IT in Malaysia

Onions, IT crisis and recovery

I went in to buy some onions – they wanted ID – like my passport.  Naturally I don’t carry it, so I showed some made up ID and it was OK. Well, it’s getting ridiculous, but not quite that bad yet.  Actually I was buying a modem, but I was amazed.

Tropical Expat has had a tough week.  Among other things, he used to work in IT networking, which is very handy for setting things up around the home too.  But this week the server failed, then the backup failed, then the backup of the backup also failed.  This means losing more than 20 years worth of data, photos etc..  After four days struggle trying out many different ideas I managed to recover the most important of the data.

In order to rebuild the server I needed at least three new 4TB hard disks.  In Malaysia it is hard to get anything that the majority don’t want or need.  Mobile phone are everywhere, but most IT stuff is a generation behind.  So rather than aiming for 6TB drives I thought I would have to settle for 4T B. They manufacture a lot of IT equipment here, but don’t really sell it locally, and rather export it.

Gurney Plaza is mostly a wasteland in terms of IT equipment, so I went to First Avenue. Western Digital had closed their shop there, which made it difficult., as they had the products I needed. Only one shop, Thunder Match, had a 4TB drive. One. They phoned their Gurney Plaza shop to reserve the one they had in stock for me.  None of the other shops in First Avenue, Prangin Mall or Komtar had 4TB drives. I asked about 30 shops.

new drives

new drives

Of course, there is eBay etc., but I don’t want to wait.  And if something is broken it is difficult to get repairs. So, I have two hard drives and can make a RAID 1 array, at least. When the ordered drive arrives I will have three, and can convert to a RAID 5 array.

But the big surprise was that the equipment I bought in First Avenue had much higher prices for exactly the same items in Gurney Plaza.  A 4TB hard drive was priced at RM468 in FA,  but in GP was RM539.  And the external hard drive that was RM539 in FA was RM599.  Normally no one will give a better price when you ask, but at least going to FA first saved RM130 for two items.