Monday Nov 14, 2005

Sun Summit on 21st Century Eco-Responsibility

Sun Summit on 21st Century Eco-Responsibility" hosted by Mike Krasny of KQED fame and Sun Microsystems. The event lasted a bit over an hour, out of which there was about 10 minutes of Sun specific talk, mostly about the new Sun UltraSparc T1 processor (aka Niagara). At first, I figured this even may be a Sun marketing event, but after viewing it, I'm glad to say it is much more than that.

The replay is available at:

Tuesday Nov 08, 2005

Moazam in South Park

Monday Oct 17, 2005

Dust inside my 2005FPW LCD!

I bought a Dell 2005FPW LCD a couple of months ago and have been generally very happy with it, except that a little while ago I started to notice that some dust particles had gathered inside the monitor. I called Dell support and they told me pound sand (no no, not literally, that would only cause more dust..., they told me that there was nothing they could do about it).

I tried blowing compressed air through the rear vents but that did'nt help much. The whole problem occured because the monitor has open rear vents. I know that the Apple LCD panels don't, and I suppose now I understand why. My other LCD monitor, an SGI 1600SW, with tiny rear vents, has never experienced this problem and I've owned it for 6+ years now. I finally figured out the solution though! I ended up tapping the LCD screen with my knuckles and little by little I dislodged the dust particles until they fell to the bottom and off the visible screen. When I say 'tapping' by the way, I mean 'tapping somewhat hard'. Hard enough that my knuckle could feel it. The LCD screen is pretty tough and can take it, although I was a little scared of cracking it. Nevertheless, all is well now, no more dust particles in my LCD panel.

PS> One of the reasons I originally bought the monitor was so that I could use the S-Video input to play Gran Turismo 4 on it in high-res mode. Unfortunately the screen looks like crap when trying to play in high-res, it has the infamous 'screen door effect'. The same is true for many HDTV LCD TVs.

Tuesday Oct 11, 2005

Google Pakistan, fix your Punjabi.

I just found that Google has a Google Pakistan site, and it offers both Urdu and Punjabi language. The Urdu portion works properly and uses the correct arabic script/fonts but the Punjabi script is actually incorrect. I suppose this is a bit of a cultural faux pas on Googles part, although I can't really blame them for the honest mistake. It's not easy to understand the intricacies of other cultures and languages, especially in this case.

The problem is that displays Punjabi in the Gurmukhi script, when it should actually be in the Arabic script. Gurmukhi is the script used for the Punjabi language in India, but Arabic script is used in Pakistan. The difference is quite severe, I can read arabic script but can't read a single thing in Gurmukhi.

Anyways, the point is, needs to change the script for Punjabi over to arabic. Incidentally, almost 60% of the Pakistani population is Punjabi speaking.

ObHistoryLesson> The image to the left shows a sufi saints tomb in Jalalpur Sharif, Punjab, Pakistan. Jalalpur Sharif is also the location where Alexander fought with the leader of the area, Porus. Alexandars famous horse, Bucephalus is also buried nearby. [more historial info] Oh, and they use arabic script for Punjabi in Jalalpur Sharif. ;)

Saturday Oct 08, 2005

More aftershocks in Islamabad

Another aftershock in Pakistan, this time it's a 5.5 magnitude which hit about 40 minutes ago. 60 miles north of Islamabad, and 100 miles WNW of Srinigar/Kashmir.

Magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Islamabad, Pakistan

Yesterday, late in the evening, I got news of a magnitude 7.6 earthquake which happened in Islamabad. This is the same city I was vacationing in a couple of months ago and posted photos of here. Unfortunately, this is also the same city where some of my cousins, uncles, and aunts live. To make things even more exciting, my brother is currently visiting Islamabad.

To give everyone some background, Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan, and a relatively small city with a population under 1 million. Islamabad 'proper' covers about 85 square miles so it's pretty easy to get from one part of the city to another. The city is divided up into sectors, I-8, G-10, F-7, F-10, E-7, and so forth. The lettered sectors are arranged in rows, and then numbered in a matrix format. You can see a map which shows the layout here. The epicenter of the quake was at 34.43N, 73.54E, which is roughly 60 miles NNE of Islamabad. Due to the shallowness of the quake, the effects have been felt for hundreds of miles around the epicenter.

After I found out about the quake I tried to contact my brother in Islamabad via his cellular phone. The cellular network was pretty jammed up so I couldn't get through for about 45 minutes. I finally got through and was relieved to hear that my brother and the family were perfectly safe. My brother was in the F-7/4 sector when the quake hit, which is minutes driving distance from F-10 where the one of the Margalla Towers units collapsed. My brother said the quake seemed to last for almost a minute and was extremely startling. There are rumors of another building or condo unit which had some damage in the F-8 sector, but this is unconfirmed for now. There have been about 11 aftershocks ranging from 5.5 to 6.9. According to my brother, many people are either sleeping on the first floors of their houses, or not sleeping at all for now. The quake caused 2 small rooms at a factory in my village (over 120+ miles from Islamabad) to crumble, but luckily no one was hurt at all. Phone service, electricity, and cable tv services seem to be uninterrupted in Islamabad and in my village.

Initially we felt pretty lucky that such a strong quake did not cause a huge amount of damage. We thought the worst was the Margalla Towers building collapse, but now it looks the damages are many times that which we originally estimated. The hillside villages in Kashmir have been hit heavily with landslides and the latest estimates are 18,000+ casualties. We can only pray that this estimate is exaggerated. Although the quake was centered near Islamabad, the areas of Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, and Manshera seem to have sustained the most damage.

My brother should be back in Miami, FL on Monday as long as the Islamabad airport does not have any service interruptions. I've been told that the military and emergency personnel were able to get into the Islamabad areas extremely quickly. I'm not sure if that will be true for the more rural and hillside areas.

Wednesday Mar 30, 2005

Can't unswitch, I've gone too far

Tim Bray let out some frustration earlier concerning his gripes with the Apple platform. Tim, I've been there, and I've unswitched, and switched, and unswitched..and finally switched back. The initial releases of Rhapsody and OS X had me doing a peculiar dance for a couple of years but I think I can now safely say that I have switched over for the final time in my life (since this is the Internet, that means 3 years).

Anyways, I could go on and on about why I can't unswitch from OS X, but I'd just end up sounding like a hacked together commercial, but here are the main reasons,

1.) Unix with 110% desktop usability, including cameras, firewire, etc.
2.) I can sync my cell phone to the address book and calendar via bluetooth.
3.) The apps look and feel amazing.
4.) The development environment is pretty kick ass.

5.) All the above did not take any major effort to achieve, at least on my part.

I run a 12" Powerbook 1.33ghz with 1.25gig of RAM and it suits me pretty good. Tim, my advice is to wait until Tiger hits the streets. Spotlight might possibly spoil you forever. This is another reason I've stuck with I have over 4gigs of Email data and I know that will be Spotlight enabled right outta the box.

Thursday Mar 24, 2005

Trip to Pakistan

It's been pretty quiet around here lately. I've been pretty busy and recently got back after visiting Pakistan. Got pics? :)

If you're wondering, I'm the guy on the right holding the tea cup. Inam Khan is on the left, and Ahmed Khan (owner of the shop), is in the center. He makes such amazing tea!

This is the view from the front door of Shi-Fang, a chinese restaurant in Islamabad.

Sunday Jan 23, 2005

Hacking an EPIA board into a SparcStation LX

My friend, Louis Florit, has managed to hack an EPIA board into an old SparcStation LX case. He inherited the project from another friend of mine, Kendrick Vargas. It looks like they used a new power-supply, but I'm not 100% sure. Current specs are: 800mhz C3, 256MB RAM, VIA Chipset, 60Gb HD. I'll have to nag Louis into getting me better pictures and a proper write-up.

Images here.

Monday Jan 03, 2005

Best Slashdot post of the year.

This has to be the best Slashdot post of the year, and we're only 3 days into the year! Amazing.

A $499 Mac? How terribly crass (Score:5, Funny)
by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 03, @01:22PM (#11246218)

Oh no, here come the proles. The tasteless rabble. The masses who see nothing past the price tag. Of course you can’t blame them if their trust funds aren’t large enough to provide them with life’s very finest—they wouldn’t appreciate it anyways—but surely Apple should know better than to serve the poor peasants la crème de la vie on the discount rack at Sears.

There was a time, not long ago, when you could tell everything that mattered about a person by his or her choice of operating system. You would notice a man at the local bistro with his titanium PowerBook and a deep garnet Merlot, and you instinctively knew: here is a man with a certain flair, a je ne sais quoi that makes his company worth your while. You’d wonder if the dark-clad woman striding down the street was your type; then you’d notice tucked under her arm a Duo 2300c, so retro and so delicously delicate, and you’d be smitten, simply devastated. You’d go for coffee along Bedford and the two of you would talk about the next East Village gallery opening, or the latest collection from Philippe Starck, or how Frank Lloyd Wright had ruined American architecture.

And it wasn’t just about being able to identify like-minded individuals. As a Mac user yourself, you belonged to an exclusive club of discriminating individuals and creative geniuses. Artists like Picasso. Activists like Teresa Heinz. Revolutionaries like Václav Havel. Writers like Dave Eggers. Actresses like Chloë Sevigny. I remember at a cocktail party in SoHo once—it must have been in the mid-’90s—Susan Sontag, Haruki Murakami and I spent hours debating the merits of Mac OS 8’s new “Platinum” theme. Those were fine times, indeed.

But ever since the introduction of the mass-produced iMac and iBook, it’s been getting harder to distinguish the aesthetically conscious literati from the unwashed masses. It started with the yuppies, and now it’s moving on to state-school students and former Dell buyers. On Bedford Avenue, L Café is gone, replaced by a Baby Gap. Soon it will be smelly Linux enthusiasts (ugh!) popping their pimples over translucent keyboards and lickable widgets.

We Mac users were willing to forgive Apple the iPod’s popularity, but this... if this rumor is true, then this is going too far. Mon Dieu! Apple, why do you want to sell to these poor peasants? These people don’t appreciate beauty and elegance. They don’t understand it. They probably even voted for Bush—all four times.

Mr. Jobs, please establish eligibility requirements for the purchase of a new Mac. A good start would be to disqualify anyone who listens to Ashanti or anything they play on K-Rock. You could also disqualify people who think digital watches are cool, as well as all objectivists. In America, don’t even bother selling to the lower Midwest. Don’t accept applications postmarked from trailer parks. Ban the entire Hilton family.

One way or another, something must be done to preserve the Macintosh community. Anguished but unified, we cry out with one voice. Dam the river, close the gates, pull up the portcullis, keep out the tasteless proles. Please, Mr. Jobs, don’t wait until it’s too late.

And for those who are comically's a joke (or is it?).

Tuesday Dec 28, 2004

pstack and gcore type tools for OS X?

I'm looking for pstack and gcore equivalent tools on OS X...does anyone know where I can find these?

I'm reading up on Shark [Optimizing Your Application with Shark 4] and while it seems pretty cool, I need something more like pstack.

Tuesday Dec 14, 2004

New Nerdy License Plate

I finally got one o' them fancy personalized license plates! Photo taken in Niles Canyon area (Niles/Fremont, CA).

Sunday Nov 07, 2004

Practical File System Design

Dominic Giampaolo wrote an excellent book called "Practical File System Design with the Be File System" [PDF available for free!]. This book is actually pretty easy to read and not only talks about BeFS but also about UFS and Linux ext\* filesystems.

Dominic used to work at Be and nowadays he is working on Spotlight at Apple. More about Spotlight here.

Monday Nov 01, 2004

Maneesh Sethi and his uber-iPod case

Through a comedy of errors I somehow landed at the website of Maneesh Sethi, author of books such as\*, "Game Programming for Teens", "Web Design for Teens", and the soon to be cult classic, "How to succeed as a lazy student"

This kid is in high school and has already cranked out 3 books (2.5?), and will soon achieve international fame and recognition for his new invention, the iPod superCase, a DIY project.

\*When reading "author of books such as..", please recite in the voice of Troy McLure of Simpsons fame.

Tuesday Jul 13, 2004

Apple FY 04 3rd Quarter results conference call

For those who are watching Apple right now...
Apple FY 04 third quarter results conference call

Apple today also announced that it will provide live audio streaming of its FY 04 Third Quarter Results Conference Call utilizing the company's popular QuickTime 6 software. The live audio webcast will be accessible through Apple’s web site. Viewers simply need to download a copy of QuickTime 6 in advance from to listen to the conference call.

The conference call is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, 2004, 2:00 p.m. PDT/5:00 p.m. EDT. The call will also be available as a continuous rebroadcast beginning Wednesday July 14 at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT through Wednesday, July 21 at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT. The dial in number for the rebroadcast is (719) 457-0820.




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