The Best of Ashrufzz 2007

2007 has been a very interesting year for me. From my blog got upgraded to my job change and promotion, I have learned a lot from all that has happened and also to all that I’ve blogged about. Let me begin from the month when my blog got upgraded from Blogger to WordPress:

March 2007

This month was where my new self hosted WordPress blog began to operate. I bought the webhosting plan which come with the domain name for just USD35.99 per year. Soon enough, I bought more domain names filling up the add-on domains on my webhosting.

April 2007

I only wrote 5 blog post in April. I guess I’ve been very busy with my job as an Open Source Web Administrator.

May 2007

8 blog posts this month but only 4 posts that I’m really in favour of:

June 2007

I’ve been a bit outgoing in June. Went to some seminars and events, a day trip and a dance class.

July 2007

Another active months. It seems like the action keeps on going:

August 2007

The pace has slowed down a little in August. Got a better job offer and had to deal with resignation for the second time this year. It was tough having to leave a nice good place to work but I had to make a decision:

September 2007

Starting off my new job in September. I really enjoyed the moment I was jobless for a few days though.

October 2007

It’s the fasting month and my birthday month. I’ve been working hard to build up my reputation in my new joined company.

November 2007

There were a lot of events in November. I’ve also been playing around with a few new set of tools.

December 2007

The final month of 2007 and a month where disaster strikes. Learned a lot of lesson the hard way though but still my old habit dies hard.

This 2008, I’ll try my best to do more blog posts, go to more events and do more interesting and exciting stuff. I know it might be kind of vague just using the word ‘more’. I should have made it more specific if I really want to be successful. Another area of which I need to improve.

Happy New Year 2008 Everyone!

Putrajaya Immigration Department Doesn’t Accept Passport Application

It has been a very lonely week at my office. A lot of my colleagues including my immediate supervisor is taking advantage of the year end to take their paid leave days before it get confiscated by the HR department. I on the other hand, am trying to save up as many paid leaves since I’ve just joined the company 4 months ago. So far, I haven’t applied any day leave yet.

Anyway last Friday, because nobody supervising me except for the passcard which recorded my attendance time, after spending some time reading about how to make my Malaysian passport on the Immigration Department of Malaysia website. I might be flying to meet some international client most probably next year. So, I need to prepare myself just in case my company decided to send me out somewhere.

After my Friday prayers, I went off to Putrajaya Immigration Department office with a mission to make my own first passport. It is rather sad of me not being able to fly out of country. The last time I flew out of the country was with my family when I was 5 years old. Since then, I’m stucked in this country physically but I’m out on the web all over the world eventually. Just next to the building, there is a free parking space so you don’t have to worry about parking fees.

Putrajaya Immigration Office Building
Putrajaya Immigration Office Building
 
Putrajaya Immigration Office Front Entrance
Putrajaya Immigration Office Front Entrance
 

I arrived at the immigration office quite early since it was just a 10 minutes drive from my office. So, I decided to tour the rest of the building and found out that this is the place where immigrants register themselves:

Putrajaya Immigration Office Front Entrance
Where Foreign Maids are Registered
 

I then saw the flashing announcement board displaying something about the office doesn’t accept passport registration. It was then confirmed that The Putrajaya Immigration Department office is only for diplomatic business and NOT FOR PASSPORT REGISTRATION! The officer I asked were kind enough to tell me that it was then too late to rush to the nearest immigration office which is in Kajang. They should have told about this clearly in their website.

Now I need to reschedule my trip to the right immigration office. Mmmm…

The Benefit of Using A Virtual Private Server (VPS)

I believe that every one of us are promoters. If we feel good about the stuff that we use, we will always tell it to someone else whether directly or indirectly. Today I’m going to write about a new high tech tool that I’ve been using for the past 2 months. Being introduced to Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) during one of my visit to a Microsoft road show, it has truly changed the way I’ve been looking at computers. If you are using Windows XP like me, the application is already built inside START > All Programs > Accessories > Communications:

Win XP Default Remote Desktop Application

If you have never used RDC before, you need to find another PC for you to connect and try out. However, it is best if you are familiar with IP Address and networking configuration before you use this facility. This application when in use and connected, acts like your normal Windows but you are actually controlling another computer remotely. If you want a free web-based application that is easy to use, one more tool that I use is a web service called LogMeIn:

My LogMeIn Web Application

If you look at the screenshot above, that is my remote computer or specifically known as a Virtual Private Server (VPS) located half way across the globe in Pennsylvania, US. I pay USD19 per month to use this VPS which is always online 24/7. If you do the math, I save a lot by leasing this VPS instead of owning one simply because:

  1. I don’t have to buy those expensive PC/Server stuff that will cost me thousands of dollars
  2. The VPS is always online 24/7 and I don’t have to worry about high electricity bill because the extensive need of cooling system the computers/servers need to have
  3. The download connection in the US is superb. At 1GB per second network connection, it is hundred times faster than my normal internet connection. Of course, getting that file to my PC requires FTP that is limited by my internet connection
  4. I can use a unique static IP address for my website or web apps for a fraction of a price rather than leasing one from my local ISP

My only problem for using this VPS is it can be sometime slow just to access and because of the low price, I only get 256MB of RAM which is rather limited. Occasionally, I need to restart my VPS at least once a week to free up the RAM or the VPS will crashed. Well as usual, you get what you pay for right?

If you are interested to use a cheap VPS for your Windows remote development or even Linux powered one, check out SWVPS. I’ll write more of how and what I have use my VPS for in my next following post to come.

Talking Can Make You HAPPY!

I’m always on the look out for cheap but valuable services. Recently, I heard of a new phone services called “Happy“. A couple of days later which was on the 14th of December, utilizing my Public Bank Visa Electron (after numerous frustration of the inability to pay online on 2CheckOut) I paid RM25 for the simpack. The website stated that they’ll process my order in 3 business days, since it was a Friday, I thought I would only get it on Tuesday or Wednesday. To my surprise, the simpack arrive at my office on Monday 17th of December. The simpack was so cool, check it out:

My Happy Simpack
My Happy Simpack

It is stated on the delivery mail that “TO BE RECEIVED BY THE NAMED RECEIVER ONLY” but that doesn’t stop the courier service to just drop it by my office front desk counter. Luckily my colleagues are all trustworthy people so they drop the package to me after that.

Inside the package is the simcard but there were no fine print materials which usually comes with other simcard pack:

My Happy Simpack

I’ve already using it for 5 days but I still have a balance of RM3 because it’s so cheap. Besides, I only use the service to make long calls with my girlfriend while driving back home from work and during the midnight hours. Although the RM0.99 capped for each calls can only last a maximum of 45 minutes, it’s so much cheaper than Hotlink RM3/call Super Savers. I might be going to Indonesia anytime soon, I’ll bring my “Happy Phone” along with me to see whether the international roaming work or not. I’m lucky of not selling my old Nokia 3100. I now use 2 mobile phones instead of interchanging the simcards. I’m so HAPPY!

My Nokia 3100
My Happy Talk Phone!

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