Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jakarta-centric Economy

It's been more than ten years after the Asia monetary crisis passed. Some countries that suffering from the crisis has been rise even more strength than before. But for country like Indonesia, it's like a never ending crisis.

After ten years, it's not toward to a better direction. Even more, it's worsen. Of course there's several public sector has been recovered. Economist like to use modern-based economy indicator to calculate the recovery, like stock index and infrastructure development in Jakarta. But Indonesia is not just Jakarta. There are more than 90% still depend on agriculture and other primary sector to support their income.

Where the space is supposed for 2-3 million inhabitant, Jakarta now home to almost 10 million people not to mention those commuter that work in the city and live in urban area nearby.
The economic activity is so intensive that almost everything people done here, is because of money. Money is the only incentive.

That phenomenon caused Jakarta become the center of everything. From the wealthiest businessmen, until poorest urban family. From businesses head quarter, government main offices, until mafia bosses. And for people like me, the middle class worker, just looking some opportunity in between.

With some skill, and a little bit luck, people can easily find jobs. But one job sometime can simply cant afford live in Jakarta. But to be successful, people here should has a good relation, and lot of luck, not just skill. Because those only work by the technical skill can only survive but only those has extraordinary bullshit skill can survive and get profit more than it's effort.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Flashing ATI Radeon 9550 Bios

As a techno lover, we always expect more from gadget & peripheral we have. From performance increase, new feature and sometime just expecting the not-so-important version number increase.

But this time, my first motivation is to enable desktop effect in Ubuntu Gutsy on my PC. I searched across the net found that the culprit was ATI Radeon 9550. ATI Radeon 9550 is just a tiger in cage. The chip has potential power but caged. You need to unlock it by flashing 9550 become a ATI Radeon 9600.

First, check your ATI 9550 card's detail. I use Asus A9550 series with 256 MB SGRAM. You can get your card detail using ATI Tool . Download a flash utility for ATI card. You can use FlashRom which proven success on my case.

Next you need to find a suitable bios image. My success tips is look for same memory size and brand. Forget the card brand itself. They are just OEM. If found mine on It's recommended you can start searching your compatible bios there. Dont forget to download more than one so you can try flash with various bios image.

To begin flashing, you need a real MS DOS environment. Where most computer now doesnt have 1.44 MB floppy drive, you can create a boot disc by download the boot image then burn to CD. Use any ISO disc burner to burn the image.

Before restarting your PC, dont forget to save all supporting files (Flashrom, BIOS images) in a FAT32 partition drive, where you can still access the file while on real DOS mode. Next useful tips is rename all the BIOS file name into a easy to type name, e.g. 1.bin, 2.bin.

Now you're ready to reboot your PC. Once rebooted, make sure your PC bias has set to boot from CD-ROM as first priority. Insert the boot disc. Wait for boot completion. Now on MS DOS screen type :

A:\> C: (your FAT 32 drive, where you save the flash files, try from C until H)
C:\> CD ATIFLASH (change to dir where you stored flashrom.exe)
C:\ATIFLASH> FLASHROM -s 0 backup.bin (make backup current bios)
C:\ATIFLASH> FLASHROM -f -p 0 ..\9550\1.bin (the new bios file)

After finished, you will hear 3 beep. Then press CTRL+ALT+DEL. If new bios is compatible then you should see normal BIOS screen and can proceed normal OS boot up. If fails, simply retry step above. You really need to type in blind, especially when you updated with an incompatible BIOS resulted your screen scrambled.

Last word, do it on your own risk. And remember, steps above will void your card's warranty. Good luck !

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Running MS Visio 2003 On Ubuntu

Ubuntu is now become main stream OS that used by desktop user, not just alternate to those already in the stream like Macintosh MacOS and Microsoft Windows family. By this time, latest Ubuntu version is Gutsy Gibbon 7.10.

Most task that require Windows now can be run on Linux as well thanks to Wine, a Windows emulation program. But to make a Windows based software install and runs smoothly on Linux, need some quite tricks. These knowledge is shared among internet user which is sometime not a comprehensive how-to guide. There are some tips that helped me so much on running MS Visio 2003 on linux.

First of all make sure you have latest Wine version installed. Run
$ sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
Add following repository to your apt-get repo list :
deb feisty main

It's recommended to completely uninstall existing Wine installation and rename folder /home/your_user/.wine into something else.
Now install Wine and supporting components :

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install wine
$ sudo apt-get install cabextract

Install IE4Linux. IE4Linux needed by certain part of the Visio installation and runtime.

$ wget ttp:// -O - | tar xvzf -

or this alternate link :

$ wget -O - | tar xvzf -

When completed, run :

$ cd ies4linux/
$ ./ies4linux

Follow the installation by choosing some simple installation option. Now you have IE installed in your Ubuntu box.

Next proceed with Ms Visio 2003 installation. Insert the CD into CD-ROM or mount appropriate file. In terminal, change to source folder then run :

$ wine setup.exe
A installation wizard will show up, follow the wizard as you install on Windows.
Once completed, try to run it.
Application -> Wine ->Programs->Microsoft Office ->Microsoft Office Visio 2003

If you get error message "IOPL not enabled", run
$ winecfg

On application tab, change Windows version to Windows XP. On libraries tab, add new library
gdiplus.dll (native)
Save and close config window. And now your Visio should be run perfectly. Any other issue, please check out the community testing result.

My Environment :
Linux Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10, 32 bit version
Wine 0.9.57
Microsoft Visio 2003 (11.3216.5606)