I would like to take this moment and wish everyone in Bahrain a happy new year !
I would like to wish all of those in Bahrain and the rest of the world a happy Eid. For those with Fridays and Saturdays off, enjoy the extended weekend and stay safe !
That time of year has come upon us once again, Ramadan! There are many reasons it's my favorite month (apart from the religious and spiritual context). Here are a few:
- Vimto becomes the official drink of the month (Vimto gets the BIGGEST boost in sales during this month alone!).
- Less work, more sleep (never managed not napping in the evening).
- Some people are calmer, more friendly (note the word "some").
- For some reason food is much tastier.
- Related to the above, some food I only enjoy or even eat during Ramadan (like Harees ).
- Roads and some places are much calmer after breaking fast.
- You have an excuse to stay up at night (or until dawn for some people :-/).
- Tents, tents and more tents!
- You may end up being invited to someone's every day for the rest of the month to break fast (this can also be a downside).
- Eid comes right after .
Of course it's not all fun and games, there are a few downsides:
- A lot of food is wasted… Come on, you know you won't eat that whole dish! I at least get full pretty fast during Ramadan.
- If you do eat the whole dish above: some people end up in the hospital's ER soon after breaking fast. Take it easy .
- Some places do not reopen later, so if you need something you better get it in the morning.
- Some people get grumpy during the month. I blame either lack of sleep or their low glucose levels.
- Low sugar levels + driving + getting to or from work in a hurry = accidents (plus grumpy drivers).
- You feel like you haven't done anything productive in the day, especially if you end up sleeping to pass time.
- It's summer, and Bahrain has been witnessing the hottest months in history lately (May 2012 was the hottest in 100 years).
To sum everything up, I wish everyone a Ramadan Kareem
The TRA of Bahrain has published a mid year report about Bahrain's Internet environment (or ecosystem). This report was compiled by Renesys, Internet intelligence experts. If you are into networking or would like to know more how your Internet at home is routed then you'll enjoy reading it.
Download it from the TRA here.
Some interesting points:
- STC (aka Viva) is providing most of the upstream to providers across the country (66% of traffic going through them). This is good because STC in Saudi Arabia transit with MANY connectivity providers (Level 3, Tinet, Tata amongst others).
- Many ISPs are have now single-homed to STC or BIX.
- The bad, Bahrain is the ONLY country in the GCC that does not have a single IPv6 network…
Hopefully the next report will contain some information about newcomer Greenisis.
Viva Bahrain has just launched "free Facebook" aka Facebook Zero to its customers. If you have a phone with data access (data bundles not necessary) and a mobile browser you can access Facebook Zero through one of the following addresses:
You get a basic Facebook interface suitable for mobile phones (much like m.facebook.com) and you will be allowed to access most of Facebook's services (updates, feeds, messages etc…). You will be charged if you decide to open a photo or click on a link that leads to an external page (any link taking you away from Facebook). Also note that due to the nature of SSL, if you add https:// to one of the URLs above you will be charged even though it is a Zero URL.
If you do end up doing something that will get you charged, the data fees are very affordable: BD0.002/100KB (Prepaid) or BD0.003/200KB (Postpaid). Alternatively you can add a data bundle to your account.
It has been quite some time since my last post (3 weeks or so) due to me being busy studying for some IT certifications (starting off with the basics with CompTIA's A+) and of course slacking on the blogging.
One big difference to all of us at the moment, or at least those in Bahrain is that the summer heat is starting to creep upon us. This was more evident when some of our ACs weren't upto speed and it took a few weeks from the time we called for maintenance to the time they came over (hint: service your ACs in winter).
I do have something that I never take advantage of in summer, a swimming pool at home. I believe I last swam in it last summer and only once! It's funny when you have something but you don't take advantage in using it, like a saying in Brazil (roughly translated): "Blacksmith's home, wooden spit" (spit as in the thing you stick through meat to BBQ). I know some people with club memberships that go to the pool every single day or those that visit the water park more than once a week.
Now for some site updates: I have removed the Chromium Portable page, a better project can be found in SourceForge under the Chromium Portable name (not mine). In the next few weeks I may add an Android section with apps I am working on, but this page will come up once I publish one of them. Finally I am thinking of including a sort of FAQ section. I noticed many search queries coming to my blog are in the form of questions, and the post taking visitors probably have the question somewhere within the post. So the sections may be: What is…? How to…? Where is…? and under each a bunch of questions and answers (Ctrl + F will be your friend ).
That's all for now, hopefully I will pull myself out of the daily routine and blog as often as before.
Yesterday was a Saturday, just like any other Saturday. I woke up at the usual 5 AM (shocking huh?), fed the cat, started the coffee machine and turned on my computer. The usual routine. An hour or so later my dad comes in and gives me a present, a few minutes later its my mom giving me a present. The difference of this Saturday from the others? It was my birthday.
Birthdays, everyone has one. Even things have birthdays, except they are called "production date" or "manufactured on". In my younger years I loved birthday parties, except for one thing: singing happy birthday. I remember that no matter whose birthday it was (mine or others), when it came to the cake and singing I would hide under the table in fear. Until this day I still don't know why and never bothered trying to find out. My birthdays then transitioned to the "invite all your friends to McDonald's" style of birthdays. The good thing is that you get to see everyone, but just a bit noisy. The parties then transitioned to those where you only invite your closest of friends and just hang out. Then at some point, I decided to enjoy my birthday as a regular day. I get the usual calls, messages and emails from family and friends. I hang out with friends if it's on the day's schedule. Other than that, my birthday is a regular day like no other.
Birthdays do have their perks. People treat you extra special that day, the food is different, the atmosphere is jolly and of course there is the cake!
Or what's left of it !
Today is my last day in Fortaleza, Brazil. Although I have not done much tourism wise (not exactly a tourist after all), I have enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of this great country. The past month and a half I met family and friends that I haven't seen for a couple of years, experienced rain that I have never ever seen in my life, enjoyed great food and simply relaxed.
Goodbyes are never easy, after all I am not sure when I will be coming back here again. However I do miss sorely my real home Bahrain, and due to many reasons I am glad to be returning. For someone who had high hopes of actually settling in Brazil, that thought has been pushed to the back of my head. Benjamin Disraeli said it best "travel teaches tolerance". A long travel awaits, but I'm ready.
"A tout le monde,
A tout mes amis,
Je vous aime,
Je dois partir"
– Megadeth, A Tout Le Monde
According to their Offerings page, they appear to have 2 speed tiers (1 Mbps and 2 Mbps download, 345 Kbps and 768 Kbps upload respectively) that offer unlimited downloads (not throttled per service like other unlimited ISPs). There isn't much information on the devices themselves on Greenisis' website, but the images match those manufactured by Kyocera. Here are the links to each respective device on Kyocera's website:
Prices start at BD15 (1 year contract and device upfront payment) for 1Mbps. For 2 Mbps, BD40 (1 year contract plus device upfront payment). As far as the technology goes, it seems like it can reach up to 80 Mbps (according to the IEEE specs), although the devices seem to not go over 2Mbps.
Here is the app idea I had, a Bahrain themed app! I was planning to have it done and in the market before Bahrain's F1 weekend. But progress has been at a standstill: technically I am on holiday , I am more than lazy at the moment and some parts of the app probably needs me to be there (such as photos). Even though the design may leave little to be desired, I feel like a kid having accomplished something big (albeit small) ! Anyways, here are some screenshots:
- April 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
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- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
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- November 2010
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