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    My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme








    My very first computer


    By Umar Saif
    Published: May 7, 2012


    The writer is associate professor of computer science at LUMS and is currently working as the chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge




    In late 1990s, the University of California, Berkley was working on a pioneering wireless networking project that had a deceptively simple tagline: ‘Access is the killer application’. This simple tagline has stuck with me for over a decade. Whether it was my research and entrepreneurial life at MIT and LUMS for the past 10 years, or my recent role in public-sector IT initiatives, enabling access has been a pivotal theme of my work.

    One of the most successful projects in my research group at LUMS is a BitTorrent client, called BitMate, which enables computers with a slow network connection to pool their bandwidth for downloading content faster. When we first built the BitMate system, I remember a journalist asking me about the usefulness of our system. My reply was simple: give people a way to access information, and they will surprise you with what they can do with it. BitMate is now used by over 35,000 users from 184 countries to download content like e-books and computer software. Shortly after we released the system for public use, I received an email from a student in Iran thanking me for making the software.

    In my recent role at the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB), I have found that the basic building block of e-governance initiatives is invariably access to information: access to data about the level of crime reported at different police stations, for better decision-making; access to patterns in which a disease like dengue may be spreading in the city, for better preventive measures; access to information about the level of service rendered by government hospitals, for better allocation of resources; access to information about one’s ownership of a land asset, to avoid fraudulent property transactions.



    In the same vein, I hope that laptops awarded to the students in Punjab will facilitate better access to educational content and tools. Indeed, similar programmes worldwide, such as the MIT One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative and the Intel Classmate PC have had a huge impact. The MIT OLPC scheme, backed both by the World Economic Forum and the UNDP has resulted in over 2.5 million laptops being distributed to students in various countries.



    Much like the philosophy of educational projects such as MIT OLPC, the Punjab government’s 125,000 laptops use a free, open-source Ubuntu operating system. Supporting open-source software at this scale, in a country with rampant use of proprietary and pirated software, is bold and laudable. Due to its flexibility, zero-cost and broad-based academic support, open-source software is the de facto standard for college and university students worldwide. This is the first time an initiative in Pakistan has promoted open-source software in a project of this scale. With an open-source operating system installed in the laptops, students can benefit from a wide range of free, open-source applications, instead of having to buy expensive proprietary applications or using illegal pirated versions.


    With 125,000 brilliant students equipped with laptops, there is great opportunity for the government, IT industry and universities to develop an ecosystem that affords ubiquitous network accessibility, localised educational content and applications to make best use of these laptops in our higher education system.


    I remember when my father gifted me my first computer on doing well in O-levels. This introduced me to the wonderful world of computers and eventually led me to become a computer science professor. Seventeen years later, I still have that computer displayed as a trophy in my study room. I hope the students who have received the laptops cherish this award the same way I did many years ago and go on to contribute positively towards our education system.



    Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2012.

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/375342/my-very-first-computer/

    (DO read the comments below the article)



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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Arent these the laptops that came with Pirated Windows 7?

    supporting open source bcoz Nawaz league is known for following all rules and regulations?

    Bold and laudable step to use Ubuntu?


    What the HELL was this "author" smoking the time he wrote this article?

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by sherkhan314 View Post
    Arent these the laptops that came with Pirated Windows 7?

    supporting open source bcoz Nawaz league is known for following all rules and regulations?

    Bold and laudable step to use Ubuntu?


    What the HELL was this "author" smoking the time he wrote this article?
    This author is one of the best technology innovators in the world right now, and a Pakistani I am proud of. You being better and more knowledgeable, are free to rant.

    "
    The Pakistani innovator





    If you thought innovation was a word not associated with Pakistan, you would be very wrong. This year, the MIT Technology Review, one of the world’s most prestigious technology publications, included Pakistani Dr Umar Saif, in their global list of the top 35 innovators under 35.

    Thirty-two year old Saif, currently an associate professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), now shares this honour with an elite club including, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jonathan Ive of Apple, and the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

    Saif was propped into the limelight for creating BitMate, which he calls the “poor man’s broadband system” and SMSall.pk, which enables mass SMSes to be sent out.

    In Pakistan, the bandwidth of an average landline is about 32 kilobits per second. Assuming the connection doesn’t drop that means it can take more than 20 minutes to download a five-megabyte file. In the US, an average connection can download the same five-megabyte file in less than a second. To overcome this connectivity divide, Saif developed BitMate. The software allows different users in the same area, to pool the bandwidth of their connections to reduce download times, typically by half. Released in February, the software has already been downloaded more than 30,000 times by people in 173 countries."

    http://dawn.com/2011/10/25/the-pakistani-innovator/



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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Obviously. If Asad Umar said the same thing, u'd be supporting him too.

    He's an innovator (if you call optimizing P2P for low bdwidth innovation), doesnt mean I have to swallow everything he says.

    Ubuntu was on those laptops ONLY to cut down costs. Jumping supreme court in 1997, signing a secret deal with another political party, making millions while being in the Govt doesnt build a law abiding persona!

    Post as many articles in their favor as you want. One aspect of "promoting Jahalat" that people like you and your leaders did, is that those "Jahil Pakistanis" would never listen to or be inspired by these "educated bigshots". Their minds are only restricted to naray bazi and political insults.

    That my friend is the irony here and that is why your kind would eventually be wiped off not too far from now!

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by sherkhan314 View Post
    Obviously. If Asad Umar said the same thing, u'd be supporting him too.

    He's an innovator (if you call optimizing P2P for low bdwidth innovation), doesnt mean I have to swallow everything he says.

    Ubuntu was on those laptops ONLY to cut down costs. Jumping supreme court in 1997, signing a secret deal with another political party, making millions while being in the Govt doesnt build a law abiding persona!

    Post as many articles in their favor as you want. One aspect of "promoting Jahalat" that people like you and your leaders did, is that those "Jahil Pakistanis" would never listen to or be inspired by these "educated bigshots". Their minds are only restricted to naray bazi and political insults.

    That my friend is the irony here and that is why your kind would eventually be wiped off not too far from now!
    Of all the people in PTI, I respect Asad Umar the most. In fact, not just PTI, he would be one of the brightest political minds in Pak in the years that follow.

    I shared a renowned scholar's viewpoint on the impact of a scheme. I personally don't fully agree with the article, but in the words of none other than Asad Umar, 'Clash of ideas shape policies'.

    Having said that, people blinded by hatred can only cringe. If Umar Saif had written about Imran Khan's revolution, you would be making movies about him. And tell you what, this is not PTI. This is not about the party you belong to, but the way you have been trained to attack everyone disagreeing with your political, religious, national, artistic and personal views. I am sure you practice the same hooliganism in religion as well.


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Theekra View Post
    This author is one of the best technology innovators in the world right now, and a Pakistani I am proud of. You being better and more knowledgeable, are free to rant.

    "
    The Pakistani innovator





    If you thought innovation was a word not associated with Pakistan, you would be very wrong. This year, the MIT Technology Review, one of the world’s most prestigious technology publications, included Pakistani Dr Umar Saif, in their global list of the top 35 innovators under 35.

    Thirty-two year old Saif, currently an associate professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), now shares this honour with an elite club including, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Jonathan Ive of Apple, and the co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

    Saif was propped into the limelight for creating BitMate, which he calls the “poor man’s broadband system” and SMSall.pk, which enables mass SMSes to be sent out.

    In Pakistan, the bandwidth of an average landline is about 32 kilobits per second. Assuming the connection doesn’t drop that means it can take more than 20 minutes to download a five-megabyte file. In the US, an average connection can download the same five-megabyte file in less than a second. To overcome this connectivity divide, Saif developed BitMate. The software allows different users in the same area, to pool the bandwidth of their connections to reduce download times, typically by half. Released in February, the software has already been downloaded more than 30,000 times by people in 173 countries."

    http://dawn.com/2011/10/25/the-pakistani-innovator/
    Broher Dr Umar Saif is also owns 80011 service..U know for what 80011 is used for these days..Its for membership of PML-N..
    Right now Dr Umar Saif is working for PML_N and Punjab Govt..The day some other party comes in power,he will work with them and write such articles for their projects even if the are failed ones just like this laptop scheme.

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Dr. Umar Saif is a gem indeed. It is also good to know Punjab IT Board has people of such calibre.

    As for the laptop scheme, I personally think it was good money not spent wisely, especially when we need more URGENT attention for the government schools in Punjab. The government school state is in shambles and we need to work on an emergency basis for that.

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Abhi kal ki news hai k
    Punjab k aik city SHAKAR-GARH mein aik school ki chhatt (roof) girny sy 5 students jaan-bahaq ho gaye hain...& we are still praising laptop scheme when 64000 schools need walls, roofs, staff and other facilities.
    Aisi schemes tab chalayi jati hain jab schools mein sub facilities mojood hon aur sub theek chal raha ho, aray bhai pehly school to bana lo

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoaib View Post
    Dr. Umar Saif is a gem indeed. It is also good to know Punjab IT Board has people of such calibre.

    As for the laptop scheme, I personally think it was good money not spent wisely, especially when we need more URGENT attention for the government schools in Punjab. The government school state is in shambles and we need to work on an emergency basis for that.
    You are one of the few people I have enjoyed debating with. Otherwise, It seems to me that political environment has polarized the environment so much that we cannot even appreciate that we DON'T have to call everyone disagreeing with us a sell-out or traitor.

    One can disagree 100 times with Asad Umar, but the person saying that he is a sell-out who speaks for whoever is in power, will only be making a laughing stock of himself.

    The point about schools is fully endorsed. Nothing notable was seen there in the current govt.'s incumbency.

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    .

    I've been to LUMS and have met Dr Umar Saif many times.

    No doubt he is intelligent and smart --- but please keep my mouth SHUT on how he become PITB chairman? Hint: his father


    Remember what great Ashfaq baba gee said, ' Pakistan ko parhely likhey loogon ney ziyada nuqsaan punchayaa hai'


    The 'innovators' don't have the time to write for gibberish newspapers. Rather they write research papers.
    Enough said.


    PMLN walun ko laptop key spelling aatey nahi hain -- aur ub yeh humain lecture dain gay




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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    One comment from the webpage, liked by 7 people

    The truth is Umar Saif is working as a consultant for PML-N.

    So this is just him helping PML-N.




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    brilTek

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Biggest objection is that why they started after 30th october,definitely they were scared from Imran khan nothing else,its called 'siasi rishwat'.Moreover they didn't produce extra revenue for this scheme rather cutting from primary school budget how PMLN will justify it?

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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by brilTek View Post
    .

    I've been to LUMS and have met Dr Umar Saif many times.

    No doubt he is intelligent and smart --- but please keep my mouth SHUT on how he become PITB chairman? Hint: his father


    Remember what great Ashfaq baba gee said, ' Pakistan ko parhely likhey loogon ney ziyada nuqsaan punchayaa hai'


    The 'innovators' don't have the time to write for gibberish newspapers. Rather they write research papers.
    Enough said.


    PMLN walun ko laptop key spelling aatey nahi hain -- aur ub yeh humain lecture dain gay




    ---
    brilTek
    THIS is precisely what I was talking about. You heard something from someone, and that info. never flashed in your mind until his opinion agreed with PML-N.

    If he becomes pro-PTI tomorrow, this piece of info. will be sent to a land of nothingness, never to be brought up again. In this way, 60% of our own human resource has become partisan. And I am sorry to say this, but the foundation of this thinking comes from the premise "If you don't agree with PTI, you are corrupt". And mark my words, PTI will regret this attitude. It seems like the saner elements in PTI like Asad Umar want to step back from this hawkish attitude, but the problem is, if they do it now, their own Frankenstein will kick them


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Theekra View Post
    THIS is precisely what I was talking about. You heard something from someone, and that info. never flashed in your mind until his opinion agreed with PML-N.

    If he becomes pro-PTI tomorrow, this piece of info. will be sent to a land of nothingness, never to be brought up again. In this way, 60% of our own human resource has become partisan. And I am sorry to say this, but the foundation of this thinking comes from the premise "If you don't agree with PTI, you are corrupt". And mark my words, PTI will regret this attitude. It seems like the saner elements in PTI like Asad Umar want to step back from this hawkish attitude, but the problem is, if they do it now, their own Frankenstein will kick them
    You are miserably wrong --- are you too posting from new laptop? (just kidding)

    The problem is not with 'if you don't agree with PTI you are wrong'


    The problem is which other party one is supporting? No one in his RIGHT and MORAL senses can support PML N, PPP or MQM?

    I've a great respect for Jamat Islami --- though don't fully agree with their policies but at least they are CLEAN


    Now if someone ask me to give respect to noora league or pee pee or diesl group supporter? MY FOOT. That simply means that supporters are themselves corrupt. Chore ko chore hi support kerta hai


    Apney maan baap ki qasum khaa ker kahu key Allah unhey jahnem mein jaga day ager PML N key leaders ney corruption nahi kee


    Anxiously waiting for your reply --- ub apney maan baap ko naa bech dena please


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by brilTek View Post
    You are miserably wrong --- are you too posting from new laptop? (just kidding)

    The problem is not with 'if you don't agree with PTI you are wrong'


    The problem is which other party one is supporting? No one in his RIGHT and MORAL senses can support PML N, PPP or MQM?

    I've a great respect for Jamat Islami --- though don't fully agree with their policies but at least they are CLEAN


    Now if someone ask me to give respect to noora league or pee pee or diesl group supporter? MY FOOT. That simply means that supporters are themselves corrupt. Chore ko chore hi support kerta hai


    Apney maan baap ki qasum khaa ker kahu key Allah unhey jahnem mein jaga day ager PML N key leaders ney corruption nahi kee


    Anxiously waiting for your reply --- ub apney maan baap ko naa bech dena please


    ---
    brilTek
    "Maan baap ko na bech dena please"

    Yar I have nothing ore to say to you You proved me more right than I expected. Not only did you say that "Everyone disagreeing with me is corrupt, but his parents are sold out too".

    Instead of abusing you in reply, I'd just say what will frustrate you the most: I voted for PML-N last time, and because of corruption of my soul and my parents, I like different policies and people in different political parties. The success of democracy, in my view, is not in giving one party unchecked following, but maintaining a 'pool' of worthy individuals like Asad Umar, Aitezaz Ahsan and Sartaj Aziz, belonging to different parties.

    Having said that, I find much more policy depth in PML-N and PPP than PTI. That sure is because my forefathers were corrupt and I am the scum of this earth Happy writhing in frustration and frothing at the mouth!


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Theekra View Post
    "Maan baap ko na bech dena please"

    Yar I have nothing ore to say to you You proved me more right than I expected. Not only did you say that "Everyone disagreeing with me is corrupt, but his parents are sold out too".

    Instead of abusing you in reply, I'd just say what will frustrate you the most: I voted for PML-N last time, and because of corruption of my soul and my parents, I like different policies and people in different political parties. The success of democracy, in my view, is not in giving one party unchecked following, but maintaining a 'pool' of worthy individuals like Asad Umar, Aitezaz Ahsan and Sartaj Aziz, belonging to different parties.

    Having said that, I find much more policy depth in PML-N and PPP than PTI. That sure is because my forefathers were corrupt and I am the scum of this earth Happy writhing in frustration and frothing at the mouth!
    I didn't bother to read your whole reply --- First two three line are enough for me. May I ask your qualifications please ???

    Am I in discussion with someone who lack comprehension skills? Show my reply to some literate person and then come back with argument where I've given fatwa about your parents? And Yes, if you are supporting PML N --- then you can't be a honest person. You or your family must have illegally benefited from Noora league.

    Go and check oxford dictionary about 'context' ?

    And I know your MORAL grounds for supporting PML N MR.....


    Better policies of PML N --- logo sun loooo



    Peeli taxi for graduates




    Bye Bye. Play with your toys.


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    The laptop budget comes out of punjab's fund for schools so if punjab keeps this up very soon you will not have anyone coming out of the government school system, literacy will go down. This money should have been spend more wisely but offcourse its punjab's PMLN government


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    The writer is associate professor of computer science at LUMS and is currently working as the chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board


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    Re: My very first computer: Dr Umar Saif about the Laptop Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by xiaahmad View Post
    The writer is associate professor of computer science at LUMS and is currently working as the chairman of the Punjab Information Technology Board
    Isn't that sums up very well

    Ashfaq gee marhoom keh gayee hain --- 'Pakistan ko nuqsaan parhey likhey loogon ney paunchaya hai'



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