Should I Buy an iPad

iPad with on display keyboard

Image via Wikipedia

Listen to this postI ordered my iPad from a Kuwaiti site called Kuwait- mall because the Appel store was declining my orders on the ground that the available supply of iPad’s was not enough for the US market. So, I waited until the 3G model was available and ordered the highest capacity available. The order was done on May 9, 2010. I received the iPad after 17 days. The US price was $849 (KD245) and I paid KD 289 ($950) which is a reasonable price if you consider the shipping and handling cost. The official price in UK is £699 ($950 or KD300).

iPad (64, WiFi + 3G) KD Kuwaiti $ Dollars £ Sterling
Price in US 246 845 587
Price in UK 293 1,010 699
Price in Kuwait 428 1,475 1,020

The iPad screen resolution is fantastic, I did not know that a screen this clear does exist in the world. Now, while I am looking at what I am typing, I feel like reading clear text from a printed paper, the graphics even better. The keyboard is excellent. I practiced for about half an hour to get used to the keyboard. Now I type at the same speed I would type on a normal keyboard. The auto spell checker and the auto correction make my typing even better because the spell checker would display the full word while I am still typing it, all I need to do is to hit the space bar and the full word Is there. The spellchecker is excellent and the definition function is more convenient. If you are a Mac user you would know what I am talking about.

Most of the available applications are simple but powerful. When you check the iToons store you will find many applications to chose from. Most of applications are reviewed and ranked by users like you who purchased the application and posted their thoughts for others to read. The count reached 180,000 application to choose from but most of those applications are made for the iPhone. The iPhone applications will work on your iPad but with smaller display. There is an option to enlarge the iPhone application by 100% of its size but it would not be as sharp and clear as the iPad applications. iWork applications are the perfect alternatives for the Microsoft softwares: Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Pages, Numbers and Notes are available for the iPad and they are powerful enough for a medium user who need the frequently used options to create documents, spread sheets and elegant presentations. iWork applications are stylish, powerful and simple enough to be learned and used by almost everybody. You can import Microsoft files to iWork applications effortlessly. You may see some minor error messages during the file conversions, but most of these error messages are due to the You will not retype or adjust a lot of the imported text and pictures. I imported some files and got the error report but could not figure out what was wrong because the document was fine. You may export your files in the original format or on Microsoft format (doc, ppt, xls) and pdf format that most of the users can import and read. I do not think that I will use Microsoft programs anymore as long as I can.

One of the best features is the iPad battery. I turned it on at 8:00 am and checked it’s power storage at 3:00 pm to find the power meter showing %47. We used the iPad for about 4 1/2 hours during that testing time. I say “we used it” because the kids were playing games on the iPad whenever they see it laying on the table and I am not around.

The iPad is cute, simple and light enough to hide in any bag or envelope. You would have to search for it between your printed materials in the bag! The question most of you are asking now is “Should I buy one?”.  My answer would be “it depends….”. If you are one of those heavy users who use specialized Programs and templets, then the iPad would not satisfy all of your needs. But if you need the iPad for regular use like: email, browsing, bloging, chatting on the Net, or writing stylish and professional documents (or presentations and spreadsheets) then the iPad would be a good choice for you especially of you need your laptop with you everywhere and most of the time.

You may be interested in reading “Are you new to the iPad” in this blog.

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How Long Should We Stay

Listen to this postI was asked how could I work for the same employer for a long time. I have worked with the same employer for about 30 years now. I joined the current employer in November 1980 when I had enough black hear on top of my head and a slim waist that I can only wish for now. I have gain a lot of weight which mostly not muscles.  Back then, I was eager and happy to work in an unforgiving environment like the refining industry. My start was with a team ten years older than me. They started bullying and pressuring me to quit. They asked me many times why would I work in such harsh conditions while I am still young and able to join less demanding and more prestige’s job. My answer would always be in the a derivative of the following question “…. and why are you still working in this environment if it is not good as you said!” usually they could not give a good answer. I knew then that I had a good job because they were trying to push me out of it.
The number one reason for me to stay with the same employer is the good salary and the frequent promotions I got. I was promoted relatively fast from one position to the other when I was a high school graduate and also when I got my engineering degree.  I should say that I got the degree by a generous  scholarship from the same employer.
The working team and the culture in the refinery is the second reason for me to stay with the same employer. The refinery is full of people who would help me when I ask them to, and they are always supportive when I needed support. They are more like a family to me than coworkers.  The daily challenges keep me busy and innovative constantly. These challenge are my third reason for staying with the same employer because routine or repetitive work is does not suit me. I would say that good salary, good benefits combined with daily challenges in a supportive environment would be a good combination for somebody like me to stay forever with a single employer.


Where Does The Dove Nest

Listen to this postI work in an environment that needs especial personal protective equipment and is heavily regulated by the environmental and safety laws and regulations. Every now and then, I hear some complains about poisonous gases and unpleasant odours coming from then plant. Most of the complains are exaggerated for different reasons but we take them seriously and do intensive checks and investigations.

The dove select safe and pleasant place to nest and lay its eggs while it is free to fly away to select a better place. I have noticed a small nest in the shade of the parking near the plant where I work. The nest (see the picture on the right) was built by a dove many years ago and has been used by different doves since it was built. I notice that the nest remains empty for few days, then one day I would see a dove using it. After few days I could notice the small babies peaking from the nest. They grow fast and fly away with their mother leaving the nest empty for the next lucky dove. I was thinking, if the surrounding area is not safe and pleasant, why would the dove build a nest in it? and why it keeps coming back to it?


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Rediscover Quietness

Car with many big speakers

Listen to this postI use to drive a sport car fitted with an excellent sound system. I improved that system with more electronic gadgets that made the sound loader and crisper. I used to increase the sound volume so high that made the side mirrors shake with the beat of the drums in the song. I only lower the value when I stop at the traffic light so as I do not bather the drivers next to me. That was then, but now, I just smile when I hear the music coming from the passing sport cars and remember how much I enjoy that back then.

I punished my ears for about 18 months with load music until one day I drove the car while the stereo was off. It was a relaxing and comfortable feeling. Quite, no noise at all, just the sound of the air coming from the window. I drove for about 15 minutes then I realized that I am missing the music, so I switched on the stereo, but switched it off immediately. I rediscover quietness and the comfort it brings with it. I was like carrying extra wight for 18 months and then suddenly dropped it down. Now I only listen to smooth jazz while working on the computer and listen to audio-books while driving. I wonder what other drivers listen to these days?


Thank You … Keep The Change!

Listen to this postMost of us used taxi services at some point of our lives and there is a great chance that we have been robbed by the taxi driver. The taxi drivers perfected a simple trick which they use often and they never were caught by anybody. For example, you arrive at your destination and the fair meter shows the total amount of  £16.35. So you hand in  a bill of £50 to the taxi driver. He would reach for his wallet and hand you a £10 note then start handing you the pounds 1, 2, 3 then search for the smaller coins and take some time to find them. At this point you would say “Thank you…please keep the change !“. He will drive a way with £20.15 you gave to him willingly. Next time you are in a taxi and the driver give you the coins just stop there and keep your mouth shut. You notice that he will reach to another wallet to hand you the £20. Smart trick and you can not accuse them of anything. I have seen the same trick done in many countries without exceptions. Did you experience similar tricks?


Turn Down the TV or Else…

EarbudsListen to this postI did not know that I have supernatural ears which can hear the faintest sound until few months ago. The ear wax completely blogged my ears and I had to go for ear “de-waxing”. When the doctor pulled the wax out I was really embarrassed. I don’t want to describe what came out of my ears but it was a lot! I felt the difference immediately. I started hearing the faintest sound around me. I am able to hear people talking 3 meters (10 feet) away while I am listening to music using the ear buds.

The Arabic version of Sponge Bob can be really annoying

The kids used to watch cartoons in the morning while I am having breakfast. I did not mind that before because I could not hear the noise, but now I hate Sponge Bob more than anything. The kids like watching Sponge Bob at 6 in the morning and I can not stop hearing his annoying voice coming from the living room. The late afternoon noise is a little different. While I am having lunch/dinner at 5:00 pm I hear the sound of explosions, machine guns and distraction coming from the kids room. They love playing “Call of Duty” on their Play Station while I am trying to get a peaceful meal. You can hear me shouting everyday “Turn down the sound or I will…..”. Food will be splashing from my mouth and my face would turn to red but they would not hear me for two reasons. First they don’t want to hear me, second they will be too busy playing. By the end of the meal you will hear me saying “….and I mean it this time!”. I guess, next time I got that wax in my ears, I will think twice before cleaning it. Plugged ears are a blessing and mercy to some people.


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Would You Like to Invite Your Friends

Facebook on Mobile

My social networking

Listen to this postI was socializing with my friends and family members on Facebook one evening when I notice a small advertisement on the right hand side. The advertisement was an option that ask me to check if my friend are already on Facebook so as I call invite them to join my online social network. It seamed like a good idea so I clicked on it. I was directed to another page that asked me to give access to my email contact list, so I did give the access by typing in my log in name and password. The search engine started looking through the contact list and within a minute it presented a list of 10 people from the contact list who has Facebook account and I can select to invite to my network. Everything so far is normal and boring.  So I selected 6 people I know very well to send them an invitation, then clicked OK. I was distracted for few second and when I looked at the screen I saw a list and an option to confirm the selection so I clicked again without confirming the list! the next screen had a message saying that my inventions was sent to 450 people from my contact list?

My contact list include my friends (and not friends!), work colleague, business contacts and employees. So far things are not so bad until one week passed and people started complaining from my repeated reminders to join Facebook. Apparently the system is reminding the 450 people until they join Facebook. Some of them joined Facebook and went through the same story of inviting their friends. I am still receiving their invitations on my other email accounts!


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High Hanging Fruits

كنار السدره
Image by Sami Malallah via Flickr

Listen to this postThe tree in the picture is known in Kuwait by the name of “Sedrah”. It produces small fruit called “Kinar” which has sweet and refreshing taste. This tree can grow up to 10 meters tall and have nice diameter of cool shade with a diameter of 6 meters. The sweet Kinar will fall down when it is ripe and ready for eating. All we need to do is collect it for the ground when the breeze blow it off. However most of the people are impatient and would like to eat the high hanging fruits at their convenient time, so they would hit the branches with a stick or through rocks to the top of the tree to drop the fruit. The aggressiveness would break the branches and damage the tree.

This strange human behavior always amaze me. Volunteers suffer form this phenomena the most. When they do a good job, people would ask for more. Volunteers receive complains or at least criticism when they exert their average effort. We live in a time where everybody wants everything, and they want it now. Anything less than that would be unacceptable. The tree in the picture is more than 25 years old and has given without complains. It has been hardly beaten, thrown at by sticks, rocks, shoes and once I saw car windshield wiper hanging on one side of the tree! But still the tree keep on growing and giving without complains.

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You Have to See Your Kids Dancing

Kindergarten in Frankfurt
Image via Wikipedia

Listen to this postBy the end of the school year, when I was eight years old, the teacher asked me to wait in the class and not to leave early with the other students. I was afraid that I have done something wrong, but I waited anyway with two classmates not knowing what is coming next. After half an hour he came back and asked us to go to the Principal office and wait in line for our gifts. I discovered later on that I was participating in a ceremony made special for students who scored high marks through out the year. That was my first and last time in the Principal office. They told me that my father was present at the Principal office when I got my gift, but I did not see him there. Back then,  if the student is called to the Principal office or his father was called to school thats mean one thing: TROUBLE! There is no other reason for the student parents to be in school other than that.

Now, the parents have to attend parents day, progress report day, social functions, “we want to show you what we are doing” day and so on. Not attending one of these days means that the parent is irresponsible. The kids are expecting their parents to be present on these days and will be sad if they did not. I have three kids and I can not be present on most of  these day because of my work commitments. I was thinking what if all the parents attended these functions, who will be at work? Once my wife was telling me that she is confused to either perform five  scheduled LASIK surgeries or to go to the kindergarten and watch our daughter sing and dance.  What do you think she did?

I Missed the Innocent Celebration

Listen to this post

Waiting for the next car

Waiting for the next car

I was driving on the Highway last week when I noticed a teenager in a micro bus opening the side window and then stick his hand outside the window holding a can. He immediately start spraying white foam on the cars behind the bus! Such behavior might be accepted if it was done 10 days later during the Kuwaiti National Day (February 25). But annoying people that early is a bit strange.

Twenty years ago, we used to celebrate the national day by decorating governmental buildings with colorful lights. Kuwaiti TV use to broadcast school boys and girls singing live an innocent and beautiful patriotic songs.

Spraying the Foam

Spraying the foam

Each year we would listen to new songs specially prepared for that year’s celebration.  All this beautiful and meaningful celebrations are now replaced with foam spraying and water splashing mixed with crazy driving. I still remember most of the songs performed back then. Now if you ask the teenagers about what they remember from last year’s celebration, their answer would be either car crashes during the celebrations or how they blinded each other with the toxic foam! Can anybody tell me what the foam got to do with the national day?

Read more on this subject in a special page in this blog.

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