Ashraf is back.

Hello Friends,

First and foremost let me say thanks to everyone that expressed concern and curiosity about my lack of activity for the past 6-7 days. You see I was out of town for the past 6-7 days (although it was not necessarily a vacation but rather more of a religious obligation). So, secondly, let me apologize for not giving everyone a heads up prior to the fact. In retrospect I should have given everyone sort sort of info before just disappearing.

I am indeed back and in fine health alhumdulilah. I just got home so inshAllah I will continue reviews (GOTD or otherwise) and other postings tomorrow.

Take care,
Geek of dotTech

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  • MikeR

    Isn’t there a problem with “only providing reviews” of GOTD offerings that reach a certain standard. . .?

    Because if you don’t first spend time downloading, exhaustively testing, considering and then deciding, any conclusion is pretty much worthless.

    Surely, far better would be to ignore the sheer volume of me-too apps on GOTD and simply look out for those of known provenance, from software publishers with a known track record. Or those which appear to have a Unique Selling Point.

    GOTD enthusiasts could then, perhaps, learn to think for themselves, because Google is a resource that — to judge from some of the comments on GOTD — is accessed but rarely.

    My experience has been that the best software products to be highlighted on here in the past 12 months haven’t been GOTD offerings anyway.

    So if dot tech never ran another GOTD review, it wouldn’t matter to me: this will always be one of the most articulate, honest and good-humoured tecchie blogs anywhere in cyberspace.

    And I’m sure Ashraf won’t mind me saying that isn’t the only such site I have icon’d in my Links Bar for instant access: Gizmo, Windows Secrets, Raymond and Techquest are all there alongside. No reason others can’t do likewise.

  • Your reviews are on point and much appreciated. However, I recognize the burden of the reviews and offer a set of unsolicited ideas/suggestions.
    1. all Giveaway of the Day Followers continue their reviews on that main site
    2. DotTech provides a ‘written’ review for only those apps that meet a minimum standard i.e. Recommended and higher (your personal reviews and recommendations have been superb and I literally check your review and decide immediately Download or Skip) – I would offer that this should reduce go to press efforts 50%)
    3. Option: For those not meeting your review min standard – maybe a one liner is enough like “freeware alternates match or beat features” or “Use Clumsy” or “Does not meet stated features”
    4. Always – Always offer your alternates

    Thank you, BobK

  • MikeR

    The spread of language is all to the good. And different salutations are of inestimable value in breaking down barriers and ending geographic and cultural isolationism.

    My problem as an England-located, English speaker is exactly the same as that which faces a non-English speaker: I just wish, sometimes, there’d be a quick translation of some of the phrases or words occasionally used.

    Just as once upon a time, many of us in western Europe still hadn’t a clue what ciao or gracias meant, so too today: there’ve been messages on here from non-Western posters who have worked really, really hard — and succeeded — to communicate, and many’s the time I’ve wanted to reply with a sign-off salutation in keeping with their own.

    Except: I’m too dumb to know what to say. So if anyone can help in future, that’d be great!

    Meantime, to everyone here, wherever you are in the world, and whatever your home language happens to be, best wishes to you & yours for a healthy and happy 2010.

  • Ozzie

    @Pete: Actually, that’s precisely what you said. Please just bear in mind that comments like that can be construed as being offensive and negatively Western-centric. Although English is the language of this site, English is not the native language of many dotTechies. We speak in all tongues – and a lot of us speak more than one language. So what is strange about that? We live in sensitive times – and such comments can rub the wrong way. If people were saying “ciao” or “gracias”, would the same statement have been made? That’s all I’m saying. Period.

  • Syed Anjaan

    Welcome Back :)

  • tarzan007

    great to see u back!!

  • Cryptics

    Welcome back.. you were definitely missed a lot here. :)

  • J&T

    WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Welcome back!!!

  • stockel1949

    Glad to see you back

  • Pete

    No, I’m not ignorant, I know Middle Eastern…ish is not a language (or in the dictionary), and I wasn’t saying that.
    I just thought it was a bit strange when everything else on this site is in English. Period.

  • skybright

    Welcome back…you were very much missed!!!

  • Jyo

    Nice to hear it was nothing serious.

  • Cornell

    Good to hear you are back.

  • Rita

    Welcome back!…we were all worried about you. What a relief to know you are back safe & sound.

  • Mike

    Welcome back! Glad everything is OK!

  • kasish

    Hope you had a good rest , and thought long and hard about our ……………

  • Someguy

    Great that your back!

  • MerryMarjie

    A day without mail from Ashraf is disappointing! Welcome back and Happy New Year to you!

  • Ozzie

    @Pete: What a strange – and might I say unnecessary – comment. It’s called the worldwide web. We come from all parts of the world. These are terms of respect (and not just in the Middle East). Would you prefer blanket god-bless Americanisms?

    PS. The “Middle East” is not some amorphous mass. And “Middle Eastern” is not a language, as in “middle eastern expressions”.

    Sheesh, when will we be beyond this type of rubbish?

  • Allenox

    Next time, bring a laptop! Happy Holidays, Ashraf!

  • Ryan

    Glad you are back Ashraf. We are all dead worried about you. I have been coming back to dotTech every day afew times to look out for you. Glad that you are safe and sound. Take care Brother.

  • Pete

    What’s up with all these middle eastern expressions?

  • Alalata

    Good to see back Ashraf, and Merry Christmas.

  • Bruce Fraser

    Merry Christmas (in my tradition), and the same in your tradition.

  • rachana






  • I have never commented/and or given a response on this site but have followed your reviews for close to a year now. Anyway, it’s high time that I say “thank you” for all your time, work. and dedication you put into your reviews. Where you find the time to do such a thorough job on so many pieces is beyond me!! Many times your info on a certain matters has been a real eye-opener. Keep up the good work and know that there are alot of us out here that have quietly followed what you do and want you to know we appreciate you.

  • David Brookman

    Great to have you back – the gap has been refilled.

  • muhammad

    missed you Ashraf
    takabal ALLAH

  • future hacker

    Good to see you Ashraf! I’d come everyday to DotTech but there were nothing new for a few days…I got worried, I thought it was the end of the world! Why isn’t Ashraf here! WAAAAAA!
    I missed you =P

  • Chris

    Welcome in our computers life. Again with appreciation for your work and the pertinence of your reviews. I have learn so much… Thank you and merry Christmas

  • MikeR

    @ ashraf:

    Glad you’re OK: you had us worried for a minute back there, not least because no software developer I’m aware of has yet created a Virtual Ashraf app for when the real thing seems no longer to be present.

    Best wishes to you & yours and to all dot tecchies everywhere: here’s hoping 2010 will be as happy as it’s healthy — and if it’s prosperous as well, then please post your address details here for receipt of begging letters. . .

  • Alan

    Baruch Atah Adonai and so it ever shall be Deo volente

  • Sandeep

    Thanks Ashraf.

    We really missed you on dottech.

    Hope you had a wonderful time those days.

    Merry Christmas to you and all dottechies.

  • Ozzie

    @jumbi: Hmmm, me thinks we sign him up as a subscriber on “4 Free on the Internet” … that’ll learn him! :) Good to have you back, brother!

  • jumbi

    Someone should open a thread/post about how to punish you for letting us worry so much !

    (very glad you are fine :-)

  • ton

    Nice to see you back.

  • MicroLabrat

    Have a very Merry Christmas Ashraf!

  • Mohammed Sarhan

    Welcome Back
    I really missed you, Ashraf

  • Leforge

    Glad your back..thought you got arrested or something. your reviews were missed..Now back to work!!!!..

  • Helmer

    Shame on you, i almost thought my email subscription was dead :-) Welcome back!

  • David

    Yes – glad you are back safe and sound!

  • John G.

    Glad you are back and hope your trip was a good one.

  • tom

    Glad to hear you are back and everything is fine :)

  • Ron

    Noticed your absence, but wrote it off to Al Hijra. If it was something else, Happy New Year anyway!

  • R Moreau

    Yes……I missed you. Glad to see you are back.

  • Paul

    We missed you. Glad you are back.

  • Ozzie

    Well, at least you know you’re loved! Good to know all is well with you. Welcome back.

  • Ramesh Nair

    Welcome Back Ashraf

  • David Roper

    Welcome home. Glad you are safe.

  • calebstein

    I want more freebies :)

  • Refpeuk

    Great to hear!

    You’ve been missed.

    @haakon: It’s Ashraf’s business what he wants to do.

  • amzai

    Welcome back Ashraf but we are going out for Christmas, and I would like to thank you and everyone in this community for your great contributions (articles and reviews)because some of us are really learning much from you.I think we shall become great geeks like you one day.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

  • haakon

    Next time-PLEASE let “us” know….I am sure a lot of ppl got as worried as me!!!
    Good to know you are back and “safe”!!!!
    Its NOT as much missing your reviews as to wonder “why is he not online”- did something bad happend… LOL

  • Kerry

    Glad everything is ok, Missed ya. Have a great Christmas!

  • ande

    ??? ??? ????, ?????.

  • Orchid

    Welcome back Ashraf! Good to hear you are well.

  • justnakenny

    Right-on, he’s back and in good health.

  • Roland

    Good that you’re back…

  • Rocky

    Welcome back. Sure was quiet around here.

  • Welcome home, brother..

  • RoseD1st

    I wondered where you went!Glad to see you back :)

  • ZionPercona

    Yay, Ashraf is back.

    It seemed empty..