Archive for September, 2008

“Rural Return”

In a few hours, I’ll be heading to Kedah with family to celebrate Hari Raya there. There is a lot of things to be celebrated tomorrow and the day after. Firstly, my dad’s birthday and then Hari Raya Aidilfitri, a festive day celebrated nationwide.

On a more personal level, this 1st October will mark one full year of me working with Telekom Malaysia. 9 more years to go ! 🙂 Despite masking it from colleagues and family, I am happy to work there. I have learned a lot about telecommunication, wireless and broadband technologies.

October last year was also the first time I represented Malaysia in Go, where together with Jimmy and Alex, we formed a Malaysian team for Thailand University Go XII Tournament  in Khon Kaen district. I remember we did rather bad. 🙂

So yea, plenty to celebrate about. In Kedah I’ll be for a week, possibly without Internet. I’m bringing along my goban, both volumes of Dictionary of Life & Death by Cho Chikun and Shusaku and Cho Hun Hyeon kifus. Besides the many celebrations, I still need to prepare for World Mind Sport Games in Beijing, from 12th to 18th October.

According to famous KGS go player, Sum (Robert Jasiek), playing in real-life tournaments is the best way to improve in Go – much more effective than playing online and reading books. I agree, which is why I want to be well prepared to gain as much experience in the upcoming tournament. Jia you !!


p/s : I just realised how important October is to me. I think I shall honor it as the first month of my calendar.


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Today, I had three hours of lecture on Malaysia cyber law. The lecturer, David Len started by talking about computer crime and how the definition of computer may cover any electronic device including printers, mobile phones, storage media and so on. He then continued by introducing to us the existing legal framework in Malaysia concerning computers including Computer Crime Act, Evidence Act and Digital Signature Act.

Personally, I dont find cyber crimes to be a serious – unless if money is involved such as fraud and identity theft. Cases like spams, defacing websites and illegal music copying sound too trivial to me. More like nuisance. Certain people however equate defacing websites to denying freedom of speech – hence making it an ultra-serious issue. But really, how many people are convinced of that?

To read Malaysian news of computer crime, visit Cybersecurity website here. It is good to be aware of the many ways people can con you through the internet.

To read Malaysian news of any crime, visit Malaysia Crime Watch which I spent hours last night reading. It really hurts to know there are plenty of killings, raping and kidnapping in Malaysia. Sometimes I feel like hunting for these murderers and give them a good kick in the face.

p/s: I was supportive of Kira of Death Note anime. Swift justice. 🙂

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Tom Go Server

Edited 29/09/08 : Translation for TOM Go Client GUI is provided. Many thanks to Munyi for the work.

Since I recovered from sick, I have been wanting to start a new life. Being the geek that I am, this means reformatting my PC and reinstalling software. Haha .. I am so hopeless 🙂

I thought the time was perfect for me to try out Tom Go Server and install its client software. Tom Go Server is reputed to be the “strongest server” out there, where most stronger players hang out. I have no problem with Kiseido Go Server (KGS), there are many players stronger than me there hence no reason for me to switch to Tom. But no reason is necessary, this is one of those “change for changes sake”.

I followed the easy-to-follow instruction from Sensei’s Library to create Tom account and Tom Go Server account. It seemed necessary to make my PC Chinese by changing the Regional and Language settings. 😦

Installation is easy, but using the client software is hard. I could only guess some of the button functions. I however do not know how to resign, seek game or even close game window. Nevertheless, I managed to play two games by clicking here and there semi-randomly. 🙂

Here I post the snapshots of the GUI. Anyone with too much time is encouraged to translate them to English. I actually got Chinese-English dictionary by me right now, but … yawn …

Snapshot 1

#1: downloading, please wait.

Snapshot 2 

Snapshot 3

#2 & 3:

please choose your server (I think) –> not sure about options 1, 3, 4, 5, but option 2 is TOM server
(check box) remember password

yellow button on left –> log in
yellow button on right –> cancel
yellow button below –> register new account

Snapshot 4

duo1 yuan3 shi4 yong3 yuan3 (1 dan) has challenged you to a game. do you accept his challenge?

(check box) ban this user’s challenges
second button from right –> accept challenge
button on right –> reject challenge

Snapshot 5

#5: Software help

Help with playing on TOM server
> Opening a game in the main room
> Opening a game after I create a room

Calculation of territory
> Calculation of win/loss
> What if I select the wrong dead seeds? (similar to kgs when you select dead seeds after a game ends)

> Settings for playing room
>> Entering a room
>> Creating a room (playing room/discussion room/room for broadcasting important games)
>> Adding/removing friends
>> Checking members’ news/members’ current position (?)
>> Adjusting the sizes of chat window/playing window/main room window
> Additional settings

Leftmost option at bottom: Check contents
Middle option: Do not open this window again (I think)
Rightmost: Close

Snapshot 6

#6: List of open games (similar to KGS)

No. of online users: 2446
全部 all players
平手 equally ranked players
上手 higher ranked players
下手 lower ranked players
黑名单 blacklisted (banned) players
朋友 friends

For main window:
昵称 Nickname 段位 Rank 胜 Won 负 Lost
积分 Accumulated points 邀请 Invitation (grey for non-invitational) 状态 Status

Snapshot 7


(I’m not very sure about these)

妙手 means brilliant move, but unsure of this function
观赏棋谱 Kifus
围棋讲座 Go lectures
积分排名 Accumulated points, ordered ranking
专栏漫画 Illustrations
论坛 Forum
棋友会 Go player club (?)
投诉 Complaints
设置 Settings
主页 Homepage

Snapshot 8


自动对局申请 Automatically ask for matches
查看“帮助” Check “Help”
新建棋室 Create new room
察看用户 Check user _______

Snapshot 9


全部 all
押分 (not sure, something about points)
等待 wait
平手 equally ranked player
直播 broadcast

Snapshot 10


您目前在棋圣道场服务器 you are currently on the TOM go server
( list of other servers)
List of rooms. Currently there are 793 rooms and 2376 people playing on this server.
室号Room no. 类型type 人数no. of users 白white 黑black 状态 status 问候语 greeting

Snapshot 11

问候语 Greeting/comment

形势判断 Score estimator
试下 Test play (?)
显示手数 Show move no.
菜单 Menu
退出 Exit

请求帮忙 信件 Email for help
退出大厅 Exit this room

Snapshot 12


Do you want to disconnect from TOM server?

是的 Yes 不,点错了 No, I clicked on accident 重新登陆 Log in again

Snapshot 13


升降级对弈 Ranked game
对局方式:分先(黑贴3又3/4子) Game type: equal game (black komi 3 and 3/4 seeds [or 7.5 moku])
( ) 不许使用形势判断功能 Disable score estimator

时间设定 Time settings
快棋 Blitz
普通 Normal game
长考 Slow game
基本时间 5分 Basic time 5 min
读秒时间 20秒 Byo-yomi
读秒次数 3次 No. of byo-yomi

基本设定 Basic settings
中国规则 Chinese rules
( )允许悔棋 Allow undo
选择黑白 Choose black/white 自动猜先 Automatic nigiri

接受 Accept
修改申请 Edit challenge
取消 cancel

Well, if I cant find people to help with translating these, I’ll translate myself. But for now I need to write 6000 words for Law, Investigation and Ethics assignment before Saturday !

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Go, War and Sun Tzu

Just to what extent do we agree that a Go game is actually a war?

Chess is a battle, Go is a war. I am not suprised if every Go player in the world has heard of that saying. I previously dismissed any relationship between Go and War, thinking that Go was just a game and nothing more. Just what benefits thinking of Go as a war will bring? 

But then, I knew too little of Go and nothing of War.

It was only yesterday that I started to appreciate the similarity in the basic stategies employed in both arenas. Here I would like to draw out some strategies in the Sun Tzu’s Art of War book that I bought last Sunday and relate them to Go.


If he is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him.

In context of Go, this means that if the opponent does not have weak groups, we must be prepared for his invasion or attack. Hence, a defensive move from the opponent can actually indicate that attack is imminent.

For the latter, it is fundamental to play away from opponent’s thickness or wall. In fact, Go players must play away from thickness, whether it’s his or the opponent’s. Playing near one’s own thickness is inefficient, whereas playing near opponent’s thickness is just asking for trouble.

If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battle. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat.

Do you know why you pincer? Do you know why you play on the fourth line instead of third and vice versa? Do you know why the opponent makes a sacrifice or create a ko? Go players are much luckier than warring generals as all the answers are on the board and need only be read. But how many Go players care to spend a few seconds to read before making a move?

The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

He wins his battles by making no mistakes. Making no mistakes is what establishes the certainty of victory, for it means conquering an enemy that is already defeated.

Territorial balance is extremely important in Go. Equally important is power balance. Go players need to play maintaining these two balance while waiting for a chance to take lead or control of the game.

The amount of mistakes in amateur Go is tremendous. Know to estimate territory, know to judge power and have good eyes at detecting mistakes and you will be a high dan player. 🙂

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack – the direct and the indirect; yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of manoeuvers.

Sun Tzu placed great emphasis on indirect attack, something that is normally overlooked in a Go player’s plan. The keyword here is “combination”, both attacks must work together. The lack of skill in carrying out indirect attack is why I always attack ineffectively.

My worry with indirect attack is this:

  1. Indirect attack ends in gote, and opponent has the time to fix the weakness in the other group.
  2. Indirect attack strengthens the group unnecessarily.

For me, it needs braveness and a lot of confidence to execute an indirect attack. 

Akira Ishida too regarded indirect attack or leaning attack highly.

Leaning attacks like these are the essence of go. The satisfaction of toying with an enemy group – not attacking it directly but circling around it, away from it, and forcing the enemy to concede stones and territory while protecting it – can be just as great as the satisfaction of killing it through brute force. – Attack and Defense, Elementary Go Series.

I believe it is great injustice to carry writing so succinctly like this. The resemblance in strategies between Go and War is astonishing. For myself, reading Sun Tzu’s Art of War had given me a new understanding of the game of Go. It will prove worthwhile to any Go player to take a look at Go in a new perspective i.e. WAR.

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Woke up early morning and happened to watch the game human vs. machine on KGS. White is 8-dan Korean professional Myungwan Kim and black is MoGoTiTan. Previous game between them, MoGoTitan won taking 9-stone handicap. This time, MoGo took no 7-stone handicap, and lost terribly 🙂

Haha… MoGo played the ladder despite white having one extra liberty at C9. Playing non-working ladder is fundamentally bad. However, it is good to know that the programmers did not hard-code it as an absolute rule. Lee Sedol once played non-working ladder and got excellent result from it.

End result, MoGoTitan lost by resignation. As expected. Haha, good to know that human are still that much stronger than machines in Go. Hehe, no heart-feeling my dear PC. 🙂

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When I first started out at my job, I moaned “I was born to excel, not to do Excel”. I didn’t know why I had to do silly things like adding and removing specific data from a worksheet, merging tables, rerepresenting data in a new format and so on.

At the point when it became unbearable, I bought the following book.

The author John Walkenbach is nicknamed Mr. Spreadsheet. I think that is very cool. 🙂 I should try to earn some cool nicknames too i.e. Mr. Wimax, Mr. ISO27001, Mr. XML. Yea, dream on.

Since then, working with Excel has been a smooth ride. I love using the VLOOKUP function tremendously to relate data. And I managed to write a macro using Visual Basic to convert degree to decimal with error checking. Now in the office at every opportunity, I experiment with Excel and the massive amount of test data. Boss must be suprised to see me overzealously working with those dull spreadsheets.

Excel programming is a very useful skill to have. I wonder how I overlooked this when programming has always been my high-priority interest. I guess I tried to be cooler by learning non-Microsoft technologies only. LOL.

By the way, the book is a really excellent way to get started with learning Excel, and VBA. It has loads of examples and technical details are very well explained. It’s sad that my Excel version is 2003, not 2007 hence I have not been able to try out Ribbon stuff. Gotta upgrade!

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Needing a bigger dream

Had “quality” time with my dad at Mandarin Oriental’s Lounge on the Park just now. He spoke at length about working, business, shares, professionalism and for the first time, I listened to all these intently. 🙂

I realise I cant play Go forever. I mean, I cant rely on it to provide amusement throughout my entire life. I suspect, within 2-3 years, all those anticipation and excitement for free trips to Japan, Korea and Thailand Go tournaments will subside. Studying Go in Korea or Japan for a few years seems to be the “biggest” thing I could do where my Go activity is concerned. And that is only big enough for a very short time.

I need a bigger dream to dedicate life to. Or continous supply of smaller dreams which will keep me amused for every heartbeat.

Anyway, talking about amusement, making stupid witty-sounding quotes was once my favourite pastime. I recalled two of them recently. Many of them were too silly that I decided to delete my previous blog which published them.

I am left handed, I am left legged, I was born to be left alone.

 I dont care if time waits for no men. I wait for no time.

Haha lame, right? Somehow I really miss my old lame, immature, laid-back attitude. At least I was much happier those days. The current attitude of desperately chasing after a thousand dreams has given me a very stressful life.

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