This afternoon I prepared myself to make a journey to the one place where I was sure to find an answer to the issue of my new Dell monitor not being able to connect to my new Dell desktop. It will finally answer the question of whether my monitor was busted and needed a replacement or whether a simple $1 part was all I needed.
My journey began by making a choice m. I could take a direct bus but that would involve travelling on one of those old Volvo busses or I could travel in the opposite direction to an interchange and then commute to my destination with another service, all while enjoying the comforts of a modern MANN bus.
Well it was no brainer and I chose the latter.
Front row seats all to myself, on a MANN double decker, my mind was at ease to think a bit more about my product. Fortunately for me, in my cleaning frenzy yesterday to set up my home office on the arrival of my new Dell, I chanced upon an old gift I intended for my one of my nieces. It was a fish shaped pencil case. I’ll keep this one for myself.. he he. We all need a thinking fish for life’s tough decisions.
Each person has their weakness, their pressure point. For mine is Korean or Japanese grocery shops. While on my way to my destination, I chanced by a Korean grocer. I tried to quickly walk past it but my feet just went dead as I surveyed the goodies inside. Shortly after, I ended up with these.
Who ever knew that Mung beans would make great facial cleanser but the Koreans? Well since all their boy bands look so pretty , it must be a trade secret! Couldn’t kelp myself from buying 3 different types of Ramen, one seafood base, and 2 Beef based, one with Seaweed and one without. Also no good Korean ramen could be enjoyed without condiments, so I had to get the frozen Korean style fish cakes. As I was browsing through, I found Sour Plum canned drinks on offer. Sour Plum and Lemongrass infusions are two of my favourite drinks of choice so it had to be bought. My backpack was overflowing by now.
Every known (and unknown) computer gadget under one roof.
If there is one place in South East Asia where people from all parts of the world would visit to buy computer accessories, it’s Sim Lim Tower. Inside here are all manner connectors, video cards, normal cameras, spy cameras, computers, smartphones, tablets, laptops – basically the latest of anything computer related could be purchased here. But it also gained notoriety due to a few bad apples who ripped off tourists. But I intended to just buy a VGA cable, and going to Sim Lim Tower for that purpose was like consulting a Harvard professor for help on your kids homework. But after yesterday’s encounter with Challenger which was out of stock on a VGA cable, I was not taking any chances. At the ground floor, a 3M VGA cable was quoted at $17 bucks. I went to the first floor trusting in the benevolence that a Random walk in Sim Lim would lead me to a more optimal solution that the current base case option of a $17 3M part.
If you are a Python programmer, finding stuff is always an exciting moment. I use APL style coding which involves taking advantage of the excellent itertools package that comes as part of the Python standard libraries, a technique I picked up when working for a Scandinavian based healthcare IT company during the earlier part of my career. The price was about $9, 50% lower than the base case solution. The counter staff was pleasant and pretty as well, and in my younger days I may used the Hollywood pick up line: “I can make you famous.” . But I’m much older now and a simple cost time benefit calculation yielded the required solution : Get the part and get out.
But I’ll give a shout out to Sin Li Electronics Trading located on the second floor of Sim Lim tower at unit #02-55. There you will find pleasant staff who are helpful with your request as well as very wide selection of electronic stuff, including all manner of connectors.
Job done, it was time to go home. As I was tired and had frozen seafood in the bag, I decided to cab-it. The “taxi Uncle” as they are known here listened enthusiastically as I related the set of circumstances I encountered over the last 24 hours. An middle aged man , probably in his late fifties, he revealed to be an iApple devotee as he had both the MacBook Pro and a 30” iMac, which he picked up from Harvey Norman. He described his relationship with Apple products as that of being in love. I almost got sick. (Just joking he was a nice dude and derived great satisfaction from watching Netflix on his iMac).
So the events of the last 24 hours came down to this. Did Dell, whom I trust to be a reputable supplier supply me with a dud product (which I thought to be statistically improbable) or a product which lacked the necessary accessories ( which I thought to be highly probable and reflective of lack of understanding of the basics of brand management.)
And it worked. The issue was that I lacked a cheap $1 part cable which was not shipped as part of the standard product package. The total direct cost of this resolution was $40 to me as a consumer, the indirect cost double that including potentially volatile encounters with unfriendly temp staff who are the bouncers deployed across the country. If you notice, the account reads Acer. Was it to remind me of my loyal Acer laptop who will now be a sideshow as I require the computation power of a 3.8 GHz processor with 4MB on on chip cache instead of a 1 GHz feature reduced machine ? Or was it due to a desire to maintain a consistent absolute naming path so that all modules, data and libraries will load without the need for code refactoring? Let the reader decide.
(PS: The support request was withdrawn, which was communicated via email. Tried to call the line to confirm the withdrawal but the company respected Sunday’s off policy, which is a good thing).