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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What To Do When DBKL Makes A "Fine" Error, DBKL Salah Saman

Foreword: A Compound, Fine, Saman, or whatever you wish to call it must always be paid promptly - DO NOT ACCUMULATE! It'll only gather "interest" that's not in your favor.

Not many people love to be wrong but will still pretend as if they are right. That said, not many people want to be wrong and do nothing about it...

So what happens when you are wrongly accused of something that you didn't do? Do you keep mum and make amends, or do you attempt to undo the wrongful?

Here's my lesson from DBKL's Jabatan Penguatkuasaan:

Last week, I received a registered mail from the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL). In it was a DBKL Compound Notice for a traffic offense. I noted the date, time and "location" of the traffic offense. While it was 100% impossible for me to be there at that time, I still paid the minimum RM100 Compound at Pos Malaysia the same day.

My reasoning (only later to be told as wrong?): Never owe others and make good what you do.

Of course, I did try to call the 03-40267200 contact number stated on the Compound Notice (before making my way to Pos Malaysia) but it went unanswered.

Since Pos Malaysia could only accept payment and nothing else, they suggested for me to check with the nearest DBKL office - which I did by calling them and was given another number for the Jabatan Penguatkuasaan DBKL (JPK).

[Trust me, it's not easy finding out on the Internet things you need to know especially if it's Malaysian. For some blessed reason, whether it's something about the national cars or in this case bila terima saman DBKL salah there's a fog in the Internet cloud]

In short, what I was told:

  1. Do not pay the Compound
  2. Email your dispute to
  3. It's faster if you come directly to see the officer

So the next day, I went to the JPK. No parking lots at the front as told; possibly a sign of what's coming. Parked at the adjacent shop lots area for RM2. Was directed to the door next to the Kaunter Aduan. Met with the officer there (a soft spoken chap but apparently with a suspicious nature because he started with examples of how people lie to avoid the fines and etc!), to him the Compound is probably correct. Phew! Completed a Borang Rayuan and was told that if I wanted I could also make a police report but it was not necessary to give him a copy!?!

At the Balai Polis, the officer at the counter took down the details of my case and printed a copy of the Police Report. Her 2 colleagues sitting next to her advised me that since DBKL mentioned the police, a copy of the report should be given to them.

On my 2nd trip (the same day) to the JPK, I ended up paying RM2 for a RM1 parking ticket as the Parking Terminal was faulty. I truly wonder what happens to the excess money collected since it's not registered by the machine. Submitted a copy of the Police Report and requested a signed acknowledgement.

A week later, I received a call from the JPK's Proses Saman. The lady officer informed me that DBKL will refund the payment I made, but I would have to provide them with my bank account number and proof that the account is under my name vide a bank statement!?!

The next day, I went to the JPK's Proses Saman and filled up a Borang Pengesahan Maklumat and submitted it together with the original payment receipt and copy of bank statement. According to the lady officer, she cannot disclose more information on the investigation done as her role in the entire process is only to forward applications. All-in-all the entire ordeal should end within 3 months once the DBKL Bendahari transfers the RM100 into my bank account.

* no indication of any compensation from DBKL for causing the pain and suffering arising from this whole affair.

Quick Summary:

  1. Decide first whether to proceed with the below by weighing if the heartache, your time and travel costs, and patience is worth more than the sum of the Compound;
  2. Do not make any payment in trust/faith;
  3. Do not email DBKL, especially the Pengarah who has yet to reply any of the several emails I sent;
  4. Go direct to see/meet them;
  5. Make a Police Report before your trip to the JPK;
  6. At the JPK, proceed to the Kaunter Aduan located on the Ground Floor;
  7. You will be given a Borang Rayuan Kompaun. Complete it and submit together with any other substantial proof to support your claim besides the Police Report;
  8. You should receive a call from them within 7 days. If not, another visit to the JPK is necessary.
  9. In the event, you are unable to resolve the problem with DBKL -- your options are to pursue it at a higher level with the Federal Territory Minister. And if that fails, to seek legal counsel and action.
WARNING: This advice is only intended for those who are 100% sure that they have been wrongfully issued with a DBKL Compound. IF guilty of the offense, pay up!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why You Should Not Buy A Samsung Mobile Product, FINDING Samsung A Bad Choice

For a brand awarded a Malaysian award for excellence (Putra Brand Awards 2015), surely that has to bear some weight in the manner of how Samsung operates as a reputable brand. Anything less and it belittles the Malaysia standard for excellence.

Reputable brands firmly believe in and deliver on their brand promise. They guarantee the quality of each sold product and personally warrant it against defects.

For your information, Finding Nemo (both the fictional Captain and Clownfish) would have been easier! Samsung is simply not consumer complaint friendly. [Add: Master of deception and Evasion]

I wasn't prepared and did not know how much future stress plus the accompanying heartache would follow when I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 early this year in March 2016 from The Hello Station (M) S/B, a Samsung retailer located in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

Not even my past bad experiences with 3 Samsung smartphones and 1 Samsung Air conditioner stopped me. Prior to my current predicament, I had a Samsung Galaxy SIII which automatically kept on rebooting until the battery died or when it was removed. Even at that time, the process of returning it to Sen Heng Electric and getting it back took so long and the staff there were not happy to deal with product issues (the motherboard was replaced and that fortunately fixed the problem).

Now back to present...

I have been to SEMS Services S/B a few times already. Since it takes one visit to send the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 in for "repair" and another to collect it back, it is cumbersome when it continued to be problematic. Apparently, SEMS is an authorized Samsung Service Partner which would would explain why they are more keen to replace parts.

Unfortunately for me, this Samsung model has to be pried open for access to any failed parts and that causes scratches to it. So far, the charging port part has been replaced twice, once in April 2016 and once in August 2016. That's already one time more than acceptable. 

And now, just barely a week after collecting it from it's 2nd "repair", the device remained stuck in Safe Mode (and nope, multiple restarts did not solve the problem) and the volume was stuck down as well.

I have,
  1. Informed SEMS prior to it's 2nd "repair" that, if they did indeed check and confirmed  the same part as faulty -- to kindly not repair it, but to send it back to Samsung Malaysia Electronics in exchange for a brand new problem-free unit.
  2. Listened to SEMS's explanation that they only do repairs and not replacements. Hence, they "repaired" the device instead of following my request to return it to Samsung Malaysia Electronics.
  3. Attempted to escalate the defective product complaint to the dear Samsung people in Korea. A 100% impossible task as they practice a global customer feedback system that is strictly online thru their website and the only replies by email from them cannot be replied AND the same details in the online feedback filled in again before subsequent "feedback" can be submitted. Note: Other channels mentioned on the website such as Twitter is equally disappointing.
  4. Failed to contact Dr. Oh-Hyun Kwon the Samsung CEO, obviously.
  5. Listened to a Mr. Seow from Samsung Careline Malaysia (+603 77137477) telling me today that he will try to help but no promises that I will get what I want, but "will at least get something". What that is, I really don't know.
  6. Been informed by the same Mr. Seow that although Samsung Careline is under it's parent company Samsung Malaysia Electronics, he is unaware where the company is located or of it's contact details, and also that it is company policy not to share such information with customers. What's with the cloak and dagger routine? Certainly very dubious and lacking in sincerity for a branded company!

For the record,

  • The quality of the product is questionable and not acceptable as the same problem occurred twice, while another just right after it's 2nd service.
  • It is also unfair practice on part of Samsung to sell a defective product and allow the warranty period to "run" while attempts to repair are made; instead of replacing it when the same problem recurs.
  • It cannot be expected of the consumer to return on a continuous basis to a Samsung Service Partner. Problems with the product must neither be repetitive nor excessive. When they are, the product is defective. Defective products should be exchanged immediately without delay.
  • It is also unlikely that scratches will occur when reasonable care and skill is applied during repair. There are already visible scratches on this device.

As far as the NCCC (National Consumer Complaints Centre) and TCCM (Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia) are concerned, it's hard for them to act when the very people behind the brand are not open with their contact details -- in Samsung's case there's only a Careline number and a one-sided online feedback form...

So why is Samsung making it hard for even the genuine product complaints to be addressed?

IF Samsung is even a little bit concerned about it's product quality, it should proactively resolve valid negative product feedback immediately. Giving the consumer the runaround is not what a reputable brand will do.

Factual: People buy branded products to avoid poor quality issues that encourage visits from repairmen and to service centers.

IT is highly probable that Samsung constructively weaves a process that makes it hard for bad product feedback -- to minimize poor publicity -- in order to maintain it's product popularity -- by letting consumers think a Samsung product must be of good quality since complaints are few.

I'm giving Samsung Electronics Malaysia time to own up and do the right thing by and before the end of August 2016 with a replacement new unit (with full warranty). Failing which, it's straight to the TCCM!  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Might Be The Only 2 Quick Tips You Need to Answer 'Why Should I Hire/Keep You?'

Come back to this whenever you need to be interviewed or are being appraised.

1. Work out what they want - Your first step, as always is to do your
research. Start by reading your job description. If that doesn't help,
google for a list of examples on what a person in your job is expected
to offer (and do). This should give you a clearer understanding of the
job's expectations and allow you to either verbally or write them out.
Next, provide examples of how you have/can perform and deliver.

2. It's all about quality, not just quantity - The key things you
want them to know are your experience/training (what you've done),
education/skills (what you know to get things done), accomplishments
(what you have successfully done), and culture fit (what you are that
is similar or in line to the company's direction and a team player).
Be concise, this means not going overboard with more than 3-4
examples; otherwise you risk boring them. You can keep the extra for
later discussion (just in case).

Footnote: Understanding comes from thought. A complete understanding will let you know what's expected of you, it's either you perform to those expectations OR bye-bye. When you know what you are qualified to offer, you perform better - naturally.

Might Be The Only 2 Quick Tips You Need to Answer 'Why Should I Hire/Keep You?'

Come back to this whenever you need to be interviewed or are being appraised.

1. Work out what they want - Your first step, as always is to do your
research. Start by reading your job description. If that doesn't help,
google for a list of examples on what a person in your job is expected
to offer (and do). This should give you a clearer understanding of the
job's expectations and allow you to either verbally or write them out.
Next, provide examples of how you have/can perform and deliver.

2. It's all about quality, not just quantity - The key things you
want them to know are your experience/training (what you've done),
education/skills (what you know to get things done), accomplishments
(what you have successfully done), and culture fit (what you are that
is similar or in line to the company's direction and a team player).
Be concise, this means not going overboard with more than 3-4
examples; otherwise you risk boring them. You can keep the extra for
later discussion (just in case).

Footnote: Understanding comes from thought. A complete understanding
will let you know what's expected of you, it's either you perform to those expectations OR bye-bye. When you know what you are qualified to offer, you perform better - naturally.

Might Be The Only 2 Quick Tips You Need to Answer 'Why Should I Hire/Keep You?'

Come back to this whenever you need to be interviewed or are being appraised.

1. Work out what they want - Your first step, as always is to do your
research. Start by reading your job description. If that doesn't help,
google for a list of examples on what a person in your job is expected
to offer (and do). This should give you a clearer understanding of the
job's expectations and allow you to either verbally or write them out.
Next, provide examples of how you have/can perform and deliver.

2. It's all about quality, not just quantity - The key things you
want them to know are your experience/training (what you've done),
education/skills (what you know to get things done), accomplishments
(what you have successfully done), and culture fit (what you are that
is similar or in line to the company's direction and a team player).
Be concise, this means not going overboard with more than 3-4
examples; otherwise you risk boring them. You can keep the extra for
later discussion (just in case).

Footnote: Understanding comes from thought. A complete understanding
will let you know what's expected of you, it's either you perform to
those expectations OR bye-bye. When you know what you are qualified to
offer, you perform better - naturally.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Think Your Marriage is Happy, make it happier with these tips!

Many people have happy marriages. Overstatement or Understatement?

FACT: Happy Marriages are the exact OPPOSITE of a Hurtful Marriage.

If a hurtful marriage is one that causes you discomfort, pain, tears,
stress and depression; then a happy marriage is one that gives you
ease, pleasure, laughter, relaxation and joy!

Did you know there's a lack of silly arguments in a happy marriage?
All it takes is just one stupid argument (and it takes two hands to
clap - so please don't collaborate, just listen) to undo a happy

Instead of finding excuses to show off your "superiority" (fyi:
marriage is an equal partnership), be reasonable and look for reasons
to make your spouse happy.

Work together to make your marriage a happier one:

1. Take some space

It is more difficult to accept feedback from your spouse when you are
in a negative emotional state than when you are calm and happy.

Being angry makes it hard to see the issues clearly, and not only will
you most likely fail to accept your spouse's opinion, you probably
won't be able to discuss it calmly too.

So take some space. Put off your "argument" and focus on something
else – but do it politely.

2. Focus on the big-picture goal
There is a reason why you married your spouse. If love was not the
reason, what is?

3. Remember they’re on your side

Your spouse is generally the one you sleep and wake with, right? No
one's going to get closer than that!

Sometimes, getting constructive feedback hurts. The key thing to
remember is that, the person giving that kind of feedback is on your
side and wants you to succeed.

4. Be solution-oriented

Rather than getting stuck in the argument, think about the solution.

5. Take it with a grain of salt

With the exception of your job, in most personal situations you are in charge. You don’t have to agree with all of the changes or suggestions your spouse makes. BUT you need to give your feedback so your spouse makes an educated decision about it.

C'mon it ain't so hard as long as you are human and capable of love. :) :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

VALUE is the Number 1 Marketing Hack

To many people, marketing is all about making their product and/or services sell. Some may even think that it's just a way to reach out to new and current* customers.

* FACT : The majority of customers are not often loyal to the one brand, product or service.

For "marketing" to be effective, it's not all about doing more. It's about what you do. 

Take as much time as you need to review your VALUE, and it goes like this:

1. Vision

Is your brand, product and service exactly how you envisioned it to be? You have to get your offerings in shape before you even contemplate to share it with the world.

2. Appraise

Rate your most recent marketing strategies, plans and actions. Were they in line with your vision and how well did they work? You need to focus on the necessary amendments to your game plan when marketing is failing to bring in the business you need**.

* Need as in the business volume required for you to be profitable. Want comes in later and in the form of the business you think you deserve because you have a great brand, product and service!

3. Love

You don't just love the business your customers give you. You have to love your customers for keeping you in business! Find ways to show your customers that you love them.

4. Understanding

You need to know just exactly how your customers feel about YOU. Only then will you know how your brand, product and service can help them. Marketing gives you the platform to gain valuable feedback and broadcast your understanding of what they -- the customers want.

5. Emotion

Ultimately, how strongly you feel about your brand, product and service will determine your marketing strategies. Getting clear about your passion enables your vision to become clearer. 
And just how exactly does one do this? It's all about your VALUE.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tips For Soon To Wed And Those Married

For Your Marriage to Succeed, It Needs to Be Balanced AND Happy

This is about the importance of starting a marriage with a person who will effectively share in the responsibilities and decision-making of a life together -- this person is your spouse.

With that said, there are certainly a handful of important points that lie within both the marriage (partnership) that you must address and, most important, address them before they happen so that you don’t find yourself in a situation where your happiness is at risk.

The best marriages come when you’ve found another person that doesn’t share the same capabilities and/or thought processes. To be specific, someone that’s not like you. Like the saying goes Opposites Attract!

So in order to get the benefits of a successful marriage, you need to have some opposing ideas and differing but complimentary skill sets and although you both need to know and understand what is going on throughout the marriage (no deliberate hiding of information allowed), it’s really important to remember as well that you DO NOT share every decision.

Part of an effective marriage is knowing that you can trust your "better half" to do what’s best and make the right decisions in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Of course you need to work together on the larger decisions that affect the direction of your marriage, but if you’re both overseeing the same things, it’s going to quickly feel like one person is looking over the other’s shoulder. Also, this is completely inefficient and needless to say irritating!

How do you communicate?

You must remember you’re not going to be able to talk about every single decision -- as covered in the previous point -- but you do need to understand what’s going on throughout the marriage and that, comes with communication.

Make sure that you set up a regular specific time to talk -- and use the opportunity to discuss the greater decisions that were or need to be made so you can both add in from your differing view points or areas of expertise to come to the best decisions for your marriage.

You ABSOLUTELY must set expectations!

This point is really one that needs to be established well before you marry -- although sometimes it’s just not that simple (love can be overwhelming).

You and your spouse need to have an understanding, as to who is responsible for what and what the expectations are for your time and responsibilities, as well as any financial commitments.

It’s really easy to just believe that you’re married and you’ll work anything out and it may be uncomfortable to sit and discuss expectations, but when things get really difficult, everyone’s true colors show and you need to be able to recall what those expectations are.


1. Share responsibilities and decision-making;
2. Address issues before they blow out of hand;
3. Be grateful and acknowledge your spouse is your OPPOSITE;
4. While you share EVERY information, you DON'T share every decision.
5. Trust your "better half" to do what’s best and make the right decisions in their day-to-day responsibilities.
6. Set up a regular specific time to talk.
7. Set expectations early and don't forget them -- time, responsibilities and financial commitments.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Silly Argument, The 3Cs of A Great Marriage

Wife: Why didn't you call?
Husband: I was busy.
Wife: What? Didn't you say you needed me every second of your life?
Husband: Yes I did but that was before we got married and not in my
working life!

~ Moral ~

Women LOVE seeking the attention of their other half. Men on the other
hand treats life as a checklist and compartmentalize it into several
or more parts, doing and focusing on one part at a time.   If men and
women saw things the same way EITHER they wouldn't be married in the
first place OR find the slightest opportunity to argue with one

Written after great thought by a man who is still working on the 3Cs
of a Great Marriage. By the way the 3Cs do not stand Cash, Condo and
Car BUT Compromise, Compliment, and Complement!

The 3Cs are in no particular order and applies to BOTH Men and Women.

P/S: Men will always be JUST MEN while Women have an incorporated
meaning, "W"ives "O"f MEN. In short, there is more to women than just

PP/S: Compromise (give & take, win-win situation), Compliment
(praise), and Complement (provide the parts to make whole)...

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

DIGI 365

It's come to that time of year when most of us who owns a mobile phone just to be reachable and hence using DIGI's PrePaid find that we once again are required to pay a fee to keep our "account" active.

First of all please ensure that you have at least RM38 credit available. This is because DIGI has made it so that we have to "change plan" before we can arrive at the "Super Long Life 365" option. As of today, to "change plan" we need to accept a charge of RM3.

To check your current plan:
"DiGi Best Prepaid Hit RM1" (old)
"New DiGi Best Prepaid" (new)
(There may be some older prepaid package, but I have no idea what will be the package name)

Check if super long life 365 is available for you: *128*1*7#, reply 3 (Super Long Life):
1 RM5 (30 days)
2 RM30 (365 days)

The super long life 365 is only available upon upgrade ("change plan") and provided you still have RM35 credit.

How to subscribe after "switching" to New DiGi Best Prepaid?

To activate DiGi Super Long Life via *128#:
Step 1: You must have at least RM35 in your account. (*126# check balance)
Step 2: Dial *128# and then press call.
Step 3: Reply 1 for My Account.
Step 4: Reply 7 for Talktime Services.
(You can use the shortcut code to dial, but since the menu may change, You might choose the wrong option)
Step 5: Reply 3 for Super Long Life.
Step 6: Reply 2 for Super Long Life RM30 (365 days).
* In 2012. There was only 1 option. Reply 1 for Super Long Life 365.
Step 7: Press 1 to confirm that you have selected RM30.00 with 365 days validity.

I have to say that MAXIS PrePaid offers a more straightforward option to extend expiry.

If this helps, please share it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Water Ration April 2014, Water Woes Again

Yup folks it's official!

Syabas has issued a statement to this effect. Let there be no misinterpretation regarding the recent heavy downpours -- water supply is still low (at least that's according to what the folks at Syabas says).

So it's another month of water rationing. If you want to know what's fair, folks in the designated Zone 2 areas are short a day of supply. Why?

Instead of water on April 1 and April 2, they'll just be getting water on April 1 only instead of the 2 days. Blame in on the guys at Syabas to reschedule anew instead of continuing the cycle, bad maths or maybe plain convenience to them.

 Excerpts from Syabas' Statement:

This will be the 4th Phase of Water Rationing and extension of the rationing period for areas in Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan and Putrajaya.

Decision made by the Selangor Government to increase the volume of rationing from 500 Million litres a day to 1000 Million litres a day for the Selangor River Dam and 30 Million litres a day for the Klang Gates Dam. Syabas has been "requested" by the Selangor Government to prepare a Water Ration Plan (4th Phase) to tackle the shortage of treated water caused by this decision.

[Gosh! The way I read it, it's like Syabas is blaming the Selangor Government for deciding. But wait, why does the state authority or any government authority "decide" on such matters?]

The 4th Phase Water Ration Plan was approved by SPAN (Commission of National Water Services) on 28 March 2014.

[After that we had more rain. "Apparently" it rained heavily at the wrong places and water source is still high in ammonia, or something to that effect!]

In addition, there will be new areas added and affected by the water rationing.

[Bummer! As I'm typing this out -- it's about to rain again, heavily too].

This new Phase is effective from 4 April 2014 hingga 30 April 2014 and will last as long to a date decided by the Selangor Government.

[Again Selangor Government to decide. Should it be for Syabas to decide as the supplier and the Selangor Government to announce -- what the ...?]

And the famous phrase, consumers are urged to refer to the said notice on the Syabas website ( 

Quick Notes:

For zones scheduled for no water supply, water supply is expected to stop at 9am on the first day and resume approximately 55 hours later, or at 4pm on the 3rd day.

[Another publicity lie, 2 days indeed!]

Be prepared, over here plans made carry on once "approved" -- so maybe if there's ample water supply source -- the plan goes on...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Malaysia do you have USB?

YES and I'm not talking about Universal Serial Bus drives OR devices here!

Unacceptable–Social Behavior (USB) is a serious mental condition where a person experiences frequent unwelcome obsessional thoughts that are socially abnormal and acts upon them, often followed by self gratification for having achieved those acts. An extreme example would be terrorists; classic version some whom misinterpret religion and use violence to achieve their "holy" objectives.

BUT I'm pretty sure that most of us anyway are NOT.

USB may be considered an illness and it affects almost everyone, from young children to adults, regardless of skin, sex or social or cultural background. The question that you should ask yourself is whether you have severe USB or mild USB?

IF USB is really an illness, almost all of us are certainly unaware of it since there is very little highlight on it. Maybe being Malaysians we just don't care as long as it doesn't personally hurt us. 

GENERALLY, USB sufferers experience obsessions which manifest into physical form. These hard to ignore acts are intrusive, unwanted, disturbing, significantly interfere with the society and the population at large. To people with USB they often know that their obsessional thoughts and acts are unacceptable, but they believe they have the personal right to act as they please even if it causes resentment and pain.

Typical USB includes:
  • Spitting indiscriminately
  • Public tantrums
  • Running the Red Light (Red means Go?)
  • Cutting Q whether driving or not
  • Obstructing others from passing (again, whether driving or not)
  • Showing the universal finger sign at others
  • Throwing rubbish everywhere but the dustbin
  • Dog Owners who allow their dogs to roam and defecate freely (my neighbor)
  • Forcing others to follow (My Way or The Highway style)
  • Hoarding (Mine mine mine and no one else's)
And that's only to name a few! If at any moment you did think or consider that these are the norm and nothing to worry about, then that's the very reason why USB is rampant and growing.

For people with USB there is often an over-inflated sense of ego that prevents them from estimating the amount of damage that their acts will cause to others. The USB person often feels ultimately responsible to have things their way.

To some degree USB people have probably experienced, at one time or another, by most of them, times when their acts are met with equal corrective action -- a speeding ticket, an earload of scolding, etc. Even then their ego prevents them from not doing the same selfish acts in future.

In a nutshell:

  • USB people know that their thoughts and behavior are irrational and senseless,
  • They feel proud and responsible to act out their selfish thoughts, and
  • They do not doubt that their acts causes resentment.

Left unchecked and untreated, USB will mushroom and feed upon itself and can have the power to consume if left unchallenged.

Unfortunately, we have yet to even slowly begun to understand and identify USB symptoms much more effectively, maybe it's because of the culture of this country we live in.

The writer is still trying to understand USB better and, more importantly, hope that someone with the power to make a change, will recognize it as a threat to society and find ways how to treat it, and to offer belief and hope that recovery from Unacceptable–Social Behavior is possible.

Monday, November 18, 2013

How I Replaced My Old Inspiron 1520 Hard Disk with a Sandisk Ultra SSD

Literally for dummies, not that we are.

Firstly, why SSD and not just replace it with the same Hard Drive type? SSD is actually a data storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as memory to store data. Hence, SSDs contains no actual "disks" nor motors that will wear out over time from so many Read/Write during operation and has faster data transfer rates.

After 7 years, my DELL Inspiron 1520 is probably the longest and most lasting Laptop. See? It's a Laptop and not a Notebook, but I won't delve any deeper into mobile computing history. It's more interesting to learn how simple it is to replace the Hard Disk, right?

Here goes,

Common signals that your old RPM Hard Drive is about to fail when you get the Blue Screen hard disk error message (the more frequent in-between, the closer it is to its demise) and/or when the sweet sound it used to make while spinning internally has developed into something louder as noise!

When I encountered the said signals, the first thing I thought was to replace it with the latest in storage drive technology, the Solid State Drive or SSD in short. As we all know, the better it is (say storage), the higher cost it is to buy.

The Inspiron 1520 I have came standard with a 60GB RPM Hard Drive. Before I went out and actually bought a SSD - I unscrewed the screws to the Hard Drive slot and removed it so that I could verify the connector type on this drive before I plugged it back in. 

Once I verified that it was the same as the SATA connector of the SSD, I went ahead and got one from the 2nd most expensive IT retailer in Malaysia, namely Thunder Match Technology. SO BEFORE YOU BUY A SSD, DO CHECK AROUND.

Since the original Inspiron 1520 Hard Drive is a 60GB dinosaur, I went ahead and got myself a 128GB Ultra Sandisk SSD.

I wanted the entire old Hard Drive contents replicated on the SSD so that it would work the same (bootable) once plugged in and used the Acronis True Image Backup software for this purpose to backup the old Hard Drive into an extra 500GB USB Samsung External Drive*.

* Acronis was chosen for their easy step by step options while the external drive was used because the old drive simply did not have sufficient space for the backup.

It took me nearly an hour to fully backup the old drive. Once that was over, I used the Acronis software to "restore" the backup into the new SSD drive which took slightly over 30 minutes to complete. Then I removed the old drive and plugged in the SSD.

I press the Power Button and Voila it works!

Step by Step Walk-through:

1. Power down Laptop, shutdown.
2. Remove battery and plug from power adapter.
3. Perform a Static Discharge as a safety precaution by press holding Power Button for 10 seconds.
4. Remove screws locking the Hard Drive (I removed the 4 screws as marked).
5. Gently pull out the Hard Drive.
6. Verify the SATA connector to be the same as that of the SSD.
7. Gently return the Hard Drive back to its slot, making sure it goes in all the way and connects properly.
8. Return battery and plug from power adapter.
9. Plug in USB External Drive to free USB port.
10. Plug in SSD with USB-SATA converter to free USB port.
11. Power up Laptop, press Power Button.
12. After Windows loads up, select Acronis True Image from desktop (first you have to download it).
13. Select the easy to understand options in Acronis to backup your old Hard Drive (refer to their guide if unsure). Also ensure Antivirus is off and all other applications are closed before backup.
14. Once backup is complete, use the Restore option to "restore" the backup to the SSD (again, refer to their guide if unsure).
15. Once restore is complete, exit Acronis and perform Windows shutdown.
16. Unplug the external Hard Drive and SSD.
17. Repeat Steps 2-5.
18. Unscrew the old Hard Drive from plastic slot cover.
19. Remove the USB-SATA adapter from the SSD.
20. Screw the plastic slot cover to the SSD (same as how it was previously attached to the old Hard Drive).
19. Repeat Steps 7-8 
20. Secure the "Hard Disk" SSD in its slot with the screws removed earlier in Step 4.
21. Power up Laptop, press Power Button.
22. Need there be a Step 22?

By the way, I went through all these steps because I didn't want the hassle of digging up the installation disks for all the various loaded programs or copying data -- some of you may shorten the process by doing a clean install of everything.

Cons: Antivirus now doesn't work and I had to reinstall.
Pros: Overall system speed improved.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why Acer is Making Losses and Fail to Deliver

Anyone considering buying Acer should read this post before they do.

Maybe just possibly, problems like the ones you read here made its founder Stan Shih to retire when he did...although outgoing ACER CEO J.T. Wang claims it's only due to the write-off of its old inventory "worth" billions!

Always the staunch supporter of Acer, I believed in its brand philosophy, promise and quality -- even after experiencing a motherboard failure with one of its "best in class" (at the time it was bought) Notebooks - the Aspire 4736G.

Just Google it and you'll know what I mean.

Here's my rather disappointing Acer Experience at the recent PC Fair at Mid Valley in early November this year:

The Wrong Decision: After being told by the Dell person at the Dell Booth that the particular Dell desktop model I was interested in was sold out (at that on my 2nd day visit to the PC Fair!) and out of stock - I took it as a clear signal that buying Acer would be a better choice. How wrong I was!

It was our 2nd day visit to the PC Fair. We had spent the day before, browsing and sifting thru the various offers available.

We settled on the Acer Aspire TC603 which according to the brochure handout, is a model with the 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4430 Processor. The package included an Acer V206HQL 19.5" LED-backlit Monitor, 3 Year Extended Warranty, Speakers and 16GB Pendrive.

According to the salesperson, we could take delivery "immediately" if we took the 3rd Generation version of the same model and upgrading it to the 8GB we wanted would only be a few hours OR we wait for a week for delivery for the brochure version.

We opted for the version stated in the brochure as we were willing to wait out the 1-week delivery time. Honestly we were pleasantly surprised when the salesperson said that they could send it to their outlet nearest to us in Desa Park City for collection.

No After Sales Information...

After anticipating delivery (with exception of the in-between Awal Muharram public holiday), I started to feel uneasy and referred to the official receipt - it had no contact number stated on it! I then googled Thunder Match Technology and completed an online query form on their website, and 72 hours later no response.

Reachable, NO!

By this time, I had already obtained the contact number for their Head Office and started my attempts to call them up. 

After spending the whole morning right up till slightly after 2pm, the best I could get out of the various options from the automated telephonist, was a foreigner who finally answered and asked me to call back again  - as he was only the security guard


Varying Versions...

I called the next number I had -- which was their outlet in Mid Valley. When I informed the person who answered that, I would like to know the status of the delivery for the TC603, he replied that it was out of stock and a discontinued model - all the time stating that it was the 3rd Generation version. Okay so I'll check with Acer Malaysia!

Dissatisfied with the response, I called Acer Sales and Services (Acer Malaysia - AM is short) at their toll free number 1800-88-1288. After providing details of my complaint, I requested that they clarified the matter with Thunder Match Technology (their appointed dealer, TM in short) and revert to me.

While waiting for AM's call, TM's Mid Valley rep calls to say that the TC603 was not in stock and when asked when it would be in stock,... he replies that he was unsure and instead offered an exchange to another product or, a full refund in lieu. 

Good news? Fat Chance!

After telling him that I would consider, I hung up just in time to receive the AM rep's callback. She basically repeated the same information of the TC603 being out of stock and even went a step further by saying it was discontinued after having checked with TM.

I told her it was impossible and this is when the AM rep said it is discontinued as it is a 3rd Generation version as per the brochure she had in hand. Luckily for me (or maybe not) the brochure I have stated it otherwise. After further questioning she reveals that the version I wanted had yet to arrive from Acer Taiwan!!! 

I then thought, "Why not escalate my query to Acer's HQ, Acer Inc. in Taiwan?" and asked her to send me an email contact for the said purpose.

"Great I thought" as I checked my Inbox to see that she had indeed sent me an email. When I opened it, I was beyond shock (after having been overly drained by all the stress and time wasting activities from what was supposed to be a simple purchase of an Acer Desktop) - she had emailed me alternative models for selection while stating that the TC603 is "not available in the Malaysia market" and Acer Inc's telephone and fax!

What !?!

Does this mean the brochure printed in Malaysia (most likely) for the Malaysia market with the listed model TC603 with the 4th Generation Intel Core i5-4430 Processor and further confirmed by the salesperson accepting the order over a week ago is WRONG !?!

Always Forgiving...

Extremely disappointed I then did the unthinkable, I counter offered to take the alternative model which was priced lower while insisting that all other items remain as per the initial package.

As I end this post I wait and see how AM and TM responds tomorrow.

P/S Just to add, there was an instance when the TM rep said that the TC603 was 4th Generation but differed inside !!! Now that really makes me wonder...


 Questions seeking answers with some you already know the answers to,

- This only happens in Malaysia?
- When will Acer make itself customer friendly by providing top level e-mail contact info?
- Does having a strong visible market presence ensure "proper" after sales service/support?
- Is Explore Beyond Limits referring to exceeding the tolerance limit for bad after sales service/support?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Short Note on the Future of Economics of MY Malaysia Tanahairku

Econs...never my best subject and yet when I think of my beloved country, Malaysia, I am inspired to write this article - so that we may all be focused on the main issues that affects us in our daily life. As a commoner (one of the many Rakyat), perhaps this is all that I will do as I'm sure governing a country and to lead its people forward is no simple task...

To move forward as a nation, we need to know and determine the factors affecting our nation's health and whether anything can be done for its betterment.

To simply "put it" - we need to know just how much risk Geopolitical instability is to our nation's growth. Say what?

According to an online dictionary, Geopolitic is defined as the relationship among politics and geography, demography, and economics, especially with respect to the foreign policy of a nation.
A good example of a governmental policy employing geopolitics: The Nazi doctrine holding that the geographic, economic, and political needs of Germany justified its invasion and seizure of other lands (I add - people's rights inclusive).

You see, Malaysia is considered a still developing country (rated just above Third World). While our optimism for our economy is increasing, it is anticipated that future growth will come from developed markets that are less plagued by geopolitical dilemmas. 

So what's our biggest hurdle? Geopolitical instability.
Attacking and addressing this hurdle is made simple by looking at the common examples* of Geopolitical dilemmas,

_1. Slow growth of the GDP / Low demand for Exports;
_2. Low returns from savings and investment;
_3. An inflation rate that is higher than rate of returns from savings and investments;
_4. Sociopolitical instability from a highly combustible cocktail of politics, religion and race;
_5. Unemployment; and
_6. Exchange Rates.

* such a broad range, are we exempted and able to escape at all? Sigh!

So how do we renew and boost our optimism for our nation's future economy?

First things first, we need structural policy and regulatory reforms that are aimed at increasing consumer confidence and greater social and political stability.

By the way, rationalizing subsidies is not one of them as it will only "fuel" inflation (pun intended) - besides, the only major good I see is the elevation of the nation's credit standing for other nations to approve better terms for lending to Malaysia!

Increased foreign investment (not in terms of loans) are a great way to boost our economy and is only attainable when the rate of return on investment is enticing to the investor. 

A Contrasting Example for Investors:

Would you yourself invest in a business where the cost of operations leaves you next to nothing profits? You hire and/or pay less. Then you decide to invest in machinery as automation reduces manual labor, hence less workers to be paid. Then at the end of the day you realize you are paying for power at a premium too. Booyah and I haven"t even mentioned other business factors viz. cost of capital, property and rent, etc!

In fact any other actions that will address the above listed dilemmas in earnest will fair well but please bear in mind that not ALL action is better than NO action.

I rant, I rave and life goes on... 

Breaking news! Still reeling from its aftershock and again, why? Appended today September 26, 2013 - price for RON95 petrol is poised for 'another' increase in near future and this time it's supposed to also 'help' curb petrol smuggling. Way to go - we will never learn.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Curbing Inflation in Malaysia

In times of inflation, the key investment principle to remember is to protect your wealth from being depleted due to inflation. But just how do we do that when investment returns on i.e. savings & deposits are even lower than the perceived rate of inflation?

While the wealth of the government is not the wealth of the people, we shouldn't be shocked when they decide to reduce and/or remove subsidies - in other words telling the people to spend more of their (the people's) wealth on things that the government feels is right.

Facing reality, ready or not, inflation is a growing problem in Malaysia and continued subsidy rationalization will only make it worse. But wait, isn't it the government's top priority to curb inflation? I guess not!

I for one am already experiencing the aggravated effects of the recent increase of 10% in the price of petrol.  High petrol prices sets off inflationary pressures that have a dramatic effect on us (The Rakyat) making us suffer from a rise in prices for the Essentials (Food & Water, Housing and Electricity). When prices are rising and up, they stay up! Need I say more?

Elsewhere in the world, petrol prices are closely watched as they have the ability to trigger a spiral of rising prices. When that happens, what happens? INFLATION INCREASES!

While this article may not be picked anytime soon by the brains behind the latest price hike, I hope that whoever does will at least make sense of why inflation should be curbed.