Archive | August, 2005

Software Freedom – Richard Stallman in Malaysia

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been very busy for the past week or so, I’ll be getting back on track now, I have quite a queue of posts to get up and get back in the flow, argh backlog!

Oh well at least I won’t be suffering from writers block.

I was studying last week, a certification called OPST, I shall write more about it later, I had the exam Saturday morning for 4 hours, then went straight to a talk about Software Freedom in Universiti Malaya[/url] by Richard Stallman (AKA RMS) the godfather of Free Software (Founder of GNU, author of Emacs etc etc etc).

After that was dinner (having not eaten all day)..

Then Sunday was equally busy, now here I am, back in the peaceful haven of my Mon’t Kiara office.

The talk was very interesting and thought provoking, I’m already quite familiar with the Open Source community (A term which RMS will not use), Free Software and the idealisms behind it.

Please not Free Software and Open Source Software ARE different things, although a peice of software can be both, being one DOESNT mean it has to be the other.

The Malaysian focus seems to be on gratis not libre, it’s not about Free as in Free Beer, it’s about Free as in Free speech.

It’s about FREEdom, freedom of choice, freedom to modify, freedom to distribute.

I guess I shall talk about this in depth in a later post, it’s a thought-provoking topic with interesting and deep connotations.

Stallman is a famous icon in the software world, a staunch defender of freedom and free software, heavily against software patents and restrictions on creativity. And yeah he looks like a hobo.

We arrived around 2pm, and a lady from MAMPU[/url] spoke about Malaysian Open Source Initiatives, she was a terrible speaker, stumbling, mumbling and repeating herself, plus what she was saying had already been published in the papers and online and was public knowledge.

She used the term Open Source though rather than Free Software, and she didn’t seem to know the difference, her focus was on gratis free, not libre free.

After that Stallman talked for 3-4 hours, the first part being ‘non-controversial’ the second half being more controversial. He covered a lot of subject, a large part being about software patents and the dangers, then a great explanation of free software and why it should be that way plus a bunch of other stories, anecdotes and explanations.

If you are old-skool like me, you know rms, esr, linus, djb, used to frequent usenet, perhaps used some BBS you will be familiar with most of the things he was saying, but still he is a VERY entertaining speaker, quick witted and extremely intelligent, he does have a tendency to be caustic though.

He didn’t use any slides or a presentation, he just spoke, very engaging indeed.

Towards the end he donned his famous St IGNUcius costume and preached about the church of Emacs.

Yes that is an old computer disk platter on his head.

Anyway I’m glad I went, it was enjoyable and I hope to see more luminaries like Richard Stallman visit Malaysia.

There were some other bloggers there, and a few other people I know including my ex-boss from UK who works over here now, also a Free Software fan, plus Dinesh and a couple of others. Apparently Sashi[/url] was there, and a the guy who led us the wrong way was Jon.

A few other people recognised me too, an Indian guy, a Chinese girl and some others, they didn’t have blogs, if you are here say hi 馃槈

Related Links

Free Software Foundation
Richard M Stallman’s Homepage[/url]
GNU (Gnu Not UNIX)[/url]
RMS at Wikipedia
Free Software at Wikepedia
Free Software vs Open Source at Wikepedia

Continue Reading 12 CommentsInternet & Tech, Serious Issues

Sin City – Black and White Violence!

Sin City is a violent city where the police department is as corrupt as the streets are deadly. In this movie, we follow three stories, the central of which is Marv, a tough-as-nails and nearly impossible to kill street fighter who goes on a rampage of vengeance when a beautiful woman, Goldie (King), he sleeps with for only one night is killed while lying in bed with him.

This is a funky film, sex, highly stylized violence from Frank Miller stories.

It’s already reached the top 250, a pretty high up number 91.

Almost a work of art rather than a film, it’s a pleasure to watch, even though it doesn’t really have any plot so to speak, it’s just a story about a bunch of good/bad/beautiful/ugly people in a city.

It has a whole black and white mega violence, debauchery, evil grainy, gritty kind of thing going on and it’s chock full of famous faces such as:

* Jessica Alba
* Benicio Del Toro
* Josh Harnett
* Bruce Willis
* Rutger Hauer
* Mickey Rourke
* Brittany Murphy
* Michael Madsen
* Clive Owen
* Elijah Wood

Devon Aoki kicks some ass (the chick with the pink car in 2 Fast 2 Furious).

The film is mostly black and white, with certain colours or bits of colours shown for dramatic effect, some red lipstick, a red dress..

Blood is mostly a horrible neon yellow colour which makes the ultraviolence less shocking, but more disturbing in some way on the hole, occasionally you do get the full red splash on someones face..

The characters are great, very straight forward, very well played, Marv is a complete monster, love him!

It’s a very sleazy movie, I guess concentrating on the underworld, corruption and ‘good’ vs ‘evil’ also touching on subjects of female power, lesbianism, mental illness and other afflictions.

It’s probably the best comic book adaptation to date, telling just 3 stories from Miller’s collection following the same style and portraying the characters well.

The film is basically that, something like pulp fiction, 3 stories told from a certain city where the main characters fall in and out of the 3 different lines..

Seriously you should watch this, it’s excellent, well directed, dark, violent and sometimes funny.

I give it a well worth it 9/10.

Continue Reading 12 CommentsMovies

Recharge 3: R3velation – The Aftermath

So duly off I went to Port Dickon after a call out from TBG[/url] and pleading from FireAngel..

We headed up pretty early around 3pm to avoid the traffic and to get our tickets without having to wrestly for them like at Zoukfest last time[/url].

The traffic was already horrible, and I took a long ass way following God’s directions all the way through Puchong, then past CyberJaya finally reaching Port Dickson after about 135km..

The highway was bad, hardly moving, people were resorting to using the hard shoulder..

We got there early though and grabbed our tickets at a reasonable 40RM each (including 2 drinks and a free gift, which was actually functional for once).

we were starving after that so we headed to the Pasar Malan to feast on…burgers, lots of coconut juice, deep fried chicken bread, popiah goreng, fried chicken and other stuff which I don’t even know the name of..

As we went in early, just after sunset we could park inside, in the best car park in the world ever…NOT.

I pity the people at the front, their cars had literally 2 inches of dust on when we left, mine was pretty bad and it was at the back.

I did a massive wheelspin on the way in just to create some haze and make the KL people feel at home *evil grin*.

We were greeted at the front by the Recharge Ferris Wheel.

They had a huge video screen next to the ferris wheel, I mean huge like 40ft high, each booth had a camera in it and the images showed on the screen, kinda cool, a lot of people didn’t notice at first..but they they did, so there was people stripping..

And people pulling stupid faces..

It was pretty quiet when we went in, and technically it’s not really a beach, it’s just kind of sandy..

The music was good though.

There was a nice chill out area by the sea with loads of fans and comfy laid back chairs where you could relax and get a hand massage..I mean wtf, it’s not my hands that are tired thanks honey.

Couldn’t you think of something better to massage? I could suggest a few things..

The Melbourne Shufflers were back, there were 15+ of them I guess I’d say 2-3 were actually good.

BTW we were doing something like the shuffle in old skool raves back in 1994 before it even had a name, GO PRODIGY GO ALTERN8!

I was touting my trendy water bottle pouch thing that I got as a free gift, and wearing my kickass “I Punch People” T-shirt.

God, Saint and FA came around 11.30pm…a bit late..

By 12 the music turned shit and it was abso-fucking-lutely packed. Johan Gielsen or whoever the fuck he is was the poorest excuse for a DJ I’ve ever heard, he did like 3 minute build up (which wasn’t even exciting or uplifting or actually even vaguely interesting) then the beat DIDN’T EVEN MATCH. GO BACK TO DJ SCHOOL LOSER.

Then he just played shitty repititive dull techno-ish german shit, not quite gabba but not interesting in any way either.

Before 12 it was rocking, after 12, when Gielsen took the decks, even though it was ram packed, virtually no-one was dancing, before 12 the whole place was rocking. Good one, you obviously have no clue how to work the crowd..

But it was freaking packed, I mean seriously packed, there was no more tarmac left to dance on and sand is pretty hard to dance on, you end up digging yourself into a hole.

People, people everywhere.

The second arena was a bit sloppy with their music…at one point they played some chart ‘hip-hop’ song, then they played Josh Wink – Higher State of Conciousness, then they played Nirvana, then they started playing some weird trip-hop, I like that music, but how the fuck do you dance to it.

Headed off about 2am, got bored, tired and was hungry..

Went straight back got to Misai around 3.15am, whacked a burger and some Indomee and was truly satisfied, then home for a well deserved sleep.

I think the others left shortly after..I wonder if FA even got to dance.

Yes, I went to R3velation and all I got was this lousy arm band..

Zoukfest at Genting[/url] was much better, better music too, I heard Scott Project rocked the house, but I’d had enough by then, he came on at 3am.. It’s better to be cold than hot, at least at Genting if you kept dancing or had a jumper it was nice.

In PD if you just stood still there were so many people it got sweaty..

Oh well, worth a try 馃檪

I got recognised twice too, which was kinda cool and odd…one guy from Penang who doesn’t have a blog and a girl selling glowsticks who had her blog URL on the back of her t-shirt, I thought it was Tilla but it wasn’t it was:

https://tilia.blogdrive.com/[/url]

She took a pic with me, perhaps it’ll get to her blog, or she’ll send it to me, who knows.

Anyway I’m obviously a minor celebrity…or something!

Gallery is here: Recharge 3: R3velation 2005 Port Dickson Pictures

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Continue Reading 13 CommentsParties & Gatherings

Recharge 3 : R3velation 2005 (Port Dickson)

So we are off to Recharge 3 tonight, last time we were freezing our balls of in Genting[/url], this time we’ll be on the beach in Port Dickson Marina area.

Venue : Port Dickson, Admiral Marina Hotel
Date : 20th August 2005
Time : 6pm till late
Ticket Price : RM 30 + 2 drinks (RM40 + 2 drinks on the door)
Ticket Sales : Zouk KL and selected Tower Records.

Official web site is here:

Recharge 3 : R3velation 2005

It was hard to find man..they need to learn about search engine optimisation.

A map of the place is here:

And a layout of the arena:

If you are coming from KL, take the second exit into PD (Seremban Malacca Highway).

If you’re there, say Hi!

I’ll be with some other bloggers and some other friends.

Let’s party!

Pics from Recharge 2004 at PD.

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Continue Reading 14 CommentsParties & Gatherings

Mian Xiang – Feng Shui Face Reading – Joey Yap

Ok so I went to this secrets of face reading seminar thingy by Joey Yap:

Secrets of Face Reading

Malaysians and Feng Shui enthusiasts from across the region including Singapore, India, Indonesia and as far as Australia and Spain turned out in full force for Joey Yap鈥檚 Secrets of Face Reading seminar, held in Kuala Lumpur on the 14th of August 2005 at Nikko Hotel. Despite the haze situation, it was a full house, with over 1600 participants attending this event to learn more about the ancient Chinese art of Face Reading or Mian Xiang. The haze it seemed, fazed none of the attendees, who were set for an exciting, entertaining and utterly scintillating day of learning how to read a person鈥檚 face.

I believe a bit in Metaphysics, I mean it has some basis in science, mostly though the term Metaphysics is just a new fangled word to get rid of the mysticism and ‘voodoo’ associated with things like Feng Shui and Face Reading.

But well they still aren’t based on hard science right? So that leaves me sceptical still being a scientist at heart.

I mostly try and be open minded though, I’d still say though, unless the ‘advanced’ course is a lot different, it’s something like horoscopes and astrology, there are a lot of rules and areas on your face (The 12 Palaces) and the main features (The 5 Officers) plus a small area for each year up to 100 (The 100 Year Map).

The Palaces cover stuff like Career, Wealth, Health, Children and so on.

The 5 Officers are your mouth, nose, eyes, ears and brows.

The 100 year map is just 100 points on and around your face which donate any good or bad stuff that should/might/will (depends on how much you believe) happen in that year.

There are 2 main techniques of reading which are fixed position reading (reading using just one position on the face) and multiple position reading, where a combination of facial features is used to arrive at a conclusion about a person鈥檚 destiny and luck (more advanced, as you combine together the officers, the palaces, the map and arrive at a conclusion).

It’s still hard to say though what it’s based on, I mean some of it’s pretty obvious, as it’s due to skull shape, and bad genetics (Very widely spaced eyes, thick brow bones etc).

And from what I gathered it best to be fat all over and bald (everything being fleshy is good, high forehead is good).

So big nose, big forehead, big ears, fleshy cheeks, fleshy chin, balanced fleshy lips etc etc is good.

Perhaps this is the most prosperous man ever?

I think it’s perhaps based on features from the olden days when being fat was a sign of prosperity (you had money to eat), now it’s not so relevant as people pay to be slim, aim to be slim, yearn to be slim.

Joey kept harping on about the ‘old classics’ and well yeah they are old, so what makes the knowledge imparted by them relevant?

Bear in mind these are just the thoughts that came into my head during the seminar, I’m sure he could answer them, charming fella he be.

He is a very good speaker, very animated and apparently funny, but as all his jokes were in Cantonese, they weren’t funny to me. Thanks Joey.

Anyway it was interesting enough, I’m always open to checking out new things, I still remain sceptical though, but well if you want a horny partner, look for someone with a thick lower lip.

Other people that wrote about it that were there:

Minishorts – It’s all in the lips.
Kimberlycun – Mian Xiang by Joey Yap
F*ckstress – I Survived Joey Yap’s Face Reading Seminar!

Jeff Ooi[/url] was sitting beside us too, but he hasn’t commented yet.

Continue Reading 1 CommentGeneral Nonsense

Go Fog Yourselves Indonesia!

Sorry for the lack of updates I’ve been sick, partially due to the Haze, partially due to being run-down (International Jet-setter that I am) and partially due to getting wet on Sunday, which wasn’t cool.

I don’t recall there being bad haze last year, but well this year it was stinkin’, literally, I could smell it, taste it.

It ruined the once picturesque views of Mon’t Kiara and PJ.

The traffic was horrible.

Everyone was wearing masks around Mon’t Kiara, actually a lot of places..

Driving was actually a little worrying at times with super low visibility.

A lot of people were actually feeling ill, drowsy, sluggish and having headaches, including me, the air quality was appalling with some areas reaching over 500 (dangerous level) API (Air Pollutant Index).

As of August 11th:

Shah Alam 371

Kuala Selangor 531

Pelabuhan Kelang 529

Show your support here:

Haze Haters in Malaysia[/url]

News from Google

Some of it’s being blamed on Malaysian companies working in Indonesia, ironic huh?

Continue Reading 5 CommentsRanting, Serious Issues

Seven Swords – Tsui Hark

Produced, directed, and written by Tsui Hark, SEVEN SWORDS is an action-packed wuxia epic about love, betrayal, and heroism. Starring Asia hottest stars, including award winning Hong Kong actor and singer Leon Lai (Three, Infernal Affairs 3), versatile actress Charlie Young (New Police Story, Fallen Angels), international action star Donnie Yen (Blade 3, Hero), award winning China actors Sun Hong-Lei (Zhou Yu’s Train) and Lu Yi, and actress Kim So Yeon from Korea. With state of the art costume and set designs by Eddie Wong (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and action direction by acclaimed martial arts choreographer, Lau Kar-Leung (Drunken Master 2).

This is a long awaited movie, Tsui Harks return to Wuxia movies..It cost more than Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and has been a long time in the making..

Some thought he might bring out the power, unleash a new classic like Iron Monkey or New Dragon Gate Inn or Butterfly Lovers.

But well he didn’t it was however ok, it dragged on too long, at least 30 mins, was filled in with pointless dialogue, bad acting and unecessary sword fights.

It opened pretty brutally with the slaying of a village by the ‘evil‘ villain, a mercenary hired by the emperor on an edict to kill all martial arts practitioners (General Firewind).

He was a character with charisma, and his funky assortment of killers were stylish as always with unique weapons, fighting styles and personalities. With the trademark Tsui Hark face paint of course.

I believe it was adapted from the classic Seven Swords of Mount Tien (Heaven Mountain).

It feels in some places similar to over movies, but not quite doing it so well, it stumbles in places, and just plain drags in others.

The fight scenes are of course excellent, and some are pretty unique but a lot of it run of the mill stuff and brutality (censored to the max of course by the lovely Malaysian censorship system).

It get’s a bit arty in places, in typical Tsui Hark fashion, sometimes half the cinema had a ‘wtf‘ look on their faces, including me. It wasn’t too overboard though like that dumbass Zu: Warriors movie, it’s a bit more like his old school films (Which is a good thing).

The Korean actress was pretty pathetic and extremely stereotypical, Donnie Yen was extremely cool, but a little cheesy in places and the coolest guy was the monobrow dude, he was awesome!

There might well be a sequel, but well I don’t see it going down too well, I’ll be waiting for The Myth which looks good and should be coming soon (A Stanley Tong movie starring Jackie Chan and Tony Leung Ka Fai).

Overall I’d give Seven Swords a bearable 6/10, worth watching if you like this genre.

Continue Reading 21 CommentsMovies

Toad in the Hole – Sausages and Yorkshire Pudding

Sounds weird eh?

Named after the way it looks with the sausages poking out of the Yorkshire pudding, I love Yorkshire pudding, it’s weird, it’s soggy and crispy all at once, and it’s not a pudding, it’s savoury..

Anyway to make it you need some lard or oil for the pan, eggs, flour and milk (with a little salt and pepper), mix it all up together and pour it in.

Usually it’s cooked individually like this:

But today we are looking at one big lump, with sausages in known as Toad in the Hole, this is also very good with onion gravy.

You can use beef or chicken sausages too.

You pour the goo into a pan, stick some sausages in it and put it in the oven, 220 for about 30 mins.

If you get it right, it should come out looking like this:

Serve with some lightly steamed carrots and brocolli.

Then add some gravy and whole grain mustard.

Awesome!

I’m coming to the end of my UK food posts, there will just be a couple more about miscellaneous posts about stuff I love from UK including Scotch Eggs and Pork Pie for God.

Continue Reading 15 CommentsFood/Eating, Trips & Travel, UK

Bangers & Mash with Onion Gravy + Homemade Apple Pie!

Ok I’m back!

I’ve been kind of busy with the Blogathon, which was a minor success (Although come on people, less than 100 pledges, each of us has at least 1000 regular readers..

Anyway thanks to everyone for their support!

Settled back in, now to resume where I left off, only a couple more dishes left..Last one was Pork Chops, Stuffing and Cauliflower Cheese!

Today we’ll be looking at lovely sausages with onion gravy and mashed potatoes..

Take some nice potatoes and wash/peel them..

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Chop them into cubes and boil them until they are falling apart..

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Whilst you are doing this, peel and slice some big onions..

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And brown them in a pan with a little sugar (So they caramelise).

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When the onions are nicely brown add some stock (vege, beef, whatever your preference is, I used vegetable bouillon)

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As for the sausages, you can grill, pan fry, deep fry or roast…we roasted, the healthy option!

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After that, mash the potatoes with a little salt, some pepper, a bit blob of butter and a dash of milk or cream.

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Mash until smooth and creamy.

Then whack it all on a plate, pucker!

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Followed by apple pie…slice some large cooking apples.

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My mom did it the easy way, with just one peice of pastry folded over the top after filled with apples.

As you filling the pan with apples, give each layer a light sprinkle of brown sugar and a good dose of cinnamon.

Bake to perfection!

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And serve with a good dose of creamy custard.

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More coming soon!

Continue Reading 17 CommentsCooking/Recipes, Food/Eating, Trips & Travel, UK

Make a Pledge – Support the BLOGATHON!

Yeah, I’m involved in the Blogathon[/url] too if you didn’t know, it’ll be starting at 9am EDT, so in Malaysia time here’s the schedule:

9 p.m. – 1 a.m. – Paul
1 a.m. – 5 a.m. – Kenny
5 a.m. – 9 a.m. – Suanie
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. – ShaolinTiger
1 p.m. – 5 p.m. – Peter
5 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Minishorts

I just woke up, it’s 1pm now and I’m in a hotel in a posh part of Manila, Phillipines, I finished work last night around midnight, I have little to no idea what I’m going to blog about..

Bloggers Are Morons Blogathon Site[/url]

I’ll follow Kenny’s lead in a way, and say if there’s anything you want to ask me, anything you don’t know about me, or any questions you have about any subject I might know the answer too feel free to ask in a comment below, and I’ll try my best to blog about it.

PLEASE sign up and make a pledge here:

Bloggers Are Morons / Hospice-At-Home-Programme, Penang branch (under the Malaysia National Cancer Society)

Anything will make a difference, $1, $5 whatever you can afford to give will be appreciated.

We currently have 28 sponsors at the time I’m posting this.

To quote Peter Tan:

On August 6 this year, bloggers worldwide are banding together to blog every thirty minutes for twenty four hours straight. We are doing this all in the name of charity. I will be blogging with five others here for the Hospice-at-Home-Programme. The programme provides palliative care for patients with terminal cancer. One has to go through those last few months with someone who is dying from cancer to be able to fully understand why their work is so important. I have gone through it and I can only say that without the Hospice鈥檚 support, it would have been very difficult to manage those final days of someone I truly loved. When all hope is lost, the only thing left that we can do is to let them die with dignity. This is exactly what the Hospice is helping families of dying patients do.

It’s a good cause, and it’s good to do something in the name of charity, so make a pledge, spent a little money and support us by leaving loads of comments.

I’ll be on 9am to 1pm Sunday morning.

Cheers!

Continue Reading 11 CommentsGeneral Nonsense, Site News