Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Surviving Dead Phones

Can you still remember the first day you owned a cellphone? When was that? 5 years ago? 10 years? 15 years? Well, I can't remember exactly when I had my very first cellphone, but I'd say it must be around the mid-nineties. That was such a long time ago.

The first time I had a cellphone, I had quite a shock when a friend called me up. It was a cellphone designed for women, you see. I carried my phone in my trousers' pocket. When the first call came in, it started to vibrate!

Anyway, cellphones have been around in Malaysia a little longer than that. I remember the good 'ol days when some rich people were going around carrying what appeared like bricks which were attached to "briefcases". There were also long and ugly antennas jutting out of those "briefcases". Back then owning a cellphone was a grand thing—it could even make heads turn.

With the progress in tele-communication technology in Malaysia, cellphones are common "toys" these days. Almost everyone has it. Just a couple of months ago, my 13 year old nephew was asking his daddy to buy him one. And he wasn't just asking for any phone, it had to come with all those high-tech functions too. Apparently, my brother, Dennis, said that his son needed the phone so that he could get in touch with him from his boarding school. Yes, he made the cut to enter the boarding school, you see.

Anyway, it suddenly occured to me to wonder how did we survive without cellphones in the past? As far as I can remember, we coped just fine back then? How did we come to a stage where our lives can become so miserable without the cellphones?

Since Monday morning Maxis has been dead almost the whole time up to this morning. It did come back on for short periods every now and then. And all of us Maxis subscribers in KK were miserable.

Is there a day we don't send a text message to someone? Is there a day we don't make a call from our cellphones? Is there a day we can leave home without our cellphones (unless of course if we left it there unintentionally)?

I don't know how much business I have lost over the last 3 days alone. And I found it annoying that Maxis did not even bother to inform us subscribers what is going on. I told Pat to call up the Maxis centre in Damai to find out, but they were not answering calls. Then by this afternoon, the service has apparently been fully restored again.

And only now we get a text message from Maxis:

Thank you for your patience and support during our recent service disruption. Full service is being restored.

What the hell—do we deserve at least an apology to start with? And what exactly is the meaning of "being restored"? Does that mean it hasn't been fully restored yet? Does anyone know what is going on?


Cornelius said...


I was just going through the papers shortly ago, and pleased to note the announcement by Maxis Chief Operating Officer (COO), Jon Eddy Abdullah yesterday.

Turns out that the service disruption was state wide and not only confined to KK areas.

The COO said the services were "progressively restored" since Tuesday.

Then it occured to me to check how's the service this morning. I looked at my cellphone and true enough the line is dead again.


Unknown said...

No wonder I couldn't contact you and kept getting the message "Network busy".

Well...ditch Maxis!! Understand that Celcom has a better reach in Sabah and Sarawak.

Same goes for its Broadband 3G and HSPDA connection also. Maxis is all about advertising and marketing but is actually crap!

Kok Seng

Unknown said...

My statement is supported by a few of my IT whacko friends who have tested all the networks on wireless connectivities and statements on broadband speed upload and downloads in various parts of Malaysia - both East and West.

kok seng

Anonymous said...

Phones are like pennis, cant live without it now :)


Anonymous said...

Thousand years ago, people survived without houses to live in.

Hundred years ago, people survived without cars or buses to move around.

Now can anyone survive without any of these??


Cornelius said...


We are very resilient creatures. We will surely survive—I have no doubt whatsoever!

But many of us are taking things for granted, don't we?

When we want to change the channel on the telly, we would turn the whole living room upside-down to look for the damn remote. We have forgotten that we could simply walk over to the tv to do it manually.

We "can't" sleep at night when there's a powercut, because we are used to having the air-conditioners running.

Oh! yes, we will survive! It just feels like we won't.

Cornelius said...

I have been repeating myself—that I am not very well-versed with modern technology.

One of my regular readers was kind enough to write to me to point out that:

"some of the newer LCDs and flat-screen TVs don't have the channel buttons on them! Some have them but ridiculously small or they put the buttons in places which are hard to see and reach for aesthetic reason.

Also, now they have this universal remote, meaning you can programme all your TV, video, DVD, Astro into ONE remote."

Hehehe... now I am really embarrassed! I guess my example above wasn't very good. I really need to learn about all these stuff!... arghhh!!

The fact is that I am not very crazy about TV. Frankly, I hardly ever watch TV at home. The 21" Sony I have must be about 10 yrs old now! Someone told me recently that I can get a good huge one with a budget of RM5,000-RM10,000. That doesn't sound very expensive; I should buy one. I'm sure JJ would love daddy even more, because she'll be able to watch Mariposa on a bigger screen.

But then again, maybe I should delay for a bit longer. Who knows by a stroke of miracle, I can win one of those big treasure hunts and bring home huge TVs!... HAHAHA!

Cornelius said...

Oh! How fast people are coming up with ideas after reading my last comment!

I've just received an SMS, telling me that:

"Y not consider complete home theatre system? Decent 1 abt RM20k-RM25k? Can last at least 5 yrs. Don alang2!"

What, you think I print money ah?... hehehe. If I spend RM20k for TV, what do I have left to put on my dinner table?... HAHAHA!

Thanks for the recommendations, folks, but let's not get too excited now, shall we, hmmmm?