Internet “Suffering”

by Shijaz Abdulla on 15.04.2007 at 09:30

So I am on my way, leaving the seas and skies of Kannur behind, awaiting a new life ahead of me in Doha. I take with me some great memories of my relatives, of my friends, and of course – of my sweet fiancée. Due to peak season, I got a flight to Doha from Calicut via this place called Colombo in Sri Lanka.

This itinerary is especially boring – there is going to be a four hour wait in the transit lounge at Colombo International Airport before I board the flight that would take me to Doha. I moved around the airport to see if I could catch something interesting, but in vain. I must say though, that the airport was more impressive than I had expected – in fact, it was very impressive.

However, I found that they don’t accept Indian rupees at any of the retail outlets in the lounge. The only bank in the lounge offered to convert any currency in the world to Sri Lankan rupees – except Indian rupees! Quite ridiculous it is, with the fact that India is its closest neighbor and many flights going in and out of the airport would touch India, so much that they neither want to deal nor buy Indian Rupees at Colombo airport!

Crushed by boredom, I decided to pull out my laptop and see if I could browse over WiFi. I was in the hope that I could pay electronically somehow. I scanned for available WiFi networks and found Sri Lankan Telecom’s Wifi Access Point. When I tried browsing this is the “Internet Suffering hours” screen that I got.

Click to enlarge

Boy, they really know how to entertain transit passengers!

Well, it really was a ‘suffering’ – I tried paying electronically and got a confirmation for the transaction – but still no Internet! Upon enquiry at the Sri Lankan Telecom outlet, I was informed by the young lady there that “the system is under construction, saar (sir)“.

Thank you very much.

Safe Surfing Workshop

by Shijaz Abdulla on 09.02.2007 at 22:52

Today, we at TechLinks conducted a workshop on “Safe Surfing” in association with Al Furqan Centre at DI Hall in Manama. The workshop consisted of two sessions – one for children and the other for parents.

The children’s session which ran from 9 AM to 11 AM covered the following:

  • Safety on the Internet
  • Threats on the Internet (Malware: Viruses/Worms/Bots and People: chatrooms/social networking/public profiles)
  • Misuse of the Internet (Privacy, Piracy, Online Fraud, Pornography)
  • Q & A session

The session was highly interactive and the children, mostly teenagers, participated well. Gifts were distributed to those who gave correct answers and proactive responses during the session.


The parents’ session which was supposed to run from 6 PM to 8 PM, ran all the way till 9 PM, with more questions asked during the Q & A session.

The parents’ session covered:

  • Safety of children on the internet
  • People Threats on the Internet
  • Misuse of the internet (Pornography, Online security, etc)
  • Monitoring & controlling child activity on the internet (Live demo Windows Vista Parental Controls, Internet Explorer 7 Content Advisor)

Overall, the event was a great success and the response & feedback from the parents and children were overwhelming. Special thanks goes to Bart Martens of Culminis for his assistance in providing some of the materials used in the presentation. The event was organized (the venue, the delicious snacks, light & sound, etc) by Al Furqan Centre.

I had a good time engaging in discussions with the teenagers and the parents and look forward to doing the same workshop again sometime in the future for other institutions!

Photos of the workshop at: http://www.shijaz.com/photos/flickr_mvp.htm

Microsoft website, 1994

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.02.2007 at 20:40

I was jaywalking.. er.. contributing on Wikipedia, when I came across a very interesting screenshot from the stone age… umm.. 1994 (what’s gotten into me?)

It’s a screenshot of the Microsoft website, back in 1994.


And look, its got a text-only link… for those lesser mortals who didn’t have browsers/computers that supported graphics 12 years ago … (And that too, I bet not more than 16 colors). In those days, the whole Microsoft website ran on just 3 servers and they used to get about 125,000 hits each day.

Just for kicks, here’s how the Microsoft website looks like today (4-Feb-2006):

Today its the world’s most visited website – I love this company!

See also:
“A Brief history of Microsoft on the Web”
http://www.microsoft.com/misc/features/features_flshbk.htm