Friday, January 25, 2008

My First Jakarta Experience

Well, it's not much of an "experience" anyway, since I popped in and out within 2 days, and I barely got a look at city.

So, unlike my previous blog entries, which many of you complained is too long winded, here is it in good old point form:

  • Ibis Tamarind is quite a bad hotel, the most is 3 stars to me,
  • There is this crazy food court in some high class shopping mall, ala Siam Paragon or Pavilion. It was like Jayoga setting, with food court prices! It has faux waterfall at the entrance, and the variety/quality of food was amazing,
  • I like the local food, or at least the ones I have at the food court. I don't think the food is as hot as some claimed,
  • Gado-Gado rocks! I love peanut sauce, (
  • Driving around in JKT is mad. I told myself that I would have died many times over if I tried driving there. Honks are more useful than signal lights, and weaving in and out is a standard practice, even but large lorries and buses,
  • Many people at roadside "helping" you with parking and costs around Rp5000-10000,
  • Got Absolut Vodka 1L at JKT airport for USD14!
  • Liquid item is strictly disallowed in cabin, must check in or discard. Apply to all airports now,
  • Sport shoes are suppose to be very very cheap (Nike 50% less for latest model?), but my schedule did not allow for any shopping,
  • My customer was super duper nice people! Brought me out for dinner (more like hijacking me, suppose to send me back to hotel only), and would not let me pay,
  • Had one piece of J.Co donut, thanks to Rudy,
  • Had fried fish at that dinner (yum!),
  • Weather was baking hot,
  • My Bahasa Melayu is almost useless there,
  • You see the Polisi everywhere, at shopping malls, middle on the highway (no kidding, like a small post).

So there you have it folks, looking forward to Medan trip...!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


My 595's screen (not the LCD) cracked... For no reason. This is not a good start for the new year...

I had the 577w for yonks and never had any issue with breakage (except for the stuck button), and I trash that phone like mad. My 595 was sitting happily in my pocket this morning, and then when I took it out to read a SMS, there is this huge 2 inch vertical crack, just as I am suppose to fly off to Jakarta for work... some luck huh?

So what's next? My top list is now BlackJack II + WM6.1 (if that is going to happen ever), Motorola Q9h, Palm 500v - in that order. Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hmm... This is getting way too "interesting".

Today, I cannot get on the client's proxy server using FQDN, but only Internet Explorer. Well, if you know, if you cannot get proxy setting working on IE, everything else will fail miserably, example, F5 VPN client, Live Messenger, and the works.

Freaky thing is that, Firefox still likes the proxy using FQDN.

What to do? Had to switch to IP address of the proxy server now. And before you tell me "can you resolve the FQDN name by using PING/NSLOOKUP?", and answer is yes, yes and yes. Other than IE, everything else recognizes the FQDN of the proxy.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Further Glitches

I got to document this down while it's fresh....

From day 1 (well, that's 2 days ago), my newly Vista imaged lappie cannot get on my home router. Cannot get DHCP address to be exact. In case you are wondering, it's a WRT54G 3.1 with Thibor firmware. Super solid torrent router.

So it was like getting APIPA, and never successfully got on. I tried at work, no problemo. DHCP worked perfectly. Come home, DHCP no go.

So here comes the merry-go-round. Typing "Vista+DHCP" in Google yielded many horrifying results! And most glaringly, this...

Windows Vista cannot obtain an IP address from certain routers or from certain non-Microsoft DHCP servers -

I told myself... but I have a Vista PC permanently tethered to the same router, DHCP enabled, no issues. I had a Compaq V2000 running on Vista since RC1 and RTM, no problem as well.

And to make it worst, some people claims that the KB article got the registry value wrong:

DHCPConnDisableBcastFlagToggle vs DHCPConnEnableBcastFlagToggle -

Anyway, neither worked. Even tried to disjoin from the domain so I could manually stop Windows Firewall.

No luck.


By chance Problem Reports and Solution told me to update my wireless NIC drivers. BTW, my D630 has a Intel 4965AGN. Even provided a download link to V11.1.1.0_VT_DRIVERS.ZIP. But deep down in my heart, "Yeah right, as if updating drivers will ever help."

Guess what.

I will investigate further, to isolate whether it is because of the registry key, or the drivers. But as of now, it seems like the drivers is the one that did the trick. And yes, I always reboot after having a registry change. Twice or more, matter a fact, after each change.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vista Observations Continued...

Hey all,

As you IT professionals go, MSTSC is the next best thing to sliced bread. Some of yer, like me, were cursing like mad when Vista introduced RDP client 6.0 and the new authentication mechanism.

Here is a very good FAQ I stumbled across... No more this!

Go have fun...

Long Adieu...

It has been a rough journey, and the wait was excruciating.

Finally... Vista on my lappie! Eat that (for all your Vista whiners)!


Although I have to admit not without quirks.. Although I had been using Vista since RC1, and I have a Vista running on my gaming (!)machine, these are the odd things that I am trying to figure out with the Avanade build:

  1. DHCP problems with my WRT54G on Thibor - Applied but not fully working yet,
  2. "Route add mask n.n.n.n" does not work anymore, instead, use "route change mask n.n.n.n", some of you guys sitting at customers would know what this is about... (talk to me if you are not sure....),
  3. Firefox keep prompting a million times when trying to authenticate with the ISA Server (as proxy). It does work eventually, but blardy annoying...

Many other colleague have complaint about the UAC thing, the non-local admin thing, and "slow" thing... All user problem :P

Will report back with more observance.

p/s the DVD boot works like a charm... the WIM image got loaded in less than 30 mins!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Umai-Ya - Revisited

Went to Umai Ya, this time the Uptown outlet. Actually did not plan to eat there, but... well...

Anyway, it was for Joey's friend who just got registered. The ambiance was very nice, and the pseudo Tatami experience was fun for Isaac, since he is at the crawling stage.

Again, didn't plan that was buffet either. I started too shy, and the waiter come back with my first round order ...saying... " might want to just get a whole set of this, this and this...". Forgot to mention that there were 8 of us :P

Umai Ya have proven that they have the freshest ingredient around! We had this fried fish, and it turned out to be so juicy, we had 3 more!

You should see the amount of food we had... I am sure the tauke got quite "am-kook" because of us... Each one of us sure got our RM45 worth back.

My personal favorite from the session was the Dragon Maki and Salmon Sashimi. The Dragon Maki is a set of rice roll, with prawns in front and and the back, just like a Chinese dragonboat. It's crunchy yet juicy!

Only minor complain....

  1. There was this lead waiter, which I nick name Wang Li Hom. Because he got this American accent. And he's was quite snobbish-ish...
  2. Some waitress keep dropping/spilling stuff, like one of my Dragon Maki was gone just like that...
  3. Have to keep track of the last order time (I think 2.30pm)
  4. Some dishes does take come time to prepare, so order plenty, early ...but ...
  5. Not too much as there is a 500g/RM5 wastage charge. Although I guess RM5 cannot buy 500g of top notch salmon though... But imagine a neglected Soba Soup.... (which we almost did... Good job WY of finishing it!)

Will definitely revisit again with another crowd... anyone want Japanese? 

Monday, January 07, 2008

Immigration vs National Registration

I had the following mission objectives today:

Primary Objective: To renew passport - to be completed at all cost by today!
Secondary Objective: To change MyKad/NRIC home address so I can vote in my own constitution (more on that later).

As most mission would go, the primary objective usually takes about 80% of the effort, and "by the way" 20% effort would be devoted to the secondary.

Since I would out that JPN (National Registration Department) is next to the Immigration Department in Wangsa Maju, I decided that the secondary objective should be very much within grasp.

Such irony.

To start off, let me explain why I chose Wangsa Maju branch. It's mainly due to Patrick Teoh fantastic experience (, so might as well follow la. If it's good enough for the big man, shouldn't be an issue to me.

Anyway, reached there by 10:30am, took my form at Counter 1, found out that I forgot to photocopy my MyKad/NRIC, walked next door (where there are plenty instant passport photo and photocopy kiosks). Nice lady in the kiosk even had a stool and table and walked me thru the form.

10:40am, walked back to Counter 1, got a number, sat down for 5 minutes, and my number was called! The officer was a energetic man, make some cute comment about my picture and the fact that I am born in Brunei (I always get that rubbings anywhere I go....), then quickly processed my form under 5 minutes. Told me to wait for my number to be called again for payment.

11:00am, payment time at Counter 7 or 8. Then nice lady asked me to wait for around an hour to be called to collection Counters 17 and 18.

Looked at the board, my number was around 20 away from being called to collection. Hmm. 1 hour? Can ar.

Went out to mamak, had a very quick roti telur and Milo ais, and came back around 11:20am. Checked the board, only 3 numbers away! 5 mins later, my number was called, and new passport was in possession!

Wow! I am *very* impressed! That's an hour from tip to toe! And its not like that the place was stone quiet as well, there were quite a bit of people around, and seats were 70% full.

Anyway, next door, JPN, the story was way different. I took a number, which was like 40 numbers away, and I sat there for 10 mins, NOT EVEN A SINGLE DIGIT moved! Hmm.. that's not good. Sure a buzz killer compared to the service level that I got few minutes back.

Then I realized something else, for all MyKad/NRIC related operations, I always have to go back for a second trip to collect. OK, out I go, and back to nearest JPN to my place, which is Komplex Desa Kepong.

Go there around 12pm, took a number, which was again 40 odd numbers away, and was told that I needed some official documents to prove my resident address (i.e electricity bill). She told me don't bother to come back until after 2pm...Hmm.. WTF?

Went home, got the documents, went back at 2pm. Checked the numbers...WTF (again?), still 40 odd number away? My heart sank. This is not going well. Waited until 3pm, only 5 numbers crawled by. Irked, I went out to had a walk and some light food. Came back 30 minutes later, still around 20 odd number away.

My turn finally came about 4:30pm, and greeted by a mumbling auntie that keep saying that "40 mins from killing time...". (WTF...). On we go. Finger print scan, failed again. Right finger, failed. With a stern look, she told me.... "I would need to detain you for trying to fake Johnathen You have wait a little bit longer than usual, about a month plus". Ushered to take a new digital photo (another queue...sigh), and was released.

Came out around 5pm. That's almost 3 hours man.

Anyway, here is my low down of these departments:

Immigration JPN
Energetic, diverse crowd. Team work can be seen. Old, mainly nearing retirement age Malay ladies.
Fast back end processing, immediate result. Got smart chip inside the passport also ma. A month just for a card?
Fully manned counters. Only 4 out of 10 counters manned.
In uniform. Professional attitude. Very casual clothing. Laid back attitude.
Systematic. Counter 1 = Form/Query, Counter 7+8=Payment, Counter 17+18=Collection. Very confusing. Counter 4 for query? (long queue somemore...) No number call back, have to listen to name calling.
Serve all policy. "We are out of numbers for the day, come back tomorrow." Happened about 3:30pm, and many people was turned away.
Good/minimum queue number system. 1xx and 5xx. Weird system. 1xx, 0xx, 6xx, 7xx, 9xx
Consistent progress. Very easy to calculate ETA. Unpredictable. Numbers were crawling from 2-3pm, then sped up around 3:30pm, and flying from 4pm onwards.

By the way, when I went to Metro Prima Kepong's Post Office to update my voting constitution number, and here is what I got...


214 in front of me.... But at least they are opened until 9pm...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Nissan Bluebird Sylphy, not the Teana...

Paul Tan just came back and told me it's the new replacement of Sentra that I shot... Something to look forward to?