Friday, August 29, 2008

The End of Software Piracy in Malaysia?

If you're using pirated software, watch out!

Here's an excerpt from The Star (August 28, 2008):

Starting Wednesday, users with pirated copies of Microsoft Corp's Windows XP Professional operating system (OS) on machines that are Internet-capable could find their computer displays going black and with no screen icons visible.

There are 8.6 million users of Win XP Pro in Malaysia and about three million are expected to suffer the “blackouts,” according to Microsoft Malaysia.

Ethical and Practical Issues of Using Pirated Software

I never subscribed to using pirated software.  Using pirated software is like using stolen stuff.  Let's ponder about it: Would you own a stolen car?  Would you use a stolen phone?  Why the double standards when it comes to software? Obviously, there are hypocrites amongst some of us, isn't it?

By using pirated software, the hardworking people who made the software is being deprived of their livelihood.

On the issue of practicality, pirated software may bring unknown risks to your PC and even you; some unscrupulous programmer might have embedded a keylogger into the pirated executable and the next thing you know is that your credit card information is in someone's hands.

The "Software is Too Expensive!" Excuse

I suppose that software being expensive is the biggest excuse for using pirated software. Then let's ponder on this point: If one can't afford a BMW, does that give the person the right to steal one?

Thankfully, there are some very good shareware and free software out there. Some of them are almost as good as their commercial equivalents. So, if you can't afford those commercial software products, give shareware and free software a try! 

It's encouraging to see that Microsoft Malaysia has made some of its software more affordable to home users and students.  For instance, students in some institutions of higher learning can now enjoy big discounts on certain Microsoft SKUs.  Recently, Microsoft Malaysia has lowered the price of the retail version of Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student Edition (which comes with 3 licenses for non-commercial use).

Towards Responsible Consumerism

Will we see the end of software piracy in Malaysia soon?  If consumers create a demand for pirated software, then the piracy problem won't disappear overnight for sure. Let's hope that there'll be more antipiracy awareness campaign in the future.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tech·Ed SEA 2008 - Just Popping In

Even though I'm skipping the Tech·Ed SEA conference sessions this year, I managed to squeeze in a few hours at the venue.

Tech.Ed 2008

Lunch with Steve Riley

As mentioned in my previous post, a friend of mine, Jessica has won a lunch date with Microsoft Security Guru, Steve Riley. I'm honored to be brought along as her guest.

Lunch was at Traders Hotel, just next to the conference venue. There were just five of us — Steve Riley, my friend Jessica, myself and two other Microsoft staff based in Singapore.

Tech.Ed 2008 - Lunch with Steve Riley

All in all, it was a friendly and cozy affair. It was fun listening to Steve talking passionately on security-related issues. It wasn't long before the topic of conversation turned from IT security to the all-universal topic — food!

A Lap Around Tech·Ed SEA 2008 Exhibition

I took the opportunity to take a short tour inside and outside the exhibition area.  Here are a few candid pictures that I caught:

Tech.Ed 2008Tech.Ed 2008Tech.Ed 2008 - CybercafeTech.Ed 2008 - Microsoft Merchandise on Sale

More Tech·Ed SEA 2008 pictures here...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Skipping Tech·Ed SEA 2008

Due to other pressing commitments, sadly, I'm skipping this year's conference. I've been to the previous four Tech·Eds in Kuala Lumpur and so I really miss the informative sessions at the conference.

Despite my missing the conference, I'll be at the Tech·Ed exhibition for a few hours tomorrow and for a lunch date with security guru and Tech·Ed speaker, Steve Riley — thanks to a friend of mine who's taking me as a guest.

I've not been to Riley's talks but I've heard he's a highly rated Tech·Ed speaker.

Hopefully, I'm able to capture a few interesting scenes on camera tomorrow and post them in this blog.

Tech.Ed SEA 2007

Last year's Tech·Ed SEA exhibition (above)

Incidentally, Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 went RTM today!

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Night Out at August KL Technite

I was at August KL Technite at the Starbucks outlet at Bangsar Village II today.  I enjoyed the talks as they were both informative and yes, entertaining — a rare thing in techie talks! 

Maung Maung Phyo did a sleek demo on LINQ, followed by Edwin Sarmiento on Windows Small Business Server, and finally, Sarbjit Singh Gill on collaboration services. Amazingly, Sarbjit did all of his presentation on MS Paint! 

I've been to many talks and conferences but this is the first time I'm listening to the three speakers.

Here are the photos of the speakers in action:

August KL Technite - Maung Maung Phyo

August KL Technite - Edwin Sarmiento

August KL Technite - Sarbjit Singh Gill

The speakers will in action again in the upcoming Tech·Ed SEA 2008 conference.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Run-Up to Tech·Ed SEA 2008 - August KL Technite

I just got word of this event: MIRC - iTrain August KL Technite.

Venue: Starbucks Coffee Outlet, Bangsar Village II

Date/Time: 10th August 2008 (Sunday), 8-10pm

There'll be talks by MVPs such as Edwin Sarmiento, Sarbjit Singh Gill, and Maung Maung Phyo (who are also presenters of the upcoming Tech·Ed SEA 2008).

View the Technite flyer here

I might just drop by there since I could literally walk to the event from where I live. LOL!

Should I be there tomorrow, I hope to take a few photos and include them in this blog. So stay tuned!

Update: I've posted the photos here

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Web Development Sessions at Tech·Ed SEA 2008

Continuing with my blog series on the upcoming Tech·Ed SEA 2008 conference, the following are the ASP.NET or web development sessions to be held:

  • WUX211 - The future of ASP.NET is near
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Oliver Scheer
  • WUX241 - Creating a web enabled corporate data access layer
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Prasanna Amirthalingam
  • WUX332 - How to Build an App like Twitter?
    Session Level: 300
    Speaker: Dirk Primbs
  • WUX322 - .NET: ASP.NET MVC Framework
    Session Level: 300
    Speaker: Chad Hower
  • WUX325 - New Enhancements for Web Developers in Visual Studio 2008 and Beyond
    Session Level: 300
    Speaker: Jeff King
  • WUX242 - Breathe Life Into You Apps With Windows Live
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Rohan Thomas
  • WUX234 - Build Your Next Web 2.0 Windows Live Application
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Li Vooi Chong
  • WUX233 – Fly with Popfly
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Rohan Thomas

In addition to the above, there are two Silverlight 2 sessions:

  • WUX224 - Introducing Silverlight 2 – Media
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Oliver Scheer
  • WUX331 - Silverlight 2 – Building Rich Internet Applications Using Microsoft Silverlight
    Session Level: 300
    Speaker: Oliver Scheer

Full synopses of the sessions are available here

In the past Tech·Eds, I would typically attend the web sessions, though I wished I could attend all of the other tracks. 

Looking back at the yesteryears, I really missed Scott Hanselman's zen-inspired sessions. Hope he'll come to Malaysia again some day.  I also missed Clemens Vasters' sessions.  Oh, in case you don't know, Clemens is the guy who created DasBlog — an ASP.NET blogging platform. 

Anyway, I'm sure the coming Tech·Ed SEA will be a blast. If you're an ASP.NET developer who wants to get a taste of what's coming in the very near future, the ASP.NET MVC Framework session by Chad Hower a.k.a. "Kudzu" is the one to look out for.  Here's my shot of Chad Hower in action taken last year:

Chad Hower @ Tech.Ed SEA 2007

While we count down the days to Tech·Ed SEA, don't forget to visit for my compilation of ASP.NET-related resources.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

WPF Sessions at Tech·Ed SEA 2008

Still on the Tech·Ed SEA conference fever, here are the WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) related sessions for this year:

  • TLA312 - Building Smart Clients the Smart Way
    Session Level: 300
    Speaker: Maung Maung Phyo
  • WUX338 - Creating Dynamic UI with Windows Presentation Foundation
    Session Level: 300
    Speaker: Hoong Fai Lai & William Lim
  • WUX223 - Ultimate Data Visualization Experience with WPF
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Walter Wong
  • WUX221 - WPF Performance & Best Practices
    Session Level: 200
    Speaker: Dirk Primbs

Full synopses of the sessions are available here

As an aside, if you're looking for WPF-related resources such as WPF controls and WPF designer/development tools, take a look at my latest resource site —

Feel free to add your own review of any of the WPF resources featured there or suggest your favorite WPF resource to be added in the directory.

Tech·Ed SEA 2008 Coming!

There's just a week more to Tech·Ed SEA 2008 — Microsoft's premier and largest annual conference in the Southeast Asia region. It'll be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on August 11-14.

Tech.Ed SEA 2007

Since it's Tech·Ed fever, here are a few of my old postings on the past Tech·Ed events that I've been to:

Blog Postings



I have a few more videos in my personal archive. I'll upload them when I have the time (the videos need editing).

To learn more about Tech·Ed SEA 2008, visit the official site.

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    Shopping for a Budget Lappie

    I was shopping for a budget notebook not for myself but for my other half.  I was "given" the liberty to decide on the spec. The budget? Around RM2,000 or less.

    The Lappie Hunt

    So came PC Fair 2008 in KL last weekend and my plan was to get the new lappie there. I went to the venue on Friday but alas, all the car parks around the area were full!

    I could have queued in line but I didn't have the luxury of time. I had to get the notebook that very day as the following day I had to head to Ipoh to "deliver" the new lappie.

    In the end, I settled for an Acer Aspire 4715z for slightly less than RM2,000 at an Acer roadshow at MidValley Megamall.  I believe it's a good deal and the specs are as follows: Pentium Dual Core 1.86Ghz, 1GB RAM (upgraded to 2GB), 160GB HDD, DVD Writer, WiFi ready, webcam (super clear!), Windows Vista Basic, 1-year Acer warranty, and a host of trial-wares (McAffee anti-virus, Office Home and Student 2007, games, etc.).

    3G-ing with Celcom Broadband

    Coupled with a Huawei 3G USB modem (on Celcom 3G broadband), the Acer-Vista combination worked beautifully. From Ipoh, I was able to get 300-400kbps on the downlink and 80-90kbps on the uplink. Ping times to local servers were in the 200-400ms range -- a little big on latency but not surprising for a wireless broadband technology.

    A day later, we were in Teluk Intan. 3G is achievable there but the connection is not as fast as what we got in Ipoh. However, there is no 3G reception in a remote village in Bagan Pasir (quite expected); nevertheless, GPRS is still available.

    Mission Accomplished!

    The weekend hunt for a budget laptop ended well. My other half was happy with the buy. Now she can boast that her notebook is better than mine. I'm full of envy!

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