A guy who was born in Canada, grew up in Indonesia, went to high school in Australia, spent half a year in Hawaii, and ended up back in Canada.
This is my story...
DR's Corner
Friday, February 11, 2005

My future plans explained

Another friend of mine recently joined the blogging world, his name is Kurnia Angsana, but we all call him Cun-Cun. He asked me a question about how I came about deciding on my future plans. Well, thanks to that question, I responded with this email (partially edited), which contains some of my thought process and reasons:

" ...

How I came about finding out my current career & why not something else?
- I'm thankful that from an early age, my dad pushed me in the right direction. He saw that I was good with technology, and directed me there, so I kinda grew up knowing what I thought I wanted to do.
- The bad part of this, is that he sort of said, well you're good in tech, but u suck in business .... not having a chance for me to prove that I could learn and get to like doing business / being my own boss.

Why I want to change directions right now?
- Which brings me to a few years ago when I began to have a family. This started opening up more thoughts in my mind. Having a Computer Sci. job doesn't feel that enjoyable anymore. Of course, I still like being in IT & stuff, but I find that working for people takes away time from my family, and the fact that technology grows exponentially & you just need to be up to date at all times takes away lots of energy some time, while in other fields, you might be able to slow down your learning process since the growth isn't as explosive as technology. (this is my opinion, might not be true).
- Living paycheque to paycheque, dependant on someone else paying me, predictable income doesn't seem that attractive to me anymore. I don't want to live a predictable life, retire and that's it. I want to life life to the full, spend time with my family, do exciting things...

What do I want to do next and what does Indonesia Vs Canada have to do with this?
- That's why I've been thinking really hard these last few years about business, network marketing, consulting etc, and whatever possibilities that could make me spend more time with family.
- Indo and Canada come into play, because in Indo there are people who can help out around the house with my wife and son, thus giving me more time to actually get something done, whilst in Canada, I have practically no more spare time.

Some thoughts & reasoning:
Get God's direction at all times before deciding on anything.
- Make sure that whatever I'm going to do will be enjoyable. I'm finding out that even though IT is what I like doing, I would have no problem leaving IT for day trading, export imports, consulting, business in general, because I've researched more, looked around and can grow to enjoy it.
- God's direction may be different for different people, maybe some are positioned to work and grow to be CEO / CIO's etc, some will be successful businesspeople, but I believe that God has given us free will for a purpose, that we have an option on what we want to do.
Deuteronomy 8:18b - "... It is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth."

That ability is in us, so whatever we do, with God's help and tons of hard work, will be successful. Once you get what you want to do, get confirmation of it, then do it with all your strength. I believe you will succeed.
- Research as many different things as possible and if possible try them out for a bit. You're bound to find things you like and things you don't like. Maybe you can combine them someday.
- It might seem that I'm dissing working life, but don't get me wrong, I totally support working for other people too. People have different personalities, some who need an adventurous lifestyle, there are also some who need peace and structure, etc. If God put you in a working environment, then He must have a plan for u to grow & be a leader in there, CEO, VP, Director... settle for nothing less.
- Don't get married too young :) It's fun to have a family, but it's even better once you are set on your career to support your family. Once you have a family, it becomes clearer and clearer that relationships and time are more important than what we do / money etc. If you don't have a family yet, really focus on your career, and once you have your own family, really focus on building a strong family.
- Income should not be your primary goal for life, it should be a strong foundation for building your family & relationships with others. A well known Indonesian pastor, Petrus Agung, once said "Money is a powerful amplifier", when you have it, people will listen to you. Then you can say what God wants you to say.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Cool map from Google

Google has released a beta of their mapping technology. I've just tried it out, and it looks pretty cool. You can drag around the map, zoom in up to street level, and when it does find directions to and from a place, each line of direction can be clicked on, and the map will highlight and zoom into the corner/street you have to travel.

It finds some places, but some places still don't show up yet. I guess that's why it's still in Beta. But it's really a nice tool that Google came up with, keep up the good work guys.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The importance of backing up your files

This morning, I came in at 8, ready to get some work done before meeting some clients at 9. When I sat down at my desk, words to this effect greeted me on my computer screen:
"Disk read error, press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart"
Boy, this sure looked like the beginning of a bad day. So I did what it asked me to and restarted... a couple of times, and it still came up with that message. Apparently my hard drive decided to die on me today, and all my projects and important files were on it !!!.

The funny thing was that on the train this morning, I was thinking to myself, "I should really backup my important files and put them on the network share ...". So I opened up my computer case, looked at the HD, cables, power etc, tried switching cables to see if that was the problem, and my HD just sat there silently, apparently in a coma.

What ensued was a hectic day. First, I tried calling the clients who were supposed to meet me, and found out that one of them had the flu and couldn't make it, but nobody could reach the other person. She ended up getting here, and had to leave straight away. Felt quite bad about that one, but what could I do? I sent her an apology email not long after that.

Next, I ran around the place trying to find the local support person to see if I could get a replacement HD, and if she had any ideas on how to fix my problem. I also needed to find a temporary computer to use so I can finish my projects that are on a deadline. Unfortunately, the two people I was trying to reach weren't in until much later. So I then went around looking for a computer that I could use to try and setup my old HD as a slave; I didn't care if the HD died, but I badly needed the data on it.

After I found one and was trying to hook up my HD, the tech support lady came along and gave me some advice. She told me to try what I was doing first, and if that didn't work, she'd try use some recovery software, and as a last resort, send the HD in to the factory for data recovery. Thankfully, after connecting my old drive as a slave, I could still see my data, and quickly copied every important file to my shared network drive. Soon after, I managed to get a temporary development machine until the new HD gets in, so my important project won't have to be delayed that long. Phew, that was quite a scare.

This was an important lesson for me. Ever the risk taker, I assumed that since the equipment was new, nothing like this would happen to me, even though I've had a HD die on me when it was only 5 days old, knowing full well that hardware problems could happen to anyone, no matter if it's a brand new computer or an old one, and despite what all my instincts have been telling me to do, I ignored them and it nearly cost me a ton of work. This sure taught me to always, always, always x 1000 have backups of your work somewhere, because you just never know when your drive will decide to quit working.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Engineering ring conspiracy theory

I'm not an engineering grad, I'm actually a Computer Science grad, so I don't have these rings that all the engineering graduates have. Two of my best budies whom we shall call W and P, are actually engineering graduates, and I've recently encountered some funny things related to these rings, that brings up my engineering ring conspiracy theory.

Last week, W went to buy the ring. I asked him why, and he told me that he lost his last one. This is his 4th ring since he graduated, the 3 previous ones got lost. I also found out that P also has lost his ring twice. This of course made me take jabs at them as to why they would spend $30 for a ring that would get lost anyway; they might as well give me the money so that I could spend it for them, wouldn't that be a better idea? :). I argued that if they kept losing the ring, then it must not be that important for them, and thus just learn to live without the ring. I also suggested that if it indeed keeps getting lost during winter, when the finger shrinks due to cold, to get 2 rings: 1 for summer and 1 for winter.

Alas, W ignored my pleas and went to spend this $30 and buy another ring. Fast forward to last Sunday, and he showed me his finger without a ring (we went snow tubing on Saturday), while also saying something about 'Murphy's Law'. Do I really need to state the obvious here? Can you guess what happened in 2 days since he purchased the ring?

*** Insert slow signs of recognition here and then laugh histericaly ***

(Yes, he lost it again)

Ehm, I do feel sorry for him, and I couldn't help but make fun of this in front of him. It was just so ... coincidental... which brings me to my theory:
These rings are designed so that they will fall off your finger without you noticing it, so that every now and then, you will have to spend $30 on them for replacements.
I was told that there are around 100,000 engineering grads in Ontario, and W took a conservative estimate that say 50,000 of them lose rings annually. That's 50,000 x $30 = $1.5 Million a year!!! I'm betting that most of the engineering grads have lost their rings, and that they've had to purchase at least 1 replacement since graduation. Now you tell me if this does not sound like a conspiracy :)

On a side note, I've come up with a name for a ring for Computer Science graduates:

Roas'iT = Ring of Advanced Species in Technology

How does that sound? :)

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