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Tech @ Sufehmi.com » 2006 » July

Archive for July, 2006

Expats are miserable in Indonesia…. ?

Saturday, July 29th, 2006

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After reading countless complaints from Indonesian about discriminations against them over their expat counterparts (eg: same skill level, but the expats got paid like 5x, etc), I can’t believe that there are expats who are still complaining that their live in Indonesia is miserable :)

Holy Batman… you got paid in USD, spend in the cheap Rupiah, with Indonesians admiring your white skin - and you’re still complaining ?
Some people are just impossible to please :D

I was an expat too, and I’ve had it worse. I’m quite sure that most expats are having it (way) better in Indonesia.
We also had our share of racial abuse. It seems that all races are capable of racism and xenophobia.
But we’re grateful with what we have.

So come on guys, think positive, then your life will be better. You did that to yourself.

I just hope Treespotter won’t get any backlash from all this, but he seems to be a very capable guy. So no worries here :)

Pengenalan Virtualisasi

Friday, July 28th, 2006

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Dalam dunia IT ada 2 teknologi yang dapat meningkatkan manfaat IT dan menurunkan biayanya secara signifikan, yaitu centralized computing dan virtualisasi.

Centralized computing sudah banyak saya bahas di berbagai artikel saya, Anda bisa search keyword “LTSP” dan akan mendapatkan berbagai penjelasan serta panduan implementasinya.

Mengenai virtualisasi akan saya bahas di posting ini secara ringkas.

Virtualisasi adalah metode untuk membuat sesuatu menjadi lepas dari ketergantungan secara fisik. Contoh; virtual machine adalah komputer, yang sebetulnya hanya berupa sebuah file di hard disk kita. Dengan virtualisasi, maka sebuah komputer (fisik) bisa menjalankan banyak komputer virtual sekaligus pada saat yang bersamaan.

Berbagai kelebihan virtualisasi :

  1. Penghematan biaya : di sebuah komputer server saya pernah menjalankan 4 buah virtual machine sekaligus.
    1 buah menjalankan OS Windows sebagai database server Oracle, satu buah menjalankan OS Solaris 8, satu buah menjalankan OS Suse Linux Enterprise, dan satu lagi OS Windows 2000 server. Sehingga, alih-alih membeli 4 buah server fisik, saya cukup membeli 1 buah saja.
    Juga, VMware server kini juga sudah bisa diakses secara remote. Maka, kita tidak perlu lagi membeli monitor/keyboard/mouse untuk setiap server - server bisa headless, dan kita akses secara remote saja.
  2. Murah : VMware Server kini sudah disediakan cuma-cuma, tanpa biaya. Demikian juga dengan berbagai solusi virtualisasi lainnya; VirtualPC, QEMU, Xen, dan lain-lainnya.
  3. Kemudahan maintenance : Biasanya, untuk maintenance sebuah server, kita perlu berada di lokasi server, dan ada monitor/keyboard/mouse untuk setiap server. Kini VMware server sudah bisa diakses secara remote. Maka, kini dari komputer kita sendiri, kita bisa mengakses puluhan server sekaligus yang berada di belahan dunia yang lain sekalipun pada saat yang bersamaan.
  4. Reliabilitas : Makin banyak server fisik berarti semakin besar kemungkinan terjadi kerusakan. Jika jumlah server fisik dikurangi, maka infrastruktur kita akan menjadi lebih reliable.
  5. Kemudahan backup : Biasanya kita tidak bisa membackup sebuah server secara utuh, karena jika suatu saat backup tersebut di restore di komputer yang berbeda hardwarenya, maka Windows biasanya akan gagal booting. Sialnya, backup per layanan (database, fileserver, dst), membuat proses backup menjadi lebih rumit, dan proses restorenya juga lebih memakan waktu.

    Kontra dengan virtual machine, dimana semua konfigurasinya sama. Contoh; semua virtual machine di VMware akan selalu mendapatkan card VGA VMware, network card PCnet, dst.
    Karena itu, backupnya jadi sangat mudah. Cukup copy virtual machine tersebut (biasanya berupa beberapa file) ke tempat backup.
    Proses restorenya yang lebih mengagumkan lagi - menjadi sangat mudah dan cepat. Cukup install VMware di komputer yang lain, dan copy virtual machine tersebut ke komputer tersebut - presto, semua kembali berjalan normal.

Demikianlah berbagai kelebihan virtualisasi. Seperti yang dapat Anda lihat, kelebihannya sangat banyak dan signifikan.

Teknolgi yang dulunya hanya tersedia di komputer mainframe (server kelas atas) kini sudah tersedia bagi kita semua, tanpa biaya pula. Jangan sampai luput untuk memanfaatkannya demi keuntungan Anda pribadi.

The Core

Friday, July 28th, 2006

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Nowadays I returned home around 23:00, and most of the time my body would be too exhausted but my mind still attached to work, making me unable to sleep. To help put it to rest, usually I like to read, messing around with my computer a bit, or watch movies. Sometimes I’m able to slip a bit of exercise as well while watching the movies. I’d fell on the bed around 01:00.
Helen has been kind enough to rend DVDs for me from VideoEzy at the day, so we can watch it together later.

A movie that I’ve been wanting to watch for sometime now is The Core. I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and couldn’t wait to see something like it visualized. But I was too busy to watch it when it was on the theater.
Finally, about 3 days ago, I got my hands on it.

It didn’t disappoint. Sure, there are flaws on its science. But then again, which sci-fi movie hasn’t ? The Core actually is a bit better - one of the professor which was consulted on the movie then submitted the ideas (on sending a probe into the core of the earth) to the prestigious science journal, Nature. It was accepted and published on 15 May 2003.

But what The Core really is non-stop thriller and action.
I was rather sceptical about how a movie about 6 people trapped in a small space could get interesting. But they pulled it off.
Hairy problems keep popping up, and somehow, McGyver-style, they manage to solve those with their (indeed) very limited resources. Although many of the crew ended up dead, but they accomplished their mission.

Special FX are in abundance from start to the end. Although not all are perfect, but they are amusingly different than the others - not just explosions and other standard effects, but things like hordes of pigeons attacking people :) and such. Refreshing indeed.

And; there was not a single the-girl-bare-it-all scene. This movie survived on adrenaline alone - from beginning to the end. Good for me, I hate it when the producer throws that in just for the sake of “hey look, we got [insert_gorgeous _actress] naked in our movie *drool*“, even when it’s totally unnecessary. And most of the time it’s not even convincingly done.

These kind of scenes are plain annoyance. I was pleasantly surprised that The Core didn’t feel the need for such thing (or, perhaps it’s been censored? dunno).
Here’s wishing there’d be more movies like this - just the interesting stuff, with no distraction. Better yet, get more “normal” people in (not just the skeleton-skinny girls / hunky guys), but I’m dreaming here, I know. Beauty over quality. OK. Gotcha.

Next - Bubba Ho-Tep. Bruce Campbell was the King of one-liners in Army of Darkness (absolutely hilarious), and people said he’s still the same there. Just what I need after a day’s hard work. But to be honest, I have no idea where to find it in Indonesia, heh. Let me know if you do.

We have moved

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

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I’ve moved sufehmi.com to a new server at dreamhost.com

Everything looks pretty sweet, though email is still down. But once the new DNS records has been propagated properly, it should be ok - probably in about 12 hours.

There are so many information to share, things to do; but couldn’t be done on my old server. Now it’s been moved to the new one, I can start rearranging stuff around here, so it’ll become more useful (and more pleasant to look at as well).

Here’s hoping that dreamhost will stabilize soon :D

LTSP 4.2 @ Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake)

Thursday, July 20th, 2006

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Berikut ini adalah catatan dari usaha saya memasang LTSP 4.2u2 di Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake).
Tutorial instalasi LTSP @ FC3 (Fedora Core 3) [ bisa dibaca disini ]

PENDAHULUAN

LTSP memungkinkan kita membangun sistim komputer yang canggih & berkinerja sangat bagus, walaupun menggunakan komputer tua yang sangat murah harganya.
Dengan LTSP, kita bisa menggunakan komputer Pentium I sekalipun (harga pasaran sekitar Rp 300.000) sebagai workstationnya, dengan kecepatan setara dengan Pentium IV !
Melihat ini, maka LTSP adalah solusi yang sangat cocok bagi berbagai institusi / perusahaan di Indonesia.

Razia software, walaupun kini semakin jarang diberitakan di media massa, juga masih terus berjalan. Yang terbaru kemarin ini menjadi target adalah beberapa stasiun TV di Indonesia.
Daripada membayar denda / membayar harga lisensi yang sangat mahal, mereka lebih memilih untuk beralih ke solusi open source.
LTSP, karena biayanya yang sangat ekonomis dan kemudahan pemakaian & perawatannya, menjadikannya sebagai salah satu solusi yang pantas untuk dipertimbangkan.

Ubuntu 6.06 memiliki banyak kelebihan dibanding berbagai distro lainnya, seperti :

  • Gratis dan malah diantar ke rumah kita - dengan layanan Ship It
  • Mudah dipasang dan digunakan
  • Ubuntu versi 6.06 LTS dijamin akan up to date terus selama 5 tahun. Berbeda misalnya dengan Fedora/Mandrake, yang bisa obsolete dalam waktu 1 tahun saja.

KEBUTUHAN

  1. Jaringan komputer / network, dengan bandwidth minimal 100 Mbps
  2. Komputer server, dengan spesifikasi minimal sebagai berikut (untuk 5 workstation) :

    Prosesor 800 MHz, memory 512 MB, hard disk 20 GB

  3. Komputer workstation :

    Prosesor 200 MHz,
    memory 32 MB,
    network card tipe PCI, yang ada di daftar yang ada di http://www.rom-o-matic.net,
    card VGA tipe PCI

  4. Akses Internet, atau DVD Ubuntu

RUJUKAN

  1. Instruksi instalasi LTSP 4.2
  2. Panduan instalasi Ubuntu 6 Server
  3. Ubuntu Indonesia & Ubuntu Guide

PANDUAN

Berikut adalah panduan instalasi LTSP 4.2 di Ubuntu 6.

  1. Install paket-paket yang diperlukan LTSP :

    sudo aptitude install nfs-user-server dhcpd tftpd portmap libwww-perl inetd

  2. Download ltsp-utils :

    mkdir /tmp/ltsp/
    cd /tmp/ltsp
    links http://ltsp.mirrors.tds.net/pub/ltsp/utils/ltsp-utils-0.25-0.tgz
    tar xzvf ltsp-utils-0.25-0.tgz
    cd ltsp-utils
    sudo ./install.sh
    sudo ./ltspadmin

  3. Kita telah menjalankan software ltspadmin. Pertama-tama, kita perlu download file-file instalasi ltsp 4.2u2.

    Pilih menu “Install / Update LTSP Packages”.

  4. Karena ini adalah instalasi awal, maka ltspadmin akan memunculkan pesan berikut ini:


    This is the first time installing LTSP packages, the
    Installation utility must first be configured.

    press to begin the configuration…

    Tekan Enter.

  5. Kemudian akan muncul layar konfigurasi, cukup tekan Enter terus (kecuali jika ada yang perlu Anda ubah), sampai muncul pilihan “Correct? (y/n/c)” - ketik y, lalu tekan Enter.
     
  6. Akan muncul daftar modul-modul LTSP yang tersedia. Pilih semuanya (dengan menekan spasi).

    Setelah terpilih semuanya, ketik “q”, maka ltspadmin akan mulai men download dan memasang semua modul tersebut.

  7. Berikutnya kita perlu mengkonfigurasikan LTSP.
    Pilih menu ketiga, yaitu “Configure LTSP”
     
  8. Tekan “C” untuk memilih menu “Configure the services manually”.

    Akan muncul menu bernomor 1 s/d 11. Jalankan menu-menu tersebut satu per satu, sampai akhirnya selesai semua. Lalu tekan “Q” untuk kembali ke menu utama, dan “Q” sekali lagi untuk keluar ke prompt.

  9. Untuk selanjutnya, yang perlu dilakukan adalah :

Selamat menikmati.

TIPS-TIPS

  • Jika komputer server terkoneksi ke Internet, sebaiknya dilindungi dengan firewall. Yang bisa saya rekomendasikan adalah Firehol, karena mudah digunakan dan bebas maintenance.
    Contoh konfigurasinya bisa dilihat di posting ini.
  • Jika Anda mengalami masalah, silahkan lihat di posting ini. Beberapa masalah yang sering terjadi dibahas solusinya disitu.

VERSI DOKUMEN

v1.0 - first release
v1.01 - minor correction re: ubuntu version numbering (thanks Andy)

VMware di Ubuntu 6

Wednesday, July 19th, 2006

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Saya mengalami kesulitan dalam memasang VMware di Ubuntu. Setiap kali virtual machine saya jalankan, selalu gagal tanpa pesan error.

Setelah mencari-cari, sepertinya solusinya adalah sbb:

Fingers crossed… kalau ada masalah lagi, saya akan update lagi informasi solusinya disini.

Indonesia, land of disaster….

Monday, July 17th, 2006

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Today is again a very sad day for Indonesian. An earthquake and tsunami combo has hit from south of Java. Death toll has surpassed 100 mark, but it’s quite certain that it’d climb to much more than that.

The quake can be felt from Jakarta (north of Java). The tsunami was reported to be as high as 18 feet / 5 meters.

I read today’s newspaper frozen in shock, finding it hard to believe that it’s happening again to us in such a short time - tsunami in aceh, violent quake in yogya, landslides in many places; and now this.

Indonesia seem to be the place for experiencing off-the-scale disasters.

On 1851, Tambora mountain erupted.
The explosion shot so many ashes to the sky, it blocked much of the sunlight. Year 1815 ended up known as the “Year Without Summer”. Tens of thousands people died from famine, because crop failed to produce. The exact details of the explosion could never be found out, because all population around the mountain was killed on the event.

On 1883, Krakatoa (Krakatau) erupted.
The explosion was so violent, the mountain itself and the island it was on got destroyed in the process. It also produced the loudest sound in recorded history - reaching 180 dBSPL in places 160 km (100 miles) away, heard from Australia (3500 km away) and Island of Rodrigues (4800 km away).
There were no survivors on the island of Sebesi, about 13km from Krakatoa. Many other settlements were also destroyed so thoroughly; some, like Ujung Kulon, was never repopulated. Human skeletons still found washed up on east coast of Africa up to a year after the explosion. Worldwide temperature didn’t return to normal until 1888.

Welcome to Indonesia.

The curse of my praise

Monday, July 17th, 2006

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Just a few days ago, I moved the mailboxes of a client to Dreamhost while praising them for their technical support (they act very quickly and knows what they’re doing). For good measure, I also told my client how big Dreamhost is, and that they should be able to provide us with a very reliable email service.
I said that because email is vital to this client, since almost 100% of their businesses are done via email.

Then Dreamhost experienced what might be among the worst incident they’ve ever had in their history. Ouch.

Beginning since 15 July 2006, only now (18 July 2006) their services have started to be running again.
My client was already breathing very heavily just behind my neck, with all intent to kill me very soon; which he cancelled when suddenly we got our email back. Phew.

Then I remembered many years back, when I was still a junior staff at Takaful Indonesia. I just managed to secure the takaful.com domain, then hosted it with my friend at Indoglobal.com.
After a while, I said thanks for their service and I’m sure our website would be very secure in their hands. My friend was humble and realistic enough to politely said that (in summary) there’s no such thing as 100% secure server on Internet.

A few days later, Indoglobal got hacked pretty bad.

I’ve learned my lesson - from now on, I’ll stop praising my webhosters, and just enjoy their exceedingly good service for me :D

Note that the incident re: indglobal happened years ago. I know that they’re much better now in regard to security; but I’ve promised not to praise my webhoster any more, so I’ll stop right here :D

Backing up in Linux

Saturday, July 15th, 2006

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I’ve been managing many Windows and Unix servers in the last 10 years, and this I know for sure - backing up in Windows can be a painful experience, and most of the time it require significant investment in special backup software (which tend to cost thousands of dollars, usually more).
Even then, the software will become buggy once you start setting up complex backup scenario.

In Unix/Linux however, you have powerful scripting tools at your disposal, usually already included in the package. These tools are very flexible, enabling you to develop almost any kind of backup scheme.
It does require some sort of programming skill. Point-and-click admins will have a hard time at first, but let me tell you, do give it a try. You’ll find that it’s very much worth the trouble.

Both require investment in time & effort to develop a good backup strategy.

Before we progress, first here’s a few rules in regard to backup :

  • You can never have too many backups.
    I backed up my personal data to several locations - my other PC, and also my brothers’ PC. So in total, I have 3 copies of it.
    One day, the hard drive in my main PC broke down. So I came to my brother, and asked him to copy my data which is in his PC. To my surprise, he said that his hard drive just died too. I ended up with only a single copy of my precious data.
    I quickly replaced the dead hard drive, restored the only copy of my data there, and made a new backup script for it. Nowadays, my data is usually available in 5 or more locations.
  • Automate all of its processes.
    If it require even the tiniest amount of manual intervention, believe me, it will end up not being executed. For once of twice, you may still willing to intervene. But when you need to do that everyday, it just won’t happen.
  • Check your backup.
    Check the result / logs everyday. Try restoring the backup about every week. Do NOT skip this, or you will find out that the backup is actually not restorable when that very important server died on you.

These are the most important ones, and I confess to have suffered from one or more of it in the past.
You don’t have to, but it’s your choice.

Anyway, here’s a sample script to get you started backing up in Linux.

Backing up the whole hard drive, over the network.

#!/bin/bash
mkdir /mnt/backup
mount -t ext3 /dev/hdb1 /mnt/backup
chmod 777 /mnt/backup
cd /mnt/backup
/usr/bin/rsync -avuz --progress --rsh="ssh -l root -i /root/.ssh/id_dsa" 192.168.0.1:/ /mnt/backup

The 1st line is important - it tells the computer that we’d like this script to be processed by bash. Different shell has different syntax. So we need to be precise about this.

The 2nd line create the directory for mounting the backup drive. 3rd line mounts /dev/hdb1 (first partition of second IDE device) to /mnt/backup. 4th line gives full access to the drive. the 6th line does the actual backup process, copying only changed files on 192.168.10.101 to /mnt/backup.

It may seem simple at first, but make no mistake, rsync is one powerful tool. For example, quoted from rsync manual:

The rsync remote-update protocol allows rsync to transfer just the differences between two sets of files across the network connection, using an efficient checksum-search algorithm described in the technical report that accompanies this package.

This capability has enabled me to backup a 200 GB hard drive, over 100 Mbps network, in under 2 hours.
Without disturbing the 15+ users which are on that network as well. Simply amazing.

The next one is probably the kind of backup script you’d more often encounter - backup, compress, store to a safe location.


#!/bin/bash
tar cvf /backup/accounting-$(date +%Y%m%d).tar /home/accounting
bzip2 -9 /backup/accounting-$(date +%Y%m%d).tar
/usr/bin/scp -2 -i ~/.ssh/id_dsa /backup/accounting-$(date +%Y%m%d).tar.bz2 smith@192.168.0.10:/data/backup/

The 2nd line bundles up the whole content of /home/accounting into a single file named /backup/accounting-(today’s date).tar; example; /backup/accounting-20061230.tar would be the resulting file if this script is run on the 30th December 2006.
This trick needed to avoid the backup replacing the same file everytime it runs. This way, we’ll have multiple backups over time, instead of just one.

The 3rd line compresses the file above, as strong as possible (with the -9 switch)
The last line copies the file (now with .bz2 extension after compressed by bzip2) into directory /data/backup/ in a server with IP address of 192.168.0.10, as user smith.

The last example is a more complicated backup script.
I developed this to backup groups.or.id’s (kinda like Yahoogroups) member database automatically, everyday to servers on different countries. Therefore, in case of disaster, the administrator can quickly restore the service on another server with little problem.

Backup member database, over the Internet.


#!/bin/bash
daftar_milis=( $(ls ~/) )

for element in $(seq 0 $((${#daftar_milis[@]} - 1)))
do

echo “—- MILIS: ${daftar_milis[$element]} —-” >> /backup/daftar-member-$(date +%Y%m%d).txt
/usr/bin/ezmlm-list ~/${daftar_milis[$element]} >> /backup/daftar-member-$(date +%Y%m%d).txt

done

/usr/bin/bzip2 -9 /backup/daftar-member-$(date +%Y%m%d).txt
/usr/bin/scp -2 -i ~/.ssh/id_dsa /backup/daftar-member-$(date +%Y%m%d).txt.bz2 harry@mydomain.com:/home/harry/backup/groups.or.id/

exit 0

A bit of background, the server uses ezmlm as the mailing list software, which is usually controlled by user “alias”.

2nd line is already interesting. Basically, we execute ls (which shows the content of directory) ~/. What is directory ~/ ? Well, the tilde character (~) is a shortcut for our home directory. So, when running this script as alias user, the “ls ~/” actually means “ls /var/qmail/alias/”
The result (list of files and directories) will then be stored in an (array) variable named “daftar_milis”

4th and 5th line sets us up for a looping. It will loop as many times as there are data in “daftar_milis”.

7th line will output a line, which is “—- MILIS: (current data in “daftar_milis”) —-”, and append ( >>) it into a file named /backup/daftar-member-(today’s date).txt

8th line runs ezmlm-list, which will list the members of the mailing list, and store in into the same file as above.

When all the data in “daftar_milis” has been processed, then the 12th line will be executed. It will compress the backup file with bzip2 compression.
Note that this compression algorithm is much more complex than standard Zip compression, therefore on a slow processor it may take a very long time to finish.

The 13th line will copy the backup file to a server somewhere on the Internet, on a secure tunnel encrypted with SSH2 protocol.

So there you are, a few examples to get you started backing up in Linux. Hope you find it useful.

Hati-hati dengan kartu kredit

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

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Dengan prihatin saya membaca kisah Andersonite yang mengalami masalah dengan tagihan credit card dari Standard Chartered, sampai dia diteror oleh mereka.

Yang lebih mencemaskan lagi adalah sebuah komentar di posting tersebut :

waktu kamu di indonesia, pasti sering kan dapet penawaran membership atau kartu kredit lain? aku sih curiga ada ’sindikat jual beli data cardholder’ deh. lagian, ngakses data cardholder buat beberapa orang gampang kok ;)

Apakah memang security kita sedemikian tidak amannya di tangan mereka?
Yang jelas, adik saya sudah pernah kena charge yang fraudulent dari perusahaan kartu kreditnya. Kebetulan waktu itu dia di Inggris, dimana hukum berpihak kepada konsumen. Dia kemudian selamat dari tagihan tersebut.
Kalau dia ketika itu sedang di Indonesia, kemungkinan ceritanya akan berbeda….

Tapi masalah terbesar dengan kartu kredit adalah pada “irresponsible lending”.

Barusan ini BI mengeluarkan peraturan yang melarang seseorang untuk memiliki lebih dari 2 kartu kredit. Seorang staf senior BI pernah berkata kepada saya, bahwa BI akan lebih ketat mengawasi sepak terjang berbagai provider kartu kredit di Indonesia. Kelihatannya sudah menjadi kenyataan.
Tetapi ini bukannya berarti BI tidak menyukai cashless payment, justru sebaliknya, terutama ketika uang kertas mahal biaya cetaknya.

Contoh salah satu dari berbagai masalah kartu kredit, selama ini banyak bank yang memperlakukan kredit biasa dengan kredit dari kartu kredit secara berbeda - singkatnya, pinjaman dari kartu kredit diberikan tanpa kehati-hatian / memperdulikan resiko. Hasilnya, banyak pelanggan kartu kredit yang jadi menunggak.

Tetapi, karena biasanya tunggakannya ini jauh lebih kecil daripada pinjaman biasa, maka masih bisa dicicil; walaupun dalam yang waktu lama. Dimana ini tentu saja menguntungkan bank (karena bunganya menjadi sangat besar), dan merugikan konsumen.

Masalahnya terus berlanjut, dimana kemudian bank biasanya menggunakan jasa debt collector untuk menagih tunggakan yang macet. Celakanya, debt collector di Indonesia seringkali menggunakan cara-cara yang sewenang-wenang dalam operasinya.
Saya kira inilah faktor terbesar yang membuat BI marah dan memutuskan, “enough is enough“, dengan para provider kartu kredit. Apalagi ketika ada kasus sampai dimana ada seorang guru dengan gaji kurang dari 2 juta/bulan, menunggak sampai 50 juta lebih, dan dizalimi habis-habisan oleh para debt collector.

Regulasi yang ketat dari otoritas akan membantu mencegah & mengurangi kesewenang-wenangan dan eksploitasi terhadap konsumen seperti ini.

Regulasi yang ketat ini, secara sekilas, akan terkesan mempersulit customer. Seperti, syarat-syarat yang ketat (tidak sembarangan orang bisa mendapatkan kartu kredit), dll. Namun pada akhirnya, semuanya ini adalah untuk melindungi kita sendiri.

Anyway, bagi yang belum menggunakan kartu kredit, sebaiknya tidak usah. Saya punya kartu kredit pun karena diberikan oleh bank; itupun saya gunakan hanya untuk bertransaksi online (convenience), bukan untuk berhutang.
Mungkin kita perlu mengembalikan budaya melihat hutang sebagai “last resort”, dan bukannya sebagai tindakan yang pertama kali dilakukan ketika menghadapi masalah.

Saya pernah bercerita kepada seorang kawan di Inggris, bagaimana budaya keluarga kami sejak dahulu, yaitu membeli (komputer, mobil, dll) hanya ketika mempunyai uang di tangan/bank. Dia tercengang, sepertinya sudah bertahun-tahun tidak mendengar hal demikian. Saya akui kepada dia bahwa ketika tiba di Inggris, memang saya sempat syok melihat bagaimana budaya berhutang adalah suatu yang sangat wajar disana.
Dan bahkan pada masyarakat yang telah memiliki budaya berhutang tersebut, regulasi kredit sangat ketat, dan memihak konsumen — tetap saja ada banyak kasus keuangan pribadi karena jeratan hutang kartu kredit.
Apalagi di Indonesia, yang kebanyakan kita belum memiliki keahlian private finance management, regulasi kredit masih longgar, dan nyaris tidak ada perlindungan konsumen.

Memiliki kartu kredit di Indonesia masih merupakan sesuatu yang berbahaya bagi kebanyakan orang. Hindari saja jika Anda bisa.