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Category Archives: kenyan clones

Uhuru Kenyatta’s Free Laptop Programme- a techies perspective

So Yesterday <16th April 2013>  I watched as the President iterated that the free laptop programme he promised is still on, to be precise this is what he had to say “6:09 pm Uhuru: My government will deliver on its promise of free laptops for our children starting next year. Our vision is to have laptops availed in future to be assembled locally”. Two things struck me …His time line(next year) and his ambition to have them locally assembled in future. But before I look into either one of his points let me first shed some light into one already existing laptops for primary schools  program.

In Rwanda the supplier  was One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), an American charity linked to  MIT,but this process was plagued with controversy. I will only highlight the techie bits and stay clear of any politics here, the first controversy was when Intel opted out of the program,meaning this computers where to run on another chip-set  The second and the one I was very keen on was the Operating system the machines were running on,the war raged between Open source and Windows based XP. But despite this the computers were indeed supplied later on; the computer was  dubbed the XO laptop and saw Rwanda get 120,000 units,Ghana 10,000,Sierra Leone 5,000.  Read more here>>>

Now coming back to Kenya and looking back at what the president said.The first point was the timeline. The government should indeed not deploy this computers with any rush. I would suggest a whole year before they are made available to any classroom..reason? Well lets face it majority of teachers who will end up using this devices to administer learning to kids have limited computer training. I mean I would imagine the scenario if a teacher in say Nyeri or Siaya just got handed a bunch of devices and told to use in teaching, it would be no easy feat. Second the actual devices themselves….If we choose indeed to administer laptops what Operating system will they run on?

There are only two options here. Windows or and Open Source platform eg Linux. Visiting the OLPC the issue was between exclusive use of open source software for the project  and those in favor made suggestions supporting a move towards adding Windows XP which Microsoft was in the process of porting over to the XO hardware. Microsoft’s Windows XP, however, was not seen by some as a sustainable operating system. Microsoft announced on May 16, 2008, that they had let them have Windows XP for $3 per computer. It would be offered as an option on XO-1 laptops and possibly be able to dual boot alongside Linux. However, no significant deployments elected to purchase Windows licenses.

Assuming this laptops are to indeed run on Windows at $3 per windows licence and assume the first phase sees 500,000 issued. That would mean Microsoft would charge $1,500,000  (120,000,000 KSH).  And since the government aspires to buy  5.86 million computers for kids that would translate to approximately $17,600,000 (1.4 Billion KSH) Just for the OS.The other scenario would be to use a free variant of Linux…and do away with this cost.And assuming that the computers are not going to run on an Intel based chip-set (to reduce cost per unit) then for the performance to be optimal Linux would make more sense. Then going ahead and looking at his suggestion that the computers get manufactured locally it would mean we buy the parts from a cheap source eg. China ship them to Kenya assemble them on an alternate chip-set and a Linux Variant and hand them over to the kids.

But the west would fight this with all their might…..not because they are losing out $17,600,000 , that’s pocket change, but because of a simple mathematical term called extrapolation. If a kid grows up using Linux since class 1 what are the odds that when he/she turns 20 and wants to buy their own computer they will choose Microsoft? This will mean slowly by slowly Microsoft will fade out of Kenya as the OS of choice would be Linux. Asia is a living example of these, kids grew up using Linux and Microsoft is not as big there as it was back in the day.Intel would also loose a large market presence in the country. So if Uhuru were to opt for this then he would be in turn be giving the west a big middle finger.But there would be the issue of Internet connection on these laptops

The other option would be to provide a solar powered tablet instead of a laptop. A simple Android based Kenyan assembled tablet would cost around $30 and would represent the least-expensive solution for bringing computing and, more importantly, internet connectivity, to students in Kenya, tablets of this kind can access data networks using the GPRS  where 3G or 3.75 G is unavailable.With the App bubble at its peak devs would have a fun day driving local online and offline based content for these devises. Data providers e.g Safaricom, Zain,Orange ,YU would see data revenues go up also translating to more Revenue for KRA to take home and job creation.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in 254, code, JKUAT, kenyan clones, legal issues, true stories

 

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New MPESA application: Enter PesaBox

So I remember a while back reading this Post by Idd Salim on his bog, about him not being able to get his MPESA statement dating back more than 3 months. Safaricom does offer  you a statement at a fee of 25 bob a page read here  (with a 3 month cap of course ). So why not make a system that  does that for you for FREE 

Time to Unveil PesaBox that does exactly that,This will be a pictorial Blog with few words and More Images just to give an impression of the App and the web back-end

Available on Android : Google Play,Samsung Store,PesaBox site  {Symbian ,Blackberry,J2ME still in sand box stage,release date soon}

GooglePlayLogo

Uploaded: February- 18 -2013  (Google Play)

February- 18 -2013  (Samsung Store)

Description: 

What is PesaBox?

PesaBox is a mobile application that works by syncing all your MPESA transactions on-line to give you reports by logging in with your credentials on pesabox.co.ke

Benefits of using PesaBox

  1. Print out statements of your MPESA transactions
  2. Find out how much you spend on bills
  3. See your cash flow over any period of time*
  4. Find out where you transact most frequently
  5. Compare your income to your expenditure in your MPESA account and many more…

What reports are on PesaBox?

  1. Summarized reports
  2. Consolidated reports
  3. Expense reports
  4. Transaction statement
  5. Cash-flow report
  6. Deposit Vs Withdraws
  7. Income Vs Expenditure
  8. Money In VS Money Out
  9. Location Frequency
  10. Bills by Category

*Time period for reports can only span back to when you joined PesaBox

Download link: 1.) Google Play.

2.)PesaBox Website

View our Facebook page here>> ,feel free to like

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App based Mini Statement  report

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– Once you are logged in to your personal page at pesabox.co.ke  here are the reports that you can get:

Bills by Category

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Summarized Report

Screen Shot 1

Transaction Statement

Screen Shot 2

Consolidated Report

Screen Shot 3

CashFlow Reports

Screen Shot 4

Location Frequency

Screen Shot 5

Deposits vs Withdrawals 

Screen Shot 6

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2013 in 254, code, hack, kenyan clones

 

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Guest Post: UBAYA WA MAHACKATHONS NOWADAYS

Its been a while since I had a Guest Post on my Blog. So when a pal asked whether I could let her do one then you Know a bratha had to say Yes . So here it is {she blogs here if you are curious >>>>}

UBAYA WA MAHACKATHONS NOWADAYS

Been meaning to write this for a while and finally here goes. Ok Im not against competitions but seriously we need to rethink why and how we have these.

Napenda watu wa campo hio si issue but most of the time when you go for these things you will find majority of them there.  Si eti the other guys hawataki pesa but people be too grown for these (as in guys don’t just go for competitions just for the sake, watu wako busy wanacode “fa sustenance” si for pesa ya weekend. Lakini ka doo ni mob sawa). Most of the time you will get those who are on holidays, those who just cleared from school na wamecome kusocialize,  na wengine they just love the experience. Kuna wale huenda to make an extra buck and don’t think beyond the hackathon, then there is a fourth type of guys who have gone there with an intention of meeting the local Tech scene (if wazito watatokea), put what they know to test (coz they actually have initiative to teach themselves real code) and learn from the experienced people (they know there are guys better than them) so as to perhaps create networks for side husle jobs to build their skills.

Now we all know in campo unless you own a business or wewe ni husla you are usually broke so the sound of getting Ksh. Xk in a day sounds very exciting. Now it won’t matter if you actually have any skills or you are willing to do your best to add value to the team but getting the mulla is the focus for you since by mere fact of being in a team hata kama hukudo any, assures you a cut. Then lastly kuna wenye hujiita magurus and they think wanajua kila kitu….wololos!

Now this bunch (know it alls na joyriders) is what is giving competitions a bad name. Manze unaenda hackathon na unakutana na watu wanataka tu doo na they don’t even want to work for it. As in there is a difference between a commercial product and a class assignment and what they want to give is classroom material. When our University students go abroad for internships and the likes if they are doing CS (Computer Science or related stuff) they usually notice the difference I guess it’s the fact that they realize watu wengi wamezoea shoddy job kwa daro as in  “bora nipate marks. Meanwhile as we write Hello world in all languages kuna mtoii amepublish apps kadhaa kwa iOS …ok Moving on.

I think the standards at Hackathons should be raised as in if you tell every Tom Dick and Harry to attend kuna wasee hata even for their own good they don’t learn anything from there since they give minimal or no input. Then it has been noted (relax statistics bado hazijatolewa) that most startups formed by strangers in Hackathons especially mastudents hawajuani  or any other group don’t last beyond that. Only people who know each other well or have worked together and know what everyone else brings to the table have been successful.

Don’t get me wrong there are many gifted students shout out to UON, Strath, JKUAT, Egerton, Baraton, KEMU,  and the other Kenyan Campos’s but seriously saa zingine ……..Sawa that all!

 
 

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Similarity between Prostitution and Coding/Programming in Kenya

I wrote the title to this post and couldn’t help but laugh at first. I mean ave written some really weird posts but Dude this one just has to be the one. Any way let me state my case:  Similarity between Prostitution and Coding/Programming in Kenya.

Let me begin with a shallow be it obscure definition of both: Prostitution is the act of selling one’s body in a sexual way for profit. It’s one of the oldest professions around. Coding is the development of software products that solve problems related to day to day activities. This is usually done for profit {or not} but let’s just stick with the profit aspect in this context. So how are the two similar you may ask!! Well I have been watching episodes of Hung back to back and the thought crossed my Mind…My God Prostitution and coding are similar.  Hung is a series about some boy toy that has to screw women for money simply for survival, but soon ends up doing it for the money. Here is a link >>>> Let me paint a picture of similarity between the above two professions.

In the world of Business the key to making major mullah is some form of Advertising. It doesn’t matter if its false advertising or true advertising the more you/ the product are known the more you are likely to get many customers and hence more mullah for you. Kapish…? The same applies to Hookers,  it doesn’t matter how prettya hooker is…If you don’t have  a connect then you don’t get mullah…or you will really have to put in work in order to barely get any customers. And don’t forget you may get a customer who refuses to pay once kazi imeisha simply because you are minus a pimp to chase them down. Still with me? Sawa wacha tuendele… Haya In this world if you don’t have connects and end up on Someones Street then Bitch you gon get your ass kicked.

The converse is also true. You may not be a fly looking mama but based on how good your Pimp is then you end up getting  major mullah .All the while the fly looking girl on the corner is still waiting at around 3am for their first customer. Or dodging the cops (Kanjo) and if the day is bad she will leave with barely anything in her pocket (or Bra!!).So the Key to a hooker getting paid is the pimp. And of course location, location, location.

Haya lets go to coding. A key aspect of coding in Kenya  is making money… (Wait before you start yelling I know some coders are in it for purely for the dev aspect, money aint an issue…That being said lets go ahead) . First there are coders who are just great, so great that they are like the fly hooker who just walks down the street and gets a pick up from some rich guy.0 effort on their side, she just swings her hips, flaunts the goods and viola!! The deal is sealed … the goods advertise themselves; they are few lakini, countable really. These types of coders are the ones who have done really huge projects and their name searches on Google yield impressive results. Cash is impressive also; actually the pay is more than impressive. Major $$$$ ka ching ching .

The second type of coders…the ones with a super pimp…A pimp who will hook them up with Jobs za Nguvu…USD projects…they know Mr.x in this blue chip firm…Mr. y in that other firm…yaani they are more wired than the extension cable in my house. These types of coders are the ones who get calls like “Niaje Msee BBK wants system flani…And they are willing to pay 5000USD if you can deliver it in 1 month”. They push two 4 figure USD projects   in a month. And have egos the size of Thika road.

Then kuna the third type, good coders who have no pimps…These guys have to remain on the corner the whole night…and hope the makeup they spent their last dime on will get them a client. These coders end up with 4 or 5 small jobs all barely 20K each …all jobs are on a tight schedule. 2-5 days deadlines for a 10K gig….the desperation of waiting on the curb makes them concede. If they are unlucky then even the 20 K they were to get paid ends up being stolen from them (Just like the hooker bila a pimp)

Then kuna the fourth type.   The ones who don’t even know where the curb is.  Those are like the pretty hookers who believe that since they are pretty they will end up making mullah. But soon find out that maisha bila pimp ni ngumu kuruka. They end up being facked (for free!!) all the while being lied to that they will be given a great job. Doesn’t matter if you can code in binary or even in some unknown scripting language.  If no one knows you then the most you will get is a lay from your chic (ile ya huruma…nothing kinky or spicy).

That being said…if you are a Kenyan coder…Then slot yourself accordingly. Wacha mimi nikatafute Pimp

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2012 in 254, code, kenyan clones, true stories, twitter, weekend

 

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Coding WorkStations

So I  Remember a while ago…  I guess last year if am not wrong..me and a couple of techies exchanged photos of our current workstations (Yes I now it sounds lame…bite me!!!). Just to flaunt the impressive setups…but back then I was still in JKUAT so you can guess what I had for a work Station …Sisemi Kitu ask Marto and he may tell you….The big boys pulled out their impressive lairs, much to the amazement  of the smaller fish in the pond.So after completing College I embarked on the daunting task of building a perfect workstation….and I guess the below pictures offered me some Inspiration….. Mine is not yet done (For reasons best known to me..) But ikiisha I will share a couple of photos with you …It will be a simple setup ,enough to write code on,Listen to Nneka  or Asa and kama kawaida  Game to my Heart’s joy. so until then Amaze at the below……………

 

Jarod Lair (the guys who Owns StackOverflow).

Psleda’s WorkStation

Those are some of the bigboy workstations..I liked the simplicity of the next one….Sijui Mbona

David L’s Lair

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in code, hack, kenyan clones, twitter

 

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Muturi & Nicole Booty call.

Am not going to talk mob about that call rather i will just re blog what IddSalim wrote on his blog about the possible source of the Audio leak : So here is a snippert of what he had to say:

“………………The question the few Kenyans with a brain are asking is this. “Hiyo simu waliiskiza aje?”. The question the few coders/security analysts are asking is this. “Have phone-call interception equipment finally come to Kenya? Do we, FINALLY, have hackers who can do what Salim has been talking about, akatukanwa? Are our worst fears finally here? Should we be worried?”. So, I decided to demystify the source of the clip…………

I tried looking at the Audio file in MP3 using Nyquist-Shannon sampling theorem and other audio analysis models and the results were outstanding. The recording came out as a perfectly flowing person-to-person convo. The convo took place and could not have been cooked. And so, I came up with these scenarios.

1 – A telco employee did it

As stated above, it is POSSIBLE and IT HAPPENS that phone call and SMS records can be sold. The question becomes, how comes it was ONLY this call that got out. How idle would a telco employee be, to sift through ALL the GBs of data to get this ONE call? Still, idlers exist. And there is something called luck.

2 – Muturi did it

Using a Smart or Smart-Enuff phone, one can record a phone call. Muturi might have recorded the call (knowingly or just automatically), found it funny as f*u*ck, and decided to share. Nicole would not have shared this. Stupid female pride would not have let her. Muturi would. Stupid male ego would not let him not share. “Muone vile madem hunikufia”.

3 – It was a studio-born viral prank call

High probability too. A ‘real’ phone call can be, unfortunately, manufactured. At the last few seconds of the call, we hear the credit/airtime beep. If a studio call, then this is a specially crafted section to add to LEGITIMACY. Stupid Kenyans must have been heard saying: “Si hata uliskia credit ikikatika. Ni ya ukweli.” How would someone willing to pay a cab and pika nyama not have more than KSHS 16.8 of credit?………….”

You can read his whole thought train here >>>> Or you can click here>>>> to listen to it

 

In my personal opinion,and speaking as a guy i think Muturi must have recorded it on his phone, you dont even need a smart phone to do that,even an Ideot can pull that one,then to prove a point to his boys/pub mates/ex clandes,leaked it and waited for it to go viral and judging by how desparado nicole sounded, Muturi must have tapped that and moved along.

 

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How to spot fake Converse All Stars.

So  I finally stopped listening to Mr.Rager(kid cudi),after I had it on loop all weekend,and decided to do something constructive..go shopping for new chuck Taylor’s

Any one who knows me will admit am a sucka for converse high tops…

In my opinion converse makes the best shoes…You don’t believe me, then you Google up converse(ata wewe nakupea kazi). Any who I go check out this killer chukies @ t-mall,best shoes I ever laid my eyes on…

Price range be kinda high,you know a struggling coder doesn’t have that kind of cash lying around,so I call up the guy I know can get me anything Prof.

Most of my readers know prof,the savvy business man who can sell you anything from a blackberry to a wheelbarrow.

so here is how the conversation went down

“sema prof..nadai converse mbichi,red checked,unaweza ni hook up nazo?”

Prof being the biz guru doesn’t refuse to sell you anything under the sun,i once heard he tried selling a phone to Mabel Imbuga (JKUAT vc)..so here is what prof said

“sawa jaymo,lakini ubaya wako siku hizi unaniangushanga,kwanza ile xperia ulidai aje….niko na zingine mbili,karatasi”

so I interject “buda xperia niliwai,nadai hizo njumu tu! utafanya au?” Sensing my anxiety “sawa jaymo nipatie 4 hours ntakupigia”

converse-all-star

so I end the call,rush to kina Anto’s for xbox flossing(gears of war)..4 hours later he calls “Jaymo tupatane tao,nimezipata”

Off to tao,heart pounding in my chest,nearly got run over by a truck…I think I must have bumped into a lady with a baby on her back(sorry lady)..met prof the guru..black paper bag in hand….”ebu nizione” I mumble in anxiety….he puts his hand in the paper bag,time nearly stood still…..chuks out the chuks…..

KNOCK OFFS!!!!damn they aint real chukies,so i start bad mothing him”prof unanibeba aje hvyo mtu wangu,hizi viatu ni chinese,me nilikuwa nataka origi,zile ‘zimeanguka’ toka gari ya converse”

So prof gets irritated,am making him look bad,am tarnishing his image as a ‘clean’ business man,the kind dealing in chukies straight from America.He retorts “sasa hununui au?” “ntanunua aje vitu fake” “ubaya wako jaymo ni maringo,hi kiatu ni origi kwanza nakuuzia 3K pekee,kiatu utaishii nayo” “iza boss,hiyo kiatu ni fake”..

I walk away sadly,leaving the savvy prof with his knock off chukies….so ladies and getlemen,how do you tell if your chuk taylors are fake or no??

Here is my How to spot fake Converse All Stars for dummies guide:

1.) The price: Like seriously,if someone is selling you chukies @ 2k,na ana claim ni mbichi,then my guess is:….THEY ARE MADE IN CHINA

2.)The converse shoe logo:the original logo is pretty clear and it has a star,the fake ones are dim and weird writings on it

3.)The Tongue:the tongue is that piece of cloth under the laces,In real chukies it should have the all stars logo written clearly

4.)The sole:The sole is basically the foundation of the shoe,chukies have real rubber soles,with an indentation at the threads of the shoes

5.)The inner sole: how can you not love the feel of the original chuks interior,wearing real chukies gives you a foot orgasm of sorts,any who….the inner soles have the logo inscribed in bold color

6.) The front of the shoe: the real converse front has a line doning the color,tha leaves room for a glance of the white front part..something like this

Finally  the original chukies come in a box,not a black paper bag………

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in kenyan clones, Reflections, true stories

 

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