Saturday, April 30, 2011

10 tips for smarter, more efficient Internet searching

10 tips for smarter, more efficient Internet searching

By Alan Norton | April 27, 2011, 7:36 AM PDT

Did you hate memorizing seemingly insignificant facts for tests at school? No photographic memory? Good news! Life is now an open-book exam — assuming you have a computer, browser, and Internet access. If you know how to use a good search engine, you don't have to stuff your mind with facts that are useful only when playing Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit.

Chances are, you aren't the first person to run across the problem you are experiencing. Chances are also good that an answer is awaiting your discovery on the Internet — you just have to remove the irrelevant pages and the unhelpful/incorrect results to find that needle in the haystack.

Google has been fanatical about speed. There is little doubt that it has built an incredibly fast and thorough search engine. Unfortunately, the human element of the Internet search equation is often overlooked. These 10 tips are designed to improve that human element and better your Internet search skills. (Note: All examples below refer to the Google search engine.)

This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Use unique, specific terms

It is simply amazing how many Web pages are returned when performing a search. You might guess that the terms blue dolphin are relatively specialized. A Google search of those terms returned 2,440,000 results! To reduce the number of pages returned, use unique terms that are specific to the subject you are researching.

2: Use the minus operator (-) to narrow the search

How many times have you searched for a term and had the search engine return something totally unexpected? Terms with multiple meanings can return a lot of unwanted results. The rarely used but powerful minus operator, equivalent to a Boolean NOT, can remove many unwanted results. For example, when searching for the insect caterpillar, references to the company Caterpillar, Inc. will also be returned. Use Caterpillar -Inc to exclude references to the company or Caterpillar -Inc -Cat to further refine the search.

3: Use quotation marks for exact phrases

I often remember parts of phrases I have seen on a Web page or part of a quotation I want to track down. Using quotation marks around a phrase will return only those exact words in that order. It's one of the best ways to limit the pages returned. Example: "Be nice to nerds".Of course, you must have the phrase exactly right — and if your memory is as good as mine, that can be problematic.

4: Don't use common words and punctuation

Common terms like a and the are called stop words and are usually ignored. Punctuation is also typically ignored. But there are exceptions. Common words and punctuation marks should be used when searching for a specific phrase inside quotes. There are cases when common words like the are significant. For instance, Raven and The Raven return entirely different results.

5: Capitalization

Most search engines do not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase, even within quotation marks. The following are all equivalent:






6: Drop the suffixes

It's usually best to enter the base word so that you don't exclude relevant pages. For example, bird and not birds, walk and not walked. One exception is if you are looking for sites that focus on the act of walking, enter the whole term walking.

7: Maximize AutoComplete

Ordering search terms from general to specific in the search box will display helpful results in a drop-down list and is the most efficient way to use AutoComplete. Selecting the appropriate item as it appears will save time typing. You have several choices for how the AutoComplete feature works:

Use Google AutoComplete. The standard Google start page will display a drop-down list of suggestions supplied by the Google search engine. This option can be a handy way to discover similar, related searches. For example, typing in Tucson fast will not only bring up the suggestion Tucson fast food but also Tucson fast food coupons.

Use browser AutoComplete. Use this Google start page to disable the Google AutoComplete feature and display a list of your previous searches in a drop-down box. I find this particularly useful when I've made dozens of searches in the past for a particular item. The browser's AutoComplete feature must be turned on for this option to work. Click one of these links for instructions detailing how to turn AutoComplete on or off in I.E. and Firefox.


Visual Basic statement case

Visual Basic statement for

Visual Basic call

8: Customize your searches

There are several other less well known ways to limit the number of results returned and reduce your search time:

The plus operator (+): As mentioned above, stop words are typically ignored by the search engine. The plus operator tells the search engine to include those words in the result set. Example: tall +and short will return results that include the word and.

The tide operator (~): Include a tilde in front of a word to return results that include synonyms. The tilde operator does not work well for all terms and sometimes not at all. A search for ~CSS includes the synonym style and returns fashion related style pages –not exactly what someone searching for CSS wants. Examples: ~HTML to get results for HTML with synonyms; ~HTML -HTML to get synonyms only for HTML.

The wildcard operator (*): Google calls it the fill in the blank operator. For example, amusement * will return pages with amusement and any other term(s) the Google search engine deems relevant. You can't use wildcards for parts of words. So for example, amusement p* is invalid.

The OR operator (OR) or (|): Use this operator to return results with either of two terms. For example happy joy will return pages with both happy and joy, while happy | joy will return pages with either happy or joy.

Numeric ranges: You can refine searches that use numeric terms by returning a specific range, but you must supply the unit of measurement. Examples: Windows XP 2003..2005, PC $700 $800.

Site search: Many Web sites have their own site search feature, but you may find that Google site search will return more pages. When doing research, it's best to go directly to the source, and site search is a great way to do that. Example: rapid storage technology.

Related sites: For example, can be used to find sites similar to YouTube.

Change your preferences: Search preferences can be set globally by clicking on the gear icon in the upper-right corner and selecting Search Settings. I like to change the Number Of Results option to 100 to reduce total search time.

Forums-only search: Under the Google logo on the left side of the search result page, click More | Discussions or go to Google Groups. Forums are great places to look for solutions to technical problems.

Advanced searches: Click the Advanced Search button by the search box on the Google start or results page to refine your search by date, country, amount, language, or other criteria.

Wonder Wheel: The Google Wonder Wheel can visually assist you as you refine your search from general to specific. Here's how to use this tool:

Click on More Search Tools | Wonder Wheel in the lower-left section of the screen (Figure A) to load the Wonder Wheel page.

Click on dbms tutorial (Figure B).

Figure A

Figure B

As you can see in Figure C, Google now displays two wheels showing the DBMS and dbms tutorial Wonder Wheels, with the results for dbms tutorial on the right side of the page. You can continue drilling down the tree to further narrow your search. Click the Close button at the top of the results to remove the Wonder Wheel(s).

Figure C

9: Use browser history

Many times, I will be researching an item and scanning through dozens of pages when I suddenly remember something I had originally dismissed as being irrelevant. How do you quickly go back to that Web site? You can try to remember the exact words used for the search and then scan the results for the right site, but there is an easier way. If you can remember the general date and time of the search you can look through the browser history to find the Web page.

10: Set a time limit — then change tactics

Sometimes, you never can find what you are looking for. Start an internal clock, and when a certain amount of time has elapsed without results, stop beating your head against the wall. It's time to try something else:

Use a different search engine, like Yahoo!, Bing, Startpage, or Lycos.

Ask a peer.

Call support.

Ask a question in the appropriate forum.

Use search experts who can find the answer for you.

The bottom line

A tool is only as useful as the typing fingers wielding it. Remember that old acronym GIGO, garbage in, garbage out? Search engines will try to place the most relevant results at the top of the list, but if your search terms are too broad or ambiguous, the results will not be helpful. It is your responsibility to learn how to make your searches both fast and effective.

The Internet is the great equalizer for those who know how to use it efficiently. Anyone can now easily find facts using a search engine instead of dredging them from the gray matter dungeon — assuming they know a few basic tricks. Never underestimate the power of a skilled search expert.
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Jurnalisme Warga, Anda Wartawannya!

Jurnalisme Warga, Anda Wartawannya!

Oleh: Niken Satyawati | 30 April 2011 | 12:33 WIB

Jurnalisme warga (citizen journalism) akhir-akhir ini banyak didengungkan. Kompasiana juga memproklamasikan diri sebagai wahana jurnalisme warga. Nah… sekadar berbagi pendapat tentang isu yang satu ini, berikut adalah tulisan saya tentang hal-hal mendasar dalam jurnalisme warga.

Pada intinya, jurnalisme warga adalah kegiatan partisipasi aktif yang dilakukan oleh MASYARAKAT dalam kegiatan jurnalistik, berupa pengumpulan, pelaporan, analisis serta penyampaian informasi. Yah miri-mirip pekerjaan wartawan lah. Tapi dalam konteks ini, ANDA-lah wartawannya! Bukan wartawan yang bernaung dalam sebuah perusahaan media.

Dimana jurnalis warga bisa menyampaikan karya atau tulisannya?

Yang pertama tentu media mainstream/konvensional baik cetak, elektronik, online. Namun selain itu, seiring dengan perkembangan media dan teknologi informasi, Anda juga bisa menyampaikan karya Anda dalam social media seperti Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Multiply dan tentu tak lupa:  Kompasiana.  Kalau Anda adalah karyawan sebuah perusahaan, silakan mengaktualisasikan diri di newsletter/bulletin lembaga/instansi/perusahaan Anda. Kalau semua media itu tak juga membuat Anda tertarik, ya silakan menciptakan media sendiri.

Apa bentuk keterlibatan Jurnalis warga?

Bentuk keterlibatan yang utama dan pantas diutamakan tentu saja hasil reportase. Hasil reportase ini bisa dikemas dalam bentuk straight news, soft news, feature, investigative news, indepth news tergantung selera Anda, wong Anda sendiri wartawannya. Selain itu bisa dalam bentuk artikel opini, resensi buku , foto kegiatan, video peristiwa, surat pembaca bahkan sekadar komentar di jejaring sosial.
Apa keuntungan yang diperoleh jurnalis warga?

Kepuasan, itu yang pertama. Puas kan kalau tulisan kita terbit dan kemudian diapresiasi/dikomentari orang? Lebih puas lagi kalau akhirnya kita jadi terkenal. Bila sudah dikenal, maka akan muncul kepercayaan dari orang/pembaca kepada kita. Dari situ kita mendapat teman dan juga bisa membangun jaringan.  pada gilirannya bisa jadi pada gilirannya kita juga akan memperoleh keuntungan finansial.


Gak muluk-muluk kok. Cuma daya ingat yang baik, dan syukur-syukur punya notesdan alat menulis. Kata almarhum Rosihan Anwar, jurnalis yang baik memiliki daya ingat yang baik dan mencatat dengan baik. Ini hubungannya dengan akurasi. Makin akurat apa yang disampaikan, makin tinggi integritas seorang wartawan. Oya satu lagi, kalau punya kamera akan lebih baik. Atau seperti sayaaja, bermodal kamera ponsel K800i.

Ketahui news value

Ada baiknya jurnalis warga mengetahui nilai berita (news value), yaitu hal-hal yang  membuat sebuah berita/ artikel bisa memperoleh predikat "layak muat" di media massa. Satu nilai berita sudah memenuhi. Dua nilai berita makin membuat layak muat, dan bila tulisan/artikel kita memenuhi semua unsur nilai berita layak menjadi headline (HL). Nilai-nilai berita itu adalah:

- Penting: Sesuatu isu yang penting dan menyangkut banyak orang.

- Aktualitas: Isunya baru.

- Besar: Besar kejadiannya, besar efeknyabagi orang banyak.

- Kedekatan: Isu yang dekat dengan orang secara lokasi, kesejarahan dll.

- Ketenaran: Isu yang menyangkut orang terkenal tentu lebih menarik.

- Rasa Kemanusiaan: Tulisan yang menggugah rasa kemanusiaan

- Pertentangan: Tentang hal yang berbau konflik/kontroversi.

- Keganjilan/tidak biasa: Kejadian atau sesuatu hal yang tak biasa terjadi.

Akhir kata, untuk bisa menjadi jurbalis warga yang baik, orang mestinya suka mengamati kejadian atau apapun yang ada di sekitar. Apalagi kalau orang itu juga punya feeling detektif (suka menganalisis), tentu lebih baik lagi. Banyak membaca dan banyak jalan-jalan akan menjadi kelebihan tersendiri.

Demikian matakuliah dasar jurnalisme warga hari ini. Sekian dan terima cium.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lecture Capture Boosts Distance Learning at Washington Colleges

Washington's statewide public college system is supporting its ballooning online and blended education programs with lecture capture. The adoption hasn't been painless, but it's helped to further the college system's goals for growth and to support innovation in teaching and learning.

By Bridget McCrea⁠04/27/11⁠

To say that the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges' distance learning program is growing would be an understatement. For years, the board's number of online learners has grown by anywhere from 25 percent to 35 percent annually, greater than some of the top institutions for online enrollment and outpacing overall annual online student enrollment growth figures. More recently, the number of "hybrid" students who take some courses online and others in the classroom pushed that percentage up even higher.

"We are up 67 percent in one year, thanks to the growing number of hybrid students," said Cable Green, director of e-learning and open education for the Olympia, WA-based college system, which provides leadership and coordination for Washington's public system of 34 community and technical colleges.

To ensure that new distance learning technologies are applicable across all of those campuses, Green and his team turned to an established, strategic technology plan focused on leveraging funds and resources at all 34 locations.

Technologies for Learning
"Our strategic plan centers around making sure that all students, faculty, and staff have equal and equitable access to a suite of teaching and learning tools," Green said. "That's our primary goal when we buy and implement new technologies."

He said the college system also factors student success and completion into the equation and uses a "student achievement initiative" that ties student success and completion into a system-wide funding policy. "Our colleges are paid to help students succeed," said Green. "We always keep that in mind when deploying new technologies for teaching and learning."

Green's department used that criterion when it put out an RFP for a lecture capture platform in 2010. A few colleges in the system were already using lecture capture solutions, but the technology wasn't readily available--or in use by--the entire grid.

Around the same time, Green started hearing about other institutions that were successfully using lecture capture to record live presentations and make them available online. "The colleges using the technology seemed to be quite happy with their investments and the fact that students could go back and review lectures," said Green. "And professors like it because if a student missed a class, they could just say, 'Hey don't worry, it was recorded. Go review it online.'"

Interested, Green saw lecture capture as the perfect adjunct for a 13-year-old distance learning program whose IT infrastructure was traditionally centered on a single learning management system. New additions since 2008 include a Webinar solution, e-tutoring support, and a 24/7 virtual reference library service.

After issuing an RFP and reviewing several bids, the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges selected a campus-wide system from Tegrity, an ed tech developer acquired late last year by McGraw-Hill Education. Green said the fact that the solution is cloud-based and required no additional hardware investment, made it particularly attractive.

"Had we gone with a hardware based solution, which is what most lecture capture used to be, we'd be setting up five rooms at each college and leaving it up to the professors to schedule time in those rooms," said Green. "Because everything is stored in the cloud, lecture capture is available in every classroom."

The solution is also available off campus--an important point for a college system that relies on a high number of adjunct faculty members and a few who like to work from home on the weekends. "Our faculty members are all over the [nation]," said Green. "Had we gone with a hardware-based solution, the teacher located outside of Washington and unable to physically be here wouldn't have been able to use it."

Faculty members also like being able to record lectures in advance and upload them for student review. That way, face-to-face class time can be used for more productive activities, such as small seminar discussions, debates, Q&A sessions and problem solving. "Instead of just having a professor lecturing in front of the class for an hour," said Green, "the time can be allocated to two-way conversations and other activities."

Technical Concerns, Lessons Learned
Before the lecture capture system was rolled out, Green said, the IT team had concerns about the amount of bandwidth it would require. After all, large, hour-long video files would be uploaded and accessed via the hosted system.

"People were worried," said Green. To avert the problem, he said users take advantage of the system's ability to delay uploads to times (such as very early in the morning) when more Internet bandwidth is available.

Bandwidth wasn't the only challenge for the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges during the lecture capture implementation.

Green said he regrets not involving the individual colleges' IT directors earlier in the game. "Even though it was just a matter of creating a file and pushing out the image to all of the PCs on campus, that process is a highly regulated one among IT groups," Green explained.

"When we told them we were ready to deploy the hosted solution, they wanted to know what it was, what the risks were, and how much space it would take up," continued Green, who added he advises other colleges to learn from the oversight. "When you're dealing with software-based applications that will be housed on all machines, be sure to roll out a communication campaign for your IT directors."

About the Author

Bridget McCrea is a business and technology writer in Clearwater, FL. She can be reached at

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Odt2braile - aplikasi bantu dari OpenOffice ke Braille untuk Tuna Netra

odt2braille adalah ekstensi Braille ke Writer.
odt2braille akan memungkinkan penulis untuk mencetak dokumen ke
embosser Braille dan untuk mengekspor dokumen sebagai file Braille.
Output Braille diformat dengan baik dan sangat dapat dikustomisasi. adalah bebas dan open source office suite terkemuka
demi kata, spreadsheet processing, presentasi, matematika grafis, dan
database. Dikombinasikan dengan odt2braille, menjadi
lingkungan Braille authoring lengkap.

Sebuah gambaran dari semua fitur dapat ditemukan di halaman

odt2braille adalah bagian Aegis, sebuah proyek terpadu didanai oleh
Komisi Eropa Ketujuh Kerangka Program. AEGIS bertujuan embedding
dukungan aksesibilitas sumber terbuka berdasarkan ke dalam setiap
aspek ICT. AEGIS melakukan hal ini dengan menyediakan tertanam dan
built-in solusi aksesibilitas (untuk meningkatkan pengalaman pengguna
akhir), pengembang alat (untuk memfasilitasi pengembangan perangkat
lunak dapat diakses) serta alat penciptaan dokumen (untuk mendukung
penulis dokumen dalam menciptakan informasi yang dapat diakses).


odt2braille is a Braille extension to Writer.
odt2braille will enable authors to print documents to a Braille
embosser and to export documents as Braille files. The Braille output
is well-formatted and highly customizable. is the leading free and open-source office suite for
word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, math and
databases. Combined with odt2braille, becomes a
complete Braille authoring environment.

An overview of all features can be found on the downloads page.

odt2braille is part of ÆGIS, an integrated project funded under the
European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme. ÆGIS aims at
embedding open source based accessibility support into every aspect of
ICT. ÆGIS does this by providing embedded and built-in accessibility
solutions (to improve end-user experience), developers tools (to
facilitate development of accessible software) as well as document
creation tools (to support document authors in creating accessible
information). :: SMAN 1 Bogor, Inovasi Pembelajaran Kimia :: :: SMAN 1 Bogor, Inovasi Pembelajaran Kimia ::

Citizen6, Bogor: Inovasi pembelajaran kimia SMAN 1 Bogor dengan memanfaatkan lagu terkenal lalu diganti liriknya menjadi materi ajar kimia. (Pengirim: Fathur Rahman)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yale Begins Move to to Google Apps

By David Nagel⁠04/19/11⁠

Yale University's Information Technology Services (ITS) department revealed Monday that the campus will formally move to Google Apps for Education, the free suite of online collaboration and communications tools, including hosted e-mail, calendars, video chat, and productivity software.

In a post in the Yale Daily Bulletin Monday, Chuck Powell, associate CIO for operations, support, and services within ITS, said the move is designed to benefit students with additional services and free up staff to handle projects that the internal ITS department is better suited to handle. He added that the move has taken security concerns into consideration, concerns that had been raised last year when hints of the move became public. "We have a contract with Google that we think takes good care of Yale's privacy and security," Powell said in the Bulletin post.

According to Powell, "Yale currently uses a combination of Linux IMAP servers and Microsoft Exchange servers as its central mail solution. Yale will move to aggressively source as much of its e-mail to cloud based vendors as rapidly as can be managed, starting with the student population."

The migration to Google Apps is expected to be completed by the end of the 2011-2012 academic year for students and for the 2012-2013 year for faculty and staff, according to the university. Some departments with specific needs will remain with an on-premises e-mail system.

Editor's note: This article has been modified since its original publication to correct a factual error. We previously stated that Yale was using Microsoft Exchange for its current e-mail solution. Yale is actually using a combination of systems, as it is now noted in paragraph 3. [Last updated April 20, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.] --David Nagel

Anda siap migrasi ke GoogleDocs ? Kontak kami untuk layanan migrasi mail server Anda..

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Zend - Adobe Flash Builder

Announcing Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP
On April 11th, Zend and Adobe announced a new product: Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP. While it's not specific to the IBM i platform, it makes it easier than ever to add rich, interactive interfaces to any PHP application. If you want to create mobile applications that run natively on iOS/Android/Blackberry and connect to your IBM i server running PHP, this is the tool for you!

Learn more about Flash Builder 4.5 for PHP »
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mengapa dan Bagaimana Open Source di Dunia Pendidikan

Kolom Open Source

Mengapa dan Bagaimana Open Source di Dunia Pendidikan

Penulis: Ahmad Saiful Muhajir : detikInet

detikcom - Jakarta, Membawa open source ke dunia pendidikan memang bukan perkara mudah. Apalagi jika berurusan dengan pendidikan atas setingkat universitas.

Salah satu alasan tak mudahnya membawa open source adalah latar belakang mahasiswa yang telah terbiasa dan nyaman dengan produk proprietary. Dan karena itu perubahan ke open source membutuhkan usaha yang lebih keras.

Langkah pertama sebelum mengajak beralih menggunakan open source adalah membuka pemikiran. Hal utama untuk membuka pikiran yang paling tepat adalah memberikan jawaban dari pertanyaan, mengapa.

Mengapa para siswa/mahasiswa harus beralih ke open source?

Dunia kerja

Membantah kalimat bahwa open source lebih banyak digunakan di dunia pekerjaan adalah hampir mustahil. Di banyak pencari pekerjaan, sebagian besar mensyaratkan seorang pelamar memiliki kemampuan di bidang open source –baik disadari maupun tidak.

Jika anda berkunjung ke situs-situs pencari kerja, maka anda akan menemukan banyak sekali pekerjaan semacam PHP programmer, system administrator, J2EE programmer, database administrator, dan lain sebagainya. Sebagian besar adalah produk open source.

Gartner, sebuah perusahaan periset di bidang informasi dan teknologi, dalam riset terakhirnya yang dirilis Februari lalu mengungkapkan bahwa lebih dari 50% organisasi dan perusahaan besar telah menggunakan produk open source untuk lingkungan pekerjaan mereka.

Dengan memiliki kemampuan di bidang open source tentu saja akan membuka kesempatan yang lebih besar bagi seorang lulusan untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan.

Belajar bersama

Dunia open source adalah dunia komunitas. Dengan kekuatan komunitas inilah open source dapat berkembang sedemikian pesat dan besar.

Linux kernel, MySQL, Java, WordPress, Blender adalah contoh nyata kekuatan komunitas di mana masing-masing personal belajar bersama dengan yang lain untuk membuat sebuah produk berkualitas dan lebih baik.

Dengan belajar bersama seseorang akan dikenal dan menjadi semakin mahir dalam bidang tertentu. Dan tidak hanya itu, semakin seseorang mahir dan terbukti kemampuannya dalam sebuah komunitas dia akan semakin dikenal oleh banyak orang dan akan mendapat kesempatan lebih banyak. Ada banyak nama yang dapat disebut dari suksesnya proyek open source yang telah mereka buat.


Salah satu misi paling mulia yang dimiliki open source adalah free. Free dalam dunia open source tidak selalu berarti gratis, melainkan lebih tepat jika disebut freedom/bebas. Itulah mengapa terdapat istilah FOSS (Free/Open Source Software)/FLOSS (Free/Libre/Open Source Software) selain istilah Open Source Software.

Satu alasan utama Richard Stallman membuat Free software movement dan GNU adalah keinginannya untuk bisa bebas menggunakan sistem yang dimilikinya.

Dengan open source seseorang bisa mengintip kode, mengubah dan menjadikannya lebih baik dari sebelumnya. Dengan membaca kode yang ada seseorang tahu dengan pasti apa yang dilakukan sistem ketika ia dijalankan.

Open Source juga dapat dibisniskan

Membiarkan kode terbuka tidak berarti produk tersebut tidak dapat dijual. Siapapun yang membuat sebuah software open source dapat menjualnya, baik bentuk produk maupun support.

Red Hat, sebuah perusahaan ternama di dunia open source akhir Februari lalu berhasil membukukan keuntungan sebesar 244,8 juta dolar Amerika untuk masa kuartal keempat saja.

Sebuah nilai keuntungan yang luar biasa untuk perusahaan open source. Hal ini mematahkan teori yang mengatakan bahwa open source dan bisnis tidak bisa menjadi kawan.

Bagaimana memulainya?

Mulailah dengan hal kecil seperti berpindah menggunakan aplikasi office ke atau LibreOffice. Gunakan GIMP untuk editing foto dan cobalah Blender untuk membuat animasi.

Blender adalah aplikasi editing animasi yang luar biasa. Beberapa contoh film animasi yang dibuat dengan Blender dapat dilihat di

Bagi programmer atau peminat pemrograman cobalah untuk membuat proyek program yang dibutuhkan oleh orang lain dan membuat mereka merasa terbantu. Atau bisa juga proyek yang berguna untuk organisasi-organisasi non-profit sebagai tahap awal.

Dari hal kecil inilah setelah itu dilanjutkan dengan yang lebih besar secara bertahap.

Bergabunglah dengan komunitas dan jadilah aktif. Dengan bergabung dengan komunitas, anda akan mendapatkan dukungan dan tidak merasa berjalan sendirian.

Untuk membuka jalan lebih lebar bergabunglah juga dengan komunitas open source internasional sehingga akan mendapatkan lebih banyak keuntungan. Keaktifan seseorang dalam sebuah komunitas akan menjadikan dirinya dikenal dan lebih merasa tertantang untuk menjadi lebih baik.

Cari lebih banyak tantangan. Orang bijak mengatakan hidup tanpa tantangan itu hampa. Nah, agar perjalanan di dunia open source tidak hampa carilah lebih banyak tantangan dan usahakan untuk menyelesaikan tantangan tersebut.

Jangan menyerah. Di tengah perjalanan mungkin akan ada masalah yang terjadi. Error di sana-sini dan lain sebagainya. Inilah gunanya memiliki teman di komunitas. Berkonsultasilah dengan orang terpercaya dan jadikan pengalaman yang didapat sebagai database yang menjadikan anda lebih pintar.

Ketika tengah disibukkan dengan menyelesaikan berbagai tantangan inilah, tanpa terasa anda telah menjadi seorang yang mahir dalam bidang open source dan membuat kawan-kawan anda merasa iri.

Semoga sukses dan teruslah semangat!

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Friday, April 15, 2011

10 things you gotta have to succeed in IT

By Jack Wallen | April 13, 2011, 8:44 AM PDT

I recently wrote a string of articles discussing various reasons to leave IT — and various alternative careers for dissatisfied IT workers. I received an amazing amount of feedback from readers who have always wanted to express similar sentiments. But that leaves out a huge swath of people: those who desperately want a career in IT, as well as those who are caught somewhere in Limbo, trying to answer questions regarding their ability to remain in their chosen field.

So I thought I would go about this topic from another angle to help those people decide whether they're made up of the stuff necessary for a career in IT. I'm fairly confident everyone agrees it's a tough field. What everyone may not agree on is what it takes to be a successful IT worker. Let's see if this list of 10 things fits your qualifications.

Note: This article is also available as a PDF download.

1: Thick skin

Let's face it. Workers in the IT industry get hit hard, from every direction. If you're not getting your chops busted by someone insisting you get a job done yesterday, you're getting torn apart because the client's QuickBooks data file can't be recovered. It doesn't seem to matter how much skill you have. If you can't take the biting comments and accusations of clients, you won't make it. Thick skin also helps you get through those periods when you, or your boss, doubts those skills you have. You don't want to have to leave at the end of the day thinking you have failed at every job you've done, just because someone had it in for you that day.

2: Persistence

The IT industry is an ever-changing landscape, and every day a new problem makes itself known. In some cases, those problems don't ever seem to want to go away. Without the ability to grapple with an issue for extended periods of time, you might find this industry more of a challenge than you care to take on. Viruses will always be an issue. Updates that tank systems will happen with more consistency than you want to deal with. End users will never really understand how computers work. If you don't have the persistent, stubborn nature necessary to meet these challenges, get out now or you will be beat down daily.

3: Youth

Although I like to think IT is a field not affected by age discrimination, it really is best suited for the younger professionals. There are numerous reasons for this. First, there are the hours. IT often requires far more hours than the usual 9-t0-5 job. When a company goes down, the administrator must respond — and this could easily mean any time of day, night, or week. Those hours add up and (generally speaking) only the younger workers can keep those types of hours up week after week. Add to that the energy required to keep systems and networks up, and it should be obvious the best IT workers tend to fall into that 25 to 45 age range. The good news? Even if you start at the age of 25, there's a 20-year career waiting for you.

4: Patience

Users and clients are endlessly frustrating. If you have little or no patience, those people will quickly drive you out of the field. And if they don't completely drive you away, they will at least drive away your joy for the human race. Without patience, you won't stand a chance in the IT field. But it's not only because of the people. Systems will test your patience as well. We've all seen the video of the IT admin going ballistic on a PC. It happens. A persistent problem arises and it makes you want to ram your fist down the throat of the PC you're working on. With enough patience, you will save both your knuckles and your sanity.

5: Skills

This one should go without saying — but I must mention it. Too many times, you see people hop into the field because they managed to get through the MSCE training. But those certified workers quickly realize their classes only prepared them how to walk through a GUI. In the real world, problems arise that require numerous skills to resolve. The skills necessary to work in the IT field don't end with the ability to properly configure a domain or Exchange server, they tend to be all inclusive. You never know what you're going to be required to do on a given day. Think about it this way. When you are seen as an IT administrator, you are not only a specialist in DB administration, you are also a walking help desk who will be asked any and all questions related to work and home computers. And if you don't have the answers for the right person (at the right time), you might find yourself at the back of the line watching someone else with the answers.

6: The ability to improvise

I mean this on many levels. Not only do you need to know how to improvise a conversation. Admit it — there will be times when you'll have to convince someone that you know exactly what you are doing, even when you don't. But you will also run into situations where you have to improvise a solution. I have witnessed (and experienced) situations where the prescribed solution simply did not work. When that happens, the only way out is to come up with a solution on your own.

7: A good sense of PR

If you're a consultant, you have to be your own marketing firm. Most solo consultants do not have the budget to hire out their PR work, so they wind up doing it all on their own. This means social networking, building a Web site, writing and submitting advertisements, old-school networking, and much more. If you can't do this, your business will flounder. When you go into business for yourself, you must know the best routes for marketing in your area. Whether this is TV, radio, social networks, or flyers, you have to have the motivation and skills to handle that aspect of the business. Although word of mouth is the best PR you can get, it still has to begin somewhere.

8: Connections

This might seem a bit strange, but as a member of the IT field (especially if you're a solo consultant), you have to have connections in many related and nonrelated industries. For example, you will have customers who need rooms cabled, so you might need someone who can do drywall finishing. You might need to have an electrician in your back pocket. If you don't have specific skills, you need to know those in the industry who do. The last thing you want to tell a client is that you can't do something. Instead, you can tell them you will get it done and then subcontract that job. So long as the job gets done and the customer is happy, you will still look good. But if you can't job something out, and you have to tell the client no, the possibility of that client returning to you grows slimmer and slimmer.

9: The desire to learn

As I mentioned earlier, IT is an ever-changing industry. The minute a technology is released, it is out of date. So anyone wanting to tackle a career in IT must have a strong desire to learn. You will be challenged on a daily basis to learn something new. If you don't like learning (be it on your own, with another person, or in a classroom), you should forget about IT. Without the desire to learn, you will quickly fall behind the competition. And believe me, it's a competitive world out there, especially so with the economy still attempting to recover.

10: Passion

Passion for IT is an intrinsic need for every IT worker. If you don't love technology and solving problems, IT is not the right field for you. That passion is the intangible thing that will often get you through the day when everything else on this list fails. And a strong passion for IT will also drive most of the other points here far beyond what sheer intelligence and business savvy can manage. After years of working in the field, passion will also help you get up every morning excited for the workday ahead. Without passion, the IT field can quickly become an empty, soulless place.

When it's right

I've been pretty hard on the IT industry over the past few months. But ultimately, it is an exciting field to work in. Where else can you play with technology all day, solve problems, and make sure businesses continue to exchange product for currency on a daily basis? But just because you know how to resolve Problem A with Solution X doesn't mean you are suited for the IT industry. It requires much more than what your local computer science program will teach you. On top of all those Windows, Linux, and Mac skills, you need life, business, and marketing skills (with the added benefit of youth). With all those qualities intact, you are sure to enjoy a long, successful career in the IT field
build, access and manage your IT infrastructure and web applications

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Be the Best of Whatever You Are - Kerendahan Hati

Be the Best of Whatever You Are

By Douglas Malloch

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill,
Be a scrub in the valley — but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass —
But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here,
There's big work to do, and there's lesser to do,
And the task you must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail —
Be the best of whatever you are!

Kerendahan Hati

Kalau engkau tak mampu menjadi beringin yang tegak di puncak bukit
Jadilah belukar, tetapi belukar yang baik, yang tumbuh di tepi danau.

Kalau kamu tak sanggup menjadi belukar,
Jadilah saja rumput, tetapi rumput yangmemperkuat tanggul pinggiran jalan.

Kalau engkau tak mampu menjadi jalan raya
Jadilah saja jalan kecil,
Tetapi jalan setapak yang
Membawa orang ke mata air

Tidaklah semua menjadi kapten
tentu harus ada awak kapalnya….

Bukan besar kecilnya tugas yang menjadikan tinggi
rendahnya nilai dirimu
Jadilah saja dirimu….

Sebaik-baiknya dari dirimu sendiri

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why Mentoring Helps Men More Than Women

By Kimberly Weisul | March 25, 2011

The biggest companies are awash in mentoring programs aimed at helping high-potential employees, particularly women, succeed. A good mentor is supposed to provide career advice, give feedback on how to improve performance, help provide access to important networks and show mentees how to navigate corporate politics.

But research from the non-profit group Catalyst shows that while both men and women gain by having a mentor, men benefit more. Part of this may be due to the people that men choose as mentors and part of it may be because of what those mentors actually do.

The study on mentoring and high-potential MBA grads suggests that the most effective mentors go well beyond the typical description of mentoring, morphing into 'sponsors' who actively lobby to get 'their' high-potential people promoted or slotted into high-visibility positions. It's interesting that many corporate mentoring programs actively try to discourage this, choosing mentors that work in different departments or lines of business that are far removed from their mentees.

Who Benefits from Mentoring?

Having a mentor, especially one at the CEO or senior executive level, led both men and women to get more promotions and more pay. But it didn't do much to narrow the gap between men and women on either of these measures.

Having a mentor helped both men and women. Men who had a mentor were 93 percent more likely than men without a mentor to get their first post-MBA job at mid-manager level or above. Women with a mentor were 56 percent more likely than women without a mentor to get their first post-MBA job at mid-management or above.

Having a mentor raised a man's salary (again, in his first post-MBA job) by $9,260.

Having a mentor raised a woman's salary in her first post-MBA job by only $661.

You're more likely to get a big bump in salary if you have a mentor higher up the ladder. This sounds obvious, but women are much less likely than men to have mentors in senior executive positions. Men's mentors tend to be male, and therefore higher up the corporate ladder, than women's mentors, who are more likely to be female.

Women should seek out mentors who are at the CEO or senior executive level. Some 62 percent of men had a mentor at the CEO or senior executive level, compared to 52 percent of women. Men's mentors were more senior than women's even after controlling for the job level of the mentee. Some 91 percent of men had male mentors, but only 9 percent of female mentors had male mentors. Some 65 percent of high-women women had male mentors, and 35 percent of high-potential women had female mentors.

And if you don't believe a wage gap exists between men and women, consider this:

For men, each promotion from their 2008 job during the years tracked by the study amounted to an extra 21 percent in compensation.

For women, each promotion from their 2008 job amounted to only an extra 2 percent in compensation.

Has a mentor helped you in your career? If so, how?
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