My Tecra is now fully operational!

I managed to send it in the late morning, after dumping my boys to the job site and after visiting a few customers, I got my Notebook back, just under a few minutes before closing time! Phew!

But then a though struck me. Why not get another Notebook? Since I still have some friends there, he told me that the offer (the one that lets you pay by installments during the recent PC Fair, ending on 20th April 2008) still stands as long as I want it before May. Which sets me thinking:

1) If I pay by installments, there is no further discount but it easier for me every month

2) If I pay one lump sum, using the credit card, I will get more discounts, more than what is offered on the streets, I guess.

So, you ask, incredulously, with my slave pay, why do I still want to pay for a brand new Notebook which the money could be better used for the family? I was thinking about that too, until I realised that this is my life and no one elses.

When you need something, there are a lot of reasons to support it but once you started to think about it, there are very little sane reasons for getting one:

1) Wife's PC (which I gave to her years ago) is almost completely redundant as the Windows 98 sucks when it comes to printing her reports and using her virus infested thumbdrives. I mean, I have to copy her report to her only thumbdrive (which came with a Windows 98 driver), use my Notebook to clean it from viruses before using it to finalise and print her reports.

2) She had to wait for a long time before she could use any of the virus infested PCs at school. And by late evening, not only does she not get the chance to use the PCs, she does not get her work done.

3) Just recently, they loaned her a Toshiba Notebook for her Melaka course (which also saved my Hard disk Data) which she did not have the chance to use. This one took me most of the day to clear the (about 150 of the) viruses before it was safe to use. I think, once they (the school) realised that I can clean viruses, they might be more than happy to giveher more Notebooks to take more home. Ha ha ha.

4) OK, I think our old Wireless router in the house might still be working and once Streamyx comes in, the Notebook would be a good way for her to get her work done as she can carry it with her to any room (or where the kids are playing). We cannot put in Network cables in the house anymore as everything is sealed up and it would cost too much on my budget to hack into the walls and put in the Cat6 network cables, not forgetting the fact that a Gigabit router costs a lot too. Ha ha ha ha.

5) Maybe I get to play those 3D games too, such as Robocop (yeah, its old), Tron 2.0, Warhammer and other stuff if I am lucky. Hee hee hee hee

So, what Notebook am I getting? Its definitely a Toshiba and no, not the Tecra series (although my Tecra lasted me more than more than five years and still going strong) but more on the Satellite Multimedia series, the ones with the fancy wancy Harman Kardon speakers.

There are other competing brands which were quite attractive, especially the Dell Inspiron or Vostro models but since I do not know anyone there, getting that machine is going to be expensive and troublesome in the long run. I am not touching Lenovos, Fujitsu, HP or even other brands. Because if I want to get this for her, it must be the best and also from the people I know that I can go to.

Sometimes when I wonder why my HDD made so much noise
until I read the label, "Rattle noise is normal". WTF?

Defragging on the new HDD. About 2/3 space is empty! Wow!

My friends copied everything from the old HDD to this one
and now, I can defrag as usually, I get those typical warnings
like, "You cannot defrag nicely because your HDD does not
have the minimum 15% space, loser."

All I can say is, after the new RAM is added and with a new
HDD, some processes did speed up. Such as SketchUp, my
viewing of camera shots, AVG Anti-virus updating, and so
on as usually, my hard disk goes haywire for minutes before
I can get anything done

Being sick in Klang

One of the most obvious downside of being sick, apart from the pain, is the feeling that you're down in the dumps. And its been more than two days that I have this blocked nose and sore throat. Drinking gallons of orange juice (with VITAMIN C! screamed the box) did not help much. And so, while I was in Klang, my sore throat required me to search for another shop that sells orange juice. And after looking high and low for the 7-11, I came across this lady selling some weird stuff. Since I can't read the chinese words, I decided to try my luck as there were other recognisable characters suhc as Ubat (Malay for Medicine).

And as luck would have it, she can speak Cantonese and so I told her my symptoms. She said, no problema and proceeded to her range powders. She took teaspoonfuls of dark brown powder, light brown, green, sand, earth, clay, etc. And then, she mixes it with some warm dark liquid. Oh, and she added some salt for my sorethroat.

"Drink this and your sorethroat will go away very fast. But do not eat chilli tonight or you will undo everything", and so, I took the glass of, medicine, and drank it in one go. Boy, I could not explain the taste except that it made my whole face grimace like the Grinch. It tasted like crushed dried watermelon mixed with earth, some smooth tasteless clay, everything that goes bad in your life and the only saving grace was the mint like feeling that left the whole mouth feeling cool.

"And now, drink this", she told me, handing me a glass of sweetened liquid with a golden tint. I nearly finished it in one gulp but had to save some to rinse my mouth which by now, felt like I had just ate and drank a lot of mud.

More than half an hour later, I realised that my sore throat was slowly disappearing and I can shout at my technicians again.

But the weird thing was, on the next morning, my hands felt like it has not moved for centuries and when I formed them into a fist, there was pain everywhere, as if every muscle and tendon were opposing my command. And for the rest of the day, my hand looked reddish and very tender to the touch. Dipping them in cold water did not even help much.

Pulling Cables

We are already halfway into the cabling project and this week has been crazy. Our deadline is this coming Sunday and we must be at a certain stage of completion. So, my plans for this weekend is shot as usual.

Getting a massage before the big job

Lightning strike!

Here we go again! So, you have been enjoying watching those lightnings haven't you? And listening to the soothing sound of the fallng rain which is perfect for a nap. And the water which falls from the sky rejuvenates plants and clears away droughts. Ah, the beauty of rain!

But wait a minute, there is one problem to this wonder of Nature.

For us in the telecommunications industry, lightning are very dangerous to both service personnel and machines. Any telephone system which is not properly earthed or protected would suffer the full brunt of a lightning strike. The damage from such strike could range from a destruction of a lightning arrestor to a complete system FUBAR. If you're lucky, your damaged lightning arrestor can be replaced. Worst to worst is repairing or replacing a destroyed component.

But what if your system is not fully protected?

Well, say bye-bye and get a new PABX installed as there is nothing much we can do. The cost of just repairing it would almost the same as buying a new system. Either that or the damage is so extensive, its not worth the time and effort to repair at all.

When I first took a look at it, the glass tubes and the
broken relay can be fixed.........

Then when I saw thus burn, right next to the
system's CPU card and databus, I have to
expect for the worst. Turned out I was right:
Beyond economical repair