White SMT LEDs

While I was in Pasar Road, I decided to get some white LEDs that are small enough to fit into the model. The front headlamp can be drilled out and house a normal 3mm LED. But for the bike's "dashboard", it is a different story. I could force fit another 3mm LED in there but it would look out of place or it might jut out a bit too much. The problem is that the two parts (headlamp & handlebars) will glue to each other and stuck to the bike with just two pegs. This means you can see the LEDs if you peek into the crevices hard enough.

And so, the more but preferred solution is to get a SMD (Surface Mount Device) version. This is not only small enough, but would do the job if not, better. The only problem is to choose the correct size since the model part is very small.

For less than RM10, I got 10 white SMD LEDs

Using the USB connector, its very small, but good size
for the model which I will try to cast in clear resin

Testing the LED which a multimeter. Because I do not have
a tripod, you can't see the LED's incredible blinding light.

Kristine's cat

I have no idea what is the cat's name other than
its SA-something-something. All I know is that
she must reorient her "C"s.

Gardenia Delicia. Oh, ya, ya, ya!

After reading The Suan on the Gardenia bread, I decided to have a go at it. While I was in Seremban a few days ago, I found the Butterscotch retailing for RM4.00. And a few days later, at a Petronas Petrol Station, I saw another version, which was the ChocoRaisin. And next to it was the favourite Toast'ems. And then, it all came back to me. When I was working, I used to buy a loaf of Toast'ems and put them in the car, which I would eat on the way to see the customers. And so, a loaf of Toast'ems would last about a week (without going bad or still barely edible). At that time, I think it was selling for less than RM3.00. And in just a few weeks of Toast'ems and water, I lost a lot of weight. Ha ha ha.

So, the fact that I lost kilos eating Toast'ems is not entirely true

Still, that was more than 10 years ago, I think. And they have a few flavours, from apricot to bananas to apple to raisins. Now, I think only the raisin version is left. And instead, we now have the Delicia range on the streets.

This is the new Delicia Butterscotch from Gardenia.
I bought this a few days ago and yesterday, it has
mysteriously disappeared. Eaten straight from bag,
the fluffy-like bread is something new. I found the
butter but not the Scotch........

The ChocoRaisin version tasted quite nice too. It tasted like
those higher quality locally made choco cakes. But if you do
toast it, it would taste like burnt higher quality locally made
cakes. But with Toast'ems fresh or toasted, its still delicious!

Tasting Test
Naturally, I gave some to both Kristine and Kaelynn. Because the Butterscotch was finished, I only had the Chocoraisin and Raisin Toast'ems. And that preferred Toast'ems.

Kristine loved the Raisin Toast'ems

And so did Kaelynn.....

Until I realised she only wanted the raisins.......

The Better Loaf
Now, I have to decide which is the better choice since it is not possible to trust children's taste which can go either way at any time. Since I do not have a test lab nor a mass spectrometer, i would have to use a simple buttered toast and raisin count method.

The raisin content
A very simple test, which is to determine the number of raisins lodged in a slice. This test would determine the slice's ability to produce wine if it was compressed with a heavy load (such as under the steamroller). Unfortunately, since there is no steamroller nearby, a simple raisin count would do.

ChocoRaisin vs Raisin Toast'ems rasin count.
Choco wins with gazillion raisins

The Buttered toast Test
This test determines the slice's ability to withstand a vertical projection in access of 9.81 m/s and still project the correct orientation. However, to make the test more accurate, the test subject would be required to contain both slices in a vertical surface and then initiate the involuntary movement of the test subject via external forces.

In other words:
Get a bumbing fool to trip and see if the buttered bread lands on the right side up.

ChocoRaisin vs Raisin Toast'ems buttered toast test....
The closest to butter would have to be this jar of
obscenely crunchy peanut butter chunks. Both
needs to be toasted as the hardy chuncky cruchy
peanut butter tore them like paper when spreaded.

with the help of Lingams, of course

1st attempt: Choco 0, Toast'ems 0

2nd attempt: Choco 0, Toast'ems 1

3rd attempt: Choco 1, Toast'ems 0

4th attempt: Choco 1, Toast'ems 1

5th attempt: Choco 1, Toast'ems 0

6th attempt: Choco 1, Toast'ems 0

7th attempt: Choco 0, Toast'ems 0

8th attempt: Choco 1, Toast'ems 1
And so, the result is, (apart from a broken ankle, spilt chili sauce and some angry person who needs to clean upthe floor), the answer is obvious: I am out of my mind and I need to buy better shorts. As I have been going at Toast'ems for years, I personally prefer Butterscotch (wat? Were you thinking Toast'ems?) which unfortunately, despite its light feeling, it really makes your mouth feel as if you have swallowed some oily cotton fluff.

Working with girls

This is a weird one. My technician has been trying to solve this problem since yesterday and after the Pasar Road trip, I was feeling quite confident. This customer is my ex-colleague's wife and so, I have to make sure today's trip solves the problem.

It seems that both their Internet speed was crawling and by the time my tech has fiddled with it (and left) both Internet was down. And so, after pacifying the "he said, she said" situation, I decided to try and figure things out. And while doing this, one of the staff, a young girl seemed to be quite helpful. So, from Engineer to Engineer, we discussed the current situation, explored a few solutions and then did a systematic approach to the problem.

Suffice to say, it ended up quite well as the customer was able to go into the Internet until their IT expert comes in April. One good thing about working with girls is that sometimes, more often than not, they are able to spot things that is often overlooked. And not only that, they would persistently try to solve the problem without much fuss or grumbling (or even taking a few beers while they're at it). And so, after showing her how to set IP addresses for the modem, NAS, etc. everything was more or less done. I won't be surprised if the customer recommends her as Employee of the Month. Really. Because the other three staff just literally stood and watched and not join into the technical discussion.

So, the cause could be that the second Internet line is down,
the modem could log on but no data could come
through. So I told
them to call Telekom. Or maybe, their server
is the problem as it
might be switching the data to the second
modem which has the
faulty line. In the meantime, we bypassed
all that and went back to
the basic ADSL-Router-Switch-PC
setting. The rest would be to
depend on each individual PC's
anti-virus (and firewall)

In passing
Customer to the girl: Hey, he really likes working with girls! And he wants to treat you to a drink or even a movie!
Me: Wei, don't get the wrong idea la. She is really good. Besides, I am married already.
Customer: Really? Since when?
Me: Three years after yours. We came to your house for the "Jip San Leong" ceremony.
Customer: Really? [Red faced already] Hey! He's married la! You lost your chance!
Me: Haiya, you, ha. [Now, I am Red Faced]

The 4-Day ISDN Response

I am so damn embarrassed this week. We had a loyal customer whose ISDN line was down since last Friday and it took us until today to solve this problem. Usually, it would only take less than two days if it was critical. But because I was busy with other customers and two outstation trips, things literally went to Hell since my techs sort of adopted a very laid-back attitude towards emergency cases nowadays. Something which I must get it out of their system asap because after the "System Down" situation, the next most important case would be "ISDN down". I mean, if 30 lines to your Office is not working, would you not panic?

The current balun with loose connectors. The other vendor
who dismatled their equipment must have done it in a very
pissed off mannet (since the removal is loss of income)

Me: Whoa! Who did this?
Customer: Must be someone who removed the autodialer
Me: OK, let me see what I can do. [fiddle, fiddle, plug, unplug, etc.] There, all done!
Customer: Thanks.

2 hours later and I am stuck with another customer
Customer: Wei, the line is down again
Me: (WTF!) How can this happen?
Customer: Well, its happened now, so see what you can do.
Me: OK, OK. [Calls up nearest tech] Wei, go to this customer. ISDN down la.
Tech #2: OK, Boss.

Tech: Boss, cannot go la. Heavy rain.
Me: #$%^&@!!!

The new balun and with new RJ45 and RG59 connectors.
And so we eliminated this part of the problem, which
leaves the PABX and or he ISDN cables we pulled 4
years ago. Just to pull them agin from 20-ver floors
to the basement would take a week since we need to
have permission from other tenants due to the weird
building's design where cables are concerned.


Customer: Wei, the Telekom people are here and they tested the line, its OK
Me: Erm, OK. This means the cable is OK.
Customer: Please come over asap, OK? While waiting, what can I do?
Me: OK, see the cable... bla... bla... bla...
Customer: Yeah... u-hmmm... yeah.... Right. Its up again. Thanks for your help
Me:No problem.

a few hours later, the line went dead again
Customer: Hey, come la. Its not working anymore.
Me: OK, OK. (Stuck with another customer, how?)[Calls tech]Wei, XXX need to go again. Check ISDN cable.
Tech #2: OK, Boss.

[From the tech's description, seems like the cables needs to redo and also replace the ISDN Balun. He even went down to the basement to check on the cables, which is not easy because you have forms to fill and take a lot of crap from the building management. So, I got him to purchase the balun and the cable connectors for tomorrow.]

Tech #1: Boss, the cable connector broke la.
Me: What? How can?
Tech #1: Its the same type from the other supplier
Me: WTF!!! How come (tech #2) did not check when he went to buy them?
Tech #1: So how? I can't repair this one.
Me: Shit. Shit! OK let me settle this. I am in Seremban now.
Tech #1: Hurry up, OK? I got other calls too
Me: [Calls up Boss and told him of the situation]
Boss: WTF! Damn! How can this happen! OK, I'll get Tech #2 to buy the stuff, get the tools from the office, then meet up with Tech #1.

Later in the afternoon, with the new connectors and balun, the line was still down. Over the phone, I have advised them all the procedures but its still a no-go. By then, I rushed back from Seremban and went straight to the customer since my techs have done all they could.

Me: Hmm...... this is bad.
Customer: You haven't even seen bad yet. We just launched the promotion and everyone is trying to call us since last week.
Me: OK, I have also tried every trick in my sleeve and it still dead. Anyway, I'll just do some programming here so that you guys can use the backup lines.
Customer: OK. Er, what backup lines?
Me: You know, the ones I told you to keep and not disconnect from Telekom for cases like this.
Customer: Oh-oh.....

After some discussion with the customer, he agreed to set up another appointment with the Telekom people for us tomorrow morning. If they checked the lines at his office and they can make call from the cable, this means the cables are OK and our PABX is suspect. If not, then we will all have to go to the basement to test the line there. And if its really the PABX's prolbem, I (or we) would have a big headache because one cannot simple pluck an ISDN card out of anywhere.

Presenting the OMG-so-expensive ISDN card. For those
who knows, you know. OK? Don't tell other people, OK?


After a sleepless night (where I slept like a log what was hit by a 50-ton lorry and broke into two - I don't even know what I am saying here), I arrived early in the morning as promised. I got one of my tech to come with me as well because I wanted to test the cables myself before the Telekom people arrives. While waiting for my tech to get access to the basement again, I sat down and re-run all the possible scenarios in my head.

And then it hit me (Like a 50-ton lorry hitting a log which broke into two). I was so tired from the two Seremban trips and from the previous customers, I was not "listening" to what the PABX was trying to tell me last night. I ignored the first clue, which was that (here comes the techical part) their backup lines were in slots 4 and 5 instead of slots 34 and 35. This can only mean one thing: The ISDN card is the main culprit.

And I was right. Upon checking the PABX's programming, it confirmed my theory.

So, I wasted today's trip just because I was too tired to think properly where the PABX system was subtly telling me,

"The slot did not recognise the bloody ISDN card, you moron!"

In the end, everything was solved and the poor Telekom man who walked all the way (from God knows where) arrived and made sure everyone knows that he walked all the way (from God knows where). And as usual, I cancelled my afternoon leave (Yeah, this year I have 35.5 days) since there is another customer my tech could not handle since yesterday.

But before that, after telling Boss the good news, I told him I wanted to drop by Pasar Road (to reward myself, la) since he is in a happy mood too. Ha ha ha ha.