Friday, 22 June 2012

Pulau Pinang

I didn't have electricity for 2 hours (9.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.) this morning, so I went out into my garden to re-pot my collection of cacti which my son obtained for me from his friends' mothers' collections. Now I'm a part-time cactus collector but almost all my cacti have shrivelled and 'died'. My son is away at work in KL. I will need to inform him when he returns that the cacti don't like me and therefore they all died. 

As I was re-potting the cacti, my water pump worked - which signified my electricity supply is functioning alright. I left all the cacti outside, ran inside, locked the kitchen door, called out to everyone to tell them that electricity is back but nobody responded - everyone went back to sleep. I ate half an Indian manggo and drank half a tumbler of kopi mahkota, and got down to writing this post.

My laptop had very little battery left and I waited a while for it to re-charge a bit. Now I can write before the TNB repair men get back to work after solat Jumaat. I have 2 hours of online work - I'm also doing my official USM work online after hours because I have a problem with the programming for MOODLE which we use for the e-learning module, mostly problems arising from incompatibility when we upgrade to the more recent release of MOODLE. I have to work on it because USM has an offshore medic program in Belgaum, India and the students and lecturers there use the same resources which I host online for everyone. I have others who help me but I have to do the major bit of troubleshooting myself. So I practically work 24/7 and 52/52. MOODLE is in PHP and runs on Apache. This is where the major brunt of my IT work is: I teach medical biochemistry and clinical biochemistry (chemical pathology) for classroom teaching (face-to-face) and small group teaching (for patient cases). Teaching nowadays is unlike what it was long ago. Now we use a lot of IT for teaching. All our lecture notes go up online as PDF files and also PPT. I have yet to create other forms which can be uploaded and retrieved by students. MQA also requires e-learning as part of course offerings before they will approve. Because all world-class universities are IT-driven, USM is also a world-class university and uses a lot of IT. I started the IT work for USM, first for its hospital as far back as 1983, then I worked on IT for its medical school since 1997. I am only responsible for USM medical school for another 6 years, then it is compulsory retirement. Then it is back to the cacti I suppose.

My sister SMS a while ago about an article which is important to the Malay people.

I missed this important article which came out in Berita Harian on 18 June 2012:

My late dad told me that he was the 9th generation of Nakhoda Nan Intan  - the man mentioned in the Berita Harian article above. I don't feel thrilled because I think the issue of land ownership has long been ignored by all the relevant authorities. The cries of the original landowners and their descendants have all fallen on deaf ears since the colonials came to plunder - all of them in fact. I have only spoken to Murad cos he called me. Many of the descendants are in Facebook, add Datuk Jenaton. Datuk Jenaton was the younger brother-in-law of Nakhoda Nan Intan. I have written briefly about Nakhoda Nan Intan at my family blog (262 Banda Hilir). I'm just not thrilled when it comes to land ownership. I'm only thrilled when it comes to to get to know people, nothing more than that. You can be the richest guy on earth and it won't move me. I will still lick my ice-cream from Pasar Segar. It's only RM1 a stick (it is called ais potong).