A New Phase

A bunch of random rants

Using Indosat IM2 on Ubuntu

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I purchased Indosat IM2 which is an unlimited mobile broadband connection a few days ago. It was a 50-50 choice between this and Telkom Speedy. In the end I chose it as the marketing people at Telkom didn’t call me. Congratulation you guys lost a potential customer 😈

Anyway, the Indosat technical support at Sarinah wasn’t able to configure the connection on Ubuntu. I managed to configure the connection the next day after searching around the web and forum. Thus, I’d like to create a simple guide that I hope will be beneficial to others.

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Written by kaitosama

16 December, 2008 at 5:06 am

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The Story So Far …

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Wow, it’s been more than a year since my last post. I intended to keep on writing after going back home to Indonesia. A combination of laziness and having no broadband connection has managed to prevent me from doing so (which is the bigger factor bty 😉 ). Anyway, now I have a mobile broadband connection and thus, I’m determined to continue on writing. Most my posts have been about a bunch of random stuffs happening in my life. I’d like to start writing about technology and programming. I am after all a computer science graduate.

So first thing, where have you been dude? Here, so much and so little things have happened. Got home just before or during ramadhan last year. After 5 years of living in the UK, I finally did fast again back home. It’s quite different as the fasting period is constant over here. The sun rises and sets about the same time everyday which differs a lot from a four seasons country like the UK. I celebrated eid at my home town in Bandung with my extended families something that didn’t happen for a long time.

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Written by kaitosama

16 December, 2008 at 2:39 am

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The Last Throw of the Dice …

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I’m having my last assessment centre tomorrow with the interview held next Wednesday. The interview is supposed to be held tomorrow as well, but the partner that’s supposed to interview me is away. Thus, I have to do it next Wednesday; such a drag as I have to return there again next week. On the other hand it might be a good thing as I have one less thing to worry about. Also, I’m fasting starting from today for the next 30 days or so as it is the month of Ramadan now. It will be interesting to see how it will affect me; be strong dude 😉

 

I feel surprisingly calm and I hope I will stay that way throughout the assessment. I think I was a bit nervous on the other assessments that I’ve attended especially in the group exercise. Maybe it was down to my inexperience. But I didn’t really have this problem back in University when I did numerous group works. Guess familiarity was a factor back then as my team members were people that I had known (usually). Even if I didn’t know them, I had seen them in the class which provided some sort of familiarities. Fingers crossed, it will be okay tomorrow as long as I maintain my calmness.

 

The task that I worry the most is the presentation. It’s not that I’m bad presenter (I think I’m OK), but it’s more about gathering the information and deciding which to present. Also, usually I practise my presentation by going over it many times until I know it by heart. Time is limited in the assessment centre which makes it impossible to practise it over and over. I need to gather all my concentration and skills tomorrow.

Good luck tomorrow dude and hope it will go well 😉

Written by kaitosama

13 September, 2007 at 1:13 pm

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My Thoughts on the Rejection of OpenXML as an International Standard

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This is a kind of late entry. Was planning to write this article a long time ago after reading this article.

Recently, Microsoft tried to fast-track its Office OpenXML document format as an international standard alongside Open Document Format (ODF). From Microsoft’s perspective, the economic gain is there if its standard is accepted as an international one. Governments and organisations are weary that they have to bow to the software vendor if they keep storing documents in proprietary formats. Thus, they encourage documents to be stored in an international standard. However, there’s only one international standard at the moment i.e. ODF which Microsoft doesn’t support in its Office suite. ODF is natively supported by several programs including Open Office; a free, as in free lunch, office suite. Microsoft could lose a lot of money should the move happen.

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Written by kaitosama

9 September, 2007 at 10:47 pm

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Sayonara Windows (XP)

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Crap it’s been a long time since my last post; a bit longer to my liking anyway 😳 Since then, I’ve removed Windows XP from my laptop and installed Ubuntu which is one of the many GNU / Linux distributions to replace XP.

I was dual-booting XP and Ubuntu for quite some time; since I started this blog if I’m not mistaken. However, my first encounter with Linux was at University where I had to use the tools available on Linux to do my coursework. Mandriva and openSuse Linux were the two distributions I used back then. At that time I thought Linux wasn’t ready yet for to be used as an everyday Operating System (OS), although from a technical point of view it was a great OS. One of the main reasons was the RPM hell I had to go through to install certain software 👿

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Written by kaitosama

4 September, 2007 at 10:47 pm

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The End of Harry Potter Saga

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Got the final book last Saturday i.e. the release day. But, I didn’t have to queue up like some people did though as I live in a small city. I went to the book store in the afternoon and picked up a copy; god I love living in a small city 😉 Finished reading the book on Sunday evening. I have to say it’s a great ending to the story.

Harry, Hermione & Ron go on to fulfill the task Dumbledore left them i.e. to find and destroy the horcruxes; items that hold a fragment of Voldermort’s soul. Voldermort can’t die unless every horcrux is destroyed. The journey is tough as they don’t have a plan and none has any idea where the horcruxes are. Dumbledore left them each an item on his will to aid them in their journey. Those items help them to discover the existence of the Deathly Hallow which consists of three magical items; a wand, a resurrection stone and a invisible cloak. Each of which is the best in its class. Harry now has to decide his priority; find horcruxes or the hallows first. Needless to say, they succeed in their journey. As to which items did Harry prioritise, you have to find it our your own 😛

Harry Potter is highly successful due to its story which progresses nicely. In the earlier books the story was lighter and more about ‘wow magic exists’ as Harry himself was really young. It then becomes darker as Harry grows older and the story captures nicely the ‘insecurity’ of teenagers. Also, the plot becomes more complicated as Harry begins to understand more the situation he has to deal with.

A top notch set of characters sets Harry Potter apart from other series. Harry himself is a flawed hero. He’s far from an exemplary student and he’s gotten through so far due to luck, bravery (or recklessness) as well as the help of his friends. Out of all characters in Harry Potter, Severus Snape is my favourite. His love to Harry’s mother is so pure that he dedicates his life to protect the child of the only woman he loves. He might think of Harry as the child he might have had things worked out with Harry’s mom. His bravery is unquestionable; he has to play both Voldermort and Dumbledore side convincingly. In the process, he willingly take the accusations and blames other make towards him. In a nutshell, he is the definition of ‘gray’ character.

I reckon the most profound impact of the series is that it brings back joy to reading especially to the younger readers. Make no mistake Harry Potter books are not typical children books. The latest volume has 607 of solid pages without any picture in it. Unless I’m very wrong, most kids nowadays prefer to spend time on the Internet; social networking site, surfing web sites, chatting, etc. It’s fair to say that reading is not on top of their list. Harry Potter changes that and hopefully, there will be other books that will have similar impacts 😉

Written by kaitosama

25 July, 2007 at 2:45 pm

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Dragon Quest 8: Journey of The Cursed King

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For the most unimportant announcement of the week, I’ve started playing Dragon Quest 8: Journey of The Cursed King again 😉 Been playing for about an hour everyday for the last few days. I can’t give a thorough review of it at the moment and I don’t plan to, but I want to say a few things about the game.

Going to start with the most obvious thing, the graphic. It’s simply gorgeous; the characters, the enemies, the landscapes, etc. I’ve been playing games since I was a kid and thus, I can say the game arguably has the best graphics for RPG on PS 2. Seems like it pushes the console graphical power to the limit.

The game has a few tricks on its sleeve that make it more realistic in terms of character movements and physical appearance. The game takes into account the properties of the different terrains / landscapes the characters are in. For example I can see the remnants of the grass when the character runs on grass and similarly I can see the dust coming off when the character runs on dusty path. I can also see changes in the weapons & armor the characters carry when I equip them with new weapons / armors. It’s quite impressive considering other RPGs don’t show these changes. So what’s next? The ability to see changes in the clothes worn 8)

I bet Chen, Jonessy & their army will be pleased to see the graphical changes in the game 😈

As usual, nothing is perfect. There are a few thing that I hope were done differently:

  • The game uses the church to save the game and the inn to rest / heal the characters. The inn does both in other RPGs. I know this is the tradition in DQ series, but I feel this should be let go. Sometimes we have to let go something no matter how fond we are of it.
  • The menu could have been better especially when it comes to equipping equipment. Each character has his own personal belonging / storage in addition to the group storage. This is fine and in-line with other games. However, when I want to equip new stuffs I have to store the thing I want to equip in the character’s personal belonging. That means I have to transfer the item from the group storage to the character storage. This is too cumbersome as there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to equip the items straight from the group storage.

I can only say this much because I’ve only played for less than 10 hours so far. I just hope that some stuffs I find irritating will be fixed in the next installment of the series. The thing is the next game will be released on Nintendo DS. This is odd because RPG is an intensive game and the DS excels not in that type of games. The DS is amazingly suited to play fun, attractive & short-burst games like Mario Cart, Brain Training, etc. I guess they want to take advantage of the dual screen feature of the DS. But, I wonder how the graphic will look like. PSP would probably a better choice graphic wise if they want to port the series to portable platform, But there’s nothing unique in PSP I guess; no offence to you PSP guys 😆

DQ 8 shows the evolution of games up until recently. In my opinion most games are the prettier, sexier version of the previous ones. If I go back from the days of Atari to PS 3 / XBOX 360, all I can see is games that are better looking than the previous generation with nothing truly new being offered. Then the Wii came along and offers something truly unique with its motion sensing controller. It’s aimed for broader audience including those that were alienated to games previously. I’m really glad that Wii came along because it opens up a whole new playing field. No doubt the others will in one way or another offer unique innovations of their own. That can only be good for all of us 😛

It’s midnight of Saturday 21 July; the release date of the latest Harry Potter book. Kudos to you guys that have been queuing up for the book at this moment. I am just too lazy to do that kind of thing 😆 Will get it in the morning / afternoon depending on the weather; a very wet summer over here much to my liking.

It will be a weekend of reading for me and for lots of Harry Potter fans 😉

Written by kaitosama

20 July, 2007 at 11:10 pm

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