Surprisingly, Sharaf DG with so many electronics stores across Dubai, and other cities in the UAE, one alarming fact was discovered today. They do not disclose prices for more than two items over the phone, and that to know more prices I need to come to the store. One fact that the policy maker did not realize is that I could call from multiple numbers, mutiple friends,have my price queries answered and make them realize about the creativity of the policy.

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We just installed the Service Pack 3 for the entire organizatin couple of days back. I was however reluctant in performing the update on my machine. Just today, I took the plunge myself and installed the Service Pack 3. I did notice some improvements. Firstly, my IE stopped freezing. It had got into a habit of giving up randomly and the only option to start it again was by ending the iexplore process forcefully.

The other change i realized was while connecting to one of our servers remotely. Normally, I would use the Remote Desktop Client with the /console option (“mstsc /console”). Today when i used this, the session which showed up was as if I had freshly logged into the system. It was chaotic, as some processes started again, and some crashed. Doing a little bit of digging, I came to know MSFT had changed the /console switch option and now they referred to it as /admin. It does sound logical, but irrelevant especially if they still call it the console session.

To avoid such issues, you could either avoid the optional update for the new Terminal Service Client 6, or start programming your brains to use the “mstsc /admin” option to log into the Console session.

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It is possible but very difficuult to resist the stuff Apple keeps on releasing every quarter. It excites me to go online, feed in my credit card details and click order. But just before i hit order, I remember my dad’s very own words, “son, if you save money you will benefit from it in future” And so i dint order the new Magic Mouse. All the stuff they keep on releasing puts my Air to shame. The new Macbook White is designed with a unibody styling crossing its looks between an Air and Macbook. The price is impressive, the looks are devilish and the crave always gets stronger.

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I just received another note from EMAAR, (the 4th one), that there will be another delay in the handover of the apartment at the Park Island, due to time taken by other departments to complete the whole process. This has been the fourth extension letter so far making the dates delayed by a year now.

This time they have finally agreed to provide some sort of leverage as interest for the amount of money which has been blocked so far by them since day one of the pre-booking. The final hand over requires me to personally go and visit the office to receive the keys.

My comment would be, we used to think Indian developers were not responsible enough. There always was a negative thought when it was about buying property in India, but so has become the case with international developers like EMAAR of such massive scale. Apart from such, the website still shows completion as 2008.

emaar_park_island_completion_date

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It’s either the fact that people cannot get out of the habit of publically peeing, or it may just be the place where Dubai is heading ahead like other metropolitan cities of the world like London, Mumbai, New York, etc to name a few.

Literally two men, in their early 30’s facing the side wall of a gas station, next to Hakaya Cafe in Bur Dubai, were peeing as if they have done it a million times already. The small alley links to a residential area and is quite busy even after a few hours into the night. I was going back home after i parked my car and was horrid to see them. I don’t blame them completely, as Dubai does not even have any public toilets for miles across any road.

Update : Looks like I am not the only one who realized this. Have a read at one of these articles from GN.

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Yesterday, Crackberry users across UAE must have really got cracked. Didn’t hear any news of anyone committing suicide as yet, but for some, they could not plan their entire day. Well the same disruption in services continued throught out Oct 4 and continues even today.

According to GulfNews on one of the articles posted there, the problem occurred in one of their international carriers. Imagine this, One International Carrier and the whole country gets succumbed. This could become a new step towards terrorism.

The problem is in the infancy of the service out here. In US, Europe the service has existed for donkey years and has made it through some perfections. The service even if it has a problem goes very unnoticed due to a larger base and smaller downtimes, and a much more reliable infrastruture.

For the UAE, I am sure it is the whole opposite. Whenever Etisalat screws up the Blackberry service, instead of hearing about Saddam Hussain’ family, an article  about Etisalat’s Blackberry Service gets printed in the headlines. The service disruption is now in its second day cycle. I just hope the many users who use it are not planning a holiday to Umm al-Quwain.

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Over the years there have been various efforts from developers, dedicated programmers to try and strip down an operating system from its crappy, resource hungry programs to create a sleak, simple, less hungry system. A lot of attempts have been successful and much of it can be seen in the Linux and Windows attempts.

My most favorite so far and yet is the 98Lite software existing since 8 years about now. Over the years the program evolved and is now compatible with Windows 2000 and the latest XP with SP3. 98Lite for Windows 98 was a overwhelmer since it let one reduce the size of the installation to almost 50MB. My experience was till 75MB. In the early days this was important as hard drives were limited to 4GB, 8GB or 16GB and 200MB reduction would mean a lot.

Over the years tradition has continued and smaller systems for XP, Vista and even 7 have sprung up. For XP the best being available is by a group call eXperience with a small 80MB foot print and for 7 around 700MB by the same group.

These are definitely not suitable for production environments where system stability, security be a concern. But for a normal and even a veteran home user it suits the exact purpose. I use MicroXP by eXperience on my BootCamp partition both from VMWare Fusion and native boot. The performance is a killer with certain limits. No additional user can be created, no BT support, etc. For loading application like Office, Opera, firefox, and many others it is a flawless, more desirable, less hungry OS.

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I am not an avid online social commuter, but just becauase my sister created my facebook account i try to make my friends happy that i am a social freak. Although i fail miserably according to some, but i really like the concept of posting a quickie on my friends wall.

This may be sometimes discomforting for my friend who reading it, as i never control myself to what i write. then one of my other friends just told me there are some privacy settings within the option which let you decide which information should go public and which not in an event a similar post lands up on my wall.

I go to Privacy Settings and my god. I can literally control everything I need. My wall, my posts, my photos, my profile information, my profiles updates, comments and updates, etc. On testing it out, I realized I could also restrict my photos to be only seen by a selected few friends. This intuitive design lets you control every aspect of your account and lets you decide what information you may wish to make available to the public domain.

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I found a pair of keys while walking home. like a decent resident, I visited the RTA website to report a lost item, which required me to login. I entered my details to register myself and voila, blank screen.

The screen did not indicate any error, and there was absolutely no clue of what went wrong in the registration process. Even on logging on i realized, a blank screen is returned with no hint of a bad username or a wrong password.

On further analysis and taking print screens, it shows the following image for a split second which gets redirected to a blank page to the below URL link.

https://www.rta.ae/wpsv5/wps/portal?TamErrorMessage=HPDIA0200W%20%20%20Authentication%20failed.%20You%20have%20used%20an%20invalid%20user%20name,%20password%20or%20client%20certificate.&SwitchToLatestLocale=true

rta_website_login_error

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It really is a cost-saver. I have never been so amazed at what thye have done. Anyone using gmail.com as their day-to-day email service, would be thrilled to trasnfer their email hosting to Google’s servers. Best of all, even if the migration cannot be done immediately due to downtime issues, google gives a unique email address for testing email services for that domain alone.

This enables anyone to test the service much before in hand compared to ther hosts where you realise the service responsiveness after migration. My experience so far has been above good. I have  migrated my email service from bluehost to Google’s. Since Bluehost does not allow direct modification of CNAME records, i had to raise a support ticket and within 4 hours i was up-and running.

My plan is to create emails for all of my family members, have some sort of collaboration features enabled for calendaring and documents and even start selling the email service to my cousins and other fellow-sindhis.

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