Friday, December 24, 2010

Don't believe economy's booming? Go to the airport!

One of the perks (or burden to some) of being part of Indonesia's hottest industry is that travelling is part of the game, as there's no Coal mine in Java, so one has to fly to visit mine sites.

Early morning to Soekarno Hatta is an amazing experience. The sky's still dark and most of Jakarta's still asleep, even the roosters are still warming up their vocal chords before waking people up, but here the 8 lane toll road is packed with cars. Early morning traffic jam to the airport is part of jet warriors' rituals.

Most people in these cars are back asleep or at least still hazy from having to wake up at 4am. Some are nervous of missing their flight. Some are fuming in road rage. Some are lost in the thought of loved ones and some are simply lost.

But if one take the opportunity to ponder in midst of the chaotic dance of cars that the jam is, one shall find questions, what are these people doing? Where are they going? What is the significance of these daily early morning madness?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What's all the fuss about Coal? - Intro to Coal part 1

If you go to lounges and coffee shops of 5 stars hotels in Jakarta, you'll find at every other table people are talking about coal. Read the newspaper, there will be front page coal related article. Read magazines about Indonesia's richest persons, and a lot of them are Coal guys. Meet some old friend at a reunion and surely couple of them work at coal related industries.

Coal - World's largest source of electricity
Coal here, coal there, coal everywhere. Why does it fell like Indonesia is having coal fever? What's all the fuss about Coal?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life ain't fair! - Snapshot of education in Indonesia

A Catholic School in Jakarta
Life is fair for everyone is part of childhood innocence. As one grows up and realizes there is no Santa Claus, it shall dawn that life treats some better than others. A major unfairness of life is the level of education one receives while growing up.

As education is the foundation of life, this disparity of education level is multiplied to create a huge difference in knowledge, character and skill in the adult population.

Indonesia is a huge country with huge population. She is still young. While our founding fathers had the foresight to put into our founding charter that one of the nation's purpose is to educate its people, in reality public education both in quality and quantity still have a lot to be desired.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Third Digital Revolution

Analog Multi-Track Recorder
Victim of The Digital Revolution
During my first undergraduate year in the early 90s, I had some spare time and did a sound engineering course on the weekends. Things were very different then. In the course I learned how to edit music, by actually cutting on the tapes and gluing them together. Back then “Cut and Paste” was more literal.

Every production stage was analogue then. Recording was done to 2” Studder 24 tracker. Mixed using analog mixers, thru analog effects and mastered to analog ½” tape. DAT a two track digital format was starting to get widely used but, purists said it sounded too clean, too clinical, too cold and harsh, so mix masters was still mostly analog.

Then the first digital revolution came. Computing technology that we now take for granted was still maturing then. Unlike Terabytes of today, Hard disks was still counted in Megabytes (still magnitude larger than the 5 Kilobytes cassettes on my first VIC-20 computer, but that’s another story). Products like Alesis ADAT and Fostex D80 and later Pro Tools started to bring in the revolution in digital music recording.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why some of my friends need a private jet…

To say coal in Indonesia is a booming business is an understatement. Some coal players become rich, some even become extremely rich, while some lucky ones become stinking filthy rich (“SFR”).

The extremely opulent live the life of the riches, with all the toys and privileges including private jets travels. If you’re an SFR, rich beyond belief, why should you and your family travel cramped with us mere mortals, herded thru crowded airports like sheep?

But is that what private jet is all about? A toy and a status symbol for the SFRs? Or even an over indulgence and a waste of money? If that is the case, then do some of my friend actually need a private jet?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Jack of Most Trades, Master of Some - an Intro

A spin from the popular adage "Jack of All Trades, Master of None", it is the tagline of this Blog. The phrase should reflect the content of this Blog. As time goes and more posts added, it will have a broad range of topics, which reflect writer's various interests.

While most articles will be broad (the Jack ones) for the layman on some others it will be in-depth (the Master ones) which may require some prerequisite knowledge base to appreciate.