Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Tobacco: Deadly in Any Form

Celebrating the World No Tobacco Day 2006 in May 31, 2006, we -- concerned weblog writers -- would like to remind us all about the danger of smoking.

1. Reminding us all that tobacco is DEADLY IN ANY FORM. Cigarettes, pipes, bidies, kreteks, clove cigarettes, snus, snuff, smokeless, cigars… they are all deadly.

2. Reminding us all that tobacco in all types and names and flavors are deadly alike. Tobacco is DEADLY IN ANY DISGUISE. Mild, light, low tar, full flavour, fruit flavoured, chocolate flavoured, natural, additive-free, organic cigarettes, PREPS (Potentially Reduced-Exposure Products), harm-reduced… they are all deadly. Those kinds of labelling doesn’t show the products are any less dangerous.

3. Demand the Government of Republic of Indonesia to ratify the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) as soon as possible, for the health of future generation. Indonesia is the only country in Asia that is still not in the FCTC.

Internet, May 31, 2006

The Undersigned,

Indra Pramana

Related Links:[Indonesian version]

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Indo-Sing Blog

Indo-Sing mailing list is a mailing list dedicated to the Indonesian community in Singapore. Currently there are 683 registered members, and the number is still counting. This is because the mailing list is not only for those currently living in Singapore, but also for those who are still in Indonesia or other countries and have a plan to migrate to Singapore. The community has also conducted a gathering (article in Bahasa Indonesia) at Kantin Aneka, Lucky Plaza, end of April this year.

Right now, the Indo-Sing community has launched a new blog. The blog is using free Wordpress facility from Blogsome, and it's located at The articles will be contributed by all mailing list members who already have the necessary Wordpress account to post on the blog.

This blog will contain a lot of information which -- hopefully -- will be useful not only for Indo-Sing community members, but also for other Indonesians currently living in Singapore, or for those Indonesians who plan to migrate to Indonesia, either for work or study. Most of the articles will be excerpted from discussions in the mailing list.

Hopefully the blog will be useful to anyone. :)

[Indonesian version]

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hyperlink from Planet Indra to Technorati

Let me create the hyperlink first:

Technorati Profile

To claim Planet Indra into Technorati, I would need to add the above hyperlink into the site. Since I don't know (yet) how to edit the template of the Gregarius-powered aggregator, I would need to put the hyperlink on one of its posts. Since this blog is one of the blogs it aggregates, so I just put the hyperlink here. Hope it works. :)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Lau Pa Sat

Last Saturday (20/5) night, I and my wife went to Lau Pa Sat, a big food court located right in the heart of Singapore's Central Business District, not far from the Raffles Place MRT station. This building actually holds quite a lot of historical value, it was a wet market before it was being renovated and now it's being restored as a favourit makan place among locals and tourists, serving Singapore local food.

Actually, during the normal days, there's nothing special with this food court. All the food served there is similar to the one we can find on any other food courts around Singapore. However, one special thing about Lau Pa Sat is if we visit the place at night, especially Saturday night. Why? Because on Saturday night, the stretch of Boon Tat Street south of the food court is closed to traffic, and the road is filled with tables and chairs for all the visitors. It's such a great ambience under the stars (provided it's not raining) between all the office towers with the lights.

Satay is their anchor menu. You can have chicken satay, beef satay, mutton satay, and even duck satay, including the peanut souce, at 50 cents per stick. They also sell the lontong (rice cake) at $1 per portion. Other than that, you can also order BBQ prawn and chicken wing. We ordered 10 sticks of chicken satay and 10 sticks of mutton satay, including the rice cakes (see left picture).

On top of that, they also serve a variety of BBQ seafood, such as mussels, stingrays, etc. We ordered "mee goreng seafood" (see right picture) for $4, and it's indeed a good choice. The noodles are fried with quite a lot of seafood ingredients such as squid, baby octopus and crab sticks, very nice. :)

How about the drinks? Even though there are quite a lot of cold drink stalls available inside the food court, you shouldn't miss the teh tarik served by a makeshift stall near the corner of Boon Tat Street and Boon Tat Link (see left picture). They also provide ginger tea, cino tea, milo, and coconut ice. The teh tarik is really unique, and different from the other teh tarik we usually get from other food courts. The queue is quite long, expect to wait between 10-15 minutes to get your teh tarik here.

More pictures can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Interview with RSI (again)

Last Saturday (20/5), again I had the chance to take part in one of Radio Singapore International (RSI)'s programme in Bahasa Indonesia, "Kutak Katik IT". Different from the previous interview which was conducted over the telephone, this interview was conducted on-site at RSI's studio in Mediacorp's Caldecott Broadcast Centre, on Andrew Road.

Similar to the previous interview, this interview is conducted by my friend, which is also an RSI staff, Rane "JaF" Hafied. Thanks to his kind invitation to conduct the interview on-site at RSI's studio, I had the chance to visit the Caldecott Broadcast Centre and see all the facilities myself. All Mediacorp's TV and radio channels are broadcasted from here.

Similar to the previous interview, the IT topic being discussed is quite basic and not too advanced. On this interview, we discussed about search engines and blogs. Specifically on blog topic, we discussed about what is a blog, how to create one and what's the purpose of having a blog. Quite a bit nervous since I'm also considered a beginner in the blogosphere. :) On the session, we also discussed and answered some questions from the listeners with regards to the topic we discussed on the previous interview, which is about e-mails.

Again, for me, it's really a priceless and great experience. And again, I would like to say a very big thank you to Rane for the opportunity being given.

[Indonesian version]

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Food Culture

Banquet is our favourite food court, because all the stalls inside the food court are halal. So we can try all kinds of food available there, from hainanese chicken rice, which is our kids' favourite, Japanese food such as teppanyaki or teriyaki, Chinese food such as horfun, or any other kind of food, without having to worry whether the food contains pork or lard. Banquet branches we usually visit are the ones in Jurong Point and IMM.

So I was very happy to hear that Food Junction, the biggest food court chain in Singapore, has started to open halal food court as well. Its first halal food court has opened at Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall, Choa Chu Kang, under the name of "Food Culture". When it first opened, not all the stalls have halal certificate so they initially launched it as a "no pork no lard" food court. However, eventually, right now all the stalls already have halal certificates from MUIS.

Together with my wife, I went there last week. The food court is located at the third floor of Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall in Choa Chu Kang, just next to the "Let's Eat" restaurant, which also serves halal food. It's also on the same floor as the Choa Chu Kang Community Library. Lot 1 Shoppers' Mall itself is the biggest mall around Choa Chu Kang area, and it's located just next to the Choa Chu Kang MRT station, so you won't miss it.

There's quite a lot of variety of food being served, although the food court is not too big. I ordered chicken hor fun (see top left picture), a Chinese specialty which I seldom eat since it's quite difficult to find a halal horfun here in Singapore. :) I ordered it after seeing quite a lot of other guests also ordered the same menu on other tables. :P While my wife immediately went to her favourite Korean stall and ordered her favourite beef bulgogi, the Korean-style minced beef steak (see right picture).

Other than that, there are some other stalls serving other variety of food, although it's not as many as those in Banquet Jurong Point. Not too bad, at least there's another alternative for us to try different kind of food here in Singapore. :)

[Indonesian version]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blogspot was down last night

Yesterday night, around 9:30pm Singapore time (UTC+8), I was not able to access this blog, as well as my other blogs hosted in Blogspot. And looks like I was not the only one having the same problem. I was not able to access all my friends' blogs hosted there as well. And one blogger, which I didn't know, even added comment on my other blog (using Wordpress, which is in Bahasa Indonesia, unfortunately), saying that he was also having the same problem.

The problem was intermittent, sometimes I could access, sometimes I couldn't. Even if I could access, I would only be able to see the top parts of my blog. And if I waited longer, I would then get this error message: "The page cannot be displayed". I suspect that the problem was related to load, either the load of the server, or the network. Hopefully this was just a one-time issue and will not recur.

I'm not too sure whether I need to migrate all my blogs here. I actually can combine all the 4 blogs into one, separated by category, which is supported by Wordpress. But then, I will render my Planet Indra useless. Hmm... :)

Alternatively, I can create 4 copies of Wordpress (including this blog) on my server, then I can import all my articles and the comments from Blogger. So there will still be 4 blogs, all using Wordpress and all hosted in my server. I will also still need Planet Indra.

Hmmm... but then, what if I miss the Blogger's interface? :)

Some people are very difficult to be pleased... :) :)

[Indonesian version]

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Planet Indra

At last, I managed to build an aggregate site of all my blogs. Even though I named the site Planet Indra, which means "Indra's planet" in Bahasa, but actually the site does not use Planet (misleading, eh? :P). Since I was not able to get Planet to work in my server's environment, i use Gregarius instead.

I first knew Gregarius after I saw the Amigos site belongs to one of my friends, Koen aka Kuncoro Wastuwibowo. The interface is practical and interesting, so I was also interested to try installing it on my server. And I found that the installation is much simpler than Planet's installation, which is more difficult.

The installation process is similar to installing Wordpress, I just need to prepare a new database under MySQL with its own username and password, download the Gregarius installation file here, and then just follow the instruction on the INSTALL file. It was just a simple 4-step installation, including how to protect its administration page by a password.

So now, if you're a bit lost and didn't know which of my blog you should read, just go to Planet Indra. All the articles on all my four blogs can be found there. Much easier to read, don't you think? :)

[Indonesian version]

Friday, May 05, 2006

Interview with RSI

Radio Singapore International (RSI) is the only international broadcasting radio in Singapore, at least until now. The short-wave radio is broadcasted out of Singapore in four languages: English, Mandarin, Malay and Bahasa Indonesia, and run by MediaCorp Radio.

Thanks to my friend, Rane "JaF" Hafied, I had the chance to take part on one of its programme in Bahasa Indonesia, "Kutak Katik IT". The programme is meant for audiences who are new to IT, so the topic being discussed is also quite basic, and not too advanced.

For example, the first interview I had, which was done over the telephone, was discussing about the use of web-based e-mail clients such as Yahoo, Hotmail dan Gmail, which is very popular and widely used by most Indonesians. We also discussed about how to choose a good e-mail address, and also touched on some e-mail etiquette. The interview script and the audio file which you can hear (in Bahasa Indonesia), can be found here.

For me, it is really a priceless and fruitful experience. Many thanks to Pak JaF for the opportunity being given. :)

[Indonesian version]

Monday, May 01, 2006

Problems installing Planet

I really want to install Planet to aggregate all my blogs. So far I still rely on Kinja to aggregate them, and that's also only after I consulted Priyadi, one of my friends who is also a blog expert. So, couple of days ago, I tried to install Planet on my own server.

According to its documentation, Planet requires Python 2.2 or greater, while the Python installed on my server is still 1.5.2.

bash-2.02$ python
Python 1.5.2 (#17, Jun 6 2001, 02:45:56) [GCC 2.95.3 20010315 (release)] on bsdos4
Copyright 1991-1995 Stichting Mathematisch Centrum, Amsterdam

So I downloaded the latest stable version of Python (2.4.3) from its website and installed it. There's actually a newer version, which is 2.5, however it's still alpha 1 release. I installed the Python 2.4.3 under my home directory, not as root because the server is a live server and it's shared by many users. Therefore, after compilation, the binary file will be in my home directory.

bash-2.02$ ~/python/Python-2.4.3/python
Python 2.4.3 (#1, Apr 27 2006, 14:46:13)
[GCC 2.95.3 20010315 (release)] on bsdos4
Type “help”, “copyright”, “credits” or “license” for more information.

After finished installing Python, I proceeded to download the latest version of Planet, which is still version 1.0, from its website. I went through the instruction on the INSTALL file, and follow all the instructions there, including to edit the config.ini file for Planet's configuration. I also have modified the file to call the newly installed python (version 2.4.3) inside my home directory, instead of the default python on the server (version 1.5.2).

However, when I tried to run the program, it didn't work. This is the error message I am getting:

bash-2.02$ ./ ~/planet/indra/fancy/config.ini
Traceback (most recent call last):
File “./”, line 22, in ?
import planet
File “/usr/home/ip/planet/planet/”, line 33, in ?
import dbhash
File “/usr/home/ip/python/Python-2.4.3/Lib/”, line 5, in ?
import bsddb
File “/usr/home/ip/python/Python-2.4.3/Lib/bsddb/”, line 47, in ?
import _bsddb
ImportError: No module named _bsddb

I'm not too sure what's the cause of the error. I searched Google but I couldn't find any possible answers to the problem above. Someone said that the above error occurs because my Python environment doesn't have bsddb installed, however I'm not too sure how to install the module.

Or is it because I'm using BSDI (BSD/OS)?

Priyadi advised me to try installing the new version of Python as root (server wide), and not installing it in my home directory. However, I didn't dare to do that because it's a live server and shared by multiple users. Perhaps I might want to try using another server first (e.g. development server). Will try that later.

Anyone else might have encountered the same or similar problem and know how to workaround this? :)

[Indonesian version]