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From the Badlands to the Hardlands and finally to the Promised Land. 18 October 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Work , 2 comments


My retirement seems to be quite short-lived. I thought I’m gonna retire from the so called promised land. Well, I did retire.. Thought of taking up agricultural activities, then the economy gone south.

Turns out, the promised land is a Hardland. Well, I’m a former Badlander. At first, I thought I can hack it. Hack it I did! 3 years!.. or somewhere close to it! The results? Diabetic, Low Blood Pressure or somewhere close to it too 😉

The advise is to retire 😉 as if that is possible. Nope, it’s just that I need to be mindful of myself, my health and ultimately, all those who have a claim on my life (The spouse, the Inhouse Celebrity).

Then, I got head-hunted again! First from a Japanese Electronics Giant™, but they balked at my physical conditions. My suspicions is more due to my academics, being a graduate of the Jedi Academy (or maybe the Starfleet Academy ;-). Then, it’s an American Technology Giant™ (purportedly to be the largest in the world! It’s true!). Now, these guys didn’t even care about my formal background, just so I can demonstrate my abilities.

Heh! Use the force Luke!

I am grateful to be given an opportunity with the American Technology Giant™. Now I truly believe I am in the promised land. I sincerely believe I may just retire here instead… Professionally of course.. The union-like work environment. The superb benefits package, especially medical, hospitalization which covers spouse and children, unlimited mind you! All these does help nudging me towards my decision.

Wish me luck!

Time Travelling in VMware Server for Linux (Guest & Host) 6 August 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Linux,Work , 2 comments

I run two VMware host machines at home. This is where I do most of my ‘Training’. Well, most of my knowledge on Linux are self-learned anyway. This is where I do my R&D.

Simply, theory is good. But how do you know whether the theory is practical? What potential pitfalls when you deploy a solution? Especially Free (Libre) and Open Source Solutions? Not to say FLOSS solutions are no good, but in a commercial environment, when paying customers are willing to pay good money to transfer their operational risks to you, you better be sure of the solution that you’re proposing.

FLOSS solutions backed by commercial vendors – eg. Red Hat, is a safe bet. You can propose it to customers and as a fall back, there’s always Red Hat. Problem starts with FLOSS solutions that specifically states – ‘No warranty/guarantee of any kind’ 😛

Not to say they’re no good, mind you. That’s where you as a FLOSS Service Provider comes in. To provide the kind of warranty/guarantee that the customer wants for such FLOSS solutions. The other advantage of FLOSS, if the customer’s not happy with a FLOSS vendor, being FLOSS, you can always go to another vendor. That forces FLOSS vendors to always provide the best service.

Anyway, I’m rambling and digressing –

My guest OSes keep travelling faster than my host OS, sometimes as fast as 2 seconds every 10 seconds. Need to tune the VMware server host a bit –

file – /etc/vmware/config

host.cpukHz = 3400000
hostinfo.noTSC = TRUE
tools.syncTime = TRUE

The first line is to specify the maximum CPU clock rate the system may run.
Second line is to specify that the cpu is not running at a constant clock rate (speedstep, cpufreq or power management is active when idle) and the timestamp counter is inaccurate an to use it as the least.
The last line sets the default to use vmware-tools timesync function.

Well, I hope this is a permanent solution.


Inhouse Celebrity 16 March 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home , 2 comments

Well, today I’ve been blessed with a daughter. My first-born child – Farah Farzana.

From Farah Farzana

Happy New Year – 2008 1 January 2008

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Society , add a comment


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903) “Maxims for Revolutionists”
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)

Let’s greet the new year with hope of progress for a better future..


New HDD, enlarging Red Hat/Centos ext3/lvm partition 16 December 2007

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Linux,System , 3 comments


Suddenly, I’ve run out of space on one of my servers at home. Solution, add a new harddisk, extend existing partition onto the new harddisk.. Simple right? Right…

Firstly, fix the new harddisk onto the machine. Fdisk it like thus –

# fdisk /dev/sdb

Create a new ‘sdb1’ partition using type 8e, which is Linux LVM.

Next, we need to create a Physical Volume within the newly created sdb1 partition.

# pvcreate /dev/sdb1

After that we will extend the existing volume ‘VolGroup00’ onto the newly created physical volume.

# vgextend VolGroup00 /dev/sdb1

Once done, the next step is to extend the Logical Volume within the volume group to use the free space newly made available when you extend the volume group previously.

# lvextend -L 40G /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00

And finally, we’ll enlarge the ext3 partition to make use of the newly available free space in the logical volume.

# resize2fs /dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00


Typo error since fixed as advised! Thank you!

New Year Resolutions.. 14 January 2007

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Linux,Society,Work , 2 comments

A week or so ago, I was asked by a journalist-friend to comment on my technological resolutions from last year and this year.  Particularly those made, kept and broken.  😉

Well, I did some and eventually, it appears in the local daily’s tech section!  😯

I am nowhere really an expert, but that was something that I really strive for, with the grace of god, and assistance from friends and colleagues alike – god-willing..

Below are part of the article which appears in full here

Resolutions made, kept, and broken

A system engineer with XyBase Sdn Bhd, Maulviridha Abu Bakar, is the resident Linux expert at work. Maulviridha is also into self-initiated awareness programs on Linux.
Last year, his resolution was to enhance his personal knowledge of Linux and Free and Open Source software. He had also intended to migrate all internal servers at work to Linux and Free and Open Source Software.
He had initiated the process last year at work and had been successful with some recognition from his employers.
They even let him conduct training internally and for customers, and Maulviridha intends to accomplish more this year.
He had also wanted to make Linux as the main operating system on his desktop for everyday use but to this day, he has only Linux installed on his desktop on a dual-boot configuration with Windows.
There appears to be a snag in the plan to go totally Linux both at work and home, says Maulviridha. “I seem to go back to Windows for some crucial usage and applications. For example, in the case of Microsoft Visio, there seems to be no quality alternative.”

Nonetheless, there’s much for me still to learn..  “Life is a lifelong learning experience”


Ubuntu Linux – Root Account 17 September 2006

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home,Linux , 1 comment so far

I like Ubuntu Linux, always have.  Nice features, fairly comprehensive repositories for softwares.  The only thing that bugs the hell out of me is the non-existance of the root account.  Anytime you want to do something, it’s sudo this, and sudo that…

Well, this is how I did it –

sudo passwd root


I can now either use su to change to root, or even login as root..


New Internet Connection 16 August 2006

Posted by Maulvi Bakar in : Home , add a comment

After several weeks of waiting and indecision, I’ve finally decided to go for a local telco’s Broadband Service. Got tired of waiting for the Satellite Broadband Service. Now I’m connected again! Actually ordered for it early last week, with the phone as well, but.. the local telco’s usual inefficiency, it was delayed for almost a week. I am amazed that I managed to restrain myself from actually killing somebody 😛

Oh well, they did give me a cheap broadband modem for RM60. It’s a router modem with a bridging capability – means I can configure it as an ordinary ethernet-modem. That’s what I’m gonna do.. Have it connected to my own Linux-based Router.