Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

August 8, 2009

Mail forwarding to Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 12:35 pm

I’ve been using Aramex for a long time but I finally decided to switch to MyUS instead. Now I’ve been with them for over a year and they are a superior service when it comes to forwarding items to Saudi Arabia.

I’ve reviewed MyUS and their “personal shopper” service (excellent with sites such as newegg) on Saudi TechView. Feel free to check them out.

March 3, 2009

Buy tea online: Adagio and Tea Gschwendner

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 1:21 pm

Sometimes you will probably not find the tea that you want at any of the local “Tea Gschwendner” branches in Saudi Arabia. You might find the tea that you want but discover that it is much cheaper online!

I will talk about two online tea stores online, the first is Tea Gschwendner’s, they offer a wide selection of teas. Their prices on most items is almost the same as the Saudi Arabia branch. But sometimes you will find something that’s overpriced in Saudi Arabia ($60 compared to $30 online). You could make the order and ship it using myus or Aramex.

The other store is Adagio, they have a variety of teas as well. They can ship internationally or to your myus or aramex account.

adagio

Another good site that I recommend is Teaviews which is a dedicated tea review website! They have sections for Tea Gschwendner and Adagio. They also list many online stores that I will probably try soon.

February 28, 2009

Track your shipments using Twitter

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 11:44 am

Tracking multiple shipments can be a pain. I usually use a Mac OS X Dashboard widget named Delivery Status. But I also found about an interesting method to track shipments using Twitter!

trackthis

First of all you need a Twitter account. Follow @trackthis, it will auto follow you immediatly. While you are at it, follow us @sauditech to receive website updates. Then send a direct message to @trackthis in this format:

d trackthis 123456789123 New PC

Where the number is the UPS, Fedex, USPS, DHL, etc tracking number and the text after that is the label for that shipments. Now you will receive direct messages from @trackthis whenever there is a change in the delivery status. You can learn more about trackthis at their website. They also offer tracking using a Facebook application or though an e-mail message.

February 27, 2009

Build the Perfect PC! Step by step guide

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 7:29 pm

I enjoy building my own PCs, it’s the only way to go in my opinion. Never buy a Dell/HP desktop when you can build one yourself. There is a joy in DIY (do it yourself). Hopefully this post will be helpful to you!

Maximum PC posted a feature on how to build the “Perfect PC”. I will link to the individual sections:

Next is the best part, actually building the computer. The steps are fairly basic and you mainly need a Philips screwdriver. Just follow these easy steps.

Then if you really, really, really want to, you can overclock your machine to increase the performance. Here’s what you need to know about overclocking. And for each CPU: Core 2 overclocking, Core i7 overclocking and AMD overclocking.

How to buy the hardware? Most of it can be (hopefully) found in the local computer stores. In Riyadh you can find them at the “Computer Haraj” in Olaya. Softland carries most of these hardware since they import them directly to Saudi Arabia. But they are not cheap. The other solution is ordering it online and ship it using Aramex (Crapamex) or myus.

February 23, 2009

Western Digital 2TB Hard Drive

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 10:49 am

If you need the maximum amount of storage in a single 3.5″ hard drive then you can now get the Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB (that’s almost 2,000GB or 2,000,000MB or 2,000,000,000KB or even 2,000,000,000,000 Bytes!).

The Caviar Green “focuses on quiet performance and lower power consumption. The 2TB Caviar Green has four 500GB platters spinning at variable rates between 5,400 and 7,200rpm, with a 32MB cache, and an areal density per platter of 400Gb/square inch”. This is probably not your operating system hard drive but it’s better to hold all your data.

t2b1_sm

Maximum PC, my favorite hardware review magazine, reviewed the Western Digital Caviar Green 2TB and they gave it a 9/10 score. With it being the “Highest-capacity consumer drive on the market”, “Low power consumption” and Quietness as strong points.

How to buy it in Saudi Arabia?

Since it’s a Western Digital hard drive then you will probably find it at their dealer in Saudi Arabia, Nahil Computers hopefully soon. If not then try your luck at Softland. Or just buy it from NewEgg or Amazon and ship it using myUS or Aramex.

February 20, 2009

Good deal on a 500GB portable drive

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 10:19 am

I bought a couple of LaCie Little Disk 500 GB USB 2.0 Portable Hard Drive, Designed by Sam Hecht. They cost me $99 + myus shipping (400 SR, you can buy a 320GB WD for 399SR in Saudi Arabia). What I appreciated about this hard drive is that the USB cable is built into the enclosure so I won’t need to carry additional cable clutter.

lacie-sam-hecht

I did not find it in Riyadh computer stores until now. It will probably take a few more weeks until it is available in Saudi Arabia. I bought it from Amazon.com and had it shipped using myus.

January 18, 2009

Logitech in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 1:40 pm

Read more about Logitech in Saudi Arabia at Saudi Techview.

Currently, Logitech’s only distributor in Saudi Arabia is “Mishaal Alsudairy Office for Commercial Services”. Again with Saudi Arabia technology sites: bad design, redirects to another URL mso.dinpl.com and outdated information (Gitex Riyadh 2007).

You can buy Logitech devices from Jarir Book Store (a book store not selling books? no comment from me there!) but they are overpriced. The other method is to just buy from Amazon and ship using Aramex or myus.

Apparently Logitech was looking for a new distributor in Saudi Arabia according to ITP: Logitech set to appoint new Saudi distributon but that was as old as May 28, 2007 and no new updates.

“We are currently looking at the possibilities of expanding our distribution channel to get closer to the market there as the retail sector is developing so much,” said Robert Van Der Vegte, director Benelux and MEA at Logitech. “Saudi Arabia is the second biggest market in the region so it is time now for us to seriously and professionally go after that market,” he said.

It’s been over a year, Mr. Robert. Have you found a new Logitech distributor in Saudi Arabia already?

Do you use Logitech devices? Feel free to share your experience on their hardware.

July 3, 2008

Aramex raises their shop & ship prices for the 4th time

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 2:29 am

I got an email from Aramex saying that they will increase their Aramex Shop & Ship service (its a mail forwarding service, you get a mailing address in the US and they ship to you) shipping rates. This is the 4th time that happened while I was a customer.

Their original prices were $15 for the first half kilogram (or 1 pound, they were never clear on what weight unit they use) and $5 for each additional half kilogram. Then they raised it to $6 after a few months notice. Then they raised it to $7 and then $7.50 without notifications at all. And finally 10 days before the end of June they emailed me telling me that they are raising the price once again to 35SR which is $9! And they only had a 10 day notification.

This happened just after Aramex changed their logo! A full waste of money. Aramex wasted their money on a new logo and they want us to pay for it. But in reality, the raising fuel price does affect it, but when the fuel prices get reduced. Will they reduce their shipping rates?

I am tied up with their system because I have many magazine subscriptions but I am making all my future orders from Access USA a superior service according to many people that I talked to that use that service. I will get some opinions regarding it and share it soon. For now avoid Aramex at all costs!

Everyone is complaining about it, in Kuwait, UAE and the rest of the middle east at this Arabic hardware forum and here as well.

June 22, 2008

O’Reilly Computer Books in Saudi Arabia

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 6:32 pm

As a geek, I appreciate a good computer book, but the lack of computer books in Saudi Arabia is frustrating.

I can only blame it on the lack of interest. And what I never found here are books by O’reilly Media and searching online will only show results with the other “O’reilly”. You can still find computer books in Saudi Arabia although some are limited and old. Your choices are:

1.BST Electrical with a very bad site design. That store used to import all the computer books in Saudi Arabia (but no O’Reilly) but lately they switched activity to selling computer accessories.

2.Jarir Bookstore not just a bookstore. In fact, information about books on their site is missing!

3.Alshegrey Bookstore but the site is … for sale. Saudi companies are too young to use the Internet! Old reviews for that site.

4.Obeikan Bookshops but their site’s English section is still down though.

This will not do, the only alternative is buy your books online which is what I always do. Even with the high shipping rates the fact is that there are no other method. If you have an Aramex Shop & Ship account then you can easily buy books and have them shipped to you. Let’s help by “Spreading the knowledge of innovators”.

December 24, 2005

Ordering books online after a long time

Filed under: General — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 5:12 pm

Its been a while since I last bought some books, and the local bookstores with decent computer books (mainly Jarir and KSB) have nothing interesting, so I bought the following books, I will try to review them once I get them.

Amazon International shipping will cost me $95, but with Aramex Shop’n’Ship service, estimate of $85, saved some money there , still not enough, though.

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