Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for June 2008

While the world is getting cheaper voice and data plans, Canada’s only GSM network, Rogers, is still offering ridiculous and expensive wireless data plans. And even though the iPhone 3G is coming to Rogers on July 11 as well, Rogers still wont be offering an unlimited data plan (which means Fido wont as well).

Canadians know that they are being ripped off by the major wireless carrier for years (including yours truely) yet nothing is being done to put an end to it.

When will we ever see significant changes in data plan prices? And what needs to be done to see it happening?

Visit www.ruinediphone.com and sign a petition to say NO to Rogers ridiculous data plans.

RuinediPhone.com is down as I type this update. It has moved to http://inflexion.iisnet-networks.com/~iphone/index.php.
Please click the link and sign the petition.

Looks like RuinediPhone.com is back online again. Please visit the site and make your voice heard if you haven’t signed the petition yet.


Planning on getting a phone just for making and receiving phone calls? Then you’re looking at a price range of $50 to $150. But if you are looking for a smartphone or a phone slash PDA then you’re looking at a price range of $500 to $1000. Of course I am only talking about unlocked phones without a contract. 

It’s kind of hard for me to pay more than $600 for something as small and fragile as a cell phone. And the prices don’t seem to be going down as fast as they should be. I mean, almost every month you hear about a new smartphone being released or announced by some major manufacturer with all the high end features you can think of yet the previous last year models still don’t seem to be affected at all price wise.

As cell phone manufacturers are trying their best to keep up with today’s latest mobile technology and consumer demands, they still don’t play it fair when it comes to pricing. In order for a fair and steady competition to happen we need those smartphones to be fairly priced and more affordable (and I am specially looking at you HTC).

Think about the HTC Touch Diamond for instance. The device has features already available in a lot of other phones available in the market today and it’s priced at a whopping $700! To me, that’s ridiculous considering you will be squinting at a 2.8″ screen. I mean, I would totally have no problem with that price if it had a large 3.5″ screen.

Anyway, I am hoping the crazy smartphone over pricing madness would eventually come to an end or else I would have to go back on carrying multiple devices.

My MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist) 70-541 exam in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Application Development was scheduled today, June 21st 2008, at 9:00 AM. It turned out to be a lot more difficult that I thought. A lot of the questions was based on site and list definitions. The exam also had plenty of questions on the WSS API as well. One or two questions were on solution deployment and several on webparts. But in the end I managed to pass the exam and currently I am waiting for my MCP access code for the MCP site. So in general, it was certainly an excellent way to start off my weekend.

FYI, my only study material was Inside Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 book from Microsoft Press.

Good luck to anyone out there who’s planning on taking the exam.

I have always been fond of Nokia’s E series phone lineup so I was excited when I read that Nokia officially announced the new E71. It’s certainly a pretty device with pretty much all the high end features a business user could ask for. 

What surprised me is the phone’s new size. Apparently it’s a bit smaller and a lot thinner than the E61 but still manages to pack more features. The E71 has built in GPS/A-GPS, 3.2 MP camera with flash, front VGA video camera, and runs the latest S60 Symbian OS. As well as the usual QWERTY keyboard, WiFi, and Bluetooth.

I was disappointed to see the same screen size though. Honestly, I was hoping for a total makeover for the phone’s form factor. I am not saying that I didn’t like the E61’s design (I wouldn’t be using it right now to blog if it was true) but I was hoping for Nokia to come up with a slide out QWERTY keyboard phone with a large screen that covers most of the phone’s size. And I thought this would be the E71. I am positive that I am not the only one who is waiting for a Nokia phone with a screen larger than N95’s screen.

Nevertheless, the E71 is an attractive, slim, and feature packed phone with lots to offer and it certainly proves the E61’s success in the mobile market.


Even though I’ve got a good amount of money in my savings account, I still consider myself broke for another three to four months. Which means I won’t be able to buy any cool gadgets for a long time. Which also means I will be feeling misreable for a long time. 

So what made me broke? Honestly, I have no clue. But as it turns out I have spent almost $1,000 using my Amex card. Whatever those expenses were, I have to pay it back ASAP. Which means I will be putting at least $250 (if not more) towards my Amex card every month.

Please don’t get me wrong. I don’t usually go on a spending spree using my credit cards. I rarely get into these situations and when I do I always take it seriously and try to pay whatever I owe as soon as I can.

Anyway, on the bright side this isn’t the largest balance I had on my credit card.


A few moments ago I decided to check out GSMArena.com and I noticed they posted official news and pictures of the much anticipated Samsung i900 “Omnia”. 

Apparently, the screen size isn’t 3.5″ as all previous posts have mentioned. Instead, the screen size actually is 3.2″. And that black square-shapped flat surface located at the bottom of the device is actually the previously seen optical mouse which seemed to dissappoint most people.

Another interesting piece of information that I didn’t know about is the device’s built in accelerometer. Which means the screen will automatically rotate if flipped to its side.

It also sounds like there will be two versions of this phone. One with 8 Gb of storage and another with 16 Gb. And it also supports miniSD cards which allows for further more storage if needed.

It would be great if a third version of this wonderful phone existed with a built in slide-out QWERTY keyboard to attract more business users and people who can’t live without a physical keyboard such as myself.

Nevertheless, I can’t wait to watch a video review of the phone sometime soon.


Nope. I don’t care. Not even one bit. So why the hell am I blogging about it? Well, cause I have nothing else to talk about.

His Steveness is suppose to be announcing a new 3G iPhone during his keynote tomorrow. Whether he actually does it or not isn’t changing the fact that it’s coming from Apple. In other words, owning such a device will confine the owner with all of Apple’s crappy restrictions and limitations. Even more, and I say this out of experience, you will totally feel owned by Apple.

On the other hand, I have to admit that I am excited to see what’s new in iPhone 2.0 and if Apple listened to all its iPhone customers’ suggestions and feedback on improvements and requests for additional features and functionality.

You never know, people might actually be able to copy and paste on the new iPhone. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up.

This is wonderful news for all those HTC Diamond fans who were disappointed for the phone’s lack of a QWERTY keyboard. Well, that’s where the HTC Touch Pro comes in to fill that gap. The HTC Touch Pro looks exactly like the HTC Diamond and shares the same TouchFLO 3D interface and sleek design. But there are several differences under the hood. 

The HTC Touch Pro comes with a slide out QWERTY keyboard, a faster processor, and (the part I love the most) a larger battery. The screen size and memory remain the same on both devices.

I still hate the fact that the HTC Diamond comes with a 950 mAh battery. I think the HTC Touch Pro gives consumers a lot more bang for their buck just for the fact that it has a longer battery life and the advantage of a slide out QWERTY keyboard. And besides, the Touch Pro’s design and software all comes from the Diamond so people would have the best of both worlds.

If I had to make a choice between either the HTC Diamond or the HTC Touch Pro, I would certainly choose the Touch Pro in a blink of an eye and without any hesitation.


Recently I registered for a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) exam which will be on June 22nd 2008. The exam will be based on the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Development technology. It’s something I have been meaning to do for a while but never got the chance. 

I have been working with SharePoint for a while now building applications and project sites from the ground up. The WSS 3.0 API has always been a pleasure working with. And after gaining a lot of experience in this field, and especially in troubleshooting ever since the first beta came out, I decided to put my skills to the test and hopefully get rewarded for it.

So anyways, I just thought I would share this information with you before I head to bed and I will keep you posted with further updates on this matter.

Wish me luck!


I know for a fact that several exciting new cellphones will be released during this month but my impatience for getting a new cellphone is getting worse as the days go by. At the same time I still haven’t decided which handset I am most likely to buy. 

The HTC Diamond has been up for sale on several online stores for almost a week now but I am not too much fond of the small screen and week battery. The iPhone 2.0 should be released during this month but, out of experience, I don’t want to feel owned by Apple due to all the iPhone restrictions. And the Samsung i900 will also be released this month but it won’t have a VGA screen nor a special home screen like the Diamond.

I understand that I can never get the perfect cellphone with all the usefull high end features that I always dream of but I still hate to accept whatever came close even if it lacked a GPS, or a built in QWERTY keyboard, or Windows Live integration, or a large 3.5″ VGA touch screen.

I guess I will have to just wait and hope for the best.



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