is the second Acer monitor I had bought from Shopee for the past 2 years. I was initially tempted to get another Dell as a replacement due to its dual HDMI port feature, but given the limited real estate of my table, it is doubtful that it will be put to good use. Without the dual HDMI port, and all factors compared, I think I rather spend $60 less instead (i am a cheap *******). I also like the how the monitor stand provides more space to place the little items I have as compared to the traditional round/rectangle base. But this is just my personal preference.

The monitor was promptly delivered by a Ninja (Ninja Van) within 2 working days. As shown below, the box is in pretty good condition when I received it, thought it looks a tad puny. It doesn’t feel like a 24″. I guess looks can be deceiving.

Delivered product via reliable Ninja

Immediately after unboxing, I am treated to a full display of all available items, less the display. These are nicely packed in the box. You can see that there is no power adapter as it is inbuilt into the monitor. This allows for a cleaner look and feel and better cable management.

What you first see after unboxing

What you have in the box are the following:

  • 23.8″ IPS LED display
  • 3 pin power cord
  • HDMI cable
  • Monitor stand (x2 parts)
  • Instruction and warranty manual
What’s in the box

There is one thing I wanted to point out. Kudos to Acer for taking care of even the finest detail. I liked the way they provided this tool-less option for assembling the monitor stand. This really ease installation and there wasn’t a need to find a screw driver. You just have to flip the metal piece (as shown below) and hand screw the monitor stand assembly. Very nice. I don’t see this in the monitors I had assembled so far. Am totally and pleasantly surprised.

Good design from Acer, taking care of even the smallest detail

The back of the monitor provide the option of a VGA port, a HDMI port and the power cord connector. I wonder if anyone still uses VGA these days. Does this mean that DVI ports are gone for good?

Available ports at the back of the monitor

Finally, here’s the finished result. Apologies for the blurred picture as my hands went jelly with anticipation of using it. It has a matt finish so I can no longer see my own reflection as compared to the previous one but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes I spook myself when I see my own reflection in the dark.

Ta-da !

With a screen size of 23.8″ and estimated price slightly under $200, I thought this is a decent buy for WFH usage. It has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 (Full HD) @ 75Hz, not the usual 60Hz. Typical aspect ratio of 16:0 and a contrast ratio of 1000:1. It has a response time of 1ms VRB and did I mention it has an IPS LED display? For more technical specifications, you can read it up via Acer product page here.

I had been using it for about a week and I am quite happy with it. If you are interested in getting one for yourself, you can check out the product from Acer official store in Shopee. IMHO, it is a good buy if you are not looking for anything fanciful. You can also check out their other monitor series to find one that suits your needs. If you do not have a Shopee account yet, sign up now and use my referral code PLAIN252 to get S$10.00 off your first purchase!

On a side note here, if you are looking to use your monitor for both a desktop computer and a laptop or a laptop and a gaming console, you can consider the Dell S2421HN 23.8″ IPS LED monitor. It has a dual HDMI port that allows you to switch between devices. This was one of the feature that caught my eye in my replacement monitor search.

Day to Day

Goodbye My Trusty Dell Monitor, 2015-2021

My trusty Dell computer monitor of about 6 years finally failed me. It happened out of the blue one fine Saturday morning when it started to have weird horizontal lines appearing with a bold purple line across. At first, I thought it was some temporary software malfunction which a simple reboot would settle it. After a few restarts and finally testing it on a different laptop, it was enough proof that it has reached its end of life and for an eternal rest.

What are those weird lines !?

It seems like yesterday when I bought it from Best Denki at City Square Mall at a discount to replace my aging Philips 19″ LCD monitor. It’s the first widescreen LED IPS I got. Back then, an IPS LED display is the go to choice and this model is unique in that it has a glossy screen instead of the usual matt found in other brands. And in those days, Dell has the reputation for having the best display in the market. I also like the sleek modern borderless design of the display and its inbuilt speaker (though it is a bit weak). The functionality and looks were so good that a friend of mine got the same model for himself a year later.

Dell S2316H 23″ IPS LED Monitor

If you are interested in knowing the specifications for this monitor, you can check it out from Display Specifications website here. It has moved with me from my old to current residence and accompanied me thru all those nights of internet surfing, gaming and movies. I guess the recent years of WFH (Working from Home) due to the Covid-19 situation has hastened its demise. It is really hard to function efficiently without an external monitor now. I’m currently using the 13″ laptop screen and it caused quite a bit of stress on my eyes and back after prolonged usage at work.

I have shortlisted two replacement options – Dell S2421HN vs Acer K234Y. Both are 23.8″ IPS LED monitors with some slight difference in performance and port options. The price difference between them is about SGD$60 and I have greater faith in Acer being able to deliver earlier. Both are decent monitors and it looks like a close fight after factoring all the pros and cons. Nevertheless, with great sadness, I have to bid the old Dell monitor goodbye. It was one of the best display I had owned and used so far.

Dear Dell monitor, thank you for your services all these years.


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