HDMI Cables

Cheap HDMI cables will produce the exact same picture and sound quality as expensive cables.

HDMI uses Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS), which does two things:

  1. Compress digital signal to minimize transitions (the TM part)
  2. Compares two simultaneous versions of the signal to negate noise (the DS part)

This means that you either get the whole data as it was sent, or nothing at all; it’s not possible to get something in-between like a “distorted” or “poor” signal. In rare cases, if the cable quality is poor, the receiving end will not be able to tell 0 from 1 and you will clearly see white pixels across the screen (no pixel information). However, it  is more likely that you will see no image at all. The same can be said for audio: the digital codecs (Dolby and DTS) have error-correction built in, so you get bit-for-bit output or no audio at all.

There are only 4 types of HDMI cables

  1. Standard-speed (Category 1)
  2. Standard-speed (Category 1) with Ethernet
  3. High-speed (Category 2)
  4. High-speed (Category 2) with Ethernet

Category 1 cables can only carry up to 1080i. Category 2 can carry signals up to 4K including 3D. 3D content is simply double the resolution, not double the frame rate.

“HDMI 1.4″ is a connection spec, not a cable spec; in other words, it refers to  hardware (TV, Bluray, etc…) capabilities, not the HDMI cable itself.

Cables longer than 10 meters

If you need to run long HDMI cables (10 meters or more), it’s probably worth considering an active cable. An active cable is one with chips built into it that help boost the signal. One example of such a chip is RedMere. Active cables allow for thinner cables or longer cables. For most connections, any regular cheap cable is fine.


Zain vs Wataniya – Which one should I get?

After comparing Zain and Wataniya postpaid voice plan charts, we get an interesting result:


The following results are close talk time approximations, please refer to the previous charts for more accurate numbers:

  • If you talk less than 300 minutes per month, get a Zain subscription with a 4 KD plan.
  • If you talk between 300 and 700 minutes per month, get a Wataniya subscription with a Hala 300 or Hala 500 subscription (10 or 15 KD)
  • If you talk between 700 and 850 minutes per month, you can get either Hala 850 or Zain’s 20 KD package
  • If you talk between 850 and 1230 minutes per month, get Zain’s 20 KD plan
  • If you talk more than 1230 minutes per month, get Zain’s 30 KD plan

Wataniya Hala Packages Chart

I made a chart to help Wataniya subscribers pick the lowest cost postpaid voice plan.

Here’s the breakdown:
  • If you talk less than 493 minutes per month, get the Hala 300 package (10 KD)
  • If you talk between 493 and 708 minutes per month, get the Hala 500 package (15 KD)
  • If you talk between 708 and 1304 minutes per month, get the Hala 850 package (20 KD)
  • If you talk more than 1304 minutes per month, get the Hala 1600 package (30 KD)

Zain Wiyana Mix Chart

I made a chart to help Zain subscribers pick the lowest cost postpaid voice plan.


Here’s the breakdown:

  • If you talk less than 273 minutes per month, get the 4 KD package.
  • If you talk between 273 and 556 minutes per month, get the 10 KD package
  • If you talk between 556 and 1230 minutes per month, get the 20 KD package
  • If you talk between 1230 and 2256 minutes per month, get the 30 KD package
  • If you talk more than 2256 minutes, get the 40 KD package

To know your talk time, visit Zain’s website.

Pick a new Logo for Kuwait Paper Dump

We need your help on deciding which logo would be more suitable for Kuwait Paper Dump. Please take a good look (click to enlarge) at the three options below and vote for the one you like best. We’ll decide on the winner soon.

Thank you!

Logo 1:

Logo 2:

Logo 3:

Update: Thank you all for voting! Your choice for best logo is Logo #1. Stay tuned as we update Kuwait Paper Dump soon.

Imagine Cup 2012

Shayma, the geeky Kuwaiti lady who brough you BarCamp, has asked me to bring your attention to Imagine Cup 2012.

Imagine Cup is an annual worldwide competition held by Microsoft for student between the age of 16 to 26 years old. Kuwaiti participants would go to Dubai and compete against other students from around the Gulf region, and the top three teams would advance to the worldwide finals (hosted in a different country each year). Last year, a team from AUK represented Kuwait in the worldwide finals in New York.

This year, for the first time, Imagine Cup will be hosting a local competition in Kuwait, and the team that wins first place in the software design category will advance to the worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia!

Also for the first time, Zain will be sponsoring a Mobile Development Contest for Windows Phone 7. Winners will not advance to the worldwide finals, but will receive all sorts of gifts and prizes from Zain.

Don’t miss this opportunity; go to ImagineCupGulf.com and register before 28th February. The finals will be held on 12th April, 2012 at The Regency Kuwait and attendance is open to all.

Update: Added the banner

Checkout the presentation: Link.

The Gmail Workflow

This post is somewhat related to my previous post about how I use Gmail. I’ve put together a single image that explains all the previous points about Priority Inbox so you can get a holistic view:

The Gmail Workflow

Upon arrival, email gets filtered and ends up either in the “Important and Unread” section or the “Everything else” section and this is where the user’s “email check cycle” begins:

  1. Start by reading the “Important and Unread” section (conveniently placed at the top of your mailbox). This automatically causes mail to jump to the “Important” section. If an email is not important or doesn’t require an immediate response, demote it and move along to the next important and unread mail.
  2. Now that you’re reading important mail, process them to the best of your abilities, then send them to the archive. If you realize that you can’t respond to a particular email at that moment, leave it in the Important section. Staring important mail has no effect. Next, next, next… done!
  3. If you have previously starred mail, you’ll find a starred section (also conveniently placed below the Important section) for you to attempt to process and archive next.
  4. Now you’re ready to read the “Everything Else” section. Reading mail in that section will not move it anywhere.
  5. If you read mail that you can’t process or get back to at this current time, you can star it to indicate that it is “pending” or “in progress”. During the next check cycle, starred mail will processed sooner than the “Everything else” section, even if you receive new mail (see point 3).
  6. Process the remaining mail and archive

Just to be clear, the term “processing mail” means taking an action on either replying, forwarding, labeling, deleting, or reporting spam. The final destination for mail should be the archive, unless you know for sure that you no longer need it.

I hope this post explained the general idea. If you have questions, voice your thoughts by leaving a comment.