Jan 21, 2009

Fujitsu Lifebook E8420P

17 januari 2009 menjadi hari yang cukup bersejarah dalam lembaran teknologi informasi kami. Setelah menikmati 2360 hari kebersamaan atau hampir enam setengah tahun bersama NEC Versa akhirnya dapat notebook baru.

Edisi terbaru dari Fujitsu seri E yaitu E8420P. Cutting edge highlights:
  • Centrino Core Duo T9400 (2.53GHz, 6MB L2 cache, 1066MHz FSB)
  • 4 GB DDR3 1066MHz
  • 320GB HDD (SATA-150 5400rpm, S.M.A.R.T support, Two Partitions C, D, with Fujitsu shock sensor)
  • 15.4-inch SuperFine WXGA TFT 1280 x 800 pixels
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9300M
Alhamdulillaah sesuai dengan impian notebook selama ini. Pertimbangan memakai Fujitsu karena memang tak banyak pilihan untuk notebook 15.4" selain HP, Vaio, dan Dell (non-Taiwan brand). Kualitas HP dan Vaio memang baik namun agak di luar bajet 2009. Selain itu HP dan Dell membawa bendera Amerika yang selalu kami hindari selama ada alternatif yang sama atau lebih baik.

Modelnya sederhana tanpa banyak kerlap-kerlip LED di sana-sini. Memakai Vista Business dengan mesin ini amat mulus dan tampilan layarnya halus. Diklaim masih orisinil buatan Jepun, insya Allah bermanfaat dan tahan lama di atas umur teknisnya ... seperti saudara tuanya si NEC :-)

Food-Drug Hazard: One Example

Mixing certain foods, drugs can be harmful to the body.

Excerpt from Today 20 Jan 2009 (click left picture to enlarge)

Beware of Sim Lim Square Scam

I WAS in Singapore for work over a few months last year. On one Friday last November, I went to a shop located on the second floor of Sim Lim Square to buy a camera. The salesman, Mr E., was very attentive, and he recommended that I get a Kodak M1033, even though my heart was set on a Panasonic LX3.

Mr E. said that if I did not like the Kodak, I could exchange it the next day for the LX3. When I returned to my hotel, I felt that I still wanted the LX3, and also realised that while the Kodak cost around US$200 (about S$300), I had been charged S$570. When he gave me the receipt upon purchase, he had asked me to sign an agreement that there would be no exchanges or refunds, but I had refused.

When I returned on Sunday to make the exchange, Mr E. said there was no stock, but that I could come back in two hours or choose another camera. When I returned at 1pm, he told me that the stock would arrive only three days later. We then agreed that my camera would be sent to me by DHL as I was leaving the country that day. As I wanted to know the DHL tracking number, I called the shop on Tuesday to enquire. I was told that Mr E. was on leave, but would be back the next day. I was given the same message over the next few days. None of the other salespeople in the shop were willing to help me.

I have raised this matter with the Singapore Tourism Board, but there has been no sign of Mr E. Is this the friendly Singapore I know? Is there any way this can be resolved other than going through the Small Claims Tribunal?

Miss Janet Yu
Hong Kong

Source of the above article: MY PAPER TUESDAY JANUARY 20, 2009

The same story went with me four years ago in mid-2004 when we bought our first handycam. Our choice was Panasonic brand however the salesman insisted on saying that Sharp one is much better performance and quality. Since we were first time buyer and also "part of our mistake" that we did not do sufficient research on the product before we shopped, we were really depended upon the infamous brand as our choice. It was around 7 pm and we were scammed to believe that Sharp model was the ultimate true choice. Salesman promised to replace the item with other model if we are not satisfied in 3 days.

But we found that it was wrong, "winning" features that was uttered by the salesman was all bluff and he quoted much higher price for this model. The next morning we went down from hotel to the shop to ask for replacement but the salesman was ON LEAVE (same trick right ?). Other shop keepers there were not helpful and threatened us to leave their store. We kept on arguing for our right and at last we decided to leave the Sharp handycam on the store. It was not what we wanted !

This case run for about 1 year since we had to travel overseas for business trip. Our credit card issuing bank was notified but they can not do anything. They deposited $1000 to our account for six months until the dispute is settled but since the transaction is legal they claimed back that amount. CASE Singapore can't help much. CASE can help to return the same goods only (no money back, no change). It was really a bad reputation for Singapore largest electronic chain to nurture such a chronic bad habit and service. FYI the shop name is Hi-V Trading at Sim Lim Square.

The scam or dirty trick is always the same. They will spot the tourists (especially those stay in the city for less than a week) or someone which is in a hurry or lack of understanding about the product (market/price/feature) and cheat them. The bad salesman can cheat on the goods itself (especially price), features, incomplete package, fake/wrong accessories, old parts etc. It may happened also to local shoppers.

So .. shoppers be alert! Do your own research first, stick to your choice, and check the complete package (box/accessories/free gift) before you leave the shop especially in Sim Lim Square and Lucky Plaza.

Job losses to cut Singapore population by 4%

Tiny Singapore's population is expected to decline by 200,000 as companies lay off a massive number of foreign workers during a worsening recession, Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse said.

The job cuts, which would include highly-paid expatriates and permanent residents, will hurt domestic consumption and help push the economy into its sharpest decline since independence in 1965, said the report received by AFP on Tuesday. A loss of 200,000 jobs would amount to more than four percent of the population.

Credit Suisse said the economic slowdown in the trade-sensitive city-state had so far been driven by a sharp decline in exports, while domestic demand held up. But for this year, "consumption growth should also slow, in part because of our expectation that Singapore's population will potentially drop by 200,000 by 2010" due to job losses, it said.

"Historically, Singapore's foreign population has tended to expand during high growth periods and contract during recessionary periods," the report said. "Given the strong foreigner population growth in recent years, this trend is unlikely to change in this downturn."

Of the 800,000 jobs created from 2004 to the third quarter of last year, Credit Suisse estimated that more than 500,000 were filled by foreigners and permanent residents. About 200,000 of those jobs were in manufacturing and almost another 200,000 were in the financial and business services. Most of these jobs were filled by expatriate workers who earn more than the average Singaporean, it said. "As a result, job losses are likely to hit the Singaporean economy hard because they affect more highly paid workers and could result in a semi-permanent drop in the population," the report said.

As of mid-2008, Singapore had a total estimated population of 4.84 million people, including 3.64 million citizens and permanent residents, Statistics Department data showed. The rest, more than one million, are foreign workers and their families.
With the impact of falling domestic demand exacerbating declining exports, the economy was likely to contract by 2.8 percent this year, Credit Suisse said.

This would leave the economy in its worse shape ever, after 2001 when it shrank by 2.4 percent. The economy grew 1.5 percent last year compared with 7.7 percent in 2007. Despite the expected layoffs, Singapore's Acting Minister for Manpower Gan Kim Yong said the city-state would still need overseas labour. Gan said that foreign workers allowed Singapore companies to remain globally competitive and contributed to keeping jobs within the country. "If companies become uncompetitive in Singapore, they may decide to relocate to other countries and we will lose more jobs. This will be a lose-lose outcome," he said in parliament Monday.

Source: SINGAPORE, Jan 20, 2009 (AFP)