Sunday, January 21, 2007

iWoz book

I have just finished reading "iWoz," a book about Steve Wozniak. Tell me, you know that name right? Okay, for those who don't, Steve Wozniak is the cofounder of Apple Computers with Steve Jobs. Woz is the actual guy who built the Apple computer.

This is a book about an engineer and his dream. He did do something about his dream, though. He made it come true. There are many great "lessons" in the book. I really like his view on many things, such as (engineering) ethics. He is an engineer's engineer. Anyway, you have to read the book yourself.

There are some things I don't like about the book, though. For example, there some things repeated many times in the book. It is not exactly repeated, but it was said before. Or, maybe because I did read many Apple books before so some of the facts are already known to me. (There are some things new to me, or to most readers.) Or it's because I am an engineer and he's an engineer.

Having said that, I still like the a book. I finished it in a few days. Ah, you have to read it by yourself.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Take The Long Way Home

Last Friday afternoon was a great one for me. I finished marking all my student papers. I just have to signed the grade forms, which I did that afternoon. There was a lunch and informal meeting attended by many faculty lecturers. I didn't take notice of what being said. Hey, I was there just for the food and a little chat with some people. Three students were looking for me. Two of them wanted recommendation letters from me and another student (Architecture student!) wanted to discuss about tech bulidings.

After that I decided to go to a music store. As I drove the car to the store, I noticed that I took the long way there. (It sounds like Supertramp's song, "take the long way home".) I chose longer streets but less traffic. I didn't mind. In fact, I kind of enjoyed the ride.

I went to the music store, looked at some guitars, basses, amplifiers, mixers, and stuff. While I was looking at some guitars, a person came to me. He said, "You're Budi, right?" Yes, I said trying to remember his name. I knew him from my high school years. I said "Faiz palsu"? He laughed. His face was similar to Fariz RM, a famous musician during our time. Now, I remembered his name; Heru Perkusi. The word "perkusi" was added because that's what he's expert in, percussion.

I remembered during high school, we played experimental music together. I played drums and he played percussions. He is still playin percussions right now. In fact, that's his job. Wow! Good stuff. He's still doing that since high school. That's more than 25 years ago!!! When I told him that I could not play drums anymore, he went blank. Yep. I can't! During my high school years, I took a drum lesson, brought with me drum sticks all the time (so I could practice anytime). Since I don't practice anymore, I lost that ability. I am surpirsed that it went that way. I thought it was like riding bicycle, you have it all the time. I guess I wasn't good at it to begin with. (Which is strange, since I did played band with some guys during my high school years).

We talked about music - we did splicing some cassette tapes back then, for a high-school opera of some sort, it was a tedious job since we had to do it manually, not like these days with computers - and decided to keep each other phone numbers. We might have some collaborations of some sort. We'll see.

I went home and still took the long way home. I am always busy, so having a free time like that was luxurious for me. I enjoyed every bit of it... Ahhh

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Difficult to access this blog

It is getting more and more difficult for me to access this blog. I don't know why. I've tried to update this blog for the last three or four days, but could not even get the login prompt! If this is the case, then nobody will be able to access this blog. Even if they can access this blog, the content is already out of date.

The thing is, this blog has been listed as 1 of 10 popular blogs in Indonesia last year by Tempo Magazine. Granted, at that time there were not that many blogs. Thus, this blog stood out. But these days there are better blogs (don't you think?). I even write more often in my Indonesian blog instead of this one.

Is this a sign of fading out? I hope not, but if you find this blog is less updated you know the reasons. I still want to write in this blog though. I have to write this fast, worrying that I could not even publish this entry. (I should try one of those off-line blog editors. Suggestion?)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Need to Blog Right Away

I was tired (from working with my computer, trying to mark students papers) and wanted to take a nap for a few minutes (but taking a book with me???). I put my iPod on and listened to a song. And then, bam, ... I just got the urge to write something down. Here's what happened in my head.
You know, I want to play this song live in a performance. (I was listening to "She's so young" by The Pursuit of Happiness.) In fact, I should write a list of songs that I want to perform and just do it. It is possible now since I did two gigs last month and there are several venues waiting for me. If I write the list in a piece of paper, it might be gone. (Well, it happened several times. I lost my to-do list.) I should just write it in my blog. Perhaps even enlist people to get help in the performance (like getting a band).

I had to get up and started to work on my computer again. Damn you blog!

Open Your Eyes By Going Abroad

I like to tell my students to save their money and go abroad, just for a short vacation. It's not that there is no place in Indonesia worth to go visiting, but there is a very good lesson abroad. For example, when I did my research for Bandung High Tech Valley, I went to Silicon Valley, Malaysia Super Corridor, India (but have not gone to Bangalore yet), and Singapore. I want to smell the coffee in these places.

First of all, you can see how other people live. True you can learn this from reading books, blogs, or watching television, but being there is different. There are so many things that cannot be captured by all of these. For example, for political reasons or (media) company's policy the writers cannot write bad things about the object they're talking about. When you go to these places, you can see things for yourself. You can see how clean/dirty the place is, how un/friendly people are, how things work in these countries, and other things.

Second, when you interact with the people of these countries, you will realize that we (Indonesians) are not way behind and Indonesia (as a place) is not bad at all - in fact, in some places maybe we are better. This will give you more power to believe in yourself. "Hey, if they can do it, we can also do it." ... And, we can! This experience will also make you appreciate what you have here in Indonesia. Well, this is why I live in Bandung - of all the places in the world.

Yes, going abroad is still expensive for students. I know. Students are the same, whether they are in Indonesia or in Ireland. But, if there's a will, there's a way. Trust me on this. Just don't give up.

A few months ahead, we are planning to take some people of our small team to go abroad. Maybe we'll go to Singapore and Malaysia first, just because they are so close to us. Wish us luck.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2007 will be a busy year

Today (4th Jan 2007) is the first day for me to work after a long holiday trip with my family. I think this year will be a busy year for me. Of course, I hope it will be a good year for all of us. Let's start the things to do for today:
  • 3 simultaneous meetings in 2 different cities (I can only pick one - the most important)
  • 3 project reports to review (picked only one, the one with tomorrow as the deadline... ha ha ha)
  • 3 article requests from magazines and newspapers (deadline to short, declined)
  • 2 articles to read (related to the report tomorrow, ... ah no time to read! will ask for review)
  • 2 student thesis to review (will do that tonight)
  • (too many) student papers to mark (will do that this weekend)
  • 1 music practice tonight (... hmm, tempting; but I guess I have to decline)
  • ummm... what else?
So, readers ... brace yourself. I am going to move full steam ahead ...
Ready, Set, Go!