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.