12-year-old Mahmoud El Din Mahmoud develops new operating system, which he calls ‘Windows Emirates’.
ABU DHABI - At 12, when kids his age are usually hanging out, playing football or learning new interests, Mahmoud El Din Mahmoud is already a pro on computer programing, adept at cracking codes and has designed his own home computer operating system (OS), which he calls ‘Windows Emirates’.
The Egyptian student’s ingenuous OS was developed by re configuring the Windows XP and adopting some of the well-liked features of Windows, Mac and Linux and removing those that are not popular.
“Windows Emirates has animated setup screen, easier way to access files, transparent bitmaps with special colours in the bitmap files and 3-D support. Moreover, it is seven times faster and fully transparent, giving it a better look, the system info features the seven Rulers of the Emirates, Shaikh Zayed and the UAE flag,” Mahmoud described. It also has some information on the UAE and the President, Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, both in English and Arabic. But Mahmoud had to breach Microsoft’s security protection to do this.“I entered through the Windows file protection and developed them to have better features. Windows is not an open source but I have the source code. I added more and developed it,” he explained, adding that some of the Windows Emirates’ features do not exist in XP or Windows 7. The idea to create his own OS started four years ago when Mahmoud was exploring the Internet and came across a programme about ‘How to make your own Windows XP’, which he downloaded.
“Initially I thought it was not possible to create our own program,” he said. But he faced a setback when he found he also needs to learn how to integrate programs. “So I searched the internet. It took me a year to find how to integrate programs.” During his research, he also learned the programing language and the animated DLL (dynamic linked library) files. In the past three years, Mahmoud has developed six operating systems, which “were not good as they didn’t work. They had lots of mistakes. I learned from my mistakes.” Keen to boost their first born’s natural aptitude, Dr Alaa El Din Mahmoud, a consultant endocrinologist at a private hospital here, sought the support of Mahmoud’s school principal in endorsing his talent to the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC).
He also got in touch with an IT professor from Masdar Institute to help guide them on the best way forward.
“His level is more than that of the university. We should have someone above the university level to guide him,” he said of his son who plans to pursue computer programing as a degree.
“I’m dreaming that Mahmoud will go to Masdar Institute to take courses, participate there in the summer to work and study,” hoped his mother, Sohad Ibrahim.mMahmoud learned computer early at a tender age of four.
“After reading and writing, I learned computer early in life while my parents were learning computer,” he said. n his Grade 8 at Al Nahda National School, is a voracious reader and spends three hours each day on the Internet learning and researching. At two months shy of becoming a teenager, Mahmoud is also an expert on hacking and on creating computer virus.
“As far as we know, Mahmoud is the youngest computer wiz in the Arab world,” said his father.
With regards to breaching Microsoft’s security protection, Mahmoud explained that the company is actually offering a reward to those who can point out a loophole in their system. An offer he plans to take on in the coming days.
“I will e-mail Bill Gates and say to him, ‘you have a problem with your operating system and you can fix it this way’,” he said. Mahmoud hopes to work with Microsoft one day. courtesy | khaleejtimes