Sunday, November 30, 2008

MacBook Pro

Finally, after more than five months without Mac I have finally managed to get my hands on the latest MacBook Pro.

Unpacking brand new gadgets is always fun and in this particular case Apple have made it even better with their artistic and unique designs inside and out. The box is wrapped up with a plastic bag that looks like a sports bag with two strings on the side, the box itself looks great and the parts are well organized inside with the unibody MacBook Pro lying on top.

So it looks good from the outside, what's good on the inside? And what makes it better than it's smaller, yet very identical looking, brother the Macbook?

For starters this true wide-screen 15" monitor is mind-blowingly clear. Performance-wise the MacBook Pro is the best there is for portable Macs. This one has a 2.53GHz processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 6MB cache, accessible 320GB hard drive (easy to replace/change), two NVIDIA GeForce chipsets (9400M and 9600M GT) reaching 512MB VRAM for video output; gamers and designers dream machine on the go. Internal speakers are now much louder. New big button-less trackpad is made of glass for silk smooth tracking with up to four fingers gestures.

The downside however is limited to high-gloss screen which may appeal to some people while others would do anything to get rid of it. Although there still is a FireWire 800 port, the loss of FireWire 400 port is without doubt a setback. Button-less trackpad is awkward and needs a lot of work to get used to.

Bottom line:
The new MacBook Pro is the Porsche of portable computers. It's fast with great performance specs, agile with its relatively light weight compared to other laptops of its league, unique with its aluminum unibody design, and in my case very price worthy (no shipping fees + VAT refund = way cheaper than what it costs here in Kuwait).

Accept nothing less than this piece of art.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Simple Man

Shinedown - Simple Man
Originally by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Soothing words, calm acoustics, and amazing vocals.
I cannot get this song off my head.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Official 2009 Nissan 370z Pictures

And officially it sucks exterior-wise.

UPDATE: And I thought the Z looks ugly.
Wait till you see the new Porsche Panamera. [link]
It makes the new Z look like a beauty pageant contestant.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Review | MacBook Air

I have been using it for the past month and before I give it back to my bro I will highlight what's hot and what's not. Note that this review is based on first generation MacBook Air with 1.8GHz processor, 2GB RAM, 64GB SSD.

MacBook Air is without any doubt one of the most desirable laptops in the market. It looks sleek with it's brushed aluminum casing, ultra-bright wide screen monitor, backlit keyboard, long-life battery, and of course its light weight. But what makes the MacBook Air cool other than its looks and weight? The answer is almost nothing.

MacBook Air is a quick task handler which an Asus EeePC or even recent smartphones and PDAs can provide for less expenses. If you want to connect on the run it's there for you, if you want to listen to music and handle your photo and music libraries it's there for you, if you want to type or read for 6 consecutive hours running only on battery it's the perfect choice for you. And with SSD rest assured that it won't take more than 30 seconds to launch and 5-10 seconds to shutdown.

However, if you want to use it for editing high-resolution photography, photo-manipulation, video editing, motion graphics (After Effects & Flash), extreme gaming, load it with a bit of anything and everything then this is the spot where it starts to cough it's performance. It can barely withstand any of these actions. In other words it is not made for intense use.

Poor sound quality (one speaker hidden somewhere underneath the right side of the keyboard). Limited to one USB 2.0 port and no internal SuperDrive. Cooling fan barely cools it (all you can hear is its sound).

Simply like a Ferrari; MacBook Air is the most desirable but not for everyday use. It has set new standards to portable computing but it doesn't come in a full package where you can rely on it. I am not going to say it fails to satisfy its users, it does so in a unique way, but it has limitations that it might make some users feel cornered when they really need to finish the job.

Friday, November 21, 2008

iPhone Firmware 2.2

Long story short...

- No bidirectional languages (Arabic) support yet.
- New region settings including Kuwait.*
- Smoother page transition?

* Choosing Kuwait region will fix incoming SMS contact details but will change Calender, Weather, Stocks, and some other apps interface into reversed arabic (days/months) and arabic digits for time and date.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Living Room Lounge | Review

One word... Perfect.

I haven't had shisha for the past two weeks and hopefully will keep it this way (wasn't gonna say anything about it since my last "Operation Rehab" failed miserably) and by not going to the shisha place I have most my day free, either sitting at home watching a bunch of movies or hanging out with friends away from smoking.

This time a couple of friends wanted to go climbing in Marina Waves so I joined them just to watch and waste time. That's when I saw Living Room Lounge right underneath Maki next to the climbing wall.

I took a seat watching my friends swing like monkeys waiting for them to finish. The place looks cosy inside, very calm outside with beachside tables, and with this amazing weather this place is the perfect place to hang out. Their menu is limited but it has a nice variety of drinks, salads, and light stuff to keep you going.

Prices are reasonably high noting the fact that it's in Marina Waves ($$$ rental), the food quality is good, and the service is good too plus free WiFi accessibility.

This place respectfully earns the first positive review of all food related reviews in my blog. However, it's still no match for badr el bdoor.

Monday, November 10, 2008

iPhone 3G soon in Egypt

According to Q8mug Apple iPhone 3G is available for pre-order in Egypt. [link]

Still no info if it will be officially unlocked or exclusive to both Vodafone and Mobinil (Egyptian cellphone carriers). After further investigation looks like it will be exclusive.

This means there's a great chance that the iPhone will finally have factory support for Arabic.

Update: (Nov. 12 2008)
Looks like it's true. iPhone 2.2 firmware is due in a few weeks and it will have new languages support. Most expectations say it will finally support Bidirectional languages including Arabic and Hebrew. [more info]

2009 Nissan 370z

The new Nissan 370z. Ugly from the outside and astonishing from the inside.

350z will keep holding its ground against this one looks-wise, but engine-wise... Let's see what the VQ37VHR engine has to offer. The 370z chassis is shorter than the 350z meaning we could see some engine swaps here and there.

Source with more pictures: [link]

Happy my car will have some dignity left for it. :)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Buying Art

Samurai Spirit - Slasher by `Artgerm

I have bought this amazing piece from and it arrived today. Their shipping is not fast but the print was very well contained in a big box to insure the safety of the package.

The only downside is shipping cost me almost double the price of the piece itself! Damn Aramex.

20x30 inches on Lustre paper with black aluminum frame, this piece is just perfect for my room. It took its place between my two bulletin boards.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

iTeach #001

This post starts a new series of blog entries in my blog and it will be about my job as a teacher. Any post tagged with "iTeach" will be related to my job. But first, before I start ranting about it I would like to apologize to intlxpatr for the delay. I really appreciate your concern. I will be posting related stories and updates at least once every month.

Everyday I wake up wondering how I ended up here with this life and this job. I never planned on becoming a teacher neither have imagined myself in this position before I graduated from high school. I know my job is very rewarding but teaching those brats was never for me. Although most times I hate it I'm still 100% dedicated to it, after all it's my job and my source for a living and that's what keeps me going. Still that doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed it and its benefits. Let's just say I had more bad days than good days.

I'm still teaching in the same middle-school I used to teach in last year. After a hectic year between Kheitan and Jeleeb Al-Sheyokh in Farwaniya governorate I got transferred to yet another dirty sink in Qurain, Mubarak Al-Kabeer governorate.

This school has good facilities, good administration, good P.E. section, and great P.E. colleagues. But the only downside of this school is its relatively high percentage of bad ill mannered students, or to be more precise, the 3agad students. They say "Education starts at home" and since most of those are never home after school till late midnight it's easy to distinguish the educated polite students from the rude ones. Nothing is perfect I guess.

Currently teaching 6th and 8th grade, and also supervising 9th grade. It's a hard task though luckily I have a reduced schedule which suits me well. I also got assigned for another side job after school that has nothing to do with students and it's very rewarding money-wise. That should keep me busy for the end of the year and hopefully I can start cutting out on my very unhealthy shisha addiction since I get home very exhausted.

That's about all for my first iTeach blog entry.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Decomposing Soda Can

"It takes a second for you to recycle a can
It takes 50 years for a can to recycle itself