Johnny Long’s Hackers for Charity Update at Shmoocon 2011

Hear what Johnny Long and have been up to thus far. Just had to share this as it is just so inspiring of what he’s been up to and this journey with Hackers for Charity

Related information about Johnny and the how you can get involved with Hackers for Charity:


SMARTER eVisual Communication System (eVCS) System Specifications

With respect to the previous post SMARTER Seeks Help to Develop App for ‘e-pad’, I did manage to meet with Malai, the founder of SMARTER, on Friday afternoon and have a discussion with him regarding my interest to volunteer for this project. I managed to detail out some specifications of the system and general information regarding their current systems. Do read the following and if you can contribute do comment below or tweet me @thewheat

Current Flipbook System

  • Currently SMARTER utilizes physical flipbooks in order to help autistic persons communicate. These are physical booklets that have to be brought around and can be cumbersome. The wish is to digitize this flipbook system and to be used on an Android tablet [there are 2 models currently in possession: one with a 7″ screen and the other an 8″ screen. (links are to similar Android tablets of that screen size)]
  • There is a self-made flipbook system using Microsoft Powerpoint that lets the user click on an action and be brought to a new slide showing the next task/action to take, but this requires a lot of manual effort in creating the flipbook and results in a large file size just for a single activity (17.7MB Powerpoint file for a 25 slide flipbook with 25 different actions/task). This is too cumbersome and needs to be improved
    Existing PowerPoint Flipbook
    Existing PowerPoint Flipbook
  • Flipbooks can be categorized into 2 categories
    • Non-sequential
    • Sequential

    Current Flipbook Samples
    Current Flipbook Samples
  • Sequential types are used for activities such as “Washing Hands” which has a sequence which is shown below and other non-sequential activities such as “I want to go shopping”, or “I want to go home””Washing Hands” sequence:
    1. Open Tap
    2. Wet Hands
    3. Get Soap
    4. Lather Soap
    5. Rinse Hands
    6. Dry Hands
  • Flipbooks are customized per person (autistic people identify with photos if they in the photos performing that action/task)

Proposed Application Specifications:

  • The application should have a graphical representation of the possible actions / activities for the user to select
  • Each item may have sub-items (e.g. First item is “I want to go shopping”, sub-items can be “I want to go to The Mall”, “I want go to Hua Ho” or “I want to go Yayasan”)
  • Voice clips can be played back went an item is selected (e.g. TapToTalk which speaks the action such as “I want to go out”)
  • For sequential activities, there should be an indication of the “next action” to inform the autistic person that there is a pending action to do (during my discussion with Malai, he mentioned that if there is no indication of a next step they could spend all their time doing a current action/task)
  • Pictures and voices must be customizable and be able to be changed by the guardians of the user.
  • Similar applications: TapToTalk, Voice4u, AACSpeechBuddy

Proposed Plan Of Action

  • For the initial stage, I propose a web-based working demo due to the following reasons:
    • it will allow relatively quick changes and mockups
    • it will allow for discussion of features as the actual Android application is developed
    • it can serve as a replacement for the current Powerpoint flipbook system and thus have increased efficiency in creating new flipbooks
    • allow the Brunei community of web developers to play around with HTML and Javascript interactions to see what could work best for the system
  • I have put together a working demo where users can add items (called categories) and specify sub-items to be displayed.
    eCVS Demo System
    eCVS Demo System
    eCVS Demo System - Edit Category
    eCVS Demo System - Edit Category

How You Can Help

  • Do you have any HTML / Javascript know how? Try create a usable interface for system. I will try show them to the people at SMARTER and we can proceed from there
  • Perhaps when the system is more fully functional you can help will data population by adding categories, finding sample images, doing voice recordings.
  • Give some feedback or thoughts on anything that you see: there may be something that you have thought about that has not occurred to any of use. Knowledge sharing beneficial to all =)
  • If you have anything to contribute, do let leave a comment stating how you could help

Charities for Christmas

Two days before Christmas and I bet there are people out there buying their last minute Christmas gifts. Why not take some time out to give to other other people around the World who may need it more than we (or our friends or family) do. Ever little bit counts, come help out.

Below are a list of charity organizations I’ve donated to recently. Feel free to just read up about them or even donate to them.

charity: water

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. 100% of public donations directly fund water projects


For all Revision3 fans I’m sure you know about it but don’t forget to check out the Revision3’s campaign page for all their shows:

Hackers for Charity

(formerly known as I Hack or

We are Hackers for Charity.

So what do we do?

  • We feed children through our “food for work” program.
  • We build computer labs to help students learn skills and land jobs that are key to disrupting poverty’s vicious cycle.
  • We provide technical assistance to charities that can not afford IT services.
  • We provide job experience and references to our volunteers.

Our largest project is headed by Johnny Long in East Africa. In June 2009, he and his family relocated to Uganda to focus on HFC full-time. Read more about their journey here or fund their volunteer work here.

Richmond Book Drive
Not only do you get to donate books to schools, but you also get a few Christmas tracks from Pomplamoose

So spare a thought and prayer for those less fortunate as we have a long weekend that will probably be filled with food, family and fellowship.

With that have a merry Christmas and happy holidays!

La Vida Family Carnival 2010 – Raising funds for La Vida and SMARTER Brunei

Date: Wednesday, 17th November 2010
Time: 12noon – 6pm
Venue: Riverview Hotel Carpark Area
Reason: Fund raising for both La Vida and SMARTER Brunei (proceeds are split 50-50)
Facebook Event Page (Requires Facebook login)

Nothing to do on the afternoon of a public holiday? Stressing out over exams? Wanting something to do on a boring afternoon?

Then come over to the car park behind Riverview Hotel on the 17th of November 2010 where the LaVida Carnival will be! There will be games (loads and loads of games), food and drinks, a puppet show, magic tricks, bouncerS (Mind you, bouncerSSSSSS), a garage sale and more.

And you may be able to finally meet the Mr Friday Night you keep hearing on Pilihan FM! ;)

But the best thing is: all proceeds will go to non-profit organisations who serve the community and help those in need. 50% will go to SMARTER and 50% will go to LaVida. Not only that, the carnival helps to raise awareness about those with special needs. This is YOUR chance to help Brunei!

So I hope to see you (and your families and your friends and your schoolmates and your coworkers and your bosses… ;D) there on the 17th!

Spread the word! It’s gonna be an exciting afternoon. =)

Source: Facebook Event Page

What is La Vida?

La Vida is a parent’s resource centre and toy library, where I volunteer about two Fridays a month. The center’s mission is to care and give compassion to the community. The resources are available for loans to children with special needs and/or those who are financial needy. It is a non-profit company and the funds come from sponsorships.

Source: La Vida Parent’s Resource Centre & Toy Library

For more information about La Vida, do read the following blog posts from


The idea for Movember was sparked in 2003 over a few beers in Melbourne, Australia. The guys behind it joked about 80’s fashion and decided it was time to bring the moustache back. In order to justify their Mos (Australian slang for moustache), they used their new looks to raise money for prostate cancer research… never dreaming that facial hair would ultimately lead to a global movement that would get men talking about a taboo subject – their health.

A Mo Bro starts Movember – the month formerly known as November – clean shaven, and grows a moustache all month long, garnering support from friends and family in the form of donations. What’s more, a Mo Bro is a walking billboard for the cause as his new look opens the door for him to talk about cancers affecting men – making the moustache a symbol, much like the pink ribbon is for breast cancer. Each Movember culminates in a Gala Partè in major cities around the globe where Mo Bros dress up to match their Mo, channeling the likes of Tom Selleck, Gandhi and Ron Burgandy, vying for the ultimate accolade: Man of Movember.

While growing a Mo is left to the guys, Mo Sistas (women who support their guys) form an important part of Movember by recruiting Mo Bros, helping to raise funds and attending Movember events.

I first heard about Movember last year on PaulDotCom Security Weekly and realizing that it is November once again, I thought I’d give it a go. I know it’s a bit late and I didn’t manage to follow the rules completely (shaving on the 1st of November, think I shaved on the 2nd and forgot to take a photo) but I guess it’s the thought that counts. Taking into account that my dad died of cancer brings this closer to home for me.

I’ve created Team Brunei for anybody willing to join me / donate to the cause.

I’ve joined under Movember Australia as I’m here at the moment and it’s raising funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue (the national depression initiative), however you are free to pick a which foundation/organization to support as listed below (source), though I’m not sure if you can still join my team if you register under a different website.

  1. Movember Australia – The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and beyondblue: the national depression initiative
  2. Movember Canada – Prostate Cancer Canada (Français)
  3. Movember Ireland – Action Prostate Cancer, an initiative of the Irish Cancer Society
  4. Movember New Zealand – The Cancer Society and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
  5. Movember United Kingdom – The Prostate Cancer Charity
  6. Movember United States – The Prostate Cancer Foundation and Lance Armstrong Foundation

[tags charity, movember]

SMARTER Brunei Charity Walk

Via tagboard in response to his post

SMARTER Dad: Those interested to join the ” Charity Walk ” please contact this number 8743777 ( Malai ) , 8734427 ( Hajijah ), 8865646 ( Major Talip ) 8769264 ( Edwin Chong ) , 8732046 ( Hj Yusuf ) … You all can join the walk from one stop or another on 2 May or 3 May . Walk for Charity …8 stop altogether the shortest being 3 km only …Reeda you can join the last to GIANT .. :biggrin:

Calling all people in Brunei to help SMARTER raise the B$1.9 million needed for their new building. Too bad I’ll be in Singapore attending a friends wedding, would have loved to join in this event