Something of interest

I like Forums. You can learn a lot from them and unfortunately, through past experiences, Flaming is just a big problem which can kill a good thread. And like a gasoline-fuelled room, a single spark can start it off.

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Monkeys in the Shop

You know, sometimes it is very frustrating when you need certain electronic components when you're in Malaysia. Its like looking for a specific needle in a can-ful of needles. (OK, its a bad analogy)

So, in order to get that component within a very short time, you can:
1) Go to Pasar Road (Pray before going, of course)
2) Go to Farnell in One (Sent within 7 working days)
3) Go to RS Catalogue (Sent after 4 working days)
4) Go to Singapore, or
5) Try Overseas (Internet)

Pasar Road
This is a place in Pudu, famous for its wet market. The actual name is Jalan Pasar. For decades, Pasar Road has built a reputation where it is THE place to look for electronic components. Whether you're a student, a technician, Engineer, a hobbyist or someone sent on a fool's errand, chances are, most of the time you will find what you're looking for. Occasionally I do have problems decribing what I need because the people manning the counter are not familiar with Electronics. So, I would have to resort to pointing and drawing the parts. And sometimes, I do have to help out students looking for components for their projects.

And if electronics are not your thing, you can still look at the wares sold outside the 5-foot way, fanging from mobile phone casings, to fake batteries, to laser pointers to radio controlled cars. The latest addition to Pasar Road are the Food Court and the Big building (I forgot the name) behind where it was supposed to house all the electronic shops along the street but I heard there was a problem with CF approval since 5 years ago (Building's Certificate of Fitness)

Farnell in One
and RS Components
These are the best guys in business and whatever you cannot find in Pasar Road, you can get them from here. And every year, they have thick catalogues and CD-ROMs which you can take away. (However, every year I have problems with Farnell's as I have to go to their counter and beg and beg and beg....) But all in all, you can be assured of excellent service. Plus, if they do not have the item in stock, they will get it sent from UK to you (after you part with the moolah, of course). Although the price is a bit ackward to some, bear in mind, what you get is the Real McCoy as Pasar Road sell components which are of dubious history. (See, you must know what you're looking for)

Yes, there is another place next to Malaysia. The most popular place would be the Sim Lim Tower and the Sim Lim Square. My friends reminded me something about Sim Lim but I have forgotten about it. It is a paradise to me because of the different LEDs and other (not in Malaysia) components being sold there. I could wander around the place for days without being bored.

The Internet
Do I really want to? I have Farnell and RS. nuf' said.

So, after scouring these places for that part, I came across one shop which deals with that thing. Which that thing was a 80 Lumens LED (Ok, in layman terms, its a blindingly bringht LED). So, for the past three weeks, I depended on them to get the LED which I so desperately needed. Bad mistake.

For you see, after recovering from the daze of seeing all those wonderful bright lights (I am a sucker for LEDs) I began to realise that things were not what they seemed to be.

Week 1
-Introduction of the shop and to the proprietor and staff
-Lots of LEDs and more wonderful LEDs
-Lots of promises too

Week 2
-Promised to get me certain acrylic rod from Singapore
-But rod was of different design and diameter which I refused
-I informed them almost everyday about the rod before his Singapore trip

Week 3
-Promised the LED would be in next week
-Promised the sample LED would have RED, Green and White

Week 4
-No LED, claimed I did not specify the colours only White
-Also, no pricing (Next week)
-Pomised to get them and show me the sample by next week, even though they have heat problem
-She would call on her colleague and get him to call me for the correct acrylic rod, which he never did

Week 5 (this week la)
-No LED because they have problem with their heatsink, which I said never mind because I can solve that problem last week
-Cannot sell the LED because no heatsink, which I repeatedly said, NO PROBLEM!!!!!!! I STILL WANT THAT GODDAM PIECE OF SILICON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Promised to get back to me in 10 minutes for pricing, which she never did

So, it is very frustrating because I have stupidly trusted them for something which I could have gotten it from another source in the first place. But it does make me wonder because I have never seen such inept monkeys manning a company (Sdn. Bhd. some more) which still manage to be in business. Everycall I make, there were excuses and not only that, they never did update me on anything until I call them. The conversation would (roughly) go like this:

Me: Hello, is my LED here?
She: No ler, we dun have it wor
Me: When would it arrive?
She: We're not getting them in since our Engineer cannot solve the heatsink problem
Me: Why didn't you tell me? Anyway, I told you last week that I have the solution to that so its not a problem. I just want the LED
She: Oh, er, but we don't have the pricing from our supplier
Me: "Your supplier"? I thought you said "Your factory"?
She: Er, I'll get the pricing (she panicking) and call you back in 10 minutes *slam phone*
Me: .........................

So, in the end, I am afraid that my project has been severely delayed and I am not sure if I can expediate the process before May 19th. This also means that I only have time for the prototype and not the finished product. Sheesh.

As for the rod, since they refused to tell me the supplier in Singapore (I have friends who can pick it up for me, you see) another friend got me an alternative;

A transparent tube from Pasar Road, of all the places!

So, I've decided to go to RS and Farnell who would get the LED for me after a few days. Only problem is, I have not seen the Blue colour so I am contemplating that for the moment.......