Arsip Tag: Jakarta Post

My Old Article (6): Fun with cyber jargon


JAKARTA (JP): Have you ever browsed to listen to the radio program? It is real time! What is not real about the time? No millennium bug has plagued the world. This must be a pretty big bug. Millennium bug and real time along with many other new words, phrases, and terms are the product of the digital era, the new economy era.

English is very fluid, both in absorbing words from other languages and in creating new words. English is the easiest language to learn, yet for some people like me, English can be difficult to master.

With the help of an eccentric novelist, William Gibson, the word cyberspace was coined in 1984 and was then popularized. We are now familiar with many words started with the suffix cyber: cybercity, cybercafe, cyberworld, cyberpunk, cybernaut, cybersquatting, cyberwoozling, cybrarian, and many more.

The suffix cyber may have been picked from the word cybernetics, the science of communication and control theory.

How could it have been adapted from the word cybernetics? First of all, cybernetics (1960s) came before cyberspace (1980s). Cybernetics is the control systems study (of aircraft guns) designed by Nobert Wiener of MIT during the World War II. It helped pave the way for the electronic brains that we call computers. The word cyberspace (Gibson, Neuromancer, 1984) came afterwards.

Once a prominent person or a best-selling novel uses an unusual word or phrase, it seems that everyone rushes to learn and use it. Cybernetics was not as famous as cyberspace. The latter is used widely on the Net and mass media has endorsed the usage of the word. Cyberspace is only more famous, but not the first to deal with computers.

There are some other unique phrases, terms, and words that are in current use, such as arguably (Dana Scully of the X-Files used it. With her cold expression she once smiled and said, “”They arguably call it the alien.””), or FAQ (frequently asked questions), WYSIWYG (wiz-ee-wig — what you see is what you get), and many other acronyms. Acronym (from the Greek “”acro”” — in the sense of extreme or tip, and “”onyma”” or name) is the abbreviation of several words in such a way that the abbreviation itself forms a word.

The Net has introduced many other acronyms to support and speed up communication via the non-F2F (face-to-face) medium: the computer. With the expression on the face concealed behind the laptop screen, would not be easily communicated to your opponent thousand of miles away from Jakarta. Before you could touch-type the keyboard, you found it even harder to express what you needed to say promptly. “”Find the [a] on my left, and the [l] on my right, and hit [enter], then go back with [esc]””. Too complicated.

Speed is one characteristic of today’s Internet. If I can type words and as fast as my head tells me to, this would really help my interaction with others on the Net. Things have changed at the speed of light, and are changing. Anyone waiting for anything technological to be perfected into a new improved model would wait forever and be left behind.

Moore’s Law, coined by Gordon Moore (1965), states that microchips double their power (speed and overall capability) and get twice as cheap every 18 months. Back in the early 1990s, the first Internet era in Indonesia, I remember I saw “”baud rate”” on my black and white screen — now the term to measure data transmission speed is bps, bits per second.

My first and expensive Internet connection was so slow that I could sit in front of my computer while watching TV, brushing my hair, and making a cup of coffee — all at the same time. Suddenly “”NO CARRIER”” appeared as I gazed at the screen in front of me! I had been disconnected. Talk about speed!

That was then, and this is now. Many abbreviations, acronyms, words, and phrases are rushing into our everyday’s life. At the click of mouse, every time I browse the Net, I find at least five new technical words and I store them to my local kooky brain afterwards. Some of them are original, funny or weird, some of them are just derived from common English.

I have sorted these new words into several boxes. Besides acronyms and abbreviations, there are combined words, such as: Microsoft (micro from tiny and soft, short for software) or abandonware (a computer software that is no longer in favor nor is marketed by its original creator). Pixel came from picture element. Other easy-to-guess words share the root of an already common word. From the word broadcast, look out for narrowcast, multicast, unicast, and anycast.

Other technical irksome words are just the extension of an existing version. Words like these are mostly numbered or are added to with another letter. IPv6 is definitely the sequel of IP the first version and so forth. Byte grows to kilobyte, megabyte, and beyond. MP3 is not the third generation of the standard technology for compressing a sound sequence. It actually stands for MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3. MPEG itself stands for Moving Picture Experts Group.

Some words have different meanings to the original one. When I scream “”Mouse!””, I am not referring to the squeaking animal with a funny nose. This device used with most computers apparently got its name due to being about the same size and color as a toy mouse. Today, a colorful ergonomic mouse can really be fun to grip. Cookie is the mechanism for rotating the banner ads of a website. Not as yummy as its baked version, cupcakes is a name of one application program. Java, not the island nor the coffee, is a computer programming language.

I suspect these types of words were created by some computer geeks — they who sleep when necessary, dedicate 21 hours-a-day at a computer, spend another three hours reading about it or trying to locate a configuration of numbers on pieces of post-it scattered somewhere. Surrounded by many edible and non-edible items, one guy probably just spilled his coffee and eureka! he just baptized the programming language known as Java Plus. As strong as could be, Java has made him stay awake for 10 days already.

While I am still figuring out the semantics of cyberspace, virtual reality and hyperreality, many more eerie words, phrases, and terms have taken birth. No matter what the future holds for e-linguistics, I adore Bill Gates, the guy who invented many versions of geeky words and lame monopoly-ware.

I also praise Timothy Leary, the late professor who said PC is the LSD of the 1990s. He is a ding-a-ling man who has enlightened many people with his amazing Chaos and Cyberculture. Both Bill and Tim are the originators of the new economy — as we call it today. New economy, what is new about it? Oh, don’t you get it?

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Sun, December 31 2000, 7:21 AM

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Ditulis oleh pada Juli 21, 2013 in wiki journalism


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My Old Article (4): Krisdayanti joins famous people by building her personal website


JAKARTA (JP): She sings well, dresses elegantly and also knows how to act. Krisdayanti is probably an Indonesian 21st century icon. And yes, she is on the Net, too, with her “”still-under-construction”” personal website. Check out if you are curious.

Often, a site with a domain name that uses one’s own name, personal site for short, is sometimes not established by the owner of the name. It could be established by a fan or a group of fans. The beautiful Malaysian singer Siti Nurhaliza, for example, has a site ( established by a geek fan.

The site was constructed by young people who had met or adored the deceased Timothy Leary. He was the fascinating ex-Harvard lecturer who wrote Chaos and Cyberculture and whose ashes were scattered in outer space.

The site was picked as the Net’s Best Site in 1996. By that time, there were not so many marvelous web designs: no sound, no video and no Flash technology. Flash, by Macromedia ( for a free software download), creates animated vector-based websites.

Speaking of Flash technology, there is one local personal site supported by Flash: a site set up by techno-fiend media mogul Peter F. Gontha (

Okay, Krisdayanti and Siti Nurhaliza are pretty. Leary was a guru who envisioned cyberspace far before the Internet hype took root in the 1990s. If a businessman as great as Peter Fritz Gontha establishes his personal site with amazing vision, does this mean that he really keeps track of new technology in all media?

To find the answer, I logged onto With the so-called sophisticated Flash technology, I had to stare at a very long and boring “”loading”” tag. After that, I registered in out of curiosity. Unfortunately, nothing happened when I logged in again after registration. Ah, this is either a ghost site, a website that is no longer maintained but that remains available for viewing, or the owner just wants to keep the domain name. No vision yet.

Get a domain name

There are two ways to get a personal site. You can purchase a domain name (see, or you can join a provider of free space, (e.g. Gontha’s site takes the first route. Many recreational users take the second.

Joining the second group, I used to have one at before bought Soon afterward, there were none. By the way, it was really fun designing, typing and posting it. For someone like me — who cannot sing beautifully or envision the Net radically — I needed to give an intro of who I was. I pasted up a picture of myself. I also mentioned what I liked and did not like.

I really felt great about it until one day a friend of mine stopped by my site. He was a computer nerd who lived in San Francisco, USA. He said, “”It’s too naive””. I didn’t understand at the time. As I found out more about Internet security and privacy, I began to understand. I was just too naive to type my real name, age and address. This could be critical.

Back when there was only a small number of people logging onto the Net, online crime and information abuse was zilch. Today, even a college student like Steven Haryanto can say “”nothing personal”” explaining his dubious sites (e.g.,, and so forth) that snared customers who mistyped Bank Central Asia (BCA)’s web address The crime stops there though: he did not take advantage of people who mistakenly typed in their passwords. BCA accepted an apology before the matter was sent to court.

Madonna has fought for her domain name in court. The last time I logged in, her site was a retired or invisible site (one which doesn’t exist anymore and results in a “”not found”” message when you type the address). Her domain name is her trademark. She has, of course, many bodyguards to protect her privacy.

Personal sites

You may want to look around for personal sites in your leisure time. There are millions of other personal sites you can look at besides the ones I mentioned above. Log in to and click “”members”” to view some. Or click geocities, which is owned by yahoo, for a browse. You may want to check out some other search engines, too.

Alternatively, you can randomly type in anyone’s name with .com or .net, for example, which is not mine. Sometimes, typing a name may lead to a different site than the one I expected to find. I typed to find out more about Bill Clinton, yet I found a registered investment advisor firm.

If you are interested in having your own personal site, please consider some rules. Rule No. 1: know how to design well and efficiently. Let the visitors enjoy it page by page. A bit of knowledge about web technology is Rule No. 2. Actually you can upload anything with a simple program like Microsoft Word. Last of all, Rule No. 3: beware of what and how to reveal information about yourself on the web. See but not touch. Touch but … keep it for yourself. It can be a cruel cyberworld out there.

Famous sites

Local: (Peter F. Gontha), (Tya Subiakto),, (Anggun C. Sasmi),,

Overseas:, (Timothy Leary),,

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Life | Sun, July 29 2001, 7:03 AM


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