Wednesday, 27 April 2005

My tripod lost its head


Not a very nice day today. My nice shiny Nikon tripod lost its head as you can see below. You can click on it for a closer view, but it's still not pretty. I was trying to use it this morning to take a few photos of myself setting up the computers for enrolment, and I was just wondering why one of the legs of my tripod is looser than the other two, when suddenly the top came off! Luckily I was holding on to my camera or else it would have been a heart and camera breaking fall. The rest of the tripod body is fine, since its made of metal, but of all the stupid things, the main body that holds the top part to the legs is made of plastic! I guess they didn't want to have the tripod last forever, so that after a year or so of use, it will just disintegrate on you, just like that. I'm not recommending this model to anyone. Ever.



This thing is supposed to be a Nikon. It looks like they never tested the product to the point of failure, or they did test it, but failing after one year is acceptible for them. Nothing lasts these days...



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Sunday, 24 April 2005

Almost done with uncle's computer

After so many weeks, I finally got myself to do my uncle's computer. The only problem was that the computer does not detect the ISA modem, so I swapped it with one of my old PCI ones. Now it works like a charm. Next problem is whether the MPEG card still works or not. The work that went in to the computer:
1. CD-ROM drive swapped with the old Acer sitting doing nothing in my old room (this one is also a bit wonky, but useable)
2. Added the RAM from our old computer to uncle's computer, now that thing is running WIN95 with 32MB of RAM.
3. Hard disk reformatted and reinstalled Win95 inside.
4. All the old programs that I could find were burned into a CD-R, but I dunno what about the data files, because I'm not sure where they're located. I just threw everything into the CD-R.
5. Old ISA modem (33.6 K modem) taken out, put in the newer Genius 56K modem that Cat bought for our old computer last time. The ISA modem is very problematic to work with. It seems that the OS can't detect it, or the modem finally gave up the ghost, or the contacts on the ISA slot are not good. But then the ISA sound card and MPEG card seems to work fine...
6. Internet Explorer upgraded to version 5.5, didn't install the Netscape Gold that came with the CD. Too ANCIENT! Hmm, maybe I have to set up the POP3 mail as well. Ah, will do it later.

Saturday, 23 April 2005

Booked flight tickets

Wow, this is the first time I bought anything over the Internet using a credit card. Well, it is for a good cause: Am going to KL for CK's wedding, so using Air Asia to go there. Flight tickets are WAY cheaper than MAS, so hopefully can have more $$$ for shopping. I think I only have to pay RM269.?? versus RM600+ from MAS. Well, have to sacrifice a bit of comfort for money. What to do... Flying there on Friday the 13th! Hopefully there's no one named Jason in the welcoming committee.

Final Celcom bill

Lets hope the browser doesn't crash again

Ahem!, So, my final Celcom bill has arrived. Yesterday. Ya. It came in on the 22nd of April. It was dated 3rd April. And it says please pay before the 25th of April. WTF?!!! So what the heck took so long for the bill to arrive at my post box? Well, there are two possibilities:

1. Celcom mailed the bill late
2. The post office was late in delivering it

Whatever the reason, the fact that I only received it as I got home from work means that I can only pay it on Monday, since I can't make it tomorrow. What, need to take emergency leave just to go pay a phone bill that has been terminated? Oh well, looks like I will be going to settle it on Monday.

A little background: I went to Celcom with dad on the 4th of April to terminate our phone lines, since Celcom is coming up with a slew of new packages for their post-paid customers.

At the time, the cheapest package was RM80 per month, which will net you 450 minutes of talk time, plus 30 "free" SMS per month. Now, they also stated that ALL postpaid customers would be migrated to the new plans automatically in May. SO this pushed the panic button. The reason being, our phone bills hardly creep over RM75, even with the access fee included in the charge. And with the new calling rates, our phone bills should be cheaper, since the new rates work out to around RM0.20 per call, or even less. Our current call charges are RM0.48/min during peak hours, and RM0.30/min off-peak. If you calculate our calls using the new rates, I would guess the call charges would fall below RM50, or even RM40.

So after careful consideration, we decided that our calling patterns would fit a prepaid plan better, so we decided it was time to jump ship. So, on the appointed day, I took half day leave to finally settle this thing. The girl at the Celcom counter tried to persuade us to stick to our current plans, because there was an unadvertised plan where the minimum charge is RM50 per month, which will get you I think 300 minutes of talk time and 20 free SMS per month. Now this is still a bit above our projected spending per month, so we decided to go ahead with the termination. We did not make her day.

After 4 years of being a loyal customer, what did I get? Spam SMS asking me to "sertailah peraduan XXXXXX dan menangilah YYYYYY" whenever some stupid competition comes around. I did not remember signing up to receive all this crap on my phone. There were some rebates given a few years back, but that was because I was raking up call charges of around RM150 to RM200 per month. Since then, my call patterns have changed, thus the migration to prepaid.

There was some misunderstanding when I was sending out my new number to all my contacts, but that is a story for another day.

Stupid firefox crash!

Why did this stupid browser crash when I was just about to post a reaaaaaly long entry?

I will try to recreate the stuff from memory (my memory, not the computer's)

Friday, 22 April 2005

Sleep recovery

Yesterday was birthday of Prophet Mohammad. Wow, all I did was sleep. Woke up at around 12 noon for lunch, then went back to ZZZ land at around 2 something. Cat is off to Italy today, had to send Dan & kids home bcos we wanna borrow the car.

Had several weird dreams though:
1. Was looking for those exercise books with the squares because I was learning Chinese again. Only problem was that most of the shops were closed.
2. Was cycling around under some flats trying to get back on the main road, or something like that. Can't remember the details, too blurry.

Saturday, 16 April 2005

Saturday night!

Yes! It's Saturday night, and it's time to sleep! Oh well, body still needs to recover from the @#$^*&! flu that's been going around. At least today I needn't pump myself full of fever medicine, but the calling of Morpheus is quite strong at this time.

Well, it is a bit of a relief to get all the marking done by today. Had to stay back until around 2:30 pm! Now all that is needed is to wait for meeting on Monday.

On another note, the restarant we usually go to eat in Kep. Ridge was smoky as ever, but their western menu seems to be not popular today (must be the heat). Most of the workers tending the western food stall were helping with other tasks in the restaurant. Slow day for them maybe. We didn't help either because we ordered dishes to go with rice.

Thursday, 14 April 2005

More flu annoyances

Oh great, now the pathogen, be it virus or bacteria, most likely virus, has spread lower into the trachea. As for ability to do work, that depends on whether my medication is still running in my bloodstream, since the fever keeps recurring if I let off on the fever tablets, ditto on the runny marathon nose.

Ho boy, looks like F is swamped in her work, so not much interactions with her. Gork gave me a buzz in the morning, as I was on the way down to breakfast. Got his new number too. Its xxx-yyyzzzz. (Yeah, you can try caling that number.)

Wednesday, 13 April 2005

Not fun being sick

OK, this is the second day of me at home trying to recover from this nasty cold that was passed down to me from dad. Yesterday had high fever, and a terrible headache, so had to ask dad to send me to clinic, didn't trust myself to drive straight. Doc gave me the usual: antibiotic, something for fever, something else for runny nose, and some lozenges. Also gave me some cream for rash.

Monday, 11 April 2005

Some fish

Some fish that were lurking around the jetty in Pulau Manukan, waiting for their daily bread.

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Saturday, 9 April 2005

Blogs everywhere

Been trying to use the blogging feature inside Friendster, but it is so slow!!! Every update takes on average 1-2 minutes for the browser to update the page. Maybe the problem is that they are using https to facilitate the exchange of data. Or maybe because of the problems we're having with accessing overseas sites - caused by a damaged submarine cable. Anyway, whatever the reason, I'll experiment with both sites since there are many features still left unexplored.

Another Caterpillar, but much bigger

This is the second caterpillar that mom found lurking in the garden. When it gets hungry, it moves from side to side, trying to look for food.

Tiny Caterpillar

This is a caterpillar mom found in the garden. It's very tiny, about 1 cm end to end. This was as close as I can get without the image blurring. This is the first one.

Testing picture uploading

This is a little souvenir from one of the Education fairs. Seems like a good candidate for an upload using the program Hello from Picasa. Will upload more stuff as time permits.

Friday, 8 April 2005

UOB credit card

Received a call from Caruna this afternoon asking me to apply for a UOB "Free for life" credit card. The only catch is that you must spend RM50 per month to be entitled for this thing kononnya no yearly fee. Sounds just like the telcos offering "No Access Fee" but you still have to spend a minimum amount per month. Looks like most companies are now looking for a fixed amount of revenue, instead of the pay as you use type of business.

A new frontier

Yes, Chucky has gone where no Chucky has gone before... to start a blog!!! What signals got crossed in his brain to prompt him to start a blog is unknown at this moment. One side of his brain is pleading with him to finish this up and go to sleep, the other part is trying to find out what other features there are in this "blog" thing.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to the one, you know who you are, heh heh...

Lets hope Chucky can get up in the morning.