Thursday, June 23, 2005

That was quick!

I ordered VS 2005 Beta 2 on Microsoft's Beta Experience website a few days ago. While it could've taken upto 4 weeks, it is already here on my desk. Wow, that was quick. And, it was also FREE. I'll give it a swing very soon, but first I must shift to Windows XP Professional so that I can install Avalon Indigo on my desktop.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

when I want sunshine, I've got rain

It just rained in Karachi. Well, at least it did in my residence locality. A total of one thousand, five hundred and thirty two rain drops. Yea, I did count them. That only caused the earth to radiate heat, and it got hotter than it was. For us folks in Karachi, rainfall is a blessing as a realease from the scorching summer heat. It is also a sure sign of a long power breakdown, which is made worse by the rise in humidity. Fortunately, I dont have a breakdown, but one block down from my place, the neighborhood is dark.
Since we dont have a drainage system, we also have trouble with rain in terms of accumulated water. Maybe its not that we dont have a drainage system, maybe we are living in the drainage system, the sewer so to speak. So, while I battle with my noisy phone line to try and send out emails, you have fun at your own expense.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

SQL Server on Linux

A delegate at PDC 2005 at the community lounge asked me that he wanted to run SQL Server on Linux in his organization. I asked him what gave him that idea, and he said that since Mono runs the .NET environment on Linux and you can run .NET assemblies compiled on Windows on top of Mono running on Linux, it should be doable. I said, no. While mono is running the ECMA CLR and other reverse-engineered .NET tools and technologies on Linux, SQL Server is not a managed piece of code. Parts of SQL Server may be managed code, but it runs on Win32, not on the CLR. That is why you can not run it on Mono. If you had some sort of a bridge between Win32 and the Linux APIs, you might be able to run Windows programs on Linux. Wine is a tool that you do this with, but I gather that it is a pain to run a Windows program using Wine on Linux. It is not a general tool in which you just copy a file and it runs, you have to configure it on a case to case basis.
I believe that it is not very useful to think about platform independence. It may be possible in theory, it may be possible in some situations with Java or with .NET, but with both, it has its limitations, for example, with Java Beans for example, things are very application server dependent, not even platform dependent.
It is much better to think interopearbility, and that is the leading theme on all sensible fronts. Let everyone coexist on whatever it is that they do best in a standards compliant way and be able to interoperate with them.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Well, I had considerable difficulty getting a demo up and running with Indigo because I wasnt reading the documentation carefully. You think that you dont have time to do that and you end up wasting more time in the end. Also, ther isnt a lot of troubleshooting help on the Internet in general on Indigo. The best place to look at is the newsgroups. I'll subscribe to those shortly.
I think that Indigo has a lot of promise. I am impressed by the simplified programming model and the support for security which is very easy to incorporate. There are some great MSDN TV episodes on this, so check out the ones especially by Doug Purdy and Steve Schwartz. I encourage you to try it out. Here is how.
Make sure that you do not have .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio 2005 installed. There are removal instructions for that on this website.
Download and install Avalon and Indigo Beta 1 RC. You will download winfxsetup.exe which is about 2 MB. It will then download and install .NET Framework 2.0 Beta 2 which is about 21 MB, followed by 13 MB worth of Avalon and Indigo Beta 1 RC. Having done that, install Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2. To order that free, go to the beta experience website. After that, download and install WinFX SDK.
Having done that, you can now play with Indigo. I'll blog later about stuff to do to start learning, as I do it myself. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Last day of PDC 2005

Last day of the conference, I arrive early at the hotel, fire up my laptop, look at my demo, touch up my presentation. I went with Adnan to Ballroom B. I was actually presenting in one of the two biggest halls in the event. And Clemens was persenting next doors. That's like, out of this world, that is impossible, that is insane. Me and Clemens at the same time, next door to each other, and I had a fair number of people in my room. I tried to do my best job, and give value to their
presence. I gave them the presentation, the demo, and then Q&A. Adnan kept supporting both me and Hammad, who was presenting in another hall by hopping back and forth and took photos of us with my camera. I mentioned Beta 2 of Whidbey that you need to run Indigo samples, and Adnan told the audience that he had some DVDs from his user group if they wanted some, they could go to the community lounge for it. After my presentation, I left my laptop there thinking that Adnan was presenting in that same room and might need it, and went to Emerald for some coffee. Emad came to me and told me there were people asking for some DVDs at the community lounge and the volunteers at the booth had absolutely no idea what these people were talking about. I told him what it was and he suggested that we could get everyone's name and email address on a sheet of paper. I agreed that that would be a good idea, and he executed it. A volunteer came to ask me if I had left it there, and I said, yes. He asked me if I wanted to collect it, and I said, yes. I went there and saw that Goksin was presenting, so I sneakily went up to the stage, took my laptop and ran over to where
Adnan was presenting his session on Speech Server 2004. I took photos of him, went downstairs where Hammad was presenting and took photos of him, went back upstairs. Adnan and me joked freely, which eases the atmosphere a little bit so that the audience feels a little more at home. Adnan gave his demo and impressed the audience, but in the end, there was some unfortunate trouble, and I think he handled it quite well. Feeling relaxed, we went back to the community lounge. People kept asking about the DVDs and we told them that we'd have to get some more as everyone seemed to want one, and we would email them about it once we have them. We shot videos of conversation with the speakers,
Geo TV interviewed me, Sindh TV interviewed Hammad and Adnan. We also had photos with the volunteers. Fortunately, the shooter by mistake set the camera to video capture and he got a very good footage of us with the volunteers in a very relaxed mood set for the group photo. I'll cherish the memories in that video.
I later talked to Kemmou about it and he said that some people had complained to him that Microsoft's website was asking for $20 for shipping of the beta and he said that that should not be the case and it should be completely free. He said that he would check it out and get back to me about it. At the closing ceremony, they played the Microsoft promo videos, and we had a very happy audience, as someone in the audience always started to clap when anyone entered the hall as if the Chief Guest had arrived. But trust the Pakistani elite not to arrive on time, even though everything else that breaths is stopped when they move. Acting President, Muhammad Mian Soomro did a very nice and short speech and then there was souvenir distribution and a lucky draw. In the end, I collected my laptop and we went back to the community lounge. The volunteers departed to the ballroom where they partied for a while, and we packed our stuff. As I went to look for Vaqas to request him to give us the banner and scroll that he had printed for INETA Pakistan, the students were partying to music in the ball room and Vaqar pushed me in the middle of it, but I just ran
out. In the end, we got the banner and scroll, met with Vaqar, decided to have dinner with the remaining speakers and take care of some other stuff. Adnan was being flown to Islamabad the next day to take care of some stuff and we had to do something before he could do.
I also discovered to my shock that Clemens had lost his Cell phone. No wonder, the acting President and Provincial IT Minister were there with their official protocol in the room where Clemens had left his bag, what else could you expect.
Later that night, alone, I passed the hotel lobby as I waited for Vaqar and Adnan to meet me there. I looked left and saw the empty hall. Nostalgia! The halls pulled me towards them. I stepped inside the empty hall with the stage still looking the same and I felt sad as if I had lost something irreplacable as I felt that the conference was over. I could still see the audience in the chairs. I'll miss everyone of them.
Faisal Nasim had checked earlier and there were no seats on the flights. We decided that me and Adnan would go out at 9 pm and find him a way to go to Islamabad. PIA's main booking office near Press Club was closed, we went to Submarine Roundabout and talked to the PIA office there, no seats for Islamabad till June 20, and no seats for Lahore till June 19. We went to the travel agent next door, found that he had some reservation for a flight on June 16. We were short of money, so we convinced him to block the seat for us and drove back to Hotel Pearl Continental Thai Restaurant to have dinner with the others. I briefed Vaqar about it. He said that we'll get cash from his place, get the
ticket, go back to Microsoft Pakistan's office, do some documentation and then he'll drop us at the hotel so that we can get our cars and drive back home. So, we did it and arrived back at the hotel at 3 am. Adnan asked me 136 times this night not to turn off my mobile phone and I always failed to convince him that I would not.
Now, if you've been reading my blogs, you'd know that I havent slept more than 3 hours for the last two nights and three days. We were in no shape to drive, but we had to. Adnan had to get to the airport at 6 am and so did I because I needed to hand him my photographs which were necessary for his trip. I drove very very fast. Near Lal Qila I was very very sleepy, but I kept driving and kept trying to keep myself awake. Near Drigh Road, it became impossible, and I was half asleep, at Star Gate, I was not awake anymore, but I continued to drive just as fast. I got back home, looked for my photos, took them out, set an alarm for 5:30 am, and slept. I woke up reluctantly, changed, answered Adnan's call, and drove to the airport. The ASF guy at the parking entrance wasted my time narrating some incident when I told him what my profession was. As I parked my car, and got out, Adnan called and told me he was there. I ran up to him and gave him my photos. Wished him luck and went back home.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

I present at second day of PDC 2005

Waking up early, I pressed my PDC 2005 T-shirt, took a shower, had very light breakfast, and sped off to the venue, as I was speaking during the first session at the conference. I had my WiFi adapter with me because I had spotted a WiFi access point at Grapevine. I started and finsihed my presentation using some online resources. My camcorder had the wrong cassette in it, and instead of a researcher at Microsoft talking about WSE, I found on the screen, my nephew in diapers crawling
and playing. Shoots! Anyway, I remembered how the webcast had been structured, so I prepared my presentation until Adnan and Hammad arrived. I studied a little bit for the presentation and then
the volunteer arrived to take me to the hall. I talked about Web Services Security using WSE 2.0, showed the demo and then had some questions and answers.
There was trouble with the projectors and the laptop wasnt running on AC power even though it was plugged in. I guess the plug had not made contact with the power outlet. I kept my cool and while the tech staff worked on the projectors, I kept joking with the audience, and kept going describing what WSE 2.0 was etc. I guess anyone with less public experience would've been toast. He/she would've whinned about the arrangements and shut up while they worked, which would've been the
worst mistake you could make. Just a tip. I'm sure my rating would've suffered due to the projectors, but if I had made that mistake, it would've been worse.
When I returned to Emerald, wanting to ask Clemens about Indigo and the fact that I was having trouble setting up a demo on it for the next day's presentation, I found that he was having trouble because his demos which were built for Indigo March 2005 CTP were not working on Indigo Beta 1 RC.
He said that he was downloading the CTP which was around 350 MB up in his room. I told him that I had it on CD, and he was very happy. The thing about Clemens is that you can not see if he is happy. He always is very straight faced and looks very serious, so he doesnt look very
approachable. I ran to the community lounge, not believing my luck that I was about to actually "help" Clemens, I searched through all my CDs, found the one that had it, ran with it to the Emerald room and gave it to Clemens and then returned to the lounge. Later on, he came to announced to me that there was something wrong with the CD. I told him not to worry as I also had the ISO image on a different CD and that should work. I looked for it, found it and took it to him in Emerald and he gave me a USB hard disk drive and I copied it onto it successfully. While he installed it to his laptop, I went back to the community lounge with great pride that I had managed to do someone of that stature a "favor." At least he would go back with a positive state of mind and just maybe, we would be able to make one-to-one contact over email. Let's see. I'm sure he's a busy man, but I am very excited about the Indigo product group and he works very closely with them,
and he has excellent concepts about service orientation, software architecture, scalability, transactions, in short, distributed and interconnected systems. I asked him about my problem that I was unable to download and install Indigo Beta 1 RC on Windows 2003 Server and he said that Indigo was only installed that way and there is no way to download it completely before installing. The best guess that he could make for me was that I needed to update windows. Now, I have seen him many times, and people ask him questions. Clemens never makes guesses. If he did that for me, I think that was because he felt towards me as more than what he felt towards the audience. I am touched. Thank you Clemens.
A man waiting in the queue in the lobby greeted me, congratulated me and said that he was very proud and happy for me. I was touched and thanked him and said that it was his greatness that he appreciated our efforts. Several other people did the same during the event. I am grateful to Allah for this appreciation.
Me and Hammad went to Saddar on rickshaw since my car wasnt parked at the hotel, but at the conference parking in the DJ Science College groud. We picked up his INETA Pakistan logo shirts from the tailor, had the tailor press the black one. Hammad put it on there. We went to collect the remaining chess boards from Saddar. The engraving was not as good as last time. We paid the balance and went back to the hotel.
I got back to updating Windows. Voila, there is an update for BITS and Windows Installer. I put it to update. All day passes and several restarts later, Windows 2003 Server is downloading the last piece of update which is huge 350 MB SP1, and Indigo Beta 1 RC is now installed. I recalled that I had given my Whidbey Beta 2 DVD to a student of Hammad's this morningm and I need to install Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 on my laptop. Adnan had earlier gone home and stayed home because he was not feeling well. I tried to call Adnan to see if he could bring me one of his Beta 2 DVDs, but he didnt answer. Hammad caught up with his student soon and I had my DVD back. I started the installation process on stage at the question and answer session. Hammad convinced me to shut the lid of the laptop and I put it down under my seat. After the Q&A session, I installed WinFX SDK on my laptop, and re-ran the demos, but I was still having the same problem.
Since my car was parked away from the hotel and the gift wrapping paper was inside it, Hammad suggested we have ourselves ripped off by buying some wrapping paper from the book shop at the hotel. We didnt have change and the shopkeeper wouldnt accept the Rs. 1000 bill. A volunteer was nice enough to lend us the money. You know who you are, and I thank you very much for it. You probably know how I felt this morning when I helped Clemens. That's how the world works. No man is an island. We help each other.
We went to dinner with the other speakers to BarBQ Tonight. The food was pathetic as always. Cold. Me and Hammad continuously worked on our demos and presentations. Everyone teased us to shut the laptops down, but we told them that we had sessions coming up tomorrow morning and we'd be toast if we didnt finish now. Jawwad seemed to look at us with appreciation as he saw us working hard and never tiringly for his event. I had no luck with Indigo. Arvindra suggested to me several times, ask Clemens, he will help you. But I did not dare to go up to him during dinner. He is very business like. I felt sure that he would not answer any technical question over dinner. Arvindra asked me how long I had been working with Indigo. I said, one week. He said, "One week? And you're presenting a session on it? That's brave!" I took that as a compliment, and prayed that it goes well.
The trouble I was having was that when I ran a service, and approached it in a web browser, the WSDL showed up, but when I fired up the svcutil tool to it, it timed out. I gave up when dinner arrived, turned off my laptop and put it under the table, had dinner and hated it. Then we gave gifts to the speakers whom we had not given gifts to last night. We also gave one to Jawwad.
On our way back, I dropped Hammad near Lal Qila as he caught a cab back to his place and I drove like a maniac back to mine. I started Steve Schwartz's MSDN TV show to prepare the first part of my presentation, then Doug Purdy's MSDN TV show to prepare the second part. I then took queue from Doug's demo to prepare my own and finally went to sleep at 2:30 am, once again, setting the alarm to 5 am.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Welcome to PDC 2005

I dont think I slept more than 3 hours. Fortunately, my folks had pressed my clothes for me, for all three days. I put on my white INETA shirt, black trousers and a light jacket for the opening ceremony, where we would be presented something for the MVP award. I arrived at 7:25 am at the conference venue. The roads were almost without traffic and I was able to drive very fast, several times exceeding 100 km/h. I passed Adnan near PNS Karsaz and waved to them. Hammad and Sohaib (SSUET.NET User Group Leader) were with him in his car. The booths in the community lounge were all set up. We sat in the lobby for a while and then in the community lounge working on our demos, and then went to the ballroom for the opening ceremony and took the seats that were reserved for us.

Adnan had some promo videos copied on my laptop which were played before the opening ceremony. Rahat Kazmi was the MoC (Master of Ceremony), and did a very good job, as always, being witty and knowledgable. Me, Adnan and Hammad were given two shields each for being a speaker at the conference and being an MVP. Steve, Alex and others had gone out, perhaps to rest when there names for called for the shields. Later Steve came in and Rahat announced his award, Steve made some witty remarks about it all which cheered everyone up. Steve is a very nice fellow and always entertains and captivates his audience's attention. After the ceremony we went back to the community lounge while the other speakers went to the Emerald room to have tea/coffee. We had some people coming in and inquiring about the MVP program, INETA, Imagine Cup and Junior Developer Curriculum. It was nice.
At 2 pm, me and Adnan were speaking alongwith Lara Martini about Microsoft's community efforts. It was very encouraging to draw quite an audience considering that people like Stephen Forte were doing parallel sessions on technical topics. I talked about INETA, INETA Pakistan and its activities, and Adnan talked about what it is like to be an MVP. Towards the end, we had a very interactive session and then we did some questions and answers. After the session, we retired to the community lounge. We had requested if lunch could be brought to us to the community lounge, and the volunteer coordinator had agreed, but it never arrived. In the end, when we went to Emerald room, there was no lunch. We decided to go to KFC nearby, but Vaqar did not agree, and he ordered something for us at Grapevine in the lobby. It took ages for them to bring us our coffee, club sandwich and chicken basket. But the food was absolutely delicious.
We had a very relaxed environment at the community lounge and we joked and chatted a lot, and it seemed that the volunteers also liked that and appeared to like the opportunity to see us very approachable and free to communicate with at a personal level. Good for them!
At the question and answer session, there were some good questions and absolutely delightful answers from Steve and Arvindra. After that, we returned to the community lounge and worked on our demos until dinner time. We went to the Pakistani restaurant at Sheraton. The food was absolutely marvelous. Adnan talked to Nasser Ghazi. We took the gifts for the speakers and after dinner, we announced that we had some gifts for some of the speakers because we could not carry more, the rest of them would get them the next day. We gave gifts to Steve, Arvindra, Malek, Lara, Rafal. Everyone except Arvindra opened their gifts. Alex opened his first and they were all excited to see the gifts. Rafal couldnt get his out, but he was happy to know what was inside. Lara opened her box with an ease that surprised me. I had packed those gifts with my father and we had spent a lot of time on it. Lara's gift was packed a little more trickily owing to its spherical shape. But she opened it very well and got it out quickly. She liked it. We were very tired and went back to our places.
I once again worked till late to work on completing my demo. My presentation wasnt ready either. My demo was doing some string echo at that time, and that was not what I wanted to show the audience.
I quickly threw in some database access code in there and had some difficulties in the beginnig, but got it fixed. I decided to pack my camcorder to view the WSE webcast from MSDN which I had recorded on it earlier at the hotel to prepare my presentation, which I had still not worked on.
Adnan had given me the template for the presentation. I slept at around 2:30 am and set the alarm for 5 am.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Welcome to Karachi, Steve

Today, we go to see Stephen Forte at 5 pm, I called him at 10 am to let him know that we will meet him at 5 pm instead of 10 am because we were going to set up the PDC 2005 community lounge at 5 pm and it would be better for us if we made only one trip. He agreed. So, in the evening, I put the gifts for six speakers in my car and drove to Hotel Pearl Continental. Once there, I called Adnan to discover that they would be late. I sat down in the lobby, opened up my laptop and started working on my demo for Indigo, which I was supposed to give on the third day. I immediately spotted Alexander Diacre and Stephen Forte, both of whom I had met at Istanbul earlier this year. I said hi to them and discovered that they had gone out for some shopping already, bought a rug and had a swim at the pool. They confessed that they liked the pool at this hotel. Steve showed me a paper on which he had written "Chowkandi Tombs." He wanted to visit it. He had done some research on the

Internet and already knew the driving time etc. I advised that they take the radio cab. They talked to the hotel reception, set everything up. Steve was not happy that Microsoft Pakistan wanted him to stay inside the hotel because of security. Steve was of the opinion that he had survived in the middle of the civil war in Khatmandu, so he was sure he could survive anything. As Vaqar Khamisani arrived and discovered his plans, he immediately disagreed strictly and asked them to stay in. The two speakers said OK, and decided they would want to go swim or work out. I dont know if they actually did end up going out. Check out their blogs to see, if you are interested.
Adnan and Hammad arrived and I took them to see Steve and Alex. Steve wanted to talk to us about outsourcing and other opprotunities for the Pakistani IT scene. We decided we would talk over dinner and Steve requested us to convince Vaqar to eat outside, which made sense.
Vaqar took Jawwad's consent and the dinner was set up for the Chinese restaurant at Hotel Pearl Continental. We were to meet at 8:45 pm in the lobby for that.
It turned out that the community lounge wouldnt be ours till 1 am, so we were disappointed that Vaqas of BBCL had us drive out all the way for nothing. We dropped off the collateral for the INETA booth which was some flyers and old magazines. We also had a couple of banners, which we did not end up using, after all. We also discovered that there was no projector and no computers in the community lounge unlike what was decided earlier on. That was very disappointing. Anyway, we killed time working on our demos and stuff in the lobby and then went out to dinner. The food was great.

Hammad had a dinner planned at home, so he returned and me and Adnan had a very good conversation with Steve. Then we went back home. Late arrival home and after working on my demo for some more time, I went to sleep late at night and set the alarm clock for 5 am.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Happy birthday to me

This is definitely the birthday on which I received the highest number of birthday greetings ever. Being on orkut must be the cause. I went to the University, restarted the download of SQL Server 2005 latest beta, and went over to Hammad Rajjoub's place to pick him up. Adnan also got there right after me. There was this car that was ahead of him stopped in the middle of an intersection on a round about, in the fast lane, dropping a passenger off. Something you would see at few places in the world. Keep it up, Karachiites. We watited for Hammad, picked him up. Turned out he hadnt had much of a breakfast, so we went back to the University and had a cup of tea and some cookies, while we got him upto speed on all the back breaking work me and Adnan had been doing for the past two weeks.
We left SQL Server download running and went to Hotel Pearl Continental where the PDC 2005 conference delegates were being given their delegate kits ahead of the conference day. We briefed the volunteers who would be (wo)manning the INETA, MVP and Imagine Cup booths. Explaining about INETA and the MVP program was the toughest, perhaps because community work and volunteering doesnt really make much sense in our city. There are such people, but its just not part of our culture. I received birthday greetings from the PDC 2005 volunteers there, Short Messages on the cell from so many people.
We then went to pick up the gifts for the foreign speakers from Saddar, which were marbel chess boards, with INETA Pakistan engraved on them. We also picked the INETA Pakistan logo shirts for Adnan and Hammad gave the measurements for two of his own. Some people also came up to Hammad to ask him to give measurements for them, because the person they wanted the suit stitched for, was the same built as Hammad. That was strange. Hammad did not mind.
Having done that, we took my car from Ahmed Ali, paid him Rs. 15 for keeping our car parked in the no parking zone and went to drop Hammad off at his place, went to have some delicious broast nearby and then back to the University to get the SQL Server beta and then went home to continue work on our presentations and demos for PDC 2005.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

When you want something done right...

Repeated reminder number 19324001230210321: When you want something done right, do it yourself, or dont let it out of your sight.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Drivers and windows 2003

Windows Server 2003 driver location is very bad. If I dont have the driver for my modem, LAN adapter and Wireless LAN adapter, how am I supposed to have the driver installation search Windows Update for drivers.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Newsletter and flyers

The newsletter and flyers have been printed and are with me now. Me and Adnan spent three days at the printing press area getting the job done and standing by during the printing to ensure that no mess up happens. One mess up did happen as one plate was destroyed by the printer and as usual, they wouldnt accept their mistake.
I spent the fourth day in the same area, making payments, getting the flyers cut, and getting the newsletter cut and folded out. In the end, the stuff was packaged into packs of 500 and 250 respectively. Adnan meanwhile was on an extreme sport, he was attempting a very dangerous stunt which is extremely humiliating and life threatening. He was getting his passport at the Awami Markaz Passport Office. Yes, I konw, it is scary and horrible and awful and stuff, and mentioning such scary things on my blog might scar off a few faint hearted readers, but, well, that's what he was doing.
We then decided to meet at Saddar. On my way, one bus driver liked my car so much, that he decided to give me something to remember him with and broke my side mirror. While I got ripped off getting it replaced, Adnan waited and waited for me and started off back to his place. When I called him from Saddar, he was half way back but turned around.
I had a severe headache and took a Ponstan. When Adnan arrived, we had lunch and then selected souvenirs for some of the speakers at PDC 2005 on behalf of INETA Pakistan, and took the newsletters to be dropped at BBCLs office. While my car was parked with a guy called Hazrat Ali (I'm serious, his name was Hazrat Ali), we drove in Adnan's car to BBCL and dropped off 8 packets of newsletter to be placed inside the delegate kits.
We then drove to FB Area to get our 4' x 3' banner which will be placed in front of the booth and ordered the making of a branding scroll, as BBCL had excused themselves from making it for us and Vaqar had asked Adnan that we should get our own scroll made and we would be reimbursed. By the way, Vaqar was there getting his passport with Adnan.
Having done that, I said good bye to Adnan and drove back home tired like hell at 9:15 pm. Tomorrow's another day and I have to go and get some cash from the bank and get the souvenirs.
I am now installing Visual Studio 2005 Beta on Windows XP and will then install Windows Server 2003 and install the Team System Beta 2 on it.

Printing process

When you print something, you usually go from a Corel Draw or Photoshop or similar document to a transparency like film, from which a plate is made. If you would like to print your document in four colors, you'll have four plates. Then, each of these plates is used with the proper ink to expose the paper.
The paper usually comes in large sheets in bulk and you need to get it cut to appropriate size according to the machine you would operate on. For example, the Solna machines operate on 18" x 23" sheets. We bought 100 gm, offset 23" x 36" paper reams and had them cut into halves.
The newsletter is supposed to be a folded four page without staples, so the paper would be printed on both sides, and hence each plate would run twice. We also have flyers which need to be printed on one side only.
Once the printing is done, the paper cutter would once again cut off the edges etc and we would be ready.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Nation - Friend or foe

Get this straight: There is no friendship between nations or countries. There are only allies. Allies are nations that have an agreement on a certain issue. Not necessary that they have the same stance on every problem. Think that Israel and USA are friends? How about France and the USA? Think again! These nations spend millions of dollars, spying on each other. They are merely allies. So, that slogan of "Pak Chene dostee, zindabad" is BS(bu11 $hit).

The price and reward of volunteering

Most people dont know what the rewards of volunteering are. They are missing out on a lot. Take my recent trip to Turkey, Fasih Masood's Millenium Medal, and his invitation as speaker to IEEE Sections' Congress 2005 in the USA. That's just the tip of the iceberg.
Talk about the price: I am sure we could have had half a bucket full from the sweat I lost yesterday at the printing neighborhood, trying to work out the INETA Pakistan newsletter. Adnan was with me, we worked out the cost of paper, the cost of printing, and arranged a direct process media to plate, without going from Corel Draw to Film to Plate. This was much more efficient, safe and economical.
We went there again today, did back and forth trips to the University, and run arounds, hit by power outages, and in the end, the printer was unable to adjust his machine to properly match the offset papre we had. But he consistently says, "Dont you worry, we'll get it done well."
Adnan is going there again, Monday morning and will call me over when needed. Let's hope for the best. We are all charged up about the newsletter and are convinced, that it MUST look good, otherwise, the people responsible will be subjected to the worst techniques of Chinese torture.

CodeRun success

INETA Pakistan speed programming event Code Run 2005 at NED University was a smashing success. It was planned, organized and executed with absolutely delicately and with marvelous grace by the volunteers. The only parts I played in it were seeking my Chairman's approval, getting printouts and photcopies of problem set, reading out the results, get a photograph with the team, eat pizza and drink a can of Pepsi.