Share and share alike

By Anita Devasahayam

NOW that Tiong Ting Ming has got bulk of SMJK Dindings’ IT infrastructure in place, he is offering to share the facilities with next door neighbour SRJK (C) Ping Min.

The Board of Governors at the primary school has contributed RM5,000 for an additional 22 PCs and five Canon laser printers. The rest of the cost for the second-hand goods was borne by a Singaporean company which donated the units, says Tiong.

The equipment consists of 10 units of Futronix 486DX2/66 PCs, 10 units of Compaq Prolinea 4/66 M340 PCs and two units of IBM 350 DX2/66 PCs. All the machines come with only 8MB RAM, which Tiong plans to increase to 40MB.

The units — which bring the total number of PCs at the school to 53 — will be used in the library, teachers’ room and science laboratories.

“We shall be teaching the primary school kids keyboard skills, web browsing and e-mail,” says Tiong.

Related links:
A truly networked school
From chemistry to computers

Published in In.Tech, Star Publications (M) Bhd.

From chemistry to computers

By Anita Devasahayam

TIONG Ting Ming is a chemistry graduate whose foray into technology began in 1984 when he helped set up and manage a computer club at another school.

Since he was an Apple Macintosh fan, the club was equipped with a total of 30 Mac SEs and LCs, all networked together.

“I ran the club for six years and learned everything there was to know about networking,” Tiong says.

When he was promoted to headmaster at SMJK Dindings in June 1992, Tiong decided to use networking as the means to create a conducive environment for the students to learn about technology.

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A truly networked school

By Anita Devasahayam

This month, we focus once again on a single school, SMJK Dindings, and how it will join the Smart School league although it is not among the 90 schools selected under the pilot project that will kick off next January.

SURROUNDED by coconut trees and kampung houses in the middle of a palm oil plantation is Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Dindings in Pundut, Lumut.

At first glance, the Grade B school which lies 95 kilometres from the city of Ipoh strikes one as a quaint sekolah papan, with a new building block located behind the array of wooden classrooms.
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Toffler Raises Furore Over MSC’s Future

By Julian Matthews

November 19, 1998, Kuala Lumpur — Under intense international scrutiny and amid the worst political and financial crisis in its recent history, Malaysia now faces doubts on the viability of its much-touted Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project.

Author Alvin Toffler, an influential member of the MSC’s international advisory panel, has shot the first salvo by castigating the Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for perpetuating a “climate of political repression” that he says will stifle the project.

“I do not believe that this visionary project, which is important for the future of the Malaysian people and serves, in part, as a model and challenge to other countries, can flourish in the present climate of political repression,” he said in a statement issued to this reporter.

He said he believed that other members of the panel, comprising top executives of giant software, computer, and telecommunications companies, shared his view.

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SyQuest to Shut Malaysian Plant, Retrench 1,000 Workers

By Julian Matthews

November 12,1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Removable disk drive maker SyQuest Technology Inc. will shut its manufacturing plants in Penang and displace almost 1,000 workers by year’s end, a government source said.

“About half of the 968 workers are to be retrenched by the end of November, and another half by December,” he said.

The source said the company attributed the closure to a fall in product demand, heavy losses incurred over the past two years and the inability of its headquarters to raise new capital.

The Penang facility has left a recorded message on its main telephone line stating it has shut down temporarily from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15 and would resume operations on Nov 16. Sources said workers were told a new product line would be introduced when the plant was re-opened.

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Malaysia’s Chip Exports Decline for Second Year

By Julian Matthews

November 10, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysia’s exports of semiconductors in the first seven months of 1998 declined by 4 percent, the Finance Ministry’s annual economic report said.

Exports of semiconductors declined to US$8.07 billion from about US$8.4 billion in the same period in 1997. This is the second year exports were down, signaling the heady days of double-digit export growth rates are over.

Exports contracted by 0.8 percent over the same period last year, a significant fall from rises of 24.9 percent in 1996, 25.6 percent in 1995 and 29 percent in 1994.

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Banks Seek to Comply with Y2K Amid Financial Upheaval

By Julian Matthews

November 6, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — Malaysia is confident that its finance, banking and insurance companies will be Year 2000-compliant by Dec. 31, 1998, a full year before the Y2K computer software problem must be resolved.

But even as financial institutions strive to meet the government-imposed deadline, experts are concerned that it may be too late for their corporate customers.

A Securities Commission report indicated that only 93 companies or 12.7 percent of 734 companies listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange were Y2K compliant as of Sept. 24. The official national registry of Y2K-compliant companies, which was set up in May on the Internet at www.y2k.gov.my, has yet to register a single company.

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Malaysia to Build Multimedia Corridor Despite Recession

By Julian Matthews

November 4, 1998 (KUALA LUMPUR) — The Malaysian government is pushing ahead with its plan to build the Multimedia Super Corridor although its economy will shrink by about 4.8 percent in 1998, for its first recession in 13 years.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said the project is crucial for the country to achieve his dream of attaining developed nation status by 2020.

However, the project’s lofty plans to turn a 750-sq.-km former rubber and palm oil estate into an industrial park have come under criticism amidst the political and financial crises.

Mahathir, who assumed the position of finance minister following the sacking of deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, presented a national budget on Oct. 23 in deficit for the first time in six years.

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Banks to Launch E-purse Pilot

By Julian Matthews

Six local banks will launch a commercial pilot for an electronic purse system in January, the first of its kind in the country.

The system uses reloadable chip-based cards which are the forerunners to the national multipurpose card the government plans to rollout as part of its Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) project.

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