The power of Commodity Hardware

In this new era of Big Data, the term commodity hardware became very common, but it’s up to you to define how to use it. The term commodity hardware in general mean Computer hardware that is affordable and easy to obtain. Typically it is a low-performance system that is PC-compatible and is capable of running Microsoft Windows, Linux, or others operating systems without requiring any special devices or equipment.

Why do we need datacenters with special configurations to be able to run servers 24/7 : ACs, UPS, raised floors, networking, security…etc. While we used to have a desktop computer in every office. Imagine a company having 30 desktop computers having an i7 8cores 4GB ram 500GB hard drives each, that’s the equivalent of a 240 Core super computer with 120GB ram, and 15 TB or storage ! But obviously we don’t use them as servers, because these PCs fail frequently and they are not designed to run 24/7. Read more

Workaround until Ubuntu fix the bug, Lock screen uses last active language

Recently I noticed that after screen get locked in Ubuntu, I am not able to enter my password again. The reason is that Ubuntu keep using the last active language, and there is no way to change keyboard language from Lock screen. So I am sharing with you this workaround to be able to login, until Ubuntu fix the bug.

First switch to console mode CTRL+ALT+F1 for example and login (Hopefully console not affected), then type :

That’s all, not you can go back to work CTRL+ALT+F7.

To reproduce the bug install and switch to a new language (Chinese for example) wait for lock screen then try to login.


GTFS and public transportation experiment in Tunisia

Last week I’ve made a small experiment by creating GTFS files of public buses of a small city in the south of Tunisia : Djerba. The idea started with a “map” available in the regional company website, which wasn’t really clear.

Georeferencing the map gave us more than 200 stations with an average error of 400m, which was too high for bus stations. In addition we had departure time for only 8 lines, so we were able to generate a full schedule with more than 3500 stop points. The final GTFS is available in github, and as a first experiment we’ll be working on making lines and stations more accurate. Then the applications will be unlimited !

Opening up public transportation data in Tunisia could open door to new opportunities, especially that the national Tunisian railway company have already published its own GTFS here. You can see it already in action on Google maps :

This work have been published on the 9th edition of TuniData, a weekly newsletter on Data in Tunisia. More info at

Jeddah Expats Data Insights Nov-Dec 2016

I am sharing with you for the first time a brief overview of what expats are exchanging on one of the very populars classified network in Jeddah city specifically, and I will probably publish more analysis for other regions soon. Also notice that I’ll be sharing these insights without detailed analysis, as this is a work in progress published for early feedback.

The analysis based on about 12+ thousands records that might include duplicates ( 408 records clearly identified and about 5% estimates for the whole database), however the duplicates have been kept to get more detailed analysis on users behaviour and what have been sold or not. About 3 thousands records have not been considered as the data is still being cleaned, but after few comparison we can say that the overall trends will no change that much. Read more

Hackathon AppsForDemocracy 2016: Application mobile de l’ARP

Du 29 au 30 Octobre 2016 a eu lieu à l’espace Cogite aux Berges du Lac la seconde édition du Hackathon AppsForDemocracy; un rendez-vous annuel qui réunit producteur et consommateur de données pour mettre en valeur et créer des applications à valeurs ajoutées à partir des données ouvertes.

Cette édition a été marquée par un nombre plus élevée de données ouverte par rapport à l’année dernière, due principalement au lancement de la plateforme opendata de l’énergie et de la culture, en plus des données qui étaient déjà disponible avant.

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(HBY) Consultancy