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Archive for November, 2006

Sale crazy women

Sale! Sale! Sale! That’s been the buzz-word this month with Sogo holding their yearly anniversary sales. The women go crazy and buy mountains of stuff and the poor guys are left to hold their bags. There’s no way the women can resist the urge to shop when things are 20% store-wide and deals such as spend NT$30,000 and receive a NT$3000 voucher or buy a mascara for $2300 discounted from $2500, and receive a lip gloss, eye liner and toner as gifts. With over 10,000 people jammed into the store you don’t walk, you shuffle.

It doesn’t just stop there. There are promotional giveaways at certain times. The queues for these go out the back door and into the adjacent park. People are literally lining up in the bushes just to get a free gift. Must be quiet in the other departments stores the last 20 days.

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That’s the question I’ve been asked countless times since getting my Dell XPS M1210 a few weeks ago. I’m surprised that the locals don’t know that Dell is operating in the Taiwan market. I suppose they like to wear their national pride and go for typical Taiwanese brands such as Acer or Asus.

After telling them that I got it from Dell.tw, they always assume that it’s expensive. In actual fact it’s massively cheaper than similarly configured Asus or Acer notebooks, in the range of 20+% less with no sacrifice in build quality or features. The only downside is that it’s slightly thicker and heavier, however it’s still within tolerable levels.

Not only am I satisfied with the product, the ordering process was the best Internet purchase I’ve ever experienced. I placed the order around 10pm on a Thursday night, 9:30am the next morning I receive a call from China (can tell from the accent) to confirm my specification, payment and shipping details. 9:45am I receive an email from the customer rep to give me my order, customer number and her contact details. Friday morning I receive another email telling me that the payment process has been completed and my order has moved to the material procurement stage. The Dell website has a order status page which shows you where your order is as it moves from manufacturing to product testing to delivery, by Sunday it was already delivered. At this stage the information suddenly stops and leaves me hanging as the status page did not mention my expected arrival date, but initially the customer rep said it should take 10 working days so the wait begins.

8 days later on a Monday I got a bit impatient so sent them an email asking for an expected arrival date. Within 5 minutes the customer rep calls me to tell me that it has been shipped from Malaysia and should arrive on Thursday. However the next day I receive a call from a different Dell rep, this time with Taiwanese accent who informed me that the courier will be dropping by in the afternoon and to confirm that someone will be around to accept the shipment. I came home that night with a big box in my room, and straight away reformatted to put on English Windows.

Recently I’ve also subscribed to Taipei WiFly so I can access the internet almost anywhere in Taipei City. Quite handy if I want to study outside or Starbucks. Not bad for only NT$299 (AU$12) a month.

Here are the specs:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2.0GHz/4MB L2 Cache/667MHz FSB)
  • 512MB DDR2-553 Memory
  • 120GB 5400rpm SATA HDD
  • 8x DVD+/-RW DL Writer
  • nVidia GeForce Go 7400 TurboCache 256MB
  • 12.1″ WXGA with TrueLife (1280×800)
  • SigmaTel HD Audio Codec
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 802.11a/b/g Mini Card
  • Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR Module
  • 1.3MP Logitech Webcam
  • 9-cell Lithium Ion Extended Primary Battery (85 WHr)

Chose the smallest amount of memory as the upgrade prices are a bit steep. So when the time comes to upgrade to Vista, I’ll just buy some RAM from the computer market.

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Dell XPS M1210

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A lane near my place.

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Today I got all dressed up in a black university gown and a graduation hat. Uninformed onlookers may have thought I was graduating, which would have been great. But alas, I still have 4 subjects and a thesis to go. What was really happening was our class graduation photo. I found it to be way too early to begin thinking about this stuff, but I was told it’s just how it happens in Taiwan. Apparently it’s the same with the graduation ceremony, it’s held before the actual end of the final semester before you know whether you passed or not. I guess this adds extra pressure for those exams. Wouldn’t want to still be around after attending your graduation ceremony.

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