Welcome to Sydney

[a brief survival guide for new ausaiders]

New to Sydney? Don’t worry, you are one of many people on earth feeling the same. Here are some tips that will ease you to survive at least in the first few days.

  1. Where to Stay? Temporary accommodation

    Senior students in UNSW have tried hard to provide temporary accommodation for you. The accommodation is usually a room that is temporarily vacant because the owner (usually a student) is in a holiday. You will be safely placed in one of the temporary accommodations which is arranged by senior students who pick you up at the airport. Don’t worry about the place and transport, a senior student will take you to the door of your temporary room.
  2. Feel Kangen? Call Indonesia! It is cheap!

    Calling Indonesia from Sydney is not a big deal. Sydney provides you with a huge number of calling card choices. Calling card is a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)-based card that enable you to call overseas in a very affordable price. By using a calling card, you spend only AUD 10 (sekitar 70 ribu rupiah saja) to call Jakarta for about 4-5 hours. Yes, you are right! It is even much cheaper than calling Jakarta from Bali. However, The rate to call other place than Jakarta is more expensive. To Bali, for example, using Call Express will cost you AUD 10 for 3-hour effective call. Some recommended calling cards are: Sunshine, Global Connect, Call express, Star Card, etc. They are purchasable from almost any news agent around Kingsford, Kensington and Randwick (the three closest suburbs to UNSW). Each card has its own advantages and disadvantages. You can try one by one till you find the one that suit you best.
  3. What to Eat? Indonesian Shops Everywhere

    We understand that some people find it is not easy to abruptly change their diet behavior. Sambal terasi and indomie goreng are sometimes not displaceable and still occupy the top rank of your favorite meal list. If it happen to you, Sydney is the right place for you. You can easily find Indonesian (or oriental) shops and restaurants around Kingsford, Kensington and Randwick. Around Kingsford, which is 5-10 minute-walk form UNSW, you can find Andalas, Ayam Georeng Jakarta, Ayam Goreng 99, White Lotus, etc. In short, it is easy to find Indonesian food. No worries lah!
  4. ISS: Your First Home at UNSW

    ISS, standing for International Student Service, is the first place you’re gonna visit at UNSW. There, you will be given a ‘survival’ kit and briefing to living in Sydney. Senior student will take you to ISS to register, so you don’t have to worry where to go. It is located in the red center, one of the most famous building in UNSW. ISS will be your comfortable refreshing place where you can access the internet for free and consult any problems related to your settlement.
  5. Banking Matters

    To be able to receive your stipend (the scholarship: your major source of income in Sydney), you are expected to open a bank account. Commonwealth is the most favorite one. Don’t ask me why! You will be assisted by senior student to open your account and deposit your first salary (settlement allowance) in it. Please be advised that you can get the most out of banking service. You can use the telephone and internet banking for almost any transactions (pay your rent, electricity bill, telephone bill, credit card, etc). Make sure you understand how to utilize the two important services. You can also ask the bank customer service when you open your account. Still can’t get it? Ask one of the senior students. They will be more than happy to help you :). For sure, it is a lot easier than the ADS selection test!
  6. Renting a Permanent Accommodation

    Now it’s time to think something serious: a permanent accommodation. Everything about renting an accommodation have actually been provided in a booklet called “Renting Guide”. However, sometime people find it is not fun to read everything in such a book. Here are some items you should now about renting an accommodation:

    1. List of available accommodation can be obtained for free in a housing agent (e.g. lj hooker, ng farah, laing & simon, etc). The one that I am using is LJ Hooker Kingsford, Phone: 02) 9662 6555
    2. Find a good one in the list? You can inspect the flat/house by depositing approximately AUD 50 (or more) to get the key. The inspection is usually no longer than 1 hour. Get your money back as the inspection done.
    3. If you wish to spend less money for rent, it is recommended to share a two (or more)-bedroom flat with other student[s].
    4. Once you’ve found a good place and flat mate, apply to the agent and deposit some money if needed.
    5. Before signing the contract, the agent will, for once again, inspect the flat, list its physical condition and give the report to you.
    6. You will need to re-inspect the flat and decide whether you agree or disagree to the condition report.
    7. The rent is usually calculated per week and paid biweekly. At the beginning of contract you have to pay bond (deposit money) that usually worth 4 week of rent. The bond is refundable as long as you keep the flat in good condition. (refer to the inspection report)

    If you decide to be an anak kost in a flat or house you don’t have to worry about all items above. Everything is much easier!

  7. How to Install your Own Telephone?

    Unlike Indonesia, Australia has more than one telephone providers that you can choose. The infrastructure is already established so it will not take a long time to have your telephone ready. All you have to do is to register to one of providers you like. If you want to install Telstra, let’s say, simply call 132200 and your phone will be ready in less than 2 days. Be advised that you will be charged for installation fee. To get a better idea about the advantage and disadvantage of a provider, ask a senior student. They will help you without charge 🙂
  8. Internet @ home

    Many internet options are available for you. You can select either prepaid or plan (postpaid), dial-up or broadband. Each service has its own special features. If you need only to check email sometimes at home, a prepaid option is enough. Many prepaid cards are available (e.g. UDUS (UNSW’s prepaid internet) planet, hello, MyNet, etc). They are available in some price schemes ($5, $10, $20, $50, etc). Prepaid internet is a dial-up service, and easy to set up.

    FYI, internet is available for free and in unlimited quota at your school, sometimes it is not necessary to set up internet at home. However, if you want to have unlimited internet access from home, you can try other service such as ADSL/broadband. Some students have installed those kind of services and, for sure, they can help you to make decision.
  9. Summer: The Beach is Calling

    Ever think that living overseas will make your skin look brighter/whiter? Not in summer mate! January is very hot in Sydney and it is a good time for swimming. The beach is calling you to come and sunbathe. You can go to Coogee beach, Bondi Beach (the most famous beach in Sydney), La Peruse (where the Mission Impossible 2 was filmed), Maroubra (our favorite BBQ spot). January-February will be quite fun time for you before the courses started. Yes, you will be obliged to attend the Academic Preparation Program (APP) but don’t worry too much about that. It will not be better than your EAP in Jakarta or Bali. Enjoy your time as you will never have that much fun during course. Believe me!
  10. Mailing List: ausaid-indo-unsw@yahoogroups.com

    The last but not least, join our mailing list as soon as you arrive. It is a MUST since you will never be recognised as a UNSW-Ausider without subscribing to the group [I am kiddin’, mate!]. Just send a blank email to ausaid-indo-unsw-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and let the moderator[s] do the rest.

Hope you can get a clearer picture in your mind. Welcome to Sydney!


Selamat Tahun Baru


Jika dikatakan “biasa“, tahun baru 2005 ini, hampir di seluruh belahan dunia, memang biasa, tidak ubahnya dengan tahun baru sebelumnya. Pertambahan waktu dan akhirnya pertambahan usia. Pesta, kembang api, begadang, jalan-jalan, refleksi, merenung, kontemplasi dan sebangsanya. Semuanya masih tetap sama.

Jika [mau] diistimewakan, jangankan tahun baru, setiap hari pun istimewa. Setiap saat adalah berkah dan saat untuk bersyukur. Hari Senin bersyukur karena masih diberi waktu untuk menghadapi hari kerja yang artinya masih memiliki harapan untuk masuknya sejumlah uang ke rekening di akhir bulan. Hari Selasa menjadi istimewa karena beberapa acara di televisi menyuguhkan keceriaan dan pelajaran yang berarti. Hari Rabu juga tidak kalah istimewanya karena kebetulan Bulan Purnama sehingga bisa menikmati indahnya malam sambil bersujud menghadap Hyang Widhi. Hari Kamis patut bersuka cita karena proyek yang ditugaskan oleh atasan dapat terselesaikan dengan baik. Hari Jumat sangat berkesan karena hari kerja yang pendek dan waktunya sholat bersama, mendengarkan lantunan puja dan puji terhadap Allah. Hari Sabtu adalah hari yang panjang dan menyenangkan karena saatnya melewatkan malam dengan orang-orang yang dicintai. Hari Minggu saat yang tepat untuk merecharge kembali sanubari dengan berkunjung ke Gereja mendengarkan senandung yang mengagungkan Tuhan. Begitu seterusnya, setiap saat adalah istimewa, setiap detik adalah berkah yang harus disyukuri. Sungguh malam tahun baru tiada lebih istimewa dari hari lain yang kita lalui.

Di Indonesia khususnya, akhir tahun 2004 ditandai dengan sebuah tragedi alam yang sedemikian dahsyatnya. Tidak kurang dari 90 ribu orang menjadi korban bencana gempa berpusat di Aceh yang disusul tsunami. Di seluruh dunia, dilaporkan tidak kurang dari 150 ribu orang meninggal. Sungguh sebuah tragedi alam yang luar biasa. Kejadian ini membuat tahun baru menjadi berbeda di Indonesia. Tidak ada lagi kembang api yang megah menandai pergantian tahun. Tidak ada teriakan suka cita mengiringi terompet menyambut fajar 2005. Yang ada hanyalah tangis duka dari wajah-wajah yang menunduk dalam. Tidak ada yang patut disalahkan dari kejadian ini. Tidak ada kaitannya dengan kegagalan pemerintahan atau derasnya korupsi yang konon masih saja bercokol dengan angkuh di bumi pertiwi. Ini adalah kejadian yang nampaknya memang harus terjadi sebagai pelajaran yang berat untuk kita semua.

Berbeda dengan tahun lalu ketika “Selamat Tahun Baru” diucapkan dengan senyum ceria penuh suka cita. Tahun ini, “Selamat Tahun Baru” nampaknya harus diucapkan dengan perasaan sedikit luka. Tentu saja bukan luka pesimis, tapi luka sedih dan prihatin atas ketidaknyamanan yang dirasakan oleh ribuan saudara kita di Aceh dan sekitarnya. Semoga tahun 2005 menjadi tahun yang membawa harapan. Selamat Tahun Baru.

Duka Aceh

Sepertinya sudah tidak setara lagi air mata duka dengan ribuan nyawa yang menjadi korban kemurkaan alam yang perpusat di negeri kita. Tak sebanding lagi ratap dan keluh kesah dengan luluh lantaknya dua pertiga Nangroe Aceh Darusalam. Alam murka tanpa seorangpun diberi kuasa untuk mengendalikannya. Semua terasa serba luar biasa dan bahkan jauh di luar jangkauan doa manusia. Diam atau teriak menjadi tidak berbeda, seperti halnya tangis dan tawapun tak memberi makna yang berarti. Semua terasa terlalu besar, terlalu hebat dan semua yang serba terlalu.

Menyesal dan memohon ampun pun serasa tidak lagi mampu mengetuk pintu-pintu maaf dan tidak akan mampu mengubah apapun. Telah terjadi ketidakselarasan yang terlalu jauh, telalu besar, terlalu dahsyat dan semua yang serba terlalu sehingga seakan tidak ada jalan untuk bertobat.

Sumber: http://staff.aist.go.jp/kenji.satake/animation.gif

Aku pasti adalah seekor katak kecil yang diselimuti rendah diri dan rasa pesimis yang terlalu. Jangankan untuk berenang menyelamatkan meraka yang menjadi korban, untuk melihat tangan sendiri yang meneteskan darahpun aku tak mampu. Aku mungkin terlalu lama diporak-porandakan oleh kekejaman yang datang silih berganti tiada henti. Jiwa ini mungkin telah dikerdilkan dengan berbagai kegagalan yang datang bertubi dan tidak pernah pergi. Aku sekarat, meratap, dan menangis dengan air mata yang tak lagi bisa mengalir karena sumur kesedihan telah lama kering oleh duka yang terlalu panjang.

Kedamaian, Keyakinan dan Cinta mungkin telah mati di negeri ini sehingga getarannya tidak lagi mampu menahan murka alam. Kepergian ketiganya mungkin telah menyisakan tumpukan jasad hidup yang tak lagi waras dan tak lagi menyimpan senyum. Namun setidaknya semoga Harapan masih tersisa di bagian kecil kehampaan ini. Semoga lilin Harapan masih cukup terang dan kuat untuk menyulut kembali lentera Kedamaian, Keyakinan dan Cinta yang telah lantak binasa.

Selamat Hari Natal

I Made Andi Arsana

Among the huge number of celebrations on earth, Christmas may be one of the largest and the most spectacular events. All Christians (should have) happily welcome the big day and have been treating it as a moment for holiday. It is a perfect time to temporarily escape from a year-long demanding routines.

Christmas in this year is slightly different than those I’ve seen years before. On this Christmas, I am far away form home, stuck here in Sydney for an ideal reason: study. Yet I cannot see snow during Christmas as what is seen in America, Canada and Europe, but at least this Christmas is celebrated in Australia where more Christians live their life. In Australia, Christmas has been becoming a part of tradition and even culture. Christmas has been a phenomenon that can be felt everywhere in daily life. The taste of Christmas has been obviously smelled since two or three months before the day.

The only different thing I observed is the news on TV. In Indonesia, I guess it has been so long that Christmas is celebrated by the enhancement of security level. Christmas has been very identical to the instruction of the Indonesian Police Chief to add forces to secure the Churches. I cannot find such news on TV in Australia. That is the different thing. In Indonesia, for once again, we will often see interviews with the Indonesian Police Chief about their readiness to guarantee the security and stability during Christmas. Meanwhile, here in Australia, Christmas is just nothing about security issues. Christmas is something glamorous and commercial. Everybody competes to sale their products during Christmas. Children are tempted with all the Christmas-tasted toys, teenagers are seduced by fashion sale and adults are also bombarded by all the Christmas marketing offers. In short, Christmas is filled with commercial opportunities.

Is that wrong? Oh, of course not! To use a religious or other social event as a marketing moment is not something new in our economic life. Some even believe that Christmas [and other religious occasion] has been commercialized since its first celebration. You can also see, what happened during Idul Fitri, Galungan and Kuningan in Indonesia. Every company has just found their perfect moment for sales and promotions. Do you think the value of Christmas has been decreased because of the commercialization? Undoubtedly, this simple writing has no rights [neither capability] to answer such a deep question. Ask your hearth, how far Jesus’ birth and struggles have led you to be a warrior. If you are just like me, who can only mumble, you better reopen the old book and use the past as a mirror so we can do something better to fix the story for today without repeating the same mistakes.

I wish you a Merry Christmas, may our [re]birth gives chances for us to be a better man today.

GPS System to be Disabled During Threat

[translated from http://smh.com.au/articles/2004/12/16/1102787185411.html%5D

Gedung Putih mengatakan bahwa Presiden George W Bush telah memerintahkan rencana untuk menonaktifkan jaringan GPS Amerika untuk sementara selama krisis nasional. Ini dilakukan untuk menghindari penggunaan teknologi navigasi tersebut oleh pihak teroris.

Penonaktifan jaringan di dalam Amerika sendiri akan dilakukan jika terjadi situasi yang benar-benar memaksa, kata seorang administrasi Bush yang berbicara kepada beberapa orang wartawan pada hari Rabu di Gedung Putih tanpa mau disebutkan namanya.

GPS sangat vital artinya bagi kepentingan penerbangan komesial dan pelayaran laut.

Presiden juga menginstruksikan Departmen Pertahanan agar mengembangkan sebuah mekanisme untuk menonaktifkan akses musuh terhadap satelit navigasi Amerika (dan sistem navigas lain yang dikembangkan pihak lain) di kawasan tertentu.

Uni Eropa sedang mengembangkan program senilai $US 4.8 Milyar yang disebut Galileo.

Penggunaan GPS oleh militer saat ini terlihat meningkat terutama untuk memindahkan pasukan dalam wilayah yang luas, menghindari bomb dan misil.

Gedung Putih menegaskan, penonaktivan atau jamming terhadap satelit GPS yang diminta oleh pemerintah ini akan dilakukan untuk membatasi gangguan terhadap navigasi dan sistem terkait di luat area yang dipengaruhi.

“Ini bukanlah sesuatu yang mudah dilakukan,” kata James A Lewis, direktur kebijakan teknologi Centre for Strategic and International Studies yang berlokasi di Washington. “Ini jelas adalah masalah besar. Anda harus menghargai mereka karena telah bersikap terbuka dengan rencana yang akan dilakukan.”

Presiden Bill Clinton menghentikan pemberlakuan “selective availability” (SA) pada bulan Mei 2000. SA adalah suatu mekanisme untuk menurunkan akurasi navigasi sipil secara sengaja. Gedung putih mengatakan bahwa kebijakan ini tidak akan mengembalikan SA, namun, kata presiden, bisa menonaktifkan sebagian dari keseluruhan jaringan untuk alasan keamanan nasional.

Perintah yang ditujukan kepada Defence Department dan Homeland Security Department adalah bagian dari kebijakan antariksa yang ditandatangai Bush bulan ini. Ini menegaskan jaringan GPS sebagai infrastruktur penting bagi pemerintah Amerika. Sebagian dari kebijakan baru tersebut masih belum diumumkan sementra sebagian lain diumumkan hari Rabu.

Gedung Putih mengatakan kebijakan tersebut ditujukan untuk meningkatkan stabilitas dan performa sistem navigasi Amerika, yang seperti dijanjikan Bush akan tetap diberikan dengan Cuma-Cuma kepda masyarakat umum.

Konstelasi jaringan GPS Amerika terdiri lebih dari dua dozen satelit dan berfungsi sebagai beacons (pemancar signal) yang mengirimkan signal radio dengan lokasi tertentu dan dikenali oleh alat (receiver) yang populer digunakan oleh sueveyor, pengendara motor, penjelajah alam, pilot dan pelaut.

Bush juga mengatakan pemerintah akan membuat signal jaringan lebih resistan terhadap jamming yang bersifat sengaja ataupun tidak.

Adding a Shout Box and Pictures to your Blog

[an amateur manual]

Have you created a blog? You might find that bloging is not that fun because it is just static and also boring because it is only text-based. Don’t worry mate! You can make it dynamic now. Add a tag-board or what some people refer to as a shout box. Yes, a shout box, because you can really shout if you want. Simply, with the tag-board, visitors can leave their massages to you or to other visitors. Hm… it’s cool huh?! Yeah, it is definitely! You can also make it colourful with pictures you love. You can post your fiancé’s photo (or maybe you kids [?]) easily. How to do those cool things? That is what this article is all about!

Adding a Tag-Board
There are plenty of free tag-board provider in the internet. Two of the most famous are http://www.tag-board.com/ and http://www.creationcenter.com/. I’d prefer suggesting you the second one :). Follow the steps:

  1. Go to http://www.creationcenter.com/
  2. Follow the link Click here to join for FREE! At the bottom of the page
  3. Fill the form and click register
  4. Decide what feature you want to take. Actually you’ve just registered for 4 features at once: Guestbook, shout box, message board, and tell a friend manager. For example, you can chose shout box (the one that I have here, in my blog).
  5. Follow the link Click here to and copy and paste the ‘ShoutBox / Tag Board’ HTML code to get the HTML code of the feature you want
  6. Chose the style you want. I’d prefer the vertical style. How about you?
  7. Copy the HTML code provided in the box. You can keep the code by saving in into a text file. Just simply open any text editor (notepad, wordpad, Ms Word, or whatever you like) and paste the code there. At this stage you lready have the HTML code of a shout box you need for your blog (or website).
  8. Go to your blog and login
  9. Look at the template
  10. Simply add the code you’ve obtained above into your template. Where to put it? Of course it depends on the template you’ve chosen. If your template is just like mine, simply paste tho code somewhere in the sidebar section. Still confused and don’t know what to do? You better contact me personally and you’re gonna be charged extremely expensive for an HTML private lesson. Do not laugh mate, IT IS SERIOUS!!!
  11. Once you’ve done, don’t forget to save you changes to get it taking effect.
  12. Hmm… seems your visitors and you can start shouting now! 🙂

Adding Pictures
Adding a picture to your blog is actually showing a picture that is already placed “somewhere” in the internet so people can see it in your blog. To be more specific, imagine that there is a picture of your favourite singer, Kylie Minoque, placed at http://www.wepsite.net/haegar/K/Kylie%20Minogue%2009.jpg.
Without doing anything to the picture, you can make it appears in your blog. Just create a new post and write:
<img src = “http://www.wepsite.net/haegar/K/Kylie%20Minogue%2009.jpg&#8221;>
Once you’ve published your post, you will be able to see Kylie’s sexy picture in you blog. (I am sorry for the sexy example. If you do mind, please select another url you like for your own exercise)

I know, your problem is the photos you’d like to show in you blog are not yet online. In other words, the photos you desire to be appeared in your blog are still in your hard disk. (or even still in a hardcopy format and hiding inside your album on you table? Come on mate, you gotta be kidding! Scan them first, make them digital). Btw, I assume that you’ve already had digital photos. Stop bugging me with all your technology-illiterate things!

This will tell you how to make your photos online and appear in your blog. Just follow the instructions bellow:

  1. Download a picture publisher. I recommend http://www.hello.com/. Just click download and you will be expected to make a username and everything. Simply, just follow the easy steps provided there.
  2. Install the software you’ve just downloaded into you PC
  3. Open Hello to start the picture publishing
  4. Click send pictures and use explorer
  5. Pick photo you want to publish, chose BloggerBot and click send
  6. Type caption (any text you like to briefly describe the photo you’re gonna publish for you photo
  7. Click Publish (see at the bottom right of the window). In a few second, your photo will be appeared in your blog as a post. Yes mate, that easy! Your photo is online now.

Once you have your photo online, you can show it anywhere in the internet and you can modify the size and the position. You have to learn a bit HTML programming. Don’t want to force yourself? Don’t worry, just be satisfied with the ‘default’ appearance and go sleeping he.he..he… Thank you for reading this amateur manual. Have a good day, mate!

Define: google

[definisikan apa saja]

Pernahkan Anda membaca suatu berita atau dokumen lain dan ada istilah yang tidak Anda mengerti? Saya hampir yakin, pasti pernah. Tidak peduli betapa banyaknya berita atau ilmu yang kita baca, kadang-kadang kita dihadapkan pada sesuatu yang baru.

Saya pernah bertanya kepada beberapa orang yang sedang menempuh pendidikan Master di sebuah universitas berskala internasional. “tahu nggak i.e itu kepanjangannya apa?” “nggak!” begitu jawabnya. “Kalau e.g apa artinya?”, saya melanjutkan. “sering lihat sih, untuk menunjukkan contoh tapi nggak tahu persisnya”. Mungkin Anda, seperti halnya saya beberapa hari yang lalu juga melewatkan hal-hal seperti ini. Kita sering melihat dalam tulisan berbahasa Inggris: i.e., e.g., aka, p.s. dan lain-lain. Kita mungkin tahu maksudnya, tapi tidak tahu apa kepanjangannya.

Jika Anda penasaran, seperti halnya saya, serahkan kepada Pak Google untuk menjawabnya. Dalam kolom pencarian google, ketikkan define: e.g. kemudian tekan enter. Google akan menjawabnya dan Anda akan segera tahu bahwa e.g. stands for exempli gratia, bahasa latin yang kira-kira artinya “sebagai contoh”.

Dalam email, seseorang sering menulis IMHO, ASAP, BTW, aka, p.s dan lain-lain. Belum tahu arti salah satu dari itu? Tanyakan kepada Pak Google. Singkatnya, ketikkan define: kata_yang_dicari. Coba contoh seperti:

Define: aka

Define: telematics

Define: sombre

Define: lexicology

Define: GIS

Dalam sekejap Anda akan mendapat perbendarahaan kata baru.

Cara semacam ini juga sangat efektif ketika Anda menulis dan ingin menggunakan kata-kata yang sedikit aneh. Sebelum menggunakannya, tanyakan dulu kepada Pak Google. So, apa yang akan Anda definisikan bersama Pak Google hari ini?