PPSPPA (Sisa Pepejal) goverment agency uses Ubuntu in its office branches

PPSPPA or Perbandanan Pengurusan Sisa Pepejal dan Pembersihan Awam is a government agency in Malaysia that uses Ubuntu in its offices. PPSPPA has branches in every state in the Peninsular, including the HQ and training center in Putrajaya, all of it runs Ubuntu 10.04 LTS operating system.

PPSPPA Logo Sisa Pepejal

As such, PPSPPA only uses hardware which runs in Ubuntu, including printers, scanners and drawing tablets. Which is a good sign for vendors to start releasing their hardware drivers for open source operating systems.

Hopefully other government agency would follow suit and use free and open source operating system instead the one that requires millions RM of site license. It is not the license that concerns us, but it is the grip of monopoly of a single corporation has over governments and economy that is most concerning.

Rant: About Computer Sciences/IT Classroom Assignments

When I was an undergraduate (i took Computer System & data communication major), one of the assignment requirement was to design an SIC/XE (link: http://tinyurl.com/3fyxjc8) simulator machine. Basically I’ve to understand how a microcomputer works by studying the SIC machine architecture, implementing the register understanding its opcode, etc.

The final outcome was the SIC/XE simulator written in C language which I was able to come out in a few days of spending time in front of computer. I compiled it with gcc, and it happily runs all of my opcodes and instructions.

In another assignment, I (and the rest of the class) are required to study BNF about a quarter of the semester, and we had to come up with an assembler for that particular simulator. Basically we have to create a fully working/executable assembler that spits out object code to be executed with the SIC/XE Simulator.

In short, we have to built a working computer simulator, and an assembler to enables programmer to write a program and executes it on that particular simulator in a course of one semester, and to me.. it is still a lightweight.

oh yeah, in another assignment I was tasked to write my own substitution/transposition cipher and integrates it with Java JCE and its cracker based on differential analysis. of course it only represent only 10% of the whole marks of the course.

And when we spoke about multimedia, we really mean about drawing a straight line in 3-d space by using spatial drawing algorithm and how to use OpenGL (in C) effectively to generate a computer representation of whatever object that the lecturer had just shown us. and the object must be interactive and must be accompanied with sound effect (thanks to libSDL – http://libsdl.org/ ).

Knowledge of actual physics and linear algebra, advanced calculus and numerical methods are a must, because you won’t be able to create a body in 3D space without those math shits. advance calculus helps you with handling the volume of the model. linear algebra, well.. helps you to get the model aligned within 3d space, vector and physics helps you to get around the environment within opengl without looking like a complete idiot.because you need to code stuffs in lines of C first without the benefits of seeing the output in a WYSIWYG environment until the point of compilation and running the actual code.

Kids nowadays grumble when they got an assignment that *only* requires them to use Java/PHP language to create a part of login system which implements basic (built-in!) hashing, which to me is completely doable under 15minutes with the benefit of the internet and free codes lying around.

Moreover there are several cases of Final Year Degree Project (FYP) that only requires a student to put together a mobile based web registration system using XHTML (and probably with PHP as the back-end) — they complained that the task was damn “too hard”….. which in my opinion is not suiteable at all to be a degree-level FYP (and it can be completely done under one week!)

Well, back in my days, those FYP examples aren’t even qualified for a class project that worth more than 5% of the semesters’ grade and those who aren’t capable in interpreting TCP/UDP packets or those who are not been able to do network programming will be having hard time graduating from the degree program (duh, its about Data Communication!)

Is the standards going down?

Malaysian Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) Release Party

Great news! Ubuntu-my Loco team is organizing the Lucid Lynx release party in Petaling Jaya! Details as follows:

Ubuntu Logo

Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Release Party details:

  • Date: 22nd May 2010
  • Time: 8pm – 10pm
  • Venue: Fly Bar, B.G 20 8 Avenue, Jln Sg Jernih 8/1, Seksyen 8, 46050 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Ubuntu Logo

Questions and Contributions
Any party who would like to contribute towards this community meeting may contact:

Khairul Aizat KAmarudzzaman
Position in Ubuntu-my : Ubuntu-my Team Leader
E-mail : fenris@ubuntu.com or mohdfenris@gmail.com

How to use Celcom Broadband Prepaid on Ubuntu Linux

Here’s how to use the latest Celcom offering – Celcom Broadband Prepaid on Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution. As its name implies, Celcom Broadband Prepaid works in a prepaid basis, using the following plan: RM 6 /day or RM20/week of unlimited internet use.

Celcom Broadband Prepaid

This guide assumes you use Huawei E160* or E220 series 3G modem.

First, plug-in the 3G modem to USB connector. After a while, a dialog will appear :

Ubuntu Wizard : Celcom Broadband

Press next, you will see a list of local broadband service provider. Select “Celcom”.

Ubuntu Wizard :Service Provider Selections

The dialog will close after you click “Forward”. However for Celcom Broadband Prepaid to work, you need to change the APN to “celcom3g”, and PIN to “1234”

To do that, you need to right click on the network connection icon, and select “Edit Connections”:

Edit Connections - Network Manager

Then change the APN value to “celcom3g” and set the PIN to “1234”.

Network Manager - Celcom Broadband 3G Prepaid Setup

Sending SMS to subscribe Celcom Prepaid Broadband
Users of Celcom Broadband Prepaid would know that they need to send SMS containing the message “Broadband Daily” or “Broadband Weekly” to 28882 to activate their internet subscription.

In order to do that in Ubuntu GNU/Linux, you need to install ‘gammu’ package from Synaptic Package Manager. ‘gammu’ allows you to send SMS using your Huawei 3G Modem, and it works sweetly with Celcom Broadband Prepaid.

Using ‘gedit’ or your favorite text editor, create ~/.gammurc config file containing these information :
[python]
[gammu]
port = /dev/ttyUSB0
model =
connection = at19200
synchronizetime = yes
logfile = gammu.log
logformat = textall
use_locking =
gammuloc =
[/python]

To send SMS, you need to open the terminal application and type “gammu sendsms text 28882”, it should look like this :
[python]
$ gammu sendsms text 28882
Enter message text and press ^D:
Broadband weekly
If you want break, press Ctrl+C…
Sending SMS 1/1….waiting for network answer..OK, message reference=33
[/python]

Note: “Broadband weekly” for subscribing Celcom Broadband Prepaid at RM20/week.

Then send another SMS, execute “gammu sendsms text 28882” :
[python]
$ gammu sendsms text 28882
Enter message text and press ^D:
Broadband Yes
If you want break, press Ctrl+C…
Sending SMS 1/1….waiting for network answer..OK, message reference=33
[/python]

Send “Broadband Yes”, to confirm your subscription. You can then enjoy the Celcom Broadband Prepaid right from your Ubuntu Desktop ! No need to depend on Microsoft Windows based “Mobile Partner” or Vodafone striped-down application to connect to the internet!

To read sms from your Celcom Broadband Prepaid SIM card, type “gammu getsms folder 1 15” and you will see a list of SMS received in your SIM card inbox memory.
[python]
$ gammu getsms folder 1 10
Location 1, folder “Inbox”, SIM memory, Inbox folder
SMS message
SMSC number : “+60193900000”
Sent : Sun 05 Jul 2009 06:48:50 PM +0800
Coding : Default GSM alphabet (no compression)
Remote number : “28882”
Status : Read

Enjoy 24hrs of unlimited usage @ only RM6. To confirm yr subscription, type Broadband Yes & send to 28882. RM6 will be charged to yr account upon confirmation.

Location 2, folder “Inbox”, SIM memory, Inbox folder
SMS message
SMSC number : “+60193900000”
Sent : Sat 19 Sep 2009 04:01:24 PM +0800
Coding : Default GSM alphabet (no compression)
Remote number : “28882”
Status : UnRead

Enjoy 7days of unlimited usage @ only RM20.To confirm yr subscription, type Broadband Yes & send to 28882.RM20 will be charged to yr account upon confirmation.
[/python]

Happy surfing !