Keep The Pace

In my interview yesterday, the interviewer asked of what is the barrier of the ICT in University of Indonesia. I simply answered that we lacked of human resource concerning the fast growth of technology. But, we tried to cover the vast area with current human resource.

Well, because of the interview was by phone, I felt like not so well explaining the thing by phone. I forgot to mention it wasn't because of our ICT staffs was lack of technology sense so that I claimed we are quite behind from the actual ICT technology. It was because we are always trying in the front of anyone so we are adept to the current technology.

But, let me ask you something. Have you notice that is a mirror of many great open softwares? Yes, we already have this beast since 2001 and we have great applications sitting and hiding there. We are the proud official mirror of Eclipse, yes the one that have tiny link in the right page. We are also maintain Mozilla Firefox and its technology platform, Linux kernels and some softwares that come along, Debian and Debian Security, Debian Depok, Ubuntu, and many more. We also have RFCs, TLDP, Kepres and some laws, and many more.

Well, there was a reason why we didn't registered ourselves in the official Ubuntu repository and unregistered from official Debian repository. It was because of our server was lack of bandwith and was supposed to be used only for internal use of University of Indonesia. But, since the era of Ubuntu-ID, we didn't manage to do that (is it a bad thing or a good thing? :)). Anyway, there is more content that we can't display it in the front page of waiting to be discovered.

Have you ever know that have so many features that undocumented? For instance, this fantastic mail powered with Horde Groupware Webmail Edition have the ability to see some letter with Thread view. The mail also have the ability to have virtual folder, not just INBOX, but also we can set things up. We are also have two kind of display about deleted mails which apperently confusing some users. The old fashion display displays the deleted mails with strikeout font and to really delete it, one must click the expunge button. Another approach is like other mail client. Webmail hide it and display it in virtual folder named Trash. The button to delete it is Empty Trash.

Addition with our mail is the Filter that came along with it. Like another mail clients, we can set the filter to send certain Subject, Sender and Content to any sub folder. But, our client have more ability than that. It can read any header and read its content accordingly. This can be set to move any potential spam mail to have it treated in seperated folder apart from the main INBOX. I have used it to move any potential spam mail to the Junk folder and, sadly, I might the only one use this feature extensively.

So, this is what comes along as a barrier in our vast use ICT technology in University of Indonesia and I think this should be a problem across the globe. We are synchronized so fast with the technology but fail to make the users do the same thing. Our fast changing system that meets the demand of users and even succeed in predicting future users expectation trends fails to be adopted by the users.

I sometimes, as myself, grief over the things that our university student have. Actually, they have so many facilities that they, and maybe even I, didn't know. The facility is so far advanced but we tend to be left behind. This fast changing also meets the demand of documentation team and support team to be also in advance. Not to forget, the users also need to be reeducated and get used with the new trend.

If I look into the industry, especially hardware industry, I see they have slow adoption over technology. For instance, Javacard technology that we use in our smartcard uses Java 1.3 technology. Yes, it's a quite old, if not ancient, technology in a brand new card. But, there are benefits when using old technology such as great support, highly maintainability, and vast adoption.

I think industry is fond of something called stability and they're quite conservatives over this. They need to have a technology that can be produced and have it compatible with many others. That's why they are so slow in technological change. This may be true concerning it would cost them a lot to have new adopted technology in their brand including the cost of defective products and bugs. Imagine if one industry tries to have a late trend and then the trend goes the opposite way. The cost is unimaginable and the company may not be able to keep it.

Unfortunately, academic is not like industry. Academic world is a world full of inovations and idealism. It is our job to be in front of everything. The research world is firstly brought by this world. It is the world where the fast change is happening. This world is the incubator where the good stuff (and might be bad stuff also) born. How could you expect us to be left behind?

So, it's quite entertaining to keep the pace of delivering new technology and at the same time helping the users adopting the fast change.

Geez, I wish there exist study of technology in relation with humanity. I would describe this as the study of connecting geek and non geek. Is there existed already?

Anyway, as a disclaimer, this writing is only my personal point of view and not related to any of my work.

PS: this is about fast learning and slow adoption.


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