Daniel Liew

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Why I don’t need a tablet anymore

I hate to play Angry Birds or Temple Run now, I guess I don’t get all the excitement about tablets anymore.

I got a daily dose of screen time at work on my desktop doing engineering stuffs – 40 plus hours a week. While I am out and about, the smartphone has a fair share of my personal time, I’d check updates on my social network accounts and flip through the cards on Flipboard.

With all of the new tablets coming out each year, ever since the introduction of the first generation iPad, I think everyone at least must have a tablet to supplement the smartphone and laptop. Thanks to the excitement of what a tablet can do, easily cramming all the functions into a single, compact, lightweight, long-battery-life gadget, I joined the hype. Yay!

A couple of years ago, I owned the iPad 2. A year later I downsized to a 7-inch Nexus 7, 10-inch was just too big for me. Months later I decided I need that extra productivity of a stylus, the Galaxy Note 8.0 was the call. I played around with it, it was fun.

Here’s a list of things I normally do on a table: watch video and TED talks, read ebooks and papers, surf the web, light productivity (email, calculators, document editing), social networking, listen to music and play games.

The tablet is especially valuable for its mobility and is great for travelling light. But when I’m at home it’s just not the most productive way for me to do anything that I do, I have the laptop and smartphone.

Back then to fully enjoy the portability of the tablet, I even subscribed to data plan. What is a eight-inch tablet if I am somewhere with no WiFi? An expensive big brick? I consider tethering a bad choice because it drains both the tablet and smartphone batteries altogether.

Instead of a going out care free and not looking awkward by ‘stuffing’ the tablet into my pants, I have to carry a messenger bag with me. More things to carry, double the worries.

And when I am out with friends, I’d rather talk to a real human in front of me than to Siri or Google Now. During my me time, I’d rather write a blog post on a laptop (with plenty of room for my fingers to type) than to split the tablet screen into half (half for display and half for typing).

It wasn’t fun anymore over time. The wonderful little tablet starts feeling ignored. Frankly, by the end of the day I just want to get away from screens, cook a meal, take a walk, go for a run, go out for a beer. In fact, it was a nice-to-have from the beginning, not a must-have for living and working.

Last week, I sold off my Note 8.0. I don’t see myself plunking down ~RM1000 for one of these tablets anytime soon.

I still look at my smartphone, of course.

[Update: Just got myself a Nexus 7 (2013) and I love every bit of the slate]

Reebok One Challenge Obstacles Sneak Preview

Just one more day to Reebok One Challenge, details of the obstacles have been revealed on Reebok Malaysia’s facebook page. Here’s a compilation of the 9 obstacles (not in particular order) on race day.

The major challenge is running the 18.95 km distance itself, so make sure to put on your running shoes as most of the time you’ll be running on pavement except for one part where there’s a hilly trail.

Route Map

Somewhere after 8km-9km from the starting point, is the first challenge. We’ll carry a sandbag of 15kg walking/running up a ramp, back and forth distance is 80m.

Read more

Snippets of Cambodia

This is a video snippet of my recent trip to Cambodia where I covered the capital Phnom Penh and the historical site of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap.

Taking up the Reebok One Challenge

No one challenges or points a gun at me to do this. With turning twenty-nine just weeks away, I am challenging myself this time around, to test my physical strength and endurance. Somehow I feel super pumped up for this running cum obstacle challenge, I guess it must be the left over adrenaline rush after the half-marathon.

From the little information I managed to gather, the terrain at Putrajaya is a combination of ascending and descending on tarmac road/ off road/ trail. I have not device any tactic yet, but I am sure I won’t be running at full force as it’s going to be very taxing as there are obstacles ahead to overcome.

The 9 obstacles involved would be:

1) Sand bag challenge 20kg (approx 60m)
2) Monkey bar <– I’m scared of this one
3) Limbo challenge
4) Ant hills challenge (7)
5) Gradient challenge
6) Trail run
7) Speed shift
8) The wall 10 ft <– I have acrophobia
9) The last hurdle x 3


Reebok ONE Challenge 18.95k 2013 comprises of running and at the same time completing 9 challenges along the running route. Each participant must complete all the challenges. Any participant that couldn’t complete any challenge must proceed to the back of the queue and start again. Each participant is allowed 3 attempts to clear the challenge. If the participant fails to clear the challenge in all the 3 attempts then the participants need to do the penalty of 20 burpees to continue with the challenge under the guidance of the drill sergeant. Any participant who is not able to clear a challenge in 3 attempts and the penalty, must remove the number bib and hand it over to the drill sergeant. The decision of the drill sergeant is final.

When and Where?

Date : Sunday 22nd September 2013
Venue : Dataran Putrajaya, Presint 3, Putrajaya.

More details at Hooha Asia

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”
― Margaret Thatcher

New Balance Half Marathon 2013

Ahah! It sure came as a surprise for me to complete a 21km run without any proper training prior to the run. Ok, I lied, the longest run I did was a few 3-4 km short runs for just mere two weeks before race day, nothing more than that. Well, that’s almost equivalent to no training at all right?

Mind plays the trick. All these while I have mistaken the date for October, ever since I registered for the run sometime in March or April. I thought I could start running after the haze has subsided and I’m done enjoying lemang and rendang during the Raya season. I was wrong. I was like what the heck when the organiser send reminders to the participants to collect their run kit.


The thought of not taking part in the run grew, I was contemplating to just collect the run kit (since I’ve paid for it) and tuck myself in my warm cosy king size bed. Words of encouragement flew in, that made a whole lot of difference.

I woke up early this morning, told myself that I’m not after anything. I set a target for myself though, that is to complete the run in 3 hours time, the requirement to qualify for the finishing medal. To complete the run within three hours I’d need to run at a constant pace of 8’34”. I came to terms with myself that this isn’t that bad considering that I completed my first 21km at a pace of 7’50”. My usual timing for short runs is between 5’30” to 6’30”.

So I set out with that goal and motivation. As the gun was fired and fireworks lit up the dark skies, I kept pounding the pavement slowly and steadily, ignoring those who sped at the starting line. The first 5km was rather easy. The second 5km, I started to think of the my loved ones especially my parents and their hardship in raising me up. The 3rd 5km, I started praying the Our Father, Hail Mary and Gloria to keep my mind occupied. The final 5km was torturing,  I was running and walking interchangeably. My legs are getting heavier and heavier with every stride. The final 1km was almost gruesome, my legs almost gave in, but I continued running knowing that I’ve come this far and there’s no reason to stop.

2 hours and 30 minutes later, I found myself at the finishing line, cameramen snapping victory moments of the runners who cross the finish line. Unexpectedly, I did better than my first Standard Chartered half marathon last year, 15 minutes faster.

It was worth it I must say. Received a finisher medal and a tee, oh and the sore legs and nipples too!


This is Azril who completed his first 21km. Kudos!


This is Ah Leng, tackling his 10km.

My personal testimonial for this run? Even though you don’t think you are ready to accomplish one task, take a leap of faith and just do it, pray and think of your loved ones while you are doing it, for they are the source you draw energy from.

Official timing – 02:28:08
Rank – 398/759 (Overall Men Open)


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