6/30/2005
common sense, the boring rerun

From the book "Common Sense: A New Conversation for Public Education -- Note to the Reader" (also available as a very downloadable 300kb pdf)

Several years ago I was struck by the realization that public education was first established in America with a clearly understood purpose. However, I was hard pressed to define exactly what the well understood purpose was today. I began to ask friends, relatives, colleagues and even educators what they thought. But a coherent definition did not quickly roll from their tongues. In the end, after compiling hundreds of responses from people of all walks of life and from different regions of the country, there did seem to be a common denominator. Synthesized, the consensus was that "it is to create well-rounded individuals who will be able to make a contribution to society, be active in civic and community affairs and go on to lead healthy, happy lives." It sounded pretty good.

The problem was that, upon reflection, much of it did not quite seem to square with reality. For example, few schools today even offer a course in civics (and when they become eligible, our youth do not vote); "well-rounded" had very different and subjective meanings for everyone; "healthy" appeared to be a disconnect based upon studies that indicate over 20% of our children start the school day hungry; and more broadly, since compulsory physical education has been dropped from the curricula in more than 50% of the public schools, our nation’s children are ranked among the most sedentary and least fit of any in the industrial countries.

When pressed for clarification, a second and very different "consensus" began to emerge. Again, synthesized, it seems what parents really wanted for their children, was a school that would prepare them to test out well so that they could get into the best college possible in order to get a really great job that would earn them enough money so that they could begin consuming the planet faster than their parents and their future neighbors. To my ear, this fit much better with reality than the first consensus. Not so incidentally, the adult perception of "happy" appeared to be their own view of what would constitute happiness for their offspring. For example, I found that almost nobody wanted their kid to go on to major in philosophy, history or English literature—even if the son or daughter felt that this would be his or her personal road toward happiness.

As a result of this informal survey, I began to understand the reason why the general public never initiates conversations addressing what the purpose of education is, or should be, in America. (Also, why parents don’t want their offspring to major in English literature.) This is simply because everyone already "knows" what the purpose is. Across the land, there is a pervasive kind of background noise as ubiquitous as it is virtually inaudible. The second consensus model just identified never actually needs to be articulated because the background noise keeps saying to us that education is essentially about money. In fact, in our society education has just about become a synonym for a ticket to money. This national belief, because it borders on absolute certainty, requires no discussion, no examination and, of course, no debate. But, in fact, what we most desperately need is a national debate right now before we suddenly discover that it is too late; too late for the nation, too late for humanity. It should be kept in mind that if we could somehow magically reform the educational system tomorrow, we would not begin to reap much of the beneficial results for at least a generation. We must raise our national level of awareness to finally admit that what actually drives our educational system today is the prospect of money and the concomitant power to consume. This must be challenged and it must be changed.

A preliminary but critical step may be for us to recognize that we actually do not have a nationally understood and nationally embraced purpose for public education that makes any sense at all if we expect the country and the planet to survive. The next step might then be to initiate a debate different from any that has gone on before. For without defining a new objective, understandable and accepted by all (and, most importantly, understood and accepted by our children), there is little real hope to develop a viable, long-term solution to our most daunting crisis.

However, by examining the historical record we can uncover the original objective for public education and follow how and why that objective (or purpose) has changed over the centuries. Tracking the evolution of public education could allow us to see the problem in a new and different context. Then, with the issue redefined, new strategies and tactics might begin to emerge and other practices that have been timetested could be retooled and integrated into a truly new paradigm for this high-tech 21st century—not only for America but also for the world.

---

A few days ago I had a request to 'commercially help-out' someone trying to complete his/her graduation paper. I'm not trying to justify anything with the above quote but frankly I find it really sad when every living human being is forced to get into the program, to become another cog in The Machine, to be an efficient member...

Or to be swept aside.

Competition is good. I like competition in the way it stimulates progress. What I hate is when human beings are labeled sub-human because the person is incapable of absorbing some other such little such convention such practice in some way because its simply not interesting to said person. Because he/she refuses to step in line.

I hate it when I'm forced to accept the way things are 'just because.' Its not right.

But its happening in the states, right? I mean, it can't be happening in Indonesia, can it?

---

Oh and by the way the guy who wrote the book is a taxi driver in New York. Found him referenced by Lessig quite some time ago.


Posted at 9:35:01 pm by ferdikom98
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review: zen and the art of inkscape

From the Inkscape v.0.4.1 Help Tutorial on Shapes:

The divergence of a spiral is the measure of irregularity of its winds.

Now how can you get more trippy than that?

---

Inkscape
an open source SVG editor
and vector graphics tool
created by inkscape.org

So I dabbled with Inkscape. I started a few days ago. The resulting doodle being the ugly head you see at the bottom of this post. The first of several, in fact (go to my deviantART if you're curious). Not exactly a work of art, but it has many implications if you've worked with Freehand or Illustrator in the past.

The thing is if you created vectors in FreeHand you're gonna have a hard time importing it to Inkscape since Inkscape has a hard time importing Freehand MX's EPS (at least Inkscape 0.41 for Windows.) The same vice-versa since Freehand can't read Inkscape-created EPS. But then again export (especially the exporting of complex documents) has always been Freehand's Achilles' heel.

The situation's different with Illustrator though, both EPS and SVG goes back and forth between those two without any trouble whatsoever (at least so far). But a word of warning: don't try to export a Freehand vector with gradient fills to EPS, open it with Illustrator, then save it to SVG with the hope of opening it with Inkscape. You can already smell trouble opening the Freehand EPS in Illustrator. Consider yourself warned.

Inkscape is a relatively young project compared to the GIMP. So although you can create some pretty nifty vectors with it you can't use it for desktop publishing or magazine-quality film output yet. At least not predictable output; since it can only export basic fills and vectors when creating PostScript files. At least you can open the resulting SVG file in the GIMP and output a TIFF file that can perhaps, maybe, by chance, be used by film-separation output places. Anybody care to try?

Oh and so far I've only managed to output 24-bit PNGs from Inkscape; I haven't figured out wether Inkscape can output indexed-pallete 8-bit PNGs. Not a big problem though, since WinGIMP does an excellent conversion job. Just open the PNG output from Inkscape in the GIMP and change the image mode from RGB to Indexed. But that still doesn't solve the color-consistency problem, since although you can define CMYK colors in Inkscape the GIMP still doesn't support CMYK color palletes. I think they haven't gone there yet because it would mean having to rewrite a whole bunch of internals in the GIMP. And they just completed a major rewrite going from 1.2 to 2.0. And then again to 2.2.

And would you believe that Inkscape maps out CMYK colors in 256 levels?

Inkscape only exports PNG-24 bitmaps so that if you use IE6 to see this page you're going to see an even uglier grey box surrounding the ugly head below. If you really want to see what Inkscape has made possible with the lame-ass mushroom head below you're just gonna have to use an alternative browser with PNG-24 support (which means practically any modern visual web-browser in existence aside from IE6).

One other thing; Inkscape does support clipping paths; the problem is they haven't made a GUI interface to it. You're going to have to learn to hand-code SVG to replicate Freehand's 'paste-inside' feature. Or you could try to give the Inkscape guys a hand.

---

So...

What I really want to say is that one of the major reasons that I continue to use pirated software is starting to erode: computer graphic design using Open-source software is not only getting practical (as opposed to being merely possible), but its actually becoming somewhat quite powerful. And fun. Unfortunately unless you intend to work solely on online, screen based projects, you can't quite rely on them for day-to-day professional on-the-pavement work. Yet.

CMYK. Color proofing. Film output. Graphical page layout. Wysiwyg interface for rapid visual development. It may only be my impression but fact is these are very real hurdles which must be overcome before FOSS tools can be used commercially and mission-critically in advertising and marketing-communications creative houses. The developers have other priorities, though. And expecting graphic designers to code these for themselves is... well....

I really do want to learn C. Or at least Python. If only to make possible CMYK color separation in the GIMP and a clipping path interface in Inkscape. I think. But most other graphic designers don't even think. They know they're better of relying on Adobe's Creative Studio and Alias|Wavefront's familiar tools. And Avid. And the Panther film-output system.

Is hope fading? Not really. Not if Microsoft continues their raids. When software copy control policy is successfully enforced (which by the way the Warnet raids look likely to be sooner rather than later), then most computer users in Indonesia would have no choice than to go open source. Nobody can afford commercial software here.

Unless everyone stays stupid and continues their blind reliance on Microsoft's interfaces.

But you have to admit, it is too much to ask every ordinary computer user to switch to Firefox now; in the immortal words of Tim Berners-Lee: "the explosion of the Internet alongside the World Wide Web is due to people's thirst for information (not to mention knowledge and wisdom), without wanting to learn much about computers and cables."

---

So...

We'll see.

mushroom head, an inkscape tech-demo image exported to 24-bit PNG

Oh and by the way will everyone Please freakin' upgrade to Freehand MX version 11a?!?!? It Is Stable!!! Use the Damn Patch its been out for Two Years for Gods' Sakes!!!!!

(sheesh just gettin' people to upgrade pirated proprietary software is hard...)


Posted at 9:28:18 pm by ferdikom98
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6/23/2005
review: captain corelli's mandolin

Captain Corelli's Mandolin
directed by John Madden
starring Nicholas Cage, Penelope Cruz, John Hurt
Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Entertainment
2001

I watched Madagascar last Monday with a few campus friends at Wijaya 21. Afterwards with Ruli's suggestion we had dinner at Basil's. We had various pastas and sandwiches, I myself ordered a Fetuccine Carbonara. It was delicious and it cost only Rp 18.000 (US$ 1.7).

While at Basil's Ruli related a tale of how he was kicked out of a french restaurant in Paris because he put Tabasco on his dinner. Supposedly the chef barged out and yelled French obscenities at our dear friend, all of it meaningless to him because he doesn't speak the language, and he was promptly ushered out of the café/restaurant/place/whatever without having to pay anything.

There's something to be said about people too stuck up to understand how insignificant one is in the grand scheme of the universe, but the French are not Italians. Nor can we expect to accurately predict any action of any particular person based on any particular stereotype, but you gotta love any pasta carbonara. And Italian operas.

I'd always fancy myself an appreciator of various musics. And those Italian soldiers under Captain Corelli sure can sing. It was pretty lucky of me to get to catch Captain Corelli on TV7 two nights ago. Good luck trying to find it on rentals and pirate DVD stalls here; art films just don't sell; even if it won an Oscar. Well, maybe if they won an Oscar and also feature some barely-legal almost-sex (like American Beauty).

Anyway can anyone point me to where I can get a copy of the full score for that guitar concerto, "Pellagia's Theme," that Captain Corelli wrote for the Mandolin and was played in the movie? I wanna play it.... Does Nicholas Cage really play the mandolin himself? It looks like it in the movie, and it sounds great. I'd love to be able to play it with Mahawaditra. Hell, I'd love to hear Mahawaditra play it, even if someone else does the guitar solo.

But its not just the music though. There's not much of it actually, though what little there is is beautiful. Most reviews made on the movie when it first came out would go on and on about the love story, and I must admit it is a very touching and somewhat complex love story (but not so contrived as to become a daytime soap). But what stuck in my mind more was Pellagia's dad, Iannis, and his nuggets of bottled wisdom. Especially what he said about love (exact quote wording courtesy of the IMDB).

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots are become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No... don't blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn't sound very exciting, does it? But it is!

And also I love how it portrays the peaceful life on the island where people from two cultures (actually three when you count Gunther and the Germans) could 'act towards one another with civility,' in such a 'dark and sad time.' Gunther singing along with Corelli and the troops, with the Greeks dancing to the Italian band. When they can find those few precious moments where they can enjoy life in the middle of dire circumstances. Overcoming the fact that they're enemies, with realisation that we are all (mostly) human.

The look in Gunther's face when he had to kill his friends.

And to imagine all this as based on a true story...

So, does anyone have the concerto?


Posted at 9:58:55 pm by ferdikom98
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6/17/2005
midnight emulation

Written 2005-06-16 01:35

Reverend Tony commands, "should thou art awake at 1.30 in the eve, thou shalt blog till striketh 2 o'clock, after which thou shalt take rest and blogeth no more."

Its a cool enough verse, so let's give it a twirl...

I am awake at this wee hour having been playing the first "Sonic the Hedgehog" game for the Sega Genesis/Megadrive, using Gens. Incidentally while surfing I had discovered that Gens has gone open source and is available from Sourceforge since February 2005. I'm sure they'd have Linux RPMs of the things by now. So should households become the next target of Microsoft's raids here in Jakarta then I can take solace that at the very least the blue rodent shall keep me company, so long as those very nice ROM people keep being flighty enough to not be arrested but not be so flighty that the general 'Net populace cannot find them (if they've moved already try Googling Megadrive ROMs and clicking the fourth or fifth hit). But if those crackers could keep it up with ROM images of consoles past surely they can also keep moving around pirated bits of apps? No matter, Gens is still worthy in its rekindling of memories past.

The first game I ever finished was Sonic 1, I'm sure of it. I had played Karateka, the first Prince of Persia, that bartender thing, and also that black cat thing, Super Mario.... Oh! Carmen Sandiego for the Apple ][! I think I finished one or two Carmens on the ISM computer labs.

At ISM I also had my first encounter with CS Lewis' Narnia chronicles. I think almost every day on third grade, at around four o'clock I'd go to the library and read all seven books. Several pages at a time. Never bringing any home. I read the whole series twice.

The next Sunday after I was fired (I think) my brother took the family out for lunch at Bakmi Gajah Mada Sarinah. There was a QB bookstore at the ground floor, and there I found an omnibus edition of the Chronicles on paperback. All seven episodes of the Chronicles of Narnia, in a single volume sold for Rp 200.000. I doubt its still there, but if its there next time I'm at QB Sarinah I'm gonna buy it.

And I know I would be able to afford it.

I had been able to afford it then.

I don't remember why I decided not to buy it then. When I first came across it.

But I did decide to download the latest copy of Gens. Spent more than Rp 10 grand downloading all those ROMs. While waiting for any word on the translation gig I should be doing.

I think I've spent enough. Look! Its two already! [yawn] Yeah, I think I can sleep now.


Posted at 4:33:02 pm by ferdikom98
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6/14/2005
platonic

[Dialogue translated from original Indonesian. Based on a true story.]

Situation: I was walking upstairs after drinking a glass of water from the kitchen. Mom was sweeping the floor. I had been upstairs all day in front of my PC layouting a company profile professionally for a friend (for pay, of course). I don't think Mom knew.

Me : [sigh]

Mom : What you're tired?

Me : Yeah, kinda.

Mom : Tired doing what? Sitting down all day?

Me : [stunned] Tired thinking, Mom! I'm working upstairs! Thinking is tiring, you know?

Mom : [appears unmoved] Oh.

Me : [walks on upstairs]


Posted at 7:01:55 pm by ferdikom98
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6/12/2005
self-control

And so here I am.

Three hours at NetEazy ITC Permata Hijau. They use a bandwidth limiter. When accessing HTTP for surfing pageloads are very, very zippy. But the throttle's limited at about 2 kbps.

I've been downloading the latest Norton virus-defs for about two hours. Only eleven minutes more and it'd be done.

Shoulda quit hours ago.


Posted at 12:08:16 am by ferdikom98
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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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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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