Digital Planet

a journal of digital life

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Bisakah Kita Hidup tanpa Windows?

MULAI 3 Agustus 2005, versi beta Windows Vista--yang sebelumnya dikenal dengan nama kode Longhorn--akan dibagi-bagikan perusahaan pembuat peranti lunak, Microsoft Corp, kepada sekelompok orang yang tergabung dalam sebuah fokus grup dari berbagai belahan dunia.

Mereka akan diminta menguji coba dan mengoprek-oprek peranti lunak sistem operasi teranyar yang sudah lama ditunggu-tunggu itu. Umpan balik dari mereka sangat penting dan akan mempengaruhi Microsoft dalam menetapkan kapan versi beta berikutnya dirilis. Ini juga akan mempengaruhi perusahaan yang bermarkas di Redmond itu dalam menetapkan kapan Windows Vista akan dirilis secara luas dan komersial.

Microsoft menjanjikan fitur-fitur unggulan dalam sistem operasi ini. Beberapa di antaranya adalah keandalan kemampuan grafis, mesin pencari, sistem pengorganisasian informasi, dukungan terjadi jaringan komputer, jaminan keamanan yang tinggi, hingga dukungan terhadap protokol baru Internet, IPv6.

Di luar reaksi yang beragam terhadap penggunaan nama Vista--karena ini memang sebuah nama yang sudah sangat "pasaran" sebelumnya--sistem operasi teranyar ini memang layak dinantikan kehadirannya. Pasalnya, apa pun yang akan ditawarkan Windows, orang pasti akan tetap membeli karena sistem ini adalah penguasa lebih 90 persen sistem operasi di dunia.

Sistem operasi adalah nyawa bagi komputer. Tanpa peranti lunak ini, komputer hanyalah seonggok perangkat keras bodoh yang tak bisa apa-apa. Sistem operasilah yang menjadi sumber energi yang menggerakkan komputer dan menjadi pintu gerbang utama bagi peranti lunak aplikasi lain untuk dapat beroperasi di lingkungan Windows.

Di sinilah kejeniusan Bill Gates, pendiri Microsoft. Ia tahu persis: ketergantungan komputer terhadap sistem operasi akan semakin tinggi dari waktu ke waktu dan bukan sebaliknya. Inilah yang melatarinya dalam memfokuskan bisnis peranti lunak di sistem operasi.

Dari situlah bagaimana Microsoft bermula menjadi bagian dalam sejarah kontemporer komputer pribadi alias PC. Ambisinya adalah "setiap komputer di setiap rumah dengan Windows yang menjadi jendelanya".

Sistem operasi Windows menemukan momentumnya ketika teknologi antarmuka (GUI) komputer semakin maju. Mereka merilis Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows ME, Windows 2000, dan Windows XP--termasuk di dalamnya versi-versi untuk server.

Tanpa disadari, para pengguna komputer pribadi sudah semakin familiar dengan Windows. Pertumbuhan jumlah pengguna Windows melesat dengan cepat. Hampir semua orang terbiasa dengan cara berpikir dan hierarki Windows--sebuah kebiasaan yang sukar dilepaskan pengaruhnya. Sampai kini.

* Dimuat di Koran Tempo, Minggu, 31 Juli 2005

Ada Komputer, Ada Hacker

ADA dua hantu yang kini paling ditakuti di dunia: teroris dan hacker. Yang pertama mengancam nyawa manusia dan berdampak secara politik, yang kedua mengancam komputer dan berdampak secara ekonomi dan bisnis.

Yang satu ditakuti oleh pemimpin negara, satunya lagi ditakuti oleh direktur perusahaan besar. Pendeknya, bagi kedua makhluk yang berkedudukan sebagai bos ini, hidup pasti akan lebih indah tanpa hantu-hantu itu.

Tapi yang namanya hantu tak pernah mau berlalu begitu saja. Dunia hantu ini juga sangat misterius. Banyak sekali mitos dialamatkan kepada mereka, tapi juga tak sedikit fakta yang membelalakkan mata.

Fakta terbaru kembali terjadi pekan lalu. Seorang pemrogram komputer asal Austria berhasil mengeksploitasi celah-celah dalam teknologi yang akan menjadi bagian dari sistem operasi Microsoft teranyar, Windows Vista.

Bukan hanya Microsoft, vendor jaringan terbesar, Cisco Systems, juga tak luput dari ancaman hacker. Para penyusup ini berhasil memanen data dan password dengan cara memanfaatkan celah pada peranti lunaknya.

Jelas bukan hal sederhana: penyusup berhasil mengusik Windows, yang menguasai 90 persen pasar sistem operasi di dunia, dan mencolek Cisco, yang menguasai pasar jaringan dan infrastruktur teknologi informasi dunia.

Mengapa para hacker ini sangat doyan menyusup dan mengusik? Mengapa mereka harus lahir ke dunia ini?

Ada banyak motivasi yang melatari hacker untuk beraksi: sekadar pamer kekuatan, menguji kemampuan, menjawab keingintahuan, atau karena ketagihan.

Bahkan ada juga hacker yang niatnya membantu. Mereka misalnya membobol kode-kode tertentu dan membaginya kepada siapa saja yang membutuhkan. Alasannya, bukan orang berduit saja yang berhak terhadap informasi.

Selain itu, ada hacker yang secara profesional memang dibayar untuk mencari kelemahan suatu produk teknologi. Bahkan ada yang berasal dari orang dalam perusahaan yang kemudian menjadi target. Artinya, ada motivasi ekonomi di dalamnya.

Namun, menurut seorang pakar komputer, meski dirasakan lebih banyak menimbulkan kerugian, keberadaan hacker tidak bisa dinafikan dalam sejarah perkembangan komputer. "Di mana ada komputer, di situ ada hacker," ujar Randall.

Malah, katanya lagi, sejatinya mereka ikut membantu membesarkan dunia komputer. "Merekalah yang membuat para insinyur teknologi tak boleh lengah, tak boleh rakus, dan harus bersedia dikoreksi kelemahan-kelemahan yang terdapat di dalam produknya."

Bravo hacker!

* Dimuat di Koran Tempo, Minggu, 07 Agustus 2005

Monday, April 25, 2005

Smartphone Trojan Threat Overstated

Viruses threat is becoming closer to the smart-phone. But two vendors of anti-virus software said that the current threat of viruses aimed at smartphones is not as great as initially believed.

At last count, the number of new viruses affecting smart mobile phones stood at 52, according to SimWorks, a US based security firm.

These are phones belonging to the Series 60 of Nokia and use the Symbian operating system (the most widely used operating system for smart phones) and the viruses found were mostly hidden in the games.

Another anti-virus vendor, F-Secure, said it had examined the 52 viruses and confirmed that they were, indeed, malicious and were based on the Skulls trojan, which was first reported last November.

Symbian anti-virus specialist SimWorks announced today that it has identified 52 previously unknown trojans for the Symbian platform, more than all of the trojans and other malware for Symbian based devices combined identified to date.

The trojans appear to be cracked versions of popular Symbian applications such as BitStorm, BugMe!, Cosmic Fighter, 3D Motoracer and SplashID. In addition to the installation files for the application itself, the files also include various versions of previously known malware such as Cabir and Locknut.

Symbian runs small computer-like applications such as navigation programs, email and enterprise planning software. The fear is that Trojans can do to a cell phone what computer viruses can do to a PC, that is corrupt the phone, make valuable data disappear, and even send photo messages to all the contacts in the memory.

But none of the trojans the company examined have been found in the wild. "Until reports are received of these trojans in the wild, there is little risk to end users," Aaron Davidson, SimWorks' CEO, said in a statement.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Create Your Own BlackBerry

You can create your own BlackBerry-like ability in your smart-phone, Palm, iPaq and other PDAs. All you need is registering your account, purchasing a very cheap software, and you can push your Emails to your mobile device. As fast as SMS reach you on the go!

With a new Email Push solution for Communicator 9500 and 9300, the Nokia Communicator is becoming a real competitor to the Connected Organizer Blackberry from Research in Motion (RIM).

Until now, the user had to manually start the email transmission into their Communicator -- and it called as a pull-mail. But true push-mail is seen as the key to the impressive success of the proprietary Blackberry solution and has made the Blackberry to the gadget of choice for many managers.

But after managers are already enjoying expensive Email Push solutions based on proprietary solutions, Space2go, a Berlin-based company, has brought this service to the consumer world.

For individual use, you can choose Office2go service. To set up your own office2go account, just click the "Registration" button in the company's website. You can test the service for 30 days free-of-charge and then decide if you would like to continue using the service at 19,95 Euro annually!

I've already tried this service using my Communicator 9500. Here are the steps to make your push email works:

1. Register yourself at Space2go website. This account can be used to enter your Space2go web panel to manage your account.

2. Please make sure the GPRS connection in your 9500 is active.

3. You can ask the Space2go support team to send you the trial version of software you need (because there are no open URL address to download it) and download it into your 9500.

4. Install it and make a few of setting such as SyncML-Server: //sync.space2go.
com/sync/ml.dll, company code: 100, put your Space2go's user name and password and choosing the GPRS point access.

5. The Push Email interface will appeare on the screen. There are two columns: Email Push status and Sync Profile status. In the the left-bottom side, you can see the status from "connecting to internet...etc...to Update Status: Completed OK".

6. Log in to Space2go web panel by using your registered account. You can forward any other Emails to yourname@space2go.com or simply fetching your external Emails into this account.

7. Please try to send an email to your Space2go account as well as to other emails that you choose to forward to. If your Communicator rings was just like getting an SMS message, please check your Inbox and if you found an incoming email (that you already sent) instead of SMS, it means your Push Email is working! So you have your own BlackBerry right now!

According to my opinion, this is a very interesting and easy software to use. My colleague was also suggested me to try other similar softwares like Blue Inbox and Chattermail. I am sure that there are many wonderfull choices out there to make your Push Email come true.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Blogs Will Change Your Life

Look past the yakkers, hobbyists, and political mobs. "Your customers and rivals are figuring blogs out. Our advice: Catch up...or catch you later," said Business Week of May 2 edition.

It's time for a frank talk. And no, it can't wait. We know, we know: Most of you are sick to death of blogs. Don't even want to hear about these millions of online journals that link together into a vast network. And yes, there's plenty out there not to like.

Go ahead and bellyache about blogs. But you cannot afford to close your eyes to them, because they're simply the most explosive outbreak in the information world since the Internet itself. And they're going to shake up just about every business -- including yours.

There are some 9 million blogs out there, with 40,000 new ones popping up each day. Some discuss poetry, gadget, culinary, others constitutional law. And, yes, many are plain silly. "Mommy tells me it may rain today. Oh Yucky Dee Doo," reads one April Posting.

Besides, give the paranoids their due. The overwhelming majority of the information the world spews out every day is digital -- photos from camera phones, PowerPoint presentations, government filings, billions and billions of e-mails, even digital phone messages.

With a couple of clicks, every one of these items can be broadcast into the blogosphere by anyone with an Internet hookup -- or even a cell phone. If it's scandalous, a poisonous e-mail from a CEO, for example, or torture pictures from a prison camp, others link to it in a flash. And here's the killer: Blog posts linger on the Web forever.

However, Blog will not only change your business, but also change your life. Your thought. Even yourself. Now and forever.