(Almost) End of the Year Updates

Oh boy where to start?!

For some reason, to me, this year seemed to have passed real quick. I know its still November, but before I know it, it will probably be December 31. This year was probably the bumpiest one yet for me.

Firstly, there were (and still are) all these revolutions going on in the region. As far as the subject goes I will stop there, I like to keep a politically free atmosphere. After that I spent a lot of time writing papers on cloud computing, went to a university sponsored conference that took place in the UAE and then co-authored with one of my instructors another paper that is going to be published. With that semester over, I decided to (finally) take summer courses in university to speed up my graduation. To me each summer term felt more like a month each, plus Ramadan helped time move real quick (eat, sleep, uni, eat, sleep… :-P). This has also been the first year I do not visit my family in Brazil, but I plan on going as soon as I graduate mostly for relaxing, or you never know, a job. Now I am on my final semester, a part of me really wants to graduate, another doesn't want to due to the responsibilites that lie ahead. Which comes to the "company" I am attempting to set up with a friend of mine. It has been really bumpy, I am still not certain what will happen, so I probably would start looking for a job once I'm done.

In the gaming side of life I have decided to stop buying games (yes I know Skyrim is out…) to focus on my more serious interests. I went through a more throrough crash course in Java programming, covering areas that we didn't take in university such as GUI building, communicating with web APIs etc… I ended up with two, decent in my opinion, applications: one gets movie names and timings from Bahrain Cinema Company, the other allows you to send cheap SMS from a VoIP provider named Call With Us (I highly recommend them). I am now (slowly) learning Android and have successfully ported my SMS sending application to Android. I have some more ideas for Android apps, but I still need to polish my skills a bit more. I am thinking of getting a developer account in the Market, even though Bahrain can't sell apps.

On the servers side of life, I went on an addictive buying spree of VPS (Virtual Private Servers). About 90% of them are low end VPS with on average 128MB of RAM that I would spend sometimes hours tweaking to use a fraction of that to run a dynamic website or a DNS server or an OpenVPN server or… or… Most of the low end deals I got from a cool site called Low End Box. I found good use of some of the low end VPSes: I built a low cost CDN (Content Delivery Network) which worked out quite well and I am using for my final year project in university. I have also moved this blog from BurstNET (very good budget VPS provider, take the reviews online with a pinch of salt) to a Linode VPS since I always wanted to try a more premium VPS. Cloudflare stands in front of this blog so the change might not have been obvious.

Regarding Internet in Bahrain, I have gone through some services which I plan on writing a few reviews on. Briefly, Menatelecom's myKey service is very good if you have coverage, Viva's 42Mbps obviously does not reach 42Mbps but is still the fastest I have seen and Menatelecom's myFi service is the only thing you can use from them that is portable AND works on Linux. That is the order in which I have gone ISP wise, the only Internet I will keep is a downgraded menaHome and their myFi service (the Viva review may reveal why).

This is all for now, I hope you all have a nice day :-)!

3 thoughts on “(Almost) End of the Year Updates”

  1. Great to hear a fellow CS NYiTer doing so well.. Which prof co-authored the paper with you, Dr. Mehic? Where can I read this paper?

    I tried what you’re doing with Java as I was graduating too, but wasn’t too satisfied with the language.. I tried Cocoa and Objective-C for OS X and iOS, but that was a HORRIBLE language! Tried a few different ones but didn’t find a desktop language I was happy with.. PHP is my fave web language and his been so since high school. I finally found what I’m happy with for desktops: C# and the .NET framework.

    Last week I started my first mobile app for Windows Phone 7, a mobile OS I see a lot of potential with. I never thought I’d be so happy with Windows OS’s but Win 7 and WP7 are really blowing my mind. No IDE can even come close to Visual Studio.

    Hmm.. I’d like to read more about your ISP reviews. Subscribing to your RSS now on my Google Reader..

    We really should hang out soon… And not just so you can assist in installing OpenVPN on my seedbox.

  2. Hey Ali, long time no see!

    I co-authored the paper with Dr Mehic, it is title “Education in Clouds”. It will be published part of the WorldComp 2011 conference proceedings. Its probably published in one of those journal databases since I’ve seen it being cited by someone in another paper.

    I’m very surprised you jumped into Windows development :-P! I was working on some PHP+MySQL programming a while ago and really enjoyed it. My friend was taking it in uni and I decided to help him out, we made a blog (with comments), gallery and some other stuff. I doubt we made a good job security wise, although we did use a PHP library for MySQL called MeekroDB to (hopefully) minimize SQL injection.

    Let me know whenever you feel like hanging out :-)!

  3. I looked everywhere for a programming job in Bahrain, but I couldn’t find anyone that would hire a fresh grad. So I took my dad’s advice and applied in Saudi. I was desperate and was willing to do any kind of programming job. I would have never considered learning anything on the .NET framework, but the best job offer I got was on VB.NET and ASP.NET. It made me appreciate the .NET framework, but not VB.NET specifically. Now I’m in the process of learning C# and I’m loving it. I miss working on a C-based language!

    I’d like to say soon, but given where I, unfortunately, live, it’s kind of hard to go out these days because of all the events on the island. This week seems to be much worse than most previous times. So I’ll give you a call whenever I can.

Leave a Reply