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

More climbing and outdoor articles for you

Do you still remember RSS (Real Simple Syndication)? Nowadays, a lot of good websites with good articles are using RSS to syndicate their content. That means, by having this technology, readers like you do not have to go to their website to get the latest information and news. Just by subscribing to their RSS feeds, the information and news will come to you. If you would like to know how to use RSS for your daily browsing activities, I have made a very simple help page for you here.

By implementing the RSS technology into this website, I manage to syndicate few selected good website for their articles. As you can see from the top navigation bar, I syndicated random articles from Travelers Toolkit category of Bootsnall.com, 10 selected articles from climbing category of About.com and 10 selected articles from outdoor category from Ezinearticles.com. All of the articles that I syndicated for you is written by people like you, travelers and climbers alike. They just would like to share with you their experiences during their journey in writings. By doing that, we, as a reader will gain more knowledge and make us more prepared – if we were to make the same decision and the same journey.

You notice that I syndicated only the relevant articles and content from their website to compliment this website which has a very similar theme. By doing that I am now giving you more reason to stay in this website a little longer – with more content to read and gain knowledge from the people who wrote the articles.

I know, a lot of us have a lot of things to say after a journey. Some of us will write in a blog diaries, but some of you don’t. Some of you may have submitted your story to ‘articles directories’ website to get yourself some credit, but I know it is tough to get your story through. Most of the so called ‘article directories’ have a strict guidelines for you to follow when submitting your story. They may also want you to write in a good English grammar, otherwise your article will get rejected.

If you are like them, no worries. I am willing to publish your article or story about your journey to Kinabalu and Sabah in this website. I do not have any guideline for you to follow. And, do not be so worry about your English grammar. Just email me your story. I may (or may not) edit your story, and it will be published directly in this website in no time. By doing that, you are contributing to this website existance and maybe one day, somebody will be syndicating your articles and stories!

Biological Virus vs Computer Virus – Are they the same?

I send this article to one of the local medical newsletter publisher, and she promise me to publish it in January next year.

Do you know that computer virus and biological virus have a very similar behaviour? We as doctors, knows that virus is one of the most common pathogen to man. For computers, virus is also one of their most common ‘pathogen’. Most of us know what to do with biological virus that affects our patients, but do we have enough knowledge on viruses that infect our computer? We becomes more exposed to computer viruses as the computer technology and internet evolves.

Let us look into the similarities between the the two and what can we do to protect our computer from the threats. In computer security, computer virus is a self-replicating computer program that spreads by inserting copies of itself into other executable code or documents. A computer virus behaves in a way similar to a biological virus, which spreads by inserting itself into living cells. Extending the analogy, the insertion of a virus into the program is termed as an “infection”, and the infected file, or executable code that is not part of a file, is called a “host”.

Unlike a biological virus, a computer virus is a small program written by human to alter the way a computer operates, without the permission or knowledge of the user. By definition, a virus must meet two criteria:

  • It must execute itself. It will often place its own code in the path of execution of another program. (In biological virus, it often place its own DNA code in the host DNA)
  • It must replicate itself. For example, it may replace other executable files with a copy of the virus infected file. (In biological virus, it may also replace the the other cells with a copy of the virus DNA with it). Sounds scary huh?

Some viruses are programmed to damage the computer by damaging programs, deleting files, or reformatting the hard disk. Likewise a biological virus, it may alter your cells, killing some of your tissues and sometimes damaging your organs. Others are not designed to do any damage, but simply to replicate themselves and make their presence known by presenting text, video, and audio messages. Even these benign viruses can create problems for the computer user. They typically take up computer memory used by legitimate programs. As a result, they often cause erratic behavior and can result in system crashes.

My personal experience with computer virus was not a pleasant one. About 2 years back, my laptop was infected with a virus – twice with the same one. My existing antivirus at that time was unable to detect the virus, but after doing some research from the internet and confirm about the threats, I end up reinstalling my Windows XP – twice, and changing my antivirus three times. Since then, I become more careful when downloading files and installing new applications from the internet.

We need to have an antivirus software to protect our computer from getting infected with viruses. Nowadays, there are a lot of good proprietary antivirus software for you to choose to install in your computer. I won’t go into the details about the proprietary software, as I don’t like to pay for the things that I can get (which is a similar one) for free. As an open source software and freeware enthusiast, I currently use one of the best free antivirus available from the internet. AVG Free Edition Antivirus http://free.grisoft.com/. It has a feature that I like the most – an automatic update of your virus definition. By having the features on, it will make sure that your computer is protected from the most recent virus threats. Honestly, AVG never disappoint me after 2 years using it.

I was once asked by my brother, why can’t we use the pirated version of the well known antivirus? I said to him yes, you can, but the antivirus will only be functioning for a few short months after the installation. After the antivirus central server detected that your copy is not genuine, the antivirus will automatically become corrupted. It happened to me once, few years back with Norton Antivirus. I installed a pirated copy of the antivirus. It runs smoothly for the first few months, but it becomes corrupted after an automatic virus definition update. During the update, they notice that my copy was not genuine.

While we are talking about the similarities, there are, of course, distinctive differences between them. But, for me, the only differences that strikes me the most is vaccines. Will there be ‘vaccines’ for computer viruses?

How can I support this website?

There are few ways where you can give your support to this website. Here are few of them:

  1. By sharing your climbing story with me. Just drop me an email to drizad(at)streamyx(dot)com. I will publish your story in this website, where everybody in this world can read it.
  2. By sharing your photo with me. Upload your travel and climbing photo to the dedicated gallery for Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com. Like one of our friend, Mr GaneshC, from Singapore did. I also made a special folder for all of his photos, so that we can see it together. Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com Gallery
  3. Yesterday I manage to set up an online store for Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com. The online store is exclusively brought to you by Amazon.com, which I am one of their affiliates. If you would like to give a support to Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com website, please feel free to shop in the store. By doing that, this website will recieve a small fee from anything that you buy from the store. And, don’t worry. Your internet transaction is safe. Amazon.com is responsible for all your transactions. Mount Kinabalu Online Store
  4. Get one or more outdoor, climbing, travel and backpacking equipment from Chitika Online store (see sidebar). You can use the Search bar on Chitika to look for things that you need.We will also get some small fee from it.
  5. Donate via PayPal or Maybank2u.com to Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com account. By donating, I will personally email you special ebook, Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com Travel E-guidebook, which is a PDF version of Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com. You can print the ebook out and bring it with you to the summit. Get the ebook

By doing one of things above, it will be easier for me to maintain this freely available resources and website for Mount Kinabalu climbers all over the world. Thank you.

13 Sabah Events to be included in Visit Malaysia Year 2007

State of Sabah has submitted 13 events for inclusion in the Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

There will be 2 anchor events, 4 major events, 2 highlight events and 5 supporting events.

The 2 anchor events are:

  1. Sabah Fest Celebration, which is Sabah’s most anticipated cultural event where rich and colourful, generations-old cultures and tradition are showcased through dance, music, song, crafts and food.
  2. 21st Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, the world toughest mountain race, which will be held on 6-7 October 2007.

The 4 major events are:

  1. Harvest Festival, on May 30-31.
  2. 22nd Sabah Dragon Boat Race on June 17.
  3. Tip of Borneo Symphony Orchestra in June.
  4. Sandakan Memorial Day in August.

The 2 highlights:

  1. 4×4 Borneo Safari for adventurers and challange seekers, from October 28 to November 4.
  2. Tamu Besar Kota Belud.

The 5 supporting events:

  1. Sabah Fishing Tournament, on May 11-13 in Kota Kinabalu.
  2. Pesta Rumbia on July 7-8 in Kuala Penyu.
  3. Semporna’s Regatta Lepa on April 21-22.
  4. Kudat’s Coconut Fest on September 7-9.
  5. Kiulu 4M Challange on December 2.

So, have you trip planner organised. You don’t want to miss the event!

Office suite replacement for your MS Office 2003 (pirated version)

I submitted this article to one of the medical practitioner monthly newsletter that is freely distributed to all the general medical practice in Malaysia – almost. This is a long post with some medical jargon. If you would like to read it, take your time. You may benefit from it.

“I bought a laptop 3 years ago. It was an Acer TravelMate that is pre-installed with Windows XP for the operating system. I use the laptop for my usual daily desktop work like email, personal planner and organizer, web browsing, word processing, spreadsheet and slide presentation. Frankly speaking, during those days, I used a pirated software to run most of my desktop work. It was very cheap and I could get it for RM5 in Petaling Street. I know it is illegal, but because of the limited of resources at that time, I have no other choice. If I were to get a genuine software, it will cost me thousands of ringgit for the license.

As time goes by, I become more and more knowledgeable on computer. Again and again, we are always warned by our government on illegal software usage and how our ministry is getting strict on any person or company who use pirated software. They can charge anybody who have and use pirated software with jail sentences. I did not want to end up in jail for this.

So, I did some Googling (it is a term for those who use Google (http://www.google.com) to look for information from the internet) for an alternative software for the expensive genuine software that I could not afford to buy. I was very surprised with what I found. There ARE alternative free software out there that does not even cost a cent, but can deliver as good as the original proprietary software. They called it Open Source Software (OSS) – softwares that are community driven, freely available and downloadable to anybody, no restriction on distributing it and if you know how to write programs, you can even modified the code, do anything with the software and even sell it. Sounds weird huh? Well, it is not in the computer world.

Let me give you an analogy to compare with our medical world, so that you will understand more: Imagine that a software as a drug. Original (proprietary) software is like an original manufactured (proprietary) drug. A pirated software is like an imitator or fake manufactured drugs without any relevant bioequivalent study. An open source software (OSS) is like a generic drug which has a reputable and trusted bioequivalent study. The only different features between the drugs and the software analogy is the cost. While generic drugs will still cost you some money, open source software (in this context) will not cost you anything. Sounds interesting eh?

Enough with the analogy. Now I would like to share with you my findings on the replacement for my Microsoft (MS) Office 2003 pirated version. It is called Open Office (http://www.openoffice.org), the latest is version 2.0. It is like a twin for MS Office, but an office suite with steroids. The downloadable package is about 93 megabytes in size, and if you use Streamyx broadband service to download the installation file, it will only take you few minutes. The package will give you a complete set of the office suite that is usually included in your MS Office 2003 – a word processor, a spreadsheet, a power point, a database, a math software and a paint program. For MS Office user, there is usually no problem with the new software. There are a lot of similarities between MS Office and Open Office. The graphical user interface (GUI) is almost same. The feature that I like most about Open Office is that it can open native MS Office files, i.e. the files with the .doc, .xls and .ppt extension files. So, it is not usually a problem if you want to import your files from MS Office to Open Office. Personally, after using Open Office for the past 6 month, I don’t think that I want to spend money on an original MS Office 2003 anymore.

Oh, remember that I said it comes with steroids? It it because Open Office Writer (same as MS Words) has a feature of generating a PDF files from any words document. MS Office do not have this feature. If you want to produce a PDF files, you will need another proprietary software like Adobe Acrobat to get the job done. As most of us know, Adobe products is not cheap. With Open Office Writer, it is free.

Next would be the Excel and PowerPoint files. Open Office Calc render my Excel files very well, and I did not have any problem on importing the files between the programs. However, I did face some problems navigating the taskbar and toolbar because of the slight differences in Open Office Calc. They just did not put the menu at the same position as Excel. I got the same experience when I shift my existing Power Point files to Open Office Presentation. It was difficult at the beginning, but it becomes easier after some training.

I know, most of us use MS Outlook to organize your email, calendar, planner and contacts. As a doctor, it is important to have a good organizer software so that you will not miss your appointment and could plan your next holiday. Yes, I agree that MS Outlook is the best choice as it also comes with your MS Office package. So, what are the alternative for my pirated copy of Outlook? The alternative for your Outlook would be Mozilla Thunderbird (http://www.mozilla.com/thunderbird). However, I have to inform you that the installer package for Thunderbird only contains email management program. You will need to download an extension for Thunderbird to get the extra features like planner and organizer so that it will be as similar as your Outlook. To do this you need to install Thunderbird first on your laptop and get the extension from Thunderbird menubar. After installing the extension, your Thunderbird will be as close as your Outlook.

You will ask me, how would I transfer all my appointment and schedule from my Outlook to Thunderbird? Don’t worry, most open source software is also proprietary software compatible. You can use ‘import’ feature in Thunderbird to get all your appointment from Outlook.

Personally, I do not like to have an email-planner-organizer-scheduler in one program. Outlook looks crowded to me. So, I decided to use Thunderbird solely for email management and download free version of EssentialPIM (http://www.essentialpim.com) to handle my calendar. Data file transferring from Outlook to EssentialPIM was also a breeze as they use the same format of files. It works more efficiently this way, as having one program to run multiple task (like Outlook) will usually use more resources and memory compared to running one small program for each task.

What about internet browsing? I know, most of us use Internet Explorer (IE) to browse the internetfor information. But, do you know that IE have several issues on security and reliability? And it is slow too? Yes, they are, and that is why I would like to share with you the best alternative for IE for your internet browser. Firefox (http://www.mozilla.com/firefox) is another open source software that gives you the best option for IE. It is fast, reliable and a lot more secure than IE. I must confess that after using Firefox for sometime, I would never ever go back to Internet Explorer.

Like everything else in medical field, there is also an exception on using Firefox. I cannot use Firefox to submit my claim to ING Employee Benefit and transmit worker information to FOMEMA. The portals are both not Firefox browser compatible. It is not that Firefox is not good, it is just that the programmer who create those two portals did not think that their programs will run in Firefox. We will have to stick on those arrangements for the time being. When you installed Firefox, don’t forget to check out their extensive number of extensions. Firefox extension is an add-on feature to your browser that could make it more useful for your daily browsing activities. From an internet browser accelerator to calories calculator, there are a lot of extensions for you to choose. You won’t get this with IE.

I think that is about it. You will now have an almost complete free office suite and desktop software to substitute your existing pirated copy of MS Office and Outlook . I must stress out that there will be some difficulties the beginning, but as time goes by and a little bit of effort on learning, you will be up and running your new software in just a few days.

So, what are you waiting for? For doctors who have been using pirated software for your laptop or PC in your clinic, it is about time to change. I don’t think you want to end up in jail. For those who have been using the original proprietary software from Microsoft, you can still try Open Office as an option. At least you can compare it with your existing expensive software. If you like it, it is good for you, but if you don’t, you can always stick with what you have.

Migrating to open source software from the proprietary counterpart is just like changing your patients proprietary drugs prescription to generics. It will always saves you money.”

Community Photo Gallery for Mount Kinabalu adventure travelers

After 6 months in absence, I managed to set up our new photo gallery for us to share our photo in this website. Now, I used a free software from 4homepages that comes with my webhosting services. It is one of the free software in Fantastico additional pack. The software is very small, less than 2MB, but it delivers a good photo gallery for you.

I did install a photo software before, but because I did not know about security at that time, I was a victim of hackers. They used the photo gallery to upload a .php files into the gallery and run a script that send spam email to more than 4000 receipients! With that, my website was also temporarily suspended by Exabytes, but after much appeal, they accept my justifications and get back my website in the net in less than 12 hours. After that, I become more careful on what software I installed in my website so that it won’t be another victim of hackers.

So, back to our photo gallery. GaneshC with his wife went to Mount Kinabalu in early August 2006 and they send me 99 photos of Mount Kinabalu that they take during the trip. It was really wet and rainy back then (you can see it from the photo that I put on the gallery). As a token of appreciation, I dedicated a folder special for his photos.

If you like your photo to be included in a special folder like GaneshC, just drop me an email and give me the title of the folder/categories. I will create one for you and you can upload your photo there.

Enjoy the photos. Oh, I also upload some of my photos!

Photo Gallery snapshot

Linux For You Magazine & Free Knoppix 5.0.1 Live DVD!

Last week, while I was window shopping in one of our local bookstore, I grabbed a magazine called “Linux For You” August Edition. I have seen the magazine for few times in that bookstore, but I was not keen to buy it then. But, when I saw it has free Knoppix 5.0.1 Live DVD, I could not resist to pick it up. It cost me about RM17, but never mind, I can claim from my yearly tax benefit.

The unique thing about this magazine is, it is publish in India. It is magazine dedicated tor linux and open source software. And, they publish it every month!. I wonder if Malaysia community have this kind of magazine.

They also give you free Live DVD! Do you know any PC or Windows magazine which gives you free Windows XP CDROM (installer?). If you can fine one, tell me and I will buy it from you! The DVD was functioning flawlessly, without any hassle and I manage to play Sudoku from the DVD!

If you would like to know more about Linux For you, this is the link;
http://www.linuxforu.com

For free Live DVD;
http://www.knoppix.org

Linux For You

Happy Independence Day for Malaysia

Today, 31st August 2006, is 49th year for Malaysia independence. So, what do you do today? As the country is getting older, I really hope whoever rule the country will give their best effort on keeping this country peaceful and harmony.

Let us be friends. War will not get us anywhere. There is much more to do with love than hate.

I would like to thank God for giving me the ability to live and serve you with this website. I am really glad that I live in Malaysia.

“Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri, lebih baik hujan batu di negeri sendiri”. It’s a Malay proverb, meaning that although there are many good things outside our own country, and less in the place where we live, it is still best to live in our own place. It might be similar to “There is no place like home”.

Selamat Hari Merdeka. Merdeka! Merdeka! Mentega!

Map to Rungus Longhouse in Kudat, Sabah

I was asked by one of our fellow traveler about the direction to the Rungus Longhouse in Kudat, nothern part (tip) of Borneo. I replied to her email with this map.

UPDATE 26 December 207: I have uploaded a Google Maps to the Longhouse HERE. Check it out!

Map to Rungus Longhouse

I know, I have a bad drawing, but this map is temporary. I will of course load up a new and digitally made for you – next time. If anyone would like to help me on producing a nice picture of the map, I would be delighted to accept.

Basically, the road to Kudat is simple. After passing Kota Belud (they called it the cowboy town), there is only one road leading north. When you arrive at the Kudat – Kota marudu junction, turn left and follow the road straight. It will take you another 35 minutes to the longhouse and 1 hour to Kudat. Most of the taxi driver & bus driver from Kota Kinabalu knows where the Longhouse is.

Enjoy your journey.

Kota Kinabalu City Map

UPDATE 5th December 2007: How to Get to Kinabalu Park HQ from Kota Kinabalu using Google Maps

I always got request from our fellow travelers on maps of Kota Kinabalu and Mount Kinabalu trail. Well, you can get the trail map from the website, but for Kota Kinabalu City map, I will show you here. I save the map from Google Earth, and this map will include:

  1. Sabah Tourism Building
  2. Wisma Sabah (where Sutera Sanctuary Lodge is)
  3. Atkinson Clock Tower
  4. Kota Kinabalu Jetty (Jesselton Point)
  5. Jesselton Hotel
  6. Gaya Street
  7. KK Plaza
  8. Wisma Merdeka (where Borneo Books 2 is)
  9. Jalan Pantai (Beach street)
  10. Wet market
  11. Filipino market
  12. HSBC & Standard Chartered Bank)
  13. Le Meridien Hotel
  14. Hyatt Regency Hotel
  15. Australia Place

Kota Kinabalu City Map

If you stay in one of the hostel that is suggested from my website, then it will be inside the map. All are the important places that is stated above is just a walking distance from where you stay.