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Adnan Siddiqi

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Pakistan's 60th Birthday- Pakistanis in the field of IT,a tribute

Some of you might know that I am a computer engineer by profession therefore I always seek excuses to find more and more news about local IT activities and highlight those who felt us proud in the world by demonstrating their skills in the field of I.T and ready to utilize their skills for our society. This is the reason I maintain a seperate blog for technical rants. Unlike India, we don't hear much prominent achievements in the field of I.T by Pakistanis. There are few genuine reasons; lack of proper infrastructure and guidance, relatively new in the field of IT and not too much interest in the field of science and mathematics. Despite of all such obstacles, Pakistanis have tried their best to demonstrate their talent in the field of IT just like other Pakistanis have proved themselves in the field of medicine and others. On the occasion of 60th Birthday of Pakistan, I am trying to pay tribute to few Pakistanis who did make us proud in the world. I also admit that I have no full knowledge about other achievements by Pakistanis in the field of IT therefore If you find I am missing something, please do share with me by writing your comment.

1) Arfa Karim(Youngest MCP in the world)


This cute little lady is the youngest MCP(Microsoft Certified Profesional) in the world who passed MCP certification in C# when she was just 9 years old! yes NINE years! Arfa Karim belongs to faisalabad and very much Inerested to pursue career in the field of Software Engineering.

Arfa got more fame when she met Mr.Bill gates. Bill gates invited the little genius at Redmond, Washington. I covered related post in my technical blog which you can read here. Arfa also appeared in an interview which you can read/watch here. Best of Luck Arfa!!


2) (c)Brain(First computer virus): The term "virus" is not new anymore for anyone who have a little knowledge about computers. In layman's language, virus is something which crashes your computer. But this term was not common back in early 80s. Usually virus is considered a source of destruction but as I always believe that a tool can't be constructive or destructive itself, it's only it's usage which makes it good or bad. Same thing goes with Viruses/Trojans.

According to Wikipedia:
(c)Brain was written by two brothers, Basit and Amjad Farooq Alvi, who lived in Chahmiran, Lahore, Pakistan. The brothers told TIME magazine they had written it to protect their medical software from piracy and it was supposed to target copyright infringers only

Ironically, the code was written for sake of stopping piracy while today we get pirated softwares very easily in any part of this country. 2006 was the year when the first virus become 20 years old. Currently there are thousands of different kinds of viruses ,Trojans floating across the Internet and ready to crash system(s). The founders of Brain virus later established an ISP called Brain net which I think doesn't exist anymore.


3) Super Technologies(Innovative Telecom/VOIP products)


Super Technologies might be new name for many of you but atleast not for me since I was associated with this company for few days back in 2002 when I was hired for a VOIP project. At that time these people were working on their product Super Phone which was very popular in India and Pakistan due to cheapest call rates.

Recently I came across a blog entry on TeeEmm's telecom blog in which he revealed SuperTec's new product . Not a complete Pakistani product but still a big share by a Pakistani behind the idea. According to TeeEmm:

DIDX enables any telephone company to procure some cheap Internet bandwidth, host a box on that bandwidth, and start selling their telephone numbers to worldwide buyers. Since these numbers would be used by individuals seeking to ‘receive’ calls from the old telephony world to their voiped-up digital universe, there is a very high over-subscription that is possible because not everyone would be using the service all the time. Selling a million odd numbers via DIDX, for example, for $10 ea could give a juicy business figure to a lot many telecommunication companies especially outside North America. These guys also tried to introduced a Pakistani version of Paypal but due to typical Red Rape obstacles and corruption couldn't make it possible to launch in Pakistan.
4)Video Whale Project


Video Whale is the implementation of gStreamer framework for Multimedia which allows you to split a video screen and make it available on 16 TV screens. Zeeshan Khattak who belongs to Peshwar was the lead developer of this application. I know zeeshan via PLUC, a Pakistani Linux User community which played a vital role to create awareness about linux among common people in Pakistan. The community was founded by Basit who was my university mate along with other guys like Uzair,Fawad Halim and Bilal Abdul Rahman. In late 90s, you couldn't find Linux available in market and you had to make special arrangements to buy the CD. Now situation is very different and now you can easily ask for Linux CDs in Pakistan and shopkeepers give you CD by Distro name. Sorry, i got distracted, asusual. Zeeshan's application is very cool. It's a cheap arrangement which provides you facility to watch video on wide screen(s) by using TV sets, PCs interconnected with LAN. This is how it looks like:

Cool! Isn't It? Zeeshan is in now Finland and working for a company which make applications for Nokia. I would also like to add that I also contributed a bit in this project when I provided particular model used S3 Graphic cards which were not available in Peshawar. So it feels great that some how I was also part of it :-)


5)Scrybe(A Pakistani web 2.0 product)

Scrybe is prolly the first Pakistani Web 2.0 product which got world wide attention due to interesting idea. A flex based web product which gives you freedom to work even you are not online. From Official website:

a groundbreaking online organizer that caters to today's lifestyle in a cohesive and intuitive way.

Recently was paid attention by LMKR and Adobe who are ready to fund the product(and company) for further enhancements as well as for new products. The thing which I actually liked much was clean and innovative GUI features which I didn't discover in flash based applications. I wish best of luck to these guys and hope that they would keep giving us new and innovative products. Apart from that, I came across a website which revealed that a Pakistani animation company got chance to work with Hollywood animators. These were few success stories which were in my knowledge. Maybe I am missing some others, if yes then do let me know or if you are a blogger then please do mention it. This is the best thing we could for these talented people because unless we don't appreciate them, they wouldn't be able to produce better thing for us and others. I hope for more innovative ideas by local IT professionals which would make us more proud in the digital world. Pakistan Zindabad!

Images Credits: Respective websites.

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cross posted at http://kadnan.com/blog 

Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:21 AM by kadnan
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