Monday, 23 April 2007

Initiatives and forethoughts

A large chunk of the work I'm currently doing is research. A slightly lesser chunk of that is organising stuff. Research, as I've come to realise, trains (or perhaps, forces) a person to be organised. And that can be very beneficial in many areas in life.

The task of organising is partly reason why I haven't updated anything here. It's a not difficult task, but requires a lot of focus and forethought (two things that I'm not very good at). I've had nightmares of seeing my future self sinking in a quicksand of books, articles, tapes and Powerpoint slides. Therefore I took some initiatives to prevent the horrific vision from realising.

My arwah grandfather, may Allah bless him with mercy and forgiveness, was trying to teach me this when I was a kid. He never did anything without giving it enough thought. We in the family see this in the way he organise his things, the way he do his work around the home and in his daily routines. This guy is never acts randomly. He plans everything (within his capacity, of course) carefully. So far my life, I've never met a real person who's as pragmatic as he is. I'm not praising this man because he's family. His actions and words speak for themselves.

When he was alive, he lectured me a lot about this. Never underestimate the power of forethoughts. Always do things in a systematic way, he would always say. And that requires a lot of thinking in advance. At that time, I didn't really listened and I didn't see why it is important. Now, sitting at my work desk, I realise how valuable those words are. And I how wish I had realised them sooner.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Get Vista fonts without Windows Vista or Office 2007

Along with a whole truckload of new features, Microsoft has bundled a new set of fonts for the new Windows Vista and Office 2007. The font set is designed to make use of the ClearType technology, which allows for better on screen display and readability. If you've got neither of the aforementioned programs, you still get your hands on the Vista font set by downloading Powerpoint Viewer 2007 (a Powerpoint files viewer, for computers without Office installed). It will also install the Vista fonts.

Personally, I find the set to be a refreshing update. However, like a lot of people, I really hope Microsoft would license the fonts openly so that they can they be used by Mac and Linux users the way they use common fonts (Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana) right now.

Also worth reading: Poynter Online's article on the Vista fonts. I recommend you to read the comments afterwards for some enlightening insights on the topic.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Fell for it

Google got me good.

Last Sunday, Google unveiled a new service: GMail Paper. Google will offer free delivery of printouts (hard copies) of emails in GMail at no cost, "with photo attachments are printed on high-quality, glossy photo paper" ("MP3 and WAV files will not be printed"). The paper used will be "made out of 96% post-consumer organic soybean sputum".

Whoah, I thought. I went through the site looking if they would deliver here. Without luck. I was a tad disappointed.

Until I learned earlier today that the service was announced (*slaps forehead*) on that time of the year. Haha. I should've figured out the whole thing when they mentioned sputum1 and "MP3 and WAV files will not be printed".

1Matter coughed up and usually ejected from the mouth, including saliva, foreign material, and substances such as mucus or phlegm, from the respiratory tract – yes, I shamelessly copied the whole definition from an online dictionary.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Baginda Nabi ketika namanya dipanggil

Dari Maulidur Rasul baru-baru, saya terdengar lagi cerita tentang baginda Rasulullah SAW yang sememangnya sangat tinggi akhlak pekerti.

Baginda sangat pemalu. Lebih pemalu daripada gadis yang menutup diri dengan cador (pakaian Muslimah yang menutup seluruh tubuh termasuk muka, seperti yang dipakai oleh wanita Arab ketika berada di khalayak umum). Bila berjalan, baginda akan merendahkan kepala baginda.

Perkara baru yang saya dapat tahu tentang akhlak baginda ialah tentang bagaimana baginda berpaling ketika namanya dipanggil. Kata ustaz, baginda tak akan sekadar memusingkan kepala ke arah si pemanggil. Baginda akan berpaling dengan seluruh badan baginda. Seluruh badan. Sejauh itu baginda berusaha untuk menyenangkan hati serta memuliakan orang di sekeliling baginda. (Saya juga baru tersedar yang saya boleh dikatakan tak pernah buat perkara seperti ini, berpusing ketika dipanggil.)

Akhlak nabi, jika dikaji dalam-dalam, akan semakin terserlah ketinggian dan kehalusannya. Semoga Allah memberi kita kekuatan untuk mencontohi baginda dalam semua segi kehidupan, amin.
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