Wednesday, September 24, 2008

nairobi metro

Trains every 30 minutes:

Nairobi Central -Thika, Athi River, Limuru, Buruburu/Eastlands

It would be very useful and could ease the load on our crowded roads very much.

I know RVR is maybe more intent on enhancing the use of railway lines for transportation of cargo, but commuter transport is viable. I'm still to see a modern city that boasts a good transport infrastructure that does not have a well developed railway system


And whats with this half baked patching of roads that borders on hazardous at times? While attempting to patch up Chiromo Road, the contractors have created large craters on the road ( I know they intend to fill them up) that more likely than not, have been the cause of a few accidents. Considering that this is 3 lane motorway, that is not well lit, accidents are bound to happen when large potholes stretch across two lanes.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Telkom Kenya finally launched the Orange brand in Kenya. Here's a quick review.

The rates for calls are not too bad though I suspect Zain still has the lowest intra-network call charges. There's also some offers for phones though many people I know were eagerly waiting to see if the iPhone 3G would be one of these. Sadly its not on the list of business phones available. Also the phones available don't appear to be subsidized much, if at all - the Nokia E71 at 39k which is only up to 3k off the price at the few mainstream shops selling it.

There's also no mention of mobile data packages (GRPS, EDGE or 3G) so if these are not available, there's really no point of having one of those high end business/smart phones on their network as one would end up only using the phone for text messages and calls.

Looking at their broadband packages, I don't see anything really new. A friend of mine once remarked he would never pay more than 3000/- for an unlimited internet package so for him, these packages would be on the higher side. That said, rumour is that the livebox offers pretty fast internet. though costs may be prohibitive for some.

So I'm still waiting for a really good reason to switch networks.

Monday, September 15, 2008


this blog might be moving to a new location..

Standing your ground, defending your faith

I just came across this interesting article in today's Nation.

In this day and age where money is everything for most people, it is heartening to read that even in the face of harsh economic times, there are some principled and upright Christians out there.

Quoting the Nation's report:

“I believe that I’m playing my role in building a society that is morally upright. I believe if you can prevent a man from infecting a girl with a disease, you are straight before God and honest members of the society.’ Mr Muriu told the Nation.

Friday, September 12, 2008

IEEE Exhibition 11th Edition

This year's exhibitions mainly featured IT and renewable energy.

A few of the demonstrations I got a chance to look at:

  • Hybrid Power using Solar and Biodiesel - combining both Solar and Biodiesel Energy to ensure that a household (or village) has power via Solar or Bio energy regardless of whether the sun shines or not.
  • Developing Energy from Gravity - looked intriguing - it would be interesting to see this fully developed
  • Synergistic Hybrid Energy
  • SCADA system
  • A solar based mobile charger (more than one variation) - quite useful for those without electricity
  • Automatic headlight dimmer for two approaching vehicles - I've ranted about headlights before - would be very useful and potential could reduce some accidents.
  • Automatic traffic offence checking system - reduces corruption maybe ?
  • Electrical Biogas production (process monitoring and control)
  • Market Decision Support System - This looked quite interesting - A business intelligence tool that allows a farmer to choose where to sell his produce based on price, and location. Some of the obstacles that the developer Andrew Owuor mentioned include the need for real time market data from markets round the country, for the system to be of use.
  • iLocator @ Makerere University - provides a virtual tour of the university. Next for the two ladies from Makerere is making it mobile and GPS enabled.
  • Online Farm information system - providing useful info for farmers round the country
  • Online Farm Equipments and Machinery hiring system
  • Building Materials Management - quite useful when putting up your house .
  • Keeping in mind the events that occurred earlier in the year, several students had voting/tallying systems.
  • Thermo cooking - using a regular thermos
  • Mpesa Online Shopping - Safaricom CEO Michael Joseph was especially interested in this one for obvious reasons.
  • The Dullu Game Project - It looks like more developers are following Wesley in the development of games.
  • Mobile Real Time NSE data - A very well done user interface on the mobile phone, portfolio management, hourly data.
  • Using Piezo Electric energy to charge a phone - very interesting yet practical.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Driving in Kenya: the madness of it all

Speed limits? What are speed limits?
This road typically should have a speed limit of 30 kph (being in a residential area with kids sometimes cycling or walking around), but I've seen impatient people doing > 60 kph on this road, even when there are lots of pedestrians who sometimes have had to jump out of the way.

The Rush to Nowhere in Particular?
You wonder what the rush is, when most of the time rushing only costs one more wear and tear (think brake pads, engine), not to mention (expensive) fuel wasted, increased stress levels, higher risk of hitting someone; basically a waste of energy. One only gains maybe 2 seconds, (and an ego boost maybe) which is quickly lost at the next traffic snarl up:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The new look ushahidi is now out. From the early (dark) days in January, growth has been rather phenomenal, especially with the support of the various organisations providing funding for the project.

Hopefully this application will adopted by relief and aid organisations world wide as a tool to assist people in need, as well as even governments in terms of crisis.

Get yourself a button and banner for your site.

Kudos to the Ushahidi team!