Archive for August, 2008

31
Aug
08

Wind of change coming my way

I made a BIG decision last week when I was in Singapore, in regards to my work. Actually before I went to Singapore I already being scheduled for a job interview there. On that day I rushed from my work directly to Fullerton hotel for the interview. Gosh I was so nervous because I have not gone through any job interview (as interviewee) in the past 10 years! My palm was sweating and I don’t know what to be expected.Its a European company which has production, sales, and R&D centers across the world. Market leader in modern energy. (Can’t reveal more at the moment)

The interviewer consists of 3 nationalities: German, Denmark and India. The whole interview session lasted for almost 1.5 hours and by the time I walked out of the room i felt so exhausted πŸ™‚ I would rate my performance only a 7/10 because there were several questions that I didn’t manage to answer properly. But I think they liked my character as I was being honest and straightforward to them. During the interview, unconsciously I always used the word ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. The guy stopped me and asked why I phrase my answer in such a way, then I realized it and told them that I have been working with my team so its always a ‘we’ and not ‘I’. I thought it was wrong for me to not emphasize my value, but they told me they appreciate it very much, they want people whole can work as a team, because in their company there’s only the team, and no individuals. So I think I strike a home-run with that, unconsciously πŸ™‚Β  Anyway I didn’t put any high hope of making the cut because I felt that the gap between my capabilities and the one that they were looking for was quite substantial.

But next day the agent called me (the arrangement was done through an agent), and said that they accepted me and told me the salary that they would be offering. Its quite a substantial increase from what I am having now (even without considering the exchange rate). But after some discussion with my good friend/colleague in Singapore, I upped my request and finally they accepted. And they gave me some reallocation allowance too, although I didn’t ask for it. Such a generous company. As part of the initiation/training program they will send me and other newcomers to Denmark for 2 months, that sounds excellent for me πŸ™‚

I was so anxious and I don’t know what I should do next, because my boss is currently arranging my visit to Japan in order to discuss my future career path. Finally I decided to talk to my boss openly and he understood my rationale behind the decision and agreed with it. I know he must be very disappointed with my decision to quit the company but ultimately as a friend he hoped that I can have a brighter future, as compared to what is possible in the current company.

All in all I was very grateful for my boss to accept my decision whole heartedly. Its never an easy decision on my part but after considering many things (work prospect, pay, my wife, parents etc etc), I felt that the timing was right for me to have a career change, and hopefully a good turning point in my life.

My girlfriend was so shocked with the speed of my decision. πŸ™‚ The man that she knows always lived in a comfort zone and very seldom make a big decision in such a speedy manner. She worried that I will be ‘downgraded’ when I took up the new job because it seems like I am will not be involved in management area, instead I will be specifically assigned to a particular functional area. But I talked to her that one can excel no matter in what condition, as long as we work enthusiastically and of course smartly. She always thought that I wanted to work in Japan with present company, and I would definitely reluctant to work in Singapore. All in all I managed to surprised her, something that only happen once in a blue moon πŸ™‚

Anyway, I have yet to tender in my resignation, because I have yet to receive the offer letter from the company as they need some time to prepare it. I hope next week I can receive it, and then I shall inform my management officially of my decision. Nonetheless, I have inform my boss (2 of them actually) about my consideration, I don’t want to come to office and just give them the resignation letter, I think I have been working with them for 12 years and they been taking good care of me, so I should at least let them know what’s going on, as a sign of respect to them.

Well, I am definitely looking forward for the new challenges, Its time for me to breath in ‘new’ air, European air that is, after inhaling Japanese air for so long πŸ™‚ Everyone that I know, who walked out of the Japanese ‘door’ to European/American company told me of the big culture difference, so its about time for me to find it out.

I will disclose more about my new employment in due course, after I put my signature on the dotted line πŸ™‚

Cheers!

31
Aug
08

Anwar wins in Permatang Pauh re-election

Yes! Anwar won the Permatang Pauh’s re-election by a very convincing margin. I don’t really understand the whole political scene in Malaysia as it is very confusing right now, but I think his victory shows that no matter what the government says about him, he is still well supported by the people (at least the PP people).

What can we, or at least I can look forward for after his victory ? Frankly I am not sure…. Of course the opposition’s power in the House will be much greater now as they have their inspiring leader leading the charge. Hopefully there will be a much more check-and-balance in terms of how to govern our beloved country.

On the other hand, everyone is talking about the possibility (or the lack of it) for the opposition to topple BN come 16th Sept. I am not sure it is a good thing or not if It really happens. Will there be another 513 incidents ? I am very much worry about this because lately still some stupids from both side of the camp taunting racism speech and thoughts. We are now into 51 years of independent and yet still such idiot exist in our country. All these political instability is not going to help the people to get through daily’s life easily. With the price of everything under the sun is going up up up, lets hope the government (whether BN or PR) will pay attention to serving the people, and not their own political interests.

Well, lets wait and see what will happened eventually. I hope that everyone will be rational enough and don’t get emotional with the political scene in our country. Lets leave the political issues to the politicians, we shall judge them on how they serve us, and If they are screwing us then we should make sure we vote for the right people next time.

On a personal level, I just hope that I can go through my life in a safe and progressive environment. I wish that everyone will be treated fairly (if not equally), regardless whether you are Ali, Ah Kau or Sami.

By the way, Happy Independence Day!

Cheers!

31
Aug
08

My new phone :) Samsung I550W

Just came back from 2 weeks of business trip in Singapore. My whole body is very stiff now, got to go for massage later πŸ™‚

Sorry for being lagging in updating my blog. It is impossible for me to update my blog during office hour, and in the hotel there’s no free internet access (they charge SDL 1/minute which is damn ridiculous!) On and off I managed to ‘piggy-back’ on some open Wifi connection but since I am staying on 12th floor so its hard to get a constant and fast connection.

Anyway, several things happened during the period I was in Singapore, so got to spend some time to update it here, in several posts.

First of all, yay got a new phone for myself πŸ™‚ Samsung I550W. I like it very much although initially I wanted to get myself a smartphone Samsung i780. But since my finance minister (girlfriend) is with me when I bought my phone obviously I will make a much rational choice πŸ™‚ Here’s the photo (took from some other website but its exactly the same)

The reason that I choose this model is that it is light, quick response, bright and nice 2.6″ screen, stable OS (Symbian S60V3FP1), and It is feature packed : Wifi, GPS, 3G. Overall the price/feature/performance of this phone wins me over, compared to Nokia E66 or E71 or other models.

After 1 week of using it, i would say that I am quite satisfied with the phone, although the track-ball type of navigation needs some time to get used too, and I have not successfully try out the Wifi and GPS feature. None the less the phone response is much more faster compared to my old N70 phone.

I spend SDL 510 on this phone, bought from Little India’s Mustapha shop. Unfortunately when I thought I got the best deal in town then I saw advert on Singtel, which offering this model without plan for SDL 495, and to my further disappointment, my colleague’s husband bought the same model few days later in COMMEX (sort of IT fair in S’pore) for SDL 460. Huh!!!! Anyway, life moves on πŸ™‚

Later I got to buy a LCD protector, as well as a phone case, otherwise it will be scratched easily.

Hopefully this time around I will not loss my phone again…..

Cheers!

18
Aug
08

Vampire electric load

I heard this phrase ‘vampire loads’ when I was watching a documentary on Nat-Geo. Unfortunately I was in a rush so was not able to finish that program. Today I googled the term ‘vampire loads’ and found lots of article about it. Its quite interesting, and hopefully after you read through you will better understand how your household electrical products consume electricity, and from there you can reduce your electricity consumption, hence reducing your CO2 footprint.

Read on…

What is a vampire electric load?

A vampire (or phantom) load is the electric current consumed by an appliance when the appliance is switched to its labeled “off” position though it continues to draw electric current to perform functions other than its principal ones. The industry uses the term “stand-by” for this mode, although the appliance labels the mode as “off”.

When an appliance is switched “off”, doesn’t that mean it is disconnected from the electric circuit?

Not these days. Most recently-manufactured appliances continue to draw current–usually at a substantially reduced level.

Why do appliances have vampire loads?

The vampires power convenience features, such as touch pads, remote controls, memory presets, instant-on function, and digital clocks as well as background functions of set top boxes that download program information.

Are the electrical requirements fixed by the nature of a particular convenience such as the remote off/on feature?

No. Some brands and models operate these features much more efficiently than others. Many appliance models are unjustifiably wasteful of the electricity they consume while switched to “off”, due to engineering designs paying insufficient attention to energy consumption.

Are there differing kinds of standby?

Yes. For example, computers have a “sleep” mode and an “off” mode. Both draw smaller amounts of vampire current, with the “off” mode typically drawing the least. Computers in their “off” position, draw up to 9 watts. A few still include a true off like your old 486 PC did. Computers in “sleep” mode range between 1 and 83 watts, with 21 watts being typical.* Many other electronics also have three levels of power draw. For example, a printer may draw six watts when switched “off”, twelve watts when switched on without operating, and twenty watts when printing.

Do vampires reside only in electronic equipment such as TV equipment and computers?

No. Until recently, major appliances had been fully automatic in that at the end of their cycles they shut themselves truly off by automatically disconnecting from the electric circuit. Recently-manufactured washers, dryers, and dishwashers, including the Energy Star rated models, have vampire loads ranging as high as 5 watts. There seems to be no contemporary model that truly shuts off at the end of its cycles, and many do not include a manual “off” switch, but some do.

Five watts seems so small, so why worry?

Liken it to a dripping faucet. Over the course of a full year, the Energy Star clothes washer model with the 5 watt vampire load uses less electricity when washing the family’s laundry than it uses when idle but left plugged in.

Are there other paradigm shifts recently in addition to the one for major appliances?

Yes. Before the era of cordless phones and answering machines, the phone company paid the electricity costs for phone service under its centralized control over the electrical requirements for phone service. The burden is now shifting further to the consumer in forms where the consumer cannot control it. In our testing we found that Verizon FIOS, for example, will cost you approximately 11 vampire watts for each FIOS component installed in your home.

What’s the scoop on those “wall warts”, my plug-in transformers?

The most obvious vampires, plug-in transformers like those used to charge batteries or to operate a cordless telephone or an answering machine, are modest offenders. They usually draw less than one watt when not charging or operating the appliance. They are often visible and convenient to unplug when not in use.

Should I be concerned about the total amount of the vampire load in my home?

Yes. Studies show that standby consumption is 10-15% of total household electricity consumption. The newer the appliance, the better the chance it harbors a vampire load to operate its convenience features. The individual vampire loads range from a fraction of a watt to over 40 watts, so you are likely to find your appliances account for 10% of your total electric bill when switched to “off”.

Are there types of appliances that are standout offenders?

Yes, the set top boxes (cable boxes) used by cable and satellite TV systems have large vampire loads. The loads range between 10 and 48 watts when switched to the “off” position. Mini audio systems average 8 watts and go up to 24, powered subwoofers average 10 and may include no “off” switch of any kind.

Do Set Top Boxes vary by type?

Yes. Digital units with recording capability draw the most, over 45 watts when switched to the “off” position. Non-digital boxes draw about 10 watts when turned “off”.

What solution is there? Simply unplugging the set top box when I’m not watching TV means I must wait through a lengthy warm-up time when I plug it in again!

While that is likely the case, try using a plug-in timer to schedule the set top box to turn on before you normally begin viewing TV, and to turn off when you are normally asleep or at work. This approach would serve you somewhat like a programmable thermostat.

By how much does the large size of a single vampire load matter?

45 vampire watts feeding off your electric power bill for a year totals nearly 400 kilowatt hours–enough energy, according to DOE, to operate a new 21 cu. ft. Energy Star refrigerator for 10 months.

What should I do?

● Educate yourself about this subject and share what you learn.
● When your appliances will not be used for a period of time or the whole family will be away from home, unplug those you can.
● Use power strips for shutting off your computer and its peripherals, audio-visual equipment and other suspected groups of electronic equipment each evening and when not in use. ** (Caution: Some flat screen TVs contain a cooling fan which may remain on for a few minutes after the TV is switched to “off”.)
● Assume any appliance with a remote control, a digital clock, a touch screen or soft-touch switches or controls has a vampire load, unless there is an additional mechanical switch on it.
● Always buy Energy Star appliances, and look for the occasional brand offering a true “off” switch, usually found on European brands.
● Try to live without the level of TV cable service that requires a TV cable set top box or acquire as few set top boxes as your family can live with. Unplug those rarely used.
● Obtain a watt meter to test your home appliances, such as P3 International’s P4400 Kill-A Watt. These easy to-use meters cost less than $30 and can be shared with friends and neighbors.

What other ways can I save electricity while reducing my carbon footprint?

● Purchase wind generated electricity. (http://www.powerchoice.com/ProductsAndServices/ResidentialServices.aspx)
● Replace your refrigerator if it was built before 1994 and dispose of the old one.
● Dispose of the extra refrigerator in your basement or garage.
● Increase your reliance on CFLs (compact fluorescent lights).

* Source: Pier Final Project Report, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., Dec., 2007
** The “Smart Power Strips” which became available earlier this year, detects when you turn off the primary
appliance in a group and then electronically powers-off the associated peripherals.

Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition
rvccc.org
(540.387.0930

18
Aug
08

Dream of 1st Olympic gold medal shattered!

I have been very anxious yesterday, as I still ‘mourning’ the lost of my beloved hand phone. I was hoping that at least our badminton player Lee Chong Wei would put up a good fight, hopefully able to win our country’s first gold medal in Olympic, and hence brighten up my day.

The badminton final was between Lin Dan (China, World #1) against Lee Chong Wei (M’sia, World#2). This is the first time our country has a representative in men singles event. I think the whole Malaysia is looking forward to this match as I believe all of us need some goods news, and not news about who is f#$!!@# who’s backside which filled our prime time news on TV and in news papers.

The game started at 8.45pm and I was immediately glued to the TV set, anticipating an exciting game between the world #1 and #2, and hoping that ultimately we will win the gold medal. Lo and behold…. in less than 40 minutes our best bet for gold medal went down tamely to the Chinese player. I am so disappointed that I can’t even have a good sleep last night!

Anyway, come to think about it, its not an easy game for Lee, furthermore it was held in China, in front of tens of thousands of Chinese supporters. When I saw Lee appeared on court doing the warm-up immediately I told myself that he is definitely going to loose it. Why ? Because his face tells it all; one can see that he is having a ‘stage fright’ and he was heavy footed. Well, the rest, as they said, was history…..

To Chong Wei’s credit, I think he put up a good effort in begging our country’s only silver medals. Its tough task, I understand that. I was just hoping that he can put up a good fight, showing the never-say-die spirits such as one shown by Foo Kok Kiong during the Thomas Cub long ago. Anyway, he is a good all-round player, lets hope that he will be able to play in the next London Olympic and hopefully that time we can go for it, again.

Until then, cheers!

17
Aug
08

Lost my phone ! #%*@#$&!*@#%$@#@$%

Lost my handphone (Nokia N70) yesterday, damn it!!! Yesterday we held the 7th lunar month ceremony in our company. As usual in between the prayers we will ask for ‘lucky number’ from the Tua Pek Gong (倧伯公) . Then I jot down the number using my hand phone. After the ceremony completed, I went to the 4D shop opposite my office to buy the number, hoping to strike it big. I took out my hand phone in order to check what’s the number, and I placed the phone besides the counter so that I can write the number onto the paper. Unfortunately I forget to place it back to my pocket, and the rest is history !!! The number I bet on didn’t bring me any luck as well….

I like that phone very much, Its easy to use and very durable. Although I am quite heart-pain with the lost of my RM1400 hand phone, but worst of all is that all of my contacts are in the phone, I didn’t backup the phone before. Die, I don’t know how am I going to get all the contacts back! That’s the most heart-aching part! Luckily I don’t have any hanky-panky photos/videos/messages in the phone, otherwise … hehe …

Anyway moral behind the story

1) Always backup your phone’s contact, don’t ever think you will not lost your phone.

2) Don’t bet, as you will loose more than just your money.

3) Guys, always listen to your girl friend, if she said don’t bet, then don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, actually I am not a compulsive gambler, just an ‘occasional’ gambler πŸ™‚

One thing good out of this is that finally I got a reason to buy a new phone. HTC Touch Diamond, here I come!!! πŸ™‚ (but need to get green light from my Financial Minister first…. dear…. can I ….. can I ???) πŸ™‚

Edit : Now I am looking at Samsung i780, seems to be a nice phone as well πŸ™‚

11
Aug
08

Out of this world scam :)

Every now and then we received scam mails, no big deal. But this one damn funny, how I wonder if anyone would still fall for it since it is so obvious that its a SCAM πŸ™‚Β Β  …. via englishrussia.com

I pray that this email reaches you in the best of health. This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met. The message could be strange but it’s real and you will realize this if you pay some attention to it. I want to notify you about it at least for the sake of your integrity.

My name is Major Greg Boner Moyo, a direct and only remaining member of the wealthy Moyo family. I am an astronaut with the South African Air Force and on loan to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

In 2003 I left earth aboard the Mars Rover, Spirit. Seven months later I arrived on Mars.Prior to departing earth, I deposited the amount of US$ 11,600,000 (Eleven million, six hundred thousand United States dollars) in four safety galvanized boxes in a European financial institution which will be disclosed to you upon your acceptance of my proposal.

Last year, during the course of my research on Mars, I was ambushed by a group of anal-dwelling rebel Martians who inflicted great torturous pain upon my body with anal probes.

After a few weeks of enduring the physical pain, they released me. As a direct result of this cruelty, I am now very ill with a ruptured uterus that has defiled all forms of medical treatment and which has been deemed to be inoperable by my Martian surgeons. I am writing this mail to you on a laptop from my hospital bed in the Martian capitol of Zhwrong.

I now have but a few weeks to live and I am far too ill to endure the long and arduous journey back to my South Africa home. Therefore I have decided to donate the bulk of my fortune to a church or charitable organisation that will utilize this money in the manner which I shall impart to you later. In return for your assistance, I shall authorise you to keep 30% of this fund for your trouble and aggravation plus an additional 10% to cover your expenses.

You should contact my attorney in Johannesburg immediately with your address andtelephone number and he will give you his full contact information and guidance so that we can make arrangements as soon as possible.

Contact Barrister Richard Hardon Baloye
Barristers & Solicitors,
Johannesburg, South Africa
Email:rev.georgeharris2@live.com

Sincerely yours,
Major Greg Boner Moyo,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Elysium Veterinary Infirmary
Zhwrong, Mars
Nano nano




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