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Sep 11 - 17, 2000

Microsoft Striving to promote IT Education in Pakistan

Microsoft, the worid's leading software provider, in an effort to highlight and promote IT education in Pakistan, supported the National IT Expo 2000, held recently, at the Karachi Marriott Hotel.

The National IT Expo 2000 (NITE 2000), was arranged by KU-ITians, a society of the alumni and students of the Computer Science Department of the Karachi University.

NITE 2000, which was the biggest ever IT exhibition of its kind in the country, boasted a vast display of state-of-the-art IT hardware and software, such as web servers, networking solutions, business and personal software and digital entertainment systems. The two-day event attracted thousands of students, corporate executives and IT professionals.

Commenting on the local IT education sector, Jawwad Rehman, Business Development Manager, Microsoft Pakistan, said, "Pakistan should concentrate on IT based education as IT is the growth engine of the future. The development of the local IT education sector will enable the Pakistani youth to compete internationally as well as locally in the region and will also contribute to Pakistan's economic status in general".

Recognising the talent of local IT professionals and students, Microsoft, one of the leading participants in the event, awarded prizes consisting of original licensed Microsoft programs and a crystal trophy to the three best programmers, in a software development contest organised at the event.

Speaking at a seminar also held under the aegis of NITE 2000, Dina Faidi, Education Manager, Microsoft Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean, said, "Microsoft realises that comprehensive IT education is critical for the development of a vibrant IT industry. This is why we are introducing Microsoft education programs in Pakistan".

Microsoft has a multitude of IT education programs, ranging from website based programs and self-learning modules such as MS Press, which allow students to study at their convenience, to traditional instructor based classroom modules, which allow a more focused approach. Furthermore, to facilitate learning, Microsoft is now also leasing software programs to educational institutes and offering discounts of up to 90% on licensed software for students and academicians.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the world-wide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place, and on any device.

MCB and Bank Al Habib signed an agreement to sale
MCB Rupee Travellers cheques

A memorandum of agreement signed at Karachi between Muslim Commercial Bank Limited and Bank AL Habib by which Muslim Commercial Bank Limited RTC will be marketed and sold by Bank AL Habib through it's 31 branches in Pakistan. The agreement was signed by Mr. Mahmood S. Allahrakhia, General Manager of Bank AL Habib and Mr. Fida Ali Sabz Ali, Executive Vice President of Muslim Commercial Bank Limited.

Muslim Commercial Bank Limited RTC was launched in 1993 and since then has emerged as a market leader with the highest security features present in their cheques. The superior refundability of the cheque has earned a confidence among its users proving higher brand reliability. Muslim Commercial Bank Limited was also the first Bank to introduce the televerification service which enables the customers to verify their cheques round the clock enhancing its credibility.

Another feature of MCB RTC business is that one Foreign Bank i.e. ABN Amro Bank and three private Banks i.e. Gulf Commercial Bank Ltd., Al Faysal Bank Limited and now Bank AL Habib have also signed an agreement with MCB for the sale of MCB RTC. Muslim Commercial Bank Limited has now above 1000 branches through which the RTC can be purchased. The product is available in Rs. 100,000/=, Rs. 50,000/=, Rs. 25,000/=, Rs. 10,000/= and Rs. 1000/=.

MCB the largest private Bank in Pakistan has a network of over 1,200 branches. The Bank is a leader in it's ATM services and Rupee Travellers Cheques products and strives to provide quality service to its customers countrywide.

NBP Provides Medical Aid and Financial Assistance to Victims of Chishtian Building Incident

The National Bank of Pakistan has provided emergency medical aid to the people injured in the incident at a building in Chishtian where the Chest Branch of the NBP is housed.

The incident occurred on September 2, 2000, when the landlord of the building where the NBP Chest Branch, Chishtian is located, despite the Branch Manager's opposition, insisted on carrying out demolition work on the premises during business hours. Therefore, as a result of the landlord's negligence, the upper portion of the building collapsed, which resulted in the instantaneous death of three people and caused injuries to several others.

Acting on a war footing, the Bank staff immediately had the injured shifted to hospitals in Chishtian and Bahawalpur, where they are being provided all the necessary medical aid.

The management of the National Bank of Pakistan deeply regrets this unfortunate incident, which was caused by the landlord's intransigence. However, on humanitarian grounds, NBP is providing all the necessary medical treatment to the injured at hospitals in Chishtian and Bahawalpur. Furthermore, as gesture of goodwill, the Bank has also decided to extend financial assistance to the bereaved families.

Holtmann on Piano at the Sheraton

Karachi Sheraton Hotel and Towers has organized a piano recital by Heidrun Holtmann as part of ArtFest 2000 on the 11th of September in association with Goethe Institut. The recital will be held in the evening.

Heidrun Holtmann is one of Germany's most sought after pianists and she is regularly seen in programs on TV. She has performed in national and international concerts as a soloist as well as with famous orchestras like the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London or the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with world famous conductors. This performance will also commemorate the 250th death anniversary of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

To be held at the Darbar Hall, this performance promises to be a perfect opportunity for the classical music lovers of Karachi to enjoy one of the best accomplishments on a piano. Tickets for the recital are available in the Sheraton lobby from 12:00 hours to 22:00 hours.

Microsoft Open Door 2000 Comes to Karachi

Microsoft, Acer and Commerce One form the new Open Door Dream Team; SQL 2000, Exchange 2000 for the most reliable com.

Microsoft's Open Door roadshow is ready to take off around the Middle East region once again with Microsoft, Acer and Commerce One sharing the latest information on today's technologies and tomorrow's directions with customers, partners and software developers. The roadshow, which kicks off recenlty in Karachi, will also visit Islamabad followed by the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Jordan, Cyprus and Malta.

"Open Door has grown tremendously over the past couple of years. We, at Microsoft, and our many partners in the initiative, have been aggressively taking our technology to our customers' doorsteps, to show our commitment to this market. Over the past two years, Open Door has built a great resource for our customers across the region, and this year, it will break the attendance records we achieved in the last round," said Derek Kerr, Community Relations Manager, Microsoft GEM. "Our on-going strategy for Open Door, is to continue providing tens of thousands of people across the Middle East, access to the very latest information on the IT industry. Our strategic alliance with industry leaders like Acer and Commerce One, allows us to give maximum benefit to our attendees."

Elections of APTMA sindh Balochistan Zone

Elections of Aptma Sindh Balochistan Zone were held on September 5, 2000 for the year 2000-2001. Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed Vohra was elected Chairman, Mr. Rafiq Ebrahim and Mr. Inam ur Rehman were elected Vice Chairman. Mr. Nadeem Maqbool, Mr. Yaqoob Nagaria, Mr. Tariq Rafi, Mr. S. Pervaiz Ahmed and Sheikh Khalid Iqbal were elected as Members of the Central Managing Committee.

General Shipping Agencies (Pvt) Ltd.

M/s. General Shipping Agencies (Pvt) Ltd. held a grand dinner function on board the m.v. LE YI which is brand new vessel on her maiden voyage to Karachi as flagship vessel of the Conti Asian Lines Service.

M/s. Conti Lines of Antwerp have operated a regular break bulk liner service (called Conti Asian Lines) from Europe to Pakistan since 1976. This company holds a leading share in its market compared to its competitors.

M.V. LE YI is a sophisticated vessel of 29160 DWT having 5 holds/hatches with 5 cranes/derricks of 35 MT capacity which is upgradable to 70 MT. The vessel cost is USD 23 million approximately.

Mr. Mohammed Rajpar, Managing Director of General Shipping Agencies (Pvt) Ltd used the occasion to announce a new service being launched by Conti Lines. Henceforth, these vessels will accept break bulk cargoes, especially Bagged Rice from Pakistan to West African ports, namely Doula, Dakar, Lagos, Tema, Freetown, Conarky Abidjan, etc. He informed that these cargoes will be accepted on parcel/inducement basis for the destination region.

He added, "with regular vessels, we hope to generate the requisite interest from exporters, especially since they will no longer have to work only full ship loads or search for trampship positions. Thus, parcels of 3-5000 tonnes will be executable promptly instead of having to be delayed for want of balance cargo. Thus, this service will boost the export performance of the country.

Mr. Mohammad Rajpar also tanked the various consignees present on the occasion for thier consistent and valued support to the Conti Asian Line service. He also acknowledged various progressive measures adopted by recently the Karachi Port Trust. For example, KPT has been able to maintain zero waiting time at the anchorage, dredging activity has been consistent, new tugs and pilot boats have been added, berth hire fees have been rationalized, and vaious procedures have been streamlined.

prominent amongst those attending the function were Capt. Noman Alvi, Dock Master KPT, Mr. Javaid Inayatullah Mughal, Asst. Director FIA, Mr. Sajid Nugha, Dock Security Officer, Mr. Mohd. Siddique, Additional Collector Appeasement, Mr. Najeebur Rahman Abbasi, Additional Collector of Customs, Mr. Ali Nasrullah of M/s Ali Niaz International, Mr. Amin Lakhani of Lakhani Traders, Mr. Haneef Hameed, of Mohd. Kasim, Mr. Majid Agar of Agar International and Mr. Mohammad Yunus of Signet Steel.

INTEL SHIPS INDUSTRY'S FIRST GIGA-HERTZ SERVER AND WORKSTATION PROCESSORS

Intel Corporation introduced the industry's first gigahertz processor for servers and high-end workstations. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will offer systems featuring the gigahertz Intel® Pentium® III Xeon™ processor starting this quarter, targeting the rapidly growing high-end workstation and "front-end" server segments.

Front-end or Internet servers, featuring one or two processors, have become the solution of choice for companies conducting e-Business over the Internet. Reliable and affordable Intel-based servers address the infrastructure trend of "scaling out," where dot.coms, e-corporations and service providers quickly deploy more servers to accommodate unpredictable, explosive growth.

"An overwhelming percentage of e-companies and service providers run their entire e-Businesses on Intel-based front-end and general purpose servers," said Mike Fister, vice president and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Platform Group. "Our continued efforts to deliver more powerful and high-performing processors will only fuel this trend."

According to International Data Corporation, 75 percent of all deployed Internet servers are based on Intel's open architecture.

Server Technology Innovation: Intel's Pentium III Xeon processors are specifically designed to meet the scalability, availability and manageability needs of the server market segment. The 133 MHz system bus, faster clock speeds and cache configurations integrated on the processor die provide headroom for computation- and l/O-intensive workloads. Built on the SC330 cartridge, the processors enable server manufacturers to use existing server platform components for faster time-to-market. On-cartridge voltage management and system manageability features provide increased system reliability, along with remote monitoring and system diagnostics.

The 1 GHz version of the Pentium III Xeon processor family is based on Intel's advanced 0.18-micron process technology and features a 256 Kbytes cache. This boosts performance by 4 to 15 percent over previous versions of the processor by placing a full-speed, level-two cache memory directly on the processor die and increasing the width of the data pathway to the processor.

Pentium III Xeon Processor for Workstations: The I GHz Intel Pentium III Xeon processor will also be used in high-performance workstations to drive the next level of content creation, design suites and simulation tools for today's Internet environment. The increased speed, performance and dual processor capability are key attributes for demanding workstation applications.

New Server Motherboards: Intel also introduced the Intel SBT2 server board, which is specifically designed to support systems featuring dual Pentium® III Xeon™ processors. With integrated networking capabilities, the SBT2 board supports ten "hot-swap" drives. These allow customers to pull out a drive and swap redundant power supplies while a system is running, thus providing higher availability and reliability.