Tuesday, February 28, 2006


I hope everyone at PAF KIET including their staff, faculty members, current and ex students read this so that I dont get bombarded for any future "racist" remarks. Here's a letter from an ex faculty member at NED. I personally knew her through email contact and must say that it is another great loss to the student community at NED. Read her letter to the editor of dawn.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sunshine and rain

So, it turned out that it rained yesterday for a bit after the windstorm. The weather became pleasant, but only for yesterday and now we're back to the hot weather. I took out one of my kurtas declaring the start of summer as far as I am concerned.

Road sense

Enter the Pakistani pedestrian! I was driving down a street and there was a guy and his goat walking on the left handside of the road. Walking on the road, not off the road. Should've been walking on the right handside, but, hey, it's Pakistan, we do exact opposites just for fun. As I approached in my car, the goat moved off the road, without even turning around to see. The goat driver, however, continued to go his merry way. He wants others to watch out for him, when he doesnt watch out for himself. If you dont care about yourself, why do you expect others to care for you?
This goes to demonstrate that an animal has better road sense than an average Pakistani.
Today, though, I finally spotted an animal that had an exact replica of a Pakistani pedestrian's road sense. A donkey! An abandoned donkey, to be precise. Walking right in the middle of a road with complete abandon. How ironic! A donkey who is old, worn out, good for nothing, not even worth feeding. We have a match! I guess even the donkey would've forgotten his instinctive road sense because the bigger ass driving him in the donkey cart drove him in very erratic ways. We're even corrupting the animals.


Oh, the ironic names that people give to their brain childs here in Pakistan. I guess it's the same in other non native English speaking countries, too. For example, a friend of mine showed me a "Playboy Beauty Parlor" for ladies only. Yesterday I saw a driving training school vehicle saying "Diana Driving School." To think that the most famous Diana in the world died precisely in a car crash. I guess there'll be an airline called "Plane Crash Airlines" somewhere, too. At least on paper.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I had an exam yesterday, and then the next one is on Monday followed by another one on Tuesday next week. I decided to study for the exam on Tuesday first. I thought I might need to access the Internet for some problem solutions, so I came to the campus to leach on the wifi. Meanwhile, several MSDN TV episodes are also being downloaded on a download manager.
As I went to pray, there was a slight windstorm and the weather seems to have improved a bit. I'll resume studies after lunch now. It's not the kind of weather when the last thing my students would have wanted to do was study and I forced them to, for their own good, so it serves me right to sit and study now. So, here I am in the library with a beautiful view from the window behind me, and a book in front.

Monday, February 20, 2006

May Day!

Mithu was attacked on last night. Now, we've got a couple of golden puff chickens. The male is very bad tameez and doesnt let the lady eat, so my brother was sitting in front of their cage when he gave them the food. When he's near, the male doesnt come close the food because he's scared he would be punished for his bad deeds.
Bhai also happened to have mithu on his lap. Seeing mithu, something got into the male and he jumped at Mithu, took him by one of his wings and dragged him in. Bhai acted quickly and slapped the male on his head to let go of poor mithu. All night, poor mithu had eyes the size of golf balls.
We have lodged an attempt of murder case against the golden puff and are awaiting the court's decision. Well, who knows, maybe the court would rule against the golden puff and then given them "fifteen days" off, to allow them to attack mithu during that time.

Of Mian and of Dad

Last night, Javed Miandad was on TV on a sports commentary show. To me, Javed Miandad came across as a great batsmen and nothing else. He wasnt a great player. Just a great batsman, which is why he didnt make a great captan. He doesnt have a great understanding of the game. While the rest of the world moved on and on including Ramiz Raja and Waqar Younis and developed great understanding of the game, our hero stayed his crease.
So, now when he comments, he is usually not very compelling. When he talks, he's saying "Dekhain, woh meray khayal main iss cheese ko us tarah naheen lay ker chalay jaisay chalna chahiyay tha. Aap is ko is tarah daikhain. Cheezon ko aik plan k sath lay k chalna paray ga." Now he's just speaking, without making any sense at all.
It seems that he has been placed there by powers that be to have another one of "their guys" on TV.
His brother called and asked a question why he was not sent an invitation card to Imran Khan's hospital innauguration. While Javed didnt answer the question, I guess that he should've given the narrow minded brother of his the answer he was looking for "Chota sooba, bara sooba."
Geez, when will we every grow up. Answer: Never. At least not the Southern part of the country.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

It's that time of the year

Well, it's exam time. Again! Exams start for me on Tuesday next week and end exactly one week later. I also have a presentation to give in between. Let's see how things go.


One of our family friends has a relative who works in the bank that was set on fire in Lahore during the protest on the day of the nationwide strike against the cartoon issue. He described what was completely different from what was reported on the media. He told us that the rally of people came to the bank as the bank was open. Some leaders of the rally asked them why the bank was open when they knew it was a day of strike. The bank staff agreed to shut the bank down and started wrapping up. The rally went on. A while later, the bank security guard saw a few young men standing near the entrance to the basement which housed the locker where the currency bills were kept. The guard thought that the young men were robbers and he shot at them. That's when the rally returned and thinking they had been fired upon, did all the damage. Nothing justifies setting things ablaze or breaking things. Heck, such a thing doesnt even justify a strike, we're only hurting ourselves. But this goes to show how the media is doing.
By the way, if you've seen the photograph of the guard pointing his gun at someone, which was published in the newspapers, he's got really big moustache. We were joking that "guard nay moonchain naheen rakheen, monchon nay guard rakha hay."


Our khateeb talked about the issue of the cartoons. He also addressed my uncomfort with the issues that I had pointed out in an earlier post about forgiveness. He said that that feeling is not true and pointed out that when Abu Lahab said Tabb alaika ya Muhammad, Allah responded with the verses, Tabban yada Abee Lahabin wa tabb, in effect saying tabb twice in response to his once. Allah took great exception in matters of disrespect to the prophet. There was one such person who would be disregardful to the Prophet and the Prophet to Allah for forgiveness for that person and in response Allah said, Allah will not forgive him even if you pray seventy times for forgiveness for him.
At another occassion, when the Prophet and his companions had gone to the battle of Badr, a blind companion, Muazz bin Adee was in Madina because of his lack of eyesight. A woman who used to say disrespectful verses against the Prophet came on the streets and said some such verses. Muaaz was very upset at this and promised Allah that if the Prophet and his companions would return from Badr, he will finish that woman. When they did return victorious, Allah knows how Muaaz, withtout eyesight managed to get to that woman and executed her. He then went to the Prophet and asked him if there was any punishment for his act. The Prophet told him no and that on that matter, even two goats wouldnt lock their horns, which is an Arabic proverb meaning that even animals wouldnt disagree on this, what to talk of men.
Now, since this present act is not a chance incident occurring out of ignorance, but a planned one, as you can see the Italian Prime Minister on TV saying that he will not only wear a T-shirt with that logo, but also distribute such T-shirts, and he was wearing it, it should not go unnoticed. The means of taking action against this are definitely not the ones seen in Lahore, though.
The khateeb also pointed out Allam Iqbal's work titled "Ibless ka paygham apnay syasee farzandon k naam." He mentioned a verse that said something to the effect "yeh moat say naheen dartay. In k badan say rooh-e-Muhammad nikal do."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Of disrespect

So, you're thinking, why's this Mr. Big Mouth silent when all the country is in riots over the issue of cartoons. Well, notice how we associate Allah with punishment more than with mercy. We use Allah (perhaps only) to scare children and each other from sins, or to comment on calamities, whereas Allah's mercy far exceeds the punishment.
Remember that the Prophet never retaliated or take revenge even after people had severely injured him from stoning or killed his loved ones. Is the cartoon worse than that? The issue of claiming to be a false prophet is something that the sahaba after the Prophet's death did act strictly upon, but other than that, I'll need to seek learned guidance. I'm not talking about anyone telling me of his/her knowledge, but that of a good alim.
Other than that, I dont think anyone gives a damn as to what we do down here, protest, take out rallies, set property on fire, set ourselves on fire, do whatever you like. You're only doing what you do all year: harming yourself or your brothers depending on how you want to look at it, and enjoying it.
I cant forget the broad smile on the faces of the school kids jumping up and down with joy and some of them dancing as they destroyed property during these riots. That's not protests, that's realization of hidden anarchic desires.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Addendum to presentation

In last night's presentation, I had forgotten to mention that when you have created a master page with a content placeholder in it and inherit a page from a master page, you right click on the content control in the inherited page, and select "create custom content." That should be easy to remember CCC (Create Custom Content).

LUMS MS Launch event

Alright, the LUMS Microsoft Launch event last night went very well. The audience was quite good despite the cricket game on the TV. The event was started with a short welcome by Jaffar Haider, MS Student Ambassador at LUMS.

Then, there was recitation from the Holy Quran and I believe that the recitation should be kept a litte bit shorter, with no offense to the person in picture here. I appreciate him doing a very nice recitation.

Then, Rai Yawar, delivered his presentation on SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence.

He started with an overview of SQL Server 2005, and the need for Business Intelligence. He talked about SSIS architecture and OVAL.

He also talked about scalability, optimization, parallelism, security and extensibility.

And then, I took the stage and introduced myself.

I first talked about Imagine Cup 2006.

I talked about Web Developer features in Visual Studio 2005. I fired up magnifier to let the audience take a closer look as I created a website.

The first thing I talked about was the background of the demo application, "Online airline reservation sytem" which was the cornerstone of the entire presentation.

I showed the audience what the finished demo application looked like and gave them the URL where they could download it from.

I then talked about the need for consisten look and feel in a web application and how it has been accomplished in the past. I talked about the role of Master pages in this context and created a master page and copied and pasted some layout markup into it. I also created a couple of pages that inherited from it to demonstrate the idea.

I then showed the audience how to use the new contentplaceholder control to provide page specific content.

Someone asked about the possibility of developing a web application in Visual Studio 2005 that could run on ASP.NET 1.1.

I answered that question.

I next talked about membership and how easy it is to setup it up using aspnet_regsql wizard.

I then explained the choices that exist for the backend of the membership data.

I dragged and dropped some login realted controls onto the forms and showed the audience how easy to use, yet customizable they are.

I showed them how easily we could use the loginview control to customize what is displayed based on who is logged in.

I summarized the login related functionality.

I then talked about data access. Before I did that, I talked to the audience about the necessity of a good design and architecture. I talked about the layered architecture and shared with them my choices in the design and development of the demo application.

I gave them a look at my business logic layer and what it meant.

I kept this part of the presentation short, as we were almost running out of time and the last thing I want to do is to drag the presentation to bore the audience.

After the presentation, I reminded the audience about Imagine Cup and the lucky draw. People submitted their feedback forms into a carton and then I drew 25 of them randomly and Jaffar handed out the goodies to the winners. We really went crazy at this time, as the audience really got into it and we had all sorts of suggestions on how to turn the carton upside down to best shuffle the feedback forms inside, and suggesting that we should draw the folded feedback forms or the unfolded feedback forms. We had lots of fun and some people from the audience came up to me asking interesting questions and I addressed most of them and asked a couple of them to email me so that I can look into their issues. One of these was about the availability of Licensed software at LUMS. LUMS is a member of MSDNAA so all students and faculty get licensed MS software for free, but the student community is unaware of how to avail it.
It was a very good launch event and I enjoyed being part of it. I hope that the audience was also happy.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Launch event tonight

There's another launch event tonight at LUMS. I'll again be talking about ASP.NET master pages, login controls and data controls. The other presenter is Rai Yawar. Let's see how the event goes. The demo source code is already uploaded.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Blind justice

Well, the SCP has lifted ban of kite flying (if any such thing was in effect) for 15 days. So, killing people has been made legal for 15 days. Thank you, so much.
Indian sugar mills have raised the prices of sugar after news of Pakistan importing sugar from India. Well, I guess they're not much different from us.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


A few weeks ago, while my car was at the automotive mechanic workshops, I went to buy some gear oil from a nearby shop. The shop owner is a seemingly nice person, has a long beard, always carries a tasbeeh and never misses a prayer in the mosque, which I notice whenever I have been to the workshop.
I gave the oil to the mechanic and went to the university. A while later, when I returned to the workshop, the workshop owner asked me where I had bought the oil from. I told him I bought it at the neighboring shop. I had bought those cans for Rs. 190 each. The owner told me that he had learnt from the mechanic how much I had bought them for and he bought the same oil at the gas station for Rs. 120 each for me and asked me to return the cans to the shop owner if possible.
What a shock! Something that is retailing for Rs. 120 carries sufficient margin for the shopkeeper, yet he'd love to sell it for as much as possible. Cant trust anything in Pakistan, can you. And to think that he seems so religious, and is selling something for about 50% more than necessary. What is all his religious practice teaching him?
At least in the land of the infidel, I could go to WalMart and rest assured that whatever I buy, I buy it for what it is worth. I can find things of various quality on the same shelf, and the best quality is expensive and the compromise is cheaper. The choice is mine. But here, I am confused. I buy expensive, yet low quality.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cloud number nine(teen)

Well, well, strange things happen, dont they. I was coming from the masjid a few minutes ago when I saw my algo teacher approaching. Just as I was about to say salam to him, he said, "Tumhari first assignment achchee thee." Now that's a very interesting course and with the size of the class, it is not easy to impress him. I am so excited!
The fun part is that he recognized and rememberd me by face, name and roll number, which in such a class is remarkable.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Spring cleaning

Two things. First, I saw PM Shortcut on TV today as he was supposedly condemning the cartoon affair. Well, his body language didnt look like it. He looked more to be apologizing than condemning. I guess it is justified with the kind of economic and moral debts that we are under, we are basically sold. And slaves dont complain. See how the condemnation from the government has come almost a week after the incident.
Second, there's news of reforms in jails on, like, not putting restraints in the feet and stuff. Lots of reforms. Well, those who are planning and executing it belong there, so I call it spring cleaning. Starting at the home, so to speak.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


Alright, so here I am at Khorsheed Mahal Avari Towers, Lahore, yet again. This time around, I am at the other end of the hall in the speakers' area, where I will be giving a presentation on VSTS 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0. I had a class at 2 pm, which ended at 3:20 pm and getting to Avari before 4 pm was almost impossible given the traffic and the traffic lights. Fortunately, I got here a couple of minutes before 4 pm. Also, Vaqar Khamisani is still giving his presentation, so my presentation will start a few minutes late, which will given me time to catch my breath after almost running all the way from the car parking to the hall.
Wish me luck. As I mentioned, the presentation and demo source code are already uploaded here. Enjoy!
Now, after the presentation I have run back to LUMS because I have another class at 6:40 pm in which I also have a quiz.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Website updated

I just updated my website. The special occasion is Microsoft ISV Community Days, 2006 tomorrow. Since I'd like to offer the source code and presentations on the website for download during the presentation, I decided to do the much delayed update to the website.
Now, the thing here is that I have a quiz tomorrow afternoon in the class from 2 pm to 3:30 pm, then I have to rush to the presentation which is scheduled to start at 4 pm, and then I rush back to another class where there is another quiz. The best part is, I havent prepared for either quiz and I also have to do some work on the demo for tomorrow's presentation.
Let's hope for the best.