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Tertangkap!

(Tadinya saya mau berdiam diri, tapi tidak tahan setelah melihat diskusi di milis teknologia.)

Edisi terakhir dari majalah KomputerAktif menampilkan foto tertangkapnya saya. Saya memang sedang menghilang sejenak. Bukan masuk bui, akan tetapi mengunjungi kakak ipar dimana ibu (dan kakak) dari istrinya termasuk yang hanyut oleh Tsunami di Banda Aceh. (Jenasah sudah ditemukan, akan tetapi nampaknya akan/telah? dimakamkan secara masal.)

Saya memang tertangkap dan diborgol. Akan tetapi tertangkap oleh majalah KomputerAktif! Ada juga foto dimana saya ditendang. Hebat juga fotografer dan desain grafis KomputerAktif,

Alhamdulillah saya masih sehat-sehat dan masih tetap white-hat. Thanks for your concern, folks.

Hello There

Anak-anak saya sering komentar bahwa kalau saya lagi suka satu lagu lantas lagu itu diputar berkali-kali. Memang benar. Kali ini saya lagi suka lagu "Hello There" dari Casiopea, group jazz fusion dari Jepang. Menurut statistik Winamp, dalam dua hari lagu ini telah saya putar 12 kali.

Sebetulnya ini bukan lagu baru - menurut info online, lagu ini dari album Freshness tahun 1995 - akan tetapi saya baru dapat CD-nya. Jadi, ya baru saya putar terus. Tentu saja ini saya lakukan setelah CD-nya saya rip dulu dengan menggunakan Windows Media Player 10. Sayangnya waktu dicek dengan Windows Media Player ini, judul-judulnya muncul dalam Bahasa Jepang. Mungkin ada seorang pengguna di Jepang yang mengirimkan (submit) informasi tersebut. Sayangnya saya tidak mengerti bahasa Jepang. Jadi saya ganti judulnya dan informasinya satu persatu.

Lagu ini mencirikan Casiopea, lengkap dengan solo masing-masing alat musik. Tapi tidak berlebihan. Yang lebih menarik lagi, alunan melodi dari masing-masi…

Which fantasy/science fiction character am I?

Apparently, the test picked Lady Galadriel as my character. It's not an interesting choice since it is the most popular result. :(
Information about Lady Galadriel is available here.

Beberapa komentar dari bacaanku

Saya senang membaca. Sayangnya cara membaca saya seringkali meloncat-loncat (haphazard) dari satu topik ke topik lain yang kadang-kadang tidak ada hubungannya dan tidak tuntas. Nanti kalau ada waktu, bacaannya diteruskan kembali. Berikut ini adalah beberapa hal yang menarik dari beberapa bacaan saya.

Dari dulu saya tertarik dengan dunia komputer dan medical. Bahkan saya pernah membuat perusahaan bio-medical di Canada dengan beberapa kawan. Sayangnya perusahaan ini mati sebelum sempat tumbuh. Maklum, dikelola oleh insinyur-insinyur yang buta bisnis. Nah, iseng-iseng saya berlangganan majalan Biophotonics International yang kebetulan gratis langganannya. (Langganan majalan IEEE saya antara US$ 160 s/d US$ 320 per tahun. Jadi saya cari yang gratisan juga.) Saya tertarik dengan gambar-gambar (foto) yang ada di majalah ini sekalian melihat kemajuan (progress) dari dunia ini.

Yang menarik, editorial edisi October 2004 memiliki judul "The path to science through art". Hmm... Meng-g…

Liberalisasi bidang komputer dan servis yang terkait?

Kemarin (Rabu, 15 Desember 2004) saya ikut diskusi di Deperindag tentang masalah liberalisasi sektor "computer and related services". Masalahnya adalah apakah bidang ini perlu kita liberalisasi dengan membuka pasar kita ke negara lain? (Bidang itu sendiri nantinya bisa dirinci lebih lanjut.) Jika tidak bisa secara keseluruhan, apakah ada bidang-bidang khusus yang sudah bisa dibuka?

WTO secara berkala meminta setiap negara untuk memberikan "offer" dan "request" terbaru. Sementara ini banyak hal yang kita tutup.

Secara pribadi, dengan melihat situasi di negara kita (tentunya tidak detail), saya mengusulkan untuk menutup sampai detik-detik akhir. Pasalnya, kita belum sanggup untuk mempertahankan pasar dalam negeri kita sementara kita belum mampu masuk ke pasar asing. (Alasan-alasannya terlalu panjang untuk diutarakan pada tulisan ini, padahal saya sudah pusing nih ... lagi gak enak badan. Jadi, percayalah ada dulu.) Tapi tentunya kita tidak bisa tinggal diam…

My current top playlist

Winamp came with an intersting statistic in its "Media Library" (Alt-L) feature. Here's my current top list:

Play count Artist Title
17 Ada Band Manusia Bodoh
13 Jay Graydon Roxann
10 Jay Graydon Holdin' on to Love
10 Jay Graydon After the Love is Gone
10 Porcupine Tree Blackest Eyes
10 Chrisye Tjah Ajoe
7 Chrisye Jika Surga Dan Neraka Tak Pernah Ada
6 Marillion Don't Hurt Yourself
... then plenty more ...

What do you make out of this? I am trying to understand it myself :)

Cover Buku Mohammad Diponegoro

Ini dia cover buku Mohammad Diponegoro yang saya maksud dalam tulisan saya sebelumnya.

Belajar (teori) menulis - resensi buku Mohammad Diponegoro "Yuk, Nulis Cerpen Yuk"

Dalam tulisan sebelumnya, saya mengungkapkan kekesalan saya akan kualitas tulisan saya. Memang dalam hal tulis menulis, saya berangkat dari praktek tanpa teori, seperti seorang anak yang belajar berenang dengan langsung terjun ke kali bersama teman-temannya. Setelah beberapa kali meneguk air kali, ditertawakan kawannya, akhirnya bisa juga berenang. Gaya renangnya pun apa adanya. Tidak indah, tapi cukup untuk sekedar bisa berenang.

Nah, setelah bisa sekedar menulis, saya mulai belajar teori menulis. Ternyata banyak juga teorinya. Saya mulai mencari-cari buku yang cocok dengan selera saya. Salah satu buku yang sangat bagus adalah buku karangan Mohammad Diponegoro yang berjudul "Yuk, Nulis Cerpen Yuk", terbita Neo Santri, Yogyakarta.

Buku ini saya temukan tidak sengaja ketika sedang transit di Bandara Adi Sucipto. Sambil menunggu pesawat, saya melihat-lihat buku di toko buku di ruang tunggu. Buku yang berwarna hijau dan kuning ini menampilkan gambar muka seorang lelaki yang ter…
With my (OO/C++ programming / EE) students, visiting BHTV expo which was showing local software. The assignment was to find out how much effort to develop a software.

Saya kesal dan frustasi!

I am pissed! Frustasi dan kesal kepada diri saya sendiri.

Ceritanya begini.

Banyak orang yang mengatakan bahwa saya seorang pembicara, presenter, yang cukup baik. Bahkan sering kali presentasi saya lucu dan menarik meskipun muatannya adalah muatan teknis. Nah, pada suatu saat ada seseorang yang mengusulkan agar saya menuliskan presentasi saya, tapi bukan seperti tulisan materi presentasi yang biasa dibuat untuk presentasi. Yang itu biasanya kaku. Tulisan yang dimaksud diinginkan lebih hidup seperti presentasi saya.

Ok. Saya pikir. Not a problem. How difficult could that be. Kemudian saya mencoba menulis. Bam!

Ternyata saya salah. Big problem! I was wrong. Big time.

Ternyata membuat tulisan yang menarik itu susah sekali! Ini membuat saya heran sebab tadinya saya fikir bahwa memberi presentasi itu lebih sukar dari pada menulis. Banyak orang yang tidak bisa memberikan presentasi. Ketika memberikan presentasi, kita harus cepat bereaksi terhadap pendengar. Ini tidak mudah. Jadi, mestinya me…

Pattern in streaming video data?

Is there a pattern in streaming video data? I was thinking something along the data in the "magic (5)" file that is automagically used by "file (1)" command. (What a convoluted sentence!) Or something like uuencoded-type pattern?

I am writing a fiction in which the main character was looking at a stream of data. He then recognized that the data is some kind of video stream. Now, what kind of pattern did he see? Is this realistic? He might be looking in the middle of the stream, though. So if the pattern is at the begining of the file, then he might miss it.

Fonts, fonts, dan fonts: mengapa saya masih pakai MS Windows

Saya tidak mengerti. Saya masih menggunakan Microsoft Windows meskipun saya sangat familier dengan GNU/Linux. Apa yang membuat saya masih tetap menggunakan MS Windows?

Aplikasi yang saya gunakan di sistem Windows juga tidak aneh-aneh: putty (untuk login ke Linux, kalau sudah di Linux tidak perlu lagi pakai putty kan), WinAmp (untuk mendengarkan lagu - di Linux pun ada ekivalentnya), BearShare (untuk cari MP3 - entah apa yang populer di Linux, tapi mestinya ada), OpenOffice (untuk menulis, ada di Linux), Microsoft Word (untuk menulis, bisa digantikan dengan OpenOffice di Linux), Mozilla Firefox (sudah ada di Linux). Jadi apa???

Setelah saya pikir-pikir, kemungkinan besar ada hubungannya dengan fonts. Ya, fonts. Saya memang penggemar fonts. Fonts freak. Begitu pasang Xwindow, biasanya yang saya pasang juga adalah program xfontsel.

Salah satu cara saya agar betah menulis dan membaca adalah dengan gonta-ganti fonts. Misalnya, untuk putty saya senang pakai fonts Cumberland. Kalau di Linux …

Melepaskan cerita pendek

Dua tahu yang lalu saya mulai menulis sebuah cerita pendek. Tadinya mau menulis novel thriler (ala Neal Stephenson, atau malah Dan Brown?), akan tetapi napas sudah mulai tersegal-segal. Ternyata memang saya belum naik kelas di dunia tulis menulis. Cerita pendek yang saya tulis ini sudah saya erami dua tahun lebih dan tidak ada kemajuan. Apa pilihan saya?

Pilihan pertama, meneruskannya sampai selesai. Berapa pun waktu yang dibutuhkan, teruskan saja. Tapi, saya sudah tersegal-segal. Mandheg. Kalau saya ambil pilihan ini, mungkin cerita baru selesai dua tahun lagi. Belum tentu bagus lagi. Sudah capek-capek, jelek lagi. Wah!

Pilihan kedua, buang. Mulai dari awal lagi. Ada salah satu wisdom dalam pemrograman komputer, yaitu jika anda sudah mulai macet dalam kode yang anda tulis, lebih baik buang kode tersebut dan mulai dari awal lagi. Tapi, cerita saya ini sudah saya buat satu tahun lebih. Sayang juga kalau dibuang.

Pilihan ketiga, terbitkan saja. Lemparkan saja ke publik. Siapa tahu ada y…

Speed reading, or ... stop and dream

I was intrigue - and felt challeged - by an email from mas Moko in a mailing list. In this particular email he said that he tried to read two books a day. I thought I give it a try. The result, I failed.

My biggest problem is that I tend to stop and think, or dream, about the point in the paragraph(s) I was reading. I'll give you an example. Currently I am reading "Never Ending Journey," a biography about pak Buntoro who happens to be a friend of mine. In the book there is a story in which he made plans about his company. I stopped and thought, "You know, I could do that." And then ... I am 'dreaming' about what I have to do, what things I should write to the guys in the company, or dreaming about (technology) roadmap, and so on. This dreaming process may take a few seconds - then continue reading the book - or may take longer.

In other cases, reading certain things remind me of my TO-DO list. I just fell I have to do it right away. I then do whatever I…

In geek mode ...

Here I am in my geek mode :) I usually don't use headphone and just blast the sound through the speakers. But, my computer (not shown on the right side) was being used by my son (who took the picture) to play games, so I had to use my wife's computer which doesn't have good speakers.

Kegiatan selama liburan ini

Apa saja yang saya lakukan selama 'liburan' ini ya? Sebetulnya tidak betul liburan karena saya tetap kerja di rumah. Beberapa laporan pekerjaan masih harus saya kerjakan. Tapi katakanlah ini liburan sebab orang lain libur. Jadi saya ikut suasana liburan lah.

Yang banyak saya kerjakan, ya jelas (1) ngoprek komputer. Update beberapa program dan ngoprek OpenBSD di sebuah komputer. Hanya sekedar ingin tahu saja. Sekarang masih belum sreg dengan cara update atau package management di OpenBSD, meskipun secara umum mirip dengan UNIX lainnya (Solaris, misalnya). Maklum saya sudah terbiasa dengan apt dari Debian. Akhirnya saya ambil cara saya sendiri, yaitu ambil berbagai source code dari GNU (misalnya) dan compile sendiri. Mungkin struktur direktori dari file yang terpasang nanti tidak cocok dengan standar OpenBSD, tapi lebih ke arah bawaan dari GNU. (Saya sendiri lebih suka dengan menggunakan struktur /usr/local, misalnya. Pokoknya yang saya pasang sendiri dipasang di /usr/local.)

Ya…

Looking for (centralized) personal bookmark/URL management

I work nomaden, using different workstations (with different OS: GNU/Linux, Solaris, Microsoft Windows) at different locations. My current problem is bookmark management.My bookmarks are scattered on different workstations. It's a pain to find a certain page.

How do you manage your bookmark(s) so that it is accessible from different locations? Do you manage your bookmarks at all? Does your bookmark management have a statistic built ini (for example, the most frequently page I go to, the oldest page)? Does it have an export mechanism so that it can generate an HTML-page (or even a complete we site), for example? Am I asking too much?

Made peace with Hogarth

Finally, I made peace with (Steve) Hogarth.

I am a fan of Marillion during the Fish-era. When Fish (the singer) left the band, I thought the band is going downhill. The feeling was similar to when Peter Gabriel left Genesis and replaced by Phil Collins. Many Genesis fan felt betrayed and stop listening to the (new) Genesis. I still like the Genesis though.

Steve Hogarth came into the picture, becoming the singer of Marillion. When I first heard him, I didn't like it. He's too "soft" and "pop". So I stopped listening to Marillion and tried to find other progressive rock bands. I found The Flower Kings and Transatlantic during the search. Apparently, I like Roine Stolt style. He is the guitarist of both band.

Going back to Marillion. I did try to sample Marillion songs during that search period. My ears got used to "Dry Land" (from Holidays in Eden album). Not bad. And then, "Don't hurt yourself" (from the newest Album, "Marbles&q…

500 internal server error

Now I got your attention!

For the n-th times, I got 500-error-message when I tried to post to my blog through blogger.com. The thing is, when I use the back button, my post is gone. I have to retype the whole thing over again. Sometimes it takes quite a long time to compose a message and I don't feel like typing it again. It's your lost! Oh, ... it's mine actually. sigh....

2.4 GHz: tragedy of the commons

In the current issue (November 2004) of InfoLinux magazine, I wrote an article (opinion) about 2.4 GHz. In this article, I said that the 2.4 GHz spectrum is a resource that we have to use carefully, just like the green pasture in the original "tragedy of the commons" article. Many responded with a different point of view.

My take on the issue was based on current condition in Indonesia, in which many people use (or abuse to be exact) the frequency. For example, I've seen people use power booster to boost their signal, denying access to others. It's a jungle out there. There should be a regulation for this in Indonesia.

What's your opinion?

Mengamati karya tulis siswa SMU/SMA/SMK

Baru-baru ini saya diminta untuk menjadi salah seorang juri pada lomba karya tulis ilmiah pada tingkatan SMU/SMK/SMK (atau yang sederajat). Ada beberapa hal yang menarik yang dapat saya tangkap dari tulisan mereka.

Yang pertama adalah bahwa sebagian besar menggunakan gaya bahasa yang "berbunga-bungan" dan terlalu banyak pendahuluan (introduction). Misalnya, penggunaan kalimat "sebagaimana kita ketahui..." dan sejenisnya banyak juga. Nampaknya ini merupakan kultur kita (dan akan tetap demikian jika kita melihat jejak ini).

Topik yang berulang-ulang, yang nampaknya mendapat perhatian besar dari mereka, adalah:

Energi. Banyak yang mencari alternatif energi, khususnya menghasilkan listrik.
Transportasi. Banyak yang mencari ide untuk mengantarkan barang. (Manusia bisa dianggap sebagai barang tidak ya?) Kebanyakan melalui terbang / melayang dalam berbagai bentuk. Bahkan ada yang mengusulkan melalui teleportasi dan nanoteknologi.
Penanganan sampah. Mereka mulai memperhati…

Asynchronous circuits

I was surprised to see a post in slashdot about commercial asynchronous circuits done at Philips. They (Philips and ARM) are planning to make an asynchronous CPU. Their technology is called Handshake Technology.

This is actually not a new thing, since it has been done by Steve Furber with his research group at Manchester University. But still, it is good news to me since there is (hope of) real commercial aspect of it. I did my post graduate study in this field (verification of asynchronous systems, to be exact). At that time I thought while asynchronous circuits are nifty, there were (are) many technical problems to solve. Time and time again I was proven wrong. (Just like when I was playing with Linux 0.12 and didn't think that it will support networking and Xwindow someday :-) )

One of the ideas that made impression to me was Ivan Sutherland's (Turing Award) paper on Micropipeline. It's an interesting concept. Read it. It's very readable.

INDOCISC base camp

For the last few weeks we've been upgrading our INDOCISC camp in Bandung. It was crowded so that we have to add a second level. It's done yesterday. (I was told the paint is still wet.) We're moving tomorrow.

By the way, we can see part of Bandung from the second floor.

ICT Research Center

I was asked to give an opinion on an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Research Center at Institut Teknologi Bandung. So, I went ahead and created a presentation material. It's available at
http://budi.insan.co.id/presentations/PP-ICT.ppt

I'll make it open to the public so that I get feedback / suggestions. If you have a comment or suggestions, drop me an email. I'll incorporate them in future version(s).

If you notice, I kind of have a slant toward MIT Media Lab, with multimedia implementations in the real meaning of "multi" and "media". My reason is that Indonesia is famous for its arts. Now, how do we put it in digital format. Not just video. Hologram, maybe?

I tried to put notes on each slide to provide more explanation. So have a look at the notes. I should write a more elaborate report, but, I don't have the time to do it right now. So, for now it's in presentation format only.

Moderating RMS @ ITB

Moderating Richard Stallman (RMS) from Free Software Foundation when he gave a talk at ITB on 23rd October 2004. (Photo by Jay)

In Memoriam: Prof. Kudrat Soemintapura

Pada hari ini, 22 Oktober 2004, telah meninggal Prof. Kudrat Soemintapura. Beliau adalah salah satu dosen di Teknik Elektro dan Profesor dari Teknik Informatika ITB.

Saya tidak terlalu jauh mengenal pak Kudrat karena tidak pernah mengambil kuliah darinya, dan bukan dari labnya. Akan tetapi banyak kegiatan dimana kami bertemu. Banyak orang yang menghindari pak Kudrat karena kalau beliau bicara sering berkesan tidak "nyambung". Banyak orang yang merasa terintimidasi. Not me. Dalam diskusi dengan beliau justru saya mendapat pemikiran-pemikiran yang luar biasa, yang sering membuat saya berpikir ... "hmmm, iya ya, betul juga. jadi bagaimana ya?", atau "kok tadi nggak kepikir sampai segitu ya", things that make you think. You can always tell a great mind when you see one! Ini yang membuat saya tahan ngobrol dengan beliau. You'll always learn something.

Sambil bicara dan merokok (beliau terkenal dengan merokoknya), tiba-tiba beliau melontarkan pertanyaan &qu…

Leonardo da Vinci

I can't remember when was the first time I heard the name Leonardo da Vinci. I think it was sometime around junior high-school when I heard the name Monalisa and Leonardo da Vinci. Ever since then, I am facinated with Leonardo da Vinci.

One of the things that amazes me is that this man is truly a genius. He is an artist, scientist, and engineer. On top of that, he is also a futurist. I always facinated with arts, science, and technology. Well, Leonard is the man who is able to combine all of them. I never had a chance to read his biography though.

Recently, I was just finished reading "The Da Vinci Code," by Dan Brown. It's an interesting book that sparks my interest in Leonardo. Apparently, he is also a cryptographer(?). (The novel is not about Leonardo himself, though.) So, I bought a VCD (video CD) of BBC/Discovery Channel programme on Leonardo: the most imaginative mind in human history. Interesting.

I googled the Internet to find more about Leonardo da Vinci. F…

Studying abroad: a guide (in Bahasa Indonesia)

Many students asked me about studying abroad; how to pick the university, how to find scholarship in Indonesia, how to live there, and so on. I usually answered the questions verbally. But, I am getting tired of the same questions over and over again.

Finally, I decided to write a guide of studying abroad (in Bahasa Indonesia, of course). It's available in
http://budi.insan.co.id/articles/sekolah-di-luar-negeri.pdf
http://budi.insan.co.id/articles/sekolah-di-luar-negeri.sxw (this one in Open Office format)

Enjoy. Corrections and suggestions are welcome.

Computer Music - (Multi) Media Research Institute

Music is one of my passions. During my gradschool years, I had the opportunity to take computer music classes and also played in computer music lab. At that time, MIDI was at its infancy. MPU was the hottest thing. Soundblaster was just starting up. For my research, I had to wirewrap an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) on a board that could be plugged in into an IBM PC clone (Intel 80286!). I loved to tinker electronics stuff. Haven't done anything for ages, though.

I had played with some computer music related software, sound synthesis, voice analysis and the like. (My masters thesis was about analysis of diseases through voice.) My workstation was a NeXT computer. So I had a chance to played with CSound as well.

Anyway, it's been a while since I played with computer music. Well, the September issue of IEEE "The Institute" features Bob Moog - yes, that Moog keyboard. My interest in computer / electronic music is suddenly back!

I have a dream (or perhaps, a nightma…
Here is a picture of students in my programming class ("dasar pemrograman berorientasi obyek"). The picture was taken in the morning (7 AM). They

Halaman Blog Baru

Baru saja saya membuat tempat siber baru bernama "Berita Kampus ITB" dengan alamat kampusITB.blogspot.com. Silahkan dilihat.

Sebetulnya halaman ini merupakan reinkarnasi dalam halaman lama yang pernah saya kelola secara manual. Gaya (style) blog mungkin lebih cocok untuk mengelola situs berita. Hasilnya silahkan dilihat di blog tersebut. Beri saya komentar. Termasuk juga komentar terhadap berita ini. [smile]

Sekalian saya mau coba mekanisme adsense-nya Google. Apa bisa jalan? Atau orang malah kesal dengan adanya advertising di (sisi) halaman tersebut? Nanti saya laporkan.

Kurang mengenal kultur Barat

Ketika berdiskusi tentang sains dan teknologi dalam mailing list atau dalam pertemuan yang melibatkan orang asing, seringkali muncul hal-hal yang sulit dimengerti tanpa memahami "kultur Barat". Contohnya teknologi dan sains sering dikaitkan dengan science fiction. Nah, kemudian diskusi biasanya beralih ke penulis science fiction. Sayangnya, saya sebagai seorang yang besar di dunia Timur tidak mengenal penulis-penulis tersebut. Saya hanya bisa melongo dan mencoba memahami apa yang mereka katakan. Rasanya banyak yang tidak nyambung. Saya termasuk yang suka untuk mempelajari latar belakang (konteks) dari sebuah karya (baik itu karya ilmiah maupun karya sastra).

Setelah diberi kesempatan tinggal di luar negeri, barulah saya berusaha untuk mengerti dengan membaca penulis-penulis tersebut. Meski dengan tertatih-tatih saya baca buku-buku dari David Eddings (sekarang sudah lupa lagi ceritanya), JRR Tolkien (seri Lords of The Ring selesai saya baca dalam waktu 3 tahun - lama sekali),…

news from the trenches: acknowledgement, award, and more work to do

It's time to post some news...

The 15 September 2004 edition of Swa Magazine listed me as one of maestro in specific field. In my case, they put me under IT security expert. Wow! I didn't know this until somebody told me to buy the magazine. (Here's the page scanned from the magazine.)

I was also awarded IGOS award. IGOS is "Indonesia Goes Open Source," a movement lead by Research and Technology Ministry in Indonesia. I didn't go to the celebration since I was sick at that time. I am not sure whay I was awarded though. I thought my contribution to the open source community is still minimal.

New schoolyear has been started. It's time to teach classes. I am teaching two classes; Introduction to Programming (with Object Oriented) and System Security (grad course). Meanwhile, I've got new students working on their theses.

On the University R&D side, my term as the Director of IT Research has ended. I am glad. I was not too happy with the position since…
It's almost 8 AM, August 23, 2004. Here's my front desk at home. You could (kind of) see part of the garden in front yard. It's nice to be able to work from home.

Analyzing one's (digital) personality through one's posts

I was reading Larry Wall's State of the Onion talk from this year's Open Source Convention and The Perl Conference when I caught an interesting idea:
The most telling example of that is when Deja first put up all the old Usenet news articles for browsing. My good friend Randal Schwartz went in and discovered that of the hundreds of articles I'd posted over the years, only one article was not a follow-up to some else's article. I don't initiate.
This is an interesting idea. We can go beyond Usenet news to mailng lists. There are many mail-archiving sites, such as mail-archive.com, that we can use to search and analyze one's digital personality. Maybe we can count the number of emails one initiates, the style that s/he quotes (eg. more quotation that the followup), oneliners, smileys, and what else(?).

Analyzing the hierarchy of posts / emails may be not too difficult, but understanding the "tones" of the emails is perhaps more difficult. Maybe we can co…

Tenggang waktu sebelum domain (.ID) didaur ulang?

Saat ini setelah domain tidak membayar, maka status domain akan berubah menjadi hold. Pada kondisi ini domain tidak dapat diquery/hilang namun domain belum dapat dilepas ke publik kembali. Saat ini belum ada aturan kapan domain yang sudah mati ini dapat digunakan kembali, mungkin oleh orang lain. Sudah saatnya ada kejelasan mengenai daurulang (recycle) nama domain ini.

Ada dua usulan batas waktu ekstrim:
Satu (1) tahun setelah domain mati. Kontra: kelamaanTiga (3) bulan setelah domain mati. Kontra: terlalu cepat
Nah mohon masukan, masukan mana yang lebih baik dipilih?
Atau kalau ada usulan lain, mohon diutarakan beserta alasannya.

Restrukturisasi Pusat Penilitian

As one of the directors of ITB research centers, part of my job is to give inputs on the structure of research centers. Currently, we were asked to restructure our research centers. This is not an easy task. We've got established research centers. And you want to change that??? But that's something that I have to do.

There's this (rector?) decree(?) number 34 (don't have it handy so I don't know exactly what it says) and the move to reorganize related fields (or departements in our university) into one unit (faculty-like). The term that they use is, "related sciences in one body of knowledge". Ok, that's so mouthful. Basically we want to re-organize our faculties and research centers. I don't know the reason(s) of such change. I suspect that some people think that our current structure is outdated and ineffective? (That's what I have to find out.)

I've got stack of papers (meeting notes, e-mails, etc.). Three weeks I left my office (as you…
Here's me on the keyboard. Garin (Praweda, on Guitar), Yulianus (Indosat, on Drums), Andika (Indocisc, on Bass). We didn't have time to practice, jumped on stage, and played Queen's Love of My Life. I wish we have more time to practice. Perhaps we can play some Genesis songs? Firth of Fifth, anybody?

The emergence of a new discipline?

Yesterday, I read "IBM Research: The evolution of innovation at IBM". This is a small booklet of research at IBM given to me by a friend who works at IBM Indonesia. She knew that I am interested in IT-related research. Well, that is my title at ITB, director of R & D in IT and industry. It's an interesting booklet.

I have no doubt that IBM has done many research in many fields. The thing that I like about IBM is that they're not only a software company, but also a hardware company in the truest sense. Due to my bias EE background, I have respect to people who excel in the software industry but have hardware background. Usually they do better. Again, I am bias though.

One paragraph captures my attention:

"... Just as computer science emerged as a new discipline in the 1960s, we believe an academic discipline focused on computing and information services will soon emerge. It will draw on a variety of existing areas - computer science, management science, oepra…

Indonesian Internet Conference

Just when I though I would have more time to write about my trip, I had more things to do. Last week I was too busy at NICE, the Indonesian Internet Conference. My company (INDOCISC) gave a one-day security workshop. Meanwhile, I was involved with the Indonesian Domain Name Management (IDNIC).

NICE was nice, as somebody said it. Most Indonesian internet figures were present in the venue. Does anybody have a complete list? And there was a party in the last day. We even had an instant band. We went on stage without preparation and without knowing who will play what instrument, and what song we will play. So it was a mess, but a nice one. Spontaneous. We made a fool of ourselves. Next time we'll play Genesis and those progressive rock songs! Ok, now for those who take pictures (lots of them), please send them to me. I'll collect and make a web site out of it. Or, if somebody wants to do it ... it's even better.

During the conference I announced that the .ID domain management…

Online Again (after travelling)

Finally, I am back online again. My family and I went for a trip to Saudi Arabia, Germany, Netherland, France, Belgium, and Switzerland for 17 days. During that trip I had difficulties in getting Internet and telecommunication access . I actually wanted to stay away from the online world so that I can enjoy the trip. I am going to write my trip notes when I have the time. Now I am still cleaning my (e)mailboxes.

One of the things that surprised me is that I had difficulties communicating with people. Most of the people I met could not speak English, even in Europe! In fact, Europe is the worst since in Saudi Arabia some people speak Bahasa Indonesia. (Well, they actually can only speak certain words and numbers but good enough to make transactions.) Most people I met in Europe speak their own language(s).

Anyway ... I have to make some presentations. This week I will be at NICE (National Internet Conference and Education) in Jakarta. Have a look at http://www.nice2004.web.id/. See y…

Dimanakah para pemimpi (komputer) Indonesia tinggal?

Waktu kecil saya suka membaca komik silat, terutama karangan Kho Ping Hoo. Dalam cerita di dunia persilatan ada masanya seorang pesilat atau petarung menjelajah, turun gunung, berkelana untuk mengadu kemampuan. Terus terang pada mulanya saya tidak mengerti konsep ini. Mengapa kok orang mencari musuh? Mengapa tidak tinggal diam dan menikmati hidup? Apakah keangkuhan untuk disebut sebagai petarung terunggul demikian menariknya? Betapa sombongnya mereka. Ya, saya membaca terus tetapi tidak memahami maknanya.

Bertahun-tahun kemudian, atau lebih tepatnya baru-baru ini, baru terpikir oleh saya. Petarung tersebut tidak (sekedar) ingin disebut petarung unggul saja, akan tetapi mereka haus ilmu. Mereka ingin tahu apa yang baru. Bagaikan meneguk air laut, semakin banyak diminum semakin dahaga (katanya). Demikian pula dengan ilmu (apapun bidangnya), semakin mengetahui, semakin haus akan ilmu tersebut. Semakin ingin mencari kawan untuk bertukar ilmu.

Inilah yang saya alami saat ini. Berbagai buk…

Best practice in running an IT operation

(draft)

I am doing a project for a large company, a bank. One of the issues that I have to dealt with is IT organization, especially in operation. There are numerous issues that we have to solve. Unfortunately, I am having difficulties finding references relating to IT operation. Even the web that I thought is a botomless fountain of knowledge produces nothing. I hit the bottom.

One of the things I am looking for is organizational structure within this bank. Is there a best practice in running a large IT support? What do people do to separate the duties? (ie. planning, development, QA, operation, help desk, network, sysadmin, security) How do you structure it? Do you outsource? Which part? Why? Horror stories?

Regarding workplace, what is the best IT office for these people? (I am looking at various interior design web sites, but none talks about IT support.) Most references I found are related to software house. There are references to good office design for programmers. (You might …

Menebak F1 melalui Web

Beberapa waktu yang lalu marak berita tentang judi lewat Internet. Biasanya judi ini dikaitkan dengan peristiwa olah raga; seperti pertandingan sepak bola, tinju, atau yang lainnya. Nah kali ini saya akan cerita tentang menebak hasil olah raga tanpa judi.

Salah satu olah raga yang cukup populer di dunia adalah Formula 1 (atau F1). Nah, ada satu situs yang menguji kemahiran anda dalam menebak siapa pemenang dari lomba F1. Situs yang namanya www.motorsport.com ini menyediakan cara untuk memilih pemenang lomba F1 dengan nama "F1 Pick 6".

Anda dapat mendaftarkan diri ke situs itu, meskipun kalau sekarang sudah terlambat - mungkin tahun depan. Setelah mendaftarkan diri, anda dapat memilih delapan (8) urutan teratas dari setiap Grand Prix. Hasil pilihan anda ini nanti diberi nilai sesuai dengan ketepatan pilihan anda. Hasil ini kemudian diurutkan, untuk setiap grand prix (istilahnya "results") dan juga secara total (istilahnya "standing"). Jadi dapat kita lihat…

Permasalahan Dalam Pengembangan BCP

(Issues and best practice in BCP development)

Budi Rahardjo
Direktur Pusat Penelitian dan Pengembangan Industri dan Teknologi Informasi
Institut Teknologi Bandung
Founder PT INDO CISC - <budi@indocisc.co.id>

Juni 2004

Topik Business Continuity Plan (BCP) mulai muncul dan menarik perhatian dari pelaku bisnis akhir-akhir ini. Ada banyak alasan mengenai penyebabnya, mulai dari peningkatan kejahatan dan terorisme, sampai ke tuntutan dari regulasi atau shareholders. Sudah banyak tulisan, buku, dan referensi yang membahas masalah bagaimana melakukan pengembangan BCP. Tulisan ini tidak ingin menyoroti hal itu.

Satu hal yang sangat minim dari pengembangan BCP (BCP development) adalah informasi mengenai masalah (pitfalls) yang dihadapi pada saat pengembangan dan solusinya. Tidak banyak, atau bahkan tidak ada, sumber referensi yang membahas masalah tersebut. Salah satu penyebabnya adalah BCP merupakan sebuah hal yang baru sehingga belum banyak yang betul-betul melakukannya sehingga belum d…
A picture of me in front of Hotel Padma Bali. In the back you'll see a sculpture of Flying Angel by the famous Nyoman Nuarta. See my travel story at http://indonesia.insan.web.id/travel/bali-trip.html

Sick! Read! Listen!

For the past few days I was ill (actually, am still). Coughing and a little fever. I was gonna update the Indonesian Web Site with a story of my trip to Bali. But, I just could not do it. I felt so tired. My blood pressure went down (too low). So, folks, you just have to wait for my story.

Meanwhile I had a chance to read conventional magazines, (IEEE) journals and books. Quite interesting stories they have. Sometimes they have URL or links to web sites. I wanted to visit them all. But they just have to wait.

I also used this opportunity to play my tapes and CDs. And even watch movies. Anyway, it was really a break. Apparently some songs can't be digested in one listening. After listening to the songs a few time, they are quite addicted. Most classic rock songs are of this type. This time I listened to the Flower Kings quite a lot.

Now, I am still not fit. But, I have to wait. Three presentations are waiting in line. Infact, they are all happening tomorrow. I delegated one of them…

Depth First Browsing or Breadth First Browsing?

World Wide Web offers a new way of reading and organizing materials. You don't have to follow a certain path like when you're reading a conventional (paper-based) books. This feature can help or lost you.

In the early years of WWW, I didn't really care about it. There were not many good materials worth serious reading. Now, things have changed. There are many good articles to read and ponder. When I read slashdot, for example, there are many good links with good articles. I am overloaded with information.

To follow these good links and articles, I could pick a topik and follow it to the "bottom". Of course there is no bottom in world wide web. Let's define the bottom is a place where you have enough of the topic. (If you have a better definition, let me know.) This is what I call "Depth First Browsing" (DFB).

Another way to browse is to collect everything that you are interested with and start scanning these topics, the "Breadth First Browsing&…

My cassettes to MP3 collection saga

In earlier notes, I said I was working late and need something to keep me awal. I started converting my cassette tapes to MP3. The quality is not good since some of the tapes are in a bad condition. I can't complain since the tapes are quite old. Some of them are my collection from late 70s. So that's nearly 30 years! Part of the reasons I converting them is to preserve their songs. Most of them are not available in store anymore. Some of them reappeared though. (I bought five old tapes yesterday.)

The other reason of converting to MP3 is that my cassette players begin to show their age. I've got four players, two of them are already dead (collecting dusts). Another one is a little flakey. (I have serviced this machine twice.) Only one is in a good shape, but this one is a small portable (compo) player. The sound quality is not that great and there's not line out! Anyway, I used the flakey one and connected the line out of it to my sound card line in. It took a while …

Burning midnight oil. Again ...

That does it. I am burning midnight oil. Again!

Here I am, back from Bali, facing a stack of things to do. The priority ones are two proposals that are due on Monday. I could not delegate these to other people since nobody wants it (proposals that are going to benefit other people, not yourself directly) and currently I don't have a structure underneath me. (This is another topic all together.)

If you follow my schedule, which some spilled into this blog, you'll see that I am too busy doing so many things. This thing is bound to happen again and again. One of these days I'll be more selfish and say NO!

The problem with these reports is that I have to do some thinking, contemplating, ... and back to thinking. Some of the things in the proposal need a vision. Research direction. I don't want them to be just another useless proposals. Or worse, proposals that when executed do not contribute to anything. Why waste my time if it does not have a meaning or contribute to a be…

Greetings from Denpasar, Bali

Well, I am off to Bali for a couple of days. This is the first time I've been to Bali. For those of you who are not familiar with Indonesia, our country is such as big place that it takes time just to visit other parts of Indonesia.

I live in Bandung, so I chose to take flight directly from Bandung rather than from Jakarta. The flight from Bandung (West Java) to Bali made a 30-minute transit in Surabaya (East Java). So the total time is around 3 hours, including a transit and a small delay because one passanger was "missing". We had to wait for her :( I didn't worry though because my meeting was on the next day.

At Surabaya, the airport was full. There was an airplane queue! When I looked outside the airplane window, there were three airplanes in front of us. So we had to wait and take off one by one. I saw there were two more planes in the back. Surabaya's airport - Juanda - is definitely a busy airport.

A few minutes later we were in Ngurah Rai airport, Denpasa…
RexGreymon - Luqman's team

Less time reading (conventional) books?

I found out that lately I've been "wasting" my time reading many things from the Internet. I noticed this when I look at my pile of journals, magazines, books, reports on my desks at home and in the office. Surely, I must have known - or at least predicted - this since I use the Internet a lot. (I don't like to admit that I am addicted to the Internet since late 80s.)

One thing that I don't like reading online is the fact that I have to sit down and read it off a monitor. I like reading lying down. It's more relaxing. And besides, monitor is tough to my eyes. But, I did read quite a bit lately. Most of the stuff I read on-line are the same stuff I read off-line, mostly on technology. But the stuff I read from the Internet is usually in a short format. I have not done reading a complete e-book online.

Now, probably I read 50% on-line and 50% off-line (conventional publication). Maybe this is because I've been writing (too many) reports lately? Who knows. H…

Band progressive rock baru?

Lepas dari yang serius-serius sebentar. Kita ke musik lagi.

Terus terang saya tadinya mulai merasa bahwa musik progressive rock bakalan mati. Seperti lirik dari lagu band Asia - "Rock and Roll Dream":

When I see your faces from the limousine. No chance of our survival...

Tapi setelah saya mendengarkan The Flower Kings, harapan tumbuh lagi. Band yang dimotori oleh Roine Stolt (gitar) memiliki nuansa (melodi?) yang selaras dengan band-band terdahulu. Mereka sanggup membawakan lagu Cinema Show-nya Genesis dengan sempurna. Bahkan lebih baik menurut saya. Jadi, para penggemar sekalian, progressive rock akan tetap tumbuh subur.

Roine Stolt juga menjadi bagian dari band Transatlantic yang juga memiliki nuansa progressive rock. Maklum, mereka campuran dari Dream Theater, Marillion, The Flower Kings, dan Spock's Beard. Meski, ada lagu bootleged live show mereka yang kedodoran membawakan lagu "Firth of Fifth" nya Genesis. Ternyata band besar bisa kedodoran juga.

Repotnya, mus…

Opini pribadi: Sistem IT KPU saat ini kurang pantas digunakan untuk Pemilihan Presiden

Pertama-tama perlu saya kemukakan bahwa selama ini saya tidak terlalu menyuarakan opini negatif terhadap sistem IT KPU (tnp dan www) karena berbagai alasan yang terlalu panjang untuk diuraikan di sini. Pada awalnya saya beranggapan bahwa KPU sudah memiliki tim yang (semestinya) dapat menjalankan misinya. Namun, pada perjalanannya mulai nampak bahwa sistem kurang dikelola secara optimal sehingga menimbulkan banyak masalah. (I documented the problems elsewhere. Perhaps in the future I will put them here.)

Masalah yang menjadi perhatian saya adalah sisi security, yang kebetulan merupakan topik yang saya minati. Dalam pandangan saya, masalah yang terbesar adalah sisi cara pengelolaan dan penggunaan teknologi yang digunakan. Saya ambil contoh.

Dalam proses perhitungan yang lalu terdapat banyak masalah yang dapat dikatakan akibat dari keteledoran (lalai). Data-data yang seharusnya masih nol, ternyata berisi angka. Capacity planning kurang diperhatikan sehingga kisruh masalah bandwidth. Pun…
Starting-Up: why do we have to grow up?


Originally, I was planning to write this in English. But, I thought, there's enough stories about starting-up in English that I should write this in Bahasa Indonesia instead. This is a story about growing up. About a company that refuses to grow.

Beberapa waktu yang lalu saya melihat film (belum habis) tentang Peter Pan. Di sana diceritakan tentang seorang anak yang tidak mau menjadi dewasa. He refused to grow up. Saya membayangkan hal yang sama terjadi dengan perusahaan saya (INDO CISC) yang saat ini sedang tumbuh dari "taman kanak-kanak" menjadi "dewasa".

Perusahaan kami masih kecil. Saat ini baru berisi 8 orang. Pekerjaan utama kami adalah melakukan audit teknologi di bidang {network, information} security. (Sangat menarik, atau tepatnya ... lucu, melihat perkembangan akhir-akhir ini setelah situs KPU dihacked. Banyak yang tiba-tiba menjadi jagoan security.) Setelah beberapa tahun mencoba meyakinkan berbagai industri bah…
Kualitas lulusan Perguruan Tinggi Indonesia menyedihkan?

Saya baru saja selesai melakukan interview untuk sebuah perusahaan. Ada lebih dari 130 orang yang kami interview. Saya sendiri menginterview setengahnya dari itu. (Kami bagi menjadi dua tim.) Yang diinterview kebanyakan adalah yang baru lulus (fresh graduate) dari perguruan tinggi (ada yang S1 dan D3) yang terkait dengan komputer (ilmu komputer, teknik elektro, fisika, matematika).

Satu hal yang ternyata muncul dan berulang adalah mahasiswa sekarang lebih banyak yang pasif. Artinya mereka hanya pergi kuliah dan belajar dari apa yang diberikan di kelas saja (which is not much!). Mereka kurang motivasi untuk mencari hal-hal lain di luar ruang kuliah, seperti misalnya membaca majalah (banyak majalah komputer), eksperimen (mencoba install Linux atau Windows, merakit komputer, memasang jaringan).

Alasan yang mereka kemukakan macam-macam. Tidak ada fasilitas lab komputer merupakan salah satu alasan yang dipakai mahasiswa dari luar pula…
Ruangan kelas memang membuat pembelajaran menjadi sumpek. Kemarin saya ajak kelas saya (kuliah security) untuk belajar di luar kelas saja. Saya pilih pelataran parkir dekat Gedung Kuliah Umum baru di kampus ITB. Di situ agak teduh, meski terasa panas karena dari pelataran parkir.

Adanya keterbukaan ini membuat mahasiswa menjadi lebih rileks dan lebih terbuka. Hal-hal yang lucu-lucu menjadi muncul. Now we know who the class comedian is! Saya rasa apa yang diajarkan pada saat itu lebih membekas di otak mereka. Waktu itu saya minta mereka untuk menyebar dan mewawancarai orang-orang (mahasiswa lain?) yang lewat tentang masalah security dan melaporkannya ke kelas. Banyak yang lucu-lucu. Ada yang menggunakan kesempatan ini untuk berkenalan dengan mahasiswi dari departemen lain.

Lain kali akan saya perbanyak model pembelajaran seperti ini.