Friday, September 28, 2007

PTCL Broadband

For someone who lives in a city suburb like me, getting the state-of-the-art facilities like DSL from ISPs is always a pain. Although DSL and Cable have been around for a couple of years in the city, no ISP had bothered to expand it to remote telephone exchanges like mine. And so my area had been starved of broadband connectivity uptill now when PTCL decided to start off their broadband operations. And you know what, within days of starting off, they had received hundred of applications! I wonder why other ISPs didn't see the wisdom in starting off in such remote and previously cut-off areas as well, since a lack of competition would have resulted to scores of people signing up for them! Anyway, I couldn't be more happier and signed up instantly for a 256kbps connection costing me Rs. 1199/month.

The service has been pretty good so far, except for a couple of days ago when the PTCL link had been damaged rendering DSL inoperable for 5-6 hours. Bearable I'd say .. but the speed's been damn good at all times. Another thing that works in my favor is the Fiber Optic line I switched to last year, finally giving up on the old copper lines, which seemed to never get rid of their noise problem. I don't know if it's mal-management or what, but the PTCL guys can't seem to keep the copper wires running devoid of noise for a week straight! Good thing I switched to fiber optic which is just wonderful ... even on dial-up!

So, all in all, I'm a happy PTCL customer - so far! :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

TV Series Galore!

For those of us still reeling from our defeat to India at the Twenty20 final, there couldn't be a better way to move on than to switch the focus to a brand new season of some awesome TV series! I'm talking about Prison Break and Heroes ladies and gentlemen! PB's third season kicked off last week (and I'm downloading it right now on my DSL!) and Heroes season two is set to start next week! So, all in all, we're in for a treat of TV Series!! wohoo ... and not before long, LOST will come back too and the tv season will be in full swing.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Naheeeeeeeeen!! was what I cried out when Misbah lofted his cheeky flick attempt to fine leg, only to be caught by that bugger Sreesanth! It felt like an ineffable thump in my chest! What a pulsating game! and what heartbreak at the end! :( Full credit to Misbah though for making a game out of nothing, when the team once again choked when it mattered the most ... but it was Misbah who single-handedly won us the game ... almost!

Losing to India is doubly painful ... but I guess I'll get over it slowly!

Image courtesy

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Congrats Team Pakistan!

I write this post having just witnessed the Pakistani side overcome New Zealand in Cape Town - with relative ease I must say, even though Pakistan lost some wickets and it seemingly became tight in the end, but with so many wickets in hand you expect a team to win ... so Congratulations to all for a job well done!

It is a pleasant surprise to see our side playing so well after the much-vaunted debacle at the ODI World Cup earlier this year. It's been like a breath of fresh air in times when Pakistani sports are possibly at their lowest ebb. Hockey's going down the drain; Squash looks far from its glorious past, and there aren't any others we're real good at ... so cherish the moment while they last I say! It's gonna be one heck of a final for sure! And I hope we win ... It would be welcome distraction from all the violence and political turmoil the people of this country have had to live with over the past few weeks. With all the doom and gloom elsewhere, I'm sure a victory on Monday would go a long way in raising our spirits as a nation.

Go Team Pakistan! Make us Proud!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy's keynote at NED Convention 2007

An excellent keynote delivered by Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy at the recently held NED Alumni Convention in Silicon Valley. He talks about the power of ideas and how our universities need to be the center of ideas. He also talks about how simply allocating millions of rupees to the HEC budget isnt going to bring about a change in the country. You'll be astonished to hear some of the examples he gave of the misuse of such valuable funding. Like I said, a MUST Listen!

Friday, September 14, 2007

5 Myths About Terrorism

Six years after 9/11, all too many Americans still have only a vague idea of what does -- and doesn't -- motivate terrorists. It doesn't help that many politicians exploit the anxiety that terrorism evokes to promote their own agendas.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This site is for those *free* moments you get at work or home when you got nothing important to do except surf around the web. Well, there couldn't be a more excellent alternative to installing the StumbleUpon toolbar. All you gotta do is sign-up on their site and choose your Interests (more like the kind of sites you'd love to visit in free time) - popular choices include online games, quizzes, optical illusions and the like.

Once installed, it sits nicely there below the address bar and once you're free, you click on the "Stumble" button to start stumbling and visiting random and cool sites in the process :). I've found some great sites using this service and I recommend you try it out!

Happy Surfing!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Peter answers...

We've had this prank going on at work today about If you haven't seen it yet, then you need to cuz it's great fun and an ideal way to play a prank on friends/family etc. All you gotta do is visit the site where you'll be presented with a petition and a question field. Try going through it normally the first time just to familiarize yourself with the site. Note the colon ":" at the end of each of these queries. This is essential because without it, you will not be able to proceed to the question box. Once you type the phrase and enter the colon your cursor will automatically be in the question box. You can ask any question you like, but you must end it with a question mark "?".

Now, how to pull the prank:

  1. Gather a friend or two and sit at the computer. You must be the one typing in order for the prank to work. :)
  2. Have someone else think of a question. You need to know the question before you type anything.
  3. Type a period "." in the "Insert Petition" box. You'll notice that the letter "P" will appear instead of a period.
  4. Type in the answer to the question. As you type each letter or number of the answer, the screen will display one more letter of the phrase, "Peter, please answer the following question:" This means no one will know that you're typing the answer to the question, because it looks like you're typing, "Peter, please answer the following question:".
  5. Type another period "." when you're done entering the answer. When you type another period, the next letter of the petition phrase ("Peter, please answer the following question:") will appear.
  6. Complete the petition phrase. Once you've typed the second period, the actual letters you type will show up on the screen. Now, just finish the phrase, being sure to end it with the colon.
  7. Type in the question. Just as above, the cursor will jump to the question box as soon as you enter the colon. Type the question that was asked, and end it with a question mark. Peter will think for a second and then display the answer that you typed.
  8. Watch your friends freak out as they see the answer right! If your friends don't know that you typed in the answer, they will be flabbergasted! :). You can probably keep them amazed for quite a while as long as they don't start paying close attention to what your fingers are actually typing ... heh :)
Have fun! ;)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Choosing a career path

I have always been a strong advocate of choosing a profession based on one's interest rather than some market-condition or financial basis. I know this may not be particularly easy, especially for someone living in Pakistan, but I, for one, can't imagine how people can decide to study something or become someone they never *really* wanted to! To me that is totally absurd!

Take my case, I have always been fond of Computers - Computer Sciences in particular. I was fortunate enough to pursue a degree based on my interest rather than on some shabby market condition. I was always going to become a Computer Engineer no matter what. And for all those who thought the market had been saturated of Computer Engineers and there were going to be no more jobs available for a while - I would just like to say that instead of using your short-sighted thinking and going after the market, why not concentrate on getting a professional degree of your liking and working hard to be the best in it. It is only through love and passion for your interests that you will be able to go the extra mile and contribute to its advancement. Alhamdulillah today, there are plenty of job opportunities available for software and system engineers in Karachi and the rest of the country.

Someone forwarded me the following link some time ago, and I'd like to share it seeing that we're talking about CS. It's a nice little article on the several attainable degrees in the Computer Sciences discipline. Check it out to figure out the nuances of each of those degrees:

Also, what ticks me off a lot is the lack of research aptitude in today's students. Nobody likes to work independently and pursue a specialization - at least in the several engineering fields that I know of. That may well be because of household pressures etc. but how can you expect a country to prosper when there are little or no specialized people being produced every year! Just compare our research publications with those of other countries and you'll know why we are where we are - staring at the abyss.