To tell you the truth, I wasn’t waiting for Spider’s May 07 issue, with extra-ordinary eagerness, and wasn’t really finding myself in a hurry to buy it and then review it for some unknown reasons. But out of sheer habit, I went to nearby book stall and asked for the latest copy and then……….my eyes popped out of sockets. Gosh! Geez! Golly! “Am I holding Spider in my hands?”, I said aloud to myself in a trembling voice. My eyes became glazed and the I felt myself out of this world.
Ok, lets cut the melodrama, but really I was speechless by the title page of the mag. Contrary to history, to which I had become accustomed, the title page of Spider was top-class this time. Title page was asking for a sweet kiss on the forehead. Professional is the word which describes it perfectly. No stinging cartoons, no stupid colors and no meaningless tag-lines.
Adding spice to the well-cooked beef was the theme, “Outsourcing Takesoff”. Not only this subject lures one into opening up the magazine, but also promises that the thing in which we are so interested is alive and kicking.
Before performing the autopsy, before even saying another word about Spider May 07, I would say it categorically that Omer Khushnood is a runaway success this time. He has single-handedly won this match for the mag. In the spotlight section, his coverage of the ‘Black Hat’ convention is awesome. He then proceeded further to nail the coffin of criticism by doing couple of swell and extremely insightful interviews with industry’s two most prominent security gurus. Though very few of questions were dumb like one question he put to Adam Laurie, “You have ruined infrared devices exploded wifi environments busted Bluetooth and now demystified RFID’s, Why?” But this doesn’t mar his outstanding effort. Attending a convention of this league in Amsterdam must have costed a fortune to Spider, and they have done this just for us, oh my, I am sold.
Either me or the ED is obtuse, as he was singing about open source in his note, while the cover story was about Out-sourcing and the almost all the rest of the Spider was concentrating upon security. I don’t get it.
Hey, allocate a separate page for monthly poll, and along with numbers, also show it graphically in different sort of charts. Make it more intelligent by also adding some demographic information if possible.
Newsbytes were tad stale this time, Kuch maza nahin aya. I let some flames out of my nostrils after Watching the Science presented by Madeeha Syed in a scrimly fashion. In the Internet bookstore, except of Oracle book, the other two about Ubuntu and iPod were as useless as an empty wallet.
In the Netropolis, the clumsiness of ‘Different Strokes’ section reminded me of Younis Khan. So I quickly closed the mag, then again opened it quickly, just ripped the Younis khan like page out of mag, and threw it in the waste basket and then proceeded further.
Since I had seen the theme ‘Outsourcing Takesoff’, I started weaving the dream about the pleasure I would get reading detailed articles about it. My reading glands were already on secretion course, as with tidal bore, I greedily started reading the cover story. Following are the highlights what happened.
– wow, the first page was just an appetizer, I was going crazy with excitement.
– Khalid Omer’s “Beyond Borders” ran a cool current through me. It was a richly researched article.
– Hafsa Adil, slapped my exhilaration and successfully transformed it into inflammation. In her, two page article, every word was going in its own direction. So wayword was the article, I even forgot that I was looking for gems regarding outsourcing.
– To add insult to my injury, Humna Ishtiaq came charging down and told us that except her and some chosen ones, for all of the rest, the word ‘outsourcing’ is synonymous to a call centre facility or building software. Then she went to harangue about outsourcing and I rushed to washroom.
– Then came the doctor Reba Shahid, and me the patient got a welcome relief by her dose of a rare insightful interview with Naseer Khan Ghazi, Chairman and CEO ThirdEye. If you want to know about the real status of IT in Pakistan, read these pages. Knowledge Processing Outsourcing (KPO) was a new thing to me.
– Hey Spider, Outsourcing requires a full blown mag, with a special edition, please.
After the half empty mixed bag of covery story, I relished a repot by Irfan Ahmed about Mobile Number Portability (MNP). Faras Ghani, did a so-so job in his review of PDA phone, or perhaps the product was too pathetic to be reviewed. Mohsin Siddiqui again pricked me with his ridiculous blooking. Nizar Diamond Ali is improving day by day and is bound to touch the quality and lucidity someday. Ali Zain Alvi, fished out a nice website, which should be proud upon its usefulness, usability, design, and most importantly its content. Then came a horrible blow by Rizwan Ahmad, who professed that if you have a certification of a technology, you are an expert in it. For God’s sake, I not only ripped out that article from the mag, I also burned it and then flushed away the ashes.
Then Humna Ishtiaq suddenly revealed her face and said, “boo”. First, it started me, but then I settled down and relished a nice and light article, adorned with good examples of easter eggs. Then things turned serious and top-niche, as Irfan Ahmed did a candid piece on the state of internet in the fatherland. He summarized the Pakistani Internet condition, in the very first line of his article. Yes, Internet surfers in Pakistan suffer from slow and unreliable internet connectivity. I would add the word “expensive” in it.
Hamza Mudassir is again spot-on, and beats even PC World’s reviewers in my humble opinion. His buyer’s guide is also some some guide. Then everything bad happened. Spider is like Pakistan’s economy, whenever due to some bright steps it starts to takeoff, something bad happens, and everything just get collapsed. This time, the cause of a spectacular collapse was Madeeha Syed. Dont ask me, what she wrote, as I didnt give it a second look.
Kidzone was ultra yucky again, but Faras Ghani provided a tiny shade of relief with ‘king of the loo’ and Roll-Up keyboards, and Humna Ishtiaq’s entertainment was monotonous. Then Faras Ghani rendered some useful sites like Zoho Writer and PDFOnline.
Hey, Spider, I tell ya, Graffiti is losing its touch of freshness and sharpness. Please don’t let it degrade.
In the tips and tricks, except the Newbies trick, rest was utterly useless. Intermediate trick wasnt as handy as it was claimed. Uber Elite was either for Germans or really for Elites of the society, as tell me quickly how many of you have Apple machine with Mac OS X Tiger installed in it?
Having said it all, Ali Ahsan Halai had the last laugh. His well researched article was brimming with longing for a better technological and scientific advancement for the country. He touched the chords by mentioning what could be done and where we stand. Hats off.