Sunday, August 27, 2006

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 was a professor (from Australian?) who said that one of the characteristics of a champion is the ability to multi-task. Whoa! Hey, I got an approval from a Neuro-(something) professor. To be frankly, I am just trying to justify why I do this. Maybe I am just a lazy person who piles everything and does things at the very end of deadline. No, I am just a busy person. A person who wants to do everything ... Am I wrong trying to become myself?

I've got to get back to my work. There goes my creativity...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

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't a home
And I'm always somewhere else
And you're always there alone

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

Beth, I know you're lonely
And I hope you'll be alright
'Cause me and the boys will be playin'
All night

Sunday, August 13, 2006

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. We arrived in Jakarta arond 8:45 AM. The trip took 90 minutes! Usually, when I drive, it takes at least 120 to 150 minutes.

It was a scarry experience indeed.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

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 year) there will be another one. It's already running, but formally it is not done yet. (One more is still in the queue, but this one would be abroad! Hah! Starting up in Singapore?)
  • Enjoying life: What do you expect? This is our goal, isn't it? Enjoying life with families and friends. Playing sport, futsal (mini soccer game), or playing music, or learn more about religion. Ah, what a beautiful life.
Of course there are more things, like writing (books). I've been planning to write books again. This year I want to get things started. I just have to find time... I hope I don't get sick because of all this work. I do enjoy doing them, though. They're fun. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

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 just a fact of life. As for me, I lost count the number of programming languages I have learned (and forgotten).