Friday, 29 February 2008

Jangan malukan roh dengan amalan buruk kita

Allah maha melihat semua amalan kita, tapi ada juga lain yang turut menjadi pemerhati.
Berkata Abu Darda' RA bahawa segala amalan orang yang masih hidup, telah didedahkan kepada roh-roh yang telah mati. Oleh yang demikian, apabila para roh orang mukmin yang melihat amalan hasanah (baik) anak-anak mereka dan kaum keluarga mereka, maka merasa tenang sekelian roh itu. Sebaliknya jika amalan buruk kaum keluarga yang masih hidup diperlihatkan kepadanya, maka merasa dukacitalah sekalian roh itu.

Apabila Abu Darda' diberitahu oleh Rasulullah SAW bahawa amalan orang yang hidup didedahkan kepada roh ibubapa dan keluarga yang telah mati, maka Abu Darda' RA berdoa kepada Allah SWT, yang bermaksud:

"Ya Tuhanku, aku bermohon kepadaMu, supaya Engkau beri kepadaku pimpinanMu, semoga tidaklah amalanku akan memalukan ibubapaku dan juga kaum keluargaku yang telah berada di alam barzakh."
Petikan dari Insan, Ingatlah!, oleh Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz bin Nik Mat.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Firefox too slow for you?

Speed is a big issue for Firefox. This well-featured browser has a lot of potential, but some people are still not using it because they say it's too slow. Nobody likes to crawl on the Net.

The story behind the why is a bit funny. And complicated. Firefox is actually designed to be fast. One of the ways to speed up a browser is to cache images and files. Caching is the storing of all the files that make up the websites we visit. Cache is a small part of your computer that the browser uses for storage.

Image files are often cached because they're often bigger than most other kinds of file. Caching image files would mean that the browser wouldn't have to download the same image file again and again when it needs to. The browser will get the needed image file from the cache instead. This is the same for other kinds of file, not just image files.

Conceptually, caching would make the browser faster. However, caching also uses up your memory (the RAM). Lots of it, actually.

And this will subsequently slow things down again.

Sounds like a contradiction, right? But like I said, the story is more complicated than that.

If you have a large RAM, maybe 512MB or higher, you'd probably won't experience the slow down. But if have a PC with a small memory, you might want to consider something else.

Like Opera. I love it. Opera is seriously unappreciated. It's fast and very user-friendly. In my humble opinion, it's one of the best designed browser right now (in some ways, even better than Firefox). See for yourself why many people are singing praises about it.

Still can't let go of the fiery Fox? Check out these speed-boosting tips (thanks, mudin!). All the best.

p/s: I use both Firefox and Opera, alternately.

Monday, 25 February 2008

Kulihat... merah

Saudara, saudari, blog ini bersalin lagi.

Bersalin kulit.

Harap yang pilihan warna ini tidak akan memudaratkan penglihatan saudara saudari semua. Jika ya, itu bukan niat saya. Saya minta maaf.

Sebenarnya saya geram. Saya geram sebab dah berpuluh-puluh kulit yang saya cuba, tapi satu pun yang melekat (di hati). Saya cuba itu, cuba ini.

Akhirnya saya kembali kepada pilihan yang ditawarkan oleh Blogger. Alhamdulillah saya masih ingat CSS sikit-sikit. Cuil sana sikit, cuil sini sikit—akhirnya kulit yang ini siap.

Satu lagi harapan saya ialah supaya blog ini akan dimuat dengan lebih laju.

(Saya berdoa semoga tidak akan ada rentina-rentina yang tercedera ketika melawat blog ini kerana blog ini tiada perlindungan insurans.)

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Terharu? Atau Malu?

Hanya walrus saja yang tahu.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Ava's Man

Ava's Man is Charlie Bundrum. To people around him, he's "Chollie" Bundrum. He nailed roofs to the top of people's house for a living. He also worked many jobs to feed his family. He fished and hunted for fun, and when food was not affordable to him. He knew the forests and rivers and streams like a ranger would. He needed to, because from time to time he would have to run from the police. Not because he was a crook, but because he illegally made and sold his own liquor. He drank of course, but never in his house in front of the children and wife. Same thing he did with cursing.

He was dashing man, but more than others he was blessed with the gift of gab. In men, that's a rare thing. He loved to talk. Stories would come out of him like water out of an unclogged tap. Everybody knows Ava loves Charlie because of this. A lot of men would return from work and wait for dinner quietly, but never Charlie. They are happy that way. Their happiness is further shared with their children, including Margeret, the silent survivor. Margeret's story was told in All Over but the Shoutin'. Margeret is Rick Bragg's mother, and Charlie is his Paw-Paw.

Ava's Man is my second Rick Bragg book. I love the first one greatly and consider it one of the best I've ever read. Shoutin' was a book I bought without any plan. I had never of Bragg. I just went to a sale one day and saw it lying the table. I opened it up and read the first page. He described something about seeing redbirds in flight. I couldn't understand much but I was sold. Then I saw Ava's Man in a nearby pile. I couldn't believe it. It was rezeki.

Charlie passed away a year before Bragg was born. Even if he never met Charlie in the flesh, he's convinced that the man is still alive. The way his family and relatives talk about him is almost as if he's out at the back minding his business by working his hands at repairing stuff or something. He's gone, but never far.

With the help of the surviving Bundrum clan, and folks who know Charlie, Bragg retraces the steps once took by a man who is himself nothing short of a legend. He was fast, they say, fast enough to be able to grab a squirrel in a tree with his bare hands. He drank and sold his own moonshine, and that brought all sorts of people to him. He taught some rude people a lesson or two in manners, and sometimes manners would come into people only after some of their blood got out. He let his fists or his gun talk for him at one or another, but this Alabama-Georgia in the era of the Great Depression. Sometimes talking plain sense makes no sense. Action, on the other hand, speaks volumes.

As larger than life as he was, what is most legendary about the man is his heart. Charlie was poor but he never turned down a plea for help.

For over a decade, even at Ava's disapproval, the Bundrums sheltered a man called Hootie. Hootie lived alone by river in a shack, and Charlie found him living alone when he went fishing there. He was a harmless, timid man and Charlie calls him son although Hootie is older than him. Charlie was like an angel to Hootie. Nobody understood with anyone would allow a strange-looking person like Hootie to live with them like he's family. Nobody, not even his daughters. But that's just Charlie.

Clearly he was dearly missed by all. He was the kind of man his daughters loved to be around, and modelled their future husbands over. When Charlie walks in a room, the babies in it laughed. Babies melted him, and softened the edges that make unscrupulous people stand well out of his way. Principles matter to Charlie. Being poor is no excuse to steal or beg.

Ava's Man is heartaching for me because Charlie reminds me so much of my deceased grandfather, who is himself a legend in our family. The two men share a few traits, and very much missed by the people they leave behind. They stand like giants —as flawed as they are human— their shadow loom over us. We look up to them, and we wonder how do they get so tall.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Typography case study: ClearviewHwy

My earlier introduction to the book Thinking with Type may not be the most persuasive way to get anyone interested in typography. So I think, why not share a real world example of how typography can make a difference.

This example is taken from the book's website. Consider ClearviewHwy:
Clearview Hwy is the new typeface developed for use in U.S. highway and street signs. As they are adopted over time, the United States will become the most legible place on Earth. The designers’ goal was to create more readable roadsigns without having to make the existing signs bigger (which would cost a huge amount of money as well as causing more visual clutter and crowding.) Designed by Don Meeker and James Montalbano. Available from

Imagine yourself speeding through the highway, franticly looking at signboards for direction. Failing to read the signboards would be frustrating. Therefore, signboards should be legible (readable) even from afar.

They also needed to make signboards legible without making it larger, which increases the cost. By optimising the font's features, Clearview can be fitted into the standard sized signboards and still appear aesthetically pleasant. Clearview was designed and optimised by a group of designers, human factor scientists, psychologists and engineers. So it's not just the typeface designer and typographers who help make a good font or type. It takes a lot of other expertise as well.

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Tiba-tiba teringat

Sehari dua sebelum tu, tiba-tiba saya teringat. Di mana beliau sekarang? Apa khabar beliau? Kenapa lama tak dengar berita?

Masih hidupkah beliau?

Rupa-rupanya masih, masa tu. Tetapi esok lusanya keluar berita: Tuan Haji Datok Ishak bin Baharom, bekas mutfi Selangor, sudah kembali ke rahmatullah.

Saya tak terkata apa-apa.

Allahyarham Datok Haji Ishak bin Baharom adalah salah seorang yang segani keperibadiannya. Beliau seorang yang sangat bersopan santun dalam berbicara. Beliau juga, menurut apa yang dikhabarkan oleh saudara mara saya, seorang yang boleh dikira sekampung dengan nenek saya. Beberapa orang tua dalam keluarga saya dikatakan rapat dengan arwah.

Saya tak berapa tahu tentang isi pemecatan beliau dan sebagainya. Cuma kesantunan beliau yang saya tak dapat lupa. Hingga sekarang.

Ya Allah, rahmatilah hambaMu Haji Ishak bin Baharom, terimalah amal-amal solehnya, ampunkanlah dosa-dosanya dan permudahkanlah perjalanannya ke syurgaMu. Amin.

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