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Showing posts from November, 2004

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.