Another Hari Raya, Another OS

31 December 2006 | Hisham | | Linux, Recent News

Last Aidilfitri two months ago, I was trying to install Ubuntu into the Kelantan desktop belonging to Ain's parents. Although the installation was a success I didn't get very far with it since I couldn't access the internet with it to download and install more software packages with it. (Translation: I just used it to play Mahjong,)

It's now Aidiladha and I've now not only installed Ubuntu into this laptop here in Sitiawan. I'm also accessing the internet via Tok Irfan's ADSL modem via a PPPoE connection through my own Streamyx account, dowloading and installing software packages and typing out this entry on the weblog.

Happy Aidiladha, everyone. I'm heading to Taiping for Irfan's Aunt Eda's merisik kenduri. I'll be back next year (Ha!) to analyse and document how I got Ubuntu into this machine. It was hard looking for articles online how to create partitions for the installation and connect to Streamyx. So one more article won't hurt, I guess.


5 Things You Didn’t Know About Me - A Meme

29 December 2006 | Hisham | | Friends

Brem has tagged me! So I guess to allow this meme to survive and spread out to masses I have to list out the 5 things that I believe the lot of you do not know about me.

So what are five things I think I should tell you people about?


Girls' Names - A Look Forward

28 December 2006 | Hisham | | Rants, Trawling The Net

Babycenter's analysis of 2006's baby name trends was released some weeks back. Ain & I used to refer to Babycenter a lot while Irfan was happily gestating in his amniotic sac up to the time he started to walk.

The names are obviously American, but there are some issues that can be brought up by looking at the list. Not so much on the boys name though the rhyming names Aiden, Caden and Braden gives me the heebie-jeebies. No sign of Raiden though.


Quaked by Internet Problems

27 December 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News, Trawling The Net

Now it seems that we're unable to connect to servers in the United States and Europe. I can't even access my work email. I couldn't even access this weblog since this morning until about 1342 hours local time. And I hope before the connection flips out again, I'd get this entry written and saved.

According to rumours from Jeff Ooi's blog, last night's Taiwanese disastrous earthquake caused Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 Segment 7 (APCN2 S7) to go tits up and caused internet connections between Malaysia, among other countries, to the United States to be congested.

APCN2 is the longest international seabed fibre cable network, 19,000km in total length, in the Asia-Pacific, linking China, Japan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, and onward to linking America, Europe and Australia. The network went into operation in October 2002 for the initial phase.

The project was spearheaded by 26 telecommunications companies, namely Advantel, Cable & Wireless Global Network, Cable&Wireless HKT, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Concert, Global Network Services, Global One, Japan Telecom, KDD Corpe ration, Korea Telecom, KPN, Layer 2, MCI, WorldCom, Metromedia Giber Network Service, NTT Com, NCIC, OneLink Cable Network, PLDT, StarHub, SingTel, Taiwan Fixed Network, Teleglobe, Telekom Malaysia, Telstra and Williams Communications.

The APCN2 cable system was designed to provide 2.56 Terrabits per second (Tbps) using state-of-the-art Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology to provide upgradeable, future proof transmission facilities. However, APCN2 currently runs on a designated transmission capacity of 160 Gigabits per second (Gbps).

Read the entire article here.

Update at 1823 hours:

Here are two more sources dealing with the current outages. The Star has a couple of articles on it while has the TMNet statement as well as some graphics concerning the regional cable network.

Here's to a speedy recovery of this side of Pacific Ocean's data communications network.


Primed for Empire Magazine Cover

25 December 2006 | Hisham | | Transformers, Trawling The Net

Oh my! Another Transformers entry so soon. I think I should have a "Transformers" category in this here weblog. Yes? No? Maybe?

On the cover of Empire magazine.... is Optimus Prime. The image was eventually found - while I was link-hopping on the net - at Don Murphy's message board. All I can say about it is... what an awesome image.

Excuse me while I take a look at eBay for Adam Sandler's unversal remote control so I can fast forward time to July of next year.


Irfan Gets Wet at Ulu Langat

24 December 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Sometime after noon and after Ain made mi goreng, we took a drive to the back end of Ampang, went over the hill and headed for Ulu Langat for a picnic. It would be a perfect day if not for the quadrillions of other visitors clogging up the roads, streets and paths with people and cars. I tried cursing them to transform them into frogs and such, but then I remembered that only worked in story books. After that it took us about 45 minutes to get through about 5 kilometres of road for the trip back. Traffic jams suck. Especially at narrow kampung roads.

So without further adieu here are the pictures of the more fun part of the trip.


Walking, Talking and Punching Bots

21 December 2006 | Hisham | | Transformers, Trawling The Net

As of last night, the new Transformers trailer went online. This is not the fleeting 2 microsecond glimpse of a silhouette smashing the Mars Rover teaser bit which I caught in the theatre just before Garfield: Tale of Two Kitties. (Yeah, I watched Garfield. Shut up in the back there.) This one shows a whole bunch of Cybertronian aliens, in various modes and transforming. There's even a shot of the protoform stasis pod crashing down.

I am happily surprised that there are no loud rock and / or rap music in the trailer to mark the movie as "cool" to the teens. It's just a bunch of quick cuts of... well, lots of bits that made me and Irfan very happy as we went to bed last night. It's not an adaptation of any of the Transformers sub-universes. I'm not even going to go "But Megatron was a gun!" or "That's not what the Creation Matrix looks like!" kind of purist-mode.

As long as there are giant transforming robots blasting crap up, I'm happy. I'm not going to gripe over differences between the cartoon and this movie.


Rabies anybody?

21 December 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

While Abah and Mak were visiting with us last year, Abah took an avid interest in the wildlife around here. Here's a squirrel eating from the container of seeds Vin puts out for the squirrels and the birds.

Squirrel squirreling away nuts

I hope it doesn't have rabies. :D


Irfan Goes To School - After A Fashion

20 December 2006 | Hisham | | Family Pics

Irfan is now registered as a Standard 1 student at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pandan Indah. He is in fact the 32nd student to be registered at the school for the 2009 intake.

There were a few observations that we made about the school when we registered him there today.


In a galaxy far, far away... Southwestern Road Trip Day 7

17 December 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

After our Grand Canyon outing, we returned to the Embassy Suites hotel in Flagstaff. I forgot to say that not only was Vin's and my room freezing (the heater was on the fritz), but there was absolutely no hot water. I had taken a VERRRRY cold shower that morning. Luckily the hot water was fixed when we got back, and the heater was sort of working (meaning instead of the room temperature being equal to the freezer temperature, it was about a very cold refrigerator temperature, which coupled with the 20 F night time temperatures (-5 C) did not sit well with us. But at least we didn't have to wear our winter coats inside our room.

Anyway, after good night's sleep, we got ready for another day of sightseeing. We had breakfast at the complimentary hot breakfast (yayyy scrambled eggs and hash brown potatoes!) before setting off. Basically, we went back up the road towards the Grand Canyon, then turned off - we would check out the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, and then Wupatki National Monument. We saw signs for them on our way up to the Grand Canyon the previous day, and read about these 2 destinations in our guidebook. Decided we would do these 2 sights and go back to Flagstaff for some relaxation.

So off we went!

Flagstaff-Sunset Crater-Wupatki

In a galaxy far, far away... Southwestern Road Trip Day 6

16 December 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

Apologies for the long delay, and finally the continuation of our Southwestern Road Trip. On Day 6, after a cold evening at the Embassy Suites in Flagstaff (Mak and Abah's room was ok, but our room was freeeeeeezing cold), we went for a day long trip to the Grand Canyon. The Embassy Suites complimentary breakfast was, however, one of the better breakfasts we'd had during our trip! Fresh, made-to-order scrambled eggs, omelets, french toast, etc. What's not to like?

At any rate, the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was about an hour north of Flagstaff, so we set off after breakfast for our Grand Canyon outing.

Route from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon

What Kind of Rich are You?

14 December 2006 | Hisham | | Rants

If you're a rich person (with more than a couple of grand in cash handy at the bank, able to invest in businesses, buy houses and yachts and other assorted rich guy items), which among these three categories of the financially wealthy do you belong to?

  • Getting rich is a means to an end, which is to help as many people as possible.
  • Getting rich is a means to an end, which would be an uncontrollable sociopathic urge to hurt and leech more from people around you.
  • Getting rich is THE end itself and you'll do everything to get there, ensure your security to this end even if others around you get hurt.

Best Office Space Ever

12 December 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News, Star Wars
It's All in the Mall
So after the exam today I headed down to 1 Utama with the new laptop. Using the mall's WLAN I was on the internet browsing por- I mean connected to the office via Skype in seconds, replying emails, as well as checking up on the work forum. I also took the picture above using the lappy's 1.3 megapixel webcam, just for the heck of it.

By the way if you're hard up for wireless internet, the benches right in front of the MPH bookstore (top floor) is information supersluice tube. Bathrooms and surau are close by. Who knows... you might even find yourself in a conversation with a friendly passerby which ends with you yelling at the top of your voice, "Yeah! This is future of office work baby! Go back into your sunless cryp- er, I mean office and sulk!"

Meanwhile not far away, a dogfight between an Incom Corporation T-65C-A2 and a Sienar Fleet Systems Twin Ion Engine Advanced x1 was underway. How cool is that?

Is this TIE upside down?

For Lack of A Better Game

08 December 2006 | Hisham | | Recent News, TV

So out of watching four episodes of Heroes in a single night , a game between Ain and Emma was born.

The first to yell out "TIM KRING!" whenever his name came out onscreen wins. That's eight times in three hours. Once during the short intro and the other when the Executive Producer name appears during the story after the intro... each episode.

Not as easy as you might think. You get caught up in the teaser, someone's bound to forget to yell immediately when the name appears.


Hell yeah!

In the Space of Forty Odd Years

07 December 2006 | Hisham | | Comics

I can't believe it's been 43 years between the two images below. Both show the same characters.

The first was illustrated by the late great Jack Kirby in 1963 ten years before I was born. The second was drawn by Yanick Paquette in 2006.

The first has the members of the original class of Xavier's school horsing around during training - still in their teens.

The second shows the same group of people years later - older, wiser and scarred aplenty - just after the events of the House of M and in the thick of the current Civil War storyline in the Marvel universe.


Stuck in the Jam: A Matter of Taste

04 December 2006 | Hisham | | Artwork, Humour

Whee! A webcomic!

Based on a true story, even.

Which happened earlier today.


In a galaxy far, far away... Southwestern Road Trip Day 5

03 December 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

We spent the night at the Hampton Inn in Kayenta, Arizona, a very small town that boasted 3 hotels and as many restaurants. Seriously - we thought Sitiawan was small when we were growing up? Kayenta takes the cake. What we in Malaysia used to call a "cowboy town". The reason that they even had 3 hotels in town was because of their proximity to Monument Valley Tribal Park. Which was our first destination of Day 5!

So after the complimentary breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed off north towards Monument Valley.

22 miles from Kayenta to Monument Valley

Early Morning Raid at the PC Fair

02 December 2006 | Hisham | | ACS Memories, Family Pics

Well, to be honest it wasn't that early in the morning. It was about 10AM. And it wasn't a raid as it was us moving slowly through the computer exhibition picking out stuff to buy after we, for the first time ever, have the budget to buy computer-retaled thingamajigs at one of these PC Fairs.

There were no tablet PCs sold as far as I can see.

Back at the playground again

In a galaxy far, far away... Southwestern Road Trip Day 4

01 December 2006 | sila | | Family Pics

After a good night's sleep at the Hampton Inn in Durango and the complimentary breakfast, we headed west from Durango towards Cortez, CO on the US-160. Just 35 miles west of Durango is Mesa Verde National Park, the site of ancient cliff dwellings (back to the Ancestral Puebloans). We would spend half the day at Mesa Verde and head towards Kayenta, Arizona where we planned to spend our next night.

Route from Durango, Colorado to Kayenta, Arizona - note the meeting of 4 states in the middle of the map

Mesa Verde, here we come!