A-Side vs B-Side

Post by Mark

Some of you already noticed that I changed the blog banner last night from the “THEBSIDES” to “The A-SIDES”. Continuing to use the term B-Sides didn’t make sense since 2:48AM wasn’t the B-Side anymore. Originally during my Miskan project I needed a place to dump photos and talk about things that didn’t have room on Miskan (remember I was limited to 1 post a day) and so 2:48AM was created and the B-Side tag slapped on.

My Miskan project ended 5 years ago and 2:48AM no longer was the B-Side, instead it became the A-Side and I don’t know why it took me so long to change that.

So 2:48AM is now the A-Side but that made me realize something. When the blog first started I used to post 5+ posts per day. As the site grew and my readership base grew I started becoming a lot more picky to what to post and what not to. This is why I decided to create a B-Side to 2:48AM, a place where I could post stuff that wouldn’t usually make it on my main site here but was still content that many people would find interesting.

2:48PM [The B-Sides] is now live and you can access it by going to www.248pm.com or clicking the link on the far right of the navigation bar on top of this site. Starting today you will have a lot more posts and content to shift through so I hope everyone enjoys it. Any comments, feedback and ideas are always welcomed of course.


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App Updates

Post by Mark

The 2:48AM app has now been updated to version 1.4. This version now works with iOS4. I’ve also updated the Kuwait Blogs again now to version 1.21. This update fixes the Some Contrast feed. The Kuwait Blogs update is available right now in all the stores, the 2:48AM update just got approved a few minutes ago by Apple so it’s still being pushed to the stores. If you can’t see the update try again later.

You can download the 2:48AM app by clicking [Here]
You can download the Kuwait Blogs app by clicking [Here]


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What People are Selling

Post by Mark

For those of you who aren’t aware of this there is, a section in the 248AM Forum called “What People are Selling”. It’s a section in the forum I created a few years ago where people who have items they want to sell can do so in that section. Since then the section has become very active and you can find a ton of good deals there. I’ve purchased a lot of items in the forum and sold a lot of items as well. My latest purchase was a like new condition Nikon 50mm f1.4 lens (pictured above next to my 50mm f1.8) with local warranty for KD70. You can find a ton of stuff for sale there from iPhones and iPads, to home furniture and high end sound systems. If you haven’t checked it out yet then do so. Here is the link to the forum. [Link]

Note: The pictures below are for people searching the web for side by side size comparison between the Nikon 50mm f1.8 and the 50mm f1.4. I couldn’t find a proper picture when I was searching so hopefully this will help someone in the future. The 50mm f1.4 is just slightly heavier and just very slightly taller than the f1.8. The build quality of the f1.4 lens is very similar to my 28mm f2.8 lens and 85mm f1.8 lens although the casing doesn’t seem to contain any metal parts.


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Kuwait Blogs 1.2

Post by Mark

The update for the Kuwait Blogs App is now available in the store. If it isn’t there yet give it a few hours while all the App stores world wide sync. Anyway it fixes the incompatibility issues with iOS4 and I’ve also added the Some Contrast blog back. Now someone this morning made me aware of the fact that the Some Contrast blog was actually loading the feeds of Tidbit Du Jour in the updated App. That’s my mistake, I was in such a rush to get out the update I didn’t test the App and this mix up slipped by. So, I just submitted update 1.21 which fixes their feed. That should be available sometime end of this week. [Link to App Store]


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Passed the 200 mark

Post by Mark

My blog finally passed the 200 mark on Alexa.com. Last time I posted my Alexa ranking was back in January when I was ranked 260 in Kuwait. In case you haven’t heard of it before, Alexa is a website that tracks the popularity of websites around the web and in different countries. As of this post Alexa has me ranked at 192, meaning, there are 191 other websites that were being accessed from Kuwait more than mine. Google.com.kw is still the champion as the most popular site being accessed in Kuwait.

The coolest part is that the blog is now more popular than the 6alabat, Viva and Aramex websites which of course gives me a huge ego boost. The next stop is the top 100 list. Free burgers for everyone when that happens… not! [Link]


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2:48AM iPhone App update

Post by Mark

An update for the 2:48AM iPhone App is now available in the app store. In this version I added the Bazaar Magazine category to the app so now you can read the magazine on your iPhone. Bazaar have also added a full RSS feed to their site so you can now add them to your feeds. I think I like the direction this app is going where I’m trying to get a variety of local entertainment in one app. If you have a suggestion that would fit leave a comment below. Next update will be for the Kuwait Blogs app. [Link]


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The Kuwait Blogs iPhone App

Post by Mark

This is the second app that I’m releasing for the iPhone and one that should be very useful to many, its the Kuwait Blogs app. I’ve taken all of my favorite blogs and placed them in one app which is very convenient and practical. I will still be adding more blogs in the next update but for now these are the blogs that are included in the app:

2:48AM
360 Dewan
4th Ring Road
Ansam
Blushberry
Buzberry
Confashions
Frankom
iLSul6ana
P0ach
Some Contrast
Tidbit du Jour
zDistrict

I would have added more blogs but it was very time consuming trying to create an icon, header, footer and color scheme for every blog so that it matches their actual blog theme. So if you’re not in this first release I’m sorry but you might be in the next update.

For the Kuwait Blogs icon and launch screen I wanted to use a picture that represented Kuwait but didn’t want anything cliche like the Kuwait Towers or flag so I ended up going with an abstract shot of the Ice Skating Rink which I had taken a few years ago for Miskan. I love the design of the Ice Skating Rink and thought it would represent Kuwait very nicely.

To install the app search for Kuwait Blogs in the App Store on your iPhone or install it into iTunes by click this [Link]


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The 2:48AM iPhone App

Post by Mark

It took a lot of my time but I finally finished my very own iPhone app. I actually launched it last week on my twitter page but I didn’t officially announce it since I wanted to get some feedback and fix any bugs that I might have missed first. Good thing I did since I spotted a silly bug the first day it got released and quickly released a version 1.1 update a couple of days later. Now the version has gone up to 1.2 and I’ve been able to introduce a few nifty features which I felt helped round off the app and make it launch worthy.

Originally when I went about creating the app I didn’t know what the use would be. Already the blog was very viewable on the iPhone because of a plug-in I had installed that formatted the site to work perfectly on the iPhone so if my app did the same thing it would be useless. I kept thinking about what else I could do and bit by bit I started adding stuff to it that made it more useful. Here are the things you can currently do with my iPhone app:

– Check my latest posts
– Check the latest comments on my blog
– Check the latest posts in the forum
– Check my twitter
– Check my YouTube channel
– Check latest posts on Safat
– Check latest Kuwait news from Arab Times
– Check the weather via the Kuwait Meteorological Center (contains more details than the default iPhone weather app)
and my favorite…
– Get the latest traffic updates via #q8traffic on Twitter

These are just the features I have currently but hopefully will be adding more stuff down the line. If you want to download the iPhone app search for 248AM in the app store or click the following [Link]


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Healthier Lifestyle

Post by Mark

Last year after I found out I had an acid reflux problem I decided I wanted to post healthier lifestyle related posts on my blog. Since then I’ve done it maybe three times and the posts weren’t that great. Recently though when I posted about my new diet plan and gym membership with Core Fitness, both posts hit nearly 100 comments. Most of that had to do with the fact the owner of the gym was interacting with many of you, answering your questions.

Since it seems many of you are interested in a better and healthier lifestyle, I decided to invite Fahad the owner as a guest blogger here. He will be posting about healthier lifestyle related posts and he should be able to answer most of your questions. I’ve also created a new blog category called Healthier Lifestyle in which all these healthy lifestyle posts will be archived. His first post is located below and expect more to come.

Note: Also check the new blog I added to my blog list recently called Eat Like Mira which is also health related [Link]


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It tastes better

Post by Mark

Welcome to the new and improved site. I know it still looks the same and some of you might not even have noticed a difference but that’s because I wasn’t interested in a complete revamp. The blog has become very recognizable with the bright magenta on top and black background, changing it would be like Coca-Cola suddenly going blue. What I did with this redesign is improve on the old design and fix things that needed to be fixed.

Firstly the biggest change is that the site now looks exactly the same on any browser on any OS. Previously it looked slightly different depending on what browser on what OS you were using. The only difference now is for some reason on FireFox on a Mac the titles on the tabs under the header are in bold. But that’s it everything else looks the same. I’ve widened the site but not by a lot so that if you’re viewing the blog from a netbook you don’t need to scroll left or right to see the whole width of the page. It fits perfectly.

Secondly the ads. The most important change is that there is no longer an ad on top of the posts. I’ve decided not to put an ad there and have instead kept all the ads on the far right. This way I’ve created a clear and distinct line between what is an ad and what isn’t. Everything on the left is me, it’s my space and I say what I want. Everything on the right is paid for. I’ve changed the shape of the ads and made them slightly smaller so they look a lot neater now. I’ve also had all the advertisers reduce the physical size of the ads by half so that the site loads even faster now then it previously did.

I’ve also changed the color of the header slightly and made it a 100% magenta which is slightly brighter than the previous header. I then changed all the other magenta on the blog to match, so all the links and buttons etc.. are now slightly brighter. Oh and when you hover over the tabs under the header, the button now turns white instead of black. Looks cleaner this way.

I’ve really done a ton of minor changes here and there. For example the titles of the posts are now 100% black instead of dark gray, the comments under the posts look A LOT neater now and I’ve also removed the number next to peoples comments. There was a bad habit previously in which people replied to each other by post number. For example “I have to agree with post 23, Britney Spears is hot”. Now people will have to refer to each other by name or nickname. Another issue with the comment numbers was that if there was a comment in moderation before post 23 and I approved it after someone responded to post 23 then post 23 would suddenly become post 24 and the person who commented in reply to post 23 would look stupid.

Oh another important change, I’ve removed the tab on top called “Archive” which used to contain all my post categories and have instead listed all my categories on the side. Those of you who’ve been visiting my blog for a few years now will realize that’s how it used to be before my previous redesign. I find it a lot more useful having it in the sidebar and I am hoping it will encourage more people to dig into my blog and engage with my older posts. I’ve posted soo many things over the years and a lot of them are still interesting to this day so its worth making them available. I’ve also shifted the “Site Tools” up because I feel my twitter and facebook group are worth visiting and so need to be highlighted more. I’ve moved the other bloggers list to the bottom of the side bar so that way the more interesting blogs I find the more I will be able to fit. The side bar used to also have a gray background which I removed, makes things a lot more airy and less suffocating.

So in conclusion, the blog loads faster, looks neater and is just an improved version of the previous design.


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