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Sunday, May 22, 2011

the guy who invented PENDRIVE, a humble guy from MALAYSIA

Nowadays, almost everyone owns a pen drive. Universities students, businessmen, clerks, accountants, all of us relies heavily on this tiny piece of chip to transfer data easily. But have you ever asked, 
how did pen drive came about? 
Who invented it?

S. INDRAMALAR speaks to the creator of the now indispensable Pen Drive

Fact file

 Pua Khein Seng
Sekinchan, Selangor
 SJKC Yeok Kuan, Sekinchan; Pin Hwa Independent school, Klang; Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
 Engineer/ president of Phison Electonics Corp
Current base:
 Taipei , Taiwan
Years abroad:

WHEN he set off for Taiwan in 1993, Pua Khein Seng's only aim was to complete his degree in Electrical Control Engineering at the renowned Chiao TungUniversity and return home to work in Malaysia .

Never did he envision himself heading a multi-million dollar Taiwanese company that developed the world's first USB flash removable disk, which they called Pen Drive .

Pua Khein Seng went to Taiwan to get his engineering degree but ended up staying on, starting his own company and inventing the pen drive.

"I went to Taiwan to pursue my undergraduate degree. I chose Taiwan only because it was too expensive to study either in the United States or Singapore .

"However, I did well in my undergraduate programme and was offered a place to do my masters," explained Pua, who was back in Kuala Lumpur recently for a holiday.

After completing his Masters in July 1999, Pua worked for about six months in a local company before deciding to set up his own venture company with four fellow engineers who had studied with him at Chiao Tung.

"We were confident that we had the know-how and ability to start our own business, which is focused on USB technology. The company is called Phison because there are five of us - two Malaysians and three Taiwanese engineers," said Pua, 31, who hails from Sekinchan, Selangor.

Phison Electronics Corporation was set up in November 2000 and within six months the young entrepreneurs came up with their first invention - a USB storage device called Pen Drive .

"We were the first company in the world to develop the USB Drive SoC (System On Chip) and we were very confident that the market for USB will be huge. At the time, no one believed in us so we had to do everything ourselves - from developing the technology, the chips to the product itself.

"We were only 27 at the time and inexperienced. But we were confident that we could design good systems and chips but we didn't know anything about selling. So, we sought partners or traders who could help sell our products for us," Pua added.

Through smart partnerships and shrewd strategies, Phison soon made its way into European, American and Japanese markets. One quick move was securing Japanese tech giant Toshiba as Phison's largest shareholder and customer.

"We launched Pen Drive in June 2001 and by August the same year, we broke even! From September 2001, we were reaping monthly profits from our invention and there has been no turning back since."

Having established himself in Taiwan , Pua is in the midst of setting up Phison's branch in Malaysia , due to begin operations this

"I am starting a branch in Malaysia because this is my country. I would like to do contribute to its development.

"We have about 100 engineers at Phison in Taiwan , 20 of whom are Malaysians. Though they studied in Taiwan , I had to re-train all the engineers I hire because, like most fresh graduates (in this field), they are not industry-ready upon graduation.

"Unfortunately, some of the Malaysian engineers want to return home after a couple of years because they are homesick, about to start a family and so on. Some prefer to work in Singapore , as it is closer to home. Instead of losing them to competitors, I decided to set up an office in Malaysia where they can still work for me," said Pua.

Another problem faced by returning computer engineers from Taiwan , Pua added, was the lack of job opportunities for hardware engineers in Malaysia .

"There is no environment or support for design engineers here in Malaysia . One of my Malaysian engineers from Phison returned home and ended up as a teacher in a Chinese school! I was shocked and thought, 'After all that training and re-training, he is going to just teach?' I told him to hold on till I open up the Phison branch in Malaysia ."

Though he has been in Taiwan for the past 12 years and married to a Taiwanese, Pua is not sure how much longer he will remain there.

"I have really no idea where I will be in 20 years. Maybe Taiwan , maybe Malaysia , maybe somewhere else ... it all depends on my business. The industry is moving so fast that I cannot predict what or where I will be," he said.

For the moment though, Taiwan is home for Pua, his wife and two children even though he misses the Malaysian way of life.

"I come home once a year for Chinese New Year and will usually stay for about two weeks. There are several things I really miss about Malaysia . One is the food! For the past 12 years I have been craving for Malaysian food ... I miss laksa, curry noodles, chee cheong funand all the other delicious dishes we have here.

"I also miss the lifestyle and quality of life here. When I come back, I am always amazed to see people hanging out and relaxing at mamak shops at night. In Taiwan , most people would still be at work at that time of the night!

"Before I got married, I used to work for 15 to 17 hours a day, everyday. Now that I have children, my wife has forbidden me to stay so late. Now, I go to work at 9am and come home by 11pm . These hours are quite normal for the Taiwanese."

The man who invented USB pen-drive is a young modest Malaysian
 who  invented the most versatile, indispensable computer peripheral today. And helped his adopted country, Taiwan made $31bil in the process. The rest is history....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It’s tough being Malaysian Chinese

By Tan Shang Neng ( | May 12, 2011
The Malaysian Insider
As a young Malaysian Chinese, when asked to draw my vision of the year 2020 in our primary school Pendidikan Seni classes, I would draw flying cars, floating buildings, a city of steel and glass, people in jet-fighter styled suits covering arms and legs and a helmet to top, using jetpacks strapped to their backs.
Today, if asked to draw my vision of 2020?
I hope to have trees with leaves still green, less floods, less killing around the world. And, hopefully in the myriad hands I have drawn holding on to each other in the middle in harmonious unity, there will be a pair of hands with the colour that best represents my Chinese skin (another conditioning from primary school: “NO! People cannot be blue because they are nice or green because they are jealous! They must be coloured brown because this guy with songkok is evidently Malay, and this girl in this cheongsam must be yellow because she is evidently Chinese, and this Indian boy must be coloured black!” Boy was my little self so confused.)

It is not easy being Malaysian Chinese. We are not all Lim Goh Tongs, Vincent Tans or YTLs. Some of us are the Ah Kaus fishing for a living in Kuala Selangor. We are also the Ah Sengs peddling DVDs in pasar malams. Some are the Ah Tans, working as machais for the loan shark tailos. Many too are the Lim Ah Sings sleeping under abandoned hawker stalls beneath flyovers in the heart of KL.
I was not born into blankets sewn from RM100 bills, so it was a tough growing up trying to understand why there are people who say if you are Chinese, you are rich and greedy. It is hard to understand why people would brand people like my dear father as groups wanting to take over the country, when all he did was come home late from work weekly in order to ensure he will one day afford to put this son of his through university. It drives me crazy when some Malaysian Chinese demands for equality, that poor bugger gets told to go back to China or go to Singapore.
It is easier said than done for a modern-day Malaysian Chinese like me. Wherever I go now, I will be an outsider. Roaming places I will never truly belong. Sleeping in buildings I will probably never be able to call home.
In China, my lack of speech in Mandarin will highlight me as an instant outcast. They will favour their own kin before letting this guy — who looks very much like one of them but in essence anything but — to lead their companies. In Australia and the UK, sure, there will be equality and minimal discrimination, but to a point. You start of on equal footing as all, but as you progress, there is only as high a corporate ladder you can climb because your Chinese skin bars your ascent. Try being Malaysian and vie for a pupillage to be a barrister in the UK! You might be given PR in the UK or Australia, but you will truly then be a pendatang, born and bred elsewhere, made to scrap a living in a land with different social norms and values system.
What about Singapore? You might find it hard to believe, but there are Malaysian Chinese who cannot stand the idea of living in that city state! Sure, good money, relatively more efficient government and good transport system. But really now, Singapore? Fast paced, faceless?
So really now, if my home — my country, my Malaysia — asks me, a Malaysian Chinese — a budak Klang, no less — to leave…
…I will have nowhere to go to. No place to truly call my own. No place I can say my grandparents helped built. A place I once ate at a school canteen with one Amirrulah, a place where I played Sunday basketball with a Tan Kian Ping, a place I once mamak-ed with a Jagdeep Singh, a place where we would celebrate Merdeka at Ashley’s Melawis home.
It’s not easy being a Malaysian Chinese. To live in a country which often confuses itself if it wants you or not. A country where you are more often than not branded as a pendatang even though your grandparents were born here.
The truth of the matter is simple, there will only ever be one home for a person like me, and I will fight for it till the end. And you can put your bets on me fighting till the end for the right to remain in…
…my home.
It’s not just being Malaysian Chinese that is bothersome these days. It’s being Malaysian Indian. A Malaysian Dusun. A Malaysian Christian. A Malaysian Muslim. A Malaysian tauke.
It’s just not easy being Malaysian anymore.
Is it really that difficult? To have a government which governs its people for the right reasons, to make us richer, healthier, better than the rest of the world? Can we all one day be free to live the life we chose for ourselves as long as it does not impose itself upon another? Can we one day choose who or what we pray to, to choose who we love, to choose where we die.
I want a day when I can wake up in the morning and have bak-kut-teh for breakfast, nasi lemak daging rendang for lunch, Italian for dinner and roti canai for supper without some person on television telling me how, when and where I can eat them.
It’s tough being a Malaysian Chinese these days.
Nobody wants us. —
What's on Kyle's mind
I have to admit, growing up in chinese primary school, all our teachers taught us, was how harmonious and peaceful living in Malaysia, and how all the races come together as one, that we must be respectful towards each other;s differences. All of us (at least i do) grew up believing that, vividly, that all of us are friends and families, that we are all Malaysians. But somehow, I don't know how, but somehow, things doesn't actually fit into the perfect picture painted for me when i was little. 
I still hold high hopes that what was taught to me IS true. That some of us, regardless of race or religion, only long for happy endings, for our children to have a better education, for us to have equal opportunities, to learn from each other, to smile and be proud of where we are from, to live in perfect harmony.
Maybe some may say, this is too perfect to be true, yes, but, 
"always aim for the moon, even if you missed, you'll land among the stars"  :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Giving Happiness :)

This story is about a beautiful, expensively dressed lady who complained to her psychiatrist that she felt that her whole life was empty, it had no meaning.

So, the lady went to visit a counselor to seek out happiness. 
The counselor called over the old lady who cleaned the office floors. 
The counselor then said to the rich lady"I'm going to ask Mary here
to tell you how she found happiness. All I want you to do is listen to her."

So the old lady put down her broom and sat on a chair and told her story:
"Well, my husband died of malaria and three months later 
my only son was killed by a car. 

I had nobody... I had nothing left. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat,
I never smiled at anyone, I even thought of taking my own life.

Then one evening a little kitten followed me home from work.
Somehow I felt sorry for that kitten. It was cold outside, so I decided
to let the kitten in. I got it some milk, and the kitten licked the plate clean.

Then it purred and rubbed against my leg and for the first time in months,
I smiled. 

Then I stopped to think, if helping a little kitten could make me smile,
maybe doing something for people could make me happy. 

So the next day I baked some biscuits and took them to a neighbor who was sick in bed. 

Every day I tried to do something nice for someone. 

It made me so happy to see them happy. 

Today, I don't know of anybody who sleeps and eats 
better than I do. 

I've found happiness, by giving it to others."

When she heard that the rich lady cried. 
She had everything that money could buy, but
she had lost the things which money cannot buy.

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. 

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude

Happiness Happens - Mechtaniya

Friday, May 6, 2011

Underwater's Masters of Disguise

Photo: A shrimp perched on a fire urchin
Coleman shrimp
Photograph by Tim Laman
The vivid Coleman shrimp has developed the perfect camouflage for its perch amid the venomous spines of a fire urchin in Komodo National Park, Indonesia. The blue tips of the urchin’s spines are filled with toxic venom, but the shrimp is able to live comfortably among them without injury.
Photo: Close-up of a fish face
Reef stone fish
Photograph by Jeff Rotman/Getty Images
The reef stonefish haunts coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific. It’s not always easy to spot, because it blends so well with its rock and coral surroundings, but divers are best to be on the lookout for the colorful fish. The stonefish’s 13 dorsal fin spines can prove most unlucky for anyone pricked by them—they carry one of the most toxic fish venoms in the world.
Photo: Blue toadfish
Photograph by Kristian Taylor, My Shot
The toadfish croaks like its amphibian namesake but typically looks more like the seafloor surroundings where it lies in wait for prey. The fish also has a remarkable tolerance for ammonia, 10 to 20 times greater than that of a human. Scientists studying how the toadfish survives such toxins say the humble animal could someday help produce medical treatments for human ailments including liver disease, stroke, heart attack, and brain injury.

Photo: A leafy sea dragon
Leafy Sea Dragon
Photograph by Armand Poblete, My Shot
The leafy sea dragon has evolved an uncanny resemblance to the seaweed and kelp found in Australian coastal waters. The animals also mimic leafy weeds by drifting along with ocean currents, snacking on sea lice or tiny crustaceans. Male sea dragons bear young, like their relatives the sea horses, carrying eggs underneath their tails for four to six weeks.
Photo: A fish on a coral reef
Leaf Scorpion fish
Photograph by Tim Laman
The leaf scorpionfish doesn't just look like a leaf—it sometimes acts like one, swaying from side to side in the currents like a dead leaf tumbling among grasses or algae. Woe to the small crustacean or fish who is fooled—the scorpionfish's strike is that of a formidable predator.
Photo: A cuttlefish on the ocean floor
Photograph by Wolcott Henry
The cuttlefish, actually a cephalopod relative of octopuses and squid, can shift shape and change its skin color to hide from danger by impersonating its surroundings—like a chunk of a coral, a clump of algae, or simply a patch of sand. The animal’s skin holds some ten million color cells and functions like a high-definition TV that fine-tunes color change so effectively the U.S. military has studied the animal in hopes of improving its own camouflage techniques.
Photo: The head of a crocodile fish on a sandy seafloor
Crocodile fish
Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski
The eyes of the crocodile fish reveal how remarkably well the ambush hunter has evolved to the seafloors and reefs where it typically lies in wait. Frilly iris lappets, which look like seafloor sand, break up the eye’s black pupil to conceal this master of camouflage even more.
Photo: An octopus with arms outstretched
Mimic octopus
Photograph by David Doubilet
The mimic octopus is an intelligent shape changer that can impersonate a host of other animals to dodge hungry predators.
The cephalopod can alter its appearance by, among other ruses, flattening out to appear as a poisonous sole, swimming surrounded by its floating arms to impersonate the lionfish and its venomous fins, and changing the colors on its arms to make them look like poisonous sea snakes.