Blog

iPhone 3GS now available officially in the UAE

By on October 28, 2009

Both du and Etisalat have launched the iPhone 3GS. We help you decide by looking at how much it costs to get one from either of them

The iPhone 3GS fever is certainly at an all time high with both du and Etisalat launching Apple’s new Smartphone this week. At one hand, we have du with their clear cut price structure about the device and the data plans and on the other hand we have Etisalat announcing the unit prices that are slightly lower than du but no data package.

Lets start with du- they are selling the 8GB 3G at AED 2049, the 16GB 3GS at AED 2459 and the 32GB 3GS at 2,869. Etisalat on the other hand is selling it the 8GB 3G for AED 1,999, 16GB 3GS for 2,399 and the 32GB 3GS for 2,799. If you are simply looking at purchasing the handset, Etisalat wins but things get more interesting if you’re looking at Data packages which really is what the iPhone is all about.

If you are a pre-paid customer then du offers their Pay as you Go plan where as long as you spend 100 Dirhams on your mobile phone, you get 1GB data free per month. Etisalat hasn’t announced their pre-paid offer but if you look at their previous iPhone 3G offering, you are getting 250MB of data per month for free when you buy the iPhone from them.

For post-paid customers, du offers their Elite Plan where you get anywhere from 1GB to 10GB free data per month depending on how much you spend on your monthly bill. Etisalat on the other hand, again- going by their 3G rates, offers start at AED 99 per month all the way to 449 per month and this not only includes data but voice and SMS as well.

Which one would you chose? I have an Etisalat number for the last 15 years and don’t plan on changing that. When TRA does allow me to change my provider without changing my number, I might look into moving on to du. From what I’ve been hearing, their coverage has dramatically improved from last year.


GITEX 2009- what to see and get

By on October 20, 2009

GITEX is on us and we walk around the show so you dont have to. Find out the latest and greatest

Tags:

Its that time of the year again- when my leg muscles get the best workout they’ve had in the entire year. Yes, GITEX is once again on us and covering it hall-to-hall is not only an exercise for your feed but lots of food for your brain as well by looking at the incredible technology being showcased.

Windows 7 is obviously the big gorilla this time around and we have already started playing with it and liking it. Other than that Microsoft also has their latest Exchange Server and Windows Mobile 6.5 up for display. On the hardware side, you’ll find tons of new models from Dell, HP and Lenovo. Apple is also present but they’re not making much of a noise this year at Gitex.

On the consumer side, make sure to take your credit cards to Shopper which started off a bit slow but is now in full force. There are plenty of Netbooks that can be picked up and although you wont find much difference in price, you can always get that extra value added things that come for free.

Saving the best for last, Etisalat and du are at it in a big way with some mind boggling deals. Both have obviously announced their iPhone 3GS handsets but even more interesting are the offers they have with Blackberry handsets. Etisalat is giving away a free Storm if you buy a Bold and two months of service while du is giving away a free Curve 8520 if you commit to one year of their service.

So if you’re looking to stay connected, there is no better time to dive in than Gitex this year.


Breaking the 20k Mark in 3DMark Vantage

By on September 19, 2009

As this is my first blog, I thought of posting about something extreme, so here goes…

As this is my first blog, I thought of posting about something extreme, so here goes:

It all started with me wanting to build a system with Crossfire capabilities so I could run a Crossfire setup anytime with any ATI card- I admit, I am fan of their cards. The reason I prefer working more with ATI cards than NVIDIA is simply because I have a water cooling setup with two Dangerden Maze 5 GPU blocks connected in the loop. This block can be mounted on an ATI X800 GTO, 1900XT, 1900XTX, 2900XT, HD 3850 , 3870, 4850, 4870 and the 4890. Basically, the water block is compatible with almost all ATI cards due to the positioning of the four mounting holes around the GPU staying unchanged throughout the years.

No_sink

This is very much unlike NVIDIA, where almost each generation or series of cards has its own uniquely sized holes, making it hard to upgrade.

Having said that, let’s take a look at my gaming rig’s specifications:
• CPU: Intel QX 9770 Extreme Edition
• Motherboard: Asus Maximus Extreme X38
• GPU: 2x Asus EAH4890 with Voltage Tweak
• RAM: 2x Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DHX + 2xOCZ OCZ3P16001G
• Sound card: Creative Xtreme Music
• PSU: Enermax Galaxy 1000w
• Hard Drive: 2x Seagate 320GB @ RAID0
• OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 32-Bit SP2

Before making any changes to my system, I first removed the heatsink from both 4890s and installed only the red heatsink with the fan on it and mounted the Dangerden Maze 5 GPU block. I saw temperatures of approximately 30° C at idle and around 40° C at load.

GPU

I started to benchmark my setup with the default settings to see what the score would be, and the result was a total score of 15755, comprising of 17011 as the GPU Score and 12899 as the CPU Score with 3Dmark Vantage.

default
Validation: http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dmv=1374498

It’s actually pretty impressive considering the setup is faster than a single 4870X2 or two 4870 cards, on default settings. So I chose to overclock the GPU’s first and kept the CPU at stock. To do that I used Rivatuner v2.24 with a registry hack to enable overclocking on the 4890 with Voltage adjusting.

After hours of tuning to see what the optimum voltage setting would be with best clock speed so I don’t throttle the GPU and bring down the scores, I managed to stick with 1.5v on the GPU running at 1050MHz and 1200MHz on memory. I managed to obtain a total score of 17342 Mark, comprising of 19393 GPU Score and 13165 CPU score, so that’s an extra 1587 points achieved by simply overclocking the GPU’s.

GPU OC
Validation: http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dmv=1374525

But I wasn’t done yet; I still had the Qx9770 CPU to overclock, so I went back to the BIOS to adjust the multiplier to 10x, FSB to 425 and CPU Voltage to 1.62500v, after which CPU showed 1.52v in the Windows screen. RAM speed was set to 1700MHz by running it at1.94v which enabled the Quad core CPU to run fully stable at 4250MHz. This is despite the X38 motherboard limiting me- I’ve tested the same CPU on the Asus Rampage Extreme and managed to gain a stable 4.4GHz.

Anyway, I benchmarked the setup and I was left with 19983 Mark on Vantage which made me go crazy as I was only 17 marks shy of hitting 20k, so I restarted the setup, went back to Windows, but this time, I cleaned unnecessary applications using the Task Manager and increased the memory speed on both of the 4890’s to 1210MHz. I started 3Dmark Vantage and closed my eyes, hoping to cross the 20k score…

Once 3Dmark Vantage had completed, I opened my eyes to see the 20124 Mark on the screen with 21406 on GPU score and 17057 on CPU score which made me ecstatic!

GPU OC CPU OC

Now I am ranked #9 in 3Dmark Vantage with Performance settings along with 4890 Cards among the rest of the benchmarks! Validation: http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dmv=1381652


Why Smartphone manufacturers wont be able to beat Apple at Apps.

By on September 11, 2009

A month or so back, I gave my iPhone a break for a couple of weeks and played around with the HTC Magic. It was quite an awesome experience and I thought to myself that, in due time, Android has potential to rival the iPhone in terms of applications and usability. Unfortunately, some announcements made [...]

A month or so back, I gave my iPhone a break for a couple of weeks and played around with the HTC Magic. It was quite an awesome experience and I thought to myself that, in due time, Android has potential to rival the iPhone in terms of applications and usability. Unfortunately, some announcements made in the last couple of weeks made me lose faith.

I’ll start off by saying how Apple “gets it” and other don’t. During the last two years, there have been three models of the iPhone that Apple has released along with three models of iPod Touch. The thing common among all of them is the screen size, the screen resolution and the form factor.

What this translates into is that a developer knows EXACTLY how his/her application is going to look across all these models. For example, a button that is supposed to be towards the bottom of the device, close your left thumb and measure half an inch in size will ALWAYS be towards the bottom, close to your left thumb and half an inch in size- no matter which version of the iPhone or iPod Touch the application is running on. This makes the developer focus on providing an experience that he/she knows will be repeated for every end-user. This is what makes applications better on the Apple App Store.

If we take Android, we have Motorola, Samsung and HTC at the moment providing phones built on it. These phones have different form factors, different screen sizes and even different resolutions. And if that wasn’t enough, HTC went ahead and replaced the capacitive screen with a resistive screen on their recently revealed low-cost Tattoo. Talk about developer hell- trying to make sure your “Touch Screen” applications working across different resolutions, sizes and now with a stylus instead of your finger.

You could argue that unless there is a closed system like the iPhone, this will be impossible to achieve. Agreed. But look at Palm and their recently released “Pixi.” Suddenly you have fixed keyboard below the screen and an area that was easy to reach on the Touch screen with the Pre is not as easy anymore- spoiling the experience of an application. Maybe not a devastation, but its exactly those little things that make Apple stand out from a crowd. They get it.


A Gratitude to all Dubai Metro Workers

By on September 9, 2009

09-09-09. History books will define this date as the launch of GCC’s first metro system- the Dubai Metro. With 70km of magnetic tracks, the Dubai Metro is the world’s largest automated driverless train system. I have the luxury of having a metro station within 100 meters of my home as well as my office. Needless [...]

09-09-09.

History books will define this date as the launch of GCC’s first metro system- the Dubai Metro. With 70km of magnetic tracks, the Dubai Metro is the world’s largest automated driverless train system.

I have the luxury of having a metro station within 100 meters of my home as well as my office. Needless to say that I will not be driving to work when both these stations are operational. Besides saving the stress of driving in Dubai, I can actually utilize that time to get some work done.

dubai_metro

The onboard Wi-Fi powered by Wi-Max will help me stay connected and I wont have to worry about straying to the next lane while driving and messaging. Just kidding. I will also not have to guess the amount of time I’d need to get to the office to attend a meeting. Unfortunately, this also means that I wont be able to blame my tardiness on the traffic as often as I used to.

All jokes aside, lets take a moment and give our gratitude to the thousands of workers that have worked in this blistering summer heat, non-stop on days- just to get us the comfort of going from point A to B without worrying about a dozen other things:

You’ve left your families and comforts of your home behind to give me a better life.
I Thank You.
Abbas Jaffar Ali


Yahoo! acquires Maktoob.com

By on August 25, 2009

Yahoo! made its official entry into the Middle East today by partnering up with Maktoob.

Tags:

Yahoo! made its official entry into the Middle East today by partnering up with Maktoob. Read more


Facebook and Twitter Attacks

By on August 10, 2009

I wanted to alert you to the fact that there have been DDoS attacks on Twitter and Facebook late last week. You might have already read about this, but I wanted to provide you with some additional information, if you’re interested.

I wanted to alert you to the fact that there have been DDoS attacks on Twitter and Facebook late last week. You might have already read about this, but I wanted to provide you with some additional information, if you’re interested. Read more


Geekfest not Geeky Enough?

By on July 28, 2009

The Geekfest is happening at Shelter this upcoming Wednesday. What is that you ask? why, its a gathering of geeks. Or is it?

The Geekfest is happening at Shelter this upcoming Wednesday. What is that you ask? why, its a gathering of geeks. Or is it? Read more


Google Premier Apps- Not for Mac Corporates

By on July 20, 2009

I’ve been a long time Exchange user and advocate. A couple of weeks back Google decided to take their Premiere Apps out of beta status and this sparked my curiosity on testing their solution. For those who need an introduction, Google Premiere Apps is a collection of applications that Google has put together to compete [...]

I’ve been a long time Exchange user and advocate. A couple of weeks back Google decided to take their Premiere Apps out of beta status and this sparked my curiosity on testing their solution. For those who need an introduction, Google Premiere Apps is a collection of applications that Google has put together to compete against Microsoft’s extremely popular Exchange server. Read more


Google’s Chrome OS is definitely interesting

By on July 11, 2009

Google and their upcoming Chrome O/S is what the entire industry is currently talking about. Its an intriguing concept that may work at some level which is why Google is smart enough to debut it as a “Netbook” O/S in 2010.

Tags:

Google and their upcoming Chrome O/S is what the entire industry is currently talking about. Its an intriguing concept that may work at some level which is why Google is smart enough to debut it as a “Netbook” O/S in 2010. Read more


Most Read
Most Commented
Competitions
Win two Toshiba AT200 tablets

This festive season Toshiba has 2 tablets to giveaway.

Win an MSI FM2-A85XA-G65 Motherboard

Thanks to MSI we have an great AMD FM2 motherboard to giveaway.

Win a Nokia Asha 311

Thanks to Nokia we have a great entry-level smartphone to giveaway.