Friday, May 05, 2006

I got myself an iMate K-Jam :(

It was a weird decision. I went with my wife to GOSI complex to buy a Nokia 9500 mobile. I went into a shop and picked it. I was about to show it to her and explain why I think its a good mobile. She mocked the hell out of me saying that it's a Tabooka, a brick, and went on and on saying this and that about it. I hated it. I just picked the most obvious alternative; iMate K-Jam. I hate windows based mobiles, and out of the blue I ended up buying one. God has his ways I believe.


My friend Ayman lent me an interesting book. iCon. It's a biography of Steve Jobs, the Apple Computers co-founder and the legendary IT industry leader. Being in IT, you always hear and read about Steve and continuously admire him. But this book takes you beyond all this. You become closer to his day-to-day life, his peculiar business practices, and his decision making rituals. You loose yourself in the wavy corridors of Steve's mind and his business adventures. It's not an autobiography though, so you don't have the truth from the horse's mouth, but it is still entertaining and stimulating. You'll get as close as possible to Steve's Reality Distortion Field.

Reading books is one habit that was heavily hurt since I changed my job a couple of years ago. Although I was reading articles daily, books were a far reach. Not anymore I believe. This book brought the book-reading passion back. I made time to enjoy this book and I'm sure I'll make even more time for the dozens of books I recently bought and couldn't read.

If you don't know enough of Steve's life, his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2005 sums it up in a neat and mind-boggling statement.
Stay hungry, stay foolish

This book is highly recommended. Enjoy it.

Batelco ADSL pricing scam

Batelco is emailing its ADSL customers about the changes in their ADSL Packages. They claim it's for the better. Unless I don't understand English, or Arabic as well, nothing is better in these new crappy packages.

There are lots of observations I have on Batelco's conduct when it comes to the Internet and the Web. Things I avoided to publish but critically addressed to concerned managers in Batelco. But this scam is beyond any rational sanity I would ever maintain.

And this stupid mailing list setup that allows others to reply back to their announcements. We are pissed-off Batelco so you better be ready for the mail bombardment

This makes me boiling to research into how to battle threshold measures that would be definitely the norm in the coming few years. I'm sure others with better political sense would rage a good campaign against batelco but there must be some technical loopholes that can be compromised.

Be Positive, Be Positive. Damn Batelco. One thing else I'll definitely look at is QoS and packet shaping technologies.

Microsoft Unlimited Potential

Microsoft is doing an amazing job in supporting communities all over the world through their Unlimited Potential initiative. In a joint effort with Bahrain Internet Society, they've localized it for Bahrain, as Career Connection, with a focus on training unemployed Bahrainis on basics of computers.

The project started March 2006 with a batch of +100 students and I had the pleasure of being an instructor in the 10 weeks course. The curriculum is well designed and helped me and my students to navigate through the material with great enthusiasm. It included material on basics of computers, internet, web design, and of course the Microsoft Office suite of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, etc.

I had a mixture of skill sets in my students. Some were university grads with good basic skills. The course went on smoothly and I was quite content with the student feedback. I had a couple of set-backs though with people in the mid 20s who can't distinguish a right mouse click from a left mouse click but in general the attendance and the commitment were both high. High praises to well-committed young Bahrainis.

It's a pity though that there was NO media coverage of the program. I recall there was a press release which I can't find on the net, but nothing else. I already told Microsoft and BIS gentlemen about this and I believe they'll handle it better with the upcoming batches. I know BIS was very busy preparing for the Future IT event, but it is over now and they need to get their act on.

I'd like to thank Microsoft and BIS for their distinguished efforts and for giving me the opportunity to remember my old days of teaching Math and to reassure myself that I'm still a very good teacher :) And special thanks to Ghassan from Microsoft, Ahmed from BIS, and the team in AIT institute for organizing the program.