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Tuesday
Sep302008

May the Eid Happy Us All

Yes, there’s something wrong in the blog title, I know.  I’ve lost too much sleep, therefore I have the right to sound as wrong as I want.

3eedkom imbarak :)  And if it’s not Eid for you today, then 3eedkom imbarak bacher!

The amount of sophistication in kids now is quite mind boggling.  One of the kids had a notepad and the names of all us uncles, with a little checkbox next to each one.  The little freak was friggin doing accounting or something.  Jeez, whatever happened to being pleasantly surprised?

I sneaked behind the kid and tapped his shoulder.  He looked at me and feigned surprise as I pulled out my wallet.

“I shouldn’t be doing this, you’ve been annoying your parents lately haven’t you?”  I said, hesitating.

“I’m very sorry.  I kissed each parent’s head today.”  He said.  Of course, when would be a better day to kiss their heads?

“Here you go.  3eedik imbarak!”  I gave him a nice round 10kd with a smile.  He took it from my hand, smiled back at me and checked a little box next to my name. 

“Just make sure not t… Hello?  Kid?”  I realized that my words were falling on deaf ears.  I stopped myself when I saw him not paying attention anymore.  He sat back in his chair and eyed the other uncles.  He was done with me.

I hope you’ll remember that Eid al Ath7a is a few months away you little bastard!  I’ve got you in my crosshairs!  I was gonna do some Eid cuts anyway since the economy is dying!  I’m sure the US can use my 10kd in their $700 billion rejected bailout!  Or you know what?  I’ll buy a PS3 game with that 10kd!  Ok sure, I need to add a few more KD to get the game, but I’ll make sure it’s your favorite game and you won’t play it!  In fact, I’ll play it right in front of your face and make sure to put a checkmark next to your name, which, by the way, is now mysteriously spelled “donkey.”

Grr..

frikkin kids.

Still, gotta love em :)

PS:  Never “try” something with your shaver a day before Eid.

Saturday
Sep202008

Automatic 7 to 8 Digit Converter for the iPhone

With all the confusion that’s going on, I thought it best to get this done automagically.  This will ONLY work with Cydia!  AKA: This is for jailbroken iPhones version 2.0+

Update:  Just added the caller-id fix as well to the repository, so you can add that if you don’t see the contact name when someone calls you.

Disclaimer:  This will add +965 and the new digit to all Kuwaiti numbers that it sees.  This should be a safe process, but If your iPhone eats your numbers, I’m not responsible!  The whole process is detailed below.  To be really safe, go get Funambol from the app store and back up your numbers online.

Add this repository to Cydia: http://iphone.bojacob.net


Once that’s done, you’ll find a new section called Kuwait Number Conversion or something, I forgot what I called it.


You’ll find a package by name of 8digit there.  Install it, and it should convert all the numbers currently on your iPhone.



Grats!  You should be all converted now.  Keep in mind that some numbers are cached, so you may need an iPhone restart to see the changes, but usually it’ll work right off the bat.

Something bad happened?  Just remove the package and it should revert to a backup copy of your address book.  Do NOT hit Reinstall.


How it works (Geeks and brave people only.)

This basically runs a bunch of SQL queries on your address book file located in /var/mobile/Library/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqlitedb

These are the queries:

UPDATE ABMultiValue SET value = Replace(value, “+965”, “”);
UPDATE ABMultiValue SET value = “+9656” || value WHERE (substr(value,0,2) IN (“51”,”58”,”59”) OR value LIKE “6%” OR substr(value,0,3) IN (“700”, “701”, “703”, “704”, “705”, “706”, “707”, “708”, “709”, “770”, “771”, “772”, “773”, “774”, “775”, “776”, “778”, “779”, “501”, “502”, “505”, “506”, “507”, “508”, “509”));
UPDATE ABMultiValue SET value = “+9659” || value WHERE (value LIKE “9%” OR value LIKE “44%” OR substr(value,0,2) IN (“71”, “72”, “73”, “74”, “75”, “76”, “78”, “79”) OR substr(value,0,3) = “702”);
UPDATE ABMultiValue SET value = “+9652” || value WHERE (value LIKE “2%” OR value LIKE “3%” OR substr(value,0,2) IN (“41”, “42”, “43”, “45”, “46”, “47”, “48”, “49”, “52”, “53”, “54”, “56”) OR substr(value,0,3) IN (“500”, “503”, “504”, “551”, “552”, “553”, “571”, “551”, “552”, “553”, “571”, “572”, “573”, “574”, “575”, “576”, “577”));

UPDATE ABMultiValue SET value = “1” || value WHERE value LIKE “8%”;


Et voila!


Monday
Sep012008

Ramadan is Upon Us. Need to Get Into Holy Mode.

Our holy month is upon us.  I must suspend any Rock Band play, despite the fact I was really getting into drumming.  Well, after dark perhaps?

Hello :)  Mbarak 3alekom il shahar.  I’m awake at 7 AM when work starts at 9:30 AM.  It’s blasphemous to wake up 2.5 hours before work.  Hell, it’s blasphemous to wake up 30 minutes before work!  Therefore, I am in a state of blasphemy right now.  I’m also hungry.

Much love revolves around this holy month.  If its holiness does not get to you, then I’m sure the reduced work time will.  I only got 2.5 hours shaved off though, which gives me 5 hours 30 minute workdays.  Friggin’ private sector :/  I’m also hungry.

You don’t work?  Well then revel in the fact that we’re gonna get like 10 new shows!  If you apply any rule of probability, you’ll at least end up with ONE good show, no?  Aw come on, be positive :)  I’m also hungry.

Seriously, I’m hungry :(  I’m writing this just to try and distract myself, but those friggin hunger pangs!  I can’t lose any more weight!  Why, oh why didn’t I wake up for so7oooor!  Dreaming of being inside Uncle Scrooge McDuck’s big $ building and diving into a sea of computer gadgets does NOT make up for it!

I

AM

HUNGERY!

And may you all have a happy month :)  God help me.  Where’s the zakat boxes.

Monday
Aug252008

Rock Band Fever

I have really been getting into a certain game by name of Rock Band.  I didn’t imagine I’d be THIS addicted!  I’m not even a rock and roll fan to boot, but the whole “playing” a song has me helplessly hooked.  What’s worse?  You get better over time and practice, and when you start playing those really difficult songs, you get an extreme sense of satisfaction when you rip the frets then hit a long note.  (The Hellion, Welcome Home are certain examples.)

My hand is cramped, but the only reason I’m not playing right now is because I’m waiting to join a band online and play together, but it’s taking so long.  The only reason its taking so long is because I keep joining a band made by some asshole named Aaron, who keeps on kicking me out.

I’ve been somewhat enchanted by the life of a real rock band.  Starting out with putting up an advertisement, looking for band members.  Bonding with your bandmates and covering their backs as they cover yours.  Gathering followers in local clubs and so forth.  Driving around the states in search for jobs.  Van breaking down in the middle of nowhere.  Bandmate spats, much like a real family.  Man, there’s a lot of stories to be made in that life.

Brief interlude, Aaron (the asshole) just joined MY band! :)  Yes, I kicked him out immediately!  heh.. uh, no one else is joining.  Um, I feel very alone now?

So anyway, I remember my days back in the US.  I was heading to a basement in college to play some pool with a friend.  To my surprise, I saw a full band there, with only like 5 people in the basement.  They played their hearts out, and received a couple of golf claps from the guys trying to concentrate on pool.  I wonder where those guys are and what happened to them now that it’s 4 years later.

Another interlude, I joined an online band!  Ahh, it’s a bunch of newbies :)  It’s so cute looking at the little ones selecting EASY and MEDIUM difficulties.  I, however, select the EXPERT difficulty.  Let me teach those tykes a thing or to.  BRB

.

.

Back, and well, I just bombed out badly and screwed everyone with me, therefore I was kicked out of the band.  One really has to know his limits, eh?  And his ego…

What’s it like to have band members?  Here’s an account from the Rock Band blog,

I should explain a bit about what it will be like to have bandmates. Bandmates are not like friends – do not live under the delusion that by having a band, you will now have new best buddies with whom you can hang out casually and watch season 2 of Golden Girls. Your bandmates will be more like family members… family members that you will sometimes need to kick in the shins when they won’t stop futzing with their pedal boards while you’re trying to coordinate tour plans. Family members that will make out with people you have crushes on using the excuse, “You’re the one who bought me that third Jager shot, dude.” Family members who will spill Yoo-hoo in your tube amp and then attempt to pacify you by suggesting that, “it’s not like you’re all that good at guitar anyway.” And you will live and die for these people. You will get in fights for these people – fights you would never have imagined jumping into before and which make absolutely no sense, no matter how many times your bandmates insist that “it was a question of honor.”

One sure has to have a passion for this sort of thing.  It’s a little late for me, but I ain’t missing out though!  I’m still tearin’ the guitar apart on the PS3!  RARAWRWRAAR!!! *tries to smash the guitar but wonders what that would accomplish*

I’ll just pretend I broke the guitar.  Yeaaaa *satisfied noises*
Saturday
Aug162008

When Spelling Hampers How Good You Are

Ah, training.  When management seem to want you elsewhere in the company, they go and train you in a field you’re not even close to interested in.  Such is life.

BUT!  What if the instructor was actually entertaining?  And here starts the story of my “Enterprise Microsoft Project” class.

Instructor:  Hello everyone.  I am here to train you for your newly installed Project server.

His accent hinted that he was Egyptian.

Instructor:  I am a certified trainer and have successfully completed many projects in Dubai in all sorts of areas.  I learned Microsoft Project on my own without anyone’s help.  I explored and I tested and even sent feedback to Microsoft requesting certain features!  (Continues talking about himself for 10 minutes)

Yep, confirmed.

He finally started the class.  An 8 hour class is so much fun y’know?  I was having adult ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and friggin daydreamed about how my upcoming program will function, until…

Instructor:  And so we must specify the deliverables.

He writes “Delivrable” on the board.  Me being the spelling nazi, I caught the missing letter.  So did he.

Instructor:  Hmm, this looks wrong…

Me:  Yes, there’s a missing E near th-

Instructor:  Ahh yes yes!

He writes “Delivreable” on the board.

Instructor:  Yes!  This looks better.

Me:  Uh..

Instructor:  Let’s continue.  Once those deliverables are clear, we can construct blablablabla…

I was suddenly amused and, to the credit of the instructor, I actually started to pay attention.  This might not be so bad after all.

Instructor:  Once we have our project created, it’s time for point number 7:  Tuning

He writes “Tunning” on the board.

Instructor:  Hmmmmm, this looks wrong.

Co-worker:  It looks fine to us, just keep going.

Instructor:  No, I have a big problem with being wrong.

He looks at me

Me:  Um, there’s an extra-

Instructor:  Oh right there’s a missing E again!  Hahah!

Me:  Huh?

He writes “Teunning” on the board.

Instructor:  Yes!  That even sounds correct!  Teunning!  Teunning!  Right!

Me:  Um.

Keep in mind he was talking in a very Egyptian accent, so he actually did make sense.

Instructor:  This is what’s so great about English.  You can speak out the word to see if it’s spelled correctly!  Right?!

Me:  Wh-  Oh, yes!  Of course! :)  Sure.

Co-worker:  Can we keep going?

For a guy that hates being wrong, his statement just could not be more wrong.  Like, damn…

The course continued on, and resumed its boringness.  The instructor asked a question of the class while I was thinking of linking my application to the damn regex class library.  I paid attention, although I didn’t know what the question was.  I saw a co-worker lift his hand up high, hopping in his chair as if we’re in high-school.

Instructor:  Yes?

Co-worker 2:  So the project will finish ahead of schedule?

Instructor:  No, schedules are best kept as they are.  It’s so the project will run smooth (with a very Egyptian accent)

To make his point, he decided to write it on the board.  He wrote “SMOOS.”  I gave up on helping.

Instructor: Which takes me to the next point.  We-

Suddenly the A/C started making a weird air-blowing sound for about 10 seconds where we were all silent, and then stopped.

Co-worker:  What was that?

Instructor:  Heh, I thought it was something else, but it took too long.  Anyway, let’s continue.

I was the only one that laughed :(  I wonder why.

Instructor:  We’ll now take a break for your prayers.

I noticed his wrist had a tattoo of a cross.  I suddenly wanted a tattoo of a crescent :(  I’m not even sure why we’re represented by a crescent, but I think it still looks cool.

I went to the prayer room and began getting myself ready both mentally and spiritually, until I saw an “FCUK” bag sitting in front of me which destroyed whatever mood I was getting in.

Once that was over, it was back to class!  The instructor seemed to be struggling with the Microsoft Project webpage.

Instructor:  There’s a problem with Internet Explorer.

As much as I howl in glee whenever I hear Internet Explorer sucks, I knew it wasn’t the problem in this case.  It was the server itself.

Instructor:  Guys, we are IT!  We can diagnose problems easily and tell where the problem is from!  This is what’s so good about being in IT!

He continued on struggling for a while, then decided to drop the thing and get back to writing on the board.

Instructor:  Since team-members usually don’t find it fun to update their tasks on the server, how do we force them to update?

Co-worker:  Uhh

Co-worker 2:  Punishment?

That certain co-worker was always pretty grumpy and hated.  I now see why.

Instructor:  Yes!  Discipline!

Well, crap.

Instructor:  We must add disciplines!

He writes “Desplinse” on the board, then looks at it for a while, then adds an S at the end.

Instructor:  Disciplines!  Now what if a task has been cancelled?

He writes “Canceled” on the board.  He looks at it for a while.

Me:  It’s missing an S

Instructor:  Yes!

He writes “Cansceled.”  He keeps on looking at it.

Me:  It’s correct  :)

Instructor:  Of course.  I know, I was just making sure.

Me:  Certainly!

I kept on grinning the whole time it was on the board.  Finally, class was over and it was time to friggin leave already.

Instructor:  You have my number and e-mail if you need anything.  I hope you’ve learned a lot in this class and I hope to see you all as project managers!

I’ll admit, I learned a lot :)  The guy knew his stuff and shattered my prejudice in the beginning.  Let that be a lesson to me.

Finally, he writes his name on the board:  “Moammad”

Instructor:  Hmmm…

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