Monday, November 28, 2005

Logo GBT by MDAMT


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

Sunday, November 27, 2005

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.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

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 and I could browse the Internet. After around 15 minutes, the connection was closed. I still connected to the access point, but there was no routing to the Internet. Perhaps, originally, they did not plan to offer free access and they found that somebody was using their access point? I couldn’t tell.

There was another open wi-fi signal, “Access icell”, but I could not connect to it. I’ve seen this one in another part of the city, but did not know how to access it. The problem with wi-fi access in Singapore is that they have too many providers. Most of these providers were local. How many wi-fi providers do I have to get? In Indonesia, most wi-fi providers have wider coverage so you can stick with one provider around the city.

After Sim Lim Square, we decided to to to Sun Tec City. We took a bus to go there. Sun Tec City is a big convention center. There is a big mall. We went there and had lunch in a packed food court area. One of the thing I hate eating (lunch and dinner) in Singapore is that the places were always packed with people. You have to wait for a free seat or you have to share with somebody else. You could not enjoy eating while somebody is waiting for you, could you?

In the evening we took our daughter for dinner. We went to Orchard Road. It was a little rainy, so we could not find a dining place that we like. We went to Food Republic and ate there. Again, it was packed with people. I wanted to eat curry with roti, but the lineup was too long. I ended up with Nasi Padang, which was excellent. After that we went to Borders to find books for my daughter. We were so tired that went home by taking a taxi cab.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

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.

Monday, November 21, 2005

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.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

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.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2005

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 Lebowski

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

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 was no screen or display information to show where we were. In Japan, the train shows where we are in a map with dots. But, since we knew where we were heading, we just looked at the stations we passed.

We arrived at City Hall station (NS25). Our target was Funan Digtal/IT Mall, which was located at North Bridge Road. This is supposed to be the place where they sell electronics (IT) stuff. We walked a block from the MRT and found the place. It was a bigh building with a lot of computer and IT-related shops. The shops were clean (what do you expect?) and sparkling with new gadgets, computers, notebooks, digital cameras, LCD screens and the like.

I took my Fujitsu Lifebook out and searched for a hotspot. It found two hotspots. One of the was free. It said that I can use "guest1" for the account and password. So, I used it to check my Gmail emails. The speed was not that fast. I’ve got faster speed at home. But, for the price that I’ve got (free), it was a bargain. Can’t complain. Too bad the battery of my Fujitsu was not good. It was good only for around 50 minutes. After 45 minutes, I decided to logout and powered off my notebook. I should have brought my iBook instead. I left it at the hotel because it was heavier than my Fujitsu Lifebook.

There was an interesting IT bookstore in the second (or was it third?) floor. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to browse. You know how I like books and could spend hours and hours in bookstore. I'll do it later some day. My son was hungry, so we dicided to have lunch there. We went to Pastamania, although my son bought a Mc Donald’s burger instead. I remembered that usually Mc Donald has a WiFi connection. I should have tried it. I saw a man using his notebook with PCMCIA wireless card sticking out. Next time, I am going to try it.

We took the MRT back to Orchard Road and walked around there for a bit. After we were tired, we walked back to our hotel.

At the hotel, I decided to try their Internet access in the lobby. There were three coin-operated computers. The cost of Internet access was $1 for 15 minutes. It was expensive, but I had to try it. It locked the screen after the time ran out. The computer was still running, but the screen was locked. That was how they control the usage. I think that is a good idea. Otherwise, I would have used the computer to type reports [smile]. I was not ready to access the wireless in our room.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

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 front. Other currencies had more dignity. (Never mind that it was also one thousand Rupiah! Can you imagine the number of zeros in Singaporean dollars had they put one Rupiah?)
In the money changer, I bought GSM SIM cards (SingTel cards) for my cellphones. One for me and one for my daughter. They were prepaid cards with S$ 100 in them. In Singapore you have to show your ID to buy a SIM card, whereas in Indonesia you could get it anywhere without IDs. I showed her my passport. I got my Singaporean phone number.

We went to my daughter hostel, which is at Anglo Chinese School (ACS), Barker Road (off Dunearn). My daughter school – the Singaporean Chinese Girls School (SCGS) – is not far from it. It is around 10 to 15 minutes walk from there. There were a total of 16 students from Indonesia (from Bandung, Jakarta, Medan, Semarang, Surabaya[?]).

At around 5 PM we checked in into our hotel, Hotel Asia, which was apparently not far from the hostel. I was worried about the reservation so that I kept on calling them to tell that I was going to be late. It was a peak season and I didn’t want to lose my hotel reservation. Later on, I found out how lucky we were to get reservation because hotels around Singapore were booked solid! The next day I overheard guests who were turned down at our hotel. Another parent could not extend their stay because it was already booked by someone. We were fortunate to book the whole stay. Oh, I made the reservation through the Internet. They were very responsive. My emails were answered quickly.

We were hungry, so we decided to walk from our hotel to Orchard Road. It was not that far, but far enough to get an exercise. It was around 15 minutes walk.

Orchard Road was not like before. It was dirty. I saw a lot of young Singaporeans hanging out and smoking on the sidewalks. Cigarette butts were everywhere. This was not the Singapore I had in mind. A few years back, it was much cleaner. It is sad to see that Singaporean youths are loosing their identities. They want to be westernized, in the wrong way. Although I am not a Singaporean citizen, it is becoming my concern now since my daughter is going to school in Singapore. I sincerely hope that Singaporean government do something about this youth.

Internet access at the hotel was not great. There was a wireless access in our room, but the connection was flakey. The signal was too low. Perhaps it was only in our room, which was in the far corner of the hotel. The signal was okay in the hallway, but I wouldn't want to do the Internet in the hallway. The whole point of wireless access at the hotel is to have access inside the room.

The wireless access cost was also expensive. For 1 hour access, the cost was S$ 5. For 3 hours, it was S$ 8, and for 24 hours, it was S$ 26. I would have taken the 24-hours access had the signal was good and the total hours were accumulated, not 24-hours (or 1-hour straight). Apparently, if I bought the 1-hour access, I had to use it straight one hour. I could not use it for 15 minutes, and use the rest later on during the day. Perhaps, this was just the setup by the wireless provider. In Indonesia and India, if you bought 1-hour access, you could split the usage in whatever ways you like. You could use 15 minutes today, 15 minutes tomorrow, and the rest the next day. To make the story short, I didn’t get an internet access in our room.

Monday, November 14, 2005

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

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

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.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

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.