Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

Hari ke-1 : Taiwan, Sebuah Pelarian

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Night Shot of Taipei 101

Setelah lulus kuliah strata 1, waktu itu sebenarnya saya tidak tahu mau ke mana. Tidak ada sesuatu yang benar-benar ingin saya raih. Akhirnya, ya mengikuti aliran air. Menjadi seperti yang dilakukan kebanyakan orang sehabis lulus. Mencari kerja di belantara ibukota. Mungkin waktu itu gengsi saya masih besar. Jadi yang dilirik hanya perusahaan-perusahaan yang punya nama. Itu pun masih dipilih-pilih yang kira-kira lowongannya memang kompeten atau sesuai dengan bidang  yang saya geluti. Prinsip saya dalam mencari kerja sama dengan prinsip untuk mencari jodoh, lebih baik menunggu daripada nantinya menyesal karena salah pilih. Hasilnya, 3 perusahaan yang saya lamar menolak semua. Satu hal yang saya rasakan dari proses mencari kerja itu adalah kekurangan saya dalam hal social skill. Kurang bersosialisasi dan kurang bisa menghadapi orang. Ya, pokoknya begitu lah.

Tentang luar negeri. Mimpi saya keluar negeri adalah Stanford University. Bukan Taiwan. Jadi entah ada angin apa yang lewat hingga waktu itu saya melamar beasiswa untuk studi di Taiwan. Ada pertimbangan yang membisikkan bahwa Taiwan adalah sebuah negara yang industri teknologi informasinya maju dan mapan. Nama negeri itu banyak melekat di perangkat-perangkat elektronik yang kita pakai sehari-hari. So, why not tidak saya pilih sebagai destinasi untuk pergi merantau menimba ilmu. Pada saat itu di pikiran saya mengatakan bahwa Taiwan bisa manjadi batu loncatan yang tepat untuk sampai ke Amerika.

Dan mengapa Amerika mulai menjadi tujuan saya berikutnya adalah karena ketertarikan saya pada Google. Melihat sejarah Google, dua sosok di belakangnya yaitu Larry dan Sergey merupakan mahasiswa di Standford. Mereka berdualah yang menjadi sebab musabab mengapa kemudian saya memilih Stanford. Karena saya ingin seperti mereka. Punya ide sederhana, ditambah dengan ilmu yang luar biasa yang mereka pelajari di bangku kuliah, dan berada di lingkungan yang mendukung untuk membangun sebuah perusahaan. Eh, bukan perusahaan, melainkan membangun kerajaan. Kerajaan bisnis yang besar.

Tetapi sebelumnya lagi, sudah ada motivasi lain yang mengarahkan saya ke sana. Yaitu mahaguru saya di ITB, Prof. Samaun Samadikun. Murid langsung dari penemu transistor, William Shockley, yang juga kuliah di Stanford. Akan sangat terlihat keren rasanya kalau bisa mempelajari dan menguasai isi otak dari perangkat pintar seperti komputer. Saya memang tertarik dengan sesuatu yang berbau intelejensia, mungkin juga karena saya memang ingin dilihat seperti itu. Yang kemudian terbayang dalam benak saya berikutnya adalah menjadi karyawan atau peneliti di salah pabrikan chip terbesar dunia, Intel. Lalu setelah mengenyam beberapa tahun pengalaman di Intel, saya ingin kembali ke Indonesia dan membangun pabrik IC di sana. Itu yang sempat terlintas di pikiran saya.

Kalau mau menarik sejarah lebih jauh lagi ke masa lalu, waktu di SMP saya malah maunya jadi pemain bola. Menjadi pemain Manchester United. Menjadi bagian dari pasukan Sir Alex Ferguson. Bermain bersama David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, dan Paul Scholes. Di SMP saya pernah mengikuti sekolah sepakbola Pelita Jaya di Lebak Bulus, dekat dari sekolah saya waktu itu. Berharap bakat saya bisa terlihat dan bisa menjadi pemain klub, yang kemudian dipanggil ke tim nasional. Latihannya setelah pulang sekolah. Seminggu 2 kali, masing-masing selama 2 jam. Anak-anak yang ikut banyak sekali. Sehingga metode pelatihan juga terlihat kurang efektif. Selain itu juga si pelatih terlihat ogah-ogahan dalam melatih. Akhirnya setelah ikut dalam beberapa kali latihan, saya menyerah. Saya putar jalan untuk bisa sampai ke ManUnited. Rencana berikutnya adalah dengan belajar ke Jerman setelah lulus SMU. Sambil sekolah di Jerman, ingin ikut akademi sepakbola Bayern Muenchen. Berharap menjadi bagian inti dari klub, dan dilirik oleh ManUnited.

Jadi begitulah, Taiwan yang pernah saya tinggali selama kurang lebih 4 setengah tahun yang lalu itu bukanlah cita-cita, mimpi, dan harapan saya sejak dulu. Taiwan adalah sebuah pelarian karena saya tidak bisa menjadi pemain bola, tidak bisa masuk ke Stanford, dan tidak segera mendapat kerja setelah saya lulus. Namun begitu, kini Taiwan telah menjadi masa lalu yang banyak memberikan pelajaran yang sangat berarti untuk saya sekarang.

Eid al-Adha 1432H

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Eidul Adha 2011 at Taipei Main Station

Yesterday was my first time I did Eid al-Adha prayer at the different place from the four consecutive years before. Not in the different country, yet the location was different. The Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei, together with PCI-NU Taiwan, collaborated to hold Eid prayer for Indonesian muslims who live in Taiwan, especially in Taipei. The venue was at around Taipei Main Station, in front of South Gate 2. The prayer began at eight o’clock in the very sunny Sunday morning. The speech was delivered by K.H. Mohamad Ali Aziz. So, last week was my extraordinary week since I could hear the Jummah prayer speech and Eid al-Adha speech, both in Bahasa. I did not count the number of people who were coming, but according to the information that I get, there were more than 2,000 Indonesian muslims. And of course, Taiwanese who were passing by the occasion were curious and wondering what we did.

Taiwan High-Speed Railway

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

January 2007, Taiwan started to open their new mass transport which promising fast and convenient service for the public. Taiwan High-Speed Railway (THSR) has become one of preferable choices to move around the cities around Taiwan besides using city bus or conventional train. Its advantage is obvious, it cuts the time significantly. By using conventional train, it is needed 4,5 hours to travel between Kaohsiung and Taipei City, but by using THSR it just needs 90 minutes with + 250-300 km/h speed in average, running on 335,3 kilometers railway.

Taiwan and Japan in somewhat aspects, such as geography and demography, have several similarities. For those reasons THSR chose to adopt the system from Japan’s Shinkansen, the high-speed rail system in Japan. Taiwan High-Speed 700T Train which is used by THSR was manufactured by consortium of Japanese companies. The benefit of adopting Japan’s HSR system is its UrEDAS (Urgent Earthquake Detection and Alarm System) to prevent damage caused by earthquake. And for all its consequences built THSR, THSR corporation spend 15 billion USD, and it became the largest privately transport schemes to date.

Unlike HSR in Europe and other Asian countries, THSR has so many stop stations in one route. Taipei, Banciao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, and Zuoying THSR stations have operated till now on. And 5 other stations are still on the plan. This situation gives positive and negative points. Having so many stop stations will affect the speed optimization. The train cannot maintain its running in full speed for longer time. But behind its drawback, there is positive thing also can be gotten. It will stimulate and trigger the economic sectors of the city around the station. From business viewpoint, the people surround the station can use this opportunity to run or make a business.

Talking about improvement of HSR, speed and technology are the two hottest things that need to be concerned. As we know for nowadays there are two technologies which are applied for HSR, the conventional railway and magnetic levitation (Maglev) system. The fastest HSR which runs on conventional railway operates at France. V150 (the train type) can achieve up to 574,8 km/h. And for maglev system, the record had been broken by Japan’s MLX01 which can run 581 km/h. Therefore, it is interesting to wait THSR improves in the future, both in technological side and also its social influences.

*****

Score : 85
#4 of 4 writing assignment in Scientific Taiwan Class, Spring 2009

Hsin-Chu Science Park

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Nowadays, technology becomes one of important things in our life to make our work easier and more practical. Speaking of technology, it is close or identical to electronics. Beside Japan and United States who are leading in this market since long time ago, Taiwan in the last 20 years has become one of new players that has to be considered. Their achievement in the last few years was pretty awesome. Most of notebooks, LCD monitor, computer hardware, chips, and LED, were manufactured in Taiwan. And behind this successful, there lie science park. One of the oldest and famous science park is Hsin-Chu Science Park which was established on December 15th, 1980 by the government of Taiwan with the investment of Kuomintang.

There are several reasons behind the science park establishment. Flashback in the late 70s, Taiwan’s industrial parks gradually ran out of its competitive advantage in low cost manufacturing due to the rapidly rising wage. It made the foreign investments in Export Processing Zones slowed down and some of them moved to neighboring South-East Asia countries. As the result, stagnation of economic growth could not be avoided.

A new strategy to help Taiwan’s economy was needed. Fortunately, Taiwan government received valuable advice from Stanford’s Dean, Frederick Emmons Terman, to established indigenous high-tech industry base. It referred to adopt Silicon-Valley in US, which has been proven  of its successful. Then the strategies continued with luring back some expatriate, engineers, scientists, and other high-tech professionals. University engineering enrollment was also increased.

To realized the project, Taiwan government spent 500 millions USD in ten years plus 500 hectares park development plan. They built infrastructures, selecting and recruiting park’s clients, facilitating investment environment, facilitating living environment, building bridge between universities, R&D institutes and park clients.

As a result, today at Hsin-Chu Science Park, around 400 companies were established. They are working on semiconductor, computer peripheral and hardware, telecommunication, and opto-electronic. The two top semiconductor foundries, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC), are in Taiwan.

*****

Score : 85
#3 of 4 writing assignment in Scientific Taiwan Class, Spring 2009

E-Taiwan : The Secret Behinds The Modern Life of Taiwan

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

In the first meeting of the class, Prof.Sheen talked about how Taiwan is always updating their technology in order to improve their quality of life. It was started with E-Taiwan program. E means Electronic or Digital. This program was adopted as the key component of the “Challenge 2008 : The 6-Year National Development Plan”. The program began in May 2002. The government at that time had an e-agenda which aiming to develop the information and communications infrastructure across the country, boosts industry competitiveness, upgrade the government’s performance, and transforms Taiwan as an e-leader in Asia. The program contains five core aspects which are: e-Infrastructure, e-Government, e-Industry, e-Life, and e-Opportunity.

Five goals had been determined for this program. (1) Demonstrate to the world the ICT usage policy and initial investments and effectiveness of e-Taiwan project. (2) Based on the viewpoints of sociology and QoL (Quality of Life), to clarify the Taiwanese digital usage state, subjective awareness, perceptions on e-services and the following cognition toward e-Life. (3) Aim to construct localized QoL indicators for information society in Asia, which is reacting to the ongoing research framework and trend on the developed nations. (4) Do the best to facilitate Taiwan’s NII (National Information Infrastructure) achieving main concerns on building a user-centered information society. (5) To make good use of project results, and try to distribute and integrate the resource and government’s investments.

Some methods had been done to reach the goals. (1) Qualitative and quantitative methods are co-adopted to do data collection and therefore to accomplish the first wave baseline model. (2) 2124 subjects, with different sex, age, education, marital status, occupation, and income are involved in the 6-months project, ICT using in work, internet access, and ability to operate the e-service are all inquired inside a list of 70 questions. (3) Besides a one-month sampling interview through telephone, deeply focus groups are invited to express theis experience, influence, satisfaction, and expectation in e-Life. (4) EFA and CFA are used to help Taiwan’s indicator of QoL, which contains of 5 segments. (5) Regression Analysis are adopted to get thorough understanding toward e-Life and QoL.

By running the program with all means, and got positive responses from the people, no wonder if nowadays ICT has become important part of Taiwan.

*****

Score : 84
#2 of 4 writing assignment in Scientific Taiwan Class, Spring 2009

I think it should be the #1. My bad, I did not write the date on the paper.