What I got from Al-Ghanim

Post by Mark

I passed by Al-Ghanim Electronics yesterday because I needed to buy a fridge. While there I also picked up laserprinter and scanner. Last time I bought a laserprinter was in 1996, it was an HP 5L I believe. It was a pretty decent laserprinter but later on in its life I was getting a lot of paper jams. I actually don’t think I ever changed the toner for it either. Thats what I love about laserprinters, you buy them and you forget about them. No need to keep buying expensive ink and if you don’t use it for a month or two, nothing clogs up. So yesterday while checking out the printers, I had my eye on two. One was a HP LaserJet 1012 and the other the LaserJet 1160. The first model was around KD69 while the second one KD120. I was gonna go ahead and buy the cheap one but the thing looked really flimsy and problematic. Plus, since I buy a laserprinter once a decade I figured why not pay a bit more and get something that looks like it will last a lot longer. So I went with the LaserJet 1160. While checking out the printers I remembered nat wanted a scanner. So I turned around and found the scanners section. The choices there were a lot easier. Most of the scanners were unknown brands while the most expensive scanner they had was an HP for KD40. So since I had just paid 120 for a printer, 40 sounded very cheap and I got that. Its the HP Scanjet 3970 scanner.

When I was done paying they got me the boxes for my goodies and to my surprise the printers boxed looked like it was open. I went downstairs and noticed the printer I had chosen was not on display anymore! The fuckers tried to give me the printer on display without telling me. So I complained, they apologized and blamed it on the salesman. They then told me I had to go to the Hawalli branch and pick my printer up from there.

Once home I opened all the boxes (new stuff always smell so nice) and set everything up. Everything works perfectly and looks good. Bit my bit my design studio at home is starting to look and feel like a… design studio.


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Porn, Dubai and Bluetooth

Post by Mark

Just read an article on The Register about how the latest Bluetooth scare is that if you go to the United Arab Emirates, someone might hack your phone, implant porn on it, and you’d end up in jail. There are many people out there with bluetooth phones who could easily fall victim to this. I know this because I have witnessed 2 fellow employees at work, both with new phones and both the first time owning a bluetooth phone. Someone in the office had a nokia phone infected with a virus and it sent it to the 2 new phones, the employees thought someone was trying to chat with them and accepted to install the virus. These were young men in their 20s so imagine the problems older less technology understanding people would face. It would really suck to get thrown in jail for mobile porn.


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Audi Q7 Sneak Peek

Post by Mark

Audi Q7

The Car Connection has posted spy shots of the new Audi SUV, the Audi Q7. Its based on the same platform as the Cayenne and Touareg and looking at the pictures you can see the close similarities. I think it looks kind of dull. Front shot available here [Link].


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Tool are NOT breaking up

Post by Mark

This has to be the longest lasting April Fools prank of the year. On April 1st Maynard Keenan the lead frontman for one my favorite bands Tool sent an email saying he found Jesus. This was an obvious attempt to mock Brian Welch from Korn who a few months earlier decided to leave Korn because “he had found god“. Surprisingly though many people didn’t get joke and till today people still don’t it was just a joke. Even Nibaq was telling me the other day that if I knew Maynard had found Jesus. Here is a link with details on this April Fools prank, something like a detailed history of it.

By the way, now that I think about it, Keenan sounds like a Lebanese family name pronounced Kin-3an. Interesting…


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Qualitynet First Experience

Post by Mark

Yesterday night I passed by the Qualitynet branch in Eureka. My first experience, they are nice friendly people. The guy tried to help me out as much as possible but due to the fact I was a Shownet customer and had a Satellite/DSL combo, I have to go to the main branch in Khaleejeyeh Complex. I did finish most of my paper work though. At one point he was calling this one guy who had more info about my situation, and he was like “I hope the guy answers, there is a big game today”. I was like big game? what big game? He was like Barcelona and Real Madrid are playing. I found that very funny and luckily the guy did pick up. I am sure if the guy hadn’t picked up my first impression about Qualitynet would have been much different.

The reason I went with Qualitynet was the price. For KD32 a month, I get a 512KB connection and a free DSL modem. This is with a 1 year contract which you can pay in monthly installments. I was planning on going with Fasttelco at first though. I had spoken to an FT salesman at Al-Ghanim Electronics, the guy told me FT had a double your bandwidth option also. It would cost me the same price, KD32 if I paid the bill online. Disdavantage is I had to pay KD20 for a DSL modem but the advantage was, this one a month by month contract not a yearly one. After leaving the salesman at Al Ghanim I decided to pass by the main FT office. When there I asked them again about the double your bandwidth option, they told me it existed but ONLY if I did the yearly contact which I had to pay the full amount all upfront. He told me if I wanted to go month by month I would only get a 50% increase. That meant 384KB instead of 512.. not enough. So, I decided to go with Qualitynet.


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United Cable Company

Post by Mark

Yesterday while chatting with Tivo Guy over lunch about my DSL options, he mentioned UCC. I was like UCC? Never heard of them. Turns out UCC is Gulfnet which is Kuwait.net. I thought they had died a few years but turns out they are still alive. So later on in the evening I got to Shownet to cancel my account (finally got it over with) and the guy there was tells me that they have a new DSL only service in collaboration with.. UCC. Interesting how when you hear about something for the first time and then suddenly hear it again. Turns out Shownet is an official GulfNet DSL distributer and they are packaging showtime packages with Gulfnets DSL offerings. I ofcourse refused to have anything to do with Shownet anymore and said no thank you. So UCC is United Cable Company which is GulfNet which is Kuwait.net.


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The PSP Experience

Post by Mark

psp

After I left the office yesterday I went home and picked up Nat. I told her we are going to Aramex to pick up the PSP. She was like didn’t they say 8AM tomorrow? I was like whatever, they get the packages tonight, we camp at Aramex till they get them. I was like worse case we have a bunch of magazines that arrived at Aramex last week, we pick those up and read them while we wait. So we get to Aramex at 7PM and right as I am about to open the door of the car, Aramex call me. They tell me my package arrived and I can pick it up. I was like thanks, I am right outside! We pick up the PSP, park on the side of the road and we start tearing up the boxes. Luckily our PSP came with a starter kit which included a car power adapter.

We switch on the PSP, and first thing I start looking for are dead pixels (dots on the screen which don’t change color). There was a speckle of dust on the screen I tried to remove with my finger when I realized that the tiny speckle was a dead pixel. I was like this is it? For some reason I expected it to be bigger, but because the PSP screens pixels are very fine, a dead pixel is barely noticeable even when the whole screen is black. I ended up finding 2 dead pixels, one on the first row and one in the middle right of the screen. Both not noticeable even when looking for them.

We got the Spider Man 2 movie with the PSP so that was the first thing we played. I was totally blown away, the image was extremely clear, sharp and the colors very accurate. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I am no stranger to technology but the screen was like nothing I had seen before. I then put the game WipeOut Pure and let Nataly play till we got home. Once home we were able to try out the other games and get a better feel of the PSP.

My only disappointment is in the sound department. The built in PSP speakers are not good enough. I don’t know what I was expecting but I know I wasnt expecting speakers you would find on a gameboy. With the earphones on though you get totally immersed in the game.

The good things about the PSP? The screen definetly is the coolest thing, when lying in bed at night watching SpiderMan 2, for a brief moment with all the lights off you would think you lived in the future. Its like having a plasma screen that fit into your hand. The load times of the games were unnoticeable. On paper 10 seconds feels a lot but in reality its hardly noticeable, except for the game Tony Hawk were load times were longer then 10 seconds. The battery life was high, I spent 2 hours atleast playing with the PSP and then put the system on standby and today morning I checked and it was still at 90% charge. Also incase you have a spare battery swapping them is very easy.

In conclusion, as I mentioned on Miskan, there is no PSP vs DS war. The war is over. There really wasn’t a war to begin with. While the Nintendo DS is catering for under 18s the PSP is catering for people aged over 18. They are two different machines for two different groups. I will probably definitely get a DS but like my gamecube it will probably gather dust in the cupboard. Click here for a picture of my PSP with my PDA and phone.


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My Conversation with Aramex

Post by Mark

Ok so as I said in my previous post my PSP is in Kuwait. After trying to contact them from 2PM, I was just able to get a hold of someone now:

Me: When can i pick up my package?
Aramex: Package is in Ardiyeh (the main operations facility).
Me: Can I pick it up from there?
Aramex: No, everyone wants to pick it up from there but you cant, its not allowed. You can only pick it up from our Kuwait City office.
Me: Ok when can I come over and pick it up?
Aramex: I don’t know, there are over 800 packs and they have been sorting them out since 1PM
Me: O..K… but when will I be able to pick up my package?
Aramex: Usually around 6PM but we will send out SMS’s when they arrive
Me: OK so at 6 I can come pick up my package?
Aramex: inshalla
Me: Thank you good bye
Aramex: bye


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PSP in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Ok my PSP has arrived in Kuwait. I beleive it has also past customs with no problems. Now I am trying to call Aramex so I can see when I can pick up my package but no one is answering!!


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Lebanese Dinner In Kuwait… this Thursday

Post by Mark

The Lebanese communitee in Kuwait is organizing a Fund raising dinner gala aimed at providing financial contribution to all those who lost their jobs, suffered bodily injury, or endured tragic loss of life since the hideous crime carried out against the martyrs that fell on February 14th, 2005… and among them, fell the martyr Rafiq al Hariri.

The dinner will take place on the 14th of April, as we commemorate 60 days since the assasination, at the Lebanese famous restaurant Burj Al Hamam (Gulf Road).

We invite you to be part of a fund raising dinner that will take place in Kuwait as a support for our friends and families in our beloved country Lebanon. The event is supported by most of the Kuwaitis media, Future TV and companies in Kuwait.

For further information about the event’s program, tickets & reservations please contact: Mazen on +965-7899386 or Kaiis on +965-9865744


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