5 things that used to be common around me

1. Photo Albums Collection
I’m not talking about Flickr, Picasa or Fotopages (de facto Malaysian online photo album site), but I’m talking about the classic Photo Album books. Once, every household must have Photo Albums, whether it is about Weddings, Family Vacation, New Born Baby, or just some random photos. Back in those days photo album housed 3R sized photos that was taken by cameras that used 35mm photographic film (some of them needs to be rewound manually!).

In Malaysia (at least in Malay culture, more than 15 years ago), photo albums is a common item in every house and are usually stored in the Living Room, where it served as a sort of entertainment to the guests. Makcik/Pakcik/Acquaintance of the family would be invited to browse through photo albums while the host prepare refreshment, this is the usual practice especially when the guest just stop by the house because the want to visit (read: ziarah) the host who are just back from a long vacation (ie: umrah, etc) or recently wed, or just having a newborn baby.

Photo Album

I think most of you would agree that photo albums have become less significant nowadays. How many are you that still keep these photo albums? I think the only photo album still common in every household is the wedding photo album, and I bet that was stashed in parts unknown, somewhere under the bed or closet instead of the living room.

Photo Album

p/s: Photo Albums becomes so rare that I even had difficulties in getting its sample image.

2. Public Phone (Booth)
Remember public phone ? It was very common to have phone booth around back then, 15 years ago. The older generation phone booth accepts coins, and the newer one accepts prepaid phone card which you can buy from convenience store. Now since almost everybody afford to own a mobile phone, phone booth is less common now.

Phone booth was previously a required fixture in public university and colleges and shopping complexes, now its almost nowhere to be seen

p/s: I fondly recalled my friends used to get free calls from public phones using a technique call “short mengeshort” which involves the use of paperclip around late 1990s.

3. TM-Issued Phone Directory Book
Previously Phone Directory Book is a must-have for every household that have fixed-line phone. Divided into three main parts (Peach Pages, White Pages and Yellow Pages), the Peach Page list the phone numbers of government agencies as well as their addresses. White Page on the other hand list the fixed-line phone numbers of common folks, together with their addresses arranged in alphabetical order. Yellow pages was once a must-have addition to the phone directory because it lists the phone number of the nearest exterminators, furniture store and workshop service.

When did the last time you’ve even refer the TM-issued Phone Directory Book?

4. Rabbit Ear Antenna
Back 10-15 years ago, almost every home relies on the venerable Rabbit Ear Antenna for TV Reception, couple with Booster (most popular in Perlis, Malaysia), you will get excellent reception of the government-run RTM station ( TV1, TV2) with a slight drawback as boostered Rabbit Ear antenna is very sensitive to kereta kontrol (RC Car).

Now most people would either subscribed to Astro, or in my case – The Torrent TV station, which requires neither Rabbit Ear Antenna nor Booster.

Here is the photo of a rabbit ear antenna:

Rabbit Ears Antenna

5. Cassette and Sony Walkman Portable Player
Once considered a cool gadget that Johnny Depp used to strap around his waist on “Nightmare on Elm Street” :

Cassette

Sony Walkman Cassette Player

The cassette and Sony Walkman was considered one of the common item for teenagers. It runs on TWO (2) AA batteries with the most advance type display digital readouts and can even ‘flip’ the cassette automatically. Sony Walkman even has AMS feature (Automatic Music Sensor) where it can detect the start of a song automatically when using fast-forward/reverse (just like switching CD track).

Cassette and Walkman (portable cassette player) are now has been displaced by MP3 players, iPods or plain Feature Phone.

Funny English – Disbarred means not allowed to practice, does ‘Barred’ means allowed to practice? – Lawyer terms

I encounter this funny meaning of disbarred from a local newspaper site (http://thestar.com.my/) concerning two lawyer brothers were disbarred from practice because of dishonest conduct. What bug me is, I’m usually accustom with the word ‘barred’ to mean ‘prevented’, ‘not allowed’ and disbarred should mean the opposite like : “Yay, they accepted my appeal, I’m finally disbarred!!” lol. Okay, to be frank a friend of mind did told me in law terms, ‘disbarred’ means the expulsion/removal from the Bar Council.

But does that means being ‘barred’ is a good thing for a lawyer? :p

Disbarred

The Main Post Office in Alor Setar need more parking spaces!

I don’t know if any of the readers have gone to the Main Post Office in Alor Setar (Malaysia), but during the last few months, I’ve noticed the parking space in the place has exceeded its designated capacity.

This prompted post office customers to double park, park in a non-designated spot or even recklessly driving into the already crowded lane in order to spot an empty parking space. Not only this would be time consuming, but it would also poses danger to the passengers as well as the passer-by. I doubt I’ll be seeing any improvement pretty soon, the Post Office was built without any consideration for future expansion, especially with the kind of traffic it attracts.

However come to think about it, the worst Post Office in this category probably should go to Kangar Main Post Office, which offer virtually no parking spot, even for motorcycle, and people has to deal with almost an hour long of vehicle queue to conduct their businesses (pay bills, send package) through its ‘convenient’ drive-thru counter. Heck, the Main Post office doesn’t even handle Pos-Laju and Pos Express on their own, due to the location restriction.

Welp, guess any new govt building now should consider the parking space factor, they should build an undegroung parking lot as well as multi-storey ones.

Moved to Dreamhost ! Thank god it was smooth

Thank good the move to Dreamhost went without a hitch. As the result of the move, I now can access my blog frequently without the downtime associated with the previous webhosting provider.

Hopefully I can be more productive in writing new posts each week about things related to amateur radio and my other hobbies.

p/s: Personally I felt Dreamhost is the best web hostng provider that I ever subscribed, I’ve tried 6-7 other webhosting provider (concurrently) in Malaysia and oversea’s but none of them offers services as great as Dreamhost. In that spirit, I think it’s only fitting to move Please.Name.My from the problem-ridden local webhosting provider to Dreamhost, along side with my other domains.

Becareful with what you write in your blog. Be Responsible

Recent events surrounding blogging community has caught my attention, in which a blogger was arrested in Singapore due to his racist remarks on his blog.

This is not the first case someone being arrested for writing irresponsible things in their website or blog. We had our share of bloggers which has been slapped with court action against them due to their writings.

For years, internet become more than a medium to communicate free speech. However blatantly using the freedom of the internet is not what we should do. We all have to abide by a set of rules and code of ethics when we write, especially when we are addressing the public.

Making undesirable remarks, spreading lies and misinformation should be avoided at all cost because it has negative impact to the community, as innocent lives might be ruined by what we write.

Similarly, those who has a website (or a blog) should learn from the hobby of Amateur Radio, where hams are bound by a similar code of ethics practiced throught out the world.

A good ham avoid talking about topics that are argumentative as well as sensitive issues which might hurt people feelings, even when it is just a guideline, the code of ethics are maintained and is still there. The bloggers community should adapt such code of ethics so we could have a better blogosphere, as I believe it is better than to be force to take legal action against the relatively few unethical bloggers.

Absent Minded-ness : Signs of madness or personal quirks?

I dont feel well lately as I found out that I’m hard to focus on certain things. The random lapse of attention made me worry a little bit.

Probably I should restructure my way of thinking. I need something to do, something like developing an interesting and exciting system, something useful which can make me re-focus my attention and train my brain again.

The state of idleness can drove one mad, or is it just my personal quirks to be absent minded when I’m not into research and development work?

Senarai Produk Belanda (Dutch Product List to boycott)

Here are the list where you can find products backed by Dutch corporation which available in Malaysia. This is to support nationwide call to boycott Dutch product because of the outrageous Fitna short film made by Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders.

wilders.jpg

The list is updated and maintained by Sebol. Please help him by adding Dutch products not on the list on his comment box.

Please… We only want your blog post, not your music

Even in 2008 in the era of blogs and webservices, there are people who are still stuck in the 1990s.

Embedding music player and playlist of your favorite song is okay, as long as you don’t auto play it when somebody surf your blog. Worse of all, when you don’t include a button to make the music stop.

You sucks

Please, we visit your site to read blog posts, not to listen to your favorite music. If we want to listen to your music, we would already have it on our computer.

Its annoying to be forced to listen to the music that you don’t want to hear, much less it interferes with our own music player. I wouldn’t be surprised if people would rather choose to depart early from your website without even finishing your post for that reason.