Archive for June, 2005

New Delhi

Hey I’m finally in New Delhi! Flew on PK-272 from Karachi to New Delhi and landed on the Indira Gandhi airport. We visited the malls today and watched an indian movie! The malls are just radical and the sky scrapers are just amazing! Still trying to get hold of Gagan!

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Finally, going to India!

After a series of hurdles we are finally waiting at the airport lounge at Gate 25 for our flight to New Delhi. We are a delegate of four from Karachi and five people from Lahore would join us for the TechEd conference. I’ll post the entire story when I get over there. I won’t be having my laptop with me! Mr. Vaqar just offered us some coffee and we’re all set to leave. I still don’t have Gagan’s contact information. God save me! ;)

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The Cry of the Terrorist

This poetry was written by my father in 2002. He maintains his own blog as well. I hope you will find it as inspiring as I did. I wrote a poem too, called The Time, feel free to make a comparison!

June 16th, 2002.

The Cry of the Terrorist
By Naseem Mahnavi

To aim to kill or not to kill?
That is the vital question.
For many, an act of deliberate will;
For some, a mere compulsion.

In a jungle full of carnivores,
In a city inhabited by cannibals;
Are there any ethical mores?
Can there be any shielding walls?

The clever one just intimidates,
The imbecile takes up a noisy gun.
For one who can not take dictates,
Blowing up self is mighty fun.

Can one control a raging typhoon?
Or hold down an earthquake?
The fury of nature subsides soon;
But not the fires that people make.

The child cries like insane,
And kicks at anything that comes its way.
But mother knows that it is in pain,
And her tender caress makes it play.

So where is the mother of the terrorist?
Who could nurse him and give him solace.
Terrorists are there in every nation,
And they are the children of the human race.

Their pain arises from inherited sores,
Legends of conquests, tyrannies and wars;
Histories tainted with acrimonious lores,
And faiths that have been turned into farce.

So Mother! Wake up and turn around;
The time for sweet dreams is over now.
Your baby cries; you have to be found,
No matter where, no matter how.

End

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Conference on Linux and Open Source Adoption in Pakistan

We had a conference on Linux and Open Source Adoption in Pakistan, jointly arranged by IBM and PSEB at Hotel Sheraton here. The number of people attending the conference was close to 400, as claimed by Mr. Humanyun Bashir, Country General Manager IBM.

The agenda of the meeting was as follows:

09:00 Registration and Welcome Coffee
09:30 Welcome Note: Mr. Humayun Bashir, Country General Manager, IBM Pakistan
09:35 Introductory Address: Mr. Awais Ahmed Khan Leghari, Minister for IT & Telecom*
09:45 Enterprise Linux: Is it there yet?: Mr. Rudolf Simmer, Linux Business Manager, IBM Central Europe, Middle East and Africa
10:05 Linux Live Case: Manufacturing Sector: Mr. Sardar Naufil Mahmud, Corporate IT Manager, ICI
10:25 TCO & ROI: A Clearer Perspective: Mr. Mohammad A. Sabzwari, Director, LPI Pakistan
10:45 Pakistan Government’s Linux Initiative: Dr. Amir Mateen, Managing Director, PSEB
11:05 Session Chair’s Summary: Ms. Jehan Ara, President, P@SHA
11:15 Coffee Break
11:30 Linux Initiative in Other Governments: Mr. Bashar Kilani, Manager Software Group, IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan
11:50 Linux Live Case: Financial Sector: Mr. S.M. Baqar Muzaffar, Head of IT, UBL
12:10 Linux Live Case: Textile Sector: Mr. Mahmood Ahmed, Director IT & Processing, Al-Karam Textiles
12:30 Linux Live Case: Government Sector
12:50 Session Chair’s Summary: Mr. Munawar B. Ahmad, Managing Director, SSGC
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Software Industry and Linux: Kamran H. Meer, Senior Vice President, NetSol Technologies
14:20 Linux on the Desktop: Mr. Kelvin Na, Business Partner Executive, Novell Asia Pacific
14:40 IBM Strategy on Linux: Mr. Ahmed Shanab, IBM Software Linux Sales Manager, IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan
15:00 Panel Discussion - Q&A and Thank you note
15:30 Session Chair’s Summary: Dr. Amir Mateen, Managing Director, PSEB /Mr. Humayun Bashir, Country General Manager, IBM Pakistan

The session commenced on time and almost all the speakers spoke within the allocated timeframe. The best thing about the conference were the complete migration cases which were presented. We saw a complete migration report of AlKaram textiles as they moved from Windows NT 4.0 based systems to Linux. UBL has 1200 locations and 700 of those locations are

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Running Slackware 10.0 GUI under VMWare 5 on Windows XP. As simple as: 1. Start VMWare, 2. Create a new physical disk, 3. Boot! 4. startx

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Hacking MySQL 5!

I’ve started another blog on Hacking MySQL 5 at Hacking MySQL 5. I’ll post detailed reports and analysis of new features as well as source code hacks!

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PDC Day 3

We reached a bit late in the morning and we directly went to Sir Saqib’s session where he was presenting on Web Services in Visual Studio 2005. The next session we took was on Avalon by Clemens Vasters. It wasn’t any fun at all because I had taken Avalon sessions last year as well by Mr. Hadi.

I missed the third session as myself and Muhammad Zeeshan were upto no good in the community lounge. Sir Saqib Ilyas had brought a video camera for recording. As INETA executives, we interviewed Clemens for about 3-4 minutes. I asked him a couple of questions which Zeeshan had prepared and then I asked him what he thought about the people out here at PDC, he told us the developer community at PDC was world class! Next up were INETA speakers: Hammad Rajjoub, Adnan Farooq Hashmi and of course the country leader Sir Saqib Ilyas. We asked them all a couple of live questions. Zeeshan told me that he’d edit it and send it to Channel 9. It would be great if Channel 9 approves those clips and shows them. I’ll update the blog in case that happens. It was a great experience doing the interviews. I was a bit nervous and I’m not sure how I looked in the camera, because I know that I don’t sound too well in the microphone (I always get away by claiming that the simple microphone analog converter is not advance enough to handle the scrupulous frequency variation in my vocals!). We tried to catch Lara as she was in the lounge but she disappeared before we could reach her. It was so much fun.

The fourth session was with Clemens on Indigo. Again, I had already taken an indigo session already last year so it wasn’t much fun. He designed an indigo application right there from scratch and the best thing I like about Indigo services is that they don’t rely on IIS, however if you have an IIS running, they’ll plug right into it!

The closing ceremony was excellent. I got to hear Rahat Kazmi again! He was immense out there. By the way, we had to wait for the acting president Mr. Mian Soomro to show up for about an hour. The session was to commence at 5:15p, but it actually commenced at about 6:15p. We had the Holy Quran recital at about 6:17p, followed by speeches by Sindh IT Minister and Muhammad Mian Soomro. Mr. Mian Soomro seemed to be an accomplished speaker. Keeping in view of the time constraints, they both decided to keep their speeches short. I was kind of bored listening and for some mental exercise I borrowed Zeeshan’s copy of the Spider magazine that was provided free of cost as a part of the PDC kit and solved the puzzle on page 91. I was able to finish the puzzle before the end of the ceremony. We had Mr. Jawwad Rehman’s vote of thanks after that. The grand finale was the X-Box distribution ceremony, which everybody had been anxiously waiting for! The first two XBoxes went to two NEDians! Another XBox went to my superb friend Mumtaz Ansari.

PDC 2005 is gone! I’m going to get busy with other things now! There’s a robotics competition coming up in August, too bad .NET won’t run on my ATMEL/PIC microcontroller!

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PDC Day 2

due

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PDC Day 1

Having read a couple of blogs about PDC day 1. Here’s my go at it. I’m very critical about the beginning of any ceremony and I watch closely how the master of ceremony deals with certain situations. Here’s a little breakdown of the starting ceremony:

09:25a - Rahat Kazmi on the podium
09:30a - Jawwad Rehman makes his opening speech
09:50a - Rahat Kazmi
09:55a - Rafal makes a speech
10:25a - Rahat Kazmi
10:31a - Speech by NADRA’s head
11:06a - Rahat Kazmi
11:08a - Speech by the CEO of Technologix
11:30a - Rahat Kazmi
11:31a - Speech by Mr. Amir Mateen from PSEB
11:42a - Rahat Kazmi for the plaque ceremony

Rahat Kazmi’s personality has been extremely inspiring to me. I saw him last year hosting PDC 2004 and I saw him this year hosting PDC 2005! He is just brilliant with words, I wish I would be able to speak with such eloquency one day. This year around Rafal decided to be technical even in they keynote speech. He spoke about Visual Studio 2005, DSL tools etcetera. NADRA’s head gave a very thorough speech on the practices and designs at NADRA. The presentation got a bit boring in the middle, thats when I stared to work on my robot design for an upcoming robot competition, but got pretty interesting when he told us about the biometric features that come with my new passport. Mr. Khwaja from Technologix was an impressive speaker. He is an MIT graduate and his visions of the feature were superb! In the last we got to hear Mr. Amir from PSEB and he told us about the agenda of PSEB and what its been doing lately and some of its latest projects. The plaque distribution was fun, Stephen and Kemmou were in other halls and they had to walk a long way to receive their plaques.

Because of the long ceremony, we only had three sessions today; as opposed to four sessions which we’ll be having tomorrow and day after tomorrow. The first session I took was of Kemmou, he spoke on the Data Binding features of ASP.NET 2.0. It was pretty interesting to see that Microsoft is determined to simplify coding as much as possible! I was continuously eating chocolates in this session which I had bought earlier from a nearby shop. The next two sessions were of Stephen Forte on different SQL Server 2005 enhancements. He’s a total New Yorker with a totally bamboozled sense of humour! Apart from learning about the caching features in ASP.NET 2.0 and the XML enhancements and the XQuery support in SQL Server 2005, we got to learn so much about New York, New Jersey, Canada, France, his girlfriend, Clemens, Oracle etcetera. He’s a remarkable guy who knew exactly how to keep the interest of the audience. Although at times I fell he was over-doing it but I reckon it was just right. He talked about open-source, compared MSSQL with MySQL for a very short time and he even tried Firefox. We didn’t see a lot of people using non-Microsoft tools. He sounded a fair guy who loves to learn and travel (he’s been to all 7 continents and has traveled to over 50 countries!). I asked a bunch of questions in the end of the presentation and on someone else’s question he put up Rs. 100 as a giveaway to the person who’d answer it! I took a go at it, but it turned out that I understood the question a little bit wrong. Anyways! I already have a hundred rupee note. We had a really nice talk with him after the ceremony where he told us that a while ago when there was a huge lawsuit on Microsoft, he gave a testimony which actually worked in the favour of Microsoft, so he has been granted the status of invulnerable (reminds me of Doom II, we had a cheat for that) by Microsoft. My friend Fahad Majeed on his blog has given full commentary on his session, so I guess you can just read more about it there.

We had a Q&A session at about 6:30PM and then it was time to leave. It was a great day and I learned a lot! Have to get up early again tomorrow.

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CodeRun 2005 Programming Competition

There was another programming competition in the university today, titled as CodeRun 2005! It was very similar to CIS Infinity. This competion was under INETA and since I’m an executive member of INETA, I didn’t get to participate. Instead, I was the chief organizer of the event and I prepared all the questions as well. I delibrately chose one extremely tough question which was extremely hard for someone to solve without looking up a mathematics book. One team of friends were able to solve 4/5 and they couldn’t solve the last one! It was an excellent event and we served Pizza and Pepsi cans to all particpants. It was great to look over all the management of the competition as none of the teachers were available as they were all busy with classes and other university-related activities. Personally I think that CIS Infinity was a much better event as it was the first time and we were in extremely high spirits and excited about different things. Everything worked fine, as per the plan and in the end, there was a small prize distribution ceremony.

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