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Optimize your computer with additional equipment
[December 14, 2006]

Optimize your computer with additional equipment

(The Jakarta Post Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) from THE JAKARTA POST -- TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2006 -- PAGE 17 The eastern corner of Senayan, Central Jakarta, was full of festivities on a Sunday afternoon early this month. And in this festive atmosphere, a woman sat in the shade eating bread. She was absorbed in her notebook, sometimes smiling and at other times knitting her brow

Mia, who works for a non-governmental organization concerned with AIDS in Jakarta, was taking part in an event organized to observe World AIDS Day

A field activist, Mia takes her notebook wherever she goes. One of her most important daily needs is Internet access. "I can go without food, but I can't go without Internet access," she said

Mia uses various channels to get Internet access outside her office

Sometimes she makes use of the Wi-Fi facilities at cafes or other public places. At other times, she uses the Internet services from Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) cellular operators. "This CDMA modem is very helpful," she said, pointing to the small chip she had inserted in her notebook

A computer is a helpful device to help us in our daily activities

Add some extra equipment, and your computer will pamper you with all its capability. If your computer is connected to the Internet, it will act like a gigantic library

Currently, the number of people using CDMA modems for Internet access is low. "In Mobile-8, only 10 percent of our subscribers use a CDMA modem," said Dodie Iswadi, a public relations staffer at Mobile-8

However, the number of CDMA modem users will increase as more and more people require Internet access in the field. ZTE, Netac and Growell are some of the CDMA modems marketed in Indonesia

"More and more people are aware that if they use a CDMA modem, high- speed Internet access can be obtained anywhere," he said

The Internet introduced great changes in the world. Various new technologies have also been introduced for optimum use of the Internet

High-speed Internet access allows greater ease in communications in terms of data, both in voice and audio-visual form. Just connect a microphone and a speakerphone (headset) to your computer and you can communicate with people anywhere in the world. This additional equipment will allow you to communicate verbally free of charge through your computer once it is connected to the Internet

For those who find long-distance telephone calls too costly, you can make use of the voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) feature in your Internet-connected computer

VoIP, basically, transfers voice communication over the Internet network. The flow of "data" is transformed into a package of data that is transferred to another Internet-connected computer. In this way, people can communicate with anybody anywhere in the world without having to pay long-distance phone rates

The easiest way to engage in voice communication is to make use of Skype! Yahoo! Messenger or Google Talk services. Of course both you and the people you talk to must have an account at Skype! Yahoo! Messenger or Google Talk

Sooner or later VoIP is likely to replace the telephone. If you use VoIP and wish to talk to someone, all you have to do is dial the numbers just like you would when using an ordinary telephone. VoIP Rakyat, which is a VoIP technology based on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is a facility that allows you to contact someone just by dialing his number

To become a member of VoIP Rakyat, all you have to do is register at After registering, you will get your telephone number, which will be listed on the online VoIP Rakyat telephone directory. After you install the right software, you can communicate with fellow users of VoIP Rakyat

Zane, an Indonesian who has lived in Las Vegas for about five years, is amazed at the creation of Indonesian computer wizards. "If the government were to allow VoIP Rakyat access to the numbers of Telkom or other cellular telephone operators, Indonesia would make a lot of progress," he said

In his opinion, the development of technologies for computer accessories have created great ease in professional work and cut costs

"As communications are easier and cheaper, it will be easier to do business," he added

In fact, voice communication is not the only capability that you can add to your computer. By adding a webcam to your Internet-connected computer, you can see the face of the person you are talking to on a real-time basis

A webcam, which is a tiny camera installed in the upper part of your computer monitor, can capture video and pictures. This device is quite easy to use. In addition, you can store the video pictures taken with the webcam in the hard disk of your computer

The number of webcam users in Indonesia is increasing and they come from various circles in society

"Quite a lot of people have bought webcams. Most are university students and young executives," said Srie Wahyuningsih, marketing manager of asiadigital, which manages online kiosk

The most popular webcams on the market are those using USB, which are easy to install and use. Many people buy good-quality webcams, Srie said

"To take great pictures, most people buy webcams that have excellent lenses. Of course, the price is much higher," she added

Webcams are available at various prices, ranging from tens of thousands of rupiah to millions of rupiah. "Webcams with excellent lenses are expensive. Still, many people buy them," she said

Take Mia for instance. She can do her field work and send reports in various formats to her office using her notebook, which is has a CDMA modem for Internet access and a webcam for audio-visual communication

"Wow, this webcam allows my colleagues to watch the event in Senayan live," she said, looking at the faces of her colleagues on the monitor

Asep Saefullah, Contributor, Jakarta Copyright 2006 The Jakarta Post

Copyright 2006 The Jakarta Post. Source: Financial Times Information Limited - Asia Intelligence Wire.

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