Friday, December 29, 2006

Eid Mubarak

Eid Mubarak guys. I hope your Hajj is accepted if you did offer it and if you didn't you get to fulfill it sometime in your life.

A Happy New Year too. May this year bring you lots of what you desire.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all you guys and may you have a Happy New Year as well. Have fun during the holidays ;D.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Wordpress and Blogger

So there is this dangerous trend I see among my friends wanting to move their blogs over to Wordpress. I ask them why would you that. First of all Wordpress is not free. Some of their advanced features that come free on Blogger, cost money on Wordpress. I think Blogging should be a free activity and noone should have to shell out money for it. I am talking about features such as making your own templates. Sure to many of you that might not seem much of a deal breaker since you guys are fairly content with the templates that are provided to you. But to a guy like me, who loves coding his own webpages, that is definately a deal breaker. I thought about moving to Wordpress 4 months ago but decided it wasn't worth it. Blogger has been criticized lately for all the wrong things. I see no difference in how I blog on the new Blogger compared to the old one. Infact, I quite like some of the features they've introduced.

Just thought i'd write something in support of a place that has given me constant joy as an outlet for my thoughts and ramblings as far back as 2004.

P.S: Haloscan Comments is not working with Blogger Beta right now. There are some bugs which will be ironed out soon. SO comments will be back soon :D. Save em in your head till I fix it.

Update: Comments seem to be working ok now. If someone notices any problems, please let me know.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tarot Card

Although I don't believe in Tarots and all this stuff, I came across this quiz and decided to take it, just to see what i'd get. Well, I came out something I didn't except. Definately don't believe in it now *grins*.

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I Got Tagged

I got tagged by que sera sera. I have to write 5 weird things about me and then pass the tag along. Now lets see what the 5 things are:

1. I eat cereals with milk at 2 a.m in the morning because that is when I crave something sweet and nothing is better than cereal and cold milk. It helps me sleep better too.

2. When I listen to certain kinds of music, I get pumped up. Pumped up in the sense that I want to go out and beat someone up. I thought music was supposed to soothe the raging beast, not create one *scratches head*.

3. I love dragons. I'veimagined myself fighting them, taming them, riding them etc etc. Maybe it is because I was introduced to them at such an early age? Who knows. Bottom line: Dragons rock.

4. I think beauty is an illusion. Yes I said it and yes I am a man. I think beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and furthermore, beauty alone without character is like a porcelein cup, elaborately designed but empty.

5. I love the smell the rain makes on the ground when it mixes with the sand and earth. I have been known to just sit outside and take it in for hours at end at my grandfathers over in Kashmir. I know most people like it but I still think it's weird.

I am passing this onto Luda, Writers Creek, Arianuz, Heewa and Blue Water.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Semester Ends

So the semester ended. It was one of the most hectic semesters ive taken in any school to date. That's the reason I haven't been able to update as frequently as I would have liked to. Still, the semester passed without any major incidents although the grades weren't entirely to my liking. With that out of the way, I am free until the 7th of January. Mostly I am just playing World of Wacraft all day, listening to music, watching TV and anime, and reading some novels to pass my time, not to mention sleeping. Well, sleeping seems to be a superfluous addition since I am up at 4 a.m writing this post.

Winter seems to be catching on with yesterday and today being the coldest days of this winter to date. I forgot how I managed to survive in Michigan before I came to California. Ah the adaptive power of the human body never ceases to amaze.

These days I am watching some new Animes. If any of you are fans of Animes, be sure to watch Fate Stay Night if you can get your hands on it. It is a good Anime and has a captivative soundtrack to boot.

Merry Holidays.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

My Random Musing

Conquer your fears, Vanquish your doubts, Destroy your weaknesses. Be Reborn by the ashes of your struggles; Rise Phoenix Rise, and Burn through the Morning Sky of your hopes, steaking it with your Firey Success.

Reza Malik.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Small Thankyou

Even though I haven't updated my blog for so long cuz of personal issues and school, I know a lot of you come here everday hoping I will write something new. I apologize for not being able to keep up on the posts with problems cropping up in real life.

On that note, I thankyou for still coming to this blog :). Stay tuned and once again. Keep on truckin along :).
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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Career Fair

The Career Fair at the university is coming up. I need to get all spiffy for it and see if I can land some interviews. Assignments are coming left and right from all sides as teachers are picking up speed in order to justify giving something in the midterms. I am enjoying Ramadan and everything is fine. I hope all of you are having a good ramadan as well. Peace for now.
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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Exams and the Flu

The exam practically sucked, for want of a better word. I didn't get to do what I could have and it basically pisses me off. The paper was pathetically made covering the most obscure features of the lectures. Maybe it is just me getting the "Grapes are Sour" Syndrome but in the end I messed up and there is nothing I can do about it. Better move on and get the next one aced.

The Flu made preparations insanely difficult. The soapy feeling in your nose, your eyes watering and wanting you to close them every 5 minutes and all that good stuff. I am on the mend now though and will be free of this scourge in a few days.
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Monday, September 18, 2006


Some people just don't have any decency. Recently someone added me to their MSN list and when asked why the person did it, I was told the person was curious. Ok Fair enough. I can understand that part. But thats when things started to get stupid. I was subjected to a number of rude comments and what not and all the while till the very end I tried to remain calm. I thought it was just a bad day for the person and they needed to take it out on someone so its ok. Although the next day the same thing happened which resulted in me blocking and deleting the person from my list.

Now if you add someone don't expect to use them as a punching bag when they are being nice to you. If you have to take your anger out on someone, do it somewhere else. If you have to be discourteous and rude, do it somewhere else. You know who you are. I suggest you get a life. No offence but you need to learn that people other than you are also human beings and you need to think about someone other than yourself, as hard as it might seem. Good luck to you and I hope you remember, life isn't black and white. Gray has equal meaning.
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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Flu Hits

I got hit by a virulent and stubborn flu today and have been in a state of haze and total miserability all day today. Well there goes my great weekend and with an exam coming up too. Studying with a flu is hard, as if studying healthy wasn't a challenge especially in my major. But thats all for now. Here's to a speedy recovery and lots of success *cheers to self*.
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Friday, September 15, 2006

Perfectionism and The Initial Push

What is a perfectionist? Someone who spends loads of time, refining and correcting things that are never wrong in the first place. Someone who tries to do everything to the best of his/her abilities. When he/she can't do that for one or the other reason, the person becomes disappointed and depressed for a small period of time. Are you a perfectionist?

I am a perfectionist. I try to do everything I do so that noone can find a flaw in my work (fallacy because all human work is flawed). Yet, I sit there after I have done something as asked in the specifications given to me or as told to me, I add features, try to enhance what I have done and then fiddle some more. Sometimes when I know I could have done a better job of something but I didn't, because of some unknown factor that I did not factor into my calculation, like starting late on something etc, I get depressed and down cursing myself for something that could have turned out better than how it did.

Which brings me to the next point. Do you sometimes find it hard to initially set out to do something, for example, the assignment due next week, or doing something someone has asked you to do.. etc.. But once you start it, at least for a perfectionist, it is continued until it is finished.

So to recap, I ask you two things in this post,

Are you a perfectionist?


Do you find it hard to initially start a task, but find it easier once you have it undertaken?
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Earpiece Cellphones and Midterm

I was walking to the local Burger King to eat my dinner when I see this African American individual coming at me and talking as if he is saying something to me, talking about some celebrity whose name I have seemed to misplace in my head now. I thought he was talking to me, with me getting ready for defensive maneuvers mentally, cause you never know in a big city like LA. Suddenly he just passes by and I realize he is talking to someone on his earpiece cellphone describing to him/her the celebrity's fine qualities. I felt like kicking him in the nuts, not cause I believe he was about to jump me but because I think earpiece cellphones make you look like a retarded lunatic, especially the ones where you can't even see the earpiece device, which sometimes is small enough to fit where the sun don't shine. To the silent observer, you end up acting like a deranged nincompoop talking to yourself (well at first glance). At least a person can act like he/she is talking on the phone and be a little more discreet instead of openly staring at the people he/she passes by ....

Anyway, a midterm is upon me for my Software Cost Management classes. Really boring class. One of the worst I've taken in a long time. All you do is sit and do cost anysis and other business like mumbo jumbo. There is a reason I went into Computer Science. But meh, it was needed for the degree and surprisingly is a CS course.
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Monday, September 11, 2006

Tom and Jerry Get The Ban

Ok I know the world is hypocritical but I did not know that they could be this hypocritical. I read a news article recently that said all 1,700 episodes of Tom and Jerry are going to be edited in which Tom appears to be smoking. This was done after complaints from concerned parents who say it adversely effects their children aged 14 and less.

Now here in lies the debate. How can a harmless cartoon teach a kid how to smoke. Blaming a cartoon for the inadequacies of a person's job as a parent is no excuse. I watched Tom and Jerry since I was 4 till now when im 25. I didn't start smoking and I don't intend to either. I call that good parenting and setting a role model for your kids. I know many parents that smoke infront of their kids yet Tom can't. I mean come on. They are going to destroy a classic cartoon just because some parents forgot they, not the cartoons, should be teaching kids things in the first place.

Watch Cartoon Network for a full day. A lot of toons on it make sexual explicit references and call a man's manhood a "peepee" and a "woohoo". Sure it might be veiled but does it mean kids are that dumb they won't pick it up? Check the animated cartoon feature films that are coming out like "Shrek" and "Over the Hedge". There are numerous adult references and themes in them.

In the end, a parent is no substitute for a fictional cartoon and destroying a classic cartoon like Tom and Jerry is just a sad excuse for poor parenthood in a hypocritical messed up world.
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Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Layout

I changed a few things on my weblog after taking a Graphical User Interfaces class. I learnt some do's and do not's of good web design. I will be adding more stuff to the weblog in the future based on what I learn in the class. For now I reduced the width of the middle layout to decrease the eye movement of the reader.
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Friday, September 08, 2006

Job Search Strategies and New Gear

Its good when your in a top University and they try to teach you things that you normally don't get taught in many other Universities and Schools. I will be attending a Job Search and Interviewing Strategies workshop for 4 days in October and want to see what new things I will learn from it. It should be fairly entertaining, informative and enlightening.

I ordered a new mousepad for my new mouse. I purchased the Logitech G5 a few days ago and it arrived recently. I didn't have a good mousepad for my old mouse and decided I should invest in a good one that is going to last me a while. I ordered the Steelpad QcK mouse pad. It cost me $25 bucks but I hope its going to last me long enough to justify spending that kind of money on a mousepad. Since I play so much Counterstrike Source and other Computer Games, the added percision was another factor in my buying decision.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

AI search algorithms and other headaches

The next AI assignment is due on the 16th of September and I am swamped with two other assignments coming up on the 11th and 8th of September, not to mention the 12th September GUI Project requirement specifications to hand in.

The AI algorithm is fairly straightforward, implementing the BFS, DFS and A* algorithms in Java. I've started on it already and have the map made using a HashMap for the nodes as the keys and an ArrayList as the data structure holding the nodes that can be reached from the node in the key. I have the class methods and specifications made for the BFS and DFS implementations. Just have to iron them out now. The A* is going to be after I do this.

I have a good group set up for my "Graphical User Interfaces" class. Both of my other two teammates are hardworking guys. One hails from Iran but is an American citizen and the other is good old fashioned Pakistani bloke from Islambad. Both are jovial and quirky characters that keep the atmosphere light and productive. Just how I like it. Sometimes when you are under stress and need to meet a deadline, having a group that knows how to laugh helps a lot. Takes the stress out of the whole thing and makes us think clearer on what needs to be done.

I have to catch upto a lot of reading for all my classes. The AI, GUI and Cost Management Economics specifically. Better get started this weekend and put the pedal to the metal.
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Alive but Busy

I am alive, but I am very busy with the Fall semester in full swing. Classes everyday and early morning and assignments and whatnot up the wazoo. Sorry for the late updates to those that DO come to my webpage still. Stay tuned for more. Will try to update more regularly regardless from now on.
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Monday, August 21, 2006

Fall Semester Begins

OK People so the vacations are finally over. I got an A- in my Web Tech class and now I am all set and prepared for the new semester. Today was the first day of classes. My feet are killing me cuz of all the walking, buying books, conversing with old mates all over campus, going to the new orientation and scouting out new faces and making new friends.

I still have a few courses I need take care of interms of which I need to drop and which I need to take. I am on the wait list for 2 courses and taking 3 so far. Hope I get into the Artifical Intelligence class tomorrow.

Summer is almost over and the breeze is getting cooler by the day. It is good to be in LA. I don't know how I managed to survive in Michigan for so long. Must have been the human nature to adapt I bet. Sometimes it is really hard to cope with something you don't like. Adapting with something you like is easier than adapting with something you don't. Adapting to the LA weather was a welcome thing.
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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Happy Birthday PC

The PC turned 25 today. Isn't that cool? The same age as me. And to think I'm going to be making a living cuz of the PC. Such a nostalgic and warm feeling. Check more here.
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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Summer Semester Ends

Ok so finally the final went real good. And hope to get my letter grade for the course soon. The fall semester courses are going to start on the 21st of August and are registered with the exception of one course that I am trying to get into. Let's hope I can and there aren't any problems. Sorry to all that come to my blog and find me dead. I am back now. And I am enjoying my Summer Semester end break.
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Friday, July 14, 2006

India's Blame Game

What happened in Mumbai was a horrific thing. But what the Indian Government is doing now is equally horrific. It is pointing fingers at a soverign country without proof based on nationalistic fervor and to appease it's population by finding a convenient scapegoat. In this case, the scapegoat would be Pakistan. Today, an anonymous Indian politician who did not want to be named, blamed the Pakistani spy agency ISI for the bombings. Who in their right mind would accuse someone of anything without hard evidence?

And just when the peace talks were going on. Or should I say, so called peace talks. Till now India hasn't shown much acumen for peace with missing members at these meetings and delays and whatnots. Don't know about all of you guys, but I think India is not ready for peace. On one hand we have them blocking the sale of F-16's and causing a hue and cry over it through their Lobby in the US Congress and on the other side we have them building controversial dams on rivers that supply water to 95% of Pakistan. Seriously, who are we trying to fool here?

The blame game isn't surprising considering the fact that India has done it before. Remmeber the Hijacking of an Air India Jet a few years ago where the Indian media and others dubbed Pakistani hijackers were responsible only to be proved wrong when Indian nationals were discovered as the real culprits? I could name other incidences of the blame game played before but It won't help anyone. So it would be best for all of us if we could find out some real hard evidence. It is the 21st century and we are all educated citizens of soverign countries. Let's act like them shall we, mmkay?
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Got Tagged

I got tagged by Inkpot. So here you go Inks:

You Are 12% Gross

You're not gross, but you tend to think everyone else is. And you're right... they are!
Some people may think you're a neat freak, but at least you'll never die of flesh eating bacteria.
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Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Final

So today it is the final between Italy and France. Personally I didn't want France in the final but meh. I still want Italy to win and thats the team I am rooting for. They deserved every second to be in the final of the World Cup. Currently they are tied at 1-1 with Gianluigi Buffon having made a world-class save to deny Zidane a goal. I am hoping Italy can score before I finish this blog entry. That would make my day.

Update: Italy did win the world cup and I am quite happy. That head butt on Zidane's part was totally stupid and dumb. I wonder why he did that and that will always be a mark on his career and always a question mark. Congratulations Italy.
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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Germany Gone, Italy On Stage

Well Italy is through and Germany is out of the world cup. I was thinking Germany was the stronger of the two but the Italians proved me wrong. They fought really hard till the end. Personally I think Germany let their guard down too at the end and conceded those two goals. I wanna see an Italy vs. Portugal final with Portugal ultimately winning it since they have waited 40 years for this and never won a world cup. I don't want France to win in imho.

Other than life is going pretty much smooth here. Assignments and school keeps me busy most of the time. I am also starting to reread my fiction and just plain enjoying summer. Spent most of today watching the 4th of July fireworks from my Apartment roof. Since it is so close to USC, the fireworks were happening in the USC Football Stadium, a few blocks away from me. Fireworks technology has really progressed. Made me remind of Gandalf's Dragon firework, heck, I saw a butterfly firework today.
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Monday, July 03, 2006

What is True Friendship?

Rant Mode On.

What the heck is true friendship? I see so many people talking about being friends and talking as if they are your best mates and all and behind your back they do their own little charades. I recently came back to find myself off the blog list of someone I thought I was friends with. Just cuz I was busy and didn't come around to talking much or didn't update my blog? That's a pretty lame excuse there cuz bloglist real estate is not limited. Look at my own bloglist. It is full of blogs that are not even updated anymore. And If your going to remove me off your list for whatever reason, let me know first. I'd appreciate it. My going away from my blog uncovered some things and I am glad it did. It was a blessing in disguise. Good riddance I say.

Rant Mode Off.
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Sunday, July 02, 2006

Busy Busy Busy

*Revives the blog and gives CPR to it*.

OK I am back and still breathing. Got a lot of work on my hands. And I thought I was going to have an easy summer. This web tech course is going full swing. So much work and so little time. The course material is the same as a full 4 month course but in this case I only have around half that time. The midterm came and passed and I still don't know what grades I got in it. It went moderate. Not too good not too bad.

Summer is in full brutal swing and it's beating down real hard here in Los Angeles. The peak temperatures reach around 35 celcius these days and since my apartment has only one measly little air conditioner, I live my summer days quite diffculty. I am going to buy me a fan at least to throw back the hot air at me and make me a kebab.

Ok so who am I rooting for in the World Cup. Germany. Argentina is already out and Brazil was the other shocker, although france has always had a great record against Brazil, they even won the world cup last time they met in the final. Henry and Zidane are true soccer greats imho (In my honest opinion). Germany has a great attacking line as well as great midfielders. Portugal might win the world cup and it would be a welcome change to all these other nations winning always. They would win it after 40 years. England was no surprise with the amount of injuries they had at the start and their poor perfomances against weaker teams coming up the stages.
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Monday, June 12, 2006

Guilty of Hiatus

Ok so you all might be wondering if I am dead or alive. Well the good news is that I am alive. Just been swamped with assignments and what not and just enjoying summer enough to not have time to come over and write on the blog but will take the time to do so since my faithful (I hope) readers still come by here and not anonymous error prone click thoughs end up here.

I am having fun in my class. Got a huge assignment going right now and trying to make the bloody deadline. People say it's summer in California but it sure doesn't seem like it to me. The weather is cool, clean and comfortable.

Well the Soccer World Cup started a few days ago and there were no surprises although I did think that England could have scored more than a solitary goal against thier opponents. Iran were wiped clean by Mexico and well Argentina and Germany are looking really strong. Let's see what the US does againt the Czech Republic tomorrow. I hope they dont make a fool of themselves and get a good score going although I do admit the czech's have a good team.
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Friday, May 26, 2006

Assignment 1

Ok So I've gotten my first assignment for my Web Tech class. Some of the stuff in it is already what I know from experimenting on my blog. CSS and all the HTML stuff. The purpose of the assignment is to make an HTML page with Form elements validated and even changed by DOM and Javascript and made pretty with CSS. It doesn't sound too hard of an assignment. The challenge in this assignment arises in implementing new stuff that I don't know and that is Javascript and DOM. I have until the 31st to do it. That's when it's dude.

Other than that, life is going pretty fine. I am enjoying summer so far in LA. It hasn't gotten terribly hot yet and the night breeze cools down considerably. Well that's all for now.
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Monday, May 22, 2006

Summer Starts

So Summer semester officially started a few days ago. Been busy with the prelimnaries and did not get time to write here. I am taking "Web Technologies" as the summer course this time. The course is really fun and informative and teaches and touches on almost all the popular web technologies and languages out there including PHP, ASP, Perl, Javascripting, XML and all that fun stuff. Once I am done with the course, expect new stuff this blog. I will put what i've learnt to good use. The course insructor is really good. He knows his stuff and has taught the course for serveral years. Is eloquent and smooth in his delivery of the lectures. You never get bored. I love his lecture. The one snag to his class is that he has absolute grading, not relative grading. So gotta really work hard to get an A or A+ now.

I am still awaiting my inclusion in that course I am still on waiting list for. I was 21st on the waiting list of about 60+ students so I hope it comes soon enough. They send out Clearences every 2 weeks.

Apart from that the weather over here is getting warmer. Today it rained and is a bit chilly but still great weather compared to Michigan and its snow. I ordered a new game yesterday. "Heroes of Might and Magic V". Can't wait for it to arrive so I can devour it in my spare time.

Finally, to cap this post, I got a A in Software Architecture, an A- in Database Systems (I feel robbed here.. Missed A by like 1 percent), And a B+ in Computer Networking.
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Sunday, May 14, 2006


With exams ending i've been chilling mostly, playing Counterstrike Source and watching Anime. It's funny when you don't have anything to do and your bored the days pass by so slowly. When I was studying they seemed to pass by so fast and I wondered if I could get my studying done on time or not. Grade reports for the other classes will be out by Monday. Let's hope everything is ok and I pass my first semester relatively safe.

My new roommate moved into the apartment recently. He is American and for the sake of privacy we will call him J. J is a PHD student in Mathematics and has that weird manner of talking, walking and stuff that most serious math people do. Don't know him that well yet so more on him will follow later as I get to know him. The Chinese moved out and I am glad he did cuz he was dirty beyond belief.

I seem to be getting over an illness that I caught recently. On the mend now. The weather in LA is getting hotter.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I am Free

I am free today. Last paper was today and it went moderately ok. Let's see what grade I get. I already got the grades for two of my courses, the exams for which I gave earlier. Both A's. Expect more updates later. Adios.
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Monday, May 01, 2006

Almost there

Two Down. One more to go.
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Saturday, April 29, 2006


One down, Two more to go.
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Sunday, April 23, 2006

A promise: I will Succeed

10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will,
5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name.

Fort Minor
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Sunday, April 16, 2006

No More Updates For a While

Time to hit the hiatus horse again. Exams, last minute assignments and other assorted goodies coming up. Au Revoir.
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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Robbery

Ok So I was over at my local Burger King waiting to have my fish burger prepared and I see this black dude come into the joint. He asks for a some napkins. Once he gets the napkins, he looks at me and I realize this dude is trouble. He was black, not to say that I am racist, and the way he was dressed sent alarm bells ringing in my head. I kept standing with my hands in my pockets. He walks past by me and goes across to these two girls sitting over by the window. One of them is talking on the phone while the other is eating. The miscreant stands for a while loitering about weirdly and as soon as the lady puts the phone down and ends her call, he runs past and snags the phone. The ladies shout and run after him but he is too fast and he is out the door before they can even touch him. Now all this while, i'm standing there wondering what a stupid thing to do. I say that because, our Universities DPS (Department of Public Safety), the Universities own police so to speak, are at the scene in no time. The officer asks me if I saw him and I tell him the description.

After a while they come back and say who got the best positive ID on the suspect. The Burger King attendant who had handed the napkins to the theif says he would be able to recognize the dude if he saw him again. So they whisk him over to the car and off he goes while i'm sitting there enjoying my Fish burger. When I finish he isn't back yet, so I decide to get the scoop on what happened from the attendant tomorrow. The next day I come back during my evening meal and the attendant tells me they had rounded up about 5-6 suspects and one of em turned out to be the phone snatching african american.

In short, Its stupid to steal when there are so many witnesses around you. Not that I am condoning stealing, but if you can't live without stealing, it might be something you want to consider before you blunder.
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Friday, April 07, 2006

Summer and Rain

It's been raining a lot during the past week and the streets are all clean so to speak. Summer is also starting to bear down and today was particularly hot. If you sit in the shade though, you feel cold after a while. If you get out of the shade and soak the sun, you feel hot. What do you do? I was alternating between shade and sun all day while I was sitting outside studying. I think I spent more time moving then I did studying.

I am glad I am going to get 13 days of unhindered time for studying Computer Networking. No more excuses of not having time for it's final. Databases and Software Architecture will be done and over with by that time thankfully and I can concentrate fully on Networking.

I still haven't gotten into the waitlisted course I want for Fall 2006. On 14th April, the wait lists get rearranged and positions given to those that are on those wait lists depending on how many people don't register by the 14th.

P.S: For those that cannot access my blog from Pakistan, use this link for future use.
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Back - Partially

OK, I'm back partially. So I finished my Java assignment fairly well. Hope to score at least more than 80 in it. Let's see if Allah favors that logic or not. Being in MS means, you get done with one assignment, you get another one due for the same class. So factor that into 3 courses .. So 3 assignments just finished and 3 new ones on the day of submission. It's an ever present, ever repeating cycle. That's one reason I have been away from my bloggity blog. Chances are my frequence of posts here will remain haphazard until the 28th of April. That's the day of my final exam's last day.

I took a course for the Summer Session, because I want to be done with my MS fast. I registered "Analysis of Algorithms". I've heard its a tough course. Let's hope I can still do it. I took it because it is a very demanded courses in the Industry and most recruiters look at your transcripts to see if you've done it or not.

Fall registration also opened and I tried registering for the courses I want, namely, "Software Management and Economics", "Specification and Design of User Interface Software" and "Software Engineering". I got the first two but was put on the waiting list for Software Engineering. I need that course for the plan of study I have made out for myself. I hope someone drops it, so I can take it.
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Be Back Soon

Will be back shortly. Just a little more. 4 more days and then the pressure reduces a little. Stay tuned.
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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Still Alive

Just to let you all know I am still alive. Been busy and still am. See you guys around in a few days.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Java Database Assignment

On Madiha's insistance I am posting something on the blog and not to let this page go stale for too long. I am really swaped with an assignment that I have to give next week. Been working on it for the last week and a fair but of it is to come. Apart from that, the weather here is getting better. It was the official day of spring yesterday, or was it today? No idea. In any case I hope you all had a fun spring break and are back to the swing of things. My Spring break was spent like it always is, Studying and doing assignments.
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Friday, March 17, 2006

Gator vs Cat

Reaffirms my belief that cat's are the best predators on earth today.

Cat - 1 : Gator - 0.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

HOWTO: Collective Murder of Your Own Nation

On one side, there were demonstrations happening in Pakistan to protest the caricatures of the Holy Prophet PBUH and on the other hand innocent kids are being killed and maimed by the brutal and inhumane custom of kite flying during Basant. Is it just me or does this sound wrong to you guys? Hypocritically, we are protesting in support of the being that would never have wanted us to use a sport to kill the innocent and young of our generation and yet we are, just for the fulfillment of our baser desires,that is the ecstasy like high one gets on cutting the string of an opposing kite flyer, killing those small flowers that tomorrow will be our future generation.

These so called carcicature protestors burned down buisnesses of hard working Pakistanis, ransacked shops and destroyed bikes that for many are the only form of transportation (I've seen one whole family on a single bike). I can understand the demonstrations. What I don't understand is, why the bigotry and hate towards your own country? Just because the government calls for moderation? Wow, Is it me or someone forgot to tell these assholes the meaning of moderation as preached by Islam?

Then we have those lost, pathetic and sad souls who use deadly strings on their kites without thinking of the risk these strings pose to others. I can understand some people cannot get on in life without the HIGH they feel, just like many drug addicts, when they cut an adversary's Kite, but is it worth it? Is it worth the death of a young 4 year old boy. A boy who had been his father and mother's only son and their joy in life. You tell me? Is it worth it? So you might say that was a freak accident? Was it? At least 19 people died and 200 were injured before and during Basant last year. Yet many are defying the ban to get "High" again.

It's time Pakistanis as muslims, for once started looking into themselves before going out on the call of an Imran Khan or a Qazi Hussain Ahmed, and destroying your own country and killing your own children, think about what it means to be a muslim and a Pakistani. Without these two things, we will always remain in the so called dark ages of 21st century, collectively murdering our own country for years to come.


UPDATE - 17/03/06 - Another boy has been killed by a rampant Kite string. May his soul rest in peace.
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Monday, March 13, 2006

Scanner Music

This video is a testament to the fact that computer and electronic devices can play music too. Enjoy !!

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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Day Dedicated to Twinkle

Ok I previously posted pictures of my male cat, Casper. Today, I thought i'd post pictures of his mate, Twinkle, who is of a Persian breed. Presenting to you, Twinkle in all her cuteness.

Lazying around on the drawing room carpet.

Attentive for a photo shoot.

Inspecting the Sofa for softness.

Aren't I the cutest?

Tummy rub pretty please?
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Friday, March 10, 2006

War of The Worlds Parody - by the Bunnies

Hilarious parody of the "War of the Worlds' movie by the Bunny Troupe.

War of the Worlds Parody
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Thursday, March 09, 2006


Had my Software Architectures exam today, marking the end to the midterms. It was an OK paper which I think I did well in. WE will see when the grades come soon. InshAllah, hope to get good grades on this one. The questions were not hard, the paper wasn't easy though. There were questions that I required a little soul searching and mind searching too. All in all satisfied with the paper.

On the other hand, I got my Computer Networking result back and it is kinda pathetic to say the least. It is the lowest i've scored in a long long long time, maybe ever. I got 55/100. But InshAllah gotta buck up for the course and start preparing for final from today. Depending on how I do my final, I can either get an A- or B- or B+ or C in the class. It is now all upto that fateful one and a half hours in April. Ofcourse, there are still the occasional assignments to take care of but inshAllah those won't be a problem either.

I am back now, as well as "back" can be defined. I had never gone to be honest. I doub't I could have. I used to come back and read the encouraging and beautiful comments and support you guys gave me during these tough times. Thanks to all who did. Really meant a lot. I will need a lot more in the coming months ahead and I know I can count on my friends in the blogworld to be there when I need them. God Bless you all.
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Monday, March 06, 2006

Paper No.2

My Database Systems paper Alhamdolillah went well today. It was not easy and there were a few questions to stump the most studies amongst us, but I had enough prep, good luck and prayers on my side to get most of them right. The ones I didn't get right, I hope to get some partial credit for them. Let's see how much I get. I still haven't received my Computer Networking paper results. Hope I get some good marks on that crappy paper. Got my Software Architectures assignment two graded and got a 92/100 in it. Not bad but lost points over careless mistakes.

On the other side I am having a hectic time with the exams. Already got more assignments to do over Spring break. Guess this spring break im booked.
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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Screw Up

My EE 450 Networking exam today was a major screwup on my part. The time available for the exam did not coincide with the difficulty of the exam and I, even though was able to finish it, did not do it right and am having a hard time coping with the result. God knows how many points I will get on it but inshAllah let's see what happens. The result should be out in a few days. One thing is for sure though, I will be studying day in day out for now on because I got my jolt today and now even surviving in the class, is my top priority.

On another note, my CS 585 Database assignment was also not complete when I submitted it. I am guilty of trying to put a lot of time on it and neglecting my EE 450 exam prep as well. I guess I need to manage my time better and set my priorities right. This situation would not have even arisen if I had started early on my DB assignment. The fault is entirely mine and noone elses. Let this post be a reminder to me to be puncutal and efficient in my studies, with minimal waste of time.

Software Architecture is, so far, looking easy but I know the bomb will soon drop because it is too silent on the SA front. The guns will blaze soon and I will have to shield myself and study hard from it now on as well.

I am back but I wish I had come back in a much better form, with much better news than this. I have the Database exam on Monday, the 6th of March and the Software Architecture exam on the 9th of March. Let's see what happens. InshAllah, for my sake, I hope it goes well.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Gone For A While

I will be going on a short hiatus since my assignment deadlines are coming up and I still have a lot to catch up on, not to mention the midterms approaching as well. Till then keep me in your well wishes, mates. I should be back by a week approximately, give or take a few days, if I survive that is.
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Monday, February 20, 2006

Day Dedicated to Casper

I thought i'd post some pictures of male Turkish Angora Casper. Some of you might have seen these pictures before but the majority of you haven't. So here you go.

Sitting on the drawing room table, lazying around and literally reigning over the drawing room. These days that is his kingdom and he spends most of his day there.

Casper was yawning and really sleepy, and he got snapped. It might look he is attacking but he is just acting like a tired bum, legs dangling off the edge of the table.

Lazying around on the drawing room sofa looking at some object of interest.

Playing with his own tail with nothing better to do that day.

Thanks to the flash, a devlish picture of Casper.
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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

The protests that began over the irreverent depiction of the Prophet PBUH have started to grow out of hand in many countries of the world. I will just focus on the situation in Pakistan only. I will leave the rest as, just other bad apples in the bad lot of hypocrisies.

So what do the instigators of the protests call it. A rally against the depiction of the caricatures? Bullshit! They say these protests are being done in the name of Islam. Bullocks! What in reality these protests are, is a carefully played out and masterminded effort on the part of the Religious MMA party to take a swipe at the government. It is part of a bigger scheme of political wrangling among the MMA and the Government. A child and a young man were killed in the KFC ransacking by protestors in Peshawar. A school and other buildings were destroyed in a small town in Punjab. Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore have had problems with protestors disrupting the normal day to day lives of Millions of people. Is this in the name of Islam? Would our Prophet PBUH have wanted us to do this? Would a protestor with balls come up and tell me that their justification for killing a child and a young man is that some Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet PBUH? What does Quran say about the killing of a human being, let alone a non-muslim or a muslim?

The MMA and other opposition parties have finally gotten something to incite the masses against the government. I believe the MMA and these protestors, along with the Bughti people in Balochistan, to be the biggest traitors Pakistan has ever known. They burn down business, kill innocent people and cause immense damage to the country as a whole just because some firebrand Mullah gets behind them and spurs them on by putting some Spice up their asses.

I believe the real problem is that these protestors have nothing better to do. They sit at home, watch the news over a cup of tea, and then they say, "Well, now that is something we can rally on against the government. We don't have anything better to do , so lets go." The problem is the lack of desire to do something for your country, to work for its betterment and your fellow citizens.

It is a sad day for Islam, when its "so called" protectors are it's biggest destroyers, trying to cause problems contrary to the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah and giving everything they do, even if they burp, in the name of Islam. For God's Sake. Someone needs to tell them to go give us true muslims a break. Islam and its Prophet PBUH deserve much better than these scoundrels.
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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cold, Wet and Calm

It is cold and wet today in Los Angeles. I think the coldest day of the winter season today in LA. I came from Michigan to California, so it isn't that big of a deal for me. But when I go outside, I see people wearing pullovers and shivering while walking and I am thinking, "Come on, It isn't that cold, is it?". But I guess I am used to sub freezing temperatures that make your face feel like a puckered piece of lifeless mass. I am thankful I am rid of that.

Did I tell you guys how my roommate D, left the window open when he went to sleep last night? I am talking about the living room window here. It was cold outside and he had opened it to cook, guess what.. yes yes.. FISH!!!. He himself wore a jacket while I was sitting wearing a T-shirt. It didn't feel cold then but at 3:45AM my sleep was interrupted and I found myself shivering. He did it today too. Me and my brother went out to dinner, came back and find he has the windows open and is wearing a jacket. Hilarious moment. I would assume a normal person would close the windows and remove the jacket but not D. I closed the windows and surely enough, D's jacket came off after a bit.

Personally, I am beginning to find that not overreacting and always being calm even when your angry wins you the day in the end. Anger doesn't solve anything. It just destroys your ability to comprehend the problem at hand and deal with it efficiently and easily. On top of that, anger is also bad for your health. So next time your going to break someone's skull open or say something sarcastic and mean to them, just take a deep breath and let it go. If you can't, just walk away for the time being. It is better to walk away and come back then have to live with regret.

P.S: D's coldcapade and my anger post are unrelated. I was never angry at D all through the debacle. I was more amused to say the least.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Catching Up

Valentines day passed without much happening. I spent most of the day trying to catch up on my studies and got a lot of work done. Still have a long way to go. I am beginning to get my groove and feel for studies back and shifting into high gear now. USC is proving to be a challenging place to study at and I am sure I will be able to achieve my degree without any major problems.

Computer Networking (CN) is going along fine. Still have to start on the Database systems (DBS) assignment as well as the Software Architectures (SA) assignment. I plan on getting the CN assignments and reading done by today. It would be one less burden, helping me cope with the SA and DBS assignments.

Thanks to all of you guys who dropped by and gave your well wishes on Valentine's day. Hope you all had a blast and I am sure many of you did. Thanks also, for keeping on coming back to my blog. Not much to write about other than my assignments these days, cuz that is the only thing that is on my mind a lot lately.

Tech Talk:

For the tech savvy among you, this is the general summary of what I have to do in my three assignments. I will be posting tech related stuff like this from now on, along with the normal postings, also because I want to keep an archive of what I did for my assignments or mused about, tech wise. If you are not into this kind of stuff, your welcome to ask me questions about anything I talk about here, or you could just skip it, read the usual normal posts and save yourself the trouble *grin*.

  • Computer Networking: Take the Ethereal Software and capture packets off the ping and traceroute programs. Analyze these packets and answer the questions based on the packets. Questions such as source and destination IP's, length of the ICMP packet and it's included fields, difference between ping and traceroute ICMP packets and other ICMP general questions. The other CN assignment is based on material relating to the layered networking architecture. Questions relating to signal to noise ratio, Shannon's Theorem and some true and false questions as well as explanation type questions from the textbook itself.

  • Software Architecture: This assignment has questions relating to the to the Parnas Research Paper on the criteria of dividing modules in a software system. We also have to design a system and then answer questions relating to the interdependencies among the components and their connectors.

  • Database Systems: This assignment is a biggie and requires lots of work and time. It requires making an Object Relational Database from a scheme already given. Designing the tables for the relational part and then the object queries for the Object part and then testing and debugging. It also requires entering of significant test and dummy data. Might require a little research also because of Object Relational Syntax being subjective to different implementations, the one I will be using is Oracle 10G.

P.S. I am too lazy to make two seperate blogs and two seperate posts for normal and tech related information.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

What is Valentine's Day? It is a day when we send out our appreciation for those that we love. This can be love for your significant other, for your parents or anyone that you appreciate and love.

I wanna dedicate my Valentine's day to my parents. Thankyou mom and dad for always being there when I needed you. Through all the happy times and the sad, through it all. Without you, I would have been nothing but a rough pebble in the ocean; you polished me and made sure I shone. You have been my best friends till now and I will make sure that I remain your best friend for life. Thankyou for everything. I love both of you, a lot.

Happy Valentine's day to all of my blogbuddies too. May you all have a fun day.
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Monday, February 13, 2006

My Chinese Roommate

Ok this post is dedicated to my roommate. By dedicate, it doesn't mean you will get to hear only good things about him. Not Sir ree. You will get a proper introduction. For the sake of privacy let's call him D from here onward. Without further ado here we go:

D is from the People's Republic of China. His family emmigrated to the US recently but they live a bit far off. That is why, D stays with us guys and goes to USC. He is a Civil Engineering graduate student with emphasis on road and highway contruction. The guy is quiet, humble and an avid fish eater (more on this in a bit). He is fairly clean (I was worried i'd get a roomate who was a pig but thankfully I am ok). He doesn't talk behind your back and here I am writing a post about him, oh well, he isn't me now is he? Since his family recently emmigrated along with him, as I said before, he has difficulty speaking english like most oriental people not born in the United States. The good thing though is that he is trying very hard to learn new words everyday and tries to talk a lot with me in English (I am sure some of you know I don't speak chinese, Right?). He loves the television series "Friends" and has all the seasons on DVD. I am going to have to hound and watch them all over again sometime. The guy is talented (He got into USC, what do you expect).

D has an obsession with fish. The guy eats it like his life depends on it in some way. Normally I wouldn't mind that, since I eat out with my brother (who is my other roommate and goes to USC with me), but D, cooks fish in a weird way resulting in the smell going all around the house. I am kinda sick of it. The first day he tried cooking fish, the amount of smoke in the house increased tenfold and the fire alarm went off. In 5 minutes, the fire squad was here in their outfit and one had to watch D's face to feel sad for him.

Well there you are. That is D. I hope his fish fetish ends soon because otherwise, I am going to put him into the ocean with all the fish. (Ofcourse I am kidding, I wouldn't hurt a fly, you guys know that right?).
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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Random Jokes

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip, set up their tent, and fall asleep.

Some hours later, Holmes wakes his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

Watson replies, "I see millions of stars." "What does that tell you?" Watson ponders for a minute. "Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Timewise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, it's evident the Lord is all-powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?"

Holmes is silent for a moment, then speaks. "Watson, you idiot, someone has stolen our tent."

A waiter asks a man, “May I take your order, sir?”

“Yes,” the man replies. “I’m just wondering, exactly how do you prepare your chickens?”

“Nothing special, sir. We just tell them straight out that they’re going to die.”

Smart man + smart woman = romance
Smart man + dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy

Smart boss + smart employee = profit
Smart boss + dumb employee = production
Dumb boss + smart employee = promotion
Dumb boss + dumb employee = overtime

A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need.

A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend.
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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Assignment 1 Grades

CS578 Software Architecture: 93/100 | Weightage = 5% | Converted Grade: 4.65%
EE450 Computer Networking: 95/100

Got my grades for my assignment 1's from my CS 578, Software Architecture class and my EE 450, Computer Networking class and I can say I am not too happy about them. Especially the Software Architecture grades. I was literally robbed of some of my grades with useless mark deductals off some of my points. I might have to go in and get it rechecked. Most of it was standard though. Now that I know how the graders grade, I will have to raise my standard of submittal. Not give them anything to remove.

I probably made some blunder on my Computer Networking Assignment as well but I am not overly worried about that. I will just have to try to get above 95 though, because the teacher has been known to rob students during midterms and finals. This time the assignment was graded by the grader not the teacher. So gotta be careful.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Interesting Argument

Yesterday, while coming from class I met my friend, who for the sake of privacy I will call, E. The class itself was a boring one. E was standing outside the local Burger King. Turns out he also had'nt eaten lunch yet. So we both ate a Chicken Sandwich. Me and E are in the same Software Architectures class. We had time to kill before the class began and E took me along, to meet another Pakistani friend of his at the University. Being woefully few in number, the Pakistani students at USC are a close knit bunch. So I's gesture to take me along and break the ice with another Pakistani was welcome and appreciated. It turns out the ice was kind of hard to break.

The other friend who we will call S, was studying in the library where we went to meet him. Turned out he was the same age as me. Now I and him are good friends and they started talking about stuff while I am sitting there awkwardly. E is nice enough to get me into the conversation but it is proving difficult since S, seems oblivious to my presence. Maybe S wasn't taught proper etiquittes but that is perfectly ok. I didn't mind that much. When he did talk it was to argue with me from the get go.

Some of the arugments he put forth are these:

1. Most people come to the US from Pakistan to work and since it is easier to apply from the US than Pakistan, they come here on a student VISA, do their MS and then work. Now, I agreed with him on the "easier to apply from the US for a US job than from Pakistan", but the coming here as a grad student to work is stupid to say the least. Why would someone pay 60k+ Dollars to come here so that down the line, 2 years from now, he or she can work based on the completion of their MS. That would be a pretty big investment just to find a job from the US in US. I asked him if he had brothers here and he says yes. So what was the problem then. I could see he was getting uncomfortable now, so I decided to let him off the hook.

2. The second was his assault on my choice of why I had not chosen to work after I had graduated from the US and applied for MS. Shouldn't my choice be my own and who is this stranger to ask me anyway? To say the least, I felt insulted. I told him not everyone is so crazy to work as you are, after their Bachelors, especially coming to the US to do your MS from a 60k+ annual tution Uni. Good that I got him back because there were loopholes developing in his logic and he was starting to contradict himself.

3. He was of the view an MS degree doesn't do anything for your job search or during your job. It is just a degree many companies ignore. Now, that was a shocker, ladies and gents! So, we can safely assume, S came to the US to study in a 60k+ Uni to find only land a job. I asked him this, and he slowly said yes, visibly unsure how to answer his own logic. He wouldn't believe me when I said that an MS degree will help you overcome the glass ceiling your definately going to get somewhere, sometime in your career.

In the end, when people argue just for the sake of an argument, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth and you tend to think. Why even bother aruguing when you don't even have a simple valid argument to your credit? It only makes you look like a fool, in my honest opinion. Too bad the ice didn't break and I didn't like S much. Maybe a second meeting would clarify things.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Operation Desert Storm

Wain Al Bab = Where is the door
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USC Supercomputer - Trojan Power

Just stumbled upon this news while I was browsing my University's website. This news came out back when when I was frantickly applying to get into USC back in November. Is is like 3 months old but the record still holds and the news piece is still valid today. So I post it here for your perusal. It is about the University of Southern California's Supercomputer at our High-Perfomance Computing and Communication Lab here. The record-breaking performance of nearly 11 trillion calculations per second makes it the nation’s second most powerful computer system in an academic setting. That is 11 followed by 12 zeros btw. *grins*

The nation’s second-fastest supercomputer in an academic setting belongs to the USC Center for High-Performance Computing and Communications, according to TOP500 Supercomputer Sites, an online publication that ranks the sites operating the 500 most powerful computer systems in the world.

The latest TOP500 rankings were announced Nov. 15 at the Supercomputer Conference 2005 in Seattle, Wash.

Among supercomputers in an academic setting, HPCC’s parallel supercomputer rose from fourth- to second-fastest in the United States in just six months.

Among all supercomputers in the world, HPCC’s cluster jumped in the rankings from 37th to 24th. The supercomputer claimed these distinctions by achieving a benchmark in September of 10.75 teraflops, or 10.75 trillion calculations per second.

In the previous TOP500 rankings, released six months ago, the HPCC supercomputer clocked in at 7.291 teraflops.

A recent upgrade of the HPCC cluster, which increased the system’s total number of compute nodes from 1,716 to 1,830, powered the supercomputer’s record-breaking performance.

“The HPCC supercomputer has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years,” said James Pepin, director of the HPCC.

“In June 2003, when the HPCC supercomputer first entered the Top500 rankings, it achieved a benchmark of one teraflop and was ranked 55th in the world. Today it is more than 10 times faster and has leapt to 24th in the rankings. We’ve come a long way in a very short time,” Pepin said.

HPCC is an interdisciplinary partnership supported by numerous schools and departments across USC. HPCC bridges USC’s strengths in scientific computing, computer science and communications by supporting more than 120 research groups in a variety of disciplines, ranging from genomics and geophysics to materials science and natural language translation.

“USC has made modest local investments to achieve its current status among the world’s top supercomputer sites, while many of the higher-ranked systems are mega-projects supported by national funding sources,” said Michael Pearce, USC’s deputy chief information officer.

“The local aspect of HPCC allows USC researchers unfettered access to a world-class resource,” Pearce said.

Priya Vashishta, chair of the Faculty Advisory Council for HPCC, said, “Many national governments and top research universities are pouring resources into high-performance computing because they recognize that the future of research in so many fields depends on it.

“USC researchers are very fortunate to have a world-class supercomputer on campus to support their research and the creation of complex computer simulations,” said Vashishta, professor of chemical engineering, materials science and computer science in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and professor of physics and astronomy in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

HPCC displays supercomputing simulations in its new USC Center for Data Visualization and Collaboration.

“One of the great opportunities we have at HPCC is to move beyond the traditional realms and problems tackled by supercomputing to address issues of how people interact with information and each other to help create meaning in a digital society,” said Thomas Katsouleas, professor of electrical engineering and electrophysics in the USC Viterbi School and president of the USC faculty senate.

Part of the focus of HPCC is to expand the reach of high-end computing by addressing system-level questions in social, economic and cultural research.

“We are unique in academia in having a supercomputing resource of this class that is available across the disciplines and for classroom use as well as research. In this way, HPCC is helping USC to create the virtual worlds and immersive environments that will revolutionize higher education in the 21st century,” Katsouleas said.

By Kevin Durkin - USC News

Another star on USC's shoulders. Btw if your wondering why I always write Fight on Trojans! It is because we are the USC Trojans and Fight on! is our motto.
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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

One more to go

Got done with the ER diagram assignment for my Database course. Not all that great, still skeptical about a few things in the assignment. There are so many ways of doing an ER diagram and so many small things that it can really get out on control really fast if you are doing it after a while. So let's hope I get some good grades for it, cuz the next two assignments are based on this one.

I had decided to cancel my PDA order last week. Some things had come up and I had to. Now I have again gotten the green light to buy it. I will most probably go with the Dell Axim 51v again. I also looked at PalmOne LifeDrive. I will give it a test drive. If I like it, I will also go for a LiveDrive, although the chances of that are very low. The Axim is so irresistable.

On another note, there is a person who has been going around harassing me and other USC students on the blogworld. To give you a little background about the whole deal, a LSU (Lousiana State University) student have been harassing USC students because of his/her jealousy that USC has won more National Football Championships than them. Simple fact. They were planning to put up a HUGE billboard near our campus in LA, telling us about their "so called" dominance over us. Sadly for LSU, a certain rich USC alumni decided to buy a billboard space for a few grands and use it to tell people of LSU's dreams, and also to donate funds to the Hurricane Katrina victims. Apparently he mentioned Katrina because LSU fans were good enough to pull out their pocketmoney for a billboard but not enough for relief efforts for Katrina victims. Now a certain LSU fan/student has been going around harassing USC students, fans and former alumni. If you see any of his comments on my blog, disregard the nuisance.
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Sunday, February 05, 2006

Damn Deadlines

The second Software Architectures assignment is due next week as well as the Database Systems assignment. The Software architecture assignment mostly deals with the meat architecture details this time around. Apart from some question with small definition stuff, we have to design an architecture ourselves and then design four other architectures for the same problem and discuss the pros and cons of each of the four architectures. I have a fair idea of what do to for MOST of the questions. Gotta read the Perry/Wolf research paper and then, based on that, answer some of the questions in the ASSignment.

The Database Systems assignment shoudn't be too hard. The purpose of the assignment is to design an ER model based on a problem. ER models are not hard to build. The interesting thing is that, the more the time you give your ER diagram, the better it will get. Let's see how good I can make mine.
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Friday, February 03, 2006

The Vilest of Veiled Attacks On Our Savior, The Prophet PBUH

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know how European newspapers and publications in countries such as Norway, France, Germany and last but definately not least Denmark, posted the caricatures of the Prophet PBUH last week. The images showed the Holy Prophet PBUH wearing a turban fashioned as a bomb (Naoozobillah), among other things. This created wide spread protests in all the muslim world in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and almost every other muslim country on Earth.

Now that you know the premise for this post, let me start by saying that the Europeans have gone daft. Their affrontry by saying the cartoon was a in the priciple of freedom of speech, makes me believe they think the muslim world is stupid and dumb. To throw the veil of "freedom of speech" at us, over such a blatant disregard for another religion and its pacticers. Truly sad and disgusting. Samar, Aisha, Huda and Fahad among others, have beautifully potrayed their feelings on the issue. I would suggest all muslim bloggers to at least publish one topic if not more, on the issue and potray a united muslim stand from a blogging point of view. Compared to the amount of other crap we post about everyday, our Savior and Prophet PBUH deserves at least that much.

So what is freedom of speech honestly? Is it freedom to say or act whatever you want to do? Well looks like it. But should this so called freedom of speech be limited to a country's own boundary or should it cross into the world. In the end it doesnt matter and we don't care. The end result is that due to this so called freedom of speech, an insult was hurled at the muslim the world over. A veiled insult that has the cowards uttering it, hiding behind the petty and disgusting excuse of "freedom of speech". If freedom of speech gives you the right to hurl insults at others, then damn it I say. If common decency, maturity and respect for others has no place in your everyday life, then such speech is moot and only a free ticket to utter foul crap whenever and wherever you want to.

Denmark today refused to apologize for the cartoons. Hardly surprising since their government wants to commit hara kiri and suicide itself economically with the amount of lost exports to Arab and Muslim countries. I say go for it guys. When you go out to shop, do not buy any French, Norwegian, Italian, Danish and German goods. Trust me, you can find alternatives to everything made in these countries from other countries. We don't have to be extremists to send a clear signal.

Extremists are people with little or no rational thinking. Let us potray that we are indeed pissed and mad yet potray it in a civil and forthright manner. The Prophet PBUH himself, would have wanted us all to remain calm in this. We aren't perfect. He PBUH, was. But let us at least follow the teachings of the man we are protecting here. Going gung ho and killing innocents is something he never wanted and it shoudn't change here either. So if you meet someone who is pissed enough to go gung ho, remind them that there are other more islamic, peaceful and caustic methods of getting back at those that have maligned the name of the Savior of both worlds, our Prophet PBUH.

UPDATE: More and more Western countries are purposedly provoking the muslims at this stage by republishing the cartoons. New Zeland and Ireland are the latest example. "Freedom of Speech" especially when you know when its offensive to those in your target audience or a subset thereof, is abuse. Abuse of "freedom of speech" in itself.

Chronological News:

September 30, 2005:
- The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed PBUH.

December 9, 2005
- The Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which represents 56 Muslim states, lodged a formal complaint against Denmark with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

January 11, 2006
- The Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter felt the Danish government was right to side with Jyllands-Postens in the Mohammed cartoons debate and insist on freedom of the press and freedom of opinion.

January 17, 2006
- Norwegian newspaper Magazinet reprints the controversial cartoons around or on this date.

January 26, 2006
- Saudis recall ambassador to Denmark as protest over caricatures.

January 27, 2006
- In response to the cartoons, the Danish paper Dagbladet Information reports that Egyptian companies have started to boycott Danish products.

January 29, 2006
- Libya closes embassy in Denmark over Prophet cartoon

January 31, 2006
- Carsten Juste, editor in chief of Jyllands-Posten publishes an open letter addressed to Muslims all over the world in which he apologises for the cartoons' impact (in English and Arabic).

February 1, 2006
- Die Welt publishes one of the cartoons on its front page. Other German newspapers such as, Die tageszeitung, Tagesspiegel and Berliner Zeitung print them as well.
- Fatwa was pronounced against Danish soldiers stationed in Iraq and the Jyllands-Posten offices in Arhus and Copenhagen had to be evacuated after a bomb threat.
- France's Soir becomes the first French newspaper to publish the cartoons.
- Syria recalls ambassador from Denmark over cartoons.

February 2, 2006
- The editor in chief of France Soir, Jacques Lefranc, is fired. The French-Egyptian owner of the paper, Raymond Lakah, apologises "to the Muslim community and all those who were insulted by the publication."

February 3, 2006
- New Zealand paper prints Islamic cartoons.
- The United States backs Muslims on against European newspapers that printed caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in a move that could help America's battered image in the Islamic world.
- Venezuelan internet media publishes controversial cartoons.
- Angry protests over Mohammed caricatures spread in countries such as Pakistan, Malaysia, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia and Bangladesh.
- Brunei Parties Join Global Islamic Outcry.
- Jack Straw attacks European press over cartoon furor.
- Iraq's top Shia Muslim cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani condemns the publication, but says militant Islamists were partly to blame for distorting the image of Islam.
- Vatican cardinal criticizes cartoons satirizing Prophet Mohammed PBUH.
- Europe Warns Saudi Arabia Against Danish Boycott.

February 4, 2006
- New Zelands's Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press re-print the Danish cartoons.
- Danish embassy in Syria torched.
- Denmark orders its officials out of Syria.