Category Archives: @Japan

Normalizing in fixed point multiplication

I got one point off in an exam, for mistakenly adding half an LSB for normalizing and then rounding it up. Adding half an LSB and cutting the decimal points off is a rounding mechanism. I unnecessarily rounded up again after adding half an LSB.

Reminds me to understand every detail of an operation.

Wireless bug when ethernet internet is shared in WinXP

After using my netbook as a wifi broadcaster for a mobile device, somehow I couldn’t connect to the campus wireless network.
Turns out the Internet Connection Sharing option was causing the trouble, even though it was set for the Ethernet, not the wireless.
Disable that bit and the wireless was good to go.

Cultural Tolerance

Sometimes when we do what we think is polite, can be interpreted as rude by others. For example, when we are visiting as guests; in American customs the host would ask the guest about his/her preference, such as what drink to serve, hot or cold, with sugar, milk, or even add cookies :). In Indonesia, it depends, the host will adjust according to his closeness to the guest, but would most likely offer options. In Japan, the host never ask the guest about his preference. (This is just simple generalization for comparative analysis).

“Please help yourself” can have an unpleasant ring on Asian ears. The Asian traditional sensibility interprets it as “nobody will help you” instead of “please take what you want”. Nowadays as people get more exposed to foreign culture, they have more sense to tolerate and understand these cultural differences.

Japan’s Fun Facts,, Did you know….?!

1. Japanese like to eat “Nattou” for breakfast. Nattou is a food destined to either be hated or favored for your entire life. It is sticky, salty and “ammoniacally” smelly. If you do happen to eat it for the first time, you will get caught in stringy “natto” spider web. No wonder it’s tasty, since it is partly made out of fermented soy beans, mustard, raw quail egg, and bacteria (Bacillus subtilis natto). The good part: I nearly threw up after chewing 10 times. The bad part: it’s healthy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Itadakimasu!

2. Japanese (female) students like to wear high heels to campus. More than half at mine. Some like to save up to buy Louis Vuitton bags. And while I shiver of the dreaded winter, they have the “heroes” ability of wearing mini-skirts even in those conditions. Envy that! (not the skirts, the ability). Urayamashii yo.

3. Sometimes you can find escalators that are crazily steep, nearly perpendicular to the ground. It’s nearly like an elevator. Not only that, they can also be so long. Beware of the local customs though. At Kyushu-Kanto area we stand still on the left, and walk on the right. In Kansai (Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, etc), it is the exact opposite. Stand still on the right if you don’t want to be bumped with “Sumimasen!”

4. Bring your passport if you go shopping at Akihabara, which the Japanese refer to as “Electronic City”. We can get discounts by showing a tourist visa (6 months max stay). Too bad my visa was for one year, so no luck for me. Zannen desu ne.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
Also be careful in this area, there were crime last year. Kiotsukete ne..

5. For romantic hotspots in the Kansai area, I would go for Kyoto and Kobe. Kyoto’s atmosphere is uniquely, traditionally outstanding. There are romantic paths of Gion area. But be sure to bring money, a (romantic) dinner here on average can cost $120 per person.
For hungry moneysavers, go to Kobe, there is a Wonderful all you can eat restaurant for only $20. They have delicious crab, meat, seafood, Italian food, pudding, ice cream and even chocolate topping if you need to get fat. One plus, the waitress were very fine ๐Ÿ˜‰ Another plus, it is located by a lake/sea and we can view Kobe city from there.
Oh, Kobe have significant number of foreigners, and the first mosque built in Japan was in the city of Kobe! Sughoi…!

Film Indonesia di Televisi Jepang (ๆ—ฅๆœฌใฎใƒ†ใƒฌใƒ“็•ช็ต„ใงใ‚คใƒณใƒ‰ใƒใ‚ทใ‚ขใฎๆ˜ ็”ปใ‚’่ฆ‹ใŸใ‚ˆ)

Sewaktu back-up foto2 saya selama di Jepang, saya menemukan foto menarik. Saat baru mulai tinggal di Jepang, saya sempat melihat orang2 Cina menonton TV… yang ternyata film “Ada Apa Dengan Cinta”-nya Dian Sastro-Nikolas Saputra, subtitled in Japanese!!.. Very surprised indeed..


Candle Night at Oita University

Here are some photos I took at the Candle Night. It was supposed to be on the 20th of June, but it rained, so the event was postponed one week later, 27th June (today). There were musical performances during the candle night, slow, jazzy music.

(Sorry, they’re a bit blurry, click to enlarge)


Some are taken by my tutor, Faizal.

From Wiki:

Candle Night is an international celebration usually held during the summer solstice or winter solstice. Celebrants, turn off their electric lights, light candles and enjoy various activities.

Sports Day with tutors

Today is sports day, where we play sports with other international students and tutors. Tutors are Japanese ‘friends’ who helps out with life inside and outside campus.

Started at 10 o’clock in the morning, played a badminton for a little while. Then I played basketball for around an hour. Haha, only scored one straight throw. ๐Ÿ˜›

After that we walked to the field, and waited for people to come, since they are oversleepers. While waiting, I tried to throw and bat baseball. Wow, for a first timer I wasn’t bad (in other words, great). I think I’ve got some talent to play baseball ๐Ÿ˜›

It was time for soccer.. (outdoor futsal to be exact). We played for a while, like, 3 hours! It was nice to see friends from China, Ghana, USA, Japan, Malaysia and don’t forget Indonesia in one field. To be honest I think I suck at soccer, I didn’t play it when I was a child, and don’t play often neither. We played in shine and in the rain (hyperbolic).

The tutors were playing baseball from 3 p.m. And soon afterwards the students joined in (except me.. and my tutor). It was raining, so I wasn’t really in the mood. Somebody special was waiting for me at the internet, hungry, haven’t finished my neural net program which bothers my mind a lot. I’m in debugging mode right now, using gdb.

Pheew… it has been a tiring day, but so much fun! Sad to leave Japan in two months time… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Edit in the afternoon (after shopping): Huhuu… I didn’t get bananas… cheap bananas… sold out ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
But I got orange juice ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Ow, and I found Tabasco… oh my.. at last something hot and spicy in Japan, it’s about time (8 months). ^^

Hilarious Japanese Language Videos

I’ve been spending this whole afternoon studying Japanese since tomorrow there’s a midterm oral test. since it is so much fun. After my tutor had enough with my great, funny Japanese finished reviewing the materials, I tried looking for Japanese Language videos, so I can get used to listening Japanese. I stumbled upon this hilarious Youtube video. Be sure to look at “more from yesjapan“. They have lots of other funny and non-sense videos. looks like a very nice website to study Japanese online, too bad it’s not free ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

But I think it’s worth it, and you can get trial period (by entering your credit card information though)… Anyway, hope you can enjoy their Youtube videos.

Fuji-Q Highland

From my camera ๐Ÿ™‚

Hooray, I got to ride on the three former world record holders roller coasters in Fuji-Q Highland.
I went there with my relatives by car, and it took around two and a half hours trip. On the way we saw great views of Mount Fuji. Turned out we were going to see it from a better site. ^^



First I got on the Fujiyama, which held the Guiness world record in 1997 for the highest rollercoaster. Straight from the beginning we were taken really high, 79 meters high, then dropped just like free fall. After there was no rest for turning, dropping, twisting, even a 90 degrees sideways turn.



Then we got on the World Bucchigiri Coaster Dodonpa (don’t know what it meant). The special feature was its acceleration speed in the beginning, from 0 to 214 km/h in just 2 seconds. The fastest acceleration roller coaster in the world. The drop is notorious. And I got to sit on the front!! ^^

We had lunch afterwards, and then got in a very short line for Red Tower. It was basically a free fall from a height, and the nice thing was the great view of Mount Fuji.



It was already late in the afternoon, so it was time for the ultimate roller coaster, Eejanaika. It is by far the scariest, but most fun ride there. We get flipped and twisted and all kind of bad thing coasters would do to us. It holds the world record for most inversions. It’s really wild, and the videos should speak for itself. Well.. words can’t describe the feeling of riding coasters anyway ;p
The great thing is, after riding I felt so energized from the adrenaline rush… would love to ride again someday (definite recommendation) ^_^

Streaming Indonesia TV

The big news on the death of Indonesia’s former President, Suharto, made me want to watch the news from Indonesian TV channels..

I used the TVU Network for ANTV.

I found (there’s JakTV, RCTI, SCTV, Trans7, TransTV, MetroTV and Indosiar) follow this link
Sometimes you have to wait a long time for a channel to load… well, better than nothing ๐Ÿ˜‰

Linux Development Environment: Fujitsu HOAP-3 Simulator

Yesterday, just after the winter break holidays I wanted to continue doing my research project, when suddenly I couldn`t compile the program to the simulator! I couldn’t figure out the cause since last night.

The simulator is to be run on Linux, so I used VMWare, the virtual machine so I could run Linux (or other OS) on Windows. I used Ubuntu (Dell Modified) 7.04 because it was modified to run on Dell Laptops. I even tried the Fedora8 Live CD which performed bad, the network workgroup detection was very slow, and not a lot of installed packages.

This is the Makefile to be run (ArmSwingSample is the name of the coding):


ArmSwingSample : ArmSwingSample.o
-o ArmSwingSample \
ArmSwingSample.o \
-L ../../develop/lib \
-L /usr/X11R6/lib \
-lfjDyn -lfj3D -lm -lX11 -lXmu \
-lpthread -lGLU -lGL \

First of all, the error was on command make
“Make: Error 127”,
This means the g++: GNU C++ compiler couldn`t be found. I installed the build-essential Debian package from the Package Manager. Problem fixed…. so far

/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lx11
/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lXmu
/usr/bin/ld: cannot find -lGLU collect2: ld returned 1 exit status

After that all the errors was the Linux couldn’t find the lx11, lXmu and lGLu. I reinstalled the corresponding packages that contained these libraries (X11, libXmu, OpenGL-dev). Strange, they were already installed… nevertheless it fixed the problem, and I can get back to work… ๐Ÿ™‚

Tip: Don`t restart or shutdown the virtual machine if you don`t need to… just leave it in suspended state.

Mechanical Vibration

The last two lectures introduced me to the vibration phenomenon, especially in the mechanical engineering field. Vibrations are mechanical oscillations about an equilibrium point. There are three types of vibrations: free vibration, forced vibration and self excited vibration.

Free vibration occurs when the system is given an initial condition where no external vibration is exerted then the system vibrates. An example is when we pull a pendulum or swing then letting go. It will vibrate at one of its natural frequencies. Forced vibration happens when external alternating force is given to vibrate the system. The largest impact caused by forced vibration is when the frequency of the external force is the same as the systemโ€™s natural frequency (also called resonance).

Self excited vibration happens when no external oscillating force or vibration is given, instead another form of energy is given to the system and the system vibrates. The system modulates the energy into vibration, and the amplitude of the vibration is proportional to the amount of energy. Self excited vibrations are shown in pianos, violins, many other musical instruments and method of making Hita Pottery.

During the first lab visit, rolling machine was introduced. The machine is mainly used in the pulp and paper industry. When the roller spins, the rubber deforms and vibration occurs (self excited). To produce smooth paper, vibrations should be minimized as much as possible. To do this, they alter rotation speed, damping and use dynamic absorbers.

The second lab visit was to the Venture Business Laboratory. There are research on brake systems and vibration suppression. A new method of avoiding brake squeals is introduced by using dynamic absorbers. A new method of vibration suppression is introduced by using variable stiffness beams. Spinning the rectangular prism changes the stiffness thus the natural frequency of the absorber. By altering the natural frequency of the dynamic absorber, vibrations on the system can be eliminated.

There are many other interesting applications of vibration concepts found in daily life. Cell phone vibrator is constructed by putting mass not on the centre of the spinning motor, therefore creating centrifugal force. In washing machines salt water is used to avoid resonance (self ambivalence). It shows just one fraction of the many contributions of mechanical engineering towards civilization.

State of Japan

I just had a short meeting with lab-mates in English. Once a week we meet to discuss a topic in English (meant to improve their English…). The topic this week was our impression before and after entering Oita University.

I didn’t really know how Japanese university students life is, but from the discussion I found out how Japanese students are beginning to drop in their dilligence. To enter a certain university there’s still that fierce competition, but it’s not as fierce as before and anyone who wants to go to college can get one. Another case is that many Japanese students enter university because others want to enter them. They currently lack (in their opinion) dreams, and purpose of studying because of their already strong economy and enjoyable daily life (as students). After the tiring exam, the students lack that motivation to study and strong will.

In the middle of the meeting I got to ask my Sensei (really out of topic) about universities in Japan, their students, and somehow got to the condition of Japan as a whole country. Turns out the low birth rate causes problems for the nation. The smaller young generation have to support the increasing old generation. The decreasing number of young people is shown by how competition into the universities is not that strict anymore. Also about how 60% of Japan’s food needs is imported and that’s why Japan needs to sell its advanced technologies in order to survive. My sensei even spoke that in the near future Korea and China can surpass Japan’s economy because its students are now left behind by those dilligent Chinese students spread around the world.

So friends at Indonesia, we can also do something to make our country better. I’m sure that a nation’s future is in the hands of the young generation…

Saga International Balloon Fiesta 2007


On the second of November, me and 9 other International Students went together to Saga to watch the ballons at this event. It was a 2 hour trip from Oita to Fukuoka by Bus, and 1 hour from Fukuoka to Oita. We left at 5.30am by taxi to town and took the bus to Fukuoka Tenjin Bus Station.?The station was inside Solaria Plaza, 3rd floor, so it never felt like leaving a shopping mall to get on a bus. On the way, in the bus we saw lots of balloons flying ahead, in the train we saw only one balloon still flying. When we got there we were so unlucky cause there were no balloons flying. Until the end of the day, the weather was too windy for the balloons to fly, so it’s too bad we didn’t get to see any balloon lift off.

But we had fun sightseeing, taking photos, buying postcards and souvenirs. On the way back we had dinner in Fukuoka at a restaurant. I had Crab Rice, Mushroom and Sashimi. It was a very delicious meal. At the end of the day we were all exhausted..