Author Archives: drizad

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)gmail.com

Email from our friend, Calvin

I received an email from one of our friend, who went to Sabah and spend some good time here. We managed to know each other from Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com, and Calvin is generous enough to share with us his moment there by sending me a photo of his team. This is the email that he send to me.

Hi Ruhaizad,

I sure did enjoyed my trip. Well, the closest thing i have to a proper camera is my hp-cam; so photo qualities are quite sub-par. Will be attaching a picture of us getting ready from some rafting action at Kiulu, shot by a friend using a digital slr; rather large in size though. I’m the guy to the right of the rafting guide in the photo.

Well, it was quite a thrilling ride, being a first timer & non-swimmer i did not really know what to expect (half-expecting to be tossed into the waters at every rapid, like in TV), but i had a great time indeed. Heard Padas is better. Will be looking forward to that for my next trip. I do blog a little, to amuse myself; i’m not so much of a good story teller though.

Read your blog, you (& your wife) looked great in the unique wedding photo!

~Cheers!

Kiulu White Water Rafting - by Calvin

Thank you, Calvin! Well, if you want your story and photo in here, just drop me an email!

Mount Kinabalu from Kinabalu Pine Resort

Kinabalu Pine ResortWe went for a family retreat last year to Kinabalu Pine Resort, a get away resort that is situated in Kundasang, about 90 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu. It is also situated at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu at an elevation of about 1525 meters above sea level. The weather is cool, the air is fresh and the views are breathtaking.

As I went there with my wife and kids, I don’t intend to climb Mount Kinabalu. We just go there for a weekend get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

In my opinion, the resort is really nice. Clean and well taken care. The meals were also nicely cooked and if you are a Muslim, all the food that they provide is “Halal”. Most of Kadazandusun in Kundasang are Muslim, so, you do not have to worry about that. The vegetables were home grown and fresh from the farm.

Mount Kinabalu seen from Kinabalu Pine Resort

So, if you did not be able to book for a climb on Mount Kinabalu, or just want to spend a couple of days lazing around in cool climate, I would recommend Kinabalu Pine Resort.

What are the things you can do while you are here? Well, you can of course visit Kinabalu Park HQ, for a walk in the “Mountain Garden” or the jungle trails around the park, and visit the Information Center. You can also drive a bit further to Poring Hot Spring or drop around Kundasang War Memorial.

Rungus wedding couple

It is actually my wedding photo (in Rungus traditional costume), taken on the Valentine’s day 2004 (my wedding day there). Photo was taken with an analogue camera. We were sitting in a ‘platform’ (I don’t know what is it called) in front of my father-in-law’s longhouse. You can still see the structure when you visit Kg. Bavanggazo Rungus Longhouse (Maranjak Homestay).

Rungus couple

Pitcher Plants of Kinabalu

Do you know that:

  • Mount Kinabalu and Kinabalu Park is famous with it’s pitcher plants – apart from Rafflesia?
  • Pitcher plants is famous for their leaves, not the flower?

The leaf tips of insect-eating pitcher plants form colorful cups. Nine species of pitcher plants grow on Mount Kinabalu. The pitchers, flushed maroon and pink, come in a variety of fancy shapes and sizes. Species St. John reported finding a pitcher of the largest species, Nephentes rajah, containing 4 liters (3 1/2 quarts) of liquid. Another was digesting a drowned rat.

Nephentes villosa - you can see it during your hike at Kinabalu

The hollow cup of the pitcher plant acts like a trap and a stomach. Insects are attracted to nectar secreted from glands near the mouth of the pitcher. Upon entering the cup, they slide down the slippery side; their escape out is blocked by downward pointing spines. They eventually drown in the slimy ooze at the bottom and are digested. The plant absorbs its lunch through the walls of the leaf. Thus pitcher plants can survive in very poor soil. They rely on nourishment from the insect corpses.

A few specialized insects actually make their home in the pitcher. Some feed on the decomposing insects. Others breed in the fetid pool at the bottom of the pitcher.

Nephentes rajah - Notice anything about this photo?

Want to see more photo on pitcher plants? I have few more on Mount Tambuyukon photo by Dr. Ravi.

CCleaner – Spring clean your Windows registry for free!

I think it’s good for me to share with you this freeware tools that I have been using for the past 2 years. If you have been using Windows for the past few years, and you have not done any “registry cleaning”, your PC might be in danger of getting “hanged”. Or, if you have been using registry cleaner that have a subscription fee, why don’t you get one for free from now on?

CCleanerCCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. It also cleans traces of your online activities such as your Internet history. But the best part is that it’s fast (normally taking less than a second to run) and contains NO Spyware or Adware! 🙂

Cleans the following

  1. Internet Explorer – Temporary files, URL history, cookies, Autocomplete form history, index.dat.
  2. Firefox – Temporary files, URL history, cookies, download history.
  3. Opera – Temporary files, URL history, cookies.
    Windows
  4. Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files and Log files.
  5. Registry cleaner
    Advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more… also comes with a comprehensive backup feature.
  6. Third-party applications
    Removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many apps including Media Player, eMule, Kazaa, Google Toolbar, Netscape, MS Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more…
  7. 100% Spyware FREE
    This software does NOT contain any Spyware, Adware or Viruses.

Kinabalu Solo Traveler – A hilarious travelogue…

At last, after 1 month delay, I manage to upload an article by Leif Pettersen on his quest on Mount Kinabalu, about 2 years back. This article, which was one of my reference for my website Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com, was published a year earlier. As the article is so long, I have divided the article into 4 parts for easy reading. One of our readers give this comment:

The link you gave was awesome…a very good read, and a good laugh too! –Dimitri Ars

So, if you would like to see what a “Solo Traveler” like Leif gone through during the climb, have a good laugh here.

Newsletter migration from Drupal to WordPress completed

For the past few days, I was working really hard to make sure that the “new face lift” of our newsletter is running fine. I dumped my Drupal CMS through the Fantastico package on my webhost and install a new WordPress engine to take responsibility on running the newsletter. Now, I have 2 WordPress running in the same server (this blog and the newsletter). Fantastico package can only help you on installing one WordPress copy (by default) but you can install another copy – by getting your hand a bit dirty on the installation.

After downloading the WordPress package, the installation runs fine with my second copy of WordPress in a new subdirectory /news, but I did found some glitches on the .htacess issue. I get it solved in about an hour -after referring the file with my existing .htacess copy in my /blog subdirectory. After a successful installation, the migration process of the data is easy. I just “View>Page Source” of my Drupal /newsletter page, copy the necessary text and paste it on my WordPress. It is easier and you don’t have to fiddle around with database migration. Last but not least, the link URL for the existing Newsletter (/newsletter) must be change, but changing without taking a proper precaution can end your page up at 404 corner. Luckily for me, the webhosting services have a redirect service. I redirect the old /newsletter link to /news page.

Currently, the new Newsletter works fine. You can check the new link here:

http://mount-kinabalu-borneo.com/news

In my opinion, there are a lot of advantages on using WordPress compared to Drupal. For me, they are:

  1. Easier to install and upgrade.
  2. Small php scripts file.
  3. Good support team.
  4. A lot of themes.
  5. A lot of plugins, especially Adsense plugins. Although Drupal have Adsense plugin themselves, the script administration is bloated, difficult to install and configure and I don’t think it worked with my previous newsletter.
  6. Nice back end. You can distinguish the back end and the front end of the CMS. Not like Drupal, it ‘looks’ the same. Make me confuse all the time.
  7. Easier to upload images to the post.
  8. The main thing is that I got complains from the visitors saying that they could not Register themselves through Drupal to leave comments. I have no difficulty with WordPress.
  9. WordPress just ROCKS!

Want your own WordPress website and blog? I get mine from Exabytes:

My baby girl – 5 months old

I have “thought block” today. Don’t know what and don’t have time to write a good post. Was very busy at the clinic and the WIFI router in my office broke down. So, I am posting this entry from home.

Just would like to share with you the latest photo of my angel…

Syahzanani Izzati

My Newsletter (with Drupal back-end) broke down…

It’s just my regular update of my website. I have been seeing Fantastico update service offering me to update my Drupal from version 4.7 to 5.1. I am not that keen initially to update it, as I have a very bad experience with similar update with Drupal before. The last time I update my Drupal, I need to reconfigure almost all my templates and themes and my Adsense module is not working. It took me another 2 days to figure it out.

This morning, I felt that it’s good to update, but I still feel ambivalent. And, to my horror, my prediction is right. My Drupal broke when I click the update button. The only thing that came out from my Newsletter directory of Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com (that is run by Drupal CMS) is the content, without any theme and css styles. Worse still, I saw 2 lines of Error Message coming up on the first page of the Newsletter. What a disappointment with Drupal! It’s the thing that every webmaster do not like to see! I did not have any problem when I update/upgrade my WordPress with Fantastico.

Drupal - Not so good CMS. Not recommended…

I was really disappointed with Drupal, as this is not my first experience. I called Exabytes network for technical support and they are still trying to fix the mess up.

So, if you are looking for CMS (content management system), don’t use Drupal, especially if you are a newbie. Get WordPress instead. It’s easier to maintain and idiot proof.

For you who have been following my Mount Kinabalu Newsletter, do not worry. If I have time, I will try to migrate all the database on my Drupal to other “less-give-headache” CMS.