Thursday, December 30, 2010

Public Holiday over Football?

I think I'm alone in saying this but I find it incredelous, if not resigned, at the fact that our leaders declared 31 Dec 2010 as a public holiday because Malaysia won football.. and it's not like we won World Cup or anything - it was Suzuki Cup. I'm not a football fan and I don't know how great Suzuki Cup is and would welcome any enlightenment in this regard. But from a layman point of view, disrupting the economies of the country by declaring a public holiday over Suzuki Cup is truly a testatement of our banana republic mentality.

Think of the consequences and cost involved in this sudden declaration. If you are going to get your passport renewed and you can't do that tomorrow, you are stuck. Or if your are planning to registered your marriage in RoM in Putrajaya, you, your family and friends are not shit out of luck.

Thinking at a macro level, if you have containers of goods to ship and then the government offices are closed tomorrow, your goods will be stuck in the warehouse and you are paying for it. Or if you need certain fund for the survival of your business - sorry buddy, banks are closed!

And if you run fast food chains or call center operations where you support not just Malaysia but the region, you have to start paying your employees TRIPLE times for them to come to work on a public holiday.

All these cost over football, over Suzuki Cup. Really? And football is not even a major sports in Malaysia! What next? Honda Cup? Toyota Open? Proton Challenge?


Malaysia boleh!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mobile Ready

Ringgit blog is now mobile ready. Use a mobile device to view my blog and you'll appreciate a smaller version formatted for your device. Enjoy!
BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Debt Collecting

This is a local Mafia like service. What's funny is that the sign said that they offered 'soft' service. What? Are they collecting using 'Please'? Debt BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two new Gadgets

I have added two new and official gadgets to my blog:
1. Popular Post - which shows which of my post that people read the most
2. Page View Stats.

Look over to the right ==>

Steam Sale and Backlog of Games


Years ago, when I was in my 20s, I knew a man in my workplace. He's about 35 at that time and living alone. He's a good man and put in a lot of hours into his work. He claimed that he's a gamer although I have not seen him putting time into games. But he buy a lot of games. Each week, he'd grab something and would tell me what he bought. I questioned his wisdom and he shrugged it off, saying it's cheap and he'll get to play them one day. I thought he's just wasting money!

Fast forward to the present time. I have a job, a baby to take care, activities in my Buddhist Center and I really do not have time for gaming even though it is my passion. But yet, I caught myself buying games after games during Steam Holiday sales.. This year, I bought The Witcher Enhanced Edition, Assassin's Creed 2, Mass Effect 2, Just Cause 2, Splinter Cell: Conviction. These games should last me throughout 2011, I hope. Upon reflection, I am behaving like my old friend - buying games hoping for the rare chance of catching up on these backlogs.

I need help!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

BlogBooster

When I want to blog from the iPhone, I usually use email ie composing a blog in Mail and sending it out.

But my friend WSL uses an app. Never occur to me to try one.

I cannot believe there is no quality blog app at all!

So, I'm using BlogBooster and I must say I like it so far. This is my first post from the app.


While it was easy to compose a new post, editing an existing one shows a HTML editor with all the tags instead of a WYSIWYG editor. Dumb.


Can easily upload photo too!


Edit: retry with smaller size Camels in Bangalore! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Am I getting a refurbished iPhone 4 from maxis

Am I going to get a refurbished (refurb) iPhone 4 when I sent mine to maxis, which is the telco who has the rights to sell iPhone in Malaysia? This is perhaps the number one question in everyone’s mind. The issue with refurb is that there may be scratches, dents and the most major concern: old batteries i.e. your refurb unit will not last as long as a brand new one.

Let me share my experience and observation.

Some background – in Malaysia, we don’t have an Apple Store nor a Genius Bar, so we can’t just walk in to get an Apple employee to look at problems with our iPhone. Everything is done through our telco, and the tech support people supports all sort of brands – Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, etc – their role, based on my observation, is to confirm the problem, open a ticket and pass the hand set to the vendor to repair or replace.

Apple’s warranty states clearly that Apple has a right to replace the handset with a new or ‘like new’. I think that ‘like new’ means refurb.

I got my iPhone on 10 Nov and after 2 weeks of use, I discover that my Home button is acting up. Single click sometimes registered as double click and thus, it opens up the multi tasking tray, instead of going to the Home page or quitting the app as the expected behaviour of single click. It happens once a while, difficult to replicate and demonstrate and it’s just a slight annoyance. I contemplate whether to live with it or return it back to maxis for a replacement.

One of the most nagging question is will I get a refurb when my phone is replaced. What’s wrong with a refurb? Many people told me that the refurb goes through even more vigorous QC and usually works much better than the newly minted ones from factory. Look at the amount of issues that was reported on those new iPhones – yellow banding on the screen, patches or spots on the screen, proximity sensor issue, speaker problem, microphone problem, etc. These so called factory assembled handsets could also potentially give problems. So a refurb is no different, some say.

On the other hand, how many people actually have problems with their new hand set. Very low percentage as well. With this thought in mind, I decided to take my chance and get over the annoyance after about 40 days of using and living with it.

I went to maxis Taman Tun Dr Ismail. I told the tech support about my Home button issue. He reset the phone to factory default and tried to simulate it. After trying for like one minute, he was not able to reproduce. I told him that it is intermittent and I was struggling with myself on taking to maxis for repair. He took my word for it and log in a ticket. He said that normally, if he’s not able to reproduce it, that means likely the vendor whom they returned the handset to will not be able to replicate. In normal cases, the vendor will deemed it as having no problem and returned the handset but he’s going to log the ticket as him having seen the issue and that I will need a replacement. I believe he understands the annoyance and that sometimes we are not able to replicate intermittent problem.

His supportive nature and ease of getting a replacement in fact caused me to be suspicious. I asked if I will be getting a new one and he said yes I will. It is Apple’s policy to replace with new, he said. I doubted it.

I have a friend who works in supply chain. Her expertise is to fine tune process of managing returns and replacement. She said it is going to be very costly for a company to replace a new equipment for every defective item. It doesn’t make economic sense for the company so many of them implemented reverse logistics. Wikipedia: “Reverse logistics is also referred to as "Aftermarket Customer Services". In other words, any time money is taken from a company's warranty reserve or service logistics budget one can speak of a reverse logistics operation.”

3 working days later, I received a SMS from maxis. My replacement unit is available and I could go collect it from the Center. I went there and saw the tech support guy took a unit from their store. It came in a bubble wrap packaging with a “void if opened” silvery seal. He opened it and gave me the phone. It came in the two transparent hard plastic that covers the front and back. It looked new to me.

Looking at the serial number though, it starts with 5K043yyyA4T. The iPhone that I had had a serial number of 85043xxxA4T. Both yyy and xxx are different number. Many people in the Internet claims that a refurb unit starts with 5K. However, one Apple employee publicly stated in Apple discussion forum that 5K does not necessarily means refurb. This is one of the most debatable thing in the Internet and no one knows for sure.

I have a suspicion that mine is a refurb. However, what I am holding looked really new. No scratches or dent. Battery, after 2 days, is as good as the new iPhone I got in Nov. No problem with screen, speakers, mic, camera. When I went to Apple website to key in the serial number to check the warranty, to my surprise, the warranty ends on 23 Nov, 2011. The phone that I had, the one with the Home button issue, have a warranty that ends on 10 Nov 2011. This supposedly "refurb" phone is newer than my iPhone!

At the end of the day, as long as it worked, I am happy with this decision. Today is just the second day. Let’s see how it is in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

iPhone Home Button Issue

The iPhone 4 starts to give me some weird issues, 6 weeks after using it. It's not a big deal but it is a nuisance. My home button is not very responsive. Sometimes single click will be registered as double click, as such, it opens up the multi tasking tray. Sometimes double click is registered as single. Like I said, it's not a big deal but it is annoying that you don't get what you expect to.

My dilemma is should I get it fixed or get it replaced? For replacing, I heard that maxis will give you a refurbished unit, which is not what I want. I am happy with the rest of the phone - no issue with video, phone calls, headphones, display screen etc. Would the refurb unit guarantee that something else will not be a problem? Ah.... decisions, decisions!

Looks like I am not alone.

Pa paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Yesterday marked another great milestone to me as a parent. Little sen has always been pretty shy and soft when she called her father. It's always a soft 'pa pa', as though she wasn't sure of her words followed by a slight blush. But yesterday, was her first time at calling 'pa paaaaaaaaaaaaaaa' at the top of her lungs. She did it a few times and is now always yelling for attention. Ha! I am not sure if this is good or not.. but at the moment, it feels pretty sweet - as her intonation has that adorable and heart tugging sound. It just melts the heart. I hope that intonation stays and not becoming a demanding one :)

Bangalore

The business trip to Bangalore started well. Aside from the exhaustion of 5 full days of back to back discussion and workshop, I have good experience of the city. Granted, there are things I didn't like but my expectation of these were set before I land in the city. So it wasn't a big deal. I knew the city is going to be really dusty. I knew that there will be excessive honking by drivers in the road. I knew that it's going to smell.

What I didn't expect, though was these:
1. cool weather - I know, I should check the weather but I didn't realize India has cool weather. Turns out Bangalore is a city 3,200m above sea level and this explains the cool weather. So it is pleasant to switch off the hotel room a/c and just opened the wide French window and get a whiff of the cool weather (ignoring the dust, noise, etc)

2. I didn't expect to see so many American companies advertising in billboards all over the city. As you leave the airport, you will come to a round about. There is a HUGE Yahoo! logo in the roundabout, as though cementing the fact that Bangalore is a pseudo-American city. As we moved on, I see Taco Bells advertisement and later, Google Chrome browser advertisement. I cannot imagine seeing a internet browser advertisement, can you?

3. I know English is widely used in India. What I didn't expect is EVERYONE speaks/understands English - even to the waiter or the guy cleaning the toilet in the office. This is a refreshing change. In Malaysia, when I want to order food or ask for a napkin, the waiters does not even understand what I want to say.. whether I say it in Malay, English or Cantonese!

4. FOOD! YUMMY! I love Malaysian-Indian food but I didn't expect to love the real thing in India. Sambar (like our dal) is my favourite along with tandorri, idlis, poori. NOM NOM NOMM!

Having said all these, the experience ended in a sour taste.

I was supposed to leave on Saturday 11pm flight. That means, I have to check out from the hotel by 12pm. I have about 8 hours to kill. After doing some quick shopping, I spent the remaining 5 hours in hotel lobby, surfing and reading. It's tiring. After a quick dinner and one hour taxi ride to the airport, guess what happened? Flight canceled! MAS flight canceled!

We were given a hotel to stay. That means another one hour back to the city, queue for hotel registration and then back to a 4 star hotel. The hotel is nice and decent - nothing like the 6 star I was in but still bearable. But it was cruel. Just cruel especially when I was so looking forward to going home.

The next day, the flight was delayed by an hour! What the heck? Is this an Indian thingy or just MAS inefficiency? I tend to believe in the latter!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Going to Bangalore

It's 10pm and I'm blogging in the plane, waiting for takeoff. This MAS
direct flight is very small, cramped and full of Indians.

Is this to simulate overloaded and bursting to seams Indian trains???

I should take SG in the future! I hope it's better.

Sent from my iPhone

Park

This morning, we brought Little sen to the park beside Bandar
Menjalara. She was so thrilled with the slides, swings and generally
running around playing with other children. The happy expression on
her face is beyond description and it brings a sense of satisfaction
and joy that is something money cannot buy.

One of Little sen's favorite things is a ballon. When we give her a
ballon, she will drop everything that she's carrying and will throw
herself at the ballon. But even then, this simple trip meant to the
playground beats the joy she gets from a ballon.

It's great to see the expression of discovery and wonder, something
that is missing in all of us adults as we are just too jaded. I feel
sad knowing that Little sen will one day be jaded as well. How to keep
this surprise and wonder perpectual?

Sent from my iPhone

Crocs Warehouse Sale

We return again today because both my parents wanted one after trying
ours. Have you got yours?

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Crocs Sale

Wow! Very good sale of Crocs shoes! Bought one for each member of the
family: Mrs Ringgit got a Hello Kitty themed one. The very last pair
that had her size. The rest are too small (size 4)

Little sen got a Disney one. The holes were made of Mickey Mouse logo
- very tasteful.

Got one for my nephew - Batman Croc. Really nice. Cheap also - about
RM 40 for the kids and RM 60 for Mrs Ringgit's Hello Kitty.

I remember Roti Telur asking me a few months back if I will buy Crocs
for my kids. I said she's crazy! I won't spend RM 100+ for a shoe. But
for RM 40, why not? Guess I have to eat my words.

For Crocs lovers out there, you Don't want to miss this sale!!

I wish I had gone a day earlier as now, not many sizes left. But there
are many choices. And we see people putting shoes in huge cardboard
boxes. At first, we were wondering why people would buy so many pairs.

Turned out we did the same. We carried cardboard box around amd must
have put like 8 pairs!! (for my sisters and Mrs Ringgit's sisters as
well). Mental!

Friday, November 26, 2010

68KG

Just for the record, I am 68KG* - ie I lost 4KG of weight. At my peak, I was 72KG. This was the time when people are commenting that I am like a curry puff. Then it went down to 70KG and I feel this is the ideal weight for me. So essentially, I lost only 2KG. This should put down to rest all the misconception that I have lost a lot of weight and whether I am sick or not. The next time I hear someone saying I am think, I am going to give them facts! You hear that, NLK! Grr!

* verified by two different weighing scales

Monday, November 22, 2010

No casing for your iPhone 4???!












This is perhaps the most asked question when I showed people the iPhone 4. They are puzzled as to why I didn't buy any protective casing. Some said that since you have spent a fortune on the phone, what is a RM150 more for a protective casing.

I don't disagree with them and it is something I struggled internally as well.

The iPhone 4 is a beauty of phone engineering. You gotta see it, touch it, to believe it. It's so pretty and nice that I feel it is a shame to cover it in ugly plastic or rubber casing. Why would you want to pay so much for a phone only to hide it in a case. I'd rather touch it in it's original state and enjoy the feeling, the curve and the feel of the phone.

The best analogy I could think of is a car. You spend RM120K on a car.. say a Civic.. do you drive install a kangaroo bar? Do you keep the plastic in the seat so that the leather upholstery is preserved? A car has a higher chance of being knocked and scratched compared to a phone. Every month you pay RM2K for the car installment.. but yet yo do not cover it under protective kangaroo bars. You still drive it naked.

So, why not the iPhone 4? Or any other phones for that matter. The iPhone 4 runs into the same risk, if not lower, than a car. But yet, you are covering beauty with ugly plastic instead of appreciating and showing off the beauty.

It takes a strong mind to do this. I hope I am not regretting my decision!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gotta Love the iPhone 4 HD Video Recording

Let me say it again: "Gotta Love the iPhone 4 HD Video Recording"!

I bought the phone, despite having a iPhone 3G, because I want the HD video recording feature. And the reason is to capture all the cute and funny little sen antics. And I have no regrets! Aside from having a high def video capture and playback and therefore very good quality video, the iPhone 4 has the ability to capture video in WIDESCREEN! Yup, tilting the phone side ways capture the video in widesreen. And that means, watching little sen's antics in a Cinema! Seriously, you have to see it to appreciate the video quality. It's like watching Lord of The Rings in GSC!

This, alone, is worth the $$$ and these memories are priceless!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ringgit Blog Statistics

Do you know that The Love Diamond post is the most popular post of this blog?

In fact, it is so popular that if you search for "The Love Diamond", it comes up as number 8 in Google search result! Looks like every guy/gals dreaming of "The Love Diamond" read my post. Grin!

It's back!!

Toffee Nut Latte! Yum yum.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Reverse Parking

I just don't get some people. When there are a lot of car park spaces, why would people still reverse park and caused a long queue of cars waiting for him to park? Why can't people just drive the car into the space and let the other cars pass through? I get irritated with this people because I think reverse parking is a selfish act. You reverse park so that it is convenient for you to drive away but you create inconvenience for people behind you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

my iPhone 4 is here! wooo hoooo!

Sometimes, you gotta like maxis.

Sure, they have their faults.. but they have been improving. I have very good experience with them during our Fiber To The Home internet installation and process. And now, I have a good experience when getting the iPhone 4.

Some background - it's hard to get iPhone 4 in Malaysia. People have been visiting Maxis Centers and Roadshows only to be disappointed. The reasons are that there are limited number of units per day per Center. When they reached the limit, you have to come another day.

So one day, Maxis came to my company to do a roadshow. They gave us corporate rate and that if we order in the roadshow, they will even ship to us. We don't have to go line up and be disappointed. I placed my order and 2 weeks later, the phone came.

But on that day it came (today), I was not in the office! Instead, I was in a meeting in Sunway. The guy asked me if he could come tomorrow because he had a couple of deliveries to make. I asked if he could come to Sunway and he agreed! So, I got the phone hand delivered to me in a different location. Is that service or what?

Oh ya, the iPhone 4 rocks!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Atomic Tom: iPhones in action!



Watch this video - tell me, which phone could do these?

That's why, I don't understand why people would pay good money for Android or Nokia phones!

Millionaire!





Oct 2010: RM810K!!

Unbelievable! My neighbour, in the road behind mine, sold her house for RM810K. Real sale!

A lot of people said that the real estate price is very high now. To the point of burning out and a crash will happen very soon. In the last 12 months, price have gone up like crazy! See the stats above. And yet, there are people demanding an buying property! This is a real sale and it proofs that the demand is real.

I'm going to be a millionaire soon! :)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

iPhone 4

I have decided, over the course of one weekend, to take the plunge and go for iPhone 4 despite my iPhone 3G contract having 6 more months to go. Maxis allows contract extention - and in fact the new terms are favourable over my older one because it allows 200 free SMS (vs 100 SMS) and 20 free MMS (vs 10 MMS) (edit: and 1GB data vs 500MB data from previous contract). So contract extension was not an issue to me.

What tipped this decision was the fact that I use the 3G phone for photos a lot especially photos of little sen. And I want to be able to take HD photos (high def) and I want to be able to take videos of her various antics. My iPhone 3G doesn't allow video. I am missing many good memories. For RM1390, I will be able to capture these treasured moments - why not?

Some argue that I could get a video cam for this which is true except, how many of you carry video cam around for candid shot? Or your SLR camera? There were many times that I was able to capture priceless photos of little sen just because I have the iPhone around. It would be too late to get the SLR, unpack it, attach the lense, switch it on, bla bla.

iPhone has changed instant photography for me, like no other camera.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Heart Wrenching

You know what is the most heart wrenching noise? A cry of a baby who fell and hurt herself badly! Poor little sen knocked her head on an edge and had a '5-storey condo' (read bruise) on her forehead. She cried and cried her lungs out and when we tried to put ice on her head, she just screamed.

We had to pacify her by giving her favourite California raisins and reruns of Barney shows. She would keep on nodding when asked if she's ok. How brave is that!

Ouch ouch ouch!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Maxis Fiber To Home Speed Test

Pretty impressive stats:

Download/upload from a KL server:








Download/upload from a San Francisco server:






Friday, September 24, 2010

Follow me in Twitter

Just a reminder that @ringgit002 is in Twitter. I tweet more rubbish there than I would in my real id, heh...

Maxis High Speed Broadband

Compliment from maxis for being the first 1,000 fiber customer. Nicely done! The blue bar thingy is actually a golf umbrella.

My colleague who stayed near my house was one of the first 100 who installed. Maxis gave him a free caricature of the whole family with a beautiful frame.

This is great touch to an already great fiber broadband package. The cost is RM118/month for a 6Mbps. We get free phone call to maxis fixed lines, 500 free minutes to any maxis mobile number (012) and 200 free minutes to IDD calls to USA, SG, China. This is very good news for me because that means I can take teleconferences from home at zero cost.

Before this fiber thingy, my internet (also with maxis) cost RM88/month for a 2Mbps DSL line and I have to pay a RM25/month for the phone rental. That means, my monthly bill is about RM113/month. Now, with just an additional RM5/month, I get 3 TIMES the speed and free phone call. How great is that?




--

Sent from iPhone

Friday, September 17, 2010

Crocs

My very first pair of Crocs, widely influenced by elifesl's blog on Crocs. It better be worth it!

Bought it in Robinson, Chiangmai, at around RM138.. Not sure how much the same pair would cost in KL. Any idea, elifesl?

My Bata busted after less than a year! They don't make Bata like they used to and this Bata wasn't cheap. RM60 per pair!

So since I have some allowance and since I read so much about Croc, I don't mind trying. I hope it is worth it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Maid Drama

My sister decided to get a domestic helper. She heard and observe all the good stuff about our maid and decided to use the same agency. 12 days after the Indon maid came, she ran away. She left her bags and didn't take anything from the house. She just ran away when she saw the chance to do so.

My sister just 'lost' RM5,000 (about USD$1600) for nothing. So for the readers of my previous post who thinks that we are being paranoid when I blogged about my maid, think again. It's not about being paranoid - it's about being careful with our 'investment'. You would too, if you have paid RM5,000 in advance.

Not only that, my sister was fined RM300 by the immigration department for losing the maid and if she decides to get a replacement, the agency would charge an addition RM2,000 for the immigration fee to bring a new maid. They will waive the agency fee (part of the RM5,000 she paid). After all the drama, she decided not to get one.

There is something wrong with our system!

Was it a surprise to her? No. Her maid was very inquisitve when she first came. In her first 5 days, she asked a lot of questions like house address, can she make a call to her family. She was also pretty sloppy at her work even though my sister was patient in teaching her - and at times - was even keeping an eye close. We could tell that her heart is not to do work here in Malaysia. She probably had this planned all along. My sister didn't give her the keys to the house, which probably explained how they managed to keep her for 12 days. If she has access to the keys, I think she would be gone on the second day.

There is also a psychological trauma here - what happen if she ran away with my sister's 1 year old son?

What everyone says is true - it all depends on luck - whether you get one that is good or one with an intention to screw you over.

Monday, August 09, 2010

ROI on Teka Oven

What you see in the photo is two delicious 9" pizza baking in the oven. Mrs World is cooking a pork pepperoni pizza and a BBQ ham pizza. They tasted really good and both my family as well as hers enjoyed them.
Over the past 3 months, ever since we have a domestic helper, she has been utilizing the oven. I'm beginning to see a ROI :)
She has made the following:
butter cake, asam fish, buffalo wings, chicken baked in mushroom Campbell soup, macaroni lagsana and now pizza. Next up is some cookies.
Yum yum!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Little sen 1.2 - frozen

Last weekend was one of a tramatic one for us. Little sen came down with a throat infection and had fever. We took her to a doctor in the morning who gave us antibiotic and fever medicine. No problem - we were vigilant in measuring her temp every 30-60 minutes - and bathing her to help cool her temp.

At about 7pm, Mrs World put her to bed. I went downstairs and was about to go out to buy dinner. I decided to check my mail and then I heard this blood chilling scream from Mrs World - "dear, sen is in a fit!!!!"

I read a lot of novels. I read many description of fear such as blood chilling scream, hair standing at the neck, etc but when you read a book, it's just a description and you imagine what it must be like. At that moment, on that evening, I experienced such fright that I am sure Mrs World's words will forever etched into my brain.

She came rushing down, with little sen very limp and Mrs World's finger inside her mouth. Little sen was expressionless. She was not focusing on anything. I quickly grab my keys and we rushed to the hospital.

In the car, Mrs World shouted "we will fight this.. we will win over it" and she started chanting "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo" over and over.. after about 5 minutes, little sen just snapped out of it and begin to focus back on her mother but she was still limp and weak.

We reached the hospital at about 20 min (damn traffic jam - note to self.. plot your trip to hospital in advance), the doc took one look at sen and asked us to put her on the bed. Little sen was grabbing her mother in terror but after we told her that she must listen to the doctor and be brave, she nodded her head and stayed calm. The moment the nurse started sponging her with cold water, she started screaming on top of her lungs. Poor baby. Her temp at that time was 39C and they put the stuff up her anus.

The doc said that it is not a fit as fits equal uncontrollable knee-jerk arm-jerk reaction with the pupil going up into the eyes. However, that temporary "hang" (like how our PC hang) is due to overheating and he said it's pretty common.

Still it was a fright to both of us.

Now little sen is ok. She's her usual self. That stuff up her anus immediately brought the temp down and she was alright the whole night.

Honestly, it's not easy being a parent!

Maid Phone Home Part 2

My post titled Maid Phone Home has received numerous reactions from my avid readers, including new Anonymous readers. It prompted me to contribute my comment as an update to the situation. I know many readers do not continue to check on comments of previous post. I decided to put them up here today. I made a couple of grammar correction and changed word in the last paragraph from "we" to "I" as the dilema and paranoia was mine alone and not the missus.

The comment was a answer to a reader who was surprised that Malaysia is still so 'backward':

I believe it is not about being backwards or not. And it's not about being cruel either. Generally, Malaysians are good people. Honest! Sadly, events in the recent 5 years have changed people's perception. The streets are not as safe anymore. There are break-ins, rapes, scams, snatch-thief, etc. It used to happen to friend's friend's friend's relative. Now, the frequency of it happening is frightening and that it hits closer to home. I can name you a couple of aunts/uncles who had their houses broken into or their hand bags snatched.

The bad economy and general state of fear has cause people to be paranoid, myself included.

I could also name you many experiences from friends where they caught their maids being 'courted' by strangers at the door. Usually they started by having friendly chat and then inviting them to come in and then rob the houses. Or cases where the bad people would pretend to be a plumber or electrician or something to cheat their way inside the house.

Or there are cases where when you go out with the maid, these guys would operate such that they will pass their telephone numbers to the maids in public toilets and then start to court them.

There are also cases of maids suddenly getting pregnant and employers are forced to send them home and wonder if they made out in their beds.

Yes, paranoid.

Yes, I should not think that way... and yes, I cannot help it.

But for the record, I let our maid phoned home. Not only that, in her first try of phoning home, she managed to talk to her sister and mother but her daughter was not home. The following day, I let her call again and yet daughter was not home. The following week, another try and again, timing is such that when she called, her sister (they don't have land line and I have to call mobile and the mobile belongs to the sister) is in the farm and can't reach daughter. We are going to let her make a few more tries. Hopefully she will reach her daughter.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

50%

Edit: Fixed broken photo links. Fixed rotation.


Apologies for the upside down photo. Consider it as an artistic take.

Anyway, I want to let kiasu people know that after 3pm, all cakes from One
World Hotel is 50% off! The tiramisu 1kg cake below is just RM35! What a
deal!




--
Sent from iPhone

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Maid Phone Home

All of my faithful readers over the years have no maid so I am not sure how you can help. But collective wisdom will always work so please give me your thoughts.

Our Indo maid has been great so far. This is her second month. And last week, she asked us if she could call home. She missed her 10 year old daughter and would like to make a safe arrival call.

Our agency said we should not let the maid call home. There are many reasons, one of them being that it may caused them to miss home so much that they run away. Or that her family may persuade her to run away; or hook her up with a local contact so she can run away with him.

My sister's friend also said it is not a good idea because there were cases where the maid called home and her family told her that they have received the 7 month advance money that employer paid and that she should just ditch them now that the money was in.

But Mrs World-Peace trusted her and would like to allow it.

I don't know if we should. No experience at all. I also trust the maid.. but then, who knows if she's pretending to be a good person all along. There are may type of people in this world.

What should I do?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

version 1.2! Out of beta dy!

Hmm.. didn't have a chance to post this. Lil sen is out of beta. She's version 1.2 already! Such a big girl already.

At this moment, she could walk unaided and she's having lots of fun walking around our house.. from dining room to exploring the PC room and getting terrified of being alone in the PC room and would wobble excitedly back to the living. And then, her curiosity gets the better of her and she would find herself back into the PC room.

She's now very much enthralled with Barney .. I have watch this Barney video with her the hundredth times and she still not bored. I groan everytime she wants to see Barney cause she wants to do things together-gether! I think it has to do with her being a girl as most of my lady readers will know, girls like to be together-gether! Faint!

She almost has a full set of teeth and is always looking forward to munching apples, raisins, dragon fruits, oranges. She also likes 'yong sum sow' - some sort of bitter Chinese concoction. I think she's the only baby who likes bitter stuff. One day we should let her try bitter gourd.

She still can't say anything much but she's able to understand words. If we asked if she wants milk, she will nod if she do.. Actually, she will nod to every questions that you asked. She will also start emulating what we do - for example, when we kneel down to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, she will grasp her two hands together and kow tow as well - as though she has been doing this for ages. It's pretty funny to watch her antics.

Addiction

My wife thinks I am addicted to gaming. I disagree with her. On average, I spent less than one hour per week playing games. Is that addiction? If you watch one TV drama per day, you are already spending an hour on this entertainment. And gaming is my only entertainment as I don't watch TV nor do I have Astro at home. Is one hour/day for entertainment addiction?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sad Clown

Saw this image in Flickr and that's how I feel at this moment. Just finished communicating the increment in salary to the team. We have a better pay out this year compare to last year (2009 was totally pathetic - due to the financial meltdown and crisis).

Everyone is smiling.

I am also smiling like this boy. Outwardly. As a manager.

But I am not happy.

Because, unlike everyone else, I am getting ZERO increment.

:'(

Ringgit has a domestic helper...

... and what a relief it was. I used to be pretty reserved about having a live-in maid. There are many horror stories you hear about maids. Our maid have been with us for almost 2 months. So far, so good. Pretty happy with her performance. She has a lot of initiatives, not much training is needed and she doesn't need to be told what to do. When she has nothing to do, she will find something to keep her busy - she said that work help keep her mind off family. I guess maybe that is the reason she has the initiative.

She's also the cheerful type and we were able to communicate with her. So far, we haven't had any need to scold/get upset over her performance. I hope she keep it up.

But honestly, with her around, we get to spend more time with little sen and get to cook home cook food! YUM YUM!

Extract Camera Rolls Photos from iPhone Backup in iTunes

Came into blogger today. Saw that they have a new template design. Tried out a new design. Need to keep up with times. Google also have a background photos to spice up their bland Google search front page. This is something they followed Bing.

I came in to blog about a tool called iPhoneBackupExtractor. Damn good tool when you update your iPhone OS and something went wrong and you lost your photos, videos, SMS, etc (updating OS will not erase your stuff and it also didn't happen to me*). Or if you ever lost your phones and cried in anguish because you thought all your data is lost - no worries, this tool allow you to easily retrieve all your photos from camera rolls or videos or SMS from the iTunes backup files.

The tool does not have an installer, which was great for me as I love to just run an exec and you are given an Explorer-like interface where you can then browse and choose which file to retrieve. The paid version allows you to extract all files, the free version, one at a time.

Something useful to keep in mind.

And to one of my readers - that is the great thing about iPhone - lots of little tools like this to help you. I doubt Droid or Android or WinMo will have such extensive stuff. Anyway..............


* So what happened to me is this. I bought an app called iVideoCamera that allows my 3G phone to capture video. Capturing video is something that is available only on 3Gs. Video capture in this app is stored in the app so I could browse and replay videos. I also have the option to email my video, upload to YouTube or export to Camera Roll, the default iPhone Photo app. So I exported about 13 videos and delete them from the iVideoCamera app. That also mean these videos are not standard files in Camera Roll.

When I upgrade to iOS4, iTunes doesn't know to restore these video apps back into Camera Roll as they are not the known photos format. I lost all my 13 little sen videos!

iPhoneBackupExtractor saved the day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Bought!

So happy! Even though there is no sale, the price is right. And I love Grand Theft Auto games so I don't really mind paying full price although if I wait a year, I probably can grab it on sales.

The GTA series creates the most remarkable breathing and living city. I spent hours in this virtual world of NYC. And now I can spend even more time there... yay!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

60% Appreciation!

Wow.. just wow!
Yesterday morning I met a friend for breakfast. He changed job to property agent and he told me that property prices are crazy high. Just before CNY, he helped sold one house in BU 12 - it's the row opposite mine - for RM815K! And he said my house could easily fetch RM750K now. In the past 4 months, there was an increase of 50K for intermediate. Crazy!

That means, in the last 4 years since I bought this unit, my house appreciated by more than 60%!

Looking at http://www.iproperty.com.my, he is not kidding!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

XFX suX

I owned many graphics card to power my 3D gaming. Most of the time, I bought Asus brand and I remember one time owning a MSI brand. 1.5 years ago, when I built a new PC with Core 2 Quad processor, I decided to buy a XFX branded nvidia 9800 GTX card. In less than 2 years, this card burnt! I just cannot believe it. I am not a power gamer. I don't have time for gaming. I game at most 1 hour a day.. there are many days in a week I don't get to power on my pc at all due to having a family life... and this card burnt out! How can that be! When I spoke to my friends ZipD and Dogbone, they said that they have bad experiences with XFX. This is it. What a poor quality control. No more XFX for me.

In order to get a stand-in temporary card, I went with Sapphire ATI. Half the price, same raw GPU power and less power consumption and heat. Superb card, this ATI 5750. I hope the Sapphire brand will last.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Exhausted

Honestly, taking care of a baby is exhausting work. Little things like getting her a cup of water means having to walk to the kitchen, pour 3/4 of cold water and 1/4 of warm water, getting a spoon and then walking back to the living room to feed her - multiply these by 8-10 time a day and the multiply it for other chores - bathing her, pacifing her to sleep, going out to buy lunch/bfast, washing the cups, stelirizing them, doing the laundry, running up and down and up and down.....(a bad point of staying in a double storey house) .................. gosh! no time to even rest, watch TV, play PC, etc. I think this is like a ritual all parents have to go through.

And after all these gruelling effort, we would be so used to work/activity that we don't need rest/sleep. Have you ever wondered why your parents seemed to wake up at 6am on weekends when they could sleep in? Now I know why .. coz you get things done while the baby/children is asleep! And I also know why my parents does not go for movies.. after a while, you just lost touch with these and therefore, losing interest.

This CNY, people asked me when are we planning another one. I am afraid, very afraid to answer... ha ha...

Actually I have a point to make in this post.

See, both my parents worked. When I was young, I was sent to a babysitter. My father would pick me up about 5.30pm and then we would go home and I spent time with my parents. I recalled my childhood having a special 2 hour TV watching time with the family. We would get ready snacks, made tea, and just sit back and relax while we feast our eyes on the latest TVB drama series.

We would go to bed at about 9pm or 10pm.

But now, despite having cleaners coming over in the weekend to iron and to clean the house, Anne and I can't even have a family time. We were just too exhausted. We reached home about 7pm and after some house chores (boil water, cook rice, wash lil sen up) and then dinner, we would just hang out in the room with little sen. By then, it would already be 9.30pm. I would feel so drained of energy.

I tend to believe this is because of work in the office. Have you notice that people are working later these days compare to our fathers' time? There's just so much work piled on a person. With all these regionalization and companies investing in Malaysia, the situation is getting worst. Anne's company is embarking on a regionalization path where her Malaysia office is now the regional accounting center for ASEAN. That means, people in other country are losing their job. But it also means people in this country who has job is being asked to do MORE task.. for probably the same pay. Where are we heading?

The way I see it, while we may have a lot of jobs, therefore more opportunities, we are actually losing our quality of life. Traffic situation can only get worse when there are more people who has job and need to drive. People are always on the rush. You ever notice how impatient drivers here are. Many would just overtake when they can't stand the 'slower' driver in front. Have we ever stopped to think - what are we rushing for?

If it is for a better life, shouldn't we be spending more time with the children? Or shouldn't we have more time for ourselves? Why are we spending more time outside than with the family?

Food for thoughts eh?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

version 0.9

little sen version 0.9 had a massive viral attack. It happened during CNY and she developed a fever at about 101.8F. That is very high. And right after she recovered, her skin has rashes - the doc said it is pretty normal to see rashes after viral infection. And this week, she lost her voice. A baby! Losing her voice! The first time I heard of such thing. When she cry or scream in delight, all we hear is hoarse sounds. Poor little sen.

She's much better now. Another update to her virus definition.

At 0.9, she is already very mischevious and has been doing unexpected things. Little sen is expressive. She would make funny faces when she's angry or when she is enthralled by an object. She would spank your hand away if you offered her something she didn't like. She is also able to stand with assistance (still wobbly) and when she saw something she liked, she's very determined to get it and will climb every obstacles! She chews and is now able to make "yum" sound when we feed her using a feeding spoon. Quite a character!

Imagine.. one more quarter and she would be 1.0!

Time flies..

and I lost 6kg!

Expenses

Sometimes I entertained thoughts of changing jobs, looking for another role, maybe not even in IT, start anew. There are so many jobs out there! Why should I stay in one industry?

Then I look at our household expenses. It's mindboggling! We have a fixed overhead of about rm7K a month! This includes house loan, babysitting fee, cleaners, catering, allowances to my parents, and my credit card bill which covers life insurance, utilities, mobile phone and occassional indulgements.

So we worked our butt off for those stupid, standard expenses! What the hell!

No wonder I can't afford a Camry!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Love Win 7

There's one huge improvements to Win 7 (over Vista) that I absolutely love and can't live without - it's something very small but somehow, Vista couldn't get it running.

I usually put my PC to sleep in Vista so that when I wake up the PC, it takes 3 seconds for me to log in and get back my desktop. Pretty fast. The problem? My wi-fi card is dead. It doesn't wake up. I have to wait for 10 minutes before it finally makes up its mind and connects to my router. Or, I have to restart my Windows. If I have to restart Windows, why do I need to put it to sleep mode in the first place? (note: didn't happen to the laptop so it definitely is not due to my router)

Vista SP2 is said to fix this issue but it didn't.

Somehow, this problem went away in Windows 7! Hooray!! Now my PC experience has improved tremendously! I could just power up, checked my email and put it to sleep.. within minutes!

Edit: Turns out it is a feature of Win 7 that MS is tauting!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

version 0.8

I'm baby sitting lil sen today and I realize she's at version 0.8 already! Still in beta mode. Can't wait for her graduation, out of beta, when she reach version 1.0 in a few more months!

At this development stage, she could sit upright without assistance, able to crawl on her stomach (swimming style), and has around 10 teeth. She has started on solid food and is very curious of her surroundings.

She smiles when she sees people she know and is able to recognize faces. Red is still her favourite colour and when she gets excited, she shakes her legs.

Last month, she developed slight fever, running nose and sore throat but fortunately she won the battle against this 'virus'. Her virus definition is updated to the latest version now :)

Friday, January 08, 2010

New Low

How low can Malaysia get? The spat of church bombings over the use of "Allah" is the new low. In fact, this incident has causes many media and citizens to use the word "Allah". If there is any abuse of that word, it's what this incident is causing.

Many Malaysians knew this are politically motivated. If it is not the race card, it is the religion card. What else is new in this country?

I find this blog from Marina Mahatir pretty interesting..

In 628 AD, a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to Prophet Muhammed and requested his protection. He responded by granting them a charter of rights, which I reproduce below in its entirety. St. Catherine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is the world’s oldest monastery. It possesses a huge collection of Christian manuscripts, second only to the Vatican, and is a world heritage site. It also boasts the oldest collection of Christian icons. It is a treasure house of Christian history that has remained safe for 1400 years under Muslim protection.


An excerpt from the blog:

The Promise to St. Catherine:

"This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. The Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray. Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).
"

Interesting read, eh?
Aside from the obvious instructions to protect the Christians, I find it interesting to read that you don't need to convert to Muslim to marry a Muslim(!). This is news to me and it looks like what I was told all along are lies by Malaysia government. These are Malaysia Muslims definition, not Muslim in general definitely not the teachings of Prophet Muhammad. Looks like there are many people in Malaysia who will burn in hell for twisting the teachings.

Malaysia Boleh indeed!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone... hope you have a great start. Every emails I received at work were about fast start la.. leap ahead la.. time to quickly close gap la.. etc.. but it wasn't such a great start for me. Yesterday, my boss shared with me my 2009 assessment .. it was just 'meeting expectation', being a 'solid contributor'. Well, I am not surprise, seeing how my boss doesn't think highly of the technical contribution from the team.

In my 10+ years in this company, this is the first year I received a 'meet expectation' rating. I read this as a sign. The traffic light at the cross road is screaming a NY message to me - change job!

Aside from the said 'fast start' and motivational stuff I received from company executives (which is beginning to sound rather hollow now), I saw at least 4-5 farewell emails .. my fellow colleagues are also changing jobs.. leaving the company. In such an economic situation, people are still changing jobs! Or perhaps, I am the one that is still perceiving the economy in a negative light where as in actual fact, it's already picking up. I must change my perception. Take the bold steps.

One of my best friends is also changing job! After being in the current company for years, he finally took the bold steps and is going to a brand new job in March.

Aren't these signs?

A mech keyboard nerd's thoughts on 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard

My old Thinkpad has reached its end of life and so the company issued me a new notebook. By default, they issued a MacBook Air, but I tried ...