Day 26 – Pantip, Laptop Repair in Bangkok

March 20, 2019 · Posted in problem solving · Comment 

How to get your laptop repaired in Bangkok in 1 hour. Go to Pantip and ask store that sells the laptops. They will direct you to the correct person then let the Asian magic work.

My laptop screen started blanking out. This was a major barrier to working on the QuickMatch software. I looked at buying a new laptop or getting mine repaired. Getting it repaired was quick and amazingly affordable.

You can either take the Khlong Tan boat then a short walk or BTS to Central World and a slightly longer walk. It is a tourist area now and crowded even into the night. The selection of street food is entertaining but not necessarily cheap. One place sells roasted crocodile.

My laptop was fixed in 1 hour and cost $120. I did the same thing with my cell phone and it cost $15. Quick and cheap phone & laptop repairs.

Abundance Report: Video Conference from the Jungle

February 15, 2010 · Posted in abundance · Comment 

Last weekend I experienced an amazing example of abundance. My friend in Thailand called me. She and her friends took a drive two hours out of Bangkok to a nature preserve. When she was there she used her GSM cell phone to connect her laptop to the Internet and show me live video of the waterfall she was visiting.

The examples and levels of abundance are staggering.

First consider who she is. She is a young missionary from the Philippines teaching English in Bangkok. Her monthly salary is 750 USD. She is the youngest of 6 children of a disabled fisherman. She sends money home to support her parents, helps her other siblings with loans plus tithes 10% to her church. That doesn’t leave a lot of disposable income. So keep that in mind.

This call was not for business, it was just for fun. This is one of the characteristics of Abundance. When things are so cheap you don’t pay attention to the price. Except for the GSM connection to the Internet, the call was free.

She has a laptop with a webcam. So do a billion other people. Just 15 years ago the idea of a laptop was an outrageous luxury item. Now a computer with more processing power than everything that ran WWII is casually taken to a park. And this laptop wasn’t provided by her work. It was a present.

Nearly everyone on the planet has access to the Internet. Most of it high speed and capable of video. Cafes, restaurants, and cheap hotels give access away for free. Some of the poorest people in the world have such cheap and easily available Internet service they can spend hours sending Nigerian SPAM email.

She had a GSM phone to access the Internet in the middle of the countryside. She wasn’t in a big city. She was out in the jungle looking at a waterfall. The GSM phone is three examples of abundance. She could afford to have the equipment. The service was there. It was cheap enough that she didn’t care about the cost. Just 20 years ago making any phone call between Thailand and the USA would require scheduling overseas operators to make connections and it would be so expensive only governments or large corporations would do it. Today a young lady on a day trip calls a friend half way around the world and thinks nothing of doing it.

She used Skype to do the video conference. The software and the service were totally free. Once she was online everything was free.

The fact we even met to become friends is another example of abundance. Global communication is free and easy. Two people out of 6.5 billion on the opposite sides of the world with no people in common were able to meet based on shared interests and values. It wasn’t long ago that was nearly impossible. Now today its common place.

Abundance is the design of the universe and we are seeing the accelerating effects every day.

Elephant Painting, example of Free and innovation

December 8, 2008 · Posted in abundance, economics · Comment 

This article will introduce a concept that my next book covers in great detail. It is the biggest problem facing society and the most wonderful opportunity. It’s called Free.

While I was in Thailand I spent two days at Maesa Elephant Camp learning to be a mahout (elephant driver). It was one of the most magical experiences of my life. Interacting with the elephants, the scenery and the way the staff treated us was amazing. One of the things I got to do was make a painting with an elephant.

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Mark Frazier with Kong Kham Painting at Maesa Elephant Camp

Many of these elephants used to work in the timber industry. The need for elephants for logging has dropped so these elephants and the mahouts were out of work. This is an example of how technology advances and makes things free. Elephants once were the cheapest way to harvest logs in terms of time and materials. But now new technology makes it even easier. People used to pay mahouts to ride elephants but they no longer get paid to do that. That is the negative side.

The positive side is timber is much cheaper now so people in general have extra resources to use on other things. And that leads us to the positive effects of Free.

When the real cost, in time and materials of a product or service drop to the point where people don’t put much thought to the cost it is treated like Free. Think of a buffet. People will try a dish they might not because it costs them nothing. And of course the only way that a buffet can work is if the scale of sales make the individual costs cheap enough to let everyone take as much as they want. This is relative Free. An example of absolute Free is a by product of another process. If you were going to throw it away it is free.

Now that no one would pay mahouts to ride elephants some innovation was needed. The solution, charge people to ride elephants. This exact same thing has happened with many industries. Now that people have extra leisure time because the products are so much cheaper they value experiences. They are willing to pay to do something in the old way just to have fun.

After spending two days riding elephants I can assure you that doing it all day every day for a job is not fun. You would have to pay me to do that, but I was more than happy to pay to learn how to ride elephants and enjoy being with them for two days. It was fabulous. A once in a life time experience.

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