Category Archives: General

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.

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

Mount Kinabalu Exclusive Travel E-Guidebook

I was moved by one of our fellow adventure travelers who asked me to be more ‘physical’ on the information that I give on my website. So, after struggling for about 2 weeks studying how to create a PDF, I manage to make my website physical. A PDF for those who want to have something to print out and bring it with you on the journey.

Unfortunately, I could not give the PDF free, as there are cost incurred during the making of the PDF and to maintain a free Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com website. So, despite selling the ebook (I don’t feel it is appropriate), I will give you the ebook with only a small donations. Your donations will make the website alive and freely available for other new mountain climbers and adventure travelers like you.

You can get the instruction of the ebook here.

Mount Kinabalu Ebook

Airasia, MAS and flyasianxpress (FAX)

Not a very good news for us – I think.

Do you know that MAS has scrapped their flight from Kota Kinabalu to Johor Baharu? Only Airasia fly that route currently. I don’t think that is a good move by MAS as a national carier. I won’t have a choice to take the flight back to Muar (my home town) but to take Airasia. I like Airasia because of the price, but I like MAS for the services.

For your information, the Kota Kinabalu airport (Terminal 2) is currently under heavy renovations. The condition is also worsen as flyasianxpress also functioning from that airport. The last time I went to the airport, it was very very crowded, noisy with the construction work and dust from the surrounding piling places. You will agree with me when you arrive in Kota Kinabalu Terminal 2.

For flyasianxpress, congratulations for your new services for the people of Borneo. I heard that the pilot for FAX were ‘loaned’ from previous MAS services. Well, at least the MAS pilot still have a choice. But pity for the lower category of staff and the ground staff for MAS. With their company resructuring, a lot of them lost their job.

I am really not agreeable with their move and scrapping flights from KK to JB is the most that I DISAGREE!!!!!!

What is RSS and how do I use it?

RSS video presentation in Simple English

If you’re still unsure about RSS, watch this video. It explains RSS in really simple English that anyone can understand. Even if you do know how to use RSS by now, I still recommend watching it. It’s pretty interesting and fun to watch 🙂

So, now you know what it’s all about, subscribe to my feed!
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New airline service the Borneo Island – FlyAsianXpress

I read the local newspaper today, The Borneo Post and found out that there is a new airline coming up to service the public, especially for people in the Island of Borneo. FlyAsianXpress is appointed by AirAsia Bhd as a sub-contractor to handle turboprop operations, which previously handled the rural air services in Sabah and Sarawak. Just like AirAsia’s tagline ‘Now everyone can fly’, those living in remote areas in Sabah and Sarawak can start ‘flying’ from 1 Aug 2006.

They will be using lower capacity propeller aircraft such as the Fokker 50 (50 seats) and Twin Otters (19 seats).

So, for those who like to fly around the smaller cities that they service like Kudat (The Tip of Borneo), Lahad Datu, Sandakan (Sukau and orang utan) and Tawau, you can try their services. www.flyasianxpress.com. Oh yes, they fly most of Sarawak interior village also!

My advice is: Do not confused with the fare that they wrote on the website. The fare does not include the airport tax and fuel surcharge. So, if it says RM9.99, it is just the tickets. And, as it is similar to AirAsia, its free seating!

Simple step-by-step guide to the summit of Borneo

I always received emails from my fellow mountaineers about how to plan and budget their trip to the summit of Borneo. After few months collecting informations, I can summarized the guide for you to follow. First, do some homework. Decide on few of these things:

  1. How many people are going for the climb? How many adults and children? Children may have a different rate and fee for the climb.
  2. How many days are you going for the climb? You can choose either a 3D2N or 2D1N climbing package. This is important for you to decide, because for both of the packages will involve different places to stay and totally differrent transport arrangement.
  3. What is your budget range for the trip? I mean, what type of place would you like to stay in? Hostel or hotel? If you are going to climb Mount Kinabalu as a family, it might be wise for you to choose backpackers or travelers lodge.

Second, proceed to the booking of the place to stay during the climb with Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (Kinabalu Park HQ and Laban Rata).

  1. If you choose to spend 3D2N for the climb, then book a place to stay in Kinabalu Park HQ on the first night and Laban Rata on the second night.
  2. If you choose to spend only 2D1N, you just have to book a place in Laban Rata for the second night. You have to choose wether to stay in Kota Kinabalu or Kundasang on the first night.

Third, find a place to stay in Kota Kinabalu for your convenience before and after the climb, regardless of which climbing package that you planned for.

Fourth, buy your airline tickets for the trip. If you are an international traveler, make sure you come to Kota Kinabalu via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Then you will have to choose between AirAsia or Malaysia Airline System (MAS) to get to Kota Kinabalu.

Fifth, prepare your body for the vigorous activity. Do some exercise, at least 20 minutes of jogging, swimming or any cardio activity daily, 3 times a week. Be fit at least a month before the climb.

Sixth, prepare your climbing equipment. There are no specialize equipment to climb Mount Kinabalu, but by preparing early, it will make your climbing smooth.

Seventh, for transport to Kinabalu Park from Kota Kinabalu. This particular steps is a bit difficult to pre-planned, as it is a bit difficult to book a public transport before you go. It is either book it with a travel operator, or let it be until you come to Kota Kinabalu.

There are a lot of climbing options provided by the travel operator for you on the net However, none of them provide you with this kind of information. They might loose a lot of their clients if they tell you this D-I-Y climbing package.

Oh, please remember that there are differences between Malaysian and non-Malaysian for the rate and fees for the climb. Just clarify with Sutera Sanctuary Lodges and Sabah Park.

Our Visitors Valued Comments

Only after about 4 months in the world wide web (internet), a lot of visitors who found my website give a very impressive comments about Mount Kinabalu Borneo.com. I just like to share with you their comments:

Very useful and inspiring site, THANK YOU! – Jeela Goldberry

Well done! This is a very good website about Mt. Kinabalu.. – wwaiyong

Hi there… have enjoyed reading on your website… – Rose Trimboli

…has introduced us to look into your creation this informative site. Thank you for your hard work (i believe it is not hard if you find enjoyment in it) and thank you indeed for promoting our Borneo Backpackers. – Susan Soong

Wow this is definitely a good site. I am going to KK in beginning of May to climb Mt. Kinabalu with my colleagues and friends… – Liza Lee

Thanks for your website and this is really informative And best wish to me to climb till the summit !! (which don\’t have confident at all ! ) Thanks and best wishes to you as well … with all the hard work of setting up the website. – Siew Fang

Thanks alot for your information. Glad that I have found this website and managed to get answers from you. It helps alot. I hope that this website will be kept alive for a long time as it contains all the info needed. Thank you once again and keep up the good work. Take care and all the best for you. – Chai Ming

Hey… I have really appreciated your information!!! My wife and I are doing the Kinabalu climb on May 2nd… I hope we have GREAT weather! All the best – Al Ronberg

With all the positive response from you, I will definitely going to improve my website, adding on some new feature to the website, Travel Ebook and all recent news is about Mount Kinabalu and the climb.

For the next few months, my next sister project would be about Rungus Longhouse Homestay. It would be a very suitable activity for you, after climbing down from the mountain (post-climbing). One of the longhouse is currently under massive development in Tanjung Sempang Mengayau-at the tip of Borneo. So, if you want to spend few nights in one of the best Rungus Longhouse around, check out our page for Maranjak Homestay – A Rungus Longhouse Experience.

At the meantime, you can always share with me your opinions, comments and suggestions. It will really help me improve.