Tuesday, June 01, 2010  


I always eat breakfast in front of my computer in the mornings before I leave for work. Last Wednesday, I turned my computer on when I woke up as usual and then went to brush my teeth. When I came back, it was stuck with nothing on the display and both the Power and Hard Disk LEDs were lit.

I didn't have time to fix the problem, whatever it was. I turned it off, and went to work, hoping that the problem will go away by itself by the time I return home from work. But just to be safe, I took leave on Thursday, in case I was in for a long session of what-the-hell-went-wrong.

The problem didn't go away. On Thursday, I took everything apart and brought my CPU, motherboard and RAM for testing at Commonwealth. Everything passed, there wasn't anything wrong. I went home, took my display card, and sent it for testing at Albert Complex, next to SLS. There wasn't anything wrong with it neither. By then, it was about 3pm and I have an evening appointment, so I couldn't bring the only component that was still untested - the PSU - to Ubi for testing.

Friday was a public holiday, so I couldn't send the PSU for testing.

On Sat, I went down to Ubi with my PSU. I've been there before, but this time, I found a much quicker way to get there. It used to take me 90 minutes, now it took me only 45. Anyway, I was praying that the PSU was indeed faulty. Otherwise I was going to tear my hair out - every component has been individually tested and they were all working.

Anyway, as it turns out, it was my PSU. I honestly didn't think it would be the PSU - the fans were spinning, the hard disks were humming along, and the DVD-ROM can open and close. I managed to get a one-for-one exchange on the spot. I also managed to get a free motherboard speaker.

Remember in the past when there's a buzzer on the motherboard that would beep during POST so you'd know if something was wrong? Over time, as motherboards got more and more complicated while the ATX standard remained the same (ie. less motherboard real estate), so the buzzer became a bunch of jumpers and the speaker moved to the casing. Nowadays, most casings no longer come with the fugly speaker. Which means, you wouldn't know even if POST discovers something wrong with your system. I never realised this until the guy who helped checked my CPU/motherboard/RAM pointed it out to me. If you're in the same situation as me, I suggest you get the speaker for your motherboard. Google it. It's a small device for you to connect to the jumpers on the motherboard.

I took the opportunity to change one of my hard disks, which I suspect was dying. Kinda disappointed with Western Digital. Anyway now I have a total of 4.32TB of disk space. Pretty amazing how far we've come. My first computer, which I bought 13-years ago, had only 1.2GB and it was considered to be huge at the time (most hard disks were 500-800MBs then).

I've been with M1 for 10-years. Ever since my first mobile phone when I was in Poly. Starting today, I've switched to SingTel.

I'm not really a fan of SingTel. All the three telcos have a $25.68/mth plan which I believe is their mass-market plan. I believe the plans from M1 and Starhub are exacting the same. SingTel's is slightly different. Truth be told, SingTel's plans are kinda outdated. They don't include MMS as part of their plans and don't have per-second billing. I would not consider Starhub due to their poor reception (is this still the case?), and frankly, M1's mass-market plan beats SingTel's hands-down.

However, I think sometime last year, SingTel came up with something quite clever. If you sign up for their plans without buying a mobile phone, and hence not being tied to them by a contract, they would double your outgoing minutes and SMS.

This changes the ball-game. This means, for the same price, I can get a total of 1000 SMS. This is more suitable for my current lifestyle, and I decided to switch over to SingTel. There's really no risk neither, since I couldn't buy a mobile phone from them, I am not tied to them by a contract and I can switch back to M1 if necessary.

So for those of you who exceed their 500 free SMS every month, you might want to consider SingTel's no-contract plans.

^^^ by Locksley @ 9:46 PM. 0 comments.
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