Monday, January 04, 2010

Working from home, Ramana's problems, Indonesia, problems with racial definitions

Many Australians return to work today, more next Monday. For the first part of this year I will be working from home while I get my future directions organised.

Back in November 2006 in Teleworking - a personal perspective, I looked at some of the issues involved in working from home. Perhaps the biggest issue, and one that is relevant to me because I am out of practice, is the need to maintain personal discipline. I am sometimes far from good at this, so I find it helpful to play little games with myself - setting targets, consciously getting out of the house, pretending that I have a boss etc.

Working on site as I have been for the last twelve months, the office provided a degree of structure. My personal time focused on my research and writing. I actually didn't do enough professional writing in this time - I need to keep this up because it is the main way I retain my professional competence.

While I do hope to consolidate some of my personal writing in coming weeks, I also need to ensure that core working hours have a professional focus.

Overnight, Ramana sent some of us the following email:

Dear fellow bloggers,

Something called a malware invaded my blog and it is yet to be restored.

Simultaneously my Windows XP also crashed and I had to completely reinstall it.  In the process all my bookmarks have disappeared which I used to visit the blogs written by you.  I am in the process of restoring my bookmarks and would appreciate your sending me links to your home pages so that I can do it forthwith.  No sooner my blog is up, I shall post the adventures that I have had with that break down.

Thank you.

Rummuser AKA Ramana Rajgopaul

Mike Goad responded:


WARNING TO ALL ------ The malicious software is still on and will try to attack any visitor.
Well, THAT was interesting.
I just went to your -- or tried to.
Before anything loaded, Norton interrupted Firefox and shut the program down due to an intrusion attempt.  Norton says that the intrusion attempt from a Russian url ( tried to download something called "Fragus toolkit" to my computer.
I know that this must be a royal pain and I hope that you are able to clear it up soon.
At least some of your posts are currently available in cache on Google.
Mike Goad

This is obviously a real pain not just for Ramana but also for all those who read his blog. I will let you know as soon as Ramana advises that he is back up.

Neil has entered something of a philosophical period on his new second decade blog. The Yale reading/watching course that he has begun looks very interesting. I thought about following his lead, but time and download limits mean that I have decided to follow the course through Neil.

Neil's conclusion that we should be focusing on globalisation as a process rather than as an it is, I think, very sensible. Here we are dealing not just with globalisation as an economic phenomena, but also issues associated with ideas and values.

As an Indonesian of Chinese extraction, Tikno began the new year with Gus Dur, I love you. Harry Nizam (among others) also responded to Gus Dur's death. As I read Tikno's post as well as the link through to an earlier post, my thoughts went back to the dreadful anti-Chinese riots of the past. Nation building, the development of democracy and the maintenance of true unity in diversity are not easy things to do.

I have said before on this blog, and will no doubt say again many times, that Indonesia is very important to Australia and will become more so. One of the things that I have gained as a blogger from people like Niar, Tikno, Harry, Rob Baiton and now Maximos62 with his current trip to Djakarta is a simple thing, increased familiarity. When I read the on-line English editions of the Djakarta papers, something that I do every couple of weeks, the reporting now makes sense to me because I have a context.

Finally, Yawning Bread's discussion of the problems created by Singapore's attempts to define racial categories created an unexpected link in my mind between Singapore's present and Australia's past. You see, my train reading just before Christmas dealt in part with the history of Australia's varying attempts to define Aboriginality. Often done with the best of reasons, these created the most incredible mess whose effects are still very much present today.

When I do come to write up my thoughts here, I might link them to the Singapore experience.

Well, it is now 6.55 am. Even though I am at home, this is meant to be a working day for me. Time to start preparing for the day.


Neil said...

Thanks for your remarks, Jim.

That malware appears still to be on Ramana's site, and nasty malware it is too.

Jim Belshaw said...

A pleasure Neil. I will watch your evolving thoughts with interest.

The attack on Ramana's site is really nasty.