6/11/2005
seeing the world in monochrome vermillion

If you wanna see this page properly, you simply have to use an alternative browser. Yes, I know the majority of the visitors to this blog uses IE6, but I simply cannot compromise between making the site look the way I want it and making the site look good in IE6. Beyond what I've done so far. And you can still read it just fine using IE6 if you select from the menu 'view\text size\smaller' (just like most web sites circa late '90-ish). And you can read it just fine anyway if you don't.

And yes its still spaghetti code. But its my spaghetti code.

If I remember correctly, I switched to Mozilla in the first place was because I encountered Eric Meyer's css/Edge, and I was curious how Mr. Meyer's experiments would look in a CSS 2 compliant browser.  Not the security. Not the tabs. Neither the extensions nor the themes.

I just wanted to see CSS magic.

Sure a lot of the stuff CSS makes possible can be replicated using Java and/or Javascript and stuff, but CSS is simpler, and you don't have to download another plugin (which still slows down browsing even in Firefox), and IE6 already support some CSS tags; a good proportion of CSS1 actually (though not all of it), in addition to a few CSS2 properties.

If only everyone would use a good CSS-compliant browser. Even if IE7 does come out with full CSS2 support, it wouldn't bring CSS2 to the masses because only users of Windows XP would be able to download it. And that's if you want to download it at all. IIRC the downloadable IE6 was about 30 megs. I'm having trouble convincing people to download Firefox at 4.6 megs. While a lot more would rather buy a cracked copy of Opera for ¢50 at our campus' pirate-CD shop. And no, they wouldn't  download the gratis ad-supported version because it would cost more to download it from a Warnet or a home dial-up account.

Unmetered telecommunications. England's CUT. Yeah, bandwidht cost money but...

A friend of mine just told me yesterday that he was buying a car. Wow. Well yeah he's crediting it but I mean even the down payment is like Rp 40 mil (that's roughly about... mmm let me get the calculator... hmm... US$ 4000). Four Grand. Wow.

He's younger than me. I mean, its not the material wealth that I envy, its his achievement. He's a couple of years younger than me, and sure he's been working longer than me since he graduated much, much earlier, but we went to college the same year. I'm in his class. And he's got a job. And it pays well.

He's not dependent on his family. He doesn't get sad eyes from his mom. He doesn't pretend that all Mom's snide-and-sad remarks about his not working doesn't bother him. He doesn't pretend that neighbor's and cousin's comments around him about being unemployed doesn't bother him. He doesn't pretend that he doesn't care whether his brother has taken away his modem because of how big his phone bill is, which his brother is paying for.

He doesn't have to pretend to be idealistically avoiding a 9-to-5 for freedom when in reality he just let so_many_job_offers slip by. He doesn't pretend that he's not getting enough freelancing clients when he really has trouble maintaining a steady one because of all the deadlines he misses.

He doesn't pretend that he's feeling fine or he's feeling terrible when he really doesn't know how he feels. Or how he should feel.

I'm not feeling that bad, at least I don't think so. I suppose I'm fine, but I'm not sure.

I should be worried I mean... I don't live in a vacuum you know like my sister's graduating high school this year and she's going to college and my brother as successful as he is is not gonna be able to send her to college on his own...

I hate ranting. I hate it when all I can do is complain, point fingers, at myself too, type, dream, sleep, do a rock impression, break my fucking keyboard....

And hear his my brother coughing, clearing his throat, from his room... He's saying 'go to sleep you fucking moron' but he doesn't even realize it.

---

Don't you just love how low the quality of my writing has gone?

Self-actualization is the root of all evil.

Or is it envy?

Sloth?

Low self-esteem?

Self-actualization?

(haven't I said that already?)

(can I have another guess?)

(best of two?)

---

A friend just called and he gave me a glimpse of the proletariat life. Its like what those socialist left-wing guys always says in campus, no matter how much you're paid you're still a worker (buruh -ed.).

I don't really mind my brother. He's earned the right to complain. I mean, he's footing the phone bill.

Reds and vermilions. Personally I love how my link color scheme creates this rainbow of monochrome vermilions.


Posted at 9:37:53 pm by ferdikom98
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6/8/2005
0.6

  • Do you know Kimya Dawson? Well, you should get to know her if you're Indonesian and/or Acehnese. You might like listening to her song '12 26.' (look in the MP3 section)
  • Got word of her from Salon Music. Salon's music section offers daily downloads of freely available MP3s from the net. Occasionally under a CC license, but not always. You gotta pass through a short web-mercial to get a Salon day-pass, but its unintrusive enough in my book.
  • CNet and the Wall Street Journal is backing it, and now Ars Technica confirms that Apple is switching to Intel Processors
  • They've previously used Power PC processors (now known as POWER; jointly developed by IBM, Motorolla, and others), and before that Motorola's venerable 6800-series. Apple's Wikipedia article has more to say and is updated as we speak.
  • There's a rumor that the Nintendo Revolution would be made so that it would run anyone's code. Most console games would only run code that's approved by the console's maker. Most notably since the days of SNES and Sega Genesis/Megadrive, through the use of (albeit easily cracker-crackable) 32-bit encryption and digital signatures. [From Boing Boing]
  • And I got word from a source that some of devianART's founders are actually from Bandung. Can anyone confirm this?
  • Last week's pirate-software bust on warnets along Margonda road (and supposed previous busts at Bandung) makes me think of the IGOS initiative, supposedly initiated by the ministry of communication and information in cooperation with some local Open-Source activists. There was a good article about in in Kompas's monday infotech column, hold on a minute while I look for an online link....
  • I've still got no word on my Nokia 6585 + Starone bundle, so I'm not gonna be netting from home anytime soon. So sorry for the slow response for everyone trying to contact me.

Hey! Did I mention that Padi's new album is featured in this month's Carrefour mail? Its only Rp 32 grand (that's about US$ 3)! That's the kind of prices CDs should be sold at. (but only if Padi themselves get fair compensation though, so...) The songs are great, especially the collaboration with violinist Idris Sardi, "Masih Tetap Tersenyum"; really cool, mellow yet happy-go-lucky cheerful. I like the life-philosophy theme Padi's pimping (which they got from Idris Sardi supposedly).

Oh! I posted a new sketch on my Deviant Art deviantART. In the scraps section. Entitled 'girl drinking soft drink.'

Anyway, where was I?

Yeah, of course I was gonna talk about this new template of mine you're seeing here. Its not finished yet, though. There's still some cleaning-up to do, most notably concerning the sidebar and its contents. As it states in the disclaimer (which is now positioned at the very bottom of the template), I (try to) use web standards here on my blog. If you've got Firefox and you turn off page styles (which you can also do with Opera, Konqueror, or most any other standards-compliant browser aside from IE), this blog of mine would remain readable complete with section headers in <h1> and stuffs (stuffs being semantic HTML markup). Which means people that have browsers that don't support teh all-new whiz-bang pretties can read it just fine, including (hopefully) blind people using screen-readers (or yuppie wifi-broadband palmtop users with bluetooth headsets driving on the way to work using screen readers).

And the thing is this template still looks great at 1024x768 (I was optimizing for high resolutions), but kinda breaks at resolutions below 800x600 pixels (though not too much, hopefully). At low resolutions the sidebar overlaps the main area a bit. But interestingly enough (for me at least) when you shrink the browser window small enough the main content floats above the sidebar, mimicking the document structure had CSS styles been turned off from the browser. For those technically inclined, I floated the main content div to the right while giving it a relative width, about 68% to be exact. Quirky but still manageable. I think. It still looks fine at 1024x768 and above. But there is this thing though, unrelated to the main div thing... it appears that background images are limited to 1024 pixels wide, both in Firefox and MSIE. So if you're viewing this at very high resolution you'll start to see the background image repeating to the left.

Oh and I'd also suggest IE6 users to set text size to smaller. Blogspot blogs set the default text-size to x-small while Blogdrive blogs set it to 8 points thus making the text small enough to comfortably read using IE6, but it makes the text just a bit too small for non-IE browsers especially on GNU-Linux. This happens both when the default text-size is set to 8 points and x-small, but its more pronounced when it's set to 8 points. So I've set the default font size to small instead. Yes, the resulting text size is less consistent than if I had used point size, but it looks better in the browsers I use, which includes Darmanet's Firefox on Fedora Core 3. If you don't want to set the text-size to small that's fine too, since it'd still remain readable enough.

Its quite a long time in the making. I think I began actual hand-coding around January. I had decided to avoid Dreamweaver and other HTML editors because they all tend to automagically create spaghetti code (which works, but is still spaghetti code). You'd open the HTML in Notepad (or [insert your favorite plaintext editor of choice here]) and you just can't seem to fathom the structure of the damn thing. It was an aesthetic thing. But when I tried to wrestle CSS using the Web Design Group's primer, divs floats and positional conventions conspire me to rip my head off. Though I did manage to get the basics of text formatting. It wasn't until I managed to get a hold of a pirated copy of O'Reilly's Web Design Bookshelf CD (bundled in a single-cd along with most of the other Bookshelves), and my brother took away the modem (so that I can't procrastinate online burning precious money), and I finished both Chronicles of Riddick and Second Sight, that I began to code again. That was about a week ago, and here's the result so far. I still haven't played my copy of DDR 4th Mix for the PC, though. Haven't had time (or the proper inclination) to buy myself a cheap PC-compatible DDR dance pad (this particular fatso could really use some exercise).

I also mentioned below at my disclaimer that my blog doesn't use table for layout. (or at least I try not to). Why not? It all boils down to accessibility (exemplified above) and semantic HTML correctnes (for future compatibility, etc). I'd elaborate more but I don't feel like it right now, besides there are others that have done the explaining before. First off the top of my head would be Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the WWW, not the Internet (as he would say, and he has more to say in his FAQ). His essay Web Architecture from 50,000 feet is more elaborate on this semantic-thingy, but it is very wordy and might be a bit harder to swallow. And there's also Eric Meyer, Dave Shea, the folks at A List Apart, Dave Winer, etc. (and Kottke too, I guess) that would argue to the side of design aesthetics and efficiency.

I had thought about playing some more with fixed-position div backgrounds, but unfortunately IE6 doesn't support fixed-position CSS backgrounds for any element other than background. IE6 supports CSS backgrounds for a lot of other box-level elements, but you just can't make its position fixed. I sure hope IE7's improved CSS support comes soon. Or the world gets taken over by alternative browsers.

A saner approach I guess would be to combine table-based HTML sectioning with CSS-based margin-padding-position-borderstuffs; moving divs around using CSS is still a bit too hairy for my taste; what with all the float and positioning and margin-padding hacks involved. I still await CSS 3's multicolumn property and its in-CSS box modelling. Tables should be used only for tabular data, I agree, but right now as it is CSS 2's box-float-and-positioning-model taxes my feeble mind still. Major respect for pro GD-web designers that code XHTML-CSS by hand. My brain is still slightly haemmoraging. And they're really designers by trade. And most often also by education. Not programmers.

I was gonna try to make the template validate, at least, but I haven't even managed that. And I also thought it would be pointless, since all the extra stuffs Blogdrive (no offense, Helpee), Haloscan, Statcounter, etc. put into this blog (see, you're not the only one Helpee :p) would invalidate the page anyway. Its not that Helpee's XML scheme for blogdrive's blog generation is complex, but its more that XHTML itself is complex. As O'Reilly's books would often say, this is where the age of machine-generated HTML begins. But I guess with careful typing and logic, its still somewhat manageable to code XHTML by hand. Very carefully. And Helpee, I do like the extra stuffs you're giving us. Very much. Thank you.

And 'No, if you're looking to create a frameless framelike CSS layout using fixed-position divs, there's an interesting example layout from W3C's CSS recommendation page. Specifically at section 9.6.1, Fixed positioning. Don't know exactly where it is online though, since I use the downloadable zipped version.

I could go on, but I think I should cut my half-assed technobabble. Especially since I'm not too familiar with it. Yet.

So here it is. mind-Dumpster, v0.6 beta.

(permanent-beta perhaps? I mean, I'm not moving to my own server to run Wordpress or MT anytime soon, now am I?)

As you pushed them all away,
you make them all return.

This one was overcome,
yet you lost in the end.

And now you
are on your way.

And you
are on your way.

-- The Album Leaf - On Your Way


Posted at 8:46:28 pm by ferdikom98
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6/3/2005
whatever-things

Hang in there kids, I'm still cookin' in the kitchen. Meanwhile I've added a few tidbits to my Deviant Art.

And as an appetizer: I'm fine thank you. On how I'm doing, as I've mentioned on my tagboard my brother has taken away the modem again. Which as usual means the phone bill had gone nuclear again. Its kinda hard for me to blog without a net connection since I have a habit of crosschecking this and that every once in a while, and I'm constantly remided of something else I've read somewhere or such. And then there's the problem of my taking my blogging too seriously again. And also of refraining to blog simply because I thought someone else have said what I said and said it better, and other symptoms of blogging burnout. Kudos to Mr. Pierce; this is supposed to be my mind-Dumpster; I get to write anything here without caring a whit if it measures up to anyone's editorial standard. So there.

And a few words to friends:

Buat Meita dan Anash: kayanya lebih efektif kalo kalian Y!M-an aja deh atau email-emailan langsung; ngobrolnya bisa lebih panjang lebar dan dalam :p (Dan just to be clear kalo kalian masih mau ketemu via chatboard gue sih gue monggo-monggo aja; I don't mind). Dan lagi buat Anash: foto-fotonya bagus, applet-applet flash-nya lucu, thx. WePe, lol :)) Bilang-bilang ye kalo homepage-lu lu update lagi. Atau kalo lu bikin blog baru. Atau kalo lu udah tinggal diwisuda :). 'No, bilang-bilang ya kalo ada rencana mo ke kampus; I'm sure you can still salvage your S1-Reguler. (And don't forget that I can still help you professionally :p). Btw blog-nya si Anjing Balap di mana yah? Sayed: tabah yah (dalam konteks penggrebegan software bajakan di warnet); pake Fedora Core 3 aja, toko CD di samping stasiun UI jual koq. Atau pake Mandriva 2005 special edition, di kios deket Lambir pernah gue liat kayanya. DarmaNet sekarang pake FC1 FC3 (ternyata, tapi gosipnya mereka pengen beli XP asli buat semua kompienya), dan sekilas terasa lebih kenceng. Oh, juga jangan sampai lupa, gutlak buat Papabear Tedskih dan Mbah Hajir yang akan segera sidang skripsi...

Here's hoping that I'll get my Nokia 6585 + Starone Flatrate GPRS soon. Forumponsel r0x0rz!!!

I'm gonna write more whatever-things on my next post.


Posted at 11:37:38 pm by ferdikom98
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5/22/2005
mainstream media bullshit alert

We interrupt this programming to report on the misrepresentations and agenda setting activities of mainstream media to quash yet another threat to their capital oligarchy. It is too fucking nuts to believe that Reuters would publish this shit. Details from Lessig.

It is oh so convenient for the owners of our memetic proceses to bend the flock to their will. I urge us that still care for cultural freedom to wake up. Yes, this is reactionary. And mainstream media's reactionary actions does not justify my overreaction. But me personally I see this as an act of memetic war. As far as I can see it whichever side wrestles public opinion wins.


Posted at 10:40:52 pm by ferdikom98
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5/19/2005
'nostalgia' 'gerakan' mahasiswa

Oh and did I mention that I have a Deviant Art account? Its at lemi4.deviantart.com.

Anyway inspired by Mei's post on the seventh year anniversary of Former President Soeharto's resignation, I've (semi-) randomly decided to post this letter I made some years ago. With a little bit of proofreading. Yes, its in Indonesian. No, I won't translate it. Yes, I'll put it in my Indonesian language blog (someday). (And how many of you would protest anyway?)

From: "ferdikom98" <ferdi@p...>
To: fisip@yahoogroups.com
Date: Sun Jan 26, 2003 1:00 am
Subject: 'Nostalgia' 'gerakan' mahasiswa

Dulu pas gue baru masuk tahun '98, gue inget waktu itu lagi anget-angetnya gerakan mahasiswa di UI. Suharto baru turun, Wiranto lagi sering-seringnya disetan-setanin, Habibie makin menjadi-jadi tampang anehnya (bahkan memulai tren berpelukan jauh sebelum Teletubbies masuk Indonesia), dan Keluarga Besar UI alias KBUI lagi banyak-banyaknya kegiatan dan anggotanya. Belum lagi FAM-UI, Forkot, Famred, LMND, dan apa lagi lah.

Waktu gue ikut PPKBM FISIP begitu banyak 'pengetahuan' baru yang gue dapet, soal 'kehidupan buruh', soal Senat Mahasiswa UI dan 'ulah' si Rama (ketua Senat waktu itu), soal kehidupan mahasiswa FISIP, soal Neo-Liberalisme, soal Marxisme / Leninisme, soal Sosialisme, soal 'mahasiswa adalah rakyat'. Gue begitu 'kagum' dan 'terpesona' sampe-sampe gue hampir bisa disuruh 'perang' buat apa aja (hampir), asal ada embel-embel 'rakyat'-nya.

Gue inget 'kerusuhan' OPT pusat 1998. Gue inget yang di dalam Balairung bilang nyebut yang di luar Balairung adalah 'perusuh-perusuh kacau tanpa kendali', gue inget yang di luar Balairung ngomong yang di dalem 'tidak melakukan apapun tapi mengambil kredit'. Dan abis upacara wisuda beberapa hari kemudian, gue lupa diajak siapa tapi tau-tau udah nongkrong di lantai satu kost-an Ripi, di Barel Hukum, ngomongin soal apaan gue udah lupa sama sekali.

Gue inget long-march dari Salemba menuju DPR/MPR Senayan, sehari sesudah si Anas nabrakin mobilnya ke sejumlah tentara di Jalan Diponegoro. Dari jam 12 siang sampe enam sore, berdiri, duduk, ngedengerin orasi sampai mulai sepi jam 2 malam. Gue inget ketemu seorang senior, dan berbicara dengan dia dengan 'suara kecil', karena hukuman beberapa hari sebelumnya, entah karena kesalahan apa, yang jelas ada hubungannya dengan PraSar Kom. Gue inget tidur di lapangan parkir Atma Jaya sampe jam 2 malam, pas tiba-tiba anak-anak bilang ada beberapa bis gratisan yang menuju Depok.

Gue inget nongkrong di sebuah rumah yang katanya rumah Ratna Sarumpaet, ngobrol dengan orang-orang yang katanya dari beberapa universitas di Jabotabek, beberapa seniman, dan anak-anak PRD. Gue inget balik ke kampus jam 2 atau 3 malem, rame-rame nyarter Mikrolet ampe Depok.

Gue inget nyokap gue nangis pas gue nyampe rumah, berulang kali nanya 'kamu nggak apa-apa nak?' Gue inget ngerasa bingung, kok nyokap gue ngerasa kayak gue abis selamat dari bencana apaan 'dah?

Gue inget 'kafe tenda' KBUI, di samping stasiun UI. Gue inget nongkrong abis kuliah, ngobrol sembarang ngobrol mengenai apa aja: TimTim, Golkar, buruh, komunisme, gerakan mahasiswa, Beatles, BoyBand, VW Combi, Bali, model jins BootCut, apa aja. Gue inget 'kumpul tani '98.' Gue inget hujan deras di lapangan bola FISIP, di mana ada tenda yang di bawahnya berteduh puluhan petani dari 'berbagai penjuru Indonesia'.

Gue inget di akhir semester itu IP gue 0,8. Gue inget perasaan lemes gue pas untuk pertama kalinya dalam hidup gue ngeliat apa itu yang namanya DNS alias Daftar Nilai Siswa. Sekarang IPS gue 0,43 aja gue nggak bergeming, malahan jadi bahan candaan (IPK gue masih 2,12 sih, dan SKS gue udah 120, jadi nggak di-DO :)

Gue inget jalan sore, pas tahun '99 atau 2000 yah? Naik Feroza-nya Nicolo, niatnya pengen ke Atma tapi karena terblokir akhirnya nongkrong di YLBHI Salemba sampe jam 12 malam. Padahal gue sendiri niatnya waktu itu sekedar nebeng pulang, gara-gara cuma sedikit bis umum yang beroperasi. Gue inget besoknya nonton berita di RCTI si Yun Hap mati ditembak. Gue inget abang gue ngomong kalo dulu dia tuh temen SMA-nya.

Gue inget berita-berita di media. Gerakan mahasiswa ditunggangi. Gue inget paman gue, abangnya bokap gue, berulang kali ngomong, 'Jangan Demo! Mahasiswa sudah nggak murni!' Gue inget merasa panas waktu itu, entah kenapa. Padahal gue udah nggak pernah ikutan lagi.

Sekarang hampir lima tahun udah lewat. Sejak itu presiden udah tiga kali ganti. Harga masih terus melambung (walaupun harus diakui masih sedikit agak lebih pelan), persentase rakyat miskin bertambah. Elit politik berebutan kursi dan saling menjatuhkan. Isu Indosat, surat R&D, Ali Imron & Anshori. Sementara banyak EsMud bilang, Indonesia mulai pulih, pekerjaan bergaji tinggi mulai banyak, kesempatan-kesempatan mulai kelihatan. Pemerintahan Megawati mulai berkurang legitimasinya, kepercayaan rakyat akan kemampuannya memperbaiki keadaan negara menurun, dan kayaknya kemungkinan dia dijatuhin lagi ala Gus Dur udah mulai keliatan. Paling abis ini siapa gitu, mungkin Amien Rais ngecalonin dirinya, mungkin menang, dan kalaupun begitu paling yang lain juga bakal ikut-ikutan ngegoyang dia, and the cycle goes on.

Cak Nur pernah bilang di Kompas, gue lupa Kompas kapan tapi yah sama ajalah kapan dia ngomong dan dalam acara apa, konteksnya tetap dalam keadaan Indonesia pasca Orba, bahwa negara kita terlalu banyak politisi dan kekurangan negarawan. Gue sih belum pernah merasa ketemu sama yang namanya negarawan Indonesia, kalo pengertiannya seseorang yang peduli sama negara dan melakukan sesuatu yang konkrit dan berdampak sosial-politis yang konkrit pula.

Pas gue ikut demo-demo '98, kayaknya bukan Indonesia seperti ini deh yang gue bayangin. Bahkan kalo gue pikirin lebih dalem lagi, gue kayaknya nggak terlalu kebayang juga Indonesia seperti apa yang gue pengenin, apalai bagaimana cara ngewujudinnya. Gue inget dulu gue sebel banget-banget sama temen-temen gue yang selalu ngomong "ngapain demo, emang ngefek?" Seolah merasa bahwa mereka 'nggak melakukan apapun' sedangkan gue 'melakukan sesuatu'. Gue ngeliat ke belakang, terus ngeliat ke sekarang, dan gue mikir, apa sih yang udah dikerjain mahasiswa? Apa sih yang udah gue kerjain? Apa sih hasilnya? Indonesia seperti sekarang ini?

This nation's going down the drain, dan (contohnya) kebanyakan anak-anak SMP-SMA di malesbanget.com pada ngomong 'mari kita beramai-ramai pindah ke luar negeri dan biarkanlah Indonesia mati membusuk'. Gue pengen ngomong apa juga bingung. Gue percaya Indonesia masih bisa diselamatin, dan gue juga berharap masih ada manusia Indonesia yang sependapat dengan gue, DAN punya solusi konkrit untuk ngewujudinnya. Ada nggak sih?

Apalah, terserah. Gue pengen lulus. Gue pengen kerja. Gue pengen cari makan dan hidup kaya.

Sekedar curhat nggak jelas, sorry ngelantur, sorry ngeganggu:)

Kalo ditanya apa perasaan pendapat gue tentang Indonesia masih senegatif ini, gue akan cenderung bilang nggak. Iya, elit politik masih lebih sibuk rebutan kursi daripada ngebangun negeri, tapi paling nggak kiblatnya pemerintah nggak lagi ke arah satu kepentingan tunggal. Iya emang korupsi lebih merajalela, tapi paling nggak kebebasan berbicara udah mulai kita rasa.

Sayangnya masih kurang banyak yang mau bicara, karena sampai sekarang 'kita' masih tetep 'agak males-malesan' untuk mau 'bergerak'. But if I'm not gonna do anything about it then I shouldn't complain, now should I?

Beberapa kali ngobrol-ngobrol sampai pada kesimpulan 'mendingan kita mikirin gimana ngejaga kelakuan masing-masing'. Ada benernya sih, tapi gimana pas orang-orang berkuasa nggak ngejaga kelakuan mereka? Masa sekedar diobrolin doang? Trus kalo pengen ngelakuin sesuatu, apa?

Well until I can figure out what I can do for this great nation of ours, I'm just gonna try to be a decent person. If this is as good as our nation can be then so be it. It's a cool enough hangout place as it is. (I have a feeling things will get better though...)

I'm looking at the man in the mirror,
I'm asking him to change his ways.
You should stop now and take a look in the mirror.
If you wanna make the world a better place
take a look at yourself and make a

change.

- "Man in the Mirror," Michael Jackson


Posted at 12:43:01 pm by ferdikom98
Comments (%d)  

5/17/2005
learning graphic skillz

originally posted to [Graphic Design Arena] @ Yahoo!Groups

[snip] wrote:

Hey,

I am going to attend CSUN next year and my major is Graphic Designing. Guys have any tips? I'm not going in cold turkey, i design wallpapers and logos with photoshop, but what else should i learn about to become a GD?

thanks!

Very interesting question. Now since I came from a collegiate communication background (focusing on advertising communications) I've barely gotten any formal graphic design education (aside from a single 3-credit course on GD and visual communications). But I would like to think that this is a question I encounter every day at my work as a freelancer (not necessarily GD, sometimes copy, sometimes something as completely unrelated as live translating). I don't know 'bout the States (I'm assuming you're from the States), but nowadays over at my corner of the world GDs are supposed to be the Masters of the Universe when it comes to digital visual art. Being good with Photoshop is very, very important but you can't survive on Photoshop alone.

The first natural extension to your skill set would obviously be vector graphic tools. Illustrator's the top dog in the States (or so I've heard) but over here in Jakarta most ad agencies use Freehand. You could learn CorelDRAW (and Corel's graphic suite) but a lot of agencies have abandoned using it (them). It seems that getting bought by Microsoft only got them to merely survive as opposed to actually thriving. And if you do go with Illustrator (which is disadvantaged in page layouting capabilities compared to Freehand due to its single-page paradigm) then you should familiarize yourself with a bona-fide page-layout program such as QuarkXpress or Adobe's InDesign.

Next up is any 3D tool; there's 3DS Max and Maya (each with their respective humongous list of supports and add-ons), and then there's also the popular Lightwave 3D and the popular open-source Blender3D tool (there's one more popular FOSS 3D tool, but I can't recall its name right now) [update: I remember it now: POV-Ray!]

And then there's animation. You may not encounter a lot of animation jobs depending on where you work, but its always useful to at least know a little Flash for cartoons and Adobe's Premiere for live video (and often times also for 2D/3D animation post-production tweaking). Even if you work solely with static images, knowing a little about these can help if and when you're asked to create animation-friendly work.

I mentioned Blender3D [blender3d.org] as an open-source alternative 3D tool, but Blender3D is far from being the only thing FOSS has to offer. For vector there's the Inkscape [inkscape.org] and Sodipodi [updated: sodipodi.com] project, and one can hardly mention anything about open-source bitmap/raster graphics (or any sort of FOSS graphics) without mentioning the GIMP [gimp.org]. Some people have made a GIMP animation package to use gimp to create web animations (potentially replacing Flash and Fireworks). And each and every one of these tools are available on multiple platforms, that is they're available (often times, but not always, as native ports) on Windows [this links to the Win32 port of the GIMP], Mac OS-X, various flavor of UNIX such as FreeBSD (and other BSD offshoots), Solaris, AIX, and, of course, GNU/Linux. But I'm just barely scratching the surface of FOSS CGD here.

But with all this talk about computer stuffs, we can't forget that visual art did not start with digital tools, and will not end solely with them, either. No matter how good you are with Photoshop (or Freehand in my case), once you are reasonably used to it, pencil sketching is always a much, much faster way of getting your visions (images in your head) on a tangible medium (ready to be further tweaked/processed later either on paper or digitally). Its faster to sketch with pencil and paper than using a mouse and screen (some places have graphic pen tablets/digitizers, but then we'd be talking 'bout the same skill sets again).

These are useful tools that you should look into, and this does look like a daunting list, but one thing you gotta remember is that these are only suggested skills. Rarely have I encountered anyone with complete mastery of all these tools (but I have met those that are familiar with all of them, and they are demigods), and most everyone just chooses one particular tool and get really, really good at it (some to complete mastery, and they too are demigods). I would suggest you familiarize yourself with as many of these tools as you can and then focus on getting really, really good with one. Though it doesn't hurt to get good with as many as you can manage. Remember that the only purpose served by these tools (digital or otherwise) is as a method of translating your thoughts and visions into something that others can 'see'. What you 'say' and how you 'say' it, I guess.

And finally there's the basic theories. Very important, often forgotten. Balance, color, lines, typography, media, perception, etc. But that's what you're going to GD school for, now isn't it?

Anyway best of luck to you, and I'm sure you'll have lotsa fun studying, and creating, GD.

update 18/05/05: I've made some addendums and corrections. The author regrets the errors :p


Posted at 10:25:17 pm by ferdikom98
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5/16/2005
life is...

Life is...

Discovering, after finally being sure that you're the smartest guy in the world, God crushes your chest in along with your head by showing how you're really the stupidest, most moronic.

And then you learn to start over from there.

Over, and over again.

(well, to me at least)


Posted at 9:30:04 pm by ferdikom98
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5/6/2005
random links, 28/04/05

Not to mention all the work I owe here and there. For which I am paid with peanuts. Okay, okay: I also gain experience /:)


Posted at 1:38:32 pm by ferdikom98
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4/27/2005
more random links, edition 27/04/2005

Okay... after much contemplating I figure I might as well post these; since by the time I can conjure up something worthwhile to read these links would most likely have gone stale so... enjoy! :) Oh, BTW Mei please remind me to link you; and how 'bout you making me a bracelet?


Posted at 11:24:20 pm by ferdikom98
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4/25/2005
Lemi4 aka. fERDI:)

During the not-so old days of Counter-Strike popularity, I used to use the 'handle' (also known as 'user name', 'nickname', or 'nick') "Megaloman," that is until I was informed that "Megaloman" was the name of some Ultr4 L33t CS clan from Bandung. Since I do have a little sense of humility (back then at least), I decided to create a new handle and call myself "Lemi4." I'll get back to how I came up with that nick, but I must say that I've grown attached to that nick because its so unique; just like how PGL worldwide Quake champion Dennis "Thresh" Fong came to using his handle.

I must say that I loved CS. I wasn't particularly good, but I do manage to survive for more than the initial thirty seconds once in a while. Occasionally I even manage to make it to the end of the round; sometimes by defusing/planting the bomb at de_ maps, which annoys quite a lot of other players as I recall, since so many has this deathmatch mentality. At that era some would probably say, "Y00 L4m3rs! Y d0n'ch4 play Quake Arena 0r 5umt1n, D0rk5!" But my take is that its okay, since practically nobody save for the somewhat 'ultra-rich' can afford to play actual multiplayer CS anywhere else but at the cheap game stations and warnets located around campuses. Besides, because of how easy it is to die/kill in CS the savagery makes for excellent poetic battles; especially if you can survive the first thirty seconds. Until the AWP whores start roaming, that is. But even then, imagine a coordinated, tactical, stealthy assault on the whores' positions. With perfect execution. Sw33t.

There was a time even when we had this clan named 'Dungu' (it means dumb in literary Indonesian). At first it was an in joke because the members were rank amateurs from mostly my faculty (and also so that we could have an easy excuse when our collective butts were being kicked); but we actually got somewhat quite good (I think) to the point that our clan name was recognized by some of the other players. Perhaps because we were the only ones playing with a 'somewhat' team mentality, with formations and support. [Dungu]Lemi4, now that was a cool nick. And then if I remember correctly there was [Dungu]Sarge (he's our main strategist), [Dungu]Batman Saint, [Dungu]Angga, and (occasionally) [Dungu]Mahe and [Dunggu]Saint(whatever-his-name-was). Now these last ones were veterans who happened to be from our faculty, and they joined up sometime after the original formation. They were good. Yeah, those were the days.

Of course the CS craze has somewhat died down in this corner of the world, the trend currently being RYL, after a longish love affair with Ragnarok and Gunbound (I don't play any of these). And I can't help but think that it was, at least partially, because CS became somewhat 'closed'. There was a time when CS was actually free (at least in beer), and there was even a period when CS's maps, chars, and models were available in source (although without a specific license attached to them aside from the creators' declaration that they were free as in beer) But ever since Team CS got bought by Valve, well.... Nevertheless it makes me think of an excellent article made by ESR analyzing the weaknesses of closed-source Quake, which was made sometime shortly after John Carmack decided to release the original Quake engine under GPL. The FOSS-Quake community is alive and (somewhat) well, but I can't help imagining what would happen if Team CS gave full support to these teams. Support in the form of CS infrastructure based upon these open-source engines. And then they manage to release working, secure and playable code running on GNU/Linux (not just proof-of-concepts but actually fun to play). Think about the motivation to deploy GNU/Linux desktops at warnets and game stations. Think about how it would spur OpenGL and 3D video-driver debugging in GNU/Linux. At the very least it would make it possible to play LAN-multiplayer FPSes legally in Indonesia.

Time moves, trends change. And so though I've stopped playing CS, over the years I've used the nick Lemi4 for various online presences. It used to be that I planned on signing my messages as Lemi4 while talking to strangers, and as fERDI:) for those persons that I consider (at least in my imagination) to be somewhat close. I don't think it works that way anymore since I've been rather inconsistent in maintaining that policy. Oh! And I also came up with fERDI:) when I was first beginning to play with email. It first started as a typo when I left my caps lock on, but I guess it looks kinda cool so I decided to keep it.

And to wrap it up here's a little snippet I wrote from when I signed up for the Ars forums.

It began as a chant for a former love interest (spelled backward), but since she's rejected me, it becomes a pure memetic symbol of my cyber-identity. It has lost its original meaning and now it becomes me.

And that's why I refer to myself as fERDI:) aka. Lemi4. If you want me to stop using my nick, then you'd better talk to me.

---

I've slowed down with tracking back lately. What with the number of links I'm throwing around, and the fact that I have to ping each and every trackback url manually (and to the number of times my pings were rejected by big-name blogs)....

Maybe later when I've upgraded to Wordpress, since it (and MT, too) has automatic trackback pingback... (yeah right)

Addendum 8-5-2005: 'No, si Hesley nick-nya apaan yah?


Posted at 2:23:01 am by ferdikom98
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Next Page

I don't write intellectually. I write expressively. I don't claim to be accurate, fair or thorough. I don't wanna get stuck on certain topics. Though I sometimes do. But not that often. I'd like to expand. I wanna write more poems. But I'll only upload them if they're good. I only rant about my life's hardships if it will rescue just a little bit of my sanity. I'm saner than I make myself out to be, though.

If I am an OS kernel, and I just had a kernel dump, I'd imagine that the text in this blog is what it would more or less look like.

There. Do you get it?

   

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