Must see … if you haven’t seen the real thing

Satellite images have always been my favourites. Now I’ve got a way to get all I want. And what beter way to start than with MasjidulHaraam and Masjidun Nabi?

I’ll give you a brief introduction to the images. Click on a thumbnail to view larger version of the image.

Makkah Mukarramah

The first image is from around 17mi elevation of the eye. This just gives the feel of the place as you can’t see much besides the Holy Mosque itself.

The second image is from around 40,000 ft high. I just couldn’t go any closer without loss of quality. It’s a pity really because all holiness aside, the place is beautiful!

Third image is of ‘Mina’ – the tent village used during Hajj (pilgrimage). The whites you see in the image are tops of the tents. It’s spans many square miles and during the days of Hajj, you wouldn’t see anything but heads bobbing up and down as people walk from one end to the other (South East to North West).

The last image is of the sacred grounds of Arafa.

Madina Munawarrah

The first image is, again, a bird’s eye view. Notice how the whole city sort of diverges towards the Prophet’s Mosque (Sallalahu alaihe Wasallam, may peace be upon him)

The second image is of the Prophet’s Mosque (Sallalahu alaihe Wasallam). To the left, you can see Jannatul-Baqee’ – the graveyard where many of the sahaba (Radhiallahu Anhum)and many many scholars and leaders are buried.

Third, fourth and fifth are other views of the mosque. You really have to be there to appreciate the true beauty of the place though. I’m just glad I could get better pictures here.

The last one shows a close-up of the mosque. To the top-left is ‘Gumbad-e-Khazra’ (that’s ‘the green dome’), the resting place of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Salallaho Alaihe Wasallam).

Failure in the White House

Looks like machines are finally starting to get more intelligent than humans. I came across this on Google’s own blog. Do a search on ‘ failure ‘ in Google and see the first result that comes up.

Seems like Google’s search engine thinks “Biography of President George W. Bush” is the ‘top result’ for failure. I wonder why that is!!

Calculus and Me

I’ve been working on Calculus and Analytical Geometry for about a month now. I’ve used lectures by Dr. Faisal Shah Khan of VU, Pakistan. I would rank him with some of the best teachers I’ve ever studied under. He built up the subject very nicely and has given me a thorough understanding of the matter. I just wish I had his email to send him a note of thanks.

Also, thanks to all the friends who’ve helped me in any way for this course. This is supposed to be a milestone in my understanding of computers and Maths. So, thanks to them for those notes and for the CDs.

I won’t forget you when I become a billionaire. *Grin*.

Challenging Internet Explorer

You keep saying I write nothing about non-Google stuff. Here it is then:

I’ve been flirting with many browsers since a long long time ago. Just couldn’t find anything that could make me stick to it for more than a day or two. I’ve been using Opera for a long time now but just for checking my secondary mails and stuff like that because it remembers my passwords (the wand is great).

Firefox has been there for a long time and is fast becoming the sweetheart of geeks all around the world (if only because it’s the only one to come near IE.

I’ve been using it for two days now and must say: it’s actually better than IE in some ways (especially with the extensions). I’ve already found out ways to enhance my Google search experience and a double click dictionary system!

And of course, web page rendering’s absolutely the same as IE.

I’ve been thinking of putting a ‘Firefox’ image on my blog/site.


For my web developer friends, XForms technology is something that you can miss, but not for long. This is what ASP.Net’s server-side forms are all about. W3C’s working hard on this and it’s going to be in as quickly as XHTML took over from HTML. Don’t get left behind if you’re planning on staying in web development. I stumbled upon a basic intro. Find out more and let me know too.

What does Google do that Microsoft doesn’t?

Well, maybe Microsoft does do it. Just not that openly. Google makes sure it can attract the best of brains from computers and business. How? By telling them they won’t get the one worst feared thing: boredom! For those who’re up there in the high IQ range, boredom is the monster. Google doesn’t just play jokes, it also makes sure that the corporate culture remains as stress free as possible. I hear Microsoft does that too. It’s just that you never actually see them doing it.

Blog Markup Language

Darren Neimke has done wonders. Dunno why it took so long. Maybe because so much’s happening on the commercial side that the Giants are not very willing to invest time in something as ‘small’ as blogs. Service independence with blogs is what we needed. Neimke has given it a start. Now it’s upto Blogger, WordPress, Movabletype and such to take it further.

Microsoft learns yet again from Google

Out of Microsoft Sandbox comes Take a look and tell me this isn’t taken straight from Personalized Google. I mean, come on guys. Do some innovation. It won’t do much good simply following Google’s tracks. That was what other companies were doing when Microsoft was innovating back in the 90s!

GoogleNet! Sounds interesting.

I was wondering what Google was doing with a web accelerator. Sounds like they’re heading into the ISP business as well. Seems like a very good idea since they’re already offering ad-based services and (as many are predicting) going for the browser and operating system market, an ad-based internet service would be a very nice way to plug everything into the Google Browser.

Not just one but many are saying it and I believe Google might just be upto it. It sounds so much like Google of today.

Massachusetts and MS Office

The home of MIT has some more problems for Microsoft. Just recently, Massachusetts government proposed a plan to use OpenDocument format (open source and based on XML) for all official purposes.

I don’t know about Microsoft, but this is a very good step towards standardization of not only applications but also data. If we can have a standard for web pages (HTML and XHTML), why not for all the other formats too.

I believe this is would also be helpful in the process of standardization and independance of services online as well.