Friday, April 25, 2008

Of Ubuntu And Xbox's

I have an update on both my last two posts (1, 2), and surprisingly, they happened both today.

First off, Ubuntu.

I left off to Friday prayer while leaving the download running, which was at 72%. I came back to find it was canceled.

Who canceled it? No guessing.

Now I must resort to buying a CD of it here in Amman. Does anyone know a shop that sells a copy of Ubuntu?

And now, to 360s.

I made a deal with my parents this morning. One that was written on paper and signed by me, my dad and my mum.

I promised to do my chores around the house daily, help my brothers and sister, go to summer Quran club, and turn off the computer during end of semester exams, until the 5th of July.

At that day, I will in turn go and buy an XBox 360 from Swiefieh. My reward for waiting all those months.

I just hope I can keep up to those terms. Hopefully, I will.

Changing To Ubuntu

Well, now that the download is 54% through, I think I'd might as well announce to you that I've taken the choice to move to Ubuntu, a flavor of Linux.

Well, its Ubuntu 8.04 to be precise.

It all first started when I had a old laptop, it had been in the family for almost five years and nobody really wanted it.

So I decided to give Ubuntu a try. I don't know where or when I first found about it, but I liked it as soon as I tried it.

For all you non-geeks out there, Ubuntu is a version of Linux, an operating system like Windows, but its 110% free.

And it contains programs that are free as well, and substitute programs that come with Windows, like OpenOffice, GIMP, Firefox and Thunderbird.

The laptop gradually died, may god bless its soul, on the hands of my youngest brother, who took the liberty of taking out all its keys (laptop keys cannot be fitted back in, doh!), which need 70 JDs to be replaced.

So now, a few years on, I finally decided to try out Ubuntu on this desktop computer. I found the old CD I had burned a long time ago, but it was too scratched and too old to work.

Finally, I decided to download the new release, Ubuntu 8.04. And, its 56% done till now. 2% since the beginning of post.

I've been looking for a way to dual boot between XP and Linux, since I still need Flash CS3, Photoshop CS3, Adobe Audition, and others. I found this handy article, which I plan to follow.

I was also wondering how to install Perl onto Ubuntu, so I can carry on with my Project Euler challenges. I still haven't found a solution to that, anyone of you readers know the solution?

I can't think of anymore things. I'll post again when I'm on Ubuntu.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Xbox 360 Partying

Holding a controller, pressing a few buttons and watch the screen change is much more fun than it seems.

Especially when you're playing on an Xbox 360.

The shear joy of pure high definition graphics, mixed with surround system sound and mind boggling tactics - that's what makes the 360 a work of art.

Of course, since I don't have a 360 yet, I went off to my friend to pay off some of the addiction.

To start off with, is the game Rainbow Six Vegas 2.

Not only does this game take SWAT teams to the highest level, but it also combines team tactics with leader commandment to get through the game.

Not only will you have to pick the right assault and sniper weapons to do the job right, but you'll have to work correctly on the field, be it taking cover to assigning teammates targets and even choosing the right door to charge in to, to complete the level.

Another less action packed, but adventure like game, is Lost: Via Domus.

Although I did not see much of this game, but I sure did like it from my first play. You take on the role of Elliot, a man with amnesia from the airplane crash, trying to regain his memories, and in turn, discover the secret of the island.

Along with his compass, and the message to the way home, Via Domus, you must take along riddles, puzzles, and maps to complete the levels of this game, based on the television series. A great game for the adventure fanatics.

So, now that I've shared my piece of gaming, care to share yours?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Project Euler

No place for those geeky neurons, up in your head, to start calculating? Need somewhere to put them to work?

You've found it.

Named after the famous and incredible mathematician, Euler, this website combines mathematics with programming, to provide a series of challenging problems that are only solvable by programming languages.

For example, try finding the 10001st prime using pen and paper. Or how about 2 to the power 1000, or how about the sum of the digits of 100 factorial?

Because of this, you must conjure up a programming language, to be able to solve this. The problems range from multiples of 3 and 5 under a thousand, to triangles containing the origin, and in total reach 190 problems.

There is a new problem published every week.

What are you waiting for? Go test your luck, and put those dusty old programming skills to work.

Go figure something.

For all those who have joined, my username is StormXI.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Queen Rania On Youtube

Royalty and professional hit modernity and technology, broadening the perspective of the internet and its content in the Arab World.

Yes, Queen Rania herself now 'video blogs' on Youtube, mainly about women in the arab world.

And, as Bakkouz has already said, HM does not hope to change the world with a few videos, but she's taking the first step towards it.

Here is her first video on the subject, under the name Send Me Your Stereotypes.

Zain 5 Offer

I usually never take part in offers from Zain, usually because they are about international calls, or gimmicks, or too expensive.

However this one really surprised me. My friend Yazan was the first to show it to me, at school.

Basically, Zain 5 offers you the chance to talk to five numbers, that you choose, absolutely free for as long as you want, day or night. In turn, you only pay 1JD every week.

And yes, this is no catch, I have tried it out myself and it works.

My friend Yazan, to prove this actually worked, called Omar, who was sitting next to him, and started chatting with him.

Of course, this only works for pre-paid lines, not 'fatoora'.

Lets do the math, to see if the 1JD is worth it.

Since you pay, normally, 7 piasters per minute when talking Zain to Zain, and there are 7 days in a week, then you pay...

7 x 7 = 49

Since there are five numbers then...

49 x 5 = 245

We've haven't already went past the 1JD, we've went past 2JD!

And this is just if you talked for 1 minute to each person in a whole week. Lets say you talked to each one for 5 minutes in a week.

245 x 5 = 1225

12JD would've been spent and you only spent 1JD!

Ready to do the move? Call 1616 and choose Zain 5. Then call 1790, then press one, then to add numbers press 1, add the number and press 0, then repeat.

Please know that there is a 2JD fee for changing from normal to Zain 5, and that you pay for the first week after 7 days. (so if you converted today you'd pay next Saturday)

Get calling.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mugabe's Mustache

What a weird mustache this man has!

Image Hosted by

One straight thick line going from the middle of his nose down to his mouth at a perfect ninety degrees angle. How... strange, or awkward, you might say.

Even Hitler looked better than this.

Well at least he's better than this 'creative' fellow.

Image Hosted by

Thursday, April 17, 2008

3, 2, 1. Post.

Right now, I'm probably enjoying a horrible Math lesson at school.

But this post was typed at 10 PM the day before.

This is possible, since this is a scheduled post. This is a beta feature from Blogger.

All you have to do, is to log on to Blogger Draft, type a post, change its time and date to the time you want it to be posted and publish it.

Now instead of being published, it will be scheduled.

Come back at the right time and your post will be published. Try it out!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Thinking of the next big invention is fun.

Especially when its in a boring Physics lesson. Our teacher was blah-blahing about how increasing pressure increases water's boiling point.

He also exclaimed that if we could build up enough pressure, we could make water reach temperatures very high.

He also suggested that if we could find a way to rise the pressure inside the pressure cooker so much, that it could reach the boiling point of oil, we could fry things in water.

It didn't take much more 'suggesting' to get me and one of my gaming friends, called Qais, to get our brains to start cooking.

Think, think, think. More thinking.

I guess the light bulb glowed a few times above our heads, then it turned back off again.

Then we had an idea - if we could heat water, and at the same time add more water, the air above it would decrease in volume, therefore building up more pressure.


Maybe. We suggested it to a few teachers, from different subjects, and they all seemed quite intrigued by the idea.

We also did some rough blueprint of what it would look like and its basics of work, in the picture below.

We finally decided to start building it in the summer holidays.

I can't wait!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Roasting Marshmallows

Ah, the whole joy of roasting marshmallows on a campfire, watching them melt, then devouring them. Anything more heavenly than that?

Did you know that 90 million pounds of this 19th century confection is eaten every year, just by Americans?


Thursday, April 10, 2008

On Drinks And Food

Is this drink really non-alcoholic?

Why do I feel dizzy? Maybe I'm just sleepy...

It doesn't even taste nice, what a waste of 35 piasters.

Our teacher once told us about a meal in Morocco which has so much fat in it, it makes you quirky. This is because most of the blood, instead of going to the brain, goes to the stomach.

Getting drunk, the halal way. =P

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's 11:30

And I can barely see the computer screen through the slits of my eyelids that are open.

My English teacher wanted our project to have subtitles for everything said in the play. And she wanted it tomorrow. So we accepted and did it.

My Math teacher wants seven problems of sine, cosine and tangent solved. I did that.

My English teacher also wants a writing assignment, 100 words, to be handed in tomorrow. I did that as well.

My Arabic teacher wants a writing assignment as well, 300 words. But I'll do that later.

Add to that we have Chemistry, Biology and IT quizzes on Sunday.

Ah, and my report card (or shahadeh, as you may call it) will be given out tomorrow. Oh, dear.

And my body needs a rest. I must go do that, now.

I hope I won't have nightmares about that Mary girl ghost thing I saw today on Criss Angel Mindfreak.

Eww, creepy stuff.

Nighty night.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Some Things Around My Desk

My desk is a horrible mess, and I don't know where to start. Hmm, let's see.

My Perfume

Adidas, 2006, Special Edition, Victory League. I put it on at mornings before school and by the time I'm at school there's no scent left. What a disgrace of a perfume.

My Calendar

This was a gift from our school. I never look at it and I usually forget to tear off the days as they go by. Yet another waste of space.

My Dictionary

No, this is not any ordinary dictionary. This is a rhyming dictionary. Instead of giving you the meaning of a word, it gives you the words that rhyme with it. Useless now since we don't do anymore poems.

My Headphones

The solution to boredom. I need these for my mobile to do all sorts of things. This thing has smearings of hot chocolate, and I have no idea how they got there.

My Books

For dummies, my favorite series of computer books. I learnt both Flash and C++ from these books, whereas the PHP book was too bad and so I ended up learning it online, and I forgot about Visual Basic, although I might start it again in the summer.

My Microscope

Broken, damaged, lost. All that applies to some piece of this microscope. Sad really, it was a good device while it was still intact.

My Storage

This thing has so many names - usb, usb drive, flash, flash memory, flash disk, pen drive, pen disk. This thing is still useful though, even though this was bought at the time 1gb had just came out. I think it was around 80JDs.

Now that I've shown you my desk, how about your desk?

Monday, April 7, 2008

American Inventor: Bladder Buddy

American Inventor is a show that is aired on MBC4, but originally American. It offers a one million dollar prize to whoever can present an invention of their own.

To do so, they must get four judges approval.

Sometimes, some really abnormal and hilarious inventions come in to the judges. This is one of them - the bladder buddy!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Hectic Thursday

I came back from school on Thursday, tired and wanting to relax, when my mobile rings.

Its my friend, asking me if I want to go out today. As helpless and tired as I am, I tell him I'll see if I can.

You see, all my friends find life at home the most boring place to be. They actually have computers, Internet, satellite and usually even game consoles, but they can never make those things enjoyable.

I only have a few things but find life at home perfectly perfect.

After a few minutes, which was plenty of time for me to consider the twenty two million considerations I must put into mind before even thinking about the actual thoughts I would think about going out, the mobile rang again.

I accepted, surrendering to the anxiety and jeer pleasure of staying at home, add to that the tiredness I had from a week of enduring school.

My parents weren't in, neither the mood nor had the energy to take me out by car, so I decided to walk to my 'very close by friends home'. Here, close by means a bit over two kilometers.

The weather was great and so I actually enjoyed the walk. It didn't seem so long. Actually, now I think about it, it was a bit long.

By the way, we didn't do anything that exciting at the mall. Other than being kicked out twice by the single celled security guards, then begging our way back in.

And that was how I spent my Thursday.

How did you spend your Thursday?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Multi Tasking

My computer is having a fit now as its probably running the most number of programs in its life.

It all goes down to me having to edit (with my friend Omar), an English play that will be submitted to the ministry's competition. Our role in this play is the animators.

And what a hard job it is. I've just finished doing this horribly long movie beginning, thankfully the rest will be the play that was recorded on camera.

I insisted that the animation be done on Flash, since he had wanted the terribly simple and basic movie maker. I got my way, and he was thankful that I did when he saw the result.

I think I was going for a word-scrolling like beginning, all words that point to global warming, somewhat like the Jawwal advertisement on MBC.

I still have to do lots more homework, and it's already nine-thirty. Its a rough night for me.

Wish me luck.

(click on picture to expand it)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Zain The Thieves!

I was sitting on my computer, when my mobile rings. A message. From Zain.

More spam? If only it was more spam.

بناء على تعليمات من وزارة المالية تم خصم 1د من رصيدك لدعم الجامعات

You thieves! You pigs! You greedy pigs!