Thursday, March 26, 2009

SLES / SLED 11 shipped

SUSE is my favourite distro. Let's see if this version can top the previous one which to me is already the most friendliest and complete Linux distribution available.

The Unwanted - Penyesalan

A beautiful classic track featuring Hanafie Warren, one of the most outstanding local vocalist.

Pertemuan yang pertama kali
Terasa mesra menyusuk di jiwa
Itulah kali yang pertama terjadi
Dalam hidup ku

Sekian lama kita bercinta
Malangnya cinta putus tiba-tiba
Di hati pula jadi tanda tanya
Oh mengapa

Kini ternyata engkau pura-pura saja
Impian ku selama ini kosong belaka
Ku ternoda dengan mulut manis yang berbisa
Menghampakan kasih yang setia

Biarkan ini ku tanggung sendiri
Mengubati hati yang luka ini
Cinta mu itu hanya permainan saja
Membakar di jiwa

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shared vs dedicated - Dedicated wins

All of the services Starhub provides, their broadband service is the only one I never ever will recommend to anyone.

I still remember the one time I subscribed to cable and I terminated it within a month. Even the technician who came to attend to my complaint was speechless when I showed him webpages that can't even load. How can it be called broadband when it is worse than dial up?

When it comes to paid broadband, please go for ADSL services like SingNet etc. My stance remains the same since the first day I started to write in cyberspace with which then became, that between cable and ADSL access, I'll take ADSL any day.

Starhub tried to debunk this shared vs dedicated so called 'myth'. Although SingNet may have played this up to their advantage by not telling the whole truth, it is nevertheless true that dedicated access will give you consistent access.

If you are new to this shared vs dedicated thing, let me help you out.

Imagine the Internet as a bank. Accessing the Internet is the same as borrowing money which represents the bandwidth. Accessing the Internet to do simple task like going to requires you to borrow for a very short period while more complex task like downloading a huge file will cause the money to be out of the bank longer. Each subscriber can only borrow what they are entitled to according to the plan they subscribed to and once they are done with the task, they will return back the money to the bank.

ISPs uses the probability formula when selling their non-guaranteed Internet access like for home use. So even though they may have say 100,000 subscribers, they may not have that much bandwidth because not all the subscriber use the Internet at the same time (even though they may be logged on) or download at the same time. The chances of all users clicking the mouse or pressing the enter key at the same time is very very rare therefore ISP 'recycles' the bandwidth among their subscribers.

This 'recycling' thing also makes business sense because it can bring the cost down, which is why most homes here can afford broadband.

The issue is not about ISP 'cheating' you. The issue is how the bandwidth is spread out within its users and this is the problem with Starhub shared basis.

Starhub's shared access network means groups of subscribers are assigned to specific tellers in the bank depending on their location and each teller has a fixed amount of money they can lend out. When the demand to borrow money is low because only a few users need them at the same time, there will be more than enough of it to go around.

Since the probability formula is applied to each teller, that means they do not have enough money for all users to use at the same time. Although I mentioned earlier that the chances of all users using the Internet at the same time is rare, the chances are increased when the amount of bandwidth to play around is lower, which in this case, the money each teller has.

When that actually happens, users will be fighting with each other because there are only enough money a teller can borrow out even though other tellers may have tons of it with them. This means that while some users may be getting more bandwidth than they subscribed to, you on the other hand can't even get what you are entitled to. That is why sometimes cable users in Jurong are happily surfing while users in Tampines are frustrated as hell.

SingNet however assigned each subscriber to a teller and this is what they mean by 'dedicated access'. Although still based on the probability formula, a teller can get hold of any money available in the vault. The chances of the vault running out of money is very low. Even if they do run out of money, everyone is affected and not just a group of subscribers.

Unless Starhub can dynamically or constantly change the amount of money tellers can dish out according to the need at that time, it will never be consistent. How would you feel when you have an important email with an attachment to download and you are assigned to a teller that has very little money left?

All the while I have been on ADSL, I have never experience speeds like a dial up unless there is a problem. For Starhub, it's a gamble.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Break ups

Breaking up is tough. Whoever says otherwise simply means they either have not been through it before or they do not have a relationship to begin with.

A friend of mine is currently going through it. I can empathise with him because I've walked that road before and looking at how his is similar to mine, it brings back memories.

My last break up is well etched in my mind because it was hell for me. It being sudden made me took years to get over and start anew.

The first few months was like being in a prison. I hate being in that state of mind of constantly having thoughts that can never end, yet I can't stop myself.

At first it was all about trying to rationalise what had happen. Naturally, being the party at the receiving end I end up blaming myself, regardless if it is my fault or not. Then it was about having to decide whether to continue trying to win her back or face the fact that it is all over.

Moving on is next and trying to forget someone I've been with for years seems futile as I was reminded of her at anything, anywhere and anytime. That was when I decided to get rid of anything related to her. Either I returned them or threw it all away. It was a hard decision, and something I toyed around with 'what ifs' . But I have no regret as I might still be stuck there and not move on.

The hardest part was nursing my wounds. The feeling of emptiness haunted me for a very long time. That turned to bitterness and I was filled with anger towards her for many years. Because of that, I closed my heart to any woman who came close.

When I finally let it go, I am practically lost. I stayed away from friends as they are mostly hitched and them being happy simply invoked resentment towards them. I had no girlfriends too as I stayed away from woman to prevent myself from getting hurt, closing my circle of potentials to practically zero. Confidence then drop to the lowest level along with self esteem and then depression sets in as I see no future for myself.

Sleep is the only exception from not wanting to do anything else. It's a vicious cycle that I never ever want to be in again or wish for anyone to.

I took sometime before I realise that I'm in a terrible place. So I got up and never look back.

I'm glad I have someone now. Not that being single sucks because being single is perfectly ok. It is being single and feeling crappy about yourself that sucks.

So if you're single, be happy. Don't resent anyone, be it your ex or someone who rejected your advancement because it will only make yourself bitter. You can't be happy if you're bitter can you? Being unhappy can lead to many things and it all ends in you suffering.

If you're attached, work on your relationship. I read this somewhere and I truly believe that it's true that there is no such thing as 'the one'. Your partner will be 'the one' when you work with him/her on the relationship.

I wish my friend the best and hopefully be there in his times of need.

If not for my previous break up, I would not have found my current love so to anyone out there who just broke up, your new life is just beginning.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Akidah vs Amalan

I regularly read Raja Petra Kamarudin's blog. Love him or hate him, you cannot deny his passion for what he believes in - freedom of speech and expression.

His latest blog touches on Akidah (faith) and I quote

I know, now many so-called Islamists will argue that Akidah is about praying, fasting, paying your tithes, going to Mekah and all that. To these people I say: bullshit. That is not Akidah. That is amalan (practice). And those are mere rituals. Even horses, penguins, seals, elephants, tigers, dogs, and whatnot can be taught to do tricks. This does not mean they all know why they are doing these tricks. They only know that if they do them then they get rewarded with food. So they do them….but for food.

Those rituals that many Muslims perform are also for rewards -- mostly the reward of Heaven and to avoid punishment, meaning Hell. Assuming you get nothing and suffer nothing if you either do or do not do them, then 90% or more of Muslims would dump all the rituals. That is how ‘sincere’ these fakes are. They do not perform these rituals for God. They perform them for their own sakes, for the ‘rewards’ and to avoid punishment.

I know to some this sound shocking although coming from RPK, it's perfectly normal. Frankly, I too subscribe to the same thinking, especially the 2nd paragraph.

Ask any practicing Muslims as to why they do certain Ibadah (act of worship) and most of them would mention the Pahala (rewards) that comes with it or the Balasan (retribution) for not doing it, with no mention of God.

Not too far fetch to say if there is no reward or retribution system, many might not even bother. It is no different from people not littering because they believe littering is bad but rather because they are afraid of being fined.

Having said all that, as long as everyone is happy with what they are doing, then there's no harm. The real problem is when they start imposing on others.

Do what pleases you but not at the expense of others - Azhar Khamis