Qatar ‘Spy’ on iBooks

The previous months have been particularly harried for me as I am preparing for my IEMA re-certification (a UK-based Environmental Engineering professional body) in October and using iBooks with my iPad2 has been extremely nifty where I store and read most of my sleep-inducing review ebooks. I won’t be conferring about the prohibitive unit cost and poor selection texts as far as my field is concerned as this deserve to be a future iMersal article.

Only Three “Qatar” eBooks per se

I was searching on recent electronic publications in my field and I endeavored to see if there were Environment-related Qatar-based publications in the iBooks store. As of the moment, there are none, though, it is particularly interesting to find Qatar-related ebooks. I typed in “Qatar” and it showed 10 books on sale (see screenshot on the right). Actually, there are only 9 as 1 of the ebooks is a duplicate. Three of these ebooks are actually about Qatar on various topics while the rest made mention of Qatar only or somehow associated to its particular subject matter.

Search "Qatar" results on iBooks store (As of 15 August 2011)

Qatar “Spy” Guide
I was particularly drawn on the Qatar A ”Spy” Guide ebook, for obvious reasons. Published by the International Business Publishing US, for US $ 49.99, I figured to check out the sample to see if this would, at least, appeal to my intellect similar to the impression it made on me for its name. As predicted the name has achieved its purpose in taking hold of one’s attention, ‘Qatar’ and ‘Spy’ jointly in a book title would absolutely amuse each one who has lived here in Qatar.

Qatar A "Spy" Guide on iBooks

Verbatim its description from the bookstore:

Strategic and practical info on government, national security, army, foreign and domestic politics, conflicts, relations with the US, international activity, economy, technology, mineral resources, culture, traditions, government and bus contacts.

Bus contacts? Interesting.

Anyway, this ebook needs serious corrections on its text, as apostrophe, maybe, is not available in its selected font. Even the fonts are not consistent. There are also repeated sentences. This could be acceptable if one is trying to stress a point but if used on the same page or using this practice to lengthen word count is precisely flimsy.

I am absolutely not the best writer in the world but we expect adroitness from the authors and more from the publishers. These are measly aesthetic-founded criticisms as my sample ebook were based on a 48-page sample (out of the 360 pages). Nonetheless, Qatar A “Spy” Guides, indeed, serves as a comprehensive reference for information on Qatar.

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Ramadan Social Events

This holy month of Ramadan has been particularly busy for QMac with all the social events it hosted plus the launching of the iPad2 by iSpot – yeah, QMac was privileged to be part of this special event! Thanks to iSpot.

We had an Iftar dinner last 9 August at the place of one of our co-founder, Mariee Colocado and just last Friday, 19 August, QMac photographer, Myk Go, was so nice to host our trip to Al Khor. Al Khor is about 50 kilometers from Doha, where major Qatar gas companies and its operations are located.

Here are some photos.

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Choice of Apps for Ramadan

This is a stunted article to share my favorite apps especially for this holy month. I am an Arab originally from Egypt but was raised here in Doha. Some Muslim practices vary from region to region in the Middle East but these selections are truly handy whether you are from the Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc., as the fundamentals of the Islam faith are the same anywhere.

There are many mobile apps now available across different mobile platforms that will help in observing this holy month of Ramadan in true spirit. Muslims observing Ramadan can keep up with ancient traditions using high-tech offerings on their iPhones and iPads, including the iPray and iQuran apps that remind users of prayer times.

Such applications are especially popular outside Muslim countries, as mosques do not broadcast daily calls to prayer from external loudspeakers as we do over here.

1. Resala Ramadan by Yufid Inc.

Created to highlight key points about Ramadan virtues, things that are lawful and forbidden during Ramadan – and it is free!

2. Islamic Calendar by i4Islam

Also known as Hijiri calendar is a lunar calendar used to date events in many predominantly Muslim countries. Price: Free.

3. Quran Reader by Batoul Apps

Quran Reader lets you flip through and read the Quran the exact way you would a physical mus’har. Price US $ 2.99.

4. Ramadan Times by PakData

Perfect for the Retina graphics, it uses highly accurate method for calculation of sunrise, sunset and twilight – and still free!


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Messages from Beyond the World of MAC

Welcome to the QMAC website.  Since this is my first blog here at QMAC let me introduce my self. My name is Ryan Chittenden, and I have been a MAC user since February 15th, 2011.  Yes, I am a MAC noob.

You must be asking yourself what the heck this noob could possibly have to share that will help me? Well, first of all, I have been using computers since the very first days of the personal computers in the late 80ies.  I have used Apple II, SE30s, and even the original iMac when they were top of the line.  However, most of my experience in my 15 years of web development is front of a Windows machine.

I came to Qatar to work on building websites, I came toting my bag of web tricks an showed up for my first day of work, discovered this beautiful, alien, unibody MacBookPro having no real idea of the world I was about open.  Now, I like to think I am pretty open minded person, and really a computer is just a tool, albeit an important one.  First switching to the MAC seemed ackward and alien to me.  However, from the first few tentative clicks as a clicked around the UI and made my way thru the process of making the computer mine, Apple’s intuitive’s OSX lived up to the hype.

My first tip to a new from Windows user is to enable “secondary click”, this will give you back the oh-so all to handy right-click.  This process may vary depending what mouse you have attached to your MAC.  I used a Magic Mouse.  System preferences -> Mouse.  Then check “Secondary Click” and select “Right” in the select box.  Just close the window after, Windows guys resist the temptation to look for the OK or Apply button…the change has been already made!

Over the coming weeks and months I will share my experiences as I transition from Windows7 to the wonderful world of MAC.  With iOS 5 and Lion coming, there going to be lots and lots of things to share.

Yours truly,

Ryan Chittenden
MAC noob

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