nostalgia and the onion

ramadan here is not the same as it is in atlanta… i “felt” ramadan a lot more in atlanta than i do here - besides being more excited about everything in general (iftars, tarawee7, etc), i also felt more motivated overall. ramadan here just isn’t the same – it really doesn’t even compare.

but its not just ramadan that isn’t even the same… its really everything. life in general doesn’t compare to what it was back home in atlanta… everything is totally different now.

today marks 2 months of being here… and i am not really adjusted yet. maybe its just a matter of time… maybe. or maybe not… i really don’t know.

today though, mansoor and i cooked chicken for iftar. and i was the one cutting the onion. so as i started peeling the skin off the onion, everything was fine. but once i started cutting it, i began having difficulty keeping my eyes open, and i had to struggle to cut the rest of the onion.

and once the onion was cut and the chicken was cooked and maghrib came and we ate, the food we made was (believe it or not) really good. and i realized something… this “onion” situation could (perhaps) hold a large parallel to what i am experiencing now.

at first when i was coming here and when i first got here, i was really excited about the new place, the new job, the new environment, and so on (peeling the skin off the onion). but once i started diving into the lifestyle fully (cutting the onion), i began to realize how much i miss what i had and how i really want to be back home rather than be here (the onion irritating my eyes). but perhaps, after some time, after some patience (continuing to cut the onion with my eyes half closed), and after washing my eyes out (resolving the situation within myself), i maybe able to go on with my life as normal (cook the food), and enjoy the benefits of life here (eat the food) and realize that it isn’t all so bad and that there are good things here too (realize that our food is tasty even if its not mama-G quality).

so that’s my $0.02 for the day. i don’t know. i am hoping that eventually i come out of this. apparently, its not just me though… a few of the friends i’ve made here amongst the new college grads have told me that they are struggling with the same thing. and i am sure that even those who haven’t mentioned it are going through it too.

i don’t know… maybe things like this just take time and patience…

ramadan kareem!

insha’Allah we’re starting our fasting tomorrow (10/15). more updates later…


peace. not much going on here. i posted some of the pictures i took in atlanta up, but i ended up deleting some of them on accident. so there are only a few on there, but you can see them on the photo galleries.

google launched sms.google.com - seems like something pretty useful and neat.

gmail rocks - i still got some invitations if anyone wants one.

i upgraded to the newest wordpress version that was released yesterday…

that’s all for now…

its friday!

peace.. today is friday. not just is friday special because of its religious implications, but also because its the end of the week. and, best of all, because today, after work insha’Allah, i am going home! al7amdulillah :)

i miss my family and friends, so i am really looking forward to going home. now if only the clock would move faster…

uber rain, etc

today, it rained like insanity. like seriously. so it rained all night and stuff and in the morning it was fine. so i went to work, and, just out of cautiousness, i took my umbrella. when it came time to leave, i was amazed - it was like pitch black outside and it was raining insanely.

so then i started driving home and the exprience was simply horrible. traffic was the least of problems… the water in some places was so high up, it felt that i was driving a boat rather than a car. i had my wipers on max speed, and it was still kinda hard to see. even more so, as i would drive, big splashes of water would come from both sides of my car. but al7amdulillah (all praise and thanks be to God), we made it home safely.

i haven’t done any coding for the past few days, or anything really note worthy either. so that’s all for now!

beautiful weather

the weather today was absolutely incredibly amazing. so i played basketball. and then i came home and was hungry. so i took a shower. and then i cooked dinner - chicken fingers/strips… and rice… and heated some vegatables (fasolya bayda - black eyed peas without a black eye) that my mom had given me before i left a month ago… and that is all.

oh and today (thursday) marks 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day of being here.

google code jam frustration

i am so frustrated right now, i feel like yelling and screaming, etc, except that i can’t because mansoor’s asleep and the neighbors are too…

sooooo… something makes me decide to sign up for this google code jam 2004 competition… bad idea.

so it was 2 problems for the 1st round (i guess there was a challenge round or something too but i dunno, 2 problems basically, and you had an hour to do both of them).

really cool problems too mind you…. especially the second one. the first problem gave you a “map” consisting of you and enemy targets, and you had to return an array of the distances of the enemies to you.

the second problem was awesome – given a rock that drops in a pond of water, you always have this “ripple effect” – so given an array of such rocks, and assuming that ripple in any one spot is additive (and that the effect of a rock begins at time 0 as its weight and decreases as the time increases), what is the largest ripple value in a particular pond?

the first one took me a while even though it was easy, especially since i misread part of the problem and proceeded to waste about 15 minutes first trying to figure out how to get an ArrayList to sort in java, and then writing my own quick bubble sort algorithm when i didn’t have to.

the second problem (the big one, 1000 points) is what REALLY frustrated me. due to the great amount of time spent on the first problem, i had about 25 minutes to do this problem (minus however long it took me to read it and figure out what to do). if i had about 30 more seconds, i would have done it right… i found out my mistake 30 seconds after i submitted it – rather than do:

for (i=0; i<arr.length; i++)
   for(j=0; j<arr[i].length;j++)
      // code goes here

i instead did…

for (i=0; i<arr.length; i++)
   for (j=0; j<arr.length; j++)
       // code goes here

thus throwing all my answers off, thus kicking me out of the competition, thus making me uber frustrated because i knew how to do it and did it right even with the limited time remaining… it was just one silly error. the sad thing is, i found this same exact error three lines lower and i didn’t see this one three lines above until it was too late…

i guess i do admit it was pretty fun… but nonetheless, i am upset, and as thus, i am going to sleep now…

namazTime 0.3b for linux

peace. people with linux and gtk2 can download the 0.3 beta version of namazTime. its pretty much functional (although it doesn’t make athan yet). please do consult the (very short) readme before attempting to run it.

and most importantly, please leave me some feedback, bug reports, etc. wa jaza Allah al-mu2mineena (wal mu2minati) khairan.

prayertime app update, etc

peace… i pretty much finished the linux gtk2 version of the prayertime application… all i am missing is 2 things - a nice icon for the tray, and adding notification (ex. athan or a dialog box when a prayer time comes about). there’s also one little bug i am trying to fix, i am not sure if its an itl bug or if its a bug in my code, so insha’Allah going to try to figure that out…

i got my copy of the mono developer’s notebook today. at an uber short glance, it seems pretty cool…

bookpool rocks for technical books… their prices often times beat amazon’s and their shipping prices seem pretty reasonable (i got 2 day shipping for just under $5).

halo rocks. even if its sold by microsoft. that is all for now…

a tiny bit of code...

NamazTime development screenshot

peace. i started playing with the excellent ITL libraries today. my hope is to write a simple application that just sits in the system tray and gives a simple listing of when the salat times are.

as you can see, its in uber beta stage right now. insha’Allah the plan is for gtk2 and windows versions; and then insha’Allah i’ll try to fix up my broken gdesklet.