Thursday, November 27, 2008

Walk this month

Times flies and November is nearly gone. Below is my result for this month.


I did pretty well, didn't I? So far I found no trouble of getting up only occasionally feel stiffness at my leg muscles I think that must be normal after few days of walk. May be I skip Wednesday next week. I will also try to jog instead of walk fast along the flat section.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Photo Printer

My boy needs color photo prints from time to time for his homework so I shopped this one at last. I just like it small.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What a father can do

Just look at Dick and Rick Hoyt team. Don't forget to turn on audio while watching below. It's a beautiful song by Nicole C. Mullen.

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning
Who told the ocean you can only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life wihtin me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever I'll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He's alive
And there's an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

4 days of walk

This week I have walked every morning from Monday to Thursday, I'll take a break tomorrow.

Now I know better how to control my pace hence my heart rate has been very stable at the uphill leg, I have an average of 133 during last 4 days which is pretty good compare to 153 at earlier walks. The total loop time is around 25 minutes and I don't think I could walk very much faster unless I run.

The refreshing air in the morning is really good even though I may not have had the amount of sleep I wanted the night before. The only draw back of course is the vehicle pollution along the way, there are lots of school buses and the alike in the morning.

I have now experienced a few times interference to the watch I wear during the walk. The interference happened almost exactly at the same spot along the walk path. As my friend Stephen said the watch is a very good EMF detector.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Can I run?

I have done the loop for 5 times now, tried also different time of the day.

  • Saturday after lunch: 29' 24''

  • After work before dinner:26' 56"

  • Saturday mid afternoon: 26' 08"

  • Morning before breakfast with a banana: 24' 57"

  • Morning before breakfast with an apple: 24' 48"

I'm doing better every time at the total time with maximum heart rate averaged at 143.

Now I plan to do this loop every morning next week. I'm thinking in the near future will I be able to run this loop. The first leg going uphill is fairly steep so I think it'll be very tough for my legs.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Customer service before any services!

I thought mobile broadband isn't a solution for me so I went to HGC Broadband to inquire about fixed line broadband. To my surprise they don't cover the building I'm in. I now realize why. PCCW Netvigator has been there early on other providers simply don't bother investing at our building because there are only 68 units it simply doesn't worth the effort.

Now I signed up 3reedom mobile broadband plan. At their counter I specifically asked if I could use FTP because SmarTone-vodafone confirmed in writing that both FTP and BT aren't allowed in their policy. I never used BT but FTP is a must for me to access my server.

The guy there said "OK no problem" fairly causally then I said whereabouts in your printed documentation can assure me that. He then said they won't then another guy said he'll need to phone his senior to confirm this. The final answer was that they have the right to block any IP at their sole discretion so I better try it right at their shop if the IP I want to connect is blocked.

So I did that. They gave me a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 so I downloaded Filezilla there and made connection to my slice. That was my first experience of using a netbook which is so popular these days. I think a netbook is easier for those who don't do touch typing. My hands aren't big but it's a bit uneasy typing on the reduced size keyboard.

The guy at the shop only taught me what to enter for their APN (Access Point Name), nothing else, then I left. I was told that my service needs 4 - 6 hours to get activated. So I waited until near 10pm to give it a try using my MacBook at home. I couldn't get it to connect, the 'Mobile Connect' (it's called Mobile Partner in Vista) application requires input of 'Account Name' and password but I was given only APN to enter.

So I needed customer service before any services. So I rang customer service.

They said there is no entry required for 'account name', password and I don't even enter the phone number of the SIM card to the box for 'phone number' in the setup window, how on earth anyone could figure that out! That's dead simple once I was told what to enter but why can't the HUAWEI E180 manual in the package (manual is generic because other provider is also selling this) has this information or the forms that I signed printed this?

I followed their instruction over the phone and I got connected. The man there said sorry normally it takes about 14 hours to get your service activated, while he said that in fact my connection was working so I said thank you and hang up.

Did speedtest for the connection which isn't too bad.


Below was for PCCW netvigator fixed line

Picture 1

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mobile Broadband not a solution?

I will be tied to a long term contract so I got to be sure that I can have services that I need, so I emailed SmarTone-Vodafone customer service. They wrote back

Thank you for your enquiry.

We regret to inform you that File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service is unavailable from our Mobile broadband service at the moment.

This is disappointing, so my last option is 3reedom or going back to fixed line broadband.

I have also inquired at hkbn and their reply is also disappointing

我們很抱歉 閣下的住址未能列入我們現時光纖網絡的覆蓋

In fact I can see their cable pits along the road leading to where I live. I guess since the last 3 developments, including the one that I'm in, are by a rival developers hence they decided not to invest anymore further down that deadend road.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

3 weeks to find another ISP

I feel like I'm a VIP. I was served by Rosita, Gavin, Tim, Raymond and finally yesterday a lady Becky called from their customer service telling me that they have received my termination form and will come to take away their modem by end of November. [update]..and the latest one Kiki who wrote like human...

With regards to your email, we are sorry to learn of the situation and truly understand how frustrated you must be felt.

Upon receipt of your message, we have checked our record and noticed that our concern department has received your Termination Form, and our colleague has arranged the service termination appointment for you at ....


After this wrangling with customer service I doubt what sort of CRM tools that they are using. It appears to me that none of these people, who interacted with me on emails and phone calls, knew what other people in their department have been doing. I guess it'll be too much of a trouble or costly for them to write down into their CRM applications what they have encountered but I guess there must be some sort of design to alert them what sort of problems a customer is having. May be they should incorporate a large radio button for CRM staff to click: trouble maker be ware!

I now have 3 weeks to sign up a mobile broadband provider.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

My first excercise

I haven't done much in the last 5/6 years now I really need to start again.

I walked the hilly loop near my place, here are the records

  1. 0 - 13th minutes, continuous uphill

  2. 13th - 20th minutes, down hill

  3. 20th - 25th minutes flat ground

  4. 25th - 29 minutes 24:08 seconds a bit up/down before lift lobby

SR383 Red & Blue

From this Heart Rate Monitor watch that Stephen gave me I have

  • Max heart rate 139

  • 10 g of fat burnt

  • Average heart rate 115

  • Total 169 kcal used

Customer Service, tough I know

I kissed Netvigator goodbye. It's a norm for all ISP here that at least a month notice is required. So I wrote to them via their customer login web interface and said

I have submitted termination request form serial no SHP_N ???????. Wonder if you could terminate the service before 17th, which is the due day for next billing cycle. My payment is by credit card which I have now also terminated so you'll not be able to draw fund from that card. Please bill me at my home address instead.

I was kind enough to alert them because they won't be able to draw fund from the credit card that I have also terminated. What I got in their return email from their so called 'NETVIGATOR Email Team' is a standard reply without even take notice of my original email. So I wrote back

Can't you read or you are a machine? Read my original message again in particular " ....I have submitted termination request form serial no SHP_N ???????....".

Answer my question please

I know customer service is tough and these days to save costs their back office is probably in a little town in China or even India. I don't really care but couldn't they train their staff to read? Am I the only customer in town that prefers written communication?

The other night this week I also got a service call from my account manager the poor lady who is assigned to look after my account. She was merely following up if I have received her letter notifying me that she is now the one that I should be contacting for services. Poor girl she had to make that call after 9pm.

Customer service is tough. I gave her another lecture. I said some 2 years ago I gave her colleagues a 30 minutes lecture as to how HSBC should be doing customer service. The bank knows everything about me, my income, where I live and where my work place is. How clever they were to have assigned a Manager, who is based geographically middle of nowhere to the customer, to serve someone who is so close to their other branches at stone throw distance? There are branches near where I live (busiest location on the Island) and work (most profitable shopping mall for MTR alone their lines), aren't these locations more logical? Are there obvious bugs in their computer programme or their department heads all nuts?

What could be true is that I'm not wealthy enough to be served by the Managers located in branches of relatively higher costs. That's fine, they could deny me as customer.

That lady, who obviously was shocked and must have been well trained, apologized over the phone. I said

", no please don't apologize, there isn't any need to isn't your fault, it is your system that caused you the trouble..... I have no trouble at all and didn't feel the inconvenience because I simply put name cards/letters I received into the circular folder (garbage bin) instantly....".

I did say at the end to her that if she really feels that it isn't right in her assignment write me a letter such that I could wave that at someone more senior if they ever make that sort of smart decisions again.