Imran Saleh

A Product Manager living in Toronto, Canada

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Update from Imran – Feb 2016

Hope you are doing well! Wanted to send you one of my email updates on how things are on my end.

Toronto

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I’ve just turned 31 and am writing to you from sunny but cool Toronto, Canada where the temperature is -5° Fahrenheit (-20° Celsius). You may be wondering — wasn’t I just in Portland? What am I doing in Toronto?

I liked Portland but decided I wanted to try living in a different place where there was a large Ismaili Muslim community (of which I am a member) and also a good tech scene. I was considering Vancouver, Seattle, Toronto, and Dallas. I ended up finding a good job in Toronto and also have a lot of family here, so there is where I settled. The diversity of people, cuisine, culture have been great so far!

I moved to an apartment in downtown Toronto on King and Bathurst. I have a view of the CN Tower (the big skyscraper in town) and it’s facing away from the street so it is usually very quiet, which I love. Now I just need to get all my furniture assembled!

Working at Influitive

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In Toronto, I’ve joined a new company called Influitive as a Director of Product Management. Influitive is an advocacy marketing software company, which helps companies leverage online reviews, social media, and word of mouth referrals from their existing customers to “advocate” for their product and drive new customers. Advocacy marketing has been around for a while, but the software industry around it is relatively new.

The company is growing and there has been a lot of opportunity to take on more responsibility, which has been fun. As you can imagine, it can been very easy to get caught up in all the work. I have been trying to meditate to help myself stay settled despite all the changes in work and environment.

Serving on a Vipassana Retreat

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Before Toronto I had about 6 weeks off, I volunteered on a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat in Kauffman, TX. The difference between going as a volunteer server instead of a meditator is you meditate a little bit less (about 3 hours a day instead of 6-7 hours) and you’re allowed to talk. The volunteer duties include cooking food, preparing the halls, and other management tasks so the meditators can focus on their practice and keep silence.

It was a great experience. Like in daily life, I had to interact with people, face conflicts, and other issues which might be difficult or challenging. But I could see how much better I was able to deal with things when I had a bit of meditation. Like I said above, I want to keep it up because I can see the how it helps me deal with every day life a little bit more calmly and thoughtfully.

Peru (Machu Picchu)

View of Machu Picchu with Urubamba River below.

Over Thanksgiving I went to Peru with a group of 10 people to hike the Salcantay trail to Machu Picchu. We flew into Lima, and then into Cusco where we got acclimated for a day or two to the altitude and then began our 4 day hike.

The uphill wasn’t so bad, but the downhill and the length of time each day was the biggest challenge for me! We did 8-10 hours of hiking a day, and some days we had to wake up at 4 or 5 am in order to get to the next camp site before dark. So it was certainly not a vacation by any means, but it was definitely an experience!

Seeing Machu Picchu was the pinnacle. It was a 15th century Incan city built in the mountains that has very impressive architecture and a magical, perhaps spiritual feeling to it. You can tell just how much effort went into building this place. It feels like the peak of human endeavor.

Upcoming Travels

Here are my travels for the next few months. If we are overlapping, drop me a line and perhaps we can meet up!

Birmingham, AL: Feb 25-29

San Francisco, CA: Mar 6-13
San Diego, CA: April 29 – May 1

If you’re in Toronto please let me know and I would love to see you! My new contact info is below.

Take care,
Imran

Update from Imran – October 2015

I wanted to resend this note since it went to Spam boxes a lot the first time. Sorry if you are getting this twice!

It’s been about 3 months since my last note like this, so I wanted to send you an update on what’s been happening in Portland.

Portland

View from Angel's Rest Trail in the Multonomah Gorge, 45 minutes outside Portland

View from Angel’s Rest Trail in the Multonomah Gorge, 45 minutes outside Portland

I’ve moved on from living in Airbnbs into longer term apartments. But I’ve discovered in Portland I have all kind of allergies I didn’t know about! Because a lot of the homes here tend to be older construction (early 1900s) there is a large propensity to have dust, mold, other issues.

I have started getting “immunotherapy” shots for allergies, which over time is supposed to cure it. In some ways its a nuisance, but overall I’m glad I discovered it. All this time growing up when I’ve been sneezing on occasion when I thought I just had a “cold”, maybe it was actually an allergies!
I have been trying to get outdoors a bit more, and there are plenty of great hikes within a very close distance. A friend invited me to hike Machu Pichu in November, so now I have some incentive to begin training more!

Silent Meditation Retreat

Meditation Pagoda at the Southwest Vipassana Center in Texas

Meditation Pagoda at the Southwest Vipassana Center in Texas

From August 26 – September 6 I went on a 10 day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. This was my second one. It was held in Kaufman, Texas about 30 minutes outside of Dallas.

Some of the basic principles of the retreat:
– no talking to anyone except the meditation instructor (only if you have questions)
– no phone, computer, music internet, reading, writing, or any distraction besides meditating
– vegetarian meals for breakfast and lunch. no food for dinner except tea
– wake up around 4:30AM every morning, mostly meditation throughout the day, and lights out at 10pm.

Although it may sound very daunting, I appreciate that is it is a very structured environment that not only teaches you a meditation technique, but also gives you guidance on how to find satisfaction within oneself as opposed to chasing after “external” accomplishments which one has a much harder time controlling.

I felt good after the retreat because i progressed in my meditation practice at level i was happy with. I was happy also happy because I better understood what it means to be equanimous, which is one of the most important parts of wisdom from the Vipassana teachings for me.

It is by many measures an intense experience but also an intensely rewarding experience. I would encourage you to check it out if you haven’t heard of it!

Jehangir Saleh Lecture Series

Jehangir Saleh Lecture Series

In other news, I have been helping with the organization of a lecture series in honor of my cousin Jehangir. He passed away a few years ago from a genetic condition called Cystic Fibrosis. We were only a few months apart in age and he was a very good friend to me, and it made me appreciate the ephemeral nature of life.

In his honor, our family started a lecture series at the Philosophy department of Ryerson University, his alma matter. The first lecture will be held on October 27 in Toronto, Canada on the topic of The Art of Wellbeing: Living with Illness. If you in the Toronto area please come attend!

Even if you cannot attend, I thought I would let you know as we all have loved ones who deal with illness, and finding ways to remember them can be very rewarding. If you’d like to donate to the lecture series click here.

Upcoming Travel Schedule

Marin Software Co-workers

With my Marin Software Portland office co-workers on a hike

Here is a list of places I will be in the next few months. Let me know if we are overlapping and perhaps we can meet up.

Tampa: Oct 9-12
Los Angeles: Oct 15-18
New York: Oct 22-25
Toronto: Oct 26-28
San Francisco: Oct 28-Nov 2
Lima, Peru (Machu Pichu): Nov 23 – Dec 1

Would love to hear from you as always!

Take care,
Imran

Update from Imran – June 2015

Hope this finds you well. I think it’s been a while since we caught up, so I thought I’d send you a note about how things are going on my end!

I am currently living in Portland, Oregon. I moved here from San Francisco about 3 months ago.

Portland

Portland

Portland is a great town – smaller than San Francisco and a little bit easier to get to know. The food is great–there are awesome food carts where you can get a great meal for around $6. And there is no sales tax in Portland!

I have been exploring the city through Airbnb (the home/room rental site). Its given me a chance to try out all the neighborhoods in the city at a similar cost to renting. I am planning on getting a lease later this summer, but I have enjoyed getting to know
Portland through this route.

My desk at work

My desk at work

Life living out of AirBnb

Life living out of AirBnb

Bought a new bike for the Portland commute!

Bought a new bike for the Portland commute!

San Francisco

Sanfransisco

From May 2011 to March 2015 I had been living in San Francisco. I was (and am still) working at Marin Software, an online advertising technology company. I joined when it was around 200 people and still a startup, and it is now around 500 people and went public in 2013. I work with a team of about 10 software developers on the analytics portion of our software product. I don’t do any coding myself, but I help define the requirements of what we need to build, and organize/plan our work.

This year, I had the opportunity to move out to Portland to be closer to one of our engineering teams, and decided to take it! Working in our Portland office is great – the office is small so it is much easier to stay focused. Portland is also a lot more affordable than SF (i.e. $2000/month for a 1BR apartment vs. $3000/month in SF).

Bought a new bike for the Portland commute!

I’m working on my Portland beard! But not yet the length of my friend Asif (right)

Other Stuff

Besides that, in February I turned 30…kind of scary at first. But life is really enjoyable right now, and I’m getting more on top of things, so I’m happy about that.

That’s it for my update. Would love to hear from you! If your plans are bringing you to Portland anytime let me know and it would be great to meet up.

Take care
Imran

My learnings from Y-Combinator Startup School 2012

I attended Y Combinator’s startup school this past weekend. It was a fun event, that provided some inspiring words for those who want to found a company. I would definitely recommend attending at least once for those who have not been.

Many of the talks resonated with things I had already heard at other events; but it was refreshing to hear them in person from people who were quite accomplished. I liked Jessica Livingston and Ben Horowitz’s talks the best. Travis Kalanick (Uber) was also a very energizing and entertaining talk as well, I just didn’t take any notes on that one. It was also pretty inspiring to hear from Patrick Collison, who was I think the youngest person on stage.

I pasted the notes which I thought were most impactful to me below.

Jessica Livingston
Partner, Y Combinator

  • you need determination – you will get rejected
  • you will have problems
  • co-founder relationships are important – know yours well
  • key for managing investors – create a competitive situation
    • they are herd mentality – want to invest if others invest
  • 3 important things YC tells people to do
    • talking to users
    • writing code
    • exercising
  • avoid distractions (hobnobbing, startup events, etc.)
  • don’t talk to corp dev people – they will only want to acqui-hire
  • make something people want – talk to users and adjust
  • no extremes (happiness, depression) last that long

 

Ben Horowitz
Partner, Andreessen Horowitz; Founder, Opsware

  • build something you believe in
  • don’t give up
  • don’t get more isolated when you do a startup – stay engaged and meet people
  • build a way of doing something that is 10x better than the next way of doing it
  • its harder than it looks
  • take the top spot – #2 gets nothing
  • what we look for
    • a break through idea – usually looks like a stupid idea (only 1 parter understands it and the others don’t, and the founder is very smart)
    • a founder with the skill and courage to build the great idea into great company
  • courage is built over time – not born
  • Have these three things
    • 1) can you articulate your vision and convince
    • 2) do people to want to work for you
    • 3) are you able to get people on board

 

Patrick Collison
Founder, Stripe

  • Buenos aires – really good for getting things done
  • fix any errors that come up
  • find some intuitive thing that should be easy that is not and do that for your startup
  • friends with your cofounder – you should want to go with them for drinks
  • be the one at startup school 2 years from now, like he was

 

Ben Silbermann
Founder, Pinterest

  • building things takes a long time (1.5 years before it was released for him)
  • committing matters, doing a startup on the stuff is tough
  • investors are people. you want to convince investors that could be the one thing they regret not doing
  • be great at one thing – do that well
  • find your core set of users who really enjoy your product

 

David Rusenko
Founder, Weebly

  • create happy users – get them happy and then figure out what problem you are solving
  • It takes time on a startup
    • took 18 months – weebly to get traction
    • 36 months to “make it” out of money issues
  • you can’t succeed if you quit
  • think about the future and what will need to exist as basis for an idea

 

Tom Preston-Werner
Founder, GitHub

  • money is not the thing – its just a number
  • people are the only thing that matters
  • complementary skills – look for that in a co founder
  • if people are asking – can i pay for this product before you even think about selling it – that is a good sign
  • meet ups are a good way to meet people
  • learn how to code

How I sold my iPhone5 for $875 on eBay with only 2 hours of work

In my previous article I outlined the the ways of selling your iPhone5 online to make money.  In this piece I focus directly on eBay and how I managed to sell my phone for $875 (yes the retail price is $650) and make maximum profit in the first place.  These steps can really be generalized to selling any item on eBay.

Here are the steps

1.  Find a listing on eBay similar to yours that sold for a lot of money. 

There is no point re-inventing the wheel on eBay auctions.  Some listings have that magic appeal that get people to spend more to buy it.  It could be the way they use CAPS in the title to annoyingly DRAW YOUR ATTENTION, the way they the describe the product that engenders your trust, something else – who really knows?

The beauty of eBay is it is very easy to learn from other peoples’ sucess!  Use these steps below:

a.  Log into eBay and click the “Advanced” link next to search

b.   Type in the relevant search term for the phone you are selling (“iphone 5 verizon black 16 gb”).  Make sure to Click the “Completed Listings” checkbox.

c.  Click the “Buy it Now” tab and find a listing that’s similar to yours and that sold in the price range you want.    I found this iPhone5 listing for $880

 

d.  Once you’ve found your model.  Click this “Sell one like this” link near the top left of the listing.

 

 

2.  Create your listing  as a “Buy it Now” based on the model you selected 

If you’re followed the steps above , you’re now at a “Create your listing” page that is already pre-filled similar to your model.  Now you need to make some tweaks.

a.  Adjust the title as necessary so it is slightly different.  Add photos from the model listing.

You don’t want your title exactly the same as something else, just for uniqueness sake, but you can easily make slight tweaks as you see fit.

In terms of images, if you’re selling a new iPhone, they’re all going to look the same.  Save yourself the time and hassle of taking and uploading pictures, and download the ones provided on your model listing.  Simply go to the page, click the pictures and right click with your mouse and select “Save Image As.”  Download it to your computer and re-upload it.

b. Copy and paste the description then adjust.

The description from other listings does not come pre-filled, but you can easily copy it from another listing and paste it into your own.  Again, you want to make adjustments in the text so that you aren’t identical to someone else, but you can find ways to mimic the style.  Here’s the first few sentences from the model that I adjusted to my own:

Brand new Apple iPhone 5 16GB. I had to open the package to activate the phone.  I activated it and it was not used beyond that. It is now deactivated on my account and ready to use on your account. I used gloves to cover my hand to prevent any oils from getting on the screen. 

See – it sounds pretty convincing, and I didn’t have to make up any of the content from scratch.  It clearly convinced someone else to buy it already, so odds are it can do the same thing again!

 

c.  Mark your Listing as “Buy It Now” and set your desired Price.  You can always adjust down later.

The reason Buy it Now is important is because of commission you pay to eBay.  Compare the following for an $875 phone I sell on eBay.

On Auction-Style listings, eBay takes 9% of the final price.  That’s $79 in fees.

On Buy-It-Now listings, eBay takes 5% of most of the price (7% of the first $50).  That’s $45 in fees.

I keep $34 for myself by going with Buy-It-Now.

I also like Buy-It-Now because it removes a lot of the risk in selling an item (you know you can’t get sell it for less than you want), and the auctions can end quickly (no need to wait until the auction ends on Day 5, and watch a bidding war, when you can sell it on Day 1).

 

 

d.  Make sure you select “USPS Priority Mail” as your shipping method.

I find USPS is really good because you can print your labels right there from the computer at a discount.  It’s seamless, and allows you to do all the taping/packaging at home rather than at the mailing center.  You can drop it off in your mailbox or any post office.  No need to coordinate a UPS pick up or anything.   eBay will also fill in all the confirmation # details for you, so you don’t have to worry about manually inserting them and updating your Buyer on the status.  All taken care of for you!

 

3.   Fine tune, as necessary.   Make sure your auction runs on a Sunday.    Once sold, ship via USPS Priority Mail.

Once your auction starts, monitor it every few hours or every day or so.  If it doesn’t seem to be selling, you can lower the Buy It Not Price.  But first, make sure you have run it on a sunday (doesn’t matter what day you start).  The reason is that Sunday (evening specifically) is the time when eBay gets the most traffic, and is most likely to be when your item gets sold.

Once you sell it, make sure you ship it Via USPS Priority Mail – I recommend printing the label the moment you find your item sells.  It’s easy, and  the buyer will know you are in the process of shipping it, which makes them feel good and gets you good feedback.

And then you’re done!  Wow, $800+ in your own bank!  A handsome profit no matter how you look at it.  These strategies can apply to anything you want to sell, so go ahead and try your hand at something else as well!

How to sell your new iPhone 5 and Make Extra Money

Here’s the background:

  • I sold my iPhone 4s a few weeks early before the value went down (I will write a future post titled “How to sell your old iPhone for cash” about that)
  • I recently got the iPhone 5 using my verizon upgrade (see my separate post: “Profitably upgrading to iPhone 5

For the last few weeks I’ve been using an old $16 flip phone i got on eBay and I love it!  I can’t check my e-mail, I don’t get distracted by sports scores, and it allows me to spend more time doing what I want – i.e. blogging.

So I thought I would log onto eBay just to see what the value of my phone would be, and lo and behold I see auctions like this:

That’s right – $880 for an iPhone 5 that has actually already been opened – that’s $230 more than the retail price!

Seeing easy money like this on a phone I’m not going to use got me into the whole idea of selling the iPhone 5.  Because its still sold out online buy 3-4 weeks (see below), people are willing to pay a lot more to get it now.

 

Below I’ll walk you through the process for how I did it and my approach starting with receiving it from Verizon Wireless.  Here’s how I did it:

1.  Open and activate your iPhone.  Ideally for at least 24 hours.

When you get your brand, spanking new phone, you might be tempted to sell it straight away on eBay, shrink wrap and all to preserve and increase the value.  The problem is that if you used your upgrade to get the phone, the phone is now tied to your number.  If someone else tries to activate it on their line, Verizon will think it is stolen and lock it.  Worse, your own account might be compromised or “frozen” because Verizon is expecting you to activate the phone but you never do.  I cannot find any good documentation for this online, but please comment/e-mail me if you see something.

The answer to these concerns is to unwrap the phone, activate it on your number, and then de-activate it and go back to your old phone.  This way the phone is certainly cleared, Verizon knows you have de-activated it and not just forgotten about it, and there is a good trail in their system of this.  This is the practice I have seen recommended on eBay by countless sellers.

Here are the steps:

a.  Remove just enough of the shink wrap to allow you to open the phone.  Ideally take off the top-half only of the shrink wrap. as this will make it appear more brand new in pictures and to your buyers.  Use gloves or a shirt when handling to avoid excessive finger prints.

b.  Follow these  instructions from Verizon on how to activate your iphone 5

c.  Keep the phone activated for at least 24 hours

d.  After 24 hours has passed, call Verizon Customer Service (1-800-922-0204) and ask them to de-activate the phone and re-activate it on your old phone

Why the need to wait for 24 hours?  I spoke with a Verizon customer service representative and after 24 hours of activation, the SIM card on the phone is no longer locked to the number it was initially activated on.  This means you can include the SIM card with the phone when you sell it, which in my opinion, will make it higher value because SIM cards have been running out like hot cakes at stores.  The alternative is you could remove the SIM card from the phone and take all traces of it with you, but just specify this in your eBay listing so it is clear.

 

2.  Decide how you want to sell it

Once you have your goods eligible to be sold, you need to decide what kind of business model you want to go with.

Here are your options and how I break them down

a.  Craigslist

Pros:  

  • You get to keep as much money as possible.  No eBay commissions, no PayPal commissions.  Just cash to you
  • No hassle after the sale is done.  You don’t have to worry about leaving feedback, following up with complaints, etc.  It’s done.
  • You don’t have to ship the thing and wait for it to arrive, etc.  You meet in person, drop it off, and you’re good.

Cons:

  • You have to go through a lot of hassle to find buyers that are actually legit.  You may get 5 leads that are either SPAM or bust for every once genuinely interested person.  You have to take time out of your day to go meet potential buyers that may or may not work out.
  • Your buyer pool is only as big as your city.  There might be more buyers if you went online on a site like eBay where the whole country is eligible.
  • Because there are more buyers, you are likely to be able to charge a higher price online.

b.  eBay Auction

Pros:  

  • Your product is advertised nation-wide/globally so you have the largest potential pool of buyers, and can potentially charge more than on craig’s list
  • You sit back and eBay takes care of business.  All you have to do is ship once someone buys.  No waiting around and meeting buyers.
  • You know the item will sell or not sell.  Its an easy decision.  On Craig’s list the onus is on your to do the work

Cons:

  • Potentially steep commissions.  Auction-based pricing charges you 9% on the final value price.  PayPal will charge you an additional 3%.  So that’s 12% in fees
  • Shipping, leaving feedback, waiting for your item to arrive, etc. can be a pain and draws out the process
  • If something happens, or you get a difficult buyer, they may return the item and you have to go through the whole process agin.

 

c.  eBay Fixed Price (Buy it now)  ** RECOMMENDED OPTION**

Pros:  

  • Same as the Ebay Auction above.  However you get better commission rates.  PayPal is still 3% but now eBay only takes 5% of everything above $50 in value

Cons:

  • Same as the Ebay Auction above.  However you may get a smaller pool of buyers if people are focused mainly on auction style listings
  • You have to set a price, with the potential that if you put it up for auction, you might have gotten a higher price.
 

d.  Word of mouth, friends, etc.

Pros:  

  • Similar to Craig’s list.  No commissions
  • You know the buyers you are dealing with, so there is potentially less hassle and fraud

Cons:

  • You know the buyers you are dealing with, so there is potential for more follow up or complaining if they dont like the item.  Or if 6 months down the road the item goes defective, you may be blamed for something irrelevant to you.
As mentioned above, I would go with option C.   For busy people, I think eBay makes it very easy to set up and sell, and I am willing to forgo some extra cash if someone is able to do all the work of finding a buyer.  If you have more time or live in a big city, option A (craig’s list) might also be a good bet.  But make sure you have a good dose of patience!

3.  Find a good listing on eBay and model yours after that one
I’ll write that in the next blog post.  Stay tuned… 

Quickly search your bookmarks using the Google Chrome address bar

Below is an easy way to search your google bookmarks using the chrome address bar.  I have tried all kinds of things when it comes to putting organizing the bookmarks in my web browser.   Now I no longer categorize my bookmarks, I just google them as follows!

Go to Chrome > Settings > Search > Manage Search Engines

1. Find the Search Engine entry for: Chrome Bookmarks

2. Change the Keyword to: b

3. Change the URL to: chrome://bookmarks/?#q=%s

With this in place, you can now quickly search through by typing and then adding a space.

What searching through your bookmarks looks like in Google Chrome

Why I switched from a Dell laptop to a Macbook Air

My name is Imran, and I have used a PC for over 15 years.  I loved my computer and was a Guru on using Microsoft Windows.  About 3 months ago, in June of 2012, I decided to switch over to a Macbook Air from my Dell Laptop.  At first it was a little bit tricky to get used to.  But now about 3 months in, I am loving it and never have looked back.

Here’s the whole story:

A friend who was staying with me at the time had just bought one and it looked very cool.  My dell laptop was large and slow, and slowing me down.  I went to buy Best Buy and checked out 3 different HP/Toshiba PCs, trying to find the right one.  Each one I returned after about 3 weeks.  (Side tip: Best buy has great return policies if you want to try out laptops.  You can open and play around with it for up to 30 days and still return it if you’re unsatisfied.)

 

When I went to Bestbuy for a 4th time, I finally caved and decided to try the Macbook Air.  It was about twice as expensive as the PCs I was looking at.   I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, buut here are the top reasons I was thinking at the time:

  • Speed:  The Mac Air is run on an all flash memory hard drive (called an SSD, or Solid State Drive).  This means there is no rotating disk hard drive.  As a result, you hear a lot less clicking, and load time on programs are really snappy.  I watched how my friend would restart his computer and it would boot up in literally 10-15 seconds.  Easy!
  • Integrated Camera / Facetime:  My sister has a mac.  My dad has an iPhone.  My mom has a mac.  I have an iPhone.  Everyone is moving to Apple products.  If you have a Mac, not only do you have a great, high quality camera, but you can easily make FaceTime calls to anyone else on a Mac product.  I am all for Skype and Google Video, but the ability to make a quick call straight from the application was a nice sell for me.
  • Cool factor:  This is obviously not a functional reason.  However, I live in San Francisco, and everyone in tech seems to have a Mac.  When you look at the Air, it is a really slick, shiny, amazingly thin piece of aluminum.  It just feels so hip to have one.  I found I was saying to my self “wow this is a really cool computer” as I looked at it.
  • Portable:  I am not a huge traveller.  I might make a trip every few months.  I go to the coffee shop every once in a while and might need to take my laptop.  I like watching T.V. on the couch and may need to take my laptop over there.  All these small things.  It may seem like not a lot of moving around.  It isn’t.  But when you have a brick of a laptop, just that little bit more inertia make it that much harder to do what you want.  The Air is extremely portable and light.  It is even fun to carry because it looks so cool.  And when I am on the plane, I am so happy I have the very intuitive touchpad on the Mac.  I hated the mouseheads/touchpads on other PCs.  They would never work and I would have to bring an external mouse.  Not anymore!

All of these reasons still stand.  The speed is still the best part.  I would probably now downgrade the importance of facetime and upgrade the importance of Portable.  In another blog post I will discuss the reasons for keeping one that I discovered after getting my Air.

What is the Nimda Worm Virus and How Can I Fix It?

What is it?

Officially called W32/Nimda@MM, The “Nimda” worm (formed by spelling Admin backwards), is infecting a large number of people on the Internet.  Though the virus can spread quickly, its threat is not too great.  Its main objective is to slow down Internet traffic; it does not perform anything malicious on computers such as corrupt files.  Also, it affects only PC users who are running the Windows Operating System.  It is, however, a clever virus, and can spread numerous ways:

1)  Anyone who opens or even previews an e-mail with the infected file attached is automatically infected.  If the computer user uses Microsoft Outlook, the virus will send itself to everyone in that user’s Address Book.

2)  The virus can attack “back doors” in web servers, and possibly even get into webpages.  If a computer user visits one of these infected webpages, they too will be infected

3)  If one machine on a network is infected, this computer will look for other systems that it has access to and infect them also.

How do I know if I Have the virus?

First, if you are a Macintosh user, you cannot get infected.  Only PC’s running any version of Microsoft’s Windows Operating System are vulnerable.  Now, to determine what virus patch you need, follow these steps:

– Go to the start menu and click run, then type in: winver
This screen will tell you which operating system your computer is running.  Proceed to the next section to find out what to do.

How can I Fix or Protect My Computer?

If you are a home user who has the Windows 95, 98, ME or XP Home Operating System, follow these steps:

Click Here to go to the Microsoft Site where your patch is listed.  The next screen will ask you what version of Internet Explorer you have.  To determine this, click on the Help menu in Internet Explorer, and choose About.  If your version of Internet Explorer version is 6.0, then you need not worry about the patch because you are already protected.

Once you have clicked on the appropriate link based on which version of IE you have, click the “Download Now” button or the “Security Update” hyperlink on the screen that comes up.

On the next screen, make sure that the bubble for “Save this program to a disk” is marked, as shown below:

Then click OK and select a directory in which you want to download the file (make sure you remember which directory you select!).

After the download is complete, go to My Computer and browse to the directory where you downloaded the file and double-click it to open it. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the installation. Once the installation is complete, restart your computer (goto Start Menu, click Shut Down, and select the “Restart” option.)

If you are an business user who has the Windows NT, 2000, or XP Professional Operating System, follow these steps:

1)  See Step 1 from the home user section above.

2)  For extra protection, you may wish to download the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor.  This will help ensure that your system is securely configured

If you are a Network System Administrator with Servers running Windows NT, 2000, or XP follow these steps:

1)  First, download the patch that protects your system from the “Web Server Folder Traversal” vulnerability, and which also guards the backdoor exploited by the Code Red VirusClick Here to download your particular fix.

2)  For extra protection, you may wish to download the Microsoft Personal Security Advisor.  This will help ensure that your system is securely configured.

———

After the computer is finished restarting, you are completely protected from the virus and your system is clean of the worm. Congratulations. Now you don’t have to be a part of the media hype, so just sit back, relax, and watch those other ignorant ones suffer… If would like to be a good, considerate citizen, you can send an e-mail to your friends about this site; the address is www.isaleh.com/Nimda

There’s your good deed for the day, it’s as easy as that. And in addition, won’t your boss be happy that one of his own subjects is doing something beneficial for the company? Oh yes…

Thank you for visiting this page. Please Click Here to give me some feedback on this tutorial and if you get a chance, check out my main page atwww.isaleh.com

Ahh yes, and if you just want to make sure that you weren’t affected by the last big virus that hit (Code Red Worm), click here to go check out my tutorial on that one.

And here are some additional resources that you can check to complement this page:

Microsoft – Info on Nimda Virus

CERT Coordination Center

Aladdin

Alwil

Central Command

Computer Associates

Command

F-Secure

Kaspersky Labs

Panda Software

Network Associates

Norman

Sophos

Symantec Security Response

Trend Micro

Happy virus cleaning!

AOL Member Profile Maker

This is the place to spruce up your AOL Profile.  Add fantastic colors, different fonts and sizes, hyperlinks, and lots of other cool stuff! To make a cool profile that’s in whatever color and font that you want, you have to make your profile in HTML. I know that sounds hard but just bear with me. I made my cool profile by doing the following steps. It takes about 20 minutes, but the end result is really neat. You can email me if you any questions at imransaleh@aol.com. Please visit my web page too, in fact you can do it right now and your browser will open it in a new window so you can continue looking at this page. Click Here. Special Thanks to Sumehra for giving me the directions on how to make my profile. Please Remember, Copy the Html tags exactly as I give them to you, and include all periods and spaces that I do. These directions were lasted updated 08/20/01 , so these directions should be up-to-date with the current AOL format!

Now Here’s the Directions…

1) Get onto AOL and go to Keyword: My Profile

2) Click on Create or Modify “My Profile”

Now to the Html…

 

Background Color

The first thing you have to do is to get a background color for your profile, which you do by typing in an Html “tag.” The “<” character you will see often in these tags is made by pressing Shift+Comma and the “>” you will see is made by Shift+Period. To get your background color you have to type this tag into the Member Name field of your profile.  The HTML tag for background is:

< body . bgcolor=#000000>

The “#000000” here represents the color black.   If you want your background to be a different color, click here to go to a chart of over 140 colors, find the code of the color your want, and put it in this tag instead of #000000.  For example, I have  light blue as the color of my background, so I use the tag:

< body . bgcolor=#0099ff>

—-

Colors

This tag assigns your text a certain color.  The tag is:

< font . color=#xxxxxx>

xxxxxx here represents the hex code for a specific color (i.e., #000000 is equal to the color black). Again, if you want your text to be a different color, go to the my color chart page, find the code of the color your want, and put it in this tag instead of #000000

My text is the default color, black, so I didn’t have to worry about this tag

—–

Fonts

To determine which font your text will be, use this tag:

< font . face=”xxxxxx”>

“xxxxxx” here represents the font name i.e., Arial.  Make sure you get the full name, like for Comic Sans (the font on this page) I had to put Comic Sans MS, not just plain old Comic Sans.

Note: While you may have a font on your system, another user viewing your profile may not, so try to cut down on the bezerk fonts….

—–

Font Sizes

This next tag is only if you want a really goofy profile. I would suggest sticking with the normal size font and not have to worry about using this tag. If you use too many tags, you’ll run out of space. But anyways…to assign a font size to a string of text, use the following tag.

< font . ptsize=xx> 

xx represents the point size of the font used (i.e., The point size of this web page’s font is 14).

My font size was the normal font size (12) so I didn’t have to put in a font tag

—–

Text Highlight

If you would like to highlight your text like I am doing here, use the following code

< font . color=#xxxxxx back=#xxxxxx>

xxxxxx represents the hex code for a specific color (i.e., #000000 is equal to the color black). The color tag is the print color and back is the background color of that text. Once again, a color chart may be found at this page.  In the example I gave above in blue and yellow, I used the color tags #3333ff, which is blue, and #ffff33, which is yellow. So, if you want to highlight your text like I did above, you would use the tag:

< font . color=#3333ff back=#ffff33>

—-

Mixing Tags

Say that in your profile, you want your Member Name Field to be in red and in large font while you want your interests to be a smaller font and in blue.  Well, you can achieve this by mixing tags.  One you insert a color tag, for example, your text stays that color until you insert a tag for a different color.  Here’s an example:  I will insert two tags into my profile like so: 

< font . face=”Pencil” ptsize=14 color=#810541>My name is Imran.< font . face=”Arial” ptsize=12 color=#000000>I wear blue socks

The above would make the text “My name is Imran” in the Pencil Font with a point size of 14 in maroon, and then the text “I wear blue socks” and beyond would be in Arial, in 12 point font in black. Get it?

Other Text Features

Bold – to start it use:   <b>
To end it use:   </b>

Italic – to start it use:   <i>
To end it use:   </i>

Underline – to start it use:   <u>
To end it use:   </u>

—-

Text Justification

If you want your text centered, or on either side of your profile, use the following tags:

For normal text that starts on the right side, (this is the default setting) use: 

< p . align=right>

For a left justification, where text is positioned to the left side, use:

< p . align=left>

For centered text, use

< p . align=center>

As always, you can mix these tags for multi-aligned text. For example, if one field was centered and you wanted the next field to be right justified, you would start the first field with the centered tag, and then put the right justify tag in the beginning of the the next field.

—–

Links

Use the following tag to create a link. I’ll give an example that could be used to link to my personal web page, which is http://www.isaleh.com:

< a . href=”http://www.isaleh.com”>Imran’s Web Page< /a .>

Replace the “http://www.isaleh.com” with your website address, and the Imran’s Web Page with the name of your web site.  The above tag would come at as:

Imran’s Web Page

Note: You may need to reinsert the font tag to get the text color back to the original color after you insert the HTML tag. 

—–

OK! We are done with the HTML! Now you can fill in the rest of your profile just like you normally would and it will look all cool! Even though there is all the Html in the member name field, you can still type in there, just make sure it is in the right place relative to the tags, as in, keep the text you want after the HTML tags.  If you aren’t mixing tags, I’d suggest to stick as much HTML tags in the “Member Name” field as possible, then you  won’t have to worry about it for the rest of your profile. You’ll have to keep your text short too, because there is limited space. 

Now You Are Finally Set!

Give me comments, questions, suggestions, corrections, and additions here or e-mail me at imransaleh@aol.com. If you want to check out my color profile, my AOL screen name is imransaleh.  You can IM me or e-mail me about anything.

Please continue your visit to my real web page now 🙂 Click Here

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