Archive for May, 2009

Amazing day, amazing night.

Played 8 games of Go.
Played 3 games of Shogi.
Played 1 game of 4-way Shogi.

Attended Shino’s sister birthday party.
Played 2 games of Xiangqi or Chinese Chess at the birthday party.

Played Risk at Hock Doong’s house.
3:40 a.m. back home 🙂

Superb board game spree. Really, I cant imagine a better night.


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I really should be sleeping now, but I’m saving the best for last. What’s not so best right now is, guess what, blogging. It’s seeming more pointless day by day, Except of course, I can easily evaluate my activities and life as a story line.

I took 2-day leave from office starting yesterday, to take up a guest lecturing job offered by a local university. My friend actually referred me, thanks Hafiz. The target audience was a group of 12 military officer who were to learn more about software development and information security in a one-year diploma executive programme (or equivalent).

Well the pay rate was RM100/hour, so I quickly took the offer. Now in hindsight, I realise the payrate was effectively much less, considering the amount of time and effort I had to spend to update my knowledge and to prepare the materials i.e. powerpoint slides, lab exercise, quiz. I was tasked to teach Cryptography, to my luck, because it was my favourite subject.

My audience were older than me, probably in their 30’s. Some late 30’s. It was funny that I could not really teach according to the slides, as most of the time I had to answer or explain to their questions, relentlessly bombarded at me especially on the first day. I was also asked about Internet, and broadband, and why Streamyx is slow. Haizzz why everyone asks me that?

On the second day which was today morning, I gave them lab work and mostly spent the time helping individual person getting things done. Like using Command Prompt, navigating between directories, doing binary arithmetic, along with using hashing and encryption software. I guess they enjoyed it. At least they insisted on finishing the lab and missed coffee break for that.

Part-time guest lecturing like this is certainly something I would want to do again. Not just for extra income, but for self-development and enhancing my resume. And of course, to give back to education 🙂 I however prefer to take weekend jobs as taking leave from main job for a part time job does not sound right. And would work against me in the office as well.

Another (unrelated) development is that I finally got my cheque book! So I got everything related to banking done now, after opening saving account and subscribing to Internet banking. Well, thanks to the Public Mutual fund lady who kept urging me to do all those to start investing.

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I have been waiting for this day. The day that 30th World Amateur Go Championship commences. Technically, it began yesterday with the opening ceremony, but the actual tournament starts today with the first round.

I know some of the participants in this tournament, some personally, some just simply have heard of them. I definitely want to know how well they perform in this tournament.

Below is my 30th WAGC watchlist.

  1. Teng Boon Ping (Malaysia) – Malaysia representative, of course must give support 🙂
  2. Tan Jia Cheng (Singapore) – recently promoted to 6d by Singapore Weiqi Association. Has always been on my watchlist on KGS as anyway, with his name “supertjc”.
  3. Fatih Sulak (Turkey) – Last time I saw, he was 3d on KGS. Was one of my opponents in last year’s WAGC.
  4. Yu Qinghu (China) – China representative, who had won this same tournament before. Definitely one of the strongest amateurs in the world.
  5. Shin-Hwan Yoo (Korea) – Korea, of course!
  6. Ondrej Silt (Czech) – Was my opponent during one of the rounds in WMSG, China last year. Of course he trashed me. So I’m keeping an eye on him until I trash him back, hehe 🙂
  7. Robert Jasiek (Germany) – More popularly known as “sum” on KGS, with a rather distinctive (weird?) style of play. Would love to see how far his style will go in actual world-level tournament.
  8. Nai San Chai (Hong Kong) – This kid from Hong Kong was placed 4th last year. Will he do even better this year? Can the youthful force be stopped? Hehe…

Anyway, to get the update of the tournament, please visit Ranka Online.

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I can sleep well tonight. Relief in the knowledge that my Go is NOT dead yet. 🙂

Today, MWA held a selection tournament to choose representatives to go to Asia Amateur Baduk Championship and Korean Prime Minister Cup (KPMC), in Changwon City and Jeongju respectively. Both are in Korea.

I’m happy to mention here that I have won the selection tournament after winning all four rounds, first against Alex, then Mr Lee Choon Huat, then Philip and finally Jimmy. The game against Alex was especially hard as it was full of fighting. In fact, a rather big corner group of mine was killed in the middle game. But then, I started attacking hard one of his group, and managed to make a ko to kill. My dead corner group was an excellent source of ko threats, and finally Alex had to allow this group to be brought back to life to save his own.

Against Mr Lee, I had early advantage after killing a rather large group of his just after fuseki. What follows is just a real solid play from my part to wrap up the game quickly.

Whereas against Philip, I got an advantage after killing his group in the middle game. Which was rather lucky as I was behind in territory following his 4-corner strategy with black.

In the final match against Jimmy, I started behind in fuseki, due to having a weak group and no potential growth. However, as the game proceeded, I started making few gains here and there and finally managed to gain lead just before macroendgame. Anyway, unfortunately the game could not be finished as Jimmy’s time had run out.

Final result:

Champion: Mohd Zaid Waqiyuddin
2nd: Philips Cher Wei Ching
3rd: Alex Chan Hong Guan
4th: Jimmy Chen Khai Yong
5th: Waynes Leong

The prize for winning was being able to choose which tournament to go to, AABC or KPMC. I have not made my mind yet, and not going to soon, as my brain is already too tired. I just want sleep well tonight. Yesterday, I did not sleep at all to play Go on KGS for some instant training. Felt really horrible in the morning, but I guess it all paid off now 🙂






Interestingly, we had a small boy joining our activity today, although he was not part of the tournament. The boy seems to be promising, currently at single digit kyu as estimated by Dennis. More interestingly, the boy is also said to be a very strong chess player with rating in the 2000+ range ! That’s much stronger than I ever was in chess.


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Testing WolframAlpha

Dont you just love WolframAlpha?


I like WolframAlpha for few things. Firstly, the interface is so simple and clean, probably influenced by Google in some way. Secondly, many types of complex computations and mathematical operations can be performed which is highly valuable for a half-academic like me. Like this.


Pretty neat isn’t it?

I’m not going to put on more example of queries here, but I highly suggest for you to try it out yourself. It’s a new powerful service on the Internet, so do try to find out how it can empower you.

Many seem to think that WolframAlpha does not compete with Google, for the simple fact that they are based on two different technologies. WolframAlpha computes whereas Google searches and points you to the place where you might get information.

I however believe that they compete in a few areas though. WolframAlpha is going to steal some traffic from Google for some types of queries by Internet users. The service that both commonly provide to Internet user is helping them finding answers to their questions. The users do not care how the answers are arrived at i.e. computed or ‘search’ed.

Also, WolframAlpha is still in its infancy. Who knows what the genius Stephen Wolfram (physics paper age 17, PhD age 20!) can do with it.

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Tsk.. weekend is ending. It has been a very good weekend for me. You know, the type of weekend where you actually get things done.

Opened a Maybank account, registered for its online banking services. Also helped my Dad with some home engineering, erected railing at the backyard, mounting the LCD TV on the wall, put curtains etc.

A lot of things got done, and for that I am satisfied. The only thing I failed was to install VMWare ESX as the hypervisor for my PC, but I guess I really need to do some studying before attempting that. Gotta do it soon, for the sake of my Master.

I have also started learning CCNA seriously, and currently am on Ethernet i.e. the cabling, the CSMA/CD algorithm and the intricate details of the frame. I wonder if I could take the exam without formal classes, because last time I checked, it would cost RM5000+ for both INTRO and ICND courses. It should not be impossible, as I have the training software, exam questions engine and access to some real hardware at the university where I am studying part time.

Anyway, I am just too lazy to go to work tomorrow 😦 My manager will not be around though, but he already left some work for me to do. Hopefully I could get it done in the morning, and have a more relaxed afternoon.

About my current workplace in Solutioning and Programme Management, I have to say it differs significantly from the environment in Regulatory department where I worked previously. For sure, most of the people are younger here, mainly within range 23-27. It’s more vibrant, more lively, although everyone is still very serious and spirited about their work. Good environment, I would say.

Second difference is that, we have to record the time we checked in into office. That is normal I guess, but we did not have that at Regulatory. So I really have to make sure that I arrive before 8.30 a.m. Actually, the mechanism is not needed because everyone comes early here to fight for the limited free parking space. I arrive before 8 a.m. usually nowadays.

Third difference is, since Solutioning and Programme Management is actually part of Enterprise sales (we do pre-sales service), we are supposed to be meeting customers a lot. At Regulatory, I was often asked, “why weren’t you in office yesterday?” etc. I would answer “meeting” or “audit”.

However, now I am often asked “why are you in office?”. Ugh…

OK, time to get back to my study. Anybody is taking CCNA too?

Update : 4:10 p.m ! Grrr… not having a relaxed afternoon 😦

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Shogi during Dinner


Clearly I stole the above pics from somewhere. 🙂 Got it from the blog of a newcomer to JC, Shino.

Anyway it shows me playing a game of Shogi against Xinwen, while being watched by Ryou Takehito. It was played on Saturday night during dinner at the authentic Japanese restaurant in JC.

Some people go to parties, go to clubs and go to karaoke box for fun. But for me, a night playing strategic board game is all the fun I need. And I am not overstating this.

To have ideas, and to be able to realise them. I guess that’s where most joy come from for me. Which may also explain why I love programming so much.

Anyway about the game, I PAWNZOR ..! (using Xinwen’s own vocab)

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