My Brand New Sony Ericsson W810i

In 2004, after my Nokia 3330 got ruined by rain water seeping into it while I was riding my motorcycle through the rain while going to work, I bought myself a basic Nokia 3100. The Nokia phone served me well through out the years until I discontinued its service last week. The price at that time was below RM450.

Ashrufzz Nokia 3100When I first got this phone, it seems so small and light. I’ve gotten used to heavier and bulkier hand phone last time so it took me a while to get used to it but it was surely convenient to have a smaller phone. At that time, camera phone were available but the price was beyond my budget so I had to settle with this one. It’s still popular though because it has colour screen along with GPRS internet connection where you can literally browse the web using WAP.

The good thing about this phone is, since it’s kind of small, you can throw it on your bed without worrying of ruining it. I also find it was quite easy and speedy when typing out SMS especially while driving (not recommended). I had beautiful memories with this phone and I am still keeping it.

Of course, we all want improvement in our lives and its normal for that. I have always wanted to have a camera phone but when I look at some of the camera phone pictures, disappointingly the picture is rather blurry and not really suitable when posting it on a blog post. Higher pixel cameraphones were beyond my budget costing more than RM1000. I was also not a big fan of Sony Ericsson until Laadvamore introduced her brand new Sony Ericsson W700i where she bought it for RM660. The phone has the one thing I wanted, a nice 2 Megapixel built-in camera and the image quality is reasonable.

We then went on a shopping survey to see if we could strike a much lower price deal. The first place we went was PJ Digital Mall. I was hesitant to go to Low Yatt because of the hassle of parking and the traffic jam. We sooner found out that the price even for the W700i was even higher. The reason for that is because there is a term used for that and it’s called “AP”. I’ve heard of “Underwater” phone before but never “AP”. From what I understand based on the vendors explanation, i means that the phone is original along with some accessories but the batteries are not. The warranty is also minimized to a year but strictly if the phone malfunction on its own. Basically, its a strip version of phone package. Laadvamore soon realized that she just purchased an “AP” phone and not an original one. We left Digital Mall empty handed though.

So last week after my visit to the court house, I went to Plaza Alam Sentral Shah Alam with Laadvamore to visit the shop where she bought her phone and eventually buy an exact same model as her. I was then torn between two phones after looking at this phone.

The only difference that this phone stands out as my choice is the ‘auto-focus‘ ability for its built-in camera phone. The price difference between Sony Ericsson W700i and Sony Ericsson W810i was RM120. The white version of W810i is RM100 more so that’s out the picture. We finally bargained the price down to RM760 and paid cash for it. If I were to buy the original version Sony Ericsson W810i could have cost almost a thousand ringgit. I don’t really care about the cheaper batteries, so far it lasted 3 days without recharging it and it proves orthy enough. I can always buy the original batteries later on.

Here’s my first shot taken right after (the original size was 1632 x 1224 but I’ve reduced it to 400px wide to accomodate this blog post witdh):

The Handphone Shop Where I bought my W810i

Not bad right? I’ve also used my W810i to snap pictures during the PHP Meet Up 3.0 last week. Some other snapshots of my new phone:

The Back View of Ashrufzz W810i
The Back View of Ashrufzz W810i
Me Holding My Sony Ericsson W810i
Me Holding My Sony Ericsson W810i
There’s An EDGE Connection?
EDGE Connection is Shown

The one thing that I discovered about this phone is the ability to detect whether the area has EDGE connection or not. Although I’ve never tried connecting my laptop with EDGE connection yet but this is truly an nice feature if in case I don’t have any other internet connection. Forget about 3G for now because it’s not that fast yet, I’ll write about that soon on my Maxis Wireless Broadband 3G Experience blog post.

Overall, I’m loving my Sony Ericsson W810i.

Doing 70-647 or even 640-816 is not a big deal for some one who has already done 70-271 as well as 70-293 and 642-812 and for a certification like PMI-001, one has to do all of this.

What I’ve Learned From PHP Meet Up 3.0 (Part 2)

After we had lunch, the next presentation continued:

iHack Competition 2007 by FTMSK

UiTM iHack Announcement

This is an interesting area where web security is involved. Last year, I went to International Hacking Competition 2006 and see how hackers do their job.

This year, FTMSK is organizing International Hacking Competition 2007 on the 17th to 19th August 2007. RM6500 is up for grab. If I were a programmer, I might have tried my luck and participated in that event.

Oh well, if you can’t reach that level, you can always become a blogger right? Being a blogger has its own advantages.

Looking at their event programme, there will be a lot of interesting talk mainly on the topic of computer security. Just by reading those geeky stuff just made my geek inside of me wanting to jump out and get back to school.

The next speaker is someone who a lot of the audience were anticipating. He is known for his ability to hack.

Web Threats by 3xb055

Web Threat Presentation by 3 Boss The Hacker

If you are wondering how a computer hacker looks like, you are looking at one of them. Armed with a 12 inch display laptop, 3xbo55 presented how a hacker can penetrate into your website especially when you are using any PHP based Content Management System (CMS) such as PHPBB, Joomla, Drupal, WordPress and a whole lot more.

3xboss explains a little on why do hackers do what they do, HACK! The most popular kind of hack is called ‘defaced’ which is basically changing the front page of a website. There’s actually a difference between ‘crack’ and ‘hack’ but we all know that a hacker is someone who can penetrate a computer or IT system and do whatever he/she wants.

The best advice 3xboss gave the audience is to check your web hosting log and look at any irregularities that is happening. If you use Linux based web hosting, your web host might use Cpanel as their dashboard management. Here’s where you can check your error log:

Error Log on Cpanel Linux Web Hosting From the log file, once you can view them, you can actually know what’s going on with your web server, who’s accessing and from where. It doesn’t give you a lot of understandable details but 3xboss recommended we look for strange links that might have give an opportunity to be infiltrated by hackers.

The idea of sharing this information is to make a web a better place because the web is getting more of a lifestyle rather than just a tool.

Basically, computer security can become a significant issue if something happened to your computer or your password or identity got stolen. Once your confidential information is leaked out, you are prone to all kind of problems. Make sure you secure yourself because “prevention is better than cure”.

You can visit 3xb055 – Bandar Baru Bangi Open Source Software Group if you want to know more about computer security and web threats.

PHP Based Web System in A Government Agency by Amin007

PHP Based System in A Government AgencyAmin007 works in a government agency in Muar as a PHP programmer part time. His slide is a bit different than the rest of the speaker because he revealed something rather unusual yet informative. Here’s one of it “Did you know that in Muar, there is a shop who sells frog?”. Amin007 confirms that its true, he even called up the shop and asked about it. Amazing what we can do with the web.

Unfortunately, a lot of his work is still offline so most of us can’t really look at some of his sample. Anyway, it was good to know that PHP is useful and is used in numerous field.

The Integration of Phyton and PHP by tunbendahara

Integrating Phyton and PHP Presentation

tunbendahara is a freelancer specializing in Phyton programming. His background is in C++ which makes other programming languages seem like a piece of cake to him.

I like his motto “As people, we are all lazy so we need to relax. Why work hard for yourself when you can have machine work for you”. Very true indeed and that what he does.

From his talk, what I understand was he uses Phyton is for a SMS system where information is pulled from a local telco provider. He then uses PHP as the front end that will display the information in HTML viewpoint.

Object Oriented in PHP 5 by sameon

Learning About New Feature in PHP 5

sameon works for AIST. He manages a lot of web projects for government agencies and private companies. He is also a partial owner of PHP.net.my and the organizer of this event. According to him, the food served at the event is sponsored by their first Google Adsense cheque worth about RM360. Anyhow, the talk is worth more than that despite of the free entrance.

In sameon talk, he showed the audience the differences between PHP5 and PHP4. As we all know, PHP4 will be discontinued for support by the end of this year. So, what’s new on PHP 5? You can read all about it on PHP 5 Change Log.

Well, that’s wrapped my report for this event. If you are interested, you can download some of the presentation here. Overall, it was a very exciting and informative event. I look forward to attend the next meet up.

What I’ve Learned From PHP Meet Up 3.0 (Part 1)

Last Saturday, I attended PHP Meet Up 3.0 at FTMSK UiTM Shah Alam. It was my first time I went to that faculty eventhough I’ve actually passed by the faculty everytime I went to my classes during my university years. The meet up has 9 presentations altogether with various interesting topics.

The talk is done in my mother’s tongue which is in Malay but only one speaker who is much more comfortable presenting in English. So, let the showcase begin:

PHP Meet Up 3.0 Location
PHP Meet Up 3.0 Location
PHP Meet Up 3.0 Audience
PHP Meet Up 3.0 Audience

Drag & Drop Demo Using script.aculo.us by zam3858

Scriptaculous Talk

The first presentation was done by zam3858. He made some introduction on what’s under the hood of script.aculo.us, what it can do and some demo of how it is implemented.

Other stuff that was shown is he used PHP with Scriptaculous and how to style the published page using some CSS.

Basically, javascript isn’t a bad thing. It’s getting more and more useful plus the big boys are using it extensively with the rising popularity of AJAX.

Want to see some script.aculo.us action, script.aculo.us demo page provide interesting demos for you to appreciate.

PHP vs Ruby On Rails by Aizatto

Ruby on Rails Presentation

I’ve mentioned previously that only one speaker doesn’t made his presentation in Malay. Aizatto is 21 years old, still studying in Monash University Sunway and he just wowed the crowd with his English speaking accent ;-)

Although he speaks English, he can actually understand Malay language so don’t simply say some nasty things in Malay to him unless you speak really fast to him. I wonder what shampoo he is using since his hair looks like a male hair model.

His presentation was really interesting. He compared PHP with Ruby on Rails and made out some really interesting points. His slideshows were simple yet interesting and he really knows what he was talking about. He then showed some of his current projects to the audience and it was really cool. I now have a better understanding of what and how Rails is compared to just reading what it is all about on Rails website.

Basically Rails web programming in Malaysia is still small but I can see the benefit of learning about it. If you have programming language background, you have a better chance of learning Rails more quickly than I do. I wish I had learned computer programming before this rather than having an engineering background. Still, some people say that if you have engineering background, your chances of going into technical stuff is half-way there. I’m starting to think that might be true.

Anyway, Aizatto showed the audience some demonstration on how Rails is utilize. He also talked about meta programming, the pros and cons of Rails vs PHP and why Rails is the future of of web programming. His fingers just dances on the keyboard while writing the command lines. It’s just mind boggling, simply because I don’t know the language yet.

Aizatto maintains a domain with 3 sub-domains which is relatively his Aizatto Personal blog, his Rails blog and his Developer blog. You can download one of his slideshow here.

ACL in PHP by Crynobone

ACL in PHP Presentation

He is the owner of Chronosight, one of the blog that I’ve subscribed using my Google Reader. He is the only person that I know off before I attended the meet up so it was good to finally meet face to face with him. Apparently, his former colleague was a friend of mine and correct me if I’m wrong, I think he is a friend LadyAzurt.

I have never heard of ACL before. I then learned that it stands for Access Control List. Basically it’s a function that allow certain level of users access to certain functions. It seems like a simple thing but it is really not. In my previous job, I had to really study about user level access for the software that the company is deploying for a client. A lot of documentation were involved and it was really pain in the a**.

I just want to say kudos to Crynobone for revealing his work. It’s not that often a person who developed a system from scratch and took like years to build it and share it with other people. BTW, Crynobone is a Javascript expert. His presentation can be viewed on his blog.

Baking Cake Using CakePHP by Sumardi

Bake Cake with CakePHP PresentationSumardi just graduated from UiTM recently and now works as a freelance web developer. He is a big fan of Open Source with his proud Debian powered laptop.

Sumardi talks about CakePHP and showed the audience how to develop a web application using CakePHP framework. I must say after I’ve seen how it is done, I think I can understand how the process works. He then showed some of his projects that is done and a project of his that is still on going.

Sumardi also shared some tips on how to beautify your developed website built using CakePHP by using CSS and why it is easy to use CakePHP. At the moment, I think I’ll just stick with WordPress and make my way up from there.

Check out Sumardi’s blog.

Having Lunch With The Speakers

Lunch With PHP Meet Up 3.0 Speakers

Because of the overwhelming attendance, the food that were served cannot accomodate the numbers of people who came. We decided to head over and look for outside food. I managed to squeeze in and had lunch with the speakers and the organizing committee. I had a nice chat with Aizatto where he shared some interesting stuff about himself and also some web industry scenario in Malaysia. The rest of the people were friendly and shared a lot of information with me.

Proceed to part 2 of PHP Meet Up 3.0 coverage.

Microsoft Tech.Ed SEA 2007: Should I Go?

I have always loved Microsoft Events. I’ve been to Microsoft Mobile & Embedded DevCon (MEDC) both 2005 and 2006. Looking at their event page, I don’t think this year they are going to organize MEDC 2007 here in Kuala Lumpur since MEDC 2007 Singapore was over. Anyway, other Microsoft events that I’ve been to includes:

I could have been to a lot of other Microsoft Seminars and Events but I decided not to because I’m not going no where career wise last time plus a lot of them are not free. If there are free seminars and events I would definitely go because I love freebies! Hehe..

So, what is Microsoft Tech.Ed? If I am not mistaken, it stands for Microsoft Technology Education. If you are a tech junky, you’ll definitely know about this program. I’ve heard of it many times but after looking at the price, it turns me off. I know that the education is valuable but I’m not going to use it anytime soon so why bother, right? Besides, you can always search for information and test out new stuff that Microsoft has come out for free online especially if you are a developer. Well, that’s only true if you treat it as a hobby and not for business purposes.

In business, these kind of programs are treated as an investment to add more value to their employee’s skill set. If I were to look for a job that requires a lot of Microsoft product knowledge, I would have invested in learning all the Tech.Ed stuff. So far, I haven’t done that yet because I get overwhelmed and confused so often when deciding on this. Have you ever had the feeling of wanted more and more but you can only do so much. In the end you’ll get back and do the stuff that you are really comfortable and good at instead of the one you’ve discovered that really interest you. It’s all come down to knowing what you are good at, don’t you think so?

The company that I work with at the moment has already bought a few tickets for their staff to attend, so I might be going. I still love freebies though.. ;-)

Freebies I got from last events

Resource link – TECH.Ed SEA 2007: Turn “doing your job” into “making your mark”

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