Blog archive









  • July 2

    Gutenberg ipsum

    Stop using boring, boilerplate Lorem ipsum filler text and build your own random, semi-coherent text from Project Gutenberg books.

  • April 17

    Install R, RStudio, and R Commander in Windows and OS X

    R, RStudio, and R Commander are all powerful open source statistical tools, but they can be a little tricky to install. These instructions make it easy to get everything working right.



  • September 24

    iOS 4, Multitasking, and Battery Life

    The multitasking capabilities of iOS 4 seem to be draining my battery. Help me figure out how to stop it!

  • February 28

    Queen Rania at AUC

    On February 28, 2010 at the American University in Cairo, Jordan’s Queen Rania gave a speech on the importance of civic engagement in the Arab world. While her idea that regular citizens need to be more involved in government, the hardhanded policies of Arab governments make it almost impossible for that to happen.


  • September 23

    flashbakectl released

    flashbakectl is a handy little script that starts and stops Flashbake by loading and unloading plist files.

  • August 18

    iTunes plugin for Flashbake

    Flashbake-iTunes is a plugin for Flashbake that allows you to include information for the current track in the periodic git commit message.

  • August 1

    Using Google Voice and Gizmo Project Together

    Description of how to make Google Voice and the Gizmo Project work together with an ATA so that you get a free phone number and almost free phone calls.

  • July 30

    Alexandria Train Crash

    Pictures and details of a minor train wreck in Alexandria, Egypt on July 30, 2009.

  • July 29

    Installing pdftk-php

    A detailed, updated tutorial on how to install, use, and customize pdftk-php.php, which combines the power of pdftk and PHP, allowing you to serve dynamic PDF forms from the web.

  • July 28

    On narrowing and redefining research

    After a year of deliberation, I may have finally decided what to write about for my thesis.

  • July 19

    Import a Blogger Blog to InDesign with Perl

    This Perl script lets you take a backed-up Blogger XML file and convert it to an InDesign Tagged Text file for book layout.

  • June 19

    pdftk-php Officially Released

    After almost two years, I’ve officially developed and released pdftk-php–a script that lets you inject form data into a PDF with PHP.

  • May 14

    A Tale of Three Taxis

    Traffic in Cairo is horrible, especially when all the taxi drivers, the ubiquitous life-blood of the Egyptian streets, have a deathwish for you.

  • May 1

    Google Profile Business Cards

    I got 25 Google Profile business cards for free. Woot!

  • April 26

    Typing transliterated Arabic quickly

    Use text-replacement software to automate Arabic transliteration.

  • March 18

    Libya, obsolete paradigms, and Rip Van Winkle

    Lisa Anderson’s research of political systems in Libya reveals that standard Middle East Studies paradigms don’t fully apply.

  • March 15

    Do not succumb to economic stupidity

    Listening to NPR’s Planet Money economics podcast really does help to understand the current economic crisis.

  • March 8

    New site launched

    I finally converted my ancient, inefficient PHP-ish website to a mean, lean, WordPresss running CMS.