Category Archives: General

Live Christmas Trees at Ikea

This is the time of the year where pyramidal-shaped trees are decked out in colourful and glittery ornaments to herald in the season. There is an air of festivity in shopping malls with many retail outlets promoting Christmas sale to attract shoppers.

Ikea Malaysia Christmas trees
Live Christmas trees on sale at Ikea.

Ikea was already selling live Christmas trees when we were there last weekend. They gave out a distinct fresh scent. Seeing them replete with baubles and garlands put me in a celebratory mood. And it is not even December yet!

The Case For Reusable Water Bottles

On our days out, Wuan and I used to buy drinking water and discard the empty plastic bottles afterwards. These petroleum-based plastic bottles are made from a non-renewable energy source. Most of them are not recycled and end up in landfills where they take thousands of years to biodegrade. In addition to that, transporting these bottles from the factory to consumers and then to the landfills burn up fuel that pollute the air.

Using stainless steel water bottle to reduce polluting the environment with plastic bottles
Using this stainless steel water bottle helps save Mother Nature.

Sometime in 2010, we resolved to reduce polluting the environment with these bottles and got a stainless steel water bottle instead. We fill it up with filtered tap water before going out. It has seen better days. I have dropped it on many occasions. Apart from the dings, it is generally very durable and will last for many more years to come. I estimate that we have cut down our usage by 250 bottles for the past two years and saved RM125 in the process. Most of all, we are happy to be able to play a small part in preserving the environment.

Streamyx – Noisy Line, Frequent Disconnection And Slow Speed

The Streamyx connection on my end was plagued with frequent disconnection and slow browsing speed for the past 3 weeks. The speed would become progressively slow after each disconnection. The phone technician came after I lodged the first report on February 17. There was line noise. He referred the case to the Streamyx technician who promptly downgraded the broadband speed from 1.5Mbps to 1Mbps. That solved the frequent disconnection for a few hours.

When the same problem cropped up again shortly, I lodged another report on February 19. This time, the phone technician and the Streamyx technician came. They replaced the phone, checked the line at the wall socket end and then at the point where the line came into the house. The diagnosis was that the concealed part of the phone line was causing the problem and I needed to get a contractor to pull a new line.

They then offered to “repair” the problem for RM80. What they did was bypass the concealed section of the cable and reconnected the line from outside the house to the internal cable. That, too, solved the problem for a day or two. When the same problem appeared, I called the technician and he informed me that the distribution box and phone cable in the backlane will be replaced. In between waiting for the faulty box and cable to be replaced, I called up technical support several times to request for a port reset. That solved the problem for a few hours.

When the problem still persisted after 10 days, I called technical support to lodge another report on February 28. The Streamyx technician called to ask about the problem, then came over to check. At that time, the connection was up and the speed was good. He asked me not to use the wireless router which he said was causing the modem to disconnect. The disconnection and slow speed returned a few hours after he left, even with the notebook connected directly to the modem via the network cable. I borrowed a modem just to check if it was a line problem or modem problem. The same problem persisted with the borrowed modem.

Around this time, the cables at the back were being replaced. After they replaced the cables, they came to check on the line. There was no line noise, but only temporary. It appeared a few hours later in the evening. Pierce sent a complaint letter to TM on my behalf detailing the problems that I was facing on March 3. There was no response to that complaint. I lodged another report on March 6. The next day, the technicians returned to continue with the cabling works. I was told that they were replacing cables to all the houses around the area where I live. Since then, the connection has been downloading at a top speed of around 109 Kbps without any disconnection for the past 12 hours.

It was not the problem with the internal phone cabling, modem or wifi router after all. The speed downgrade was unnecessary. The “repair” that cost me RM80 was needless. The unplugging and plugging back of devices, and the configuring of the notebook broadband dialler when I called technical support to lodge reports were also needless. The problem was never on my side. Thanks to the incompetent TM technicians, I had to endure 3 weeks of Internet hell for nothing.