Archive for the ‘Shufflegazine’ Category


Three Nights in Monte Carlo

February 20, 2010

Posted by DaddyBird

I recently went on an unexpected business trip to Monaco. The magazine that I work for, Shufflegazine, had been invited to attend a trade show, but my boss was unable to attend due to other obligations, so he asked if I would like to go in his place. It took me about 3 seconds to say, “yes!”

The trip really was mostly business. The trade show, DISTREE XXL, is aimed at bringing together IT & consumer electronics vendors with distribution companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It was a good opportunity for the magazine to find out about new tech products that night be coming to our region and to get acquainted with some companies that we may not have had contact with yet. That meant I spent as much time as I could talking to representatives of the companies in attendance and almost none seeing the sights of Monaco. I had hoped to slip away for an hour or two to visit the museum or a historical building, but time and the need to talk to as many as possible just did not permit me to do so. I did get a little free time late one evening, but by then all the historical sites were long closed for the day and even the little local restaurants were locking up for the night.

So my glimpses of Monaco were pretty much limited to what I saw on the walks in Monte Carlo, between the hotel I stayed in and the hotel where the trade show was being held. That being said, for an almost completely “all work, no play” trip, it really was a pretty nice time, and a beautiful place to be doing business for a few days. Attending a tech conference for the magazine and talking to people about their cool new products isn’t bad duty at all, and Monaco is one most lovely places to get to do it. Also, the food served to the attendees of the show at the Fairmont Hotel was outstanding. So while it was busy and tiring, and even though there were many things close by that I hated missing, overall it was still a great several days.

Here are a few pictures:

I got to stay at the beautiful Hotel Hermitage in Monte Carlo. Certainly the nicest place I’ve ever stayed. One of “The Leading Hotels of the World” according to the publicity literature. This fortunate geek boy certainly can’t dispute that. It was gorgeous, very comfortable and the staff was highly gracious.

The elevators in the hotel were small, but nicely appointed.

My room was too big to capture in a photo without a very wide-angle, fish-eye lens.

Many channels available on the TV, including French, Italian and other European channels. Interestingly, channels for Dubai and AbuDhabi TV were also included. An episode of “The Million’s Poet” is on!

It was a fairly short walk between my hotel and the Fairmont where the trade show was being held, with some nice sights in between, in particular the Monte Carlo Casino.

Adjacent to that was a fancy shopping mall and the Café de Paris.

And across from that was the most adorable little police station that I’ve ever seen.

It was just a little further to the Fairmont Hotel where the show was being held. The Fairmont is a much more angular and modern building than the others. If you’ve ever watched the Grand Prix de Monaco, you may have seen the Fairmont. As you can see in the picture, the hairpin turn on the Gran Prix course is right in front of the Fairmont. Also the course goes through a tunnel that is underneath the hotel.

The Fairmont is situated right on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea and has bay windows running all along the seaward side of the building, so while at the conference we were constantly treated to spectacular views.

Sometimes the sea and the sky were unbelievably blue.

I have several more pictures from Monaco to share, but I put them in another post. Stay tuned!


Afternoon out with the Tweeters/Twitterers/Whatever

March 29, 2009

Just another ugly place in Dubai.
In case you are interested in the current state of the world’s tallest building, here it is as of Friday.
Here we are in all our glory. Yes, Donna, we are eating yet again. Notice the blur in the center of the picture. The waitstaff are really fast here.
Paul and Rami discussing Shufflegazine.
PK and Abha above, Rami and Kedar below.
We left this restaurant and headed across the street to a place where those who wanted it could smoke shisha.
Here’s a little snippet of conversation. Just a short panorama of our group (minus me, the benefit of being behind the camera!)
Paul smoking shisha. Sexy, huh!?!
Here’s Rami and Jamie just kicking back.



February 28, 2009

For those of you who read our blog to live vicariously, you should add to your vicarious viewing habits. Our friend Adrianna and her friend May post videos of the strange and interesting things they are encountering in their travels. Adrianna is about to embark on a trip around the Middle East – Yemen, Iran, Syria, etc. (I’m not sure of all the destinations.) I am certain that she will have a lot to share.

I would also like to plug one of Paul’s Shufflegazine blog entries – More Connected Than Ever. This is SO true for us. We have met some of the most amazing people here in Dubai solely because Paul has connected with them online. We would not have found these friends by just wandering around a city of 1.5 million or relying on my work environment.


Gainfully employed…

January 23, 2009

Well it’s happened. I have a job. I thought perhaps I had escaped the noose of a steady paycheck for the duration and could relax with a certain future of sitting on the couch, watching soap operas and eating bonbons. (Well, the Arabic equivalent of soap operas, and perhaps baklava instead of bonbons, but we *do* have a couch!) But despite my efforts, work came looking for me. “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in!”

When researching our move to Dubai I checked into the Macintosh activity in the area and found out about the well established Emirates Macintosh User Group, which I contacted even before our move. So once we got here and got reasonably settled in I attended a meeting and joined up. They’re a particularly nice bunch of folks and definitely birds of a feather. Also the ringleader of the group, Magnus, has for a few years published a Macintosh related newsletter/magazine, Shuffle. Last summer, with the help of an Emirati partner, he took it from being an in-house thing, re-branded it a bit as “Shufflegazine” and started distributing it to the general public on newsstands. It’s a fledgling operation, but growing and well liked in the community here.

One day, when I made a mention of playing World of Warcraft on my Mac, Magnus sent me a message asking if I’d like to write an article on that for the magazine. “Of course!” So, I wrote the article, sent it in and Magnus gave me positive feedback on it. A nice experience, and I figured I’d throw a few more articles at him if I thought of something.

A few weeks later Magnus contacted me again and had proposition. Would I be interested in taking over as proofreader for Shufflegazine when their current proofreader left? The current guy had read my article, thought it pretty good, and suggested I might be a good replacement.

That took me all of 5 seconds to think about. He said there would be some, if not a lot of pay, but that’s not a major concern right now, and working with the magazine was a big draw. Such fun! So, soon after I dipped my toe in the water and helped proof the upcoming issue. I also took on writing a few more articles for the magazine, which they also pay a little bit for. More fun work!

Not long after that, Magnus again contacted me, saying he needed to have another talk with me, about “good things”. He had said before that in future months they were planning on hiring another regular writer, and if I was interested we could talk about it when the time came. Well, they had decided to rearrange some duties on the staff, and they needed more writing help right away, so he offered me a part-time position, proofreading and writing for both the magazine and the website.

So that’s what I spend a good deal of my time working on these days; proofreading, working on articles and following Apple news for writing and blogging on the website and getting paid to do it. It’s a rough life! And all the writing/proofreading is done online, so I can work on it from anywhere I have Internet connection! Not bad, eh? I’m still working on getting into a rhythm posting to the website; we had a bit of a crunch for a few weeks as we were trying to get ahead of schedule on the magazine to set up a better publishing timeline. Now that we’ve caught up there’s a little more breathing room and I can work on getting news feeds set up for easier daily research.

Even though I can do the job from pretty much anywhere, I like going into the office most of the time because the co-oworkers are great and some things are easier to get accomplished there. (Especially when we are going over the pages just before sending them to the printer!)

Another cool thing about the job: Shufflegazine is published in both English and Arabic, which surprisingly is pretty rare. It’s also a challenge as a lot of technical terms don’t yet exist in Arabic. They certainly have technology here, but in the past they have generally depended on Hindi techies to maintain it, so tech terms in Arabic have been slow to develop and even slower to be adopted. Hopefully the magazine will help with that for our sake and that of the region.
Pretty exciting stuff!

So if you want to keep tabs on me, job-wise anyway, just look for the entries with my name on them on!

(posted by Daddybird)