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Monday, September 25, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

Kartunet.com - Karya Tuna Netra



It’s a great achievement for Indonesia to have very talented youth who exist in this globalization era. Internet is one of the most reliable technologies to be able to access lots of web sites. Although we seen most of them are ordinary, this one is a very special one. This is the website that is fully develop by Indonesian inclusion student.

Kartunet.com, (Karya Tuna Netra) the web which is develop by Irawan Mulyanto, M. Ikhwan Toriqo, Dimas Prasetyo Muharam, and Aris Yohanes E, as the administrator, (two at the last are my school friends at Sixty Six High School) shown the high potential of Indonesian youth to be able to compete with this globalization competition. The name “Kartunet” is taken from the fact that all the developers of this web are all blind person. The web is about the media for appreciation. Not only blind person who is the members of this web, but it’s open for everybody who wants to publish their creation on the web.

We could send some poetry, short story, critics, or any kind of writing that they will publish it to all of us. If we see in a long term, this media could make their own market that will be loved and joined by lots literature, or journalist lovers. If you see the design of the web, you will be amazed by the system that is working inside the web. They’ve used language such as PHP, MySQL, CSS, and Javascript beside the basic language, HTML. The web also featured standard commercial web facilities such as Guest Book, Opinion, Search Engine, Weather Forecast, Web Statistic, Polling, Music, and other professional commercial web feature.

Inside the web, we could see their creation such as short story, poetry, critics, and any kind of writing in the level that we cannot describe it as beginner. We can read some interesting stories from Ari titled “Ucup Yang Bodoh” / “Stupid Ucup”, some sharp and inspirational critics “Masihkah Ada Nasionalisme Kita?” / “Do We Still Have Our Nationalism?” or “Perjuangan Yang Patah” / “Broken Fighting Spirit” from Dimas Prasetyo Muharam arguing about nationalism and the development of Indonesia, or some connected stories from Rafik Akbar. Kartunet.com also features editorial about politics, economy, social, sports, culture & art, computer, and some entertainment feature such as games and zodiac.

This web is fully developed free and not profit-oriented, and the developers are learning the language by autodidact. The thing that I amazed about the design of the web, they could arrange the template as a very user-friendly to the visitors. We could see the feature such as Guest Book, Comment Sheet, Web Statistic and Polling which are fully designed by them. Although it’s all dominated in Indonesian Language, (because they want to have local traffic first), they have lots of international visitors from neighbor countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, and other continent in the world such as Puerto Rico and Sweden. It has been a symbol of “modern fight” in the future, to be able to compete with “modern colonizer” which is knowledge and creativity.

If we see the situation in Indonesia, the government is still seems to ignore the existence of disability people. They are still not seeing the potential of disability people, which fortunately can make great name for Indonesia. Only some foundation that supports disables persons to exist in Indonesia. Kartunet.com is one of the media that shown the existence of blind people in Indonesia, which is still ignored by the problems of politics and economy that never ends. The government must be able to give appreciation for the people who brought good names for the country, to motivate them to keep doing the job, or at least to make them stay at Indonesia.

Their disability is not being their barrier to exist in this globalization era. Kartunet.com, which is fully, develop by a group of blind people in Indonesia, shown that everything that we want and do it with work hard, must be able to achieve it. This is one of example that everyone must be ready to face the globalization era, as people point of views, grow to be more selective and tight, that globalization era is not seeing people from it’s expertise anymore, but they would see creativity to develop a new innovation in the future.

They have one point to say, in "Tentang Kami" / "About Us":

"Walau kami mengatakan bahwa website ini dibuat sebagai wadah karya tunanetra, namun, kami mengharapkan hasil kreatifitas dari seluruh masyarakat dapat dipublikasikan melalui website ini."

"Although we said that this web site is filled with creations of blind persons, we also hope that people creativity could also be publicized in this web site."

Amazing!

Link:
Kartunet.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Piece Of Broken Plectrum

Here is a piece that I just draw for Broken Plectrum.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Writing Is Like Math

Have you ever practice math alone and by yourself? Have you ever realized that practicing math needs lots of patient and strong psychology? Yes, this is my problem why I haven’t updated Broken Plectrum for such a long time! Well, I felt a lot of pressure from my environment nowadays and it makes me cannot write even a paragraph to Broke plectrum. Well, here we go, I should develop my inner strength to be able to write to you all. I hope my writing could be useful to all of you!

Nowadays, I often listening to Pure Saturday and I watched Pure Saturday Night as the flyers I’ve been posted it before. Well it was a fabulous performance by Pure Saturday and I think it’s the best Pure Saturday performance I’ve ever saw. Suar (ex-Pure Saturday’s Vocalist) came to sing lots of Pure Saturday’s original masterpiece, and it was very meaning full to me. If you check my last.fm list, you could find what a Pure People (Pure Saturday’s fans) I am. :)

Links:
Last.fm
Puresaturday.tk

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Communist Vietnam rides consumer boom

By Bill Hayton
BBC News, Hanoi

Busy road in Hanoi
Confidence is returning to Vietnam

Vietnam has one of the fastest growing economies in the world - an impressive achievement for a country which, just 20 years ago, was mired in poverty and economic crisis.

Now an exhibition has opened in the capital Hanoi to show young visitors what life was like for their parents and grandparents under the old communist system.

The first thing visitors to the Ethnology Museum see is a mock-up of a food queue.

In the 1980s, under what was called the subsidy economy, food - and almost everything else - was rationed.

Back then the combination of war, US economic sanctions and a communist system in which the government decided who could buy what, meant that even bicycles were in short supply.

One visitor, Ngo Van Duc, remembered what that meant.

"When you wanted to buy a bike, even if you had the money, you had to wait your turn," he says.

"If you wanted spare parts you had to do the same thing."


'Better life'

Under the subsidy system you could only buy your assigned portion - now you can buy whatever you want, so long as you have the money
Nguyen Quang Hao, businessman

This is the first time that any public institution in Vietnam has turned such a critical eye on the past, and the exhibition has been hugely popular.

The museum's director, Nguyen Van Huy, says he wants visitors to take home a particular message.

"People will see that the subsidy system no longer worked," he says. "It constrained the creativity of the people and it made life harder than it needed to be.

"People needed reform to have a better life."

Things began to change in Vietnam almost exactly 20 years ago with the death of the then communist leader, Le Duan.

Under him, Vietnam had beaten the US but suffered the consequences: a stagnant economy with inflation soaring to 700%.

Things had to change - in particular Le Duan's policies.


Ration cards

Le Duan
Le Duan led the Vietnamese Communist Party for 26 years

These days Le Duan is a controversial figure. There are no monuments to him in Hanoi, in contrast to the thousands in honour of his predecessor Ho Chi Minh.

Just a single street is named after him.

It's hard to believe that people once queued for food in Hanoi's streets - but one building neatly demonstrates the transformation.

Above the shop fronts the old lettering reveals its former function.

It used to be a government store where people waited with their ration cards to buy food.

Nguyen Quang Hao used to work here then, but now he runs the place as the owner of a successful private business.

"Under the subsidy system you could only buy your assigned portion," he says. "You couldn't have more than that. Now you can buy whatever you want, so long as you have the money."


Nouveau riche

Well stocked Vietnamese shop
No more queues - many shops are now full of goods

Vietnam's achievements in the past 20 years stack up. The rate of poverty has halved, the population is literate and relatively healthy and living standards have vastly improved.

But the incomes of those at the bottom aren't rising as quickly as those at the top.

While some eke out a living on the streets, others are living a flashier lifestyle.

Just around the corner from Le Duan Street, old French colonial villas are being turned into consumer stores.

And in a country where the average wage is $700 a year, Hanoi's nouveau riche are buying the latest electronic accessories.

In one mobile phone shop they sell up to 10 phones a week at $2,200 each, mostly to state officials and big business people.


Communist legacy

On the streets of Hanoi, it can be hard to tell that this is still a communist state - so how communist is modern Vietnam?

Exhibit at Hanoi's Ethnology Museum
Bicycles were in short supply 20 years ago

It's still ruled by the Communist Party, the state still controls almost half the economy and the government puts a strong emphasis on reducing poverty.

However, even some people working for the government argue that the real communist legacy is the continuing effort to try to control almost every aspect of life.

Vo Tri Thanh, from the Central Institute of Economic Management, says the country's psychology needs to change.

"The legacy is in a way of thinking, of developing policy," he argues.

"This is a very serious obstacle for Vietnam to continue reform."

Vietnam's urban youth are enjoying the spoils of economic freedom and for the time being aren't questioning communist rule.

But things are changing very fast in Vietnam and the Communist Party still has to demonstrate that it can answer the questions posed by an increasingly capitalist society.

© Broken Plectrum 2006 by Tri Handoyo.

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