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No (2009) resolution

I've given up on making yearly resolution. I don't know why. Perhaps, it's because I've never really tried to put real effort ini making the resolution (and making it happens). It's just something I wrote (randomly?) at that particular time.

So, this year (like the year before), there's no 2009 resolution for me. How about you? What's your new year resolution? What? None???

this screen has better resolution... :D

Name tags - what to do with them?

Everytime I go to a conference, seminar, and the like, I've got a name tag or some sort of identification. Over the years I've been collecting them. Here's a picture of some of them.



Now, they're there collecting dusts.
What should I do with them?
Throw them away?
Tell me.

Unempty Recycle Bin

I can't stand looking at that unempty recycle bin.
I just have the urge the empty it.

Do you?

I am back (after almost one month without internet access)

After almost one month away without internet access, now I am back.

For almost one month I went to Mecca for my hajj (pilgrimage). It was a deep religious experience for me. There was internet access in various places. I just decided not to access it so that I can focus on my hajj. In fact, I don't want to think about other things (work-related stuff). Just hajj.

I turned out I am fine without internet access for a month. I consider myself an internet addict, btw. :)

Pollution: our world

Yes ... this exists in our world ... too many, in fact. Do you care?

From Campur 2

[taken @ cikampek toll, november 2008. budi rahardjo]

(why) expensive internet access in hotels

Last week I was invited to give presentations in Yogyakarta. The venue was in a 5-star hotel. The hotel and the event was great, but ... my (biggest) complaint is internet access.

Internet access in this hotel was expensive. For 24-hour access, it costs US$16. Okay, to some of you this might be acceptable but not for me. Not far from the hotel, on the street outside the hotel area, there were internet cafes. Internet access there was much cheaper. I think this situation is not unique to Yogyakarta. It happens in all parts of the world.

I still don't understand why hotels charge an arm and a leg for internet access. They are not in the business of making money from telecommunication, right? If they are, then they should open game center or internet cafe (with lots of computers). They should offer free internet access as part of their service. Focus on the service.

Many friends told me that I should get 3G/3.5G/UMTS access (from cellular companies) instead of relying on hotel services.…

Problem with Mac OS after update

My iBook G4 (tiger) is having a problem I updated the software. There was an infinite loop of "Your network settings have been changed by another application" pop up when I tried to configure the network.

Apparently lots of people had the same problem after the latest security update is applied. Arrrghhh. After following the discussion below, I managed to "fix" the problem. (Basically, I removed all locations except automatic in the Airport configuration.)

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1710040&tstart=0

I can't beleive that Apple is so sloppy in their product (software). Oh well...

not a word

we exchanged words
but we've never talked

communication
is not a dictionary search
looking up for words
and trying to map our feeling onto them

sometimes
you have to paint your feeling
with colors that have no name

Slow (but great) Saturday Morning: taking flower pictures

This (Saturday) morning was great. It was bright and cool at the same time. Hey, it's Bandung. What do you expect? ha ha ha. So, I decided to take some pictures in the backyard. Here they are.

From Indonesia
From Indonesia
From Indonesia
From Indonesia
From Indonesia
From Indonesia

Good stuff, eh? Those are the ones in the backyard. There are more in the frontyard, but if I put them in this page, it's going to take forever to download those pictures. ha ha ha. I am joking of course, but it's true that I have a beautiful home.

It was a slow Saturday morning, but it was a great one.

Sticking with Firefox

After using Google Chrome for a few days (weeks actually), I decided to stick with Firefox. At lest for now. Yes, Chrome seems to be better technically (I like the process vs thread approach), but I am having difficulties managing my blogs with it. I guess blogs won!

I know, I know, I know. It's still beta. You're forgiven, Chrome. I am going to try the next version / update. Which is when?

Google Chrome bugs?

I decided to give Google Chrome a spin. I tried to edit one of my blogs which is based on Wordpress. For some reasons, all paragraphs became one (long) paragraph.

I tried to edit it again. In the editor, the paragraphs looked fine but when I published the entry again, those paragraphs became one again. In the end I used Firefox to edit that blog entry. It worked.

Also, some stylings (like italics, etc.) were gone.

(known) bugs?

Long time ago I had similar problem with Safari, but it's fixed now. Maybe it's the same problem?

Students Blogs

It's that time of the year (again). School is back. I am teaching a couple courses this semester; one for undergrads and one for grads.

As usual, I ask my students to create blogs. Assignment should be written in their blogs. They have to have blogs. No option :) Before, I had to bring papers home (and back to the office) if I want to mark their assignments. Now, all I have to do is access the net.

It is interesting that most students mix personal writings and assignments. To me, this is interesting because I can see the other side of them, not just the technical (assignment) aspect only. Yeah, I have to go through some unrelated posts, but that's ok. Sometimes I even find interesting writings.

So, my students, keep on writing!

Number conversions: Binary, Decimal, Hexadecimal

I am teaching an IT course for non-IT students. It's a challenge, especially for me the teacher!

Now, I am trying to teach number conversions. I have to teach them how to convert decimal numbers to binary (octal and hexadecimal) and vice versa. I know the theory, but I need a better explanation. Remember that this class is a non-IT class.

I am looking for an animation or some sort to make the explanation simpler (better).

Any pointers?

Teaching New Course

Just to let you know that I am teaching a new course this term. It's an "Introduction to Information Technology" course.

You think that this is an easy topic for me, eh? Apparently not so.

Well, I am familiar with the topic, but I have to follow the class according to the textbook. This is also a paralel class, which means I have to sync the class with the other classes.

Since this is a new class, I have to prepare the course material. There are some power point presentation files from the publisher of the textbook, but they're ugly! (I don't understand why a good publisher could release such a crappy presentation materials.)

Anyway ... I have to work hard(er). As if I have nothing else to do. Grrr...

Preparing a new class

It's that time of the year. School is on! Tomorrow I am going to teach a new course; an Introduction to Information Technology. I am excited ... but ... here's the story.

I've just got the information about the class not long ago. The formal information that I am teaching the class was delivered a couple weeks ago. Now, I am struggling to digest the textbook which I've just got a couple weeks ago.

I've been working hard on this course for the last two days. Well, I actually looked at this a couple weeks ago but I didn't dig deeper. Today I spent the whole day (and night - in fact, I am still going to) working on the course.

[Students, look what I have to go through to prepare a good class. I hope you'll enjoy the class.]

This afternoon I went to Starbucks at BIP and read (almost) one chapter from the book. I got the gist of the content, but I still have to prepare the lecture.

After I got home, I head straight to my computer and did some internet search. The tex…

The Day After (17 August 2008)

As usual, I went jogging this morning. But this morning was different.

Today was quiet. The universe was quiet. ha ha ha. I guess that's because yesterday - 17 August 2008 - was our Independence Day. Everybody was so busy yesterday with their events and competitions that they were tired and perhaps were still sleeping.

I took some pictures on my way. Here they are ...



My jogging track. Look how quiet it is and how the beautiful the background is. Yeah, I live in a nice place. I can see the mountain and there are still green trees. I hope it's still the same.



Indonesian flag waving in front of an empty school. Ah, how lonely it must have been.



a house with independence theme... good stuff.

I went home charged by the quiet environment. Ahh...

Do I have to read them all?

Here's the deal. I have sooo many reports that I have to read. I am still reading them.

Last Friday, a book arrived at my office. It was a textbook for a course that I have to teach next term (which is starting in about a month). I have to read this 600-pages textbook in one month. Not only that I have to read it, I have to understand it. Heck, I am teaching the course. Can you imagine if I don't understand what I am saying?

And as if that's not enough, a few minutes ago I arrived home from a late meeting. Lo and behold, three thick reports were in my doorstep. I think I was asked to give comments to the report in a week. Ha!

What next? Don't tell me that there's another book/report that I have to read ASAP! Aaarrrggghhh

Moving Forward

The past
... has been dragging us

Let us
... move forward

I am not saying that the past is not important, but sometimes it keeps us from moving forward. Bad experience in the past, dark history, and what not, are important. I am not saying that we should forget them. It's just that we have to be brave enough to embrace the future.

The (bright) future, ready or not, ... here I come!

How about you, folks? Are you ready?

BFS Generation

There are two ways to explore the wealth of information; "Breadth First Search (BFS)" or "Depth First Search (DFS)." In BFS, if you find a new branch of information, you jump into it. In DFS, you dig down deeper before you branch out.

It seems that older generations tend to explore knowledge in DFS fashion. They concentrate in a subject and explore that particular subject deeper and deeper. They become experts in their particular fields.

Younger generations tend to explore things in a horizontal manner or BFS. They explore things in parallel and have no patience to explore deep. They like to open (too) many windows while browsing, jumping from one window to another in an BFS fashion. They become generalists, with a breadth of knowlegde.

Are you a DFS or BFS generation?

By the way, notice how your "tab" in your browser opening up. Is it BFS or DFS?

Related article: "How the Google generation thinks differently"

Not Excited in Reading (Certain) Books

I am reading a review of a book a few minutes ago. At the end, I came to a conclusion that it was a good book but with too many words. The reviewer was not too excited describing the book. In another place, I found a more raving review of the book. It's a best seller book in Indonesia. (I am not going to give the title. :) )

I've got the book but for some reasons I have not started reading the book. Don't ask me why.

There's also another book (different author) that is a best seller. It even became a movie. That, also, did not excite me. I've read a few pages then gave up. Many people said that the story is good. I just couldn't read it.

What's wrong with me?

I have some possible answers. One, I have to wear glasses when reading now. I hate it. I love reading lying down. And, those glasses are just in the way of reading. This is why I read less books these days. The stack (of books to be read) is getting higher and higher.

Next possible answer. I don't want …

(pretend to be) somebody else

I was pretending to be somebody else
so that you like me
I am so sorry ...

Now, if that was said to you, ... would you forgive? and forgotten?

There's one thing that I just don't understand. Why would you lie in the first place? You should give me more credits. I am not that shallow.

[posting was inspired by the suite life of zack and cody]

Looking For A Simple MIDI Sequencer

I am looking for a simple MIDI sequencer, something that looks like "Band in a Box" (a product that I had a long time ago). Preferably a free one.

The idea is that I can select a rhythm pattern (say, rock, pop, jazz, or variations of them) and then I can enter chords by typing their name (say, "C" or "Dm" or "CM7" and so on). After that I can play the composition.

Actually, I need this for my guitar practice. I have melodies in my head that I need to practice. Or I have some ideas (melodies) that I want to try and make modifications of them. To do so I need a rhythm that I can play over and over again.

After that, I also need a program that can convert (render) the MIDI sequences to MP3.

Any suggestions?

Net-heavy Applications

I hate myself for having a slow internet connection. All these new, web 2.0, applications are heavy in network usage. Facebook, plurk, and the like. Perhaps they already use smaller images or objects, but there are plenty (too many) of them. This makes it hard for bandwidth beggars like me.

Arrrggghhh ...

I am being left out by the world ...
Would somebody help and rescue me? (Write apps for slow bandwidth users like me.)

Popularity of Futsal

In Indonesia, futsal (I don't know the definition - a small indoor soccer game?) is sooo populer. Everywhere you see, there's futsal being played. Futsal courts(?) are always booked. I guess, if you want to invest, there's the place to do it.

Is this just in Indonesia? Or is futsal a world trend these days? How about in your area?


[a picture of our INDO CISC team]

Right now, I cannot play futsal because of an injury from previous match (in a local league). I was the goal keeper and somehow feet landed into my right body (ribs). Ouch! Grrr. I cannot play now. I hate it! I want to play again as soon as possible. Let's see if I am able to play next week. I already missed one game.

The Strength of (Encryption) Algorithm

How do you measure the strength of an encryption algorithm?

So far, I have not found a complete reference on this. There are some references and they refer to different things, such as randomness, avalanche effect, diffusion, or anything that is related to how different the output if the input or key is very similar.

Another issue that is important is the key space. The larger the key space and the more complex the algorithm (big Oh?), the more difficult an algorithm is broken by brute force attack.

Another lead says that you have to go through cryptanalysis to measure the strength of an encryption algorithm.

Anyway, I am still searching. Let me know if you have more references.

Toto World Tour 2008 in Bandung, Indonesia

Actually I have written a more complete review (including lots of pictures) in my other blog, but unfortunately it's in Bahasa Indonesia. Just in case you're interested, head down to
http://rahard.wordpress.com/2008/03/15/toto-live-bandung/

In short ... it was a greaaat... show!

My nephew told me about the show around one month before the show. He's a Toto (more specifically Lukather) fan. I am a Toto fan also. I remembered during my undergrad school I had a band and in our first gig, we played "Hold The Line". Ha.

I bought two VIP tickets for me and my wife. It was Rp 200 thousands (or US$10) a piece. Very reasonable price! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A week before the day, a friend gave VVIP tickets to me. I took them and gave my tickets to a friend who came from Jakarta with his wife, just to see Toto. (Look guys, that's how popular you are.)

On the D-day I went to the venue with my wife. We were supposed to have special seats in the VVIP, in he Telkomsel (…

Watching Cars Again

This is the n-th time I watch "cars" (the movie). Actually, I was just watching "cars" (and the making) in Disney Channel. It was fun. I think that was the second time I watched the same programme (the making of cars, or some sort). I still loved it. When you love something, things can be illogical. he he he.


The thing is, they (Pixar) is really searious when making movies. The jokes and moments are excellent. [Maybe I should give some examples. I'll do that later on.] They're really serious about it. At the end of the movie, where they're showing credit, you'll see lots of disney movies but modified for cars. For example, there's "toy car story" (which is a clip of "toy story"-like movie but the actors are ... cars). ha ha ha.

On top of that there are messages that inline with my views (on certain topics). They're kinda validating my views. ha ha ha.

Anyway, I've got to watch it again. ha ha ha.

Tagging and category (in blog) do not work

Recently, I've been writing many things in my blog(s). I used to write things related to information technology (IT). It is not exclusive on IT, but IT is the main theme.

Now, I am writing different things; live, music, poems, business, religion, and much more. (I don't think I will write about politics, though.) When I write about different things, I use category (a feature provided by the blog provider - eg. wordpress.com) to indicate the type of my articles. I also use tags or labels to add some keywords and also to indicate the content of my articles.

This, apparently, is not good enough.

There are people who complained that they only want to read (my) articles that are related to IT, for example. Filtering based on category / tag / label is not good enough.

On top of that, my blogs are aggregated in many sites. Those (aggregator) sites take all my articles. They don't filter the articles based on the type of the content. So, in an IT aggregator site, they also see my poem…

New Guitar

I wrote it elsewhere, but I think I should post it here too. I just got a new guitar, my 4th guitar. It's a Gibson Les Paul-look like. It's actually a Greg Bennett guitar. In the store I was toying between two guitars. One is a Fender strat-like and the other one is this.

Finally, I decided to take this guitar just because I want to experiment with the humbucker pickup. My other guitar, a Yamaha, has single coil pickup. I was told that single coil pickup is good for clean sound and it does. But my playing style (and sound) is more suitable to this guitar. We'll see how it goes.


I am going to give it a try in a gig next month.

Welcome, my new guitar.

Money Transfer Problem

I was trying to buy a CD from a friend. It costs £6 UK sterling plus some shipping cost. So I went to my bank (here in Indonesia) and told them that I wanted to send £10 UK sterling. The teller looked at me in disbelieve.
Just £10 UK sterling, sir?
Yup. What's the problem?
The fee is US$20
Hah? That much? I cancelled the transfer.

This sucks! This is how it feels living in a distrust society. I've got to open an PayPal account. Any experience in opening PayPal account from Indonesia?

Losing My Mind

Things are happening so fast these past few days (weeks?). I have to do too many things. (Right now I have to write three documents in 1 hour!) I am losing my mind. I made too many mistakes.

Like last night, I turned on electricity to water pump in our house and forgot to turn it off until the next morning. Usually it runs for 30 minutes or 1 hour. This time I let it run for 6 hours! I hope I didn't break it.

This morning, I thought I lost the key to our door (gate to be exact). The whole family was looking for the key. Finally, I found it in the pocket of my jacket! Great! It's official, I am an ass.

What's happening to me? Weary ... I think I need a break!

Jaded

For the last few days, I haven't had a good sleep. I've got 3 hours sleep only. I am not taking any medicine or drugs. It's just my head is full with questions (of life). At the end, I was jaded.

Finally, last night I had a good sleep. Phew ... 6 hours of quality sleeping time. Those questions are still in my head, though. I've got to get them out of my head. (Maybe by writing them down in this blog I can ease the burden?)

Becoming a presenter / MC (or standup comedian)

Well, this is the n-th time I was asked to be a presenter (MC) in a large gathering (conference, seminar). In the first event(s), I always thought that this was a one time job. A side track? What the hey. I'll give it a shot. But, it's happening again. I guess I did well ... or, nobody is not available for the job. ha ha ha. Either way, I have to be ready.

Anyway, this time I want to do better. I have to prepare (better than before). I am looking for lines, quotes, jokes, funny stuff. At one time, I wanted to become a stand up comedian. ha! That would be funny (since I am a serious person). I am going to give it a try anyway.

Any suggestion(s)? Sites to visit? URL? Things to read? Video (youtube?) to watch?

or just give it up? (just ready for the boo...)

Waiting for your call ...

Juliet,
... I am waiting for you call
... please
...

Torn ...

How could I live comfortably,
... when I know people are fighting for their lives ...

I feel powerless ...

Oh God, the Algmighty,
... give me the strength to carry on
... give me heart so that I always connect to their hearts
... please, don't turn me into a robot

(Tidak) Bosan Dengan Rutinitas

Seperti biasa, pagi ini saya kembali ke acara rutin. Bangun, sholat subuh, tunggu agak terangan sedikit (dan supaya tidak terlalu dingin), jogging.

Kali ini saya tidak lupa membawa iPod. Ha! Jadi bisa seru sendirian. hi hi hi. Turun ke bawah apartemen dan mulai berlari. Ada dua orang yang sudah mulai pemanasan untuk berenang. Saya menghindar dari kolam renang dulu dan menuju ke lapangan basket yang sepi. Nah, di situ baru bisa seru. Lari, loncat-loncat, ... mudah-mudahan tidak ada yang melihat (dari atas apartemen). Itu orang gila atau apa? ha ha ha. Biarin. Yang penting hati riang dan badan sehat.

Harus cari hal-hal yang membuat kita tidak bosan dengan rutinitas. Hidup ini harus bermakna. Tidak hanya sekedar berjalan seperti zombie ...

Selamat pagi. Mudah-mudahan hari ini memberi kecerahan dan barokah.

Ballpoint story

I need a ballpoint.
took two ballpoints. none worked.
took another one. didn't work.

grrr ... that does it!

took 5 ballpoints. 3 works.
muuuaaahhh to the 3 that saved me ...

On One Sunday Morning

I love jogging. This morning ... it was (and still is) a beatiful day. Sunny but not hot. I jogged with my wife around our neighboring environment. Boy, it was beautiful. I guess it is the same feeling for those who live in big cities (say, Jakarta) and go out a mountain are (like Puncak). But it's better. ha!

I took my iPod with collection songs from Jadis (mostly from their "More than meets the eyes"). I am excited, thrilled. If you saw me, you'll think I am a crazy person. Jumping around while jogging. I don't care. I was picturing myself on a stage, playing their songs. During the rockin' beat (like in "G 13") I would jump around following the bass beat. Ah, what a wonderful feeling.

Free ... yipee ... I've go to master this song and play it in a gig. I just have to find others who happen to like Jadis.

You stood me up!

How do you feel if somebody stood you up?

Well, for me, I can only said ... you stood me up.

[then silently dissapear from your life. would i give second chance? don't know for sure. when i am still mad, of course the answer is a bold no. let me ease down from your dream.]

New Years in Hotels

For three years straight, I spent new years even in hotels in Singapore. This year it was even worse, since I was alone in the hotel. The previous two, I was with my family. So that was okay. Want to know what's worse? This year, I spent it not in my room but in the hotel's computer room typing something in my blog. Blogging past new year. Isn't that something? Or is it sad? I don't know.



Earlier actually I was with my daughter in a BBQ party, with some friends. We decided to go home before midnight. My daughter had to go back to her dorm. So we left before midnight. I went to the hotel afterwards. And there I was ... few minutes before midnight, in front of a computer, in a business center. Ha!

Let's see what's gonna happen next year.

Happy new year ...

No lines? No posting.

I've been trying to keep up writing in this blog, but I cannot compete with my other blog (in Bahasa Indonesia). There, I write 3 to 5 postings a day or more. Here? You'll get lucky if I write one a week. (I don't know if "lucky" is the correct word there.) What goes?

Thing is, it is now more difficult for me to write interesting lines in English. I heard something like this.
What? No lines? How could you write a book if you have no (interesting) lines?
That's why. I don't have interesting lines. So ... no lines, no posting!