(Chris, who has a soft spot for SYTs, will be delighted that I have yet another photo of one, hee. It was Chris who gave me the idea to add wings and a halo to the girl because he said that she looked like an angel. Indeed.)
Then came Family Festival 2005 or rather, we went to Family Festival 2005 (please see my last post about this visit). As I mentioned before, Chris teased me that I must be visiting the Sexpo instead and I was not man enough to admit it. Chris was wrong, of course.
It's not that my places of rest and recreation always follow a certain fad. Several weeks ago, Chris (whose favourite pastime seemed to be teasing me) teased me again that I seemed to be going to Ikea every Sunday. (We were then looking around for suitable furniture for our next PC.)
Then came Sitex 2005, the perfect place to shop for my next PC. Like Frannxis, we had also been looking around and considering for a long time before committing ourselves to a purchase such as a PC. (Ironically, buying a car was a totally different matter for us.) And as you'll find out later, we didn't regret waiting so long to get a PC.
We visited Sitex in the afternoon on the day of the opening of the exhibition. We saw this crowd at the Starhub booth:
Wah, it was 'kana mian lui' one (Hokkien for 'like free-of-charge'). We soon found out why - previously if you have bought certain brand of PCs, Starhub would have given you 2 months of free Internet access, including a free cable modem. Now, when you sign up for some of their faster plans, you get a PC free! It was only then that I understood how Frannxis felt when the price of the persimmons he bought fell. Luckily for me, I had not committed to any Internet plans yet since I gave notice to Singnet that I would be terminating my Internet subscription with them from early December.
So I joined the queue. It took me 45 minutes just to get to the counter. I was served by a very handsome young lad called Wei Xiang. He took another half an hour to sign me up, painstakingly explain all the details like rules, procedures and equipment. There was one particularly interesting piece of equipment called Voice-Enabled Cable Modem. This modem allows you to make unlimited local outgoing/incoming toll free till Dec 2007. IDD facility is also available but the calls are chargeable, of course. If this fixed line service is good, I will terminate my Singtel fixed line and save some more money (at least $200 for 2 years).
So I got myself a new PC at a basement bargain price - $758 because I upgraded the free PC to a Pentium 4 with HT 3.06 GHz complete with DVD writer and 19-inch LCD monitor. This package would have easily cost about $2,000 in the market. However, there was a 24-month contract with Starhub - breach it and a $1000 penalty applies.
Last Saturday morning, we visited Sitex again. The crowd was already gathering near the entrance before the exhibition opened for the day. Security personnel were guarding the entrance to prevent people from going in before the opening time at 11 am. When the H hour approached, I heard someone's voice on the security guard's walkie talkie saying, "When I give you the signal 'now', you let them in, ok?" Wah, I was impressed - such military precision. The only thing missing was the countdown to zero. If they had included that too, then it would be exactly like a NASA space shuttle launch!
This time round, we made a beeline for another bargain - an all-in-one printer with 2.5-inch LCD display which was selling for $99 only. The original selling price was $399:
However as always, there was a catch - you had to buy 2 ink cartridges which would then entitle you to buy a 3rd cartridge at half the usual price. So I ended up with 3 extra cartridges and paying a total of $178.60 which I consider to be still a very good bargain.
I was an extremely happy man that day and Chris was there to share my joy with me.
Latest update from MJM, who was at Sitex on Sunday, the last day of the show:
The bargain printer was completely sold out. Singaporeans, like me, sure know a good bargain when they see one. I requested MJM to buy for me 3 ink cartridges. He had an instant lucky dip and won for me a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse! This guy is always so lucky and very honest too. I mean if he was not honest, he could've kept me in the dark and I wouldn't even know the difference right? I must say that I am lucky to have such good friends. Chris is another one - he always dishes out good advice for me. These two good friends and colleagues of mine were the ones who introduced me to use Yahoo Auctions to buy and sell my stuff. My experience on Yahoo Auctions deserves a separate post which I will do soon.
When MJM smsed me about the win, I said, 'Alamak, I already bought a Microsoft wireless keyboard on Thursday'. Events always seem to be so coincidental when you don't want them to happen. But when you want them to happen, they never do. It's called Murphy's Law, I think but I never studied it in school. I only get to experience it in real life - like how come when I strike 4D one weekend, it never happens again by coincident the next weekend? Haha. So I guess I will just sell the free wireless keyboard and mouse on Yahoo Auctions and give MJM a lunch treat for his luck and honesty.