In Review 2005

In a way it’s really important for me right now at this particular time in my life to seriously take a step back, reflect and look at what’s gone before. It’s posts like this that actually make my blog an extremely important part of my life. The sheer amount of information and experience one goes through in a year is amazing. Since I generally can’t remember what I ate yesterday it’s even more important for people like me.

I’m going to warn you however that this is the single longest post I’ve ever done in 2 YEARS of blogging now. I’m generally a verbose person anyway. You’ve been warned.

In June I completed 1 year of my blog under the Broken Kode name. However the site was still gaining momentum in early 2004 from the release of Manji.

Manji and Rin
Manji was released at the tail end of 2004, for Rin was released in March. I do want to thank two great personalities on the Broken Kode forums. James and Steph you guys are absolute gems and I thank you for all the help you’ve given to people throughout the year.

Alex King Theme Design Competition
Coming second place in the Alex King WordPress Theme design competition was a great little boost for my thirst for creating better designed websites. I’ve still got a great deal to learn, however I’m a lot more confident than I was a whole year ago before the Manji and Rin. Iâ��m only happy when I’m constantly learning and fighting to understand things, and these two themes gave me the necessary building foundations for the future.

Broken Kode Designs
Which kind of leads to the fact that I designed this site 3 times this year. To me that implies that I seriously didn’t have much of a clue as to what I wanted, which isn’t completely true. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for this site as my needs and the reader’s needs has shifted. I had the idea for version 4 that I really wanted to implement. It’s been a very successful design and one that I’m very proud of and very humbled by all the nice comments people say about it.

Based on a review of a book I did, I was invited to contribute to the book, which should get published sometime next year. I’ve included a double page spread and one of the playing cards. However due to my hard-drive crash, I actually lost that information, so I’ll get it like everyone else on the DVD that’s included with the book.

I introduced CoCo, which is actually not the first mascott I’ve ever created but definitely my favourite. All future BK designs will have the little guy in one form or another.

I launched another website, Emmortel to coincide with May1st Reboot. I enjoyed doing it and I’m generally happy with the design, unfortunately I didn’t update it are regularly as I wanted to. This was also because I realised that I really should be putting all my efforts into Broken Kode, and that my portfolio section could be included into this site. That aspect of the site is still giving me some serious grief but it’s good that it’s on the main site as it motivates me even more to do something about it.

Broken Kode Originals
A couple of weeks ago I introduced my first Broken Kode Original. One of many to come in the near future. I’ve got around 5 on my plate at the moment. I’d like to get to the stage where I’m commissioned for at least one of these a month. I think I could probably increase it to two a month but no more than that to be honest.

Broken Kode Shop
This was something fun to do. I got a massive buzz getting those prints printed off. I didn’t do it for the money because if I did then I was going about it the wrong way that’s for sure. Iâ��m just immensely grateful to all those people who have supported me in this whimsical idea of mine.

The second item to be offered from the shop is nearly completed and that’s my first blook. I’ve got some serious work to do before the 15th of January, however I’m excited about this package as it’ll be the first book I put on my shelf that has my name on the spine which alone gives me Goosebumps just thinking about it.

Introduction of Splash Panel
I’m actually appalled at myself for taking this long to actually get this particular show on the road. I guess I was scared of the amount of time and dedication a site such as this would take. My ambitions for this site are very big. The plan is for Splash Panel to be the first destination people go to for news and reviews and information about the latest graphic novels. Fortunately for me (unfortunate for the industry) most comic book types are still in the dark ages with respect to the internet, as they honestly don’t know how to design a website or present the information for their sites. That’s an article Iâ��ll be writing at some point to flesh things out more.

I believe the site will get a huge amount of momentum once I’ve done the design for it and had a couple of interviews under my belt.

Work Progressed on Shuttle
We progressed this a great deal in the past year. We’ve all decided to get on with it in the month of January and complete it all. The entire Shuttle team is completely dedicated to this date and it will mark one year of working on it (not continuously, just in bursts). I’ve learnt a great deal from Michael, Joen and Bryan. I’m hoping to pick up some stuff from Joshua and Chris. This project has definitely made me into a better designer, since now I question EVERYTHING I do. If I didn’t then I’d get hammered from the guys. This project has helped build and nurture my friendship with these guys, whom I hold in the highest regard.

Codename: Borg
Borg has moved forward than just an idea and will hopefully be something I can be proud of in the near future. I don’t want to talk much about it just yet as we’ve still got a long road before we’re in Beta, but it’s going to be a really fun road I can tell you that much. Snook is a code-master. The guy’s sooo blasé about coding it’s unreal. Stuff that would make my head hurt he just shrugs it off and calls it easy, that bastard, lol.

9rules Network
In July I was accepted into the 9rules network. While the added exposure has been great, honestly that’s the least important perk of being in the network. For me having gained several friends is worth more than 2 million hits a day. That’s what makes the network special, the people.

In May I started thinking aloud. Seems I wasn’t alone in my line of thought. Others felt the same way. The project and idea lay dormant until I could actually give it the proper time it required and so Inksmith was born. The team behind the idea is top notch and is always and constantly expanding. We should be announcing something in the not to distant future regarding this little idea. I find it amazing how just the idea has sparked off loads of conversations but that’s a good sign as people have opinions, and once we’ve actually gotten the framework sorted out, people will appreciate what we’re doing that much more.

Internet Friendships
One aspect of this year that I only really was able to put my finger on as I thought about this list more was the number of internet friendships I was able to build and nourish over the past year. It’s gotten to the stage where I don’t think too much about these things anymore but thinking back a year ago this wasnâ��t the case. I consider Phu Ly, Michael Heilemann, Joen Asmussen, Jon Snook, Bryan Veloso, Chris J Davis , Podz, Matt Mullenweg, Erik Sagen and all those crazy cats over at inksmith and 9rules as friends.

December also brought about the very first London WordPress meetup. I hope to repeat this in the near future as there are a couple of people that live in London that I would like to meet (yeah I’m looking at you Phu).

Problems in my country flared up again after 10 years or relative peace. This event is still being talked about and was fueled even more last night was an unbelievable interview with an ex-Syrian politician. The future of the country looks to be very electric over the next couple of months.

However this event spurred me into going back to Lebanon after 2 years. I was able to vote for the first time in my life. It was a bit of an anti-climax, although it was extremely important that I do that.

With the exception of the Corporate Games in Manchester, my basketball life this year was pretty weak. To substitute for my lack of basketball action I did take up running which I’ve been pretty lax on in recent months, however that’s more to do with work than anything else. The funny thing is I got a couple of nasty emails due to those posts.

London Attacks
Went through a pretty tough time for the city of London during the month of July. Stathis of course went through worse, however I’m glad those around me got through this unscathed.

I didn’t go to that many concerts this year, however those that I did I can say were extremely memorable. Here’s a couple of reviews:
  1. Billy Corgan
  2. Thirteen Sense
  3. Foo Fighters
Top Movies
I actually watched loads of movies, however I didn’t review half as many as I would have liked to. I might make a more concerted effort next year.
  1. 25th Hour
  2. Kiki’s Delivery Service
  3. Batman Begins
  4. Leon: Special Edition
  5. Howl’s Moving Castle
  6. Serenity
  7. Sky Blue
Top Books
I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked to, but the few that I did I must say I enjoyed greatly.
  1. Tales of the Otori
  2. The Helsinki Roccamatios
  3. After the Empire
  4. Leo the African

Top Graphic Novels
To be honest I’ve written a massive post about this over at Splash Panel where this sort of thing is meant to be.


  1. As we look back at the many things that happened during 2005, lets welcome 2006 with hope and enthusiasm. Happy new year!

    1 If Else
    Quote | 1/1/2006
  2. Oh, and I agree, we should meet up:)

    2 If Else
    Quote | 1/1/2006
  3. Another Human, nice. I actually got my ass in gear, didn’t make it into the first book. It’s a weirder offering from me though, was trying to do something a bit different.

    3 dave
    Quote | 1/1/2006
  4. Hey Dave that’s cool, but I bet my is weirder than yours :). I’ll show you mine if you show me yours(I’ve only got a small jpg version of what I sent to the human bunch.)

    4 Khaled
    Quote | 1/1/2006
  5. You’re welcome, Khaled! I’m glad to lend a hand in the Manji and Rin forums whenever I can.

    5 James (aka MacManX)
    Quote | 1/1/2006
  6. Hey Khaled! Ti kaneis re malaka? To ksero pos petagome san pordi sto asheto se ashetes sizitiseis alla na…ksehasa to mail sou. Mporeis na mou stilis sto mail mou na ta poume? Geia sou re STATHARA!!!! GELAS E??? XAIRETHSMATA APO KATERINA!!! ZHTO H ELLADA REEEEEEEEE!!!!! XAXAXAXAX!!!!!

    6 Johnny-K
    Quote | 5/2/2006
  7. Hi,
    I found your blog via google by accident and have to admit that youve a really interesting blog :-)
    Just saved your feed in my reader, have a nice day :)

    7 Florian
    Quote | 29/1/2007

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