Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Back from the dead!

It is amazing how big an effect jet lag has on ones body. Ever since my return from Seattle I've only come around to blogging, today!

Enough said. When I'm coding (and I'm doing a lot of that nowadays) I always have a problem with connection strings. I cannot seem to remember the darn things. A quick search on the Internet later and viola! It is amazing how many database servers there are out there (and I thought I knew them all!); what in the world is Mimer SQL?

Anyway, the site also provides connection string information on how to connect to data files such as Excel and FileMaker. Plus other database structures such as Active Directory and Exchange. Cool!

On other news, I was chatting with brother (he's in Jordan) and I mentioned the fact that a friend of mine bought a Zune and an Xbox from the States. And he asks me; what's a Zune? Gasp!!! Whats a Zune!!! My own flesh and blood! Nooooooooooooooooooooo!

For all of you out there who don't know what a Zune is, its the latest ubber hot gizmo from Microsoft that's gonna kick iPods !censored!. Check it out online at

No, really, its got 30GB, comes in 3 colors, black, white and brown(?), has a 3 inch screen for video and pictures and wireless connectivity. Plus its the only one (thus far) that works well with Windows Vista (of course).

Oh yeah, it retails for around US$ 250.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Parallel Processing?

If any of you is interested in what BillG had to say in the MVP Global Summit in Seattle, here's the transcript.

Now, here's a guy who actually understood what Bill was saying (too rich for my blood).

Read'em and weep!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Farewell Seattle...

This summit has been tremendously successful and lots of fun. I got to meet some wonderful people, Billy Hollis (we had a lengthy but lovely chat over lunch, thank you Billy!!), Shaun Walker (the founder of DotNetNuke) and Sean O'Driscoll (the MVP boss of them all). I also got to establish a connection with the people responsible for VB at Redmond who promised that my voice will be heard; I like!

I'm sad to have to leave Seattle. It is a lovely city. Lost of rain, yeah you heard right, I love the rain. From where I come it rains approximately 5 days a year; while in Seattle it rains 300 days a year. It's not just that, everything seems to be so easy in Seattle, or for that matter, the whole of the United States. And the American people (not the American industry) are so setback, easygoing and relaxed. At one point, I thought I could get away with almost anything. That's a little different from the way it is back home; different culture I guess, but less forgiving, at least initially.

I'll be back soon for more techie data.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I saw Bill Gates!!!

Yep, its true, I saw the man himself. Wild experience to say the least.

Here are a coupla things I found out about Mr. Gates. He watches 24 (the TV series), his hair was not combed when he came in (I just came out of bed not combed), he doesn't laugh out loud, he doesn't grin either. He simply smiles. Kinda confirms the fact that he is mildly autistic and that he is definitely a geek!!

He has a good sense of humor; when asked if he had a favorite product, he started out as saying "you know, I love all my children".

On other news; remember the two guys I told you about that were recording a session on the airplane, turns out they were both MVPs and one of them is called David McMohan. On Monday, as part of our MVP tour, Microsoft took us to the Museum of Flight and Dave, along with his friend Richard, took the opportunity to record a session with us (Loay, Moustafa, Hammad and I). Turns out Dave and Rich run a user group back in England, online at You can the recorded podcast at I start talking approximately 30 minutes in.

I know I sound awful, it's my first podcast, but I hope to improve my skills as I create more and more of them. :-)


Monday, March 12, 2007

Go Seattle!!

Here are some information I've found out about Seattle:
  • It is home for Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon and Starbucks!!
  • It rains 300 days of every year.
  • Its icon is the 'Space Needle'.
  • It is awfully quiet at night, even downtown.

In other techie news: it took me a while to discover how wonderful a technology AJAX is. I've been reading ScottGu's weblog and have discovered that there are now new "How do I?" vidoes up on the ASP.Net site. Just click this link and enjoy the wonder of video.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

I'm in Seattle!!

Ok, lets see. I left Kuwait at 9am. 7 hours later I was in Heathrow. Left London at 6pm Kuwait time and more than 10 hours later... I'm in Seattle. After a total of over 18 hours of fly time!!! I'm here to attend the MVP Global Summit 2007.

I am exhausted to say the least. I flew British Airways all the way (supposed to be one of the best), and I have to say this, if this the best the aviation industry can provide, then we have a LOT of work to do. The plane itself was way overcrowded, mind you NOT in first or business class. But the stewardesses, or flight attendants or whatever they call them nowadays are downright rude! British! And I paid good money for that flight!

The exciting part was discovering the MVPs onboard as time went by. Some of them had MVP shirts, some had MVP bags, some had MVP emblems on their laptops and some looked like MVPs! 2 were actually recording an 'Infrastructure Security' (whatever that is) session at the back of the plane.

Seattle weather is wet and a bit on the cold side. The cab driver from the airport said it has been raining for the past coupla days.

I'll keep you posted on the events of the summit as time goes by.


Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Year of the Mobile!!

That's it! Its official! I'm calling 2007 the year of the mobile!

First Apple announce their upcoming iPhone, then Nokia announces their new E90 Communicator. Then i-mate announces their Ultimate range. And the cherry on top off the cake, Microsoft announces their new Windows Mobile 6.

There's a Windows Mobile 6 Pro Video 1st Look that shows some of the new things in WM6, which I think should be called WM5.5 instead, because the enhancement are NOT worth a major version upgrade (I do, however, think you should upgrade your mobile device should you be given the chance). Here's the unofficial "What's new in Windows Mobile 6".

The things I like most are (in random order):

  • Vista effects: almost everything looks like everything in Vista.
  • Enhanced security: you can encrypt the contents of your storage card.
  • HTML email support: no more that ugly text.
  • Enhanced Office Support: office documents look almost as good as on the pc.
  • Windows update!!!!
  • Internet sharing!!!!
For those developers out there here's the 'What's New for Developers in Windows Mobile 6' and finally another 'Review of Windows Mobile 6 - Codename Crossbow'.

Links (for those of you who like to copy & paste):

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Understanding: Interfaces

When creating applications, there sometimes comes the need to use interfaces. An 'interface' is one of the types available in the VB .Net language (and for that matter almost all other OO languages). Interfaces are perhaps one of the most difficult types to explain. Most writeups or articles explain it as a contract; a contract that binds two classes together.

I, on the other hand, prefer to say: Interfaces can be best explained as a 'language'; like English or Arabic. Sometimes classes need to communicate between each other, if written by the same person, that would not be much of a problem. But sometimes these classes are written by a number of different people, probably people from another firm, country and/or continent.

In order to communicate with each other, like us humans (at least those of us who call themselves that :-)) classes need a common language they all speak. This language must be understood by all and follow the same rules and regulations everywhere.

In programming this is called an interface. It is a way of ensuring all related classes speak the same language. For example, if class A wants class B to do a certain task, the only way for class A to insure that class B can do the task, is by checking if class B implements the ICanDoTask (for example) interface.

Unlike inheritance, a class can implement an unlimited number of interfaces.

Perhaps you can understand more if you read this:


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