Archive for December, 2009

Sofa Love

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

A couple of months before T2F was due to open, i.e. May 2007, I started looking for Point of Sale software for the Mac. PoS programs for Windows abound but even the mighty Google wouldn’t throw up any results for the Mac. Someone actually said finding PoS software for the Mac is like looking for teeth in a chicken’s mouth – or something ridiculous like that. Not very encouraging. Anyway, the horrifying thought of having to use Windows made me psychotic and the search continued.

checkout.jpgI finally stumbled upon Checkout by a cool little company called Sofa. I knew them as the developers of Disco, a disc burning application which had gotten a lot of flak from the old-guard Mac community for being nothing but eye candy. But anyway, Checkout looked fantastic and did everything we needed and more. However, the US$ 400 price tag was daunting so I wrote a beseeching note to the Sofa guys and told them about PeaceNiche and what we were planning to do and requested a discount. One of the founders wrote back immediately and offered a 30% discount. I was thrilled. The next day he wrote again and said that he and the other boys had discussed our case and wanted to give us a 50% discount. I was gob-smacked.

Checkout is a beautiful piece of software with all the polish of a Mac app. Beneath the prettiness, lies a robust point of sale application, packed with features, reports, and functionality that a retail environment needs. I especially love the Import Products feature that works like a charm. Very useful when you need to input hundreds of book titles.

Moving on … T2F 2.0 is on two floors and we’re having trouble with one Point of Sale station. So, I wrote to my Sofa friends again to ask about a second license and whether there were any chances of a discount 😀 The company has now been acquired, is much bigger, and they have a dedicated support team so I had no expectations. I got a response immediately and the support gentleman said we could get a second license at 50% off, just like the last time. I just couldn’t believe it. So, I stayed up a couple of nights and did some graphic design work worth $200 and paid for another license of Checkout yesterday. Super excited. I still cannot get over how supportive the Sofa team have been and will remain devoted to them forever.

If anyone would like to see a demo of Checkout and how it works on the network and with receipt printers, please let me know. I’d love to show it off 🙂

Thank you Sofa!


Participatory Rural Development in Pakistan

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Join OUP and T2F for an Evening with Mahmood Hasan Khan

Sunday, 3rd January 2010 | 6:00 pm

prdp.jpgThe nine Rural Support Programs featured in Mahmood Hasan Khan’s book have helped organise over a million rural households into participatory organizations with nearly two million members. Discover the stories of ordinary men and woman who have made a demonstrable difference in their communities through participatory rural support programs.

About Mahmood Hasan Khan

Mahmood Hasan Khan is Emeritus Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Canada. He has been a keen student and researcher of different aspects of agricultural and rural development, particularly in Pakistan, for over 40 years. The author has published thirty-five articles in professional journals and seven books, and co-authored five books. His well-known titles are: The Role of Agriculture in Economic Development (1966); The Economics of the Green Revolution in Pakistan (1975); Underdevelopment and Agrarian Structure in Pakistan (1981); Climbing the Development Ladder (1998); and Agriculture in Pakistan (2006). Mahmood Hasan Khan has worked as a consultant for international organisations, including OECD, ILO, FAO, IMF, UNDP, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Islamic Development Bank, and several public and private sector organisations in and outside Pakistan.

This event is brought to you by Oxford University Press

Date: Sunday, 3rd January, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


The Long Partition

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Join OUP and T2F for an Evening with Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar

Friday, 1st January 2010 | 6:00 pm

“By the Long Partition my purpose is to emphasize that 1947 was only the beginning of what was necessarily a long, drawn-out process of dividing a territory and its people into two distinct nation-states. Although there has been a lot of argument over why partition took place, we have not paid enough attention to understanding the historical process of partitioning itself.”

Join us at T2F to find out more about Vazira’s views on the making of modern South Asia

About Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar

vazira.jpgVazira is interested in cross-border and interdisciplinary histories for rethinking a divided South Asia, as well as the politics of violence and its impact on history-writing itself. Her first book, The Long Partition and the Making of Modern South Asia: Refugees, Boundaries, Histories, was published by Columbia University Press in 2007, and Indian and Pakistani editions of the book came out in 2008. At present she is working on the history of archaeology on the northwest frontier of British India, on the borderlands with Afghanistan, and her two sons are globe-trotting with her to archives in South Asia and Britain.

Zamindar moved from the Netherlands to Brown in 2006, and teaches courses in the history of colonialism and nationalism in South Asia, including the Partition of 1947 and Gandhi.

This event is brought to you by Oxford University Press

Date: Friday, 1st January, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.


Salman Hameed Rocks!

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Salman Hameed, astronomer and Assistant Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, inaugurated T2F 2.0 with an animated talk on “Humans in the Cosmos”. He had also asked the Amastropak people to bring along a telescope – which was set up on the street for people to check out the rings of Jupiter.

Salman is the ultimate diplomat and answers questions very gracefully 😀 I managed to capture just a tiny clip during the extensive Q&A session:

Check out Salman’s post on his Science & Religion blog, “Irtiqa”, where he writes about fielding questions after public lectures.

Jehan Ara has written a detailed post about her experience at the first Science Ka Adda session held at the new T2F. Read all about it on her blog, “In the Line of Wire”.

Thank you Salman, for being so generous with your time and for making science come alive. I wish everyone could have teachers like you.


Welcome Back T2F

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Karachi: 24th December 2009

After a long, hard wait — eight-and-a-half-months to be precise — t2f is back. Version 2.0, as the owners and founder members prefer to call it, is located a few blocks away from its previous site, and from all accounts, is an upgrade on the last version.

Ahmed Yusuf Reports for The News



T2F 2.0 Featured in the dawn.com Media Gallery

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Karachi: 24th December 2009

View a slideshow of photographs taken on T2F 2.0’s opening day
Photos and Text by Eefa Khalid and Mariam Anwar



The Cosmos at T2F

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Karachi: 24th December 2009

skacosmos.jpgI was never very good at Physics and Geography. My favourite subjects were Maths, Chemistry, History and English, and because I found these subjects interesting, I was good at them. I think I would have enjoyed Physics and Geography too but for the teachers I had, who were never able to bring the subjects to life for me.

Read Jehan Ara’s Full Post on “In the Line of Wire”



Network: A Wakeup Call from the Grips of TV Land

Friday, December 25th, 2009

Karachi: June 2009

network.jpgIn a seeming challenge to those working in Pakistan’s media, Karachi’s, ‘The Second Floor’ cafe offered up a screening of, ‘Network’ – a 1970’s classic which offers a satirical glimpse into the dark, unseen fantasy world of those who run prime time news in the U.S.

Jahanzaib Haque Reports for The Friday Times



T2F 2.0 Is Real!

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Whew!!

The last few months have been hideous. A number of times, I very seriously considered kissing the idea of T2F goodbye, cutting my losses, and walking away. But every single day, since T2F 1.0 closed, someone or the other would call or e-mail or send a text inquiring about T2F 2.0. Each time that happened, I’d get back into DO OR DIE mode. So, even though I growled at many of you when you’d ask that dreaded question, i.e. “When will T2F reopen?”, in my heart, I was thrilled that you cared enough to ask.

happycoffeestain.jpgI went into quiet mode and stopped sending e-mails and writing blog posts because I didn’t want to whine and complain about how everything that could possibly go wrong was going wrong. There’s enough crap in everyone’s lives as it is. I wanted to wait until I had something positive to say.

So, finally, after all the uncertainty and chaos, we have a date: 22nd December 2009. We started shifting into the new space 5 days ago and still have lots of stuff to figure out. Inspired by the web apps community, we are in beta testing mode for now but hopefully we won’t take 5 years to come out of beta like Gmail did 😀

We don’t know what our opening hours will be, we don’t have KESC-supplied electricity in the building yet, we’re in debt up to our ears, we’re exhausted, but we’re alive, mad as ever, and raring to GO!

Can’t wait to see everyone again!


Science Ka Adda: Humans in the Cosmos

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Join us at T2F as we explore how 400 years of telescopes have changed the way we look at ourselves

Tuesday, 22nd December 2009 | 6:30 pm

iya_logo_thumb.jpgThere is perhaps no instrument other than the telescope that has so changed fundamental perceptions about humanity and its place in the universe. Galileo, 400 years ago, pointed his telescope skywards and saw an imperfect universe – with blotches on the Sun and craters on the Moon. But his telescope also opened up a universe of objects invisible to the naked eye – such as the moons of Jupiter and the rings of Saturn. This was only the start of our journey. Since the time of Galileo, our telescopes have unveiled newborn stars shrouded in gas and dust, planets around other stars, gaseous nebulae containing the building blocks of life, comets crashing into planets, and a universe consisting of hundreds of billions of galaxies.

In this exciting Science Ka Adda session, Salman Hameed will highlight key discoveries, from Galileo and Herschel to the Palomar Observatory and the current Hubble Space Telescope, that have had the biggest impact on the way we look at ourselves and construct our place in the universe.

About Salman Hameed

salman_hameed.jpgSalman Hameed is an astronomer and Assistant Professor of Integrated Science and Humanities at Hampshire College, Massachusetts. Currently, he is working on understanding the rise of creationism in the contemporary Islamic world and how Muslims view the relationship between science and religion. He is also working with historian Tracy Leavelle at Creighton University to analyze reconciliation efforts between astronomers and Native Hawaiians over telescopes on top of sacred Mauna Kea in Hawaii. His astronomy research focuses on star formation in spiral galaxies. He has taught “History and Philosophy of Science & Religion” with philosopher Laura Sizer, “Science in the Islamic World” and astronomy courses such as “Introduction to Astrophysics” and “Search for Life in the Universe”.

Visit Salman’s Science & Religion Blog: Irtiqa

Date: Tuesday, 22nd December, 2009
Time: 6:30 pm
Minimum Donation: Anything you like. Please support our vision of intellectual poverty alleviation by donating generously.
Venue: PeaceNiche | T2F
Address | Map

Seats are limited and will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. No reservations.