Monday, January 02, 2012

Traveling in Malaysia

When I first came to Malaysia, I thought the country was a ghost town… I came to this conclusion since I compared Malaysia with Singapore, which I visited before Malaysia. Now you must be wondering why I made such a statement, its because Singapore has nice public transport services which helped me to rome around the city and discover new places such as nice shopping malls and restaurants. But suddenly I had to visit Malaysia for my first project in this country. May be this is the main reason why I felt bad about Malaysia. 

Now I have almost spent a year in Malaysia, and I would say it is a country in which you can live very peacefully without any matter. Country has got mostly everything… supermalls, playground, theme parks, rivers, mountains and even nice beaches. But I would recommend anyone to have a own vehicle if you are hoping to visit these places because I have realized that living in Malaysia without a vehicle is like a hell. 

Since I didn’t have a vehicle here, I had to use public transport which is quite slow (but it is available everywhere inside KL). We can use MiniBUS, RapidKL and MetroBus services. In Kuala Lampur you get train services as well. MonoRail, Komuter, LRT and KLexpress are the main train services. MonoRai, LRT, MetroBUS and RapidKL are mainly dedicated for city service. KLexpress is running between the KL airport and the "KL Sentral".

Buses on the road
You can find main web sites of transport services here.
  1. RapidKL
  2. MetroBus
  3. Komuter 
  4. KLexpress
Malaysia has got few main bus stands which called "Pudu Raya" and TBS. Since the "Kota Raya" building is the city center, number of buses are stopping in front of "Kota Raya" and "MyDIN" shopping malls as well.
  1. Puduraya
  2. TBS-BTS
If you are traveling to Singapore or southern side of the Malaysia better go to BTS-TBS (Bandar Tasik Selatan). Or if you are visiting Penang, Thailand or Northern part of peninsula of the Malaysia better go to Pudu Raya.

Life will not be boring as long as you are not alone in Malaysia. :-)

Special Thanks:
Noelani Peiris 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Butterfly Effect

Sometimes you may have heard about the "Chaos Theory" which uses in study areas such as Physics, Economics, Meteorology etc.. this theory more to the nonlinear dynamic systems which highly sensitive to the initial conditions.  If there are small differences in initial conditions will yield widely diverging outcomes for chaotic systems. This effect is called "Butterfly Effect", I found the proper definition of "butterfly effect" in Wikipedia as follows.
"The sensitive dependence on initial conditions; where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state."
Chaos Theory has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.

This "Chaos Theory" condition discovered by the physicist Henri Poincare in the early 20th century. This  latter idea is known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions , a circumstance discovered by Edward Lorenz (who is generally credited as the first experimenter in the area of chaos) in the early 1960s.

Even though these theories were used in educational areas, I feel that the concept can be applied even to our real life, if we consider our lives as nonlinear dynamic objects. If we take an example: from our birth to the death, we are meeting up different types of people at different kinds of situations. The way we treat them initially and the initial situation of the relationship between the other  person and us always reflects  the end result of the relationship. It does not matter what kind of relationship that we have. It may be a business-to-business, love, employer-employee, friendship or any relationship, but effect applies everywhere.

If we take another example, Any kind of relationship depends on the "Trust" of each other. If someone tries to lie or cheat initially, it will affect to the final result of the engagement. Sometimes it will be a disaster.


Saturday, July 02, 2011

Photography... 3 tips which I have learnt so far..

The terms of "Photography" and "The light" are bonded together.. we can not talk about photography without the word "light". So lets discuss three main items which helps us to control light while taking the photographs.

Sometimes you may have seen a hole which opens inside the camera lens when taking the photograph. The diameter of that hole called the "Aperture". we can control the size of the aperture using camera settings. The lens aperture is usually specified as an f-number (ex: f/2, f/3) the ratio of focal length to effective aperture diameter. Size of the aperture can change as numbers and that number settings in the range somewhere between 1.4 to 32 (Depends on your camera).

Aperture photograph
 comparison (Focus)
Aperture photograph
 comparison (Light)

We can control two main things using aperture size. One is the density of the light that comes in to the camera body through the aperture at one time, using this you can make your object is bright or dim. Second thing is the "Field of depth" which means the background density or rather soft focus of the background. If you set the smaller aperture (f/16 to f/32) you can get photograph which has greater depth of field or rather very clear background with all in focus. If you set larger aperture (f/1.4 to f/8) you can get out of focused background with clear focus on your subject.
Sample photograph to show out of focus background and focused subject
(This photo has taken with aperture f/5.6, shutter speed 1/640s and ISO speed 100)

Shutter speed or rather exposure time is opening time of the shutter. Since we can control the speed of the shutter using camera settings, we can control the light which comes inside to the camera withing that "shutter speed" time period. For normal photography camera's shutter will stay open for about 1/250 th of a second. If the shutter stays open for 1/100 th of a second then more than twice as much light comes in. If the shutter stays open for 1/500 of a second only half as much light come in. Shutter speeds can be as fast as 1/8000 of a second (Depends on the camera).
Sample photograph to show the difference of shutter speeds 

ISO settings
In photography term for this setting is called "Film speed". The meaning of the ISO is "International Organization for Standardization". The relationship of this setting to the photograph is if you are shooting in bright light you'll want a low ISO rating i.e. ISO-100. If you are shooting in low light, perhaps indoors or an evening setting, you'll want film with a high ISO rating i.e. ISO-1600.

So basically you can control the light (which comes inside to the camera through the aperture and shutter) using this ISO speed setting as well. But keep in mind high ISO speed means high noise.

So basically when you buying a camera check above three parameters. If the camera has wide range of options in each parameter, then it is a good camera. ex: Aperture 5.6-32, Max shutter speed 1/8000, ISO 100-3200.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Becoming a Malaysian... so far...

When we are staying outside the country, sometime we need get adapted to the culture of new outside world. Since I’m working in Malaysia, I’m also trying to be in same culture and trying to learn the language (Bhasha Malaysia or rather basha Melayu). So today I thought to share my living experiences in Malaysia.

History and culture of Malaysia
Before the rise of the European colonial powers, the Malay Peninsula and the Malay Archipelago (cluster islands) were home to empires such as the Srivijaya, the Majapahit (both ruled from Indonesia) and the Melaka Sultanate. The Srivijaya and Majapahit empires saw the spread of Hinduism to the region, and to this day, despite being nominally Muslim, many Hindu legends and traditions survive in traditional Malay culture. Mass conversion to Islam only occurred after the arrival of Arab traders during the Melaka Sultanate.

Malaysia is a multicultural society. While Malays make up a 54% majority, there are also 25% Chinese (especially visible in the cities), 7.5% Indian and a miscellaneous grouping of 13.5% "others", such as the Portuguese clan in Melaka and 12% of indigenous peoples (Orang Asli). There is hence also a profusion of faiths and religions, with Muslim 60.4%, Buddhist 19.2%, Christian 9.1%, Hindu 6.3%, Confucianism, Taoism, other traditional Chinese religions 2.6%, other or unknown 1.5%, none 0.8% (2000 census).

Learning the language
In Malaysia, the 1957 Article 152 of the Federation adopted Johor (Malacca) Malay as the official language (Bahasa Malaysia). The name "Malaysia", in both language and country, emphasized that the nation consisted of more than just ethnic Malays. In 1986 the official name was changed to Bahasa Melayu, but in 2007 it was changed back.

Most of the Malay people says, BM (Bahsa Malaysia) is easy to learn. So far I was able to catch only 6-7 phases and 20-25 words. For me, most useful phase in Malay is “Di mana tandas?” which means “Where is the toilet?”.

You can find BM teaching website here

Moving with people
Malaysian people are friendly and they respecting to others, but sometimes they are proud. Every race in Malaysia has its own weaknesses. As I heard from one of the Malaysian Indian person, there is a Malay proverb quote.
“If a Malay is not lazy he cannot be a Malay, If an Indian is not talkative he cannot be an Indian, If a Chinese is not collecting money, he cannot be a Chinese”
The Malays are known to be too lazy. The Chinese are known to be very civil, disciplined and sometimes too hardworking. A Chinese who gets his/her pay, will tend to keep it for emergency or future use. A Malay in the other hand, would usually spend it immediately. Indians are very talkative and they talking too louder.

I have noticed, most of the Indian taxi drivers are rarely uses taxi meter and always asking more money from passengers but majority of Malay and Chinese taxi drivers are always following the taxi meter and respecting to the passenger. I have heard there are some mafias in Malaysia, still I was fortunate not to became a victim of it.

So when you come to Malaysia, sometimes my tips will be helpful to you.

Most of the numbers and historical details from :

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day to day fire fighting and QOS

During last 5 years I have seen lots of fire fighters in IT related companies. Today I thought to write about them.

Who are the firefighters
If fire is some where then firefighters also around and when we thinking on other way round, that also true sometimes. That is, if firefighters are there that mean definitely fire is going around. so basically without fire no firefighters and they are always starting to stop fire when only fire got started.

When we come to the IT industry, most of the time employees working with end customers are firefighters. They always facing to the firings from customers due to many reasons. Sometimes may be delaying releases, unidentified bugs and various system failures.
Sometimes they getting cross fire from company management team and from the client. Client firing on the breaking the promises of project requirements and management start firing on when profit of the project getting down.
I've got above image via email few years back. I can say main reasons for firefightings are described in above image. Obviously, at the end of the day victims are the client and project delivery team.

How to identify?
You can identify these fire fighters, when they speaking about their experience and technical skills. When they are saying, they have experiences in project management and software development.... that is the first indication of being the fire fighter. If you continue the discussion, you can hear that they are expertise in system engineering and networking too... Sometimes they are doing sales and marketing as well. So basically they are all-rounders, because of handling many projects and playing many roles.
If you are the onsite project coordinator and If you couldn’t see these characteristics, then you cannot find them until you getting involved to the cross fire of company management and the client side. So I warn you on following things, because if you do followings that mean you making your hell out there.
  1.  Trust firefighters dead lines
  2.  Believe firefighters skills
  3.  Documents signoff on time
  4.  Believe firefighters project time lines
Birth of fire fighters
Normally birth of firefighter is happening due to failures in management of the company. I’m saying that due to two reasons.
  1.  Managers with poor and plaster management skills are making a mess out of job roles and employees have to play many roles.
  2. If company management targeting only the profit, then again employees have to play many roles. Because management is restricting the recruitments and asking employees to generate more and more profit using limited recourses.
If the company following global standards and properly manage the resources, then every employee needs to play his/her allocated job role only (which is happy scenario). When single employee playing many roles, it’s good to make short term profits but in long term he is being high skill individual player and company needs to depend on him. Sometimes when he is making his personal decisions, that feels to whole company management. Then you can find the birth of fire fighter (sometimes you may know him already before he came to this stage).

Effects on QOS
If your company has higher number of firefighters, that means providing less quality of service. Because of the high demand on single resource and spending less time on service, QOS getting lower. This is the main reason for clients to get guns on you. And this is the only reason which management never understand... ever...!!
Today lots of companies are getting many projects promising thousands of features. Funny part is management allocating only few people to do all of projects and at the end of the project, they delivering some shits to customer and start firefighting afterwards to get covered.

Moral of the this post is "Never start the projects without enough resources, otherwise you're giving the birth to firefighters".

So be careful with fire fighters and making fire fighter in your company, Otherwise you will feel some "Awesome" feelings at the end of the projects :-)