Monday, December 1, 2008

No Blog Post = Busy

Other part of me asking,

"when you re going to update your blog?"

my other self answered,

"I have no mood to write, I am busy with something else"

Another question,

"Why don't you put a poll?"


"I have nothing to ask, let me finish my other works"


"you will always be busy"

The answer,

"Most likely , yes, but there will be time where I wont be busy. "

Another questions come.

"A not updated blog? Why must you write it at first place?"

A long answer.

"I don't need a reason for that. I can write when I want to write. If it is beneficial for me and others, why not? If it does not give any help to others, at least I'm helping myself"

Another bad thought

"Beneficial?? What benefit?? The content is not that superb. Did it ever help anyone?"


"Believe me, at least we get the benefit, don't you agree - take an example, the feeling when we are writing the entries! A good feeling, Right?"


It is definite! Having a blog is good! Writing in a blog is good! Sharing Knowledge is good! Not updating Blog is not very good! The feeling when writing the entries?
A lot of "good" compared to "not very good". To my bad inner self :


p/s: dear visitors. This blogger is busy with a lot of things so the blog will be updated in a random , without specific time line. Depends a lot on blogger's mood. Sometimes it will be frequently updated, sometimes it will be left not updated for a long time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Robogamez 2008 - The photo as promised

Here are some pictures I manage to snap before the Robogamez starts. During the competition, my NOKIA are out of battery

The Banner Located in front of DSS (Dewan Sri Sarjana)

The unsolved paths aka maze for school Category, Looks simple, please note that all the four maze are identical or mirrored image. The winner of each round is the one whose robot can enter the maze and able to go out from the maze. can you see the entry and the exit door?

This one is more tricky right? .. this is for UNITEN category.. more complex , meaning the maze robor should be more intelligent..

No picture for OPEN Category.. at time this photo was taken, the maze for open category is not up yet... Ohh.. given below is one of the robot.. Personally I like this robot.

Why I like this robot?
  1. The height - It is lowered .. the robot is stable.
  2. There are 2 type of sensors used - 3 infrared sensor (can detect the junction) and 2 mechanical switch, to detect whether the robot accidentally touch the wall.
  3. There are two tires.. I guess the owner of this robot used differential drive technique.
The hardware part I think is more than enough .. It is up to the algorithm part!

Oh BTW, before the tournament one of the participant asking me , why his robot is not working.. (he use distance sensor). This is some of the tip I gave him (me giving tips?? - I didn't even have a mobile robot) :

  1. Whether it is maze robot or line follower robot, the basic concept is simple, the robot designed should be able to recognize its location, "where I am now?" - it is at the straight path? junction? End of the maze? , and then take action based on the location. Whether to go forward, left , right or backward, etc.
  2. Since the robot is equipped with the distance sensor which is based on infrared, the sensor must be calibrated according to the surrounding...
  3. The last tip - Good Luck and don't give up!!
Alright that's all - still feel a little bit regret for missing to watch the open category.. :-(

Friday, September 12, 2008

Robogamez 2008 - Missed the Open Category

Last Saturday, I missed to watch Robogamez 2008, just managed to see UNITEN category on Friday .. My friend told me that it was quite happening gamez.. quite a shock when UTM doesnt get even third place.. UTM (Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) team was quite strong in last previous years ! UPM (Universiti Putra Malaysia) emerged as the winner!!

Ohh. Sorry for not mentioning.. The ROBOGAMEZ is actually an annual event organized by UNITEN Mobile Robot Club . The tournament usually divided into three category , Open Category which are open to Universities and Higher Learning Institution in Malaysia, the School category, and the UNITEN category exclusively for UNITEN student.

The theme for this year is " Challenge of Unsolved Path " - Maze Solver Robot. (Last year - Line follower robot) . I dont intend to explain more about the event. Please visit for further information. The also include Support and Workshop , have a visit, you will find out that building a mobile robot is quite easy!

Congratulations to the Mobile Robot Club UNITEN and the "never-tired" staff to make the event successful.

I heard that for ROBOGAMEZ 2009 , the theme will be "Fighting Robot" - Is it boxing? Sumo? Hopefully I won't miss the event again!

I have a picture showing the maze , and a robot designed by UNITEN student, it is in my NOKIA phone.. I'll upload later!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

So Much Thing to Write

It is about two (or more ) months I didn't wrote in this blog..

There are many interesting event occurred , there are few comments in my blog still left not responded. Never expected to be like this when i first started to blog.

In blogging, sometimes I'm too concerned on layout-ing the blog until I forgot to write. The time just pass by like that.

To name a few things that at first I plan to write during last two months, but it unfortunately left in my sketch books or maybe in my head!

  1. Dr Bob Bishop Lecture : May 2008 in Uniten [link]
  2. Extracting information from trace file
  3. NCTT-MCP which successfully concluded last week [link]
  4. Introducing Taufiq's blog [link]
  5. The disadvantages of being a skeptics, and my logical approach/thinking/action in order to overcome some of the skepticism inside me.
  6. Robogamez 2008 which will be held in September 2008 @ Uniten [link]
  7. "Fizz Buzz" puzzle and how to write a program
  8. RS485 and RS232 serial communication
  9. Some cool blogger tools/gadget
Hahaha.. ! there are so much I planned to write but at last..... sigh..

BTW, taufiq.. your blog is is now in my blog roll..

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blog Update - Rate My Post Widget

I've added a rating widget into my blog. Got it from
You can give rating to my posts from 1 up to 5 stars.
The widget also quite cool. Have one for your blog.

Reduce the Picture File size using Microsoft Power Point

This is a tip given by my friend on how to make picture size smaller using power point. The steps are very easy.

  • Open Microsoft Power Point
  • Select layout that enable you to insert picture

  • load the picture through the insert picture symbol (bottom left)
  • Right Click at loaded picture then save it in new file.
Have a try!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blog Update

There are recently two main Update for this blog

1. The Recent Comment section
2. Added Link to NS2 Manual in Favourite section

BTW, since I'm using firefox, I'm sorry if the display is not very good for other browser.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ITEX 08 Pictures

I'm posting some of the picture now, supposed to be last week , but the size of the picture file are too big make me tired waiting for the upload process. Now , the file size are smaller (Thanks to Microsoft Power Point), so the followings are some pictures of ITEX 08:

KLCC - Kuala Lumpur City Centre (Right)
KLCC - Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (Left)
Picture are taken from the same point.


The allignemnet of the pictures is not very good, I can post only these or it will be very messy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008



Last weekend, a team under our Network Technologies Research Group participated in ITEX 08 at KLCC. Not the twin tower but Kuala Lumpur Convention Center which also located very close to the KLCC Twin Tower. UNITEN sent 12 team (including us). ITEX is organized by MINDS.

In this exhibition, various product and findings of the Malaysian Higher Learning Institutions, Research Institute, Individual Researchers/Innovators and Industry sections had been showed off to public. This is one of the platform to create a link between industry and researchers.
This years Taiwan and Iran also participated in this event. In conjunction with ITEX, Malaysia Young Inventors Challenge (MYIC) also held at the same hall.


The inventions are evaluated by judges and were awarded either Gold, Silver, Bronze or No medal at all. There are also special awards given (which I don't remember).
UNITEN teams score 100% where all team get the medal , and one of the team awarded special award on ICT. UNITEN awarded 5 Golds, 5 Silvers and 6 Bronzes this year. AS for my team we got Silver Medal.

Not connected to Internet

My U mobile modem failed to detect any signal in the exhibition hall, and able to received a little signal outside the hall. At first I planned to blog there, but the signal are not strong enough.
However good news is the U mobile now covers other cities in Malaysia (it is not updated yet in their web). Hopefully they consider to also cover the remote areas.

Old friends

In this kind of exhibition, one of the best things is when I met with my old friends. This time I met four of my friends during my undergraduate studies at UTM (1998 - 2002).

Fadil (UTHM) won a Gold Medal
Herman (UTeM) also get a Gold
Zacko (UTeM) awarded a Bronze Medal

There are a lot of things to chit-chat about but unfortunately there are too little time.

I will upload some pictures

My digital camera is not with me right now, I'm going to upload some pictures during the exhibition. However the inventions will not be uploaded since some of the inventions are still in the patent search or copyright. I have to respect the innovators hard work and ideas.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Mannasim or Just NS2?

One of the group member shows two paper on WSN simulation using just NS2 (without mannasim). I told him that I also found a paper on WSN simulation using NS2 and Mannasim .

So come a question in mind.. to use Mannasim or just NS2?
What is the main criteria to determine which one to choose..
If our work can be done without mannasim why border using it?

We are actually going to play around with the routing algorithm, so do we need mannasim?

After 30 minutes discussion, currently our decision is to extend NS2 for the routing part. Work focus on routing algorithm, extending NS2 a little bit on the routing protocol is enough. While at the same time trying to do the same thing for Mannasim (or we can do it later).

The difference between this two option (from my understanding) , Mannasim have more module such as CN, CH , temperature , battery etc. For routing we feel that NS2 is enough.

Waiting for project meeting with another group members to discuss on this.

In this team , my main function is more on simulator studies , suggesting which simulator to use, the syntax , simulation script structure , how to use the simulator. I'm not the one who do all the simulation (I am busy with something else, of course ^_^).

So I'm really sorry for anyone who sent me emails asking for source codes , please find it from mannasim website, my friend said the two examples given works well. Try to have a look at the script, it is quite structured and procedural , refer to a tcl book on calling and creating procedures then the program flow will become very clear.

NS2 is originally for wired network, then it is extended to wireless , Mannasim is extended from wireless. Setting up WSN nodes is quite same as setting up a wireless node but of course it is extended, more object needed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tweaking my blog layout

If you are regular visitor to this blog , you can see that this blog has been transformed from 2-column (Blogger Minima Template) into a 3-column Minima Template.

If you visited this blog yesterday and last Saturday , I'm very sorry if you happened to see the right side of the blog contents was shifted to the right-bottom after the Post body, I'm trying to understand the coding of the blog layout.

I got the tip to tweak the blog layout from here.

I don't really know which layout is best, but tweaking the layout and play around with the code are fun enough!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Poll Closed

I sent a poll in this blog for two weeks. The poll closed at 22nd April 2008. Below is the summary:

Poll Title : I'm using NS2 for :


2 (12%)
7 (43%)
4 (25%)
Just for Fun
0 (0%)
0 (0%)
I dont use NS2
3 (18%)

It seems most of the viewer are using NS2 for their Postgraduate.
Me with my friend Husna conducted some simulation works in 2004/2005 (does not exactly remember) using NS2 (for wired network) to compare Diffserv policers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Wednesday, last week, I bought an HSDPA modem so that I can go mobile within Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia. The brand is U-Mobile, for information about U-Mobile please visit
The modem is connected to the PC through USB port. The speed is up to 3.6Mbps depends on the coverage, however the dealer said that the company is now in the process of upgrading the network, the speed is expected to be 7.2Mbps. The company also plan to expand the network. Hopefully it will be implemented as soon as possible. So that my mobility is not just in Klang Valley.

From 2 -3 days experience, the speed is acceptable, however when I uses it home , most of the time the signal strength is quite low but enough to update the blog , email , google around, and play turn base chess at .

Any Malaysian using HSDPA modem ? which service provider?

Just have a look on Wikipedia about HSDPA :

"High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a 3G (third generation) mobile telephony communications protocol in the High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) family, which allows networks based on Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) to have higher data transfer speeds and capacity. Current HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.4 Mbit/s. Further speed increases are planned for the near future. The networks are then to be upgraded to Evolved HSPA, which provides speeds of 42 Mbit/s downlink in its first release. "

Friday, April 11, 2008

NS2 Trace File is too large!

One of the main problem in using NS2 is it output (trace file) can be very large.
It depends on the simulation time , the number of nodes in the network, the number of transport agents etc. The larger the trace file , more time will be required to extract the trace file for visualization and performance analysis.

There are few ways to reduce the trace file , but most important part is know which part to be evaluated from the network layout. Is it at all nodes and links? or just at a destination nodes? specific link? or at a specific queue?

The (usual) solution is to use specific monitoring/trace command instead of trace-all command. Trace-all command give complete simulation result for each links and nodes. Some command/technique are trace-queue, Loss Monitor and queue monitoring. For the case of mannasim (if using Script Generator Tool) , it gives 3 options of trace. Test it one by one and compare the size of the trace file. Ooh.. don't forget to try the "specific monitoring/trace" command. Compare it withthe trace file created by trace-all command.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


My friend suggests to put a poll in this blog. "If you don't want to write at least put a poll ", he said.
Please feel free , since from my observation most of the user are interested in NS2 and mannasim, I put a poll related to NS2. Feel free to vote!

Occupied Mind!

My last post to this blog is on 18th Feb , and now it is 8th April.

Quite a long break.

I also realized that there are also questions (comments/email) from the visitors regarding mannasim and NS2.
I did reply some of it and feel really sorry for not replying some of the message. I'm away from NS2 and mannasim so I'm not very sure to answer certain questions.

It is not that I'm busy. It is just my mind is occupied with a lot of things other than NS2 and Mannasim.

Hopefully i can get a hand on NS2 and mannasim after 2 weeks from today. The sooner the better.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Windows crashed, XandrOS come to help

Windows Crashed
It happened to me yesterday. When suddenly the Windows Vista crashed, all the data for research and works stored in the HP laptop are at stake. At startup the blue screen appeared showing something realted to hardware/software change. I dunno what happened , maybe because of virus ?

Until now I cannot login to may windows. All options has been tested, Safe Mode , Safe Mode with networking and also Last good Configuration (for system restore) but stills the blue screen appeared and its automatically restarted.
Last night me and my housemate tried to install xandrOS 2.0 since Linux OS can read the content of Windows partition. For information:

for FAT32: Linux can read or write into the partition
for NTFS : Linux can only reads from the partition

Installing XandrOS 2.0

First try : Express Install Option
Express Installation give an error where it says : " cannot resize windows partition ..... etc etc " . We suspect that the error due to C: Drive cannot be resized.. maybe because of it is protected by Vista?

Second Try : Custom Installation, resizing d: partition
2nd try was successfull , however we observed that , the resizing of D take a lot of time. The main reason most likely because the file in D: is not fragmented.

We start around 10.00 pm and installation completed around 12.15 am.

Current Progress
There are so much data to be backup.. while writing this entry.. the my HP laptop is working to write all the important files from D and C into CD. Maybe 4 or 5 CDs will be needed to store all the data.

To do Next
Format my HP for Windows Installation. I am not very familiar with Windows Installation, I'll ask my housemate!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Kubuntu Works Fine with Compaq Core Duo V3000

Just received a call from my friend , Husna regarding Linux Installation in Compaq Core Duo V3000 Laptop.

She came last two week to install Linux for NS2 Simulation . That day we tried to install Ubuntu 6.06 and 7.04. And XandrOS 2.0. After 3 - 4 exhaustive hours we failed to install it T_T.

For XandrOS installation every options (press CTRL button during the early CD boot to view the option) has been tried out , but it fails.

For Ubuntu , it cannot even read the installation CD for the installation.

So today, she told me that , the installation already successful!! with help from one expert at her workplace. From her experience , she says that Fedora works fine with the laptop. But since we have bad experience with Read Hat variants for long NS2 simulation time, she skipped this option.

Other success is the Ubuntu 7.10 can be installed using Live CD , but some display problem occurs . maybe because of the resolution?

However she tried to install Kubuntu (forgot to ask the version number). And it works fine.
Congratulation Husna! Next step is to install NS2.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mannasim : A very brief evaluation

This morning, I together with my friend just have a look at the annasim framework. This is my brief evaluation after less than 30 minutes of using it :
  1. The installation is quite easy, for those who have experience installing NS2 patch file .. it shouldn't be a big problem. The guide given in the mannasim website (given in my previous entry) are also straight forward.
  2. It comes with a GUI to generate TCL script. Easy configuration. User can edit the tcl script if the topology / scenarios are not covered by the GUI. Of course some knowledge on creating NS2 simulation script are needed.
  3. The script can be evaluated by typing ns .tcl. Everyone using NS2 should already know this.
  4. I believe that there are some tools available in internet for trace file analysis.
Overall , I thinks it is a good start to use the Mannasim. What is your opinion? please feel free to share.

Friday, January 18, 2008

NS2 for Wireless Sensor Network

NS2 has been widely used for network simulation for wired and wireless.
Me and friends get some fund from e-science fund to do the performance evaluation on available wireless sensor network routing protocol and suggests new improvement if any.

For simulation NS2 is suggested to be used in this project it is mainly because we know a little bit of NS2. It is open source and extensible. Researcher or user can add their own module as an extension for NS2.

So I think there are 2 main thing our group member should know:
  1. The WSN technology itself including the architecture , routing , performance evaluation and so on.
  2. How to create new module on NS2
Of course there must be someone else who are conducting the same project. That's why it is important to do some literature survey and Internet search on what has been done by others. The top Google search result with keyword "NS2 for WSN" show this website URL:
Mannasim ( )

Maybe we should start from here?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


There are not much about programming and electronics done last weeks.

For programming related part :
  • Installation of TCL\TK (for Windows) in my HP laptop , I used the free TCL\TK from ActiveState TCL distribution. Just google it you will find one.
  • Install the ASED TCL\TK IDE and test it out (also in my HP laptop). The observation are as follows:
    • Layout
    • Pro:
      • code browser are very helpful to browse through tcl program especially the consisting a lot of procedure. Scrolling down using mouse sometimes is not friendly (especially using the laptop touchpad). Certain procedures can be observed by browse and click at the code browser
      • The automatic braces and code highlighting are very useful to avoid unnecessary syntax errors
      • It comes together with other few utilities
    • Cons (The only one)
      • its seems that come tk command especially the labelframe command cannot be evaluated using the toolbar [with run label]. Is it because the ASED is not up to date? I don't bother to find out.
    • Solution
      • I decide to use the ASED to help me reduce syntax error and nicer look compared to writing program in notepad or word pad
      • To run it I just need to find the .tcl script file and click it! It will automatically interpret the code. Thanks to ActiveStateTCL.
  • Documentation of old tcl program (In form of diagram of course). Draw some mind maps to see how the code is implemented. Especially on procedures and procedures call. ASED has been a great help.
  • Study and testing the canvas binding and canvas item binding
For Electrical & Electronic :
  • Nothing much to do , but I think I will write a general guide on Design and Implementation of Digital logic circuit using TTL IC.
  • I have a PIC boot loader PCB. Still not assembled. Maybe I should just keep it and play around with it later, next 2 or 3 months.
  • Discussion with my friend regarding printer to use for transparency printing. It is not a normal printing but the transparency printout will be used for Printed Circuit Board fabrication.
  • Play chess online
  • Someone ask me to be an arbiter for a small chess tournament. I agree to take it
  • Technical write up -- still not very good. Easily stuck.
Thats all about last week. Hopefully I have time and mood to write something beneficial in this blog.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

NS2 & XandrOS problem with Toshiba Laptop

A friend who attended the NS2 workshop last November (Where I presented some basic on Tcl) , come with a Toshiba Laptop installed with XandrOS 2.0 . He encountered some problem in NS2 installation which is the common problem : the gcc cannot be detected. It seems easy at first. However the major problem comes when we found out that the network adapter cannot be detected hence the gcc cannot be easily installed through Xandros Network. After some discussion we come up with 3 options:

1. Search the xandros forums at regarding the network problem. There must be someone else who face the same problem.
2. Install the newer version of XandrOS hopefully it detects the network adapter
3. Manual installation of gcc which is expected to be time consuming. The gcc distribution is freely available at

I'm wondering maybe installing NS2 in windows should be an option for those using laptop.
I'm using IBM Thinkpad for XandrOS, so far there are no problems with NS2 installation.
Anyway I hope that the discussion helps him. Me myself do not have much time to play around troubleshooting the problem.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Block diagram: A ‘lazy(?)’ way to study

Since these few days I sketched quite a lot of block diagram for my project (Some of it goes to the dustbin .... ) , I think it is good to write something about block-diagramming.
A picture tells thousands words
so do block diagram (err... maybe not a thousand, but just enough to get an idea of something)

Before spending time reading lengthy explanation of software/hardware architecture, consider looking at the block diagram first. The lengthy paragraph actually further explaining the block diagram.

Given below is some information I think will help in understanding some architecture:

  • Block usually in square represent components or modules
  • Block(s) within a block represent the sub-modules or “the component consists of ….. components”
  • Usually the blocks are connected with connector. The connector can be categorized as:
    • Bidirectional : Interdependent / data can flow in both direction
    • Unidirectional : one block depends on another block / data flows from one direction to another direction
    • Thick connector : represent large data / bigger relationship
    • Single line connector : represent less data
  • There are labels most of the times are in short form. Labels represent what is the block and most of the time hints its function. Example (relevant for Microcontroller or Microprocessor subjects ):
    • CPU (Central Processing Unit) is a unit that is central (most/every component should connect to it), it process something (in this case program and data)
    • ALU (Arithmetic Logic Unit) is a unit that does something (logically operation/calculation) arithmetically or logically. The basic arithmetic is addition, subtractions, division and multiplication. The basic logic is AND, OR, NOT, XOR ………….
    • Memory is to memorize something (obviously data/program)
  • The functions of each block are specific. Memory does not process it just stores, while CPU specific for processing not for storage
  • Keep in mind that designer also use block diagram in the thinking process to build the system/architecture.

Precaution: This tips helps, but I believe that to gain marks in exam, students are required to write the definition as in the text book / given by the lecturers.