Archive for May, 2006

The quake

2006 May 29

It was the 27th dawn on May. As usual, my alarm and computer went on. As usual, my half-conscious self instinctively switched the computer to standby mode and set the alarm to snooze (ring a couple of minutes later.) When the alarm rang again, I pushed the snooze button again and continued my sleep.

Some time later after that, the earth was shaking. It was actually the largest quake in my life, but not so big to cause me a panic. "Geez, an earthquake…" was the only thing I thought.

After around 5 seconds, the ground calmed down. I glanced my alarm and saw that it was around 5:55. Curiousity managed to get me up and I went outside. I noticed something broke up in the TV room. People were gathering outside and started talking about the quake.

This was not my first quake on Yogyakarta. Some years ago, when I was in my friend's house, a lot milder quake occured and my friend said that it happens sometimes in his place. Nothing devastating happened at that time, so I thought nothing devastating happened this time.

After eating the boring 4 leaves of bread, I took a bath because I wanted to download stuffs at SIC. Morning Internet is very very fast. While preparing things on my room, I heard a seller (probably vegetable) shouted, "The water's up! The water's up!".

So I stepped on my bike and dashed outside. That's when I started to realize that something weird was going on.

The street is unusually busy for that time of the day. No, actually it's unusually busy regardless of the time of the day. Some people are just standing, seemingly waiting for something uncertain. Other people are in a rush to go somewhere.

I took a detour and tried to see the condition of Sendowo, a street near my dwelling place. Yes, it is indeed full of people. Some children are crying.

I concluded that they were just histerical. The quake is over, buildings are intact. What to worry? So, SIC it was.

On the way there, I noticed that people in school uniform are abound. My guess was that the school was ended prematurely, and a quick inquiry confirmed it.

In the gates of north MIPA, a chemistry guy was voluntarily assuming the role of a policeman by guiding drivers. Not really useful since the road isn't anywehere near a deadlock condition.

Inside the gate, I saw a bunch of underclassmen. I asked Wiwid where was he from. He said that he slept there because he was managing the JOINTS event. Bantering a bit about the quake, I then asked whether SIC is open. He said that it seemed to be open. Great.

On my last meters to SIC, I saw broken shingles (genteng) on the ground. The chemistry building had some cracks on the wall. It turned out that the quake isn't as harmless as I thought.

SIC building also had some cracks on it. Inside, there was a janitor and technician. A "CLOSED" sign prompted me to ask the tech guy. He said that SIC will open if the receptionists comes.

Somewhat dissapointed, I decided to buy a drinking water first and went back to my bike. I also wanted to know to see more street chaos outside.

… (to be continued? probably not…) 

For more info see the article at Wikipedia.

Force Feeding; UNY Bunkasai

2006 May 9

In the last update about my go study, I was in the process of solving sorted goproblems.com difficulty 41-50 (for the second time). Actually I managed to finish the 363 problems quite some time ago. Now my study activity is different.

I'm now studying go using force-feeding method (see http://senseis.xmp.net/?ForceFeeding). Basically, I repeat the same set of materials for a period of time. In my case I chose a period of 14 days. The premise is that by repeating the same materials over and over, our brain will be hardwired to the patterns.

The materials I'm currently force-feeding is:

  • sorted goproblems.com, problem 451-500 (50 problems)
  • Fuseki on Your Side chapter 1 (Framework Foundations)

However, I think 14 days period is too long. The materials get pretty boring easily. If I continue this force feeding method, the next period will be shortened to 7 days.

Anyway there will be a Bunkasai (Japanese Culture Bazaar/Festival) on UNY from 10-12 May. YIC gets a free stand :).

Translating Moyo Go Studio

2006 May 2

Frank de Groot, author of the new Moyo Go Studio, generously offers a free DVD of his program for anyone joining his translation project. I couldn't resist, since the program has many interesting features. One of its features is pattern matching. As far as my understanding go, we can ask the program to analyze a subboard and it will return suggested moves using a neural-networked reasoning.

Frank also plans to develop the strongest computer go program. Currently he's starting to work on the tsumego (local, tactical go problems) module. People with great ambitions must be supported.

So, the DVD is on its way right now, and the translation is 50% complete. Ironically the hardest part for me (a computer science student) is to translate the computer terms.

The goverment has released some sort of Indonesian computer terms standard in 2001 (technically it's a presidential instruction) but many of the words there are still not widely used. Ever heard of tetikus (mouse), gugurkan (abort), bita (byte), peretas (hacker), galat (error) and pelipat (folder)? Even the translation project by GNOME Indonesia is not compliant with the standard. GNOME Indonesia still use unmodified English terms where a translation exists in the standard (such as mouse, folder, error). They also have their own Indonesian terms (for example "kembali" instead of "balik" for the word "back"). That is not to say that the compliancy level is low (for example both use "batal" for "cancel" and "berkas" for "file"). I'm curious about the conformance of the Indonesian language translation for Windows XP.

Well, perhaps we're still in the transition state and people are still reluctant for a change in terms they are already familiar with. However reluctance should be kept away for the greater good.

I understand the reasoning behind pushing for a change. It is not obvious to non-English users how to read "mouse", "download", "keyboard", and "file". Using the alternative "tetikus", "unduh", "papan ketik", and "berkas", they won't read it wrong. Also, Indonesian sounding words should make Indonesian users more comfortable.

In chemistry, we already use Indonesian words. We use "unsur" instead of "element", "senyawa" instead of "compound", "larutan" instead of "solution", "zat" instead of "substance", and "asam" instead of "acid". Physics has its of collection of words too, such as "gaya" for "force", "daya" for "power", "listrik" for "electricity", and "kelajuan" for "acceleration". In math we have "himpunan" for "set", "berhingga" for "finite", "kurva" for "curve", and "selang" for "interval". Why not for computer terms?