Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First ever Musical by Starehe Boys and Girls

Starehe Boys and Girls (Centres) will be performing the Musical - 'Oliver' at the Kenya National Theatre

Times are:
Friday 20th July - 7pm (Tickets 400/-)
Saturday 21st July - 3pm and 6pm (Tickets 300/-)
Sunday 22nd July - 3pm (Tickets 300/-)

I plan to there on at least one of the days :)

I acted in one of the last musicals that Starehe Boys Did in the late 90s :)

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Been out of blogging for more than 10 days due to a short tripI discovered that:

one needs a passport to change money in Johannesburg. (not like in Nairobi where you just show up with the foreign currency and get it changed chap chap without commission and sijui nini)

Barbecue in Afrikaans means braai :)

Roads in Kenya have a lot of catching up to do.

Found the Oliver Tambo International Airport not busy for it's size. Most duty free shops closed at night - i thought these are meant to operate for 24 hours.

Hopefully I shall be found in J'burg in June-July 2010 :)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Wanted on Ubuntu

I tend to use more than one monitor while working (both at work and at home) in an 'extended' sort of way - Xinerama is what it's called in the X world. For me this boosts productivity, as I can easily have a document open on one screen while working on an email for instance or another. (Or while at home, do some hacking on a server while watching a movie on the other screen :) )

This is easily done on Windows, but so far I haven't gotten it to work on Feisty Fawn despite visiting quite a number of threads. I don't think that I have exhausted all options but last time I was trying to get Xinerama to work on X I had to keep restarting the entire Operating System since X windows kept crashing.

I'll be eagerly waiting for Gutsy Gibbon coming out in October, which supposedly has a nice GUI that allows you to configure Xinerama.

Meanwhile any help is welcome on hacking this.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Free and Open Source Software for Africa, Local Content

Lots of things that show that FOSS is the way to go in Africa:

Sometimes ago linuxchix were @ Naru Moru at a girls school there introducing (Free and Open Source Software) FOSS to the ladies there. A couple of guys from Skunkworks were with them too.

Apparently a good number of Univeristy students are very much FOSS aware. A good number of final year presentations in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the JKUAT were based on FOSS.

The number of companies in Kenya developing and deploying FOSS based solutions is growing fast. I remember that back in 2000, Silicon Bazaar (which closed down its Kenyan operations) was the only organisation I can think of that was doing FOSS based solutions in Kenya at that time.

Education in Schools - I'm looking at solutions (like School Tool, Moodle) among many others) that can enhance learning as well as management of schools.

FOSS is best for Africa:

Several arguments have been raised on why FOSS is best for Africa:

  • Costs Nothing (it's Free) - This is not a key reason. After all, a proprietary vendor of software can opt to give software to developing countries like Kenya for free. Making a case for FOSS for Africa using the argument that it costs nothing will not be enough.

  • Ability to Redistribute - A good reason (though with the rampant piracy of proprietary software this probably won't have such a great impact :) )

  • Availability of Source Code - This should be the main reason behind adoption of FOSS In Africa. Instead of relying on foreign software companies to develop software for us, we should develop software solutions for our own (quite often) unique problems.

  • Lets not depend on foreign companies for software applications and platforms. We can learn from them, but let's build our own.

    Local Content
    There's alot that has been said about infrastructure - with all the Fiber cables landing in Mombasa (and other ports in Africa) possibly over the next 2 years. However after the initial hullabaloo, new internet users on the continent will want more and more things to do online. Local content (hosted and created locally) will become more and more important.

    I like John Wesonga's post on Incompetent Web Developers talking about content.

    Lot's of new things happening though:
    Helule - which is very exciting as it targets mobile phone users
    Not hosted locally (yet :) - should be soon)