Are you looking for my non-technical blog?

This is now my technical-only blog, my non-technical blog is here.

31 March 2007

PayPal Guys need Geography Lessons


Today I wanted to see how can I upgrade my Flickr Basic account to a Pro one, but unfortunately all the online payments have to be done through PayPal. PayPal guys on the other hand need to go back to school or at least visit Wikipedia to know that there is a country called Egypt that is not there on their payment form.

So I think I'll stick to my Flickr Basic account for a while till I find someone abroad who likes my photography that much to buy me an account.

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17 March 2007

Oly E400

I told you before that I want to buy a digital camera. I also told you that I want it to be a dSLR. The only two brands I knew were Nikon and Canon. Till I went to PhotoEgypt2007 Exhibition last Friday.

Canon had a big booth, in the center of the Hall. They were showing their EOS 400D, they told me that it's price is LE 7,800, which is really expensive. May be because it's the most famous brand here, that's why they put high prices on their products. The camera was locked in a glass stand, and visitors were not allowed to play with it. They didn't even have brochures for their products.

Nikon almost has no resellers here in Egypt. Fujifilm had some Nikon cameras in their booth, but they only had the D80 and D200, when I asked them about the D40 or D50, they told me that they've never heard about them. They don't even know their own Finepix F30.

Most of the other exhibitors were either small shops selling old cameras with fishy prices, or companies selling printers, inks, frames, memory cards, lighting units, etc. I didn'r even see brands such as Sony, Sigma, Leica, and Pentax.

I then came across an Olympus distributer called Optoscient. They were showing two dSRL models there, E-330 and E-400. E-400's price was LE 5,500. I took their address and camera brochures and decided to add Olympus to my dSLR short list.

It came out that Olympus has great cameras, it has internal sensor cleaning system for example which is not in any of Nikon cameras nor Canon's EOS 350D. It's 10 Mega pixels with spex comparable to Nikon's D80 which is about 50% ~ 75% more expensive. I like their four-thirds standard, which allows for the interchange of lenses and bodies from different manufacturers. So when buying Oly I will not be limited to their Zuiko lenses. So I went last Thursday and bought that camera and I am really happy with it.

Looking forward to learn more about digital photography and add more photos with my new camera on Flickr.

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14 March 2007

Spanish Inquisition

In joint event in Chicago marking 21 years since establishment of relations between Israel and Spain, Spanish consul general apologizes for expulsion of Jews from his country in 15th century. He also stated that the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 was an "almost barbaric" act.
Source: Ynet News, Jewish Scene.

But the question is, were the Jews the only ones who faced discrimination and were kicked out of Spain at that time!?

On March 31, 1492, the Alhambra Decree for the expulsion of the Jews and Muslims was issued. Approximately 200,000 people left Spain. The Muslims of the newly conquered Granada had been initially granted religious freedom, but pressure to convert increased, and after some revolts, a policy of forced expulsion or conversion was also instituted in 1502.
Source: Wikipedia, Isabella of Castile, Expulsion of the Jews and Muslims.

After the fall of Granada in 1492, the Muslim population was promised religious freedom by the Treaty of Granada, but that promise was short-lived. In 1502, Muslims were given an ultimatum to either convert or emigrate. The majority converted, but only superficially, continuing to dress and speak as they had before and to secretly practice Islam and use the aljamiado writing system. This led Cardinal Cisneros to use a more forceful approach, which resulted in an uprising in 1500 to 1502. This was suppressed, and the Spanish authorities took that as a pretext to void the rights and obligations in the surrender treaty. As early as 1508, authorities banned traditional fashion. In 1567, Philip II of Spain issued an edict requiring Moriscos to give up their Muslim names, their traditional Muslim dress, and even prohibited the speaking of Arabic. They were even told that they would have to give up their children to be educated by Christian priests.
Source: Wikipedia, Moriscos History.

I agree with the Spanish consul general, that expulsion of the any specific sect from any country is an "almost barbaric" act. In fact, I think the the whole Spanish Inquisition was a barbaric act. But he has to apologize to the Muslims who faced similar discrimination too. Which is not the case, and no one ever thought of apologizing to them. May be because our regimes have similar Inquisitions in the Muslim countries now a days, so we are supposed to be used to this, and we shall be grateful to the Spanish people for teaching our regimes such thing.

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09 March 2007

Blog Topic Begger

As you may have noticed, I haven't written anything here for a while. The point is that I am a little bit busy, plus I have nothing in my mind to write about. So, here you are the first "Blog Topic Begger Post" in the entire history, if any of you have a good topic and would like me to write about it here, please help me.

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