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Archive for August, 2008

Ditch telco for finance …

Another friend left. This one resigned from office for a career in banking and investment industry. Despite having degree in Electronics,  he’s leaving engineering behind for good.

We threw a quite nice farewell party for him. Well, few quotes during the farewell party.

The celebrated guy said,

This is one of the hardest decision I’ve ever made. I dont know this decision is right or wrong, but someone said that, what I do after the decision will determine it is right or not.

General Manager said,

He came to me for advice. I told him, go do what you want. There is no such thing as loyalty. If you are loyal to company but do not enjoy working, you will become a liability in the end.

Well that’s pretty much it. 🙂 More and more people ask whether I will resign too. Haha, everyone thinks I am so ambitious, and plan ahead for life and career. Do they not know me, but at all?

Actually I do have some plan. Very clear and simple plan. In 3-4 years, I will do a full time PhD in Japan if I get scholarship. If I dont get, I will still quit my job, but I will go to Korea instead to study Go for one year.

Hmm one yearful of Go training .. how strong will I get ? I’m grinning with anticipation. 🙂 🙂

Anyway few more updates regarding work. After a salary revision, I now earn RM144 more (so is every newcomer),  which is helpful because I was barely surviving without it. Also there’s a chance that our department is downsizing, so I might lose my job if they decide to abolish all Assistant Manager posts – as rumoured.

Also I might be sent for a Wimax training in India. Hopefully that will materialise, because I’ve never been there. Besides, I am so in Wimax mood. But it was just last Friday that I did something really dumb. I drove to Cyberjaya but forgot to bring some important document, so I had to return to KL and go back to Cyberjaya. And I missed a Working Group because of that. Boss might think, “this guy is too clumsy to study Wimax”. LOL. 🙂

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Merdeka !!

This is the least “meriah” merdeka in my 25 years of life. “Meriah” is “happening atmosphere” in Malay. Could it be that the word “meriah” originated from English word “merry”? I dont know.

Anyway, when I put on my MSN status “31 August, Independence Day is coming.”, a friend messaged me and said “it’s not Independence Day, but National Day“. That friend corrected me via MSN, all the way from the UK !

Personally I believe Independence Day is the more appropriate name, as National Day is so unspecific. From Wiki,

The National Day is often taken as the date on which a state or territory achieved independence or the introduction of a democratic constitution. Other dates such as the country’s patron saint day, or a significant historic date are sometimes used.

By calling it Independence Day, we put emphasis that it was the struggle of achieving independence that we appreciate mostly, and that we acknowledge our own obligation to bring meaning to it. And that is contributing to nation growth by working diligently while maintain peace and unity.

Anyway, I gotta do something about my deteriorating patriotism. I used to stand upright everytime listening to national anthem aired by radio, even when sitting at the back seat of the car when Dad was driving! LOL, great “brainwash” I had when I was in Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) 🙂

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Haha, Shogi again, but at home !

Hmm Shogi again. I hope  Go community won’t think I have left them 🙂 It’s just that, I am interested to know how good can I be in Shogi without learning any theories, but just relying on my past experience as a chess player. Anyway, I love all board games. Perhaps should get acquainted with some Scrabblers and invite them home too.

It was raining heavy, so Xinwen and Ryou were quite delayed. While both of them knew how to play Shogi, only Ryou and me played. Out of four games played, I won one, which was good enough, I guess. One important thing I learned was – it’s very important to castle early. In other words, to build formidable fortress around the king.

Dinner was supposed to be on me, but I have just realised that they secretly left the money on the desk. Haizzz…

By the way, I know what to dream of tonight.

One day, I will open a tea shop somewhere in a quieter area of KL, and people  nationwide come to play all sorts of challenging board games 🙂 And also strong players will conduct occasional classes on the relevant theories to interested parties. At times, open tournaments will be held.

 I will sit in one corner doing research on Artificial Intelligence, Telecommunication and Information Security – only to be interrupted when worthy game masters challenge me to deathly duel.

Sifu, sorry to interrupt. There’s a Korean Master challenging you to a game of Go.

A worthy master. Neko-chan, please get us some oolong tea, thank you.

I seriously think I can live satisfied like that.

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It appears to me that many people from Malaysia Weiqi Association are getting stronger and stronger everyday. Not including me, sadly!

Suzanne in particular had improved tremendously, and even beat Billy recently. Honestly I can’t wait to see her playing against Saenson Apaporn from Thailand, and Karen, Kay from Singapore. I heard there are other strong female Singaporean players, but I haven’t met them yet and unsure of their level. Hopefully they will all clash in upcoming Tri-country tournament end of this year, in KL !

The level of female Go sure is rising in South East Asia.

Whereas Hock Doong and Alex seem to have found time for Go amidst busy schedule. Alex apparently is concentrating on solving Life and Death problems, whereas I suspect Hock Doong is focusing more on replaying professional games. His understanding of overall theory on Go strategy is at a much better level than before.

Boon Ping? Haven’t played him for quite some time. He is probably superstrong now, after I delivered the Nihon Ki-in sea shell stones to him. 3 months training on a goban with real quality surely brings shiny result. 🙂 My goban from Korea instead, is happily collecting dust at the moment. 😩

To get myself out of current slump, I have started studying Buju Daquan and Zhanshu Daquan although yeah, I dont understand the text, only the diagrams. Sometimes I wish I have a study partner, as I often I get very sleepy and hungry replaying the positions alone. 😩

Anyway, from Ryou’s blog,

To all the chess-players in the world. Have you ever experience something similar like mine where people mock or tease you when you said you are going to become a professional chess player? Please share your thoughts and opinions with me.

I was lucky to have supporting friends when I first started out playing Go. But even before that, I had established myself as a board game freak. In fact, if I had an invititation for a board game when I was having exam preparation at the eleventh hour, I would postpone studying to be last-minute.

Anyway, I still remember an advice from Wan Aimran, my ex-housemate where he said, “people don’t have to understand you, they just have to accept you for who you are”. Really Ryou, why are you troubled so much by what other people say when you have dream and means before your eyes? But hehe, I’m not responsible if you’re not satisfied with your future later 🙂

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Finally, I decide to listen to mom. She’s been telling me to take vitamins, raw honey and 6 Day Program Kinohimitsu J’pan D’tox Juice. Usually taking supplement is no problem for me, I used to be quite obedient few years back when it came to that. However after I was fed a lot of weird stuff – celery juice, potato juice, cod liver oil, Ayam Brand, akar kayu (tree root) et cetera – I went rebellious. Did not want to take any, anymore. Heehe, I couldn’t GULP GULP YUCKS forever 🙂

But now, I decide to start all over again. My health is deteriorating – more like I’m lacking energy to be precise. I got tired so easily, and become moody at work. Not to mention my worsening erratic psychology and emotion. Whatever it is, I want to regain my youthful energy so that I could jump and fly happily.

The routine is not too hard this time. Ginkgo 2000 – 3 times a day. And a spoonful of Spirit Bay Manuka and Propolis Honey morning and night, and Nutrilite Double X. The detox formula? Maybe later. I took two bottles already, and each time the stomach cleansing was a bit uncomfortable.

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Suzz helped me to spell “idazuwaika” in Katakana 🙂 How can I make my Japanese name official?

Anyway, she also informed me of a Japanese Drama based on Shogi. It was Hachi-One Diver. Hachi-One or 81, represents the number of squares in Shogi, or Japanese Chess. A bit like a chess board, it is square but with 9 x 9 dimension, instead of 8 x 8. Hence the name, 81 Diver.

The story was about a man who failed to be Shogi professional player, despite studying the game for 20 years. Indeed the level of board game professionals is really high, and certainly not attainable by any average person with average mental strength and average spirit. It’s discomforting to know that this happens in reality – many people fail professional Go examinations despite studying unthinkably diligent for decades.

Back to the story, this man Segata Kentarou then became a Shinkenshi, or a gambler, who earned money by gambling and winning Shogi. With his higher than average skill, he managed to win money easily, until he met Akihabara Champion, Ukeshi who Segata lost Shogi (and big money) to.

The Akihabara Champion had two personalities, one as a superb Shogi player, another as a cleaning maid. The maid version does not really fit into the story line well, except adding some fantasy to the drama. Anyway Ukeshi then brought Segata into the a new world of Shogi gambling, where he had to gamble life, future (loser quit Shogi) and so on. Through many desperate games, Segata managed to acquire higher level of concentration in Shogi – including diving into Shogi board – hence the name 81 Diver.

The story continues with them later having to oppose an evil organization Kishoukai who wanted to bring the world of professional Shogi down.  This organization is full of strong Shogi players who harbored discontentment towards professional Shogi. Segata with his improved skill managed to beat this organization with many top-skilled players, but at the end he was stopped by the leader of the organization who happened to be Ukeshi’s own father.

Later, Ukeshi’s father died and Ukeshi inherited the organization despite opposing it in the beginning. She felt it was her responsibility to continue her father dream to bring professional Shogi down Just like her father, Ukeshi had Second Sight skill which was far superior than Segata’s ‘diving’. However, in his desperation to save Ukeshi from the ill path of Shogi, Segata later gained even higher level of concentration, Clear and Serene (going over the 81 boundary into space of emptiness) to have a rematch against Ukeshi. The bet, if he wins, Ukeshi must quit the organization and be at his side forever, if he loses, he must never see Ukeshi again.

Haha.. personally I think this drama to be quite enjoyable, although too much nonsense. Luckily it’s only 11 episodes, otherwise I probably wouldn’t finish it. I admit, I used to dream saving girls, even nation by winning a high-tension chess game. LOL 🙂 Anyway, the story teaches never to give up, even after 20 years of hard effort !

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Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access or Wimax technology is coming to Malaysia. Four successful applicants for 2.3GHz band will be rolling out Wimax services by end 2008. They are Packet One, Asiaspace, Redtone-CNX and Y-Max. Realising the importance to get the industry keeping abreast with latest wireless technologies, Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) or its English name MCMC, releases a quarterly newsletter,  myWireless which is available on their website.

If all goes well, it means that Malaysians will enjoy new Internet experience, being connected everywhere. Imagine being connected with WiFi at home, then handoff-ed to Wimax as you move out, and transferred to WiFi again as you reach office. Honestly, I enjoy more imagining myself laying on beach. But those who appreciate Internet more will certainly welcome this future.

Wimax is a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) technology. It could be used for Fixed, or Mobile; the latter is more what many people will be concerned about.

If we refer to 7 Layer of Open System Interconnection (OSI) as below,

7 OSI Layer

7 OSI Layer

Wimax only covers the first two layers, Physical and Data Link. It is based on IEEE 802.16 standard. These two layers are called Physical Layer and Media Access Control (MAC) layer. These layers provide services to third layer, Network which could be IP network (IPv4/IPv6) or ATM. The physical layer of Wimax determines what transmission medium to be used, maximum transmitter power, digital modulation techniques and so on. Whereas MAC layer is concerned with security (encryption, integrity), Quality of Service (QoS) management and so on.

Wimax is based on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). This modulation technology have all its carriers orthogonal to each other. Hence, theoretically, these carriers can be very close to each other with no interference, making OFDM a highly spectral efficient modulation technique. This is especially important as our spectrum is getting crowded with all sorts of technologies and services.

While spectrum space is infinite, technology limits us only to lower frequencies. In Malaysia, due to our tropical climate, we are having problem to even get above 23GHz as raindrops prove to be causing major deterioration to our air transmission quality. In fact it was mentioned in recent SKMM Lecture Series that as low as 5GHz links are already affected by rain. Hence being spectrally efficient is extremely important in Malaysia, so that we could maximise utilisation of lower spectrum.

So the future is coming (d’uh). Wireless technologies is full of wonderment, but for me getting connected everywhere is not really wowfully amazing. Instead I am dreaming to be less connected electronically, more connected spiritually and intellectually. Maybe I dont belong to current generation. Yesterday, I just knew that my 15-year old Go friend actually used Blackberry.

But to play Go, Shogi, Chess, Scrabble, Xiangqi anywhere? Now that is interesting !!

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