Problem Keeping Still

Godammit! My tripod broke just when I was taking photos of the Revoltech toy. It happened when I was securing the Nikon D50 to the tripod's clamp. Not sure what happened but I held the camera and then felt it loosen. Luckily, by reflex, my fingers grabbed onto the camera or else it would have fallen on to the floor.

Having a closer look, the plastic snapped off due to stress, I guess. Still, I am glad it happened because if it happened at other times which I was not that lucky, it would be bye-bye to everything. I had this for more than 15 years and it was my first tripod too. It was already broken in some areas but it was not that critical. But when the clamp broke, it was beyond redemption.

So, for the moment, I can't take night shots or other stuffs, especially with the heavy zoom lens under dark lighting. I just wonder how much a new tripod would cost. Maybe less than Rm100 and a bit heavy ones la. They should not costs more than RM 500 to RM5,000 kua.

This is the plastic which clamps on to another plastic piece
screwed to the camera's base. This allows me to quickly
detach the camera from the tripod if I need to

Snippets of conversation

Kristine: Mommy, why is Daddy taking this road?
Mommy: Because we're going home
Kristine: Why are we going home?
Mommy: We need to go home to rest. Tomorrow, Mommy and Daddy got work
Kristine: Mommy got work, Daddy got work, Kaelynn got work, Kristine also got work!
Mommy: Kristine also got work?
Kristine: Kristine got school work!

Pandemonium in the Kitchen

OK, frankly, our response to this sight were Worlds apart. I
said, "Wow" and rushed off to get my camera. My Wife? She
started scolding, that's all. For the rest of the night, I made
sure I stayed far far away and try to help as much chores
as I can. Ha ha ha haha

Low respect for the Expert

There is one thing I hate about paying for people to "help" install things and not getting our money's worth. That is why we make sure our service calls do not give our customers that impression what we're unprofessional.

Take for instance one of our customer today. They had a very old door access system and required us to re-install it for them. Because this is an unfamiliar system to us, we decided to seek help from a local distributor as there was no other option. The first thing I sensed trouble was their statement, "....and after we installed it, and it does not work, we will still charge you for it, OK? Its because this system was not bought from us". What the heck. I was not happy to hear that because although it is the truth, she could have rephrased it in a more pleasant way, namely, "We will help you as much as we can. And if some things do not work after that, we will advice you what the next step is. You must understand that this is not our customer and therefore, we do not know the condition of the system or its history. Nevertheless, we would still have to bill you for our services".

The first visit last week was bad because asfter looking for all the remaining parts to the system, our customer finally revealed the bigger picture and so, we had to revise our quotation for them to get a new system instead of using the existing one. We could have sold them a new system altogether but since we engaged this installer, we decided to stick to their brand or end up paying for nothing.

Another complain that I had was the fact that there is an arrangement between our company and theirs in the sense that for that chargeable call, they will teach us how to install the second unit and supervise us. Well, since the "expert" arrived early, I told him not to start the job as my techs have not arrrived yet despite his busy schedule. I need my guys to learn this. By the time I arrived, they were all at it. By lunchtime, he was still at it.

I was quite pissed hours later when he told me that he has, "done his part but the magnets to hold the doors are still not functioning and he has to go". So, he advised me to, "Please call my office and arrange for a technician t come and troubleshoot the next day." Wow. I stood there, shocked and pissed, looking at this guy, who was decades older than me, who should be having more experience than me (instead of calling on his mobile phone for help all the time) and who shoud professional about it, took his bags and headed for the car. But common sense prevailed and I just said my Thank Yous and wish him well.

Then I turned to my Senior Technician and gave him two choices; either we "run" as well, continue with our calls and wait for him to come back later in the week, OR we wait for him to leave and then we try to troubleshoot this ourselves. I was so glad he chose the latter. So, for the next few minutes, we probed and theorised the problem. Eventually, we found out the reasons why the door magnets were not working. Once was that the "Break Glass" Emergency switch had broken glass which disabled the magnets (and also, the possible cause as to why the guy left in a suspicious way) and the other were wrong wiring on both systems. Once we sorted these out, we programmed the system and briefed the customer. There was no need to tell him the truth about the installed because this is not the way we work.

Maybe its luck, maybe its just us. But just poring over their manual (OK, a piece of paper) for a few minutes, we solved the problem in minutes what the expert could not in hours. I do not want to brag too much nor diss him (because, tempting bad Karma is not a good thing) but it might come back to me one day. And that fat punk could be younger and smarter than me. Still, we both felt like the Top of The World.

At the end of the day, I was very sure my Senior Tech was happy because he also solved the problem, which gave him more confidence. My Boss? He was happy as hell too because now, he has more confidence that we can handle this new brand of door access system.

What I liked about this unit was that the keypads do not have
any switches and therefore, no moving parts. Its using the new
touch-capacitance technology. and its very fast responding too.
This desing also makes it effectively a splashproof keypad.

And when I turned the keypad over, I noticed that uses one of
the Microchip processors! These are also the same ones I use
for my projects! I could not examine the board further as it is
glued becausue I am very interested in how they designed the
touch sensors. Still, I am going to talk to my Boss so that he
can help me buy one keypad for my own R&D. By the way,
this Keypad is Made and Designed in Malaysia. Its a very
famous name for years.

Kaelynn and Grandpa

I was a bit late this morning because while I was about
leave the house, I saw Kaelynn trying to help Grandpa
removing the tyre valve caps so that he can check for
tyre's air