Sorry for the long absence, have been busy with sleep, the apartment, my projects, and PC games. I realised that I haven’t been talking much about what’s been happening for the past week. So sit back, relax and I’ll fill you in.

Porshe Boxter S

Last week, my mum and brother came over to KL so I stayed with them in Midvalley for the weekends. Showering with hot water is something I get to enjoy again haha and eating Japanese food. Tip when eating wasabi: Inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose. Try it and you’ll see the difference =)

Sushi King. Their green tea rocks.

For the past week, I have been in the sanitary bay. We clean planes toilets. There are plenty to learn. We do testing on toilets too. The test rig simulates the flushing and everything except for the waste. We just use tap water. Strange as it may seem, sanitary bay is one of the most interesting workshop I’ve been to. Tomorrow I will be heading to the machine shop. They have lathe machines and other advance machinaries that can make anything out of pieces of metals. This should be fun.

I enjoyed field football for the first time in KL. We went to a field nearby to play real field football. About 30-40 people turned out. But there was no ball. To make matters worse, someone came along and said that we need a referee to play and we cannot be our own referee because we are “not qualified”. The referee “costs” RM50. To solve the ball problem, someone went home to get his ball and we just ignored the “referee” because obviously he’s there to earn some quick cash from some suckers.

Going for “Friday long break”

Friday, the most awaited day comes. Usually on friday, we have a very long break (12:30pm till 2:30pm) for Muslims to go to the surau to pray. So we always head back to our apartment to eat at the nearby restaurant and have a nap and shower before heading back at 2pm.

Isn’t anyone going to do anything about open burning?

This friday however, we came back early to meet one of the avionics engineer to discuss about high powered fm transmitters. We plan to build a 5W transmitter to transmit at a radius of 50KM and make our own radio station. This is illegal of course so I won’t say much here.

IKEA, IKANO and The Curve, all connected.

Friday night, went to IKANO to have a look around. Check out the Audi TT.





Saturday came and we went to pudu to get parts for a few of my projects, like my tesla coil, my coil gun, my pic programmer. And my roomate and I decided to get hamsters. We bought the cage and everything and soon we’ll go The Curve (beside IKANO) to get those tiny cute hamsters we saw the other day. They are so cute that even if you are a hamster hater you’ll find them adorable. Pictures to come once I get them.

Snake to compliment the hamsters.

And today is sunday. We got some stuff for the kitchen, I finish up my PIC programmer and I’ll soon be tearing up the streets in my Carrera GT in NFSMW before heading off to sleep and starting an exciting day tomorrow as a trainee aircraft engineer. Life’s good. Continue reading

First apartment-cooked meal

Eating out is very expensive here. You cannot get RM2.10 kolo mee or RM3 Gubak mee. So to save some money, we cooked our very first homecooked meal here in our Subang Perdana apartment. I must say, I have never been so full of lunchon meat and sausages before haha there’s rice of course.

Warning: The following pictures may contain partial nudity. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

New rice cooker. We didn’t cook enough rice.

An aircraft engineer trying his hands on frying eggs.

If you are wondering why Alvin’s hair is so short, you’re perfectly normal. Just one of those haircuts that went horribly wrong haha

New dining set.

Lunchon meat. Deep fried!

Knowing the properties of Teflon after learning much about aircraft toilets, we got ourselves a Teflon pan. Here, my friend will demonstrate flipping an egg using nothing but his hands. Click here to watch video (400+ KB) Continue reading

Building a PIC programmer

This is a tutorial on building a simple parallel port PIC 16F84 programmer. You need this to program a 16F84 PIC. I know, there are lots of other programmers around on the internet but this was the first programmer that I built years ago and it serves me well till today. I made a new one to replace the other one that died of old age a while ago. But I can assure you that this is one of the most reliable programmer that I have used. Complete info can be found at

Some of the parts of the PIC programmer.

All parts can be bought from any electronics shop. The most expensive part of this circuit is the optional ZIP (zero insertion pressure) socket (RM 6.80). It’s blue-green in color here and it has a little lever on its side. This part makes inserting and removing the PIC a lot simpler. If you use a conventional IC socket, you still need a screwdriver to pry it out after you program it. And you do need to reprogram your PIC many many times during development and testing.

The circuit diagram is as above. You need to design the components layout yourself though. It will be easier to use a bigger circuit board instead of squeezing in all the components into a small board like what I did. But it’s more portable if you make it small and the satisfaction that you get “is better than sex”.

The completed programmer.

When you are done building, double check all connections. Don’t plug in the power just yet because you might fry your PC. It may take some time to make it to work because there may be some connections that you overlooked. I myself made countless stupid mistakes on this circuit, like connecting the 10k resistor to ground instead of +5V and forgetting to connect the 5V and 14V supply. That’s the downside of miniaturization.

Making things neat can really help you troubleshoot problems.

Anyways, after you’re very sure that you got everything right, go to the website I mentioned just now and download the programs. First, install port95nt to allow access to your parallel port. Then use the winpicprog to detect and use your programmer. If you have done everything right, you should be able to program your PIC. If not, check your supply and circuit.

This is how it’s connected to your PC.

Well, this tutorial is meant for those who want to step into the world of PICs but don’t know where to start. I suggest you make this programmer, make it work and surf the net for more information. The net is pratically flooded with PICs. So good luck, and have fun!

PS: or you can go buy a kit. Continue reading