This month, MIT officially launched its OpenCourseWare (OCW), a free, open publication of MIT Course materials that were used in teaching undergraduates and graduates at MIT. All course materials featured on the OCW are licensed under the Creative Commons License.
The initial OCW are limited to a few hundred courses, even then most of them just display the course's highlights and description. However, there are a few courses that include complete lecture notes, assignments and exam papers as well. MIT plans to publish all courses by 2007.
I believe this is a wonderful move by MIT. Hopefully the Harvards and the Yales of the world would follow MIT's footsteps in implementing similar platform for sharing knowledge and become more open towards the society and the world. Students would be happy to have extra notes and study materials at their fingertips for free!
Here's a classic rock way-back track. There's nothing like driving at 100 mph with this song blasting on your ICE system. Swweeeeeet!
Nobody gonna take my car I'm gonna race it to the ground Nobody gonna beat my car It's gonna break the speed of sound Oooh it's a killing machine It's got everything Like a driving power big fat tyres and everything
I love it and I need it I bleed it yeah it's a wild hurricane Alright hold tight I'm a highway star Nobody gonna take my girl I'm gonna keep her to the end Nobody gonna have my girl She stays close on every bend Oooh she's a killing machine She's got everything a moving mouth body control and everything
I love her I need her I seed her Yeah She turns me on Alright hold on tight I'm a highway star Nobody gonna take my head I got speed inside my brain Nobody gonna steal my head Now that i'm on the road again Oooh i'm in heaven again i've got everything Like a moving ground an open road and everything
I love it and I need it I seed it eight cylinders all mine Alright hold on tight I'm a highway star Nobody gonna take my car I'm gonna race it to the ground Nobody gonna beat my car It's gonna break the speed of sound Oooh it's a killing machine It's got everything like a driving power big fat tyres and everything
I love it and I need it I bleed it Yeah it's a wild hurricane Alright hold on tight I'm a highway star I'm a highway star, I'm a highway star
I was keeping this cigar for quite sometime, finding the right occation to go with it. Alas came the 2nd Cigar Blog Meet, just the right time and environment to indulge a cigar. The cigar was a dominican, made by Consolidated Cigar Co. The Coronas Major comes in a polished aluminum tube, exactly like the Punch Coronas Major. Out of the tube, the tobacco smell was subsided by a cedarry scent, very pleasing indeed. The color was of coffee and cream.
Lighting the cigar was easy. A charred foot and a couple of draws and the cigar was lit, not quite evenly in the beginning but it burns quite steadily after a while. The draw was pleasing and easy. The first few draw indicate a mild cigar taste, with the smooth smoke flowing almost fluidly. The ash was dark gray and almost solid.
After about 50%, the taste was still mild with a slight hint of pepper noted. At this time, it does not require any relighting, perhaps I was eagerly drawing to get the mild taste to stick to my tastebuds. The mild taste was consistent, so is the binder. A very well rolled cigar.
The problem came after 70%. The filler by that time was damp and relighting was required. At 80%, I was relighting on every other draws. At last I gave up, and left it on the ash tray. Too bad a good cigar had to die before it could burn my fingers.
Appearance: 18/20 Lighting and Burning: 9/15 Construction: 30/30 Taste: 32/35 Final Score: 89/100
Remarks: So mild, you can even smoke it after lunch.
The second cigar blog meet was held last Friday night at Havana Club Concorde hotel. It was a smash as Aizuddin had organized a PS2 party to go with the meet as well. A funny concoction, but yes, cigars and games can somehow find a meeting point somewhere... I guess the nicotine makes the adrenaline flow more fluidly and improve the thumb and eye coordination ;)
I traded two cigars with Aiz, my Private Stock Robusto and Avo Uvezian Puritos Classico with his Private Stock Long Filler and Macanudo Miniatures. I smoked a Don Diego Coronas Major at Havana Club and then the Macanudo Miniatures at Hard Rock Cafe later that night.
Sharizal, on the other hand was happy with his romeo y julliet. According to him, it was the first time he smoked a cigar to the stub. We hope to see him again in our next meet :)
I finally got the chance to smoke the Medium Filler Private Stock Robusto caigar i bought a couple of weeks back. No special occassion or anything like that, just a normal chillout session at Hard Rock Cafe.
Physically, the cigar is well built. I could not find any flaws in the construction. The wrapper was perfect, not oily and not dry. If there was a flaw in physical appearence, it would be the cheap looking thick, fat and ugly cigar band that comes with it. Not that it matters, but it is just plain ugly. Cutting the cap, was quite tricky. Being a thick gauge cigar (ring size 50), i should have used a V-cutter or a bullet cutter instead of a straight cut guillotine cutter. Remind myself to invest in other cutters.. The cut was not too clean and it sort of disrupt the smoking, i have to spit out pieces of tobacco every now and then.
Lighting the cigar was a piece of cake. Then again, i wish i had a laser lighter with me. My small butane lighter could not cope with the thick gauge robusto. However, the cigar was quick to adapt itself, after a few wisp at the burning foot, the cigar seemed to be burning evenly.
The draw, was effortless almost feather like. Perhaps the filler were rolled loosely? I dont think so, the pinch test confirmed that the cigar was firm and perfectly rolled. The smoke was cool and almost smooth. The aroma was light and pleasant, and the ash was firm dark grey.
The taste however, was very light. Lighter than it's Davidoff counterpart I couldn't feel the cigar effect at all even after halfway through. It was so light, any drink would wash away the taste. At 2/3, the cigar was still drawing good, but the binder cap started to unravell but the damn cigar band was still stuck to the cigar! Perhaps it was the cool smoke from the robusto.
The cigar band finally gave way almost at 90% of the cigar. At that time, the cigar have already lost its firmness. However, the cigar effect was weak and bland.
Appearance and Presentation: 19/20 Lighting and Burning Properties: 13/15 Construction:26/30 Taste: 30/35 Total Score: 88/100
Remarks: A nice cigar to kick back and relax if you don't really have time to spare and focus and indulge fully on a cigar. The ugly band still bugs me but for the price I pay for it, i think it would only be worth it. For a segundo, it scores quite well. A great companion to go with a rock band!
I have been too busy, i haven't been able to keep up with the news. A friend forwarded this one from MSNBC; Canada distributes medical marijuana. Looks like they will have to replace their maple leaf with a pacalolo! :)
After testing and tweaking TypePad for almost almost a month, i would like to present the long overdue Typad review. I was unable to publish the review earlier due to unavoidable circumstances.
The review is divided two three segments, what i like, limitations and what i dont like. The review is based on TypePad Plus subscription thus certain functions are not available in Typepad Basic. Click here to compare all subscription plans.
What I like TypePad is very easy to learn and use. I believe anyone without HTML knowledge should be able to make sense out of it after playing with it for a while. It has heaps of features for both novice and experts alike. It also has a brilliant interface.
One of its innovative feature (not available in TypePad Basic) is Mobile Blogging (Yeay!). You can post via email or via SMS/MMS. I have yet to test out the MMS functionality as i do not have an MMS phone.
The Photo gallery is another brilliant feature in TypePad Plus, although it have some limitations. These limitations will be discussed later in this post.
Other than that, it is w.bloggar and zempt friendly. I have tested both applications and they work fine.
Support is efficient and fast. My ticket was responded within 2 hours.
Limitations One big limitation in TypePad Plus is No HTML customization. Full HTML customization is available only on Typepad Pro. I believe HTML customization should be included in all subscription type. Afterall blogger is giving it for free.
As i mentioned earlier, the Photo Gallery have some limitations. First of all, it limits the picture size according to the predetermined sizes when you upload the pictures (small, medium, large). The photo album templates are not customizable and there are not much standard templates available.
One important function missing is the ablility to manage files on typepad. You might have created a folder but dont know where it is located and cant change folder name once it is created. i have sent a ticket to tech support and according to their reply, file management is a priority and will be included in the latest update. kudos for the prompt reply.
Readers' comments also have its limitations. Comments open the post's permalink in current window. I would prefer the comments to open in a separate window like all other commenting system. There should be some sort of customization to allow Typepad to handle comments. Then again it is up to personal preference.
The statistics are very basic. However, a more detail statistics system are currently being brewed by the guys at TypePad. Until that happens, I will be using a third party stats counter for the time being.
What i dont like A bit slow on 56kbps. Even on broadband some of the pages took a bit of time to open. Some of the navigation function can be quite a chore.
On the photo album, write up on images can only be edited one by one. A big chore when you have uploaded 25 images at once. Other features that would require the user to edit the items individually are photo cloning and blogroll/people list.
Comments list at side bar not customizable. It shows the latest 10 comments. Even the typelist are not fully customizable. Imported blogroll list sorted the other way round. They should have customizable blogroll/people typelist.
Another issue i would like to highlight is the price. USD 8.95 per month (for Typepad Plus) may be affordable in the US but it is a bit steep for the rest of the world. Not only that, it would certainly deter advanced users from subscribing. For that amount of money, techie would prefer to get a domain name and upto 500Mb of disk space on a third party web server.
Wishlist Ability to put up images on sidebar. Currently only images of the photo album can be displayed on the sidebar. How ever this functionality is being addressed. According to TypePad Resources, an image Typelist is currently in the works. Still on typelist, it would be great if one could customize typelist like perhaps limiting the typelist to display only ten items and have a sort of like extended view link at the bottom of the list.
On the photo album, it would be cool to have image copy protection feature (no right click on image sort of thing). Comments on photo album would be cool to. I believe this feature is currently in the works.
Other features that could be useful is perhaps a Tag-board like feature for general comments, and also online poll. The ability to import comments third party commenting provider would also be cool.
Last but not least, an offline tool that can be downloaded to a local machine would make life much easier. Something like bloggar or zempt but more TypePad centric with the ability to publish posts, images, manage typelists, archive post etc. I could go on and on... but that would be in another post perhaps :)
Hmmm... that's all i could think of now. I will update as I discover any other limitations. For the sake of comparison, here are a few reviews by other typepad users Gorithm is one example. Richard Eriksson of movableBLOG was kind enough to provide a review AND compile a list of TypePad reviews by other users. Other than that, there are a few resources online. Six Apart have published the official TypePad Resource site called Everything TypePad!. Be sure to checkout the features in development! The unofficial TypePad Resources site was set up by snowman and he also maintained the TypePad Users Webring . The unofficial TypePad User Group is also gaining popularity among TypePad users.
In a nut shell, TypePad is very easy to use and maintain. I would highly recommend TypePad to anyone who would want to create a weblog. Even if you already have a web log and would want to migrate, i would recommend it. Although it is a Preview Release, it have some great features and very stable (i have yet to encounter any error) and I am eagerly waiting for the next release. I give it a 9/10.
August 31st, Malaysia will be celebrating its 46th year of independence. People from all walks of life will be celebrating Hari Kebangsaan (National Day) in their own manner. Veterans, who actually fought for independence would celebrate perhaps with a prayer, to Malaysia's future and perhaps to their fallen comrades. The generation who were born before 1957, would remember the anticipation of the country achieving independence. The generation post independence will celebrate National Day as it is today,with performances being organized to usher the stroke of midnight. Party revellers would party all night long. From humble prayers and supplications to mad parties, Malaysians around the world will be proud of the nation's 46th birthday.
Last week, I was conned by a friend to attend a dinner function organized by Sekretariat Melayu Muda. The highlight of the function was a speech/mandate by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohammad. Based from the speeches given by the event organizer and sponsor, the event was more towards remembering Mahathir rather than remembering independence. However, the Prime Minister in his speech did remind the audience to ensure the country maintain its independence and fight all form of neo-colonization.
Yesterday's friday prayer khutbah (sermon) also talked about independence. The khatib reminded the jemaah that being independent is not absolute. If we are not carefull, we will be colonized again either through economy or even culture. After prayers, the imam recited a tahlil and dua selamat. I wonder if other faiths organize prayers and offerings to celebrate our independence day.
To me, remembering independence day is not about remembering one day or to attribute the celebration to one person, be it Dr. Mahathir or even the father of independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman. Independence day is about reminding yourself, ourself of the struggle to obtain independence. Apart from Dato' Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak, there are other figures who sacrificed their time, energy and even their lives towards independence.
In our history books and publications, unlike in other countries, it is said that we achived independence without any bloodshed. That maybe true at the point of independence being declared. However, prior to that thousands have lost the lives. We must not forget the freedom fighters who fought the British since the late 1800s such as Dato' Bahaman, Tok Janggut, Dato' Maharajalela and Mat Kilau. Also the people who wrongfully sided with the Japanese during World War Two, in order to chase the British out of the country. Without the resistance and the yearning spirit of independence from these people, i dont think we would have achived independence by 1957.
I would like to urge fellow Malaysians to learn more about our independence. At least everyone of us should visit The Proclaimation of Independece Memorial in Malacca at least once to learn and appreciate our independence. Remembering independence day and the people who faught for it is just part of the bigger package. We must also instill patriotism and loyalty in our hearts and like Dr. Mahathir said, we must make sure we remain independent and deter any attempt by any party to take it away from us.
A lot of other people have expressed their views on independence. Aizuddin talks about his earliest account as a child celebrating Hari Kebangsaan. Abedib was kind enough to send me an article he wrote exactly five years ago when Malaysia celebrates its 41st birthday, and Fooji inspired by Nina's post wrote a merdeka post. And also not forgetting a host of other Malaysian bloggers who dedicated their posts to this special day.
To Malaysia, happy 46th birthday. This post is dedicated to you.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet The Reader or Abedib as he is fondly known by his circle of friends. Abedib wanted to include his Tag-Board on his blog at Typepad. Failing to attach the HTML code to typepad interface, he created a weblog on blogspot called Wakaf to host his Tag-Board.
I was finding ways to include my Tag-Board and some webrings on my blog. After a bit of googling I found a comment this site, with instructions to include HTML codes on TypePad's Typelist. One attempt later and voila!, I have my tagboard and my webrings on my blog.
I immediately emailed the good news to Abedib and included the instructions but he was still unable to attach the Tag-Board. I offered to help him out and he agreed. We meet up for lunch at his favourite hiding spot in KLCC. I ordered latte and chicken sandwich. Abedib came in, and within 5minutes, his Tag-Board is now on TypePad ;).
Indeed as Sarini mentioned, Abedib is full of knowledge and wisdom and he is very generous in sharing them with people. Words of wisdom and knowledge flow endlessly, as he talked with great depth on business, religion and current affairs. He also speak of his experience as an engineer in a government agency, as a director of a public listed company, as a father and as a Malaysian citizen trying to make ends meet.
Abedib is also fond of photography and i got to checkout his spanking new digicam! Funky little thing i must say. It is a bit smaller than its predecessor the C-730UZ, fits nicely in my palm. At 4megapixels and 10x optical zoom, this baby rocks!
The 1.5 hour meet passed by like a few minutes. By 3pm, i had to leave, Abedib had to meet his friend. I do hope to meet up with him again.
On sunday, i managed to pop by at Davidoff's KLCC. My intention was to replenish my Avo Puritos stash (I have only one left). However, the lady informed me that they have ran out of the Puritos, only the Avo Domaine is available. I have tried the Avo Domaine. Foa a small cigar it is a bit too stong, considering that you could finish it in less than 30 minutes. I prefer the milder Puritos. I decided to checkout other smokes in the walk in humidor. My first choice would certainly be one of the tubos.
I had my eyes on the Griffin's No. 300 Tubos. I have tried the Griffin's Panatellas before and i am quite comfortable with the taste. Now, i just need a nice occassion to kick back and relax.
However, having in mind a box of 10 puritos earlier, I was not happy with just one cigar. Davidoff's KLCC does have quite an extensive collection of Private Stock. Private Stock is actually seconds (segundos in Spanish) , cigars that didn't pass quality control, so they don't get banded and boxed.
A lot debate have been going on about the quality of seconds. Hardcore afficionados shun them. However you could find some favourable smoke in these cigars. Basically, Private Stock is actually rejected Davidoff's. They are made in the Dominican Republic by Tabacos Dominicanos SA, the same factory that produces Davidoff's, Paul Garmirian, Avo and Griffins. Other factories also have their own seconds or bundles such as Old Fashioned from Macanudo & Partagas and Rollers Choice from Fonseca & Cubita. Good smoke at low prices, why not?
I have tried a few, and I am pleased with it. The only problem i encountered was the inconsistent draw in some of the seconds, but i was not as bad as the (so called premium) H. Upmann Corona Tubos i had a couple of months back.
I saw a nice gift set which consist of 5 cigars of different shapes and sizes. Preety interesting, but I'm saving that for another visit. This time around, I took the Robusto box of 4.
Now, in my collection I have: one Don Diego Coronas Major, one Cohiba Red Dot Petit Corona, one Griffin's No. 300 Tubos, one Avo Puritos and four Private Stock Robustos.
Once upon a time there was a cat who yearned to fly
Everyday he would look at the birds flying from his master's window
Sometimes he would sneak upon them and attempt to catch the birds
He prayed and prayed and asked God to give him the ability to fly
One day an angel came down from the heavens and gave him a pair of wings
The cat was so happy, he flapped his wings and fly away...
He flew with the birds, through the clouds and played with the angels and the fairies
He felt tired and wanted to go home but he is lost
He asked the angel who gave him his wings the directions to his home
The angel replied, "This is now your home"
The cat said, "But i miss my master"
The angel smiled and said, "Don't worry my dear cat, when the time comes your master will come home too..."
From the heavens above, the cat looked down on patches of green and blue and earth as he wait patiently for his master
I have uploaded Digital Fugue III to the photo gallery section in Digital Fugue @ Typepad. Well actually, it is a collection of existing galleries at the digicam gallery hosted at geocities. However I have yet to include the caption for the photos. One minor problem in TypePad is you have to edit the photo captions one by one. Would it be easier to edit them all at onece. Imagine having uploaded 20 images and then you have to edit the captions one by one. A bit time consuming especially when you're on dial-up.
Finally i'm back in action. I did try to update the blog via mobile blogging but somehow rather only one got through. Apparently Celcom was having some sort of technical difficulties in the sms email relay system. Anyway, here's a recap of the trip.
Sunday Left KL at 3:45pm reached Sintok at 8pm. Spent the night at UUM Inn. Bad choice. Dinner at Kuala Perlis (Best Ikan Bakar!, too bad no pics).
Monday From Sintok we made our way down to Jitra then to Kulim. Managed to get a state map and covered 5 sites in Kulim District. Then we move up to Padang Besar and crossed border to Thailand. Spent the night at Padang Besar, Thailand.
Tuesday From Padang Besar, we shoot off to Kuala Perlis and took a ferry to Langkawi Island. We managed to cover all 4 sites in Langkawi. After that, we took the cable car up Gunung Mat Cincang (breathtaking view!). Dinner at one of the seaside seafood restaurant and head back to the hotel.
Wednesday Took a ferry from Langkawi back to Kuala Perlis and covered 14 sites in dictrict Kubang Pasu and Padang Terap. Left Kedah at 6:30pm, reached KL at 10:30pm.
Phew... That's almost like a Mentri Besar's schedule! ;) Now we have to prepare the tender and submit before the end of this month.
In a couple of hours time, I'll be driving 300 miles up north to Kedah to do a site survey. The site survey will cover all of Kedah but we are going to focus on one sector which consists of 20 sites. The survey will take 3 to 4 days to complete. Updates will most probably be via mobile blogging (which will only be available on kaz.blogs.com).
As you all know (thanks to Aiz for doing the unofficial soft-launch :)), Digital Fugue is on a trial run at TypePad. I only managed to sign up on Monday, August 11, 2003 and I haven't really trash it out to its fullest but im taking notes along the way. So far the archive have been imported fully and the nitty gritty "click-&-choose and drag-&-drop" design work is almost done. The archive post titles need cleaning up though. Still have to upload the galleries. Expect a review by the end of next week.
In the mean time, the original Digital Fugue would still be the official site, until the end of the one month trial period and would move to typepad, should i decide to use its service. Im still weighing the pros and cons here. New posts to Digital Fugue will be mirrored at http://kaz.blogs.com/. Feedbacks and comments are most welcomed, so if you have any issues just spit it out.
Finally, i'd like to thank all for giving me the support, encouragement, comments and trackbacks. A special thanks to Shattered Buddha for helping me out with the initial ground work and for handing me the discount keys :))) (I still have some discount keys to give away, so if you're interested, drop me a line!). And of course, to Aizuddin (Bud, if i ever become El-Presidente of a small island-country in the carribean, remind me to elect you as the Information Minister or Propaganda Minister whatever... ;) )