Thursday, April 27, 2006

Close of Week (CoW) Rambling

Phone rang at 12:50, my moTher needed a driver to IpoH as my grand aunt passed away. Usually, I would be very hesIStant and especIally on a wedneSday afternoon (normAlly we have management meeting on thiS day). No, Today I packEd my thinGs, told my boss thAt I have to take half day eMergency lEave and away I went back to DamanSara to pick my mom and Sister.

We left PJ At about 1:55 pm and reached ipoh about 3:35 pm, with all the rain between TanjunG Malim and Bidor, I thot I made Good timE to reach Ipoh. The surprise is that I was awake and lively all the way (especially for those who knows me) rather then passing out or feeling sleepy round about afternoon. What with two police car tailing behind with lights flashing - but they didn't stop me though. What was even more of a surprise to me, was that I was ready to drive back at about 5:00 pm back to PJ. We reached PJ after making a brief stop in Tanjung Malim to relieve outselves.

The next surprise was that I had the cheek to drop my mom and sister of and left for the Curve to catch my usual RPM Gym class. I was not feeling tired from all this activities. I was thinking to myself this morning, hmmmm...this is an interesting testimonial to excercise.

I am also using this posting to test a message within a message.
Oh, another thing, before I forget, don't miss the event....

At 2 minutes and 3 seconds past 1 in the morning of 4th of May this year...... we'll get....

01:02.03 04/05/06...

never to be repeated in your lifetime!


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Song Lyrics that bothers me

I guess I have reached the ultimate low for this month, when I am starting to quote lyrics of Song. But I have not heard nor really listen to the actual meaning of this lyrics until one of the radio station played it this morning. The Song is "Eye in the Sky" by Alan Parsons;

Don’t think sorry’s easily said
Don’t try turning tables instead
You’ve taken lots of chances before
But I’m not gonna give anymore
Don’t ask me
That’s how it goes
Cause part of me knows what you’re thinkin’

Don’t say words you’re gonna regret
Don’t let the fire rush to your head
I’ve heard the accusation before
And I ain’t gonna take any more
Believe me
The sun in your eyes
Made some of the lies worth believing

I am the eye in the sky
Looking at you
I can read your mind
I am the maker of rules
Dealing with fools
I can cheat you blind
And I don’t need to see any more
To know that
I can read your mind, I can read your mind

Don’t leave false illusions behind
Don’t cry cause I ain’t changing my mind
So find another fool like before
Cause I ain’t gonna live anymore believing
Some of the lies while all of the signs are deceiving

I need to switch station in more ways then one.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

History of Computing - Lesson Learnt

My first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. The thing I remembered out of this was, that I bought it from the shelf of a Magazine shop called WHSmith in 1979. I also picked up a magazine and learnt programming in order to use this Sinclair. This was my first encounter with the Programming world. I also remembered that 1K or RAM is not much becoz, as I was typing the listing in, the cursor sort of didn't want to move further.

My Second computer was a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. This came with a 48K RAM (Whoooohh, lotsa RAM at that time - mind U this is a 8 bit machine), and there are lotsa of listing of games. I learnt to create characters out of block figures and it was also my first introduction to gaming. Sprite was only available on "higher"end computers like the ATARI. I think the rubber keyboard gave away within 6 month.

I later "upgraded" to a BBC Micro with 32 K RAM because it was suppose to have a more "superior" BASIC which had structured Procedure calls. This was my first serious Computer as it had Disc Drives as opposed to the Sinclair which depended on Audio Tape Cassettes for Storage ;)

Early on in my working career, I then moved on from desktop computers to Minis and Mainframes. This was my first encounter with Prime Computers and Fortran. I need to learn Fortran to run simulation and analysis on engineering problems. As the programme were run on "batches" (phantom mode), I kinda picked up cracking at this stage as I needed a Super User ID. I used to leave simulated "Login screen" created with CPL scripts just to capture Admin password. The other thing that I picked up during this time is programming dicipline. I had a mentor who had a ruler beside his monitor screen to unsure that the Subroutines and Return statements were aligned for ease of debugging.

My annoyance with the IBM Mainframe and the costly price required to upgrade the DASD (Disk Drive to you and me), drove me to revamp the IT Division to use Novell. This upgrade saves the organization half a million Ringgit. I also remember the stress in trying to churn out application within 3 month, till I discovered a neat 4GL application Builder called Clarion. I was churning out simple apps at the rate of 2 for every week.

Tinkering with the PC, I got wise to its memory management at that time, trying to squeeze every bit of available memory in order to fit the Fat Novell Client. I also saw the war between the Emm386 and XMS386. It was also at this time I picked up assembly language trying to make use of the extended memory area of the PC. I was and still am continously amazed at a programme called Sidekick, (which had a calculator, notepad and a few other utilities) all written under 48K and fits nicely inside a memory space just above the 640.

My most memorable time was the availability of Tools made by this brilliant guy called Peter Norton. I survived and live by his Diskedit and DiskTools having to use it dwell into File Allocation Table and copy protection at that time.

It was also this time that I got myself my next computer which was a PC with 386@33Mhz/387 Co processor and with 8 Mbyte RAM(woooohhhh and Ahhhh) becoz I needed to run AutoCAD. That did not last long as Intel had immediately launch the 486 Chip which revolutionizes computing as we know it. RAMS got bigger and cheaper, programmes got fatter and more complex. The change of pace and rate of change also kill my appetite in chasing technology in so far as keeping up with the Super Chips for my Desktop/Notebook resource. It is also during this time a ran a Bulletin Board and later discovered the Internet.

I remember the Internet nearly drove my life to the ground. I live, eat , sleep on the Net. I also remember stalking and tracing someone on the net at 3 am, while emailing to and from with an acquaintance by the name of MAL (Dr Mohamed Awang Lah).

Looking back, it has been a memorable 27 years of history with the Computers. So much lessons, so little time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hectic - Hectic - Hectic

This weekend has been a hectic one for me. For someone who is fairly quite unorganized (though the sequence of event looks organized), there seems to be a flurry of activities but it was more out of necessity of trying to fill the time up rather then really in a busy situation.

My Sunday morning began with my sending the wifey of to KLIA. She has to go to Brunei for a week on conference (yooo-hoo leading to a Huuuuhuuuu). She also chose the opportune time to tell me that her car was due for service. Trying to be an obedient husband, sent the car duly to her normal garage.

While waiting for the car, being bored, got back to the house to pick my car up for a spin, and for breakfast. Lo and behold, a nail decided to crash into my car tyre and causes it to be flat. Not to be outdone by the nail, took the car to the nearest tyre shop to have both front tyres changed. Funny that a set of car tyres cost the same as your "Nike" that you use in the Gym (I thought to myself)

After sending back my car, went around to pick up my wifes' car which nearly emptied my pocket. That nearly finished half my day. Got out immediately at about 1 pm to rush for my Gym class in KL, when I bumped into a traffic jam which totally cheeses me off. The cause is a broken traffic light near Subang Jaya. I do not mind that it hasn't been fixed for a day or two, but 4 days. This is utterly ridiculous. I am lucky that I cross that traffic light early morning at 6 am normally, but on Sunday at 1 pm, the tailback was horrendous.

While on the subject of Traffic Lights Management, I don't understand the apportionment of time given to the traffic signals. What is the objective of giving more time to the flow, when there is not flow in the first place. In the morning, traffic is outbound from Subang Jaya to KL, why are there more time given to lights coming into Subang Jaya?

On the subject of road design, why are there negative camber design at the exit of Subang Jaya to Federal Highway. This is a bad Design Flaw which can cause car to skid coming out of Subang Jaya. Don't all these design get vetted prior to approval??

Participated in my normal Body Pump class. Tried to participate in Body Jam, Conclusion - Geeks like me have no rhythm. I am out of synch most of the time and the pace is too fast. By the time got back from the Gym, (luckily Menara AXIS Gym was closed due to power outage) was so darned tired, dropped by the Mamak's stall to have late lunch/early dinner. Was nearly asleep at the table and struggle myself back to home by 6:30pm. God , that was one tiring Sunday.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

My Six Month Poetry of Life

In trying to Celebrate my 6 month on the Net, I thought I might want to look back at what had inspired me for the last half year and though how yucky it can be, relook at some of my sentimentalist poems.

a) The month that I discovered that my fren JATT had leukemia. I wrote this as a dedication to him ( Poem for a Fren)
b) I was introduced to new frens and my admiration to their skills (programming and other talents) and how they had given me social support. (Celebrating Friendship)
c) My bump into the Security Specialist Space - Formal and Informal Training/Certification (Ode to Security Specialist)
d) A heart wrenching moment to see my close friend fell out of love (Scarred Tissue)
e) End of the Gregorian Calender, Christmas is approaching - Looking forward to the Holidays (Christmas Carol)
f) Managing mood swing, a reminder to me (Moods)
g) Reflecting on 2005 - Moving forward (2005 in Reflection)
h) The daily sacrifices that we go thru, Celebrating Aidil Adha - We all have our "Korbans". (Korban)
i) An observing friend - a lonely fren who is now about to change her Life (Lonely)
j) A reminder and motivating poem for me to excercise (Journey Towards Health)

I hope in my next six month, I don't write this kinda of yucky and monotonous poems anymore.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Weekend Rambling - Boys and their Toys

Sometimes offers comes at a time when you don't really have cash to spare,but becoz of "nafsu", you just can't pass a good offer. I got a pair of these for a scream of a sum (almost 40% of market price). Not wanting to enjoysuffer alone, I tried to coax close frens to enjoy suffer collaboratively,by smsing them the offer. there were no takers, hence I got myself two phones, one Nokia N70 and the other being the cheaper model, the 6680.

The excuse I gave myself, testing out 3 G service from two major Cellular provider - yeah right. Who am I kidding.

This weekend also was the day I paid my specialist Doctor a visit. The good news is that my glucose level has subsided and my blood pressure is only marginal. The doctor was quite surprised at the results. He took me off the Reductil and just ask me to continue with the Glucophage.

Also went to Starbuck/Borders to catch up on frens after which I drop by PC Fair in my attempt to buy my notebook. All I got to see were the back of peoples head for half an hour. That was one disapointing PC Fair, which puts me off buying my replacement notebook - AGAIN.

All in all, it was a mix weekend, some joyous moment and some not so interesting events. Looking forward to next week.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Correspondingly Tagged - Sil Vous Plait

Aiyah...I was tagged by Nadio to fill up this school related questionaire. It is not that I feel reluctant to do it out of laziness, it is just that I cannot remember my time in school. It has been that long - more then 25 years ago that I can't even remember how my teachers look like. However, in respecting her wishes, below is my feeble attempt to fill up what ever I could muster out of my deranged nuerons during my school life.

How many school did you go to?

3 ,
Standard 1 to standard 4 (Sekolah Iskandar Alor Setar),
Standard 5 to Form 5 (St Michael Ipoh) and
Form 6 (Bukit Bintang Boys School PJ).

If you include Llandrillo Technical Collegue, North Wales for A-Levels, that will be 4. Did my Degree in University Collegue of Swansea, South Wales, UK.

Was I a studious nerd or last minute hero?

I was a studious nerd up until Form 3. I then discovered Tae Kwan Do, Tennis and Tuition Study Group ;). After Form 3,my moto is, "Keep a cool head.What ever you learn, with a cool head, you will outperform other stressed out class mate - or so I try to tell myself". I also depended on funny systems to memorize what I learn (eg - bone in Hand is called Humerus - as it starts with H and Femur s for Feet etc , in history - I just memorized one date 1511, then add 130 for end of Portugese rule and 1641 and add 150 for 1791 end of Dutch Rule etc)

In university, i was a last minute hero. I had hoped to fail the final year, playing hookie 75% of the time, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I passed with a General Degree.

Was I a taiko or a teachers pet?

I was neither, having to choose to sit in middle of class room, bland and inconspicous. I was a follower rather then a leader, very shy and always getting into trouble and getting caught by discipline teachers for being mischevious and getting caught out for not knowing how to lie. In fact in Bukit Bintang Boys School, I was frequently ragged ie having to propose to dustbins and flagpoles.

Best 3 subject

Math (Modern and Add) - I also had to become teachers tutor (Mr Wilson) to teach other A-Level student (other Mat Salleh and Iranian Student)
Chemistry (had a chemistry Lab in the house compliment of my late father)
Physics (Though how I hate Applied Mechanics and memorizing all the equations)

3 Teachers I remember most.

Miss Josephine Wong (English Teacher and Miss Malaysia) - I can't remember what I learn in her classes. All I remember of her was her signature, that has a prominent "W" in Wong. We used to add two additional dots to the "W".

Miss Ho (Math Teacher) - Teacher who gave us sneak peak into adulthood and can sometimes forget/careless that wearing short skirt and reaching or trying to write sentences on the top of the blackboard is a no-no.

Mr Ung Khek Chow (my Math tuition Teacher) - always featured in LAT's cartoon and a mean stomach pincher. He taught me the meaning of doing Math on the fly. Under his tutorship, I not only learnt how to solve Maths problem quickly, but I could solve it in many ways and in the fastest time - lest I wanted a black belt in my stomach.

Ok...cukup le tu....don't wanna prolong suffering on others, hence I won't tag anyone. ;) Gotta watch TV now.

Friday, April 14, 2006

An eventful Last Quarter

Let see, what have I achieve this past quarter. I have set a few goals late last year, perhaps its time to revisit those goals.

a) Regain Health
b) Find more time for self
c) Explore other interest

Positively....I might have almost achieved most what I had set to do (albeit with support and help from friends), though the journey is still far away. I had enrolled into a gym and last two month progress has been very encouraging. My stamina and strength has gained a fairly bit and I now do not have the "lack of breath syndrom" that often. My blood pressure and glucose level had subsided thus I am now looking forward to seeing the specialist to confirm the results. Indirectly, this coupled with other alternative treatment has resolved some of my behaviour that has lead me to be in a depressive state. I don't pass out during driving anymore (fingers crossed) . I now have a fresher outlook of life.

The offset of it is that I now get too addictive to excercise that I tend to spend an average of 3 hours in the gym. Though I do have off days from Gym, I tend to start my cardio and later go into group excercise classes (which can be back to back). This reduces my time for other social activities. I don't think I gain any brownie points with some of my friends either.

However, in exploring other interest, I have made quite a few new friends, online and offline (especially in the Gym). This has diversified my interest other then just excercise and photography. This has lead me to rekindle some interest in literature and charity work.

My only negative update is the lost of my dear friend, my Thinkpad T41. It took me a bit of time to accept this lost and to date I have not acquired a replacement notebook. I suppose that notebook has many meaning to me and I blame myself for the lacksadisical approach that I had in managing this friend. It is only this week have I accepted closure to this case and will be shopping for a new notebook this weekend.

Looking forward to the next quarter, I am about to start a new project with a new acquiantance. Will provide updates as we go along. Until next review.....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Of Prejudices and StereoTyping - A way of Life

People tell me Islam is the way of Life. I ponder on that statement, not becoz i do not belief in it but more to variance that I see in the execution in living the life in Islam. People can sometimes be so judgemental in the way of how they see how Islam should be lived (especially in Malaysia), but I sometimes wonder "Is there another alternative way of living Islam rather then conform to the normal sterotype"

I am also at fault and find myself sometimes very judgemental on others and can sometimes also stereo-type people in very fixed categories. Everytime I find and know someone who wears a "Tudung Labuh" or "Sarban", I tend to think that he/she is, and should be pious. More often then not, I find that the reverse could be true. The more I get to know these gentlement/ladies, I find that they harbour the same (if not more) negative behaviour then I would like to see or hear in a Muslim way of Life.

I also came across other ladies/men who may not be projecting a piousness in a Muslim way of Life but practices mediocrity, has noble intention, yet fulfill the requirement of Islam subtlely but more often then not is seen to be secularist.

Who is to say that one is better then the other. But ironically in this current society, there seems to be a need to conform and comply to the herd mentality. It seems that if you want to be accepted this "club" of "piousness", you will have to conform to these certain way of look.

The reason that I brought this matter up as a matter of background, is that I sometimes question myself as to whether, is this the only way to go about practicing to be a good muslim? Question that I often have are:-

a) Is there another way of coaching and tutoring (in a fun manner) as oppose to the traditional syarahan and the "I am holy then thou" attitude.
b) Can learning about Islam be done in a non traditional environment - such as in an photographic/art studio?
c) Can we infuse buffet learning environment and Casual Group activities in mosque?. After all historically the mosque use to be community center?
d) There are other components of science and art that the Holy Koran speaks that are never elaborated and documented, rather then always focus on the rules of the do's and don'ts

I suppose, we live and learn, and we lead our live how we feel best while adhering to the commandments laid out.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Week that was

I am not sure whether we really believe the saying "You are what U eat". Recently, I am begining to revisit this saying and belief there is a lot of truth in that. How did I come to this hypothesis?

I was told that much of the human behaviour and attitude rises from the fact that our bodies are made of chemicals. Most of the time, these chemicals are in harmony and hence you are ok. However, if there are any areas of the bodies which are in distress, then alarms are triggered. Manifestation of these alarms are rise in blood pressure and rise of other chemical attributes such as blood sugar level. Though some people go even farther to theorise that this will affect mood swings and your feeling of well being (positive or otherwise), I feel that there are credible scientific evidence to support this.

After 6 month of being treated in a specialist hospital to gain control of my high blood pressure, there does not seem to be light at the end of the tunnel. During this time depression also got the better of me and I have been a lousy friend to have around. In fact some told me that I have been an annoyance to them. I don't blame them really, you really have to dig into yourself for self discovery.

Recently I went in to try an alternative medicine and found out that after just two treatment, my blood pressure came down and my glucose level came within control. In fact, I felt more energetic and colleagues in office remarked how different I was. Having thought this could be a placebo effect, I kept quiet and pursued the treatment further and monitored my blood pressure and glucose levels. I noticed incedental improvements to my skin, dandruff and water retention problem. I enquired from the practioner and was told that he was mere treating the source of problem which causes my hormone to be out of whack. Hence , if that is solved, the body will recompensate and get back its own chemical balance and thus rectify its own problem. I was also reminded on proper way of eating to get back my health (tho he is not the first to remind me - my gym coach being the first)

All in all, I am happy to regain my health (fingers crossed) and look forward to a more positive outlook and enjoy life more. I also weigh myself recently, I lost 17 kilos in all for six month and 7 kilos is attributed strictly to gym classes (2 month) . That really made my week.