Tuesday, June 16, 2009

TV Remote tester

Fatima keeps throwing or dropping the TV remote. She also keeps taking it apart from time to time. I believe we've had four or five remote changes over the last one year or so. The TV wouldn't turn on last week. It's a monitor-turned-TV which does not have buttons to change channels and stuff. I found that a component lead in the remote was broken. Tried to fix it but it didn't work. Couldn't decide if it was a faulty TV or faulty remote, so I set out to web search for TV remote testers.
I found several different DIY schematics, but the technique that I liked best was to view the remote through a camera. Point the remote at the camera, press a button and you should see a white LED flashing. The camera captures Infrared radiation. Simple and effective. The remote was broken. I bought a new one. The TV was also at fault, the IR sensor in the TV had to be replaced.


There's a thread these days on Telecom Grid Pakistan mailing list about the proposed 20 paisa per SMS tax. A poster hinted on how cheap SMS make them the ideal easy way of mobilizing a mob, for instance, in the long march case. The post as well as my reply are way off topic, so I'm posting a reply here.

May I suggest that roads, railways, and telecom are the enablers of growth and development. Branding SMS as the easiest mass mobilization instrument is a flawed argument. For that matter, cars and trucks have been used to carry explosives. Shall we ban them, too? Notice how this discussion is headed way off topic. Every facility has a way to be misused. You can't justify taxing it to lower the risk. Besides, if the government is going to play foul, they should be willing to see the mobs on the streets. To be fair, they haven't seen anything.
I would like to see a million percent tax on cigarettes, cigars, tobacco in general, paan, chewing gum. Those are non essential items. Instead of making wheat, onion and phone calls more expensive, tax these items by the millions of percent. These are luxuries, as are the beamers and the mercs. Oh, but the industrialists would halt that move fearing loss of revenue. We've seen several examples lately of when the ministers talked about rationalizing the prices of local cars (Suzuki Moron, for instance). What did we get? Nada.
Again, if the telecom sector fears loss of revenue, they'd try to fill a few pockets to scrap this bill. But the telecom sector, apparently, isn't doing well anyway.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

I am wondering.......

I'm wondering! Some of the things are tested on the third world first. For example, WiMax. They've identified many deployment issues with the technology before they deploy it in the developed countries, if ever. New medicine are launched in third world countries. It helps identify side effects with no legal costs. Human cost in the third world does not count. Surgery related equipment similarly follows.
On the other hand, some things are not tried on us first. For instance, electricity market deregulation, whereby a consumer can purchase electricity from a number of different retailers. Markets for trading power are established. As far as I can tell, the idea originated in the UK. Am I wrong?
Please comment on what you think placing some innovation in one of the above categories.

Pop quiz (including solution)

Time is a relative term. Aging doesn't affect certain people as much as it does the rest of us, like Michael J. Fox, Tom Cruise and, of course, Bryan Adams. He was born November 5, 1959. So, here's the quiz: how old will he be on November 5, 2009?
50? Wrong answer. Haven't you heard "18 til I die"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Garbage characters in files

A friend of mine here at LUMS just told me of an issue he had last night. I thought I'd blog it down just in case someone else would tumble upon it.

His C++ program was writing to a file. While debugging the program, the file contained what he expected. But when the program closed, the file contained some garbage characters near the beginning before the meaningful data. He discovered that it was because he had opened the same file in the program twice.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Last night

This is a true story about what happened last night. It rained cats and dogs in Lahore last night. Hearing the sound of the rain, I immediately got in the mood for "it". We got out of the house and ran over to my car giggling as we got soaked. We drove over to a secluded place with no one around and got out of the car.
Soaking up the skin desperately hoping to ease the prickly heat. I ran my hands over her body at the front first and then the back and watched it get cleaned. I immediately got an idea. I got the shampoo out from under my car's seat and a rag. I washed the rag in the rain and applied some shampoo onto it. I washed her white body with the rag it starting at the top. Some vehicles started to go past us, and I was embarrassed but did not stop doing it. I had not washed my car in ages. What were you thinking you pervert?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Run to you

Bryan Adams is the best live performer ever. Check out his number "Run to you" on YouTube.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Lady finger

This lady finger in the palm of my hand is bigger than my fingers. It is amongst several other lady fingers that have been grown experimentally at LUMS. They have grown several other vegetables, too. Periodically, now, they hold a vegetable market in LUMS to sell vegetables at reduced prices to faculty members, staff and students.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Did you know that 1U of rack space is equal to 1.75 inch or 4.45 cm?

You know....

You know ____________ when your landlord asks his kids to shower your car for you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Lo g! It seems the saying "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach" is right (at least in this case).

Saturday, May 02, 2009

What senior players?

Which senior players? I don't see any. I would call Muhammad Yousuf senior, he's not in the side. Shoaib Akhtar's performance is nill. It even makes me sad that he was the only one to grab the two fallen wickets in yesterday's match against the Australians. He's in, he's out. Wherever he is, he is not fit. Afridi gives 100% only in the commercials. You score 40 runs and you get cramps when fielding. I believe we should put down our feet and say, enough of this crap! We want sportsman who field and ball through the entire innings without getting tired no matter what you scored when batting. Other teams' players do it, why are ours not professional enough? It is time to pay heed to Imran Khan's warnings and take his suggestions into account. He is the only captain under whom Pakistani team has ever delivered even with a weak side.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Of vice and men

This may sound taboo or controversial, but I wanted to raise my voice against the exploitation by women of women and subsequent blaming it on us. Look at this. As I recall, it is women who are on the heels of the bridge the morning after the marriage and every day afterwards asking about "progress". They are the ones who encourage early births. And who gets the mention in the article? The "low-paid guard". Women, for goodness sake, get your act together.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sad story

A LUMS student was killed in DHA Lahore. It is sad how the privileged class indulge in extortion of the lower classes on the basis of power earned through money and status. It all continues to go unchecked. Not only are the rich oblivious of the foul play of their children, but also, the poor and the middle class. I couldn't imagine leaving home without telling my mother, didn't fly a kite, didn't play cards, because my parents told me it was bad manners. But today, look at the maniacs on cars and bikes and on foot indulging in wheeling, speeding, sex, drugs and what not. All the time getting the ignorance or protection of their parents. We need vigilante.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

MVP yet again

Yup! I am renewed as an MVP for 2009. All the hard work in the community has paid off yet again. Just gotta work harder to keep it up.

My blog is still useful

Turns out my blog is serving a purpose. A student in the lab right next to mine read this posting and contacted me. One of his friend's laptop had taken a dip in the water and he wanted to open it to dry. Turns out he heeded my warning of worn out screw heads in my aforementioned post and came to get the swiss army knife. Hehehe!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

What an idiot!

Meet Mr. Ahsan Saleem. He's got a movement going on for "12th March - Virtual combined Asr(eve) Prayer for Solidarity of Pakistan." Anyone who reads it is thinking about a virtual jamaat. And that's exactly what the title implies. He claims, though, that it is a misunderstanding. What he claims he is talking about is supplicating together, making dua. I pointed out the obvious to him, but he just doesnt get it. People like this are misleading many simple minded folks, and there's plenty of them today, who want to oversimplify the religion. I mean, Islam is a religion of simplicity, but make no mistake, this isnt what it implies. Dont make up things on your own.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Return of the Tecra

I couldnt find time to write an update my Toshiba Tecra S2's surgery. I took it apart over the December 25, holiday. I used precision screwdrivers, which was a mistake. The other ones I had didnt fit the screws, because the screwdriver tips were too big. The precision set was so small that it damaged many screwheads. I took everything apart based on irisvista.com and was able to put it back together and it is still alive.
The "power surge on hub port" message didnt go away, though. I was still able to use the USB ports. I have no disabled the USB controller from Device Manager and am not getting the error messages and the system runs fine. There's just one problem: I think I didnt get it all put back tightly enough. Something seems to be lose. The system would just pause sometimes and I'd have to knock on it to get it to resume working. It's not too bad, though. I'm OK with it.