A Fellow's View of the APAN Meeting

A Fellow's View of the APAN Meeting

It’s already been two weeks. Sorry for the late post, but I think I owe it to this blog to post something about my trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There I attended the 28th Asia-Pacific Area Network (APAN) Meeting on July 19-24 as a Conference Fellow (i.e. free).

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APAN is a conference on Networking particularly centered on Asia-Pacific communities. It’s unique because it showcases the advances in network research with great emphasis in the academic setting. Most presenters are from universities in Asia, with a reasonable number from the government sector, and a select few from experts in the non-profit organizations and the commercial sector.

I applied for the fellowship grant with no expectation at all. I didn’t even knew about the results until a friend (a more senior colleague) told me I was able to secure a spot. I was lucky to be one of the people in the picture below. I was so happy and thankful! ^^

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Accommodation

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We stayed at the Nova Hotel, a pretty good location in the heart of the city. It is adjacent to Bukit Bintang, only two streets away from Berjaya Times Square where the conference was held and in good proximity to everything else —  from food (Chinese stalls in the same street), gadgets (Plaza Low Yat for us electronics geeks), and sceneries (Twin Tower is just a cab away).

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Conference Sessions

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As expected, I was present in almost all IPv6-related sessions. The first session I sat in was the INET KL 2009: IPv6 the Next Step hosted by ISOC and NAV6. It was a whole day event which culminated with some giveaways, among them an iPod Classic. Unfortunately, I didn’t get anything, not even a free shirt. After the Plenary on Day 2, I was again seen in the IPv6 session, chaired by Ma Yan from BUPT. I knew him from APRICOT in Manila last February and I’m glad he still recognized me. Day 3 was a special one, a live broadcast of the ongoing Solar Eclipse seen in 4 locations in Japan and China. It was extra special being the longest eclipse we can witness in our lifetime. It feels nice that with advanced technology, we can witness and be part of such an event. Next stop for the day is the Network Engineering Workshop which was packed with monitoring tools and performance measurement methods etc.. Towards the end of the day, I transferred to Natural Resource. Now this one is more out of the need for internet connectivity (signal is better in this room) — yes, I was working remotely — but it was pretty informative and interesting too. It’s good to see network applied in this field. Finally, Day 4 was all about Network Security, albeit briefly since there are just about 4 presentations.

The Experience

Overall, the Conference was just about what I expected. Presentations are great, at least in my interest areas. My only problem was with the internet connection both in the hotel and the Conference venue. It was very crucial especially since it’s like all of my servers/services protested in the same week that I was out. So I had to work in between sessions, or better yet, multitasking while somehow listening to the Speaker. But this isn’t always a good practice, i tell ya. 🙂

FREE TIME

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In between the serious stuff, there’s the APAN Banquet at Restoran Seri Melayu, our frequent walk to Low Yat and Bukit Bintang, a drinking session (where I got drunk with iced tea) at Jalan Alor, and a day and night visit to the Petronas Twin Towers. On our last day, I toured to Genting Highlands with friends where we spent a day playing like kids in the theme park (and grade school nerds at Ripley’s).

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