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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Discover The Shortcut to The Brilliant Adobe Creative Suite 4 Launch Malaysia (11 November)

Adobe Systems is holding a free end-user event in the Sabah Room of the Shangri-La Hotel KL from 8.30am – 6.00pm on Tuesday 11 November, for the Launch of Adobe Creative Suite 4. Free seat reservations are at http://www.adobe.com/go/asiaevents. You must reserve to ensure a place! “

Discover the shortcut to brilliant, with Adobe: exciting new tools and services, improved features in all products, and tighter-than-ever integration all add up to make Creative Suite 4 a must-have solution. Join Adobe at the launch and discover how you can get brilliant faster. “

It will host a series of talks which include:
  • Innovation in Print and Design by Tim Cole (Creative Evangelist, Adobe Systems)
  • Powering Video Production with HP Mobile Workstation (Hewlett Packard Speaker)
  • Video, Video, Video by Karl Soule (Creative Evangelist, Digital Video & Audio, Adobe Systems)
  • Extraordinary in Web - Digital experiences, interactivity and inspiration by (Paul Burnett, Senior Worldwide Evangelist, Creative Solutions, Adobe Systems)
And Lucky Draw!!!! For sure they are giving out free Creative Suite 4.

Check out the full press release here.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OPENSOCIAL GADGET CONTEST: MALAYSIAN DEVELOPERS COMPETE TO BUILD HOT SOCIAL NETWORKING APPLICATIONS

In conjunction with Google's first ever Google DevFest held in Singapore today, Google is organizing an OpenSocial Gadget Contest for local developers to use their coding skills and creativity to build OpenSocial applications. The main objective is to support the developer community and encourage innovation on the OpenSocial platform.



Malaysian Developers at Google Fest (Singapore)

Google will award 4 prizes in Singapore and 4 prizes in Malaysia to local developers whose applications are picked by a panel of judges from Google, eXo Platform, Friendster, Globant and hi5. The top winner in each country will receive a Nintendo Wii and the rest of the winners will get an Apple iPod Touch. More importantly to the developers, the winning OpenSocial applications will be promoted to drive widespread user adoption on OpenSocial partner websites to potentially reach hundreds of millions of Internet users worldwide.

Developers can register and submit their OpenSocial applications at http://code.google.com/events/apacdevfest/contest from November 15, 2008 to January 10, 2009.

Google DevFest saw over 400 Singaporean and Malaysian developers in attendance being hosted by Google, eXo Platform, Friendster, Globant and hi5.

Press release about Google DevFest and futher information on the OpenSocial Gadget Contest is attached here. Please feel free to call me or Rene Leow (017-883 0848) for further inquiries.

Check out here for full press release.

Juniper Networks and IXIA Announce Telecom Energy Efficiency Metric

Juniper Networks, the leader in high-performance networking, and IXIA, a leading, global provider of IP performance test systems, today announced the formation of the Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative — a framework for measuring the energy efficiency of network and telecom devices. Juniper, Ixia and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs collaborated to develop the energy efficiency metric in response to increasing requirements from service providers, enterprise businesses and government agencies for better methods to estimate, project and regulate energy efficiency of telecom and network equipment.

The vendor-neutral ECR framework and methodology offers a turnkey solution for reporting, measuring and regulating network component energy efficiency. The ECR draft specification 1.02 establishes a framework for classifying network equipment and a methodology for measuring energy efficiency. The final "performance-per-energy unit" rating, expressed in (watts) / (Gigabit per second) can be reported as a peak (scalar) or synthetic (weighted) metric that takes dynamic energy management capabilities into account.

"Energy efficiency is an increasingly important factor in customers' decision and evaluation process, but to-date there has been no reliable, standardized method for testing the efficiency of networking equipment. The ECR Initiative is an important step toward making energy efficiency ratings for telecommunications a reality," said Wan Ahmad Kamal, Juniper Networks Malaysia Country Manager. "Our service provider customers are focused on energy efficiency for maximum operational savings, service quality, reliability and the environmental impact of their networks, and our products are designed to help them meet these objectives. By participating in the launch of the ECR Initiative, Juniper is not only helping advance the industry towards its efficiency goals, but is also validating the advantage Juniper's platforms such as the T1600 have in this area.""

The Juniper Networks T1600 Core Router was the first system to be tested (today) under the ECR, and has been verified as the industry's most energy-efficient core router, with a performance-per-energy unit rating of 9.1 watts per Gpbs. The tests were performed at Ixia's iSimCity in Santa Clara, California using its IxGreen energy measurement solution. The Juniper Networks T1600 is a core router that can deliver 25 percent more routing capacity at half the footprint and with up to 40 percent less power than competing solutions.

Press Release:

MALAYSIA – October 29, 2008 -- Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR), the leader in high-performance networking, and IXIA (NASDAQ: XXIA), a leading, global provider of IP performance test systems, today announced the formation of the Energy Consumption Rating (ECR) Initiative — a framework for measuring the energy efficiency of network and telecom devices. In an event hosted by Ixia, key definitions and methodology of the ECR initiative were unveiled to the public, alongside a live technology demonstration.

In response to the increasing requirement from service providers, enterprise businesses and government agencies for better methods to estimate, project and regulate energy efficiency of telecom and network equipment, Juniper Networks, Ixia and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs collaborated to develop a vendor-neutral energy efficiency metric.

The ECR metric creates a common energy denominator between different network and telecom systems operating within a single class. The ECR methodology defines the procedures and conditions for measurements and calculations, and can be readily implemented with industry-standard test equipment.

Check out here for full press release.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Installing MSSQL Together With Software Application

You want to install MSSQL and your software application together in the same installer without having to run through separate installers (in a Windows environment). You intended to run the installation from a CD where users only have to click once.

So, how do you invoke the MSSQL installer from other installer ? Assuming that you are using Visual Studio Installer to build the installer for your software application, you can't.

You can't even run batch file (*.bat file) from it.

You have to resort to either of the followings:

  1. Custom made installer.
  2. Using installation studio which supports custom scripts such as Wise Installation Studio. (Which is not free)


The best solution that I could figure out is:

To invoke the MSSQL installer using command prompt.

Check it out..

MSSQL 2005
MSSQL 2008

It works, you can put the script inside a batch file.

And instead of trying to use the installer for your software application to invoke the batch file, you can actually invoke everything from a batch file (including your software application installer).

Thus, the content of your eventual installation CD would look like the following.



The content of SetupTAS.bat is:





Or download it from here.

So, the idea is to run everything from command prompt with scripts in a batch file. Use the 'osql' utility to execute T-SQL scripts from command prompt.

Also, you can download the ISO image of the example shown above from here.

Other Issues:
  • You may want to create a custom installer to execute the batch file (SetupTAS.bat) because you don't want to expose end-users with the 'sa' password. You may also want to compress the batch file and T-SQL scripts into a zip file and password protect it.
  • You may also want to disable Windows Users from having access to the database for extended security; allowing only 'sa' access.
  • You may also want to use the sac.exe utility to configure settings for the database instance installed.
  • You may also want to perform a check on dotNetFramework version before process with installing MSSQL 2005 which requires at least version 2


Pretty neat huh ?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The New MacBook - Apple Oct 2008 Event

At the recent Apple Oct 2008 event...

State of the Mac

Sold 2.5 millions mac (last quarter)

How they did that ?
  1. Better computers
  2. Better software
  3. Compatibility (Enables Windows to run natively on the Mac)
  4. Vista (Hasn't lived up)
  5. Marketing
  6. Retail Stores (247 stores in 8 country) - 400k visitors each, 50% new conversion.



  • Outgrown the market in 4 years.
  • Revenues share 30% (1 out 3 dollar is spent on Mac)
  • Top supplier of notebooks for Education sector 39% (47% for major universities)
  • The real momentum is 71 M in 2007, q1-q3 (2008) 71 M.

New Ways to Build Notebooks

The challenges of building thin and light notebook is to make the structure strong and robust.

The old MacBook was made from assembling small units of structures.









The revolutionary Macbook Air reinvents the wheel by doing the opposite - started from a solid board, removing away unwanted parts to cater for the features and it results as 'unibody enclosure'.










New Graphics for Notebooks

Combine the chipset and embedded graphic processor all in one part - Nvidia GForce 9400M.
  • Chipset + GPU
  • 70% of die area is GPU
  • 16 parallel graphics cores
  • 54 Gigaflops
  • Up to 5 times faster than Intel integrated graphic
New Trackpad
  • 39% larger
  • Multi touch for gestures
  • Glass
  • Entire trackpad is the button
Conclusion of the new MacBook Pro:
  • Unibody Enclosure
  • LED backlit display
  • Next generation graphics
  • Multi-touch glass trackpad
  • Mini Display Port connector
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Built-in iSight and microphone
  • Stereo speakers
  • Magnetic latch.
  • Environmental friendly.

    • Arsenic free
    • BFR free
    • Mercury free
    • PVC free
    • Highly recyclable material
    • 37% shrinkage of the packages

What I like about it is the removable hard disk (solid state drive) known as 'slot-loading super drive' feature.

Still expensive for Ringgit Malaysian conversion and thus Apple computer is still a luxury thing in Malaysia. I still think that my next upgrade of Notebook will be Lenovo Thinkpad T61. I would love to have a tablet PC but the screen is usually just 12 inch (too small).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Juniper Networks Extends Edge Routing Leadership with the Intelligent Services Edge

Juniper Networks, the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the Intelligent Services Edge, a fully integrated portfolio of new hardware and software features that address business challenges for customers building and expanding high-performance networks. As providers continue to rapidly expand their service portfolio, the ability to converge services across a set of intelligent edge routing platforms will greatly enhance scale, performance and operational efficiency. Leveraging the architectural integrity of the powerful JUNOS® software and Juniper’s advanced M- and MX-series platforms; the advancements facilitate intelligent convergence at the edge, which drives network monetization by speeding deployment of new services and reducing operational costs and complexity.

The Intelligent Services Edge will extend the power of the JUNOS operating system by adding the following advanced edge services:

  • Broadband Services Routing: extends subscriber management technology from the market-leading E-series Broadband Services Routers to the M- and MX-series platforms
  • Dynamic Application Awareness: leverages Juniper’s leadership in security and policy management to provide stateful, subscriber-aware application monitoring, enabling advanced, application-specific service levels and QoS treatments
  • Intrusion Prevention: provides application layer security leveraging Juniper Networks advanced Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) technology
  • Session Border Control functionality: manages VoIP and multimedia sessions to ensure quality of service and security for VoIP and multimedia applications.


“JUNOS has long been a key differentiator for Juniper, and with the Intelligent Services Edge, we are further extending our leadership by leveraging JUNOS as the foundation for many more advanced edge services such as application awareness, broadband routing, security, voice and multimedia,” said Wan Ahmad Kamal, country manager for Juniper Networks Malaysia. “Our customers will continue to benefit from the operational efficiency and simplicity of a single network operating system in additional parts of their network and, together with the Partner Solution Development Platform, can create and deploy a virtually limitless number of services on JUNOS. This will enable service providers to monetize their networks by improving service flexibility and velocity, while also delivering maximum scale to meet increasing demand for new services.”

Press Release:

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, October 22, 2008 – Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR), the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the Intelligent Services Edge, a fully integrated portfolio of new hardware and software features that address business challenges for customers building and expanding high-performance networks.

Check out the full press release.

When Vista Reaches 80% of Memory Utilization

When Windows Vista reaches 80% of memory utilization ...

It is time to restart.

My Thinkpad R60 is equipped with 2GB RAM, on average the memory utilization is 50%. It is rare to reach 80% and when it does, it is time to restart because things will start to behave in a funny manner. X-Files (You can't prove it but it happened).



One of the funny moments I had was the scroll bars started to misbehave such as the vertical bar tends to move down and stay at the bottom. The horizontal bar tends to move right and stay at the right wide.

I attribute this over memory utilization to overusing Firefox browser, such as playing games on Facebook. Firefox for one reason, seems to consume a lot of memory but very little CPU resources. This means that the program uses a lot of objects but with very efficient algorithms which can process tasks with the shortest time possible.

So, is this the best practice for software engineering ? Firefox is one of the most downloaded software application.

I Still Want to Buy iPhone

Take a look at iPhone's marketing..



and Nokia's N96 ..



I choose iPhone regardless of the price.

How come Nokia don't have budget for marketing ???

But wait, they have created another product to fight with iPhone; Touchscreen 5800.

Friday, October 17, 2008

EC-COUNCIL Receives NICF And CITREP Endorsement

Singapore Infocomm professionals to benefit from National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) and Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Program (CITREP) endorsement

SINGAPORE, October 16, 2008 – EC-Council, the worlds’ leading e-business and security certification organization, today announced that its’ Certified Ethical Hacker certification (C|EH) and Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (C|HFI) programs have been accepted into National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) Infocomm professionals competency requirement list.

In addition to the inclusion, Infocomm professionals training to be certified for the EC-Council programs at NICF accredited training centers, will be entitled to receive partial funding from Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Program (CITREP) upon certification completion.

Check out the full press release.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adobe CS4 Now Shipping & Adobe Flash Player 10 Now Available

Adobe Systems Incorporated today announced the immediate availability of the Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 product family, the highly-anticipated release of industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow.

Packed with hundreds of feature innovations, the new Creative Suite 4 product line enhances the creative process across print, web, mobile, interactive, film and video production. New Flash integration and radical workflow breakthroughs bring down the walls between designers and developers. Adobe's biggest software release to date brings to market Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design editions, Creative Suite 4 Web editions, Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, Adobe Master Collection, as well as 15 point products.

Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium is RM$7,379, RM$6,969 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium, RMS$6,969 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, and RM$10,239 for Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection. Photoshop CS4 is priced at RM$2,869, Photoshop Extended CS4 at RM$4,099, Adobe InCopy CS4 at RM1,029, and InDesign CS4 at RM$2,869.

To reward customers for staying current, Adobe is offering Creative Suite 3 customers moving to Creative Suite 4 a lower upgrade price than it offers to those moving from older, qualifying versions. The CS4 Master Collection upgrade from CS3 is priced at RM$3,689, the CS4 Design Premium upgrade from CS3 at RM$2,459, the CS4 Production Premium upgrade from CS3 at RM$2,459, and the CS4 Web Premium upgrade from CS3 upgrade from CS3 at RM$2,459.

Adobe also announced the immediate availability of Adobe® Flash® Player 10 software. Interactive designers and developers can leverage the new expressive features and visual performance improvements in Flash Player 10 for unprecedented creative control to deliver the most compelling Web applications, interactive content and high quality video to users across multiple browsers and all major operating systems.

Adobe Flash Player 10 builds on the capabilities of the world’s most pervasive application runtime with new support for custom filters and effects, native 3D transformation and animation, advanced audio processing, and GPU hardware acceleration. Building on over 25 years of Adobe expertise with text, the highly flexible new text engine in Flash Player 10 provides interactive designers and developers with more text layout options and better creative control. Adobe Flash Player 10 also extends the expressive capabilities of the Adobe Creative Suite® 4 product line (also available today – see separate press release) with new levels of Adobe Flash technology integration to streamline collaboration and enhance the design/develop workflow.

Press Release:

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA –October 15, 2008 - Adobe Systems Incorporated announced the immediate availability of the Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 product family, the highly-anticipated release of industry-leading design and development software for virtually every creative workflow.

Check out the full press release.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Juniper Networks High-Performance Application Acceleration Platforms Win Computerworld Malaysia Readers' Choice Award

Juniper Networks, the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the Juniper Networks WXC application acceleration platform has won a Computerworld Malaysia “Readers' Choice Award" in the WAN Accelerators category.

The Award was received by Sandra Wong, Juniper Networks Distribution Manager for Asean & India; from Avanti Kumar, Deputy Editor of Computerworld Malaysia (see pic attached : photo courtesy of Computerworld Malaysia) last night at the 2008 Computerworld Readers' Choice Awards ceremony dinner in Kuala Lumpur.



Juniper's WXC application acceleration platforms help distributed enterprises accelerate application delivery over the WAN, more effectively leverage WAN investments and boost user productivity.

Press Release:

MALAYSIA – October 14, 2008 -- Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR), the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the Juniper Networks WXC application acceleration platform has won a Computerworld Malaysia “Readers' Choice Award" in the WAN Accelerators category.

Check out here for full press release.

7 Days Left to Receive USD$10 Millions from Google

The submission date for Google's Project 10^100 is on October 20th, 2008. That means there's 7 days left for us to submit our ideas for a chance to be picked to receive funding of USD$10million to turn our ideas into a reality. It's USD$10million for a good cause to help as many people as possible. What best way to celebrate their 10th birthday, by giving.

Ideas on how we can help our own communities is something quite noble, it does not have to be hi-tech or grand. Let's encourage Malaysians to submit as many ideas as possible to make the world a better place to live.

Check out the full press release.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The End of Financial Industry ?

It has been 10 years ever since the dot-com crashed. While most of those young people like me who gotten ourselves into the industry while we were in college during that period would admit that it is fate that got us this far, we are often unfazed by the fact that there were so much to lose out had we gotten ourselves into other arenas.

It is now 2008 the world is at it again, this time it is affecting the financial industry. The media has dubbed Oct 2008 as Black October and for the first time in history, we are witnessing big nations coming together trying to solve one problem, to prevent the riches from getting poorer.

Well, fair enough, everybody deserves to protect their own interests. But the problem with this financial crisis is far from beginning. In fact, not many layman would not have had any bad experiences yet so far.

The software industry is going to be affected severely, with anticipation that consumers will cut back on investments into software and even upgrades. Software companies need to plan harder now to keep-alive and cash flow is very crucial. (Well, it is for everybody).

It will be a mistake to think that software industry has immunity from the recent financial industry turmoil because there isn't much requirement for capital in the software business. Point taken, but one can't expect to sell software like selling shoes whereby a finished model is finished and the fate of the sales are in the hand of the sales and marketing department. A software, you still need to provide continuous support and that it unlimited cost. Never buy a software which doesn't have any support team, that is a waste of money.

We have to crack our head now to think about where to find cash flows. We can guess that piracy rate will rise back and free software download will increase. Perhaps, software companies can look into providing at least one service on open-source such as deployment or training. People are definitely going to love their Excel more now and they are sure going to ignore new brands and try out new things.

One thing for sure, people are going to move back to fundamentals and nevermind those add-on features which are going to make you sleep better. And this reinstates the uniqueness of iPhone whereby I guess that the sales will not be affected much for the reason that phone is a fundamental, the app store may be annoying but it is nice that it is there.

Perhaps another way to counter this is to maximize availability and affordability and trade-off profitability. Bigger companies like SAP are going to feel the pinch as well.

Software vendors are going to have to work harder because the sales will come slower and internal IT executives will have to buckle up as well because there will be lesser budget for outsourcing. And all these will give 'lifestyle' a very bad name.

In retrospect, this may create a lot of vacancies in the ICT industry where stress is, because the harsher reality from within and outside of the industry will create immense pressure for the knowledge workers, particularly those in R & D, software development, sales and marketing. Talents would be more willing to shift into less stressful jobs but equally tiring jobs such as supports, customers service, management and consulting.

This will in turn create a gap in the technology innovation area because the smaller guys can't wait for 5 years to see huge profits due to constraint budgets and bigger guys can't afford to pay employees with good pay while maintaining a pessimistic outlook. Everybody it seems, have to help the CEO to bear the burden of this reality.

This technology innovation gap will benefit the following parties:
  • Very big companies like Micrsoft, Google, SAP and etc
  • Gung-Ho Start-Ups who doesn't need much cash-flow to survive
  • Fanatic Students who Dare to Reinvent the Wheel
As a result of this, in another 3 to 5 years, approximately at the turning point of this financial crisis (2008), we may perhaps witness the birth of another Google,Microsoft, Apple alike.

But then again, perhaps this is the time to clear out the old and let the new guys move in. Older guys are definitely going to either stay low-profile or quit the industry totally because 3, 5 or even 10 years will be just too much of a long haul. Now you have to ask yourself, are you old or new ?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Adobe Acrobat 9.0 (Data Collection Management)

Adobe Reader 9 IconImage via WikipediaAdobe Acrobat 9.0

The 'Forms' feature allows one to perform data collection by distributing data entry forms (such as registration forms) in PDF format to recipients and have the responses collected and centrally managed.

It is simple, very easy. The steps are summarized as:
  1. Create new form.
  2. Adobe LiveCycle Designer will be launched (which is the real software for this function).
  3. Select a template
  4. Save the form.
  5. Distribute form to Acrobat.com
  6. Email will be sent to recipient.
  7. Email link will connect to Acrobat.com
  8. But you can't fill in the form in Acrobat.com, you have to download the file and open it from local.
  9. Track your responses. Goto 'Form/Track Forms'

    • Check for new responses
    • Filter responses
    • Export responses
    • Archive responses
Check out pictorial illustrations below...

Select A Template

The editor (LiveCycle Designer)

The Generated Form



Distribute Form to Acrobat.com

Recipient Access Form From Email Inbox.

Open Form from Acrobat.com


Recipient Submits Form.



Track Responses

The good thing of using 'Forms' feature in Adobe Acrobat 9 is that recipients don't need to own Acrobat software to fill up PDF forms. Or other solutions such as www.pdffiler.com

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Blogging From Singapore

The three tallest buildings in Singapore are l...Image via WikipediaI am currently in Singapore now.

Of course, the first thing I have always wanted to find out is the Internet speed.

My sister-in-law told me that they are having a 10mbps 8Mbps package from Starhub, without hesistation, I hastened to check it out with Internetfrog.



It recorded an average speed of 1.5 Mbps.

So, now the question is are we expecting to get 10 Mbps 8Mbps effective speed or is it like Malaysia where by paying for 2 Mbps, you will get an average of 200 - 300 kbps? This is about 10% - 18% of the promised speed.

One good thing compared to Malaysia's Streamyx is that over here in Singapore, you will get average of 1.5 Mbps day in and out. Well of course, I have tested it out for two days only.

Of course, one big difference that I noticed is that Acrobat.com can finally load like a desktop application.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

RAFFLES EDUCATION CORP COLLEGE IN COLLABORATION WITH EC-COUNCIL

SINGAPORE, October 7, 2008 – Raffles Education Corp College (REC College) today announced its collaboration with EC-Council, which will see the integration of the EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker certification (C|EH) into one of the modules of Raffles’ Advanced Diploma in InfoComm Security.

The Advanced Diploma in InfoComm Security was introduced in REC College in response to the rising rates of cyber crimes affecting organizations worldwide. The course provides students with comprehensive academic qualifications and certifications encompassing the ICT security market.

Check out the full press release.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tech Blog Malaysia Statistics (Sep 2008)

What People Search on Tech Blog Malaysia (Sep 2008) ?

As usual, check out the analysis for 2007.

For month of Jan 2008
For month of Feb 2008
For month of Mar 2008
For month of April 2008
For month of May 2008
For month of June 2008
For month of July 2008
For month of Aug 2008

For Sep 2008, we have ...
  • A company providing HAPS technology (This company is popular!)
  • The brand of this blog
  • Malwares and phishing
  • Malaysia education initiatives
  • Information regarding a top computer networking equipment company in the world
  • About a high flying techno CEO in Malaysia
  • About Malaysia's recent telco initiatives
  • An IT company in Malaysia

Overview:

  • Total monthly traffic improved by 4.78%
  • Traffic from referring sites improved by 1.53%
  • Google still tops contributor (67.22%). Slightly down from last month.
  • Top 5 countries (Malaysia, US, UK, India, Singapore). Check out here.
  • 85.51% of visitors are new visitors. (A 3.78% increased from last month, this is attributed to the total monthly traffic surged.)


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Why is the Japanese not able to keep up with iPod ?

To cut things short, portable music was invented by Sony and the most famous brand is called the Walkman. Personally, I had a few walkmans in my life. In fact I could remember that I bought my last Japanese stereo cassette recorder by Aiwa before iPod surfaced in the market, that was probably 8 years ago. It is still with me, sitting there doing nothing.



Walkman was cool, everybody wanted a piece of it.

Ever since Steve Job swept us away with iPod, we have almost forgotten about where we come from.

Anyway, it was intriguing for me to want to figure out furthur while I was planning ahead of my venture into the software industry; I have to think about how others have come and evolved and try to figure out the best piece out of it.

So, the obvious question is why didn't the Japs carry on their legacy of the Portable Stereo Radio Cassette Player Cum Recorder into the next renaissance which is what iPod, The Zune, Creative Zen and others are doing right now ???

Big questions. The Japs are smart guys right ?

Some claimed that it is due to the Japanese culture where motivations are driven by external factors while some think that Japs are not as good an innovator than the Americans. Well, it holds weight in both cases as is visible these days, the Japs seem to be losing out in the consumer eletronic markets. I suppose that they are still doing well in the automotive market.

The breakthrough of the answer came from Steve Jobs himself. In the not-so-recent joint interview between Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (on All Things Digital), Steve mentioned that it is due to one reason; software.

So, the Japs can't write software ? Impossible, I can write software.

As I was thinking it through, it came to me naturally as a concept which I already knew.

The question is actually, what type of software ? (Software is a big word)

The answer is software technology
.

Japanese don't have software technology, of course, they can write software as much as many Malaysians, but do we have software technology ?

Software technology doesn't just mean the SDK. It can be said to be a platform, but more precisely, it is the operating system for consumer market. You see, the consumer computing world only has basically three types of operating systems, that is Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Nevermind those for enterprise and industry specific such as military, satellites, telecommunications and etc.

Mac OS was literally Unix initially, its ancestor was NextStep, an operating system developed by the company Steve Job founded after he got kicked out from Apple Inc. Nextstep is what Mac OS X is today and I assume that most of the core team members of Mac OS X are from Next. So, the journey of these great Apple products was almost way back 20 years ago. Even Google hasn't got an operating system yet, why ? Because it takes time to build.

So, to build a new operating system or so-called platform is not easy, you got to wait 20 years to see the results. The Japs knew they don't have the luxury of such time.

And worst still, as much as they want to feel proud about themselves for having created the portable music industry, they wouldn't want to adopt other people's technology. Because if you are going to use some sort of Microsoft technology such as Windows Mobile to build a device, then it is a Microsoft technology. This is also the reason why Google are pretty much open source based, they are very much into Python and Java because they don't want to be associated with Microsoft. I mean, you can't claim to be competing against Microsoft when you are using Microsoft technology right ?

But why not Symbian platform ? The Symbian is an open platform for mobile devices and I guess that it is owned by The Symbian Foundation.

Perhaps back in 2001, when iPod was firstly launched, the Symbian platform was not yet having enough APIs for multimedia. I am certain that even if Sony were to adopt Symbian to compete with iPod in 2001, it may not work out that well (because Symbian couldn't match the richness of Mac OS). Now, perhaps so but it could have been too late. And according to this link, Creative Zen was evolved from OASiS operating system developed in India.

But it is interesting to see how Android-phone ever got into the industry, it is actually an effort by Google to build another platform for the mobile industry.

So the conclusion is that for the mobile devices industry which includes mobile phone, PDA, music players and mini computers, we can say that there are just four platforms.
  1. Apple's iPod and iPhone
  2. Microsoft's Windows Mobile
  3. Symbian & Java (Sony, Samsung, Nokia, LG and etc)
  4. Google's Android
So, you think Microsoft is going to close down soon ? I don't think so for the next century.

Having thought this through gives me a better perspective of how I should move ahead.

I haven't got an iPod but I suspect so soon, either iPhone or iPod.

And one last thing...

If you look inside the Walkman device, it is clearly apparent that it is so limited. The functions are limited to Play, Rec, Stop, FF, REW, Radio and etc and that is about it.





The next big platform is going to be The Cloud, but in case Google can figure a way to own it in one way or another, we still need a device, at least a mobile phone to connect to The Cloud. Once again, even if you can create a device out of some capacitors, transistors and integrated circuits, you still need a software technology right ?

Interestingly, Google was also launched in year 2001. Wow! What a year. And and and, I remember that moment, in 2001, I was a second year student in APIIT, and I remember that out of a sudden of using Yahoo and Alta Vista, all the lab computers' homepage been changed to this plain page of www.google.com.

Also, one more last thing.... I think this blog will be useful to help us, especially Malaysian technopreneurs to figure out where exactly we want to be, given that it is quite possibly impractical to establish pioneering initiatives in the mainstream computing industry. It is also a good reference for us to figure out where things are headed to and just where we want to fit in, how big the cake is and how much time do we have to make that happen before it is too late.

Malaysians also have to think about not only the fact that you can do things, imagine that even you have PhD in some specialize areas (or common areas) and you can do wonderful things, but can you do things which are totally new; totally pioneering ? There is no point to hoo-hah on having the ability to do something which have already been done and is patented. This is what I learned from Americans.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Invalid Procedure Call or Argument (VB6)

There are many reasons as to why an 'invalid procedure call' exception is thrown in a VB6 environment. For instance..

1. Negative values

- When assigning a negative values to an attribute or functions. For instance, when assigning a negative value to the function 'chr'

chr(-12)

2. Form not loaded

- When invoking something which the form is not loaded such as setfocus.

3. Key don't exist in a collection

- when retrieving an item from a collection where the key don't exist or it has been deleted before you know it.

It is hard to debug 'invalid procedure call' without checking out the codes, in case you have a dll file, you can't do anything about it.

SOLUTIONS TO THE CYBER SECURITY EPIDEMIC: A PANACEA OR PLACEBO?

EC-Council to host inaugural APAC Roundtable Forum (EC|RF) Cyber Warfare & Cyber Crime”.

KUALA LUMPUR, September 29, 2008 – EC-Council, the worlds’ leading e-business and security certification organization, will be hosting the inaugural Asia Pacific (APAC) Roundtable Forum (EC|RF) on “Modern Defenses Against 21st Century Cyber Warfare & Cyber Crime” in conjunction with the H@cker Halted Conference which is to be held in Sunway Convention Centre, Malaysia from November 3 – 6, 2008.

Check out more from the full press release.