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About eLouai.com:eLouai is pronounced "E - Loo - Ay".
We managed to squeeze in all 5 vowels of the alphabet in a single word :)
eLouai (originally Louai.com) is the electronic version of Louai.com (hence the leading 'e'). This site includes Doll Makers, smileys, icons, illustrations, tutorials and reference material.
Originally this site was about smileys, while creating new smileys I got tired of re-creating the smileys that were essentially 90% similar to the previous ones that I created. So I wrote a smiley generator which re-used parts of my old drawings to recreate new emoticons. Much easier :)
I then came across dolls, Lola dolls to be precise. She created a doll base and had other artists draw clothes on top of it. I said, now that lends itself quite naturally to a doll maker. So I modified my smiley creator to create my very first doll maker. I was surprised by the response I received for it.
This encouraged me to continue to improve the doll maker with every rewrite. I even tried my hand at a few room makers.
As the site grew I knew I needed a tag line to help focus my energies. Once a tag line was created, "the doll maker site", it helped focus the site behind that pithy statement. The structure, the headings, the content of the website was naturally reorganized behind this one sentence honorific.
How big is the website? For December 2005 we used up around 7 terrabytes of data transfer this month (Thats 7,000 Gigs of data transfer in 1 month). We also get around 40,000 - 60,000 users per day and they generate close to 3 million page views per day on our website. The website is supported by 1 main server, a dual Xeon server and 2 image servers (Celerons).
About me:My name is Louai Munajim (hence the website name, elouai.com), my background is in art and computer programming.
In my younger days I had gotten a few awards for my artwork at school, in my spare time I wrote a few programs (games to be precise) on my TI99/4A, submitted them to few computer magazines and received a bit of money or won a few contests (free programs).
Once out of school I became a freelance artist for a couple of years. Living the life of an artist meant getting by with very little, I eventually tired of this hedonistic lifestyle and looked towards greener pastures. Returning to school in 1994 with every intention of getting a degree in computer science. I jumped ship the first chance I got to work at a startup company. This company wanted to create a new paradigm for the user interface, away from directories and into a zoomable user interface. Due to a lack of investors (and political infighting) the company was laid to rest. I continued my "real-life" education at a project management company. Rewrote over 3 million lines of code in 6 months, just to get their application functioning. We ironed out most of the bugs and improved the speed and response time (client side) of the application over 10 fold.
I continued working for a few other companies before finally deciding to settle down this year (2005) and devote my energies towards my websites.
That's it in a nutshell :)
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