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Yeah, I know I quit last year because of a particular update (the Golden Well losing its Bellem Box spitting task, change of font where special characters like the one in my character name became a box), but right after exams, I got a bunch of friends to play! Compared to last year when I played alone (so happens I started some time after they stopped), this time I’ve a bunch of friends to play with, it’s great!
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It’s been some time since I started, but I wanted to make sure I was going to stay in the game for a while… it’d be sad if I were to announce “Hey, lookie here, I’m playing Granado Espada again!!” and then disappear after a while. x_x
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So look here, my characters; level 60 already!

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Nice, isn’t it? I used some hard earned vis from my old account to buy some costumes from the market, as well as some elite equipment; which is why they’re not shining! The sad thing is, I forgot about the pioneering armour until now; I just only started using pioneering equipment at level 60. That’s 10m gone from upgrading equipment to +6 and enchanting them. T_T
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In case you’re wondering how much I had from my old account… well, I stopped at level 62 with a Fighter-Elementalist-Scout team with about 128m vis. Yep, I had that much when I was playing with the Golden Well and Bellem Boxes (that’s my only method of making money then, but I was pretty patient), but after they removed the Golden Well function (in a way to protect the economy, I guess), it’s much harder to make money at lower levels now. I’m still playing with Bellem Boxes, but sometimes there’s no profit… sad.
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But anyways, it’s pretty fun now with my friends on, so maybe I’ll restart the GE comic I did the last time!
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No promises though, I may get really lazy and stuff. @_@

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~Estrelita Farr, enjoying herself!

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Man, it’s really been a crazy busy time. I just finished writing my final year project report after so many days of slugging through the paper work (my programming was done, thankfully)… to the point I pulled an all-nighter.
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Yes, I just pulled an all-nighter the night before yesterday, which I usually can’t do.
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And I had a mere 12 hours’ sleep last night… which, of course, is not enough to completely recover.
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Still, I’m really glad my program is done. I can finally relax, have a good rest, and the best of all, PLAY GAMES!!
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So, over the next few days, I’ll gradually fill up the “no post” gap with some posts to make it look like I’ve been diligently posting on my blog. xP
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Hey, at least I still post!

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~Signed,

Estrelita Farr, finally relaxing!

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TMNut Screamyx. A wonderful nickname for one of the (still) dominant internet service providers (ISPs) in Malaysia, officially known as TMNet Streamyx.
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Why haven’t I been posting in this blog for a month? Because of wonderful TMNut Screamyx. Plus it was exam season in my university.
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Let me tell you my woes of having to deal TMNut Screamyx. T_T
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Note: I have no prejudice against all the ISP’s operators. If anything, most of them are nice and work well. The cheeky, stubborn ones? Well, we’ll hear about them later in this post.

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Part 1: The Slow Beginning…
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Over a month ago (I think it’s been pretty close to two months now), I started experiencing interruptions in my internet. That was when I begin calling the ISP’s helpdesk in hopes of resolving it.
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So each time my internet died, I rebooted my router, turning it off for some minutes, doing this repeatedly several times, and if my internet is still dead, I called the helpdesk. These people are nice, sure, and they often reseted my port for me.
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Normally port reseting works. For a while.
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Originally it worked for 2 weeks, then my internet would go down again. Call, reset port, and it’s fine.
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Soon, the interruptions got more and more frequent, to the point that I’d call every 4 – 5 days. What fun.

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Part 2: Hello, Technician Please?
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So at one time, about a month ago, my internet refused to come back after so many tries that the ISP’s helpdesk saved my predicament in their database for their technician to see. Apparently they had to do some testing on their side, and if not fixed, they’d come over to check on my side.
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Two days waiting time.
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Then, some fella from the call centre gave me a call on a Monday morning (not to mention during a class -_-) to arrange a time for the technician to come to my house to check the modem and stuff. Their technician could only visit people’s houses anytime in the 10am – 12am range, hence I told them to come on Saturday because I had classes on weekdays.
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The week went by, and Saturday came.
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There were two phone calls on Saturday morning (some 9 something am), one on my handphone and the other on my house phone, which I missed while I was in the washroom. Okay, so that was my fault to be in the washroom at the time.
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Since my handphone saved their number, I called the number.
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Only to find out it was a fax machine.
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ZOMG A FREAKING FAX MACHINE!! AND THEY DON’T EVEN BOTHER CALLING BACK!!1!!1!!1
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But since my internet came back some hours after that… well, moving on.

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Part 3: And Here Comes the Problematic Period
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My internet dying situation repeated every few days. Usually it came back after I called the ISP’s helpdesk to reset the port.
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Then came last week, when my internet died for a few days and refused to do anything.
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By now, I’d call the helpdesk so many times that I could memorise many of what they tell customers to do, which includes:
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  • Turning off modem and router for a few minutes and turning it back on. Several times.
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  • Bypassing the splitter (the thing that allows me to go online with the phone line and still lets me use the phone).
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  • Establishing direct connection between modem and computer via cable.
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  • Using manual connection instead of auto-connection.
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  • Resetting the port (done on operator side).
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  • And many more.
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So I did all of these (except what only the operators can do), and spammed the operators with calls. Days of diagnostics and no solution.
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The good news? None of them knows what’s wrong.

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Part 4: Polite or Rude Operators? Devious or Stupid Operators?
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I think I’m getting the hang of the helpdesk operators’ culture. When they do something, it always involves:
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  1. Passing the baton to another operator, which always involves something like “I’m going to do so-and-so on our end, so please turn off your modem for a few minutes”, which doesn’t work, and making me call back to get another operator.
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  2. Making up a story so that I’d hang up, wait and / or do something and call back if the method doesn’t work.
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An example?
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One helpdesk guy said it could be my browser. Right. The culprit, my browser, when all the computers in my house are unable to go online at the same time? Isn’t that too much of a coincidence? The operator even had the cheek to tell me to bring my computer to a local computer store to check the browser!!
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Yeesh.
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Okay, fine. My boyfriend (shameless advertisement: he’s a great guy! xP) and I decided to spend a bright, sunny afternoon doing everything we possibly could to see what went wrong on our side. Darn. Otherwise it would’ve been a nice day to rest after a (buffet) lunch, which was to celebrate my brother’s birthday.
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We poked the router. Reseted the router, reconfigured the router. No good, internet isn’t working.
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We poked the modem. We can access its configurations using a browser, so it’s working, right?
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Nope, can’t connect yet. It just said, “Remote computer not responding”.
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Oh, hey, it could be our internet password being wrong!
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Since we don’t know the internet password (my father’s the only one who knows it, and he forgot too), we called the helpdesk to get our password reseted.
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The fella said “It’ll be effective in half an hour.”
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We were like, whee! Let’s rest for half an hour!
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Then we tested the internet. Still failed. “Remote computer not responding.”
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Over an hour later, no progress. Okay, so let’s call the helpdesk again.
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And guess what the guy said?
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“Your internet password hasn’t been reseted.”
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ZOMGWTFBBQ!! The first fella lied to us?!
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“I’ll reset your password for you. It’ll be effective in 15 minutes.”
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Okay, so more waiting time.
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After 15 minutes, it still says the same message.
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One hour later, same message.
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ZOMGWTFBBQ ROUND 2!! THE SECOND GUY LIED TO US?!!
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Fine. We went to eat dinner (mind you, we started working in the afternoon), and came back.
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No good.
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So we called the next operator, who was certainly epic.

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Part 5: The Most Epic Helpdesk Operator Ever
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To show how much of an epic pro he was, the conversation lasted for half an hour. Usually a call with an operator lasted for 5 to 10 minutes.
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Knowledge we had before calling the guy: the modem is dead. Lights are on, but it won’t let us connect to the internet.
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And so, I called the helpdesk.
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It began like a usual call; I gave him my internet login ID, he confirms my phone number. Blah blah.
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But when I explained my predicament and what we’ve done on our end, guess what he says!
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“I’ll need you to turn off your modem, wait a few minutes, and turn it on.”
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Hello? Haven’t you been listening to my explanation?
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“I said I’ve already done it.”
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“But miss, you’ll need to do it, or we won’t know for sure.”
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“Didn’t you hear me? I’ve done that like 647283462873 times since a few days ago!”
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“I already said it, you have to turn off your modem for a few minutes and turn it back on!”
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“I said, I’ve already done that. In fact, don’t refer to your list and tell me what to do, I’ve already memorised them! We’ve already done (insert uber long list here) and concluded that the modem is not working!”
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“I tell you, miss, we know what we’re doing. (Insert long explanation here) But ultimately, we are the ones that make the decision on whether the modem is working or not.”
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Man! I know he’s an operator in a ISP company, so he must have some knowledge on IT, but wow, what a bigshot! Whatever happens to “customer is always right” in this competitive world? Especially when we have logical explanations to back our statements?
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Pro, man. Real pro.
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And so, the conversation continues.
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“Okay, miss, have you disabled auto-connection before you started using manual connection?”
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“What?”
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“Did you disable the auto-connection before you started manual connection?”
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ZOMGWTFBBQ!! YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT, YOU NOOB!!
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Outbursts aside, we have logical explanations as well. When we disconnect from the internet manually, of course the auto-connection gets disabled. To connect, either enable it via Network Connections (auto-connection), or double-click that funky little icon named “Streamyx” on the desktop (manual connection).
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But…
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ZOMGWTFBBQ!! THAT MEANS I’VE DONE THAT ALREADY, YOU NOOB!!
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“Yes,” was my answer. “Of course it’s disabled.”
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“Who did?”
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“I did.”
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“How did you do it?”
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“Via Network Connections, of course.”
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“Well, if you don’t disable the auto-connection, the manual connection doesn’t work.”
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Makes you feel like murdering him on the spot, huh?
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“I already said I done it. Connecting now just gives me the ‘remote computer not responding’ error message.”
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“Ah, but you did ask for a password change earlier today, didn’t you?”
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“Yeah, twice. Your friends lied to me.”
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“Well, it takes 24 hours for the change to be reflected in our database. That’s why you’ve been getting that error message.”
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Oh man. ‘Remote computer not responding’ means it’s supper laggy or not working.
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But whatever. I’d rather talk to another operator, not this noob. So I decided to let it go.
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(Important note: The conversation didn’t exactly go like that. It was more complicated and lengthy, plus I don’t remember the exact words.)

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Part 6: My Mother: A Pro Negotiator!
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In my house, I’m not the only one who uses the internet everyday. Even my mother, who’s not so tech savvy compared to some of us, writes a blog. So, she’s been as frustrated as us on that day.
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And, she decides to take over the phone call!
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Guess what she said the first time?
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“Hello, I want to speak to your supervisor. I am very dissatisfied with your operator.”
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Scary. xP
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“My daughter has been calling in and doing all sorts of things to test the modem and router, and she’s confirmed the modem isn’t working. The last time, the technician called too early in the morning and when we tried to call back, it was a fax machine. So the fastest way to get a technician to come and replace the modem would be to talk to your supervisor, right?”
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An operator’s nightmare~
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“So like this. If I tell you exactly what to put in the report, that will make both your life and my life easier, won’t it? Ah, I’m glad you understand. You’re better than that other operator earlier. Why don’t you just write ‘Modem is dead. Must replace’ in the report?”
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Whoa. Not only she managed to get the operator to listen to her, but she’s also able to tell them exactly what to write in the report?!
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“Right. And make sure the technician calls tomorrow, all right? If not, I’ll call tomorrow. Thank you.”
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I’m in awe. Wonder if I’m able to do that in some years? o_o
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(Important note: The conversation didn’t exactly go like that. It was more complicated and lengthy, plus I don’t remember the exact words.)

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Part 7: A Surprising Revelation and a Happy Ending…
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The technician called on Monday morning (two days after the phone call), around 9am, and said he’d come. He did, and he turned up at around 9.40am.
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The good thing is, he’s a nice guy. We even had a pleasant conversation with him.
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He tested the modem, confirmed that it’s faulty, but said it still works. But nonetheless, he replaced the modem, saying it was “just about time”. After all, we’ve been using the modem for three years!
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After that, he revealed something that we didn’t expect.
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Helpdesk operators have no authority to change internet passwords. They’re just that; helpdesk operators. Of course our password wouldn’t be changed.
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ZOMGLOLBBQ?! STUPID OPERATORS!!
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Oh well.
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The technician then helped us to re-establish and confirm the internet works (with a bit of my help since he isn’t too familiar with my router).
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And, he gave us the phone number to the branch centre he works in, so in future internet downtime, I won’t have to go through the frustrating helpdesk anymore!
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Hurrah! It’s all over!!
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And so, that was the start of my first super long holiday in years.
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The end. o_o

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~Signed, Estrelita Farr, fired up with holiday mood!

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Yes, it’s bad news. T_T
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Did you know that late last week, Granado Espada had a patch called The Requiem, version 2.6? It’s supposedly full of goodies such as new RNPCs, Bai Hu and Vicente Rio, but unfortunately, this update is the deciding factor of me stopping GE for the time being.
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Yes, you heard me right, I’M STOPPING GE!! Even though I just barely started my GE comic… T_T
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Why, you ask? Well… they changed the font so that ASCII codes (such as é, ¥, © and ï) became boxes instead… LIKE THIS: □!!!
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The management didn’t offer any solutions (not even a name change, character swap, etc), I didn’t want to play with such a box in the middle of the name (imagine going around with Valkyr□a as your name…), and I didn’t want to start a new character to train all the way… so definitely no more training for me. T_T
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Okay, so I still check GE everyday despite the fact I’m not training, though all I do is to check my market, collect money and putting more stuff for sale. Then I realise, “Hey, I’m running out of stuff to sell!” And went off to play with Bellem’s Boxes (my main source of income since I hardly train even before this).
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THEN I FOUND OUT THE GOLDEN WELL ISN’T WORKING ANYMORE!!!!!
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So that did it. With no way of making money in GE (in case I do get back to GE, you know? I still like the costumes), and since marketing was my “joy” in GE, well, so it’s goodbye GE.
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And I won’t return until that &%#&@ box is fixed or a solution is in hand!!
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Yep, that means no more Tales of the Valkyrïa Family comic… for a while. I may feel like going back to GE just for the sake of this comic, but who knows?
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I’m also busy with university, anyways. *is staying up late to finish report and to study for exams*
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Sorry, everyone. T_T

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~Estrelita Farr, kind of moody today. T_T

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Of course, this isn’t a brand new idea… but I saw one person do it, so I figured, why not? xP
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If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, I’ll explain it: I’ll start a section in my sidebar (—-> that thing at the side) called Wallpaper of the Week, which, as its title implies, will feature one of the wallpapers I downloaded this week. And I often download wallpapers, because my comp’s wallpaper changes to another random one every hour.
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Sounds like a good place to download new wallpapers? =D
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My taste in wallpaper pictures are pretty simple: no extravagant designs, just moderately simple designs, mostly pastel or cold colours. And, the theme is either manga/anime/game (about 90% of the time) or animals/scenery (about 10% of the time).
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And this week I started with Lenneth Valkyrie from Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth!
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The Wallpaper of the Week will be updated every weekend, if I can manage. o_o

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~Estrelita Farr, signing out!

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i.e. I got a new comp!!
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Yep, they always said getting a new comp is fun. In my case, it completely blew me off!!
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Why?
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Well, imagine that, many many years ago when you first got it, your trusty mechanical partner (a.k.a. your old comp( was already outdated to begin with (because it was cheaper!). Fine, I didn’t complain because it was truly my trusty partner for so many years.
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Usually, when one buys a comp, it’d last up to an average of 3- 5 years before it becomes really outdated (a.k.a. lousy), due to the nature of the IT world’s speedy advance in technology. And I was using my old comp for 7 years!
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See how outdated my comp was? xP
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3 years ago, I upgraded my comp, even though it was kinda outdated. From 20 GB (I think) hard disk space, it got upgraded to 70 GB. From 256 MB RAM, it got upgraded to 512 MB. From a CD-ROM reader, I got a DVD burner. From who-knows-how-much processor speed to 933 MHz processor speed. From the Nvidia TNT2 graphics card… it still remained a Nvidia TNT2 graphics card.
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Of course, even with all those upgrades, it’s still a bit… sad. I mean, it can’t even run Doom 3!
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Still… it was my trusty partner for years. It helped with my story writing, picture editing, sheet music arranging, music composing, and the best of all, it let me go online!
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Of course, like all things that we learn to love, we also feel annoyed and frustrated with them. My old comp, for example, can’t run any “current” (and that means 3 years ago!) games at all. It can’t play 3D games at all, and it actually loves to slow down occasionally. One enemy of a gamer is lag. T_T
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So that means, when I watch my friends start playing so-and-so game that I wanted to join, I can’t even install it (Age of Empires 3 and Doom 3 came into mind). Even if I managed to install it and everything, I can’t even play it (SilkRoad Online is an example… even the login screen already shows how laggy it is on my comp!).
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And then, today, I got my new comp!!
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When you compare my old comp to the new one, it’s like comparing a snail and a rabbit (seriously!). It’s much smoother, has better graphics, better sound, better everything!
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Here, let’s compare the specs of both comps:
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New Comp

Old Comp

Machine

Intel Core 2 Duo

Pentium III

Processor Speed

2.2 GHz

933 MHz

Memory

2 GB

512 MB

Hard Drive

250 GB

70 GB

Graphics Card

Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (will upgrade it to GeForce 8600 in future)

Nvidia TNT something (not even GeForce 1!)

Monitor

20-inch LCD

17-inch CRT

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So this means that my new comp is at least FIVE times faster than my old comp!
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Of course, that gave me and my siblings a big shock for a few days. No more lag, and we can finally play 3D games!
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And now, I’m looking for more games that I can play, whenever I’m bored. Any suggestions? xP

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~Estrelita Farr, signing out!

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Here it is!

The day!

The time has come for me to open a blog~!

Or rather, I could no longer resist the temptation of opening one after watching my mother and sister managing theirs for months… O_o

While my sister writes about the Japanese singer group she’s fangirling, my mom’s writing about stuff on what she calls homemaking, like cooking, tips on cleaning stuff, feng shui, and stuff. (Nothing wrong with that!)

What am I going to write on mine, however?

…well, I’m still thinking…

xD

I’ve a few things in mind though, such as:

  1. Gaming stuff – Hey, I’m a female gamer, you know! Even if I don’t have a uberly expensive PS3… =(
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  2. Relationship-related articles like ideas for Valentine cards – I’m a hopeless romantic too! My boyfriend’s going to be a guinea pig for this! =D
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  3. Collection of Forwarded Mails – I’ve a strange hobby now, to collect forwarded mails that I deem worth collecting! But my sense of humour is not as… dark as some people’s, so… O_o
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  4. Animal pictures – I may post pictures of my cat, my sister’s dog, and my brother’s cat! Not to the extend of icanhascheezburger.com, but you get the idea. o_O
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  5. Storywriting stuff (not the actual stories!) – Unbeknownst to many, I’m actually a fanfic writer!
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  6. And more random articles…

Okay, okay, so that’s not little… but at least it’s something, right?

Well, in Malaysian terms, this will technically count as ‘rojak’. O_o

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~Estrelita Farr, signing out!

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