Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Vote

The national election that took place yesterday, was the most anticipated event in the history of Bangladesh in many years. I'm not a columnist or a political analyst so I'm not going to write anything about it. If you're a Bangladeshi, you already know too much. But what I'm writing about here is my first voting experience. Several months back the work started to create the country's first national ID cards and the national voter list. From that point on right to the moment I casted my vote yesterday, the whole process seemed so systematic that it was almost unbelievable to many that it was happening in Bangladesh. Particularly yesterday, from going to the vote center and casting my vote, it didn't take me any more than 10 minutes, amazing huh? I went there, the whole center, which was a local school, was divided into several booths and lines so that the process gets faster. I only had to stand in my line for a couple of minutes or so. Then when I was called in, they asked me my voter serial number, which was provided earlier, they matched the number with my name, I went on to the second desk, a guy there checked my name against my photo which they had in their books, and another guy took my signature, marked my finger with an ink and handed me the all important ballot paper. I took it, went behind a curtain, took no time and cast my vote, folded the paper, got out, put it in the transparent ballot box, and there you go, it was done. No confusion whatsoever. Felt great to have exercised my right without any problem at all.
As for the results of this election, it definitely has been a silent revolution, against corruption, against crime, against economic unstability, against the war criminals and so on. Now all we hope is the winning party keeps up to the huge expectations of the people, that they learn something from the events that took place during the last two years, that they respond to the call for change that's being echoed throughout the country. May Allah help us all.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Different Eid

Usually my Eids are all the same, they don't vary much from year to year. But this Eid-ul Azha was indeed a bit different due to the fact that this time we've spent the Eid without my father and big bro, as they're spending the Eid in London. They went there about ten days ago, just for visiting purposes. My family members (other than me) have many golden memories in the UK, they had spent a considerable period in London for the post graduate studies of my dad and mom. Dad wished to revisit his old connections there so, quite out of the blue, he took my brother and set off.
Usually both of them play important roles during the Eid ul Azha, in coordinating the tasks of Qurbani. This time my brother in law, Dr. Helal replaced them. On the day of Eid I was busy the whole day with him. I don't know why, but I always enjoy one part of this Eid every year, getting my hands dirty with the meat! Yup, I just love it. Sorting out all the meat, putting them in plastic bags, storing them in the freezer, distributing them to a few of my relatives and neighbors. And that's what kept me busy that day.
It's too late to say Eid Mubarak, but still I hope that this Eid has brought happiness to our hearts. May Allah accept the Qurbani of us all, and give us the gift of Imaan in return.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Electrical Day: Milestones - Good and Bad

The AUST EEE Society's Electrical Day '08, held on November 27 on AUST campus, will always be unforgettable. It marked several milestones for AUST, our EEE department and also for me personally. For the last month or so, the students of our department have been working relentlessly to stage this event. For me, this event brought many 'firsts'. As I've written earlier, I've never participated in a project fair. This time, me along with four other pals (naming ourselves "gEEEks", i.e, EEE geeks), have tried really hard to put forward a solid project. But the project we took turned out to be a little too complicated for us, and unfortunately we couldn't take part in the competition. I felt really sorry for Pulak and Fahad in particular, as those two really worked hard for the project. But on the positive side, we have indeed gained a great deal of experience while working for the project. I'll never forget the trip to Patuatuli, (the IC Heaven, as I'd like to call it) to buy the various electronic components we required.
Another debut for me was in the photography exhibition. This is the first time that such an event is being held at AUST. Five of my photos were selected for the exhibition which showcased 29 photos in total. It was indeed a delightful experience to see your own work being displayed, while others are watching them, making comments, taking photos. It was really inspiring. (I didn't win any prizes though, hehe)
Again, I've never written articles for any magazine before, but this time around I also submitted an article on Green Energy for publication on the mazazine of the Electrical Day event. I haven't got a copy of it yet, but hopefully my article has been published.
The project fair and photography exhibition started from the noon of the 26th. The 27th was the day set for the huge cultural event, the main attraction of the whole programme. The cultural show made a huge bang. The stage was enormous and awesome in design. The perfomances were mostly good, all by students of our department. The show ended with a rocking perfomance from Artcell, one of the most popular bands of the country. There's one thing that I'd like to say about the cultural show, which is my personal opinion of course. Some of the perfomances, mostly dances, were excessively vulgar, containing body languages which are not appropriate for performing in front of our respected teachers, who were sitting in the very front row. The blatant immitation of Bollywood even raised eyebrows of those who are used to such displays, and many of my friends, during the perfomances, agreed that such performances shouldn't have got clearance to be brought on stage.
Maybe it was because of this particular reason, we've crossed the limit of Allah's patience. Because, what followed after the event, was yet another milestone, only on the negative side. The show was on Thursday, and we were back on the varsity on Saturday. Based on some small issues which took place during the show on Thursday, students of another department were staging protest against the EEE dept. That part was almost calmed down, when another separate occurance initated the spark, the brought about a situation unlike any we have seen on our campus so far. The students of that rival department attacked our boys full on, with whatever they had in their hands. The square at the center of our campus became pandemonium, everyone throwning punches in every direction. Many were seriously injured. It was horrifying, shocking and disturbing to see the meaningless hatred the was displayed between students of the same university. When the situation got severe, I took no risk and quickly left campus for home (go on and call me a coward). Later I got to know that the situation was finally brought under control by the police. In the wake of the clash, the authority did what they had to do, they suspended classes until December 13th.
The 3rd year 2nd semester so far has been simply unique in every possible sense. This semester, I really felt like a varsity student. Dumping classes and sipping tea in the canteen with friends instead, working late in the labs for the project, running here and there, participating in events, long sessions of gossip on the campus and over the phone about various important (and unimportant) issues, and finally watching the clash of the students, all these elements come together to make 3-2 the most memorable semester so far, and the semester's not over yet !!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

High Hopes for 'Electrical Day'

The newly formed AUST EEE Society is arranging the first ever 'Electrical Day' on the last week of November. There's gonna be technical project presentation, cultural event, photography exhibition, magazine publication from the EEE department. I'm really excited about the event, and I've got some plans for it as well. Me and 4 other guys from our section have plans to submit a project about which we have been planning for the last couple of weeks or so. I've never actually participated in the science fairs that were held every year back in Udayan, but I was always a spectator, hehe. But this time I'm hoping to make a debut. I'm also gonna submit some of the photos taken by my to take a chance at the photography exhibition. Well, I know my photos are not probably good enough to be selected for the exhibition, but I'll still give it a try, nothing-to-lose style. Well, if somehow one of my photos get selected, that would be yet another first for me. But wait, my plans for the day doesn't stop there. I'm also hoping to submit an article for the magazine, and have already started collecting info. So, big plans eh?
About the event, I must say that I'm a bit concerned about the measures taken by the responsible personnel about publicizing the event. Events like these are great opportunites to spread tha name of the institution. So I feel that great attention and importance should be paid to taking full advantage of the media.
Anyways, my hopes are high, and I hope that those hopes last the course.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bhaia's Health Woes

My big bro's suffering from two diseases at the same time. He's got himself Dengue and Hepatytis-E. Last week he had to spend more than 4 days in the hospital. He was indeed very very sick and too weak even to move around. Me and my family members did duties at the hospital in turns. I had to stay over for two nights, which were my first nights at a hospital. Day before yesterday we got my bro back home, now he has to stay in complete bed rest for more than 2 weeks I guess. May Allah bring him back out of this illness with better health and Imaan. Amin.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lazy Days are Over

After a long break of one and a half month, the classes of the 3rd year 2nd semester have started from today. I have spent this break totally like a lazy boy, except for the 3 days I've spent on Allah's path. But yes, if you consider gaming to be work, then I was pretty damn busy! Last month after upgrading my PC, I've spent a hell lot of time in front of my monitor, and my fingers had started to give my pain because of excessive gaming. I've just played three games though, but thoroughly. Recently I've been playing Pure, which is probably the most exciting and fun racing game I've ever played. What does it lack? Here you get to build and ride cool ATVs (quad bikes), ride them in blinding speed through jaw dropping beautiful natural tracks, make unbelievably high jumps, and get to pull off dozens of utterly insane and spectacular tricks while you're in the air! I've just finished the game today, but I'm still gonna play this for a long time I guess, cuz it's just great fun. If you're into gaming, you really should try it out, I bet you'll love it.
Damn, started writing about classes, got into gaming again, hehe. Anyway, I heard from a couple of boys from 4-1 today that 3-2 is gonna be pretty easy, and it is possible to get a good grade from this semester. So I pray to Allah that He helps me throughout this semester (as He has done so far) and also my friends.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

PC Upgrade, Call of Duty 4 and more...

Last month something happened that I've been wishing for a long time, I've finally upgraded my PC ! Yup, I've only kept my old hard drive and DVD writer from my previous PC, and got myself a new Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53 Ghz processor, Intel DG31PR motherboard, 2GB DDR2 RAM, new casing, and most importantly, an XFX GeForce 8500GT graphics board. The graphics board is something I've been wanting to have for a long time, as I've been longing to play all the latest games. The board I got is nothing near high end, but it gives good enough graphics for a low enough price. Actually, the graphics it delivers is pretty awesome and I can't wish for anything better. So far my new PC has performed up to my expectations and I'm pretty happy with it.

Call of Duty 4:  I've always been a great fan of the Call of Duty series. Before the fourth installment of the game, it has stayed with World War II. COD4 gets into the action of present day modern warfare. Since the game was announced I've always tried to get my hands on it, but my old PC wasn't good enough to run it. After getting my PC upgraded, this is the game I've installed first. For those who haven't seen this game, I don't know how I can explain how jaw-dropping photo realistic this game actually is. The environment, graphics, sound, script everything makes you feel like you're watching a movie, it's all just too damn good to be a game. One day I was playing the game and my mom saw it from behind and asked me "didn't we see this movie before?" I guess that says enough about how unbelievably cinematic this game is. It's undoubtedly the best game I've ever played (so far). Here are some snapshots:

Waiting for more: The next two months will deliver some of the most highly anticipated games of the year. Call of Duty 5, Far Cry 2, NFS Undercover, GTA 4 to name a few. Call of Duty 5 - World at War goes back to World War II, when I first heard this, I thought, haven't we had enough of WWII? Then I saw some screenshots, and the trailer, and now I wish I had a time machine to go two months ahead and grab a copy of the game. Most of the hyped up games coming in the next two months are expected to be hits. I can't wait.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Eid Mubarak to All

Yes, it's that time of the year again. After one month of fasting the blessed day of Eid ul Fitr has arrived again. I'm just writing this post to wish everyone a very very happy Eid and many many returns of the day. May Allah fill this day with happiness and joy. May Allah fill our hearts with the Light of Imaan, as a gift of Eid.
Well, for me, the Eids are always pretty much the same. We don't have much of relatives outside of Dhaka, so we are deprived of the joy of going to our home towns or villages to spend the Eid vacation. Our Eids are mostly celebrated in the home of one of our uncles or aunts. But still this day I always enjoy with family. Not much with friends though, particularly after coming to Uttara. Most of my friends are in downtown Dhaka and I can't join their 'addas' on Eid.
Another thing I enjoy on Eid day is the emptiness in streets of Dhaka. The usually jam packed and over populated streets become totally deserted, as the thousands of inhabitants leave the city towards their home towns to get together with family. We the citizens of Dhaka can enjoy the streets for a day or two. It would be great if we could go out just for a ride through the city.
Signing off now, wishing you Eid Mubarak again.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Iftar with Friends

Last Friday I had Iftar with varsity pals Shourav and Kanto and three of their school friends. We went to Captain's World, a recently popular place in Dhaka. Actually Shourav wanted to gather many more friends from AUST, but unfortunately only me and Kanto replied to his sms. Anyways, the Iftar was good, we didn't take any of the usual Iftar items like piaju, beguni (it always makes me wonder, why do these food items always make an entry in Ramadaan, and disappear for the rest of the year), instead we took tanduri chicken, nun, chicken broast, kabab and drinks. The food I admit, was pretty good, and we all enjoyed the time. The three guys from Kanto and Shourav's school I met for the first time there, and they were pretty friendly people.
One thing really hurt me in that place. They have made arrangements for Iftar, so that people can break their fast after having their stomachs empty for the whole day for the sake of Islam, while we were sitting there, recitation from the Holy Quran was playing, how religious minded this all may seem. But shockingly, they have no place for Salaat (Namaaz). The Maghrib azaan went off, everyone started eating, they've stayed hungry all day to fulfill a Farz of Islam, and yet 3 rakaats of Farz Salaat was going away begging, and no one seemed to care. Me and Shourav had to take an almost 10 minute walk to the mosque to perform our prayers. Really shocking to see the lack of knowledge and negligance about the Salaat within the common people. That only brings back the blame on us, those who understand, cuz it was our duty to make them understand, and we're not even trying.
Anyway, after having an otherwise great iftar, Shourav took to the steering wheels of his car to drop me and Kanto off to our places, and it was pretty amazing to see him drive so nice and cool through the extremely heavy rain that was going on in the night. Got back home well in time for Isha. I usually don't wanna go out for Iftar, so this one was a little different. It isn't that bad if you can get back in time (and if you can find a good place to pray).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back to Blogging

Well, after more than 2 weeks I'm finally back online. I was disconnected from the net for various reasons like modem problems, PC upgrades, room repainting etc. But Alhamdulillah I'm finally back online and blogging. Inshallah soon I'll write about my much awaited PC upgrade and a lot more. TC.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

3-1 is History.....Hopefully

Painful. The 3rd year 1st semester was simply painful. It was annoying during the classes, it was disturbing during the PL, it was horrifying during the exams, and it still hurts after them. Particularly Linear Systems and Electromagnetic Fields and Waves were utter nightmares. Imagine two thorns stuck under your toe, whenever you walk they send gnawing pain throughout your body, and you've been living with this pain for the last 4 months or so. How relieved would you feel to get rid of those thorns, and to have the pain removed? That's exactly how I feel to get rid of Linear and EFW. At first I thought Linear would be the toughest one, and indeed it was tough. But as soon as I started to prepare for EFW, I felt Linear was like heaven. EFW was indeed the most horrifying exam ever, and I'm still not free from concern about getting rid of it. I'm gonna have to keep my eyes open for the results to make sure of that. That's why the "Hopefully" part of the post title came in. Preparing for the exams was also particularly harder than before as I missed the loving care of my Mom, who, along with my Dad, was in Saudi Arabia at that time.
3-1 just left a bad taste in my mouth. I dearly wish and pray to Allah that he gives Barkat to my exam papers so I could get rid of this disgusting, disturbing and annoying semester once and for all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Take Care, Adnan Sir

I first met Adnan sir back in the last days of 1-2. It was in our viva of Electrical Circuits II lab, and Adnan sir was quizzing us. Probably he joined our department just a few days ago. He was asking all the questions regarding the very basics of the lab course, and my fellow examinees was putting them mostly wrong, and I was giving the right answers !! Anyways, back in that day I never thought that Adnan sir would one day become my favorite teacher. He took our C++ classes in 2-1, which was a nightmare for most of my classmates, but programming (at least the basic part of it) seemed fascinating to me, and I followed Adnan sir's lectures with wide eyes and an open mind. His approach was a bit different from the other lecturers. From that time we found out how friendly and cooperating Adnan sir can be. Whenever we went to him to get something cleared out, he would find some time for us always. He used to put up the class lecture sheets in his website, this particular approach was out of the line of the typical lecturers of the varsity. His website inspired me to venture into the world of amateur web development, in which I found great interest. Then in 2-2 he took Digital Electronics, but not on our section. But some of us, including me, found another reason to stay close to him. Adnan sir, towards the end of 2-1 came up with the idea of creating an online journal for the EEE department. From the start of 2-2, me and some other guys, under the guidance of Adnan sir started to develop this site, rather blog. We shared many tips and tricks of amateur web development during the development process.
Then in 3-1, he took Linear Systems, which is considered to be one of the toughest courses in our EEE programme. But I must admit, he did more than expected. During the class and beyond, he was always helping us out, just as he always have done so far. I just finished the Linear Systems semester final today. I must admit, I have learned a lot in this course, and whatever are my shortcoming in this subject, are only due to my lack of dedication to it. But Adnan sir has been more supportive than we could expect him to be.
It was probably back in 2-1 when he started writing his personal blog. From the very beginning, he has been a regular blogger. His blog is the kind of a personal blog where the writer writes not only about the happenings in his personal life, but also various other issues (unlike my blog). I've always been a regular reader of his blog and was also free to comment due to the friendly nature of Adnan sir. It is also a great honour for me that he also reads my blog (yes, this blog, he reads it, believe it or not), and he has been the top commentator as well. His comments and suggestions have been a great inspiration in my blogging and making websites. I thank him again for that.
There's a whole lot of things I could write about him, but my text wouldn't be the kind you would find in the magazines, because frankly speaking, I can't write that well, at least from the literary point of view. But why am I suddenly writing all this about my favorite teacher? No, I'm not doing this to make him give me more marks in Linear, haha, in fact he won't even check our exam papers. Because unfortunately for us (and fortunately for him) he is leaving the country to go abroad for higher studies. Inshallah he'll make his journey on the 21st of August across the continent into Europe to complete his MSc, where he will study in one of the top ranked universities of the world, just as he deserves. As I am happy to see him getting the opportunity to progress in his career, I'm also extremely disappointed that he won't be with us anymore. His support and encouragement, his friendliness and cooporation is what made him our favorite, and those are the very things that we're gonna miss. I don't see any reason for him to miss us, except for the fact that we were his first students who gave him a hell lot of trouble during the last year and a half. But we, particularly I, have every possible to reason to remember him. If I live that long, and Allah permits, after 3 more semesters complete my graduation from AUST, whenever I'll look back at my varsity life, I'll always see the supporting hand of Adnan sir.
So I'm writing this post to thank Adnan sir, for everything he has done for us. I wish and pray to Allah The Almighty, that Adnan sir finds success, progress, and most importantly, happiness, wherever he goes. May Allah keep him on the Right Path, and may happiness persuit him in this life and the next.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mom and Dad Goes to Umrah (Without me !!)

Last thursday my mom and dad left the country for Saudi Arabia to perform The Umrah and visit the two most beloved cities of the Muslim world. At first they've gone to the golden Madina Munawwarah, where they are performing their Salaats in Masjid e Nababi, the beautiful mosque which was the mosque of Prophet Muhammad (S) in the dawn of Islam, and they are conveying their Salaam to our beloved Nabi (S) who is lying there. After about a week inshallah they'll head towards Makkah Mukarrama and perform their Umrah and dazzle their eyes with the site of The Holy Kaaba. I'm really happy that my mom and dad have taken a break from their busy lives and went to the two most peaceful places on earth. But honestly speaking, I'm really disappointed and jealous that I'm not with them. We all went to Umrah back in 2002, and those five days were the most memorable days of my life, and the most pleasing. I always thought that whenever again my parents would go there, they'd take me with them. But unfortunately that hasn't been the case. No complaints though, because I know Allah will always give me what is best for me, and when it is best for me. So I just pray to Allah that He grants peace to the minds of my parents by this visit, and that they return to us with better Imaan and better health. And I also hope that me and my bro and sis, along with my parents get to go to the beloved cities together very soon again.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Deep Breath Before the Plunge

The semester finals start in less than 48 hours. Saturday's exam is Electrical Machines III which is a lot easier compared to the other courses in this semester. DLD II can be tricky, Linear Systems will need a lot of hard work in the six days of break before the exam to get a respectable mark, Electromagnetic Fields and Waves can be a terrible pain as it depends A LOT on memorizing , which of course, I'm horrible at, same problem goes for Sociology, but hopefully Accounting won't be much of a problem. So now I'm taking a deep breath before the plunge, don't know if I can hold my breath long enough. I just hope that August 26 comes as soon as possible, when the exams of 3rd year 1st semester will be all over, as this is definitely the most disturbing and uninteresting semester so far. Remember me in your prayers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Classes Over

Finally the classes of the 3rd year 1st semester are over. Classes ended with an expected cargo-load of exams in the last week. Thanks to Allah, the finishing was better than expected. This semester has been the most un-interesting one so far. The subjects were pretty much unattractive. Most of the students are particularly concerned about Linear Systems, which is a tricky course and consists of a lot of concepts from mathematics, at which I'm always horrible. I'll be very happy to get over this semester with the upcoming finals starting from August 9.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Firefox Sets the Record - It's Official!

It's finally official, Mozilla Firefox 3 now holds the Guinness World Record as the most downloaded software in 24 hours. Firefox 3 was launched on June 17 and Firefox fans from all over the world pledged to download the browser on that day, to help set the world record. On that day, a staggering 8,002,530 people downloaded their copies of the software! It took about two weeks for the guys at Guinness to verify and confirm the result, and the day before yesterday I got an email from Firefox informing me that the record is now official. Here's what the Download Day 2008 page says now: "Thanks to the support of the always amazing Mozilla community, we now hold a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours. From 18:16 UTC on June 17, 2008 to 18:16 UTC on June 18, 2008, 8,002,530 people downloaded Firefox 3 and are now enjoying a safer, smarter and better Web." I'm glad that I'm a part of the record myself, as I had also downloaded my copy on the download day. Mozilla is also giving out certificates for supporting them in this effort. I got mine too. Here's a snapshot.

As for the software itself, one might ask, is it really up to the hype? My answer: OH HELL YEAH!. The already awesome browser just got better. There are quite a few striking new features in the new version. But the most brilliant work was done to the address bar. Start typing there and the browser constantly matches what you've typed with your browsing history and bookmarks. It doesn't only match it with URLs, but also page titles. Doesn't sound like much, but start using it and you will soon find out why the address bar has been dubbed as the 'Awesome Bar'. There are other useful upgrades as well. Read PC World's Review to learn more. Those of you who are already a Firefox fan will love the new version. For those unfortunate internet users who haven't tried Firefox yet, start now, and soon it'll be difficult even to remember the name of ..... what was that browser's name........ oh right....... Internet Exploring...... or something like that. Bottom line: FIREFOX RULES!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fuljhury's Website

Should have written about this earlier. About a month ago, I had developed the website of Fuljhury, my uncles' company. Fuljhury is a 100% export oriented knitwear manufacturer. 2 of my uncles and an aunt hold the topmost positions of the company. The website is a very very simple site consisting of basic info about the company and its production. The site was created in Google Pages and customized with Photoshop and Flash. Out of all the sites I've created, this one is the closest to professional, as this time I had to deal with DNS (Domain Name System). Fuljhury already owned the domain www.fuljhury.com , and I had to point the domain to the Google Pages site. In order to do that I had to learn the basics of DNS, how it works and had to provide the necessary information to Fuljhury's domain hosts about the modifications that needed to be made to a couple of CNAME records. This was indeed a good experience.
The site is under construction still, and Inshallah in the future more features will be gradually added.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

About the Last Semester, and the Present

Let's start with the good news. The merit list for the second year second semester (last semester) was out a couple of days ago, and Alhamdulillah I found my name in the seventh spot. That means I've been included in the merit list for the third time so far. Being among the top eight also means that I would soon receive 18000 bucks as weaver Inshallah. All thanks to Allah.
Now let's get back to the present, which is in striking contrast with the past. The current semester seems to me to be the most disturbing so far, none of the subjects seem interesting to me. Particularly the subject Linear Systems, which is considered to be one of the toughest courses of the whole curriculum, is causing much disturbance. Digital Electronics-II is probably the only subject which seems a bit fun, although not as much as it predecessor, as this one is mostly theoretical and brings back the gloomy memories of Electronics from 1-2 and 2-1. Electrical Machines-III was supposed to be interesting to me, as I'm fascinated with machines, but so far I mostly haven't understood what our teacher is teaching us, as his classes seem pretty inconceivable to me. After two months of classes, I haven't studied a single line of the subject of Electromagnetic Field and Waves. And the other remaining course is Humanities, which consists of Sociology and Accounting. Sociology has been my nightmare in school, so I don't want to waste time writing about it. Accounting might sound boring as well, so it seemed to me at first, but honestly speaking, it's not that bad.
Anyway, we have only 1 month of classes left, and from what I've studied so far, it cannot be considered even 5% of the syllabus of the semester. But I'm not depressed, because Allah has always been there for me right on time, as I always depend on Him. Inshallah by the time of the finals He will guide me towards whatever is best for me, and that's all I wish for.

Shocked, Stunned, Stupefied

I don't know how to start writing about this, so I'm just gonna start. A lecturer of our university, of our EEE department, was so far known to be a one of a kind talent, a genius. In the notice board of our university, in our website, there were appreciation letters which were claimed to be sent from foreign universities, praising this lecturer for his outstanding research and stating that he had won awards from IEEE for his works. From other teachers of the faculty, his colleagues, we got to know that he was a genius, who is under contract to work for IBM, and have been offered to perform researches at MIT. Recently I heard from some of my classmates that there was some trouble going on regarding him. I didn't know what the problem was, until yesterday. In a post in the popular Bangladeshi group blog, Somewhere in... , it was reported that these letters of appreciation which were claimed to be sent from renowned foreign universities, were nothing but fake. The evidences presented in the blog, supporting this accusation was pretty convincing indeed. The author of that post also sent emails to these universities to verify the letters, and was informed that there were no such letters issued from their institutions. That's not all. This 'teacher' also claimed to be an employee of IBM, and he even distributed IBM visiting cards with his name. The scanned image of these cards were also posted on that blog, from which again it was evident that this was yet another cheap forgery. The atrocities don't end there. This ingenious conman showed his true 'talent' by creating a set of imaginary characters (identities in the Internet), under random names, who claimed to be important personnel of the technology sector. Using these fake IDs, this lecturer sent comments to various blogs, where they mention the name of the lecturer, praising his research and claiming his acquaintance. When we started the blog AUSTronics, we collected a writing from this lecturer as well, and posted it on the blog. Under the name of these fake characters, the trickster posted comments on the blog (and also on this blog), boasting the works of this 'genius'. Among his colleagues, this guy presented his self-made identity as a prodigy in such a way, that no one had a shadow of a doubt about him. As the story propagated through the net, the teachers got to know about these allegations, a committee was formed to investigate the facts, and today I got to know that this conman has 'resigned' from our university.
Last night when I was reading the post, which unmasked this faker to us, I didn't feel anger, it didn't make me laugh, instead it made me sad, really sad. I was dumbstruck, shocked, stupefied. When you hold someone in the highest regards, think of someone with the highest sense of respect, consider someone to be a bright example of your community, and all in a sudden, you find that same person to be nothing but an impostor, a trickster, a low graded person wearing the mask of a genius, I guess all you can feel is shocked.
It was also shocking to see some of the comments made in the mentioned post in Somewhere in... , where some bloggers hit out at the name of our university. For what has happened, only the impostor is to be blamed, not the general teachers or students of AUST. Such examples of criminals can be found in every community, in every field of the society, but these actions don't represent the communities, but the criminals themselves. Any rational person would agree with this logic, but still some bloggers went on trying to put the name of AUST to shame without any reason. But most of the bloggers in that community rejected these comments, and responded that AUST is an established and a top level university of the country, and this heinous crime committed by this person would not in any way affect the already well known reputation of the university, gained for its top standard of education throughout the last decade. But undoubtedly, the authority of the varsity should've verified these information before putting them up in our notice boards and our website, in that sense alone, can the authority be questioned.
Some irresponsible bloggers also went on to post utterly disgusting comments on my blog as well. What was my crime? I was one of the students who helped develop AUSTronics, an online magazine for the EEE department of AUST, in which there was posted an article by this impostor. While he was our teacher, none of the students or teachers had any doubt about him, so it is obvious that we would post his article on the blog. In my blog I had written about the launch of this group blog of ours, and on that post, this impostor also posted a comment under a fake identity as an editor of several journals of IEEE, praising our work and obviously mentioning the name of this teacher as a promising researcher of our university who had sent an impressive article to their journal, and claims to be acquainted with him. Me, along with all the students of the varsity were also victims of his forgery, not his accomplices. But still some bloggers anonymously commented on my blog terming us 'fakers'!!. Truly sad and depressing to find such irresponsible comments.
There has been quite a few events in my life, which has taught me not to trust anyone, not to be deceived by someone's looks, or not to impressed by some sweet words. This recent shocking issue will be added to that list at the number one spot. This saddening event has put yet another nail to the coffin wherein lies the corpse of TRUST.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Walking in the Rain

After coming to Uttara, whenever its raining in daytime, and I'm at home and have not taken my shower already, then you wouldn't find me in my room. Instead I'd be on the roof, taking a shower in the rain. That's why a couple of days ago when it started to rain pretty heavily at noon, I went straight up. I don't know why, I just love the feeling of the rain on my body. Many of us believe that walking in the rain will cause fever or cold. I had the similar idea many years ago. I had a home tutor who used to teach me math, he said that this concept is nothing but psychological. Because thousands of rickshaw pullers in street are getting soaked in the rain all day, but they don't catch cold, otherwise there would be no rickshaw pullers to be found on the street the following day as they would all catch fever. They don't catch cold cuz they are not concerned about it. Since then, my fear of catching cold in rain was over, whenever I had a chance, I got myself soaked in the waters from Heaven. Walking in the rain brings back memories from dear Elephant Road, where I would walk in the rain in our alley with my friends, Abeer and Salahuddin mainly. Sometimes all the kids would come down and play cricket and basketball. Those were happy days indeed.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Net Disruptions - When Will This End?

For the last six days or so I'm happing some real trouble with my internet connection. I'm currently using Grameen Phone's internet, which so far has been very satisfactory. I called GP to know about what was going on, and they said that they have been informed by BTTB that there has been some disruption in the undersea fiber optic cable in Singapore, which is the reason for the current hampering of the internet connection. BTTB could not inform them about the possible time for the problem to be fixed. Even after six days the connection is no where near normal. This has really made me wonder, that in the current age of our extreme dependence on the internet, how come that the net is so damn vulnerable, that every now and then this hyped up high speed cable gets cut somewhere, and the internet service in several countries are hampered together? Only a few months ago a major disruption occurred in Egypt, and it happened countless times in our country. Shouldn't this service, which we rely on so heavily nowadays, be made more reliable? I'm not a tech expert and I'm sure that the gurus have been thinking about this issue for a long time, but as a general internet user, I guess I'm right to be concerned about the reliability of the internet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Days of Strike

The last seven days saw the students of AUST on strike, again, abandoning the classes. This outburst was expected since the authority increased the semester fees of the bachelor courses by three thousand bucks. You may think that it's not a lot, and it is obvious that the expenditure of the varsity has increased as it has moved to its new campus and all, but honestly the authority doesn't have the right to increase a single taka, as the students were given specific figures about the cost of the total course. New students may be charged as they please to, but old students definitely don't deserve this, and it violates the commitment which were made to us when we were admitted. So, this strike was totally on the menu. That's why for the last seven days, students of all our departments have been shunning the classes and taking part in the 'Andolon'. In our varsity, strike doesn't mean blocking up the streets, burning cars and stuff like you see the students of the public universities do. Instead we just sit in front of the VC's room and scream in chorus, stupid eh? But guess what, it works! Our move to the new campus was accelerated due to these strikes, and this current issue as well have been resolved as the authority has finally succumbed to the demands of the students. But each semester the students are put under pressure towards the end of the semester, as at least one week of classes are always hampered by strikes for some cause. But it's all become second nature to us and Inshallah from tomorrow the classes will go on 'nice and smooth'. It's all business as usual for the students.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Caught in the Storm

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd May were the dates fixed for the 3 day Jamaat (of Tabligh) from our mosque. It was actually due for the last week of April, but we couldn't get our Jamaat ready. Our destination was a village called Diabari. You might be thinking that it's so far away from Dhaka, instead it's just a 15 minute rickshaw ride away from our home. That's right, there are quite a few villages very close to Uttara which may one day become part of the city through urbanization. This village is located to the immediate west of sector 12 of Uttara, beyond the vast sands. The sands are the future site of the proposed new sectors of Uttara Model Town. Anyway, I went with the Jamaat, couldn't stay though, as my classes were on. On the second day after the Maghrib bayaan, me and some other brothers were just having a chat on the veranda of the mosque, while preparing our dinner. And then, within just a few seconds, out of nowhere came the storm. As I've already mentioned, the mosque is just beyond a huge field of sand, the storm brought with it a veil of white sand which within a seconds engulfed the surroundings. We rushed inside the mosque as soon as possible, but still we found our whole body, face, eyes, ears and all washed with sand. We witnessed the onslaught of the wind through the closed windows. The sheer sound of the wind and the trees being bent was deafening. It seemed as if the very foundation of the building was getting lose by the tremendous force of the storm. The fiercest period lasted for about 10 minutes I guess, and then it slowed down a little, although the wind was still blowing in tremendous speed. The lights went out soon after the storm started. So the situation was pretty horrifying indeed. It was a fearsome, yet splendid feeling to see the terrible force of nature up close. As we were almost in the middle of a field, in the midst of a village, the effect of the storm could be felt much more strongly than in the city.
Anyway, after the Isha prayer I had to come back home as I had class the next day, 3 other brothers also needed to get to their places. But the wind was blowing pretty strongly still, with the rain also starting to fall. Despite the condition we decided to go, straight through the sand field. The experience of this of this walk was absolutely thrilling. The cloudy dark skies up above, the storm still running strong all around and the rain falling, the dimly lit vast field of sand below, and the distant silhouettes of the trees of the village gave me a slight taste of the kind of adventure my heart craves for. After about 10 minutes of walking we reached sector 12 at a place called 'Khal-par' (খাল পাড়) where my car was waiting for me (my dad was also in the car who had 'come to the rescue'). I was back home within a few minutes.
The storm that hit us at first was thought to be Nargis, the cyclone which threatened to hit Bangladesh, but fortunately for us changed its direction towards Myanmar, unfortunately for them. Instead, it was the typical Kal Boishakhi (কাল বৈশাখী), which are expected in this time of the year. The walk through the storm would be an experience to remember.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Response to Mustang-cam

A couple of weeks ago I posted my first video on You Tube, called 'Mustang-Cam'. I had connected a camera on the back of my remote control Ford Mustang model, and shot the video while I took the car for a ride through my home. A few days ago, some guys from America, seeing my video, decided to make their own version of 'Mustang-Cam'. They've made the video as a video response to my one! The video's description runs, "Here's our Mustang Cam and it's been engineered to beat your Mustang cam. It's team USA vs. the Bangledeshians" !! Haha. Well they've done a good job because they've got themselves a fast car, and a good camera. But they've lagged behind in the style department. They took off the upper portion of the car (I don't understand why), took another car, rubber-banded a handy-cam on top of it, and hooked it up behind the remote control car. Instead of giving a cool third person NFS-like view as in my video, they've ended up displaying a car which looks more like a robot. In the video they run their car through their auto workshop. Click here to read what they've written about their project. And at the end of the video, one of them picks up the car and says, "Take that Asif" to the camera! Hehe. Well, I'll take that as a positive gesture. You can check out their video here:

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A New Era For AUST

Today, 19 April 2008, is indeed a long awaited day for Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST). It marks the beginning of a new era for the already well known and established institution, as the new semester starts in its elaborate permanent campus. It is also historic in the context of the educational institutes of Bangladesh, as AUST becomes the first among the private universities of the country to move to its permanent home. The campus was inaugurated by the President of Bangladesh and Chancellor of the University Prof. Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed on 31 March. The new campus is not only huge in size, but also exclusively designed and spacious, promising all the facilities required for a university of international standards. The visually pleasing edifice is divided into four separate blocks, and the 10 story building including 2 basement levels has more than 4 lac square foot area as a whole (Click here for details).
The students of the university has been demanding the move to the new campus for a long long time. Seniors from almost each and every batch has been keeping the authority under pressure. Finally in the last semester we got to know that the time has finally arrived, and the classes of the spring semester 2008 will start on the permanent campus. This day has really been a long awaited day for our varsity. I feel really lucky that I'm gonna get a chance to study in our new campus for at least 2 more years (if I don't lag behind for some reason, hehe). And I really feel sorry at the same time for the seniors who have been struggling for so long to get this opportunity, but didn't get it. Thanks to them for all their efforts.
Today the authority invited the parents/guardians of the students to be a part of this historic day, by coming to the campus, and having a look around. Unfortunately I couldn't take my parents, our driver was on leave and going by taxi 8:00 in the morning was not possible.
The atmosphere in the campus today, as the students finally entered their very own elaborate campus, was absolutely amazing. The expression in their faces said everything. Everyone was looking around the campus with smiles on their faces. It was really great. Our friends were greeting each other saying 'Eid Mubarak', haha, as indeed this day is a happy day for us.
But the campus, to be honest, isn't ready yet. The air conditioners are not yet set, which makes things really hard in the hot summer weather. The laboratories, library, cafeteria are not yet fully functional. Even the teachers room of our department (EEE) is not ready. So, I think the authority could've taken a bit more time, at least 2 more weeks to arrange things a bit more and then start the classes. Anyway, Inshallah things will be just fine within a few weeks.
Our old temporary campus was congested, situated in different rented buildings and had the lowest grade as far as visual beauty and student facilities are concerned. But I am going to miss that campus, as the memories of my first two years of varsity life will always be associated with it. But I think what the students will miss the most is 'Star'! I mean Star Kabaab, Star Bakery and the 1st floor of Star Restaurant, which were always filled with the students of AUST, eating, gossiping, studying, passing time. And the 'Mamas' of Star are also sure to miss us.
I hereby would like to congratulate everyone associated with AUST, the students (present and past), teachers, staff, everyone, on this glorious and historic day for our beloved university. May Allah shower His Blessings on this institution forever. Ameen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Grapes in Our Garden

My father has an attraction for gardening, and since coming to Uttara, driven by his enthusiasm for it and with the help of a gardener, he has utilized our roof and some portion of land on the front of our house to grow all sorts of flowers, fruits and vegetables, all thanks to The Almighty Allah. The latest addition to the wide array of stuff that our garden has produced, are grapes! I don't know much about gardening, but I know that growing grapes is not an easy thing to do. But Allah's bounty seems to be abundant for my Dad's garden, and now quite a lot of grapes are growing and they seem pretty healthy. I took some high resolution photos of the garden yesterday which you can take a look at. This is not the season for flowers, but you can see some photos previously taken of the beautiful flowers which grew in the proper season, although not so high quality.

Click on the images to see more.

Mustang-Cam! - My Debut on You Tube

You probably know that I'm a huge fan of the Ford Mustang. A couple of months ago my big bro gave me a cool remote control 1967 custom Shelby Mustang model. Since then I've been planning to make a video with it. What I wanted to do is to create a sort of carriage to attach the camera to the back of the ride, and then shoot the video while I control the car, which would give a NFS-like view. To hold the camera (Nokia 3250 in this case), I made something more like chariot, I named it 'Cam-Chariot', and attached it behind my Mustang.

The Mustang with the Cam-Chariot
Look what I've used for wheels under the Cam-Chariot, that's right, two tiny cars!

Now the only thing left was to drive it with the camera chasing it, and that's what I did. The video also featured some cars and bikes from my bro's collection. After shooting the video I went one step further, putting it up on You Tube. This is my first video on You Tube so I was pretty excited to see my own work on-air. I know it's just a crappy video with stupid quality and nothing spectacular, but I was pretty happy with the way things worked out. I've embedded the video right here. I hope to direct some more sequels of my soon-to-be blockbuster, hehe.

Click here to download the video (3gp).

I know what you're thinking, doing all these stupid stuff with kid's toys, it's all just too childish for a 22 year old. Maybe you're right, maybe it is childish, but....."Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn!"

Monday, April 07, 2008

Cable Management

Too long have I been disgusted by the horrible tangle of cables on the back of my PC desk. Can't blame the cables though, as I have to connect my monitor, keyboard, mouse, speaker, 2 printers, scanner, USB hub and the power cables. The cables seem to have a spontaneous tendency to entangle themselves together. The intricately tangled cables gave a disturbing view even from the front of the desk. I've been waiting for a chance to dig in and sort out the cables permanently. It's been one of my targets after the exams have finished, and yesterday I took the courage to carry out the job.
It took me quite some time just to free the cables from their love-bonds. As the wires remained in this state for a long time now, the floor has also been inaccessible for cleaning. As a result, I found myself having to clean a bit of a pile of dust and other annoying dirty stuff that I can't categorize. While cleaning I was feeling a bit like Mike Rowe of
Dirty Jobs, hehe.
I used some cable clips (used for wiring on walls), nails and some tape to bring the untidy cables back to order. Using the clips and the nails, I've managed to stop them from hanging down, and used the tapes to tie up the unused length of the wires, and tying up several of them together. Similar procedure went for the power cables as well. After 4 grueling hours of work, I was pretty satisfied with what I've done (also got myself a back-pain). Now the cables are looking pretty pleasing, nicely arranged on the back of the desk. Gone are the visually itching tangles, which have been bugging me for so long. Yet another successful project in my one month break!

Monday, March 31, 2008

For the Sake of Deen

On the 26, 27 and 28 March, I've been out on a 3 day Jamaat of Tabligh. I've been on a Jamaat before, but never for 3 days completely. My father wouldn't allow me to stay over because he cared a little too much for me. This is the first time I've traveled on the path of Allah with my bed on my shoulders and slept in the mosque. The independence day of our country have marked a different sort of independence for me. I've wondered how much difference there can be in staying over and not. Well, I've just found out that there's a huge gap. Whenever you want success, in any aspect of life, there needs to be some sacrifice, the more the sacrifice, the more closer you get to your goal. It goes for studies, profession, everything. Same theory applies for Imaan as well. The more hardship you go through for the sake of Deen, the better is your Imaan and steadfastness on the guidelines of Islam. There needs to be a great amount of hardship and sacrifice to attain the Imaan, which can inspire us to do good deeds and stay away from all evil from within our hearts. That's why it took our Prophet Muhammad (S) and his Blessed Companions (R) 13 years of hardship and effort to attain the eligibility of the complete Deen Islam, and only after that the guidelines of Islam was implemented on them. The noble work of Tabligh is nothing but the same effort as that of the Prophet (S) and the Sahabis (R), to acquire the Imaan which can keep us on the right path. By treading the path of Allah, with our beds and baggages on our shoulders, by leaving the luxurious life we used to live, by leaving our cozy air conditioned rooms, and sleeping on the floor of the mosque with people of all classes, by eating from the same plates and glasses with others, by preaching to people we consider to be low class, by being patient despite the many teases and pushes of the negligent, overall by struggling for the betterment of our Faith, all the diseases by which our hearts and minds have been filled, will slowly but surely be washed away, and in that place dependence on only Allah will be rooted. This is the goal of the work which is called as Tabligh. The blessed person through which this effort has been started again, Maulana Iliyas (Ra) didn't name it Tabligh. He said that if would name it, it would be 'Tahreek e Imaan' or, 'Revolution of Imaan'. Indeed it is so. Due to the strict adherence of the Quran and the Sunnah, this noble work has reached all corners of the globe within just a few decades. By spending some time in Allah's path, ultra moderns youngsters who are used to living life on the fast lane, are taking up the Sunnahs of the Rasul (S), becoming conveyors of the message of Allah, and thus are improving their own Imaan and that of others. If you want to understand how this effort can be such a life changing one, there is only one to find out, and that is by going out yourself.
Two of my friends from AUST, Ruhu and Fahad were with me in this Jamaat. I'm glad that they were there. Most importantly they weren't there only to pass the time of the semester break, but they have indeed learned the how important it is for us to work for the sake of Islam, and they are ready to do the work in their own community with their local mosque.
May Allah accept our efforts for the betterment of Imaan, and may Allah give all of us the understanding and the Tawfiq to give our effort, money and time for the sake of Deen, as we are suppposed to. Ameen.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunnah 24

Alhamdulillah, I'm happy to announce the publication of my new blog Sunnah 24. It's about the customs, practices and characteristics of the Noble Prophet Muhammad (S), i.e. the Sunnahs which are to be followed by humanity for success in this life and the next. I had planned this blog during my exams and have been waiting for them to finish so that I can get to work. Honestly speaking, I never thought I could get this blog up and running in just 3 days. Thanks to Allah, my work on this blog so far seems to be filled with Barkat. I'm glad that I got off to a productive start to my semester break.
The blog has of course just started, and inshallah I'll update the blog frequently. The book I'm using as reference for the Hadiths in this blog is an electronic version, so that makes my job a lot easier. I hope everyone will be privileged by this blog and try to attain the blessed Sunnahs of the Messenger (S) of Allah in everyday life.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Exam Khatam!!

Yup, the long awaited March 19 arrives, and the semester final of the 2nd year 2nd semester is over! Well, it's not that I've been very much restricted due to the exams, because I don't study much (about which my friends will object, but it's true), and I'm always kinda not too bothered about the outcome of the 3 hour exams, but, you know, even for the sake of keeping the 'exam environment' you can't do what you want while the exam is going, right? But now that the exam is over, you can do what you want. So here I am writing again.
While the exams are on I always have so many big plans made for the break, but when it's over, I always kinda lose interest in them. Does it happen to you too? I've got some plans regarding the web though, which Inshallah I will go through with. I'm planning to start writing on my Islamic blog again, which has been a project which never found full swing. I also plan to make a new blog about the everyday Sunnahs that Muslims should follow. May Allah help me with those.
I don't know how long this break is gonna be, at least a month, but I've heard there'll be more as Ahsanullah University is finally moving to the new permanent campus. When I was going to the varsity today, I was thinking that it's maybe the last time I'm entering the class rooms of our 'temporary' campus (don't you think we've stayed there too long to call it temporary?). Don't wanna write much about that now, I'll save it for the post after the classes start at the new campus.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Eye-patched Mom

My mom went through a surgery on her left eye today. It was a procedure known as Phaco, a cataract surgery, which is common these days. So she's wearing an odd-looking huge eye patch over her left eye. Fortunately tomorrow she has a check-up scheduled, and the doctor's gonna take of the patch. But she'll have to wear shades for about a week. After a few weeks the other eye will go through the same surgery. My mom's been having trouble in vision for quite a long time, Inshallah after all this is done her troubles will be gone. Pray for my mom so that everything goes well.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Semester Final: So Far So Good

The Semester final is under way and I've completed two out of the five exams, Digital Electronics and Numerical Methods. Both of those exams went good enough actually, Alhamdulillah. I'm just pleased that I could answer the full question in both cases, which is, at least for me, a rare achievement. Well, can't say how much of the answers are correct, but the advantage of answering the full script is that you can at least hope for partial markings.
The next exam is a week later. But the problem is, it's mathematics! And even disturbing is the fact that not less than 70% of the course is still untouched! I had a session with my math guru Shuvro after the exam today. He gave me an express lecture on the topics, based on his own notes (obviously). I admit that the course doesn't look that tough, but what you need to do well in maths is practice, and that's what I don't have time for. I'll be glad if I can run my eyes through the syllabus at least once. Anyway, I've always had these problems with math, in all the previous semesters. But I've depended on Allah and tried my best, and it always paid off. So I hope for the same this time as well. And the encouraging thing is, this course is the last mathematics course of the curriculum! So wish me luck for next Wednesday's exam.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Family Picnic (sort of)

Remember my trip to Tangail last year? Yesterday I revisited my uncle's house over there, this time with my family in a sort of a family picnic. The trip was pretty similar to the last one, only this time I had a lot more fun as my little cousins, Ahnaf, Zian, Tiana, Nusrat and Nuzhat (Chhutti) was there with me. I spent a lot of time walking around the beautiful typical rural landscape, and taking photos. This time I took a lot of pictures of the sceneries, and with a slightly better camera. You can check out the photos in my PicasaWeb Album. I've also put up a slideshow right here.

The lunch was mouth watering. Especially the beef and mutton were rich with Masala and tasted as good as they looked. After lunch we played cricket on the roof.
On our way back to Dhaka we visited my uncles' garments factory, Knittex Industries at Gazipur. I've been here about six months back. The facility has undergone huge improvement by this time. The factory is a full fledged production zone consisting of various sections. I've observed the whole process of production last time, but this time I was pretty impressed watching the process of screen printing being done on the t-shirts. The work being done here is very much organized.
Well, I enjoyed my time out there, forgetting the upcoming semester final exams next week. Oh no, is it really next week? Damn!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Blog Revamped!

Recently I've made some bold changes to my blog. The first thing to notice is that now the template has three columns, and the whole blog has a much wider interface. The label cloud is something that I wanted for a long time, but blogger doesn't provide the widget by default. So I turned to the blogger gurus. I found exactly what I'm looking for at phydeaux3's site. The Recent Comments widget was acquired from another great blogger hacks site, Beautiful Beta. The blog timeline widget at the bottom seems superb to me, it's visually pleasing and easy to use. I snatched it from Widgetbox. Another nifty hack I added is the post title icon. The 'I Am Asif' icon now appears with the post titles. Thanks to Dummies Guide for that hack. I also got rid of the 'AddThis' button for feed subscription, and implemented blogger-in-draft's own subscribe button.
I'm pretty happy about the changes I've made to the blog. I think it looks much better than before, particularly due to the 3 column wider template. What do you think?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Windows Troubles

Took me two days to get my PC back on track. Recently it has been a victim to a malicious software attack, I guess a spyware. The problems was, whenever I was getting online, after a few minutes an error message pops up saying "The Generic host process for win 32 has encountered a problem and needs to close", with the "send error report" and "don't send" buttons. I guess those two buttons and The Blue Screen of Death have become partners-in-annoyance since the arrival of XP. And then internet stops working, and so does my sound card. After trying various anti-spywares and my so-far-trusted AVG anti virus, it was still not working. I checked out the security updates for windows and they seemed to have an update specifically for this issue. Tried it, but didn't work as well, because that update is probably a preventive measure, not a curing one. In the end I had nothing to do but to format my hard disk, two of my hard disks in fact. I've searched the internet about this problem and found that many people have been facing the exact problem. Tech gurus insisted on keeping your windows up to date with the latest windows security updates from Microsoft. I thought these updates never work, so I had them turned off so far. That's one lesson to be learnt. Also now I'm running 3 separate anti-spywares; AVG, Spybot search and destroy and Ad-aware. I've also decided to try Avast! anti virus this time. And of course, the automatic updates of my Windows is now turned on. Glad to be back online.

From Macro to Micro

I just found this unbelievably cool video on You Tube. It shows the size of The Almighty's creation, from the very large to the very small. From a couple having a picnic at the park, the camera keeps zooming out until it reaches the outskirts of the galaxies, then zooms back in until it arrives inside a singular carbon nucleus! I don't wanna give you anymore ideas about it, just watch this amazing video. This awe inspiring piece of work was created in 1977 by Charles and Ray Eames for IBM.

If you're thinking how to download this video for watching again, use Real Player 11, cuz this video is worth watching a thousand times.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Painstaking Task

Yesterday I had to complete the painstaking and grueling task of the Electrical Design and Drafting assignment. I admit the task was given to us several weeks ago, but as is our custom, we always do it at the 11th hour (actually we do it just before the 12th). The assignment was to design the necessary layouts for planning the electrical connections of a one storied house, the floor plan was provided. We had to design the Fitting and Fixtures layout, which shows the positions of the various electrical appliances i.e. light, fans, sockets etc. Then there was the Conduit layout, which shows the wiring and the conduits (conduits are the concealed pipes through which the wires are connected across the floor). We also had to draw switchboard and distribution board connection diagram. None of the diagrams were difficult to draw, but the disturbing part was that we had to draw them on art paper (22" X 28"). Working on such a huge piece of paper was totally discomforting. It took me more than 5 hours in total to finish the task. Well, Alhamdulillah the finished product looked pretty good to me, so I couldn't help taking some snaps.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Ijtema 2008: Flooded with rain, Flooded with Blessings

The days of Ijtema are the most eagerly awaited days of the year to me. Since I came to Uttara I didn't miss attending this grand event. It's a huge opportunity to listen to the elders of Tabligh who come here from all the corners of the globe, inspiring us to work on Allah's path, spread the words of Quran and Sunnah. This year I knew I wouldn't be able to attend all three days, as the classes and exams were too heavily scheduled as we are heading towards the end of the semester. But man desires and Allah decides. Due to continuous rain and chilling winter cold, the Ijtema was cut short into just one day. I saw a glimpse of the misery of the people at Ijtema on Thursday. I went there at Asr and the scenario was totally miserable. It was raining from above, the water dripping down through the canopies. The clay roads were all muddy, making it a huge task to move around. People were finding no place even to put their luggage. At several spots I saw men removing mud using bottles and pots from the ground where they are supposed to stay for three days. I couldn't stay for much longer and headed back home. As I was returning, I could here our very own Maulana Zubair speaking about patience through the hurdles in life. He referred to the Sahabis (Ra), saying that they never prayed for their troubles to be gone, instead they prayed that they would face tougher challenges, so that they can prove themselves in the test of Imaan.
At Friday, the situation was getting even worse. So after the Maghrib prayers, the seniors of Tabligh and two people from each Zilla was called on an emergency meeting, from which the decision came to halt the proceedings of this year's Ijtema after the Isha prayer. The eagerly anticipated so called 'Akheri Munajat' was held at about 8:00 pm.
Apparantly it seems as though the Ijtema has been foiled, that it has failed its purpose. But it might not be so. Maybe this years Ijtema would be far more successful in achieving its goals than recent years. Allah tests the steadfastness of His subjects through all states and conditions, to see how strong they stand on the path of Allah, despite the state they are in. India's Maulana Saad said at the bayaan after Maghrib, that this seemingly failed congregation would bring many times more blessings from Allah than any other, and the far reaching positive effect of this Ijtema would be seen very shortly Inshallah. I guess what he meant is that through this turn of events, people will find new inspiration, encouragement and spirit to work for the sake of Deen Islam.
One immediate example of what Maulana Saad said was observed in the representation of the Ijtema by the media. Most of the times, when the electronic media covers this event, they hugely fail to bring out the true purpose of Ijtema, which is to send out Jamaats of Tabligh throughout the country and the world, to call people towards Allah. This year I was surprised to see a clear difference. I saw the report made by private broadcasters Channel-I on their news after the day Ijtema was terminated. I was really delighted to note that the true goal of Ijtema was indeed brought out clearly enough. In the papers as well, I saw similar changes. Pamphlets distributed by the government sponsored by Grameen Phone, which contained the map of the Ijtema ground, also mentioned the necessity of the work of Tabligh. These things are quite different from the previous years.
So in the same tone as all the Muslims of the country, I pray to Allah that this Ijtema which is apparently flooded by the rain, is in fact flooded by the Blessings of The Almighty.

Monday, January 21, 2008

AUSTronics goes public !

Finally ! AUSTronics goes public. For those who don't know yet, AUSTronics is an online magazine for the students and teachers of the EEE department of AUST. Me and some other guys from our semester, under the supervision of our boss Adnan sir, have been working on this site for the last couple of months or so. The site was ready long before and today we decided to go public, which generally means putting up posters announcing the site.
Honestly speaking, this site is not a very huge project. It's a blog which we are using to post articles. But there were quite a lot of work that had to be done in building up the complete site. Let me just try to give a brief summary.
  • The Idea: AUSTronics is the brainchild of Adnan sir. He initially discussed this plan with me and Kanto, and asked us if we were interested. We were always eager to spend some time in the net (whether for something productive or just wasting time). Me and Kanto also had gathered some experience in amateur web development using GPC and blogger over the last year. During the last semester I also learned the basics of HTML. So we were quite interested in this project. So the journey of AUSTronics began.
  • Choosing a Service: First of all we had to chose a blog service. The candidates were Blogger, Wordpress and Edublogs. The Wordpress templates looked professional, but each template had some drawback, and the templates' HTML were not customizable. Adnan sir found a likable theme at Edublogs. But we finally ended up dumping it due the permanent header image. The problem with blogger was that the usable area was narrow and left a blank space on each side of the blog, making it look unprofessional. But after searching a little, I found a template which uses the full width of the screen, and the color scheme was also pleasant, not too flashy( later I found out that all the templates can be widened by editing the template's HTML). The great thing about Blogger is that it is highly customizable. Unlike Wordpress, it allows you to edit the HTML of the template, which opens up endless possibilities. It allows JavaScript and DHTML so we could add cool menus and other stuff. So we decided to start with Blogger.
  • Gmail Account: To receive posts we created a gmail address, post.austeee@gmail.com.
  • The Name: We were having trouble deciding the name of our magazine. "AUSTronics" (combining AUST and Electronics) was suggested by Adnan sir. There were a few more contenders, Electrozine, Emitter, Electromotive. Being unable to go for one we decided to hold a pole in the four of our sections. And it was a landslide victory for "AUSTronics".
  • Collecting Articles: All of us had to go to the teachers of our department several times to request them to submit their articles in the upcoming site. Everyone seemed very interested and eager to participate in the magazine, but getting submissions from them seemed to be a tough job. By the end of our initial deadline, we had only collected one article. After a few weeks we somehow managed 5 (frankly, we didn't expect much more).
  • "Read More" Links: One problem with blogger was that it didn't provide "Read More" links by default. These links allow only a portion of the article to be visible in the main page, the visitor can read the rest by clicking the link. So I had to dig into the Blogger help group to find out how it can be done. Without much trouble I found out the trick and implemented the necessary HTML on our template.
  • Google Pages Account: To store various files I created a Google Pages account using the gmail ID we created earlier.
  • Header Image and its Width: We had to have a custom header. But there was a problem even before we could create one. We found out that the header images, once uploaded, get automatically shrunk, and the image covers not more than 60% of the page width. I knew this had something to do with HTML so yet again I turned to the help group. But this time it didn't help. The locations the experts were pointing to had no problem in this case. So I decided to try to sort out the problem myself. After a long session going through line after line of codes, I was finally able to locate the source of the problem. After a few trial-and-error attempts, I finally overcame the width bug. Then comes the issue of the image itself. To create the background of the header image I searched the web to find appropriate photos. As the background, I put up 4 relevant images and used a blueish tint to match the color scheme of the blog. Now creating the textual logo of AUSTronics was Shorif's job. And he did a fantastic piece of work. Interestingly he was able to incorporate the AUST logo into the text. His logo fitted perfectly with the background, and the header was done. But the trouble weren't over yet. When the images were uploaded, although it was now fitting the full width, for some reason the quality of the image was being reduced. So I had to upload the image to the GPC account and used the image from the web source.
  • JavaScript Menu: There are many sites providing free JavaScript and DHTML codes to create menus. I went through a lot of those sites and finally settled for the current menu. The JavaScript files were uploaded to the GPC account. Customizing this menu needed some time to understand. It is highly customizable, so after learning how to change the different aspects of the menu I made it according to the context of our site.
  • Microsoft Frontpage: Unlike Wordpress, blogger doesn't provide multiple pages. But we had to create some pages dealing with About AUSTronics, How to post, Feedback and Links. So I used Frontpage. To make sure that the viewer doesn't take these pages to be separate from the original site, I had to use the same template. To do that I just saved the main page as an HTML file, and edited it with Frontpage. So the theme remained exactly the same. The text for About AUSTronics, How to post and the links were provided by Adnan Sir. The HTML files created were uploaded to the GPC account and were linked to, from the JavaScript menu.
  • Feedback Form: Typically if you create an HTML form for feedback, what it does is simply opens your default email software to send the mail, unless you knew CGI scripts. From a GPC help site I got to know about a service called Jot Form, which makes the whole process a piece of cake. I decided to give it a shot, and I wasn't disappointed. The form is easy to use, and the message is directly sent to our email address without any hustle. It works great.
  • Short URL: A shorter URL address for the blog was created using a URL redirection service (shorturl.com).
  • Bookmarking Buttons: I implemented two social bookmarking buttons, one for simply bookmarking the site, the other for subscribing to the RSS feed of the blog. The buttons allow you to add bookmarks to your browser or to the various social bookmarking services like Page Flakes, Technorati etc.
  • Custom Favicon: Favicon is the small icon that appears at the left of the page title (like the "G" of Google). I created the favicon just by snapping the "A" out of our header image. The image was created in 32X32 size in png format. Putting it up was easy as blogger allows you to edit the head section of the template.
  • Google Analytics: I inserted the Google Analytics code to acquire various statistics about visits on our site.
Now, let me see, did I miss something? I know it's not a lot of job, but this is the first time I'm putting my web expertise (hahaha) to a real test. Hopefully this blog will be visited by a lot of people, students and professionals. So I hope that the site is at least standard, if not too decorative and extraordinary. AUSTronics has just started its journey and I'm sure it will go through a lot of changes. Now Razie, Tahsin and Shorif have been given the job to publicize the site, which I'm sure they'll do pretty well. I guess some posters have been already put up in the notice boards announcing a new era at AUST (hahahaha). I'm not too far off the mark if I say that, because as far as I know this is the first ever online publication by AUST students, of any department. Tahsin is optimistic about putting up the news on the tech section of Prothom Alo and The Daily Star (believe me, he had much bigger plans).

In many cases you plan to do something so seriously, make a lot of preparations, and in the end fall short, or don't get on the road at all. All praises to the Almighty Allah, we have been able to do what we wanted to do. Special thanks to Adnan sir for his friendly supervision over the complete project. He has been our "Chief Adviser". Actually Adnan sir has even bigger plans centering AUSTronics, I hope all his revolutionary ideas come to life. Congrats to my team mates in this project; Shorif, Razie, Tahsin, Kanto, Arif for making AUSTronics a reality. Thanks to all of my friends for their encouragement. Inshallah by Allah's help and the support of all, AUSTronics will go way further than we can imagine.