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.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Journey to Negeri Sembilan... A night visit to the tomb of Raja Melewar before the journey is closed

OK... Continuing from Journey to Negeri Sembilan. On to Kuala Klawang and what's around... After we're done in Kuala Klawang, it's time to head for Seremban where our next destination lies...

In between Kuala Klawang and Seremban, we stopped at a small town called Pantai for a late lunch... A very late lunch. The time then was over 4pm and our stomach was really growling...

Right in front of the stall where we stopped at, there's this rather interesting mosque and so we decided to have a look. A few pictures of it were posted in the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) , under the article Masjid (mosque of) Pantai, Negeri Sembilan...

The journey then continues... Upon entering the outskirts of Seremban, we saw these rather curious monuments pointing the way to a certain place. So we stopped and paid a visit. More pictures were posted in the blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU under the title Funfair ke alam barzakh? ...

Not far down the road, we saw this mosque. We stopped here to take a shower... Our bodies then felt very sticky from all the sweat accumulated from all the travel during the day. Besides we haven't done our daylight prayers...

Soon enough, we arrived at our intended destination in Seremban... That of the tomb of a venerable religious scholar said to be a saint known as Sheikh Muhammad Said al-Linggi. For the story, read the article Makam (tomb of) Sheikh Muhammad Said Linggi in the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) ...

We left Seremban at around 6pm or so and rushed to our destination somewhere in Rembau. We thought we could reach it before dusk as the town of Rembau should be around 30km away from Seremban...

Then again, we forgot to factor in the traffic. Besides, although our destination do lie in the district of Rembau, it is still some 20km further away from the town of Rembau. So if the scene in the picture taken upon arriving at the town looked dark enough, imagine how it looks like when we finally got to the place!

Here it is, our next destination and the last for the day, in fact the last for this trip to Negeri Sembilan... At least we arrived there safely, that is at the tomb of Raja Melewar despite not knowing it's actually location, relying only on the sign-boards showing the way and asking the locals for direction...

So who is Raja Melewar? Do have a look at the relevant posting in the blogspot SENI LAMA MELAYU (MALAY OLDEN ART) , under the name Ziarah ke makam Raja Melewar waktu malam (Visit to the tomb of Raja Melewar at night!)

For the record, I've visited many tombs at night and alone too, whenever I feel like it. But this is the first time ever I decided to take pictures in the dark... In fact there's video clips on it, to be posted in the blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU soon after completing this article... Do have a look and relish visiting the tomb of an olden king in the darkness!

Somewhere not far from the tomb, we stopped at a mosque for the night prayers. Then off we went heading back to Kuala Lumpur... On the way we saw this signboard... Decided to snap a picture because of the funny way the word "Bongek" sounds. That's all ya... Cheers! :]

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! :]

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Video at the tomb of Moyang Salleh, testing...

This is a video taken at the tomb of Moyang Salleh on Sunday 18th May 2008, an important olden personality of the state of Negeri Sembilan, to be exact in the mid 18th Century AD. The same video was uploaded in the latest posting at my Malay language blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU 2 hours ago... But yet after almost one hour taken to load and process the 40 MB AVI format video, I found some problems including much delay in buffering for play when the posting have been published...

Perhaps it's a matter of time before the problem correct itself... Perhaps. But I'm not taking any chance... After all the trouble travelling and making the video, then having to change the format and then cutting it out of the original video (it used to be part of 92 MB AVI file which originated from a 920MB + DVD MPEG video!), I want it to appear right for the blogspot.

So I tried to make another upload... And thus another hour spent for the effort. First, I want to test it by publishing it here... If it fares better, than I'm going to slot this one in to replace the one I posted earlier in CATATAN SI MERAH SILU .

Whatever, it's good to have a video clip here too although in Malay. So apart from for testing, let it make a permanent posting in this blogspot. Here goes nothing... :]

p/s: Yes... I've posted it just about 5 minutes ago and tested the video. It works... Yes... Except there's a slight disalignment between the visuals and the audio, perhaps a result of the video clipping done last night to partition the original much larger video clip. Never mind, as long as it works... Cheers! :]