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Kebingungan seorang dosen

http://rahard.wordpress.com/2005/12/30/kebingungan-seorang-dosen/

Beberapa waktu yang lalu saya bertanya kepada beberapa kawan; “nilai-nilai apakah yang ingin kita ajarkan ke mahasiswa?” Sampai sekarang saya belum mendapatkan jawaban yang mengena.

Kata orang, fungsi perguruan tinggi tidak sekedar untuk mengajarkan mahasiswa mengenai hal-hal yang spesifik kepada bidang ilmunya akan tetapi juga untuk mendidik mahasiswa. Sebetulnya nilai apa yang ingin kita wariskan kepada para mahasiswa (murid) ini? Saya ambilkan beberapa contoh:

Bahwa bertanya itu bukan aib, dan bahkan cenderung baik. Atau, bertanya itu merupakan cerminan kelemahan! Ayo belajar lebih baik! (Saya mengutarakan hal ini karena saya temui bahwa mahasiswa saya takut bertanya. Ketika saya kejar lebih jauh, ternyata mereka tidak diajarkan untuk bertanya ketika masih SMA oleh guru dan oleh teman-temannya. Akibatnya mereka menjadi malu dan tertekan kalau bertanya.)
Bahwa kegagalan (mendapat nilai buruk, tidak naik kelas, tidak lulus…

Globalisasi 3.0

Diambil dari:
http://rahard.wordpress.com/2005/12/27/globalisasi-30/

Thomas Friedman dalam bukunya “The World is Flat” mengatakan bahwa kita sudah memasuki globalisasi 3.0. Nah, apakah itu globalisasi 3.0 dan adakah versi-versi sebelumnya?

Globalisasi 1.0 dimulai ketika jaman penjajahan (kolonialisme) dahulu. Pada jaman itu beruntunglah seseorang yang menjadi warga negara besar (negara penjajah? seperti Inggris, Belanda, Spanyol, dan seterusnya). Rugilah individu yang menjadi warga negara yang dijajah seperti Indonesia. Kemakmuran seseorang ditentukan oleh kewarganegaraannya. Itulah sebabnya orang berbondong-bondong ingin menjadi warga negara dari negara besar tersebut.

Globalisasi 2.0 terjadi karena adanya industri dan bisnis. Peta kesuksesan berubah dengan munculnya perusahaan besar (multinational companies). Tidak penting lagi warga negara seseorang. Anda boleh menjadi warga negara Nigeria, Indonesia, India, Inggris, atau Amerika, yang penting adalah Anda menjadi bagian dari perusahaan…

I want to do a stand-up comedy

I have just updated my wish on 43things:
http://www.43things.com/person/budi

The new entry says that I want to do a stand-up comedy. No, I am not crazy. I want to do it. Just a few minutes ago I watched Richard Quest on CNN's Quest. He tried to do a stand-up (comedy) at Caroline's (?), which is supposed to be the place for it. But before doing that, he went to a school (for a week). Anyway, it looks fun. I want to do it.

Job opening: comedy writer(s)

Akademisi vs Industriawan

Diambil dari:
http://rahard.wordpress.com/2005/12/25/akademisi-vs-industriawan/

Ada yang aneh dari hasil pengamatan saya (amatiran tentunya) terhadap pandangan akademisi dan industriawan tentang pengembangan sesuatu yang berbau teknologi tinggi (high tech; biotech, nanotech, dan *tech lainnya).

Akademisi, yang biasanya diwakili oleh dosen, cenderung untuk berpikiran negatif. Ada ketakutan-ketakutan. Mereka sering berpendapat bahwa seharusnya kita meneliti (mengembangkan ilmu) yang low tech saja. Padahal, di kelas mereka mengajarkan ilmu yang bisa digunakan di high-tech. Apakah ini disebabkan rasa bersalah mereka karena telah dididik dengan ilmu yang “tidak bisa” (dalam kacamata mereka) diimplementasikan di Indonesia, sehingga mereka merasa harus berpihak ke sisi lain?

Di sisi lain, industriawan umumnya berpikiran lebih positif. Saya melihat betapa seorang Iskandar Alisyahbana yang dengan terampil memotori perkembangan teknologi satelit di jaman dahulu (70-an?) dan kemudian melirik ke biot…

Me and my 1st glasses

Me and my 1st glasses. Taken Friday morning (just woke up - eyes are not adjusted yet - ha ha ha), front porch of our house.

Intisari interview: security of internet banking

I was interviewed in Intisari magazine (December 2005 issue) on the security of Internet Banking. (See cover page on the left. "Transaksi aman Bank Internet, halaman 142.)

In the interview I said that the security of Internet Banking is already good enough. What do you think?

Bandung: talent magnet

Diambil dari blognya BHTV: bhtv.blogspot.com

Percaya atau tidak, Bandung merupakan “talent magnet.” Tanpa iklan ataupun promosi besar-besaran, lulusan sekolah menengah atas di Indonesia berbondong-bondong menuju Bandung untuk sekolah. Kebanyakan dari mereka adalah juara kelas. Inilah “harta karun” dari Bandung.

Mulai dari “The World is Flat“-nya Thomas Friedman, sampai ke “The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition of Talent“-nya Richard Florida, dan masih banyak buku serta tulisan semuanya membahas mengenai pentingnya talenta-talenta ini. Sumber daya alam, seperti minyak, bukan hal yang utama lagi. SDM yang utama. Mengapa hal ini sulit kita pahami?

Sayangnya, hal ini kurang dimengerti oleh banyak orang sehingga talenta-talenta ini meninggalkan Bandung setelah mereka lulus. Alasannya sederhana, tidak ada bisnis dan lapangan kerja di Bandung. Itulah sebabnya BHTV melobby perusahaan besar (multinational companies) agar membuat perusahaan, research center, dan support di B…

Giving keynote speech

Last Wednesday, I gave a keynote speech at Cisco Security Summit 2005, in Jakarta, Indonesia. My speech was about "Compliance to ISO 17799 (or BS 7799, or ISO 27001)." Don't worry about the numbers. They don't mean much

I am not sure whether it was good, so-so, or bad. I was on the stage with bright lights so I could not see the audience. I think there were more than 400 people in the room. The only measure I use as a feedback was when they laugh. That's a good sign. After the speech I was taken by some journalists for interview. So I ran out.

The night before the presentation was tough for me. Tuesday, I had to go to a court in Surabaya (that's around 1000 km from Jakarta) as a security expert (witness?) in a cellular case. I took the last plane from Surabaya to Jakarta. I arrived at the hotel (Shangri La) around 10:00 PM (or so). I didn't have dinner and everything was already closed. So, no dinner for me. Fine. I am not that hungry anyway. I ate lots of …

Serangan (lagi) ke blogger Indonesia

Dari blog saya yang di rahard.wordpress.com

Saya mendapat forward-an SMS yang intinya adalah sebagai berikut (tidak saya kutipkan persis):
saya memantau para blogger di milis. mereka adalah komunitas yang cenderung tanpa tata etika. merekalah menjadi aturannya. di masa yang akan datang mungkin akan ada masalah lain.
Welah. Saya tidak tahu milis mana yang dimaksud oleh SMS tersebut. Dugaan saya adalah milis id-gmail, yang saya sendiri tidak ikutan karena terlalu urakan. (Hoi para gajah! Gak boleh marah. Milis Anda memang urakan.) Mungkin urakan inilah yang disebut tanpa tata etika? Saya kok menduga bahwa yang bersangkutan memang tidak memahami maksud dan tujuan dari milis id-gmail tersebut, yaitu memang untuk urakan! ha ha ha :))

Saya yakin lebih banyak blogger Indonesia yang seperti saya, yang lebih senang duduk sendiri berkontemplasi kemudian menuliskan hasil pemikiran, renungan, atau lamunannya. Sangat tidak adil menuduh para blogger Indonesia sebagai sebuah komunitas yang tanpa tata et…

I am wearing glasses now

It's official. I am wearing glasses now.

I've been denying that I am old. (I am 43 now.) It is becoming more difficult for me to read small text (fonts). So, last week I went to check my eyes. Sure enough, I have to wear glasess (+1.25).

Last night, I picked up my first glasses. Now, I am adjusting my life with glasses. (Picture will follow.)

Singapore Trip: Day (4)

[Note: Continuation of my trip to Singapore. I almost forgot to post this and the next one.]

We left the hotel a little late, around 10:30 AM. We decided to go to Toa Payoh by MRT. We picked Toa Payoh because our daughter told us so. Being a bus interchange, Toa Payoh was a busy place. This was not a tourist place. It was a place where Singaporeans go, I guess. I went to a bookstore called “Popular” to get school supplies for my daugther. My son and I had lunch a Mc Donald’s. I opened my iBook to find for public Wi-Fi. I was told that Mc Donald's has public Wi-fi. I found “skynet”, but could not connect. I asked around but nobody knew how to connect. So, no Wi-Fi at Toa Payoh's Mc Donald's.

From Toa Payoh we headed back to Orchard Road with MRT. We bought inexpensive gifts at Lucky Plaza. S$10 for 3 T-shirts. Keychains for S$1 each. While my wife went shopping, I went to Starbucks to get a tall Latte. Again, I opened my iBook to find wi-fi signals. I found four or five signa…

Review: Kaipa - Notes from the past

Let me start with this. I am a fan of Roine Stolt. He is the guitarist of The Flower Kings (Transatlantic and other bands). So, when I saw this Kaipa CD (with a sticker in front: "feat. Roine Stolt also of Transatlantic and The Flower Kings") at a music store, I have to buy it. It is expensive though (Rp. 227000 or US $22). That's 1/4 of my formal salary. Ouch.

I am glad that I bought this, because this is a good album. It is progressive (or classic) rock in nature. If you like old Genesis (during Gabriel era), you'll love this band. It has lots of keyboard and guitar duels. Keyboards, music, words, and the like were done by Hans Lundin. I have never heard him before, but I like him. His compositions and music are exactly what I like. Melodic. Romantic. Well, you know, classic rock.

For classic rock album, sometimes you have to play it many times before you actually like it. This is an exception. The first time I gave it a spin, I already love it. (Right now, it's …

Presentation and stand-up comedy

Taken from my new blog:
http://blog.efx2.com/user/budi/3181/view/10278/

I give presentations a lot. And I mean a lot! Most of my presentations are technical in nature, but many times (lately most of the time) are aimed at not technical audience (like managers, directors, shareholders, and the like). Yesterday, I did two inhouse presentations for a multi-national company. They were on network security. I don't want to brag, but they loved my presentations. My presentations rocked! Everybody laughed all the time, enjoying the presentations.

How do I make my presentations understandable, fun, and yet not watered down? Do you want to know the secret?

Ok, here it is: stand-up comedy.

Believe it or not, I learned my techniques from Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Seinfeld, and ... other (stand-up) comedians. I found out that it is difficult to do it. You have to have a good script (or at least a guideline). You can write it yourself or hire somebody else. In my presentation, I have…

Be NiCE to me, or I'll blog you

Johar and Aie gave me this T-shirt. It says, "Be NiCE to me, or I'll blog you" Nice T-shirt. Thanks!

There are two meanings of this. First, NiCE is our National Internet Conference and Education. An event that we organized last year (2004). This year we were supposed to make it happen. But, due to many things ... it didn't happen. Hopefully next year (2006), we'll have NiCE again.

The second meaning, true to the words. Somebody has threatened me (with legal action) because I wrote about him/them in my blog. What I wrote is true, but they just don't want me to write it. I wouldn't budge. It's my freedom of speech. So, "be nice to me or I'll blog you" is actually true to the words. Blog is so powerful.

Saturday (at home, not in the park)

Saturdays are usually for meetings. Yes, we work on Saturdays. The reason is that in weekdays usually we (our team) are on clients' sites, securing their networks and systems. Saturday is the time we organize ourselves (and joke around - you know, the joy of start ups). This Saturday was the same, although some of us were taking a break (after pushing ourselves to the limit last week).

I used the the time before the meeting to do some cleaning up (stack of books, magazines, CDs, emails, and other stuff). This time I had a chance to read articles from IEEE Spectrum, Biophotonics magazine (I love the pictures, a few pages of "The Search" (a book about Google, more about that later on), and a few pages from "Network Security Assessment." I had IEEE Computer in the queue, but didn't have the time to read it. After meeting, I played PS2 a bit with my son and then read some more.

In the evening I had a meeting (and dinner) with a friend from Cisco to discuss their …

(Bad) experience with 30gigs.com

Do you think you need a large space to store your emails? Well, I do. My Gmail account is now more than 800 MB already. (I delete unused emails. I could only imagine if I keep junk emails in my mailbox.)

So when somebody told me a while ago about 30gigs.com, I decided to give it try. At first, the system was slow and the user interface was confusing. But, I stuck with it. Now, it has a better user interface. At least, it is less confusing.

One thing I notice is that it is VERY SLOW in receiving emails. For example, I applied for an account at Kinja. I gave 30gigs as my email address. Kinja said that I should check my email address for verification. Here I am, 30 minutes later on, still waiting for that email to reach my 30gigs account. I am not sure whether it will arrive (today? - note: the mail did arrive) or not. I decided to open another Kinja account. This time I use my gmail address. And sure enough, I checked my gmail account and the mail was there. I could continue with Kinja.

So…

We should dream some more ...

I dream too much. That's one of the comments I heard from many people. By dream I mean imaginating new postive ideas, ventures, activities, and so on. I always believe that dreams are important. They drive and motivate you.

I was reading Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat," and strucked the following paragraph:
Analysts have always tended to measure a society by classical economic and social statistics: its deficit-to-GDP ratio, or its unemployment rate, or the rate of literacy among its adult women. Such statistics are important and revealing. But there is another statistic, much harder to measure, that I think is even more important and revealing: Does your socienty have more memories than dreams or more dreams than memories?

By dreams I mean the positive, life-affirming variety. The business organization consultant Michael Hammer once remarked, "One thing that tells me a company is in trouble is when they tell me how good they were in the past. Same with count…

Friendship: You and I

There's nothing more I value than friendship. It hurts when somebody crossed my trust as a friend. It happened many times. Fortunately, I have many friends who stick with me in tough times. I am thankful for that. I am going to make sure that I would do the same thing to them; stay in good and bad times. Those who know me know that it is my trait.

I am listening to Sting's song, "My funny Friend and Me." It's one of the songs in "The Emperor's New Groove," which is also a very good and touching movies. What else, it's about friendship. The lyrics touches me:

But you stayed and you called my name
When others would have walked out on a lousy game
And you could've made it through
...
We'll stick together till the day we die
If I had to do this all a second time
I won't complain or make a fuss


You and I, we are friends forever.

Logo GBT by MDAMT

I found this logo of GBT while cleaning up my disk. Logo was created by MDAMT a while back.

Too busy to write

If you check my things to do at 43people (or 43things to be exact), you notice that I want to write a novel. Well, it won't happen soon. Apparently, I am too busy (doing God knows what) to write.

I tried to push myself by joining National Novel Writing Month. I have to write a 50,000-word story in a month. The number of words is the important aspect. Quality is number two, or ... 73. They have given a warning; "Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap." Well, the word count of my current story is somewhere around 150 words.

Oh, well. I can't even write crap!

I am on 43people

Andika invited me to join 43people.com. So, I did. My page there is budi.43people.com whereas Andika's is andika.43people.com.

What is 43people.com? Well, you just have to visit it and give it a try. Basically, it's a social network where you can tell us who you have met and who you want to meet. Perhaps, people on your network can connect you to people you would like to meet.

Related to 43people, there's also 43places.com and 43things.com. You can get the links from 43people.com. For example, when you visit budi.43people.com, you'll see things that I want to do and places that I want to visit (and have visited). Quite interesting, or amusing.

See you there ... and if we have met, indicate so.

Singapore Trip: Day (3)

9th November 2005. Today, we decided to take a bus ride. First, we went to my daughter’s school. Just for the fun of it. Walked around to see how far she has to walk everyday, from her hostel to school. Then, we took another bus ride to Sim Lim Square in the Little India area.

We got to Sim Lim Square around 10:0o AM. Apparently, most of the stores had not opened yet. This place has more electronics than Funan Digital/IT mall. We saw the ipon nano, ipod video, and other electronic gadgets. I wanted to buy the ipod video but did not have a price reference to compare. I was afraid that it was too expensive. So, no ipod for me (yet). Since most of the place were closed, we decided to go somewhere else. On the way, we decided to stop at the food court in the basement. I thought, I should get “teh tarik” first. This is basically tea with milk. While waiting for the tea, I opened my iBook.

There were five Wi-Fi signals. Two of them were opened. I tried the first one, “food court.” Got an IP a…

Pelatihan Churn Management

Posting ini digunakan untuk menunjukkan pelatihan Churn Management Indosat yang berlangsung di Jatiluhur.

Kami berangkat langsung dari Bandung dengan menggunakan mobil sendiri. Jalan tol Cipularang masih sepi karena kami berangkat dari Bandung jam 5:30 pagi. Sebelum sampai ke tempat training, kami menyempatkan diri mampir ke Rumah Makan Ibu Haji Ciganea untuk sarapan dulu. Sayang, sekarang rumah makan ini sudah sepi. Hanya ada tiga meja yang terisi. Bahkan restoran Alam Sari di sebelahnya tutup dan dijual! Wah.

Our service is down. Reliability of services

I am frustrated with the service at modblog.com. My blog at rahard.modblog.com is down. This was the second (or third?) time that their service is down. In fact, it has not recovered completely from the last problem. I guess I cannot complain for the lack of service(s), since it is a free service. But, I have been invested my time in co-creating the value of modblog's services by writing by stories and opinions there. I guess they have not seen the value of customers. They should involve customers more in their operation, such as giving a more detailed information why the service is down and so on. Perhaps their customers can give solution(s) to their problem(s). Meanwhile, I am divering my writings in other blogs (such as blogsome, wordpress, and ... other sites?).

While at it, the stat server at dnetc is also down. Aw ... sucks. At least, they are more open to their problems. Dnetc is a distributed effort to crack various encryption. Currently, we are trying to brute-force RC5.

Georgia my choice of fonts

I was reading Ariya's blog when I found a link to a story or history about Georgia typeface. I didn't realize that Georgia was designed for screen. It so happened that I found Georgia is the best font for my screen. I have used Georgia, as much as possible (eg. for my web, blog, etc.), for the last 6 months or so. Now I know that there is a reason why I like Georgia.

Now, if I can find a perfect font for my fixed-width / terminal-type font.

Singapore Trip: ez link card

These are the picture of ez link card that I used in Singapore to ride the MRTs and buses. I paid S$ 15 for the card and I topped the value up a couple of times, since I used it quite a bit. I also noticed that I can use the card at Mc Donald's to pay for the food. I didn't try it though.

If my life were a movie ...

I took the quiz from blogthings: "If Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?" Here's the result (and probably it is quite right! I've got fans that are freaky that sometimes they scare me!):

The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic
Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big LebowskiIf Your Life Was a Movie, What Genre Would It Be?

Singapore Trip: Day(2)

We were so tired from our trip yesterday so that we left the hotel at 10 AM. We decided to try the MRT. Newton (NS21) was the closest MRT station to our hotel. So, we walked over there. We were going to travel a lot, so we bought ez-link cards. (Note: I am going to scan the card and post it here. I am on the road right now.) These ez-link cards were prepaid cards that can be used for MRTs and busses. The cards were preloaded with S$10. We tapped them at the entrance and it opened the gate.

Newton station was empty. Only the three of us and another passenger were waiting. There were flat TV screens with information about the MRT. The next MRT to Marina Bay (going South) was going to arrive in 2 minutes. We waited by the sign that shows where the MRT door is going to be. It arrived on time.

The MRT was clean and relatively full with people. All the chairs were taken. We had to stand up. Information about the direction was announce through the speaker, but I couldn’t hear it clearly. There…

Singapore Trip: Day (1)

Our trip was started from Bandung, our home town. There was a Merpati direct flight from Bandung to Singapore. Thank God for that. We didn’t have to go to Jakarta to go to Singapore. Although it was a high season, the flight was only half full. But, I heard that the other way around was full. The aircraft was clean. I think the seats were just repainted.

The plane left Bandung at 9:00 AM, Monday. We arrived at Changi around 1 hour 45 minutes later. Changi was relatively empty. It was unusual for me. It was nice to pick up our bags. We didn’t have to wait long for custom either. So the whole trip was a breeze and pleasant. I hope it will always like that.

At the airport we had to wait for the other students (scholars) to arrive. Somebody from the school was supposed to picked my daughter up. While waiting, I decided to change my Rupiah into Singaporean Dollars. It was "humbling" (to say the least) to see that for Rp 1000,- I got S$ 0.170. Rupiah is the only one with zero in fro…

A trip to Singapore: Prolog

My daughter is going to school in Singapore. She's got a scholarship. I am going to talk about education later on, but this time I want to talk about our trip to Singapore. We decided to go to Singapore together as a family (the four of us: my wife, my daughter, my son, and myself). For the next few entries, I am going to talk about my experience in Singapore. I've been to Singapore quite a few times actually. But, they were kind of spread over time (since 1982, I think) and I didn't put an effort to observe things. This time, I want to observe. So, enjoy the story ...

[Update: Here's the link.]
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5 (not uploaded yet)

Also link from Tommorow.sg

CMS? Bah! Roll my own perl script

Well, I was frustrated with the CMS I found (so far). I decided to write my own perl script to manage my web page. It's a mess, but usable. You can see the artifacts at budi.indonesiaforum.org. Or maybe you can't, since my stuff is under the hood. Maybe someday, I'll share the script. (I just have to find time to put it under the web, which was built by the script itself. Kind of an interesting situation.)

Unbelievable ... (Def Leppard)

I must confess that I have a soft spot for Def Leppard. I played Def Leppard's Vault CD over and over again when I wrote my PhD thesis a while back. Their songs are - in a way - blue.

One of may favourite songs is "Unbelievable." Well, tonight I was trying to write (many things; reports, articles, books, blogs, ...) and searching for songs on my iBook. Unbelievable was the first song I spotted on my iTunes list. Needless to say, I am playing it over and over again as I was typing this blog entry. (In another tab I have the lyrics.)

...
You don't say that it's over
(ahh) Never thought this could die
But you speak without words
Making me feel so damn good, 'bye
It's unbelievable
...

So much for writing. I am stuck with this song. My mind wanders around ... trying to understand the feeling of saying goodbye to someone, after trying so hard. Ouch!

Blogger and Safari

Most of the time I use Firefox to compose entries in this blog. I use Firefox on my desktop running MS Windows and GNU/Debian Linux, and also on my iBook running Mac OS X. Well, right now I am using Safari on my iBook. It seems that the GUI editor in Blogger.com does not support Safari that well. The buttons for bold, italics, and the like are just not there. Not that I am using that buttons that much (I usually code HTML by hand with vi), but it is just strange to see Blogger.com does not support Safari. I though Safari is mainstream enough to be supported by blogger.com. Or perhaps, Safari is not good enough?

It is not a big deal for me since I have five, yes ... 5, browsers in my iBook. I've got Safari, Firefox, Camino, Opera, and Flock. Most of the time I use Camino.

What to do with used CDs (DVDs)?

I still don't know what to do with all of these used CDs. Blank CDs are cheap around here (around 20c a piece). Burning CDs is common, just like copying to diskettes. Pirate CDs, VCDs and DVDs are popular here. To make the point short, CDs and DVDs are everywhere.

Now, what should we do when these CDs (and DVDs) are not being used anymore?
Should we just toss them away?
What kind of environmental damage would these CDs cause?
Recycle? How?

In a science competition, there were 3 high-school students who arranged these used CDs to generate (very small) electricity. Other interesting usage out there?

straight 24-hours

I am already up for 21 hours for no apparent reasons. Will I stay up for 24 hours? I don't know.

It started this morning at 3 AM. This is the month of Ramadhan, where Muslims fast during the day. So I did my breakfast at around 3-ish. After that, I checked my emails and did some writing, preparing for my presentation tomorrow (or today, since it has passed midnight).

Morning came and I took my daughter to her school. Back from the school, I worked on my presentation again and checked on reports that my company must submit. By the time I was finished, it was already close to afternoon. I had to pick up my daughter. So I did. Then, I went straight to Bandung High Tech Valley (BHTV) workshop. [BHTV web. BHTV blog.]

At the workshop I listened to presentations and tried to get some insights. Armein Langi's presentation was good. The discussion was lively. I am excited with the possibility of actually realizing our BHTV's dream. Although, it wasn't what I expected since I thoug…

Learning CSS

In my previous post, I lamented about Content Management System (CMS). I am still search for the most suited CMS for me.

While doing that, I decided to learn CSS. Currently, the design of my web sites are based on table. It is considered out of date and difficult to maintain. Perhaps CSS is the solution? So, I searched the web for CSS tutorials. Lo and behold. I found a very good tutorial.

I found Selectutorial CSS selector to be the best CSS tutorial. It explains CSS step by step without watering it down. One of the things I like about this is that the author took the time to give a step by step example with a sample output of each step. I could progress from one step to another by reading the description and viewing the result. This is an example of good e-learning! I spent a couple of hours playing with the examples. I hope it's a good investment.

After that, I looked around for CSS examples or templates. I kinda like 3-column layout. All of my web sites are done with 3-column. I …

Searching for CMS producing static files

I am still search for a Content Management System (CMS) that produces static (HTML) files. The reasons I want static files are:

Security. I was bitten many times by CMS / CGI-based / other tools that produce dynamic HTML files. Sometimes the problem is due to the scripting language being used (PHP, perl), and other times it is due to the backend database (eg. MySQL).
Performance. My server's resources are usually limitted. For example, one of our servers is still using (GNU/Debian) Linux on a Pentium III. It was upgraded from Pentium II, though. Yes, I know that this is 2005. Although my current web server is Pentium 4. Generating dynamic pages on the fly may tax my server.
I don't really need dynamic pages. The contents of my pages are mostly articles, presentation files, PDF files, and the like. (Examples of my sites are: my main web site, web at campus, BHTV, ID-CERT, my Indonesia, and many more. Don't laugh at the designs - or lack of.) I just have to build a nice themed …

Engineers vs. Lawyers

I was reading Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat," book and found an interesting paragraph (and quote):


One problem we have today, though, is that so many Amarican politicians don't seem to have a clue about the flat world. As venture capitalist John Doerr once remarked to me, "You talk to the leadership in China, and they are all engineers, and they get what is going on immediately. The Americans don't, because they're all lawyers."


I love if when they talk dirty :-). Not all lawyers are clueless, though. Lawrence Lessig seems to be an anomaly. What do you think about leadership in Indonesia? Are they clueless?

Masih tentang kurang responsifnya mahasiswa

[Catatan: backup dari posting di rahard.modblog.com]

Dalam posting terdahulu saya mempermasalahkan kurang responsifnya mahasiswa di kelas saya. Ternyata ini tidak terjadi di kelas saya atau departemen saya saja, akan tetapi sudah mewabah ke seluruh kampus. Ada seorang dosen di Departemen Planologi yang mengatakan sebagai berikut:

Saya tanya "ada yang tidak mengerti?", tidak ada yang menjawab atau mengacungkan tangan. Kemudian saya tanya "ada yang mengerti?", juga tidak ada yang mengacungkan tangan. Jadi sebetulnya mengerti atau tidak?

Ada dosen lain yang mengatakan bahwa ketika dia masuk ke kelas, dia dihadapkan dengan pandangan mata yang kosong. Menerawang. Dia berpendapat bahwa sekarang mahasiswa inginnya serba instan.

Lepas dari itu semua, ternyata masalahnya lebih dalam lagi karena tidak sekedar di kelas saya saja. Berarti ini masalah yang lebih besar! Aduh!

Mengenai soal slides power point, sebetulnya saya tidak menyukainya karena slides tersebut seringkali gagal m…

Mahasiswa Kurang Responsif?

[Posting ini saya ambil dari blog saya yang lain di http://rahard.blogsome.com/2005/10/06/mahasiswa-kurang-responsif/ karena waktu itu situs modblog saya down. Saya tampilkan di sini sebagai backup. Mungkin saya akan banyak menulis di rahard.blogsome.com untuk membackup blog di modblog.]

Saya tidak tahu apakah saya lebih tumpul dalam mengajar atau mahasiswa saya yang kurang berani dalam bertanya. Dalam kuliah yang saya ajar kali ini, mahasiswa saya terkesan lebih “loyo” daripada angkatan (kelas) sebelumnya. Kalau saya tanya, mereka terkesan tidak antusias dalam menjawab (atau bingung). Padahal pertanyaan yang mirip dalam kelas sebelumnya masih bisa dijawab.

Saya tidak tahu apakah mereka tidak mengerti apa yang saya ajarkan atau hanya malas / malu menjawab saja. Hal-hal yang saya tanyakan adalah hal yang sederhana dalam pemrograman yang sepantasnya mudah mereka ketahui. Paling tidak, hal tersebut diketahui oleh mahasiswa universitas lain atau bahkan siswa SMK (STM) yang sedikit kursus pe…

Break fasting with friends

Yesterday (Thu, Oct 13, 2005), I went to Cyber building to break fasting with friends. This is the month of Ramadhan in which we fast during the day and break the fast after it is dark (evening). Our friends at IDC organized the event. Lots of young people were there. I understood that these folks are from Opisboy mailing list, the guys who run the Internet engines and pipes in most ISPs. Unfortunately, I don't know most of them. Boy, I felt old. (I wonder if they know me?)

I was late. It took me two hours from my apartment to the place! There was a BAD traffic jam. I mean, really bad! Without traffic, it would take only 10 minutes. Normally, I'd say it would take around 20 minutes. But, hey, there are good food and good friends. I enjoyed it very much.

(I felt sorry for those who were not invited. Yup, those ISP owners / CEOs who know nothing about the fun stuff of running Indonesian Internet. Let's leave them worrying about their association. [wink])

Let's do it again .…

Which File Extensions Am I?

Here's the result:


Which File Extension are You?

Interesting ... I found it interesting.

Reading (and writing?) history of computing (and business)

You know that I am a sucker for history of computing (and business related to it). So here I am ... reading a very interesting site (Folklore.org, mostly about history of Apple and the people behind it), reading an interesting book (Tom Friedman's "The world is flat'), and reading Fortune magazine 75th anniversary speacial issue. (Actully, I am reading a couple more books. But they are, kind of, getting a lower reading time.) Yes, I am doing a context switching between them.

I am actually tired and need some sleep, but cannot resist reading them. I want to write my opinion(s) on things that I read, but I just didn't (and still don't) have enough time to do it. Everytime I read a bit ... or byte ... from the {site, book, magazine}, I stopped and thinking of things that I wanted to tell (the world). The reading is very slow ... and I get less sleep. I should just stop reading and write more.

Warta Ekonomi e-Government Award 2005

This is the 4th year Warta Ekonomi magazine initiated its (Indonesian) "e-Government Award." As usual, I participated as one of the juries. The result is listed below.

Kabupaten/ Kota Category

Kota Yogyakarta (skor: 815)
Kabupaten Bantul (765)
Kabupaten Sleman (685)

Province Category

Jawa Timur (760)
DI Yogyakara (720)
Jawa Barat (705)

Departemen

Departemen Pekerjaan Umum (715)
Departemen Pertanian (650)
Departemen Koperasi dan UKM (610)

Non-Departemen

Badan Koordinasi Survei dan Pemetaan Nasional (730)
Badan Pengawas Pasar Modal (705)


Sorry, I have not had a chance to translate the names into English. Well, you get the idea by guessing the names. For the Indonesian version of this page, have a look at my other blog at http://rahard.blogsome.com/2005/10/07/warta-ekonomi-e-gov-award-2005/

One interesting thing is that the winning list is dominated by Yogyakarta and its surrounding area (Yogyakarta, Sleman, Bantul, and of course its own province). This is interesting. I don't know whether …

How to make engineering more attractive?

There was a heated discussion on slashdot "Why Students Are Leaving Engineering", relating to an article "Confessions of an Engineering Washout." The discussion is mainly from (engineering) students' point of views.

One of the issue they touched is that their professors and TAs are incompetent teachers. They may be good at research, but they cannot teach (or even communicate). This may be true in American setting, where research is more important than teaching, but the reverse is true in Indonesia (and perhaps other Asian countries). Here, professors, lectureres, and TAs are more focused on teaching. That does not mean that they are better at teaching than their counterparts in America, though.

Here's a lecturer's point of view. (I cannot call myself a professor because here it is a formal thing, which I don't really care. If I were to teach in North America, which I did in Canada, I would be called a professor :-))

I enjoy teaching. That's why I a…

Google vs Microsoft: Why I still use Microsoft?

There have been news, discussions, and analysis on "Google vs. Microsoft" war. I don't want to iterate them. Here's my take on this.

I am a Linux user (since back in the 0.12 days) and a Google user (I prefer Google's services [blogger, search engine, gmail, googlegroups] over others). Don't ask me why. It just clicks. I love Google. My main email reader is mutt, which runs on my Linux Debian box. And yet, I still use Microsoft product, specifically Power Point. I prefer to use OpenOffice Write to write documents. Why do I use Power Point and how this relates to the "Google vs. Microsoft" debate?

One feature that I love and cannot be part of Power Point is its ability to get clip arts from Microsoft through the Internet. When I need a picture, I can just use the "Insert > Picture > Clipart" menu and use Microsoft's Clipart on Office online. It will open a browser and take me to Office online web site. I can then search cliparts or …

How big is your IT security department?

Recently, I've been asked by some people about the "right size" for an IT department. Here is a list of those questions:

Is there a rule of thumb (or best practice) regarding the number of persons in the IT departement?
Is there a ratio? (eg. 1 IT support for every 100 users)
Is it industry-dependent? (eg. banking, telecommunication, manufactuing, retail, government)
Is there a common (organization) structure? eg. help desk, technical support, planning, development, QA, security.

My current interest is finding the right structure for an IT security unit (departement, team).

Should security be part of the IT departement? or Audit? or directly under CEO (which means there should be a Chief Security Officer)? or ad hoc?
What is the best structure of a security unit? help desk, support, incident handling, etc.?
How many people and what are the requirements?
Is security certification important?

I need pointers, references, reading materials, and examples.

Masa Depan Perguruan Tinggi?

IBM membuat sebuah dokumen yang diberi judul "Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) 2004." Buku ini berisi hasil diskusi senior technical and business experts dari IBM dengan 100 perusahaan dan institusi dari 24 negara / daerah. Ada banyak hal yang menarik dari buku tersebut. Kali ini saya akan mencuplik hal yang terkait dengan perguruan tinggi.

Ada satu bagian dari buku tersebut yang berjudul "For The Knowledge Worker, Work Becomes Academic." Saya kutipkan sebagian saja:

If Innovation will continue to occur more rapidly in the 21st century, it follows that knowledge, expertise and skills will change just as rapidly. The majority of this knowledge will likely be generated with innovative companies.

Waduh! IBM mengatakan bahwa ada dua implikasi dari pernyataan di atas. Yang pertama, para pekerja tidak dapat lagi mengandalkan kepada keahlian (termasuk gelar di perguruan tinggi) yang mereka kuasai di awal hidup mereka untuk tetap menjadi terdepan. Yang kedua, kecil kemungkinan…

Books, sofa, and coffee

This is the second time I went to that coffee shop in Riau street, Bandung. (I won't name the place, since it might be considered advertising.) As usual, I brought a book (usually a couple of books) with me. The place was nice and cozy. I wen straight to the middle room, turned right to a room which has three nice sofa-like chairs. I ordered a hot latte, slouched and started to read my book. This was just perfect.

And then, it happened again. I just couldn't continue reading. My imagination ran wild. This time I was thinking about writing a book on the art of programming. Or, a book on the real life of programmers. I am teaching a course on programming this term. Actually, the first class is going to be this coming Tuesday. I just want to teach the real thing, not just the theory. Okay, I will do that.

I tried to cotinue reading. Again, I just couldn't do it. Now, I was thinking about something else. I was thinking about (advanced) physics, about Fermi-Pasta-Ulam problem. No…

Teaching programming to EE students

It's that time again. Time to teach second year EE on programming. This is their first formal course on programming. Perhaps, this is also their last time? I had only one formal course on programming and that was FORTRAN. Anyway, what should I teach?

We already decided that it's object oriented and C++ is going to be used as the language. Walter Savitch's "Problem Solving in C++" is the textbook. There were a lot of discussion before we came to that decision. Unfortunately, I didn't make notes (and am to lazy to write them down). Every year I re-think about it. (Perhaps, it's time to write the arguments down?) Here's an issue that came my mind recently.

High vs low-level programming

UML or higher level "coding." This is great, but I am afraid that my students would not understand low level coding. Remember that they are EE, engineers. They are not computer scientists. They may have to work with devices with low level programming, such as (micro…

Scrapbook: Kingston, Ontario, Canada

I found an old picture, taken in 1987 (or 1988?) when I visited friends in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. At that time, I was living in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. We were part of Indonesian students sent away to get post graduate degrees. They were in Computer Science (CS), while I was in Electrical Engineering (EE).

From left to right: Fahren (IPB), Budi (ITB), Yugo (UI).

Mengapa tidak ngotot berseteru

Beberapa rekan mempertanyakan mengapa saya tidak ngotot untuk tetap berseteru dan mempertahankan pengelolaan domain .ID. Apakah tidak takut dikatakan kalah?

Keputusan saya untuk mengundurkan diri dari pengelolaan .ID sebetulnya sudah saya sampaikan tahun lalu di acara NiCE 2004. Jadi ini bukan keputusan yang mendadak. Namun memang saya tidak mau berseteru meskipun setelah saya teliti dokumen-dokumen yang saya miliki (beserta ahli hukum saya), kemungkinan menang adalah antara 80% sampai dengan 90%.

Ada dua hal penting yang mempengaruhi keputusan saya. Yang pertama adalah buku "Don't be sad" karangan Dr. 'Aidh bin Abdullah al-Qarni, MA. Dalam buku ini banyak sekali mutiara yang disampaikan dengan cara yang menyentuh. Topik yang paling banyak saya baca adalah bagian tentang bersabar. Ternyata ini semua adalah ujian bagi saya untuk bersabar. Banyak contoh disampaikan di dalam buku tersebut mengenai kesabaran orang-orang besar. Meski mereka dihina (sangat menyakitkan), akan…

Indonesian IT: Lesson X.1

I am going to write random notes on my IT experience in Indonesia. I've been trying to build Indonesian IT capacity for so many years; from the time before I went abroad, during my Canadian years, and after I came back to Indonesia. I use the word "random" to signify that there is no particular sequence or order in the notes that I am going to write. The numbering (X.1) just came accross my mind as part of the random process. Actually, the "X" came from Mac OS X - which I currently use to type this note - and from math which signifies an unknown value or entity.

My first note - related to a situation a recently encountered - is not so up beat. There are some people and organization(s) who will try to derail my effort to build a solid Indonesian IT infrastructure. To my disbelieve, they are part of the IT community itself (which, unfortunately, is from the business community). I think greed is one big factor. They are more concerned with flashy issues, publicity,…

Insanely great!

I have just finished reading "Insanely Great: The Life and Times of Macintosh, the computer That Changed Everything.," by Steven Levy. It's a great book.

When I got the book a few weeks ago (from Chandra Liem), I was skeptical. It's not an uptodate book. Macintosh now is different. But, I've read Steven Levy's books before and liked them. You might have guessed it correctly that I am always interested in what Steve Jobs did and does. Besides, I love computing history anyway. (I even subscribe to IEEE Annals of the History of Computing.) So, I decided to read a few pages. Well, I ended up reading the whole book. There are many gems in the book.

The book gives an inside story about how Apple Macintosh - the computer, not the fruit, was born. I have heard and read the story before, but I still love to hear the detailed story. One thing I learned from the history is that to produce an insanely great product, you have to work insanely hard. And, you may need a group…

Rela memfitnah

Ada banyak pelajaran yang saya peroleh dari permasalahan pengelolaan nama domain .ID baru-baru ini. Pelajaran pertama adalah adanya orang-orang yang menghalalkan segala cara untuk mencapai keinginannya, sehingga rela memfitnah orang lain.

Dalam kejadian yang saya alami, dengan alasan menjalankan program Munas APJII (yang notabene adalah sebuah organisasi eksklusif dengan anggota ISP), maka beberapa pengurus APJII rela memfitnah saya. Beberapa orang pengurus APJII menandatangani surat litigasi yang digunakan untuk memfitnah saya bahwa saya menggelapkan dana pengelolaan nama domain .ID. (Link ke detikinet.com) [Catatan: ada yang memiliki daftar nama yang menandatangani surat tesebut?]

Yang membuat saya heran dan sedih adalah beberapa orang tersebut mengenal diri saya cukup baik untuk tahu bahwa saya tidak mungkin melakukan hal yang dituduhkan tersebut. But yet, they signed the document! Tak dapatkah mereka menolak? Memangnya apa sanksinya jika menolak? Takut? Kepada siapa? Takut kepada ma…

Doa dari seseorang yang didzalimi

Ya Allah yang Maha Kuasa.
Pagi ini aku duduk di hadapanMu untuk mengadu.
Kepada siapa lagi aku harus mengadu, kecuali kepadaMu?

Ya Allah, lindungilah aku dari fitnah.
Berikanlah kepadaku kesabaran untuk menghadapi ujian ini.
Aku tak tahu mengapa ada orang yang tega melakukan fitnah
dan mendzalimi diriku.

Ya Allah, apa yang aku lakukan hanyalah menjalankan amanah
yang Engkau titipkan kepadaku. Jika memang aku tak pantas
untuk menjalankan amanah ini, tunjukkanlah kepadaku dan
maafkan karena ketidakmampuanku.

Ya Allah, aku tak tahu apakah aku harus tetap berjalan terus,
atau berputar balik, atau berhenti...
Meski seorang diri dan didzalimi, aku tidak takut selama
Engkau melindungi diriku.
Namun aku akan takut apabila Engkau meninggalkan diriku
meskipun aku dikelilingi orang banyak.

Ya Allah, tunjukkanlah siapa-siapa kawanku dan musuhku.
Berikanlah kesabaran pada diriku untuk memaafkan mereka.
Berikanlah pencerahan dan pelajaran kepada mereka tentang
mana yang benar dan mana yang salah.
Munculkanlah sinar hat…

Say NO to APJII banner

The banner says it all!

Say NO to APJII!

Prolog
At the end of 1997, I went back to Indonesia from my studies and work in Canada. The .ID domain management in Indonesia at that time was in a confusing state. Nobody wanted to manage it. Universitas Indonesia (UI) - the original maintainer - was in a fight with APJII (the Association of Indonesian ISP).
In the end, IANA gave me a mandate to manage the .ID domain. Since then, I manage the .ID domain with open management. There are problems, but mostly minors.

Until recently, when APJII (again) is trying to take over the .ID domain management from my team. Here's a short info to give you a head start.


Short summary

APJII (the association of ISP in Indonesia) is trying to takeover the .ID domain management in Indonesia. They have tried and will try everything to take over.

Long description

I've been managing the .ID domain since the end of 1997. At that time, nobody wanted to run the domain management.

First of all, a brief description of how we run things. To run the .ID domain, …