Brunei Geek Blog

News & Updates regarding local IT Development.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

BITEX Fair 2007, Wow!

Yes, my visit to the BITEX Fair 2007 in The Mall yesterday was indeed a big "WOW". I realize that it had been quite some time since I last pay an eye on the prices of gadget (I used to do that, remembering prices of gadgets from local and international dealers, and being able to read out all the prices when friends asked, haha), so I am a bit 'sa-kai' at the price margin of the gadgets.

I was like a stupid person there, "WTF? OMG?" here and there as I saw the prices of memory cards, hard disks, DVD burners, mp3/mp4/media player and etc. In my opinon, this is the BITEX Fair with the strongest price-war I ever seen, where card readers are sold at B$3.80 (single shot card reader, reads only SD/MMC, I bought one because my current card reader's SD/MMD slot isn't working well)! And I almost cry when I saw 4GB Sony MemoryStick Pro Duo sold for B$150, T_T! It used to be really, really expensive... Awww, maybe I am really outdated already, lol. =(

I was running around the fair, comparing prices, and it's pretty obvious that the booth with the most people is the one with the lowest price, yes, BiT Computer. They have the most competitive prices, and their booth is so full, fully packed with dozens of customers. And some other vendors are forced to keep their prices low as well, you can see that from the "Webcam B$20 Webcam B$15" (2 years ago, I bought one at B$45, omg...), LoL.

As usual, services of some of the vendors are great, like NetcomHouse, Bridgelink and BiT, where as others s*cks, like Comp****Zon*, who refuse to allow me to take a look at the HDD casing, hehe, that's what B*sell*r did to me when I am about to purchase my first mp3 player last time, at the BITEX Fair (I end up buying one from Netcom House, and they sell at a cheaper price! Like 30 bucks less, compare with B*sell*r, should had thanks the B*sell*r salesgirl, hehe).

P.S: I know that's part of their policy, but well, I just can't help getting pissed off about it, hehe, trying to 'jual mahal'? =S

In my opinion, there's a great shift of customers from Concepts and Netcom House to BiT computer in this fair, as BiT won the pricing-war (actually they're concentrating on different products, Concepts and NetcomHouse were selling laptops and graphic cards, while BiT concentrating on low-cost gadgets). I still remember the time when NetcomHouse booth was so busy, hmmm...

P.S: But I think Concepts and NetcomHouse are making a lot of profit as well, because one single laptop sold could beat 100 card readers sold at Bit kua. =)

dsc02525.JPG

Here's what I bought in the end, 1) SD/MMC Card Reader B$3.80, 2) 1GB MiniSD B$21 after discount (For my B$99 B.mobile, so I can put YiFei's mp3 and photos into it, yea!), external HDD casing B$12.

The Folca (white storage case) and the black phone bag are bought from the 2.99 shop at Batu Bersurat, the shop where Hon, Tony and others worked before.

I spent my whole night downloading yifei's photos into my phone (I have to re-download them from the web as my PC broke down), and also yifei's mp3, hehe, I love my new memory card and card reader! They might be cheap, but pretty reliable, at least better than my previous RM100 card reader + USB hub, it works once in a while, doink. @_@

And I don't know how to 'pasang' (assembly) my hard disk, I mean, I don't know how to remove it from the old casing, and install in into this new casing. Don't dare to simply try, better bring it to BiT next week, and ask them to 'pasang' for me. =)

dsc02527.JPG Oh yea, I still can't stop laughing at the brand name of my new external hard disk casing - SAMSNUG! Read it out loud people, it's really funny! xD "Sam~ Snug/snuk!", HAHAHAHA!! XD But the quality is fine, so yea (Sorry Samsung, although I am a fan boy of your products, but.. but...).

Feel free to read LSM's post here, read the BruneiTimes article as well(use the 'mirror' link). =) They have their point here, I sort of having the same feeling as well.

And tomorrow would be Microsoft's road show, hmmm, not sure if I would be there, after all, I am quite anti-microsoft, HAHAHAHA. =)

P.S: Everything I blogged here is IN MY OWN OPINION, ok? =)

Monday, March 05, 2007

Simpur's Blogging Nation

Last month, Simpur launched a new website, Blogging Nation. It's a listing directory for local blogs. The launching of Simpur's BN (Blogging Nation) is a proof of the fast development of Brunei's blogosphere.

The overall design is very striking, it's very nice with the round-corner design and excellent colour coordination. In my opinion, one of the drawback is that the directory (links) section is too low at the very bottom of the site (thus requires a lot of scrolling).

I think they should do more about the listings, instead of the "how to create blog" and etc. They should try to implement a php directory script for that, so bloggers can just submit their blog URL, name, description and etc through forms. After all, simple categorization (photoblog, personal blog, tech, shopping...) and name (name of blog, sometimes the blogger himself) are not enough for readers to locate the blog they really wanted to read.

But at least, they're doing something. =)

Sorry guys, I will be very busy these days, due to my A level studies (which started in MD days ago). I am not going to update this blog frequently (I actually stopped updating this blog since months ago, but some came here thru BN these days), and I am very sorry about that. I am going to blog only when there's any new shakers out there in Brunei's ICT development. =)

Thanks for reading my crappy post. =)

P.S: Simpur's BN linked 5 of my blogs (while I request them to link 2 only, but they found the other 3 in my Blogger profile listing, and linked them too), which around 3-4 are inactive, haha, I am not sure if I should ask them to take them down, I don't want to ruin the listing, man. =(

Friday, November 24, 2006

Impact of 'e-Slow' on E-Gov Project

Brunei acts on e-govt programme

BRUNEI Darussalam is reviewing priorities for action to develop an e-government programme. Minister of Communications, Pehin Orang Kaya Setia Kerna Dato Seri Setia Abu Bakar Apong said his ministry has deliberated issues of Brunei's e-government programme known as E-Government Strategic Framework for Action 2001-2005. (...)

Hi-tech congress discusses options

A SPEAKER in a congress on e-government has raised a concern that the current e-government initiatives, which place people and technology in a different relationship than that in the past, may not provide enough attention on the citizens so efforts to integrate the two is a must. (...)

Net culture to drive e-government initiative

THE internet culture is so deeply ingrained into Canadian society that the citizens themselves constitute the main driving force behind their government's decision to go online.

Keynote speaker Michael Turner said at the E-Government Brunei Congress yesterday that Canadians were driven by their familiarity with internet services, including consumer review forums and web applications such as online auction giant eBay, to request the shift to e-government. (...)

Well, one good thing about working is I get to read BruneiTimes and Borneo Bulletin for free, LoL. Not that I am so 'cheap', but yea, I don't go out every morning and mom only subscribe Miri Daily News, so, haha. =)

I went to office early today, again, and I flip through a copy of Brunei Times on the table, and "wao!", three pieces of news about E-Gov project and the first Brunei E-Gov congress.

"...the minister said the government and a team of consultants from the Brunei Shell Petroleum examined issues which drove the current e-government programme and identified actions forward to improve the program implementation for 2006-2010. One key action determined in the review report was the recommended appointment of an e-government leader."

I hope he's not another old man(consider he never really access the web himself?) who don't really know what's the need/want of the citizens.

What's our need? The answer is obvious.... A REAL 'ESPEED'(Yes, we want S-P-E-E-D)! And better Brunet!

Without a good ISP(Internet Service Provider), the E-Gov project would never reach it's full potential. Imagine you just filled a form, and you click the "Submit form", and wait for years and the result = Request Timeout(means your connection failed and your form isn't submitted), DUH! And trying to access the e-Gov website through Brunet connection could just mean that you're actually spending more time that you would by going to the office yourself!

The e-Gov project are suppose to provide faster and more efficient services to the people, but with the current ISP, it's almost mission impossible 4. It's like building a huge shopping mall with no parking and accessible roads(yes, I am talking about going to The Mall, Gadong, at Saturday night).

Brunei allocated $1 billion in the National Development Plan for its current e-government programme.

Why don't they just spend 10% of that on improving the internet connection, and gain 30%(at least) of improvement? Duh!?

The GOL project's implementation period spanned from October 1999 to March 2006, and was pronounced successful after achieving its goals of rendering the Canadian government more accessible to the public, improving the quality and responsiveness of civil services and providing secure electronic data transactions over the internet. The GOL project placed 130 of the Canadian Government's most popular services online. A survey conducted between 2004 and 2005 revealed that 76 per cent of Canada's population agree that the internet facilitates access to information on their government's programmes and services, and that 60 per cent of Canadians feel that e-mail will become the main method of communication with their government within the next 5 years.

Ok, this guy(I think from the congress) is working with the Canada e-Gov project before, and he keeps on talking and impressing others with the success of canada e-Gov project.

Man, I know all the figures are cool but they forgot to one thing - "What's the percentage of Canadian satisfied with their internet connection(speed)?", and how about the percentage of Bruneians satisfied with thier 'e-Slow' and Brunet? Expecting a contrasting figure here.

By the way, if you're not from Brunei, and you wonder how bad is our ISP, refers to these posts from several bloggers: ChungSun, Lizzie, BruneiResources and LSM. Not all of them is complaining about e-slow, some are just doing it indirectly, LoL.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

QQ eStore

QQ eStore Logo.
QQ eStore, Brunei's Largest Online SuperStore

P.S: They're suppose to call themselves Gadgets eMall as they're selling only electronics, computers, mobiles and other gadgets. hmmm...

I suppose most of you heard of it before, but few actually pay it a serious visit. Why? Because when we saw "QQ", we know only one thing - expensive. Since their first existance in Brunei as QQ Station, they'reselling their products at a fairly high price. From mobile downloads to mobiles, everything they sell seems to be marked up by a little bit more than WyWy, DeeJay, Fock Lee and other local retailers.

When I saw the site from Eteng's blog, I thought it would it expensive again, and I don't even feel like clicking on it!

Read More....

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Monday, June 19, 2006

BruNet Blogs

This isn't new but I think it's still not too late to be blogged about. I first found out about this BruNet Blog few months ago, when I was collecting links of Brunei websites.

BruNet Blog
were done by using WordPress Multi-User version, which I once tried to implement into my website, Vrien-Den, but failed. The BruNet people succeed in implementing this nightly builds(unstable) WordPress MU and they're giving free accounts to all customers of Brunet.

From what I had seen, you can't sign up for a BruNet Blog yourself. You need to first get a BruNet email account, which comes with almost all the products of BruNet(BruNet Dial-up, Espeed and etc). You can then get an invitation by sending the staff a request mail. It's quite a frustrating process for me, but not for the 501 people who had created their blog with it so far.

However, out of the 501 blogs created so far, more than 300, or even 400 is inactive. To be more precise, they never touch their blog. All these blogs had the default title of "BruNet Valued Customer's Blog"(example) and a sample post. It's kind of, dissapointing here.

And know what? I found C.H.M.S. Computer Studies Blog! It's really surprising to found that, but yet the blog is kind of dissapointing. What I see there is just some scrap news and a distorted blog. Well, but at least, our school started one, and I think they should had assign a few students to do the writing, since the teachers were too busy for that, hmmm.

There's also a blog for PTEB, the new form six center in Berakas. Well, it's more like a forum for me tho, as they are posting stuffs like "What do your parents and/or grandparents think about the seriousness and amount of crime being committed in Brunei today? ", and some ten to twenty comments revolving that topic is posted. Cool tho, at least a good head start. By the way, they even had the minister to look at their blog, upon his last visit, what the? I am going to get the JTB people to look at this blog then, hehe.

They had also installed a widget(sort of like a plugin), which allow people to photoblog through their mobiles and B.Mobile. Click here to learn more. It's pretty cool tho, especially for those who hold the Nokia N-series 3G phones.

Well, those blogs in BruNet Blog is pretty inactive, and I think the updates in all 5 blogs of mine is even faster, and more than the total updates in the 501 blogs of it, LoL!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Outdated News : JTB to TelBru

Here's an outdated news, which I found out only an hour ago, when I was surfing on BruNet's website(the helpful links section). Well, guess it wasn't too late for the old folks in JTB to realise that they're way behind the world, hehe. I am pretty happy to see such big changes to it, even tho it happened in 1st of April and I knew it only now, gah!

Here's the introduction from their 'new' website:

1st April 2006 marked the corporatisation of Jabatan Telekom Brunei (JTB) which means the separation of service provider and regulatory functions previously held by Jabatan Telekom Brunei .

Telekom Brunei Darussalam (TelBru) as the successor company will be the service provider in delivering info-communication services and Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AiTi) is responsible to license, regulate and develop the local ICT industry and manage the national radio frequency spectrum.
Well, if I am not wrong, I think they mean that the services provider, which is TelBru(and I think BruNet is a division/department of TelBru), is now a seperated corporation, meaning that they're no longer under JTB.

It's like, TelBru is a seperated from JTB, and will continue to grow as a seperated corporation, while JTB will remain as a government ministry.

Well, I think it's a cool step ahead for Brunei ICT development, and I suppose things would be much better this way.

From what I had seen from their website, TelBru seems to be responsible for providing internet services(also know as Brunei's ISP), telephony services(excluded 2G mobile services provided by DST and 3G mobile services provided by B.Mobile), all the phone cards and net cards services, and also the radio frequency stuffs.

Well, I am still exploring their website, and they seems to surprise me quite a lot. I like the Espeed website(not sure if it's new one tho), hmm, not that bad huh?

By the way, I love the new TelBru logo, hehe, at least it's much more professional-like this time.

Guess that's all for now, stay tune people, I'll keep this post updated as soon as I have new updates or changes/mistakes to be corrected, see ya people!

Oh ya, feel like contacting me if you know more about this. ^^

Hey, did I mention that the managing director of TelBru is a chinese? Haha, he's called Song King Koi.

Friday, June 16, 2006

MasterCard For Everyone?

Few days ago, I saw a great news on the newspaper, something which I had been waiting for as long as I am exposed to Internet, a Baiduri MasterCard Cash Card.

What's so great about it? Well, it's the only online acceptable card I can apply for, at least the only one for the time being.

To own the card, you just need to be at least 12 years old, and NO minimum income requirement(all other cards, those which bear the MasterCard and VISA logos, has a minimum income requirement, which means I can get one YET!), and you don't even need to hold a Baiduri Bank account, cool huh? The requirement to own this card is much like those of the Baiduri MTV Debit Card(I hate that card!), which means I am kind of sure that I can get one, pretty soon, hehe.

Well, this time, I hope it's really acceptable online, LoL! I was kind of 'tricked' years ago, when I was told by those Baiduri staffs that the stupid MTV Debit Card works like a MasterCard credit card, and is acceptable at places where the MasterCard logo is display. However, when I go into the details of the policy later, I notice that it's only acceptable at places where the "MasterCard ELECTRONIC" logo is displayed, hell, not even one online merchant accept that! I wasted 15 or 25 bucks, I forgot, to get that stupid card and didn't even use it for more than thrice, hell. So I hope it's really a MASTERCARD only this time.

If it's really a MasterCard, online purchases would be widely available in Brunei, not only to those adults who actually owned a credit card, but also to those students and new generation(like me!) in Brunei! That's a real good news people. Another great thing is that, it's NOT a credit card. It's a prepaid CashCard, which works much like a debit card. You top up your card, and you are allowed to spent up to whatever amount you have in it. The policy stated that the daily limit is BND10,000 or the balance in your card, so guess that's it. Now you no longer need to fear that you might get spam or cheated online, and you money would be stole! Just put some money inside, let's say 50 bucks, so even if you're cheated, you lost not more than 50bucks! Ah, that's a big reduce of online purchase risk! I like it, heh!~

And parents can even use it to issue pocket money to children! It's easy for parents to give money to overseas son. You just top it up here in Baiduri Bank branches, and your son will get whatever amount you put in at any ATM which displayed the MasterCard logo, cool huh?

Finally, here I come eBay.com, Wrapables.com, Thinkgeek.com!(my favourite online shopping websites! Read more from GorgeouStuffs!)

P.S: I can't find the MTV Debit Card section from Baiduri's website anymore, did they take it down or my mistake? Hmm, maybe they realised that it's just a junk card hence decided to stop promoting it? Hell, what stylish card, useless junk, bleh.

Updates: I found the MTV Debit Card pages here, but hmmm, why aren't it available in the "card services" navigation menu?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lacie

Today, I went to The Mall with friends after our exams.

I am kind of surprise to saw a relatively 'small' computer fair held there, haha.

There's only 3 booth there, probably all from the same company.

The only noticible brand is NEC, which is most probably from the ComSoft company in Gadong.

However, I saw some real cool hard drives there, under a pretty new brand called LaCie.

The hard drives available there really make me 'WOW' out loud and felt so excited and wanted to buy 'em.

Here's some of the highlight in the 'fair':

LaCie Brink Hard Drives:

First thing to catch my attention is the brilliant LaCie Brink Hard Drives. It is inspired by Lego and it works similar. You may stack up the 'bricks' of hard drives as you like, as long as you can afford to own more than one, hehe. The price is close to those of the normal portable hard drives tho.

Description from LaCie website:

Crafted by the world-famous designer Ora-Ïto, the new Brick expresses a playfulness in a user-friendly high-performance hard drive. Stack & Play multiple LaCie Bricks together to brighten your desktop and your mood (they’re even stackable with LaCie Mobile Bricks). With Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface, it offers the fast data transfer rates required for substantial jobs like downloading digital photos, saving MP3s or transferring home videos from a camcorder. Available desktop models are: 160GB (white), 250GB (red), 300GB (blue) and 500GB (red).
Prices:

2.5" 80GB B$249
2.5" 120GB B$395
3.5" 160GB B$245
3.5" 250GB B$295
3.5" 300GB B$345



LaCie Skwarim:

Next let us go to the ultra-compact LaCie Skwarim. It's not as cool as the brick series, but it's relatively smaller. It's roughly the size of our palm, square, and roughly 1 cm in term of thinkness. Cool huh? The design is so-so only, but the size and portability is superb, thumbs up to Lacie!

Description from LaCie website:

righten your computing world with the lively colors and high fashion look of the LaCie Skwarim. The original creation of award-winning designer Karim Rashid, its futuristic design is complemented by the feel of its compact, soft-touch square case. The Skwarim offers a great amount of storage in a very small ultra-portable device. Back up and exchange thousands of photos, songs, files and even video clips with this easy-to-use hard drive with an integrated USB cable. Just plug the Skwarim into your PC or Mac laptop or desktop to back up and exchange files, then toss it into your pocket and bring it with you everywhere.
Prices:

30GB Pink B$279
60GB Blue B$389



LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drive:

This is most likely the product for business man who need to take many business informations with you. This mobile hard disk comes with a fingerprint access control which is pretty cool, 'geeky' and rare in Brunei, hehe. I love it, neglecting it's not-so-cool design, haha.

Description from Lacie website:

Safely store and transport your private data on the new LaCie SAFE Mobile Hard Drive. Once registered, simply swipe your finger over the sensor to be authenticated as an authorized user - enabling the drive to unlock. This cutting-edge biometric technology based on a unique biological user trait is far more secure, convenient and user-friendly than password or smart-card protection. This level of security is ideal for parental control at home, protecting confidential professional information at work and keeping your files safeguarded on the road.


LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive:


This is probably the custom made product for me? Haha, hell man, this is exactly what I need! A portable hard drive which can afford to suffer my 'rough' life! Hehe. This portable hard drive is completed with shock-resistance rubber bumper all around it and scratch-protected aluminum shell. Cool man~ *drooling~*

Description from Lacie website:

To survive in the real world, your data needs the protection of the LaCie Rugged All-Terrain Hard Drive. The exclusive creation of world-renown designer Neil Poulton, this durable, portable storage solution offers a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 interface connection. Simply plug it into any PC or Mac with a USB port for backup, archiving and large data exchange anywhere. Its unique scratch-protected aluminum shell and shock-resistant rubber bumper make the LaCie Rugged Hard Drive especially resistant to harsh elements for extra protection along the road of your adventures.
Prices:

80GB B$275



Oh ya, in the end of the leaflet I had here with me while typing all these, I saw the company name which is distributing LaCie products, hehe, they're not ComSoft lo.

They're:

TTCO Enterprise

Unit8, Block H, (back portion of Fock Lee Gadong, along McDonalds), Abdul Razak Complex, Jalan Gadong, BSB, Brunei Darussalam.

Tel: 673-8726084
Email: sales@ttco-ent.com
Web: www.ttco-ent.com

Friday, May 26, 2006

3G in Brunei

Today, mom bought a new 3G phone, her first one.

Well, she bought a Nokia 7680 less than 3 months ago, and now a new phone again, woot!

That's enough to prove how 'geeky' mom is huh? And she insist not to give me her Nokia 7680! Urgh, she said she wants both DST and Bmobile in her hands, what the?

Aw nevermind, let's stick with my 'classic' Nokia 2100, LoL!~

I aint any 3G enthusiast until I had my first try upon it.

Well, the streaming of videos is very fast, far faster than what I had expected.

Probably due to my dissapointment towards Brunei's technologies, I was expecting the 3G services to be damn slow and laggy all the way.

But hell, it's really 'streaming' and smooth!

I tried only several services in the Bworld provided by Bmobile, where you can view movies, live news, music videos and many many more.

There's even Pheonix TV(chinese channel) but brother told me that it's not live TV.

By the way, the internet speed is told to be pretty fast too, so, time for me to add 3G and Bmobile into my wishlist?

Probably.

Mom's new 3G Phone: Sony Ericsson K600
Current price :

Incomn : Around B$400 for handset only
Bmobile: B$452, included : 3G Handset, B$30.00 Registration Fee, B$50.00 Deposit. One Month Advance on Lite Plan

This is certainly one of the earliest 3G phones available in Brunei, and it really deppreciated a lot.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

DST-Group New Website Launched

DST-Group had launched their new website : DST-Group.com.

A brief visit of the DST-Group new website had given me great visual pleassure, as compared to many(almost all) other Brunei websites and it certainly is a huge success for DST-Group.

One of the most fascinating feature of the new website is the online billing processor system. It seems to allow DST customers, included Prima, Easi, Krystal and many other services subscribers to check, pay and process their bills online.

The navigation and graphics is awesome, but yet there's insufficient information and interactive features.

DST should had implemented a forum or poll system so visitors or customers can have more interactive with them.

Overally, I gave this new site a 7 out of 10 rating, worth a look after all.

Welcome to Brunei Geek Blog!

;ast nightDear blog-ders,

Well, this is the second blog I created today, and the third I had with Blogger.com at the moment, woot!

Okie, I am a geek, and I really love computer, internet and all sorts of gadgets out there.

As a Bruneian, I had been watching the local IT market for years, and is constantly updating my knowledge and informations regarding this.

Ok, who is a geek?

According to Dictionary.com, a geek is a person who is extremely interested and knowledgeable about computers, electronics, technology, and gadgets.

I suppose that's me? Hehe.

So, stay tune on this blog for news and updates on the local IT development ya?

Also, feel free to visit my other blogs:

Brunei Boy Blog : Latest news, updates, rumors and developments of Brunei.
IngSiang's PhotoBlog : Photos speaks a thousand words!

Stay tuned people! Stay geek!

Best regards,
Brunei Geek.