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!

Don't WhatsApp /SMS when driving

This morning, we received news that one of Jane's classmate passed away after fighting for her life for 4 days. She was cycling in her A...