Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rant: Acer Aspire M5711

Just bought a new Desktop for the office, Acer Aspire M5711, here in Thailand, to keep the cost down many of the brands do not ship the unit with a ‘common’ OS, this one came with Linux (point to note, the price that you often see do not include a monitor…)

So the first thing one did was to install XP, only to find out that XP isn’t native to this PC (in Thailand), only supply the drivers for Vista. It was a nightmare trying to search for XP drivers (there are some brilliant forums out there ( Anyhow, after spending a lot of time fiddling (and doing all the workarounds, nLite, USB FDD, change bios and etc… MEGA frustration), suffering defeat I’d decided to move to Vista.

Genuine Vista Home Premium installation was also a real pain, initially the installation page asked for a driver for CD/DVD bay??? (WTF number 1, “ You are loading the OS DVD from the CD/DVD bay that you are requesting the driver for, WHY?”), once again the forum came to the rescue, basically, downloaded the chipset driver from, expand it, look for the specific driver, copy it to a FDD, connect the USB FDD to the PC and let it search for the driver… bingo… the OS began to install.

After the OS installation comes the ‘drivers’ installation, wanting the latest driver I had decided to download it from the official instead of using the supplied CD, however (WTF number 2)  not all of the drivers were offered as a download, so you’ll still need to hunt some of the drivers from the supplied CD (such as the Modem driver).

Here comes WTF number 3, after everything, the dreaded yellow triangle (with an ! in the middle) was smiling at me on the ‘device manager page’ it was on the ‘network controller icon’, meaning the OS does not know what this equipment was… no description was given… ended up downloading a small program call UKD (Unknown Device, Only to found out that my suspicion was correct, it was the wireless LAN.

Anyhow, the driver for this was not to be found on the official nor was it on the CD! But UKD had given me the chip manufacturer, so after visiting their site, it left me totally dumbfounded, although all the drivers were there but it was not possible to determine which driver one needs as one was not given the model number of the wireless LAN card.

Getting frustrated again… once again returning to the web for solution, after googling ‘wireless lan driver Acer M5711’, and skimming through the results, once link caught my attention (Acer Service Center Web (SABY) (, to my understanding (and I had really tried, a lot…) this page was not linked to the official (WTF number 4).

SABY is an official ACER support page, based on a forum model, it also has a link to a “software & download” page, I had assumed that it would take me back to the ‘download’ page found from… but NO… it took me to a different download site, a MUCH better and MUCH more in-depth…and there it was… waiting for me… ‘Driver WLAN for Vista’… I was a very happy man… :)

Now everything was done, I had spent time reading some of the post on the forum… very interesting and very colourful, I am not the first to be totally frustrated by this problem… I wished they would make this information accessible from the official… I don’t I shall touch Acer product again… (well unless they gave it away for free).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Burning Up…

You gave us such a fright again, it must have been last Monday evening (09.03.2009) when we discovered you had a bit of a temperature, we weren’t too worried about it, you often get a little hot but when the morning comes around all would be back to normal.

Well, this time your temperature remained quite high, the ‘armpit’ thermometer (you’ll be glad to know that we could have stuck the thermometer up where the sun does not shine but we didn’t :) ) read 37.9, which is the highest ever for you, so guess where your next stop would be?

The usual routine of every Hospital visit is the same; go up to the nurse to tell who you were and what was wrong, the next step will be the measuring of your height, weight and temperature… well, after the nurse read your ‘ear’ thermometer, she jumped out of her skin, it actually read 39.

We weren’t going to see the Doc… instead she rushed you into this little room to rub you down with a cool towel… you sure didn’t enjoy that one bit, oh, only if you could talk…

After about 25 minutes of non stop crying and screaming… your temperature dropped down to 38.6, still rather high but no longer in the danger zone… The Doc. turned out to be really very nice, we discovered that your throat was a little sore, so some antibiotic, and other medicine was prescribed.

In the evening your temperature went up 39.4 (we went out and bought one of those ‘ear’ thermometer as well, so much faster, so much better), but you were still very cheerful like nothing was wrong, but you should have seen our faces… talking about stress!… anyhow, we did what the Doc. said, all we could do was to rub you down with a cool towel, and hope the medicine would do their magic… We even bought a cool (sticky) pad for your forehead… it was actually quite useful and certainly worked (your mother and I both tried it as well).

By the time Wednesday morning arrived, your temperature was down to a respectable 37.x (sorry, can not remember) and by the time the evening came you were back to normal… but you still had a runny nose. Feeding you the medicine is an art one needs about 25 years to perfect, because we only had 10 months so far it was fun to say the least. One time you managed to chucked up in about 5 seconds all of your breakfast on to the floor which took an hour to get it into you in the first place…

Anyway, a week later we are still monitoring  your temperature… we promise to stop when you are 29, OK? :)


Loving you always,


Mum and Dad

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Present from Mama

You woke up early again today, nothing new here I'd guess, as it is in your KPI  to make us as tired as you could :) There was a fantastic surprise waiting for me this morning… as it is my BD today. Your mother had bought me a grip for the new camera, totally out of blue, I had told her not to get me anything as we are saving to start a small business together, you’ll hear more on this later.

Usually she would buy me clothes, as I have no taste (accept when it comes to electronic gadgets, then I am a little SJ), so getting this grip was a total surprise… and she went such a long way to get it as well… :)

Talking about BD, next week it will be your mother’s BD, my mother’s BD and one of our close friend’s BD, all of them were born on the same day!

I have to go, I can hear you screaming downstairs… :)

Oh… What a Trip…

The plan was a simple one, ask the boss for the Friday off (Friday the 13th), then spend a nice and relaxing long weekend in Hua Hin  The packing started on Thursday evening… then it dawned on us “this trip won’t be as relaxing as it should be…” in fact it was NO WHERE NEAR… :)

IMG_6221 We had literally took half the house (the decision to buy a foldable cot was the right decision after all). By this time we were 2 hours late (the plan was to leave at eleven), so I was getting a little stroppy (your mother will say, ‘nothing new there’… )

Packing all that in the car would have made a great IQ exam! Fit it all in, we certainly did... “There was no way we could have forgotten anything” ran through my mind as I close the back door of the car… (remember these words).

‘Hua Hin’ is a very famous seaside town to the South of Bangkok (around 2 and a half hours by car), our beloved King has a palace there so the lifestyle and the community  is completely different than ‘Bang San’ (to the east of Bangkok).

The drive down was great, the sun was shining (the birds were singing), the road was pretty empty, you seemed to be enjoying the new scenery… It must have been around 16:00 when we arrived at ‘Sheraton Hua Hin’, your mother seemed to like the hotel (and that is how we judge the level of happiness in our family , if she is happy then you and I are happy… ok? get use to it :) )

DSC_0133 DSC_0137 We didn’t even bothered unpacking, our  first priority was to prepare your late afternoon snack… (oh what a mess that was).  

Dining with a view didn’t seem to make you eat any faster :) but your mother have all the patience in the world… I just couldn’t wait to take you out for a walk about!



We wanted you to have your first swim (more like a sit) in the sea straight away, but despite having taken half of the house on this trip, I had managed to forgot the detergent for your bottles!!!

So after your quick walk we had to go in to town, so no sitting in the sea  (the town was not more than 15 minutes away), while in town managed to find a nice restaurant on the edge of the town, boasting ‘Restaurant with the best view in Hua Hin’, and they could well be right… (no pics here, it was getting too dark). After the restaurant we had to rushed to the supermarket to get the detergent, then rushed back again to the Resort, we were rushing all the way as it was getting very late and you need to have your dinner before bath time.

It must have been the new surrounding or the sea air, but you just wouldn’t go to sleep… your mother and I was close to collapsing with exhaustion… but you were still smiling and screaming and smiling and shouting and NOT SLEEPING… WHY??? :)

The next day, we had decided not to go into town again, too much time was wasted in driving and certainly finding a parking space was a nightmare… After breakfast (another mess), we headed straight to the sea…




First real glimpse of the sea :)“A penny for your thought?”







DSC_0203 When this photo was taken (left), you were totally lost in your thought, gazing out to the horizon, no smile, no sound, no movement…

The sun was far too hot, and soon you made your way back to the resort for a quick dip in the huge pool. Then we went for a long walk along the beach, where you felt a sleep in my arms…




Our second night was as tiring as the first, you just wouldn’t go to sleep… it was well past midnight again before you started to calm down and eventually felt a sleep.

Our final day (not quite a full day as the plan was to check out at around 14:00), we only had a few things on our to-do list…. Breakfast, rest, back to the sea, a long swim in the pool, lunch and finally check out… :) 

DSC_0389 IMG_6255

As soon as we arrived home, my parents were here waiting to see you (not us), and we couldn’t be more glad for their help :)

Now that our first trip is out of the way, we are already planning for the second trip… we had even thought of going overseas… but looking back on this trip, I think we are going to be domestically bounded for a few more months yet :)


Love you

Mum and Dad.