Seagate Technology To Acquire Maxtor Corporation

Scotts Valley, CA, and Milpitas, CA, December 21, 2005: Seagate (NYSE: STX) and Maxtor (NYSE: MXO) today jointly announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Seagate will acquire Maxtor in an all stock transaction.

Read more about it here: http://www.seagatemaxtor.com/

Quantum was acquired by Maxtor, now Maxtor acquired by Seagate. I still have a Quantum Fireball on my old desktop… 😉

*Thanks to Azidin for updating me with this story.

In an another area, Macromedia has been acquired by Adobe. Go to http://www.macromedia.com/ and you’ll see Adobe – formerly Macromedia.

Read more about it here: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/acquisition.html

And… uh oh.. Happy New Year!!! My new year resolution is to stop smoking, but the damn nicorette gum gave me a sore throat!!! 🙁

Encode AMR to MP3

Nowadays I have a habit of recording my phone conversations through my k750i. The problem is that the files are saved in AMR format and my PC can’t play it.

Googling around reveals that AMR files can be converted to WAV and MP3, so I created a shell script to do this for me.

Prerequisites:

  1. AMR encoder/decoder – http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/2003-09/Rel-5/26_series/26104-520.zip
  2. sox
  3. lame (to encode mp3. If all you need is wave format, you don’t need lame and you can just change the script up to when it creates a wave)

Before you compile the AMR decoder/encoder, make the following changes:

  • Remove all occurences of -DETSI in the Makefile
  • Add #include “sp_dec.h” in decoder.c

That’s it. All you have to do is compile it normally. (Otherwise you will get segfault when running the binary)

Now the final part, the script I created (or you can download it here):

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#!/bin/bash
 
#
# Script to convert .amr to .mp3
#
# by Ady Romantika (ady at romantika dot name) https://blog.adyromantika.com/
# December 2005
#
# Needs:
# 1. amr encoder/decoder http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/2003-09/Rel-5/26_series/26104-520.zip
#	(to decode amr)
# 2. sox
#	(to convert raw file to wave)
# 3. lame
#	(to convert wave to mp3)
#
# Usage: amr2mp3.sh <inputfile>
#
# Warning: overwrites previous outfile
#
 
# Change this to where you place your decoder
CODECLOCATION=/opt/amrcodec
# Set to 1 to delete intermediate raw and wav files
DELINTERMEDIATEFILES=1
 
INFILE=$1
FILENAME=`echo $INFILE | sed -e "s/.amr//"`
SOX=`which sox`
LAME=`which lame`
 
# Check prerequisites
if [ x${SOX} == 'x' ];
then
	echo I cannot find sox. Are you sure it is installed and in your PATH?
	exit
fi
 
if [ x${LAME} == 'x' ];
then
	echo I cannot find lame. Are you sure it is installed and in your PATH?
	exit
fi
 
# Check for arguments
 
if [ x${INFILE} == 'x' ];
then
	echo I need filename as argument
	exit
fi
 
# Check for input file
 
if [ -e $INFILE ];
then
	echo Found input file $INFILE
else
	echo Input file $INFILE not found, exiting
	exit;
fi
 
# Start conversion
 
echo "Converting AMR to WAV ($1 to ${FILENAME}.mp3)"
 
$CODECLOCATION/decoder $INFILE $FILENAME.raw 
 
$SOX -r 8000 -w -c 1 -s $FILENAME.raw -r 16000 -w -c 1 $FILENAME.wav 
 
$LAME $FILENAME.wav $FILENAME.mp3 --silent --tt $FILENAME --tl AMR --ty `date +%y`
 
# Delete intermediate files if needed
if [ $DELINTERMEDIATEFILES == 1 ];
then
	echo Deleting raw and wave files. Keeping original amr.
	rm $FILENAME.raw $FILENAME.wav
fi
 
if [ -e ${FILENAME}.mp3 ];
then
	echo File succesfully created
else
	echo File creation failed.
fi
 
echo Done!
</inputfile>

Credits:

  1. http://www.aquarionics.com/article/name/How_to_convert_AMR_files_to_MP3
  2. http://xa.bi/mms/

A sample file: besok.mp3

BI Marketing

Last Friday a company called BI Marketing called my home number twice, asking for the address for them to send free magazine. I told them I am not interested.

Today, I received another phone call at the office – from the same people asking my address for them to send free health and car magazine. I am trying to find out where the hell did they get my numbers. If anyone else get the same calls, do let me know.

Weirdly enough they don’t have my mobile number. This is a privacy violation!!! The next time they call I am going to make a police report. Somebody is selling our private information.

Pelajar MMU juga mahu skrol bentuk kertas

Today there’s one entry in the Utusan Malaysia forum, entitled Pelajar MMU juga mahu skrol bentuk kertas:

Saudara Pengarang,
SAYA pelajar tahun akhir Multimedia Universiti (MMU) ingin menyuarakan kebimbangan saya kerana MMU tidak menganugerahkan skrol berbentuk kertas, tetapi berbentuk CD.

Apa yang membimbangkan ialah apabila saya memohon jawatan di Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam (SPA) kelak sudah tentu saya akan melalui proses temu duga terlebih dahulu. Ini pasti menyukarkan untuk pihak yang menemuduga saya melihat kelayakan ijazah saya.

Saya faham MMU melaksanakan konsep `tanpa kertas’ tetapi saya cadangkan MMU beri dua skrol, kertas dan CD. Saya amat berharap Presiden MMU, Prof Datuk Dr. Ghauth Jasmon memahami keadaan pelajar apabila melalui proses temu duga.

Untuk mengepos ijazah (salinan) kepada pihak korporat bagi memohon jawatan secara pos pun amat sukar kerana skrol adalah berbentuk CD.

Untuk dipamerkan ijazah di rumah pun tidak boleh kerana skrol berbentuk CD. Jikalau CD calar atau rosak, sudah tentu ini akan menyebabkan kelayakan saya tidak dapat dilihat lagi.

Saya berharap Presiden MMU dapat memberi maklum balas mengenai kebimbangan saya ini. – PELAJAR, Ampang, Selangor.

Simply translated, the final year student is expressing his fears and is complaining that MMU is only giving away graduation scrolls as CDs (Compact Discs). My oh my. Did he ever tried to ask the student affairs first?

Yes, MMU has been awarding graduates with digital scrolls, as well as paper scrolls since the first convocation.

I know there must be a lot other things that are below student expectations and satisfactions, but the final year student does not know this is just simply idiotic. And the person approving the letter to be published is not that great either. 😉 Especially since the editors never want to publish the REAL complaints!!

I know, there’s a lot of bad things in the ‘TM University’ as I was there since 1998 and had my convocation this year – 6th convocation.

My advice to the student – at least do a research before complaining. 

=== 

Apa yang membimbangkan ialah apabila saya memohon jawatan di Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam (SPA) kelak sudah tentu saya akan melalui proses temu duga terlebih dahulu. Ini pasti menyukarkan untuk pihak yang menemuduga saya melihat kelayakan ijazah saya. Takkan SPA tak ada komputer kot?

Saya faham MMU melaksanakan konsep `tanpa kertas’ tetapi saya cadangkan MMU beri dua skrol, kertas dan CD. Saya amat berharap Presiden MMU, Prof Datuk Dr. Ghauth Jasmon memahami keadaan pelajar apabila melalui proses temu duga. Cadangkan? Memang dah macam tu dik!

Untuk mengepos ijazah (salinan) kepada pihak korporat bagi memohon jawatan secara pos pun amat sukar kerana skrol adalah berbentuk CD. Susah apa, burn je CD.

Untuk dipamerkan ijazah di rumah pun tidak boleh kerana skrol berbentuk CD. Jikalau CD calar atau rosak, sudah tentu ini akan menyebabkan kelayakan saya tidak dapat dilihat lagi. Habis kertas tu tak jadi pudar ke kalau kena cahaya tiap-tiap hari?

Kepada pelajar ni, jangan la ambil hati sekiranya anda membaca ni. Cuma perlu la selidik dulu sebelum membuat aduan di media massa. Bukan apa, MMU pun memang banyak benda tak baik. Tapi kalau kita pegang skrol MMU, dan orang tak pandang skrol kita tu, apa jadi dengan nilai skrol tu? Fikirkanlah… 

 

Prime Minister’s wife dies

Malaysia was shocked by the news of the departure of the First Lady, Datin Seri Endon Mahmood. She passed away at 7.55am this morning because of breast cancer. All of Malaysia would like to express condolences to the Prime Minister and family.

Sad day for Malaysia, indeed. 

Read more about it at The Star Online

 

 

I want one!

Lately I have an eye for SE phones… Sony Ericsson k750i, or Sony Ericsson W800. These two siblings are the exact same hardware, with difference in the software (and perhaps some accessories). W800 can behave like a Walkman, without switching the phone on. Tres cool!

W800 is great but looks kind of funky, and k750i looks professional. I am unsure which one I like better. For sure, W800 costs ~RM200.00 more.

Naah not gonna buy any of them. I just like them. 😉 Not the time yet.

sonyericsson-k750.gifsonyericsson-w800-00.jpg

 

Nov 2 will not be a public holiday

Well it looks like 2nd November will not be a public holiday. Many were expecting this.

Excerpt from The Star:

"KUALA LUMPUR: The Government does not plan to declare Nov 2 a public holiday. 

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said it would be too costly for the private sector to pay their employees to work on that day."

Read the original news here

Excerpt from Utusan Malaysia Online:

"Sementara itu, Presiden Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Agensi Pekerjaan Swasta Malaysia, Datuk Baharom Abdul Ghani berkata, rakyat negara ini tidak sepatut hanya berfikir tentang cuti umum yang kini terlampau banyak.

Beliau berkata, kakitangan yang terpaksa kerja pada hari tersebut perlu melaksanakan tanggungjawab mereka bagi memastikan sistem penyampaian terlaksana.

“Saya tidak setuju (berikan cuti umum) kerana kerajaan telah melaksanakan kerja lima hari seminggu, kalau asyik cuti umum bila hendak fikir fasal kerja.

Gaji pula hendak 13 bulan setahun, cuti tahun banyak ambil, tidak payah lagi cuti umum,” katanya."

Read the original news here

The bold text is the best part. 😉 Translation: When it comes to salary you demand 13 months per year, no need to add more public holidays.

Very pedas indeed. It’s true. Government servants have enjoyed 13 month’s worth of salary per year and yet they failed to provide better service to the public. If you don’t like a private service, you can stop using them. But this case, you’ll still have to pay tax. Hmm…

Zakat!

Nowadays, there’s a lot of programmes in TV showing how poor citizens suffer. I wonder what the government have been doing with the BaitulMal money?

Here’s the total collection for September, taken from the Pusat Pungutan Zakat Wilayah Persekutuan website: 

zakat-wilayah-sept.png 

Hmmm… 8 million. Maybe PPZ officers need to go out, and not just rely on applications from poor citizens. Sometimes the old ladies taking care of 7 grandchildrens are not educated at all to know that such funds exist.

Ramadhan Is Here

Ramadhan is here again. Here’s an output from iprayertime for my township area (Putra Permai). Please take note that these are calculated by a software and may not be accurate. Provided only as a rough guide.

Additionally I have created a web-based generator at my home server: http://ady.homelinux.net (However I can’t guarantee that the server will be on 24 hrs, sorry)

(Debian users: apt-get install itools)

Prayer schedule for,
 City             : Putra Permai
 Latitude         : 002 59' 17 N
 Longitude        : 101 40' 25 E
 Angle Method     : Umm Al-Qurra University
 TimeZone         : UTC+8.0
 Qibla            : 067 23' 17 W of true North

     Date         Fajr    Shorooq   Zuhr     Asr    Maghrib   Isha
--------------------------------------------------------------------
 [05-10-2005]     5:46     6:59    13:02    16:14    19:04    20:34
 [06-10-2005]     5:46     6:59    13:01    16:14    19:04    20:34
 [07-10-2005]     5:46     6:59    13:01    16:14    19:03    20:33
 [08-10-2005]     5:46     6:58    13:01    16:14    19:03    20:33
 [09-10-2005]     5:45     6:58    13:01    16:14    19:03    20:33
 [10-10-2005]     5:45     6:58    13:00    16:15    19:02    20:32
 [11-10-2005]     5:45     6:58    13:00    16:15    19:02    20:32
 [12-10-2005]     5:45     6:58    13:00    16:15    19:01    20:31
 [13-10-2005]     5:44     6:57    13:00    16:15    19:01    20:31
 [14-10-2005]     5:44     6:57    12:59    16:15    19:01    20:31
 [15-10-2005]     5:44     6:57    12:59    16:15    19:01    20:31
 [16-10-2005]     5:44     6:57    12:59    16:15    19:00    20:30
 [17-10-2005]     5:44     6:57    12:59    16:16    19:00    20:30
 [18-10-2005]     5:43     6:57    12:58    16:16    19:00    20:30
 [19-10-2005]     5:43     6:57    12:58    16:16    18:59    20:29
 [20-10-2005]     5:43     6:57    12:58    16:16    18:59    20:29
 [21-10-2005]     5:43     6:56    12:58    16:16    18:59    20:29
 [22-10-2005]     5:43     6:56    12:58    16:16    18:59    20:29
 [23-10-2005]     5:43     6:56    12:58    16:16    18:59    20:29
 [24-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:58    16:17    18:58    20:28
 [25-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:17    18:58    20:28
 [26-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:17    18:58    20:28
 [27-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:17    18:58    20:28
 [28-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:17    18:58    20:28
 [29-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:17    18:57    20:27
 [30-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:17    18:57    20:27
 [31-10-2005]     5:42     6:56    12:57    16:18    18:57    20:27
 [01-11-2005]     5:41     6:56    12:57    16:18    18:57    20:27
 [02-11-2005]     5:41     6:56    12:57    16:18    18:57    20:27
 [03-11-2005]     5:41     6:56    12:57    16:18    18:57    20:27
 [04-11-2005]     5:41     6:56    12:57    16:18    18:57    20:27
 [05-11-2005]     5:41     6:56    12:57    16:18    18:57    20:27
 [06-11-2005]     5:41     6:56    12:57    16:19    18:57    20:27

May all of us are granted blessings from the Almighty. 

TM Bill

Cool screenshot from the telephone bill I received today. As I came back at almost 10.00pm the customer support is closed. Will try to call them tomorrow. Since forever I thought that Streamyx ADSL bill will not effect phone bill. Note the date, I registered my phone line and Streamyx in May, but it says here starting 05 Mar 2005? I really don’t want to say much as it will sound ugly…

phonebill.png 

(please click the picture for actual image)

EDIT 30 September 2005:

Called TM phone support and it appears that their billing system screwed up after the merging of phone and dialup bills. They also mentioned that this happened to many customers. Still, I wonder how many people almost died from heart attack receiving this bill. 

Online (Residential) Communities

While ‘running’ around the net, I found two online residential communities close to my area. The first one closest to me is the Puncak Jalil Online Community. This is an example of a great effort to utilize IT resources for good use. Another one is Lestari Putra Online Community. I remembered seeing such sites being brought up a couple of years ago (for other townships) but eventually died. No idea why.

The Puncak Jalil Online Community seems a lot more established that the Lestari Putra Online Community. Patrick has done a very good job. I have also created accounts for both sites to support them. The creator of Lestari Putra Online Community needs to come out to the front and put his name, as people don’t like anonymity in such sites. The forum for Lestari Putra Online Community is also quite deserted compared to Puncak Jalil Online Community. I’ll try to crowd up the place soon.

Thumbs up to both sites! 

3G Data Card

I am so frustrated by 3G providers, Malaysian and abroad. I have a Merlin U530 from Novatel Wireless with me now (not mine), and tried to use it for Maxis. Of course, it wouldn’t work as the card was bought in Hong Kong. The provider is Hong Kong Three :-(.

The problem is the data card is LOCKED by the provider. I heard that the Huawei‘s E600 data card is also locked by Celcom. I don’t have to guess that Maxis locked their version of the Merlin U530.

What happened to this world? Can’t anything be open anymore… *sigh*.

And people actually pay more than a thousand Ringgit to BUY such data card! If it’s rented, I can understand. But in this case, people OWN the card.

Huawei E600:

Merlin U530:

Maxis 3G connect:

Everybody wants to add their logo to the card, and lock them up. The one with me have the Three logo on it to indicate that this is provided by Three:

I’ll get my own 3G data card when providers decide not to lock them. When, you ask. I don’t know. 😉

HP Offers Notebooks Without Windows XP

I just bought a notebook today for my nephew. Well, helped in buying it as it’s his father’s money. It comes with FreeDOS. Cool. Now users can choose whether or not they want Microsoft® Windows® on their notebooks.

At first I was looking for Compaq Presario M2232, but it was already replaced with Compaq Presario M2241. The difference as I can tell was only the processor speed (1.6GHz vs. 1.73Ghz). For the same price, I was happy to get a higher clocked processor. Plus it’s new Centrino, with 802.11b/g (the Intel® PRO/Wireless 2200BG Network Connection) – speed up to 54Mbps. 😀

The notebook specifications taken from HP:

presario_m2000_b.gif 

Processor Intel® Pentium® M Processor 740 (#) supports Enhanced Intel® SpeedStep Technology (1.73GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 533MHz FSB)
Operating system FreeDOS
Standard memory 256MB (1 x 256MB) DDR SDRAM (333MHz)
Maximum memory Upgradeable to 2GB max (with discard)
System memory 256MB (1 x 256MB) DDR SDRAM (333MHz) upgradeable to 2GB
Cache 2MB Level-2 Cache
Hard drive 40GB (4200 rpm)
Optical drive DVD/CD-RW combo
Graphics Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900 (up to 64MB Shared Memory)
Modem High speed 56K modem
Network Integrated 10/100 LAN Ethernet, integrated wireless LAN 802.11g
Battery 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery
Display 15" colour TFT XGA (1024 x 768 resolution)
Pointing device Touchpad pointing device with 4-way scroll
I/O interfaces (1) 6-in-1 Digital Media Reader slot, (1) IEEE 1394 port, (1) S-video port, (1) VGA port, (1) Notebook expansion port, (1) Headphone, (1) External Microphone, (1) AC power connector, (1) RJ-11, (1) RJ-45, (3) USB 2.0 ports
Security features Kensington MicroSaver lock slot
PC card slots (1) Type I/II PC Card Slot with support for 16-bit PCMCIA and 32-bit Cardbus
Status display System Power, NUM Lock, CAPS Lock, SCROLL Lock, Battery charging, HDD/Optical activity, Media slot, Mute, Wireless
Audio Altec Lansing branded speakers, AC97 audio, volume control and mute button
Keyboard 101-key compatible keyboard
Dimensions 3.81cm(H) x 36.32cm(W) x 28.45cm(D)
Weight 2.95kg – may vary, depending on configuration and components

At last, consumers have the power to choose what they want and don’t have to pay extra RM300.00 for the unwanted Operating System. This is a very good news especially for *NIX users. Way to go HP! I really hope that this same option is made by HP all over the world.

Too bad I bought mine with XP preinstalled. 🙁