Sunday, June 24, 2007

10 Years of 013

I received a call a few days ago from a friend who was working in UK, I've lost touch with him for nine years.

My first reaction when I got the call was "How did you get this number?". His reaction to that was, "I'm surprised you're still using this number! Almost all our other friends had their numbers changed!".

This got me thinking about 1997. That was the year I had my first mobile phone, and being very lowly paid then, I opted for Emartel 013.

Being one of the few who was using 013 wasn't easy. During the era of before inter-operator cooperation, sending sms to friends on other services were impossible. That caused a lot of resentment among my circle of friends (who were mostly on 012 or 016) who had to bear higher charges of calling me.

On top of that, Emartel wasn't doing well, so coverage wasn't very good. That changed when Telekom took over, renamed it TMTouch and later merged it with Celcom. Suddenly, I was the guy with the best coverage, hehe. Those days, using 012 had a certain snob factor to it, so I couldn't resist rubbing it in when friends on 012 couldn't get coverage whenever they're back in Sarawak, my home state.

As time goes by, almost all of my friends moved to 012 prepaid, with a few sticking to 016. My circle of 013 friends and colleagues never increased. In addition, with the introduction of new pricing schemes, from a financial point of view it became increasingly illogical to stick to 013. But still I continued to use the service.

Things finally made sense when Celcom introduced the Minutes Plan. Overnight my phone bill plunged by 40%.

Even today friends tease me about my loyalty to 013. I guess it was more laziness and the inconvenience of informing people of the change that held me back rather than loyalty.

But next year, the government is planning to introduce number portability to the industry. For the first time, one can change service providers without having to change the phone number, so I can be 013 but actually using Maxis, for example.

So, would I change?

The answer is maybe. If I do change, it probably won't be 012 - even after all these years, I can't shake off my perception of 012's snob factor :)

I have been rather taken in by 016 lately, for a few reasons -- the endearing Yellow Coverage Fellow, their amazing ability to take on Maxis and win market share from it, and my admiration for their work culture.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

RIP Loga

The recent passing on of Loga of Alley Cats brought back memories of one of his haunting songs - Suara Kekasih. I remember the song from a school concert back in 1987.

Hadiran ombak membelai pantai
Tiada putusnya percintaan itu
Hembusnya bayangmu menyejukkan
Tapi tiada terhenti dahaga
Kerinduan suara kekasih
Membelai hatiku
Suara kekasih
Membasuh lukaku

Tibanya sinar bulan di laut
Dengan ribuan alunan kemesraan
Membawa kenangan yang berlalu
Dengan ribuan warna keemasan
Suara kekasih
Membelai jiwaku
Suara kekasih
Yang menyejukkan ku

Terdengar suaramu yang suci
Pabila terkejut dari mimpi
Ku manyakinkan suara itu
Memanggil daku dengan harapan
Tapi sayangnya alunan ombak
Yang memecah diri sangkaku
Suara kekasih
Yang memanggil daku
Suara kekasih
Di malam yang indah

Hear the song here.


My wife finally went back to work a few days ago, after having taken care of Cynthia full time for almost 3 months.

A common discovery shared among my friends who also had babies recently is how taking care of the little ones had helped to make them become more mature and patient, and we are no different as well.

In this aspect I have to take my hat off to my wife. Throughout these 3 months she showed tremendous patience, much more than I ever thought possible. While my own patience would run very thin after one hour trying to comfort a cranky Cynthia at night, hers would be stretched but still intact even after six hours of on-off crying and feeding and cradling and crying again, from midnight till the dawn.

Now I realize why friends who are mothers look so serene and calm after they had kids -- they have mastered the virtue of patience :)

I can only look at myself in shame and realize that I still have a lot to learn.

I'm Back

Sorry for the lack of new entries, this time I have a good excuse -- apparently Google's new-fangled Spam Blog Blocker felt my blog was suspicious enough for them to block it.

I spent the last few nights looking through my last entries to see if there was anything that warranted the honour of their attention, but I just can't figure out how entries about my new born daughter, a friend's recent death and some thoughts about my country and traffic would constitute spam.

Okay lah, I know my entries are not as great or readable as some of the "great" Malaysian bloggers out there, but surely not so bad that they have to deem it rubbish, i.e. spam? :)

Anyway, to give credit where its due, Google responded swiftly and helpfully when I complained and I got my blog unblocked within 24 hours. That's five times faster than the response I got from Astro when I complained about reception problems last year.

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