Ahmed Eltawil's Blog

Archive for November 2010

While Google is still preparing to release Gingerbread,  I can’t resist thinking about the possibility of Google announcing a tablet with the new Android system release. I mean, Google did mention before that Froyo isn’t tablet ready, and that obviously indicates that they’re working on a tablet friendly Android OS. Which means that tablets and slate form factor devices is on their minds.

The question is: Is Google working on a tablet device running Gingerbread or are they waiting till next year for an even better Honeycomb flavor?


I installed Windows Live Mesh a while back when it was originally called Live Mesh. Then the Windows Live team decided to add it to their application suite and called it Windows Live Sync. Then they changed its name yet again to Windows Live Mesh. I liked the name Sync more, but I digress.

So now that I had it running on multiple computers at home and at work, I can say that I do recommend the product. It installs fast, lightweight, allows remote access to any added computer, syncs multiple folders seamlessly across multiple computers and it has a nice logo.

I would like to mention that I used to rely on Dropbox before I adopted Windows Live Mesh and I did enjoy it much the same as Mesh, but it lacked a client application control panel and remote PC access that Mesh has built-in out of the box. Also, and more importantly, Mesh gives you 5GB of SkyDrive storage dedicated to Mesh (think of it as your cloud storage space for all your Mesh synced folders) as oppose to 2.25GB that Dropbox offers.

A couple of more features that Mesh offers is the ability to sync your Internet Explorer bookmarks/favorites and Microsoft Office customizations (styles, templates, custom dictionary, email signatures) across multiple computers. I already turned on the IE favorites sync as I use IE on both home and work and getting my latest bookmarks on all my PCs is a huge advantage.

Overall, Windows Live Mesh made file syncing and remote access between my computers a breeze through its intuitive user interface. I definitely recommend it.

Happy Eid to all brothers and sisters around the world. I hope God spreads His blessings and mercy upon us all on this special day. I wish I was spending this day among all my family whom are spread out around the world.

May Allah accept our prayers and forgive all our sins.

It seems to me that HTC concentrates more on manufacturing as many products as possible over spending extra time on product quality. Many of their new smartphones (starting with the Nexus One) suffer from hardware issues. Whether it’s screen responsiveness or soft button feedback.

I also noticed that HTC doesn’t spend extra time in testing their smartphones in real world situations especially when it comes to the design of the smartphone itself. Many of them have a protruding camera enclosure that causes the phone to not sit flush on a flat surface. The speakers are usually located on the top back of the device which means it can be easily covered with your hands when holding the phone. Plus, many people prefer to flip the phone over on the table (screen facing bottom) to protect the screen and for privacy reasons yet the phone’s front isn’t flush with any flat surface which causes certain areas of the phone to get scratched quickly.

It just feels that HTC just wants to focus on quantity rather on hardware quality.

Recently I added a blog module to my company’s website and I used BlogEngine.net as the blogging platform, mainly because it’s free. But a week after the module was implemented, I started getting loads of spam a day. In the beginning I thought they were real comments on the posts but it turns out they all had websites associated with their names that was advertising products and services from different parts of the world.

I was under the impression that BlogEngine already had a spam filter built in (as extensions) and it did, but unfortunately it wasn’t catching most of the spam. I was surprised to see that BlogEngine lacked a captcha extension, but instead has recaptcha that still didn’t stop all the spam from passing through.

After some Googling, I realized BlogEngine users had to add captcha manually to the platform as there was no extension available. There are a couple of websites that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to implement a captcha function in your blog but the one that was easiest to follow and worked from the first try was the post titled “How to Block Spam Comments in BlogEngine.NET” from Code Capers.

Adding captcha seems to solve the spam issue for now, although it is quite annoying to type in those barely visible letters every time you want to comment. It’s a temporary solution for now till I research other ways to kill spam.


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