Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Interview with an ISP Manager in Pakistan

Tariq Mustafa, Senior Manager, Core Networks, with one of the largest ISPs in Pakistan is a techie I have learned to respect and like--even though he was several years my junior at college. He's done a lot of things on the Internet over the years. He runs about the oldest mailing list there is for alumni of our common alma mater. You can read his own blog at http://karachitoday.blogspot.com/

Here's an excerpt from a conversation I had with TM, as he is known in Pakistani technical circles, on Wednesday morning, Karachi time. Their offices are situated, together with other telecommunications providers that are part of their corporate group, in a highrise building near my parents' home in Karachi. There had been a tremor in this southern Pakistani city overnight.

tariq.mustafa@gmail.com
we couldn't sleep last night

iFaqeer@gmail.com
the 4.0 that hit Karachi?
apparently, my mother slept through it

tariq.mustafa@gmail.com
yes
but it were the rumors that made a louder noice

iFaqeer@gmail.com
i was following it on the Karachi Metroblog

tariq.mustafa@gmail.com
i got this call from my 24X7 team at [our] office (Hasan Center)
they panicked out of the building

iFaqeer@gmail.com
i'd forgotten you have a 24x7 team reporting to you
that must have been "fun"

tariq.mustafa@gmail.com
no..i was just wondering that god forbits if anything happens, how wholesomely would *I* be affected
imagining the tower housing so many communication stuff [a cellphone provider, a payphone company, etc.] coming down
forbid

iFaqeer@gmail.com
do you have any technical reports on how sound that building is vis-a-vis earthquakes?

tariq.mustafa@gmail.com
no
but that is the most scary part

iFaqeer@gmail.com
do you intend to try and get something now?
as a manager, it seems like it would now be laazim [Urdu for obligatory] on you to do that

tariq.mustafa@gmail.com
yes
we've already started finding things out
but this email [about what to do in the case of an earthquake]
that come this morning from the admin
was the worst way of starting a day
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