Monday, January 30, 2006

Form "Edit Profile" yg aneh

Ku ada masalah dengan ngisi profile di Isian "Region/State" ingin kuubah jadi NSW aja daripada "NEW SOUTH WALES" yang terlalu panjang dan tampak jelek di blog. Tapi tiap kali kuubah jadi NSW lalu di-save, yg muncul kemudian tetep "NEW SOUTH WALES". Kalau isian itu dikosongkan, baru bisa kosong. Kuketik "NSW" lagi, tetep aja muncul nya New South Wales.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hamas' Victory: Good News or Bad?

People from all over the world would have different reactions to the victory of Hamas in the recent Palestinian election, i suppose.

Palestinian (non-Fatah)
"Indeed this is great news. I hope we will soon be free from the aggression and suppression from Israel. I wish Jerusalem can once again be governed by Islamic Law."

Palestinians (Fatah)
"I'm not sure. I'm afraid that violence will never end a war."

"This means war!!!"

"We will never negotiate with terrorists or anyone threatening the well being of our ally (Israel)."

"Hamas was elected in a democratic manner, so they also should disarm. Violence and democracy contradicts one another."

"Palestinians are not ready for democracy just yet, i suppose."

Indonesians (Moderate)
"I hope the newly formed Palestinian Authority will continue negotiations without violence."

Indonesians (Less moderate)
"See? The US are hypocrites."

Indonesian (myself :D)
"Why does the US choose Israel as their ally? Hamas is indeed wrong for killing innocent civilians, but Israel did exactly the same thing to Palestinians as well, even worse. The only difference is that the Israelites were wearing formal military uniforms with heavy armour and guns when killing the Palestinian civilians."

I just wish things can go well in the future, as pictured in the "Kingdom of Heaven" movie. Peace.
Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mauresmo, Juara Australian Open 2006 Putri

Persis seminggu yang lalu, kebetulan diriku baru maen ke Melbourne, kebetulan nonton Australian Open diajak temen, dan kebetulan... ngeliat Mauresmo utk pertama kalinya.

Gila, keker banget e orang nya.

Dan akhirnya, baru saja Amelie Mauresmo (26) dari Perancis ini memenangkan Kejuaraan Australia Terbuka di Melbourne. Beliau menang setelah Henin, lawannya, terluka dan tidak bisa melanjutkan pertandingan. Dan saat ini terjadi, Mauresmo sudah unggul 5 - 1. (atau 4 - 1 ya, lupa :D)

I'm not a tennis fan, but i think i can finally understand why Vanni, my friend, was crazy about Mauresmo.

Selamat untuk Mauresmo.
Thursday, January 26, 2006

CSIRAC, the 1st Aussie Computer

Almost 60 years ago, at the time when Indonesia was still struggling for defending its independence in 1949, a computing machine was being built in Sydney Australia, by the team led by Trevor Pearcey and Maston Beard. The computer was called CSIRAC, standing for Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Automatic Computer. (this council has now changed its name to CSIRO, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization)

This early generation of digital computer looks like this:

Huge, isn't it? However, this computer is not a supercomputer which usully have such large dimensions. The computing power of CSIRAC was comparable to today's small pocket organizer.

The processor of CSIRAC was not a chip like in computers nowadays. The CPU of CSIRAC is constructed from vacuum tubes, or valves, like this:

CSIRAC had disk drives, and something similar to today's RAM. This is the disk drive of CSIRAC:

As you can see, there's a motor on this disk drive. This electric motor must be controllable, and the circuit to control it looks like this:

This computer had no keyboards or mouse, nor any display monitors. A program was entered to CSIRAC using paper tapes, which appears like this:

Oh yeah, CSIRAC was a 20-bit computer. The data bus (or data trunk or whatever) was a serial bus, not parallel such as in other ordinary computers. I am not sure why they made the bus send 1 bit at a time (thus called serial bus), what i know is that CSIRAC was notable for its simplicity of programming. It may be slow, but it is easier to be programmed, maybe because it had simple yet powerful instruction sets. One of the programs written for CSIRAC was like this:

With such a humongous size, CSIRAC must have consumed a great amount of power. The power supply needed two cabinets (or maybe more, i only saw two). This made the room where the computer sits becomes normally warm. One thing i like about the power supply of CSIRAC was the "STC" label inside some parts of the power supply unit. Ibu (my mother) once worked in STC before I was born and when I was in Kindergarten.

CSIRAC is now on display in Victoria Museum, Melbourne. In the late 1950's it was moved from Sydney to Melbourne, and it had been operational for both academic and commercial purpose until mid 1960's in Melbourne University.

Speaking of Victoria Museum, do you know what's the largest collection being held in this museum? No, not the gigantic whale skeleton, and no... not the large dinosaur skeleton. Believe it or not, the Melbourne Exhibition Building, the place where the first Australian flag was raisen (it was in 1901 i suppose), is the biggest collection of the museum. The new Victoria Museum building is adjacent to the old Melbourne Exhibition Building.

Exhibition building, Melbourne

Oh yeah, happy Australia Day mates :)
Sunday, January 15, 2006

Asal-usul nama "Krakatau"

Tahun 1883, dunia modern menyaksikan letusan gunung berapi super dahsyat, salah satu yg terbesar sepanjang sejarah manusia. Tanggal 27 Agustus tahun itu, pulau Krakatau lenyap dari peta Indonesia.

Peta modern yg pertama kali menggambarkan pulau Krakatau adalah peta buatan Jan Huyghen van Linshoten di tahun 1595. Beliau membuat peta itu dari sumber lain, bukan hasil pengamatan atau pengukuran sendiri.

Nama pulau "Krakatau" sendiri pertama muncul di peta buatan Lucas Janszoon Waghenaer, atau lebih dikenal sbg Waggoner. Pulau kecil antara Sumatra dan Jawa itu dinamakan Pulo Carcata.

Ada banyak pendapat tentang asal-usul nama "Krakatau" ini.

1. Mirip kata "kakatua", burung yg dulu banyak ditemui di pulau itu.
2. Menyerupai istilah dari bahasa sanskerta "karta-karkata", "karkataka", atau "rakata", yang artinya kepiting.
3. Kalau mau dipaksakan sedikit, ada miripnya dengan kata "kelakatoe" yang artinya "semut putih terbang"
4. Dan kalau bener2 mau dipaksakan, ada kisah menarik begini. Sewaktu kapten kapal Hindia Belanda menanyakan nama pulau itu ke awak kapal lokal, jawabannya "Kaga' tau" :)

(sumber: Winchester, Simon. 2005, Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, Penguin Group, Victoria)
Thursday, January 12, 2006

Don't Talk To Strangers (?)

I recalled my school always taught me not to talk to strangers. We even got this cute colouring book with cartoons in it, and the topic of the book was: "Don't talk to strangers!!!".

These are some rules you can give to your child:

"If anyone old who's wearing sunglasses with a hook on his left hand and wears a smelly coat approaches you, he's a stranger, sweetheart. Don't talk to him. Just run for your life"

"Anyone big who offers you candies, sweeties, lollies, gelatos, ice cream, or toys, and you don't know who on earth the person is, then that person must be a stranger. No matter how nice the person is, the person is a stranger, Love. Just scream and run away, kid"

"Never talk to strangers, unless the person is a cop, or a ranger, or a security guard with lovely uniforms, or your new teacher at school, or your new classmates. Get it?"

Ridicolous it may seem, but this simple rule of "no talking to strangers" is a very important rule. Not only is it life-saving for children, it can also be applied in our daily "adult" life.

For instance, banks would never give loans to someone they are not sure of who they were. Someone who wants to travel to Australia must be able to show that they have more than a minimum amount of money in their account in order to apply for a visa. An employer would probably prefer a candidate recommended by a friend instead of a complete stranger. It's all a matter of trust.

Suppose one day somebody comes to your house and says, "Excuse me, I am from Sukoharjo. I just got robbed. My credit card, mobile phone, wallet, everything. They're all gone. Can you lend me some money. I promise i'll pay you back tomorrow. "

What whould you do in such a situation?

a. "Oh poor guy, please come in to my house. Let me cook Cap Jay and Bubur Ayam for you. Come.. come..."

b. "Sorry, if you don't have any permission from the RT, i can't do anything for you. Hey, why don't you come to the RT? Her house is just down there"

c. "Get lost, lazy old man!"

d. "Oh gosh. How much money do you need? One juta? Two juta? No worries, i've got plenty of money"

(Yup, the format of this entry is influenced by Momon's blog :D)
Friday, January 06, 2006

Tahun 2006: Baca atau mati

Tahun 2006 ini kucanangkan sebagai tahun membaca. Why?

  • Kemarin nilai2 ujian ku pada jelek semua, kayaknya kurang belajar e :(
  • I enjoy TV more than reading books.
  • Gila rasanya kemarin tu butuh waktu lamaaaa banget untuk membaca satu artikel jurnal, padahal kata temen2 puluhan artikel jurnal harus masuk literature review :((
  • Ever heard of Wikipedia? You can find abouteverything there, just have a look.
  • Aku punya satu rak buku penuh dengan buku2 bagus dari book fair dan toko buku, tapi baru satu yg bener2 khatam.
  • Dengan membaca, semoga ketagihan ku pada hal2 laenn yg gak produktif bisa berkurang (chatting, YM, friendster, MIRC, famili 100, scrabble, dll)
  • Kayaknya mendingan mbuang2 waktu karena membaca deh daripada membuang2 waktu utk jalan2 ngabisin duit :(
  • Masih kagok nulis! Gak lucu kan kalo di final exam kita mbuang bbrp menit untuk mikir "Mmm... bahasa inggris nya 'selain itu' apa ya?"