I decided to make custom backgrounds for Windows Live Messenger. I took something from everyone and put it into their conversation, so each window has a touch to it. :D
Below is a small version, click on it to view larger version (944KB).
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I decided to make custom backgrounds for Windows Live Messenger. I took something from everyone and put it into their conversation, so each window has a touch to it. :D
Friday, September 28, 2007
As for me, I think its stupid, because...
A: only lonely people or idiots would call the number
B: why would I bother and call if I don't know what type of business it is - maybe its a disco, maybe a falafel shop!
C: most people don't look at their notes, especially people with 50JD notes since they usually stack them together (like 1000JDs)
And your opionion?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The next day, I went to a close by CD store with my dad. I had convinced my dad to say to the man that he wanted it, not me. I could just imagine the laugh that would come if I came and said I wanted a copy of Macromedia Flash. So it all worked to plan, my dad handed over 3.5JDs (you greedy shop, blank CDs cost a few piasters), and he handed over Macromedia Flash Pro 8. And feeling confident, I went home and installed it.
I felt stupid when I couldn't do anything on the program. I had thought I had memorised everything the boy done, but nothing worked. I began to feel frustrated, at how I had wasted lots of dinars to how I had not asked for help in the first place. I was in a tight position and I did what I always do - give up.
A few days later, or weeks maybe, I went with my uncle to a computer fair, and after going around the place I found the For Dummies books. I found it, Macromedia Flash MX For Dummies. I knew I had to get it, and after a long long series of nagging, I bought it. Although MX and Pro 8 are different versions, the book still taught virtually the same thing since there weren't that much big differences between the two versions.
I learnt quite quickly. The first thing I made was just a simple rotating tween, but as time came I began to learn frame by frame animation and start to use the tools. This wasn't really that good, I wasn't into drawing or animation. I began to learn about buttons, and began to touch onto my first programming language - Actionscript. Buttons weren't really that good in teaching me, and since the book didn't teach AS, I went and searched on the Internet.
I found a forum which had quite a lot of hand written tutorials, all about Actionscript - everything from the simple gotoAndPlay to the terrifying API (in which you draw through code). The forum also allowed me to ask the users there, mostly teens in their 16s, and I would usually get answers in minutes since it was a very big forum with over two million users.
And as time past, I began to learn and became much better in AS, learning much more advanced thing such as Arrays and Math functions. But one day, I had to format the computer, and Flash was lost. Thinking I could reinstall it from the CD I got, I tried it, and found it was virtually unreadable since it had a million scratches on it. I then gave up on Flash for the moment, and began to learn other things like PHP.
But all of that changed a week ago. My school's IT lab had Flash MX on it, and after I tried a few things on it, I began to remember most of what I had learnt in Action Script. The next lesson I brought out my USB drive, looked around, plugged it in, copy, paste, took it out - done. At home, I installed it and began to try out something new I had learnt which was rotation of objects by AS.
The program basically relies on two variables to rotate an object, one is speed and one is acceleration. The square rotates till it reaches a certain speed then starts slowing down until zero then repeats itself. Its quite interesting, I guess my Physics teacher would be impressed. But then again, he wouldn't really care. I won't bother.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
When I was offered a job with ATV during its establishing phase in late 2005, I had a lot of questions regarding this ambitious project. At first glance I didn’t take it seriously for a simple reason, that I wasn’t convinced our dear country is ready yet for such a project; an independent TV station that has a large space of freedom that enables it to work in a professional manner and attract a large segment of society that looks for a credible media outlet in a market dominated for long decades by official state television.
My colleague Mohammad Alayyan managed to convince me – because of the deep faith he himself had – that this project will be different in quality and content, and that there are reassurances from top authorities that the time has come for such a project, which will not succeed unless it was fundamentally different from what we were used to in our state media.
I became convinced that this project would work, and I became one of its most enthusiastic defenders in the face of those who mocked it and who said that the project would not see the light in the format I described to them. Sadly the past 53 days have proven how right those people were and how mistaken I was.
From the first moment our channel was prohibited from going on air 53 days ago, I did everything I could to deal with this issue through different channels, hoping to find a solution that would enable us to broadcast as soon as possible. I spoke to many official entities connected to the decision to stop our transmission; from the Audio Visual Commission, to the Telecom Regulatory Commission, to the Higher Media Council, the
Media City, and many others. I tried in my communication with them to emphasize that the decision of the Audio Vision Commission is illogical and unjustified and entails mal intent towards the channel, as the commission was coming up with new requirements every day, starting with the issue of licenses and frequencies, and moving on to the terrestrial transmission issue and the agreement with JTV, and then finally requesting information about all the programs, their presenters, producers, and content, which in my opinion constitutes an interference in the channel’s content that is outside the mandate and jurisdiction of the commission and the authority it’s given. More important is that all those demands were lame and do not constitute a real reason to halt our station the way they did, which reflects short-sightedness and ignorance of the importance of media and its sensitive role.
Oftentimes I had to respond with a severe tone, the last of which was a letter addressed to the Audio Visual Commission on the 12th of September 2007, demanding that the case be taken to court according to item 26 in our signed agreement. This request was ignored by the commission, which shows disrespect to the Jordanian judicial system. On the same day I sent a letter to the
Jordan Media Cityasking them to cancel our agreement, through which we reserve a frequency to transmit on NileSat. I had to take this step after I received a bill from the Media Cityof $72,000 for the past three months, which meant that the Media Cityis charging us for the halted transmission while at the same time refusing to receive our signal and transmit it to NileSat as per orders they received.
During that period I had issued many press statements that contained some sort of challenge to the authorities, in an attempt to draw attention to this issue that caused severe damage not only to this project but also and above all to the country’s reputation. Some of these statements were stopped by our chairman, especially the last statement in which I announced that ATV demands that the dispute with the Audio Visual Commission be sorted through the judicial system, alongside my decision to post some of our programs on the internet – a step deemed by many as a direct challenge to the authorities that were behind the decision to prevent our satellite transmission.
These decisions and steps which I considered part of my responsibility towards this institution and its employees apparently did not go well with the tedious negotiations that the chairman was carrying regarding the future of the institution – negotiations that I wasn’t clearly aware of.
The circumstances and work environment have changed drastically from what they were when I agreed to be part of this project. These changes happened, and continue to happen, without any contribution from me to determine the station’s formula or its direction taking and work plan. This makes it impossible for me to continue in my position, in a project that I never expected would come to this.
What happened to our dear TV station is a shameful moment in the history of Jordanian media, and its repercussions will last for a long time. The only positive side that I’ve experienced in this year and a half has been the opportunity to work with this group of very talented young people, a group that has proven that there is high caliber in our country capable of working very professionally when given the right environment.
I wished we could reap together the fruit of our hard work over the past long months, but for reasons beyond our control this hasn’t happened in my time with you. I was hoping that our pioneering project – as we planned it together – would create new standards for professional media work unprecedented in our dear country, but the big challenges we’ve had to face lately will make this difficult to achieve, at least in the near future.
I thank you for your great efforts to realize this project that I believed would change the face of media in
Jordanfor the better.
Wish you the best of luck
[Sources: 7iber.Com, Ammon News]
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Colin Beavan, 43, aims for a better world by reducing the bad stuff he uses. His dining table is lit by candles, not lights. His radio, which is solar powered, is his only way to hear the news of the world. A combination of vegetable oil, baking soda, vinegar and borax results in the families toothpaste, detergent and body soap.
Everything he does was in small steps, he says. His first step was to reduce their family's rubbish. They bought second hand stuff and took a hamper to the supermarket instead of using plastic bags. Colin uses a glass jar he found in his trash as a reusable cup to drink his coffee in, instead of taking the plastic cups from shops.
They also stopped using normal transport, only walking or cycling. They then stopped using electricity in the flat, turning off the fridge and dishwasher and other appliances. Instead, all laundry is cleaned by hand using the normal combination. Solar panels on the roof power his laptop and one light.
And instead of using toilet paper, he uses normal water and soap. He has a compost box, in which he puts green leftovers with worms to feast on them. Colin also does projects or events in which he tries to aware others of global issues, such as a sponsored race in the sea by swimming (seen in the photo).
So, I'll share my view on the subject, but first - what about you?
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I would like to thank the Imam of our mosque. This man has amnesia every five minutes, in the middle of the prayer, and he will never get himself a quran. He makes each rukah extra long, and starts making every witar in a new way, once all three together and once two and three and once each one by itself. He can't make up his mind. And his duaa2 is like the haram's duaa2, your hands are numb by the end.
I would also like to thank the person who made the mosque, especially the one who designed the toilets. Why, oh why, has the mosque never heard of normal toilets, and has to have those "holes in the ground". I wonder if Arabic toilets where made to think people where still in the 19th century. They could've made a hole in the ground and it'd be better than those damn toilets. Plus people don't know how to use the flusher, so you have melted snickers in every toilet waiting for you (sorry if you were eating).
I would also like to thank the "grown-up" people next to me, who just can't keep there gases inside themselves. They smell of anything from mansaf to hotdogs, and their burps smell even worse. Why can't they hold themselves until they finish salah and go somewhere deserted and do what they have to do? Or if that is too hard, can they just cover their mouth with their hand? No, they have to poison you with their lethal gases, they don't care.
I would also like to thank the people who keep snivelling. Men shaan allah, men shaan ili khalakum, stop snivelling! There is an invention called tissues you know! Your snivelling gives me headaches, as well as the want to choke you with tissues till you die and stop snivelling. Actually, that's a good idea. I think I'll do that.
And finally, I would like to thank people who can't turn of their ringing mobiles, the people who keep screaming the word Ameen, the Egyptian workers who smell of extra concentrated sweat, the kids who keep setting of fireworks pretending its WW3, and a few others...
By the way, replace all 'thank' words in this post, with the words 'brutally kill' to understand this post.
Monday, September 17, 2007
- Time of tasahour, me and my brother are eating
Me: When is the adhan?
Bro: We've got plenty of time.
Me: What's that sound?
Bro: I don't know.
Me: Well shut up then!
Sound: Haya 3ala il-salaah!
Me & Bro: [Choke choke, spit spit]
- Just before ifaar, all the family is waiting
Adhan: Allah uakbaar ul-Allah akbaar!
Mum: [Saying du3aa2] Alahuma-
Me: [Glug glug]
Everyone: Hey, Khaled, you're supposed to say the du3aa2 before you drink!
Me: Oh, sorry.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
I was on my dad's laptop, which has Vista on it and has a quite wide range of wireless. I was on the laptop yestarday morning when I noticed a new wireless connection, unsecured. That is the same as saying please use me.
And I did. I surfed the internet a bit. It was quite fast even though the internet range was a bit low. But I wasn't going to stop there. I was up for a challenge, of trying to log in to the router. I opened up a map of the links. Good old Vista showed me everything, including the IP address of the router.
I went for it and typed the IP in my browser. Now the hard part - the thing needs a username and password. I thought that I could try the factory defaults, the normal user and pass that comes with the router. I went and searched on Google for the defaults of Linksys routers, and I found them. Feeling lucky, I typed them in and hit OK. I hit the jackpot, I was in.
Now from here, I could do anything. I was able to see his username and password for his ADSL connection. It seems he's using Wanadoo (which is now Orange). Now this is not a worry, but what is...
I could password encrypt his router and wireless connection. This would mean that only I could use his connection whenever I wanted. The only solution to this problem is to reset the router, but poor old Jordanians don't know that.
But then again, I'm a good guy and I won't do this. I wait until after Ramadan. >=)
Friday, September 14, 2007
Sleeping to pass time is not an option for me, as my body refuses to sleep during day time whatsoever, unless it's sick. Instead I either torture others in God of War II, build big armies against the computer in C&C Generals, or watch something on MBC Action.
Just about everyone in Jordan gets angry when they're fasting. Those who smoke get angry, those old people get angry, taxi drivers get angry. The excuse of "ana sayim" is a one used alot to leave an argument, or "hala2 baftir aleek" is an excuse to start one.
People actually gain weight in Ramadan. You'd find this strange, but people will go mad when its iftar time. From mansaf to atayif, they eat them in tons and then go watch some Egyptian series on the TV.
This continues till tasahur, at which they go mad again, then go to sleep till noon. No tarweeh, no fajir. During the day they either sleep or watch TV.
Ramadan to many people is not a religious time. Its a time of hell on earth, when you have to make yourself hungry. Its a time when you have to invite the family over and eat in bulk. Its also named as the month of atayif.
So, my naseeha to you all is to think more about what Ramadan really means, and less about your stomach. By the way this post is making me hungry...
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
You probably can't see this new one, you're seeing the old one. You'll have to clear your cache, if you're using Firefox just press Control + Refresh (Reload). And if you're using Internet Explorer, see this.
Hopefully this new template will let me add a lot more stuff, like wider images. Leave your thoughts as comments. =)
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Most of you must've heard about Husain and how he was stuck in the middle of Amman trying to search for his father with very little to think about. In the mean time, his father was literally dying in a hospital, where his medication and food wasn't given to him and the reception denied that the man was inside thier hospital. Read more.
If you haven't read the follow up on the story of Husain, then you're missing alot. After the publish of Husain's story, many bloggers decided to post his story on thier blog. This then spread to the local media, and even to the newly assigned health priminister, Dr. Salah Al Mawajdeh. He then assigned a investigation team to the case.
His father is now in a different, much better hospital - JU Hospital. He is recovering much better than he was in the goverment hospital, where he would've died if he hadn't been transfered. This is a great breakthough to Jordan, and - even though I don't expect it - maybe things will change after this. Be sure to read Husains actual update, and Qwaider's story (who visited the father in hospital).
Saturday, September 8, 2007
I was barely sitting down when I heard a voice from the other
stall saying: "Hi, how are you?"
I = Me, M = Man In Other Cubicle
I: "Doin' just fine!"
M:"So what are you up to?"
I: "Uhhh, I'm like you, just traveling!"
M: "Can I come over?"
I: "No... I'm a little busy right now!"
Then I hear the guy say nervously...
"Listen, I'll have to call you back. There's an idiot in the other stall who keeps answering all my questions!"
The Advantage of being an Arab
An old Arab lived close to New York City for more than 40 years. One day, he decided that he would love to plant potatoes and herbs in his garden, but he knew he was alone and too old and weak.
His son was in college in Paris, so the old man sent him an e-mail explaining the problem: ” Beloved son, I am very sad, because I can’t plant potatoes in my garden. I am sure, if only you were here, that you would help me and dig up the garden for me. I love you, your father .”
The following day, the old man received a response e-mail from his son: "Beloved father, please don’t touch the garden. That is where I have hidden the THING. I love you, too, Ahmad."
After detecting the e-mail, the FBI stormed the house of the old man and took the whole garden apart, searching every inch. But they couldn’t find anything. Disappointed, they left the house.
The next day, the old man received another e-mail from his son: "Beloved father, I hope the garden is dug up by now and you can plant your potatoes. That is all I could do for you from here. Your loving son, Ahmad."
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Getting a pirate copy is easier than you thought. In London, you have those Chinese men with huge bags. They wait around malls, shops, they lurk around busy streets, even around cinemas. They don’t need to advertise or promote their business.
No policemen are around, so the coast is clear. People gather round, and – like selling drugs – they open their bags and present their goods. Pirate copied DVD’s, wrapped in plastic bags and a badly made cover.
Even though they have the worst quality films, everyone buys takes out their five pounds and buys a DVD or two. To the buyers, they find it better to bring the family and their friends round their home made cinema and watch their movie. Either that, or you pay five pounds to watch it in the cinema – by yourself.
The quality has no match, one is great, and the other one is fuzzy, filled with shadows of people going to the toilet, and the coughs and laughs of the others in the cinema. The picture usually is off centered, and as soon as the movie finishes you can see the camera moving, and the guy leaving the cinema. All this, or the cinema? This.
It may not be the best thing to buy a pirate copy, but getting one is well worth it. I would rather spend my well earned ten dinars on quite a lot of DVDs, rather than taking a friend with me to the cinema and finishing it all up. Most people will bear with the bad quality for 1.5JDs. I would say that everything has its price. I would prefer to buy a cheap copy of a film.
Although it may not seem right at first, but I believe that if cinemas had their price lowered to something like 1.5 JD, more people would go to the cinema rather than buy a DVD. The same goes for software.
An engineer would rather buy a cheap copy of AutoCAD, then buy a 300 dollar legal copy of the program. A boy, like me, would rather buy a game for a few JDs, than spend 45 JDs to buy the same game from Prime Megastore.
Jordanians have found something called pirate copy as a normal copy. They have nothing called legal software, nothing called copyright. Pirated DVDs litter the selves of the stores and they are always crammed full of people. Your local stationary shop has boxes full of PC and PS2 games, all of them pirated of course.
The real jokes are the popular ones that have to hide their goods. A store in Gardens Street looks perfectly legal. It has some NBA and Fifa games, legal ones, collecting dust on the selves. These aren’t for sale, these are just there so when the police come they won’t get caught.
There are catalogues under the counters, and when you choose a game, he writes it down and goes to the storage room (on another floor in the building) and returns with the pirated copies.
Another place in Amman Mall sells them. You’d expect somewhere as that to be safe and free of pirated copies, but it isn’t. Although the shelves are littered with the same legal tapes and CDs, when you ask him for a pirate DVD, he rummages under the counter and gives it to you. Almost like buying drugs. The DVDs are overpriced anyway, at 3 JDs.
The Middle East and Asia is a huge market of pirate everything. When will we change, or do we need to change, or should the vendors of the films and software change their prices? Comment, I dare you.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Now this will never happen in Jordan.
The UK's big five mobile phone firms have switched on a payment system that turns handsets into digital wallets.
Called PayForIt, the scheme is designed for those buying goods and services with a value of up to £10.
The industry hopes it will be used to pay for ringtones, train tickets, parking fees and eventually as a payment system on web shops and sites.
Any cash spent via the scheme will automatically be added on to a customer's phone bill.
The scheme standardises the way phones can be used to make payments so the process is the same no matter which operator a customer has signed up for or which handset they are using.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
A man has to choose between two doors, that the king has made him choose. One room has inside a lady, and one has a tiger. The king has given him clues however, for on each door there is a sign. The king says that one sign is true, and one is false. The signs read:
Sign on Door A - This door contains a lady, and the other one contains a tiger.
Sign on Door B - One of these rooms contains a lady, and one contains a tiger.
So, which door contains the lady?
Saturday, September 1, 2007
One type of taxi is the dirty one, and this is the most common. When you signal to the taxi, you can see inside a fat pig sitting in the seat. He's probably never washed in his life, and wears the worst clothes that you wouldn't be seen dead in. But that's not it, his taxi is worse.
The leather of the seats is half torn, the seat belts don't work (I once tried to put mine on, and he said "Shoo, kinak khayef ala halak?! Hahaha!"). You can see some weird gooey liquid on the floor, and there are cups of empty coffee mixed with chewing gum everywhere. And he smokes at least 3 cigarettes in one ride.
The other type is the "religious" one. He has a dirty taxi (as always), which is covered with writings like "Allah, Muhammed" or "Al shifaa bi alkuran" or "Aki al muslim, al tadkeen haram". He has a long beard, which he has never combed in his life, and wears a dishasah.
He keeps muttering stuff, but when he gets angry you see a new taxi driver: "YEL3AN ABOOK, MEN WEEN IT ALAMIT ILSAWAAH YA [beep] IL [beep]".
Another type is the cheating one, like a evil fox in a car. He has a nice car, tempting you to come in. The meter is no where to be seen, usually next to his foot or under the chair. The meter starts at 500, not 150, but that's all part of the plan. As soon as you get in, he zooms off.
If you tell him right or left, he pretends not to hear. He sometimes even takes you to a completely different place. He chooses longer paths and "shortcuts" so the meter goes up. And once you get to your destination, the meter might magically turn off so the driver will have to make up a number, or once you pay him he says he has no change (and this always happens).
Or there's the stupid weird one. He sticks tons of weird pictures all over his car, he has decorations on the steering wheel, the meter, the gear, the taboon, mostly everywhere. Some have these strange lights inside, so when you get in you feel you're in a disco.
They have annoying habits like clicking their fingers or making strange sounds with their teeth, or - if you're very unlucky - they fart. They drive either well over the speed limit or drive like a snail, and have huge systems at the back booming some type of stupid music.
And sometimes you have a mix - some of this and some of that. So now, you must thank god that you have a car and do not have to see the "masayib" taxi drivers give you every day. Alhamdullah.
At last, got rid of that ugly B and put my countrys flag. Looks good, eh?
The problem was actually getting someone to host .ico files. No normal image hosting would allow me to host .ico files, because practically - they aren't really images.
After hours of searching, I finally found Ripway, which would host any type of file. I then had to turn my png into a ico file, so I went to this good site. And finally, I added this code to my template:
Try it out if you want.
I have had exactly 111 new visitors, only 62 of them chose to come back once more. These people were mostly from Jordan (well, duh) - 97. Second up was the US with 55 guests, most from California.
The average time spent on my site was 12 minutes, 55 seconds. This was mostly contributed from Jordanians with a spent time of 16 minutes, 33 seconds.
For those of you who do not know what the "bounce rate" is, it is the amount/percentage of visitors that have came to your site, stayed on the page, then went to a different site. In other words, these are the people that have only read your blog, and haven't cared to go and comment or see the comments.
Anyway, the bounce rate was quite high on most days (grr). Now the interesting part is the traffic sources. Direct sources are the ones that have came straight from typing your link in the address bar, or clicking on a favourite - which means constant visitors.
Direct sources came second place at 41. Now for the great surprise - most of my traffic has come from Qwaider Planet (48). The other minorites come from other blogs (when I comment), including And Far Way, My Treasure, Jameed, and some others.
So let me take this moment to thank all the people who have commented (those 1 in 10 people), as well as Qwaider for adding me, and Bilal for leading me to Google Analytics. And for those wierd people, here are some trivial facts about the visitors.
- 107 visitors used Firefox and 64 used IE. Very good guys, I'm impressed.
- 69 visitors had Orange as thier ISP, where as only 11 had Batelco.
- 11 people had used dial-up to view my website?! People still use dail-up?!
- 2 people have a Mac, while someone had Linux and someone even had FreeBSD.