Riyadh Municipality ruined Olaya Computer Market

Riyadh Municipality ruined Olaya Computer Market

July 20, 2010  |  General  |  4 Comments

This has to be said, as a computer enthusiast I am upset with the current state of the technology market in Saudi Arabia. What’s going on in Riyadh’s “Olaya Computer Market” (Gowalla and Wikimapia locations) is just frustrating.

The Olaya Computer Market is a collection of computer stores, it’s very popualar.

Pirated software is being sold there as well.

Even crap is being sold on small stands provided by the owner of the building (according to some). These stands sell junk and have nothing to do with computers, unless they are pirated software.

Back in late 2008 or early 2009 Riyadh Municipally had the “sidewalk fever”: bad attempts at sidewalks everywhere. So they started digging. This next photo was taken by me on February 17, 2009:

These constructions took forever, they were uncoordinated and until today have not finished! I will post more photos bellow. These photos were taken by me unless I say otherwise.

North sidewalk, April 30, 2009.

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STC/Mobily/Zain 3G Band

January 1, 2010  |  General  |  2 Comments

I am about to purchase a Novatel MiFi 2352 or 2372. The MiFi shares a 3G data connection as a wireless access point and it’s battery powered. The difference between the 2 models is this:

MiFi 2352 uses the following bands: Tri-band HSUPA/HSDPA 900/1900/2100 MHz and Quad-band GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz. The MiFi 2372 however is: Tri-band HSUPA/HSDPA 850/1900/2100 MHz and Quad-band GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz.

According to this page: STC, Mobily and Zain all use the 2100MHz band for 3G.

Western Digital in Saudi Arabia

September 1, 2009  |  General  |  Comments Off

Western Digital is my favorite hard drive brand. Their drives are the most reliable I have ever used. I have contacted their email support many times and they always respond in less than 24 hours with useful information, something other companies should learn from them.

wdlogoc

Western Digital has a strong presence in Saudi Arabia thanks to their only distributor in Saudi Arabia: Nahil Computers. I estimate over %95 of OEM 3.5″ hard drives sold in Saudi Arabia are Western Digital drives. Other hard drive makers: Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi are missing from the Saudi market.

Seagate’s authorized distributors’ list shows Saudi Arabia as an option but no distributors are available. Even though they have a “Collection Point In Saudia Arabia”. Seagate, it’s Saudi Arabia.

The Collection Point processes Return Material Authorization (RMA) disc drives at one central location, speeding up and simplifying the return procedures for Seagate disc drives.

You can buy those brands online or from the specialty store Softland in Riyadh.

As for Western Digital’s distributor in Saudi Arabia, Nahil Computers. I’ve heard good things about their support services for hard drives. However their site is another example of inferior websites for Saudi companies. Their latest news is from 2006 and clicking on products will open an IFRAME with the other company’s website inside! If you visit their hard drive page you will notice it will just open Western Digital’s homepage in a frame (view source code and look for the IFRAME tag), so sluggish.

Apparently Western Digital also made a deal with Jarir Bookstore (not my favorite bookstore). From AME Info: “This strategic partnership with Jarir Bookstore demonstrates Western Digital’s commitment in KSA. We can now service the growing Saudi market with an established, reputable partner that will offer our customers not only the best products and technology but the best end-to-end customer experience”. The offers are on Jarir’s website, they even have the WD TV HD Media Player for 449SR.

Buy the MacBook Pro in Saudi Arabia or online?

July 4, 2009  |  General  |  13 Comments

SaudiMac has a price list of the new MacBook Pro models. But should you buy them from Saudi Arabia or just buy them online from Amazon.

macbook-pro-new

Quick overview on your Apple choices in Saudi Arabia: stores “authorized” by Arab Computers stores and “independant” stores (itechia, ADAM, apparently Global Store and others). AC Macs appear to be European based on the power adapter while the others import from the United States.

The other choice as I said earlier is to buy from Amazon then ship using MyUS or similar services. You should assume paying for shipping as well as paying the Saudi Arabia custom fee (%5 if you are lucky, they once considered my 3rd gen iPod a computer!). You will need to add Arabic letters yourself and warranty is a bit sketchy.

Here are the prices for the MacBook Pro models from Apple compared to the Saudi Arabia prices, assuming a convert rate of $1 = 3.80SR. Remember that you need to add shipping and custom fees:

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.26GHz: on Amazon: 4,405SR. Here: 5,649SR.

MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.53GHz: on Amazon: 5,677SR. Here: 6,899SR.

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.53GHz: on Amazon: 6,480SR. Here: 8,399SR.

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.66GHz: on Amazon: 7,480SR. Here: not available.

MacBook Pro 15-inch 2.80GHz: on Amazon: 9,268SR. Here: 10,199SR.

MacBook Pro 17-inch 2.80GHz: on Amazon: 9,344SR. Here: 11,299SR.

Logitech in Saudi Arabia

June 8, 2009  |  General  |  1 Comment

In this series of posts I will profile different global technology brands and provide info on how to acquire them in Saudi Arabia. We start with Logitech, one of the best computer peripheral companies in the world.

Currently, Logitech’s only distributor in Saudi Arabia is supposed to be “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 ( a $54/205SR mouse is sold at Jarir for $80/300SR). The other method is to just buy from Amazon and ship using a service such as Aramex or myus.

logitech-logoLooking around the Internet I found that Logitech was looking for a new distributor in Saudi Arabia according to ITP: Logitech set to appoint new Saudi distribution. 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. Originally posted on khaled.us.

Flip Ultra HD in Saudi Arabia?

June 7, 2009  |  General  |  5 Comments

Update: Mohammad has bought the Flip Ultra HD, here is his initial reaction.

A few months ago Cisco has acquired a company named Pure Digital Technologies. They are known for making the Flip video cameras one of the better digital camcorders in it’s class.

flip-ultra-hd

Here are some reviews of their latest camera, the Flip Ultra HD:

I am looking forward to try this camera and also hoping that Cisco Middle East and more specifically Cisco Saudi Arabia will import the Flip Ultra HD digital camcorders as soon as possible. Cisco Saudi Arabia by the way are on twitter now: just add @ciscosaudi.

htaccess redirect from root to a folder

May 23, 2009  |  General  |  Comments Off

If you want to redirect within a website there are many different methods. But what if you wanted to redirect from the root folder of your website to a specific folder. For example our website’s root sauditechview.com redirects to sauditechview.com/en. You can do that by creating an .htaccess file in the root folder and enter the following:

RedirectMatch permanent ^/$ http://site.com/php/

Remember to have a second empty line in the file. Replace http://site.com/php/ with whatever page you want to redirect to. Please note that it only works on Apache servers and to be honest, who doesn’t use an Apache server these days. Thanks Carl.