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....