Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friends, you are all invited for Makan2x.

Dear friends, colleagues and ex-colleagues.
Finally, it is time for me to continue my studies towards my Ph.D. I would like to invite my friends to my humble abode, on the 1st. of January, from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

I hope to see all of you to reset the counters for if I have offended any of you.

Please come, save dinner, enjoy the company of friends and reminiscence in old memories.


Venue: No. 5 Jalan Lurah 8/2A, Section 8, Shah Alam
Time: 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm
Date: 1st. January, 2008
Dress Code: Casual

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Baby Arissa's Birthday

Last Saturday was Arissa's birthday. Arissa is my niece, Kak Lanie's third child. Kak Lanie arranged the party to be in McDonalds, with a small band of family members. MyDonalds was great, the kids liked it, there is a place for the kids to run around and play and the food is likable by kids, and adults alike. But it was so crowded. It was so crowded that even the air-conditioning in the small building cannot cope with it. It was so crowded that it was hard to even listen to yourself mumbling in your head. It was so crowded that we had to queue for like an hour to get our food. But nontheless, it was a good birthday. Arissa was a bit moody that day, but she was definitely happy to see her amazing looking cake. A princess looking cake. As you can see, Arissa (the little girl in the green dress) was mesmerized to see the pink princess looking cake. Kids these days are so pampered.

But along the way, Arissa little baby sister, Arianna (the little girl in the white dress with small pink flowers) was also enjoying the cake. She too tried to blow the candles on the princess. We all had a fun day celebrating Arissa's birthday, even though it was really crowded and hot.
The whole event was much fun. Of course it was a headache for Kak Lanie. But I'm sure it brings her joy seeing her daughters grow up and it was a well worth headache.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Fan Powered BBQ from recycling PC

About 2 weeks ago, a group of us decided to have a BBQ at a river near Ulu Yam. Naturally, the thought of eating BBQ food is nice, but the work involved setting up the fire for the BBQ would be cumbersome. There was a few problems with the BBQ plan, first we didn't have a BBQ set, and second, we are lazy.

So our first resolve was to find a BBQ set. We can obviously buy one, but that's just wasteful. Apek suggested that we use some of the old PC thrown out. These PC's were there for like more than 3 years now and are accumulating dust, rusting away or have turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

After salvaging one with the least rust, we figured we can modify it to make it into a BBQ set. Hence we have solved our first problem of not having a BBQ set.

Going through the rumble of old computers, we noticed that some of the PCs were still equipped with PC fans. They were rusty, but some of them seems to be working. We thought, wouldn't it be cool if we can use these fans to provide a steady ventilation system for our BBQ set, and totally eliminating one hard work of using our hands wavering a fan up and down to light up the charcoal. These would solve problem no. 2 of being lazy.

So the rest was just tool shop class work and some artistry. Using some card board paper from old PC boxes, we created the shaft for the fans. In the future, I would probably go with something better than the card board paper, something that wouldn't catch on fire that easily. But thats all we had at that time.

We made sure all of the fans had their own shafts for air flow to blow into the PC frame, we didn't want the air flow to be blowing out from the PC frame because the heat might melt the fans.

The 3 fans mounted to our BBQ set obviously needed a power source. We found out that the fans uses 12 volts to spin at a considerable speed. This is a lot of power and we decided that an acid battery from a motorcycle would do. So we got a battery to power the fans, wired it up all together in parallel and tried to power up the fans.

Finally, it was time to test our invention. After putting a wire grill on top of the PC, we lighted some charcoal with paper underneath it and powered our fan. The air flow into the PC made sure the fire was burning rapidly to a certain level quickly. Within minutes we had a steady flame and we were ready to start cooking.

It was perfect. However, word of caution, if you intend to use card board boxes as the shaft for your fans, it might go on fire. Towards the end of the BBQ, the shaft indeed got on fire. But we were all done by then with cooking and eating. The Engineers involved in the prototype development were Ajiz, Makrie, Firdaus aka Apex and Myself. So don't you throw away your old useless PCs. Turned it into something useful.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Anytime, anywhere, 3G and wait, with Debian Linux

Finally I am totally free from wires. After playing around with 3G Maxis, I finally managed to browse the web using 3G and my Linux box. If you are a windows user, I'm sure it's no big deal. But if you are a Linux user, I know you'll be itching to boot on your linux box and hack away to get 3G to work.

Anyway, thanks to 3G now I can go to website that my office forbids. Particularly sites like meebo, friendster and other websites that I shall not mention here....hehehe

Anyhow, if you are even interested about how to get connected to 3G with Linux, try and take a look at
for some clues.

Good luck now...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bukit Tabur East Side Pictures

I've not been blogging recently. I guess work got the best of me, and laziness got the rest of it. A while back, I did find the path to East Side Bukit Tabur, and it was equally interesting and challenging. I can't really give full details, cause I dont think I have the time to be descriptive, but I managed to take some pictures on the way up. And East Side Tabur was my last silly adventures with Mark, before he left to continue his studies. Now I'm without a friend to go on my Indiana Jones adventures.

To go to Bukit Tabur East Side, we followed the water pipes coming from the dam. Right towards the end, there was a path going up to what is known to be East side of Bukit Tabur. Anyways, the hike up was not that long, its just very steep, and tiring. We finally reached the first peak of the East Side and managed to get a different view of the Dam, from the East Side, you will have a better view of the overall Klang Gate Dam.

We continued further, and had some rest at a shady area before continuing our journey towards the next peak. From there on, the climb was less steep, but the path seems to be harder to find and sometimes dissappear. At times we were just taking path by just gut feeling.

This was indeed the scariest part of East Side Bukit Tabur, you really have to be careful here, the ridge is narrow and a wrong move can have you falling to your doom; if you happened to stumble on either sides.

Some of the rocks here would make a really cool place for trad climbing. If only I have the money to buy my own crabs, I would have climbed the rocks and find me some beautiful crystals.

As we go on further, quartz crystals started to appear. I'm pretty sure, if we went further, it would be much
more abundant, but that would mean we have to rock climb, which we didn't have the gear yet. Maybe next year we will eventually reach the furthest peak and trad climb to the top. I hope nobody breaks the crystals in
an attempt to bring it back as a souvenir. It took thousands of years to make those pieces of quartz crystals.
Just take a picture please...dont be selfish, let others enjoy nature's beauty too.

Even though the path seems to be much more elucid as we went on, as expected, we were not the first people to come here. As evidence to this, we found a very steep hill, almost vertical that already had ropes all the way to the top. The ropes made us more eager to continue our journey, the only thing that was discouraging us at that time was how the ropes looked a bit brittle. We took our chances anyways, and even though it looked brittle, the ropes was strong enough to support our weights.

The climb up using the ropes are necessary due to the sharp steep uphill route, without it, a mistake would make you fall about 60-70 meters down, and only slowing down when you hit a couple of hard quartz rocks along the way. If you intend to keep your bones intact, and your face the way it looks like now, I suggest be very careful here.

Furthermore, like I said, its a long climb up a sharp steep hill, about 60-70 meters, and with the hot sun, fear factor and tired legs, it can be very challenging. So make sure you are ready for the physical stress if you attempt to go up this route.

Finally, we reach a point where we can no longer continue. We tried to find a path down, but the picture
above explains it all. Above is a picture looking downwards, and the closest path was that tiny piece of
standing rock. Mark actually suggested that we climb down a little and jump on top of the rock in the middle and climb down the rock to continue our journey, but I think I've grown old and lost a lot of my guts due to aging. What if we got stuck there, there was no easy way up or down without breaking a bone or two.

Next time with the proper gear, we intend to continue to the other peaks of East Side Bukit Tabur. Its either we climb down with a rope, doing some rappelling, and continue the path, or find a new path towards the 3 lonely peaks that we didn't managed to climb. It was a bit of a disappointment, but a disappointment that won't last long. Someday, sometime, we will finish this route towards the end.

Going back down was not an interesting adventure, we had to back track, the same way we came up. So we walked back and going down the steep route with the ropes again. Being all confident towards the end of the steep route with the ropes, i jumped and slipped down a rock. I fell with my back facing the rocks and I was sliding on sharp rocks. Thank god I managed to stop myself from falling all the way down. It was painful as the sharp rocks scrape my back like a bunch of forks poking on my back, but I couldn't imagine slipping all the way towards the edge of the rock and falling down the hill. It would be a long drop that would allow me to think about my whole life events before hitting the ground and die. Atleast a scar on my back is not as bad as having my head bashed into the ground....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Looking for Bukit Tabur, East Side

Last tuesday at about 2pm, I thought about going for some adventures looking for the entrance into Bukit Tabur East Side. After going to the west side of bukit Tabur, I have always been curious about the less popular east side of bukit tabur. I'm planning to go there someday, once I am slightly sure about which route to follow. So that day, was just looking for a way into the east side of bukit tabur. Reaching there, somewhere, close to the Dam, I had to cross a river. There was a small bridge there and the path leads to an unknown settlement. There was some folks staying and taking care of the orchard there, where there were a lot of Durian, Nangka, and several other kind of fruits. I dare not take any fruits to wash my mouth with since the orchard belongs to someone.

While talking to the folks in the settlement area, I am convince there is a path up the east side. The only question is, which way should I go. So I was walking around in this orchard/jungle area for about One and a half hours when suddenly the rain starts falling. It was a clear indicator for me to head back and come back and explore later. Recently, the evening rains are quite heavy, and I didn't want to risk being stuck in heavy mud.

I was in a rush heading back to the car when I realise something sticky on my leg. And when i checked out my leg, I realise I had 3 tiny leeches having a buffet on my feet. It must be a special city boy blood buffet that day. It was not painful, but it was definitely uncomfortable. After losing some blood, I felt hungry and went along looking for some food. I had some meehun soup and alot of teh O ice.

The adventure ends there, but am hoping for another round of exploration to find a suitable path.

Embedded Linux Workshop

About two weeks back, I went to embedded Linux workshop. The workshop was basically split into two sessions, one is the theory and programming part (2 days) lead by Dr. B. Thangaraju, CEO Wipro Technologies, India, and the other was the hands on part on an embedded box (2 days) led by Mr. Yutaka Niibe, Free Software Initiative Japan(FSIJ) President. Basically, the whole 4 days was an enlightening experience. I never thought I could learn so much, but I did. Among the topics that we discussed and learned are:

Day 1 & Day 2:
  • Signals and signal handling
  • Processes (orphan, zombie, and daemon) and of course forking
  • Memory Management
  • POSIX Threads
  • IPC (Interprocess Communication) which includes:
    • Communication Via Files
    • Pipes
    • System V IPC
      • Message Queues
      • Shared Memory(shm)
      • and Semaphores
Day 3 & Day 4:
  • Opening the Kurobox and understanding whats on the board
  • Understand the OS that runs on the Kurobox and the services runned
  • Understand the booting process by an open source bootloader (Das U-Boot)
  • Understand the use of Busybox, a light weight linux command utilities for embedded boxes
  • Building our own, Arms kernel from scratch, bootstrapping and cross compile
  • Loading the image into the embedded box
  • Implementing modules to work with IO ports, for example to drive a servo motor
I did take some pictures to capture this memorable events.
Here is a picture of my first embedded kernel loading,.....JORILBOX, which stands for Joey and Azrel (my lab partner).

And here is my embedded box driving a servo motor, i would really like to try to build my robot now, embedded linux robot, that would be cool.

And here is the remaining few people, we started of about 12 people, by the end of day 4, only this few remained.

I did try to include the gory details of this worshop, but it would be too geeky here and I thought some of the readers might find it too boring since this blog is mostly social stuff, so if you would like to get your hands dirty with some coding stuff on embedded and kernel programming, i am slowly trying to document it and putting it in I feel the readers there would be more interested in the gory details.....if you are a geek, go to debianmalaysia......and check out my post....on signals and signal handling

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Hot Girl Maisara

Last sunday, was a hang out day, and as we grow older, a lot of our friends tends to appreciate weekends much more than we did before.

This weekend, almost all of the SA boys are back in town. So we hang out at the mamak stall discussing everything about nothing that comes to mind. To add to the havoc with chit-chats and gossip, a friendly couple, Awen and Abg Cik came to join us.

And along came the hot girl that hang out with us. Maisara. The hot girl that immediate got all of our attention and started to make us more humble, talking less about our consumed self.

Maisara really made us looking at a different perspective in life.
Along came, the thinking, what if...what if
I have someone like Maisara?
What if Maisara is always by my side?
Can I trust my friends to accompany Maisara for a while?
Is Maisara sleepy, should i bring her back home or something?

Indeed, it made us feel weird, cause all of us had this attention focused to one girl.....

It's weird questions to ask oneself, it brings out funny feelings, considering that Maisara is only 10 months old.
Its obviously nothing romantic in nature. But more like an inevitable calling that we know we will be embarking..... I think all of us were thinking, at that moment....what if I have a kid like Maisara...? ...

and I'm thinking....hmmm...but what about my late night mamak sessions...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hutan Lipur Pandan Waterfalls

(continued...from previous post) Right after getting out of the Gua Charas caves, we were desperate to wash off the mud and Bat shit on our shoes, feet and hands. I really wanted to find the places to do lead climbing, but have to reserve that for my next trip here since were were short in time and its already 5pm. Surely we won't make it in time had we walk and look for a place to climb. So we went straight to the car and drove to Hutan Lipur Pandan Waterfalls which was not far from here.

Hutan Lipur Pandan waterfalls is a recreational area for families and outdoor lovers. The place is complete with a small mosque, toilets, food stalls and picnic huts. There was a lot of people there, with their families playing games and enjoying mother nature's gift to creatures of earth.

The water was cold and it was just an amazing feeling to dip our tired feet into the river walking towards the waterfall. When we reach the waterfall, it was so crowded with people of all ages playing and having fun under the waterfall. We couldn't find a spot where we would feel comfortable without disturbing another party or family, so we decided to hike further halfway up the waterfall. The path was a little bit dangerous and steep, but we managed to find a spot where we could see the crowd down below and still had our little spot to take showers.

The crashing water flows rapidly and I wasted no time to wash off the bat shit off my feet and hands. It was refreshing and cooling, and the water tasted like mineral water. I lie down under the waterfall, feeling it crashing my tired back and my aching muscles. It felt like a jacuzzi massage just more effective. It was definitely a handsome reward for making that short 10 minute hike up to this spot.

However, there was some casualties that could have been fatal. I slipped off a rock and almost fell into the flow of the rapids. But my ordeal was not as bad as Mark's. Mark, despite my warnings, decided to crawl towards the middle of the waterfall. He managed to reach there all right, and beg me to take a picture of him, which I did. But on the way back he feel 3 times, and the third fall was almost fatal when he slipped off a rock and slide on it like a piece of slippery slippers. He managed to hold on to a rock just in time to avoid falling into the flow of rapids, and i wasted no time to take a long branch to save him from impending death. He was definitely shaken, and stirred, but grateful that he managed to come out of it alive, with some cuts to tell the story.

At about 6.15, we packed up and headed back to KL:).

Search for climbing sites after a friends wedding in Kuantan

I have no gear to lead climb yet but I am eager to find real rock climbing sites all around Malaysia. In hope, after I am all geared up, I can go to all these places again. Last week, a friend of mine Syed Hazrul got married. The wedding was all the way in Kuantan. I usually hate the long drives, but thought this time, I will make my trip interesting by stopping over interesting outdoor spots. After doing some research and browsing over google map, I found out that his house was not far from a climbing site near Gua Charas, and that's just perfect....

Since the wedding invitation on the cards says that the kenduri is between 12pm to 4pm, we decided to crash over to their function just about lunch time at 1pm. We left about 11pm and and got there just in time to catch the two couples being escorted by their entourage to their sits.

After some 'Nasi Minyak', we hurried off to Gua Charas to start our search for a climbing spot. We had to make a turn into Panching, towards Sg. Lembing, and along the way, there was directions to go to Gua Charas.

We reach there about 4pm and decided to explore the cave first. When we entered the cave, we were surprised to see that it was like a big hall inside with several different chambers. You can fit an airplane in there. We tried to explore the caves as much as we could. The caves was damp, slippery and cold. Fortunately, parts of the caves are maintained by Buddhist Monks who religiously meditate in the caves. There was 2 prominent different path. One path leads to the sleeping Buddha, where there was a clear path with proper lighting to help people find their way to the sleeping Buddha, and the other, to a series of small caves with no lighting. We took the path which leads to the unknown, and walked further into the darkness. After 20 minutes walk, I was wet from a mixture of sweat and dripping cave water from the caves ceilings. We finally found our way to a dead end, and thought surely, we had missed a path somewhere along the way. I looked back and a sudden panic struck me. All I could see was total darkness and not even a trace of light from our initial path towards this unknown. It was so dark, that even a bat would probably feel uncomfortable. I thought surely its because my torch light is making my eyes not sensitive enough, so i turn off the torch light. And the darkness seems to loomed further into the abyss. Suddenly, a sudden chill starts to creep down my neck and it finally hits me that if something were to happen to this one torch light that I am holding or somehow dropped it and it got broken, there was no way for Mark and I to get out alive, and we would be walking for hours in the dark getting lost and never see day light till we die. It was really dark, and we did not have the proper gear to go further. We forgot to bring a heavy duty torch light and a bottle of water in case our excavation took longer than we expected. I immediately turn on the torch light again and decided to head back to the main path. On the way back towards the path towards the sleeping Buddha, we did see a different path towards another unknown, but decided not to risk it, since we were not properly geared. We have walked about 30 minutes, and fear that the batteries might go dead if went further.

Before we left the caves, we did passed by the sleeping Buddha and witness a Monk blessing some children with their parents visiting the Buddhist holy place. We greet them politely, respecting their believes and continued our journey to other parts of the caves. When we were out of the caves, we were so dirty with mud and probably bat shit all over our shoes. We definitely need a shower and hence, thats where our second exploration starts.......Hutan Lipur Pandan Water Fall....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Embedded Linux-Featuring Mr. Niibe

Habitual early morning rituals, the first thing I would do is check my email. Almost every morning there would be at least 10 announcements about what going on for training, staff and etc in the mailbox. Usually, the normal algo. would be ...

foreach mail in list{
subject = grep("subject");

Usually, the algo. works well and the only mails that would be left behind are emails from friends.
But somehow it is different this time. The subject Embedded Systems came out and I just had to
find out what it is all about. I viewed the mail and read through a brochure that was attached.

The first thing that came up to my mind is, oh no...another Embedded workshop. Usually I won't be
that excited, but looking at the Trainer's background, i saw a familiar name.....
Wait a minute, that's Mr. Niibe, the Debian kernel Hacker and founder of debian group and FLOSS in Japan.
An old friend indeed.....I wasted no time and registered for the workshop.....
Would be nice to see that old Jap again....

If you are interested, you can check out the following details....

Embedded Linux Technology Workshop
OUM Open Source Community in collaboration with MNCC Malaysia, which will be organizing two workshops on Embedded Linux from June 5th-8th and June 11th-14th.

The workshop Objective
  • To provide an understanding of the essentials of embedded Linux
  • To give a practical experience in developing an embedded Linux system
  • To give a hands on experience of developing Linux applications code
  • To give the confidence to apply these new concepts to Embedded Linux projects
The remaining details can be found here:

and its suppose to be here too...,, www.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The search for climbing sites...........

Last Saturday, I found myself alone with nobody to belay me safely. My climbing buddy was busy at work, and I do not know any other climbers that I can depend my life on. So I thought it would be a good idea to just go explore the Batu Caves area and look for a place to climb. I figured, even without a belayer, I can still get a feel of the Batu doing bouldering work around the rocks. I still needed a camera and a camera man to follow me around, well, I don't really need one, but I think I've establish the fact that I like attention....hehehe

And who else would stupidly follow me around other than my friend Mark, who stupidly follows me around, not because he liked it, but out of pity of an old man pretending to be cliff hanger alone. He tells me that he would feel bad if i get a heart attack, being an old fart and all that..... I picked him up from Gombak and followed the sign board to Batu Caves, drove around the Batu Caves, passing a Tourist Information Center, until we reach to a cement factory. We almost gave up and wanted to turned back, until we met a guy who told us where the Damai Wall and Damai Cave was, which is at Kampung Wira Damai.
The guy above actually asked for some money to fill up his tank, which I gave about 3 bucks from my coin box....kira kita kena pow lah gak....for asking some questions...

Finally we found Kampung Wira Damai, and indeed we spotted a rock climbing site. Thanks to the direction by the Pakcik, the place was awesome, and the moment we arrive, some guys came around to tell us what's available there. Besides the Damai wall, there was the Red Wall on the far right and the white wall on the far left. I was told, there was 9 climbing sites all together around the Batu Caves area....I was also told that the people maintaining that area provide several other outdoor adventures, one that caught my attention was cave exploration, which I will definitely like to do someday....below are some pictures of my adventures into the Damai Caves, taking some pictures from the top of Damai wall(there was stairs if one cannot climb yet), and me trying out bouldering on the Damai wall.

Bouldering on real rocks is quite a new experience, I didn't realise how sharp real rocks can be....which means a wrong move can cause severe cuts, and its terribly scary looking down....

Finally, we continued our search for the remaining 6 walls, and we suddenly found ourselves in Taman Bolton, which was right at Sri Gombak exit. We didn't realise it was that close. Next time, I'll just take the Taman Bolton exit, it would be easier. We turned back when we notice what I guessed was the Volleyball wall. We stop by and of course I had to try out some bouldering work here too. There is also a ladder to setup the anchor, but I still need to buy my own ropes, harness, quickdraws, carabiners and figure of 8, still a lot of money need to be spent there...

Under the VolleyBall wall was a small cave, which I can't resist but to explore. It was damn smelly since the water flowing into it is somewhat polluted with waste, after getting about 20 meters inside the cave, it got a little bit too spooky and I decided to head back out....I thought I heard something moving in the water......

After that, we were tired and thought we had enough adventure for the day. I have yet 5 more walls to look for....and so far only 4 have been located. I'm sure its behind those kampung area somehow....well, maybe next time, it was time for drinks and rest...