Monday, August 29, 2011

ICT-related Reality Show?

For the past 5 years and over, 'reality shows' have become a main feature on Ghanaian television stations -- and enjoy massive patronage from the general public.
These reality shows, which are aimed at unearthing talents are mostly directed towards one industry -- the music industry. A few of them have targeted the football, business, comedy, and recently, body building.
I really don't have a problem with these reality shows, I only wish there was one geared towards ICT. This would go a long way of unearthing potentials in individuals which would further aid in the development of the burgeoning computer software industry in the country.
Recently, Google had a doodling competition for children in Ghana. The winners had their doodles displayed on the Google Ghana search page! I was thrilled and prayed for a day a reality show related to ICT would be organised in Ghana -- maybe by me -- when I can afford to. :-)
A cue to be taken is from Estonia -- the home of Skype -- and Garage48, which is a two-day workshop for computer programmers, who organise themselves into groups, and come out with a product at the end of the workshop. A workshop of this sort was organised in Accra early this year, and some innovative products were created.
To really develop and believe in our ICT infrastructure, I believe we need to empower ourselves an especially the youth, not just in the arts, but also in the sciences.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The first time...

The first time I met you, I felt like knowing you,
The first time I chatted with you, I felt drawn to you,
The first time I visited you, I wanted to be there for you always,
The first time you visited me, our friendship was bonded,
The first time we went on a date, I felt like kissing you,
The first time we kissed, I wanted to saddle you,
The first time we saddled, I knew I wanted to saddle you for the rest of my life;
For the first time, I am in a forbidden, dangerous and Blessed relationship...

UPDATED: John Legend's "All of me" sums it up:
Also an info-graphic of the above poem using tagxedo.
@aoa4eva is the inspiration behind it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why I code in notepad


I remember how I detested programming back in school – I still do – sometimes. It therefore seemed like a BIG irony, when my friends realized a new (hidden) passion I possessed.
Ever since I became interested in web programming, I have always loved to code in notepad (any variant). Why? I don’t know. I just do.
I personally love to design web pages/applications from scratch – you may call it ‘reinventing-the-wheel’ – which is not so cool, but fulfilling in the end. ;-)
Coding in notepad gives me total control over my code, thus affording me the comfort of debugging software at the testing stage of development.
I am not in any way downplaying the usefulness of tools such as Dreamweaver and Photoshop. These come in handy when you are running against a tight schedule – yeah yeah. Don’t forget however the need to acquaint yourself with the interfaces of such tools (which can be irking at times).
The basic notepad that comes with Windows is not so fun to work with because it lacks colour features. Other variants of notepad, however, have advanced features that make them a joy to work with – and they are FREE: notepad++, programmer's notepad, conTEXT.

He indeed keeps His covenant

All through Sunday school, I've trusted in God -- sometimes only in thought and words, but not with a full conviction within my heart.
All the same, this 'trust' has always saved me from situations, granted me some requests, and fulfilled some promises from God.
A couple of days ago, I was faced with a situation that almost threw me off my urge and left me in a dilemma.
Calmly, I spoke to God (the way I know how to) -- and he saved me.
He's kept His part of the bargain. l now have to keep mine.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Am I ready?

A lot of young CS grads in Ghana – myself inclusive – hope to have their own start-ups after school. Others just want to be employed so they earn some income. The job market, however, is very competitive and the barrier of entry for start-ups is pretty daunting.
The real barrier in my opinion is the fact that most of us want to be perfect before we start our own enterprises or even bid for projects. How do you become perfect without practice?
I remember instances where I did get some projects to work on. I was scared of failure because I thought I was not ready. Guess what, as I started to work on the project, my skills sharpened and I gained new insight into Software Development.
Then comes the next fun-killer, (some) organizations not trusting in the abilities and skills of their young interns/employees, when they design software in-house. These organizations do not even test the software to ascertain its good and bad parts. They only want to buy software they feel is complete and professional – from well established vendors. Sometimes, these ‘so-called’ professional software do not even meet the requirements of the organizations!
This attitude dampens the spirit of these young, enthusiastic interns who literally ‘kill’ themselves to develop something.
It’s about time we start believing in our own folks’ abilities and inculcate the habit of testing in-house software so we get the right software to meet our requirements.
To my fellow yet-to-be developers/entrepreneurs, let’s not be afraid to be ‘thrown into the pool’. With determination and self-belief, we would stay afloat and conquer.
Let’s do it.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My three joys in two days

The last couple of days have been full of activities -- tiresome, but rewarding.
I came to Accra for the G-Ghana Conference at the Alisa hotel (I actually cancelled two lectures I had to deliver, so I could attend this conference).

So what activities have I undertaken since Wednesday?
On Wednesday, I actually combed the whole of Accra (hyperbole) for a new battery to replace the dead one that was shamelessly squatting in the battery compartment of my Gateway NV5212u laptop! The search proved futile. I consoled myself by buying other computer accessories rather.

Thursday was the day I had been waiting for -- G-Ghana 2011 is here. I actually had a bit of trouble finding the Alisa Hotel. A lot of enthusiastic developers and tech geeks were there; I actually felt like a geek myself.
The Google team really had a lot to offer -- Chrome, HTML5, CSS3, Android, Maps, Mobile et cetera. In the course of the programme, I met a dude who showed me a place adjacent Busy Internet where I could actually get a battery for my laptop -- and guess what -- I actually did get one. My first joy. Another highlight of the day was when I joined the Eduction track of the conference. Participants were introduced to Eclipse and Google Web Toolkit. I went home fulfilled at the end of the conference. I couldn't wait for Friday.

I woke up on Friday morning feeling really great. I got to the Alisa Hotel environs and decided to pass by a bookshop close by. I walked in and found a book I have been looking for, for the past year -- Software Engineering by Ian  SommervilleMy second joy. I went back to the conference grounds and joined my teammate (we were divided into teams the previous day), Dr. Agyepong, so we complete the task given to us -- completing and enhancing a Picasa app demo. At the end of the day, the completed apps of participants were judged; ours won!
Then came the moment I still can't believe -- we were both rewarded with the new android IDEOS smartphone with google! My third joy.

The whole experience has been worthwhile and fulfilling, and if there's something I've learnt, it is the fact that, the more you teach, the more you understand; the more you give, the more you earn.  ;-)



   


Monday, April 11, 2011

Thinking Aloud

Growing up, I have always tried to be a good dude -- sometimes I have been successful; other times, not so successful. I am a product of my environment, I guess...

As everybody does, I have formulated my own principles along the way. These are solely to guide my ways and strengthen me, while differentiating me from others. Trust me, it's not so easy sticking to principles -- especially if you are free-spirited. Do circumstances direct our actions? Sometimes, they do (so I think).
I have been in certain situations that have made me take actions that defeat my principles -- and I felt really bad. It is moments like this that make me remember the saying, "Never Say Never."

But then, after assessing the situation again, I seem to understand why things had to go the way they did. My perceptions change, I gain a renewed insight, and my sensitive nature deepens.
"In all things, give thanks to God", so says the Good Book.

I guess all I am saying is that, we are not perfect as humans -- but it is no excuse to continue doing wrong.
Make a mistake -- by all means make a mistake -- but learn from it to help yourself and others!
People might see you as a saint -- if only they knew your imperfections! But hey, don't let it get to you. Live your life and perhaps add this principle of mine to yours: "Always try to be at peace with God, your neighbour and yourself".

All is well and Stay Blessed.

Friday, March 11, 2011

To ATM or Not To ATM?

Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are computerised telecommunication devices designed to allow customers of a bank (predominantly), the convenience of making transactions easily.
This kind of banking, has caught on with Ghanaians to an extent that, a good number of the populace are now banking. The ATM, to most of us -- is a life saver.
However, these devices (in Ghana) are not so reliable as they should be. "Why and how", you might ask.
I really don't have an answer to it. It can get pretty frustrating sometimes.
For almost five days, the ATM of a bank I save with in Ghana is "temporarily out of service" -- and this is neither the first nor tenth time! It isn't only peculiar to my bank, but the other banks as well. It is REALLY frustrating! Some plans that are made can't see fruition, because most Ghanaians work from 8am - 5pm on weekdays; the banks close at about 4:30pm. The only way, these individuals can access their accounts is by using the ATMs.
Of course there are times the banks put the machines off for maintenance and  filling the cash cartridges with cash. Aside that, the constant breakdowns of the machines are overwhelming.
I believe our banks should really take a look at their ATMs and save their customers the heartaches and stress endured due to the breakdown of the machines.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sore loser?

So the pride of Manchester United has once again been tempered with by Chelsea.
I happened to be at one of the centers where the match was shown -- live. Prior to the game, I had my qualms -- and Fergie deepened it with his 'gamble-oriented' lineup. I was however calm when our boys got their rhythm and composure -- the defining character of our success.
Some minutes into the second half, an incling I had started to manifest. We didn't really know what we were about. I began to ask myself, "what if the same fate that befell Barcelona at the hands of Arsenal happens to us?"
Of course the match was too overwhelming for the referee.
In the end, we lost -- after fighting bravely. Boy, was I disappointed!
For the first time in many years, I became a sore loser and exchanged words with supporters of Chelsea. Damn!