Henson & His Works

Friday, December 28, 2007

Old and New Years

New year is coming. Again, the ‘Auld Lang Syne’ song will echo all over the world. The song will lead us to the coming year.

For many people, New Year’s Eve usually relates to happiness. It is time to have fun by getting together and by hanging around. They celebrate it in many ways. Indeed, there are many ways of welcoming the new year. It seems that New Year’s Eve is a different day. On New Year’s Eve, the atmosphere is very different from the other days. People, especially teenagers, hang around or hold a party. Discotheques, pubs, and other prestigious places offer special programs. When we walk down the streets, we will see the crowd. Maybe some of us still remember the party held in Jakarta several years ago. It was called a ‘fireworks party’. It is said that the project spent so much money. Sometimes a question crosses my mind,”Was the party really useful?” To tell you the truth, I doubt about the usefulness of such a party. I think it would have been better for the committee to use the money to help the poor.

As a matter of fact, New Year’s Eve is a high time for self-introspection. In other words, it is the right moment for us to make a reflection of what we have done in the previous year. From our reflection , we can decide our next steps to better our life in the future.

Although making resolution can be done in any day, it also sounds wise if we do it on New Year’s Eve. If some of us like writing a diary, the diary can be used as a tool for making evaluation of what we have done during the year. Doing so, we can identify our strengths and weaknesses.

The following are suggestions for our New Year’s Eve ‘programs’.

Firstly, we can make the best day on New Year’s Eve by having a self-introspection (self-correction) and it is related to making a reflection and contemplation. Unfortunately, a lot of people misinterpret the meaning of New Year’s Eve. People tend to have fun until they forget everything. Even worse, they spend money on useless things.

Secondly, on this special day, we can do some good things. We should thank God for His blessings. We should be grateful that we are healthy and we are still able to have the New Year. Certainly, we need to avoid doing anything useless, such as drinking liquor or riding a motorcycle in a reckless way. Overacting, dancing excessively, and crying out wildly should also be avoided.

When we have reflected on our mistakes, we may start our new life. As the saying goes,”Experience is the best teacher,” it is wise that we learn from our experiences. We should make use of our failures to motivate ourselves to achieve success in the future. Now, let’s make a resolution that we will better ourselves and use our time wisely. Let’s welcome the New Year with a new start, new hope, and new spirit. Happy New Year 2008!

(Artikel saya di atas pernah dimuat di Majalah DIALOGUE 11/XXI-1997.)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tujuan Terjun di Dunia Blog

Menarik sekali membaca tulisan Mas Iwan yang menanyakan apa sih tujuan seseorang terjun dalam dunia blog. Setiap orang tentunya memiliki tujuannya sendiri-sendiri.

Saya sendiri mulai terjun di dunia blog sejak Maret 2007. Adapun tujuan saya nge-blog adalah sebagai berikut:
  1. Menyalurkan hobi saya dalam menulis. Seperti yang pernah saya tulis dalam posting perdana saya di blog ini, saya mulai terjun di dunia tulis-menulis sejak 1993. Saat itu saya sering menulis artikel, puisi dan cerpen di beberapa surat kabar dan majalah, baik yang berbahasa Indonesia maupun Inggris. Dan sejak 2002 saya mulai beralih menulis buku. Kini dunia blog makin populer. Jadi, tidak ada salahnya kan kalau saya juga menggunakan media blog sebagai sarana mengekspresikan diri.
  2. Mengembangkan kreativitas dan menambah pengetahuan. Dengan nge-blog saya selalu dituntut untuk berpikir kreatif. Apalagi dengan 3 blog yang saya miliki (Catatan Henson, Let's Learn English, dan Communication & Information Technology), saya harus terus mencari ide-ide buat mengisi blog. Tanpa pemikiran yang kreatif, blog akan terasa hampa dan hambar. Dengan mencari ide-ide, otomatis pengetahuan akan bertambah. Sebagai contoh, di blog ini saya sering mem-posting rangkuman cerita dari novel-novel sastra Inggris klasik. Sebenarnya, kalau mau mencari rangkuman cerita yang sudah jadi sih banyak di internet. Tapi saya tidak mau melakukan hal itu. Saya harus benar-benar membaca sendiri novel Inggris yang rata-rata tebalnya ratusan halaman itu dan membuatkan ringkasannya sendiri.
  3. Sebagai penulis buku, saya membutuhkan media untuk memperkenalkan buku-buku saya kepada masyarakat. Media itu haruslah murah dan menjangkau banyak lapisan.
  4. Menyumbangkan pengetahuan. Melalui blog saya bisa menyumbangkan pengetahuan yang saya miliki (walaupun saya bukanlah seorang pakar). Bukankah tangan di atas lebih baik daripada tangan di bawah? Dengan membagi pengetahuan yang kita miliki kepada orang lain, pengetahuan yang kita miliki itu tidaklah akan berkurang. Saya merasa bahagia ketika para pengunjung blog saya di Let's Learn English berkomentar bahwa semangatnya untuk belajar bahasa Inggris muncul kembali setelah membaca blog itu, bahwa mereka bisa mendapatkan pelajaran secara gratis, bahwa materi-materi di blog itu bisa menunjang pelajaran di sekolah atau di kampusnya, bahwa seorang ayah telah mencetak materi di blog itu untuk belajar anaknya, dan berbagai komentar lainnya.
  5. Membangun jalinan persahabatan. Dalam keseharian saya, saya lebih banyak tinggal di rumah karena semua pekerjaan saya dijalankan di rumah. Namun, saya tetap membutuhkan interaksi sosial yang lebih luas. Dengan menjadi blogger, saya bisa menjalin persahabatan dengan para blogger lain dari berbagai latar belakang pendidikan dan keahlian.
  6. Menambah penghasilan. Melalui blog, saya bisa menambah penghasilan dengan menjadi ad publisher. Ini merupakan usaha sampingan yang tanpa risiko karena saya tidak butuh modal, tetapi cukup meluangkan sedikit space untuk pemasangan iklan. Tapi yang jelas... ini hanyalah usaha sampingan berupa pemanfaatan ruang dan waktu.
  7. Media penyimpanan online. Dengan blog, saya bisa menyimpan tulisan-tulisan saya sehingga jika suatu saat saya membutuhkan tulisan tertentu, saya tinggal mencarinya di blog. Begitu juga ketika teman-teman atau murid privat saya membutuhkan suatu topik tertentu dan kebetulan saya punya, saya tinggal merekomendasikan mereka untuk mencarinya di blog saya. Memang, saya juga menyadari bahwa menyimpan di blogspot masih belum begitu aman karena bisa saja sewaktu-waktu blog kita di-banned oleh Google. Untuk itulah, para blogger sebaiknya melakukan backup pada isi blog.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Count of Monte Cristo

A young sailor named Edmond Dantes returned home from a dangerous voyage. Since the captain of the ship Leclere died during the voyage, Edmond Dantes took over the command of the ship Pharaon which was owned by Morrel. Morrel liked Edmond and promoted him to be the new captain of the Pharaon. Dantes was well-liked by all of the sailors, except Danglars, who was jealous of Edmond's favorable position. Edmond asked for Morrel’s consent to visit his father and then to see Mercedes, his fiance.

When Edmond hurried to Mercedes’ house, she was having an unpleasant talk with Fernand, a soldier who loved her so much and wanted her to be his wife. But Mercedes was true to Edmond. Finally, unable to bear the sight of the happy couple, Fernand rushed out of the house. Then, Edmond and Mercedes planned their marriage,

One day Fernand, Danglars and Caderousse, Edmond’s father’s neighbor, drank together and they conspired to crash the wedding of the two lovers and they would also like to denounce Edmond Dantes as an enemy of the King.

The big wedding feast was prepared and soon the celebration began. Suddenly soldiers barged into the hall, interrupting the feast and arresting the bridegroom, Edmond. The reason for the arrest was not stated. Everyone was shocked, but Edmond believed that it was just a mistake or misunderstanding.

Villefort, the district magistrate, was told that Edmond was a Bonapartist conspirator. Though it looked as though Edmond had tried to help Napoleon, actually the young sailor was simply following orders given to him by his late captain. One of the orders was to deliver a letter to someone in Paris. As Villefort questioned Edmond, Edmond showed him the letter, hoping to reveal his innocence. Villefort read the letter and he was so shocked to see that it was addressed to his father, Noirtier who was a Napoleon supporter. Hoping to destroy any evidence that he was helping the father whom he had disowned, Villefort burned the letter, telling Edmond never to speak about the affair again. Edmond was told that he would be released, but the sailor was forced to stay in prison for the night.

Edmond believed Villefort. But what happened then? Edmond was taken by soldiers to the Chateau d’If, a very well-known prison due to its bad condition. Edmond didn’t know what to do. Villefort had betrayed him.

As the years passed, Edmond really lost his spirit. He feared he was going mad. In his twelfth year, he wanted to die. But one night he heard a scrape on the wall of his room made of stones. The next night the scrape was heard again. He thought someone might be giving him a signal, so he knocked the back of the chair against the wall. Then Edmond broke a mug and used the broken mug as a scraping tool to chip away the plaster of the stone. He did it every day. Before a jailor entered his room to bring food and drink for him, he closed the wall with a table.

Days by days Edmond chipped away the plaster. Meanwhile, a person next to his room also scraped the plaster from the opposite ends. Finally, they succeeded in moving the big stone. An old man entered Edmond’s room and introduced himself as Father Faria, whom the jailors called “The Mad Priest.” They became friends and often communicated with each other. When a jailor was going to bring food and drink, they moved back the position of the stone.

Father Faria was an Italian, a man of the church. He was an educated man. Political enemies had caused his arrest after the death of the rich Cardinal Spada, who had protected Faria and treated him like a son. Edmond felt that his whole world had turned over. For the next few weeks, the two men used the passageway freely to go between Edmond’s dungeon and the priest’s cell.

During the next year and a half, Faria taught Edmond many things and Edmond made rapid progress. Without realizing it, Edmond began to adopt Faria’s refined quiet way of speaking and moving. Soon the rough sailor vanished, and an educated young gentleman emerged. Faria also declared Edmond his heir. At his death, all the riches that he inherited from Cardinal Spada would belong to Edmond.

One day they planned an escape. Faria showed Edmond a treasure map, a map of the Island of Monte Cristo. In this island there were jewels, gold bars, and silver household objects hidden in one of the caves. Edmond wanted to escape with Faria. Unfortunately, Faria was sick and dead several days later.

After fourteen years in the Chateau d’If, Edmond managed to escape. He was free. And then he became a rich man and used the name the Count of Monte Cristo. Edmond wanted to take revenge against his enemies: Danglars, Villefort, and Fernand. He got the information from Caderousse that these three men were responsible for his suffering. The Count of Monte Cristo did a business with Danglars and Villefort. Of course, these two men didn’t know that the Count of Monte Cristo was actually Edmond. With his strategy, Edmond succeeded in making them go bankrupt. They lost in their investment. Villefort were so shocked to see the fact that he lost a lof of money and that the Count of Monte Cristo was Edmond. To make it worse, Villefort’s wife poisoned herself and her son. Finally, Villefort went mad. Danglars felt the same way as Villefort. But Edmond decided to show mercy on Danglars because he was sorry for what had happened to Villefort’s wife and son.

Edmond’s next target was Fernand. Edmond met Mercedes who had become Fernand’s wife. They had a son named Albert. Mercedes didn’t know what had really happened to Edmond and Edmond explained everything. Fernand was very angry to know that Edmond was still alive. Finally Mercedes and her son left home. They didn’t respect Fernand. Fernand shot himself. He didn’t stand it any more. He had so many problems and he faced accusation in the court.

(Cerita di atas diringkas dan diceritakan kembali oleh Hendro Darsono berdasarkan novel The Count of Monte Cristo karya Alexandre Dumas, diterbitkan oleh Baronet Books, New York)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas was born in a small town in France on July 24, 1802. His father was a general and a companion of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Alexandre grew up in Villers-CotterĂȘts, and traveled to Paris when he was twenty. By twenty-five, he had his first success as a playwright.

Dumas wrote hundreds of plays, novels and travel diaries. He wrote several children's stories, and a culinary dictionary. He started several magazines and wrote in them weekly. He was one of the most prolific writers ever, and did not shy away from collaborating with others or rewriting older stories.

When he turned to novels, they were an even greater success. His most successful novels contain marvelous adventures and actions, and bigger-than-life characters. He wrote many historical novels where he took great liberty with the truth in order to achieve a good story, but never claimed that they were historically accurate. He combined real people and events from French history with imagined people and plots.

The most famous of all Dumas' books are The Three Musketeers, The Man in the Iron Mask, and The Count of Monte Cristo. They have been read for over 100 years and made into movies several times.

Dumas became rich from his writings, but he spent so freely. After many years of writing, traveling, and carousing and after he had made and lost several fortunes, Dumas died penniless on December 5, 1870.

Wanna read the summary of one of Dumas' novels? Don't miss the next post!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Menonaktifkan Autorun

Bagi para master komputer mungkin posting-an ini terdengar basi. Namun, mengingat pengunjung blog ini berasal dari berbagai latar belakang pendidikan dan keahlian, saya memandang perlu untuk menuliskannya.

Akhir-akhir ini virus/worm komputer semakin merajalela. Cara kerjanya pun sudah semakin canggih. Kalau dulu virus/worm baru aktif setelah diklik, kini para pembuat virus/worm mulai banyak yang memanfaatkan fasilitas autorun sehingga virus/worm tersebut akan menyebar tanpa disadari oleh pengguna komputer segera setelah flashdisk dicolokkan ke komputer.

Untuk mencegah masuknya virus/worm ke komputer secara otomatis, sebaiknya fasilitas autorun kita nonaktifkan. Caranya adalah sebagai berikut:
  • Klik Start - Run.
  • Ketik "regedit". (Tanda petik tidak diketik.)
  • Masuklah ke HKEY_CURRENT _USER\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
  • Pada jendela sebelah kanan, klik kanan NoDriveTypeAutoRun.
  • Klik Modify.
  • Ubah value data menjadi "ff" (tanda petik tidak diketik) untuk menonaktifkan (men-disable) fungsi autorun pada drive.
  • Klik OK.
  • Lalu masuklah ke HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\ Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.
  • Lakukan hal yang sama seperti langkah-langkah sebelumnya.
  • Keluarlah dari jendela Registry Editor.
  • Restart komputer.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Title : The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Author : Mark Twain

Publisher : Baronet Books, New York

Pages : 239

Category : Fiction (Novel)

Language : English


Huckleberry Finn lived in the little town of St. Petersburg, Missouri. His father was the town drunk. Huck spent most of his life fishing on the banks of the Mississippi, sleeping in doorways, and having great adventures with his friend Tom Sawyer.

Things were always pretty dull until Huck and Tom discovered hidden treasure. They found twelve thousand dollars in gold. It was money that had been buried by robbers, so Judge Thatcher decided it was rightfully Huck’s and Tom’s. Each of them got six thousand dollars. The judge put the money in the bank for them and each of them got an allowance of a dollar a day.

Unfortunately, Huck’s father, Pap, was a drunken father. He seldom went home. Huck was scared of Pap because he hit Huck so much. He often forced Huck to withdraw some money from the bank.

Every once in a while Pap locked Huck in the old cabin and went to the store to trade fish for whiskey. He would fetch it home and get drunk. Then he would lock the door at night and put the key under his head alongside his gun. Huck couldn’t stand it any longer, so he planned to escape.

Huck found an old rusty saw with a broken handle. When Pap was away, Huck started sawing the end of the cabin behind a table. It was a long and tiring job! Before running away, he tried to design the place in such a way that people would think that he was killed by someone.

Huck headed for Jackson’s Island. Then he met Jim, a slave who escaped from his master. They became good friends and experienced many things together. They floated towards freedom on a raft down the Mississippi river. On their journey, they also encountered thieves and liars who said that they were a king and a duke. These two men were very cunning. They liked to lie to and deceive other people. But finally, Huck managed to reveal those two men’s bad deeds and expose the frauds.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mark Twain

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. During his school days, he was often mischievous and inattentive. Therefore, he left school when he was only twelve years old. But... many years later he became a man of many interests and occupations.

He began his career as a printer, then became a pilot of a Mississippi riverboat. Next, he also worked as a journalist, travel writer, and publisher. He wrote a number of articles, short stories, and novels. Some of his great works are The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi, The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Mark Twain was a pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. This name came from his riverboat days. At that time he was measuring the depth of the water which was called "marking the twain."

Mark Twain died in 1910. Now his name is very popular. He becomes one of America's greatest writers. If you want to know more about him and his works, I suggest you read one or more of his works.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

100 Tanya Jawab Seputar Microsoft Excel

"100 Tanya Jawab Seputar Microsoft Excel" adalah buku ketujuh saya yang diterbitkan. Buku ini berisi materi-materi pelajaran untuk mengoperasikan program aplikasi Microsoft Excel yang sudah sangat populer dan sangat banyak digunakan oleh para user komputer. Materinya mencakup pengenalan ruang kerja Microsoft Excel, penggunaan tombol shortcut, proses editing, pembuatan tabel, penggunaan rumus-rumus dan fungsi-fungsi umum dalam Microsoft Excel, pembuatan grafik, penyisipan gambar dalam lembar kerja, penambahan background pada lembar kerja, pemasangan password, dan masih banyak lagi. Semua materi disajikan dalam bentuk tanya jawab agar bisa lebih memudahkan pembaca dalam memahami isi buku ini.

"100 Tanya Jawab Seputar Microsoft Excel" diterbitkan oleh Penerbit Yrama Widya Bandung. Mengenai harga buku, Anda tidak perlu khawatir karena Penerbit Yrama Widya selalu berusaha menjual dengan harga yang terjangkau semua lapisan masyarakat.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

John Shedd: A Ship in Harbor

A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what the ships are built for.

Kapal saat di pelabuhan aman, tetapi bukan itu tujuan dibuatnya kapal.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Selamat Idul Fitri

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri
1 Syawal 1428 H
Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Poem: Revelation

by Hendro Darsono

From a distance
I vaguely hear
The sound of Quran recitation
Word by word
Verse by verse
So beautiful
So melodious
It makes my soul peaceful
It makes my mind clear
It makes my spirit flame up

The eternal truth is radiated from Your revelation
To shine in the darkness
To guide Your creatures
To eliminate hypocrisy
To destroy despotism
(This poem was published in CONTACT English Magazine Vol. 8 No. 48, 2000)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Fasting is to abstain ourselves from doing anything that breaks our fast during the day in the month of Ramadan. One of its deeper purposes is to teach people the meaning of hunger and thirst. A person will never know hunger or have mercy on the hungry. Fasting teaches a person the sufferings of a hungry person. At the same time it drills us in self-discipline and patience.

Have a nice fasting month!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Marhaban Ya Ramadhan

Selamat menjalankan ibadah puasa di bulan suci Ramadhan. Semoga semua amal baik kita diterima oleh Allah swt.

Mohon maaf lahir dan batin.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

When Error Message "Drive not Ready" Appears

  • Check all cable connections. Make sure pin 1 of the drive is connected to pin 1 of the hard-disc controller or host adapter.
  • Make sure the power supply is adequate for system needs.
  • Reboot the computer and make sure the drive spins up.

(Source: www.directron.com)

Friday, August 31, 2007

Victor Hugo: Cloud & Star

Above the cloud with its shadow is the star with light.

Di atas awan dengan bayangannya masih ada bintang dengan cahayanya.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Effective Writers

To be an effective writer is not an easy thing to do. Not all writers are effective writers. Maxine Hairston in Contemporary Composition reveals several points about effective writers as follows:
  1. Effective writers don't count on inspiration; they write whether they feel like it or not. They write regularly, and usually they write according to a schedule.
  2. Effective writers usually write in a specific place, and they like to use the same tools each time--word processor, typewriter or pencil.
  3. Effective writers depend on deadlines to keep them working; they make commitments that will force them to write and to get their work in by a certain date.
  4. Effective writers often procrastinate about writing and feel guilty about doing so.
  5. Effective writers usually work slowly. Writing few pages each day regularly is better than skipping all night today and idling the whole day tomorrow irregularly.
  6. Effective writers usually make some kind of plan before they start to write, but they keep their plan flexible and replan as they work.
  7. Effective writers often have trouble starting to write, but many of them have developed strategies for overcoming this problem.
  8. Effective writers expect to get new insights as they work; they know that writing is an act of discovery, and they develop their ideas by writing.
  9. Effective writers stop frequently to reread and reflect on what they have already written; they know that such rereading stimulates them to continue writing. They do this in order to keep in line with the theme they once took up.
  10. Effective writers revise their work as they write, and they expect to do two or more drafts of their writing. They do this to perfect their work.
  11. Effective writers are careful observers, and they have a system for collecting ideas or material that may be useful to them.
  12. Effective writers do not always enjoy writing--usually they can find something they would rather be doing--but they get satisfaction from having written.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Benjamin Disraeli: The Most Successful Person

As the general rule the most successful in life is the man who has the best information.

Biasanya, orang yang paling sukses dalam hidup ini adalah orang yang memiliki informasi yang paling baik.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Superior Performers

Superior performers intentionally seek out feedbacks; they want to hear how others perceive them, realizing that this is valuable information. That may be part of the reason people who are self-aware are also better performers. Presumably their self-awareness helps them in a process of continuous improvement.

Self-awareness in itself is an invaluable tool for change, especially if the need to change is in line with the person's goals, sense of mission, or basic values--including the belief that self-improvement is good.

(Source: Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Francis Bacon: Opportunities

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Orang yang bijaksana akan menciptakan lebih banyak kesempatan daripada yang ia dapatkan.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Memperbaiki Masalah pada Harddisk dengan Command Prompt

Command Prompt memiliki begitu banyak kegunaan. Tidaklah mengherankan bahwa banyak pengguna komputer yang masih menggunakan Command Prompt untuk berbagai tujuan, seperti troubleshooting dan hacking.

Dalam tip & trick kali ini, kita akan mencoba memanfaatkan salah satu perintah yang disediakan oleh Command Prompt. Perintah ini sudah sangat populer dan bertujuan untuk memperbaiki masalah pada harddisk.

Untuk melakukannya, ikutilah langkah-langkah di bawah ini:
  1. Buka Command Prompt melalui Start - All Programs - Accessories.
  2. Ketikkan "chkdsk /f /r". (tanda petik tidak diketik dan sebelum garis miring ada spasi)
  3. Tekan tombol Enter.
Penambahan parameter /f bertujuan untuk memperbaiki error, sedangkan penambahan parameter /r untuk mencari bad sector.

Perintah yang diberikan tidak langsung dijalankan oleh Sistem Operasi Windows XP, tetapi Sistem Operasi ini akan memberikan pertanyaan apakah kita akan menjadwalkan untuk menjalankan perintah tersebut setelah komputer di-restart. Jawab saja dengan menekan huruf "y" pada keyboard. Maka setelah komputer restart, proses scanning akan dijalankan dan kalau ditemukan masalah, seperti error pada file atau bad sector pada harddisk, laporannya akan ditampilkan pada layar.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Thomas Alva Edison: Genius

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Jenius itu hanya satu persen dari ilham sementara sembilan puluh sembilan persennya adalah keringat (usaha dan kerja keras).

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Buku English Proverbs And Quotations Cetakan Kedua

English Proverbs And Quotations adalah buku kedua saya yang diterbitkan. Buku ini sekarang telah memasuki cetakan kedua.

Dalam buku ini dicantumkan lebih dari 300 peribahasa Inggris yang sangat populer dan 100 kutipan atau kata-kata mutiara dari para tokoh terkemuka dunia: ilmuwan, sastrawan, penulis, atlit, politisi, dan sebagainya. Setiap peribahasa dan kutipan diberikan terjemahan atau penjelasan agar para pembaca lebih mudah memahaminya. Selain itu, pada bagian akhir buku dicantumkan daftar kata yang disusun secara alfabetis yang memuat sebagian besar kata yang digunakan dalam buku ini dengan harapan agar para pembaca bisa mengerti arti kata-kata yang belum mereka ketahui.

English Proverbs And Quotations diterbitkan oleh Penerbit Dioma Malang Jalan Bromo 24 Malang. Harga buku pada saat ini adalah Rp22.000,00. Jika Anda tertarik, Anda bisa mendapatkannya di toko-toko buku di kota Anda. Atau, jika Anda kesulitan mendapatkannya, Anda bisa memesannya secara langsung ke kantor pusat penerbit ini di Malang. Selain itu, Anda juga bisa melakukan pembelian secara online dengan mengunjungi situs penerbit di www.diomamedia.com. Informasi tentang buku ini bisa dilihat pada menu Buku Bahasa.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Albert Einstein: Science

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

Ilmu tanpa agama adalah pincang, agama tanpa ilmu adalah buta.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Wise Words by William S. Knudsen

The young man who has the combination of the learning of books with the learning which comes of doing things with the hands need not worry about getting along in the world of today, or at any time.

Pemuda yang memiliki gabungan pengetahuan dari buku dengan pengetahuan yang berasal dari praktek tidak perlu khawatir untuk maju di dunia sekarang, atau kapan pun.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Buku Troubleshooting Komputer Masuk Cetakan Ketiga

Buku TROUBLESHOOTING KOMPUTER adalah buku ketiga dari enam buku saya yang sudah diterbitkan. Buku ini diterbitkan oleh Penerbit Puspa Swara Jakarta Jl. Gunung Sahari III/7 Telp. (021) 4204402, 4255354 Faks. (021) 4214821 Jakarta-10610 (www.puspaswara.com).
TROUBLESHOOTING KOMPUTER diterbitkan pertama kali pada 2006. Tanpa terasa, setelah satu tahun terbit kini (2007) buku ini sudah memasuki cetakan ketiga. Syukur alhamdulillah karena buku ini ternyata sangat digemari oleh masyarakat. Ini terbukti dari volume penjualan yang tidak mengecewakan.
Sebenarnya, untuk cetakan ketiga ini saya sudah mengajukan usulan revisi kepada penerbit berupa penambahan 25 bab baru agar cakupan isi buku menjadi lebih luas lagi. Tapi sayang sekali... usulan ini tidak disetujui penerbit karena alasan harga buku yang akan meningkat kalau dilakukan penambahan bab baru. Untuk cetakan pertama hingga cetakan ketiga, buku ini dijual dengan harga Rp20.900,00. Bagi yang berminat, buku ini bisa diperoleh di Toko Buku Gramedia atau toko-toko lain di kota Anda. (Foto cover buku bisa Anda lihat pada sidebar blog ini.)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Berlatih Mengetik

Kemampuan mengetik sangatlah penting dalam kehidupan manusia modern, baik itu siswa, mahasiswa, karyawan dan berbagai jenis profesi lainnya, sebab dalam kehidupan sehari-hari kita akan dihadapkan pada tugas-tugas yang berhubungan dengan pengetikan.
Bagaimana cara Anda melatih anak-anak Anda atau saudara-saudara Anda mengetik? Kebanyakan orang mengajarkan mengetik dengan memperkenalkan posisi huruf demi huruf pada keyboard. Pada latihan pertama diajarkan mengetikkan satu huruf atau lebih, pada latihan berikutnya diajarkan mengetikkan huruf-huruf lainnya hingga semua posisi bisa dihapalkan.
Ada cara lain dalam mengajarkan siswa agar lebih cepat menghapalkan posisi huruf-huruf pada keyboard. Suruh saja siswa tersebut mengetikkan kalimat ini secara berulang-ulang "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". Apa sih istimewanya kalimat ini? Jika Anda amati secara seksama, dalam kalimat ini terkandung seluruh huruf dalam abjad dari A hingga Z. Tidak percaya? Silahkan Anda amati!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blog Baru

Bulan ini blog CATATAN HENSON berusia dua bulan. Usia yang boleh dibilang masih terlalu muda! Saya berharap agar kehadiran blog ini benar-benar bisa memberikan manfaat bagi siapa saja, baik manfaat berupa pengetahuan, pencerahan, maupun persahabatan.
Setelah ikut terjun dalam dunia blogging, saya merasakan banyaknya manfaat yang saya peroleh: kreativitas terus tergugah, sahabat makin bertambah, pengetahuan baru yang didapatkan dari blogger lain pun ikut mengisi ruang pikiran dan jiwa.
Setelah CATATAN HENSON, saya mencoba membuat blog lain LET'S LEARN ENGLISH (http://free-english-lesson.blogspot.com). Posting pertama blog ini pada 6 April 2007. Blog ini diperuntukkan bagi mereka yang gemar atau ingin mempelajari atau menambah pengetahuan bahasa Inggris. Lalu pada 12 Mei 2007 saya membuat satu blog lagi yang mengkhususkan pada informasi seputar teknologi komunikasi dan informasi. Blog ini bernama COMMUNICATION & INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY dan bisa Anda kunjungi di http://ci-technology.blogspot.com.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A Paperclip

A paperclip is a small but useful thing. In general, a paperclip is used to stick sheets of paper together. But I ever used it for an unordinary way.

One day when I was operating my computer, the light went out. Unfortunately, my CD was still trapped in the CD-ROM drive. The CD belonged to my friend and I had to return it at that very moment. Suddenly, I saw a paperclip near my computer. Then I took it and made it straight. After that, I put the straight paperclip into the small hole on the CD-ROM drive. (Look at the picture below!) I gave a little pressure and then… Aha! I made it! The CD tray of the CD-ROM drive was open and I could take the CD out of the drive. Maybe you can try this way when you come across the same problem.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Henry Ford: Life

Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn that the setbacks and grief which we endure help us in our march onward.

Kehidupan adalah serangkaian pengalaman, masing-masing rangkaian pengalaman itu membuat kita menjadi lebih besar, meskipun terkadang sukar mewujudkannya. Karena dunia dibangun untuk mengembangkan karakter, dan kita harus mempelajari bahwa kemunduran dan kesedihan yang kita alami membantu kita dalam perjalanan ke depan.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Song: Donna


On a wagon bound for market
There's a calf with a mournful eye
High above him there's a swallow
Winging swiftly through the sky
How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summers night
Donna Donna

Stop complaining, said the farmer
Who told you a calf to be?
Why don’t you have wings to fly with
Like the swallow so proud and free
How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summers night
Donna Donna

Calves are easily bound and slaughtered
Never knowing the reason why
But whoever treasures freedom
Like the swallow has learned to fly
How the winds are laughing
They laugh with all their might
Laugh and laugh the whole day through
And half the summers night
Donna donna

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Say What You See and Feel in English!

Suatu hari salah seorang siswa yang belajar privat bahasa Inggris dengan saya bertanya,"Sir, bagaimana sih caranya agar bisa berbicara bahasa Inggris dalam waktu singkat?" Ia yang seorang karyawan swasta itu nampaknya sudah 'kebelet' ingin sekali bisa bercakap-cakap dalam bahasa Inggris.
Lalu saya menjawab pertanyaannya,"Tidak ada cara singkat untuk bisa berbicara bahasa Inggris." Raut wajah siswa saya itu nampaknya berubah dan terkesan menunjukkan guratan-guratan kekecewaan.
Saya segera melanjutkan kata-kata saya,"Tetapi jika kamu ingin sekali bisa berbicara bahasa Inggris, saya akan berikan sebuah kalimat." Siswa saya yang bernama Ari itu masih kelihatan bingung.
Saya ambil sebuah boardmarker dan menuliskan sebuah kalimat di whiteboard. Kalimatnya berbunyi,"SAY WHAT YOU SEE AND FEEL IN ENGLISH!" Ari mencoba membaca kalimat itu dengan pelan. Sengaja saya biarkan ia selama 5 menit untuk memikirkan dan menginterpretasikan kalimat yang sederhana itu. Ia pun mengangguk-angguk dan berkata,"Benar juga ya!"
Banyak sekali pelajar yang mengeluh karena mereka ingin sekali bisa berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris tetapi setelah belajar berbulan-bulan atau bertahun-tahun mereka belum juga bisa berbahasa Inggris secara fasih. Penyebab yang paling umum adalah kurangnya berlatih. Penyebab lainnya adalah kurangnya percaya diri, rasa malu untuk berlatih, atau tidak adanya partner untuk berlatih.
Saya sering memberikan kalimat "SAY WHAT YOU SEE AND FEEL IN ENGLISH!" ini kepada siswa-siswa saya. Kalimat ini nampaknya sederhana, tetapi jika esensinya dijalankan, maka kemampuan untuk bercakap-cakap dalam bahasa Inggris dalam waktu yang lebih singkat bukan mustahil untuk dicapai.
KATAKAN APA YANG ANDA LIHAT DAN ANDA RASAKAN DALAM BAHASA INGGRIS. Dengan kalimat yang sederhana ini, Anda akan dibawa dan diajak ke suatu atmosfer kondusif yang memungkinkan Anda untuk terus berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris.
KATAKAN APA YANG ANDA LIHAT... Misalnya di suatu pagi Anda keluar rumah dan melihat bunga mawar di taman rumah Anda, Anda bisa berkata,"This is a rose. The color of the rose is pink. This flower is very beautiful and it smells good. A rose is a symbol of love. I like this flower so much..." Atau, ketika Anda sedang berada di ruang tamu sendirian, Anda bisa berkata,"This room is very comfortable. There's a sofa at the corner of the room. The color is blue. Beside the sofa there's a very beautiful lamp. I like sitting in this room because in this room I can watch TV, I can read my favorite books, I can have a chat with my parents, my brothers and my sisters."
KATAKAN APA YANG ANDA RASAKAN... Misalnya pada saat Anda baru bangun tidur, Anda bisa berkata,"Oh, I feel so fresh now. I slept soundly last night." Atau, ketika Anda baru pulang dari toko buku, Anda bisa mengugkapkan perasaan Anda dalam bahasa Inggris,"I went to a bookstore to buy a new English grammar book. In the bookstore I met a very beautiful girl. When I took a grammar book from the shelf, she also took the similar book. Then I introduced myself to her. She smiled so sweetly. We had a little talk about English. She was a good person to talk with. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask her phone number. I hope I can meet her again some day."
Bayangkan jika setiap yang Anda lihat dan Anda rasakan Anda ungkapkan dalam bahasa Inggris, berarti Anda sudah bisa berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris, bukan? Untuk tahap awal mungkin praktek ini akan terasa agak sukar. Tetapi percayalah... seiring dengan waktu kesukaran itu akan berubah menjadi kemudahan. Bukankah alah bisa karena biasa?
Cobalah terapkan kalimat di atas dalam kehidupan sehari-hari Anda. Mudah-mudahan Anda akan bisa berbicara bahasa Inggris dalam waktu yang lebih singkat. Jangan lupa untuk selalu membawa kamus Anda sehingga Anda bisa mendapatkan kata-kata baru ketika suatu saat terbentur dengan arti sebuah atau beberapa kata. Teruslah berlatih karena kesempurnaan hanya bisa dicapai dengan berlatih (Practice makes perfect). Jangan takut membuat kesalahan karena tak seorang pun yang tidak pernah berbuat salah.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thomas Alva Edison: Life's Failures

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Banyak kegagalan hidup menimpa orang yang tidak menyadari bahwa betapa dekatnya mereka dengan kesuksesan ketika mereka menyerah.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Two Sides of the Brain

In the late 1960s, research in the US was done by Roger Sperry and Robert Ormstein into the brain and its functions. They found that we have two brains (cortices) or, to be more accurate, two sides of the brain which is linked by a nerve structure called the corpus callosum. These two different hemispheres function in different ways and serve different mental processes.
The left side, which controls the right side of the body, is predominantly engaged with academic activities such as logical thinking, mathematics and numbers, words, analysis and reasoning, whereas the right side of the brain, which controls the left side of the body, is the artistic part which deals with images, imagination, rhythm, colour, orientation in space, music, humour and dreams, and recognition of faces, patterns and maps.
(Source: Energize Yourself! by Vera Peiffer)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Info Software: Resize 2.7

Resize 2.7 adalah software yang dapat digunakan untuk memperkecil ukuran foto atau image. Program ini berukuran kecil, hanya sebesar 337 KB (terkompresi) dan untuk menggunakannya tidak perlu diinstal pada sistem komputer karena dapat langsung dijalankan melalui removable disk (CD, flaskdisk, dll). Cara kerja software ini sungguh luar biasa. Foto-foto berukuran besar (ribuan kilobyte) yang diambil dengan kamera digital bisa diperkecil hingga berukuran puluhan kilobyte saja. Jika Anda perhatikan foto-foto yang terdapat di blog ini, semuanya sudah diperkecil dengan menggunakan software ini. Walaupun sudah diperkecil, gambarnya tidak pecah, bukan? Software ini bisa di-download di http://www.geocities.com/peter_bone_uk . Selamat mencoba!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Story: Goodbye

By Hendro Darsono

“Where are you going to take me, Win?” asked Shanti curiously.
“To my house,” replied Winda shortly.
“What for?”
“I wanna show you my lovely Persian cat.”
“Your Persian cat? Hey, since when have you been interested in a cat? You always say you don’t like any pet.”
“Well, I just wanna feel how you feel. You look after several kinds of cats. I don’t know how a cat can give you a great pleasure.”
“For me a cat is a nice, smart, attractive and faithful friend.”
“We’ve arrived, Shan,”said Winda when her car entered her house yard. “While I’m parking this car into the garage, you can get into my house first. The door isn’t locked.”
“Okay, Win.”
Shanti was startled and got mixed up. She found her classmates in the living room. “Hey, wh…what is it?”
“Happy birthday, Shanti.” Shanti’s best friend Dewi hugged and kissed her.
Winda entered the room and hugged Shanti. “Happy birthday, my best friend. Two weeks ago—beyond your ken—our class discussed to hold a party for you. We do it only for you because you’re so special. You’re a girl of many achievements. You’re not only clever but also active in our school organization. You’re the best student and also an exemplary student who really become a role model for all of us. You’ve created a good atmosphere in our class.”
“C’mon, don’t make me flattered.”
“No, you deserve it!” Winda said smilingly.
“All right, guys. Now let’s sing a happy birthday song for our beloved friend, Shanti.” Heru, Shanti’s other best friend, led everybody to sing.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Shanti.
Happy birthday to you.

Everybody clapped their hands. Then Heru lit the eighteen candles standing on the beautiful birthday cake prepared for Shanti. “Now it’s time for you to blow the candle, Shanti.”
“Before blowing the candle, don’t forget to close your eyes and make a wish,” Dewi suggested. “People say if we can put out the candle in one single blow, our wish will come true.”
“All right, I’ll do it.” Shanti closed her eyes for a moment and then blew the candles. “Phuh…!” Everybody clapped their hands.
“What was your wish, Shanti? “ Dewi wanted to know. “Did you make a wish in order that you can have a gorgeous boyfriend?”
“No, no. I just prayed that God gives me happiness… here and hereafter.”
“Only that?” asked Heru.
“Okay Shanti, now you can cut the birthday cake.” Winda handed Shanti a knife and Shanti used it to cut the cake.
“The next surprise, Heru.” Winda squinted at Heru.
“Sure.” Heru went to take three boxes wrapped with glossy and colorful paper. “These are the birthday presents from our class.”
“Oh, you’re all so kind to me.”
“Unwrap the boxes one by one, Shanti. Starting from the smallest one,” said Dewi.
“Oh… cool! This T-shirt is so cool! It suits me.”
“Next … this one. Please open it!” Heru handed Shanti the bigger box.
“What is it? Ah… some English books.” Shanti took a look at the books one by one. “Energize Yourself! by Vera Pfeiffer, Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. And these ones… oh novels! Silent Honor by Danielle Steele and If Tomorrow Comes by Sidney Sheldon.”
“We know you’re crazy about reading. Hopefully, you’ll like them,” said Heru.
“Now the last one. It’ll be a great honor if Your Majesty would like to open it,” Winda said jokingly.
“This box is so big. And there’s a hole on each side.”
“Oops! Don’t take a peep. Just unwrap it,” exclaimed Winda.
“Okay, okay.” Shanti unwrapped the box carefully. “Oh my God! A cat! A Persian cat!” She held the cat in her arms. “I love it!”
“Give a name, Shanti,” uttered Dewi.
“Uhm… well, since this cat comes from Persia, I’ll name it ‘Percy’.”
“Hmm… what a good name!” Heru said.
“Guys, now let’s give Shanti a little time to say something about her birthday.”
“That’s a good idea, Winda,” Dewi agreed.
Shanti took her position and began to speak,”Well… first of all, I’d like to thank you so much for your attention to me. I’ve never thought before that you’re gonna hold this kind of great and unforgettable party. Today is my eighteenth birthday. I don’t know for sure whether or not I still can celebrate my next birthday. The proverb says,’Man proposes, God disposes.’ I’m really touched to the core by your kindness, guys.” Winda gave tissue paper to Shanti and Shanti used it to sweep teardrops trickling down on her pinkish cheek. “Yeah…our class is very different from others. We have a strong bond of friendship… and solidarity. That’s why, other classes are jealous of our class. Guys,” Shanti furthered,”in this happy occasion, please let me remind you that next month we’ll sit for final exams. We’re now in the third year of Senior High School. Let’s help one another in our study. I hope our class will be the best again. And above all… these final exams will become a stepping-stone to reach our future. Uhm… I think that’s all. Once again, thank you so much for what you’ve done to me.”
“I think this party isn’t complete without poetry reading,” Heru said. “Shanti is the winner of the poetry reading contest in this city.”
“Yeah, you’re right, Heru,” Dewi seconded Heru’s idea.
“Yeah, c’mon Shanti, show your ability.” Everybody urged Shanti.
“All right, all right.” Shanti didn’t want to let her friends down. “If that’s what you want, I’ll do it. So, what poem should I read?”
“It’s up to you,” said Winda.
“Okay, I’ll read a poem by Christina Rosetti who lived in 1830-1894.” Then Shanti began to read the poem….


My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thick-set fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these,
Because my love is come to me.

Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dye;
Carve it in doves and pomegranates,
And peacock with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves and silver fleur-de-lys
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

The party continued with some kinds of entertaining programs. Everybody sang, danced, and played an interesting game designed for a birthday party. Then they enjoyed the meal. When the party was about to end, something happened.
“Oh… my head!” shanti sighed.
“Hey, what’s wrong with you, Shan?” Winda approached her.
“My head is so dizzy,” Shanti complained. “This earth… looks like turning… upside down.”
“Do you need aspirin?” asked Winda anxiously.
“No. I think… I… I….”
“Shanti… Shanti…!” Dewi cried out. “She’s unconscious!”
“Let’s take her to the hospital!” said Heru.
Shanti was brought to the hospital. In the hospital she regained her consciousness. But she needed more medical treatment and had to be hospitalized. Shanti, in fact, suffered from a serious disease and the medical team wasn’t able to cure it. Five days later Shanti passed away.

* * * * *

“We’re very sorry for what has happened, Ma’am,” Winda apologized to Shanti’s mother, Mrs. Diah.
“No, you didn’t make any mistakes.” Mrs. Diah caressed Winda’s hair.
“But… it wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t held a party for Shanti,” uttered Heru sadly.
“She passed away not because of the party, Heru,” replied Mrs. Diah.
“But….” Dewi interrupted.
“Did Shanti ever tell you about her disease?” Mrs. Diah asked.
“Her disease?” Dewi was curious.
“What do you mean, Ma’am?” Winda wondered.
“All right, I’ll tell you all about it.” Mrs. Diah took a deep breath and began to tell the story,”Around three months ago, Shanti and I went to see a doctor because Shanti often complained about her head and her sight. From the medical examination, the doctor concluded that she suffered from a brain cancer.”
“Cancer?” Heru was shocked.
“Yes. And the doctor predicted that Shanti wouldn’t live long.” Mrs. Diah’s eyes were wet. Teardrops rolled down.
“Did Shanti know about her illness?” asked Winda.
“Yes, she did.” Mrs. Diah wiped her tears. “But… as you all know Shanti is a tough girl. She didn’t want other people to know about her real condition. She did everything as if nothing had happened. She kept studying hard. She went to school in the morning and gave private English and mathematics lessons to Junior High School students in the afternoon. She ever said,’Life is so short, but meaningful. That’s why, I must make good use of it as well as I can.’ She helped me much in my daily activities.”
“What a girl!” said Heru.
“Yeah, I’m very proud of her. Since her father passed away a year ago, she has helped support the family by teaching Junior High School students. She realized that the pension money I received from her father wasn’t enough to satisfy our daily needs. Let alone, her younger brother and sister need money for their schooling.”
“She’s a great girl!” Dewi praised and admired Shanti. “We are very sorry, Ma’am, we couldn’t attend the funeral ceremony yesterday. It was because…it was hard to say goodbye and to see Shanti leave this world. She has left us for good. We all have lost her, Ma’am.
“Yes, that’s right.” Winda sobbed. “Let us hope and pray that Shanti rests in peace there.”

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Emile Poulsson: Book

Books are keys to wisdom's treasure.
Books are gates to lands of pleasure.
Books are paths that upward lead.
Books are friends. Come, let us read.

(Emile Poulsson)

Buku adalah kunci menuju khasanah kebijaksanaan.
Buku adalah gerbang menuju tanah kesenangan.
Buku adalah jalan yang mengarah ke atas.
Buku adalah sahabat. Ayo, marilah kita baca.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Quotation: Hellen Keller

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.
Ketika satu pintu kebahagiaan tertutup, pintu yang lain terbuka; tetapi, sering kali kita memandang begitu lama pada pintu yang tertutup itu sehingga kita tidak melihat pintu yang sudah dibukakan untuk kita.
(Source: English Proverbs and Quotations by Hendro Darsono, published by Dioma Malang)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

CCleaner: Software Pembersih

CCleaner adalah software yang tergolong freeware alias gratisan, berukuran kecil dan bisa melakukan proses pembersihan terhadap file-file yang tidak digunakan. Setelah diinstal ke dalam sistem komputer, software ini hanya memakan sumber daya hard disk sebesar 1,36 MB.

CCleaner bisa membersihkan temp files, cookies, history, recent documents, recycle bin, dan berbagai jenis junk files lainnya. Selain itu, CCleaner juga mampu memeriksa integritas registry Windows dan membuang referensi yang salah. Cara kerjanya sangat cepat dan benar-benar tidak memberatkan sistem komputer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Save Your Words

A chatter box could be very boring. He or she never runs out of topics. Anywhere and anytime, he or she will talk about anything. We don’t have a chance to interrupt nor to respond. We can do nothing but listen. Most of us have been through such a situation. The following tips are about how to talk effectively and how to avoid becoming a chatter box.

In our daily life, it is inevitable that we meet people with different characters. Each of them has his or her own style and manner in having conversation. Some are talkative, some are quiet, and some others are bossy.

To be a good speaker or conversationalist is not easy. Therefore, this article offers suggestions on becoming a better conversationalist.

What is a good conversationalist and how can we become one? To become a good speaker, we have to pay attention to some important points of conversation. Poh Ai Lin in The art of Conversing puts forward seven points for us to take into account in a conversation. They are as follows:

  1. A good conversationalist is not a person who knows what to say and when to say it. He or she has to learn other social communication skill as well.
  2. Talking continuously is not the idea of successful conversation. Being a considerate and active listener is equally crucial. It takes two to converse. We need to talk as well as to listen.
  3. Express your idea or opinion moderately. Do not sound as if you knew everything. If you have to talk about yourself, do it in moderation.
  4. Avoid being gush. To praise is necessary but do not overdo it. If not, you will sound pretentious.
  5. Avoid being bossy. An attitude of superiority will soon leave you in isolation.
  6. Stay focus. Avoid being too flowery. A person who lacks focus and is easily out of the track could be extremely annoying.
  7. Read your partner’s gestures. Sighs, increasingly longer pauses, restlessness, decreased eye contact and gradual distancing are indications that your partner wants to end the conversation.

There are a lot more to learn to become a good conversationalist. Hopefully the above tips will be of much help to all of us.

(My article above was published in Dialogue English Magazine No. 1/XXII/1997)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Hiding Icons on the Desktop

Some computer users like to see icons on the desktop of their computer, meanwhile some others don't. If you are a user who doesn't like to see the icons on the desktop of your computer, you can hide those icons.

To hide the icons, you can do the following things:

  1. Click Start - Run.

  2. Type "regedit".

  3. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

  4. Right-click on the right side of Registry Editor window and choose DWORD value.

  5. Type a new value name "NoDesktop".

  6. Right-click this new value name and click Modify.

  7. Type "1" on the value data to hide the icons.

  8. Click OK.

  9. Restart your computer.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Is Honesty Always The Best Policy?

In our daily lives, we often hear the word ‘honesty.’ A great number of literary works, films, dramas, and so forth are made based on this word. Yes, honesty is one of the interesting topics to talk about.

Being honest means that what we say or do is in line with our conscience. If we are not honest, it means that we try to deceive our conscience. Therefore, we, as God’s creatures, are supposed to uphold the value of honesty. No religion preaches its adherents to be dishonest. Having an honest attitude is actually the reflection of moral awareness.

Some people say that it is rather difficult to find an honest person these days. Hypocrisy has colored this sophisticated and modern life. It seems that what they have said is right. Dishonesty has developed in many forms, like cheating during exams, telling a lie, committing corruption, and faking things.
Honesty is our mental attitude. It will have a big impact on our social interaction. When we talk with a dishonest person, maybe we will not trust all she/he is saying. To be dishonest is very bad since no one will believe us. Even we will be called “The Big Mouth” or “The Braggart.”
Nevertheless, we occasionally have no alternative. What I mean here is that we are compelled by the situation to be dishonest. In this case, we are stricken by a dillema. In one side we want to be honest. But, if we indulge our feeling, it will even make the situation worse. So, we must be more tactful in coping with this problem, I think. Being dishonest is sinful. Yet, for some certain cases it will be all right.
Below are some examples of situations which allow us not to be honest:
  1. You are standing in front of your house. A woman is running towards you, out of breath. She asks you to do her a favor. Her husband is running after her. He is furious and wants to kill her because of their family problems. And then, because there is no more time to talk, the woman hastily get into your house and hides in it. Not long afterwards, comes the woman’s husband, taking along a sharp sword with him. His emotion seems to be uncontrollable. He asks you if you know where his wife is. What are you going to do then? Are you going to be honest by telling him where his wife is? If you are honest in this situation, I bet it will be very hazardous.
  2. Johny (just call him so) is your friend. You know each other’s personality very well and you always share your feeling with each other. One day something happens with Johny. He comes to you and tells you that his girlfriend is in the family way. He also tells you how it happened. Unexpectedly, this news spreads out. Some of your friends ask you about it for they know that you are his close friend. You don’t want to disclose Johny’s disgrace. So you are not honest by saying,”I’m sorry I know nothing about it.”
  3. You are invited to have dinner by your prospective mother-in-law. The meal was cooked by her herself. She wants to serve you with her own cooking. When you eat your soup, it tastes insipid. Your mother-in-law asks,”What do you think of the soup?” In order to make the atmosphere good, you reply,”Oh… it’s so delicious. How good you are at cooking, Mom!”
In conclusion, although honesty is a positive mental attitude and one of the indicators of one’s personality, it does not mean that being honest is always good. Now and then we are demanded not to be honest due to the situation and condition. Indeed, honesty is the best policy, but not always!

(My article above was published in Dialogue English Magazine No. 3/XXII/1997)

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Learning from Prophet Muhammad

There are a great number of good, interesting, and educative stories from Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He is really a good example for all people. His behavior, his character, and his leadership make us admire him. There is a part of an interesting story about Prophet Muhammad that I quote from Yusuf Islam's book The Life of the Last Prophet.
When sacred Ka'bah was being rebuilt after a serious flood had damaged its walls, a disagreement arose amongst the four main tribes of the Quraysh as to which tribe should have the honour of replacing the sacred Black Stone. A skirmish was about to begin, when one of the elders suggested a solution:"Make the first to enter the gate your judge," he said. They all looked, and to their great joy, Muhammad entered. "It is al-Amin, the Trustworthy," they cried. Muhammad, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam, saw what was happening and he asked for a piece of cloth to be brought. He laid the Black Stone upon the cloth and told the members of each of the four tribes to hold the corners of the cloth and raise the Stone as he, himself, eased it into its position. So, he ended the quarrel and with it the threat of war.

What a brilliant and wise decision he made!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

An Optimist vs A Pessimist

Do you know the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? Winston Churchill once said,"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."

A great number of people like to complain when they are facing a problem. The problem seems to have closed all the doors in front of them. As a result, they think that they can do nothing in such circumstances.

Meanwhile, some other people are tough. They do not want to give up so easily when they are facing obstacles. They know exactly that they have a problem, but they also know for sure that they will get the solution for their problem. Even they can create an opportunity in every difficulty they come across.

So, what sort of person are you? An optimist or a pessimist? Only you can answer this question!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Poem: A Dim World

A Dim World
By Hendro Darsono
in this transitory world
I'm standing on one point
gazing at the spectrum of life
famine, misery, ignorance, and
all kinds of suffering beset
and color the life
war, violence, chaos, and rapes
break out here and there
it seems that
there's no room for peace
Everybody look!
can't you see what such deeds cause?
only the ruins of destruction
only the cry of fellow human kinds
who become victims and losers
only the cry of children looking for
mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, ...
and only teardrops trickling down
slowly but surely
from all corners of the world
(This poem was published in Dialogue English Magazine No. 7/XXII/1998)

Computer Virus

Computer technology has developed rapidly. New hardware and software have competed with one another. The vendors try hard to please the users and to fulfill their needs. Meanwhile, new viruses also emerge. They are ready to attack computers.

What are viruses? According to Microsoft (www.microsoft.com), computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and to interfere with computer operation. A virus might corrupt or delete data on your computer, use your e-mail program to spread itself to other computers, or even erase everything on your hard disk. Viruses are most easily spread by attachments in e-mail messages or instant messaging messages. That is why it is essential that you never open e-mail attachments unless you know who it's from and you are expecting it. Viruses can be disguised as attachments of funny images, greeting cards, or audio and video files. Viruses also spread through downloads on the Internet. They can be hidden in illicit software or other files or programs you might download.

Considering the bad effects caused by a virus, we must always be careful and always take a preventive action. Install an antivirus program in your computer and update it regularly.
But you must also keep in your mind that installing an antivirus program does not guarantee 100% that your computer is free from viruses.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fix Your Computer Problems by Yourself!

We are now living in a modern and sophisticated world. In this kind of the world, information technology is absolutely indispensable. Our world has gone through a rapid development in information technology. Several years ago only a few people have computers at home, but now… a computer is not regarded as a luxurious thing any longer. Computers are owned not only by companies, universities, and schools but also by individual households.

A computer can help us in doing our work, such as to type documents, to make databases, to design cards, to edit images and videos, to play games, to listen to the music, or to watch movies.
Working with a computer is really enjoyable. But, sometimes users feel so annoyed when they face a problem with their computer, for example, the programs do not run well, the computer does not want to boot, or even, the computer does not start at all when the power button is pressed. As a matter of fact, not all computer problems are hard problems. In many cases, users undergo small problems only. But, because they do not know what to do, they think that the problems are so hard.

In this article I would like to give you some tips on how to overcome several computer problems which a great number of users frequently come across.

1. When the game you play does not run smoothly
This problem usually happens when the hardware in your computer does not support. For example, you are going to play a 3-D game and you come across this kind of problem. The problem can be caused by several factors: first, the processor in your computer is not fast enough. This problem can be solved by upgrading your processor with the new one having faster and better performance. Second, the memory, or usually called RAM (Random Access Memory), of your computer is not adequate. Try to increase the capacity of your RAM. If your computer currently uses 256 Mega Bytes or 512 Mega Bytes of RAM, try to upgrade it with 1024 MB of RAM. Third, the VGA card can also become the cause of the problem. VGA card functions to display output on the screen of the monitor. The 3-D games usually require a good and fast VGA card. So, you can upgrade your VGA card to get a better performance.

2. When the time in your computer system rolls back to the past
Budi is very annoyed because every time he turns on his computer, the date, month, year, and time of his computer system are incorrect. He has tried to adjust them correctly, but then they rolled back to the past again and again.

This problem is usually caused by CMOS battery in the motherboard of your computer. (To know the exact position of the CMOS battery, you can check it in your motherboard’s manual book or CD) If you have used the computer for several years, the battery will be low. To fix this problem, try to replace the battery. This battery is cheap and can be bought in computer stores. The way to replace the CMOS battery is easy. It is almost the same as replacing batteries of your calculator. After you replace the battery, adjust the time, date, month and year again.

3. The computer is unstable
Sometimes the computer that we use restarts or turns off by itself. If this problem happens to your computer, there are some possibilities: first, your computer is too hot. To overcome this problem, install an additional fan inside the case of the CPU. This fan can function to make the CPU cooler. Second, the quality of the power supply in your computer is not good. Try to use a power supply with the output power of at least 350 Watts. The higher the power is, the better it will be. Third, the problem can also be caused by a virus. Try to update your antivirus and scan your computer regularly. But remember! Installing an antivirus program does not always guarantee that your computer is free from viruses. Some viruses cannot be detected.

4. When you turn on your computer, the monitor does not display anything and there is a long repeated beep sound from the CPU
If you come across this kind of problem, try to open the case of your CPU. Take a look at the memory module (RAM) installed on the slot of memory, which is usually called DIMM slot (To know the exact position of the DIMM slot, you can check it in your motherboard’s manual book or CD). This kind of problem usually happens when the memory module is loose. Pull it out and install again correctly and tightly. Close the case of your CPU and turn on your computer. The problem can be solved easily, can’t it? But, if what you have done above does not bear fruit, perhaps there is a problem in your memory module and you must replace it with the new one. The price of RAM is usually expensive, depending on the type and the capacity of the RAM.

5. When your CD/DVD gets trapped in the CD/DVD drive
CDs and DVDs are media that many people use nowadays. By using CDs or DVDs we can listen to the music, watch movies, or learn something. CDs and DVDs have also become an alternative to save data because the capacity is big.

One of problems that some computer users come across is that the CD or DVD gets trapped in the CD/DVD drive when the supply of power to the computer is cut due to electrical power outage or when the drive malfunctions. If you face this problem and you really need the CD/DVD trapped in the drive, don’t panic! You can manually eject the drive tray and remove the CD/DVD from the drive. Just take a paperclip. Make it straight and insert it into the emergency pinhole on the drive. Every drive must have this hole. Then pull out the tray carefully and remove the CD/DVD.

Hopefully, the tips above will be useful for you, especially those who often work with a computer. If you want to know more about how to overcome computer problems, you can read the book entitled "Troubleshooting Komputer" by Hendro Darsono, published by Puspa Swara Jakarta.

Using a computer to help you do many kinds of job is good, but it will be better if you also have knowledge on how to troubleshoot your computer problems. So, when some day you come across a problem, you won’t be nervous because you know what to do!