A place where I can write about anything that's intriguing my mind. Mostly on military aviation, politics & technology.

Slow PTCL Internet Solution During Submarine Cable Cut

Posted: June 26th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Technology | No Comments »

Many internet users in Pakistan, particularly those using PTCL Broadband were left in extreme agony last night when their internet lines started failing — connections timing out, websites not loading and the refresh button getting abused!

It was due to a submarine fiber optic cable fault, one of those high-speed undersea internet cables through which PTCL runs its traffic, and the particular culprit was SEA-ME-WE-4 — also called SMW4. It’s not the first time that PTCL users had to bear this torture of slow internet due to a cable fault, last time it occurred was in 2013 and that too was a fault in SMW4.

Thankfully though, Pakistan doesn’t rely on only one cable to connect with the outside world. It has multiple submarine cable links like TW1 (which is operated by Transworld Associates) and SEAMEWE3.


During cable outages, which mostly occur on SMW cables affecting PTCL users, the ISPs using Transworld Associates’ fiber optic cable (TW1) are usually able to provide their services at full capacity without any degradation. This is exactly what happened yesterday too; PTCL users were suffering because the outgoing links were degraded however the ISPs routing their traffic via TW1 were spared from the disaster.

The one I use is Zong. Yes, I was using Zong’s 3G service and its service quality was great, and on the other hand I was struggling to load even a 800 kB website on my PTCL broadband connection.

Here’s how you can identify through what cable your ISP routes your traffic. I’m posting a traceroute to WordPress.org, which shows that packets leave the country through TW1 while on Zong:

Zong TW1 submarine cut

As you can see, on the 6th hop, my packets are being routed via TW1 cable.

This was for Zong, and I’m not sure what other ISPs or Telecom Companies use for their internet connectivity. Can anybody shed light on Telenor, Ufone, Warid and Mobilink?

Any traces would be great! The command you put in Windows’s command prompt is tracert while on Linux it is traceroute.






My Motivation

Posted: June 6th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Ehtisham Siddiqui | No Comments »

At times you feel like writing non-stop, taking it all out what’s torturing you from the inside and throwing it away in the form of words — words that carry the fire, the flame, the hurt that’s eating you from the inside.

I was hurt today, demotivated, because what I thought I can do and achieve, for what I totally believed in myself and backed myself to do, jolted me and gave me a shock. You’re not good enough. Yet.

It was hard to take it in at first, I wasn’t able to think clearly about my next steps but then a trait of mine kicked in. A trait which has kept me strong and going till now, a trait for which I’m thankful to God — the ability to to transform negativity into positive energy, to seek optimism in an apparently bleak situation.

I don’t know the cause or exactly when I was bestowed upon with this trait, but whenever I’m told that the thing I believe in, I can’t do it or I’m not good enough for it, instead of getting demotivated and thinking what a waste I am, I rather take it as a challenge and go on to analyze where did I go wrong. Perhaps it’s the desire to keep on improving myself and the skills that I have, but the energy that I gain forces me to prove myself.

And I’ll do the same this time too. Going to analyze what I need to do to prove myself. Oh, and I’m going to try and blog a bit regularly here, I so miss this place. 😉

List Of KMU Students For KPK Laptop Scheme Naway Sahar

Posted: February 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: University | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

This is the list of selected students for Naway Sahar laptop scheme of Khyber Medical University (KMU) including all its government institutes like KMC, KGMC, KCD, KIMS, AMC, Gomal Medical College and the rest. Links for each institute of Khyber Medical University are listed below.

For list of students for rest of the universities, please open this link. For details regarding specs of laptop and distribution dates, scroll below.

You will also have to fill and submit an undertaking available here. According to this, you cannot sell your laptop received under this laptop scheme.


The lists are final and the exact date of distribution can not be specified yet, as it will vary by each institute. The process of distribution of laptops to the administration has started already and they will be given to the students most probably in the first quarter of March.

UET Peshawar will receive the laptops before 28th Feb, 2013 and they’ll be distributed after each laptop has been checked as per specs.

The laptops are rumored to be Dell 3420, powered with an Intel Core i3 CPU, 500GB HDD, 2GB RAM. And yes, they’ll also feature a sticker of “naway sahar” scheme on its lid ! 😛

KPK Laptop Scheme – List Of Students (All Universities)

Posted: February 14th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: University | Tags: , | 203 Comments »

List of selected students of all universities has been uploaded and can be accessed via the links mentioned below in the post. Under this laptop scheme, termed as “Naway Sahar” by the KPK government, a total of approximately 23,000 to 24,000 laptops will be distributed among the students who were short-listed on the basis of their GPAs.

The laptops are rumored to be Dell Inspiron 14 3420, equipped with Intel Core i3 CPU, 500GB HDD and 2GB RAM.

Students List For Laptop Scheme (University Wise):

If anyone has received it already, please confirm the above mentioned specs.


According to a comment posted by Shahrukh in the comments section below, University of Peshawar (UoP) will start distribution in the first week of March.

UET Peshawar will receive the laptops before 28th February and they will be distributed AFTER each and every laptop is tested to be functioning as per specs. That means distribution most likely in March.

This also indicates other universities will most likely distribute them in early March, but there is no single confirmed date for any university.

For students of KMU, KUST and rest of the universities’ which don’t have a list yet: It is not given by the government and will be added to this post as soon as it’s made available!

YouTube Unblocked In Pakistan

Posted: December 29th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Technology | No Comments »

*EDIT*: This news is NO LONGER VALID. It was blocked again after a few hours on the orders of PM. Such a shame! The site MIGHT open at times but videos won’t load, the servers hosting videos are blocked at PiE (Pakistan Internet Exchange).

So finally after a wait of well over 3 months, access to YouTube.com has been restored in Pakistan. Last night, interior minister Rehman Malik tweeted that YouTube will get unblocked within 24 hours after chairing a high level meeting. The promise is fulfilled. YouTube is unblocked and fully accessible. Videos are loading perfectly fine — Last checked on PTCL DSL.

Previously, the site used to load at times but videos wouldn’t play. This is not the case anymore.

Following the anti-Islamic video “Innocence of Muslims” which was uploaded on YouTube, on 17th Sept., 2012.,YouTube was blocked in Pakistan on the orders of Prime Minister. The reason given was to protest against YouTube for not removing the said video, which YouTube declined to remove as according to them, it did not violate YouTube’s community guidelines.

My stance is still the same, PTA should have blocked access to only that particular video if it wanted. Restricting access to entire YouTube was like blocking access to a large treasure of educational, scientific and religious knowledge too.

Specially for university students, YouTube can be a life saver as there are many educational channels from universities like Stanford and MIT where course lectures are uploaded. And who doesn’t know about KhanAcademy, which has video lectures on many different courses and subjects from elementary school to university level.

At last, this move is positive. Darkness of 3 months, now finally over! :)



QMobile Noir A10: Review & Specs

Posted: November 27th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Android | 22 Comments »

So guys the wait is finally over. QMobile has officially launched this phone. It also has 3G technology which Noir A8 lacked. So, can this phone outperform Noir A8? Read below.

Some of the features are:

1GHz dual-core CPU

Android OS – Ice Cream Sandwich


4GB ROM (2GB usable)

5 inch IPS screen

MTK6577 chipset

8MP back camera and 1.3MP front camera

And rest of the perks that come with usual Androids including GPS.

To read more, click here (Lab Android). Detailed review & comparison with Noir A8, Sony Xperia is done there.

Launch Of LabAndroid.com

Posted: November 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Android | No Comments »

I was feeling the need for a dedicated platform where Pakistani coders and enthusiasts can unite and provide development / modding support for Android phones not usually supported at international platforms like xda-developers.
The response I received after the rooting and CWM posts of Noir A8 was very positive. These platforms have made it easy for youth to get a taste of decent smartphones at a relatively cheaper price than big brands. They’re in no way inferior. What they lack is development support.

So in hopes of building a development and modding community which can contribute things like custom ROMs, kernels, mods, performance improvements etc., I have launched Lab Android.

From now on, all posts related to Android, QMobile Noir A8, Noir A6, Noir A10 and rest of the MediaTek based phones will come live on http://www.labandroid.com
I’ve posted the procedure to backup stock ROM of Noir A8 and stock recovery there. Check it out and contribute if you can :)

If you can code, develop, write, and want to volunteer, you can join the team :)