Tags: 64 Bit, Android, Jeddah, K3, KingSouq, Large Battery, Lenovo, Lenovo K3 Note, Maxx Audio, Note, Saudi Arabia, Smartphone, Unboxing, VIBE UI
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Lenovo a Chinese company, founded in 1984 with headquarters in Beijing. It has got a diversified portfolio. It acquired IBM’s personal computer business in 2005. In 2002 Lenovo entered the smartphone market and as of 2014, it is the largest vendor of smartphones in Mainland China. Another big entry in its portfolio is one of the old famous mobile manufacturer, Motorola Mobility, which Lenovo acquired from Google in Oct 2014.
In spite of so much Chinese smart phone market shares, the contribution in international smart phone market is considerably less. Internationally, its shares in computer market (PC + laptop + Notebook etc) are more as compared to its share in smartphone market. To expand its coverage Lenovo has release a new series of smart phone named “K Series”. Currently available smartphone series of Lenovo are: Vibe, K, S, P and AThese series are in descending order of their quality, performance and value. If a phone is of lower series, it does not mean that its price will be less than higher series. Some devices excel only in certain aspects as per their target market. Another factor about the series is the availability of firmware update support. Since Android M has already been announced while Android L has not got proper reach, this factor gains more importance than it is usually given.
I got my Lenovo K3 Note from the UAE based online store KingSouq.com. The product was shipped from Hong Kong vai Dubai and it was delivered to me in Jeddah via Aramex. It took almost 10 days for the delivery (later orders took 12 – 15 days).
After all this background + history, I come to the core part, the specification of the device.
It is an Octa Core device with 64 bit MT6752 chipest clocked at 1.7GHz. It supports dual SIM with one 4G LTE support. The screen size is 5.5” which offer FULL HD (1080×1920) display at 401ppi. The RAM is 2 GB and internal storage is 16 GB with up to 32 GB SD card support. The primary camera is 13 MP with auto focus, dual-LED flash and FULL HD video support. The secondary camera is 5 MP with touch focus and face detection options.
All this is packed inside a slim and sleek body of 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm with a surprisingly less weight of 150 gm. Did I mention, that the big 3000 mAh battery, which is removable, is included in this weight. It is also got FM radio and the charging cable provides a fast charge. There is no port on the bottom side of the device. The audio as well as USB port is located on the top. To insert the SIM / SD card, you to remove the cover as well as the battery.
The device is available in White and Yellow colors. There is also a lower edition of the device Lenovo K3 (without Note). It has got a 5.0” screen with 1 GB RAM, 13 MP primary camera, HD display and no gyro sensor. Also, the battery is less i.e. 2300 mAh. The price difference may be less as compared to the specification difference. So, be careful while proceeding with the purchase.
The first device that I received was loaded with a pre-rooted version of Android 5.0. If you want more technical details, it was VIBE UI 2.5 and the build version was 1512 [VIBEUI_v2.5_1512_5.495.1_ST_K50-T5]. Here is the un-boxing video of it (available in FULL HD also):
The other devices that I got later (on behalf of friends and colleagues) was having a different version of the firmware 11520 [VIBEUI_v2.5_11520_5.827.1_ST_K50-T5]. Unfortunately, it has also got some Chinese bloatware. Don’t worry, it is easy to get rid of it. I will try to write a separate post for this. For the time being, you can download the Titanium Backup from the play store and uninstall them (after taking a full backup).
VIBE UI is the interface engine by Lenovo. It offers a smooth and colorful interface with nice options. A plus for VIBE UI is SafeCenter app which is like the firewall for your device. It tries to fill this missing piece from the Android (although Android M has been announced to provide it natively). It is also loaded with the Maxx Audio sound engine.
If you are curious about the QR code on the back of the box, it decodes to: Lenovo Mobile. The site is in Chinese and it (probably) this is the product of your interest. Don’t forget, Google Translate is your best friend in need.
Boundless Mobility with Lifebook UH572 December 13, 2012Posted by Bilal in Fujitsu Lifebook UH572, Product.
Tags: AlBaik, Apple, Bicycle Square, food, Fujitsu, Jeddah, Lifebook, Lifebook4Life, restaurants, Sea, technology, UH572
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Having split office timings, I do not have much privilege to hang out. From 2 Pm to 5 PM is the break time. This time can be utilized for some outdoor activities, depending on the weather. A change of environment and surrounding keep you fresh and you get better productivity.
Lifebook equipped with built-in 3G module has cleared the boundaries and limitation to get connected at any time at any place. Let us have a look for the out of the office work places:
Jeddah is a coastal city and my office is closer to cornice than my house. If weather conditions are not sever, a visit to the sea side is a nice option.
On Google Maps:
Link for the place: http://j.mp/RCc89g
Note, the links are from Google Earth and if your connection is low, it could take some time to load FULLY (in 3D).
AlBaik is one of the best fast food chain in the region (not in the whole country, it is mostly in the western region of the country with 25+ branches in Jeddah city only). Its main specialty is its fried chicken served with a garlic sauce. It is a nice place to dine in and have some chit chat with fellows.
On Google Maps:
When feeling tired or bored, a visit to the garden is a nice productivity boasting option. Mother nature has its pleasant effect.
On Google Maps:
If you are looking for a fine dine-in place I would recommend Chinese restaurant. You can have a quiet and clam environment with no distraction where you can pay full attention to your Lifebook and have a good time.
On Google Maps:
(The monument is a big big bicycle and new-comers/visitors are jokingly told that it belongs to Prophet ADAM. The grave of His wife EVE is in this city. Jeddah, an Arabic word, means Grand Mother i.e. EVE grandmother of all of us)
In the last, if you are still not feeling hungry, this is for you as an apparizer:
A typical over HOT AlBaik fired chicked with fires, bread, fresh coleslaw, ketchup and the unique garlic sause. If you are still not sure about the taste of it, ask these people:
Tags: Build, Jeddah, KAU, king abdul aziz, Live Tiles, Metro UI, Microsoft, Mobile, MS Saudi Community, Saudi Arabia, software-development, technology, Windows, Windows Store, Windows8
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The main focus of this developer camp was to introduce the basics of this new Metro UI to the developers. The agenda of the event:
09:30 am – 10:15 am The Windows 8 Platform for Metro style app
10:15 am – 11:00 am Designing Apps with Metro Principles and the Windows Personality
11:00 am – 11:15 am Break
11:15 am – 11:45 am Everything Web Developers Must Know to Build Metro Style Apps
11:45 am – 12:15 pm Building Metro Style Apps : What .NET Developers Need to Know
12:15 pm – 01:15 pm Lunch
01:15 pm – 02:15 pm Building Windows 8 Metro Style UIs
02:15 pm – 02:45 pm Integrating with the Windows 8 Experiences
02:45 pm – 03:15 pm Bring Your Apps to Life with Tile and Notifications
03:15 pm – 03:30 pm Break
03:30 pm – 04:15 pm How and when Metro style apps run
04:15 pm – 05:00 pm Building Metro style apps that take advantage of modern hardware
05:00 pm – 05:30 pm The Developer Opportunity: Introducing the Windows Store
05:30 pm – 06:00 pm Closing
The event was conducted by Fauzan Khan from Microsoft Saudi Community. The first session was about the introduction of metro UI, what it is, what is the idea behind it, how it works etc. In next sessions the technical concepts of developing metro apps were explained. It also included the new and revised concepts in Windows 8.
Some of the concepts mentioned in brief or details are listed below:
- Windows Run Time (WINRT)
- Roaming profiles linked with Live Id
- Semantic Zoom
- Design Mode (Adaptive & Fixed)
- Contracts (Search, Share, …)
- Application Life Cycle
- Background Application API
- Live Tiles
- Toast notifications; last not the least
- Windows Store
If you are planning to proceed with Metro App development, along with many other new ideas & features, at-least you must go through these initial concepts.
Google Saudi Arabia 2.0 April 12, 2012Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: Android, Chamber of Commerce, Chrome, Extensions, Google, Ice Cream, Jeddah, microsoft ceo, Saudi Arabia, saudi arabia market, Spam Filtering, steve balmer, technology, webmaster workshop, Youtube
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On 24th of March, Google conducted its 2nd event for the Saudi Arabia market under the brand name Google Saudi Arabia 2.0. Last year, the first event of its kind, was conducted by the search giant in Four Season Hotel, Riyadh. This year, it has been conducted in Jeddah Chamber of Commerce & Industry. It’s a two days event. Day 1 is technology oriented while the Day 2 focus mainly on business related products & tools. A point to remember is that the very first step of its kind was taken by Microsoft in fall 2010 when they conducted Microsoft Open Door 2010 in Riyadh as well as Jeddah. Microsoft CEO, Steve Balmer made the key note speech in Riyadh. Although Microsoft was the trend starter, they skipped the Saudi Arabia from their books for the next Open Door event that has been held in other states of Middle East in Q1 o f2012.
The agenda of the day 1 is as under:
Track 1 Topic
Track 2 Topic
Track 3 Topic
|9:30:00||Opening & Keynote|
|11:00:00||Mobile Development/SDKs||Chrome Extensions||Google APIs||GWT Workshop|
|12:00:00||Google+||Chrome Extensions (continued)||Google APIs (continued)||GWT Workshop (continued)|
|14:00:00||Google+ API 101||Mobile Development Workshop: Augmented Reality||Google APIs (continued)||Website Optimizer 101|
|15:00:00||Maps API 101||Mobile Development Workshop: Augmented Reality||YouTube API||Search Quality, Webspam and Communication|
|16:30:00||Google Your Career: Engineering Opportunities||Creating Killer Webcontent||YouTube API||Webmaster Workshop (continued)|
|17:30:00||Getting ready for the Job: CV & Interviews tips||Creating Killer Webcontent (continued)||Localization: Google Translate & Translator Toolkit||Webmaster Workshop (continued)|
The main organizers for this event (and such other events in the region) were +Patricia Estridge and +Rania Hadi. The key note was delivered by Nelson Mattos, the Vice President of Engineering, EMEA Region. There were 50 Googlers from all over the world (last year, the count was 30). He discussed about the concepts and ideas that drive the Google & its products. He advised to think big, start small. He said that Google follow this approach users first, money second.
He was followed by Hmad Hamzawi, Head of New Business Development, MENA & CA region. He talked about the recent Google Innovations & Demos specially the new Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). One of the main part of his presentation was Mobile Predictions for 2012.
After the keynote, the participants were provided with four tracks to select as per their interests and expertise. I opted for the Chrome Extension sessions which were delivered by Ahmed Hassan. It was a split in two sessions. In the first session, he explained what exactly the extensions are, what their internal components are, what are compulsory and what are optional. In the second session that was after a 5-10 min break he started with building the chrome extensions. Gradually, the complexity of the examples increased. All of the sample code is available in Google Chrome Extension developer help section.
It was followed by the lunch. It was a lunch box having mainly a sandwich and salad box. It seems that the lunch was decided by a diet conscious person who focused highly on organic foods.
For the next session I tried to go for Mobile Development Workshop but it was fully occupied. We tried with other sessions but they were also not available. We were left with only option for the Google+ API. Google+ is the new social product by Google. They say that Google + You = Google+. In this session different features of Google+ API was described, what they are, how we can use them in our applications, etc…
After this I went for Search Quality, Webspam and Communication session. It was a quite a new name. It was presented by Tony Fadel, in a very friendly atmosphere. He mentioned that their team was even unknown to many other Google teams, although it exists since 2008. The task of their team is to improve the quality of the search results by applying new algorithms, conducting different analysis and experiments and even manual modifications. Surprisingly, he mentioned that 500 changes are made in the Google search page every year. Then he mentioned that how the spam is controlled, automatically and manually. The goal of their team (or Google) is to not to provide just simple results but quality results. You can check the full details in the slides.
After this session, I noticed that the remaining sessions are not much related to my scope. I checked some other booths for the time being. It was really nice to know that Google map maker is available for KSA now. So, we can expect improvements in the maps in the coming months.
The logistic support for this event was provided by Badir. The internet support was provided by Mobily. Free WiFi was available in the beginning until the start of the first session. After that it stopped responding and after some time, it was no more available as an open connection.
The official page for this event is: http://goo.gl/lF368
Windows Phone Camp – Jeddah October 27, 2011Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: Jeddah, Mango, Microsoft, Mobile development, Multitasking, Push Notifications, Saudi Arabia, SilverLight, Tombstoning, Visual Studio, Windows Phone, Windows Phone Development
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This week, on 23rd of OCT Windows Phone Camp was conducted at Effat University. The event was sponsored by Telerik
The agenda of he event was as below:
8:30 AM Arrival and Registration
9:00 AM Welcome/ Windows Phone 7.5 Overview for Developers
9:45 AM Building Windows Phone Applications with Visual Studio 2010
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Building Windows Phone Apps with Silverlight
12:00 PM Lunch
12:45 PM Windows Phone Fast Application Switching, Tombstoning and Multitasking
1:45 PM Live Tiles and Push Notifications
2:45 PM Break
3:15 PM Monetizing a Windows Phone 7.5 Application
3:30 PM Build your app or work on a hands-on lab
5:00 PM What’s Next/Resources/Event End
The event was conducted by Microsoft Saudi Community. During this event, the very first community of Jeddah region was announced. If you are living in Jeddah and you are interested in Microsoft products and technologies, you are welcome to join though following social channels:
- Facebook Fan Page: Jeddah Microsoft Professionals Community
- Twitter Account: @JedMPC
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- URL: http://jedmpc.com (under construction)
Some of the snaps of the event are shred here:
Windows8 KeyNote – Build Event September 14, 2011Posted by Bilal in Events, Jeddah.
Tags: ARM, Build, Dar Al-Hekma, IE10, Jeddah, metro, Microsoft, Microsoft Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Windows, Windows8
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Windows 7 is generally available for retail since 22nd October, 2009. Many things have been changed and many more have been arrived after that. The main focus from desktop has already shifted towards laptop/net-book. These days the trend has greatly diverted towards touch pads and slates. The main pioneer was Apple’s iPad followed by similar products from Samsung, Asus, Motorola etc. Generally these pads uses iOS, WebOS or Andriod. There are some windows based (Windows 7) options available but they are more powerful and hence more expensive than others e.g. Asus Eee Slate.
Microsoft has announced the Build Windows event to be conducted on 13-16 September 2011, to officially announce the next version of Windows i.e. Windows 8. To keep the local community up-to-date and introduce them to the latest development architecture & tools, Microsoft Saudi Community arranged the live webcast of the keynotes in 3 cities of the Kingdom: Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar. The tag line for new Windows 8 is:
In 1995, Windows changed PC. BUILD will show you that Windows 8 changes everything
In Jeddah, the event was planned at Dar Al-Hekma College. The keynote was supposed to start at 7 PM (Makkah Time). As per the agenda, the registration was planned to start at 5:30. A welcome note was given by Mr. Adel Al-Massarani, The Developer & Platform Group Lead, Microsoft, KSA. He explained about the technical communities and user groups operating in the Kingdom. He mentioned that Microsoft Arabia is interested in improving its collaboration with the technical community of Western Region. Microsoft is also planning to increase the frequency of the Sponsored Programs and events to help the users to adopt the new technologies.
It was followed by a short refreshment and prayer break.
The keynote was kicked off by Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, in a some-how Steve Job inspired style. He explained the new and cool features of Windows 8. Contrary to previous pattern of Microsoft, Windows 8 does not have any new hardware requirements, any PC that is fulfilling the requirements of Windows 7 is fully acceptable for Windows 8. The main trend building thing in Windows8 is the Metro style UI. Along with the traditional mouse based approach, this Metro style is Touch Oriented. In previous years, Office 2007 introduced a new ribbon based look and feel. Although it was taken as a new standard by many other applications (web applications as well) but it was not ported to Windows itself. But in case of Windows8, this metro style is highly dominant and the next release of Office is also expected to adopt it. Microsoft has been wise enough to provide simple and easy upgrade of classic applications to Metro style with minimum code.
During the keynote a lot of features + updates were described ranging from a daily user’s interest to the developers extent. This post is not intended to explain the keynotes in details. Below is JUST the list of some of the noticeable features:
- Extremely fast start up (8 sec in the demo)
- Infected USB boot protection
- Picture Password for Login
- ARM based architecture now supported
- Spell Checker available throughout the System
- User Profile Sync across multiple machines (based on Live Id)
- Microsoft Application Store linked with Visual Studio with Live status display of the application
- New low power state: Connected Standby
- Support up to 256 TB of hard disk
- Simple Refresh or Reset to factory setting feature
- Improved file copy with visual progress and better speed
- Fully loaded Control Panel and Task Manager
- Up Button is finally back in the Windows explorer with a new bar similar to Office Quick Launch bar
- Built in support for multiple monitors, ISO mounting and burning etc.
- Touch Enabled Internet Explorer 10 with extreme hardware acceleration
- Option to switch between Metro and classic Desktop style
- Browse SkyDrivesimilar to a native folder
- Tap to share available for NFC for supported hardware
- Different keyboards with emotions natively available. Split keyboard also available for thumb typing
Towards the end of the presentation, it was announced that 5000 Intel i5 based, 11 ” tablets made by Samsung will be given to the audience. This tablet, called Developer PC, is preloaded with Windows8 and other required tools for developing and debugging applications.
The keynote session last for about 2 and a half hour. It seems that Microsoft is planning to go far ahead with its new Metro styles Windows with full support for desktop machines up to the new touch centric tablets with extra slim sizes and increasing processing power. We can clearly expect to see Windows based tablets available for general users in the 1st half of 2012.
One more good thing is Windows8 can easily be downloaded (legally) from the following link:
The local attendees of the webcast were given a short survey by Microsoft Arabia to know about their interest which will help in understanding the needs and requirement of local market.
Microsoft OpenDoor Expo Jeddah 2010 November 13, 2010Posted by Bilal in .NET, General, Microsoft, Tech News, Tips & Tricks, Updates, Windows.
Tags: 2010, Azure, Cloud Computing, Jeddah, Microsoft, Mircosoft Web Platform, Mobile, office, Office360, OpenDoors, Riyadh, Sharepoint, Visual Studio, Web Matrix, Windows
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Microsoft OpenDoor 2010 Saudi Arabia took place in two cities Riyadh (2nd and 3rd Nov) and Jeddah (7th Nov) at Intercontinental Hotel. It was the first time that Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer visited KSA and delivered the Key Note but his visit was limited to one day and it was in Riyadh only.
The registration was web based and no registration fee was mentioned. I happen to know about Professional Developer Conference (PDC) that used to have separate registration fee for students and professionals. Anyhow, for this expo, a bar code was issued to each participant against his Windows Live ID.
The Expo started with the keynote of Developer & Platform group Manager
Adel Al-Massarani about Cloud Computing and Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani
Manager Windows Phone Group, about the new Windows Phone 7. It was followed by the presentation of the Platinum Sponsors
Mobily was also a platinum sponsor but they are already making too much advertisement through different mediums. No time was given to the Gold Sponsors. All of the sponsors have their stalls in the lobby where attendees can easily get their information.
After that there were three options to go:
- Track A for IT Professional
- Track B for Developers
- Track C for Technical Managers
Each track was taking place in separate hall. Attendees had full choice to attend any of the tracks at any time as per their taste.
I joined the Track B (Developers). It started with a presentation of Mohamad Halbi about Windows Azure Platform, the cloud service operating system. It was a brief but comprehensive overview of the Azure Platform right from the start to a live working demo. He showed how windows Cloud could be utilized to get a cost effective and reliable performance.
It was followed by lunch and prayer break.
The next session was about Microsoft Web platform by Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani. He demonstrated about the new Web Platform and also gave some working demonstrations.
After a break of about 15 min, the stage was conquered by Jerry Yasir about the advanced features in Microsoft Excel 2010 and its interaction with Microsoft Sharepoint 2010. He showed how we can get the graphical representation of data and its distribution/sharing with other people through SharePoint.
Then there was prayer break. Refreshment was available in the side room that can be utilized by anybody at any time.
Last session of the track was about Visual Studio 2010 from Architecture Point of view by Abdurrahman Al-Qahtani. He should that how the advanced tools in VS 2010 can help in understanding/designing the architecture of a system graphically using UML.
In the last, there was a combined closing session of all the tracks in which winners were selected through a lucky draw. Gifts include 3 web-cameras and 1 XBOX 360 and another set of 2 web-cameras and 1 Xbox360 for the female participants.
And so, a wonderful Expo by Microsoft came to an end. We wish to see more such events in the near future by international companies like Microsoft, Google, Apple, etc… Also, we expect to see Steve Ballmer in Jeddah next year.
Purchasing an iPhone 3GS from Mobily April 25, 2010Posted by Bilal in iPhone, Product.
Tags: Apple, iPhone, iPhone 3GS, Jeddah, Mobily, Saudi Arabia, STC
[i hav been enjoying my 3GS for more than two month but I could not manage to share my experience b4…..! Even this post has been written in 3 sittings over a span of more than 3 weeks]
Few days before I purchased my new toy [yessss], my colleague has to go to the STC office on the Palestine Street while I gave him the company. The Mobily office is also there. I took this opportunity for-granted and went there. The receptionist told me that they have only Black Colored set of 32 GB. At that time I had not decided for white or black but I just confirm him about the availability of the stock that he confirmed. Next week, when I went there, got the token number and finally it was my turn. When I talked to the Mobily guy, he told me that they only have the black sets, I said him its okay. Then he revealed to me that they are offering the postpaid package (99SR) ONLY! It was really disturbing! I m an STC user and its my luck [or bad bad] that I have to purchase it from Mobily i.e. STC’s first competitor. I asked him about the availability on other branches, he said that no such system is available that could tell about the availability of stock on a certain branch. Its really a bad thing for such a big big company like Mobily, the SOLE official iPhone distributor in the Kingdom! He told me that I have to go from one branch to another, get myself covered with black dust until I m able to find the GEM buried in the coal mines.
Feeling very upset, I asked him about the main branch at Jeddah, Tehleya [that was suppose to provide the iPhone on the launch day of 7th Dec as per the notification sms], he said NO; Tahliya is out of stock long ago! A much desperate situation for a person who has been waiting for this day sooo long and finding no way to reach his destination.. I then requested him to discuss wid his colleagues and guide me from which branch I should start my hunt? After consulting his colleague on phone and verbally, he advised me give my luck a try by starting from the Arbaeen Street branch.
Morally very down, we went to the Arbaeen Street branch. So in order to avoid the same thing happen again, I first of all asked the receptionist about the availability of the required device, instead of the Yes/No answer he asked me about the capacity (16 or 32) and told me to take the token and wait while he checked the stock in the back store. I asked him again and he replied me same; wait!. Anyhow, I waited until it was my turn. I went to the counter with extra fast heart beat and repeated the same question, IPHONE 3GS 32 GB with prepaid plan. His reply was simple, “YES”! His short answer was like an oxygen for my bad mode.. He asked me for the color White or black, it was also a shock of happiness. In the last branch the answer was “NO” and here the answer is “this or this”.
I had made a little search for white or black color. Some people were saying that its up to ur personal choice but many other were in favor of white color. At one page I got this comment which I think is most reasonable or this is what I was looking for:
White is magnet for Dust,
while black is magnet for Finger Prints,
select as per your personal interest.
So, I can say that I got my 3GS Black colored by CHOICE.
The next step was the Mobily sim card. It was the part of the package, a Mobily SIM card with 250 MB data for 6 months for no extra charges [ as a bonus 😉 ]. Before the attended proceed with the issuing process of new number, I requested him to try my STC number, off course with some alteration. To my hard luck, it was not available (or not available without some extra fee). We made 6/7 attempts and finally we selected the number.
Although, the first interaction with Mobily was not so pleasant, but I must admit that the staff specially the attendant was very helpful. The overall atmosphere/performance of the customer centers is good or at least better than STC. This is ONE of the main aspects in which STC needs much improvement.
In the last it would be unjust if I don’t mention a person who is helping a lot of peopel like me in this cause publicly and personally. He is known as Mr. Khaled. He maintains a personal siteand also a technology blog about Apple and Mac activities in Middle East or more specifically about Saudi Arabia: Saudi Mac. I hav been visiting his pages months before I purchased my iPhone. He keeps us up to dated thru blogs and also Twitter. If u r interested in such things, I would recommend u follow him on twitter.
Chill till next…..