Month: April 2017

Huawei – what a disappointment – and take a book or a pillow if you go there

My Huawei tablet’s battery life had become poor after 16 months of use, so last week I went to their service centre on Burma Road, Pulau Tikus to ask about battery replacement and upgrading the tablet to Android 6, AKA Marshmallow.  The shop in Gurney Plaza promised me when I bought it an upgrade was coming – and that’s almost a year and a half ago.  In the interim I have asked a few times, and was told “soon”. The last time they said I should ask at the service centre.

After a half hour wait for two others to be served – I can’t tell why each customer takes half an hour to be served – they told me the price to replace the battery – RM157, and they told me that I couldn’t get an upgrade to Marshmallow myself but they could do it.  And they would do it for no extra charge when they replaced the battery.

They have signs everywhere saying to backup your data and that they’ll possibly use any data left on your device.  So I did a factory reset and scrubbed everything as I’d have to do a new setup for Marshmallow, anyway.

Mostly because a new battery and the almost two-year old Marshmallow would make my tablet sort of like a new device (for me), I took it along yesterday for the replacement and upgrade. Again I reminded them that they should be upgrading the operating system to Android 6, AKA Marshmallow. Of course, first was a 45 minute wait while they served two customers in front of me.

I returned to pick up the tablet at the promised time, and discovered that picking up has priority to dropping off, so I only had to wait until the customer being served was finished.

And on checking I discover my tablet is still Android 5.1.1,  dated Sunday Jan 17, 2016 CST (China Standard Time, I suppose).  Just the same as when I dropped it off. Now they tell me that is the latest version.  They insist it is. If you look on the web it is not, but perhaps for Malaysia it is.  So I have mentioned at every opportunity that I wanted Marshmallow, and they agreed each time.  And then I find out they have not done it.

I am disgusted. They know nothing. They don’t bother to find out anything. And they don’t care.  They certainly haven’t convinced me that it’s worth buying any more of their products.

So now I am stuck with setting the tablet up all over again just to get it back to how it was before – with no improvement.

I note you can install it yourself. Huawei has provided it Over The Air in some countries – since November 7th , 2016 in the US, for example – almost six months ago. You can download the file from the web.  I may well do that.  But for now I just have to get it set up all over again.

Touch Veggie Delight – vegetarian restaurant

I dined here much earlier in the year, but am finally writing about it.

While I don’t understand the concept of eating “vegetarian chicken” – as you may just as well eat chicken, or recognise you are eating soy, they have plenty of dishes that don’t pretend to be something other than what they are.  I saw an advertisement that states that there is no MSG, and I am pleased about this and that awareness of the toxicity of MSG is spreading.

It’s bright and clean inside.  I went with a group, and we all enjoyed our food.

Details are:

68-1-1 Sunrise at Gurney, Persiaran Gurney, George Town, Penang, 10250 – you can park (using a voucher) on Gurney Drive.
+60 4-217 0158
Open Mon-Sun 9:00am-10:00pm.

night view from outside






my meal

Phones and devices and their batteries

Apparently sales of tablets are now dropping. Even iPads. And apparently this is because the trend is to buy both bigger mobile phones, that can be used like a small tablet (phablet) as well as hybrid laptops that can function either as a laptop or a tablet. So both larger phones and hybrid laptops are selling well.

Having been using a laptop, tablet and mobile for several years, I had thought to continue this pattern. But my mobile’s battery now can last only a short time, being almost two years old, and my tablet, barely one year old, has a much shorter time between charges than when I first bought it. Plus, as often seems to happen, the headphone jack is worn out on my phone.

So, what to do about devices? Batteries are only good for a year, then passable for up to another year. An article I read the other day said that batteries only last for about 800 charges, or about two years. Headphone jacks wear out for me after a year and a half.

I know I could use Bluetooth thereafter, but I don’t want the radiation exposure.

Changing the battery or using a power pack isn’t the answer long term every time.  If batteries were removable like they used to be, that would be fine.  But now they are not, so you pay the manufacturer full retail price for a battery, then the same amount again to install the new one.  Before you could buy batteries discounted from eBay, so total cost was about one-third of now. So, non-removable batteries give more design freedom to manufacturers.  But they’ve made this into another profit feature for them.

Of course, for Samsung this backfired with their inflammable Note phone, as if batteries were replaceable, all they’d have to do is issue new batteries, instead of recalling and replacing all the phones.  It cost them much more, and was worse for their reputation. And there’d be less landfill if batteries were easily replaceable, as people would use their phones longer, or recycle them more.

Rather than have several devices, perhaps it’s better to minimise the number of devices and then change them as needed. So, to follow the trend mentioned above, and have a large phone and hybrid laptop.The PC is also used for reading in tablet format when at home, which is mostly, and the phone for reading when out. This would reduce the amount of time keeping them updated and maintained.

So have only two devices, and keep the PC for quite a long time, but change the other when the battery and / or the headphone jack is worn out.

As for now, while on my trip I retired the phone as its battery life was about 10 minutes, and swapped over to my tablet, which also has a SIM slot, so can function as a phone. I’ve installed the usual apps on it, put in a bigger SD card, and wondered if I should try and update to Marshmallow. I will use the tablet and maybe change the battery and continue with it until the battery life is again poor  or the headphone jack is worn out. Then I’ll follow the above trend if it still seems appropriate.

Hybrid PC’S are still rather pricey, though, so one has to shop around. And when you track down a good device it isn’t necessarily available in Malaysia.  The PC I would buy now is only available in Malaysia in a lower specification than available in the US, Singapore, Germany etc.  In those countries you can purchase the device with a more powerful processor, much more RAM, and better resolution screen. One shop tells me that some customers go abroad to buy for this reason.

I do read, however, that a couple of manufacturers may make phones with a fold out screen that makes them into tablets when you want the bigger screen size. And these could be out in a year or two.  And I’ve seen a screen on Kickstarter, I think, that mirrors your phone but is bigger and quite cheap, so you wouldn’t need a tablet anyway.