IT

perennial procrastinator placated – fulfilling new year’s resolutions

For the first time, I actually fulfilled my new year’s resolutions this year.

And how did I do it?

By making a couple of checklists on Google Keep – an app that’s simple and easily synchronises between the PC and phone and tablet.  One checklist is for daily tasks, and the other for regular tasks. An example of a daily task is meditation or going for a walk. An example of a regular task is the gym.  I try to do most tasks before midday, and check them off as I do them.  At the end of the day I clear all checks so the lists are clear for the next day. I don’t beat myself up if I don’t do everything every day; every day is a new start, and I’d done my best.  I don’t need a record of what I had done, only I know I’d done my best for the day. But most days I’d done almost all of the daily tasks and many of the regular tasks by the end of the day.

For one-time tasks I find it better to write on a paper list and cross off when it’s done.  e.g. repairing an item. When the list is mostly crossed off I just make a new list with the remaining tasks, and add new tasks to it as they come up.

So I’ll keep on doing my lists from now.  The days of recycling the same New Year’s Resolution list every year, having largely failed are over. For next year I can only think of one thing I need on my New Year’s Resolution list.  It’ll go on my regular list.

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My Huawei tablet – tales of the undead. Update – but not yet resolved. Final Update – they just ignored me.

FINAL UPDATE

They took the common response to consumer complaints in this country – they promised to do something, and they did nothing, and didn’t contact me.

It is two weeks later and I have heard nothing.

So it appears to me that I paid for a new battery to be installed, but got an old battery.  Perhaps it was “new” in the sense it was unused, but batteries deteriorate with time, and it was not new as in reasonably recently manufactured, the latter being the expectation.  It did not perform as a new battery, but the warranty was so short that by the time I was sure of this the warranty had expired.  There is the chance that the numbers on the battery do not correspond to a date, but they have neither confirmed or denied this.

So, do I save effort and give up, having learnt that Huawei in Malaysia is not a company that cares about its customers, or do I seek lawful remedy?  We’ll see.

Huawei have a couple of interesting products on the market – but other good brands are available too – so obviously I will not ever be considering Huawei again.

UPDATE

21.11.2017  I rang the Huawei repair centre in Burma Road and asked if the figures on the battery represented the date of manufacture.  They couldn’t tell me, so I went there with the device and showed them. They still couldn’t tell me, so they took a photo and told me they’d get back to me in a few days.

—————

 

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.

My Huawei tablet – tales of the undead. Update – but not yet resolved.

UPDATE

21.11.2017  I rang the Huawei repair centre in Burma Road and asked if the figures on the battery represented the date of manufacture.  They couldn’t tell me, so I went there with the device and showed them. They still couldn’t tell me, so they took a photo and told me they’d get back to me in a few days.

—————

 

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.

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.

Favourite ebook apps

I like books, proper books. I really do. But they are heavy to carry when travelling, difficult to deal with when moving, take up lots of space etc. I’ve moved a lot, and thus lugged boxes and boxes of books from one country to another many times. Finally I gave most away to a library and now I mostly ready ebooks.

You can carry thousands and access any or all of them on a small device, read when you have a few minutes spare, such as when you ‘re waiting for something, and with the right apps create a summary of the important points of a book as a separate document. Later you can pick up reading the same book on another device just where you left off on the other device.

I hear the trend is back to real books and away from ebooks now. But the sales increase in the former and decrease in the latter is only minor.

Here I’m going to mention my favourite apps. I mostly read ePub or PDF books.

For cataloging the books: Calibre is great. It has so many functions that I don’t know, but it is easy to use for what I want. It’s free, too. You can buy an app for Android or iOS called Calibre Companion that allows you to access Calibre on your PC, browse and download books. Depending on how you set it up you can access your books from afar too, over the Internet.

For reading ePub books where you want to create a summary: Google Play Books: You upload the books you want to read, and highlight the passages of importance. A separate document of the highlights is created in Google Drive (which you need to have set up) and you can download that in Word format or others. You can upload and read PDF’s, but can’t highlight or summarise the books. GPB will also read you book aloud if you wish, and this works well, too. And can pick up reading the same book on another device just where you left off on the first device. On PC’s, Android and iOS.

For reading PDF format books and creating a summary: Xodo – Or even extracting entire pages into a new document you create. You can in a convoluted way set it up on multiple devices so your reading progress is updated on each device, but I haven’t succeeded. But otherwise a great free app / program for PC’s, Android and iOS.

For reading novels on Android in ePub format, where I don’t want to create any notes of the book: Pocketbook: A free app I use.  Also good for many other ebook formats. I can’t find a homepage, but there are plenty of download sites – or for Android in the Google Play apps.

A free Windows program for reading not only PDF’s but ePUB and some other formats. SumatraPDF.  I don’t usually read books on the PC, but I do read documents with it, or perhaps look through a book quickly.

Kindle: If I buy a Kindle book I often use this app to read it on a tablet or phone, or even a PC if it’s just a quick look. You can use it for reading PDF’s as well – not only for what you have bought from Amazon. I often convert the books to ePub, and then I can use Google Play Books. This you can do free online, or buy a program to do it from epubor. The Kindle app and program is free.

These are the main apps I use, in the order that I use them.

 

 

Voting (for Bitdefender Total Security) with my wallet

My Kaspersky Total Internet Security expired while I was away. I’ve been using Kaspersky for 12 or more years, and have been very happy with it. I intended to continue to use it.

But while the rest if the world is globalising, making it easier to use products anywhere in the world, Kaspersky decides to regionalise.  Hollywood did this a couple of decades ago to extract more money from customers – instead people revolted and we got what they call piracy – people shared with others free, and Hollywood missed out on a lot of revenue.  Did other companies learn from this? Not Kaspersky.  So now I can’t buy Kaspersky anywhere and install it in Malaysia, but am restricted to purchasing in this market, increasing the price. Very dumb.

I researched alternatives and chose Bitdefender Total Security, which is installable anywhere.  So far it seems it’s very good, and even has ransomware protection.

Voting with your wallet and your feet are about the only effective votes you have.  I use them.

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.