Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Desert for today

Made 3 of these today.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="561" caption="OooOOooohhh. Yummiest."]


i walked away only for a few seconds, it was still in pristine condition, came back and found out that somebody had been naughty!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Committing to SVN using Bazaar

Ejat and I were working on how to do the above for MyMeeting codes and we did it! I have asked ejat to put this down in writing in his blog, but sadly the blog is not available anymore (alaa ejat bukan susah sangat cari hosting punnnnn.. susah2 ko host sendiri jek kat umah :P)

MyMeeting is also on Launchpad that makes use of Bazaar. We wanted to find a way how to send changes to both its main repo (using SVN) and Launchpad.

So we've been using SVN for MyMeeting hosted at OSCC. A typical way for us would be like this.

$ svn co https://svn.oscc.org.my/mymeeting/trunk trunk
$ cd trunk
(hack hack hack...)
$ svn status #see our changes
$ svn ci -m 'added feature ABC' #commit to SVN repository

To use Bazaar to work with SVN repo, you have to install bzr and bzr-svn. Excellent doc on bzr-szv is here.

$ sudo apt-get bzr bzr-svn


Working with Bazaar, the way would be something like this.

$ mkdir dev
$ bzr init-repo --default-rich-root dev
$ cd dev
$ bzr co https://svn.oscc.org.my/mymeeting/trunk trunk
$ cd trunk
(hack hack hack...)
$ bzr update #get changes done by others
$ bzr ci -m 'added form for feature ABC' #commit to SVN repository
$ bzr push lp:mymeeting #push to Launchpad, only have to provide location once
(hack hack hack...)
$ bzr update #get changes done by others
$ bzr ci -m 'added list for feature ABC' #commit to SVN repository
$ bzr push

Decentralized Bazaar way

If we were to take advantage of Bazaar's decentralised way of doing it (so you can work offline, for example), it's like this.

$ mkdir dev
$ bzr init-repo --default-rich-root dev
$ cd dev
$ bzr co https://svn.oscc.org.my/mymeeting/trunk trunk #our copy of trunk
$ bzr branch trunk working #make a local branch to hack on
$ cd working
(hack hack hack...working offline)
$ bzr ci -m 'added form for feature ABC' #commit to local branch
(hack hack hack...working offline)
$ bzr ci -m 'added list for feature ABC' #commit to local branch

(when you get your connection back)
$ cd ../trunk
$ bzr update #get changes done by others to our copy of trunk
$ cd ../working
$ bzr pull #pull the changes to our local branch
$ bzr status #see our changes
$ cd ../trunk
$ bzr merge ../working
$ bzr ci -m 'added feature ABC'

Personally I like the centralised approach because it's similar to SVN. Local branch is great feature if I have to do my work offline sometimes. And while I can pick Bazaar from now on, the rest of the team doesn't have to switch tool. That's great!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I've had pretty good lecturers so far at UKM

Now that I've just found out the thing that we're supposed to submit tomorrow is now postponed to next week, I'm taking a moment to write about my 4 lecturers I've had so far and my whole experience being a in grad school here.

Semester I
The conditions of the class were pretty common and just above tolerable. No power points in sight except at the very front and the very back. When it was raining I prayed to god that I won't die because of the cold temperature. Being in an IT faculty, taking an IT course, but no wifi? The ones they had was the prepaid ones. I couldn't be bothered to search for any open shops in campus that's open on Saturdays. Being one of the research university, free wifi should be available to all staff and students! Unless I need that rare publications, I can pretty much do anything on the internet.

Dr. Md Jan taught Data Structures (we got to know trees). He's a considerate person. It's a very straightforward paper, like Maths, that I loved it! He's always open for discussions, jovial and committed. I like him because he made use of internet in his lectures. He's current. He let us choose our own programming language for his assignments. Being an open source person, that's freedom of choice and I liked it.

Prof. Patel taught Computer Network. I just couldn't bring myself to like this paper. It felt like out of this world. He came across as someone who teaches just to pay the rent. Nothing's wrong there of course, it just felt ordinary. I couldn't understand his assignments, I did it just to pass the test. Network is something that I don't wish to dwell in so much.

Semester 2
Hey the classroom looks so much better. New floor, new chairs so I the chilling problem gone. They set up power points! And there's wifi! Applaudable effort for me even though it's not stable all the time but the thought is there. Keep it up!

Dr. Salwani teaches Software Engineering. Her expertise is in AI but she used to be a developer so it's actually captivating to listen to her lectures (at least for me coz I can relate). She used real life scenarios and real life problems & solutions. I think she's well respected in her field to other academicians in Malaysia. She's got a thing with open source that I'm not so comfortable with (from past experience maybe?). She's tough and kinda strict but lacks a bit in managing assignments deadlines. We have 2 assignments still not sure of the deadlines. I think my classmates wish she would just take back the those 2 since other one we've been doing is quite huge!

Dr. Azura teaches Advanced Artificial Intelligent. She's one of the top AI researchers along with Dr. Salwani, although her interest is in data mining. The work they've done, I mean, seriously, big corporations should hire/consult these 2 - they can give you patterns and predict things! I am astounded that I had not looked into AI before (I studied maths doing my first degree and I though AI is very physics-like haha thanks to tv shows), that I feel those CS graduates should all work in AI industry! Don't just program a program, program an AI program. Anyway, she's a great person, abit chatty in the classroom although I don't mind it since the class is 3-5pm, and a very knowlegable person.

Although the lecturers have been great, I've had some problems with my group assignments. I like if the assignments is individual coz I don't have to rely on others to do my work. I have no problems with working in a group, it's just frustrating some of them like to work last minute. So I usually did my part early and trust that they would take that and continue. When it's time to submit, it's disheartening looking at the end result so messy and unorganized. Oh well.

Being the only programmer in the group really sucks sometimes. The group did their part, I believe as much as they could but I get the right to grumble. Non-programming assignment, I contribute to the group. When it comes to programming, only me doing it? It's because they have already forgetten how to program. This is real, so real that it sucks being a programmer in this case.

Studying really takes a toll in your life. Your priority changes abit. Not much if you're single, alot if you're married. I understand my group have husbands and children to care for but it's not good if you abandon your team on not one, but many presentation days. My advice to married women who wants to pursue study:

[1] Let everyone in your family know your intention. If you're studying, let them know you're studying. Your priority has changed abit. Last time you go straight to the kitchen after work 5 times a week, now you only do it 2 times a week. There's just some routine stuff you can't do anymore.
[2] Your husband should understand what being a grad student means. It doesn't mean you still can be with him everytime going to everywhere, not until you finish studying. It doesn't mean he can continue old habit of not doing anything around the house after work (just an example). You wife has other stuff to do now, give a take a little now can we? If you can't work together, I assure you, you're going to be staying up late every night just to catch up with the lessons.
[3] Please understand the sacrifice you have to make if you're studying. You're going to be tired, busy all the time and you can't afford to be at all family occasions/kenduri kawen kawan anymore. If you're studying, you want to be good at it and because it means something to you. If not why do it at all?

Anyway, I actually enjoy the whole period so far although I don't have time for anything else. You want it, you have to sacrifice your time. I now know some stuff that I probably wouldn't have known if I'm learning on my own. Granted there are times I felt like quitting - but that's just normal I guess.

Education is not cheap these days. I should squeeze everything out of it so I get the money worth. All in all I think UKM is an ok place for me. As long as they have good lecturers, that's the most important thing and so far I think they have pretty good ones at FTSM.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SVN upgrade to 1.6.6

After being pointed out by ejat about the OSCC SVN server was being slow (or something, along the line of should upgrade to 1.5 for faster process) so I went out and check out SVN was indeed of version 1.4.2, the latest is 1.6.6.

On CentOS machine:

Stop any service that's running httpd, svnserve, etc.

Add RPMForge repository as that's where the latest SVN is

# i386
$ wget http://apt.sw.be/redhat/el5/en/i386/RPMS.dag/rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.el5.rf.i386.rpm
$ rpm -i rpmforge-release-0.3.6-1.el5.rf.*.rpm

This will create /etc/yum.repo.d/rpmforge.repo file. Edit this file, change enable=0 as RPMForge contains bleeding edge, often unstable packages. You don't want to do $ yum update accidentally and put your entire system at risk if you don't know what you're doing.

You may not need this but just in case, backup your SVN repo.

$ svnadmin dump /path/to/repository > dumpfile.txt

If anything goes wrong, even if you install a new copy of SVN, you can recover you data with this:

$ svnadmin create /path/to/newrepository
$ svnadmin load /path/to/newrepository

Now check for SVN update $ yum --enablerepo=rpmforge check-update subversion It should display the latest version like this subversion.x86_64 1.6.6-0.1.el5.rf rpmforge

Then upgrade $ yum --enablerepo=rpmforge update subversionThis will update SVN from the RPMForge.

Restart the service httpd, svnserve, etc.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A quick post on chocolate drink

I don't really like chocolate much - I don't go gaga over it like other girls do. But these... add a little sugar... oohhh... come to mama!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Do you know how delicious these taste? "]



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CakePHP oh CakePHP

I've seen alot of people with PHP experience of 2-3 years, when being presented with CakePHP, they say something along the line of "Oh this is hard", "Why is it so different?", "What's this arrow and arrays inside array thingie?", etc.

Lots of young programmers working with PHP that I've seen in Malaysia hardly understand the OO (object oriented) concept. When you look at their codes, it's alot of functions and alot of includes. Classes? Nowhere to be seen. It's probably the most hardest concept to grab while they were in college when actually it's not that hard at all. If you don't understand OO then it's likely you don't know why it's good. And of course the MVC (Model-View-Controller) concept in many programming language frameworks you will find it very very hard to digest. Those frameworks are for RAD (Rapid Application Development) - just look at the name, don't you think it will have something to do with your development speed? It's like you have a bicycle and a car. You know you can get there faster by car, you only have to learn how to use it. It may takes time but for the next 20 years you're going to need the car so you can get anywhere faster. So would you or would you not learn how to use the car?? If you still picks bicycle, that's not a wrong answer. It only shows your preference.

Having MVC, for example, gives you the advantage of having multiple people working on the same page at the same time. A can work on the controller part, B can work on its layout and C can totally change the database engine from MySQL to Postgresql (for example) without having A or B amending their codes at all after that. Also I believe, it's easier to take over an MVC-ed application than a non-MVC ones. I can't imagine having to wade through all those includes/requires/imports. All I need to know is where the models, controllers and views are.

Want to try CakePHP? Just one thing you MUST have - the discipline to put your codes to where it belongs, follow the standards. Don't make your queries in the layouts - it just doesn't make sense. It's likely that you're going to forget about it in a week or two, you're going to curse your way through it when you can't find it later for maintenance work (not to mention the other new programmer working on the same app). Just plan for the future. The time that it takes you to do it properly now will save you a heck of a time later. That includes proper comments in your codes.

The learning curve is a bit steep - yes it is if you don't understand OO. So get to know your OO stuff. And then go for CakePHP, or any framework you fancy. You'll be surprised how much you'll like it.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cup of sweet sweet tea


Well I'm going to have cups and cups of tea! It's been raining here and what else could have made the days better. I love them sweet, just sugar and nothing else added. Sometimes I put in peach halves in there - yum!

There's alot types of tea out there. I normally drink the normal one. What I mean is, I'm not into those flavoured ones. The only one that I've tried and liked is chamomile tea which is just so calming. There's something about it that's so peaceful and serene. Like I said, I like it sweet, for now. They bring you many benefits as long as you cut the sugar down. But I'm a rebel - I want it the way I like it :P
Tea is known as nature’s 'wonder drug'. Of late, tea and its healthy benefits have been receiving wide attention in the media. The ability of tea to promote good health has long been believed in many countries, especially Japan, China, India, and even England. - http://www.teabenefits.com/

What tea is good for (from http://www.farsinet.com/hottea/medicalbenefits.html:

  • Arthritis - tea drinkers are 60 percent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis

  • Bone density - stronger bones

  • Cancer - green tea

  • Flu - boost your fight against the flu with black tea

  • Heart disease - two cups of tea a day decreased the risk of death following a heart attack by 44 percent

  • High blood pressure - green or oolong tea

  • Parkinson's diseases

  • Oral health - prevent cavities and gum disease

That's just abit of info. I'm sure there's hordes and hoards of info online.

Here's to good health!

Friday, November 27, 2009

DNS resolving to

I've had the most peculiar thing happened today at home. I think it's Karmic issue since I never had this problem before.

Well what happened was, I was unable to browse the internet (Firefox and Chrome both had problems but Opera worked fine). Pinging worked. Other Windows machines didn't have problems at all. Sudo apt-get update didn't worked because it was looking up for every mirrors I tried. I tried this with Firefox at first:
In address bar, type in about:config, filter for ipv6. There should be only 1 listed - network.dns.disableIPv6. Double click to change the value to true. Problems solved for Firefox.

I continued googling around and did this:

#in /etc/resolv.conf, changed nameserver to those of streamyx
#previously it was which points to my router
#Generated by NetworkManager

And now everything works again. Only that if I reboot it will change back to

Putting MySurfGuard to test

So I had to run ruby script to to assess how good MySurfGuard is (it's basically a package of DansGuardian, Webmin and Squid). I had 5000++ over URLs in a  text file supposed to be porn sites with a remark whether it is a porn site or not verified by human. I got it from Untangle website.They tested the scripts on some other apps so I've done some minor changes for DansGuardian (mysurfguard-test.rb).

  1. Install MySurGuard.

  2. I kinda cheated a little bit - took the updated blacklist from here and phraselist from here so MySurfGuard has the latest copy.

  3. Install ruby and lynx and wget (the script needs them) and as I was working on CentOS, so it's

  4. $ yum install ruby ruby-devel lynx wget

  5. Install lynx wget (the script requires them)

  6. Set configuration file for lynx to use proxy, put in your proxy address and port

  7. #in /etc/lynx-site.fg

  8. For wget to use proxy, do

  9. $ export http_proxy="http://localhost:8080"

  10. Run the script

  11. $ ./mysurfguard-test.rb results-human.txt results-mysurfguard.txt

You'll have the result in results-mysurfguard.txt

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I love my charmbracelet

Makes me want to get another one. That's going to cost me another RM100. I don't care! I want another one, and another one, and another one!

[caption id="attachment_2044" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Pretty pretty thing!"]



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fuzzy reasoning & Artificial Neural Network

Interesting assignment for my AI paper. The first one asks for me to calculate someone's learning difficulty level, given his IQ level and his recent test score (education domain). Another one asks to predict the level of H1N1 risk of a patient, given his severity of these symptoms: fever, breathing difficulty, fatique and coughing.

Fuzzy reasoning is useful when you're dealing with 'high IQ', 'average IQ', 'low IQ', etc. How would you translate 'high' or 'average' into crisp numbers like more than 160 it's 'high IQ'. If it's more that 130cm it's 'average IQ'. Of course the numbers can't be used for everyone (I may have a different opinion on how much is 'high IQ'). And you can't use simple algorithm if and else like we normally would do. Fuzzy sets on the other hand allows you to have 160 falls under 'high IQ' and 'average IQ' at say, 0.8 and 0.6 (on a scale 0 to 1) each. Once you have defined all that, you have to have your fuzzy rules to work on. Given someone's IQ level and his test score, you can calculate his learning difficulty level and then maybe you can have this result to propose a new set of tests that match his level.

Artificial neural network emulates how the brain works, well sort of. It has the capability to learn and predict stuff. Like the H1N1 case, the model will learn to reach a very good predict whether the patient has high risk of being infected with H1N1 or not. It is much dependant on number of cases, the more cases you feed the model, the better the result will be.

Personally I think it's all mathematics. Everywhere you see calculations. Once you understand how it works, it's pretty easy (the data I worked on is not that much hahaha). In real world, the data set is huge, so data mining is actually intriguing, I think. Worth knowing.

In the risk of my classmates meniru, I'm going to upload what I have done so far, which I doubt that they'll find it here until much later. If you manage to get it here anyway, hey I really don't mind you looking around. Just be kind enough to give feedbacks there's mistakes in the doc :P.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Charles and Keith, I love you!

[1] Even though they have been around for over a decade, they only opened their first store in Malaysia last year. The shoes are oh so pwetty! I'm so happy that they have finally made to our shores here. Took 1 pair home with me last Saturday http://www.charleskeith.com/

[caption id="attachment_2027" align="aligncenter" width="421" caption="Would you look at that.. I'm melting"]



[caption id="attachment_2029" align="aligncenter" width="412" caption="A very sexy pair for work"]



[caption id="attachment_2028" align="aligncenter" width="413" caption="Awww mummy wants"]



[2] I finally got myself a charmbracelet! Yessss!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Beef burger

[caption id="attachment_2018" align="aligncenter" width="502" caption="Homemade beef burger"]



Dead easy to make. Cooking is easy and quick if you plan your way around it. I made alot of patties for quick snacks at night.

The recipe?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some pics on 24 Hour OSS Webdev Competition

We provided them food, unlimited coffee, a pc with Ubuntu installed, 2 wired connections, 2 wireless connection, a huge desk and enough chairs and couch. The rest, gadgets, devices, books, cables, wires, they brought it themselves.

[caption id="attachment_2006" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Stopwatch and huge clock on screen. It would start at 11am. Arm did this - "fuyyo" was my first reaction when I saw it the first time."]



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Can you guess what kind of drink is that?

[caption id="attachment_1998" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="Magic concoction"]



Last time when I was so sick that I kept on throwing up, this actually helped it to stop (as in it stopped the puking part, but I still got admitted to hospital for a few days). Also, if you plan on having looooong day or looooooong night - I'd recommend this. I'm loving it.

Html Validator on FF3.5 on Karmic

Note to self:

[1] Add PPA https://launchpad.net/~bdrung/+archive/ppa
[2] sudo apt-get update
[3] sudo apt-get source htmlvalidator
[4] change 3.1.* to 3.5.* (in xpi/install.rdf.in, change maxVersion 3.1.* to 3.5.*)
[5] Install some build dependencies - libxul-dev
[6] in htmlvalidator directory, ./configure and make
[7] open up just created .xpi in FF, install


Thursday, October 15, 2009

All you have to do is touch my hand

To show me you understand. And something happens to me. That's some kind of wonderful.

Any time my little world seems blue. I just have to look at you. And everything seems to be. Some kind of wonderful. I know I can't express this feeling of tenderness. There's so much I want to say. But the right words don't come my way.

I only know when I'm in your embrace. For this world seems a better place. And something happened to me. And it's some kind of wonderful. And it's wonderful baby. I understand and it's some kind of wonderful. And it's so wonderful baby. You know you're some kind of wonderful.

So much I want to say.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

24-Hour OSS WebDev Contest

Will be held in conjuction with MyGOSSCON 2009. For geeks, I believe it's going to be like a walk in the park.


It's the first time they're going to have this contest in the conference. So I believe it's going to be easy. Adda, ko cari geng cepat, kalau ko join, mesti menang. Pastu kena open table untuk aku ok hahaha...

1st prize: RM5,000 cash
2nd prize: RM3,000 cash
3rd prize: RM1,500 cash

Anyway yes it's open for all, and they have additional prize for best team for students. If you're in IPTA/IPTS, you'll probably end up RM2k richer.

More information here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Why la the net so slow today??!!!

#streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks #streamyxsucks ALL THE WAY. Is this because of the earthquake?

I detest the 140 character limit in identica that's forcing me to post this. Heh.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We have poster!

FOSS.my 2009 is coming - a little bit of a background story on the little girl.

That's Martha, Nicholas' daughter (of OSCC). She won the OLPC hands down during FOSS.my 2008, beating all other grown ups in a little game for OLPC giveaway. I think she's the youngest audience in the hall. Nice trick Nic, I know you want the OLPC for geek self :p!

[caption id="attachment_1951" align="aligncenter" width="308" caption="FOSS.my 2009 - little Martha holding her OLPC"]


Monday, September 28, 2009

Ketupat palas raya 2009

This year is Penang's turn. Usually main raya dish would be ketupat palas, ketupat nasi, rendang and kuah kacang. And laksa!


When we're tired of ketupats and rendangs, there's gulai ikan mayong.... oooohhh sedapnye!

p/s: I want KFC.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Translation project

Ok so since e-jat, as the Ubuntu-MY president, has been pestering people for the Ubuntu translation project (heh no offense), I clicked on the link provided in his identi.ca post one day. And that brings me to this post's topic.

The translation page.

I've been doing it for a while now, and it's kinda fun(ny) translating English to Malay. I only armed myself with wiki and kamus dewan (go go online dictionary!). One can only wonders how to translate "Headers and Footers" or "Plug and Play" (thanks Eric for the idea haha!). Sometimes I just settle with sentences that can make sense, it doesn't have to be translated literally, or word by word. So far I haven't faced any major difficulties yet, only minor setbacks, like I couldn't find the translation for some very techie word in malay but that's ok. I'll leave it to the reviewers muahahaha!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I am exhausted

Main cause: not enough sleep for the past week - took the day off today just to catch up with lots and lots zzzzz. I noticed that I've missed alot of social gathering lately. That's bad.

Anyway, went out today to do last minute raya shopping for parents and brothers (I had to or else). Got myself a nice pair of red/maroon baju kurung. Got my red shoes fixed. It's starting to dawn on me how much red is in my life (I have a red bag, red wool jacket, used to have red purse). I like bold colors, but not too striking as I don't like to stand out in the crowd. Somehow red does it for me. I should try some other colors next time, see how I'll like it.

So Muaz is going off to Morocco soon. Instead of winter jackets like I've promised him, I'll give him my current camera since mom already bought him those. Hopefully he'll put it to good use.

On another note, I love men who wears pink shirt! Oh I do. Not those cheap looking pain in the eye pink, the subtle and light and expensive crisp looking pink that makes me want to just go and grab and give him a big hug. Oh the man in pink, can I have a cuddle session with you please?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My homemade burgers

[caption id="attachment_1918" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="6 patties of beef burgers on fire!"]



Yeah it's the second time around. This time, one ingredient is missing - coriander leaves. But all is well, they're still tasty! Beef burgers are dead easy to make. All you need is ground beef, an egg and salt & pepper to taste. That's the base, then you can add anything you want really. Using your hands, shape them into circles, press it down between your hands, and into the pan. You can either fry or grill them, like I did, on medium heat. Well I prefer grill since I love the charred grill marks there.. yum!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Grad school (Part 1): AI is blowing me away!

Well, so far at least. So today marks the beginning of my second semester here in UKM. I can't wait for this nightmare to end. 3 more sems to go... hinnnnssssss hinnsss hinss..

Anyway, the AI course - I like the lecturer already, she encourages us to use open source in doing assignments. And she'll tailored the assignments to fit the background of her students. One thing that I like is that she'll fail anyone who doesn't submit assignments even though it carries 40%.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Oh noesss!

My favourite pair of shouzzzzzeee-ah.

[caption id="attachment_1906" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Me like u so much!"]



The sole... hampir tertanggal... uwaa!!

I feel like crying. In this no-man-land here, cobblers are nowhere to be seen....uhuks!

And I have yet to buy that new black heels for work.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blah post

I just want to say the office is freeeeaaakin' freeeezin' ok. It's so cold that it deserves this blog post heh.

Seriously, if there's a bench outside, I'd go and do my work there. This is just, brrr... like living in North Pole. I bet North Pole is actually warmer. My mom has been saying that my body temperature has gone up. I think it's trying to adapt this harsh heartless environment, who knows.

I feel like bringing over my blanket and wrap myself in it and be at peace.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Of needing quiet space at work

PH, the new guy, has lend me a book Joel on Software (by Joel Spolsky) which I force myself to read every morning 1/2 hour in the office before I do anything else. Thank PH! Looks like it's going to be a good read. I'm currently on how to find great developers chapter. So the book basically lists down what are the things developers usually look for in an employer. One of them, surprise surprise, is private offices. Of course not many company can do this for many reasons, and not every developers care about it, but I find myself relating to that topic quite easily.

Private offices deemed to increase a developer's productivity, and by private he means a room with closed door, has window, and has a nice view. I think traditional employers will see that as just too much and that it will spoil their employees rotten. Well, see, private offices for developers is kinda new concept here in Malaysia (I guess?) and sometimes it's not totally in our hands - sometimes the people up there will think it's a waste of money. You know what, whatever, it feels so nice to be backed up like that coz I did blog about this last time. So you know I'm not crazy. Just a moment ago I felt like giving my thoughts on this but may come out so biased as I will talk from employee's point of view so for the time being I'll just keep it to myself.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Just a quick post. My favorite little snack deserves a picture in my blog.

[caption id="attachment_1891" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="They smell sooooooo good!"]



They have been around for so many years, since I was small. Today they come in white chocolate too but I like the original one better. I think even the packaging has always been the same.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lost 4kg in 3 days

Can u believe that??!!! It's not good since I need the fat.


After a few minutes I couldn't find anything else to say. This is probably one of the shortest blog post I've ever made.

Oh yeah, today is supposed to be Mueh's konvo day. I'm kinda sad I couldn't attend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I like dark rooms


Man... so many people got 'excited' over me sitting in the dark discussion room, minding my own business, with my laptop on et cetera. Seriously, I have reasons for doing so. It's not a habit of mine to go around looking high and low for any dark place to sit just because I feel like it (ok sometimes I do, what do you expect I'm a woman :P ).

It didn't bug me at first even though it was such a novelty for everyone that someone is sitting in the dark in the office - oh why is she sitting there? What is she doing there? Eric said to Nic once, I've just patah hati. Nice one hahahaha!! So many times I patah hati la then - I must've been living a pathetic life.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some design work I did for some engineer

His company needs a sample folder to send out to his clients/distributors. I like it that he sent out an ODT files to me for any references - felt all warm inside, getting an open document from a non-IT company. He doesn't mind I publish the design here. See, he gets it.

It's a 3 page folder, where you open it like a book and then you can open it again to the right. Inside it should have 18 small samples of tiles of various colors. So a complete folder should weigh around 7kg (I can't hold it for too long, it's like carrying a 7 year old around in one hand :P). It's done purely using Inkscape (so called Adobe Illustrator equivalent).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Huffman Code

So this is another little assignment that we had just before final exams. It's about Huffman code and its application in file compression. We were supposed to write a program to read a file, determine total bits for that file, then use Huffman code to compress it and calculate the total bits after the compression. The file should only contain alphanumeric characters [A-Za-z0-9], and maybe spaces, new lines and dots and commas.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Animal guessing game

Little assignment I had a while ago, about binary tree. The prof let us choose our own language so I thought of C++, just because I studied it 4,5 years back and didn't freakin remember anything about it.

The problem: Animal guessing game
What I did, the source: in C++

Thought of using classes but was short of time heh!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I had an awesome time

MSC Malaysia Open Source Conference is over. Some of my favorite pics:

[caption id="attachment_1614" align="aligncenter" width="423" caption="Ubuntu.my sparked lots of interest in front of their kiosk!"]



Tuesday, May 26, 2009


MSC Open Source Conference 2009 will be held at Berjaya Times Square on the 31st May – 3rd June 2009. It will be the largest gathering of its kind in Malaysia and will attracts IT Executives, developers, coders, companies, multi-million companies and multi-billion companies from around the world to share, train, showcase and maybe hire the bright minds in the Malaysia Open Source Ecosystem.

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Kenzo has arrived!

[caption id="attachment_1604" align="alignright" width="292" caption="I can never live without this!"]



Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I'm aware that most of my blog readers are open source folks. I'm going to write something that is not OSS, so if you want to read, proceed at your own risk. I myself don't blog about all this stuff but I'm doing it this time for a reason - the man (and a chick) behind it is someone I'm proud to have been working with in the past.

[caption id="attachment_1597" align="alignleft" width="330" caption="GCube Free Online HRMS"]



Monday, May 4, 2009

Are you addicted yet?

If you've been facebooking long enough you'll probably are addicted to it by now. Be it updating your status oh so frequently, or playing games, or keep on refreshing your home page, or refreshing your own profile page (freak!), or simply stalking other people's profiles, or if you're new you'll probably be crazy adding new friends now.

I'm one of those who likes the games there. I'm quite a powerful vampire there, among my friends that is. And ever since I found out they have Bejeweled on Facebook, I've been playing like crazy. Recently, quizzes have become quite a thing in there. I don't really bother, coz some of them are just bogus or plain stupid. One example, there was a quiz testing on your arabic language. The questions were sooo easy kindergarten level like and of course I got all right (only 5 of them) and the result came out that I can speak and understand the language very well.... Excuse me?? Did NOT worth my time at all. From then on I only picked the ones I deem worthy of my brain power.... scam jek.

I think I update my status quite often, not that I'm so rajin to update it there myself. It's because I use identi.ca - more preferred way of keeping up to date among my friends/colleagues. I get the updates in my Pidgin which is far more convenient than browsing my Facebook home page, although I sometimes check to read/reply comments. I've blogged before about posting to multiple sites using Pidgin - read it here. Using Pidgin also I can receive Facebook chats using some plugin, thanks to Indhran for his post here. This solves my problem on not noticing the message people send to me in there. I don't even have to open the site and login. Coolness.

p/s: I miss my camera.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Open to Change

[caption id="attachment_1585" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="MSC OSCONF 2009"]



Visit official website
The microsite

Who should attend?

  • Business executives from MSC Malaysia and Non-MSC Malaysia Status companies

  • Open Source developers, communities, inventors, evangelist, researchers, strategist

  • Government officers

  • Students, general public

Why you should attend?

  1. Provide exposure and knowledge on the importance of Open Source in enhancing competitiveness by giving freedom of choice in software usage with lower total cost of ownership, hence benefiting businesses and society at large. Over 30 session tracks are made available.

  2. Share amongst the open source community on new directions and latest innovations by the subject matter experts, thought leaders and industry gurus.

  3. Provide a platform for conference participants to actively interact, share and exchange views, ideas, and tools on the latest trends and issues of Open Source.

  4. Networking, learning and having great fun!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick tips on saving contacts on your mobile phone

This one only applies if you have ordinary phones, you know the ones that don't have those advanced contacts feature. I've been doing it for a while now and I kinda like I can get the number to call pretty fast. It's fairly easy.

Ok normally what you do when saving a contact, you'll want to save the name and most of the time the reference point to differentiate some contacts who accidentally have the same name. People usually will save it in this format: eg. Siti Skali or Siti Putrajaya or Siti OSCC(these are different person, one working for Skali, one is my current housemate, one is working for OSCC).

Instead of that format, I use this:

Think about it. It's ok if I remember the name so I can just scroll to S right? What happens if I can't recall at all, the only thing I remember is the place where I met her? What's the name of the one I met briefly at that so and so meeting?? Now I can just scroll to O and I can see all my OSCC contacts in a row.

I've found that using this format has a few benefits. Say your phone dies on you and all you have left is an old 5 years ago phone that's still amazingly working. All contacts on your SIM card now such a pain to search without that advance search you're quite used to now, doesn't it. Also, using this way you reduce the headache of memorizing contact names. If you're like me with some memory problem, I can't be bothered to memorize everyone's name lah (of people I only met briefly but felt I should have their numbers). My brain has so much other things to do than what my phone can do for me. And you get to see your contacts grouped (in a way) so oh it's so easy to select multiple recipients. I get to know faster too if I haven't had someone's number yet from my workplace (for example).

See this method has been giving my brain a break for quite a number of times already. I'm spreading the goodness to you people! All I ask in return is free food and free petrol :P

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fun outing

[caption id="attachment_1557" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Very secluded and kind of private area, considering we went on Sunday"]



Last Sunday we went out to Port Dickson to paaaaaaaartayyy... but sadly it rained noon onwards... ceh! Kinda like a family day or something coz everyone seemed to bring their friends/family. What I like the most about it is everyone was so generous with whatever they were supposed to bring. Great friends!

[caption id="attachment_1558" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="We got lucky enough they were alot of huge trees so we didn't get sunburned."]



Abdullah told us about the place - it was not crowded at all. Except for that very huge hole on the road leading there, everything was nice and relaxing. I'm so thankful I decided not to drive that day or else takut2 kete aku calar senerih retakan jalan amat humongous itu. Hmm.. nobody dared to stop and snap a pic of that hole or I would have guaranteed you you will all be awed by the mere sight of it. Other than that, fun and good laughters.

[caption id="attachment_1559" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Ella's kids have unbelievably good manners - Sarves (2), Sharo (8), Divya (10)"]



Another thing that I like about this outing is that I got to talk to these 2 girls. The boy is just so adorable! Reminds me of the time when I tutored 3 indian kids. You'll be surprised at their quick replies. And you'll get the most honest conversation ever with them. I like to talk to them like an adult. They're so great at listening, very attentive and interested. Or maybe because they're girls?

Kids are just a whole lot of fun to talk to.

Pics thanks to Eavay!

Urghhhh I have fever today, my wrist feel weird after a while holding the mouse. Satu badan lembik! And it's so warm it's not comfortable at all. I hate fever.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bitten by the bed bugs

Now I have a few small red dots on my arm, my legs and my neck. Not to mention they're all so itchy. Isk. I had no idea where all this bugs came from, suddenly decided to attack me in one night and left me feeling so damn angry. They will leave scars, although I know over time it will disappear but still, I don't like lah... Oh help!

The strange thing is it only happened last Thursday. I still slept on the same bed but it never happened again. Aaaaa bencik bencik! Gatalnyer nak garu jek tapi have to refrain self. Kalau tak nanti lagi teruk the scars... hisy!

Ok don't want to dwell on it that much anymore. Things happened, have to move on. Now next topic: shopping! I want to look for a skirt and a blouse. I'm going to check out Envee in Alamanda if it's any good. Adda, come lah set time after work we go to Nichii ok bebeh??

Friday, April 3, 2009


[caption id="attachment_1542" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="My new sexy pair of shoes"]



I'm in love. The simplicity of it all won me over. Tak abes bayar lagi ni dah masuk blog hahahaha... like I care ;)

I welcome Friday every week, but since I started my master's I no longer appreciate it that much, since unlike so many people, I have classes on Saturday that can drag on and on up till 7pm. Letih! But I'm going to be on leave for 2 days next week, which I expect should be relaxing enough to compensate my ever super duper crazy schedule.

Sometimes I feel bad getting off work sharp at 5.30pm leaving my team behind, but I don't think I have a choice here. Hey, when it's semester break yes I can stay back with you all beautiful people, no worries about that. But let's not hope to stay back shall we. We should all go back home early and have good dinner with families and watch tv and dance and sing. And maybe throw some pebbles at someone's window who knows yeah.

What am I doing blogging during office hours??? Quoting Eavay and Abdullah (and whoever the quote is from), it's not that I'm lazy, it's just that I don't care...muahahahahahaha...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I have the cutest, most chic thumbdrive eva!

Thanks to my colleague sweetheart, Abdullah (yea you read that right - colleague not college). It's the most sweeeeeeeeeeeetest gift ever. Thank you haaaa Abdullah - I love you! Segan la weh, consider as this year punya birthday gift lah ye heh.

Pics will come later as my camera is with my dad for now. My phone cam sucks, see if I can get a decent snap out of it later. I can't help but loving that thing so much! Of course I should say all the nicest thing about him now even if he's not that nice hahahhaha (kidding aa Abdullah). Abdullah is the most non-judgemental nicest boy man around, great to have as a toy boy, as well as your shopping companion, who responds to your needs and very importantly, who listens. Now girls, isn't that a catch?

So you see, you give nice stuff to me, I'll tell the world how nice you are :p

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I think I've lost weight

My jeans and pants now are all longgar ok. No I'm not happy with that. I want to stay fat.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's been a while

It's not that actually, there were few updates but in Facebook. They're all about tags. My friends went tag crazy. And people are crazy tweeting as well. Anyway, taking some time off to write about thumbdrive.

I AM IN DIRE NEED OF A THUMBDRIVE. Why I didn't try to get one all this while is beyond me. It's not that expensive. I guess I was just too lazy to go these IT places alone. But oh my god do I need one. Ok before I get carried away by the absence of a tiny cheap gadget, it's already March people! Just when I thought I still have 12 months to go...

Long break really knocks me back at work - I spent half day figuring what everyone else was doing the past week so I could write the report. And then some. Urghhh!!! Now I'm in between controllers and models, trying out to figure out what did I do last week. I hate leaving on a spur like that because I didn't do enough mental notes to connect to when I get back to it.

It is now 3.30pm, 2 more hours I'll rush out of here. I don't know, sometimes it happens to people I guess. There are days when the stars are just not aligned, the moon is not so bright, the wind seems stale, etc, you get the idea. Oh well at least I get a week break which is never a bad thing. Only now I have started to realized how busy I'm going to be the rest of this year.

Already given the assignment on computer networks. I never liked networks -- eeek! Binary tree and such is such a welcoming balance to this semester. I don't really care how computers are interconnected, just get me a working one, well connected one and let me build the apps ok. You worry about setting up the infrastructure, I worry about how to store the data and manipulate them. Isn't that sound nicer. There's network programming paper coming up - wonder whether or not will I like it. We'll see.

I'm rambling.

Better go now before I start saying more nonsensical stuff.

On last note: I have this sudden, an immense liking to bachata music. Just perfect to listen to at night, especially if you have that special someone. Warning: if you don't like latin music, don't bother. You have been warned - you are prohibited to cringe upon listening.

Song 1 - Ven Tu

Listen to it while you can, I'm going to take it down in a few days and after that you're on your own :P tralalalaa ~~

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I am a quiet person

And a very private one too. Believe it or not, I was a class clown when I was 13 for that odd 6 months of my life. I moved on after that realizing there was no fun in it. Sure I had lots of friends and it was fun in a way that I had alot of people to talk to when I felt like it but real friends was what I was looking for. Besides, I wasn't being myself.

I have this one thing about me that bothers me alot. Sometimes it can a be a nuisance, but probably a virtue in some other different circumstances. But still it bothers me. I can be very direct with my words. Now, old friends know this very well and they put up with me everytime (I hope), which I'm very grateful for. New friends on the other hand are very hard to tackle. Usually I end up being quiet as to restrain myself from saying stuff that might hurt other people's feelings. Or sometimes, the words escape my mouth halfway but then I stop and making up other words to finish the sentence that don't make sense and I get these faces staring back at me. To make things worse is my natural tone of voice. If I don't hold eye contact while conversing I swear the person I talk to would think I was mad at them for something. But like I said before, this isn't the case with old friends.

Ok now I sound like I scold people for a living... heh!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yay it's a post filler! *cough* umm... Sad Eyes

Some answers make sense, some not but it was fun.


1. Put your music player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button (ONLY ONCE!!!) to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS - even if it is incredibly embarrassing.
4. Tag 15 friends who might enjoy doing the same as well as the person you got the note from.

Addicted To Me - The Click Five

All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow (oh yeaaaaaaaaaahhh!!)

Nothing Else Matters - Lucie Silvas

Cry For You - September

Landslide - Dixie Chicks (heyyyy apa landslide2 nih! certainly not my purpose)

I'll Never Love This Way Again - Vonzell Solomon

Stop - Spice Girls

7 Things - Miley Cyrus

9) WHAT IS 2+2?
If I Let You Go - Westlife

Takbir raya aidilfitri (hahahahahah forgot that I have my raya song list too there)

What Becomes of The Brokenhearted - Westlife

Bunga Bunga Cinta - Misha Omar (HAH??!!)

I'm A Slave For You - Britney Spears

I Saw You - Josh Kelly

The Anthem - Good Charlotte (good god! hahahhaha oh yea oh yea!)

Pulanglah - Aishah (oklaaa I can still slow dance)

Someone Else's Life - Joshua Radin

Bold as Love - John Mayer

Yellow - Coldplay (hahahahahah I have yellow friends)

All That I Need - Boyzone

My Sacrifice - Nickelback

Aidilfitri di Alaf Baru - Siti Nurhaliza (ummm... why would I regret aidilfitri?)

El Bacan Yol - Pablo Bachata

Billie Jean - David Cook

Corazon de Melon - Son Damas (melon heart??)

It Had To Be You - Elliot Yamin

Ain't No Other Man - Christina Aguilera

Come Back To Me - Vanessa Hudgens (why do I even have her on my list?)

Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore - Air Supply

Sad Eyes - Josh Rouse

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bash.org IRC quotes in terminal

You know Bash.org right? The place where you can find funniest IRC quotes said by real people all over the world. So I just want to read a random quote everytime I fire up my terminal, to start my day, sort off. But yea if I'm so inclined, I can get it by ./getquote anytime too.

Some screenshots follows:




You get the idea right. Just that if I want to read another quote in terminal, I have to cd ~/<script folder> and ./getquote from there (I keep my scripts organized). I'm kinda lazy so I just Ctrl-Shift-T, Ctrl-Shift-W all the time. :p Works for me.

This is what I did. I have 2 main files:

  • ./import - this one is for importing the quotes all at once from any of their RSS feed provider. Then I use xmlstarlet to extract information I need and format it the way I want (so painlessly, I might add). and then save it as plain text file.

# retrieve quotes from bash.org and save it to bashquotes.xml
# -one of the RSS provider http://quotes.sydv.net/
echo "Retrieving from bash.org..."
wget -O bashquotes.xml http://feeds2.feedburner.com/top100-bash-quotes

# extract the feed to file bashquotes
echo "Extracting RSS feed..."
xmlstarlet sel -t -m '//item' -o '==%%==' -v 'description' -n  bashquotes.xml > bashquotes
echo "RSS feed saved in bashquotes"

# replacing html entities to proper character for viewing
sed 's/&lt;/' bashquotes > bashquotes2
sed 's/&gt;/>/g' bashquotes2 > bashquotes
sed 's/<br />/n/g' bashquotes > bashquotes2
sed 's/&quot;/"/g' bashquotes2 > bashquotes
sed 's/&nbsp;/ /g' bashquotes > bashquotes2
sed 's/<img.*>//g' bashquotes2 > bashquotes.txt
echo "bashquotes.txt ready"

  • ./getquote - this one is for reading off that text file and get any one from the quote.

# reading from bashquotes.txt
quotes=($(cat bashquotes.txt)) # array

# form an array
for ((i=0; i

  • To get it displayed in the terminal, I appended this in my ~/.bashrc

echo "";
echo "--irc quotes--"
cd /home/cawanpink/bash/quotes/
echo -e "================================"

Simple right. This is the result of me  being blocked by an SVN server earlier on, that in a way has cut me off from doing any real work. Heh.

Now I know the code is not the most elegant, most of them are copy and paste and modified but all in all it's worth my time coz the quotes are just freakin hilarious!

Note: my terminal is a modified version of this - I had wanted to post about it when I did it but too lazy now.

Monday, February 2, 2009


[caption id="attachment_1488" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Grilled chicken & tomato, with mushroom sauce"]



Fairly easy to do. Normally I take 2 pieces but today I didn't have lunch so there you go. Wish I had more green vegetables in the fridge - pepper and the like. Besides, I intend to stay up all night tonight to finish up some pending tasks so I need the energy boost.

I didn't catch any sleep last night, busying myself watching Christina Aguilera's Back To Basics tour. Whoa some tour! And then I tried installing Gyach. I have it running now but oh my god what an ass that app is. I should submit patches or something.

Tomorrow I'll have grilled steak, maybe. And at night grilled seafood. Yeah! Ever since my mom bought me that grilling pan the kitchen felt like heaven now. I mentioned to her only once that I had been looking for that pan, when I already had forgotten about it, it's on my bed one day. Hmm... mothers are timeless! For the record I did make an effort to buy it myself and I didn't ask her to buy it for me, but every time I found one it's like RM500 or something. Why in the world people high-price these days.

It's been so long since I had grilled pineapple. Sweet caramelized pineapple slices, dipped in chocolate sauce... oooohhh.... tomorrow it is!

Friday, January 30, 2009

I love big bags

Yea I love them all. They're so practical, can be a little bit heavy but it's not like you're carrying it with you all the time. So out of boredom tonight (more like I was looking to do something silly before I start doing my work) so I took a picture of my handbag and turned it upside down and started scrounging for whatever it is that has been living in there. I was quiet amazed at how much I can squeeze everything in there all this while.

[caption id="attachment_1476" align="alignright" width="300" caption="My mom bought me this bag"]



[caption id="attachment_1477" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Stuff in the bag"]



In my bag currently:

  • 1 little notebook/organizer

  • 2 sachets of Nescafe 3 in 1

  • my purse

  • coin purse

  • camera

  • a tiny box of Clorets

  • 2 pens (black and red)

  • couple of movie ticket stubs

  • a necklace

  • a pair of earings

  • a bottle of shower gel (it's for my mom)

  • a pack of plastic bandages (to wrap around my burned finger)

  • a lighter

  • a RM5 Nando's voucher (ang pau from Mr. Foong =/)

  • 2 movie vouchers

  • my namecards

  • a couple of membership cards

  • 1 tube of vaseline

  • my 'skema' goverment nametag

  • 1 pack full of jelly sticks!

  • some misplaced coins

  • my handphone

  • some receipts

  • my car keys

  • my house keys

and that's it. Sometimes I even have a book in there. Looking at the list, the most techie stuff I have is my phone haha! Everything else is normal lah for a simple girl.

I just remembered something. I was planning to apply henna last weekend because the one I have is almost gone. I always put it on my left hand. Now that one finger is recuperating on the spot where henna would've been applied on, so can't do. Else there'll be big black circle on my middle finger, not so nice leh. Problems with henna on right hand is that it attracts people's attention eaaasily.

I feel sleepy now but have to make up time for some work. I watched tv just now - darn. Damn you magic box. Time stealer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Memory lane

You know when you're so tired with work and just wish you could take a long break, that time when you wish everything would quickly disappear, when you wish for all the time in the world to catch up with that tight deadlines? You just wish that whatever god given talent you have, you couldn't stop longing to be somehow more brilliant just to solve that hard equations in 2 seconds. Please please please, you pray, if I hit F5 please no more errors. But they keep on messing with your mind with their little error messages and cryptic paths showing to some library. Oh well. It happens to everyone of us.

I'm blogging during working hours. I got this list of pending tasks waiting next. I just solved that tricky join-tables auto-generated-form I-want-it-this-way-not-that-way cakephp thing that had taken me 3 days so chill ok. Give me a break.

For the record, I'm not that tired as described in first paragraph. That's just for dramatic introduction. :p I'm lucky coz I had a couple of long breaks in the past 6 months. I was just thinking of something. Sometimes I do get tired and pissed but around that time usually I'll think about what I love most about my job. And believe it or not, this is something I like doing for the rest of my working life. I love coding, I love the problem solving stuff going on it in, I love the discipline of writing codes and above all, I just love the logic. 1 + 1 is always 2. If you say otherwise, you're insane - go to rehab.

I was thinking about my former workplace - SYABAS. Boy how I loved working there. I joined PUAS just after I graduated. The HR Senior Manager at that time gave me a choice, programmer at HQ or at one of its district branches. Of course I chose HQ, I knew it would cost me more traveling but it would worth it. There I met amazing people. I was quickly assigned a mentor and quickly became part of the team. It was a very friendly and family-like atmosphere, we still keep in touch with each other now. The great team aside, what got me excited, though I never understood it at the beginning until later, was how big the IT potential was in assisting the day to day operations - to supply clean water throughout Selangor & KL, and it was up to us so to speak to automate stuff, make their life easier. When I first got there almost everything was done manually or the technology was outdated. I have to agree part of it was because of limited budget.

The HQ IT department then only consist of 20+ people, app team there with 5 of us. Kak Izan was (still is) the lead. The first thing was to get intranet up - it took a year to get all PUAS staff to get used to it (training, training, training - can't blame them it's human nature to forget). En. Suhaimi was (still is) the big boss, he is a man with a vision with so many bright practical ideas. I think within 3 years after SYABAS takeover he went from a senior manager to a general manager and now something higher than a GM. I can safely say whatever IT infrastructure and applications there now came out from him, mostly. All that and he is such a humble person. I have high respect for this man. An open source enthusiast also, if I may add.


The intranet, can you believe it, was developed from scratch. It won a government award for its functionality a year later. When I left in 2006, a module that lets anyone logs in and see their workspace was being developed. If I can remember correctly, user can login and see their upcoming meetings, things need to be approved, private messages, etc. There were independent systems too - telemetry (monitoring water level in reservoirs etc), billing, accounting, HR, customer service. All this was using different technology and we had to get all of them together and integrate. Linda was working with inventory system that should talk to the accounting system to manage in and out/ purchasing of pipes, machinery, trucks, valves etc. Nisa was working with online bulk payment for those company that has branches all over the place and want to monitor transactions of each. This app of course need to talk to accounting also. Husna was working with online submission of new plans for the housing developers for approval. What was done manually that could've taken weeks was cut down to a few days. Me? I was kept busy with online mapping, digitizing pipes layout. Such horrid experience. Do you know that back then they didn't document it properly, everything was inside engineer's head. There was also some other system being developed at the same time.

I remember the fun when we found local celebrities addresses. And there was this one thing that would blow siren when something was wrong - I forgot what it is. Also the mass sms system just sitting nearby we could but didn't abuse. We painted the training room on our own - that one is unforgettable haha! We had Nagios to monitor the connections to our district offices on suspended monitor so we all could see (this simple solution saved us alot of time investigating when something happened).

They have come a long way since then. Numbers of people has grown I think. I don't know how it is doing now anyway. Back then, there was already so many systems but how did we handle it? By documentations. I was told to follow the ERD, the flowcharts and the wireframes established beforehand. This way it's kinda easy to know where to plug a new system to an old one. New people coming in also can just have a look at that and can catch up pretty fast from there. Any probable amendments, talk to Kak Izan first. Now she is such an open person and smart. Also she knows how to talk and reason. She gave me a good lesson in database design while I was there. She has earned my respect so long ago, together with Nisa, Husna and Linda.

In the end all this word of love and hurrah, so why did I left? I couldn't stand the shitty pay and discrimination by the very upper management.

Oh and if you're curious, new systems then were developed using PHP and MySQL. There was also various technology involved at that time at system integration level: Oracle, Sun, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, ASP.

Monday, January 19, 2009

An alien has invaded my place

1. abdza told me he visited the office last Friday but I went off early that day.

[caption id="attachment_1456" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Alien's note"]



2. KSN's new system is applying FOSSchix.my's theme. OMFG. Why can't it use default Plone theme, change the base color to purple or something.

3. Hey we got sijil penghargaan for sumbangan melaksanakan projek inovasi MyMeeting, with my name incorrectly spelled on it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

If it's up to me...

... I would grow and sell mushrooms. Yah that's what I'd do. By mushrooms I mean the food, not anything else. I would eat them everyday. I never did like mushrooms, not until I met Adda 2 years ago in 2006 (we stayed together in a house with Siti for 4 months). She would put them in everything we cook, even in sambal udang! Amusing to think about it now but it was good nonetheless. There's so many type of mushrooms. The only one I don't like so far is the one that looks like taugeh. Eww... I couldn't get it to taste nice enough for me to swallow. But yea I put mushrooms in everything I cook these days, well, most of the time. But you can't get fresh mushrooms easily here, not if you're looking at pasar malam. Even at Giant or Tesco, they only have it in cans which always works for me. But I'm not that cerewet (I'm a self-professed low maintenance person). The fresh ones are usually more expensive so I usually give it a pass.

Last Tuesday I went to pasar malam here in Putrajaya. I LOVE grocery shopping! Looking at the seafood that night oh wow - the fish were all fresh, the squids, shrimps, crabs etc. They smell like they had just been brought in from the sea. Last time when I was living with Adda and Siti, our house was near the beach. So you can imagine how excited I was everytime we went to the pasar after work. There were 3 of us so we bought alot for a week. Now I'm only buying for myself - no fun. And I found myself actually like to cook. I enjoy planning my meals everyday.

So I made that caramel pudding again today, without accidents this time, thankfully.





[caption id="attachment_1448" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Had eaten it halfway when I took the pic. Sweeeeeet sweeet thing. The pic didn't do justice, I should've use white plate to bring up the colors."]



I took a panadol today and feel asleep right away. Loooong and deeeep sleep. Woke up at 5! Kinda late to do anything for the day so I just made myself some snacks and wash my clothes and sweep the floor. So now I feel like going to bed early for a change. I'm still reading Band of Brothers. Lots of spelling mistakes but what a book. I'm drawn by the individual experience during WWII, not just talking politics of winning the war. The series was great but the book offers so much deeper insight of what happened. Like LOTR, if you've read the book, you'll understand the movie much better.

Next in line should be my borrowed pilates book and again Cecilia Ahern's Thanks for the Memories. You know I never noticed the book stall in Street Mall of Cyberjaya. The books are new and really cheap. I got 2 books for RM50 that day. If it was a normal bookstore it would've cost me around RM70. That stall has all the new books I see on New Arrival shelf in MPH.

And I finished reading The Child Called It by David Pelzer. If it didn't state that it's a memorial/non-fiction book, I would've thought it was fiction, how brave of the author to put such gruesome details to sell the book. But yea it is a memorial and I was stunned at the end how on earth did he make it alive. Inspiring piece, I must say.

Come to think about it, I haven't registered the books on bookcrossing.com yet! Alright. Toodles you blog readers - read a book.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some random open source stuff

I had just finished helping some people from Jabatan Pelajaran with their reporting and PHP which by the way took the whole day. They've been developing it from scratch. Even I forgot the insert syntax :P yea I'm quite used to framework already. Anyway, the point is, they said they know some other government agencies who already has this and that system so why can't they just take it and reuse it at their own agency? Such a hassle to build when they're the only 2 IT people supporting the whole Jabatan. And they're not even programmers.

The answer to this is quite obvious - open source environment. Malaysian government should have its own sourceforge where all these systems can get in there and show off. Doesn't matter if they're build from scratch or by using frameworks, elegant code or not, it's supposed to be where malaysian government servants should feel comfortable at, at least as a playground for programmers in the government sector. I like the idea when other people come and see my code and suggest some new features or report bugs or better yet, submit patches. My apps will not only get better, but I get to learn too. This of course varies to each of us, some of us may be get intimidated at the idea of others who's probably better programmers looking at our wee wee code. Some will right away jump at the opportunity to the point of annoying everyone. Some will just accept it as it is and do nothing about it. I'm sure you've heard this a million times: it's the first step that counts. Here's an advice: take that step and see where you'll end up.

Who cares if the app is not perfect, then again, which app ever is. It's the continuous development along with the requested features that will make it 'perfect'. A success of a software doesn't depend on how advance the code or the tool is, it's when the user says "I like this software. It helps me alot in my day to day tasks. I use it everyday". Now wouldn't that something every developers would want to hear. You've developed a small app still using PHP with every page you have to mysql_connect at the top but everyone in your bahagian/seksyen/jabatan/etc depends on it, I will say to you - you rock!

For you men of real martians, you get to feed you ego. Ya ya everyone will know you as the so and so contributor, you have stories to tell to you fellow colleagues and later on your kids, you get to brag, and sometimes you can make some money out of it even though open source is not really about money. Just be careful, ego too big will cut your life short. Too small it's a turn off ok. And girls, this is the time for us to rise and show the world what we've got. There's so many of us graduating in IT/CS in Malaysia, alot working in the government as IT Officers - where are you? Get in here ladies. First step: join FOSSchix.my.

I think what could stop them from sharing apps even if we have this kind of sourceforge is they probably think if they share it, they'll lose ownership of it. Pride. One of the deadliest sin - seems the deadlier it is the more people has it. Or they think if they share their app, they'll share their confidential info too. Hmmpphh... shows how much open source education is needed. Lack of understanding and exposure is one item we still have to beat and it's not going to be easy.

Ooohh didn't mean to write this long. Just feeling bad for the people I helped today - it's better if they can just browse and download and install.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy birthday abah!

Kinda late wishing my dad a happy birthday today. Now he's 53!

A father means so many things
An understanding heart
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start

A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way

A special generosity
And always affection, too
A father means so many things
When he's a man like you

- unknown author

Monday, January 5, 2009

I burned my finger

Was making that delicous yummy looking caramel dessert and somehow managed to get a little drop of the sugar caramel on my finger. I think I got second degree burn or something. Searing pain and it still hurts like hell!!! You know how high the temperature of burnt sugar right? It's over 100°c.

But I got 4 mini cups of desserts in return.

I had a calm weekend, quite unexpected but I treasured every moment of it.