Following a new path…

I have decided to pursue a new line of thinking. Today I meet with my friend and spoke of many things. In some part of the conversation, He suggested me to try to multi-task some different financial projects. Most of them online ventures which seem to be unique and promising. I plan to write more about these but you know hush hush…

Where am I now?

Changed a lot is the answer. Been pouring my sweat to a company that doesnt deserve any. What can I do but count the days and months that are left. At the moment I got about 8 months until I leave Qatar. The more closer I get to that date, the more I feel happy. Don't worry about me, I will get through. 
At the moment the only short comings are a good Internet Connection and my Salary. At the moment the company owes me 3 months of pending salary. And the Good for nothing QTEL is yet to provide me with a Connection. I have been waiting for nearly one month and they still MIA (Missing In Action). I will try to post more as I can, unfortunatly the slave driver company that i am in is Driving me nuts. Each day I got to format systems for Windows XP or Vista. Its really tiring, doing the same thing over and over again. And most of these Guys who own very expensive laptops and computers only purchase them for show and not for any human benefit. Its really sad the situation in Qatar. Some People here call themselves "Hackers" but do not know the basic formatting procedures for XP or Vista. Its so ironic. Anyway counting my days. And hoping that i can get a early break sooner or later.

Lost in Qatar

Sorry for the delay. Its seems my absence in the blogging sphere has affected my presence. The reason for the delay, is my change in place and work. I was employed by a Company in Qatar. I should have realised the downfall in working in a Middle East company before i landed here.

I joined "A Company" on 15th of April, 2008 and since then it has been 5 months and 25 days that I have been working for the company. What I never realized is that the company has been underpaying its employees very recently, almost from the beginning time of my work. At present I am earning a total of $645 per month. This includes for my room allowance and my salary. I have to manage on my own for food.

I have been doing some talking arouind and found out that other companies are paying worker 3 times as much as they are paying me for the same job and experience.

What can i say I am a fool. I put my trust in the wrong people and end up in a virtual labour camp. I have to work for a round 13 hours for everyday except on Fridays where i work for around 8 hours. I have to work without any off-days.

Labour laws in Qatar is not very well practiced. Because everyone is doing it. They are doing it to their house maids and to their drivers.

They expect people to work more for less money. And I am stuck in such a company for another 1 year and 6 months. I a not going to fight this problem but I am taking this as experience to myself. And this is a lesson to me and everyone else work is seeking to get foriengn employement to :

1. Never trust the foregn employent agency you talk to. Cause the say things that seem sweet to the ear.

2. Always keep copies of the contract that the local agensy gives you and the employer gives you and compare these copies.

3. Never give your passport to the agency or the employer unless you are certain that its for applying employment visa and any important formality. Because some of these employers tend to confiscate the passport of the employers and demanding them to stay.

4. Always inquire about your accommodation and food. These are the things that tend to increase expenses. Example, 10 X 30 feet area of room costs around $600 ~ $1000. So don't think that u can manage this by your own. Its usually has to be provided by the company. and most of the time these are not private quarters. you usually have to share it with more than 5 people. The room i am in i have about 11 people with me.

Food is also an expense that has to be meet with carefully. You could go for Food Packages from Caffes and restaurants which would cast u around $ 80 a month. this is for a meal in the morning and a meal at night. If u try buying meals on your own might cast u about $160 ~ $200 a month so mind it.

5. If you already have friends in the place or area where you are about to work as them to find about the company that you might be joining.

6. Always have a copy of you friends and relatives number who are in their area. Make sure you have good contact with them and that they are reliable in case that you find that the company is a mess.

In my case I have to take the bull by the horn. I work for the time I am being paid for. I do extra work on my free time. I make sure I do the work that I am being paid for and never do a work that I never want to do. Besides so far I am doing ok with this company except for the fact that my salary is not enough for all my work. Only God can help me here no one else.

So hope that my endeavor is helpful to those who are planning to leave the country for employment. So Take Care until I have time to write another log.

Is working a need or an addiction to you?

{ Photo Credit : mtnwa }

Whats wrong with some people? They work so hard, wanting to achieve so much at the cost of their family relationship, friends and relatives.

When I ask some people why they work they tell me that they have to work like there is no other choice. Of course I agree to that point. You have to work. Working Brings in money which usually helps in settling those bills that we all get during the end of the month. It helps keeping a roof on your head. But the real question is how much to work? They are a few people who say that work only helps them get their minds off of things, e.g. family or relationship issues. But little do they know that using work as a cover-up excuse will only worsen the present situation to the point of breakup.

Even some say that they enjoy working, this may be cause you might be working in Google, a fun sort of environment that some tend to call home. Besides I would love to work in a place like Google. If you are not working in Google and still consider your Work Space as home then your real home must be a war zone full of land mines. Probably the moment you set you foot into your own home there would be dishes flying. Thats really funny to think about.

But alas the true example to this problem would be me. Yes. Noticed that my blog been having few posts per month, well thats because I have been sent to Hell for the past few days. Don't worry I didn't have a near death experience but something that could have really broken me apart.

Very recently One of my clients calls in saying that they had couple of printers and some palms to repair. The other day he walks in with 31 IPC Palm Printers (IPC PP-55 TX) and 21 Palm PDAs (TX and T5). I screamed inside myself "WTF". I tried to maintain a smiling face and I did pretty well. I checked in the Items and sent the client away.

It took me nearly a week to nearly sort thorough half of the printers while simultaneously handling other IT Hardware issues. It was going a bit smoothly until one fine day when I was minding my own business when suddenly our Internet Gateway machine had a hardware failure and crashed. I was frustrated. I was answering calls on my extension reassuring the users that they will have their Internet and email running soon. But unfortunately it took me 11 hours for resolve the issue. What happened in that 11 hours to me was pure torture, which even words can't describe.

11 AM - The problem started I noticed that all my mails stop working. Immediately I tried to ping to my mail server and it failed. I then pinged to Google.com but that too failed. Then I realized that our connection was down. I then quickly tried to connection to our Internet Gateway (EBOX) but there was no reponse. I then went over there, hooked up a monitor and keyboard and I checked it. The display gives a message "File not found" and the end of the boot sequence. You know what that means "Format and reinstall".

{ Several months ago I stopped using an ISA server for a Linux Based Proxy NAT server known as EBOX. Thus my Internet Gateway too I named it as EBOX }

12 PM - Started to get several calls to my extension now. Therefore I lifted and kept aside my receiver so that my extension would be busy. but alas they called to my neighbor's phone and got me to answer the phone. At the very same time one of our support pc was also down and we kept getting support calls. And support issues started pending because of one support workstation going down.

{ That support PC was having a faulty motherboard. and thus my BOSS said that I should replace it with a new PC. }

1 PM ~ 4 PM - and still I could get the setup of EBOX done properly. I finally realized that the version I was trying to install from a CD was a bit faulty. This I had to download it via the net over 400 MB ISO file.

4 PM ~ 6.30 PM - the download took a while because of very high congestion. I guess this was from SLT's side. So I burnt the image to a CD-RW and tried to install the EBOX on to the server.

7.30 PM - The installation finished flawlessly and all I had to do way reconfigure some of the other settings and filters on to the EBOX server.

10 PM - Finished all the needed setting on to the EBOX server. Also p2p traffic was also filtered by fire-walling all the ports except the official ones. Now I left for home as soon as possible.

When I got the job in this company I thought that it was all about working from 8 am to 5.30 pm from Monday to Friday but this was not the case as you can see from above. I have even given up my holidays and weekends to meet up with the pending jobs. I rarely get sick and I am grateful to God for that. But still there is always a limit to how much the human body, mind and soul can take. I feel lost sometimes and I don't know what to do? Shall I work till 5.30 pm or till 8.30pm? Shall I work on my holidays or play and relax during my holidays?

I need to work but at the sametime I need to look after myself and keep a balance between work and leasure. Without a job, I don't havea respectable position in society. But I have to work up to a limit but I can't because my schedule is filled up. Then what do I do?

My Resolution for Year 2008

{ Photo : kudzuplanet - Winter Tree }
New Year, New Faces, New Experiences... A New Year should be a start of change, hopefully for the best. I have wanted to make many changes in the pattern of my life. I previously felt that I am doing the same thing over and over again. I am not sticking to a plan. I really don't know what my problem is? Is my soul / body hiding some sort of sickness from my own mind? or is it a problem with the mind itself?

So whats gonna be my game plan for 2008? It focused of self improvement, better social life. My change is gonna help others too. Thats what I have planned.

Change is said to be a double edge knife, able to cut both ways. Change can never be welded to anyones' requirement. My parents want me to change, e.g. get a better job, get married (I am not in a hurry, my parents are). I was always afraid of change cause with change you never know what the outcome is. So I am planning from this year to start changing.

At the moment I am Head of IT Hardware in the company that I am working for, i am not still feeling satisfied by my current situation. Well of course humans are never satisfied with what they have. But Now I have been given an opportunity to further expand my career by getting involved with a GIS (Geographical Information System) project. This opportunity was given to me by my boss so I am very grateful to him. In Sri Lanka this is virgin terrain. My boss once advised me, "Think of 10 years ahead of your life, and ask yourself where you want to me and then plan for it know". Wow thats really a great piece of advice. My boss is the soul owner of one of the most successful software company on Sri Lanka, and I am more than glad to be an employee of that company.

So it seem that I am in the process of change. Some of the greatest people of the world are people who have taken risks. To achieve greatness one must come with terms with the fact that everything changes. And keeps changing. Thats nature. But changing and adapting to that change is the best way to ensure self preservation. So change it is then. What about you? whats your plan? Care to let the cat out of the bag.

A Notepad & A Pen

Why do I need a notepad and a pen to write something when I could be using a Keyboard to digitally save it? Well the pen existed long before the computer or even the typewriter. How do you suppose the best novels were written early??? All on paper with a pen. And then slow people started to move towards using the keyboard instead on using the pen on a notepad. It seems that technology is causing people to slowly lose interest in a dieing practice.

I thought that I should purchase a really good Laptop so I could type something up when I am outside. Well I didn't buy one. and why? cause its was expensive and also there were cheaper alternatives and thus I ended up with a notepad & a pen. Why not? You should try it. It gives a lot of space for you to think. Also another advantage of it is that when you are writing an article and want it on your pc then you have to type it in thus you might be doing too much work there but in fact that is helping you read what you are writing thereby eliminating mistakes, and adding more ideas. Like this post that I am posting. I read post about having problems getting ideas. Then I realizes that there is a exponentially large number of ideas popping up into my head when I am with a pen and a paper than with a PC.

Presently I am working as a Network Administrator in an Software Developing Company. My working area is only an small table and the room is at sub-zero temperatures. Seriously it so cold, my finger tips feel numb and all the blood going to my brain is feeling chilled. I can't work very well in that condition. So I knock off the Air Conditioner and hide the remote ( :-) ).

Those who have really tried it will always follow it, Even myself my previos post and this one are all written on paper before they ever made it to bits and byte. So try it and comment back. As Always Take Care.

Care to comment?

Why should I comment? Obvious question that pops up in anyone's mind. But the real question is why don't I comment? If you comment it wouldn't make you look like the odd one. Commenting is simply the way of saying something about some article or post.

What to comment about? Be constructive and never say anything that could cause someone to be discouraged. They always say (well, not always but) "The pen is mightier than the sword". Just a thought how powerful this quote is...A post published on a popular blog cause that caused Apple's stock value to drop thus causing the company to lose nearly 4 billion USD (Ouch, Thats alot). Even somethings said in a chat room has caused one to risk their own lives (e.g. Suicide).

If the post doesn't interest you speak you mind so that the blogger knows that he made some mistakes, or else if you choose not to comment at all please don't be a heart-breaker by commenting something destructive cause you are simply wasting your time, your energy and some of your brain cells by being a moron. If the post is that bad, then simply say that "Sry man but try to improve in your post".

Some blogger like to blow off steam by writing posts, and freeing up some tension, stress or anxiety. Commenting correctly might help them releive streaa and some bottled up emotional feelings. Commenting helps blogger know that they are not alone. I have seen some blogs going unnoticed, like alone old man writing his life story on a diary. Seriously thats sad.

I was never a picture perfect social blogger. I am an amateur blogger and am not and might never be as good as JohnChow or proBlogger but I am trying. When I needed something I would Google it on the web and then if I find the nessacary article I simple read it and simply click that crossed button on the top right corner on that windows. Yes thats right I used to be a leechy Blogger and I never socialized with other blogs. I thought that it could make my self look like the odd guy. So I never commented until sometime later when I realized how lonely I was in the blogosphere. I had to comment and make people realized that there is a intelligent guy here. So I started commenting.

So What are the benefits on constructive commenting? 1. Helps the blogger who you commented for, to improve his blog, boost his self-esteem. 2. Its help ful for other visiters to know that this is a important place to visit like a popular land mark. 3. Its starts off a virtual underestanding between you and the blogger. Of course you are recognized by you nickname. and 4. It also leaves an exchange of traffic. You leave a comment I leave a comment at your blog.

Also don't spam. Only Idiots spam. All blogs give you the ability to leave alink. See Example:

Blogger Beta
PS : Click the images to enlarge them

I know that there has been a buzz about that fact the latest versions of Wordpress and Blogger Beta has implemented 'nofollow' as a way to fight comment spam. But what they have done is deprived the blogging world of link love and thus some visiters simply don't leave a comment cause there is no benefit to them.

Nevermind even if nofollow is the reason why you stopped commenting then that shouldn't be. If the post is good it always deserves a good comment. If you don't leave a comment that decision will lay heavy on you soul.

So there fore comment as much as you can and be constructive in what you comment. or you don;t have anything to comment the please i suggest that you leave the keyboard. :)

PS: Please forgive me if anyone got hurt by what I wrote. I simply need to pass on this message and never meant to hurt anyone.

Second Thoughts...

Err.. Ok i need to admit something I thought that SharpDevelop would have been a good replacement to Visual C# 2005 but I was wrong. SharpDevelop has some slight issues. E.g. I wanted a message box to pop up and say "Hello World", sounds very easy but I did everything correctly but ended up with an error. On further investigation it seems that I needed to download the ~300MB .NET Framework SDK to give SharpDevelop some full functionality. Even so after downloading the Framework and running my test program it still gave an error. This time it gives a very different sort of error. After looking into the matter even further it seems that I need to add one line close to the begining:
using System;
using MsgBox = System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox;

Then I added
MsgBox.Show ("Hello World!!!");

under the button click procedure. And then it started working. It seems that If I want to learn something better use something that gives you less problems, there is a saying "You can't do tight rope on an old rope". So I think I will be going with Visual Studio .NET 2005 (I could use VS.NET 2008 but its still in beta and I don't have any idea as to its minimum requirement to run). Ok then I will start using VS.NET 2005 and let you know how things are doing on my end. See ya.


SharpDevelop, well what is it? As most of your would know Its a open-source IDE for C#,NET, VB.NET, etc. So anyone who wants to develop a small program and easily can try there hands on this program. The requirements are simple. You need to have .NET Framework 2 :( runtime or SDK which ever is easy to your then run the 8MB setup and install the IDE. Please note if you are thinking of using this in a production site then be prepared to face certain unforeseen (well actually known) consequences.

SharpDevelop is fairly easy to use. If you have used MS Visual Studio 2003 or 2005, then you will immediately notice the similarities. The neat thing about SharpDevelop is that there is very less to install but still you get a lot of good and similiar feature to that of MS Studio 2005. Anyway SharpDevelop is best to be used if you wanted to make some tools and some same database applications.

Just don't get too comfortable with it, cause there are some know issues with using it. Check out the link below:

Comparison between Visual studio Express vs Sharpdevelop.

Well after going through the list, its still doesn't seem that bad. But still a word of caution - just don't go to take a

project and end-up trying to develop an application using this. Maybe ok for free time but never think of using this on

production area. So Lets see what I can comeup with to create. I need some really good ideas. ;-)


What is your choice? Really this isn't a joke but a serious question and demands a serious answer. I have always been wondering that since the time I started understanding about the world. I made many choices in life that lead me here today. A chance of choosing the perfect choices in life is very hard to come by these days.

Make a mistake you could loose a good contract, a job, a life, lives or etc, etc. Fate also plays here. No matter how hard we try to choice the best choices we might sometimes fail, That's fate. A Doctor making such a mistake would cause his or her reputation to be tarnished.

I am trying to choice a good programming language to do some of my work with. Some say to go with VB6 and some with C# and some with C++ and yet some Delphi.

I noticed that in some blogs there were polls place on them to find out what programming language you would use to develop applications with. Funny thing is that I noticed that Java got the first place. Well I got o hand it to you Java is popular. Your Nokia Phone is compatible with it. Many other mobile devices are. Also the Mobile Platform 'Android' is also loving it.

But still very vast area to cover for a beginner like me. So I think I need to start with some thing uses less of a vocabulary. Finally I think I need to use something Like either VB6 or VB.NET or C#.NET. I really hate installing .NET Framework, let it be 1.1, 2 or 3 (I much prefer 2), It increase the prerequisite of any application I am about to develop. But .NET Languages are more easier to manage than VB6 or VC++. So I think I will stick with something like C#.NET or VB.NET.

So I need to experiment with a few things. Should I use the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005(or 2008) or SharpDevelop? I will try SharpDevelop and let you know. Until my next post, Take Care.

PS: If anything comes up I will let you know.