I’m back

Post by Mark

Just got back from London today morning and I think I need a vacation. Thanks to Nibaq, k.thekuwaiti and Z District for guest writing on the blog while I was away. Everything should get back to normal from tomorrow.


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Guest Writers

Post by Mark

Since I will be going on vacation for around 8 days I have invited k.thekuwaiti, Marzouq and Nibaq to be guest writers while I am away.
This should be fun!


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Vacation

Post by Mark

Prince Charles

I will be out of the country from the 19th of October to the 27th on vacation. Me and Nat will be heading to London and Paris and so I don’t know how often I will be updating the blog through out this trip. If I don’t update it daily I am sure you can understand why. This is my first proper vacation in a long time.


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Three new blog features

Post by Mark

With the new redesign of the site I’ve also added three new minor features.

Print option
Say for one reason or another you want to print a post, there is now a little print icon at the end of every post (after you click on the post) which will take you to a printer friendly version of the article. You then have the option to print the post either with or without the user comments.

Email option
Again for one reason or another you want to share a post with someone you can now email it to them. There is a little email icon next to the print icon at the end of every plost (again after you click on the post).

Page navigation
At the bottom of the main page there is now a more advanced page navigation system. Before it was just “Previous” and “Next” now its a bit more than that. My favorite part is the “Last” button which will take you to my first posts on this blog.


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The Redesign

Post by Mark

I finally managed to finish working on the new redesigned template and I just activated it. I took all your feedback into consideration and I tried my best not to change the design that much as you can see. Although the template looks similar to the older one under the hood its completely new. The coding is much cleaner and everything should look better and work faster. There might be some minor kinks here and there which I will find and fix in the next few days. Overall I am pretty excited about the face lift, I think it looks much better than the older one and is less cluttered and cleaner. While I was at it I also upgraded to the latest WordPress and I am now running 2.3.

The theme I am using is called Grid Focus by 5thiryone but it’s been heavily modified by me.


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Out of the country

Post by Mark

I will be leaving to Beirut today at 5pm on business and will come back October 4th. As usual I will try to post while I am away. If you have any information that you think my be interesting to my readers then email it to me using the contact us form.


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A redesign

Post by Mark

new design

For the past two days I’ve been working on a redesigned template for this blog. I really don’t have any major problem with the current design but I do think there are a couple of areas that does need addressing. I was planning on working on the redesign in secret and then overnight just surprise everyone with the makeover but I decided going the other route. If large companies like CNN and Amazon are allowing their users to see and give feedback of their redesign while still in progress why can’t I?

Now I still have a lot more work to do on the redesign but you can take a peak at it by going to unex-t.com/blog. This is more or less how the new redesigned site will look like, most of the changes I am currently working on are the smaller details. I probably will replace the header with a newer one, I might not, I am still not sure about that. At one point I was actually thinking of rebranding from 248AM.com to markandnat.com but decided against it the last minute.

Anyway your feedback is welcomed, I still have a lot of work to do and might take your ideas into consideration. Keep in mind there are a lot of things that aren’t working yet or looking strange on the test site. [Link]

Update: Here is a screenshot of how the new design might look with a black background. I am finding it a bit claustrophobic compared to the white background version. [Picture]

Update 2: Here is another option with a black background which I think works better than the version in the first update but I think I still prefer the full white background. [Picture]


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Yes I am back

Post by Mark

Just really busy catching up.


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The Last Post

Post by Mark

I am heading out to the airport now. Any post after this is either going to be from my hotel room in Paris or via my phone. I am taking the Gulf Air flight, Kuwait > Bahrain > Paris. My flight leaves at around 10PM and I should get to Paris by 7AM. Over and out!


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How I will be moblogging

Post by Mark

Nokia e61i

This post is a bit technical but its meant to be a small guide for bloggers who want to post using their phones.

The past two days I have been experimenting with different softwares and ways of moblogging. The easiest way I found to moblog was with a software for my Nokia called Shozu. It’s very easy to use, I just take a picture and a small window pops up asking me if I want to send it to my blog. I could then click yes and it sends it or I click on more options and add more details like a subject title and body copy. But I had two problems with Shozu. The first one is the fact that it resized my images down to a thumbnail size and you could only see the larger picture by clicking on the link. I didn’t like that and there was no option to change it. The second problem I had was that since the software is free, Shozu places their logo at the end of your posts. I also didn’t like that, they should at least have an option where if you pay for the software they remove the logo but they don’t so I looked for an alternative.

After a bit of experimentation and googling I found a better solution (for me at least). It’s not as practical as Shozu but I am in total control of everything. I decided to go with the Blog by Email route and here is what I did:

1) Created two new email accounts
2) Got a plugin for wordpress called Postie
3) Got a software for my Nokia called Resco Viewer

I setup one email account on my Nokia to send emails from. The second email account would be the one I would send my posts to. I then installed the Postie plugin in WordPress which is a must have plugin if you are planning to blog by email. Firstly, Postie allows u to attach pictures and videos to your emails and then posts them for you. it also gives you a lot of other options for example Postie has an option where it could palce the image above or below the body copy, I chose above so it would match my regular posts. Postie could also resize your images and compress them before it posts them which is really important if you can’t resize images on your phone. Finally I purchased the software Resco Viewer for my Nokia. With my phones camera I have two size options when it comes to taking pictures, 1600×1200 and 640×480. The max size for images on my blog is 400 pixels wide. If I wanted to I could take pictures at 640×480 and have Postie resize them for me but by resizing the pictures myself on the phone and compressing the images slightly, the file sizes would be a lot small meaning it would be cheaper for me since I pay per kilobyte.

So the process now goes something like this:
1) I take a picture on my phone at 1600×1200 pixels
2) I resize the image to 400×300 and compress it
3) I send an email to my blog and attach the resized image
4) Postie checks my email constantly, when it finds an email it posts it on the blog under the category Moblogging

Now the biggest problem is my phone doesn’t have a spell checker to expect a ton of misspellings. So thats basically how I will be moblogging while in Paris. I will continue to post regular posts but the photo ones are meant to be something new and something I haven’t done on this blog yet. It should prove to be entertaining.


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