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Showing posts from July, 2009

Make a very cheap flat/big screen TV

Over the weekend I happened to visit a friend of mine, who also happened to be a fellow student. On entering her house, I was almost knocked out by her 19 inch television. Of course, been a guy, we are always attracted to the electronics. On taking a closer look, I realized that the T.V. was manufactured by Dell, which further dumbfounded me, since I don't remember Dell ever manufacturing T.V.s.

On taking an even closer look, I realized that it was a normal Dell monitor , but on further inspection, it occurred to me that my friend was using a T.V. box, which is a device similar to(or at times also known as) an external T.V. card. The T.V. box has a VGA output which the monitor is then plugged in. It then occurred to me that we can achieve vision 2030 pretty soon and anyone can comfortably afford a 21 inch flat screen using the same combination.

Below is a photo of a T.V. box.

tvbox1440_c.jpg (JPEG Image, 650x605 pixels) - Scaled (87%)

With New HP flat screen TFT monitors ranging fr…

The Cost of Owning an iPhone in Kenya

After visiting the Orange/Telkom Kenya stand at the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK) expo, I was finally able to grab my hands on the elusive full pricing brochure of the iPhone 3G in Kenya. Sadly, the Orange staff did not have an idea of what the iPhone 3Gs is; but they were quick to admit this rather than telling you there is no such thing as most tech people in the country usually do. Here is the lowdown.





From the above pricing, Orange iphone price plans give you 18 minutes of talk time and 10 sms per day.Let us compare this with other providers.

Key :
* split comparisons show within-network charges on the left and inter-network charges on the left
**cost for 250 Mb bundle

As we see from the above comparison , the total ownership cost for an iphone ranges from Ksh. 69, 000 for the 6 month 8 Gb prepaid version to 149,000 for a 2 year postpaid contract on the 16Gb iphone.

After expiry of your contract, your iphone still remains locked to Orange Kenya and you may then move to thei…

News that never is.

I have given up watching T.V. news. Not that it is not dramatic; on the other hand, it is quite dramatic and that is where the problem lies. The T.V. stations have not been showing news, but drama scripts which they write and which are acted by others, mostly politicians.Even on days like Sunday when there are barely enough happenings , we still have dramatic news. The news channels have even learnt to ask for our thoughts on how dramatic the news was, and make an extra buck while at it.

Politicians have been given prime slots in the news , even when they have nothing to say. When they completely lack anything to say, the news channels go ahead and say it for them .After all has been said and done, the same channels will then express their utter disgust at the behaviours of the politicians.They forget that the politicians were acting up for their dramatic script, given that they were guaranteed free prime time advertisement aka news.

Take an example of the small matter of ICC prosecut…

Who are the Mungiki

Welcome to Nairobi, unofficially a city where petroleum is more widely accessible than piped water. It is also a crime ridden city, with high income estates been targeted more than the (mostly low income) Eastlands area. In my last article, we explored crime in the Eastlands in the form of a matatu hijacking.

Following the article, I received feed back of crime in areas along Thika road. The first revelation was that most matatus plying the Nairobi -Githurai 45(and areas in between) will rarely be hijacked. The second revelation was criminals operate matatus on the same route. To expound on this, criminals run matatus which they specifically "hijack" and rob passengers. The third revelation is that the police have little to do with the crime situation(or lack of it) on areas along Thika road till Githurai.

The Mungiki are the people in charge of this area. The reason why matatus will rarely be hijacked and why criminals own their own matatus is because of the Mungiki. Matatu…

Culture of Impunity: The Matatu manifestation

"Kenya is a friendly country, going to the coast or in most upcountry towns, Kenyans will smile with you, say hi and even offer help on your way around". The problem with the above statement is that some Kenyans are not happy with it. In short, they are no longer interested in advancing any bit of friendliness; in contrast, they are more interested in making the lives of others difficult. They do this mostly by illegally taking others own, either directly or indirectly. They do this directly by common robbery while indirectly by soliciting for bribes or refusing to follow acceptable procedures when dealing with the public. This behavior has become so widespread in Kenya that it is now called the Culture of impunity.

This became quite clear to me this week in several incidents. In the first incident, traffic police had mounted an operation to net vehicles flouting traffic rules along Ronald Ngala street. Several matatu drivers usually drive across the bank dividing the two …

Chilling Crime in Nairobi: What Prime Time News Missed

Last night I was watching Prime time news on one of our local stations. As with all other days, there was a buzz word for the day. Yesterday's Buzz word was "hotly contested" or a variation, which was used to refer to several instances of Mayoral elections in different towns in the country. The news caster kept reminding the viewers that each of the elections was hotly contested. This was soon followed by a Swine flu head count in the country and onto other depressing news about crime here and there.

Of late, prime time news has been serving us tales of rising crime in Nairobi, together with the rising stories of Kidnapping, which a friend, Conrad Otieno, says that has been fueled by the coverage local media has been giving it. As we eat supper, we have been having armed robbery tales served for dessert. The same news has been mirrored in all Local media outlets.So far, we have been hearing of how crime has moved from the low income areas to the high income areas, and how…

An idiots guide to Nairobi and it's environment

At this juncture in time, when the City Council is thinking of making major City Roads a one way, we found it helpful to add some sort of guide around the city, based on past experiences.
Crossing the Road
In primary school, we were taught that to cross a road, you looked right, then left, right again, and cross if clear. Well, we revised the rules to make them well suited for the Nairobi environment.This rules are applicable in all city roads, even on one way streets.

Look right,
Look left
Look right again1
Look at the traffic lights
Look at the Traffic policeman
Look for any signs of trouble across the street2

If any 2 of the above are clear, You may proceed to cross the road.
1 You should look right on one way streets, since matatus are known to drive along the wrong side of one way street at high speeds, especially if the streets have little traffic.
2you may cross a street and walk into an armed robbery, or a "Riot police Vs. X" match , where you may become a bullet statistic.…

Pornography & Technology: Buddies for Life?

Pornography is one of the most frowned upon human activities(hobbies), considered by many as a vice. Wikipedia describes it as Pornography or porn is the depiction of explicit sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexually exciting the viewer. Pornography is mostly associated with a male audience, with most men having viewed pornography in their lifetime. Many men will consider someone viewing pornography to be indulging in a vice, however, the same men will view, purchase and enjoy pornography out of public view. The question therefore, is where you view the pornography and the ethics behind the pornographic material been viewed. In fact, pornography is so popular that it has been associated with the evolution of technology, and the adaptation of some emerging technology over some other incumbent form. In some cases, inferior technology has trumped over some superior technology due to the pornographic foot print of inferior technology.

In this article, we shall heavily refer to an…