Thursday, September 29, 2005

Summons, the Sequel

It's right after sahur, and I cannot make myself to go to sleep. I don't know why....
So I figured that I might as well write something since its been a while since I wrote anything...

The police department finally decides that they would give the Malaysian citizens a break. And so a nationwide promotions was announced to pay your summonses. 50% discounts for all summonses if you pay before the end of the month. Unfortunately, the promotions was more of an act of greed rather than a benevolent act of kindness. Before the promotions was even announced, they sent out threat letters to gullible people like myself to pay our outstanding summonses, and so I did. But right after that, this promotions thing came up. Though I still had outstanding summonses, I wish I had known about this promotions thing earlier. Since I would save about more than RM400 otherwise....

I don't know, if the police department was playing a joke on us or whatever, but I think they forgot that over 24 million people will be paying their summonses nationwide. The first deadline was extended due to long queues and only 3 million managed to pay their summonses on time. The deadline extention gave opportunity for the other 21 million to pay their summonses. And even after the extension, i doubt 21 million people managed to pay their summonses.

The whole thing was a real havoc. What used to take 10 minutes, was 6 hours that day. Due to the abundant amount of people, some was smart to capitalize on the whole thing by selling ice-cream and drinks. Hence the picture of the ice-cream man.
Atleast some good came out of this.....
"Some local small time business traders get to prosper for the Raya season."
I think the police department was so not ready for the whole nationwide promotions things. The queue was long and nobody dared to leave their queue to go pee or buy a drink since one might lose their queue. There are some rude people cutting queues, and the crowd responded with anger, with "Oii's" and "Buta ka (are you blind)". It was hot, it was suffocating, it was long, it was tiring and it was definitely unbearable.
It was a test of mental and physical strength. The weak fall down to the ground. Brave men like myself fought hard to keep my queue. The system was terribly slow and I don't understand why the police department did not spend some money on a ticketing system. Like the postal office and banks. That way nobody needs to stand-up in a line, as if we were waiting for our judgement day call.

Noon was the worst time ever. It was terribly hot....and everybody fought to get some shade. The police department must have known that they will be collecting payments from over 500 people a day!!!! And they did nothing to prepared for that...Nobody went to lunch, prayers or what so ever and I figured the the police collected more than just cash that day, they have also collected some sins.
And yes, I bet the guy in charge thought that they needed more than one counter. So he opened two counters...(yeah two would be enough.....duh!!)
What's sad that Malaysia is still not a caring country. We tell people we are different. We are a caring nation. But the police department proves us wrong. There was no special considerations for the old and injured. I mean, the old folks, veterans over 55, Grand papa and grand mama who hasve to stand in the hot sun without shade, food and water. They were treated like criminals, as if they were guilty for murdering kenny ong or something. It was terribly insensitive. I know this cause I was worried that an old lady, who was standing right infront of me would suddenly faint or suddenly suffer a heart attack.

Anyway, I'm joey reporting live from the police station Seksyen 11 Shah Alam. I tried to take more pictures in the police department. But they pulled me aside for taking pictures. I got a scary pet talk from the police and a threat about putting me in jail without a warrant. Apparently, camera's are not allowed. They just hate the public to find out that while they can easily afford LCD monitors for their solitaire pleasure, they can't afford an automated ticketing counter for the public......

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Friendster blogger sucks so moving on to another...

Like my friend, Linuxlah, I too gave up on friendster blog. I thought it would be easy to have everything in one portal, but friendster had a lot of limitations for a novice turning intermediate blogger like myself.
Hence, I've created my own blog here in blogspot. The reasons are as below:
  1. I'm starting to get the bloggeritis fever.
  2. It supports anonymous comments, cause I like to get to know strangers who have nothing better
    to do but to nose around other people's blogs.
  3. Friendster had this bad feature where it tells all my friends in my friends network about me updating
    my blog. It happens even when I correct a spelling in a word. Don't get me wrong, I like attention but not
    too much attention. Sure, sometimes I like to spam my friends, but that I can do occasionally when I do
    update my friendster blog about an article i wrote here.
  4. Blogspot have way cooler features.
  5. Blogspot rocks when it comes to customizations.
So therefore, was created and got spawn off my old blog site,

If you are wondering what pasquinades means, from, it means:
A satire or lampoon, especially one that ridicules a specific person, traditionally written and posted in a public place.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Could Dr. Rizal PhD be possible?

Research Proposal
Research Field: EXPERT SYSTEMS
Research Title: Natural Language Processing(NLP) For Speech Input/Output In A Computer Expert System
  1. Background

    The development of Artificial Intelligence has spawn many applications from creating artificial neural network for Self-learning Systems to case reasoning systems for Expert Systems. Experts Systems are mostly used today to gain answers to myriads of knowledge, however, the problem lies in recognizing inputs, searching the right data to be processed and outputting the data in an understandable form. Previous work that have been done with Natural Language speech input/output are mostly restricted to English. A problem lies for countries that use mixed languages like Malaysia, where English and Malay are often used interchangeably.

    This leaves an opportunity to create a whole set of Media Library to recognized English, Malay and derivatives of the two languages for natural language processing. A trained Expert System can therefore use the much more relaxed natural language set for input and output that can recognized crude English grammar with mixed of Malay and English. Consequently, producing a better, robust and practical use of an expert system.
  1. Previous Work Done on NLP
    A popular work in Natural Language Processing(NLP) is GATE (General Architecture for Text Engineering), it aims to provide a software infrastructure for researchers and developers working in NLP. GATE has now been widely available for four years. Using GATE will eliminate the hassle to:
    • store data on disk
    • display data
    • load processor modules and data stores into processes
    • initiate and administer processes
    • divide computation between client and server
    • pass data between processes and machines.

    This research will evaluate GATE potential and feasibility to be used as an NLP library to be integrated into an Expert System. It will also involve research work to use NLP for languages other than English, primarily the use of Malay language and the combination of English and Malay Language.
    GATE has been used in many projects for language processing and data extraction. It has also been used for building NLP systems that can recognized German language. The challenging mark for this research is making GATE to work with both Malay language and English language.
  1. AIML for Expert Systems

    The Expert System to be used in this research will use the power of AIML. AIML, or Artificial Intelligence Mark-up Language enables people to input knowledge into chat-bots based on the A.L.I.C.E free software technology. AIML was developed by the Alicebot free software community and Dr. Richard S. Wallace. It was originally adapted from a non-XML grammar also called AIML, and formed the basis for the first Alicebot, A.L.I.C.E., the Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity.

    AIML, describes a class of data objects called AIML objects and partially describes the behavior of computer programs that process them. AIML objects are made up of units called
    topics and categories, which contain either parsed or unparsed data.

    Parsed data is made up of characters, some of which form character data, and some of which form AIML elements. AIML elements encapsulate the stimulus-response knowledge contained in the document. Character data within these elements is sometimes parsed by an AIML interpreter, and sometimes left unparsed for later processing by a Responder.

    The research will involve the use of AIML with Program D as its engine. The core of the Expert System's responds to questions and answers will be processed through AIML coding. These coding must be able to recognized the complexity of using languages other than English, or a mix language of English and Malay. Several work has been done to create chatbots that are also experts systems. These are also done using AIML based from the original ALICE programmed used in previous work.
  1. Previous work done on Experts Systems Integration with NLP

    A popular open source development in AI is Program D. It is the most widely used open source / free AIML interpreter in the world and can be used to create an Expert System. It is the most feature-complete implementation of the current AIML specification. It supports unlimited multiple bots in a single server instance, and has an open-ended architecture for interacting via any interface imaginable. (The standard release includes interfaces to instant messaging platforms, IRC, HTML forms, and Flash, and provides a working servlet implementation.) It includes an automated testing framework for testing your knowledge bases, and is packaged with an AIML Test Suite that verifies that the program itself complies to the AIML specification.

    Program D is known to work with many different languages / character sets. Its component-oriented architecture allows it to be integrated into any application framework desirable. It is implemented in Java, and uses many features of the latest JDK to provide optimum code reliability. It is actively maintained and supported.

    There are some work being done in Project D to support speech. The most integral part of this research, as proof of concept, is to make Project D work with GATE to process natural languages and create speech for input/output for an Expert System.
  1. Objectives of Research

    The main objective of this paper is to present ideas for future researchers and developers to create Expert Systems that are more robust in recognizing languages other than English or a combination of languages. These are more practical implementation of NLP for experts systems.

    This paper will also describe a computer program which accepts and "understands" a comfortable, but relaxed set of two natural languages, English, Malay and derivatives of both languages. Certain difficulties are inherent in this problem of making a machine "understand" English, Malay or a combination of these two languages. Within the limited framework of the subject matter understood by the program, many of these problems are solved or circumvented. I shall describe these problems and my solutions, and point out those solutions which I feel have general applicability. I will also indicate which must be replaced by more general methods to be really useful, and give my ideas about what general solutions to these particular problems might entail.
  1. Research Methodology

    The research methodology used in this research takes the following approach:
    1. Domain Analysis
      1. Analysis of research descriptions
      2. Examples
      3. Abstracts
      4. Journals
      5. Papers.
    2. General Architecture for System
      1. Comprehension of tools being used for research.
      2. Requirement Analysis
      3. Design and Implementation
      4. Explanation and Design of software
    3. Demonstration and example of implementation
    4. Empirical data testing and statistical overview
    5. Contributions for research and benefits of research
    6. Future Work

  1. Significant Use For This Research Paper

    This paper will be useful to guide software developers and researchers to develop software that uses natural language processing for speech and Expert Systems. It will also help developers and researchers to create new support for different languages to be recognized and possibly integrated into an Expert System for the purpose of education and knowledge sharing.
  1. Benefits Of This Research

    The benefits out of this research to society is the possibility to create a database of knowledge in a Expert System that has lower language barriers. This allows education softwares to be created for the community. In will also spawn new development and revamp how computers interact with human beings. It could possibly revolutionize how human beings interact with computers and enhance learning through computers. As for Malaysia, the use of this research can be the basis to create educational softwares, consumer relationships softwares, knowledge based softwares that can be used as experts systems in the form of robots, chatbots, touch screen displays and many more.
  1. List of References
    ...////......exhaustive list of resources
  1. Research Schedule

Phases Description Duration
Analysis of research descriptions To analyze research domain and define scope of research. 1 month
Examples Information Gathering for examples in the use of GATE and Program D 2 months
Journals Information Gathering for journals of previous work being done. 1 month
Papers Information Gathering for papers of previous work being done 1 month
Comprehension of tools being used for research. Comprehension of tools, languages and integration methods for research in GATE, PROGRAM D and AIML language sets. 3 months
Requirement Analysis Requirement analysis for software development, language sets and database 3 months
Design and Implementation Design of overall system for proof of concept 3 months
Explanation and Design of software Thorough write up for difficulties, limitations, and possible enhancements 2 months
Demonstration and example of implementation System demonstration and prototype 1 month
Empirical data
testing and statistical
Statistical data of performance, language recognition and success rate 3 months
  1. Proposed Supervisor

    I intend to have Associate Professor Lawrence K. Saul from University of Pennsylvania as my supervisor for my PhD. research. Currently, Professor Saul is attached to the GRASP Laboratory, Department of Computer & Information Science, University of Pennsylvania. His experience in machine learning, pattern recognition, and voice processing could help me realize my research and possibly provide guidelines for my work.

Monday, September 12, 2005

From Coder to Plumber

So what did I do during the weekend, when I'm not being a computer geek, pecking away on the keyboard, trying to write codes that could possibly be the only clue for extra-terrestrials to the existence of intelligent life form on earth (I'm exaggerating)?

I'm a plumber
! Yes a plumber. Mind you, its harder than you think it is!!!. I somehow have to justify myself to my parents for still squating in the house. Therefore, I try to be useful to them, and play many roles besides a son which leeches money of them. The roles I usually play are; electrician, plumber, a handy-man, driver, butler, maid, household ornament, the dog picking up news papers, and many more that goes much more worst than just being a dog. I try to think of myself like the "Pretender", a genius in taking multiple roles and doing multiple kinds of jobs. But not as so dramatic that I save the world. I'm a Jack of All Trades, but unfortunately, master of none. Last week, I was the aquatic guy cleaning the pond, this week, I'm the plumber!!!

For some weird reason, the pipe outside the house--where the garden host is attached to--broke out of god knows why. I suspect, Samsiah, our helper, suddenly gone mental and decided to break the pipe faucet just because, she gets a kick out of looking at me doing something in the house besides sleeping. Hehehe, no it must have been due to wear and tear. The broken pipe needs to be fixed, and hence, i put on my plumber cap, bring out the wrench and start wearing some village people clothes.

The task was not as easy, I had to go shopping for a new faucet. And what I got was a industrial standard valve faucet. If it still breaks, then god is just testing my patience. After putting some plumbing tape on the faucet, i used the wrench to finally finish the job while flexing my muscles....hehehe

Job accomplished. Today I'm a Plumber, wonder what I'll be tomorrow?

Dsc00019_1Yes, I know, i know, its counter-clock-wise
if you want to unscrew the pipe.
Do you want to do it instead.
Two onlookers trying their best to
be plumbing consultants.


Almost done, just some adjustments
and mission accomplished.
Where did the other
two consultants go,
don't they want to
celebrate a work well done?

Dsc00029The water filter doesn't talk Fariz.
Fariz trying to flirt with the water filter.
Trying to coerce it to work better.
Water quality has not been good so far.
I told him that it won't work.

Life of a mercenary Coder

In the IT world, coding is probably the most creative work that requires patience, brilliance and skill. The level of creativity is so complicatedly confusing, obscure and incomprehensible to the normal being. The codes are literally a bunch of instructions to govern a certain system, and just by observing a bunch of code, one can only see chaos and disorder. But in the chaos of source codes, order comes into being, which only an engineer could call it beautiful.

If you enjoy coding, I'm sure you must have code before for friends, hobby and money. Well, I am coding today for the latter reasons and in that order particularly. As my friends and I gathered in the office, trying to finish a system we promised, we are tired, terribly dehydrated and hungry. The whole gathering thing was fun, its like a coding camp, that everybody comes to a tent and start coding. It feel like we are boys again, running around in the parking lot, pushing each other into the bushes...and playing with the water sprinkler in the park. But when the development became slow, it was terrible.

Its about 2.30 am now, and we are far from completing the system. The place we work in Cyberjaya, is an isolated city far away from human interaction. Hence, its name, Cyber-Jaya. It so hard to find a place that's open at night, that is, if you daring enough to go out alone. The roads are empty and the road lamps are dim. It like a scene from sin city, a ghost town at night and a technology city during the day.

To make things worst, the whole development cycle start-off badly. We have no CVS, use a central database and we use a live data for testing. What this means really in non-geek language is that there is no sane way to work concurrently in a group. Each mistake of one member in a group will effect everybody. Not to mention, the bandwidth that each person will consume, causing massive delays to each member of the group. To add to our pathetic ordeal, the office does not have any airconditioning at night. You can just imagine the heat that each PC and laptop radiates. It like being in a steam room, without the moisture.

Finally, the whole development stops to a halt when the database became to slow to do work. This is due to fahmi, who keeps on trying to insert new data into the database, and everytime he does that, nobody can do anything. Tension starts to built and we finally stopped coding to do other things until the server speeds up again. Below are fellow comrades, and a snap shots of their lifes, as a mercenary coder....

Syirman, cracking his head over his coding. He is overdosed by ciggarettes and drinho. He is hungry and the words on his monitor starts to dance with the "Samseng" music on the background.

Pian, the Project Manager, the guy responsible for it all. He is also responsible for not having a CVS by the way. But overall, he's managing well. I did try to get a tense picture of him, but this is the best shot i can get.

Zul, terribly frustrated with the slow database, has been complaining with slight sounds of hmmm, and ish...coming from him. He doesn't talk much, but I assure you, that if he does make sounds, he is pissed.
Here is a picture of him pissed....

Myself, not really stressed, but can't stand the heat in the office. I so want to go out and get some fresh air. All the smoke that pian and syirman produce, doesn't help either...heheheh

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I'm actively contributing to the Malaysian Economy!!!

A few days before my exams, I again parked right outside of my office for a short meeting that I have to attend. Thinking that, who would want to summon me for being around for like an hour. But, guess what, my timing was all wrong. I must have gotten like 10 of these papers and today, I can reduce the space available in my dashboard compartment by adding my collection of summonses.
I hate the management of EB3 cyberjaya. I think they have been calling the police to summon all cars parked outside just so that they can force people to park cars in their premises and so that EB3 parking can gain revenue from people parking in their parking lots. I saw police making frequent visit to the EB3 parking office. I am on the works to unravel the mystery and conspiracy behind this stupid and silly car park summonses.

What's certain is that I am not the only one who is rebelling againts this injustice. As you can see the picture below, almost everybody is parking right outside. Its not like Cyberjaya is such a busy town anyways.
What led me to deducing a conspiracy is that, building other than EB3 does not have any summon tickets. Hmmm, wonder why? Is the police getting extra by being a liability to the EB3 cyberjaya parking payroll now?
Funny how the police makes such a big deal in parking offenses, but when a theft crime occurred in OSCC, the police didn't even bother to go investigate.

I guess someday I will have to pay for all my summonses. But I will think of it that I am doing Malaysia a favor. It's people like me that creates the multiplier effect in economics. One summon paid will be an income to a few police man, which in turn will spend that money else where, and will be income for those people, who will eventually spend it on some other people, and so on and so on. Hence, increasing money liquidity in Malaysia, increasing market trade volume as well as increasing consumer spending, eventually effecting overall Malaysian GDP and GNP. Consequently, assuring currency stability, higher import and exports and better Investment spending. Hell, we should be considered heroes, benefactors and we should get discount cuts in taxes for being such good citizens of Malaysia....heheheh

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Sun Certified Programmer for JAVA 2, sure, that's gonna make me rich.

Finally, I found some time to write something on my blog. I really needed the weekend to rest cause, last week, studying for the Sun Java Certification was hell. Due to the last minute study, I had to skip work with the following excuses: car problem, paying housing loans, puncture tyre problem, high fever, diarrhea, my dog hid the keys ... and etc. I had to continue lying for 3 days until the day of the exam. Anyway, all the lies was worth it, as I passed my Sun Certification by mere luck. The passing score was 32/61, and my score was a little bit higher, 33/61. Funny, I had no idea what I did right or what I did wrong. It was all very confusing and all the questions was obscure. I'm just lucky to have answered a little bit more than half of the questions right.

A friend who took it with me was not so lucky though. I feel bad for him cause I was the one who kinda coerce him into taking the certification. Its RM 500 a paper, and with our pathetic salaries, that's a hell lot. Anyway, I had confidence that my friend could have pass the exam without any problems, but I guess his part-time school and over demanding job, with crazy bosses drained him out of excellence.

Well, here are some pictures of me cracking my head for an exam that I don't really know why I'm taking it. Like LPIC, I'm not sure how this cert. will help me....

Dsc00017 And that's a picture of me studying....Garbage Collection, Classes concepts for inheritance, polymorphism and yada-yada-yada.

Hmmm, I will survive.....I will not give up!!!
This cannot be that difficult.

Dsc00019And that's me trying really hard to understand the abstract concepts of java inner classes....
Inner classes, outer classes, method classes,....what classes? I'm lost here!!
And what was threads again...what is this whole Garbage Collection thing have to do with objects and threads.....


I'm just gonna give up and let luck decide on my fate.