22 Oktober 2013

Shifting to e-book reader: new kindle paperwhite

Kindle paperwhite 2013 model
I was thinking, by having smartphone I could easily access and read my e-book collection anytime anywhere. Then I found it hurts my eyes due to its small display. Then, I thought, maybe by having tablet (iPad, galaxy tab, etc.) it would be better to read e-book. But, again, I feel it would be uncomfortable to use premium-electronic device in the middle of crowd. Of course that's only my personal opinion, for others it might be different. Even my friends said they were buying iPad to ease them to read papers during commuting time.
Except for the uncomfortable reason, another shortcoming if I bought tablet for e-book reading purpose would be the distraction I cannot hold from other application in the tab. Imagine, during reading, a notification from social media arrives and distract my progress. Or before reading, my intention to read changed because the temptation to play game and other entertainment apps. 
So I was thinking to find a much simple device just to read e-books. Then I remember kindle from Amazon. Before I came to Japan, I was criticized my friend who wants to buy kindle. I said why you spent money for a single purpose device? You can postpone that and buy a tablet when you have enough money.

But now, with those reasons I mentioned earlier, I prefer to have kindle than tablet for e-book reading purpose.

I decide to purchase one when I planned to buy a paperback book. At that time I was thinking how can I bring a lot of book when I leave Japan? And also I feel bringing paperbook everywhere is a burden for me. In addition, it's my nature since primary school , I don't know why, everytime I put a book in my bag, there's always some part damage. Especially in the corner of cover part.

So here I just received new paperwhite today. Actually the appearance is similar to last year model, but there are some improvement in the chip. The device has no operation system, it use java. That's why kindle is very simple.
When I open the case this morning, I was amazed with paper look-alike display. I even thought it was covering plastic screen that I tried to remove it.

Before receiving this kindle I already bought a kindle e-book, so this morning on my way to school I tried enjoying kindle.
And, yeah, it's nice. It's light, simple and made me enjoy reading.
* If you want to compare new kindle paperwhite (2013 model) better to check this out: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/ebook-readers/384721/amazon-kindle-paperwhite-2013

02 Juni 2013

One Day in a Dream Land: Tokyo Disneysea

I knew about Tokyo Disneyland before coming to Japan. At that time I was stalking on one of my friends facebook page and found h** photos in Disneyland during h** exchange in Japan. Then I set a dream to visit Tokyo Disneyland someday. Later, I realized there are two Disney parks in Tokyo: Disneyland and Disneysea. I knew that from my friend's blog here. People said that Disneysea is more suitable and romantic place for teenager and adults to visit. Once I arrived in Tokyo and lived here, I put in my mind that Disneysea should be the ultimate amusement park I have to visit. So I refrain my self to go there until I get a special moment or go with a special person :D

Actually I was planning to go there in summer this year during my family visit. However, plan changed, added precisely, and I paid a visit with my friend last week. To be noted: he is not " a special person" I was defined earlier :p

Tokyo Disney Resort is always crowded in the weekend, that's what people said. So I tried to secure my visiting time by buying the tickets two days before at Disney Store near my dormitory in Odaiba. There are several Disney Stores in Tokyo which also has a Disney Ticket Counter, and the nearby store in my area is in Aqua City Odaiba. I bought two tickets in advance which cost 6,200 yen each. Actually there is a discount for Tokyo residents until next month, but we have to go there on weekdays. And unfortunately I couldn't able to leave my undergoing thesis experiment during weekdays.

We left for Disneysea in the early morning of Saturday. We went by subway Rinkai Line, bound for Shin Kiba (the last station) and transfer to JR Line heading for Maihama Station, the nearest station in the front of Disney Resort. Then from there we took Disney Resort monorel train which stop in the four stations inside the resort: Tokyo Disneyland Station, Bayside Station, Tokyo Disneysea Station and Resort Gateway Station. The resort open from 8.00 a.m. until 22.00 p.m. We were planning to arrive there as early as possible, but...whoaa...it seemed people had the same mind with us.
Visitor of Disneyland. Very crowded during weekends. Similar situation with Disneysea.

Disneysea has two side entrance/exit gates and each gate has several gates. All of them were crowded. Although we got advance tickets on our hand, we still have to line up up to 15' until we finally reached Disneysea Plaza (kind of welcoming area).

Disneysea Plaza

Mediterranean style building

"Spring Voyage" - seasonal theme during my visit

Main landmark of Disneysea: Volcanic mountain - Mt. Prometheus, it has the same height with Cinderella castle in Tokyo Disneyland

07 Mei 2013

Another Piece of Puzzle

Maka nikmat Tuhan kamu yang manakah yang kamu dustakan?
QS Ar-Rahmaan

Saya ingin menulis sesuatu yang berhubungan dengan tulisan saya beberapa waktu lalu di sini.

Perjalanan hidup ini bagaikan puzzle. Setiap kita meletakkan satu puzzle yang berhubungan dengan puzzle yang telah kita letakkan sebelumnya, kita akan melihat satu gambaran baru. Dan akhirnya kita merasakan bahwa kejadian-kejadian sebelumnya dan yang akan datang memang sudah diskenariokan oleh Sang Pembuat puzzle.

Sudah berapa banyakkah puzzle yang telah saya dapatkan? Tentunya sangat banyak sekali, sebanyak pengalaman yang telah terekam dalam memori saya. Inilah beberapa puzzle yang pernah saya dapat dalam hidup saya:

06 Mei 2013

Nonton Konser: Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

Dalam periode tertentu International Center Advising Room Todai selalu menawarkan tiket gratis pertunjukan seni untuk mahasiswa. Kadang, bahkan tak jarang, jika peminatnya banyak dilakukan sistem pengundian. Pertunjukan seni yang ditawarkan itu bermacam-macam, ada pertunjukan tradisional Jepang seperti Sumo, Bunraku, Kabuki, hingga pertunjukan orkestra simponi. Beberapa kali saya melewatkan kesempatan itu karena waktu pertunjukan yang tidak pas dan kalah dalam undian. Saat itu saya pesan dua tiket untuk pertunjukan orkestra simponi, dengan pertimbangan nanti bisa ngajak teman siapapun itu. Ehh, ternyata sepertinya konser tersebut banyak peminatnya, dengan memesan dua tiket ternyata kans saya semakin kecil. Akhirnya niat saya untuk mencoba menikmati "konser mahal" pun tidak terlaksana. Sebetulnya saya bukan orang yang pandai bermusik ataupun "fans" musik klasik. Saya hanyalah simpatisan. Hal ini berawal dari hobi saya membaca komik biografi tokoh dunia saat SD yang diantaranya ada biografi Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart dan Ludwig van Beethoven. Lalu saat SMA saya dikirimi ayah saya kaset musik klasik/ baroque karya Beethoven dan Mozart. Sejak saat itu hanya musik klasik dan lantunan Al quran saja yang bisa menemani saya belajar tanpa mengganggu konsentrasi. Kalau saya belajar sambil mendengar musik yang berlirik, konsentrasi saya pasti buyar.

Meskipun gagal dapat undian untuk nonton konser, akhirnya kesempatan lain pun datang. Salah satu teman saya diberi jatah tiket konser dari pemberi beasiswanya dan menawarkan satu tiket untuk saya. Ternyata kursinya pun dapet yang paling mahal, uwow! Beruntung banget. Akhirnya berangkatlah saya di hari Kamis sore tanggal 18 April itu. Sebenarnya siangnya saya sedang melakukan eksperimen, dan sore itu hasilnya kurang memuaskan, jadilah dengan emosi saya langsung escape dari lab :p

Konser Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

07 April 2013

Cityscape: Parking Tower and Non Signaled Crossroad in Shimbashi

Today I was accompanying my friend strolling around Odaiba and Shimbashi. After getting out from Tamiya Plamodel Factory in Shimbashi we separated and I took a walk toward Yurikamome Station in Shiodome. There were two fascinating photos I took along the street. The first one is a picture of Parking Tower in Shiodome area. Perhaps it's common for Tokyo citizen, but for me, I imagined that the building will also be appear in hometown which already suffer from traffic jam. Private cars everywhere without enough public transportation. Once good public transportation has been established, this kind of building should be placed near the hub or station that access public transportation system. I guess this parking building adopt automated parking system like in this video. Imagine how efficient it would be to tackle parking-space problem. In addition, in the back side of the building, there are integrated service station and gas station.

Parking Tower in Shimbashi Area
I continued my journey and entered Shiodome district. Shiodome was a freight station for Tokyo before it was converted into commercial and business district. On the weekend this area is quite peaceful, not like on the weekdays when it is fulfilled with salaryman (Japanese workers who wear suit). The interesting thing here is there are many crossroads without signal (traffic light) and it is guarded with at least six police officers in each crossroad as you can mention in the picture below. Their job is to make sure pedestrian cross safely by controlling traffic flow. I'm not sure if they are temporarily stationed there due to signal construction because I didn't see any construction work. If they work there everyday just to guard the crossroad (I counted there are three crossroads without signal), it's amazing! 6 officer for just one crossroad!

Non signaled crossing road guarded by 6 police officers
That is my story today from the city I lived in: Tokyo

29 Maret 2013

Assembling a Dream

I was asking my friend to bring me a map of London when she finished her research visit in that city. Why a map?
Firstly, I like geography. By exploring a map, I can make an imagination about the place. It's very interesting. When I was in junior high school I have an A0 size map of China. It was sent by Chinese Embassy as a reply to my mail for asking them to give me some materials about China. I was enjoying that map while playing "Three Kingdom" game in my computer. Every time I enter new stage, I checked the location in the real map, so I can imagine where did I play.

Secondly, as I said, map can help me imagine places. If you can vividly imagine one thing and have a passion to pursue that thing, then it will foster you to achieve that image/dream. By having this map, I hope I can step my foot in that city sometimes in the future. Do you know why I can be here in Tokyo? It was started from a dream and imagination about this city. By staring at a map of Tokyo in my room, I can saw my self strolling around the city.

So, looking at map and starting to imagine a future, is a first step to realize your dream. I hope I can be here someday... London.

Map of London

16 Maret 2013

Selamat Jalan

Masih terpatri dalam ingatan saya.

Malam hari di Jalan Ambon beberapa tahun silam, di dalam sebuah bus malam yang dipenuhi anak-anak SMA dengan pakaian dan topi OSIS serta jaket hitam yang merupakan setelan seragam malam sekolah mereka. Setelah melepas penat di waktu cuti mereka, akhirnya malam itu mereka harus kembali ke sekolah asrama mereka di jantung pulau Jawa. Saat sang supir sudah memasuki ruang kemudi, tiba-tiba ada seorang bapak-bapak dengan nada setengah membentak berbicara kepada sopir tersebut, "Pak! Inget, jangan ngantuk ya! Bapak ini membawa aset bangsa, masa depan negara ini!"

Sekarang sosok berkarakter tersebut sudah kembali kepada Sang Pencipta. Bagi saya pribadi, selama bersekolah di SMA TN, beliau banyak membantu kami, terutama siswa-siswi asal Panda Jawa Barat.

Selamat jalan Om Hazarmein. Semoga Allah SWT menempatkan beliau di tempat terbaik di sisi-Nya.

Semoga diberi kekuatan dan ketabahan atas cobaan ini: Gerry, Hasbi, Kemal, dan tante Tetty.

08 Maret 2013

HATTI-nya Jepang (1)

Saya pertama kali kenal JGS (Japanese Geotechnical Society) saat menggunakan buku standar uji lab JGS untuk pengujian properti tanah yang akan digunakan dalam eksperimen saya. Saat itu yang ada dalam benak saya tentang JGS adalah sama seperti asosiasi profesional di Indonesia seperti PII, HAKI, HATTI, dan sebagainya yang kegiatannya seputar sertifikasi profesi dan penyelenggaraan konferensi/ seminar. Sejujurnya saya tidak tahu terlalu banyak tentang organisasi profesi lainnya di Indonesia selain HATTI, dimana saya pernah berkesempatan mengikuti pertemuan ilmiah tahunannya.

Tapi bayangan saya tentang JGS ini berubah saat lab kami mengikuti Soil-Strucure Contest yang diadakan oleh JGS cabang Kanto (Tokyo dan sekitarnya). Kegiatan ini diikuti oleh perwakilan lab-lab geoteknik di universitas-universitas yang berada di daerah Kanto. Cukup unik bagi saya karena sebelumnya saya belum pernah melihat kompetisi yang betul-betul melingkupi bidang geoteknik. Saat saya mahasiswa dulu memang ada beberapa kompetisi teknik sipil seperti KJI (Kompetisi Jembatan Indonesia) yang diadakan di Jakarta dan kompetisi terkait perencanaan transportasi yang dulu pernah diselenggarakan oleh HMS ITB, tapi belum pernah saya temukan kompetisi tentang geoteknik.

Soil-Structure Contest ini terlihat sederhana, setiap tim diharuskan membuat sebuah simple beam (balok sederhana) dari beberapa jenis tanah dan geogrid yang disediakan oleh panitia. Dimensinya? Hanya memiliki panjang 30 cm!
Bayangkan KJI yang mengharuskan kita mendesain dan memfabrikasi jembatan yang skalanya boleh dikatakan jauh lebih besar dibandingkan simple beam dari tanah ini. Pada kompetisi Soil-Structure Contest ini tim yang menang adalah tim yang baloknya bisa menahan beban terbesar saat diberi point load test.

01 Maret 2013

My First Ski Experience

I know this sport probably when I played a mini game in the old version of Windows called Ski Free. At that time I was very exciting about computer and spent my time, if possible, in my dad's office to play it. It was quite easy to play, just move your hero left and right to avoid trees and dinosaur (or yetti?) who chased you.

Now, several years later I have a chance to try the real ski, here, in Japan. It was last weekend when my lab together with lab in IIS and Saitama University organizing ski trip to a ski resort in Daikurayama, Minami Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture. Previously my dormitory had organized this kind of trip with cheaper price, however the time wasn't convenience for me, I still had a class. This lab trip costs us ¥24,000 for 2 days and 1 night staying in nice hotel with delicious food. It was good opportunity for me as a beginner because all things already organized, including ski equipment rent, cable car ticket and ski practice. Later maybe I will go ski by myself because I already know what to do in ski resort.

We left from Komaba IIS at 22.30 on Saturday night to Saitama University to pick up other students, then the bus headed north to our destination. That night trip made us couldn't see the scenery along the road, however we can enjoy the scenery later in our way back to Tokyo. After six hours journey, we reached the resort in the morning. I think we could reached the place earlier if the bus driver drove the bus without stopping, because I realized that he stopped for a long time at one rest area in Tohoku Expressway. Whether he slept or not, we reached at the exact time as in the schedule: 5.00 a.m.!

We took a rest in a pub area of the hotel because our check-in time will be in the evening. During that waiting period, I offered Fajr prayer in the changing room.

Then, after breakfast we started picking our rented equipment and go outside. It was great to feel thick snow layer! Actually I had experienced a snowfall in Tokyo before, but it was only one day and not as thick as in the northern territory.
Wearing our rented equipments
Before ski lesson

01 Januari 2013


Pergantian tahun masehi bisa menjadi momentum perubahan. Mengevaluasi tahun kemarin dan merencanakan tahun depan. Alhamdulillah dan Bismillah. 

明けましておめでとう!(akemashite omedetou)
Selamat tahun baru!

Tahun baru di daerah Zozoji Temple & Tokyo Tower