Buying a computer at Low Yat Plaza

Low Yat Plaza

The photo above has an interesting annotation to it. While I was
taking this picture, an American tourist came up to me and said hello.
He had the exact same digicam (Nikon 5700) and he introduced himself
and said he noticed me taking photos using the LCD monitor (which is
how I always take pictures). Well, he said he just wanted to give me a
bit of friendly advice – he told me he’s always used the viewfinder
(the one you have to squint through like film cameras) because that
causes less jitter.

Anyway, yeah, I did notice that I haven’t gotten the optimal holding
position and shutter release for this new digicam right, but using the
viewfinder does not cause any more stability for me, coz it’s a
question of getting to know the digicam and giving the shutter just the
right feather touch to not move the body. Better photos will come in
time, after I break it in..been taking heaps of photos these few days.
Well, anyway, I said thanks for the tip, but told him that I suspect
that using the viewfinder to take photos while standing in the middle
of the road in KL is likely to result in a trip to the hospital. πŸ˜‰ He
laughed and said “Very true”.

All IT Hypermart @ 4th Floor Low Yat

Well, I had gotten all the price lists from the Low Yat and Sungai
Wang vendors twice – Sri Computers generally has the cheapest prices,
but All IT Hypermart has better prices for some and their service is
MUCH better than Sri Computers. It’s on the 4th floor, it might have
been cheaper to pick and shop, but Sri Computers offers competitive
prices and they give discounts. My bill came up to about RM 2700 but I
told them I’m only prepared to spend RM 2250, and after some
negotiations, they agreed to push the price down to RM 2300 and
assemble everything for me (saving me bloody fingers []) and carry everything down from Low Yat to the taxi stand at BB Plaza. πŸ™‚

My configuration is not top of the line, but it’s acceptable:

AMD Athlon XP (Barton) 2500+ CPU
ABIT NF7-M DDR400 FSB533 nForce2 based motherboard
Kingston 512MB DDR 333 RAM
Samsung 52X 24x 52x 16x CD-RW + DVD=ROM combo drive with 8 MB buffer
Maxtor Diamond Max 80 GB 7,200 RPM w/ 8MB cache
Samsung 17″ SyncMaster 763MB monitor
Appropriate casing w/ 450 watt power supply
Sony 1.44 Floppy disk drive
Temporary keyboard and mouse

I chose the Barton for something new, even with a lower rated speed
I figured I’ll give the relatively large L2 512KB cache a run. I got
the 2600+ (Thoroughbred) last time, so I’m going for a different one
this time. The nForce2 architecture motherboard was chosen for
economical reasons, this model comes with an integrated GeForce4 MX and
sound + other misc. stuff I haven’t explored. I know the nForce2 shares
system RAM though, so I got 512 MB, I may add another 512 MB in the
near future. Currently, I allocated 64 MB for the integrated GeForce4
GPU, the largest it can go is 128 MB. Unfortunately, I had to use
DDR-333 instead of DDR-400 RAM for compatibility with the integrated

Anyway, enough about that, I just need to get headphones soon and
the Logitech Freedom Optical (the one I’ve been using up till the water damage incident
[]) sometime in the near future. I love the Zero Degree
Tilt keys, I type much, much faster. My old headphones (which was
recently broken) was the A$ 330 (RM 660) Sony MDR-V700DJ, which I
bought in Melbourne. It has served me well, though it gave me a
hankering for good headphones. I don’t think I can afford that now,
considering I have non-existant income in Malaysia, but I’ll try and
get a comparable one. Enough rambling, let me tell you about how I had
make 3 round trips using a taxi to Low Yat Plaza. That’s 6 trips…and
it’s all my fault.


I got everything back in the first run, but unfortunately I seem to
have forgotten all about monitor to PC power supply cables. I…er,
didn’t know what they were, so I went back to get a dedicated one.
*cough*. Then I came back to the hotel and booted up and intended to
install Windows XP Pro…but I seem to have lost the CD I brought over.
Curses. It was in my resume file and I must have dropped it while going
for the interview. A new hard disk with no OS…how troublesome…only
1 of my 4 other hard disk that I brought along has an installed OS
(others are data only) and that’s Windows Me and it hanged at the
startup screen:

Hooking up stuff at the hotel room

Anyway, the third trip was to Imbi Plaza to get another Windows XP
Pro CD. Oh yeah, what about that “software piracy” crackdown?
Everything seems fine at Imbi Plaza and Low Yat. Well, the last return
trip was a bit of a hassle…no one wanted to take me coz of the
traffic jam and the few that wanted to asked for a flat rate charge of
RM 15 for compensation. I know that’s common practise in KL and it was
peak traffic hour, but I didn’t want to, so I waited for one that
charges based on the meter and you know what? It came up close to the
quoted price too due to the obscene traffic jam. πŸ™‚

Imbi Plaza

Anyway, I’m off to bed…will confirm with XM Expanded Media to see
if I got the position tomorrow. I’ll also post up many photos of
okonomiyaki, from the preparation through the cooking to the final
dish, so if you like things like that, come back tomorrow afternoon.
Well, I see from the stats that Malaysian visitors come to less than 2%
of the total so it’s appropriate to note that my local time is GMT +8.
Oh yeah, I have to pay extra bandwidth fees again this month, now that
really sucks. Someone employ me so I can afford all this.

Traffic congestion…and police with submachine guns in the day, something I’ve only seen Sibu police carry weekend nights.

I’m sorry I can’t reply the comments today…I’m about to fall
asleep on this keyboard here at the hotel’s business center, I didn’t
get a modem so I have to update here…it’s okay, they average 35 Kbps,
not blindingly fast, but it does the job. πŸ™‚ I will reply every single
comment when I update with the okonomiyaki photos tomorrow. Thanks for
the feedback!

Death in the family

My Athlon 750 killed itself yesterday afternoon, may it rest in
peace. The fan somehow fell off the CPU, which resulted in it
overheating. It happened in a couple of seconds, which raises questions
about how hot the CPU was running. My theory about what happened was
that the thermal glue was transfering heat to the surface of the chip,
but with no fan to dissipate the heat, and thus it burnt. I couldn’t
get the computer to restart after that, not that I expected it to,
considering that there was the smell of burnt electronics eminating
from the case.

Christopher’s Indomie Pien Nuk

Well, I woke early this morning to get the motherboard and CPU
replaced. Adrian came by and we went to Christopher’s place, where he
was eating breakfast – pien nuk (basically wonton) with Indomie flavor
packets. He swears it tastes good…I gotta try that someday. We went
to three places – IT Computer Supermarket, I.T. Warehouse and
e.Computers. Very convenient, since all of them are in Clayton. After
comparing the price lists, I found IT Computer Supermarket to have the
cheapest prices. I have to say that e.Computers has the nicest cat
though. Look at it! πŸ™‚ It was lounging around the shop when we went
there. I think it belongs to the owner. Very cute cat and it touched my
hand with it’s nose when I went up close. Furry, furry cat.


Anyway, we went back to IT Computer Supermarket and I got:

AMD Athlon XP 2200+ A$210
Gigabyte GA-7VA VIA KT400 A$158
Kingston 256MB DDR PC2700 A$134
80GB Maxtor 7,200 ATA133 A$195
Sparkle 64MB GeForce4 MX440 SE DDR TV Out A$98
Omni Black USB+Audio P4 See Through Case A$105
GA 008 PS/2 Keyboard A$5

Total: A$905

IT Computer Supermarket

I can’t say that they have good service, but they have some of the
cheapest prices in Melbourne. I got a discount on top of the total
price, so I only paid A$850. I didn’t actually need the hard disk, but
Windows XP can be really anal at times and refuses to start if the
system configuration changes drastically so I got one to be safe. I’ll
enjoy the capacity anyway. I didn’t really need the case as well, but
it has a clear side panel. With lights. And a fan. And front USB ports
and headphone jacks.

I’ll have the 2 piece chicken meal please

Anyway, after getting all that (except the GeForce4, more on that
later) we went to Coles to get some grocery shopping done and then to
KFC. I have to say that KFC really sucks over here. The chicken is so
fatty and soggy that I can barely choke it down. Does Australia use a
different recipe for KFC? It’s a franchise so that’s unlikely, but it
sure tastes like it.

Push down and outwards

Well, after all that, I went back to assemble everything. Getting
the heatsink and fan mounted (haha) on the CPU really took a lot of
effort…until I read the manual. It turns out that I’m just supposed
to align one side and press down and out with a screwdriver tip to
connect the other side. I tried doing that as well but I still couldn’t
get it to connect. I poured over the diagrams. It said “push down and
outwards where it’s circled”. WHAT CIRCLE??? Damn manual should have
never passed Quality Assuarance. After a lot of attempts I finally
realized that I should push at the top groove, not the bottom one…

Don’t look at me! I’m naked! πŸ™

Well, after that the RAM went into the motherboard, the case got
disassembled, the motherboard went into the case, the cables went into
slots and the screws got screwed. I looked at the power button. PUSH.
Nothing happened. Puzzled, I looked around the case. Ah, one of the
power supply cables were not connected. That’s it! I connected and
pushed the power button. Still nothing. My monitor says it’s not
receiving a signal.

Note to self: Edges are sharper than they look

I removed the graphics card (GeForce2 MX – my previous card) and put
it into my old motherboard with the dead CPU. It detected the graphics
card but of course couldn’t boot up due to the burnt out CPU. I put the
card back into the new system. Still nothing. I called the shop – they
were closing at 4:30 pm and it was nearly 4 pm so me and Adrian went
over again to get the motherboard replaced. I thought it was a
motherboard problem, until I read “This motherboard does not support 2X
AGP cards. Only 4X-8X AGP supported”.

Stuff that matters

My old GeForce2 MX is 2X AGP, so that was where things went wrong.
It’s a good thing I read that before I went back home because if I
didn’t, I would have been without a computer the whole weekend coz the
shops all close on Sunday. That would be BAD because I have IE stuff
due next week. Well, long story short, I got back and put everything
together and everything worked! πŸ™‚ Thanks to Adrian for helping out
today. I’m pretty tired now coz I didn’t enough sleep and was running
around Clayton most of the day. So that’s it for today. Yay, everything
runs so much faster now. It’s like my PC had several points of meth and
it’s now raging, eager and helluva tweaked out. Naughty boy.

All riced up and ready to go!

Oh, and if my spelling degrades noticably today, it’s because I haven’t installed spell check yet. πŸ™‚

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