Saturday, December 22, 2007

Season's Greetings

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Adha to all my Muslim friends, Selamat Hari Ibu for all Indonesian mothers (including my mother and my wife), Merry Christmas to all my Christian friends, and Happy New Year to everyone! :)

Picture courtesy of

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It's Getting Hotter There in Malaysia

The political situation in Malaysia is getting hotter recently. It was started with a demolition of an ancient Hindu temple by the Malaysian government late October, causing rage among Indian Malaysian community in Malaysia. Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), whom activists were being detained by the police when protesting against the demolition of the temple, staged mass rallies throughout last month and early this month, shocking the government and the nation. The rallies were highlighting the minority Indian Malaysians' complaints of discrimination by the ruling government, and almost all of the rallies ended with hundreds being arrested.

The claims of mistreatment against the Indian community were being denounced by Malaysia's Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who said that those claims were stirred up to create racial conflicts. It seems that the Malaysian government was trying all-out to curb the situation by performing mass crackdown on those who supported the rallies. They even charged 26 ethnic Indians with attempted murder of a policeman during one of the protests, with their bail being rejected. What's more, some of them were even accused of having links with terrorist groups.

And recently, seems that the crackdown has widen and is affecting not only the Indian Malaysians group, but also other groups such as lawyers and human rights leaders who were also staging street protests against the government on some other issues. Even Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition figure and former deputy premier who was being sacked during Mahathir's era, was also detained at Kuala Lumpur International Airport after returning from a trip to Turkey. This leads to the United States government to call on Malaysia to allow freedom of expression and assembly. They have repeatedly raised with Malaysian authorities their belief that citizens in any country should be allowed to peacefully asemble and express their views. But of course, Abdullah's stand is that public safety and security should take precedence above public freedom.

Seems that the issue is now getting more serious. Let's just hope that this issue does not cause the Malaysian government to forget that they still have some other important issues to take care, including the flood issue which has caused the death toll to rise and thousands to be evacuated.

The above picture is courtesy of ChannelNewsAsia.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Quicklink: Walk Around The Singapore F1 Track

Walk Around The Singapore Formula 1 Track - Part 1 and Part 2. Created by an avid F1 fan who came to Singapore and took pictures of almost every corner of the track. Link is provided by Tomorrow.SG.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sitex 2007 Is Now On

One of the biggest IT and digital exhibitions in Singapore, SITEX 2007, is now happening at the Hall 5 and Hall 6 of Singapore Expo, now until 2 December 2007. The event is organised by the Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) and managed by Singex Exhibitions. It is an annual exhibition event which has been held since 1988.

The organiser promised that this year's SITEX will not only be bigger, but it will also feature new themed segments such as New Technology, Smart Home, IT & New Media Education, Automobile Electronics, and IT for Kids. They also have partnered with Cash Converters and Clean Solutions for a recycling initiative where consumers can can trade in unwanted electronic gadgets or items at the Cash Converters booth for cash, or dispose of them using recycling bins situated near the entrances. This is a good time for you to dispose all your spoiled or unwanted electronic items.

Currently I don't have any IT or electronic items to buy, so I'm not too sure whether I'm going to pay a visit to the event. Well, actually my wife has been asking for a new laptop but I'm not too sure whether it's now a good time to buy... we'll see. :) :)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Amazing Race Asia 2 Has Started

I have just watched the premiere of The Amazing Race Asia 2 on AXN Asia just now. It is the second season of The Amazing Race Asia series, one of my favourite shows, after its first season last year. This season, the race started in Singapore, specifically near the Raffles Landing Site where I and my kids just visited last week, and their first destination was the Merlion statue at Mount Faber. Believe me, I didn't know that there's another Merlion statue in Mount Faber, until I watched the show. I thought Merlion statues in Singapore can only be found in Merlion Park and Sentosa. :)

Similar to last season, there are ten teams competing for one hunder thousand dollar. There is one contestant from Singapore, Adrian, who is hearing-impaired, making him the first hearing-impaired contestant in the Amazing Race history. There's one team representing Indonesia, actress Kinaryosih and her partner Brett, and they can reach the pit stop at the fourth place in the first leg of the race. Not bad. :)

So, from next week onwards, I will have to mark this important time of the week: Thursday at 9pm (Singapore time), for me to watch The Amazing Race Asia 2. Oh, and don't forget also that every Wednesday at 11pm (Singapore time), Channel 5 is also showing the latest season of the Amazing Race.

Pictures courtesy of AXN Asia website.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

This is what a good camera (with a good lens) can do...

The above picture is taken by our dear Pangeran Panda, using his camera (with the so-called special lens), during our Indo-Sing Moderators dinner event last night.

Believe me, he didn't need to climb to the ceiling to take the picture. The camera was just positioned less than one meter away above the table.

Amazing, eh? :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri

Similar to last year, both Singapore and Indonesia governments have decided the same date for this year's Hari Raya Idul Fitri, which is on Saturday, 13 October 2007.

In Singapore, the Mufti of Singapore has announced that based on astronomical calculation, the moon was not visible on the horizon yesterday evening as it set almost at the same time with the sun. Thus, today (Friday, 12 October 2007) marks the 30th day of the Muslim's holy month of Ramadhan and the 1st day of Syawal (Hari Raya Aidil Fitri) falls on Saturday, 13 October 2007.

In Indonesia, the Ministry of Religion Affairs also have decided that this year's Hari Raya Idul Fitri falls on Saturday, 13 October 2007. According to Cecep Nurwendayat, an Indonesian astronomy expert, the moon (hilal) was not possible to be seen yesterday because the sunshine was still strong when the moon set.

Similar to last year, Muhammadiyah, one of the largest Islamic organisations in Indonesia, have decided that Hari Raya Idul Fitri falls one day earlier than the government's decision, which is today (Friday, 12 October 2007). This is due to the different methods used in determining the end of the month of Ramadan. Therefore, it's quite common to see some of Indonesian muslims who celebrate Hari Raya Idul Fitri today instead of tomorrow, and alhamdulillah, these differences are widely accepted by the Indonesian people and never cause any problems, let alone frictions, among Muslims in Indonesia.

I would like to wish all Muslims all over the world, a Happy Eid ul-Fitr celebration. Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri, mohon maaf lahir dan batin.

Friday, September 21, 2007

More Cars on Singapore Roads

Picture taken from Traffic Camera section of One Motoring website.

Those who drive or often take taxis in Singapore will notice that nowadays, there are more cars on Singapore roads compared to two or three years ago. Last year, I would only take less than 15 minutes to reach my home in around Upper Bukit Timah area, from my office in around Science Park area, during evening peak hours. Now, every evening I would need at least 30 minutes, due to congestion along the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE). Last time, the expressway was usually congested only if there's an accident, but nowadays, built-up traffic during evening peak time period is now an every day matter.

And now, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will install more Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantries all over Singapore, to control the traffic flow. I don't understand why they chose to do this instead of limiting the number of cars on the roads. They can actually do so by reducing the number of quota available for Certification of Entitlement (COE) bidding. Past two years were actually a good time for LTA to review and reduce the quota since there were many cars being scrapped/de-registered. But instead, they chose to use that reason as an excuse to increase the quota, and as a result, COE plunged to a very low rate in the past couple of years. At the end, more people are buying cars, resulting in more crowded Singapore roads.

They should actually reduce the quota much earlier, say one or two years ago, to control the number of cars, instead of installing more ERP gantries now to control the traffic flow. It's not fair to the road users, especially to those who purchased their cars when the COE was on a much higher level (2004 and earlier). They paid higher COE premium at that time, expecting that they will enjoy smooth flow of traffic due to the limited number of cars on the roads. However, they ended up having to share more crowded roads with newer car owners who paid lesser COE premiums, and now they will also have to share the burden to pay for additional ERP charges.

OK, I admit that my opinion might be subjective since I bought my car in 2003, while the COE rate was above $30k. But don't you agree with me that the government should limit the number of cars in the first place, rather than letting people to buy more cars and perform "damage control" by charging them to use the roads?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Missed That Round of Open Submission

Aaaargh. I missed this year's round of Merdeka's open submission. I intended to register this blog as well as my Minda Indra blog for the open submission, but then I was very busy on that particular day both in the office and at home so I forgot to make the submission. More over, I forgot to mark this date on my scheduler. Guess I will have to wait for the next round of open submission, don't know when...

Why this round of submission is only opened for one day? :(

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Al-Jazeera Seeking to Broadcast in Singapore

On one of the mailing lists I subscribe, Rani quoted an article from Reuters saying that the leading Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera said that it has been in talks with the Singapore government since early this year, hoping to get the go-ahead to broadcast in Singapore by year-end.

According to Nigel Parsons, the managing director of the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English channel, Singapore was cautious about allowing it to broadcast in Singapore because of criticism of the channel in the United States. Al-Jazeera, which attracted millions of viewers after it aired exclusive footage from Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the wake of the September 11 attacks, has been accused by the US (who else?) of biased reporting on Iraq and "supporting" terrorism.

Singapore's Media Development Authority (MDA) said that it was still assessing Al-Jazeera, saying that "as with all foreign channels, the authorities will need to make assessments based on criteria such as public expectations and interest, as well as the ability to meet local programme standards."

I also read on the Straits Times newspaper yesterday, that if Al-Jazeera gets the go-ahead, most likely it will be aired under SingTel's MiO Pay-TV package.

Will be very interesting to see how the Singapore government will follow-up on this matter, as we have known, Singapore is quite strict in enforcing their controls over the media. And considering that Singapore is a close ally of the United States, I foresee that Al-Jazeera will be having difficulties in getting the broadcast rights.

As what Mr. Parsons has pointed out, "We understand that we have to be patient".

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Singapore F1 Race on 28 September 2008

(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia)

At last, the date for the inaugural F1 race in Singapore has been set. It will be held on 28 September 2008 and will be after the race in Belgium, and before the race in Shanghai, China. Subject to final safety clearances, the Singapore race will be the first F1 race to be held at night. The race will be held on a 5.2-km street circuit around the Marina Bay/Esplanade area.

Tickets will start to go on sale in December 2007. Although the ticket prices have not been fixed yet, Singapore Grand Prix, the organiser of the Singapore race, has released the estimated ticket price to start from S$50 for the trial races, and S$100 for the actual races.

Well, I believe Formula One fans can start marking the date in the calendar, although now it might still be too early to book the hotels. I'm not too sure whether you can just book a hotel within the Marina Bay area and watch the race without having to buy tickets. :)

Complete race list for 2008 F1 season:

  1. March 16, Melbourne, Australia
  2. March 23, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  3. April 6, Bahrain
  4. April 27, Barcelona, Spain
  5. May 11, Istanbul, Turkey
  6. May 25, Monaco
  7. June 8, Montreal, Canada
  8. June 22, Magny Cours, France
  9. July 6, Silverstone, England
  10. July 20, Hockenheim, Germany
  11. August 3, Budapest, Hungary
  12. August 24, Valencia, Spain
  13. September 7, Monza, Italy
  14. September 14, Spa, Belgium
  15. September 28, Singapore
  16. October 12, Shanghai, China
  17. October 19, Fuji Speedway, Japan
  18. November 2, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Monday, July 23, 2007

Stagnant Water at Bukit Merah Playground

Yesterday (22/7) evening, while waiting for my wife to shop at IKEA on Alexandra Road (it's annual clearance sale in IKEA now until 12 August 2007, by the way), I took Inka and Irza to a children playground, located in front of Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah, between the former SAFRA Bukit Merah clubhouse and the ABC market and food centre.

The playground is quite nice, and I remember that this playground was just built recently after the whole block and some other blocks nearby were undergoing major renovation. Inka and Irza were having a great time playing there.

The only one disturbing sight there is stagnant water, most probably as a result of drops of rain, smacked in the middle of the playground. With many cases of dengue reported all over Singapore, such sight is a bit worrying since if I'm not mistaken, the stagnant water can be a nice breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Wondering what would the NEA say about this?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Umbrella Vending Machine

I have seen many vending machines throughout Singapore dispensing drinks and snacks. But this is the first time I saw a vending machine dispensing umbrellas. The vending machine is located at the first floor of IMM Building at Jurong East, just in front of Burger King fast food restaurant.

I believe this is a great business idea, especially in Singapore where the weather can be so unpredictable. One time it can be so hot, and one or two hours later, it can just suddenly rain heavily. Sometimes it can be difficult for some people (including myself) to get an umbrella when we need one. Either we forget to bring one, or too lazy to bring one.

The price of the umbrella itself is, surprisingly, quite cheap, for Singapore standard. Only S$6 per umbrella. I haven't managed to buy one so I don't know how's the quality of the umbrella, but the vendor's website claimed that it's a mini 3-fold high quality umbrella, framed by lightweight aluminum alloy, which also has ultra-violet ray protection as well.

Not too sure whether we also have this kind of vending machines in Jakarta or any other parts of Indonesia. Has anyone seen one? :)

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Migrating Albums from Yahoo! Photos to Flickr

Before I had my Multiply site, I used to use Yahoo! Photos to store my photo albums. There were more than twenty albums I stored there before I started to use Multiply, which I think is much better in terms of features and community. Time goes on, and since Flickr was being acquired by them, Yahoo! had two redundant photo sharing services. And now, they have decided to close Yahoo! Photos since they will focus their efforts for the development of Flickr.

Yahoo! will officially close the service on 20 September 2007, and they give the option of moving the photos to another photo sharing service, download the original resolution photos back to our computers, or buy an archive CD containing all the photos. I chose the first option, and considering Flickr is currently also being managed by Yahoo!, I decided to move the photos to my Flickr account, which I have merged with my Yahoo! account quite some time ago.

It's quite easy to migrate, I just needed to login to my Yahoo! Photos site and chose Flickr to transfer my photo albums, and they will do the rest. They estimated that it will take up to a week for them to do so, however I found out that all my albums were being migrated in less my two days. All my Yahoo! Photos albums were conveniently being transformed into sets in Flickr, and being set as private so I can easily mark which albums I want to set public and which ones I want to keep private. Very convenient.

The only problem is that the number of sets for normal (free) Flickr account is limited to three. Because I moved my Yahoo! Photo albums to Flickr, they have generously gave me free 3 months of Pro account, which will expire on 28 September 2007, but I was wondering what will happen to my albums (read: sets) after the Pro account expires. I might need to extend the Pro account, which will cost me US$24.95 a year. Holy smokes! That's cheap! Or, is it? :) Considering that Multiply can give unlimited albums and photos for free? :)

Well, what I am doing now is to create a same tag for all the photos on the same albums, so I can still access my albums using tags. Hopefully this will help me to track the albums even after the Pro account is expired. Or, perhaps later someone might be kindly enough to give me a Flick Pro gift account, for free? Who knows... :) :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Asia Blogging Network

I'm back to Singapore after a very short (less than 2 weeks) holiday with my family in Jakarta. My Internet connection was very limited while I'm in Jakarta, since my family's house there does not have a dedicated Internet connection. I can use a dial-up connection to some Indonesian ISPs using my company's iPass Global Roaming account, however the network connectivity was terrible. Downloading e-mails from my server in Singapore can take forever.

The only thing I did quite regularly while I was in Indonesia is to blog at Kronologis, using my Dopod 818 Pro with a GPRS connection provided by XL, which has GRPS roaming agreement with my Singapore mobile provider, M1, at quite competitive prices. Therefore, I seldom update my blogs or check my e-mails during my trip to Jakarta. The only post I wrote while I was in Jakarta is a post on Rumah Indra to congratulate Kukuh for his wedding, and to congratulate Tyty and eRBe for the birth of their first daughter, Auriel.

I also would like to congratulate Budi Putra for the launch of Asia Blogging Network (ABN), the first Asian blogging network founded by Budi together with some of his fellow bloggers: Kuncoro Wastuwibowo, Harry Sufehmi, Ikhlasul Amal, Firman Firdaus, Rendy Maulana and Thomas Arie Setiawan. Some of big names in Indonesian blogosphere has also joined the network, such as Jennie S. Bev and Budi Rahardjo. They have many blogs, some use different domains, to cater for different specific topics, under the same one ABN umbrella.

Although the blog network is founded in Indonesia, it's quite obvious that ABN wants to reach out to bloggers in Asia, and based on its press release, Budi describes ABN as a "blog network from Indonesia for Asia". At the moment, they are currently inviting Indonesian bloggers to become their permanent writers, however, in the near future, it might be open for other Asian (non-Indonesian) writers as well.

I, myself, am actually interested in writing on and for ABN, however it seems that I'm not (yet?) really that passionate enough to write there. One of the requirements to become a permanent writer for ABN is to write regularly, minimum (typically) three times a week, a requirement which I think is quite difficult for me to fulfill. Well, consider this, I'm already feeling lucky enough if I can post on my blogs at least once a week. :)

Nevertheless, I really think the Asia Blogging Network is a great initiative from our fellow Indonesian bloggers, and I am looking forward to see the network to grow and reach out to not only Indonesian bloggers, but also to our fellow bloggers from other countries in Asia. Again, congratulations to Budi and friends for the launch of Asia Blogging Network. Keep up the good work.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

100% Smoke-free

To: manager of public places

Scientific research about the harms of second-hand tobacco smoke has been accumulating for over 20 years. There is no doubt that breathing second-hand tobacco smoke (SHS) is very dangerous to human health, causing cancer and many serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in children and adults, often leading to premature death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that there is no safe level of human exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, and the upcoming WHO policy recommendations on protection from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke clearly state that the establishment of 100% smoke-free areas is the only way to protect the public to such exposure and its consequences.

The right to clean air, free from tobacco-smoke is a human right.

Therefore, we ask you to defend and protect the health of employers, workers and the public by implementing the necessary legislation that will make all public indoor working places, including bars and restaurants 100% smoke-free. We think this is a critical step to protecting our health and that of our children.


Signed by

Indra Pramana

Related links:

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Bemonet Alumni and First Indonesian Bloggers

My friend Budi Putra, reputedly the first full-time Indonesian blogger, is currently doing a research on the history of first Indonesian bloggers. I agree with him that articles with regard to this matter are rarely found on the Internet, and I fully support his initiative and efforts in doing the research. I foresee that this will be quite a difficult task for him, but once the task is done, I believe the research results will be very much rewarding, not only for him, but also for us and the Indonesian blogosphere in general.

Currently, he's in the early stage of gathering all the necessary information. Some fruitful inputs and feedbacks have been received as comments on the article. Based on the inputs and feedbacks, it seems that the year 2000 is the start of the blogging era for Indonesia.

It was noted that some of the first Indonesian bloggers, such as Harry Sufehmi, Priyadi Iman Nurcahyo, T.A. Coen, Kukuh T. Wicaksono and Kuncoro Wastuwibowo are coming from the BemoNet community, a BBS community which I joined during the Indonesian BBS era in the 90's. The start of the Internet era marked the end of the BBS era in Indonesia, and the members of the community had to move on to use Internet as their communication media. Some of them used the mailing list, and some other used blogs.

T.A. Coen, the Bemonet coordinator, started a poliblog called Bemo Live, which I was one of the contributors. The first post of BemoLive was dated 7 April 2000. At that time, I already had a Blogger account even though I haven't started to blog, as yet. On the same year, Idban Secandri also started another poliblog called Blog Suka-Suka, and he was also very kind to add me as one of the contributors. The first post of Blog Suka-Suka was dated 23 August 2000.

At that time, Coen and Idban should have started their own blogs as well, so I believe we can safely say that they were some of the first Indonesian bloggers who has started blogging since early 2000. On top of that, some of the active contributors of the two poliblog sites, such as Kukuh and Kuncoro, can be considered as first Indonesian bloggers as well.

Again, I would like to emphasize that I have not started to actively blog at that time. At that time, I chose to use the bemo-batavia mailing list, setup by Heryudi Ganesha, to get in touch with other Bemonetters. I only started to blog on year 2004 (based on my first post on this blog), and only started to actively blog on year 2005, when I launched Rumah Indra and The Journey of Inka and Irza. Therefore, of course, I am NOT one of the first Indonesian bloggers I have mentioned above. :)

On a side note, the official domain of the Bemonet community,, is currently down at the moment. Couple of months back, I had a chat with Coen about the possibility of reactivating this domain and host the site in my facility, however so far there's no further updates on when can the domain be reactivated. Perhaps Coen or Priyadi can shed some light on the status of the domain? :)

Last but not least, I hope the above short article can help Budi in doing his research. Again, I fully support his efforts in doing this research and I am looking forward to see the results of the research. Good luck. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

New Look of Planet Indra

I encountered quite a lot of problems when I used the Blue Horizon theme for Planet Indra. The sidebar.php file is not really easy to modify, making it difficult for me to add some widget scripts there. For example, it's a bit difficult for me to add the scripts to show the Kronologis sideblog and Oggix shoutbox there. Well, I can still add the widgets there, but the whole sidebar layout will become very messy. My friend JaF even told me that he always sees the sidebar dangling (is dangling the correct word for "melorot" in English?), using either Firefox or Internet Explorer.

In view of this, I decided to give a new look for Planet Indra. After searching and testing various WordPress themes, I decided to use the Golden Grey theme, by William Pramana. Well, of course it's not because William is sharing the same last name as I am :) , but because I really like the layout design. And, the most important thing, it's much easier to modify the sidebar.php file to insert the necessary gadgets that I want. The Kronologis box also fits nicely in the sidebar, resolving the dangling problem.

Both JaF and Rani introduced Twitter to me, which has features similar to what Kronologis offers. I have signed up for an account there, but so far I haven't been fully making use of it. At the moment, I'm quite happy to use Kronologis for my sideblog, and so far I haven't had a plan to switch. :) Well, I might want to use Twitter for my sideblog in English, since currently I'm using bahasa Indonesia for my Kronologis sideblog. We'll see. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Syndication Problem Resolved, Aggregators Now Showing Full Articles

At last, I have managed to find a workaround to the syndication problem on my aggregation sites such as Planet Indra and Planet Singapura, thanks to Alarix and Isman. As reported earlier, the syndication sites, which are actually Wordpress engine using FeedWordPress plugin, were only showing the titles (instead of the full articles) of articles being syndicated from Blogger-based weblogs, especially after the blogs were being upgraded to the new Blogger.

A discussion on a Blogfam forum's thread revealed that one of Blogfam's system administrators, Alarix, encountered the same problem when he's launching Rumah Blogfam, an aggregator site for Blogfam's members, which happens to also use FeedWordPress. Another Blogfam member, Isman, also looked into this matter and he managed to find out that the problem was due to the incompatibility between FeedWordPress and the Atom feed published by the Blogger-based weblogs.

He suggested to use the RSS 2.0 feed published by Blogspot to be used as the feed source, instead of the Atom feed. The URL format of the RSS 2.0 feed in weblogs under Blogspot (after being upgraded to the new Blogger) is:


On top of that, he also suggested to use FeedBurner to burn the feed source, instead of syndicating the feed source directly, similar to what Fatih has suggested to me earlier.

So, these are the steps of workaround I've performed:
  1. Use FeedBurner to burn the above RSS 2.0 feed (instead of the Atom feed);
  2. Configure my FeedWordPress to syndicate the Feedburner feed address, i.e.; and
  3. Upgrade my FeedWordPress to the latest version 0.981.
And, voila, the above steps resolved the problem. You can see the results on the new posts being syndicated by Planet Indra and Planet Singapura, it's now showing the full articles instead of the titles only.

Again, thanks to Isman, Alarix and Fatih for all the hints and suggestions. Really appreciate it. :)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Coffee Club

Last Friday (13 April 2007), I and my wife went to The Coffee Club, which is located on the third floor of the bright and airy Raffles City Shopping Centre, which is located just above the City Hall MRT station, Singapore.

The Coffee Club itself is a chain of coffee shops located throughout Singapore, similar to Starbucks and The Coffee Bean. However, usually we don't go to Coffee Club for the coffee. Our (especially my wife's) favourite is the fresh fruit fondue, some fresh fruits such as strawberries, mangoes, kiwis and bananas served with hot thick chocolate.

I also ordered the muddy mud pie, which is actually ice cream cake served on top of oreo-based cake layer. The only drink we ordered was the ice rambutan, which is much similar to Al-Azhar's rambutan spin.

More pictures can be found here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Quicklink: A Jakarta-Bandung Travelogue

(Pictures taken from the article)

A nice travelogue written by a Malaysian friend on his trip to Jakarta and Bandung, last month. Rush Murad is a Malaysian blogger based in Sarawak, and the travelogue is written in Malay. I really enjoy reading it. He also put some nice photos in the article.

Quite unfortunately, he was involved in an accident while the car he was taking had the brakes failed once cruising down the steep slope of Mount Tangkuban Perahu, north of Bandung. Thank God, he is safe and sound, albeit a small injury.

You can read the travelogue here.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

APRICOT 2007 Officially Opened Yesterday

Even though the workshop and tutorial of APRICOT 2007 in Bali has been starting since mid of last week, the conference was only officially opened yesterday (Tuesday, 27 February 2007). The conference was officially opened by Mr. Sofyan Djalil, the Minister of Communication and Information Technology of the Republic of Indonesia, after the opening speeches given by Ms. Sylvia Sumarlin, the chairman of APJII, the Indonesian Internet Service Provider Association, and Mr. Gaurab Uphadaya, the chairman of APIA. APJII and APIA are two out of several organisations which support the APRICOT 2007 event.

Yesterday morning, I attended the BGP Deployment and Best Practices tutorial, conducted by Philip Smith. During lunch time yesterday, I had the chance to meet Mr. Sanjaya, one of APJII's activists who is now working for APNIC, and Mr. Roy Rahajasa Yamin, my ex-boss in RADNET. During the plenary session, I also met Mr. Yulianus, the network administrator of Indosat, one of the leading ISPs in Indonesia.

Yesterday night, I attended the APRICOT Opening Social Event, which is held at the Westin Poolside. I met some friends from Starhub and Equinix, Singapore. I also met Mr. Toto Santoso, the administrator of Ipteknet/BPPT and also previously the administrator for the second level domain. We discussed almost anything reminiscing and Bill Fridini also joined the discussion. It was fun.

Today (Wednesday, 28 February 2007) morning, I attended the second phase of the APRICOT plenary sessions at the auditorium, with some interesting presentations, such as the new 4-byte (32-bit) AS number testing by Geoff Huston, and bogon filters discussion by Randy Bush. During lunch time, I met Judhi Prasetyo, one of my friends in Singapore. His company, FortiNet, is having a booth here in APRICOT 2007 and is one of the sponsors for the event. He also introduced me to Valens Riyadi, one of APRICOT's organising committee members.

I'm now writing this article from the Nusantara 2 Room, attending the IX SIG, chaired by Philip Smith. There are some interesting presentations, one of them is regarding the new 100 Gigabit Ethernet technology, by Greg Hankins from IEEE. Currently, there's also a presentation regarding Euro-IX, which is actually a European IXP association, and *not* a European IX point by itself. Very interesting. This might be due to the fact that there are many (and not only one) IX points in Europe.

I won't post any more pictures here, you can go to my Flickr site if you want to see photos during the event. Specifically, these are the locations of the photos during my first day in APRICOT 2007 (26 February 2007) and during my second day (27 February 2007) here. I haven't uploaded any photos from today's events, will do soon, please watch out for them here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

First day at APRICOT 2007

Although today (Monday, 26 February 2007) is my first day at this APRICOT 2007 conference, it's actually already the sixth day of the conference, since I skipped the workshop and some of the meetings which are not related to my organisation. This conference is being held at the Bali International Convention Centre, which is quite a good, world class convention centre, similar to the Suntec City Convention Centre in Singapore. It's located within the complex of Westin Resort hotel, about 5-10 minutes from Melia Bali Hotel where I'm staying. There's a shuttle bus ferrying all the delegates from hotel to the conference venue.

Earlier, during lunch session, I met Mauldi Wirastomo and Bill Fridini, both are my old friends from APJII. They are now very busy since they are in-charge of the network providing Internet access to all the delegates. I also had the chance to meet Ahmad Alkazimy, one of APJII's key technical staff whom I previously only knew from his e-mails in some mailing lists. I also met Deny Kurniawan and I Nyoman Tusta, two of my old friends from RADNET Surabaya.

There are some tutorials which we can choose to attend, based on their streams. For today, I attended the Introduction to IPv6 tutorial by Jordi Palet Martinez, and IPv6 Deployment tutorial by Salaman Asadullah. There's free Internet access provided through wi-fi (wireless) networks, and power plugs are also available in the tables, so we can use our laptop and access the Internet while attending the tutorials. Unfortunately, the Internet access is a bit slow, although, according to Mauldi, there's more than 28 Mbps of bandwidth available. I guess it might be due to more people are using the network this week compared to last week.

More pictures during the event can be found here.

[Indonesian version]

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Happy Lunar New Year

For those of you who celebrate Lunar New Year, I wish everyone of you a very happy and prosperous new year ahead. Xīnnián kuàilè, Gōngxǐ fācái. And, don't forget the red packets... :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

APRICOT 2007 in Bali

The APRICOT conference, which stands for "Asia Pacific Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies", is the place where all network geeks from Asia Pacific, if not the whole world, gather to discuss about new technology in the Internet and IT fields, especially on the network area. The event consists of workshops, tutorials, conference sessions and some other forums as well. We can say that APRICOT is the Asia Pacific version of North America's NANOG. For this year, the APRICOT 2007 will be held at Bali International Convention Centre, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. It will be hosted by APJII, the Indonesian Internet Service Provider Association.

The last time I attended APRICOT was six years ago, during the APRICOT 2001 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Since then, I never attended the next APRICOT events, until this year, my company has agreed to send me to attend the APRICOT 2007 in Bali, thank God. I will be going to Bali on Saturday, 24th of February 2007, and will be back to Singapore on 3rd of March 2007. I will attend the tutorial, conference sessions and the APNIC member meeting.

I'm glad that I'll be meeting quite a lot of friends there, including some of my friends from APJII and my ex-colleagues in RADNET. I took a glance at the event's organizing committee here and saw some familiar names, including Mauldi Wirastomo and Hammam Riza, two of my ex-bosses while I was in RADNET last time. :) For those of you who will be going to attend APRICOT 2007 as well, just drop me a note, in case we can meet up there and have a chat. Looking forward to see you guys in Bali! :) :)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Inka and Irza's New Look

My blogger friend Tata, who is currently in Switzerland but is having a plan to migrate to Singapore soon with his family, informed me that his computer always hung after viewing the main page of The Journey of Inka and Irza. I tried to replicate the problem, and yes, I also encountered the same problem. My Mozilla Firefox hung after trying to load the page for some time, not too sure why. Many thanks Tata for the feedback. :)

To be frank, firstly I didn't really much bother since the blog itself is already in hiatus mode for quite some time. In the past couple of months, I prefer to write stories about Inka and Irza in the photo section of my Multiply site, together with all the photos, while the Indonesian versions of the stories are usually posted in Rumah Indra. So, I didn't update that blog too often. However, writing articles (with all the hyperlinks etc) on a photo blog is quite inconvenient, especially since you would need to add the hyperlink tags manually. So, I've decided that I would want to use back The Journey of Inka and Irza for me to write stories about my kids and family, in English. Furthermore, I have configured my Multiply site to import all my articles from all my blogs under my Blogger account, including The Journey of Inka and Irza and Rumah Indra.

Before I start using it, I need to fix the problem first. Since I suspect that the problem might be due to the template, a quick and clean way to resolve the problem might be using a new template altogether. So, I backed up my previous template, and then I picked up a new template and at the same time, upgraded the template so I can use Blogger's new template layout tools, since I've already upgraded the blog to the new Blogger.

So, the problem is now fixed. You should not have any issues accessing The Journey of Inka and Irza blog site again, and I'm ready to post future articles about stories of Inka and Irza there again. Stay tuned! :)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Zabrina and Joe Jer Win the Amazing Race Asia

Amazing! As I have predicted earlier, my favourite team, the Malaysians Zabrina and Joe Jer, have won the first session of the Amazing Race Asia, with a narrow lead from the second team to arrive at the pit stop, Sandy and Fransesca. The race ended at Bako National Park (misspelled as "Baku National Park" by the show's producer), which is about 37 km north of the city of Kuching, in Sarawak, Malaysia.

The other Malaysian team, Andrew and Syeon, was actually the first who finished the "building the bench" detour at Kuching's Old Courthouse, but got lost when finding their way to the Sarawak Cultural Village, making them the third team to arrive at the finish line. One member of the teams had to take up treetop challenge in Permai Rainforest Resort, before setting off to the beach and took the speedboat to Bako National Park. Zabrina finished this treetop challenge very well, making her team to be the first to arrive at the finish line. Congratulations!

How about the Indonesian team, Marsio and Mardy? Well, contrary to my prediction earlier, they were actually on the fourth place, after becoming the last team to be eliminated from the race, during the leg in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Not bad at all, actually, and the fact that they can achieve the fourth place is simply amazing and beyond almost everyone's expectations. My sincere congratulations to them as well. :)

Overall, I really enjoyed watching the show, and I am really looking forward for the second season of the Amazing Race Asia. Good work, AXN Asia!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Syndication Problem after Upgrading to New Blogger

For some reason, my syndication sites such as Planet Singapura or Planet Indra are now only showing the titles of all my posts on my Blogger-based weblogs, such as Rumah Indra and Info, instead of the full articles. Not too sure why. The problem started immediately after I upgraded my Blogger-based to new Blogger.

I have checked my Blogger settings and it's confirmed that the blogs are being configured with full RSS feeds. I even tried to browse the RSS feed manually to ensure that full feed is shown. I also have checked the syndication options on the FeedWordPress-based syndication sites, and confirmed that it should extract the full article from the feeds. Why only the titles are being shown on the syndication sites?

Anyone has a clue? :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Upgraded to New Blogger

At last, I finally saw the long awaited option on my Blogger dashboard for me to switch to the new Blogger, which is already out of Beta (see left picture). The option appears on top of my usual Blogger dashboard when I logged in to the dashboard today. This is a great surprise to me, since I have actually tried to switch just several days ago, and it was not successful. I believe this was because my Blogger account is also a contributor of the Bemo Live and Suka Suka Gue blogs, preventing me from switching to the new Blogger account. It seems that now, Blogger has managed to give me the option to upgrade all my blogs separately from the two blogs which are still on the old version of Blogger.

Having said that, I immediately chose to switch to the new Blogger. First, I needed to confirm my sign-in by signing in using my old Blogger account (see right picture). After signing in, I am given the list of all my blogs, which are going to be upgraded (see below picture). It was mentioned that the two blogs I have mentioned above are owned by someone else, and although I will still be able to post to those blogs after upgrade, but the blogs won't have the new feature until the owners upgrade them.

After pressing "Continue", the screen would prompt me to choose a Google account (see right picture). I could either use my own Google account if I have one, or create a new one. Since I already had a Google account, I just needed to key in my Google account and password. After signing in, the upgrade process will start, and depends on the number of blogs and how big they are, it may take several minutes. Once done, an email will be sent to our Gmail e-mail account.

So, here this is, my first post on the new Blogger version. Haven't really explore the new features yet, though. One of the obvious features I can see, which I think would be very useful, is the labels tagging, which can be used for me to categorise all my next articles. Well, let's see how it goes after I post this article. :)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wireless@SG Coverage in Singapore

As some of us in Singapore might have known, the Singapore government has launched the Wireless@SG programme, a project to create wireless network across public areas in Singapore. It was launched on 1st December 2006, one month ahead of its intended launch schedule on 1st January 2007. The Singapore government, particularly the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), has decided that the two-year period for users to enjoy the wireless services for free will be extended to three years.

However, I noticed that at the moment, the coverage of the wireless service is not as good as what was being announced. For example, my two favourite eating places, Al-Ameen and Al-Azhar, which are located at the heart of the Bukit Timah area, is not yet covered. I also tried to search for the Wireless@SG SSID when I was in VivoCity couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't find it on the list as well. I thought the Wireless@SG should cover most of public places within the CBD and in all town centres across Singapore?

Perhaps IDA should closely monitor the deployment of the wireless services by all the three operators (iCell, QMax and SingTel) to ensure that they deploy the wireless services up to the required standards, especially with regards to the coverage. Well, now I can understand Pak Budi's frustration when he said that it's very difficult to find free wireless hotspots when he visited Singapore, just a week ago.