Saturday, November 18, 2006

How to use Skype in Dubai

The national carrier, Etisalat, has blocked Skype, and apparently all VoIP applications, from being used in Dubai. I clearly wasn't happy with this, so searched for a way to circumvent this restriction, to find a way to unblock Skype in Dubai...

After playing unsuccessfully with Tor I found that using a VPN was the way forward and there is a very cheap solution for this. Here's the step by step guide:

  1. Go to

  2. Read about who they are if you're interested (their primary aim is apparently to allow people in censored countries to connect to news sources that would otherwise be blocked)

  3. Click 'Download now', save the file to your computer and then run it to install Ultra VPN

  4. Go back to the site, and click "Test and Buy" (

  5. In the "Register a new account" section, choose and enter a username and password

  6. Make sure UltraVPN is started - it's a small icon next to your clock if it is, and in your start menu if not

  7. Right click the UltraVPN icon and click "Connect"

  8. Enter your username and password

  9. After about 10-15 seconds you should be connected via UltraVPN

  10. Skype should now connect and work perfectly and you will appear to the world as if you are based in France (so some sites might start showing you french options or french adverts)

  11. After a 3 day trial you will need to pay to continue to use UltraVPN - go back to the site and use the "Recharge you account" option on the "Test and Buy" page. It's $2.90 for a month - which isn't a lot of money to have unlimited free phone calls.

  12. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hallowe'en party at Coborn Mansions

Thanks to Ali, Koprinka, Eili and Vincenzo for throwing a fabulous Halowe'en party at my old haunt, Coborn Mansions. And an extra-special thank you to Yesim for cooking up an incredible feast, despite not even living there any more.

My camera wasn't charged, so I only have a handful of photos (which, to my shame, I haven't managed to upload onto the net yet). But others were better prepared. Here are some links to galleries from the night:

Gisele's photos
Michael's Photos
Dan's Photos
Mehmet's photos
Mine coming soon...

Photos below were all taken by Michael Bel, photographer at large (and for hire).

The Gang
At Hotel Delta before the party.

Jim the Reaper
Perhaps I missed my calling and should have been a make-up artist?

The Butcher and The Eye
Sweeney Todd and... a... zombie vampire?

Cat Woman
My Evil Twin appears as her alter ego

Your host for the evening, the fifth musketeer, A(nsa)ramis.

Foxy Roxy
More bite than bark (do foxes bark?)

The Wartless Witch
Looks like she's already released her spiders...