This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The computers which have shaped my life!

Greetings... I wish I could do a longer piece but as it is, I've spent nearly 6 hours at a Cyber-Cafe in Kajang staring at the computer screen as I made updates for my blogspots, mainly in CATATAN SI MERAH SILU and SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) . By the time I wrote this particular sentence, it's already 5.17 am... Anyway, I need to make a certain tribute here... So here goes whatever juice that's left! :]

This is a Sinclair ZX81 computer made in the United Kingdom in 1981. It is one of the earliest home computers in the world and has a processor speed of 3.5 MHz and a RAM memory of 1K with add-on 16 K...

Compare that with today's computers with an average speed of 2 GHz and onboard memory of 2 GB... Compare today's ease of using hard-drives and thumb-drive for keeping and moving data to that time then when one needs to use cassetes and cassete players (now practically extinct) for the same job and easily risk losing programmes and having the system crash in the process! Oh, for the monitor, one have to plug a connection into a regular television. So there!

An uncle of mine bought this old computer in the UK and brought it back to Malaysia in 1982. I was then 12 with no idea such a thing exist until then... Still, using the computer and the manuals along with computer magazines available, I taught myself how to programme in BASIC and a bit of machine languange... Without the help of an assembler program with plenty of risk having the programmes and machine crash due to the limitations imposed then.

A few nights ago, that is 25 years later, I found the old computer under a bed in a family home. This lead to some nostalgia making me take a photo of it alongside a bottle of Zam Zam hair oil, to give some idea how small the computer is (about 6 inches across!)...

This lead to the posting titled Komputer Sinclair ZX81... Satu kenangan lama 25 tahun lalu! made in the blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU a day ago. Might as well share some of the thoughts here too...

This is a TwinHead 12 D laptop with a 12.1 inch wide screen and processor speed of 1.73 GHz. A dear girlfriend bought it for me in 2004 or 2005 (can't remember exactly), after finding out that my earlier laptop went out of action due to a serious problem.

I've never done any programming on this computer... In fact I haven't done any programming on any computer for close to 20 years! On the other hand, I used it more for writing. The result, I managed to write, design and publish 3 novels on my own, my first ever books all under the "Berpetualang ke Aceh" (literally translated as "the adventurous travel to Aceh") series with sub-titles "Mencari Diri dan Erti" ("In search of self and meaning"), "Membela Syiar yang Asal" ("Advocating the true faith), and "Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?" (The prodigal son returns?).

The books were respectively publised in June 2006, May 2007 and November 2007. Glad to say, despite the Malaysian book scene favouring more commercial and light materials, the series which goes against the grain of popular culture while exposing some untold unofficial Malay history against the Western Orientalist version of things, coupled with real-life spiritually-tinged experiences managed to garner quite a following... In fact some say it has already achieved an underground cult following status of sorts!

Now this laptop have been having some problems and has so far cost me more than RM1000 to fix... Maybe due to all the punishment imposed on it as most of time for the last 3 years I took it along my travels all over Peninsular Malaysia including forays into jungles and climbing up mountains? Starting about a week ago, the monitor refused to show any visuals. So sad to say but perhaps timely, after buying a new model laptop a few days ago, I decided to officially put the TwinHead 12D into retirement yesterday.

A rather lengthy story about it was written earlier today in the blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU , under the title Komputer laptop TwinHead 12D hadiah daripada Nur. Mengenang jasa besarnya pada saya... . Same with the piece on the ZX81 above, I might as well share some the thoughts on the TwinHead here too, to cap a certain stage in my life... That's all! :]

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