Monday, December 3

Seas of people all over Penang...

The weekend that ended November and started December, the final month of 2007, has concluded and what an eventful one it was for Penangites and her visitors. Congregations of people can be spotted at various locations including at Sg. Nibong (for Pesta Eskpo that began last Thursday, 29 NOV), Padang Kota / Esplanade (for Boria shows etc during the Program Merakyatkan Seni Budaya (PMS) by KekkWa in collaboration with Pemuda Umno) and at PISA Bayan Baru (for the 3rd PC Fair season of the year, organized by PIKOM).

And I happened to be at each of these, plus two other wedding reception ceremonies during the short span of two days and two nights, so it was food, music, long walk and people watching for me all weekend long! While Pesta Ekspo and PMS managed to pull tens of thousands of people each day, PC Fair with 118 participating vendors (the 2nd largest PC expo in Malaysia after next week's in Kuala Lumpur, I think!) was able to garner 100,000+ people in a single day seamingly, at least from my observation on Sunday, its final MEGA SALE day. Check out this snap of heads there, cramping like clogged pipe (psst... captured using the very camera just purchased there just minutes earlier):

And aargh.... I just found out that the tablet notebook I bought less than two months ago has been replaced with an upgraded model (with slightly better Athlon CPU), and this new model retails for the same price plus all the same goodies (an extra 6-cell battery and an optical mouse). How fast these tech items you bought get devalued! With my good thumbs up, my good friend ended up buying eight pieces of this upgraded model for his staff, spending some well over RM20,000 in one place. I on the other hand kept my spending minimal to no more than RM1,000 because I was reserving for more purchases at PC Fair KL next week...

Talking about gadget buying, I must express how disappointed I am with e-commerce (online mail order) in Malaysia. While I used to get items delivered within the same week or much faster back in the US, the 3.5G phone I ordered nearly two months ago (from two separate vendors that have been approved by credit card companies of Ambank, MBF and EON Bank) still hasn't arrive, and both vendors seem too lazy to acknowledge much of the delivery status to me either via phone or email -- I ended up canceling on of the two orders and requested an item change with the other, but this vendor still failed to deliver within the five-day promise. (TIME TO CANCEL THAT ORDER and head to a local shop today!) Oh well, I also first learned at Penang PC Fair after long conversation with Celcom and Maxis vendors that after all the brouhahas I've heard about Maxis and Celcom now delivering 3.5G/HSDPA, it turns out that the service hasn't even reach Penang (or reach out of Klang Valley), bummer!

C'mon local telcos: Only 15% or so of Malaysia's population live in Klang Valley!!

Can't wait to get my hand on a 3.5G unit soon though, so I can start testing the service first-hand, now that I'm about to ditch TMNET Streamyx after a full-year of bad experience as it nears its 1-year contract expiration. Besides, I'm also thinking to ditch Digi for either Celcom or Maxis considering that after nearly two years with Digi Business, I can't believe the company's still (OVER)charging me for SMSes at 15-cent per outbound text message to other providers (while SMSes now cost for 1-cent or less each with most other plans and with other mobile providers)! But perhaps I should wait for Number Portability to arrive in Malaysia, supposedly sometime in 2008, so I can keep my vanity phone number (one that spells both my own personal name and one of my company's brand name)...

Now that the weekend with its back-to-back parties ended, it's time to shift back to work starting tomorrow morning, finishing up procrastinated stuff and gearing up for business meetings here in Penang and Kuala Lumpur before I continue with a full week of 'outstationing' in KL next week, for more and more events of course - Sif00-Microsoft Meet, KL PC Fair (about double in size or larger compared to Penang's!), i4D Film Festival, World Electronic Media Forum (WEMF3) and the Global Knowledge Event on the Future (GK3).

Then, it's back to Penang for MiRC ICT Week, and I'm already in the mood for a long Eid & Christmas holidays right afterwards -- gotta start to plan my holiday's travel now!

So how was your weekend my good reader? Feeling adventurous? Join me in KL next week!

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