Daniel Liew

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What’s on my Nokia Start Screen?

When it comes to personalizing my phone, I spend a huge amount of time arranging the apps in a way that they keep me productive. A smartphone is capable of much more than just phone calls, it is a powerful tool for socializing and capturing moments. I am dazzled by the beautiful yellow Nokia Lumia 1020’s 41 megapixel camera.

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I’ve been using the Lumia 1020 for a while now and I got quite a dozens of essential apps installed on my phone. On a day-to-day basis, I use my phone mainly for social networking, browsing the web, taking pictures and listening to music, not so much of making phone calls these days. I thought I’d share some of my favourite apps with you.

Nokia 1020

Page One:

  • Me – This is where I post quick updates to my Facebook and Twitter.
  • Email – I have my Gmail, Hotmail and work mail pinned on top for quicker access.
  • People Hub, Phone – Here’s where I check out updates from my groups and making phone calls.
  • Alarm, Setting – Who needs an alarm clock when the phone can wake us up to our favourite tune? The Setting is there to fill up the space.
  • Messaging, Line, Skype, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp – Most of my friends use Whatsapp and Facebook for messaging, and I use Skype to make video calls with my family. SMS? Still relevant to receive updates from carrier and banking institution (TAC pin).
  • Calender – All my personal and work calendars are synced here. Checking friend’s birthday, facebook event invitation and following up tasks has never been easier.
  • Instagram – Just add a filter to the photos before sharing. Voilà! Follow me @danliew.
  • TweetIt – A great-looking Twitter app with beautiful animations and a clean user interface.
  • Facebook – Update status, read what others are up to, and stay connected to the people who matter most.

Page Two:

  • Weather – Daily and hourly weather forecast. The cloud cover and precipitation map is useful.
  • Music – This is the official Xbox Music app. This app requires much polish from Microsoft though.
  • Photos – Scrolling down memory lane recalling when and where photos were taken as photos are sorted by location and date.
  • Photography Folder – I’ve got Fhotoroom, Afterlight, Adobe PS Express, Acolart, Ravelle, Photo Mic, PicLab and Flipagram grouped in this folder.
  • Store – It’s there to satisfy my insatiable appetite to check for updates.
  • Social Folder – Other social apps like Disqus, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Swarm, Open Rice, 6tag are pinned here.
  • Xpense Tracker – A great tool for budgeting and recording expenditure.
  • My Car – It’s here for one reason, to keep track of mileage and setting reminder for service.
  • HERE Maps – Never getting lost again with offline maps. Also HERE Drive offers turn-by-turn voice guided navigation.
  • One Drive – 30GB (free) of cloud storage to save photos, videos, and files. I can’t ask for more.
  • One Note, Evernote, Wunderlist – My digital notebook for jotting down to-do lists and ideas when I’m on the move.
  • WP Central – The official Windows Phone Central app.
  • Calculator, StickIt, Files, Files&Folder Pro – Calculate the discounted price of an item on sale, write digital post-it notes and manage files and folders on my phone.

Page Three:

  • Music Folder – Tuning in to my favourite MixRadio and Spotify playlists or just listening to the radio or podcast.
  • Movie Folder – Turn video and photos into movie with Movie Maker app. Apply filter, trim/crop video or add music with Video Tuner. Movie Moments is just another quick way to make short movies.
  • Lumia Folder – Panorama, Refocus, Cinemagraph, Selfie, Blink as well as Lumia Creative Studio and Storyteller are organised here .
  • News Folder – I’ve got all the MSN Sports, News, Travel, Heath and Fitness, Food and Drink, Money apps together with Flipboard, Poki (3rd party Pocket) apps here.
  • Booking Folder – There are not many locally developed apps in Malaysia. MAS, AirAsia and GSC are a few I found so far.
  • Sound Hound – It recognises music around me. I use the app whenever there’s a nice song playing at the cafe or on the radio.
  • Run+ – A third-party app for Nike+ Running.
  • Data Sense – To keep me reminded of my monthly 1GB data limit.
  • Microsoft Camera – It’s just there. I’m currently using the Nokia Camera beta as my default camera, can’t wait for the new Lumia Camera in the upcoming Denim update.
  • Dictionary – This is my thesaurus!

That’s pretty much it.

My Germany Home and Away Jersey

When die Mannschaft fire up their game on the road to winning their World Cup title, I told myself I am definitely getting the away jersey. The red-black away jersey completes the white home jersey I already owned. My very first jersey is the orange colour tiger-inspired Team Malaysia’s jersey, which I put on every time there’s a national match be it football, squash or all-time favourite badminton tournament.

The home jersey features a ribbed V-neck with striking red shades of graphic in front and the Deutscher Fussball-Bund badge woven on the left chest. I love the embroidered details, as well as “Die Nationalmannschaft” on the collar. I am 5’7″ and weigh 158 pounds. The medium size which I bought is slightly longer and is loose fit, especially useful when I need to conceal my manly tummy.

Then came the 4 stars jersey which is released in honor of Germany’s 4th World Cup title. This time I ordered a small size for a tighter fit and I really love the vintage design. A fitting jersey which is just great for anytime use. Somehow I feel the away jersey is a tad lighter despite both made from Climacool (polyester) material. If one notices close enough, Adidas has put in some texture on the away jersey too!

Mataking Island day trip

Azure sky, sapphire and crystal water are the adjectives one can describe the Mataking Island, an island paradise off the shore of Semporna, the mainland town on the east coast of Sabah. Sprawling with the other islands of Bohaydulong, Pandanan and Kalapuan at the Celebes Sea, it is less than 45 minutes boat ride from Semporna jetty.

This was a short vacation for me after attending my sister’s wedding in Tawau. A day trip to the island for a non-diver like me is always fun, though it was such a waste because the island is a well-known diving haven.



Marine police were seen patrolling the coast, it seems security has been beefed up since the recent intrusion and kidnapping cases. It is hollow thinking to say that Sabah is not safe just because of the recent events.


The boat ride to Mataking was nothing but scenic and the water ripple reminds me of what I get to see only on wallpapers. So does the rest of the photos I took at the island with my Nokia Lumia 1020.








We were given a briefing by the Mataking reef Dive Resort staff.


We found a spot to rest at the far end of the island.




The Moses Walk; a strip of sand that appears during low tide connecting the Mataking Besar and Mataking Kecil islands. One might guess how long is the walk? 30 minutes stroll to and fro.



The wooden chalets, bungalows and villas are nestled closely surrounded by lush green palm trees and tropical trees.

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Climbed the 20 meters high King’s Watchtower, conquering my mild acrophobia. Trust me the view up there is spectacular, 360 degree aerial panorama of the surrounding.



Though most activities are concentrated on the west shore, it is said that diving along its eastern shores during strong currents is a surreal experience. Time to consider getting a diving license

First 5,000 KM with Toyota Vios

Cars are tricky beasts because, the decision to own one is often not one of economics as public transportation is limited, in Kuala Lumpur at least. Earlier this year I got myself an upgrade from my 10-year old Kelisa to the new Vios. The compact car was a gift from my parents for me to maneuver my way through university days, which I then continue using in my working life.

So what do the fuel consumption of the new Vios look like? While I’ve tried searching for the fuel economy for the model, the effort has led to much disappointment. Okay, except for this guy who blog about his car services cost.

My 4-month old car has just passed the 5,000 km mark!


The main reasons I opted for the Vios are its reliability, maintenance and resale value. Few of my friends who own a Toyota tell me that I can never go wrong with a Toyota.

Okay, the fuel consumption part! Generally each fuel-up to full tank allows me to drive 355 – 430 km, depending on the traffic and road condition. Generally over the past four months, the fuel efficiency ranges from 7.60 l/100km to 8.56 l/100km. The high fuel consumption is because the car is due for its service. I’m using mineral oil at the moment, planning to change to synthetic oil the next round.



On average, each fuel-up cost me around RM67.00 with 32.0 litre of petrol and the distance I get is around 400km. This work out as fuel efficiency of 8.0 l/100km or 12.5 km/l. For every 100 km I travel, the cost of fuel is RM 2.10 x 8 litre = RM 16.10. As comparison, the new Honda City has a fuel efficiency of up to 17.5 km/l (I hope some Honda City driver can verify this claim).

What about the service cost? So far I’ve spent a total of RM172.38 for the 1,000km and 5,000km service. On top of free labour chargers and exclusion of the 6% service tax, Toyota offers free car wash for the first two service. The service was fast, took only less than 1.5 hours.

My only qualm with the Vios is the roof sound proofing, every time it rains it sounded like I am sitting under a roof made of zinc. I’ve filed a complain with Toyota Service Centre and they promise me the sound insulation parts will arrive in two to three months time. My service advisor told me it’s a known problem and the replacement is at no cost to the customers.


I’m in the midst of compiling the estimated service cost I obtained from Toyota for own budgetary and will post them up soon.

What do you think of the fuel consumption of the new Toyota Vios? Feel free to leave your comment.

An evening stroll at KLCC Park

I work in the city but live in the suburb, mainly because I prefer the greener pasture to the urban jungle. Though I love the convenience of the city but the sky soaring property prices is a set back. The city where I work lacks public parks, there are only a few parks within the city centre, namely – KLCC park (20 hectare), Bukit Nanas forest reserve (10.5 hectare), Perdana Botanical Garden (91.6 hectare), and Titiwangsa park (46 hectare). For comparison, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens has an area of 30 hectare while New York’s Central Park has an area of 341 hectare and sits smack in the middle of Manhattan!

Few days ago I had to send my newly bought jacket to Ruth’s Alteration in Suria KLCC. Most of the alteration shops I went to did not want to accept my request to shorten the jacket from the shoulder. Damn working buttons preventing alteration to be done on the sleeves. I am giving Ruth’s a try, hopefully the alteration at the shoulder will be perfect.

Then I took a walk at the park.


The Petronas Twin Towers with its sheer amount of steel and glass facade gives it a masculinity look while the its surrounding KLCC park with lush tropical greenery is more feminine. The design complements one another.

Took this shot with my phone. The water reflection of the twin towers on the lake. It’s an illusion.


The surrounding buildings and the sunset reflected on the lake.


Taking an evening stroll, alone, is a great way for me to release stressful thoughts plagued over the course of the day. When I’m done strolling I just sit on a park bench watching the day goes by.


And that’s an evening well spent.

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