Archive for May, 2013

Inching closer

May 27, 2013

Baroque period music is my cup of tea, I’m inching closer to what I like. It’s kind of cleansing agent for my sleep.

I may read that book again I finished years ago.


Cunning Genius

May 22, 2013

Genius: I can show you photo taken of the inside of your MBP, see there is sign of rust
Me: (I didn’t see nothing from his small iPhone display), no way!
Genius: you said you turned it on for half an hour after shaking water off didn’t you? That was bad it got short-circuited.
Me: It worked OK except with occasional dimming of display and some funny noises! Then it failed to boot, I’m here for you to examine.
Genius: Well if you want to repair it you’ll need to replace this this … and this, it’ll be $9,xxx [1]
Me: what?
Genius: it’ll be cheaper if you get a new one?
Me: how much is it for a new one?
Genius: (…fingers flying all over his iPad ….), you don’t need Retina display, what do you do for work? [2]
Me: mine was top model 2 years ago, I do need 512G SSD, it’s a terrible timing to replace this as model refresh is imminent right?
Genius: no one can tell [3], we can do data migration for you if you join “one to one” yearly membership for $768. This is your SSD or you can buy a docking for $200 and transfer data yourself.
Me: (it was 8pm Sunday night, I just didn’t want the hassle of shopping for a docking plus a whole night sleep to transfer data myself) I need this for work Monday morning OK?
Genius: OK we’ll do our best [4] and will start work immediately, in case of trouble during migration someone will call you.

Their repair man rang a while later ..
Repair: we tried to move data across but your new MBP isn’t big enough?
Me: no way, old one has 512G new one is of the same size
Repair: OK we’ll check again

Next morning Monday I got my new MBP 13″ Retina back by about 11am after shouting to a few guys who said their normal delivery is 3~5 days.

Tuesday night I was thinking what to do with the SSD, options are (1) get a case to use it as external drive for backup (2) open up the old MBP to see if it’s repairable.



I saw no rust, no water stain apart from dust near hot air exhaust. As Apple’s gadget is named by specialist as least repairable I dare not tear it down further.

No harm trying to resurrect it as it has been certified dead anyway. I put the SSD back on. I noticed also that there is a loose connection at the left bottom corner, did I shake it off or Apple Genius left it unplugged?

Put the screws back and fired it up. Wow … the display is back on while booting but it didn’t boot up. Pressed power switch for 4 seconds, leave it for a while, tried again.

It’s A.L.I.V.E again! I wrote this from the old MBP.

Let’s learn from their cunning attempts
[1] if your gadget is out of warranty, they always quote a number near or slightly less than an entry level replacement
[2] they won’t suggest expensive model of the same line, they want to close the deal
[3] even if they knew model refresh is a week away they just won’t tell you
[4] Genius will promise you anything as long as you hand him your credit card

I now have a standby machine for work, Douglas has a “new MBP”. I may have shaken off the display connection or the Genius has never attempted to see if it was bootable?

Just don’t trust Genius if your gadget is out of warranty.

Cello repair

May 18, 2013

My cello is near a year old.

2 months ago I put in a set of Piranito, very wrong, within days I replaced it with Jargar “medium”. May be it’s a new set of strings my bow behaved funny upon a detailed look my teacher said it’s about time I get a better bow. I tried teacher’s bow all I said was … wow!

I took the cello for repair as soon as my exam is done. There are few things to fix (a) bridge is too high (b) sound post must have moved as the wolf is getting louder (c) a new bow.

Trimmed bridge from D to C

Alfred Knoll silver mounted

I think Larsen sounds best on my cello perhaps I’ll use that for next exam.

Exam again

May 9, 2013

I could have done this second exam end of last year, experience of torture every year is good. My last exam result was 4 marks better than my forecast.

I have a lot more preparation this time as I demanded more from myself. The 3 pieces were taught nearly a year ago and put aside, I spent more time flying than playing cello for the last few months of 2012. I managed two jobs at two locations for the first few months of this year, good excuses for poor result.

I worked with a new accompanist for 8 sessions, she said I’m normal. Once I got used to playing with piano I started to enjoy the noise I produced, then it’s done!

Today I felt good from the beginning as it was sunny in the morning transportation was smooth and I arrived early. My accompanist didn’t like the waiting but I was OK. I had also a short warm up at home before heading to exam venue it helped only a little. The warm up time I need is exceptionally long. The first piece which I like most was lack of sound quality and volume.

The examiner is a really nice guy, he joked as soon as I walked into the room to make me feel relaxed. I was still nervous as the stool was too high after the examiner helped to lower it as extra work that he is paid for, he joked.

Now time for another forecast.

I didn’t do too badly for the 3 pieces, 75 please!

Scale was bad, my mind was blank for the first one but examiner was kind enough to offer me chances by asking me to do a few more arpeggios. I may get only 16.

Sight-reading has never been my strong part, perhaps I’ll get 16.

I think I did pretty well on Aural, I should score 16 out of 18 like last exam.

About a month ago I found issues (strings, bridge and bow) with my instrument, timing was really bad it’s now gone for repair.