Thursday, December 23, 2010

Why I still hate Chistmas

1. Christmas songs are sappy. They sing about how they miss someone or about snow.

2. I hate snow. No explanation needed.

3. I hate people wishing for a white Christmas. Are you stupid? Snow sucks! If you haven't felt real winter before you wouldn't know how cold and dirty it is.

4. Shopping malls are all jammed. I hate having to find parking and sharing the mall with people.

5. Hate this concept "spirit of giving". Some economist must have invented this to increase consumer spending.

6. People wishing merry Christmas. I don't feel the need to be merry just because you tell me too.

7. I hate all the fake cotton and styrofoam that shopping malls use as fake snow in their decorations.

8. People start taking their leave at the end of the year and it's hard to get any work done when the people you have to work with are not around.

There's a lot more reasons but I'll stop here.

Why am I writing this? A few minutes ago I was trying to park my car and a Christmas song came on the radio. As I was trying to turn into the very tight spot, my handphone started ringing too. The guard standing next me was giving me hand signals on how to park also.

Between trying to turn of the damn radio, looking at the guard, my mirrors and wondering if I should take the call, I ran the side my car into the wall. I could hear paint scratching against the pillar.

Called back the number and it was just a general line. Don't even know who it was.

I blame the christmas song. I was trying to listen to the crappy lyrics about how the singer misses someone. Totally distracted me.

So all my experiences with Christmas is bad. Hate you Christmas. If I could kick your ass, I would.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

How to loose your appetite

I stopped by centerpoint for a quick lunch. Since I wasn't hungry, I thought of having the chap fun there. I took 2 veggies with a small rice and the lady charged me only RM2. I thought "wow! That's a cheap lunch!"

So as I sat down to eat, I noticed what looked like a thin slice of mushroom in the curry veggie.

I separated it out and look what I found

It was a small black worm the size of a 20 sen coin. Gross.

Totally lost my appetite. I tried taking a few bites more from the rice thinking if Bear Grylls can do it, so can I but as I was eating, I kept looking at it on my table and gave up.

I ended up taking pictures of it instead. I didn't even complain about it. The fact that it was this little black worm that looked like a small snake that totally grossed me out. If it was a small green caterpillar I wouldn't have mind but this... This is too gross!

So this is how I'm going to loose weight. Before eating, I'll look at the photo of the worm and see if I still have my appetite. If I do, then I'll over come my fear of it. If not, at least I'll loose weight!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Serial killer Sims 3

I started playing Sims 3 again ever since I installed it on my niece's iPad. She's only 6 and her mother told me her Sim didn't have any money as her job was too low paying and she always woke up late (I assumed she got fired). So she started running low on cash.

She had to go to random strangers house and eat from their fridge. This of course made her a lot enemies. I checked her friends list and she had no friends except she was dating a married dude. I told her mother and her grandmother and they had a good laugh.

So I taught her how to fish and sell it for cash. A few days later I checked her sim and she had 7000 plus in cash! All from just fishing. Her mother told her niece told her no need to work, just stay at home and catch fish. Hahaha, I think she's definitely learning the wrong lessons in life from the game.

I told catch fish first then make friends later. So she never bothered to make any friends. I make one of enemy into her best friend through chatting so at least she has one friend now.

Anyway... After seeing all the fun she had, I started playing it again on my notebook. I created a 'zen' cheat sim. He had loads of cash and stayed at home perfecting his skills. He didn't make any friends and was a loner. The only people he knew was the maid he hired.

One day, the aim when to the gym to test the mood machine on random people and I zapped this one chic on the treadmill and before I could runaway she came over and screwed me for doing it.

That pissed my sim of. So I changed my Sim's life goal from being a zen master to a serial killer. His mission was now to kill the whole town.

However, killing Sims is harder than I thought. I invited the chick I hated over to play chess but it was actually a trap and walled her into a room upstairs. I build a room next to hers and started a stove fire and tore the wall down so she would die in the fire but she kept putting out the fire, even when I blocked her of with furnitures.

Two neighbors I never met came to help to put out the fire too but since they saw my dungeon I had to invite them into the trap too.

After awhile the first one starved and died. Death came for her and I made friends with him. Couldn't trap him because he can teleport. Now I have two more prisoners to kill!... After that, the whole town!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Storm over the NKVE

Past few days, it's been raining. I managed to take a few pictures from my study room as it was raining at dusk.

You can see the storm clouds and the heavy traffic on the NKVE as people make their way home after work.

This photo is actually a HDR, I took 3 exposures and combined it.

I love watching the sunset and especially when it's raining.

After all the games

You what? Before I got my new iPhone 4, I was looking forward to playing all the new games the old iPhone 2G couldn't support like street fighter IV; Red Alert and some racing game.

I realized that those games that have been converted from other platforms to iphone don't play as well. For example, trying to play Red Alert on the IPhone is just too frustrating. No right click and keyboard shortcuts. Also, the map is too small.

However games like Angry Birds which are simple and designed for the iPhone works well. They're simple and highly addictive. I stopped playing them but still keep them in the phone. They drain the battery but I keep it around to entertain my niece and wife when we are waiting for food at the restaurant.

In the end, I end up playing really simple games like Blackjack which was on my IPhone 2G also. The most I won was about $37000. It doesn't make me want to go to Genting right away because I also keep in mind the millions I lost playing it! Good thing it's all virtual money!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My new iphone 4

For the pass few days I've been setting my new iPhone 4. Now I have it just about the way I like it.

For 2 weeks I've been calling maxis and visiting their service center to ask if they had any on stock.

Their reply was always "no stock and we don't know when we will have stock."

So last Thursday I woke up early at 6:30AM because it was warm. Thinking since I already got up, might as well go early to the Maxis center at Taman Tun Dr Ismail and see if they have phones in stock.

I arrived at 7:30am and there was already about 10 people waiting in line. Some of the ladies knew each other and from their loud conversation I gather they've coming here every morning for a week now. So thats how throbbed. Total strangers waiting for an iPhone.

I thought to myself damn, is it that bad? What if they only had 5 phones today? That will totally suck!

When the shop opened exactly at 9am, everyone moved to a small counter on the right and I was immediately relieved when they didn't turn them away. Instead, they were given a form after writing down their name. There is stock!

I wrote down my name and took the registration form and waited for my turn.

The maxis guy who came to photocopy my IC said they had a 100 plus stock today which is great. Just my luck.

After 15 mins, my name was called. I took the RM100 plan with the 16GB 2 year contract phone. The guy took my credit card to swipe and then brought out the phone for me. I told him I wanted to test the camera and make sure there was no yellow tint on the screen.

From my research I knew that there was two big complaint about the latest batch of IPhones 4. The first is that the whole screen has a yellow tint. According to my research, this is caused by the improper drying of the used to attach the screen.

The second problem is a blue tint when taking a photo with a white background under fluorescent lights. It seems to me that there is a white balance problem more than a hardware problem.

Anyway, when I tested my camera sure enough there was the blue tint. Luckily no yellow. I asked for another phone and they transferred me to another guy upstairs which is where the fun started.

The second phone also had the problem and after 15 minutes of arguing with them, the guy gave me an ultimatum, either they refund me the money or I take the phone. Damn, considering how long I have been waiting for it, I took the phone.

Brought it home and straight away I jailbroke it and installed appsync from Cydia in. Spend the next few days downloading apps and trying them out. I have to say a lot of these apps are crap and not worth the money. I think it's just bad interface.

Now my old iPhone is my wife's new toy. She's been playing the angry bird game on it everyday. It'll cost me about RM350 to fix the wifi on the old iPhone 2G so I'm going to hold back on that for now. Plan B is to buy an electric oven to fix it myself.

Right now I'm just enjoying my new phone. Blogging from it right now in fact.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bahasa Malaysia, the Malaysian language.

A comment in my facebook about why we don't have 1Bahasa in the 1Malaysia concept elicit the response from me below:

If you look into the etymology (the history of words) of words in Bahasa Malaysia, you will see that it reflects the rich history of the Malay archipelago. There are Tamil, Sanskrit, Hokkien, Mandarin, Persian, Arabic, and English influences that reflect the cultures that have help influenced the history of Malaysia.

If you read books about what Buddhist believe in, you will soon see similarity in words such as Duka (suffering) which is also in the Malay language.

The Tamil and Sanskrit influences in daily words in BM reflects the history of Lembah Bujang. This site was once a Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site. Archaeologist every day are still uncovering the magnitude of the importance of Lembah Bujang in this region.

The concept of Sultan and Daulat we use for our Sultans has Arabic and Persian influences. Before the arrival of Islam, our kings were called Raja. With the arrival of Islam and Arab influences, The Raja became Sultans.

When the English colonist came, Romanized script overtook Jawi to become to the main written form of the Malay language. Open any secondary school science book and you will see the influences of English in it. The very name of the subject Fizik and Biologi comes from the word Physics and Biology.

The English language itself has a lot of European language influences in it and this influences too we have absorbed.

We call it Bahasa Malaysia and not Bahasa Melayu to note that this language is specific to Malaysia even though it share the same basis as the Bahasa Melayu that Indonesia and Brunei uses. However, the influences that has gone to make it unique is truly a Malaysian one.

With all the international influences and constant evolution of the language we call Bahasa Malaysia, it can be said that this is a global language.

Personally, I have always made it a point to use the word "Bahasa Malaysia" and not "Bahasa Melayu" to enforce the view that this national language we use is truly a national language, that it belongs to all Malaysians.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fixing my Samsung HC-1114 vacuum cleaner battery

For a few weeks now, my wife has been complaining about this handheld vacuum cleaner I bought more than 6 years ago. She uses it almost 3-4 times a week to vacuum the house. It's a handheld vacuum with 7.2V battery that powers it and after so many years of service, it couldn't hold a charge anymore.

So a few days ago, I finally found the time to open up the vacuum to see if the battery could be replaced. I downloaded this service manual for the battery from some russian website that had all sort of service manuals. It stated the battery was a 6 cell 1600MAh lithium battery.

The motor was working fine so I was pretty sure the battery was gone. Actually, the charger doesn't have an auto-stop charging function and I've always left it charging (for 6 years plus!). Good thing it didn't blow up on me.

After spending 10 minutes unscrewing it, I finally got to the battery.

So this is what the battery looks like inside (hey, that's my foot there!). It's a wierd battery size, not the usual AA sized lithium batteries. I think the size is called 123.

A close up of the battery, it's some obscure company in China. I googled them and they make mostly handphone batteries. I wonder how they won this contract from Samsung.

When I bought this vacuum, it was RM99. If I was to buy a new vacuum with the same specs (7.2V), it's at least RM200 now. So I did a bit of searching on Google to find a replacement battery to see if it's cheaper to repair or buy a new one.

I found one battery supplier on eBay selling a similar battery set (I think it was MAh 2000) for about RM41. After going through eBay, something turned up in my search. It seems that Remote Control cars also used similar 7.2V batteries. So I thought to myself, why not drop by the RC Pitstop shop in One Utama to see if they sell the batteries there too. If I bought it on eBay, I would have to wait 4 weeks and I have to do my own soldering. Plus, I wasn't sure if it was the right size.

I walked into the RC Pitstop shop and explained to the guy there by the name of Nik my problem. He showed me a MAh 3000 battery for RM68. At first I thought, "yeah, that's way more expensive than I thought). Then he asked me if I was going to do my own soldering. I said "yeah". He said, they do the soldering for free as part of their service. That sold me already because I hate soldering. I'm quite allergic to the smell.

So the next day I brought the vacuum back and after 2 hours, it was done! Nik had to do some minor modification to get the batteries in. He said he had to cut some plastic bits out. Also, it'll take about 24 hours to charge the batteries, which is fine since we don't use it everyday.

Now the vacuum's suction is much better than it used to be. So I'm pretty happy that of all places, an RC shop repaired my vacuum.

Plus, my wife stopped complaining about it, so that itself is worth RM68.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Iphone 4 by Maxis "any day now"

Maxis just send me an email saying that they are bringing the iPhone to Malaysia "any day now". What does that mean, like next week? December? Hate ambiguous emails like this.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Proton Saga service after 10000KM

I wanted to write this earlier but I totally forgot about it.

I send my Proton Saga BLM to its 10000KM service last month. It's just shy a few weeks of its one year anniversary. I think I really under utilize this car because it says in the service booklet "10000KM service or 6 months, which ever first". I think users normally drive 10000KM in 6 months, I only drove 10500KM in 12 months.

At the service center, I complained about my passenger doors again for the 3rd time. Every time I send it for service, I tell them that my passengers have a hard time opening the door. Seems that the cable inside the door is extra tight. It takes a lot of force to pull it open. Personally, I don't mind because I hardly use the passenger doors. It's my wife and my mother-in-law who has a hard time.

I also asked for new wipers. The Proton service guy said they don't sell rubber wipers anymore, they only have silicon wipers. It's about RM100 plus and it comes with 6 months warranty. I asked him if anyone has ever returned it in 6 months, he said no. Well, I thought okay since Proton QC has improved I got it. The wipers work much better than the rubber ones but they squeak sometimes.

Now that I think about it, I think I did see one guy selling silicon wipers in Tropicana City's Carrefour. He had a lifetime warranty for the wipers and even provided delivery for the wipers if they failed. I think the price is higher but since he was selling it at a stall, I didn't really trust him. If the wipers failed 6 months from now, he might not be around anymore.

I also asked them to do wheel balancing. So far the driving performance is still the same. The fuel economy has improved. I find that since its an auto, I average about only 9KM/Liter for my daily home to work commute. Mind you, that drive is only 7KM so it's not that far really. Plus everything else I want is in Petaling Jaya so I hardly drive very far. I get about 240KM for every full tank I fill. A full empty tank is 40 liters, the warning light comes on when there's only 10 Liters left. So I fill it in about 30-35 liters each time.

For long distance driving I find that the car does much better at 15KM/Liter so this car is more suitable for those who commute longer distance... say KLIA to Petaling Jaya via highways. I also stopped using the Shell V-Power (the red one). I find that the kick is too much coming out from a stand still. Personally I don't mind it as a driver but my passengers find it nauseous. The acceleration is too fast. Once awhile I still use it just to clean the engine.

I have a nicks on the car already but overall, its find. The biggest nicks and scratches is actually at the door opener on the driver side. It's got small scratches all over the part under the handle. Either it came from accidental contact with the key or just plain wear and tear from contact with my fingernail maybe?

The other problem I have with it is the mat they give for the driver side and front passenger side. It keeps curling up and droops as the front side is curved at an angle. The mat is made of a soft rubber so it keeps sliding down and the material bunches up. It can be slightly dangerous if the material gets in the way of my pressing the paddles. I keep having to pull the material up and arranging it. I would have preferred a hard rubber mat they used to provide for the old protons. Those were easier to clean and wash also. The current one is a like a rubber carpet. Dirt gets stuck in between and it's hard to remove them.

Over all, I can't complain much about the car. I find it's still value for money.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The iPhone is dying

My phone 2G is dying. No doubt about it.

Originally, I bought two, and it was a good thing because after some time the phones started developing problems. In the end, I took it to a shop and merged all the good parts together. I got me a new battery for the 'good' phone and now my wife uses the 'bad' phone as her nokia died an untimely death too.

Every 2-3 days I put the phone in the freezer for 15 minutes just so I can get the wifi to work. Not sure how putting it in the freezer works but the wifi works right after coming out of the freezer. After a few days I have problems with the wifi. It just refuses to connect or even show the available wifi in the area. The phone technician says it's the motherboard. All those cheap car chargers and plug chargers I used messed up the board.

So now I'm just waiting for Maxis to launch the iPhone 4. It's going to be a long wait until the end of the year!

In one of the Iphone after the technician took it apart to replace the battery.

Writing from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Laser gunsight for my toy gun

I bought a toy gun for RM2.50. Saw it in a shop that sells all these plastic stuff from China in Kelana Jaya.

I added a laser pointer I bought to do presentation with it. The effective range of the toy is only about 5 meters.

Having a lot fun shooting and trying to calibrate the laser sight. I might buy another gun and another laser pointer to use with it. Two gun always better than one!

Writing from my iPhone

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Update on the Android versus Iphone 4 in Malaysia

Did a bit more research about my search for an Android phone that can compete with the Iphone 4 in Malaysia. I just read about the Motorola Droid 2 release in the US and it's the phone I wrote about earlier. In Malaysia, the Motorola Droid phone is called the Motorola Milestone.

I hope Motorola launches it soon in Malaysia, hopefully before the Iphone 4 actually enters the Malaysian market. This the Android phone I have been waiting for to finally compete against the Iphone 4. I would want to hold one in my hand before finally deciding to buy it.

So far Maxis doesn't offer any packages for the Motorola Milestone so I don't expect Maxis to offer a package for the Motorola Milestone 2.

Update: Okay, I got it wrong. I shouldn't be writing postings at 3:18AM in the morning. The first phone I wrote about is the Motorola Droid X. This Droid 2 has less hardware specs than the Droid X. However, I'm quite excited about the Dell Streak which might give a good fight.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Looking for an android phone to beat iPhone 4 in Malaysia

I was going to post the below as my facebook update but it was just too long. So I thought this would be a good post to re-start my blog again.

I think I finally found a phone that will beat the Iphone 4, it's the Droid X by Motorola. 2 LED flash, 3 mics! It's even got 2 antennas and the phone can double as a wifi hotspot for up to 5 devices.

Hardware wise, everything else is the same. Only the iPhone resolution is higher. It's like motorola made a phone specifically to outrun the iPhone 4. The T1000 to beat Apple's T800.

The itunes apps market is over rated. They may have more apps than Android but most of the apps are the same type and most of it are crap.

Too bad it's a CDMA model, doesn't work in malaysia's GSM network. If motorola makes a GSM model and maxis sells it with a package, I'll pick it over the iPhone 4.

As a long time user of the Iphone 2G, I've been through a lot with the Iphone. I've tried many different jailbreak and unlocks on it. I've tried all sorts of apps too. Some time back I realized all that work just to get the damn phone to perform like a 'normal' smart phone.

When I say normal, I want mms, working YouTube and wifi and email on it. The rest are all extras. I dont want to have to worry each time a firm ware comes out the damn phone will stop working because I unlcoked it.

I'm not sold the facetime app on iPhone 4. How many people am I going to find with another iPhone 4 to use it with? as it is, I only have 4 people on my Skype.

I was waiting for a very long time for the iPhone 4 to replace this Iphone 2G. The wait was so long, other competitors can along and are offering products that can beat it now. Now I don't have to be loyal to Steve Jobs anymore. I never liked Mac and have always been a PC getting and iPhone 2G at first had been a fluke.

Don't get me wrong, the iPhone 4 is still a fantastic phone and there is no other phone in the malaysian market that can beat it, I'll probably get it. I don't mind waiting longer but I don't know if my current iPhone can hold out. Every three days I have to put it in the freezer for 15 minutes to fix the wifi problem. Yeah, the crazy stuff I have to do to get the phone working like 'normal'.

You know what? As I write this I feel much better about myself. At first I was torn about thinking about another phone but after writing my thoughts down I can think clearer.

Writing from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Should I start blogging again?

Hola. You know, when I first started this blog there was no facebook, I wasn't married and basically a whole lot of other stuff just wasn't around.

Gradually, creating content for this blog just lost it's appeal. I started spending more time in facebook.

Recently, I've been thinking about this blog again and if I should make another attempt at writing again. Should I?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Strange Coincidence

I was reading this book some anonymous person placed on my table last year. It was about the teachings of Buddhism. I always flip to a random page and read an except from it.

A colleague walks by and sees me reading the book and says he's seen the book before in a hotel before. Then it struck me, yes, I've seen it before too!

It's the same book I saw in my hotel room in Bangkok. Instead of Bibles, they put these books by the bed. I read excerpts from it when I was sick in the room. I had food poisoning so I stayed in bed for a few days. Out of boredom, I opened every drawer in the room. I found the book in a drawer next to the bed. I liked the idea how they have a book promoting Buddhism instead of the Bible or the Quran.

Now I wonder if someone stole the book from a hotel room in Bangkok and put it on my table. Don't know what to make of it but it is a wierd coincidence.

Sunday, February 07, 2010


I took this picture of a house on fire when I was visiting the Digital Mall on the 28 of January, 2010. I was there to check on the status of repair on my notebook.

It was quite exciting. The fire department almost put out the fire by the time I took this photo. When I saw the front of the house, it looks like it started from the first floor of a house that had its ground floor converted into a car wash. Probably a worker's quarter on the first floor.

I think these houses are really old, probably build in the 70's. Back then, there was no Digital Mall or market. There was Jaya Supermarket and a wet market where the Digital Mall stands now.

Those low-cost houses were right next to the market. Back then, everything wasn't higher than 2 stories, except for Jaya Supermarket. The other large building was the mosque just a kilometer away.

Those were the day. So it's sad to see the houses damaged by fire. I hope they rebuild it.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Got my notebook back!

Yes! Got my notebook back today.

Yesterday was crap. When there and the technician didn't even look at it yet. Today, they called and they said it was ready so when in the evening with my wife to pick it up.

They fixed the speakers and said there was a damaged cable. Not quite sure what they guy was trying to explain but I think he was trying to tell me the cable got brittle and was damaged. Hrm, odd. Benq could be using sub-standard cables.

Anyway, the bill came up to RM360 to repair the video card. Ouch... for that money, I could have done so much. Don't even want to think about it too much. The money has already left my hands.

Sitting in my living room with the notebook now. Going to give it a run and see if everything's okay.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Not what I was expecting

Today, I drove to the Digital Mall in Petaling Jaya to pick up my notebook. As I was driving up the parking ramp, I saw a thick trail of smoke coming from one of the row of houses.

I took a closer look and two of the houses had extensive fire damage. Its roof was burned of and the immediate neighbours of the two houses also had fire damage on its roof. The two houses without its roof had its upper floors totally gutter and I could still see flames burning on the wooden frame.

I parked my car and ran up with my digital camera to get some pictures. I had my small video camera but I forgot to bring any tape with me! So all I got was some low-resolution videos with my digital camera and some still photos.

After all that excitement, I walked to the shop expecting to pick up my notebook.

At the shop, they handed me my notebook and as I was testing it, I noticed after a few minutes there was no sound coming out of the speakers. I did some trouble shooting and the sound card was working. I could hear audio when I plugged in my headset through the audio jack.

The guy who was attending to me asked me to leave it for another day and another service guy said normally, what happens is that customer sends it in and the speaker wasn't working already. That pissed me of, because when I brought it into the shop and booted it up in front of them to show the display problem, I could hear windows starting.

I when to see the owner and after talking to the person who usually attends to me, they said I would still have to come back tomorrow as the technician who fixed it was on his off day. Hopefully, its just a speaker that has been unplugged. I don't want to be paying money for the damn speakers!

Another trip to the Digital Mall tomorrow. Argh!

Damn! What a waste of time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The call I have been waiting for

3 days ago, I called the computer shop to check the status of my notebook repair. I asked the guy what was wrong with it, at first he said

"yeah, have to change the motherboard".

I think my heart almost skipped a beat when he said that. Then I said

"motherboard, are you sure not just change video card?"

He puts me on hold and I could hear him shouting at the technician at the background asking what was changed.

"oh yeah, just change video card only. It's RM380 to change, if you confirm now ready in one week".

Phew! Lucky just video card! So I told him okay.

Today, just to bug them and see if they made any progress, I called them again and asked what was the status. The guy said

"well, we just told them confirm so it would be ready in one week"
"but I you said one week 3 days ago?"
"yeah, it always take one week"

So I left it at that. Surprisingly, a few hours later, I got a call and the guy said "your notebook is ready for collection". Wow, now that's pretty fast!

I couldn't collect it today because they were closing early because they had a company dinner. Hrm, okay... I guess I can wait one more day.

RM380 is kinda steep to pay for a NVIDIA 8600GS replacement chip. I did ask the guy initially if it could be upgraded to the 9600 chip. The Benq Joybook S42 is basically the same infrastructure as the S41 I am using now. The only difference is that they have a faster processor and a NVIDIA 9600 video card. The guy just said its going to be very expensive, better buy a new notebook. So it sounds like they would do it but they rather I buy their S42.

I think instead of upgrading to a new notebook next time, I might just do that, upgrade the processor and video card. If the LCD screen still holds out, then it might be cheaper I think.

Anyway, this Chinese New Year is going to be really expensive. Ang Pow's to give out; a notebook to repair; and I got to repair a leak in my kitchen ceiling (that's another long story). I hope there's no more big expenses!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Giant Chinese lantern

Check out the huge size of the lantern!

I when with my wife and in-laws to buy some Chinse New Year decorations at a shop near the Kelana Jaya LRT Station.

I think this shop was once a mini market and they changed their business model and started selling all these CNY decor and other stuff from China.

They have a huge variety of cut out decor like tigers and lamps.

The monk wasn't sure if he should get it. I'm guessing it's for his temple. I don't think this would even fit though my apartments door.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

video card burn out and firewire ports

On Monday, I downloaded a movie on my notebook and I hooked up my notebook to my TV with the HDMI cable to watch it.

The movie kept stuttering and wouldn't play finish after a few minutes. After that, I got a blue screen of death. So I quit and thought maybe it was just a bad file and my notebook didn't like it, thought looking back that was quite strange. I've never seen an AVI file crash a system before. I had more than the minimum specs to play it.

At first I thought it was the new NVIDIA drivers that installed on it. So last night, I uninstalled the old drivers and then put in the original drivers from BENQ. The same thing happened. In fact, it got worst, the Graphic User interface on the desktop started going crazy. The notebook started restarting by itself.

Then I knew what it was already as I have seen it a few times before. It means the video card was dying. When I was first doing research 14 months ago before buying my notebook, I did read a lot of complaints about NVIDIA cards (8000 series, and probably the 9000 series also) on notebooks burning out. It had to do with their manufacturing process. The constant ON/OFF of the notebook caused the soldering to burn out. What happens if, the soldering will warm up and then cool down and the long term effect of this contraction and expansion of the soldering will result in it breaking of.

So last night, when my notebook when totally black, I was cursing NVIDIA, BENQ and myself. Myself for not taking the extended 3 year warranty. I bought this BENQ Joybook S41 in October 2008. Just a few months after its 12 months warranty, it had to die on me. Damn!

I took it down to the Digital Mall today to see what were my options. My first stop was this small stall that I knew fixed notebooks. They said if it was the video card, it was RM280 to replace a new one. They will replace it with a brand new one, not a reconditioned one. They didn't do it at their shop, so they have to send it out to be done. It would take them 2 weeks to do.

I've never used their services before so I didn't quite trust them. So I when back to AonePlus, my trusted IT supplier. This was the shop I bought the notebook at anyway and they are also a Benq vendor. I have been doing business with them for almost 8 years now and their customer service has always been great.

They told me, since it was passed the warranty date, better not send back to the manufacturer to repair. They have trained technicians who can repair it. Since they can order the parts, the technicians can change it themselves. I would pick AonePlus over a small stall to repair my notebook any day.

I don't want some dodgy technician changing or stealing my notebook parts, which I know some people have experienced before.

I told them I must have it back before Chinese New Year, as I would like to use it then. So hopefully they get it fixed and do it for cheap! Hopefully, they don't have to change the whole motherboard as that would be more than RM1K.

As I was in the digital mall, I walked around looking at the new notebooks. I realized that most of the large brands use ATI instead of NVIDIA now. I think they also realize about the burn out problems. Also, most of the new notebooks didn't have a firewire/1394 port and a express card slot. This is going to be big problem the next time I want to upgrade to a new notebook.

Most of the video cameras still use firewire ports to connect to the notebooks. If there is no firewire port, at least I can buy an express card with firewire, but if the new notebooks don't even have it, then I don't know how I am going to connect the video camera.

Some of my colleagues have already bought these new notebooks for editing video and when I take a look at it, I tell them they can't capture any video from the camera because there is no way to connect it to the camera!

Maybe there is a USB device out there that can convert firewire signal to USB, haven't heard of it before but I assume some guy in China would have thought of it already.

Anyway... so here I am, using my old desktop writing this. I use it rarely as I had my notebook. It feels like an old car I haven't driven in a long time. All my current bookmarks are not here. Even staring at this monitor is giving me an eye strain as the notebook had a higher contrast ratio.

I'm gonna have to rely on my Iphone more these few days to connect to the Internet. I hope I can last through the next few weeks!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Figuring out what I want to do

So it's a new year and I haven't figured out what I want to do this year. Looking back, I think a lot of my goals have changed.

When I just back to Malaysia after I graduated from uni, I wanted to travel. Do the whole backpack thing and travel to Europe maybe. Then I got a job and the travel thing never materialized.

After I got a job, I wanted to apply for a scholarship and go to UK and do my masters in broadcast journalism. I got as far as applying for the scholarship, they put me in the waiting list, I declined.

Then I got married; got a morgage; and a car loan. Now I'm totally tied down. So much for wishful thinking eh?

Ah, where has all the time gone? Soon, I'll be too old! Hopefully, I will have something I can look back on and be proud of.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

New shoes!

Hey check it out! I got new shoes!

I was walking to my desk and one of my colleague called me over. He pulled out a plastic bag and gave it to me and shook my hand. I took a peek inside and he said thank you for all I have done. It was my 'reward' for some help I had rendered to him last year. I never thought he would give me a pair of shoes all the way from the UK. How the heck did he know my size? It fit perfectly (with my socks on). Either he got lucky or he's been spying on me!

Anyway, never look a gift horse in the mouth! New shoes, I like! Now here lies the problem.

First of all, I'm not really crazy about shoes. At any one time, I probably have only 4 pair of shoes. The every day Timberland work wear (which I wear almost every day); my slippers; my dress shoes for weddings and events; and my boots which I rarely wear.

Now with this 5th pair of shoe, I have one too many options to decide what shoe to wear to work. Yeah, I know it's dumb but I like it when I don't have too many choices, I get too picky and confused. In the end, fret and spend too much time deciding.

Heh... wait till I show my wife.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The morning

Man, this morning was wierd. Woke up at 7:15am with a stomach ache and sat in the loo. After that, I stood by the window watching parents drop of their kids at the primrary school. There was a small puddle of water at the drive way up to the school gate. You'll be surprised how many parents actually stopped right next to the puddle and the kids had to tip toe across it.

When I have kids, they'll probably go to the school next door. I told my wife I'll buy a telescope just so I can keep an eye on them from the apartment. From my study room I get a pretty good view of the school already. With a telescope I bet I can look into the classes also.

I might turn out to be the most irritating parent. What's that, drawing doodles in class? Send SMS 'pay attention in class, I'm watching'. Yeah, the kid would turn into a privacy freak with multiple locks on the door.

After the wife when to work, for some strange reason I thought the best way to get ride of the stomach ache was to do some sit-ups and push ups. All I got was a stomach cramp and when right back to bed exhausted.

First post of the year

Oh man!

I haven't update this blog in a few months!

Well, I haven't been doing much actually. Since my show ended, I took a long break in December. Basically, I didn't do anything the whole of December. I took a few weeks of to finish some of my annual leave. The plan was to go on a road trip around the country but I ended up staying at home instead. Why? Because I'm like that. Procrastinate.

It's January and I still don't have anything to do. Hopefully something comes along. Man, bored already.