28 May 2012

Good Riddance HTC

The nightmare is finally over.

I don't have to use my HTC phones for another minute.

I have two phones that were both HTC Androids, thinking that open source operating system is the way to go.

While I can't say that I was wrong, I was definitely not right. I got the iPhone now and I feel that the IOS is more human intuitive. Much like the excellent Nokia of the old days. Nokia 8210 vs Motorola V66 vs Sony Ericsson T610.

My primary phone was the DesireZ which I got to replace the aging Nokia E90. I wanted a phone with a QWERTY keyboard as I felt that when the on-screen keyboard comes up, there is no more real estate left. After 1 year, the top row of the keyboard is failing. Some times nothing shows up when I press and some times multiple letters showed up with a single touch.

Then there is the battery life. After a night's worth of charge, I am down to less than 40% by lunch time so much so that I had to carry a spare battery wherever I go. Incidentally, I left my spare battery and charger in a hotel in LiuZhou.

It's a sign to move on.

The other phone is the Wildfire. The CPU is so underpowered that everything lags, I have no idea if my last press was registered and too often I ended up either waiting for something that is not going to happen or I press the same button twice, thinking the first time didn't register, and I needed to backtrack.

The handset speaker died and wi-fi doesn't work anymore.

It was so bad that I felt that even the Samsung E1110C is a better phone which I am now using as my secondary phone. 1 week of battery juice though no internet capabilities.

Both HTCs take sucky pictures.

VPN is a hit or a miss as it drops carrier ever so often. Somehow the VPN connection just can't stick.

And where was the Android OS upgrade that was promised?

So anyway, I got the iPhone 4S with a external battery that doubles up as a protective casing. Without enough juice, I no longer need to switch off 3G data just so that I can survive on 2 batteries a day.

All is well again.

p.s. Funny story. When I first got the iPhone, I realised the handset speaker is exceptionally soft to the extent that a phone call is almost impossible.

An hour later, I resolved the problem.

I removed the factory screen protector.

*megatron facepalm*

Here a blast from the past. Enjoy.

- Voxeros

26 May 2012

Bruno Magli 1997 - 2012

After 15 years, I have decided to call time on my trusty pair of Bruno Magli whom have traveled around the world with me.

As you can see, the black coating on the buckle has come off exposing the brass underneath. The heel collar has become quite scruffy.

Still, it was enough for me to ditch this pair of shoes. What did it for me was the elastic band just beneath the tongue has died rendering the shoe too loose for me to walk without fearing that it may fly out ahead of my stride. In fact, it was the excessive rubbing of my heel, as a result of the loose shoe, that scuffed up the heel collar. So by now, you would have realised that the buckle actually does nothing to secure my feet. It is merely a decorative piece.

So here's a few tips on how to make your shoe last. First of all, never get rubber-soled shoes. Once they are worn out, they cannot be replaced. So as comfortable as that pair of Hush Puppies is, I am sorry to tell you that it won't last very long.

OK, so you have gotten a pair of leather soled shoes, don't wear it just yet. Send it to a cobbler to get soled and heeled i.e. add an additional layer of rubber to protect the leather sole. That way, you only wear out the rubber sole leaving the leather sole intact. Regular changing of the heel is especially important as our feet are mostly either pronated or supinated leaving the heel to be worn out unevenly over a period of time. Unbalanced footwear will do your spine great harm.

Speaking of cobbler, I don't really like Mr Minit, I feel that they are just turnkey operators without a deeper knowledge of the shoe. I think even the cobbler at the corner of Holland Village would know more shite about shoes albeit without modern fancy equipment.

I send my shoes to Shunkey Services located at the 3rd floor of Far East Plaza.

Another tip to ensure a long lasting shoe is regular polishing. According to the cobbler at Shunkey Services, Kiwi shoe polish (tin can and tooth-paste version) is actually not good for the shoe as the polish has a tendency to dry up the leather which may lead to the leather splitting and/or cracking over time. Liquid shoe polish are even worse as much as they provide a fuss-free solution. The thing here is not to be lazy and cultivate a habit of regularly taking care of your shoes.

What the cobbler recommended instead is Mink Oil but the word mink brings up images of inhumane slaughtering of these creatures for their fur. I wonder if it is the same when it comes to harvesting their fats. I worry.

Lastly, when it comes to removing your shoes, many of us are guilty of stepping on the heel of one shoe with the other one to remove and then switch places to remove the other shoe. Stepping on the heel damages the heel structure and you will end up with limp heels at the end of the day.

Again, don't be lazy. Bend over and remove your shoes with your hand.

So anyway, thank you Bruno Magli for more than a decade of service. You have done more than taken a grenade for me.

- Voxeros

18 May 2012

Sleeper Bus

I was recently on a grueling business trip to GuiLin and LiuZhou by bus. The return leg from LiuZhou was a whopping 700 km bus journey (12-hour bus journey).

Now, when we mentioned bus, the following image comes to mind:

The usual Economy Class like seats with the symbolic gesture of a 5-degree recline.

Some of us who had taken the luxury coaches up to Kuala Lumpur would be familar with this:

Well, if the first were to be Economy Class, then surely this one would be Business Class. Wider seat, better recline and even a pop-up footrest to boot.

For me during this trip, I ish lagi best. I have the SQ Suites!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, I show you the Sleeper Bus!

Fully lie-flat beds on the bus. The only interesting thing is that you are required to remove your shoes prior to boarding which brought about a problem which otherwise was a really comfortable bus ride.

My neighbour has smelly feet. It was obviously a rather bad problem that the person in question voluntarily wrapped plastic bags around his feet.


Image Credits:; JomNaikBas! @ Photo Crew via

- Voxeros

10 May 2012


It all started with this:

As we all collectively rolled our eyes at the excessively diabetic sugar-coated mollycoddling, a twitter hash-tag was started to celebrate it.

That is my contribution. Heh.

- Voxeros

08 May 2012

SpareOne Emergency Phone

Imagine a tornado heading your way and everyone is down inside the basement seeking refuge. Power are all knocked out as a result while you sit out the twister in darkness. The tornado is gone but you find yourself still stuck in basement as the debris from all the destruction is blocking the passage.

Your mobile phone is out of juice and you weren't able to charge your phone since the power, mentioned earlier, was out.

You are unable to contact the outside world for help. Uh-oh.

This is where SpareOne Emergency Phone come in. With a single AA-size battery, this phone can last 15 years without usage and give you 10 hours of talk time once you activated it. Just slip in the SIM card from your dead phone and fire this baby up and voila! You're saved!

Granted that we don't have tornados in Singapore but perhaps a scenario like your car has broken down in the middle of nowhere... wait.

Middle of nowhere? Singapore? wahahaahahaaha!! Taxi hiding until midnight surcharge kicks in, right?

Actually, I think middle of nowhere probably refers to the context of your Malaysia road trip or something.

What about keeping one of these in the bomb shelter of your HDB flat? You DO KNOW that the little room in your HDB flat is a bomb shelter and NOT your store room right? Right? RIGHT?

Bear in mind the SpareOne mobile, without a SIM card, would still allow you to make emergency phone calls.

But here's the thing that bothers me. Yes. You buy one of these and you chuck it inside the safe room for that emergency. Won't the battery acid-leak over time? We have all seen how batteries end up after years of neglect. I don't think any battery manufacturer will guarantee no acid-leak from the product for as long as a 15-year period?

So what good is the phone if you have to use the phone and the battery has long disintegrated into a mush of brown slime?

Perhaps experts out there can help enlighten?

Out there in the market also addressing this emergency issue, is the hand-crank charger but product reviews have pointed unfavourably as the hand-crank is hard to operate and gives only a few minutes of juice. Still, a few minutes may be all that it takes to make a difference between life and death.

Then, there is also the solar-panel charger. If you hiding in the basement or bomb shelter, the solar-panel charger is going to be as useful as the underwater hair-dryer.

Image Credit:

- Voxeros

07 May 2012

MTR Spoil

Do not panic. It's not Singapore. Well, not this time anyway.

Hong Kong SAR is a place where the population is similar to Singapore and while MTR (or we like to call it MRT over here in Singapore) do break down from time to time, we find that the folks in Hong Kong more forgiving than Singapore.


For starters, it does not break down as frequently. They take each incident more seriously and are more transparent to the public.

When things go wrong, the management have enough balls to step up and face to public to apologise instead of cooking up some lame-assed canned responses and tried to pass them off as a form of apology.

It is really insulting. Really.

And they don't use cable ties to secure the claws. *roll eyes*

So. Is the pasture greener on the other side? Well, not really as the frequent breakdown of the subway trains that we have kind of evens out with Hong Kong's Ngong Ping 360 cable car system headache.

Perhaps, we should do an exchange program where we take a look at their cable car system while they help us with the MRT?

p.s. I wonder if anyone realises that all these breakdowns started occurring from last year only. We have had the MRT system in place for over 20 years. So why now? What happened? What was changed along the way that trigger this massive spate of breakdowns?


- Voxeros

05 May 2012

The Avengers (2012) - Plurk Spoilers

((((( Warning: Image Intensive And May Contain Spoiler, if you can call it that. )))))

Just caught the movie The Avengers (2012) and I have to say I enjoyed the movie so much so that I had a tonne of comments that started to flow onto my Plurk.

Have fun reading!
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Image Credit:
- Voxeros

02 May 2012

Mee Rebus

Decided to do Mee Rebus while I am at home for the Labour Day holiday.

True to my usual habit, I have too much stuff on it that I can't see the noodles and the gravy. Haha.

For the expats who return home, we all have a certain food that we die die must eat when we come back.

Mine happens to be Mee Rebus and a curry pok to add to the finish touch.

My first ever Mee Rebus was in 1984 when I was in the canteen of Swiss Cottage Secondary School after my technical classes. That was when the school was still in the Dunearn Road campus. Once was all it took to get me hooked to this delicious little dish. Yum.

- Voxeros