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Guitar Heroes

My kids bought "Guitar Heroes" games for their Playstation 2. It's a game about following guitar (rhythm, lick, beat) by pressing the proper buttons. The songs they have to follow are (classic) rock songs, such as "Smoke On The Water" (Deep Purple), "More Than a Feeling" (Boston), and many more.

After playing the games they asked me if I can teach them to play guitar. Hah! Finally. I taught them a few basic fingering and (three finger) picking (ala classical guitar players). It was hard. (What can you expect in one lesson?) Now, they appreciate their dad. Hah! I showed them "smoke on the water" and they were impressed.

Last week, they bought the sequel - "Guitar Heroes 2". It has more great songs, such as "Carry On Wayward" (Kansas), "YYZ" (Rush), "Surender" (Cheap Trick), and a lot more. Woohoo... More great songs to teach them.

To bad, we are going on a vacation today (planning to travel to Malaysia and…

Everybody wants a piece of me

Yes, it's that time of the year(?) again. Everybody wants a piece of me, again. I mean it in a good sense. Here's the deal.

Many people phoned me, sent me SMS, email, etc. They wanted (and still want) me to give a seminar, presentation, answer interview, write an article, or whatever. It seems that these people have deadlines to meet. I guess it's the end of the year again, where people must submit their progress report. Some of them even have (leftover) budget to spend. Or, to be exact they have to spend the budget but don't know what to do. The easiest thing is to do a seminar. :D

Anyway, I am busy myself with documents to write (review, read). For the last few days (about one month, to be exact), I haven't had a chance to read newspaper! They just come and move from my to read stack to papers to throw.

I still write blogs though. The thing is, I make it a habbit to write everyday!

So, people, if you ask me to do something and I decline, you know the reason. I am jus…

On becoming a celebrity

This month I appeared in a couple (I think more than that) magazines. The funny thing is that I didn't know about it. For example, I was waiting for a train in Jakarta's train station and my eyes captured a glance of a magazine. In the cover there was my name. What they hey? So I bought the magazine. Oh, it was an interview I did a month ago.

Then yesterday, a group of undergrad students smiled at me and showed me their thumbs (good thing it was their thumbs, ha ha ha). I asked them what made them excited. They told me about interview in another magazine, with a picture of me holding a guitar and an Apple iBook. (Look at the picture below.) Oh, that was another interview I did last month with Oskar Syahbana.



A few days ago I did presentation for a telecommunication operator. Next week I am going to do another one. Lots of people to please. ha ha ha. Phew ... becoming a celebrity is not easy. People talk to you and you don't know them. You're in a disadvantage position. …

Not finishing reading books

For the last few months I have not been able to finish reading a book. This makes me feel guilty. But, what can I do?

I think I am in this position because:
I've got too many things to read, not just books;(newer) books keep coming;the book cannot keep my interest to keep on reading until the end (does that mean newer books are not that good compared to old ones? I don't think so);I've got (new) things to learn quickly, which means I don't have the time to read details in the book;I used to enjoy reading books cover to cover. I even finished reading a book in one day (during weekend). Some of the books made me forgot what I was supposed to do (my job). Ha ha ha. They captured my full intentions. Ah ... those moments.

Can anybody suggest a good book to recapture that moment?

your voice

your voice sounded better on the phone
I don't even know who you are
would you call me again?
I don't want to talk,
but I just want to listen

your voice sounded better on the phone
maybe I don't get many calls
but I bet others will say the same
I don't want to know who you are
but I just want to listen (to your voice)

Songwriting moment

Yesterday I invited some friends to come over to my office after hours to just jamming. My idea is to have friends and write music. A friend brought his guitar. Another one brought his voice. Another one provided his office space :D

Well, it didn't turn out as I expected. I thought we could write songs, toss some ideas, and the like. But, we ended up just playing around with music, sang some cover songs - unfinished most of the times, and basically just did everything but wrote songs. Maybe everybody was so shy to toss ideas. I did toss some of mine, but the others were not interested in songwriting. We were just having fun.

A friend told me that I should do the songwriting alone. Once it is done then it could be discussed in public. I guess he is right. Although, I thought getting together would generate ideas and fresh view. I guess songwriting is a private process.

What do you think?

I heard you on the radio

I am trying to write songs, but having difficulties in writing lyrics. So, I am going to use this space as an experiment board for my lyrics. Here goes my first stab. Let me know if you can write melodies to this lyrics. I want it hard rock (like Def Leppard or Whitesnake). Ha ha ha. But pop song is okay.


I heard you on the radio

I heard you on the radio
You didn't say your name
but, I know it's you

I heard you on the radio
You said things are not the same
but, it was because of you

I heard you on the radio
You said I don't care
but, it is untrue
Home is too sad for me
After all you did to me
I just can't take it anymore I heard you on the radio
You said you want me home
but, it won't be soon

but, it won't be soon ... soon ... soon ... soon


[Budi Rahardjo, October 20 - 2006]

Current UNIX market share?

I am looking for references that show current (and possibly) UNIX market share. Especially, I am interested to see the composition of these UNIXes:
Linux (which distro?)AIXSun SolarisHP UX (does this have a future?)
others?Basically, there are people and companies who are planning to migrate (or stick) to UNIX but they want to get the global picture. Pointers, anybody?

Which Sorts Car Are You

I'm a Chevrolet Corvette!

You're a classic - powerful, athletic, and competitive. You're all about winning the race and getting the job done. While you have a practical everyday side, you get wild when anyone pushes your pedal. You hate to lose, but you hardly ever do.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Documentary in Live Musical DVD

One of the things I like about watching live music DVD is the story behind the show. Like right now, I am watching "Whitesnake - Live - In The Still of The Night" DVD. It's a great DVD! In case you don't know, I like Whitesnake. That's why I like Stupa, an Indonesian rock band, because they play Whitesnake covers. David Coverdale, Whitesnake singer - core person, is a powerful and clean voice rock singer. He's probably a singer's singer, if you know what I mean.

The live show is great, but I love the Documentary part of the DVD. It makes me understand more about the setup of the live show. Exciting. (Last time I was excited about this when I was watching Peter Gabriel's DVD.) David Coverdale is supported by good musicians and of course, fans. Good stuff.

All songs in the DVD are great, but for some reasons I like "Bad Boys" better. It's a great live performance song.

I'dl like to explain more, but couldn't. It is frustrating. You k…

Got Happiness? Want One

Where are you, happiness?
How do we know if we've got one?

Is it in a form of
laughter from friends and families?

Or is it
that blinding light shining through in the dark?

Or is it
the sound of silence when you are alone?

Tell me more ...

Got happiness? We want one ...

The beauty of Internet: picking up old bits and pieces

I love the Internet! I do.

I was reading something and read "the pursuit of happiness". That words remind me of something. Oh yes. They reminded me of a band with the same name, "The Pursuit Of Happines" or TPOH. It's a Canadian band, if you're wondering. (Being in Canada for a while, I got used to Canadian bands. They were great!) I remembered a song I loved so much back then, but could not remember the name.

No worries. The Internet can help me. Alas, search engine did not help. Try searching with "the pursuit of happines" gave wrong results. I was almost frustrated, but in the end I found what I was looking for, easy enought, at tpoh.net. The song I was looking for is "She's So Young". It's a beautiful pop rock love song. (The lyrics is not that great. It's too simple, but the melody - guitar chords to be exact - keeps on ringing.) I found the song elsewhere. To my surprise, info on TPOH is also available at last.fm. I shoul…

Unique index of all artists and songs in the world

I've been using Last.FM to keep track of songs that I played in my computer. It creates my own top chart. But I noticed that there is a problem; how to differentiate artists with the same name. For example, in the 70s there was a band called "Angel". Apparently there is also an artist by the same name. (See this page.) The statistics for "Angel" is incorrect. For this particular example, the description of "Angel" is the rock band, but the top songs came from the newer artist.

Another example, is "Angels and Airwaves" the same as "Angels & Airwaves"? A small difference. The names refer to the same band, but computer cannot distinguish them. In last.fm, the tag "Angels and Airwaves" contains a message saying that the tag is incorrect and we should change it to "Angels & Airwaves."

To solve this problem there should be an index of all artists and songs in the world. We could use the index to identify songs.…

A farewell to Steve Irwin

I would like to say goodbye to Steve Irwin, the Australian Crocodile Hunter. News of his death shocked all of us. Many times I enjoyed watching him on Animal Planet. Sometimes I have to watch with both eyes closed, because of his daredevil action like "hugging" crocodiles. We all love him. He's a truly Australian ambassador to the world.

Steve Irwin, thank you for making the world a better place. Your contribution is your ticket to heaven. May you rest in peace.

On creativity or lack of

I want to do so many thing, write books, articles, songs, (computer) code, and what not. But, to do these creative things I have to spend time and thoughts. Unfortunately, I have to many things to do. At least, in the back of my mind I have things to do - like writing reports, minutes of meeting, and the like. These mundane tasks are haunting me, swapping the focus of my mind in any give them.

Swapping takes an effort. You may notice that sometimes your computer takes longer to switch between applications (and your harddisk is spinning like crazy that you can even hear it). Some says that the time to swap (between tasks) may take longer than if you finish one of the tasks and move on (to the next one). Rather than piling all the tasks and do them little by little, I should do one by one. But, I just can't. I am one of those people who has to do multi tasking. (Maybe I am hyper-multi-tasking?)


A week ago I was watching a TV programme on "how to become a champion." There wa…

Too busy for family

The past few days (or weeks), I've been too busy like you wouldn't believe. I've spent my days in plane, trains, automobiles, meetings, and what not. I feel bad that I am sort of neglecting my family. A good thing is my wife knows about my activities and supports me. But that doesn't make things right. I still feel bad. This is the curse of getting too many businesses.

All of this reminded me of lyrics of Kiss' song, Beth. One of my favourite songs done by a hardrock band. The song talks about busy doing music in a band, but it's the same. Band, work, gig, school, or what have you, they all the same. You're neglecting your family. Anyway, here's the lyrics:

Beth, I hear you callin'
But I can't come home right now
Me and the boys are playin'
And we just can't find the sound

Just a few more hours
And I'll be right home to you
I think I hear them callin'
Oh, Beth what can I do
Beth what can I do

You say you feel so empty
That our house just ain…

Favourite Soccer Player

Who is your most favourite soccer player?

I've been thinking about this the whole morning. My choice is Frank Lampard from Chelsea. Last season he has been great in the English league, but really bad in World Cup. After a few games in the World Cup, I just couldn't watch. He had like more than 20 chances but no goal.

This season I hope he's doing great. Go Lampard!

Scarry experience: plane and automobile

Yesterday, I had to go to Jakarta to give a presentation. I decided to take a flight from Bandung to Jakarta. Everything was fine until all the passengers were on board. The plane was on the runaway and I was ready to take a nap. Pilot said, "flight attendances take off position please." Engine roared. Plane was shaking like crazy but it did not move! The suddenly the engine slowed down and the planed went back to the starting place. The flight was cancelled due to technical problem, they said. I don't know what it was but I was glad that we didn't take off.

Well, I had a problem. It was 7 AM and I had to give the presentation at 9:15 AM! What to do?

Two other passengers and I decided to rent a taxi from the airport to Jakarta. We were in a hurry. It was really expensive (Rp 600,000 or US$60). We took it since there was no other option.

The driver drove like crazy. Occationally he drove on the shoulder to pass some cars or trucks! I was scared shitless! But, he did it. …

Pushing myself to the limit, and enjoying every bit of it

Okay, I have to appologize to all readers. I've been neglecting this blog. It's just ... I am pushing myself to the limit. Here is a list of what I've been doing so far:
Teaching: This term I am going to teach two courses (I was assigned four courses! You got that right, four!). They are "Engineering Concepts" and "Security." I dropped "Introduction to Programming" course.
Consulting: From now to the end of this year I am involved with four projects. That should be enough. More projects are still coming though. I have to refuse them. The temptation to accept the projects is so great.
Running business: Our companies are growing. You've got growing up problems. I also want to put character into our companies. I've been reading books like "Good to Great."
Starting up: Again??? Yes, folks. For some reasons this year I am starting companies again. Last month I started a digital music company. This month (or more likely the end of this…

Learning a new programming language (again)

I guess I have to learn a new programming language again. This time, it's C#. The reason I have to learn a new language is that we are starting a new software house company. Our first order uses C# as the programming language and .NET as the framework.

Last night I spent a couple hours reading Eric Gunnerson's "A Programmer's Introduction to C#." It's a perfect book for me. It treats the readers as programmers. That is, it skips the introduction on computers and stuff. I knew that already. I taught C++ before (until last semester - this semester I have to many things to do so that I have to delegate this to somebody else) and used Java a few years ago (10 years ago?). The transition from C++ & Java to C# shouldn't be a drastic one. So, I can say that I know C# now. :) I just have to get a compiler to test some of the ideas and get my hands dirty.

I told (and will tell) my students that they have to master more than one programming language. It's jus…

Good To Great, a great book

A while ago, somebody wrote that there are books that want to be read and those that don't. Jim Collins' book, "Good to Great: why some companies make the leap and others don't," definitely is one of the books that want to be read. It's a good, no ..., great book! I have not finished reading it and could not put it down.

Originally I wanted to read "Built to Last," also by Jim Collins. While visiting a friend's office I saw "Good to Great" and borrowed it. I guess I have to get my own copy and perhaps also get "Built to Last."

One of the things that I have in mind when I started my companies is that I want to make them great companies. I am still struggling with them right now, but I believe they will become great companies! It's time to finish reading the book and implement the wisdom. Wish me luck!

The coolest person (orang paling keren) NOT!

I am really disturbed with current thread on "orang paling keren" (the coolest person?). Basically, it came up as a challenge to trick search engine to put pages (from Multi Level Marketing - MLM - users) at the top page of Google and Yahoo. (If you want to find out more about this, check my page on "orang paling keren" but it's in Bahasa Indonesia. And here is a serious article about "paling keren")

According to Priyadi, the coolest person is Chewbacca. I think NOT! He is not "orang paling keren", because he is not "orang" (human). On the other hand, he is closer to orang utan. ha ha ha. In any case, he is not the coolest person. (By the way, if you don't get it, this post and link is to generate traffic and increase Priyadi's rank.)

One interesting thing I found is that the search results from Google and Yahoo differ greatly. Go crazy about it ... On Yahoo's, Priyadi's page is number one (which is the correct thing …

Truce Among Operating Systems

In various mailing lists I've seen debate - no, war - among operating system lovers. They defend their OS religiously. It's really a war.

I love operating systems. In fact, I used to be an OS maniac, obsessed with OS. Whenever a new OS came out, I had to try it. One OS that made an impression to me was Oberon. Unfortunately, I don't have the time to tinker anymore. The latest OS that I played with was GNU/Hurd. Now, I am just a plain OS user. That is why I want to have a truce among operating systems. Can we do that?

If you see in my picture, there are different operating systems. From left to right: Microsoft Windows (not really shown because a web was shown instead), Mac OS X (on an iBook G4), and GNU/Linux Debian. Yes, I use all of those OSs on daily basis.

Jokes that cross cultural boundaries

Apparently it is difficult to make jokes in two culture at the same time. Here's the situation. I am giving presentation in Indonesia but the language is in English. The audience is a mix of Indonesians and non-Indonesians, who don't speak Bahasa Indonesia. The majority of the audience is Indonesians. Now, the question is should I make Indonesians jokes or English jokes? They are different.

I watch stand-up commedy on TV when I have the time. There's not that many stand-up commedy (commedians) in Indonesia. Usually I watch them on Tonight's Show with Jay Leno. Sometimes he commedians as the guest. Most of their jokes are American jokes. Sometimes I don't understand the joke because they are so tight to events that happened in the US (which I don't know - I don't watch CNN that often), or to characteristics of places and people in certain region in the US.

Any suggestion of jokes that cross cultural boundaries? (Gotta be in English though.) Commedian handbook?

Re-designing blog and stuff

Finally, I made a change of my blog at blogsome (rahard.blogsome.com). I took the time to customize its CSS to make it closer to slashdot. Apparently, CSS is fun and addictive! And, darn..., Blogsome is so cool. It's going to take a good portion of my time. I have just realized that it is so configurable. I wish I can do the same thing with this. (I know I can, it's just time that I don't have right now.)

I've got things to do right now. A lot of preparation for my next gig; presentations and becoming a presenter in English! It's going to be a challenge, but I am game for it. Bring 'em on.

Something better comes along

Have you ever had a situation where you have decided to do something and then something better comes along? For example, you decided to buy a notebook (or a car, house, whatever). After you bought the notebook then a newer and better notebook (which cost the same or even cheaper) is available. You hate yourself.

I have had many occasions in which I have decided to make a "gig" (presentation, training, workshop, teaching, etc.) on a certain date. Then, a better offer (bigger audience, better pay, bigger impact) comes along on exactly the same time. What to do? I have made a committment. Well, I have no option but to decline the latter offer. I hate myself for that, but promise is a promise. I just have to do the best gig ever!

This is also a common theme in a song. Boy meets girl. (They think) they fall in love. They make committment to each other. Then, the boy meets another girl (or the girl meets another boy). She or he is better (prettier, more handsome, funnier, more under…

What to get something done? Do it yourself

Have you ever noticed that if you want to get something done, you have to do it yourself? I don't know whether this is just me or it is a common thing. (Pointers? Hints?)

There are some small things that could be done. Many times I think that these things could be done by my students, workers, peers, fellows, employees, but nooo... I have to do them myself. For example, I still have to manage and maintain mailinglists myself. (Add subscribers, remove bounced subscribers manually, modify and configure systems and so on.) I still have to tinker with operating systems and applications. Another example, I still have to design and edit some web sites for community services. This things actually could be done by my students.

(BTW, there are other examples that are not IT related. There are other things such as community services, business deals, academic experiments, and so on. You get the idea.)

It is not that I don't want to delegate tasks. I did and still do delegate things. But, th…

On Successful People and Companies - the DNA of my companies

Do you believe in coincidence?

Here's the deal. In a few hours I was confronted with stories of successful people and companies. First, I was wandering around in a bookstore while waiting for my kids. I found this interesting book about Oprah Winfrey written by Amelita Lusia. I was intrigue by this book because it is not a translation. It is written by an Indonesian. Here's Oprah, an American black woman. What's her relation to us (Indonesian)? I don't know. But I know this, many Indonesians know who Oprah is. She's an amazing successful person! I am not an avid the Oprah Winfrey Show, but whenever I watch it, it is superb. The thing is ... her success was an an instant. It was not an accident. It was hard work.

The second thing. I arrived at home and turned on the TV. It was about Simon Cowell. Yes, that American Idol notorius judge. Again, this is about sucessful person (and TV show). I didn't know how it started, but now I know. Again, the same theme emerges, …

Story about Books

One book on the table.
Read me, she says.
I'll give you surprises you'll never find elsewhere.

Ten books. Stacked on top of each other.
They don't really care whether you read them or not.
One of them whispers.
Please, don't read me.
I am ashamed of what's written inside of me.

These books are just part of a quota that must be met.
Publishers must publish books.
If good writers don't come along,
they just publish whatever they can lay their hands on.
It's your fault!

UNIX is Music?

We all know that UNIX is an Operating System, but UNIX is also Music? Don't believe me? Have a look at the picture on the left.

This picture was taken Mei 2006 at Grand Preanger Hotel, Bandung. Apparently their fun place is called "UNiX's: The House of Music". Whoa. That is new and news to me. This place was used to be called something else (I forgot).

I have not had a chance to enter this house of music. Don't know if I ever be. The name is interesting, though. I wonder if they serve "login:"? ha ha ha. Maybe the menu is in command line?

On the Yogya Earthquake

I wanted to write about the Yogyakarta Earthquake, but decided to wait. For some reasons, I felt that I am exploiting the victims by generating traffic to my blogs. I know that it is not the case, but that's how I felt. But, on the other hand, I wanted to say my condolence to all the victims and their families. So, this post. The heck with traffic.

Our research center (Microelectronic Center) the university was shocked by a news that one of our researcher - Waris, who is doing his doctorate, passed away during the quake. He went to Bantul for a holiday with his family. Our deepest sympathy and condolence to his family. We will miss him.

I was born in Yogyakarta. I even make jokes about Yogya, its people, and technology. It is a special city for me. I am sad to see what happened to Yogyakarta and its people. I hope they can get through this as soon as possible and as painless as possible. Hang on. May God be with you.

Security Architecture

I've been searching for the meaning of "security architecture." Various references point to different directions, depending on the source of the reference. For example, security architecture according to network companies is network security. Database people think that security architecture is access control, IT consultants think that security architecture is a working framework and activities, and so on.

In anycase, I decided to define my own security architecture. A presentation material is available at my presentation's page. Unfortunately, it is in Bahasa Indonesia. Although, the terminologies are in English. Go there (to the presentation page) and read the "security architecture" presentation, which I presented a few days ago (24 May 2006) in Jakarta. Comments and feedback are needed.

The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four is a novel written by two authors; Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. The back cover has a comment from Nelson DeMille; "If Scott Fitzgerald, Umberto Eco, and Dan Brown teamed up to write a novel, the result would be The Rule of Four." Having read Dan Brown's books, I was intrigue by the comment. Also, I saw this book was featured in a couple of bookstores. I decided to buy the book. It took me a while to read and finish it.

The story in the book is about a mysterious Renaissance text called Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. This text has seduced many people. Marriage went cold. Friendship was broken. Even murder!

Messages were coded in the text by using steganography and cryptography at the same time. To get the actual message(s) you have to solve some riddles. A student took this text as his thesis at Princeton. Needless to say, there were problems and fiasco. Can he finished his thesis and solve the mystery behind the text?

I love reading books with code and hid…

Quantum Entanglement and me

I have just finished watching numb3rs at AXN. In it there was a talk mentioning about "quantum entanglement." Whoa. It's not everyday you hear this in a conversation. I heard it long time ago, didn't understand then and still don't understand it now. Hah.

The funny thing is ... I come in contact with the word "quantum" quite often lately. One in email from Singapore (which forced me to browse some websites). One in relation to 4G telecommunication security (don't ask - it's about the future of 3G). And, just a few minutes ago in a TV series. What's with this? Coincidence? I think not.

Quantum entanglement?

Lines of Code (LOC) Review Questions

My team was asked to do a source code review of a large application. This is actually the third (or probably mode) time we are doing a source code analysis. Our past experience was with smaller code. This time the code is around 2.5 million lines. Now, time for some questions.

How many lines can a good programmer/source code reviewer read in a day?
Is there a rule of thumb / best practice on this?

What is usually the portion of actual code compared to comments (and other non-executing component)? We were joking predicted that the number of actual codes that we have to review is probably only 5oo thousands lines. The 2 million lines were mostly comments and documentation. :D That would be nice.

To be frankly I don't like the LOC approach, but that's the only measure we can use. Is there other measurements? We had a discussion before and came up with some ideas, such as as the number of modules or functions. But they still depend on the size of the modules which could vary.

Now let&#…

Dancing around (work)

I am doing many things, just to avoid work (that is inevitable)! I am dancing around ...

Next week I am going to do four (4) presentations in five days. There were 5, but one was cancelled yesterday. I have not done anything to prepare that presentation. Well, that is not true. I did some reading and collecting background materials. All I have to do "just" put them down (into a presentation material). Yeah, right. The "I just do it later" sounds familiar, right?

The thing is, I am not in a mood. What's this? Yes, you heard me right. I could not make a presentation material until the day before presentation. I've done hundreds of presentations and they are almost the some, done in the last minute. I am not lazy, I am just not in a mood. (Tell that to your boss!)

So, what I am doing right now is reading emails, blogs, and web sites. Dancing around. To tell you the truth, I am still thinking about those presentations (what to present, how to deliver them, punch l…

Clustering of technological companies

I am writing a paper on various Siliconia (Silicon Valley wannabe) in Indonesia, such as the Bandung High Tech Valley (BHTV) initiative which I am part of. One of the thing that I am still missing is a reference on "cluster theory." Could somebody suggest the definitive reference(s) or article(s) on this?

My hypothesis is that technological (technology-based) companies have to cluster in a region to survive. While there is a believe (myth?) that computer nerds (IT people) like to work alone, tech companies cannot survive being alone. They have to be surrounded by "friends" (aka competitors).

The second thing that I am interested in is references that argue why certain regions in the world are able to attract tech companies (and talented human resources). Why is it difficult to duplicate Silicon Valley, thus the many failed Siliconias ... ? I would like to argue that the city of Bandung has the "ingredients" similar to Silicon Valley, but it still is missing…

Do you read book/blog entry more than once?

Do you read a particular book more than once?
If you do, what book?

I read books just once because I am afraid that I am wasting my time (by re-reading it again) and that I could spend the time on reading other books. I am sure I am wrong on this, but I just could not do that. (I am sure that I have read book[s] more than once, but I just could not recall it at this moment.)

Let me quote from Philip Gerard's "Writing a Book that makes a Difference":
One test of a book is whether it stands up to rereading.It's not that books that I have read are not worth re-reading. It's just that I don't want to waste time. I have a stack of books (that's an understatement) that is waiting for me. Read me, please, they plead.

We can extend this to blog. Do you read a particular entry of a blog more than once? Which one?

I keep a list of URL on del.icio.us, browsers bookmarks, and even I created a special tag on my email mailboxes (so that I could grep-it later on). But, I neve…

Teaching in English

Yesterday, I taught my Engineering Concept class in English. This class is for 1st year EE students in their 2nd term. Most of our textbooks are in English, so I should not be to difficult for students to understand English. At least, they should not have a problem reading English. Listening is another matter though.

I don't know how difficult it was for them to understand my lecture. I do speak fast in Bahasa Indonesia and English. When I write and talk in English I don't translate the idea from Bahasa Indonesia to English. It just flows naturally. (My biggest problem with my English is my vocabulary. I don't use it often so that I am losing words. I should spend time with friends from India. Usually their English is good and sometimes it's even better than Americans or Brits. Anyway, back to the topic.)

I think most of the students understood what I lectured yesterday. There were students asking questions in English. That's a good sign. In earlier class I told them…

Debian - got root?

I've just got some debian merchandise ... T-shirt, mug, and cap (got root?) Here is the picture. (ehm, ibook in the background. he he he.)



So ... got root?

My name is B.U.D.I.

Working in Paradise

Last Wednesday (19 April 2006) I did a presentation at XL Business Solution Customer Gathering. The event was held at Le Meridien Hotel, Tanah Lot, Bali. Yes, Bali, land of paradise. (Photo on the right side was taken by Donny BU.)

The place was beautiful. The place was surrounded by beautiful beach. I heard that sunset (around 5:30 pm) is beautiful. To bad when I was there it was couldy so I could not see the sunset. The weather in morning was cool. Breakfast outside, looking at the beach, was excellent. By midday, it was hot and humid. Evening was cool again.

I arrived Tuesday evening. Actually, it was like midnight. The next day, Wednesday, I did the presentation and moderating a session. (For those who were present in the even, tell me about my presentation. Was it good? Send me pictures of me if you have.) The following day, Thursday, everybody went to play golf, fishing, or going to a spa. Leisure time. Me? I have to go back to Jakarta for another meeting. Arrrggghhh ...

So, I just…

No smiles for me?

I've been watching people face on the street in Indonesia and Singapore. In Indonesia, I watched (and still watching) people walking on the street. In Singapore, I watched people on MRTs. One thing I noticed, these people do not smile! I don't know about Singaporeans, but Indonesians used to smile a lot. Something has hapenned to us that made us lost the smile.

What is it? Hardship (of life)? But people in other countries are experiencing the same thing, aren't they? I could understand why Indonesians have less smile nowadays. (Although that does not mean that it is okay not to smile.) Our lives are becoming tougher, compared to years ago. But, Singaporeans? I thought they live better now. Places are clean and well organized. What's on their mind? Aren't they happy with what they have? Why there's no smile then?

Let's smile (more) . . .

My next (public) presentation(s)

My next public presentation

Sharing Vision: Menentukan Kewajaran Harga & Feasibility Pengadaan IT
Tanggal: 27 & 28 Apr 2006
Tempat: Hotel Preanger, Bandung

Bagaimana sebetulnya pembiayaan IT itu? Mengapa banyak kasus yang masuk ke KPK soal pendanaan IT? Bagaimana menaksir biaya hardware, software, konsultasi. Itu yang akan kami bahas dalam acara sharing vision yang dikelola oleh LAPI ITB ini. Pembicara adalah Dimitri Mahayana, Arry Akhmad Arman, dan Budi Rahardjo. Acara akan berlangsung di Hotel Preanger Bandung.

Kontak:
Intan, Agus, atau Yasser
(022) 2534098 - Fax: (022) 251-4758


Selain itu sebetulnya saya juga memberikan beberapa presentasi, akan tetapi presentasi tersebut bersifat tertutup (internal companies plus pers).

My Musical Time Line

I love music so much that at one point I think I wanted to become an artist. (Don't you?) Well, yesterday I dug in some old photographs related to music. So here they are.

The first one is this very old picture taken in 1980. This is me with my drum kit in my bedroom. You could see the bunk bed in the back. My room was not sound-proofed. Of course it was loud. I don't know how our neighbour could stand us (me). Ha ha ha.

I was skinny by then and had lots of black and curly hair. Now they are thin and dominated by grey hairs. Look at that T-shirt that says "We Believe in ROCK N' ROLL". Nice.

I did take a formal drum lesson in a music school, taught by a rock drummer. So, I knew drum partitur at one point. It didn't last long though, because I was so bored with many things at that time. I just jamming around with friends and family, renting studio basically, playing Beatles songs. I pushed them to play Styx ("Suite Madam Blue" anybody?) or Rush ("Su…

I looove Cheese Cake

When I visited my daughter in Singapore last month, we went to Secret Recipe restaurant. We ordered pasta and of course cheesecake. To tell you the truth, that was the real reason we went there. Cheesecake. If my wife found out, she would be furious. Well, that's too late now. She knew now. ha ha ha.

Look at the picture. It was a Marble Cheesecake. (At the far side was Bannana cake. My daughter ordered that.) Oh, I love you cheesecake. I want more and more and more. Hi hi hi.

Unfortunately, I could not eat to many of them because I am getting fatter. That's what my doctor (actually the diet expert who my physician referred me to) told me, but I don't agree. I am okay.

Look at me. I am not that cubby, am I? Okay I am not that lean. I am only a couple kilogram over weight. But the bad part is that, I don't do regular exercise. When I have the time I walk up the hill around our house. That should be enough, right? The thing is, I am always busy with many things. Sometimes I…

Finished reading "b l i n k"

Ah ... finally this afternoon, I finished reading "blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. It is a good book - there are many interesting facts that I am going to test - but not as good as his "Tipping Point" though. I wanted to write a review for it, but I don't think I have the time and energy to do it. I do have a list of good books list (in Bahasa Indonesia). It's in http://budi.insan.co.id/buku-bagus. Tipping Point is listed in that page.

I made an effort to go to Starbucks (at Ciwalk, Bandung) to finish it. It has been dragging me for quite a while. (It was in my backpack all the time, but for some reasons I just didn't have time to read it. I had to make time for it.) With a mug of caffee lattee, I gulped the last chapter. Done. Now I can move on to the next book(s) in my to-read-stack.

Reading list during a sleepless night

Last night I couldn't sleep! I don't know why.

I decided to do something conventional, that is reading books and magazines instead of reading the Internet. I turned off my computer! Yes, it was hard for me. Let me go back to my "scientific root."

I pulled three of the latest magazines I just received from the "to-read" stack (it's about two feet tall!) and grabbed whatever book on the table. Of course I also took my iPod nano while I headed to my bed. Let the fun begin.

First, the book. It was "blink" by Malcolm Gladwell. I've been carrying this book like forever! I just could not get it going. I have bought other books since I bought "blink" and have finished a couple of them (one of the being the biography of Phil Collins, the drummer of Genesis). You've seen this blink book in many photos that I have taken and maybe more if I cannot finish it quickly. (Here's a link to the photo, and here's a clearer view.)

Blink is no…

Statistics to budi.insan.co.id

Do you want to know the statistics of my main web site (budi.insan.co.id)? Here it is.
Notice that the montly traffic is quite huge!


Summary by Month
MonthDaily AvgMonthly TotalsHitsFilesPagesVisitsSitesKBytesVisitsPagesFilesHits
Mar 200670413723175569218670446783932148254424115417218294Feb 20064874265115317831853724163775219304288974241136496Jan 200663813500167062817779357153411947951776108508197834Dec 20056101311914925491468139218593170244627296709189145Nov 20057124101896236003139710181855051191420652
Totals14691581281733200866406789762421

Google Analytics Approved!

Finally, I've got my Google Analytics invitation approved. Horray.

I put two sites in the analysis: (1) gbt.blogspot.com (obviously) and (2) budi.insan.co.id. I want to put my other web sites and blogs under Google Analytics, but could not do it since I have to insert a small script (provided by Google Analytics) in the web site. Sometimes I don't have the ability to do that. For example, I wanted to add my blog at rahard.wordpress.com, but wordpress.com does not allow the user to edit the template. (Any idea how to get around this?)

Anyway, I am fiddling with the result now.

Enjoying Transatlantic - Live in Europe DVD

I've just got three music DVDs; (1) Transatlantic - Live in Europe, (2) The Flower Kings - Meet The Flower Kings, and (3) Yes - Symphonic Live. These are great musical DVDs for classic progressive rock lovers.

Right now I am enjoying watching and listenting to the first DVD, Transatlantic - Live in Europe. It's awesome!

I forgot where I knew Transatlantic the first time, but the players of this band are big names; Mike Portnoy (drummer of Dream Theater), Peter Trewavas (bassis of Marillion), Roine Stolt (guitarist of The Flower Kings), and Neil Morse (keyboard player of Spock's Beard). The nicest thing about this band is that they are different with their own bands. Transatlantic has its own nice, excellent, awesome sound!

Before getting this DVD, I already fall in love with their song "all of the above" which shows that they are virtuoso in their own domains. After hearing and watching the live version of "duel with the devil" I also really love that song…

Highlights of my Singapore trip

One of the highlights of my last trip to Singapore is going to band performance of Sekolah Menengah Anderson. My daughter bought the ticket for both of us. So we went there on Saturday evening. We took MRT to Ang Mo Kio and walked from there. Apparently the place is not far from the MRT station (but enough to make you sweating ha ha ha).

The big band, Anderson Military Band, was excellent. The players (I don't know how many. Maybe 40 or 60 students?) seemed to enjoy the music. So did the audience. I lost the booklet which has the list of songs they played. There was classic, pop, and even swing. Anyway, we enjoyed it.

Google Page Oops!

Before this it was Gmail. Now, it is Google Page. Reliability? Can't complain because it is a free and BETA service right? Wrong!

Do we need a vision?

[Picture of me during company's yearly meeting. Smiling. Does that mean we are doing okay? Yes, we are!]

One of the things that I do in my company is providing vision and direction. Even though we are a small start-up company, we have a yearly meeting. During this meeting I talk about our vision. In my opinion, company without direction is like a (star) ship without direction. Lost (in space?).

A few days ago, I was browsing books at Singapore's National Library when my eyes struck on Louis V. Gerstner's book "Who Says Elephant Can't Dance?" There is a sentence in the inside sleeve that bothers me:

"The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision"

Boom! What does it mean? Not having reading the book I do not understand what he means. (I wanted to read the book, but right now I already have more then a dozen books waiting to be read. In due time I will read it.)

The question is, "when do we need a vision and when do we don't?" Can somebody…

Gmail: 502 Server Error

Now, it's Google's gmail turn. Server / service reliability is a problem. I've been getting this error:

502 Server Error
Server Error The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.Please try again in 30 seconds.


Arrrggghhh . . .
I am counting on gmail for my emails. Now, I have to rethink again. I need to access my gmail account badly. (I have to get an address there.) It seems that my own server is more reliable for this.
Hmm...

How I work, study, and listen to music

I always tell my students to find the most suitable ways to study. Sometimes, they way we study (or work) may look strange to "normal" people. So be it. Don't worry about it.

I remembered a story about a poet who always use paper with different colors when he typed his poem on his typewritter. (I guess this is a pre-computer/Internet era, eh?) He did that to make him more productive. There is no direct relation between the color of papers and productivity. You'll be crazy to research about this.

So, now here's what I do. I like fonts a lot. So when I type something on my computer, sometimes I use different fonts. At the end of the day, I converted the fonts back to the "standard" ones so that whatever I write - reports, papers, or just notes - can be shared and worked on by other people. That is why the use of "paragraph styling / formating" in word processor is important to me, because with one change I could change the whole document. Many peo…

Firefox, greasemonkey, gmail, fixed-width fonts

I like reading my emails with fixed-width fonts. Gmail by default does not provide this feature. So, I have to tweak my browser, Firefox, to accomodate this. Early on I edited Firefox *.css to do this. But that would mean I have to edit those CSS on every computer I am on. Besides, other people who use the same computer (and firefox) may not like the configuration.

I am glad that I found this greasemonkey script (from persitent.info) that can be used to toggle the fonts in gmail. After installing this script, there is a "Toggle Font" link in the right side of my email. I can click on it to switch to fixed fonts and back as needed. The nicest thing about this is that other people can use the same Firefox with their own configuration.

Now, if only greasemonkey works on other browsers (Safari, Camino, Flock, Opera). Yes, I have five browsers in my Apple iBook and Mac mini!

cellphone interference to iPod's volume

I put both my iPod nano and cellular phone (Nokia 6230) in my shirt pocket. I noticed on several occasions that if I received an SMS the volume of my iPod suddenly was turned down. Has anybody noticed this? I don't know whether this is by design (a feature?) or an accident (a bug). In one occasion I cannot control the volume after that (the respon was slow). So, I am assuming that this was not by design. I even affraid that this could harm my iPod in the future. Good thing the volume is turned down not up! Otherwise I would hurt my ears.

How does it work, anyway?
Why is it happening?
Can electromagnetic wave effect the volume of my iPod?

I want to know the physics (theory) behind it. Hints?

Wanted: Indonesian indie bands

I decided to starting-up again! This time I am going to dive into selling digital music (or anything digital for that matter).

I am looking for Indonesian Indie Bands! If you know (or you are) an Indie Band, or artists without labels and want to join us, send me an email at: rahard @ gmail.com

We will promote, sell, and manage your songs. Let's grow together.

Let's meet in Singapore?

There is a chance that I am visiting Singapore 16 March through 19 March 2006, Thursday through Sunday. I am just visiting my daughter. I've got an idea ...

Would there be an interest to have a discussion with me in Singapore? Perhaps we can have a discussion on:
Internet in IndonesiaEducation / R&D in Indonesia (or in Singapore)
Story of high-tech initiatives (such as Bandung High-Tech Valley)or specific topic that I know such as securityIf there's an interest, I've got more questions:
Is there a place that we can use for free (or cheap)? Maybe on campus?What would be the preferred time? Morning? Noon? Evening?What day? (I am coming on Thursday, so that is probably out of the question. Friday? Saturday? Sunday?)Or ... perhaps there's no interest at all. In that case, I could just enjoying myself (searching for books and food). Drop me an email.

blink, ipod nano, coffee

while waiting for a meeting, here is what I brought with me: iPod nano, book (currently reading "blink"), and coffee latte.

ahh... heaven...

foto taken at wisma/hotel sawunggaling, bandung, 3rd march 2006.

My cassette collection

A picture of my cassette collection. Most of them are progressive / classic rock, hard rock, and fusion jazz. I've been buying tapes since I was in high school (late 70s). Then I moved to Canada (in 1987). My collection stopped. Now, they are replaced by CDs and MP3s.

Some of them are really old (vintage?) tapes that are not available in stores. (Examples: Khan "Space Shanty" anybody? Brand-X, Ekseption, Angel, London Symphony Orchestra - plays Classic Rock) So, right now I am trying to convert them to MP3 format. Some of them are in a bad shape. Humidity (and ants) is my enemy.

Free voice call war?

Somebody told me to check "VoipStunt" out. It's a free internet phone service. In some countries you can even dial PSTN for free with VoipStunt. (You have to pay with Skype.) Unfortunately, you still have to pay for Indonesia. (Currently, there is a big VoIP fiasco in Indonesia in which directors of Indonesian Telecommunication company were jailed. So, free telephone is not in the horizon real soon now.)

Has anybody make a comparison between these free calls? (Skype, Yahoo! Call, VoipStunt, and the rest of the gang / what else?) I am not keen in installing all these programs in my computer. There are too many programs as it is and I am running out of disk space. Right now, if needed, I use Skype (but it is limitted to people with Skype account only - no PSTN).

My Teaching Gears

Most of classes in my university are still conventional classes. Here's a picture of my teaching gears; backpack (with textbooks, notes), power bar (there's only one electrical outlet in the class!), Apple iBook G4 (or sometimes, Fujitsu Lifebook), LCD projector. Good thing I don't have to bring my own table! Oh yeah, sometimes I bring a set of speakers too. It feels like doing a (music) gig.

Sorry, the picture is blurred. It was taken with my Nokia cellphone with little light.

Canadianized, eh?

Living in Canada ("winterpeg" to be exact) for more than 10 years definitely Canadianized me. Here - living in Indonesia right now - I am still interested to see (read, hear) anything related to Canada.

Here's an interesting Photoshop competition about Canada. You'll find funny images about Canada. Canadians have a funny way to express themselves, eh? (Originally, I wanted to put the "eh?" in my picture. The eh-version is available here.)

Looking for (edu-tech-biz) activities in Singapore

My daughter is going to school in Singapore. So, I will visit her frequently.

While I am in Singapore, I thought I should not waste my time and talent. Perhaps it is useful to others. I am looking for activities that are related to my field / skill. I am interested in doing a part time teaching (at NUS or NTU perhaps), or giving presentation (in security, technology, education, motivation, and what not), or just having discussions with Singaporean technopreneur communities, or expanding opportunites (opening a company in Singapore?). I am interested in learning about Singaporean's approach in developing the country, which I think is sucessful. While learning, I would like to contribute to Singapore too (if possible). (I believe in contributing to communities.)

My fellows (and foes?) at my current university are wondering whether I am leaving the university. I said, "in due time ... in due time ..." Currently, I still have students (1 undergrad, 3 masters, 1 PhD) and 4 cou…

Firefox does not allow port 21?

This morning I am experimenting with this URL:
http://some-example-site:21
Apparently firefox (flox, and the rest of the pack) would not allow me to open the site. It says:
This address is restricted

This address uses a network port which is normally used for purposes other than Web browsing. Firefox has cancelled the request for your protection.

Try again.
What if I understand the risk and I am doing it on purpose (I am redirecting port 21 to a web server as an experiment to by-passing firewall)? Can I bypass this protection?

I tried other browsers, and only Safari (on a Mac) allows me to do it. (Don't know whether this is good or bad.) Any comments on this?

Breakfast with iBook G4

My iBook is now acompanying me whenever I go. Here's a picture of my iBook ready for breakfast (still on the way). I've got an iPod nano with me but was not shown in the picture. Picture was taken 1 Feb 2006, Bina Karsa Hotel, Jakarta. I was preparing myself for convention on IT standardization.

Enjoy.

Book Review: The Search

This is taken from http://budi.insan.co.id/articles/the-search

I've just finished reading "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture," by John Batelle. It's abook about search (engine) with focus on Google. The totle of the boook itself has a google-type font.

I like books that tell the history of computing or technology, and I consider that this book is one of them. It doesn't hurt that I am a fan of Google. So, I dig into the book right away as soon as I got it.

Read more at: http://budi.insan.co.id/articles/the-search

Starting-up again?

Last week, we had a discussion. The topic was starting an IC (Integrated Circuit) Design company. This topic was not new for us. We have been discussing this for quite a while. I remembered that in 1998 I wanted to start this kind of company, right after I got back from Canada. But, at that time nobody was interested. So, I switched to other field, security and never look back.

The topic came up because of pak Trio Adiono. He came back from Japan with his experience in designing chip. He was also able to get synopsys toolset for his design group at our university. (I maintained synopsys when I was a grad student. It's a damn good tool. Of course, you still need other tools to do other things). Now, we were toying the idea of starting up again. The thing is, we know that we are good. No, I am not saying this just to brag. We are really good. It's a shame if we just use our talents at university only. There are chips to design that are useful for humankind (and business of cours…