Friday, May 29, 2009

Acer service is just poor

Bought my Acer Travelmater 3280 in 2006, warranty period of 3 years, ending in March 2009.

Starting 2007, I keep having problem whenever I tried to play games. The screen just freezes in the middle of the games and I have to shut down and restart. The windows would then report possible corruption in the HDD and I have to wait for it to finish scanning unless I skip it. It does not happen when I do browsing and other stuff, just with games. I went to fix and voila, they change the fans on the spot (this is a good time where such service is still there). Unfortunately, I never played games for soooo long that I thought it's fine.

In 2008, I played RTK IX and I realized that the same problem re occur. The screen will freeze and same old issues. Went back to them, luckily still warranty. Given them the laptop and waited for nearly a week for it to be fixed. Thought it's a display card problem and they replaced.... the motherboard. Stupidly, I never played the game anymore so I can't test the repair, can I?

Now... recently I started playing Star Trek Armada II and Star Trek Legacy. Guess what... same old issues. But now I realize the problem.. for Star Trek Legacy, when I set the setting to 800 x 600 screen resolution and 2 x aliasing, I have 1 in 10 chances of freezing. Any better setting = 100% chance of freezing. Amazing thing is that Armada is from 2001. So, there is in no way normal ATI Radeon X1400 can fail to perform. Not in my case though. Sadly, I thought I should just stop playing, after all it's beyond warranty. But then, the screen starts blanking off (fading) for few seconds and then returning to normal... and two nights ago, I can't start the laptop. Perfect.... the warranty is off in March. They really count and probably create the high probability of laptop dead after warranty. What irates me simply is that the main issues is the same old issues they NEVER manage to fix it for me. They told me I have to bring it back within a MONTH to get the claim. Guess what, the terms in the letter I sign actually says 90 days, so the service guy does not even say the same thing as the letter! And in my case, it's a random happening and only when I play games. How the heck such a 90 days term will work in my case? I forces myself to play games for 90 days? Yeah right....

The basic issue is still the same and no matter what I would think a reasonable manufacturer would consider that into their costing and warranty. But for ACER, at least in Singapore, it just doesn't work. Worse is the fact that the system does OVERHEAT all the times. It's well known with ACER laptop and it's really my fault not to read the reviews before buying it.

I decided that it is just not worth it. After this repair, provided it's not so expensive, I won't return for the next repair. And I am very sure I WILL NOT BUY ANY MORE ACER.

Acer just does not seem to be keen in cultivating good customer experience, provide crappy service and you just have to be without your computer for few days (or a week) for them to repair. Unless of course, you like being without it or abstaining from computer.

Acer Service in Singapore

I have just returned from delivering my Acer Travelmate 3280 to Acer Service Centre in International Business Park, Singapore.

Let me give you a straight fact right, that many Acer purchaser never knows unless they visited the service centre for repair: NO ON THE SPOT SERVICE.

I repeat: There is NO ON THE SPOT SERVICE.

The service given is basically filling form and submitting the form along with your laptop / desktop / whatever to them and go back. So in fact, it shortens your wait and cut their cost on Saturday at least since they don't need to employ many staff to handle.

Just now I heard a Filipino couple who was confused by the inexistence of on the spot service. They claimed they were told (or perhaps reading their terms and conditions), that there is on the spot service. Do not be fooled. There has not been on the spot service since early 2008 as far as I know.

And as far as I can understand, normally your terms and conditions allow the supplier to change their terms any time without telling you. Well, not sure of other countries, but this is Singapore.

What the couple said while taking the form (something like this): "No Acer laptop again!".

Thursday, May 28, 2009

H1N1 in Singapore

H1N1 finally hits Singapore. The student from one of the university returned from New York with cough and missed by thermal scanner (not really missed, she is without fever after all) and then visited GP after developing fever. To be sent to CDC at TTSH and confirmed as first victim.

After that, came salvo of curses from some people shouting at her "foolishness" and "selfishness". They think that if she has not returned, there won't be H1N1 in Singapore. They seem to miss the point that today's global world is so interconnected that despite of what people do, pandemic will travel. Illness will reach everywhere, provided the transmissibility is good. Even mathematical modelling assuming 99.9% travel restriction into the country only produce delays of 2 months for pandemic to reach the country! If it's not her, it'll be definitely someone else.

She in fact has been quite responsible for going to doctor, revealing her travel history. I think people should realize that she acts correctly as the government never forbid the travel in any case. She has weighed her risk by travelling to NY. Government has weighed the risk by not banning travel. They all know non symptomatic person can infect starting 24 hours before symptom and not all symptomatic person has fever. Both sides know their risk, they accept it. Now that incident happens, it should be remedied and reacted upon. The importance is the reaction and quarantine not laying blame.

Election in Indonesia
Presidential candidate, Megawati states that Indonesia should have a long term plan. I think I would probably applaud her for saying something obvious. However, I would then question her memory and fitness for president. She has completely forgotten that she was Indonesia's past president and she did not produce, suggest or have any. Good point taken is that she seems to have changed. Good for her. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced by any of the presidential candidate as none actually shows a vision or even outlines a long term plan.

Despite all his brokenness, Suharto set 25 years long term and 5 years short term plan. His ability to continue ruling maximizes the execution of his plan. Not sure whether fake or not, his plan once made Indonesia one of the top rice exporter before it became importer and now, the plan to export has been coined once again since it seems that there is enough rice to supply locally. Yet, most of this data does not seem to be backed by appropriate statistics. You see, statistics is not Indonesia's forte.

During Suharto's time, there is census every 10 years. After he went down at 1998, there has been zero census. That's, I think, the main reason for the chaos of this year's electoral list problem.

Unless the public administration is reformed, whatever progress planned will always lag behind. How does anyone know where to focus work if the data on what work is lacking, is inexisting or inaccurate?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fu Ji duck rice in Cafe Lobby, Yew Tee

Ate my dinner of a duck rice set meal, SGD 2.70 from Fu Ji duck rice stall in Cafe Lobby, Yew Tee MRT station.

The duck rice comes with half taukwa (soya bean curd), half egg, 3 slices of cucumber and 5 pieces of duck. And a bowl of soup.

Yeah, you read it rightly. It's FIVE pieces of duck meat. I don't even need to glance more than 2 seconds to finish counting. The duck is pretty much on the low side of taste, lots worse than Yu Kee duck rice you can find from Koufu in Yew Tee Point. The bowl of soup tastes like light soya sauce (salty) diluted with water then doused with lots of oil. The oil is pretty much on my lips and if there is any, the herb hint is almost inexistent. The taste of the glorious soup is not there at all. Such a sad serving of duck meat and sad soup, I don't think I would want to return there.

Fair trial does not exist

The coroner court on the case between David Hartanto Widjaja (Indonesian) and A/Prof. Chan Kap Luk (Singaporean) is finally ongoing and the stories really get interesting. The latest news is

David allegedly stabbed his final year project's supervisor, A/P Chan before then jumping to his death. However, the family disputed the event and calls for fair trial, where they said the truth about a conspiracy behind the event will emerge. Unfortunately, woe to them, up to today, witnesses claiming direct involvement in the alledged stabbing, from bloody David and A/P Chan to David's jumping, support the allegation that David jumped to his death on his own accord. There is even a video recorded by a handphone allegedly showing David sitting on the parapet of the connecting bridge before jumping down. Now, the family did not accept that the person in the video is David and disputed the account. They wanted to get digital forensic expert to examine the video. Great effort and I applaud for that. They continued claiming that this is not a fair trial and there is a conspiracy behind the death of the beloved son.

Now, this case causes me to re-examine the term "fair trial". Frankly, while following this case, I realize that generally media tells story they want their audience to read. News in Indonesia tends to run contrary to news in Singapore. Interestingly, people also forms their own opinion based on what they perceived to be the truth. One side of the podium sits the people thinking of a good student gone haywire due to online gaming and stabbing his nice supervisor. On the other side of the podium sits the people claiming conspiracy theory where David's final year project is of great economy value and the supervisor planned to steal it by killing the student. These people could not have sat in the opposite of a wider and deeper chasm. After all, the thoughts they have are so much ingrained that it seems to be quite difficult to sway them to the other way. The conspiracy theory group for example, calls for a fair trial to be conducted to reveal the conspiracy theory.

Wait a minute, there is stark mistake in that call. How can it be a fair trial if the final result of the trial (that it is a conspiracy theory) has been decided? I really don't think these people will accept any results other than a conspiracy theory. That's why I don't think they won't agree that the trial is fair unless A/P Chan is proven to be the aggressor. They miss one obvious point though, trials are going to result in one version of a story, not two, not three. The trials are set by the witnesses, the judge and the lawyers. It is often a fight between two opposing theories. People can only say it is a fair trial if they see the trial with open eyes, not one eyes closed. In this case, unless there is a witness with contradictory witnessing and standing up in the witness stand, I am afraid that the "fair trial" sought by the conspiracy theory group may be hard to manifest.

A trial will always be directed. If by definition, a fair trial is where cases are examined by allowing truthful account of the situation to be brought forward, then there won't be a fair trial unless people accept that the witness gives a truthful account. If the crowd has decided a version of the story, it would be very difficult to see any "fair trial" at all. Hence, I don't think fair trial will exist for them. It is like searching for cat in a compound of dogs (forgive me of my crude analogy). This observation applies to all cases where people demands for a truth where the court provides the opposite, regardless of how truthful the court is. Cases where court is directed and fake group of witnesses are produced are also not uncommon in many places such as Indonesia. In such situation, it will be the victim, the sufferer who will be at the bad end. So will they get a fair trial? Bet you they won't. The witnesses pretty much also gives opinion of what they feel they have seen. It's not a completely objective view in any case. The court will always be steered by the witnesses. Strange thing I find is that the witnesses can attend the witnessing of others. I feel this approach helps steer the later witness to a common points. I may be wrong.. but one thing I am confident is that fair trial does not exist for people who has formulated their mindset to the opposite of the court results.

I pity the "victimised" and can only hope for their serenity in getting on with lives.

Latest news from Indonesia news:

The family lamented that non of the witnesses so far describes what happens in the emergency stairwell, which David used to run down to the bridge, his condition before falling and what exactly causes his wound. There are few things they have not considered before sounding their complaints:
1. Being in the building that is connected by the bridge for more than 2 years and in NTU for 7.5 years, I can confidently say, emergency stair well is not normally used. Students like lift, it's easier to get to places.
2. The area is deserted unless it is a lunch time. It is not improbable at all that no one passes that area. I remembered clearly that few days ago, a student from Iran claimed he tried to persuade David to come down from the parapet before then he left him to call for others to help. So, there is actually someone near David before he jumped.
3. The alleged stabbing event occur in a room where only two people were present and one of them is dead. How exactly can any other person describes what happen except the only living one? Too bad for them it's the supervisor who the family thinks as part of the big conspiracy theory.

The witnesses so far seems to have been from the other side of the fence. It would be good to hear what witnesses the family can call up since they claim that there is a witness claiming to hear David screaming "They want to kill me". I will wait for the witness, it will be interesting.

Praying for peace in everybody's mind.