Hello Football Manager 2009!

The Greatest Job On Earth.

Goodbye life as we know it.

See you again in June!


My first experience with a computer was during my school days in Machang, Kelantan. Back then not many schools in this country have computers, let alone a computer lab. Then again my boarding school was special. I quickly became fascinated with that incredible machine. I always look forward for the weekly computer class, usually in the afternoon. The computer that I first used in 1993 had Windows 3.1 installed on them. I bet some of you might even never heard of them. I learned to use Microsoft Office, learn typing, printing and stuff. I also learned my first programming language there, MS Basic. It took me like a month (4 classes) to master that language. By the end of my computer class, I started coding advance programs on the computer to show off to my friends. I became so obsessed with the computer that one day, during the weekend, I rallied a few of my friends and we broke into the computer lab just so that we can use the computer. We did that for a couple of weeks until we finally got busted by a teacher. I couldn't remember what's the punishment that was meted out to us. Probably nothing serious or else I won't forget it like this.

After I finished school, my dad bought me my first ever computer. Actually I've been nagging my dad to buy me a computer ever since I was 10 (1990) but they probably cost a fortune then. So it's only 7 years later that I only got my hands on my own PC. I still vividly remember that day in Kota Bharu Computer Center (KBCC), one of the few existing computer store in the entire state back then. The computer costs us a cool 2000 ringgit, quite expensive by today's standard. My first PC was an IBM clone (naturally) with Intel Pentium II 166 MHz processor inside with MMX technology. The main memory was 64MB EDO, the hard drive was only a meagre 3GB and the OS was the now extinct Windows 95. Later on my mom bought a Canon Buble Jet printer for another 400 ringgit so that I can type and print her school works.

Since I was out of school, I had plenty of time to explore my computer inside out. I spent hours clicking through every files and folder. Read all the help files for every programs installed and experiment all sort of things with my PC aside from playing FIFA 98 day and night of course. After 2 months, I was already bored with my PC so I started tinkering with the final frontier for the computer world. the Internet. At first I went to the local cyber cafe in Pasir Mas town but I soon found out they were quite a burden for me (RM3 an hour) and the place was like crowded 24/7. Then my good mate Suhairiman taught me how to do a dial up connection from home. I borrowed my uncle's user name and password to go online. Although the Internet was still at it's infancy back then, already I found out the world wide web was exploding with so much knowledge and information. Since I only had a single telephone line, I only get to use it in the morning when my mom and grandma is out and late at night when everybody's asleep. I learned to create websites (at Geocities), chatted for hours with people from all over the world on MIRC and do practically everything I can think of on the Internet. There was a time when I got to know this Russian girl and she was like really into me. She even persuaded me to come visit her in Balakovo (a town in central Russia). Said she would have a fur coat ready for me if I ever come. Aaah those young and innocent days.

Soon enough though, the telephone bills started to swell up dramatically and let's just say my Mom wasn't too pleased to see it. So I slowed down with the Internet and not long after that I got shipped off to do matriculation in johor Bharu. In JB I didn't bring along my computer so I had to kindly ask my new friends to use theirs. Heck, some even charge me 2.00 ringgit an hour to use them. So stinky. After matriculation, I got into UPM and I bought my second computer. Actually my mom paid for that. It was my uncle's old MyGenie PC. I don't remember the specs but it was slightly faster plus it has radio and TV card on board as well. The picture and sound were hardly clear. Apart from that I had a horrid time finding all the drivers for that PC. It took me almost a year to collect them all. After that I had 2-3 more computers mostly Pentium IIIs, all of them clone/not branded and very low end.

I used to have an old but really fast 3.0 GHz Pentium 4 PC with nearly 2GB of RAM not to long ago. Then somebody came into my house and decided to borrow it, permanently. Currently I own another old Pentium 4 PC, 1.2 GHZ where most of the parts was salvaged from various sources. Broken PCs, obsolete PCs that somebody throw away at me and sometimes I would buy the parts from Imbi or Low Yat plaza. Some new, most of them used parts. Although I play games a lot, I don't plan to purchase any high-end gamers box yet. Even if I can afford to, I'd probably buy a Mac, any Mac. That's my dream machine for now. And that's my story about computers. My first and last notebook ever was the Asus EEE PC 4G netbook. Too bad somebody borrowed that too along with my P4 PC.

Is it any wonder that I now work in the IT field dealing with all sorts of computer day in and day out? I really got to thanks my Dad for buying me my first PC 10 years ago. I doubt it I would be this proficient with computers now I he hadn't bought it then. Thanks Dad.

Yeah you guessed it. Today's prompt was Computer.

The one minute writer

Last year I wrote over 200 posts for this blog. This year, it's only 112 and it's November already. I'm ashamed to admit that I have somewhat neglected this blog. Never mind that I write almost every other day on my other blog. The thing is I can't think of anything good, frequent enough to write here. I've got Afif Chronicles to spill out my everyday rants. For Afif PLC though, I'm always hard pressed for ideas.

While I was browsing through Blogger's Blog Of Note today, I stumbled upon this cool little blog called The One Minute Writer. That's where I got this new brainwave. You have 1440 minutes a day, why not use just a minute from that to write? There on the blog, the author posts a new 'prompt' word every day and you spend 60 seconds or less writing a response to that daily prompt. Simple yet brilliant. Now why didn't I think of that before.

So now I'm going to be a one minute writer. I want to write at least a minute every day. Aside from saving this blog from neglect, I can also improve on my English proficiency. Get ready for posts, lots of them. Say hello to the new Afif PLC.

Have fun with Dora & Diego

Help Dora save the Snow Princess from the evil witch Rosmah of the East. Choose from 5 interactive and fun games in Dora Saves The Snow Princess PC game.
And while you're at it, why not help her cousin Diego as well in Diego Dinosaur Rescue game. Join Diego as he and his sister Alicia rescue all the dinosaurs from being eaten by the vicious Bujalosaurus Rex dinosaur. Suitable for kids age 3 and above (and also the inner child in you:).

Dora Saves The Snow Princess [48.91MB zipped]
Diego Dinosaur Rescue [92.40 MB zipped]

Knock yourself out with Monopoly Spongebob

If you're a fan of Spongebob Squarepants and the classic board game Monopoly then this PC game is perfect for you.
There are 4 different playing modes featuring the original Monopoly rule plus 3 wacky and fun Spongebob rules for you to choose from.
I particularly enjoy the Squidward rules where you can choose to move your opponent's or your own badges at every turn.
The real estate for Monopoly Spongebob represents real places in Spongebob Squarepants the animation such as The Krusty Krab, Chum Bucket, Patrick's Rock and lots more.
As always, this is the free demo version and if you wanna play the full unlimited version, you know what to do (wink-wink!). Have fun!

Download here [47.65MB zipped,tested virus free]

Also available: Portable Monopoly.

Turn your Gmail account into a free 2.7GB online storage

There's several ways to turn your Gmail account into a free online storage. For Windows users, the easiest way is to install the Gmail drive Windows Explorer extension. You can download the application here.
After installing that little application, a new drive will be created in your Windows Explorer window named Gmail Drive. Right click on this new drive and choose Login As. Enter your Gmail username and password when prompted. It is recommended that you create a new Gmail account for this purpose so that you can keep your existing Gmail account safe. After logging in, you can now copy, paste and create folders in this new Gmail Drive just like any regular Windows folder. However, bear in mind that this program is still very experimental and certain things can go wrong (like being locked out of your Gmail account for irregular POP3 activities). That's why it is recommended that you create a new account just to be safe.
For Linux and Mac users, there's a Firefox extension called Gspace created specifically for this purpose. To install the extension, visit their website and click Download on the appropriate operating system.
Your Firefox browser might automatically block this installation so you'll have to click 'allow' to continue. Once Gspace is installed, click Tools and then Gspace to open the Gspace panel.
Then click Manage Accounts and enter your preferred Gmail username and password. Once you're logged in, you can transfer just about any files you like to your Gmail account.
All your uploaded files will be available as new e-mails in your Gmail inbox. I've successfully uploaded files up to 20MB in size without any problem so far but I'm not so sure about the file size limit. Feel free to experiment though.
And that's it, happy uploading!

Useful keyboard short cuts for Windows

A list of hundreds of useful keyboard short cuts for Windows, Microsoft Office and also special characters.
Download PDF file here. (473 KB)

Download full version of Google Chrome browser

I don't know about you guys but I think Google Chrome is the fastest, most kick-ass browser ever made out there. Too bad there's no Linux version for Google Chrome yet so the only time I get to use Chrome is during the occasional few times that I boot up to Windows.
Hate to wait for the automated, web-based installation of Google Chrome? Download the full version here. (7.34MB, tested virus free).

Remove annoying WGA notifications on Windows XP

So you bought a new computer in Low Yat Plaza KL and you take it back for a 500 kilometers journey to let say your home town in Kota Bharu. After a month or so, you turned on your PC and there it is, the dreaded Windows Genuine Advantage notification icon on your taskbar. The PC seller swore that the PC that he sold was installed with genuine Windows XP but apparently it's not.
So what to do? Go all the way to KL, grab the towkey round his neck and demand that he install a new, genuine Windows? I don't think so. Here's a work around. Download this software here and run it on your PC. This should remove those annoying WGA notifications on most Windows XP systems.

Of course, Afif PLC doesn't condone piracy, just trying to help victims of counterfeit software here. Be cool, use Linux/Ubuntu :)

Ubuntu 8.10 Intreprid Ibex review

Earlier this month, Canonical released the latest version of their Ubuntu operating system called Ubuntu 8.10 'Intrepid Ibex'. That's the beautiful thing about Linux distros. The new version rolls out at least every 6 months instead of 4 to 5 years like Windows or Mac OS. Download or order (for free) the latest version of Ubuntu from their website here.
Version 8.10 offers a slight improvement over 8.04 (Hardy Heron) and unlike Hardy, Long Term Support (LTS) is not available for Ibex. To upgrade your old Ubuntu system to Intrepid Ibex, just download the desktop version and load the disc into the drive. A dialogue box will appear and you just click Start Package Manager to begin the upgrade. Alternatively you can do a clean install using either the desktop or alternative version CD.
Installation time on my 1.2GHZ Pentium 4 PC with 768MB RAM took approximately 45 minutes using the alternative CD. GUI-wise, Intrepid Ibex doesn't offer much difference from Hardy Heron where they still use the brown Human theme for the desktop. A lot of people objected to the wallpaper used in the beta version so I guess this new arty wallpaper is a real improvement from the previous one. Not that it matters to me much of course since I'd prefer my Mac4Lin theme better. As always, all my hardware was detected and installed automatically, graphic, sound, network. That's another thing I love about Linux. No need to search for any drivers.
One major improvement in 8.10 is the 3G support. Now you can just plug in your 3G modem or phone (if they're supported by Ubuntu) and you can connect to the Internet instantly. There's no roaming mode in this version and Ubuntu automatically set my network to DHCP. You can also choose your wireless network in the Network Connections setting.
Like Hardy Heron, mounting a different partition requires authorization which I think is totally unnecessary.
You can now mount and unmount a volume just by clicking the appropriate button on the left pane of your File Browser. And just like Hardy Heron, I still cannot move my deleted files to the trash bin, leaving me no choice but to delete them immediately. From the forums I read, they say it's a bug caused by the NTFS partition that I'm using. Nevertheless I still think people at Ubuntu should try their best to rectify this problem for security reasons. A working Trash bin is essential for any respectable operating system all right? Funny I didn't have this problem with Gutsy Gibbon though.
Playing proprietary file formats such as mp3s, wmv, quicktime and DVDs still require downloading some codecs. Among the first thing I did after installing Intrepid Ibex is to add the Medibuntu repository and download the libdvdcss2 and w32codecs codecs.
Mozilla's Firefox is still their default browser with the latest 3.03 version installed. Adobe Flash plug-in is still missing from the browser and you need to install it manually because all 3 of the plug-ins showed in the photo just didn't work. Enter this line below in your terminal to install the flash plug-in.

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

For productivity suite, Open Office.org version 2.4.1 is installed by default although you can always manually upgrade to the 3.0 beta version. I find that this version loads a lot faster than its predecessor too.
Another new feature for Intrepid Ibex is you can view multimedia contents like streaming audio/video and podcast from selected providers like the BBC and YouTube. I didn't get to watch any of them because they took forever to load on my snail speed Maxis wireless narrowband.
I don't know what happened to the encrypted private folder that I choose to set up during installation because I just can't find them anywhere. Except for the 3G connectivity, overall I think Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex is not much different from 8.04. And if you're happy with your current version, I don't see there's any reason for you to upgrade to 8.10. The NTFS-trash bug is still there and the GUI and theme is pretty much the same. All my applications worked perfectly though and my PC hasn't freeze or hang even once since I upgraded to 8.10 three days ago. Well if you count out Crossover Chromium that crashes every time I run it. Overall, I think Intrepid Ibex is a decent improvement from Hardy Heron. I do hope Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunting Jackalope would be much better.


I did found a solution for the cannot move file to trash NTFS bug but it only works for Inteprid Ibex.
In your Menu bar go to Places > Computer and right click on your NTFS drive. Select Properties and then click Drive. In the Mount Options box enter UID=1000 and then close. Unmount and re-mount your NTFS drive or if that didn't work, restart your computer. It worked like a charm for me but be warned that this won't work on Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron. I screwed up my NTFS partition after trying that and I was forced to reinstall Ubuntu at home. Good luck.

Yes We Can

I'm sure some of you has caught the bug of the just concluded U.S presidential election. 4 years ago who would have thought that an African American would ever become president. A year ago who would dreamed that BN would loose 2/3 majority. But the people wanted change, so change is what we get. Well, almost.

I dream that one day all Malaysians shall live together in peace and harmony without prejudice and ill-feelings towards others on this blessed land we call Malaysia.

I dream that our leaders would stop all the fighting and bickering and work together for the good of the people.

I dream that all the people will get equal opportunity to flourish and progress in the economy and education regardless of race, creed or political views.

I dream that someday the people will be guaranteed their freedom of speech and freedom of expression within the limits of law.

I dream that I can walk on the streets and let my children play in the playgrounds without worrying that a criminal might take away my peace and security.

Can we ever achieve this dream?

Only if we unite and work together to change it.

Yes We Can.

Meet the neighbours

I live with my family in a small rented house in Seri Kembangan, a suburb outside of Kuala Lumpur. We lived there for almost 2 years now and we've been through a lot there. Good times, not so good times, sad times, happy times. We don't plan to live there forever though. God-willing, next year we shall be living in a place to call our very own (Amin!). And before I forget, let's meet my colourful neighbours shall we?
I live in the house marked X. Bear in mind this map is not to scale and it doesn't necessarily show were I live exactly. Maybe off by a few miles give and take.

A. When I first moved here, my immediate neighbour's house up front is most of the time empty (and it still is). A middle aged guy will come there at least once a week to tidy up the place water the plants etc-etc and then he's gone. I'm guessing the owner has another house somewhere and this is his old house. I wonder why he didn't just sell it or at least put it up for rent. Maybe he has his reasons. Since he's away most of the time, you can always see my other neighbours parking their cars in front of his house.

B. This is the house where an elderly couple lives with a couple of their grown up kids. The day we moved here was incidentally their daughter's wedding. Lucky for us we managed to unload all our stuff into the house before they arrange the tables. Unfortunately for us, they decided to party all night long with super-loud musing blaring through the speakers until 3 in the morning. We didn't get much sleep that night.

The elderly man is probably retired because I can see him staying at home all the time. Every morning he will go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Her wife likes to hang out outside their gate in the afternoon. Too bad for us it rained the day our house got broken into so there was no old lady hanging out outside their gate to watch.

C. Actually there was a witness to that crime. Another elderly lady lives with her family here. She saw the culprit's car parked outside our house but she didn't really saw the registration number, make or car's colour.

D. Before the current ladies steps in, my immediate neighbour on my right was a young couple with one little kid about the same age as Adam. Then one day the owners said they would like to have the house back because they wanted to live there, so they said. So the couple didn't have any choice but to look for another house elsewhere. Not long after that, they owners did came but they just spruce up the place a bit, fix the gates, painted the wall and about a month later the ladies moved in. I bet they deliberately kicked the old occupant out so that they can hike up the rent rate and offer it to somebody else. Shrewd move.

When my new neighbours first moved in, the were 3 ladies and they move around on 2 bikes. Today they were only 2 left and they now drive a Myvi and a Kelisa. The lady in the Kelisa worked in Putrajaya and she goes out to work about the same time as us. The other lady in Myvi used to go out around the same time too but now she usually go out late and comes back early in the evening. I have no idea where she works at. I used to say hi to Myvi girl, some time ago. She always come out early in the morning to wipe and clean her brand new shiny car. That's when I said "eh, even the car got her shower before the owner". She didn't reply to that and we didn't talk again after that. I think she must have thought that I'm some kind promiscuous, gatal guy. Ah well, your loss he he. I'm just trying to be nice to my neighbours, is that so wrong? Not like I'm going to take you as my second wife or something. I know you both got boyfriends already and I know my limits. The Kelisa girl on the other hand was quite friendly. Before they go back for their Raya holidays, I managed to get her phone number. The thing is, I can't find her number anywhere in my phonebook. Oh well, maybe next time.

E. In this house, another young married couple without kids lives. They didn't talk to anybody else much and they always-always leave their gates open. I don't think these people ever had their house broken into. It's like putting a sign outside their gate "please come in and rob us, we don't mind!".

F. Is where Pak Cik Hashim, his wife, daughter and kid lives. Their house is the first house we visited when we moved here. Of all of our neighbours, Pak Cik Hashim and co are the friendliest. He always says hi and waves whenever we meet and I think I talked more to him than all my other neighbours combined. Her wife teaches the Koran to little kids and they always go to the surau nearby together at least 3 times a day. He works as a senior mechanic in a factory in Batu Caves.

G. One father, one mother and one daughter lives here. I don't know what the mother does but I think the father works as a contractor or he runs his own business. I mean he goes out whenever he likes and he comes back on different times too. He owns a Honda Civic and a Toyota Hilux while her daughter drives a Myvi. The daughter, I'm guessing is still at college because I didn't see her much except during weekends. And a few days ago I think I saw her smiling at me. Ah I'm sure she's reminiscing on the nightmarish happy memories when she saw me washing the car topless every other month tee hee hee.

H. Another family consisting of one parent and several kids lives here. I waved and said hi to the father a few times but apart from that we didn't talk much. One morning the father and the mother had a serious fight and we can hear them shouting from right inside our house. Guys-guys, if you want to fight next time, keep the volume down will ya?

I. Is the junction where a bunch of school kids (usually my neighbours next to F hang out and smoke. Some of them are still in primary school mind you and they were already puffing away without a care in the world. Hello, parent don't you even care? Can't you smell the cigarette stink on your kid's clothes? Today cigarette, tomorrow they'll be smoking pot, mark my word.

J. Here lives a big family from grandparent to their little kids. Those little monsters err I mean kids loves to throw rubbish into my porch. I don't remember putting a 'landfill' or 'throw all your rubbish here' sign anywhere near my house but they do it anyway, every other day, 3 times a week. I think they just enjoys annoying the crap out of me. Apart from that, they're quite nice.

K. is where another big family lives. The father owns a Honda CRV and a van which is always park in front of B's house but apparently they didn't mind. Every two months or so they will hold a barbecue party at their place. Eh how come I never get invited? During a certain new year celebration brace yourself for the loudest fireworks display in the neighbourhood.

L. is my immediate neighbour at the back. I didn't get to see them yet because they never come out (to their backyard that is). All I can hear is their chatting and gossiping in the kitchen. This family loves to karaoke too. All of them from the kids to the moms sing out loud every now and then especially the weekends.

And what do my neighbours think of me? Here's a snippet from my hypothetical interview with them...

D said: "Like hellooo, aren't you like married with kids already? Try to pick up on me some more. Dude, at least loose some weight first lah".

Friend of D said: "He's quite alright really. In fact I think he's rather cute too! I bet he was drop dead handsome when he was younger. Too bad I'm in a relationship already, sigh.".

B said: "This fellow ha, always leave his gates unlocked back in the days. I wanted to advise him but then too late already, one day some bad fellas come in and took all his stuff away. Poor thing.".

G said: "Okay, I know my daughter smiles at you sometimes but don't you even think about it. They day you drive around in black Kompressor is the day I might consider you as my in law, kapish?".

Kids of J said: "We like to throw rubbish into uncle's porch and watch his boiling mad face! *giggles*".

Mother of J: "Those guys next door ah, so loud-loud at night. Moaning and screaming, disturb me in my sleep some more. I know lah you guys still young and full of energy but just keep the noise down ya?".