Cerita kereta sewa Kuantan

Semalam bertemu seorang kenalan baru, Tuan Khaidir namanya. Seorang businessman, masih muda dan ada visi bersara mencapai umur 40 tahun. Perkenalan atas sebab urusan jual beli property. Alhamdulillah semalam selesai bab serah kunci. Semoga penjual dan pembeli mendapat keredhaan dari usaha masing-masing.

Dalam tempoh singkat bercerita, saya dapat belajar beberapa perkara juga. Tuan Khaidir adalah pemilik perusahaan Khaimal Travel & Tours yang menyediakan perkhidmatan kereta sewa di Kuantan (dan daerah-daerah lain dalam Pahang) dan juga di Kelantan (Kota Bharu, Pasir Puteh dsb).

Jadi beliau ada sebut tentang SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Kiranya tengah mencari-cari siapa yang dapat bantu untuk letakkan business beliau ke tangga pertama carian internet bila di cari “kereta sewa Kuantan”. Wow!

Secara jujurnya saya tidaklah pakar dalam urusan SEO, jadi saya berminat untuk belajar lebih lanjut. Basic SEO memang dah ada dalam WordPress, dengan bantuan dari beberapa plugins, dan juga content optimization – saya rasa perkara di atas boleh dicapai.

Sudah tentu faktor-faktor lain perlu diambil perhatian, contoh posting di Facebook dengan permisi public dan juga penghasilan video Youtube, selain menambah perkhidmatan yang disediakan ke senaraian Google business.

Selamat maju jaya kepada Tuan Khaidir, bagi yang berminat untuk mendapatkan perkhidmatan kereta sewa sekitar Kuantan, Kota Bharu atau daerah-daerah lain di Pahang dan Kelantan, bolehlah hubungi beliau di talian 012-7857271 atau lawat laman web www.khaimalcarrental.com.

#khabarbaik pelan TM Unifi Mobile (dulu Webe)

Jadi anda sedang tercari-cari pelan data dan panggilan unlimited di Malaysia – pertimbangkan tawaran dari Unifi Mobile (dulu dikenali sebagai Webe). Terdapat beberapa pakej menarik untuk diperhatikan.

PelanKos bulananDataPanggilanSMS
UltimateRM99UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
unifi Mobile 59RM5910GB100 minit25
unifi Mobile 39RM395GB50 minit25
unifi Mobile 29RM293GB50 minit25
unifi Mobile 19RM192GB5 minit25

Klik di sini untuk mendaftar unifi Mobile secara online. Jangan lupa promosi voucher RM10 Shopee dalam tempoh terhad.

Line of Sight using Google Elevation API

Quite frequently that I need to check the line of sight (LOS) between two points for the purpose of servicing our clients with radio transmission. So tonight I wrote a simple checking script that will take 2 locations in the format of degree decimal and plot an elevation for each predefined sampling periods. By doing that, I will get to know if there is any natural structure along the straight line of those points. Please note that it will just calculate earth elevation, exclude any trees or buildings in between.

Take a look at Line of Sight (LOS) script here. This simple tool is created in PHP and using Google Elevation API and also Google Chart for visualization.

Receive SMS notification everytime a file is created in Dropbox folder

Have you ever need some kind of notification be it via SMS or emails during some alarming conditions? Here is a real case study after meeting my client recently.

A little background:- this client need a solution whereby an automation will notify a group of stakeholders in case of a trigger happen. The trigger will happen when their existing system create a text file in a folder. The alarming situation will depend on what is the content in the text file.

Assume that the text file will be created in c:\alarmsystem\ and the text file will contain either “red”, “blue” or “green” text. An SMS notification need to sent immediately when the content is “red”. All this while, they do it quite manually whereby a real human open the text file, read the content, and if required will manually send SMS to some stakeholders.

The question:- can we automate the whole process of this notification without human intervention? Yes we can.

The automation can be done in many ways, but the simplest that I can think of is using a combination of Dropbox webhooks, a web server, and API to SMS engine.

Cost consideration:-

Dropbox – it is available for free for a limited storage size, but if you need bigger storage consider to sign up for individual plan at $9.99/monthly.

Web server – once again, there is not cost if you can grab a copy LAMP, install it on your existing PC. But if the application is so critical, consider to subscribe to a cloud VM and install LAMP on it. Cloud availability is normaly at 99.9999%, it is cheap and far better than your PC. Check out offering from TM One Azure Stack.

SMS engine – pick any SMS engine, but TM Infoblast SMS is quite good which they are postpaid, easy to use and API ready. Checkout my article on using TM Infoblast SMS API. The cost is only RM0.12/SMS.

Step 1

Follow this guideline from Dropbox in order to set up a webhook script. The simplest example such as:

<?php
$access_token="your_access_token";
if(isset($_GET['challenge']))
{
	echo $_GET['challenge'];
}
else
{
//do your stuff here
}

Access token can be generated from Step 2. Put the script to publicly accessible web server such as https://www.yourdomain.com/dropbox_webhook.php. You will need this URL in Step 2.

Step 2

Signup to Dropbox, download the desktop application and set the sync folder to C:\alarmsystem\ (following the above assumption). Then go to App Console to create your Dropbox app and register webhook URL. Choose Dropbox API, Full Dropbox access, and put a name to your app.

In the next page after you submit, there is a button to generate access token. Generate one, copy and put it into your webhook script in Step 1. Get the URL from Step 1, add it into the list of Webhook URIs.

Now the alarm system will save a text file in c:\alarmsystem\ and Dropbox will automatically notify your script at Step 1. What should you do now is to write some code to check on what file was newly created, read the content and send the SMS.

Good luck and should you need any assistance, please PM Tepi.

TM Infoblast API (via web with PHP)

TM Infoblast is a service provided by Telekom Malaysia (TM) enabling users to send and receive SMS over normal fixed line service. Yes, the normal 03-xxxxxxxx (Klang Valley) or 09-xxxxxxx (Eastern). Some might wonder why would anyone wish to use TM Infoblast while there are a lot of other providers offering the same solution, for example sending from 5-digits number such as 60300 etc?

Okay some benefits that I can think of right now are such as:-

  1. It’s easy & FREE to set up an account – yes as easy as filling up some information and you are ready to go. Register here. While it is FREE to register, you still have to pay for sending SMS though 🙂
  2. It is cheap at RM0.12/SMS. There are providers in Malaysia offering at lower rate, but they require you to buy in bulk, like thousands of credits.
  3. It is postpaid. As long as you are a TM fixed line user, then you are good to go. No need to buy credits. Send SMS now, pay later when the monthly bill is sent 🙂
  4. You can receive a reply. Since the sender ID is your own unique phone number, you are able to receive a reply message from other parties. So what can you do with a replies? Get a feel of how your customers think about you, make a survey, know your best promotion package etc.
  5. You can mask your number with text ID. For example you may not want to send SMS using your real 03-xxxxxxxx number, just mask it as “THE REAL HERO”, so the SMS receivers will only know this ID. But you will not be receiving any replies if masking is enabled.
  6. You can schedule the sending process.
  7. You can send audio or simple picture.
  8. You can send via web portal or desktop application.

Now let’s move to TM Infoblast API. This article is assuming that you want to send SMS using your existing Infoblast account via PHP. Some of potential use such as:

  1. Send notification to clients after a purchase is successfully executed.
  2. Sending authentication challenge via SMS.

I am not the author of this TM Infoblast OpenAPI, but credits goes to Muhammad Hamizi Jaminan. This piece of code was written nicely and easy to use. Just download the single file openapi.php, include the file in your code, create a class variable and call some functions.

Example to send SMS:-

// include openapi library
require_once 'openapi.php';

// openapi auth configuration
$config['username'] = 'infoblast_api_username';
$config['password'] = 'infoblast_api_password';

// call openapi class
$openapi = new openapi();
$openapi->initialize($config);

// prepair data
$data['msgtype']   = 'text';
$data['to']        = '0123456789'; //separate by comma for multiple reciepient
$data['message']   = 'this message test from infoblast openapi library';

// send sms to open api
$response = $openapi->send_sms($data);

// print response
print_r($response);

Who might be interested in using Infloblast OpenApi? It suite well for organisations or individuals who would like to touch the customer base in mass using your own unique number as the ID. It is important to use your own ID due to the facts that customers trust your ID, customer can call you right away for further information, or customers can just reply letting you know what they think. So people in the following scenarios might find TM Infoblast is quite beneficial:-

  1. Schools – use school general number to send SMS to parents about their children exam result, important announcements or latest news.
  2. Hotels – use hotel general number to send latest promotion (like Father’s Day special, Ramadhan promo, CNY promo etc) to the customers.
  3. Hospitals – send appointment reminders to the patients, send birthday wishes etc (btw, sending birthday wishes is very important because it is very effective way to get close and getting remembered by your customers).

Can these organisations just send SMS via 5-digits ID service? Sure they can, but there is no feel, no replies and no identities and your messages might only be ignored.

Do you need help setting up a workable SMS sending script using TM Infoblast? Let’s have a chat.

Ini gunanya Kad Mesra Petronas

Setelah bertahun-tahun guna Kad Mesra Petronas (ya saya tak pernah isi minyak di stesen lain) 2 hari lepas saya terdetik nak tebus mata yang terkumpul. Mata terkumpul ini diperolehi bila mengisi minyak, beli barang di Kedai Mesra atau promosi guna kad kredit di stesen Petronas.

Saya tak pasti berapa lama penggunaan kad ini, mungkin beberapa tahun. Tapi hasilnya saya dapat satu tangki penuh bernilai kurang lebih RM117 bersamaan 11,651 mata.

Cara nak tebus?

Swipe je Kad Mesra di pam minyak Petronas. Lepas tu bila pam dah ready isikan minyak ke tangki kereta anda secukup rasa.

Moving to cloud PBX

Companies are moving from the legacy Key Phone System (KTS) and on-premises PABX (Private Automated Branch Exchange) to cloud based PBX. Let’s take a look on the simple concept of how this digital transformation can be done.

A – this is the center of our discussion which is the cloud PBX itself. There are various soft switch available, but for the purpose of this simple concept let’s pick Asterisk which is open source and also 3CX which is available free for minimum usage.

The soft switch either Asterisk or 3CX is to be installed on a virtual machine (VM). It can be your local on-premises VM, but for the sake of getting reliable VM, let’s host it on platform offered by some reliable providers such as Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud or Malaysian own cloud provider – TM One Azure Stack.

B – SIP account providers are whose you want to seek for the purpose of buying call minutes. Why you need this? Actually it is an option, you may just use your own voice gateway for call minutes, but SIP accounts offer benefits in term of lower cost for long distance calling, of course it will still depends on locations where the calls are terminated, and also various call rates by various providers.

C – voice gateway can be a gateway to your PSTN provider such as Telekom Malaysia or GSM gateway. If you are using Telekom Malaysia, this gateway will be connected to your phone lines known as Direct Exchange Line (DEL), Basic Rate ISDN (BRI) or Primary Rate ISDN (PRI). For GSM gateway, it is just a simple box containing few sim card slots, or another gateway to sim banks.

D – IP phones just normal SIP phones connected to your network via wired or wireless. It should be on good internet connection. The parameters that need to be taken care here are username, password and SIP server (which is in fact your cloud PBX server address).

E– soft phone are just another SIP phones, the only different it is just an app running on windows machine, iOS or Android.

F – mobile users are employees who are outside of your office LAN but connected to internet. They should be able to connect to cloud PBX using the allocated username and password.

By having this simple setup, you should be able to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Free calls between employees whether they are in the office, or far away roaming to different countries, as long as they are connected to internet.
  2. Mobile users roaming to oversea should be able to make free calls to the office, and local calls to customers residing in Malaysia. They use the same voice gateway or sip accounts.
  3. Cost savings in term of long distance calling and also on the investment for new IP PABX.
  4. No need of physical PBX in the office – it’s all in cloud.
  5. Possibly to get rid of all hard phones for more cost savings and make use of the free soft phone apps.
  6. Easy maintenance for the PBX, quick updates.
  7. Free calls between office branches no matter where they are.
  8. Centralized PBX for all branches – wonder how much you can save on this?

Okay that’s my simple concept on cloud PBX. Drop me a message if you think I can be of a help little further.

Houri – koleksi Muslimah kontemporari dikuasakan teknologi awan

Teknologi awan (cloud services) sering diperkatakan dan mungkin bunyinya agak high-tech bagi sesetengah orang. Tapi tahukah anda, hampir kesemua perkara yang anda sentuh hari ini boleh di awankan (cloud enabled)? Sebagai contoh ini adalah beberapa perkhidmatan yang kita gunakan seharian dari cloud services:

  1. Email
  2. Messaging services
  3. Storage services – Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox etc
  4. Backup services – iCloud, Samsung
  5. Laman web

Dalam bentuk yang lebih IT savvy, perkara seperti smart home contohnya kawalan lampu dan pendingin hawa, kamera keselamatan, interkom dan kawalan pintu masuk pun boleh diawankan.

Dalam entry ini saya ingin berkongsi berkenaan Houri Design House, iaitu sebuah butik untuk Muslimah dengan pilihan terkini dan kontemporari. Butik ini diusahakan oleh sahabat saya Azrizal dan isterinya Sazila. Houri beroperasi dari Kuantan Parade iaitu sebuah pusat beli belah di Kuantan. Selain dari pembelian di kedai, Houri turut menyediakan platform pembelian online.

Platform online ini dikuaskan oleh Virtual Machine dari Google Cloud Platform. Jadi apa kelebihannya bagi sebuah entiti bisnes seperti Houri?

Kelebihan bagi sesebuah entiti bisnes untuk engage dengan cloud services adalah seperti berikut:-

  1. Zero downtime – entiti bisnes yang menerima tempahan online TIDAK BOLEH mengalami sebarang downtime. Ini kerana bisnes online beroperasi 24 jam dan pelanggan akan membuat pembelian bila-bila masa yang mereka suka.
  2. Flexible – anda boleh bermula dengan spesifikasi paling rendah dan kemudian menambah ciri-ciri dikehendaki bila bisnes makin berkembang. Ia sangat fleksible dan pantas, sepantas beberapa saat.
  3. Kos operasi yang rendah – untuk mendapatkan solid network terbaik dari cloud, dengan zero downtime, flexibility dan suport yang terbaik tidak memerlukan kos yang tinggi. Bayar apa yang anda gunakan sahaja, or Pay As You Go!

Jadi kepada anda bisnes owner di luar sana, adakah anda memerlukan technology uplift seperti Houri? Adakah anda memerlukan solid network dari cloud providers seperti Amazon, Google, AliBaba, Microsoft atau TM? Komen atau PM di link sebelah untuk berkongsi pendapat.

TM One Azure Stack – Malaysian cloud server with unlimited bandwidth

People are considering between purchasing physical servers or subscribing to cloud services. There are some pros/contras, but in the end it will much depend on what are the objectives you want to achieve.

For example here are some reasons why people migrate from on-prem servers to cloud;

1. Maintenance
2. Space
3. Cost

But moving to cloud means you should have good internet connection. Latency is the key, especially if the application is crucial and so much on real time results. At the moment public cloud providers such as Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) do not offer Kuala Lumpur region for best latency, the closest region is Singapore. AlibabaCloud however has Kuala Lumpur in the list.

But hey, here comes local player – Telekom Malaysia via its sales division TM One. It is called TM One Azure Stack.

TM One Azure Stack is set to solve the following concerns with regard to server deployment:-

On Premise
-high investment
-under utilized resource
-high cost of maintenance
-technology obsolescence

On Public Cloud
-high data transfer cost
-no local support
-data residency (government agencies, please take note)
-currency exchange fluctuation

TM One Azure Stack adapt Microsoft technologies on locally hosted infrastructure.

What does it means to your business?
-cloud infra addressing data residency in Malaysia
-lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
-hybrid cloud capabilities
-flexible and scalable infrastructure

I appreciate the fact that TM One is offering unlimited bandwidth. So if you are expecting heavy traffic in and out, this is the way.

Need to have a test and feel on TM One Azure Stack?
Visit this link.

Just in case you want to have an idea how it is priced compared to some public cloud provider, here is my compilation list:-

Please note that I picked the minimum spec from each providers. Clearly an application with a lot of outgoing bandwidth should be on unlimited ones, but please do the math for yourself. Furthermore Azure, AWS and GCP are now offering 1 year free cloud VM – that’s a lot of freebies to try on but I bet the latency might not be as good as TM One Azure Stack. Have a go for yourself.

Get your own free SSL for Google’s VM (GCP)

This entry will just proceed to the steps of getting https or SSL for your domain pointed to Google’s VM. The assupmtions below apply:-

  1. You have successfully setup your VM and it’s running
  2. You have pointed your domain to the VM

So let’s just go straight into the SSL thing. Original article is available here.

  1. Check your machine OS

In your SSH session to the VM, issue this command:

lsb_release -a

Output example:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Debian
Description:    Debian GNU/Linux 9.5 (stretch)
Release:        9.5
Codename:       stretch

Take note the OS is Debian 9.5 stretch

2. Getting the right instruction from Certbot

Visit certbort.eff.org and select Apache under Software and Debian 9 (stretch) under System.

3. Install Certbot

Under Install, check the instruction such as:

$ sudo apt-get install certbot python-certbot-apache -t stretch-backports

Copy this instruction and run it at command line of your SSH session with the VM.

Answer Yes for this question:

After this operation, 10.7 MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n]

4. Generate SSL Certificate

Under Get Started, copy the command like this:-

$ sudo certbot --apache

Run it in your SSH session.

It will list all your domain in that CM and select the ones you are working on, separated by commas.

Then it will ask whether to redirect, select 2.

Then you get this confirmation:

IMPORTANT NOTES:
 - Congratulations! Your certificate and chain have been saved at:

Now just reboot the Apache:

sudo service apache2 restart

Benarkah radiasi dari menara telekomunikasi mengancam manusia?

Beberapa hari lepas saya berkesempatan menghadiri satu perbincangan berkenaan betapa perlunya pemantauan dan piawaian khusus dari agensi kerajaan terhadap menara telekomunikasi. Keperluan ini demi memastikan radiasi yang terhasil dari sistem telekomunikasi ini tidak mengancam kesihatan manusia. Dalam erti kata lain, perlunya piawaian khusus dari pihak kerajaan yang mana sesebuah menara dan peralatan di atasnya menghasilkan radiasi yang terkawal.

Baiklah, itu adalah sesuatu yang baik untuk dilakukan oleh kerajaan bagi menjaga kesejahteraan masyarakat.

Persoalan yang bermain di fikiran saya, apakah radiasi dari sistem telekomunikasi sebenarnya benar-benar bahaya?

Apa itu radiasi?

Radiasi ditakrifkan sebagai penghasilan atau pemindahan tenaga dalam bentuk gelombang atau zarah melalui ruang udara atau sebarang perantaraan. Radiasi terbahagi kepada dua iaitu ionizing dan non-ionizing.

Radiasi ionizing adalah radiasi yang membawa tenaga yang sangat kuat dan mampu merubah atom, iaitu zarah paling kecil. Ia merubah atom samada dengan menambah atau mengurangkan elektron dalam atom berkenaan seterusnya merosakkan ikatan antara atom dalam molekul. Contoh sumber radiasi ionizing adalah bahan radioaktif yang menghasilkan sinaran alpha, beta atau gamma. Contoh lain yang biasa kita ketemui adalah alat X-ray.

Radiasi non-ionizing pula dengan tenaga yang lebih sedikit sebenarnya tidak merosakkan atom, tetapi menggangu ikatan atom dalam molekul. Contoh paling mudah adalah keadaan sunburn yang berlaku disebabkan oleh ultraviolet dari cahaya matahari. Gelombang lain dalam kategori non-ionizing adalah infrared dan microwave yang tidak mempunyai cukup tenaga untuk merosakkan ikatan atom, tetapi boleh menggetarkannya dan menghasilkan haba. Gelombang radio dan seumpamanya, dalam kumpulan radiasi non-ionizing tidak dianggap mengancam kesihatan manusia.

Apakah bentuk radiasi yang dihasilkan di menara telekomunikasi?

Radiasi yang terhasil di menara telekomunikasi tidaklah sehebat X-ray atau radioaktif. Radiasi yang terhasil adalah dalam bentuk gelombang radio yang beroperasi pada kadar 3kHz – 300GHz. Dalam kumpulan yang sama adalah pemancar radio, TV, telefon mudah alih, WIFI, cordless phone, radio polis dan tentera, P2P dan satellite. Radiasi yang terhasil dari peralatan telekomunikasi secara amnya lebih rendah berbanding isyarat radio dan TV. Radiasi dari radio frequency (RF) akan berkurang mengikut jarak dari sumbernya. Mengikut laman web rasmi Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agensy (ARPANSA), radiasi dari RF adalah terlalu lemah, bahkan lebih rendah dari tahap piawaian yang dibenarkan.

Kesan radiasi RF adalah pemanasan tisu, namun begitu RF yang digunakan dalam fasiliti telekomunikasi tidak mampu untuk memanaskan tisu manusia. Selain itu tidak terdapat bukti saintifik bagi menunjukkan ancaman RF terhadap kesihatan manusia. Hanya terdapat beberapa kajian dengan keputusan lemah yang mencadangkan hubungkait antara penggunaan telefon mudah alih dan cordless phone dengan penyakit kanser otak. ARPANSA sendiri ada menjalankan kajian tetapi tidak menemui sebarang kaitan antara penggunaan telefon mudah alih dan tumor otak.

Visual berkenaan tahap radiasi dari pelbagai sumber adalah seperti berikut.

Radiowaves dipaparkan sebagai radiasi non-ionizing dengan tenaga paling lemah.

Selain itu, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) yang merupakan badan naungan WHO juga menetapkan bahawa tidak terdapat bukti kukuh bagi mengaitkan RF dengan kanser, dan ia hanya mengkelaskan radiasi RF sebagai “berkemungkinan menyebabkan kanser”, dan pengkelasan ini pula berdasarkan kajian ke atas penggunaan telefon mudah alih, bukan disebabkan oleh menara telekomunikasi.

Kajian lain dari kerajaan United Kingdom dalam tahun 2000 iaitu Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (IEGMP) juga membuat keputusan bahawa terdapat bukti bahawa radiasi dari menara telekomunikasi tidak membahayakan penduduk sekitar.

Di Malaysia, SKMM sebagai badan bertanggungjawab dalam hal ehwal komunikasi telah menjelaskan bahawa radiasi dari menara telekomunikasi adalah tidak merbahaya sama sekali. SKMM menggunakan rekomendasi dari International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) berkenaan pendedahan terhadap radiasi ini seperti berikut:- 4.5W/m2 untuk frekuensi 900MHz, 9W/m2 untuk 1800MHz dan 10W/m2 untuk 2000MHz. Walaubagaimanapun hasil pemantauan SKMM secara purata menara telekomunikasi di Malaysia hanya menghasilkan 0.000093W/m2 iaitu masih rendah dari 0.001% dari jumlah yang dibenarkan.

Dengan ratusan kajian yang dijalankan diseluruh dunia dalam hal ini yang tidak menemui sebarang bukti bagi menghubungkan RF dan kanser, adalah tidak jelas mengapa masyarakat masih perlu gusar tentang impak negatif RF terhadap kesihatan mereka. Selain itu, sebarang langkah lanjut bagi menambah piawaian tambahan atau pemantauan lain ke atas menara telekomunikasi adalah tidak perlu dan jelas merupakan pembaziran sumber.

Rujukan:

  1. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency
  2. Cancer.org
  3. Health and Safety Executive, UK
  4. Suruhanjaya Telekomunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia