Archive for the ‘Geek Stuff’ Category

Computers Nyan Cat The Excel Macro!


If you’ve seen my previous post you’d know that Excel can be fun sometimes. Last time I used Excel to draw images using the cells as pixels. Today though we have a fully animated Nyan cat wohooo! NANA NANANA NANAN NANANANA NANA NA NA NA

Ok enough! Heard the song enough during testing.

And YES those are Excel cells being updated regularly for the animated cat!



Main Window

Program Running


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Computers Excel Art


After my presentation of Excel macros at BarCamp Kuwait a friend sent me this link ( on Twitter and said that this was much better than my excel macro. I told him challenge accepted and spent a week and a half trying to figure out how I’m going to to what I had in mind. The Excel macro I had in mind would let you choose an image, it will import it, read pixels and use the colours to colour excel cells & make an image out of them.

At the end, the program works as follows:

  1. Open a UserForm to enable user to import an image.
  2. Image Control in the UserForm will zoom the image so it all shows inside the Image Control.
  3. Handle the UserForm and use GetPixel function to get the pixel colours as “Long” integers.
  4. A function will extract individual RGB colours.
  5. A new WorkBook is opened, rows/cols will be re-sized and Sheet is zoomed out.
  6. Cells will be coloured with the previously extracted RGB values.
Problems encountered:
  • You cannot draw an image twice in one Excel sheet. It seems that Excel runs in an issue with large number of formatted cells. That’s why I’m using a new Work Book each time, it’s actually good too so you can save it for the image only.
  • VB has a Picture Box Control which is not available in VBA, Excel has only an Image Control which doesn’t have all the functions of a Picture Box. I’m not an expert on this since it’s the first time I use Forms and Controls so I cannot tell the difference. All what I can say is after hundreds of searches online many people were looking for Picture Box Control in Excel but it’s simply not there. I had to use Image Control and create a handle for the UserForm, declare GetPixel function, import libraries and then use the GetPixel to get all the pixel colours for the image.
  • RGB colour conversion used to over-flow so the negative numbers were set to 0 and numbers above 255 are set to 255. Now one might say when it goes negative it should be set to 255 because it over-flows. I’m not sure I just got bored of all the searches I’ve done so I don’t really care how they work. Yes not ALL pixels are going to be perfect but hey its giving great results!
  • When using the GetPixel function with loop I used to get part of the image while all other pixels give “-1” value. After long debugging I discovered that when Excel goes into a loop and for long time it gives a “Not Responding” message then starts being responsive after it finishes. This causes the GetPixel to get bad pixels from handle of the UserForm. A work around would be a small 10 ms delay in the loop or a progress bar box which was done using UserForm.
This program is not written to be perfect it has bugs and it definitely could be better.


Excel Art Load Image

Excel Art Loading Image
Excel Art Result

Excel Art Result

Excel Art Result Zoomed

Excel Art Result Zoomed

Download Source File

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Internet Qualitynet Bad Customer Service 02


In a followup post to my problem in which I wrote a post about. I will briefly summarize the situation.

On Thursday the 25th of January 2012 I called Qualitynet because I felt that my connection was being slow.

Qualitynet then sent me a technician the 1st week. Then I was visited by Qualitynet employee in the 2nd week. He told me to send him a trace route report of all the servers I ran the speed test through.

I was told by another Qualitynet employee that he personally don not acknowledge results!

They changed some of the settings, some sites became faster while others didn’t. Youtube became faster for a while but it’s slow again.

Downloading from:
Gave 20 to 40 kb/s download speed.
They CANNOT be all slow!
Today is the 15th of February 2012 almost 3 weeks since I 1st reported the problem to Qualitynet. I called them again today after another random disconnect which I’ve been getting recently and they told me they will send me another technician!
In terms of customer support service, I do not know what do they call this. I’m very unpleased with my customer support experience I’m getting.
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Internet Qualitynet Bad Customer Service

Comments Off on Qualitynet Bad Customer Service

I subscribed with Qualitynet in late 2010. I had problems from the beginning, they had to send a technician to check the quality of the line from my side and discovered that its from the ministry of communications. But I cannot blame them for that.

My connection type is 2 mbps gaming, which means download speed of little more than 2 mbps and upload speed of 1 mbps.

After about a year and just 10 days before my subscription ends I got disconnected and after calling Qualitynet they told me your phone line is bad and it is affecting the signal quality and that we have to decrease the speed, so they changed my connection from 2 mbps to 1 mbps for the mean while to at least be connected to the internet. They told me the problem is from my side and that I had to change the filter, telephone wires for the phone/router or even the building’s wires. Being a polite customer I always remained calm and followed their instructions because I thought that they had a list to go by before they reach a conclusion on the type of problem. What they don’t know is that they are talking to an electrical engineer, computer geek and a Cisco CCNA1 certified customer. In that case I would have already tested and concluded that the problem is not from my side. All those requests to restart your gateway, unplug the phone or change the DSL filter are really not necessary. For GOD sake I flash custom firmware for my routers and fix network related issues for friends.

The other thing is that statistically, it has always been a problem with the ministry and not my side.

The easiest thing for Qualitynet it seems, is sending you a technician home to check your connection. No offence to technicians but I like to minimize the number of strange people entering my home and invading my privacy, not to mention one of the last times where Qualitynet promised to send a technician at 5 PM but he came 8:45 PM. Imagine sitting there dressed properly and not being able to leave home waiting for the technician to arrive any moment for hours!

The last time I was told that the problem is from my side and that I had to change the building phone line after a visit by Qualitynet’s technician to my house. I purchased a complete roll of brand new original high grade phone line and replaced the whole line from the ministry distribution box to my flat several floors up. Still the quality of signal didn’t get any better and finally the problem was found to be form the ministry to my apartment. Thank you Qualitynet for letting me spend time and money on a totally unnecessary thing!

Lately I’ve been experiencing very slow speeds on everything! Youtube, VPN and all kind of downloads from all websites. I checked and found out the following.





New York:

Miami Florida:


Clearly the problem wasn’t from my side, my ping, download and upload speeds to servers in Kuwait were very good! My problem was with anything outside of Kuwait.

I called the customer support and explained the problem accurately on Thursday night. Saturday morning they called me and said we will send you a technician at 7 PM. I’m thinking to myself WTH?! I told the guy the problem is not from my side, my connection to Qualitynet servers and other servers in Kuwait are fine. The same guy called few minutes later asking me to do some speed tests and tell him the results. Imagine a guy from Qualitynet support asking me to do several speed tests and give him the number so he adds them up to see if they add up to my speed?! What?! I was thinking to myself. So if I run 4 speed tests that gave 0.5 mbps, we add them up to be 2 mbps and the download speed is fine?! At least that’s what I understood from his request but I could be wrong. (What kind of sorcery is this?!)

I thought what if we have general problem in Kuwait so I went to my relatives and tested the same exact servers on (Note they have Fasttelco). They have 1.5 mbps connection yet they managed to get the full 1.5 mbps download speed from all the server seen above in the results.

It’s Monday today and there is no respond from Qualitynet. I called them and they said they’ll probably call me tomorrow but they cannot promise it’s going to be solved.

Unfortunately it’s no longer about Quality!

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BarCamp BarCamp 2012

1 Comment

It’s been a while since I posted something to my blog or even update my website. Almost a year!

Since I presented at BarCamp and beed asked to provide my slides as well as the Excel files, there you go:

  • Presentation
  • Excel Files:
  1. 1st Macro Tests
  2. The Word Challenge Bot
  3. The Sudoku Solver
  4. Export / Import
  5. Draw
  6. Excute Commands

Computers Firefox Beats Other Browsers


A friend of mine sent me this a while ago, Firefox & IE statistical graphs have crossed, with Firefox taking the lead in Nov 2009.

Worldwide Web Browsers Statistics

The Firefox’s graph is still rising above others. Take that Microsoft!

Statistics source

Firefox has proven it’s self as a reliable browser over time, even Google have built Chrome using Firefox’s technology. Web developers should now focus on compatibility, since many websites might be targeted to work on IE, which is most of the time incompatible with any other browser.

Now with the upcoming release of Chrome OS, the whole idea of the Operating System is around the browser, that’s the future of internet computing. Now Microsoft will be trying to catch up & I don’t see them catching up anytime soon if they ever will!

Computers What Happens When You Send Me a Virus?


One guy thought he could trick me & infect my pc through sending me a link to a website that downloads malware to your computer.
I bet he regrets that now.

  1. Website reported to Google & Firefox “Web Forgery Team”.
  2. Website reported to “McAfee site advisor”
  3. Virus sample sent & Antivirus vendors informed of the threat:
  • Avira
  • Avast
  • Bitdefender
  • AVG
  • F-Prot
  • Aladdin
  • Symantec (Norton)
  • NOD32
  • Clamav
  • eTrust
  • GData
  • F-Secure
  • And others through sharing submitted samples.

Note: Samples sent to AV vendors that couldn’t identify the threat.

Results: website has been blocked, more AV engines can recognize the threat.
Muhaha nice try!

The guy probably didn’t know I’m a Linux guy, otherwise he wouldn’t have sent it in the 1st place.

Geek Stuff Poisoning The ARP Table of My Own Router


A question arises whether it is possible for me to apply sniffing tools & be able to spy on ummm, virtually anything (if you have the right tool) of any computer on the network.

Sometimes it might be used for security issues, parental control & maybe trust issues, everything has good & bad uses.

Our home network looks like this:


| (DSL Modem) ===> (Router) |


What I did is that I brought my computer, booted up pfSense Live CD (FreeBSD Firewall) & put it between the Modem & Router.


| (DSL Modem) ===> (pfSense) ===> (Router) |


I didn’t experiment a lot, but it looks like you have to add some add-ons like software to sniff IM messages and I didn’t see any packet analyzing tools.

I then booted the main OS on my computer instead of the firewall which is Linux Kubuntu 8.04, since I have two Ethernet ports, one for the WAN & the other for the LAN, I had to connect them together, the easiest way was to install a firewall to do that, though there supposed to be a simple command that can do it.

I started some packet analysing tools, but didn’t get so deep, I don’t really need to analyze all the packets from scratch, I needed specialised tools to analyse certain kinds of packets, something went wrong & I didn’t get Internet activity, so I returned everything back as before.

I decided to ignore the method if intercepting the packets by installing a hardware in between & started thinking of some hacking techniques, I started by reading a book I bought about more than 7 years ago when I was in high school, back then I didn’t understand most of what’s there, but now I really appreciate getting that book, it’s called “Anti-Hacker Toolkit”.

I called my cousin & invited him to share me the experience since he worked on BackTrack before which has many security tools. We started by trying to poison the ARP tables of the router but it failed, apparently it’s a problem with my laptop’s hardware, I tried with my netbook & it worked.

I basically lied to both the router & my cousin’s computer letting both think that my netbook is the other.

e.x: Router thinks my computer is my cousin’s & cousin’s computer thinks mine is the the router.

This way all traffic passes through me before it goes to the other side, the main problem we faced is that we had to forward the traffic, otherwise there would be no communication between the devices which is useless. With a simple command it was working.

I told him to open MSN & start chatting while I run an IM packet sniffer & I can read every message he sends & receives. One can also check the email a computer receives via POP3 & SMTP protocols, URL sniffing is also available, actually there is a program when activated & targeted to a victim, it would open your Netscape browser to whatever the victim is surfing, and as said in the book “Talk about an invasion of privacy!”

We tried other tools to try & spoof the DNS of a computer, for example, so when the target computer tries & requests this DNS it requests it form my own computer, doing this and with other proper tools would enable me to issue a false certificate or login session which is forwarded to the real DNS, that way I would be able to have his encrypted session details and know his login password.

It isn’t really hard to do that, it’s only a matter of having the knowledge & the right tools. I remember how much good info I gained when I took Cisco’s CCNA1 certificate, the very basics of any network & how networking works should be known to any REAL hacker (not a script kiddy!).

Spying on MSN chat

Spying on MSN chat