Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Beginning

The walk down from the university convocation center tired him. He sat on the neatly laid out bed with a fresh white bedspread covering it. The incessant design on the spread threw up a bright flowery pattern. It seemed to him lately that everything around his world threw up a pattern. A pattern that came and went from his mind’s eye, rechotting off his memory walls into the vast emptiness of eternity. A memory so distasteful, he hated to recollect but this very memory is the core of his existence, the purpose of his life – the reason why Allah still kept him away from the FBI dragnet.

The mobile phone started to ring. He waited for three rings and picked up the phone, “Hello” he said softly into the sleek Nokia 9290 communicator. “You will be glad to know that phase II of the project has been successfully executed. Phase four is on its way” We plan to finish it exactly 10 days before the holy month of Ramzan starts”, the voice spoke softly from the other side of the line. “ Excellent, keep up the pace, I do not want to hear any crap about technical snags in the last moment” breathed Abdulla. “We won’t give you an opportunity”. The phone went off with a small delightful click. “Technology” thought Abdulla. “We will pay them in their own terms – with compound interest”.

Abdulla picked up the satellite phone receiver and voiced in an access code. The screen flickered, and a password text field appeared. He punched in four numbers and waited. The console displayed, “Validating access code”. “Access granted, establishing contact. Type in the contact code”, instructed the console. The line at the other end remained silent. After exactly three seconds, Abdulla pressed in the contact codes. The line immediately came alive and Abdulla spoke in Arabic. “The third phase is underway”. ‘Hope its worth the money invested in the project. We seek infinite justice”, the voice at other end spoke in fluctuating decibels, result of a satisfying, long drawn ejaculation. “ And justice shall be done” convinced Abdulla. The line went dead.

It was 2:00 PM in the afternoon and Abdulla decided to go to the university library. Lately he seemed to spend a lot of time in the library, talking to other Arab students at his class, holding court, justifying the cause, clearing doubts and scheming. He shut the two windows in the dorm and looked in the direction of the apartment across the street. The room seemed empty. “Julia must have gone out”, he figured. He picked up his mobile, squeezed his feet into the pair of Nike, closed the door behind him and stood still. Everything seemed normal. The siren of a police car broke the stillness of the calm outside. He skipped a heart beat. He relaxed. “It OK, just a routine petrol cruiser” he calmed himself and walked calmly towards the elevator.

Once on the pavement, Abdulla became one of them – the milling, thronging, briskly walking New Yorkers, another face in the crowd, another student, another middle eastern youth, clean shaven, big eyes with thick eyelashes and full lips – another Arab, nicknamed “The Angel”, with another mission in the name of Allah to attain eternal peace.

As he entered the university area, he could almost visualize in his mind’s eye the burning, collapsing steel, towering giant structures being reduced to mangled pieces of wreckage, the smell of destruction, the human limbs entwined in the debris – the attack on the world trade towers- exactly a year before, the event that gave his fellow brothers the supreme opportunity to attain the ultimate martyrdom and they are now resting in peace in heaven. He would have been one of them by now, if he had not been ordered at the last moment to stay behind and coordinate the mopping up operation before slithering out of the United States and back to Kabul. He was elated and felt that finally the time had come when these white vermin would be wiped off from the face of the earth and the will of Allah shall prevail upon the world.

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Resolving PDF Problems!

You need to send that PDF file by close of business to your product manager/SME and the file won't just print. What do you do?

Listed here is a set of common PDF issues and solutions:

Pain: When you right-click a Microsoft Office file to convert to Adobe PDF, the application returns the message, "Missing PDFMaker files," and does not create an Adobe PDF file.

Solution: Remove Adobe PDF from the Disabled Items list in the Microsoft Office application.
To manage your Disabled Items list in a Microsoft Office application:
1. Open the Microsoft Office application (Word, Excel, Publisher).
2. Choose Help > About [the application name].
3. Click Disabled Items.
4. Select Adobe PDF from the list, and clickEnable.
5. Quit the Microsoft Office application, and then restart it.

If the error message continues to appear after you enable Adobe PDF, then check the security level for macros in Word:
1. Choose Tools > Macro > Security.
2. In the Security dialog, click the Security tab.
3. Choose Medium or High.
4. Do one of the following:
-- If you chose Medium, then click OK.
-- If you chose High, then continue with steps 5 through 7.
5. Click the Trusted Publishers tab.
6. Check Trust all installed add-ins and templates.
7. Click OK.

PDFMaker and the right-click context menu should function again.

For more, see http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/microsites/microsite.do

Pain: Images look fine in MS Word, but after converting to PDF, image quality is poor.

Solution: Save your image in JPG or TIFF format and embed the image into your Word document to publish using Adobe PDF printer. PNGs are not suitable for word to PDF conversion, TIFFS work much better. Use high quality print setting while converting to PDF. Also, standardize the resolution settings of your desktop (1024*768) and the DPI setting in your screen capture software.

Watch this space for more!

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