Feeling lucky?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.10.2009 at 05:30

Type “Im not feeling lucky” in Google and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.


I Thought We Weren’t Supposed to Change Settings in the Registry?

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.10.2009 at 21:34

Following is an excerpt taken from a Microsoft Technet article written by the Scripting Guys. It’s about the Windows Registry and I found it rather amusing:

As you probably know, Microsoft has a sort of love-hate relationship with the registry. The registry is the configuration database for Windows and Windows applications, and many options can only be set by manually changing a value in the registry. For example, if you’ve ever read a Microsoft Knowledge Base article, you’ve likely seen a sentence similar to this:

To correct this problem, change the following value in the registry.

Now that’s fine, except that this sentence is invariably followed by a disclaimer similar to this one:

Warning: Don’t ever change a value in the registry. Ever. We know we just told you to do that, but would you jump off a cliff if we told you to? Don’t ever change a value in the registry. Don’t even say the word registry. We know a guy once who said the word registry, and three days later he was hit by a bus. True story. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t even have a registry on your computer. If you suspect that you do have a registry on your computer, call us and a trained professional will be dispatched to your office to remove the registry immediately. If you accidentally touch the registry, wash your hands with soap and water and call a doctor. Do not swallow the registry or get it in your eyes!

Now, to be honest, some of those fears are a bit exaggerated, and the disclaimer is there largely for legal reasons (remember, this is the day and age when you can order hot coffee in a restaurant and then sue the restaurant when the coffee they give you turns out to be, well, hot). If you do it correctly, changing the registry is perfectly harmless. At the same time, however, it’s true that there are certain values in the registry that should never be changed. In fact, changing them can pretty much wipe your computer out, once and for all. It’s like working on the bomb squad: if you snip the right wire, the bomb is defused and everything is fine. But if you snip the wrong one—Boom! You just created Microsoft Bob!

Um, not that we’re saying Microsoft Bob was a bomb or anything.

Google suggests…

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.09.2009 at 16:25

Inspired by an article in the Telegraph, I decided to give Google another chance:

Yes, I understand that these suggestions are generated based on indexed content, but what the hell, let’s poke some fun.

1. I c…


Great, can you do that with no helmet too?

2. I like to d…


I’d say you are!

3. I like to g….


Watch out!

4. This one’s a favorite. My po…


A colorful suggestion indeed!

5. My ur…


6. Can you goo..


Uh – I think I’m already doing that?!

7. It doesn’t have good things to say about you – or your dog!



8. Yahoo is…


Yes, it might.

9. They still don’t like us.




Synchronizing folders?!? Of all bad things…

10. I haven….


You’re absolutely right – I’d rather bing.

Hope you enjoyed reading this post! 🙂

So much for stability

by Shijaz Abdulla on 03.08.2009 at 10:53


Here’s a picture of I took on my recent flight on Delta from Atlanta to Dubai. The inflight entertainment system, the little screen mounted on the back of each seat, was running Linux. It froze and rebooted by itself twice during the 15 hour flight.

So much for stability.

Games for Windows PowerShell!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 04.04.2009 at 10:04

April 4, 2009

You can now download your all-time favorite “Space Invaders”  — for Windows PowerShell!!

Even though a completely inappropriate, yet creative use of PowerShell, Space Invader brings back the old memories. Complete with sounds and MS-DOS style graphics. 🙂

Download Space Invaders from SoapyFrog.

Legal action against trolleys!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 17.03.2009 at 07:09

Just sharing a funny message I found on the way:

Outside a supermarket in Muscat

Struck by lightning… twice!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.12.2008 at 16:16

Talk about computer systems gone completely crazy.

I recently brought one of my relatives here on a visit visa. Getting the visa issued, by itself is a fairly complex job involving a lot of legwork. As per the local law, I am supposed to deposit an amount of money as a security deposit, which will be refunded once my guest leaves the country.

My relative left, and so I went to the immigration department again – this time to get my money back. The dept. is a compound with a number of buildings. At the entrance, there was a person seated — no matter what you asked him, he would listen and then say "Rooh Daakhil" (go inside), which wasn’t very helpful. Sad 

Luckily, I was briefed by my friend about the complex process to accomplish the simple task of getting my money back. I was supposed to go to "the typing center" inside the compound where I had to get an "application" (apparently requesting the release of my money) to be "typed" (and paid for). The typed document needs to be presented with another amount of cash to another counter with the original receipt for my cash deposit, where they will provide me with a letter to the bank. (BTW the cost of "typing" the "application" and getting the "letter" to get the money back itself will cost 16-17% of the actual amount they owe me.)

Anyways, I went ahead to the typing center and found my place in a large queue. There was a row of desks with typists seated. After waiting for a long time we realised that the "typists" where just staring at the screens and weren’t quite "typing". After an hour and a half, we realised that "the system" is down.

After more than 2 hours of useless waiting I gave up and left. It cost me half a working day. I decided to check with a private ‘typing center’ outside. They informed me that "the system" has been "down" for 2 days.

A day later, I finally got the "application" typed outside. Off I went to the immigration department (again taking a half day off from work).

I presented the typed up application to the counter, where they issued me a letter for the bank instructing them to refund the money. The guy at the counter asked me to make a photocopy of the letter he just gave me (apparently, the 16% that they charge for giving me my refundable money doesn’t include charges for making a single page photocopy). I made a copy (at another queue) and after presenting this copy back at the same counter, the gentleman placed a seal on the original and told me to go to the bank. A lot of legwork indeed!

I found myself in a long queue at the bank inside immigration dept. The bank made sure that there is no token system and not more than two windows to service the large crowd. After an hour of standing in a queue that didn’t seem to be moving, I heard someone shouting —

"System down!".

This was the second time that "the system" let me down. Only that this time, it was the bank’s system! Ahh.. struck by lightning – twice!

It seemed ironical that IT Pros like us, who are committed to keeping systems alive in our own turf and write/talk volumes about infrastructure optimization, fall victims to such repeated mishaps elsewhere and feel pathetic when we realize how mismanaged information systems can mess up our own lives!

PS: After an hour, the system was back online, and I got my cash.

Hey, I’M A PC!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.11.2008 at 07:48

Can you spot someone familiar in here?


I’ve made it on the Windows I’M A PC website, and there’s a picture of me with that sadistic grin on my face. Vampire Bat

PS: I’ve managed to get my own authentic "I’M A PC" T-shirt.

VoIP as you are?!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.07.2008 at 12:46

I happened to see this funny ad on Microsoft’s Unified Messaging platform. It’s themed “VOIP as you are”.

The way the cable roll smashed thru the glass doors is amazing. But when I saw the next two videos of the same cable roll smashing through the same glass door, I was amazed by the ingenuity of the person who planned the whole ad in three different angles, three different ways to depict the same thing.

One, through a security cam:

The other, through a handycam held by a lady


“Fire-fighting” with UNIX

by Shijaz Abdulla on 20.05.2008 at 13:46


This is a picture of some of the fire fighting equipment that we have in the hallway, just outside the IT department.

DSC03669 - Copy

So just what is it that I am trying to say?

Nothing. Don’t get me wrong! I think it’s just great for fire fighting. 🙂