Saturday, April 30, 2005

Books, books, books


A snapshot of stacks and shelves of books that I have to read. The stack on the right side is actually on a chair. You can't see the bottom of it. It's a mess. Actually, it shows that I read them. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 29, 2005

How to remove information from the Internet?

When you published information on the Internet and Goggle & Yahoo have found it, is it possible to remove it? Here is the case.

Our friends from Canada (Richard Lewko and Evelyne Bemben) were listed as still missing from the Tsunami dissaster in Thailand. Fortunately, they are alive and well in Canada. They were not in Puket at that time. They were in other areas. Their names are listed in web sites, such as:

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/01/04/email.appeals.thailand.i.to.o/
and http://www.tsunamis.com/missing-people-tsunami-disaster-thailand.html

I have asked the web masters to remove the entry or to add comments that they are alive and well in Canada. Let see how it goes. In the mean time, I'll add the following information.

Richard Lewko and Evelyne Bemben are alive and well in Canada.

I hope this information is found at the top of Google & Yahoo search engines. They are getting a lot of phone calls. I hope this information can clear that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Write, write, read, teach ...

Yesterday, I spent my whole day writing. I updated two books I am working on. I only got 15 pages though. The first book (on formal methods) was written in LaTeX and I have not used it for quite a while. I kind of stumbled here and there trying to memorize how to do things. I had to open a couple of books on LaTeX and browse CTAN. There were also a lot of equations to type. That didn't help.

The second book, on information security, was a breeze to type but a lot of information I have to digest and type. I got around 10 pages on this one. Enough writing, or so I thought. Wrong!

Today, I had to write again. But this time, I wrote draft of research reports and a proposal. (There are plenty proposals to write in the queue. Clients are waiting.) Again, a lot of typing and reading here and there.

Late afternoon, a huge and heavy package arrived. It's from San Francisco. Pak Chandra Liem sent a huge box of books through pak Eddy Budisanto who are coming to Indonesia to visit his family. It's really heavy. Perhaps around 50 kg? I couldn't imagine how pak Eddy got this through. I mean, it's really heavy.

Inside this box I found many excellent books. Books that I wanted to buy. I feel like a child in a toy store. So many to choose. Mucho thanks to pak Chandra and pak Eddy. It's reading time. Now, where do I start.

Oh, no. Tomorrow I have to give presentations the whole day. We are conducting what we called "sharing vision" discussion regulary, every other week for the past two or three years. It's a high-level discussion attended by high-level management, executives, directors, owners, high rank officers. This event is (always) organized by pak Dimitri Mahayana and his excellent team. I guess these books have to wait until tomorrow evening.

As for all of this, I have to think. Is "write, write, read, teach" a good sequence? I got the impression that it should be "read, read, write, teach". What do you think?

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Simon Singh's newest book: Big Bang

The first time I read Simon Singh's book was "The Code Book". That book is about the history of secret messanges. It is a very readable book. I enjoyed it very much. He could explain complex things in an easy to understand, without too much watering them down. This is the same approach I take in my teaching. How do I explain this complex things (formula, ideas, concepts), so that my students could understand?

Then, I realized that he wrote "Fermat's Enigma," which is also very readble book. Again, I enjoyed the book.

Last week, while wandering around in a book store, I stumbled upon his third book, "Big Bang: The Origin of the Universe." It's the hard cover edition. A bit expensive and too big for my knapsack, but I just had to pick it up. So I did. Now, I just have to find time to read it. I think I am going to enjoy reading this book.

By the way, you can visit Simon Singh web site for more information.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Playing Blogshares

While browsing Andika's blog, I found a link to Blogshare. Actually, I found a link to my blogs being traded at Blogshares. Hmm, it looks interesting. So I joined them.

Blogshares is a virtual trading place where blogs are considered public companies. We can buy and sell "blog shares". The value of the share depends on many things, including the number of inbound and outbound links. You can add your blogs to the list of traded blog companies.

I found that my web site (budi.insan.co.id) has a high-priced value, while the other one (gbt.blogspot.com) was just starting. I didn't have shares in those two blog companies. I claimed them, and got 1000 shares in each blogs. Now, I am adding my other blogs (as you know, I have too many of them, such as my blog at modblog, at tblog, at multiply, at Yahoo 360, at ITB, friendster, and many more). We'll see how it goes.

Since I started with a very small amount of money, I could only buy shares that are of low value. So I bought this "lower case, geek girl" shares, just because the name is interesting. It should give me a starting point.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Write something worth reading for

I don't write blog entries as often as I wanted. I'd like to write more, but there are too many things to do at this point in time. And another thing, writing takes too much time and effort.

I have this believe that if I write something - be that a blog entry, an email, a book, a poem, a short story, a comment, or even a one-liner - it has to be worth reading for.

I have taken your time (to read) and my time (to think and write). Time is so precious. We cannot take it back. I have no patience with people that are taking too much time to get into the point. So, whatever I write it must be direcet and have an impact, a meaning, or touch our hearts and souls. If not, it's useless. Don't bother writing it down.

As a result, I am not as productive in writing as I want to be. But, it's alright. A small number of ideas, but potent!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

iMac / Mac OS X initial experience

Macnoto lent us an iMac. It has been sitting in our sarang for a few weeks. I haven't had a chance to play with it since I was way too busy with things.

When I had a chance to play, it was converted to GNU/Linux Debian by Andika. Well, Linux is Linux. Although, it is impressive, I didn't want to play with it. I logged in into the iMac, but it was no different than my Intel-based Debian.

My encounter with Mac was way back in 1987 when I did my grad studies. I even played with Linux on PowerPC sometimes around 1996 or 1997 or perhaps earlier. At that time, when I typed fdisk (or was it df?), then system went panic. It reminded me of my earlier experience with GNU/Hurd. It went panic with df. Anyway, I don't want to play with this iMac in GNU mode. I want to play it native!

So, today, I have a chance to try it. Andika has restored this iMac into dual boot mode. I rebooted the machine in the Mac OS X mode, and here I am typing this entry on a iMac with Safari.

I hate to admit that I am lost in this new Mac environment. I don't know how to eject the DVD! (ouch). I do love the environment. It's so slick. It makes me want to buy a Mac. Right now I am saving my money to buy a PDA or something that could replace my Nokia 6100. (I was thinking of buying that HP/iPaq or O2.) Other than that, I want to buy a Mac. I am not sure whether I should buy a MacMini or an iBook. I need to replace my Fujitsu Lifebook. It's so slow. The thing is my Lifebook has been good to me (to my back). It's so small that is easy to carry and yet usable. But, it's too slow for my need now. After getting my mobile gadget, somekind of a Mac is in the horizon.

In case you have not noticed, I am a Mac fan (or an Apple fan, or Steve Jobs fan to be exact). My window manager in my Linux desktop is usually Afterstep, my MS Windows-based notebook has FlyakiteOSX (which turns my MS Windows into a Mac OS-X-like environment), and Aqua Dock.

The thing I like about this new Mac is the OS. It is based on UNIX. (Not really UNIX if you want to be precise.) I used to work on a NeXT workstation. In fact, I started my WWW experience at the time Tim Berners-Lee launced his WWW and HTTP(d). He used a NeXT workstation and I used a NeXT workstation. (At that time nobody wanted to use this NeXT workstation at work / at the University. Everybody wanted a Sun workstation. I did have a Sun workstation on my desk at that time.) NeXT operating system (NeXTstep) blew me away at that time. It is unfortunate that they went belly up. Perhaps, it was ahead of its time. In short, I would expect that this OS X will take that NeXT elegance and taste to the next level. I will tell my experience in future blog entries.


So, now, how do I eject the DVD? *blush*

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Time to read again

[I posted this earlier, but didn't make it to blogspot. sigh]

The last two weeks have been hectic for me; preparing and making presentations, reports, teaching classes, and work. By the time I got home, I was too tired. I didn't have time to read books or magazines. I did read stuff. But, those are the stuff that were related to work. It felt different.

Now, I have a spare time to read books. (At least, for a couple of days.) Last night, I took three books and a magazine to read before I got to bed. I picked the first book. Read a few pages and fell into sleep. Dang.