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.foss.org.my, www.mncc.com.my, www. thedreamsoft.com

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...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

When men buys shoes....

Recently, I got a few friends to come along with me for rock climbing. I have not been to the rock climbing gym for a while due to the fact that not a lot of people share this interest of climbing rocks. A lot more people prefer golf. Don't get me wrong, I like golf too, its just that I haven't found the right crowd yet.

I hate going to the gym or carry weights, cause it doesn't excite me that much and there is hardly a challenge going to the gym other than how many times you can do sit ups and how heavy you can bench.

So today, Nadira (who was one of the most enthusiastic friend of mine in rock climbing) met at the rock climbing gym for some climbing challenge. Today was the day for us to get some rock climbing shoes to perfect ourselves in climbing and also to enter a competition in rock climbing on the 20th of May. Actually, entering the competition will get us 20% discounts on the shoes. So who cares about losing when you can get 20% discount.

It took me a while to get a pair of shoes. According to the sales lady, men usually takes a longer time choosing their shoes. Yeah, it took me a while, I had to try a few pairs to be satisfied. Imagine a lady getting high heel shoes. Today, I'm the fussy lady getting the shoes. But its not that a man really spends time on getting shoes, most of time it would take me 2 minutes to decide on which sneakers to buy. It was expensive too, I couldn't believe that I will be spending that much, but I really need to feel it you know....I want to be comfy while climbing, I want to look stylist while climbing, and I want to look and feel cool while climbing. Now I know why women take hours trying out shoes.

Rock climbing shoes are specially designed to be tight and snug, so that it doesn't slip off when you climb. The shoes are also designed to have a very small front tip for your toes, so that you can step on the smallest minute piece of rock and still get a firm grip. Ultimately, the whole surface is used to maximize friction, making it easier for you to climb. Hence, wearing it for the first time really hurts, cause its tight and it feels like my toes are being crushed together. The amazing part of it, now I can stand on my toes....like a ballerina. Fortunately, rock climbing don't require me to where spendex, unlike balle (what an ugly sight that would be if spendex is a requirement for rock climbing.) So I guess I have to make it a serious hobby now, cause does damn shoes aren't cheap. And I hope it won't be one of those hot bubbles...But with a pair of shoes, I can go alone....(I kinda like the lone ranger, hero, adventure feeling.)

Anyhow, the picture below is the kinda shoe I finally settled to buy. Like I said, I tried a few, but this one--model named Pearl--seems to fit nicer, the others kinda hurt. I think its easier for a women to wear since women are used to high heels being narrow at the front toe.

Well, hopefully, one day I can go on my own climbing adventures and advance to lead climbing. Which is climbing without a belayer support, sometimes also called free climbing, like Thomas Mrazek(notice the shoes he is wearing), a professional climber . I don't think I want to make it as a day job, but I would be happy if one day I look and feel half as fit as this guy.