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United Arab Emirates Linux user group

I am really happy to share the news about the formation of Linux meet up group for United Arab Emirates. This is my story how I got into using Linux. Back in 1999 we used to get supplement Linux CD in PC-Quest magazine. They called it as PCQLinux and with my friends we used to experiment on our home computer. Every time we install Linux we get our windows boot sectors corrupted with our lilo boot loader. We always end up in formatting the whole system. Those days the Linux was at early stages in GUI and for most of the hardware we never get proper drivers. In a day or two I used to give up and move back to windows.

When I was studying in college we came to know about Chennai Linux User group. One of my friend told that they had meetings once in every 2 weeks and it happened in IIT Madras campus, the place where real genius people study. We thought it was a good chance to visit IIT campus in the name of LUG. When I first went for the meeting I meet some real cool people wearing Linux T-shirts with bunch of CDs chatting about Linux. Mostly they were talking about compiling kernel and device drivers and about the project in Linux etc etc. After going for couple of meetings I learned few tricks on how to use Linux. Till today I am using the same tricks for working on Linux.

Thanks to Chennai Lug for the help and support they me gave when I started with Linux. I was looking for a group in Dubai from the day I landed here. I hardly found anything where people liked to meet. We cannot blame anyone for this as nobody here has time for meet up in their busy schedule. This group is another attempt to make User group possible in UAE. With help of companies like Flip Media which supports Linux I think we can make it better.

I am still a beginner in Linux and just wanted to create a forum so we can meet the real gurus and learn from them.

For more information please visit UAE Lug Website.
For more information on next UAE Lug meet up.

Please join us and together everyone can achieve more 🙂

Digital Music Innovation at Flip

Flip’s own Head of Delivery, Paul A. Zwarts (aka Paz) has been a DJ and producer since the early 1990s. Having lived and played in Toronto, Amsterdam and Dubai, Paz now has teamed up with partner in crime Marko Ben-Aicha, aka Smokingroove. The dynamic duo have started their own record label called Mixtura Records which looks towards supporting a very small scene in Dubai which is oriented around genres like Chicago House and Drum & Bass.

Paz and Smokingroove Mixtura is derived between the word “Mix” and the Portuguese word “Mistura” which also means mixed. Paz & Smokingroove are making headway in their industry for their themed releases which have so far covered infused styles like 40’s Swing and Latino/Brazilian sounds.

Having already released two Eps which are Ethnic/Brasilian oriented, these two music makers are teaming up with several artists including Flip’s own Mazen Abou Hatab (aka Meezus).

The future is looking bright for these guys as they aim to create music, sell online and get into new and interesting markets like video games and television scores.

“Our music is not for the masses. Although we are very open to all types of music, we are very much aware that Dubai is about pop culture. There happens to be a lot of people here who dont agree with this. Our job is to meet that in ways that compliment our own tastes and experiences.” says Paz.

“There are places opening up in Dubai that are thinking about format and music more than fancy display and expensive budgets. This kind of thing is dying with the credit crunch and we can no longer treat music as pure vanity and wastah. Our music definitely reflects this attitude.”

Recently Hive, a very chic yet down to earth bar, restaurant opened in Souk Al Bahar. Mixtura’s Smokingroove is a resident there, supported by Paz.

“You’ll find us playing our own wares and styles similar at places like Hive and Alphaclub which appreciate that music is about mood and format, rather than yet another place to listen to top 10 hits which are found on your car’s radio.”

All in all, niche thinking is the way to survive in the present economy and idealizing where specific markets exist will ensure longevity. Flip Media, prided in it’s thinking towards web-based business objectives is proud to know that this kind of mentality is transcended into a Flipper’s way of life rather than just a job.

You can listen and find out where to buy all digitally released music on

Gulfnews vs EMUG users about PC and Mac

There is an interesting debate going between Gulf news technical writer Scott Schuey and users from Emirates Mac User Group (EMUG) about the article published by Scott on 7th june 2008 about Investing in a suitable computer system.

The users of EMUG started to discuss about that article “Gulf News answers the Question Should I buy an Apple Macintosh instead of a personal?

Scott gave reply with another article on 14th June 2008 as “Live with it: Mac is not the greatest“.

Here goes the reply for the article by the EMUG users “Gulf News pissed with EmiratesMac

The debate is going red hot, I am waiting for the next reply from Scott Schuey !!!

More salik toll gates in Dubai this september

Two more Salik toll gates will be installed in Dubai – one each on Al Maktoum Bridge and between the First and the Second Interchanges on Shaikh Zayed Road. This was announced by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

“The installation of the new toll gates comes as part of the second phase of the Salik system to regulate traffic on Dubai Roads,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA. The new toll gates will start working from September 9.

Recently Dubai RTA opened the new Al Garhoud Bridge with 14 lanes 7 on each side of the road. Al Garhoud Bridge will have a capacity for 16,000 vehicles per hour. This is such a great bridge. But the sad thing was no one was using it as it was having a salik gate in front of it. Everyone was using Al Maktoum Bridge. There is big traffic congestion on this side. Once the if the put this Salik gate if people wants to goto Shaikh Zayed Road they have to pay Salik.

Lot of discussion is happening everywhere that Dubai is taxing the people. I strongly believe that they are trying to make lot of people life’s better. This toll system is there in lot of major cities in the world where they want to control the traffic flow. Dubai is not the first in this. We should be happy that they are not up to the biggest toll gate or most no of toll gates in the world is in Dubai 😀

Flip Media and Neo Digital gets new CEOs

Flip Holding Ltd is delighted to announce the promotion of Yousef Tuqan Tuqan and Mohammad Itani as CEOs for Flip Media and Neo Digital.

Yousef Tuqan Tuqan has been promoted to CEO of Flip Media, with overall responsibility for the development and growth of the largest interactive agency in the Middle East. An industry veteran with over 11 years of regional experience, Yousef has served as Account Director at Flip Media since 2005, and has been responsible for business development and client servicing for the agency.

“Yousef has been one of our most vocal ambassadors, and has played a leading role in growing our agency into a global network of 150 dedicated Internet professionals. His passion and experience have been invaluable in maintaining our leadership position, and this promotion is a vote of confidence in his ability to lead Flip Media into its next phase of growth,” said Managing Partner Dinesh Lalvani, Flip’s cofounder.

Mohammad Itani has been promoted to CEO of Neo Digital, Flip’s sister agency and the first dedicated online media agency in the Middle East. Mohammad has served as Head of Media since 2005, and has been instrumental in the growth of the agency and its reach beyond Dubai. He has also been involved in the development of Neo Digital’s Search Engine Marketing team, which boasts 4 full-time specialists and one of the largest booking volumes in the region.

According to Flip Holdings’ Group CEO Martin Diessner, “Mohammad has shown great leadership in times of ongoing change in the industry, and has earned the respect and admiration of his clients, his team and his partners across the online media landscape. I am confident that Neo Digital can continue to maintain its position as the fastest-growing and most innovative independent online media agency in the region.”

Managing Partners Dinesh Lalvani and Martin Diessner will continue their daily involvement in the group’s operation from Dubai, with a greater focus on the development of Brand Central, the most powerful enterprise-class advertising management and serving solution in the Middle East; and Chameleon, Flip Media’s complete website content management solution.

According to Dinesh “these key promotions represent a vote of confidence in Yousef and Mohammad to continue to lead their agencies into their next stage of development. Both have been the faces of Flip Media and Neo Digital since their appointment in 2005, and we are proud to work alongside them as we continue to offer the best and most comprehensive digital marketingsolutions in the region.”

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