My Huawei tablet – tales of the undead.

Sadly it seems my Huawei tablet died at about 18 months old. In late July, 2017.

When I bought my Huawei Media tablet on Christmas 2015 it was the only tablet with the specifications I wanted on the market in Malaysia.  And they promised to upgrade the operating system from Lollipop to Marshmallow within a few months.

I was a good tablet for about a year, and then for the remaining seven months plagued by poor battery life.  Plus in the last few months I was also constant plagued by ads on the front screen, and if I flicked to open the tablet 1mm in the wrong direction the ad would open and play a video or more ads would appear.

I’m not returning to the Huawei repair centre after my last experience. Back in April I paid Huawei RM157.90 to replace the battery with a new one – an expensive – because it’s a non-removable battery and thus the battery costs more and I have to pay to get it done – process. But also annoying as I first have to wipe the tablet of all settings and data, as they suggest anyway, then after spend a lot of time setting it up again the way I like it.  It was no better after, but the battery warranty is a laughably short time – they appear to have no confidence in their own hardware.

I had waited and waited for the upgrade to Marshmallow, and checked Huawei’s web pages and others – the upgrade was coming soon.  It never came. Well, It doesn’t matter now.

No shop said they could repair it for a reasonable sum.  They didn’t have a screen available to test it on.  I thought it might just be a poor connection or some small component that needed replacement, but no one was interested in helping – as the screen didn’t display it was stuck in their minds that it was the screen that needed replacement.  I only showed it to them, and never left it with them, and they never opened it.

So now I am back to using my five-year old Asus tablet which still chugs along, and which did deliver the upgrade they promised.  And for a phone – for recently I used the tablet as a phone too – I used a years’ old Motorola, which still works fine – and which also delivered the promised upgrade after purchase.  But while the Motorola works, it can’t do everything I require, and it’s only 3G, not 4G, so I bought a new phone, which I am very happy with.

18 months is the shortest any electronic device has lasted for me that I can remember.  I never dropped it, submerged it in water, or even spoke to it harshly.

It started to work again when I opened it

So the tablet has been sitting around for months dead, but because I never had the chance to get data off it I didn’t want to recycle it. Finally,  I thought I might as well open it up and see if I could see something which was obviously where the data would be stored, then remove this, and the rest could be recycled.  If not, I would just have to attack with a hammer. I charged it up, and checked YouTube to find out how to open it. And, on opening it, Mrs Tropicalexpat touched something inside and the screen came to life and I could use it again.  It worked on and off for a couple of days, and I could get my data off it via an SD card.  At first I closed it again, but then it wouldn’t work. So I opened it again, and it worked again sometimes. Next I did a factory reset.  I couldn’t find an obvious data storage chip, but then I don’t know what I should be looking for.

Is that date looking number a date?

But then I found a nasty secret, or at least a mystery. I’d paid for a new battery, but the date on the battery is 2014-08-03.  Either they didn’t replace the battery at all when I took it to the repair centre for the new battery – and when I bought the device they’d installed an already old battery – or they replaced the old battery with another old battery.  Either would explain the poor battery performance. The part number on the receipt doesn’t match any number I can see on the battery, either. Or this number is not a date.  Or it’s a date using a different calendar.  Did they stop manufacturing batteries for this model in 2014, and thus any replacement had to be old – in which case they should have told me and asked me if I still wanted my battery replaced.  (My answer – “No”).  As I write it’s playing dead again.

I don’t know what to think, so I’ll be off to Huawei to ask for an explanation.


Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 15, 18th November, 2017

The Gurney Wharf project started at the end of February, 2016, which so far is manifested as putting a fence along Gurney Drive, and now dumping gravel. So I will photograph progress from the same standpoint – in front of Bali Hai, which is around the middle of Gurney Drive.

I wrote I was tracking down the government department in charge of the project to see if I can find out further information.  It turns out there are two ladies in an office in Komtar that are in charge of the project.  I visited their office, but they were out.  I was given their email addresses and phone numbers.  I emailed with some questions, but received no reply. One of the email addresses I was given was incorrect, but the other seemed to be OK.  I phoned, but both were out.  I phoned the mobile number of one of them, and it wasn’t answered, but went to voice mail. I left a message, but have received no reply.

The state government prides itself on transparency, so I doubt the progress of the project is a state secret.  I will keep trying.

A few more photos early this morning, at low tide.

From the George Town end of Gurney Drive

looking towards George Town from near Bali Hai

looking towards the mainland

looking towards Tanjung Tokong

miscellaneous matters

A few things.

new Starbucks menu.  There is no “Tall”, which means small, on the menu – but you can still buy it. Just ask.

Exploding soft drink cans are back!  Last time it was the fatter size can – so they switched to these taller, slimmer cans.  But now they are showing the same problems.  Preferably store them where if they explode or leak it won’t be too hard to clean up.

it’s hot work moving mattresses

Check notes when you receive them – including from the ATM.

Durian pizza?  Interesting.


Ans at about 6.20PM here was a sudden blackout for 10 minutes in our neighbourhood.  Plus we got a text today from Telekom Malaysia saying they are doing some work on the Internet connections.  The Internet has been particularly slow this afternoon.

Penang storm damage

The worst I’ve seen by far in the nine years I’ve been here. But it was far worse and compounded by flooding in other parts. Some photos from walking around Pulau Tikus:

car port roofing came off neighbour’s property and landed next door

This coffee shop appears to have closed for business last month, anyway

Lot’s of these bags filled with vegetation ready for pickup

car port roofing

cultivating crepe ginger plants in Penang

Crepe Ginger grows really well here, in pots and in the ground, and produces sprouts you can eat.  If you cut off the head and take cuttings you can easily cultivate it.

Crepe ginger growing

cuttings about 18″ or 45cm long

cut the ends off the leaves and remove leaves near the bottom

get some pots and fill with soil

poke holes in the soil for the cuttings – don’t push holes in the soil with the cuttings

cut the bottom off for a fresh cut – then dip into rooting hormone

put the cutting into a ready-made hole – don’t push it further into the soil – and fill in the hole with soil and tamp down

we put four into each pot – keep moist and in the shade – may take two months to get new growth

cheap chocolate

Four 200g bars of Cadbury chocolate for RM30. This is a good price for Malaysia. The catch?  Expiry date is in just over three weeks. However, I bought some and tried it today and it is just fine, so long as you store it correctly.

While stocks last you can find this on Level 2 of Prangin Mall at a small stall near the lift in the central atrium.  I’ve already bought my fill.  If you buy enough they give you some free chocolate.

I bought multiple bars of these varieties – but others are also available as I write this.

Gurney Wharf Project progress photos No. 14, 3rd November, 2017

The Gurney Wharf project started at the end of February, 2016, which so far is manifested as putting a fence along Gurney Drive, and now dumping gravel. So I will photograph progress from the same standpoint – in front of Bali Hai, which is around the middle of Gurney Drive.

It’s a long time since I have posted on this topic as nothing much seems to be happening.  So I took a few photos the other (early) morning at low tide with my phone – so they are not very good.

I am tracking down the government department in charge of the project to see if I can find out further information.

looking straight out from Bali Hai restaurant

looking to the left from Bali Hai restaurant

looking to the right from Bali Hai restaurant