get narrowed… Jawi script as Identity Marker

Oman Fathurahman 


Jawi script has played an important role in the development of the literary tradition among the Malay-Indonesian peoples. It is often considered as a means of first access to their literary tradition for people in this region. Apart from this, a number of scholars – perhaps exaggeratingly – are of the opinion that the history of the Malay literary tradition started with the introduction of the Jawi script.[2]

The long-standing influence of Jawi script came about parallel with the islamization process where it became the written means of communication for the Malay-Indonesian people starting as early as the fourteenth century, replacing a number of other scripts that had developed before it.[3] For this reason it is not surprising that writings in Jawi script form a depository of information from the past about customs, traditions, literature, culture, and religion.

It is important to stress that it was also via the Jawi script that the ‘Malays’ came into political contact with the larger Islamic community which had a literate tradition and by so doing arrived at the same level of other communities that had used Arabic script before them to write such as the Persians, Urdu speaking peoples in India, Turkey and peoples in Central Asia.

It is often assumed that the Jawi script came up as an attempt to modify Arabic script. While this cannot be denied, it is also important to consider the influence of Persian script in the process of the creation of Jawi script, bearing in mind the number of similarities in form and character. Moreover, the Muslim intellectual tradition in island Southeast Asia does indeed note a rather strong Persian influence, especially since its early times. Unfortunately, this Persian influence on Jawi script has as yet not been the focus of much research.
Leaving the exact origins of Jawi script behind, it has been acknowledged that in the context of the Muslim intellectual tradition it has put the Muslim community in the Malay world, which was up to then considered to be the periphery, into the mainstream Islamic world. This can be seen, for instance, from the formation of interrelationships that came into being between a number of ulama from the Malay-Indonesian world and great ulama in the center of Muslim scholarship, especially Mecca and Medina (aramayn).
[4] Religious works in Jawi script, writings of the ‘Jawi ulama’, or AîÊāb al-Jāwiyyīn as they are commonly called, such as Abdussamad al-Palimbani, Dawud al-Patani, Nawawi al-Bantami were not only found in the Malay-Archipelagic world but also among the community in Mecca and Medina.

Indeed, during its next development, the influence of Jawi writings among the Malay-Indonesian communities experienced an extraordinary decline. Dutch and British colonialism has undoubtedly contributed to the decline in the usage of this script. There were two critical moments in the development and demise of Jawi script. Did we witness a change in the fourteenth century from a number of writing systems such as Pallawa and post-Pallawa to Jawi, from around the end of the nineteenth century the demise set in and Jawi script was gradually replaced by Latin script.

Naturally, these developments did not occur in any extreme way but came about gradually. Also, not all regions in the area experienced this change to the same degree. In Malaysia, for instance, the influence of Jawi script is still felt (see e.g. the contribution of Jim Collins to this volume) in its literacy tradition up to the present. In Indonesia, even though limited to a few regions, the Jawi script is at present still used among certain groups in society for the transmission of ideas as well as for less ‘serious’ matters.

This contribution will pay attention to a number of issues in connection to Jawi script in the Malay-Archipelagic world such as those touched upon above, especially related to Jawi script as identity marker stressing the focus on experiences in West Sumatra and Aceh.

Jawi Script: the Domestication of Arabic Script
and the Vernacularization of Islam

For part of the general public, the word ‘Jawi’[5] immediately refers to one specific area in the Indonesian region, Java. This is incorrect as the term ‘Jawi’ in this context refers to the Nusantara area as a whole which includes in this context present-day Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern Thailand. In the context of the Muslim tradition, for instance, the expression ‘Jawi ulama’ does not at all refer to those ulama only who originated from Java but to ulama from the whole Nusantara area such as Abdurrauf Singkel from Aceh, Abdussamad al-Palimbani from Palembang (South Sumatra), Muhammad Arsyad al-Banjari from Banjar (South Kalimantan), Shaikh Yusuf al-Makassari from Makasar (South Celebes), Nawawi al-Bantani from Banten (West Java), Muhammad Zainuddin bin Muhammad Nadwi al-Sumbawi from Sumbawa (Lesser Sunda Islands), Shaikh Dawud al-Fatani from Patani (present-day Southern Thailand), etc. [6] In the same vein, in the context of Jawi writings, the Jawi characters do not at all refer to Javanese script or language, but to Arabic characters modified in such a way as to be able to be used for writing a number of languages in Nusantara such as Acehnese, Minangkabau and especially Malay while Jawi script used for Sundanese (West Java) and Javanese is referred to as pegon.

Indeed, considering the form and the number of its characters, Jawi can be called a domesticated (adjusted) form of Arabic script for the use of writing regional languages, especially Malay. This domestication is especially related to changes here and there to adjust it to the phonological system of the local languages concerned. Jawi therefore includes all the 29 characters of the Arabic script completed with 6 additional characters so that the total number of characters, excluding the numerals, is 35.[7] The added six letters have of course been added to accommodate sounds in the local languages unknown in Arabic.

The twenty-nine characters of the Arabic alphabet are: ا (a), ب (b), ت (t), ث (tha), ج (j), ح (Ê), خ (kh), د (d), ذ (dh), ر (r), ز (z), س (s), ش (sh), ص (î), ض (¼), ط (ð), ظ (§), ع (‘), غ (gh), ف (f), ق (q), ك (k), ل (l), م (m), ن (n), و (w), هـ (h), ء (’), dan ي (y). And the added six characters are: فـ (v), چ (c), ع (ng), ڤ (p), گ (g), dan پ (ny).

As has been mentioned above, there are no definite data to explain how, and from where, these six characters are derived while the influence from Persian script needs to be considered as it would seem inconceivable that these characters were devised in a vacuum without any outside inspiration lying at its basis.

Whatever the case, regardless of how and from where the six characters originate, it is undeniable that as far as their historical development is concerned, Islam forms the most important factor as Arabic script itself is used for the Quran. It was thus parallel to the intensification of the islamization process in the area that Jawi script also experienced the top of its immense distribution.

The sultans in the region, who often considered themselves to be defenders of Islam if not the shadow of God on earth (zillullah fil ard) were also instrumental in the acceleration of the socialization of the Jawi script. The Sultan of Bima, for instance, ordered in 1055/1645 that the palace chronicle (Bo’) be written ‘using Malay with a script condoned by Allah the Highest.’ (“dengan memakai bahasa melayu dengan rupa tulisan yang diridlai Allah ta’ala”).[8]

Moreover still, Jawi script clearly also formed an important factor in the articulation of society in the Malay-Indonesian world in particular, and Nusantara in general in the acceptance and translation of Islam in writings in the local context.[9] These local writings came in their turn to be a distinctive characteristic that differentiated Islam in this region from Islam in other parts in the world.

Jawi Script and the Literacy Tradition in the Malay-Indonesian World

A number of regions in the Malay-Nusantara world in general and in the Malay-Indonesian world in particular used to have a high level of literacy from old times onward which was possibly higher than literacy traditions in Europe during the same period.[10] Before Jawi became in use a number of languages were written using a number of scripts such as Rencong, Lampung, Javanese, Buginese/Makassarese, and others.

Jawi script is often considered in this context as the first door to open up the literacy traditions in a number of regional languages in Indonesia. However, it is important to note that compared to the number of regional languages in Indonesia the phenomenon of Jawi script is only applicable to a small number of languages such as Acehnese, Minangkabau, and, possibly in a more restricted way, to Ternatanese and Banjarese. In Aceh, for instance, Acehnese in Jawi script only came up around two centuries after writing Malay in Jawi script experienced its golden era during the times of the Kingdom of Aceh Darussalam in the seventeenth century. The same may be said of Minangkabau where prior to the introduction of Jawi script Minang society was known for its oral traditions. The Minangkabau language became known in written form only after the introduction of Jawi script.

The concept that the Jawi script formed the first access to their written tradition would seem not applicable for Malay itself. Writing traditions in Indonesia had existed a long time before the advent of Islam introduced Jawi script, Malay was already distributed in scripts available at the time, although this distribution was not as spectacular as after the introduction of Jawi script. From old times onward Malay was admired not only because of its orality and development into a lingua franca, but also because of its written tradition.[11]

Research conducted by Uli Kozok on a Malay manuscript from the fourteenth century in the village of Tanjung Tanah in Kerince (South Sumatra) revealed that as early as the fourteenth century Malay was written using s pre-islamic post-Pallawa script that still shows many similarities with Malay characters from the time of Adityawarman.[12] In the same collection of manuscripts Kozok encountered another manuscript in Malay using Ulu or Rencong script.

Annabel Teh Gallop also pointed to a tree bark manuscript in the library of Oxford University that was written in Malay using Lampung script. This manuscript is said to have been bequeathed to the Library as early as 1630.[13]


It is thus clear that the assumption that the Malay literary tradition started with the introduction of the Jawi script is incorrect. What is true is that the Malay literary tradition experienced a complete change after Islam entered Nusantara and the Jawi script became more widely known; virtually every other script for writing Malay was abandoned in favor of the use of Jawi script. This happened because the Jawi script itself was commensurate with the ‘ideology’. The Muslim dimension and also the political one in writing in Jawi script influenced the advent of the hegemony of writing in Jawi in the subsequent Malay literary tradition. In this case, Hasan Madmarn (1999, p. 40) –after explaining the extend of the Hindu-Budha script in the previous century– draws the following picture: ‘This ancient system of writing was then almost totally replaced by the Arabic script, due to the spreading of Islamic influence into the region. … With the islamization of the Malay Peninsular in the thirteenth century, Islam brought with it the message of the Quran and its script. Thus, abandoning original Indian script, the Malays adopted the Arabic writing system with certain modifications to suit the local phonological system.’

However, it is important to note that while Islam penetrated a number of regions and was accepted by various ethnic groups in Indonesia, apparently only Malay experienced extreme changes in its literate tradition. A number of other areas, such as Java, Bugis-Makassar, Rencong, and Batak, for instance, did not abandon their scripts. This may be surmised especially from the great number of manuscripts written in these languages not using Jawi. In South Celebes, for instance, many religious manuscripts – even though partly written in Jawi – were written using Bugis-Makassarese script.[14]



The Hegemony of Jawi Script: The Religious and Political Dimension
As has been referred to above, one of the factors that caused the immense influence of Jawi script in the Malay-Indonesian literate traditions was of course Islam. Arabic script – as the basis of Jawi script – was used to write the Quran and in the context of the vernacularization of Islam, as pointed out above, the Jawi script in its turn was used by the ulama in the Malay-Indonesian world to write religious texts in Malay and other local languages, or, at least, in translations from the Arabic into these local languages. One of the most important pieces of evidence for this phenomenon are the large number of manuscripts with religious content that were written in Jawi (including pegon) both in Malay as well as in Javanese or Sundanese.
In the Muslim tradition, wherever in the world, including in the Malay-Indonesian world, texts occupy an important place. The major teachings of Islam are found in written texts, including the Quran and the hadiths of the Prophet. Quranic interpretations and interpretations of the hadiths were also put into writing and became to form a multitude of texts in themselves starting with texts on interpretation, jurisprudence, Sufism, theology and other is a multitude of languages as well. All these texts came to form guidelines for a way of living for each Muslim and it is therefore apt to call the Muslim society a ‘text society’. Of course, the script (Arabic) used for these respected texts became respected itself in Muslim society.
In the context of the Malay-Indonesian communities these religious texts were frequently written and translated in local languages and the Jawi script became a factor of identity among the members of these communities. By borrowing and subsequently modifying Arabic script into Jawi it seems the Malay peoples found an identity as a large people as they became connected to a different and much larger and universal world: Islam. Moreover, by implementing their literate tradition by means of Jawi the Malay-Indonesian community politically became on a par with other peoples that had adopted Arabic script before them to write their local languages such as Persia, the Urdu speaking communities of India, Turkey and Central Asian States.
Having an ‘Islamic’ literate tradition the Malay-Indonesian community became intensively involved in the transmission of Islamic sciences from its center in the Arab world, especially the Haramayn: Mecca and Medina. Research conducted by Azyumardi Azra reveal the extent of the force of the Haramayn influence in forming the intellectual Islamic tradition and discourse in the Malay-Indonesian world especially since the seventeenth century.[16] Whatever dynamics were taking place in the Haramayn were also having their impact in circles in the Malay-Indonesian world. This in its turn had as a consequence that a mainstreaming took place in the Malay-Indonesian world itself, being part of the Muslim world.

Latest Developments in Jawi Script:
Some Leftovers
The replacement of a number of scripts used for local languages in Indonesia by Jawi script in the fourteenth century may be viewed as an extremely important cultural momentum. It is important as it designates the arrival of an era in which Jawi script gained its hegemonic role in the literate traditions to come.
In the context of Indonesia the number of manuscripts, literary and religious ones, that were written in Jawi script, especially in Malay, was enormous. This was evidently pushed by the fact that since the fourteenth century Malay literature started to flourish at both sides of the Strait of Malacca. At that time the Malay language had already spread throughout the Indonesian archipelago and was used in the entire Malay world in general as a lingua franca, and had become the medium for Islamic propagation. That is why Malay literature, which in the context of religion was written in Jawi, had also spread throughout Nusantara. Malay works of literature in Jawi were not only produced in Riau or the Malay Peninsula only, but also in a number of other royal centers sometimes located far away such as Aceh, Bima, Ternate, etc.[17]
The second important momentum in connection with Jawi script in Indonesia occurred five centuries later, at the end of the nineteenth century when slow but surely Jawi script came to be replaced by Latin script as a result of influences of Dutch and British colonialism.[18] From that moment onwards up till the present day the tradition of writing using Jawi script has declined and almost vanished. All sorts of intellectual works, literary and religious, are now being written in Latin script. Perhaps only in a handful of pesantren is the Jawi script still used, but even there very rarely.
Indeed, the demise of the tradition of writing Jawi does not mean that it has meant the disappearance of the identity that has been build by means of the tradition of the usage of Jawi script and the transmission of Islamic science continues be it in a different way and having a different character, using Latin script.


Apart from that, it should also be noted that in a number of regions in Indonesia the tradition of writing in Jawi script has not totally disappeared. In West Sumatra, for instance, the tradition of writing religious manuscripts using Jawi script continues be it much less intensively compared to former times. A number of Shattāriyya manuscripts from the end of the twentieth century which were discovered present proof of the continuation of the tradition parallel with Islam taking roots and develop in circles of tarekats, especially the Shattāriyya and the Naqshbandiyya in this area. 
The same is witnessed in Aceh. As far as can be gathered at the moment, in Banda Aceh city the Jawi script is always used but in a different context; no longer in connection with scholarship but ‘only’ to accompany Latin script for many place boards, banners, school names, names of Bank offices, restaurants and even on rice bags. Putting Jawi script next to Latin script has been stipulated in a District Regulation in connection with the implementation of the sharÌa in Nanggroe Aceh Darusslam.Bibliography
Abdullah, Abdul Rahman. 2000. Sejarah dan Tamadun Asia Tenggara Sebelum dan Sesudah Pengaruh Islam. Kuala Lumpur: Utusan.



Azra, Azyumardi. 2004. Jaringan Ulama Timur Tengah dan Kepulauan Nusantara Abad ke-17 dan XVIII. Bandung: Mizan, revised edition.
———–. 2004. The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia: Networks of Malay-Indonesian and Middle Eastren ‘Ulamª’ in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Australia: Allen & Unwin.
Chambert-Loir, Henri & Fathurahman, Oman. 1999. Khazanah Naskah: Panduan Koleksi Naskah-naskah Indonesia se-Dunia. Jakarta: Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient in collaboration with Yayasan Obor Indonesia.
Chambert-Loir, Henri & Salahudin, St. Maryam. 1999. Bo Sangaji Kai. Jakarta: Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient in collaboration with Yayasan Obor Indonesia.
Collins, James T. 1994. “Bahasa Melayu di Batas Zaman: Renungan Sejarah, Ramalan Arah”. Dewan Bahasa 38: 484-495.
Gallop, Annabel Teh & Arps, Barnard. 1991. Golden Letters: Writing Traditions of Indonesia=Surat Emas: Budaya Tulis di Indonesia. London: The British Library; Jakarta: Yayasan Lontar.
Hooker, M.B., 1983, “Introduction: The Translation of Islam into South-East Asia”, dalam Hooker, M.B. (peny.), Islam in South-East Asia, Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Johns, A.H. 1996. “In the Language of the Divine: The Contribution of Arabic”, dalam Ann Kumar & John H. McGlynn (eds.), Illuminations: The Writing Traditions of Indonesia, Jakarta: Lontar, p. 33-48.
Jones, Russel. 1986. “The Origins of the Malay Manuscript Tradition” In C. D. Grijns and S. O. Robson, Cultural Contact and Textual Interpretation. Papers from the fourth European Colloquium on Malay and Indonesian Studies, held in Leiden in 1983, pp. 121-143. Dordrecht/Cinnaminson: Foris.
Kang Kyoung Seock. 1990. Perkembangan Tulisan Jawi dalam Masyarakat Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Kozok, Uli, “Kitab Undang-undang Tanjung Tanah: Naskah Melayu Tertua dari Abad ke-14”. Paper at the International Simposium of Archipelago Manuscripts (Manassa), Wisma Syahida UIN Jakarta 26-28 July 2004.
Madmarn, Hasan. 1999. The Pondok and Madrasah in Patani. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Press.
Musa, Hashim Haji. 1999. Sejarah Perkembangan Tulisan Jawi. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
————. 1997. Epigrafi Melayu: Sejarah Sistem Tulisan dalam Bahasa Melayu. [Siri Monograf Sejarah Bahasa Melayu]. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka.
Reid, A. 1992. Asia Tenggara dalam Kurun Niaga 1450-1680, Jilid I: Tanah di Bawah Angin. Jakarta: Yayasan Obor Indonesia.
Riddell, Peter Gregory. 2001. Islam and the Malay-Indonesian World: Transmission and Responses, Singapore: Horizon Books.
Sedyawati, Edi, and others (eds.). 2004. Sastra Melayu Lintas Daerah. Jakarta: Pusat Bahasa Departemen Pendidikan Nasional.
Tradisi Penulisan Manuskrip Melayu. 1997. Kuala Lumpur: Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia.
[1] This article has been translated from the Indonesian version by Dick van der Meij. I would like to thank also to Prof. Dr. Henri Chambert-Loir for his comments and suggestions on the first draft of this article.
[2] See for instance Jones 1986, p. 139, and Abdullah 2000, p. 405.
[3] Madmarn 1999, p. 40.
[4] Azra 1994, especially chapters 3 and 4.
[5] The term ‘Jawi’ is not only mentioned in the context of the script, but also in studies on a number of ulama originating from the Malay area who studied religion in the Haramayn (Mecca and Medina). This Malay ulama community was known under the name Ashāb al-Jāwiyyīn.
[6] Studies on these ulama include their academic carriers and the significance of their roles in the Muslim Malay-Nusantara intellectual tradition and discourse. See Azra 1994 and 2004.
[7] Kang Kyoung Seock 1990, chapter 2; Musa 1999, p. 11-12.
[8] Chambert-Loir & Salahuddin 1999, p. xii.
[9] See Hooker 1983, p. 1-2.
[10] Reid 1992, p. 276-277.
[11] Collins 1994, p. 484-495.
[12] Kozok 2004, p. 1.
[13] Gallop 1991, p. 71.
[14] See, for instance, Roger Tol in Tradisi Penulisan Manuskrip Melayu, 1997, p. 163-164.
[15] Johns 1996, p. 33-48.
[16] Azra 2004. especially chapters 3 and 4; see also Riddel 2001.
[17] On this and on a general picture of the plethora of Malay manuscripts see Chambert-Loir & Fathurahman 1999, p. 131-171.
[18] Collins, in Tradisi Penulisan Manuskrip Melayu 1997, p. 55.

alhamdulillah !

alhamdulillah praise to Allah! today Allah lead my way …Alhamdulillah.. i had found the measurement and the stand point for my research… Start from morning untill 1.30 pm i do the correction to my proposal… the system requirement and methodology i had draft … so tonight i will do the writting … and prepare the slide.. i need to print my proposal tomorrow.. up to 40 pages of proposal and up to 35 slides for my proposal presentation..

Alhamdulillah… may Allah with me ! amiin !

Practical Privacy Guide:Steganography

When the Greek tyrant Histiaeus was held as a virtual prisoner of king Darius in Susa in the 5th century BCE, he had to send a secret message to his son-in-law Aristagoras to the Anatolian city of Miletus. Histiaeus shaved the head of a slave and tattooed a message on his scalp. When the slave’s hair had grown long enough he was dispatched to Miletus. That’s how Herodotus describes one of the first cases of using steganography in the ancient world, the art of covered writing.

As the art developed it eventually became a science that has been helping people throughout the ages to disguise the very fact of information transmission. Ancient Romans used to write between lines using invisible ink based on various natural substances such as fruit juices, urine, and milk. Their experience was not forgotten: even nowadays children play spies and write secret messages that appear only when heated.

During the World War II the Germans developed the microdot. A secret message was photographically reduced to the size of a period, and affixed as the dot for the letter ‘i’ or other punctuation on a paper containing a written message. Microdots permitted the transmission of large amounts of printed data, including technical drawings, and the fact of the transmission was effectively hidden.

The wide usage of steganography during the war and the atmosphere of suspiciousness caused the institution of many restrictions that seem very funny today. In USA banned in advance were the international mailing of postal chess games, knitting instructions, newspaper clippings, children’s drawings. It was also illegal to send cables ordering that specific types of flowers be delivered on a specific date, and eventually all international flower orders were banned by the US and British governments. In the USSR all international mailings were screened in attempt to detect any hostile activities.

The rapid progress of computer technology made all these restrictions obsolete. Nowadays everyone can make use of the advantages steganography can offer as a tool for hidden data transmission as well as for copyright protection. You can find more information on steganography on this site. Here we’ll take a brief look at how steganography can help us protect our privacy.

Steganographic Software
Computer steganography is based on two principles. The first one is that the files that contain digitized images or sound can be altered to a certain extend without loosing their functionality unlike other types of data that have to be exact in order to function properly. The other principle deals with the human inability to distinguish minor changes in image color or sound quality, which is especially easy to make use of in objects that contain redundant information, be it 16-bit sound, 8-bit or even better 24-bit image. Speaking of images, changing the value of the least significant bit of the pixel color won’t result in any perceivable change of that color.

One of the best and most widely spread steganographic product for Windows95/98/NT is S-Tools (check this site for a huge list of steganograhic products and download links). This freeware program lets you hide files of any type in .gif and .bmp images as well as in .wav sounds. Moreover, S-Tools is actually a steganographic and cryptographic product in one, because the file to be hidden is encrypted using one of the symmetric key algorithms: DES (it’s time has gone), Triple DES, and IDEA – the latter ones are very secure as of today. Working with the program is fun! You just drag the carrier file into the program window, then you drag the file you want to hide, choose an algorithm and a password, and here we go!

One can tell the difference between the clean and the loaded file only by comparing them, so if you look at the resulting file only, it looks totally innocent. For better security it is recommended that one uses images with many halftones and preferably unknown to the public because minor changes in them will not be noticed. Using Henri Matisse’s The Dance is not a very good idea, because everyone (at least in our old good intellectual Europe) knows what it looks like, besides there are large spots of the same color. Try using your dog’s photo. Let’s have a look at what we can do with this program:


Image 1 Image 2
Sound 1 Sound 2

The left image in the first row (8.9K) contains no hidden data while the right one (11.2K) contains about 5K of password-protected text. In the second row the left sound file (4.6K) is also empty, while the right file contains 0.5K of text (the file size remained the same). Amazing, isn’t it? Almost no distinctions. The ratio of the image file size and the text file size to be hidden depends on the image. Sometimes the maximum allowed text file size is even higher than the image size. Anyway, even if someone suspects that you are hiding something it’s no help: without the password one cannot tell if an image has been processed by S-Tools.

Another good steganographic product is Steganos Security Suite (shareware). Unlike S-Tools it comprises a set of security tools including virtual encrypted drive, Internet Trace Destructor, clipboard encryption utility, shredder and several others. Steganos Security Suite employs AES and Blowfish encryption algorithms and is capable of hiding data in .bmp and .wav files after either finding them on your hard drive or creating them. As you surf the net your computer stores information about web sites that you visited, thus allowing other persons to trace your internet activities. The Internet Trace Destructor included into Steganos Suite can erase traces of your internet activities from your computer. Besides Steganos adds an option of sending files from your hard drive to the shredder which makes it impossible to recover them. Hey spies, get to the job!

A good file encryption utility with steganographic capabilities is Scramdisk. It is designed to create virtual encrypted drives and has an option to create a virtual drive out of .wav file and hide data inside it. The size of the encrypted partition varies between 25 and 50 percent of the original file size. The best thing about this program is that without knowing the pass-phrase it is not possible to prove that the file contains additional data.

Digital Watermarking
Speaking of commercial steganographic applications we should definitely mention digital watermarking which is a special technique of creating invisible digital marks in images and audio files that carry copyright information. These marks can be detected by special programs that can derive a lot of useful information from the watermark: when the file was created, who holds the copyright, how to contact the author etc. As you know tons of copyrighted material are reproduced , i.e. stolen on the Net every day so this technology might be useful if you are a designer.

There are many companies on the Net that sell watermarking products. One of the leaders is Digimarc that claims to have distributed over a million copies of its software. They offer a free download of PictureMarc which is a plug-in for Photoshop and CorelDraw, or stand-alone ReadMarc. Once you download and install it, you just open a file and read hidden watermarks embedded in it (if any). For those who want to go further Digimarc offers individual Creator ID (free for 1 year) that allows to embed watermarks in your own images before you put them on the Web. I believe many customers including designers, photographers and online galleries do it. Playboy magazine does it too. And then corporate users are offered to download MarcSpider that crawls the Web looking through all images and reports any unauthorized reproduction of them. Although in case of Playboy I can hardly believe anyone would put their photos on a site for commercial purposes because they can only attract schoolchildren…Anyway, it’s up to them.

So it looks like the golden age of integrity is coming: authors no longer suffer from thefts, thieves take cameras, brushes, mice in their hands and start creating beautiful artworks themselves… but no! In spite of the manufacturers’ claims watermarking didn’t prove to be robust enough. Watremarks can survive a lot of things: brightness and contrast adjustments, applying special filters and even printing and scanning, but they cannot survive the manipulations of special programs such as StirMark and UnZign that appeared on the Net soon after the new technology was introduced. Apparently these tools are not targeted against any specific steganographic algorithm, they are rather benchmarks that help customers choose the most robust watermarking software. And the conclusion they lead us to is: as of today all watermarks can be destroyed without significant loss in picture quality.

“Well, now what?” the reader might ask. I don’t know. Probably the algorithms will become more complicated or new image file formats will emerge. But any engineering entails reverse engineering, infinitely continuing the spiral of the technological progress. As it was written in my favorite book:

“What are your plans now?”
“My plans are whatever happens.”


Back to index

This Privacy Guide was originally written by Mr.Byte in 1997-1998.

Force your self ! you can do IT

Alhamdulillah .. last week ..a couples of day i have to face some obstacles.. alhamdulillah today and the onwards days.. i will face it toughfly.. haha i am lacking of vocabulary ..hmm.. my housemate remind me to read loudly any pharagraph of english text everyday in 5-10 minutes to enure you are speaking fluently.. insyaallah i will practicing it 🙂 ..

Ok lets we look up my task today…

  • study the arabic script – alhamdulillah done !
  • re view the anchor paper and at the same time enhanced the slide presentation – alhamdulillah done !
  • re check the objective Alhamdulillah, now i am recheck the: terms, LR, measurement, methodology, system architecture.. wow! i though i had done.. never mind … do the best for the best ! Alhamdulillah a little bit more (@ faculty and now the time is 10.30 pm) hmm.. i need to packing and go back home.. have a refreshment and continue a little bit more !
  • re check every single part of the slide hoho

the  proposal mostly completed. insyaallah my target by tomorrow evening i have to submit my draft. FOCUS !!! Ya Allah…lead me the way …amiin.. –> huhu i did not achieve the target 😦  caiyoks ! don`t give up dear !




Prototyping is defined as creating a model, which displays the necessary characteristics of a proposed system

  • Gathering requirements – these requirements will be stated by the knowledge workers as well as become apparent in comparison with the old or existing system
  • Create prototype of system – Confirm a technically proficient system by using prototypes and create basic screen and reports
  • Review by knowledge workers – create a model of the system that will be analyzed, inspected and evaluated by knowledge workers who will propose recommendations to have the system reach its maximum potential
  • Revise the prototype
  • Market the idea of the new system – use the prototype to sell the new system and convince the organization of the advantages of switching up to the new system

[edit] Outsourcing

Outsourcing is defined as having a third party (outside the organization) to build the organization’s system so expert minds can create the highest quality system by.

  • Outsourcing for development software –
    • Purchasing existing software and paying the publisher to make certain modifications and paying the publisher for the right to make modifications yourself
    • Outsourcing the development of an entirely new unique system for which no software exists
  • Selecting a target system – make sure there is no confidential information critical to the organization that others should not see. If the organization is small enough, consider selfsourcing
  • Establish logical requirements – IT specialists and knowledge workers collaborate in a joint application design (JAD) and discuss which tasks to undertake to make the system most successful to gather business requirements
  • Develop a request for a proposal – a request for proposal (RFP) is created and formalized. It includes everything the home organization is looking for in the system and can be used as the legal binding contract
  • Evaluate request for proposed returns and choose a vendor amongst the many who have replied with different prototypes
  • Test and Accept a Solution – the chosen system must be tested by the home organization and a sign-off must be conducted
  • Monitor and Reevaluate – keep the system up to date with the changing environment and evaluate the chosen vendor’s ability and accommodate to maintain the system

Systems Development Life Cycle (SLC) in the United Kingdom’

The SDLC is referred to as the Systems Life Cycle (SLC) in the United Kingdom, whereby the following names are used for each stage:
1. Terms Of Reference — the management will decide what capabilities and objectives they wish the new system to incorporate;
2. Feasibility Study — asks whether the managements’ concept of their desired new system is actually an achievable, realistic goal, in-terms of money, time and end result difference to the original system. Often, it may be decided to simply update an existing system, rather than to completely replace one;
3. Fact Finding and Recording — how is the current system used? Often questionnaires are used here, but also just monitoring (watching) the staff to see how they work is better, as people will often be reluctant to be entirely honest through embarrassment about the parts of the existing system they have trouble with and find difficult if merely asked;
4. Analysis — free from any cost or unrealistic constraints, this stage lets minds run wild as ‘wonder systems’ can be thought-up, though all must incorporate everything asked for by the management in the Terms Of Reference section;
5. Design — designers will produce one or more ‘models’ of what they see a system eventually looking like, with ideas from the analysis section either used or discarded. A document will be produced with a description of the system, but nothing is specific — they might say ‘touchscreen’ or ‘GUI operating system’, but not mention any specific brands;
6. System Specification — having generically decided on which software packages to use and hardware to incorporate, you now have to be very specific, choosing exact models, brands and suppliers for each software application and hardware device;
7. Implementation and Review — set-up and install the new system (including writing any custom (bespoke) code required), train staff to use it and then monitor how it operates for initial problems, and then regularly maintain thereafter. During this stage, any old system that was in-use will usually be discarded once the new one has proved it is reliable and as usable.
8. Use – obviously the system needs to actually be used by somebody, otherwise the above process would be completely useless.
9. Close – the last step in a system’s life cycle is its end, which is most often forgotten when you design the system. The system can be closed, it can be migrated to another (more modern platform) or it’s data can be migrated into a replacing system.

V-Models VS Waterfall models

The V-model is a software development process which can be presumed to be the extension of the waterfall model. Instead of moving down in a linear way, the process steps are bent upwards after the coding phase, to form the typical V shape. The V-Model demonstrates the relationships between each phase of the development life cycle and its associated phase of testing

The waterfall model is a sequential software development model (a process for the creation of software) in which development is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing (validation), integration, and maintenance. The origin of the term “waterfall” is often cited to be an article published in 1970 by Winston W. Royce (1929–1995),[1] although Royce did not use the term “waterfall” in this article. Ironically, Royce was presenting this model as an example of a flawed, non-working model (Royce 1970).

System Development Life Cycle

Once upon a time, software development consisted of a programmer writing code to solve a problem or automate a procedure. Nowadays, systems are so big and complex that teams of architects, analysts, programmers, testers and users must work together to create the millions of lines of custom-written code that drive our enterprises.

To manage this, a number of system development life cycle (SDLC) models have been created: waterfall, fountain, spiral, build and fix, rapid prototyping, incremental, and synchronize and stabilize.

The oldest of these, and the best known, is the waterfall: a sequence of stages in which the output of each stage becomes the input for the next. These stages can be characterized and divided up in different ways, including the following:



  • Project planning, feasibility study: Establishes a high-level view of the intended project and determines its goals. 
  • Systems analysis, requirements definition: Refines project goals into defined functions and operation of the intended application. Analyzes end-user information needs. 
  • Systems design: Describes desired features and operations in detail, including screen layouts, business rules, process diagrams, pseudocode and other documentation. 
  • Implementation: The real code is written here. 
  • Integration and testing: Brings all the pieces together into a special testing environment, then checks for errors, bugs and interoperability. 
  • Acceptance, installation, deployment: The final stage of initial development, where the software is put into production and runs actual business. 
  • Maintenance: What happens during the rest of the software’s life: changes, correction, additions, moves to a different computing platform and more. This, the least glamorous and perhaps most important step of all, goes on seemingly forever.

LInk : computerworld

day by day ..wuuuuhu!


Alhamdulillah… today is Saturday and the time now is 12 pm.. Alhamdulillah  after manage my house chores in the morning, i decide to reschedule my task. Urgent and important 🙂

13 : check abstract n algorithm + get the Arabic resources

comment : hmm.. still doesn’t get the best algo

12 : start with review and recheck the gantt chart done by 1.00pm , went to the faculty by 2.00 pm

task:find the related arabic articel to review.. by 4.13pm went home..went to faculty at 9.00pm till 10.40 pm.. alhamdulillah get JAVA resources.. hmm.. i want to continue at home..insyaallah if i am not sleepy ..heh

11 :submit the draft for comment

10 : do correction

09 : add up LR

08: system requirement (more data)

07: re submitt draft

06: LR recheck

05: LR : hohjo the draft not subbmitted yet ! never mind i will try my best !

04: refine


02: mock presentation + accelerate confidence

01: The day !

Thank You Allah !

Alhamdulillah…. Thank you Allah… Thank you Allah !

Today after doing house chores,  with basmalah i went to the faculty and attend the seminar. Hmm.. a talk by Dr. Ian Philips about internet performance and also a brief about univesity of Loughbrough. I love to attend seminar .. learn how to present and how to attract with audience.. different presenter have their different style. the strengthen from each presenter may help ourselves.

Another appointment …


Date : 6 May 2008 (Tuesday)
Time : 9.00 am – 12.00 pm
Venue : Main Lecture Hall (Dewan Kuliah Utama), FSKTM
Speaker : Profesor Ir. Dr. Mohd. Sapuan Salit
(Fakulti of Engineering)

Notes: Attendance is compulsory to final year students.

Thank you.


Insyaallah i want to involve.

Thanks Allah ! I had meet the postgraduate’s administrator at my faculty to reallocate my teaching schedule for next semester.  Alhamdulillah… Allah give me a chance to do the best for my proposal where my proposal presentation was postponed till 16 May…. hoho.. i have 16 extra day to do the best … caiyoks!

Thanks Allah!

I had a chat with my “klik” just now at the seminar… we share our research problems.. hmm….alhamdulillah they are helping me much.. through their experience and their milestone of research, i do get a big picture on what i need to do and improve.. alhamdulillah..

OK … let have a new check list… yesterday  i finished my work till 12.30 am after tired forcing my brain to think ..hoho.. ok dear…let continue reschedule our works .. NEXXXXTTT !!!!

end of 2/4 day ! yippeee!

Alhamdulillah….my opinion about the presentation purpose is mainly to guide the journey of the research. This will examine our previous work in the previous semester weather it is full fill the “validity” of the research requirement or not.

hoho.. the brain is the main tools of the research..therefore, we need others people to give advice, comment and lead the way if it is wrong.. so, no worries about the presentation for this first phase. Just present your work as you present weekly to the supervisor.. concern with  the main point emphasised by the supervisor. If you did not found a way to resolve it, make sure you have a fact that can confidently show you have try your best and will achieve your target.

Hmm.. mostly, the comittee floor will throw up question relate on what you want to archieve by the end of your research? ( product? algorithm? ) Moreover, the possibility of your architecture…is it possible to contribute to a new knowledge? …then, is it original?… next is the measurement… how do you compare it with any related work?  how you measure that your model is be improve by the previous one? prove it. Next, is about the data… introduce your data set .. what you will collect? what you will use for the experiment… moreover is the requirement for your system ( prototype) what language you will used for the programming…and so on …so on..either software or hardware.

Phew! hmmm.. based on what i had wrote is what i need to focus and i need do it now. All the resource is in my, it is how you handle the resources.

hmm..nani doesn’t present yet.. her committee members fly to Vietnam for a conference, therefore her presentation will be postponed. wow! praise to Allah. hehe.. ( can i have a chance?  = postpone my presentation..haha the Charmain will be at German on my presentation day..) hmm.. i don’t know.. but till now there is no presentation updates..seems the schedule is fixed and my supervisor said there will be someone replace his sit, so what i should do is always be PREPARED!

Hmm.. what ever… i am tired… owh ya! about the conference! i will issue this event to my supervisor in our next meeting session. wow ! the work burdens was pulling my leg now. haha the time is 8.15 pm ! to much mumbling 😛 wokeh.. RUSH our beb ! Start with Basmalah !


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