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Showing posts from 2008

Event driven programming

Most programmers think “Threads” when they are told to make a piece of code that should run concurrently. Also it hits them right in the face the last time they tried to make a threaded programs when they were faced by the usual problems (Races, deadlocks, etc) which are hard to detect, debug and at some time to reproduce. The behavior of threads is too unexpected as it's fully controlled by the threads scheduler not by the programmer. Another issue, the overhead of creating threads which sometimes is painful which produces an important question “What is the alternative ?” Lets think of concurrency in the following way: we will receive all the requests at the same time and queue them. Then we will assign each of them to a specific function. When this function blocks (i.e. for IO requests) or finishes we will make another one start till it blocks or finishes and so on. The question you'll have in mind “Wait a minute, that's not concurrency!!” Well, think of it this way. You h…

Anohter concert, another great night

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Most of my close friends know that I love attending the concerts of the BA Orchestra specially the ones conducted by Sherif Mohie Eldin. Last Monday (17th of November) there was a concert with a Spanish pianist as a guest to perform a soloist. I couldn’t miss a piano soloist for the world. As always the concert was held in the small theater with a huge number of very old people and it always amazes me the number of foreigners attending classical concerts as you can always spot at least 5 to 10 foreigners attending. It was the first time for me to attend with my camera as I had the intention of sharing this concert with you. When I picked up the program of the concert, I was pleased to find that they were play my favorite Chopin Concerto “Concerto for piano and Orchestra No. 1, in E minor, op. 11”. I don’t know exactly what all the parts of the name mean but I know the concerto and I love it. It was so different hearing it live from hearing it as an mp3 and Jose, the pianist ,was amazin…

Intel Core i7 processors (Nehalem)

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Core i7, that’s the name of the new family of processors (code name Nehalem) Intel is releasing this month. I couldn’t read about something as major as this and not blog about it although I am having my midterms now. Anyway the new family has some big changes in the architecture something Intel calls QuickPath which is a new way of handling shared memory and inter-processors communication. The keyword is NO MORE FRONT SIDE BUS. FSB was used as parallel way for accessing both the memory and the IO devices. The new architecture separates the IO and the memory connections, putting the memory in direct point to point connection and that means that the memory manager moved from the chipset into the processor. The IO is handled through the chipset on the motherboard. That means with those new processors come new motherboards, chipsets and everything. One of the restrictions that comes with the new package is that although they support to have more DIMMs but the support only DDR3 (bye bye DDR…

Sun Campus Ambassador - Alexandira University

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It is finally official. Say Hello! to the new Sun Campus Ambassador(CA.). It has been 4 months now since I first heard of the position. It was the first day of Wikimania; I talked with the people at the Sun Microsystems booth. It turned out the one of them was the regional manager of Education and Research. He was the one that told me all about the CA position. It was really a long journey, CV sent, first phone interview, second phone interview and a lot of e-mails coming and going ever since. I hope that I’ll be able to do my job as it should be done- Of course I'll need your help to do that. I welcome feedback and at any time.
I am really happy with the activities going all over our department and I hope that it could be of great help to everyone and that I would be a good part of what's going on.
For any feedbacks or questions concerning the CA position or activities you are welcomed to comment here or send me an e-mail.

Evri, a new way to view the internet

A few months ago I was searching for already developed semantic web application. I faced a limited access, beta version application named Evri so I registered in it. After a while I received an e-mail from Evri telling me that the service is no longer limited. I visited the site and I was instantly amazed but what it does. Evri helps you find connections between people, places and all kinds of stuff you might be reading about on the internet. It’s not a search engine so you don’t find a lot of information about the keywords you search for but it tells you what you are searching for is related to, giving you a way to find more information that might be useful to whatever you are doing. It provides a brief Wikipedia description of the keyword and the coolest Evri feature “the connections graph”. It is a simple flash graph that shows other objects on Evri that are connected to the object you are searching now. The rest of the UI is simple with a lot of information, pictures and even YouT…

A talk with Samer El Sahn The CEO of eSpace Technologies

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“It's all about the team”, “The business plan comes first”, “We need more start ups”. Those are some of the sentences that was repeated during my talk with Samer El Sahn – CEO of eSpace technologies. The business side of the developing world has always been one of my main interests so I could not waste the chance of having a conversation with the CEO of the company were I am training now. I am not a professional interviewer but I tried my best.
I decided to start by asking questions that I had when I read the IBM CEO global study for the year 2008. The study was titled “The enterprise of the future”. My first question was about the flexibility of a company and the ability to adapt market change. His answer focused on having a specific business plan that has everything obvious and clear especially how the project is going to make money. If the business plan was clear enough the manager shouldn't get carried away by all the possibilities that will appear along the way unless the …

MSDN Virtual Labs

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I always try to find new ways to learn stuff. I don’t like what’s ordinary so as any rookie I used only introductory books to learn about new technologies and thought that I had it all then I saw tutorials. Actually for quite some time my culture about learning new stuff was “tutorialic”- when I found new technologies I got a tutorial that talked about it and that was it. Later on I got to find that that alone isn’t enough (Now all I do is reading as any of you). Along the way I started using some "on the fly" ways like Eclipse help which leads you through each step showing what was done right and what wasn’t, it was really great when I was learning about RCP. It helped me both get things done and learn fast at the same time. Two days ago I found a new Microsoft tool that I really liked; it’s really innovative and time and software resources saving. What I am talking about is –as you already know- is MSDN Virtual Labs. MSDN virtual labs is a new tool that helps a developer b…

Sun SPOT

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Have you ever dreamed of having a project that produced a chip that did something real, something that you can make then use in the real world, instead of the digital projects that come from wonderland were people use some switches to play a game! Well, I had that dream. I love to program chips to make stuff like telling me when someone turns the light on in some room and to react to it according to some program I've already put in it. Though our beloved FPGA can do a lot of really great stuff but it's programming is frustrating. VHDL is one great-extremely-low-level language and it can teach us a lot about digital design but again if I want something to use something in a robotics project would I choose VHDL over Java?! I guess not. Sun has done it people. A programmable device that could be programmed directly using J2ME technologies. With high processing power and a lot of cool features that could be put in real use easily, I think it's everything that a programmable bo…

Wikimania 2008

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Four months ago I was told by a friend of mine "Abdel Rahman Gamal" that there will be a Wikimania here in Alexandria, Egypt and it will be hosted by the BA (Bibliotheca Alexandrina). He was thinking about joining the volunteers who are going to organize the event. I thought about that event for a while then forgot all about it due to all the things I had to do. About two months ago I found Abdel Rahman leading a group of volunteers and promoting for the big Wikimania conference. They had 2 awareness sessions to tell people about Wikipedia, Wikimedia and Wikimania. I loved the idea and I registered for the event I thought that it wouldn't hurt to attend some talks which I thought at the time would be all about the big online encyclopedia. The conference ended yesterday and it was really great. I loved every single thing about it. The sessions, the people and the organization. I got to know a lot about the site I took for granted. I got to know a lot of great people and …