Thursday, May 8, 2014

The sword of ɔkɔmfo Anɔkye -- Ghana's Excalibur

The sword surrounded by some bottles of Schnapps.
Today I visited the site of ɔkɔmfo Anɔkye's sword. It is located inside the second biggest teaching hospital in Ghana, located in Kumasi.

The site of the sword is said to be the very spot the legendary Ashanti fetish priest stood to conjure the Golden stool from the skies.

Legend has it that the very day the sword (which is firmly rooted in the bowels of the earth) is removed by anybody, the unity of the Ashanti kingdom ceases to exist.
The man who built the hospital tried to 'uproot' the sword with bulldozers during the construction of the hospital, but the sword disappeared and resurfaced a couple of weeks later. It has been firmly rooted in the earth for three hundred and seventeen (317) years!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Designing a questionnaire in Microsoft Word

So you decide to create a questionnaire for a research of yours. You then resort to your word processor as your sidekick in getting questionnaires to your respondents.
Usually, the normal way is to create your questionnaire, print them and distribute.
Other times, you e-mail the questionnaire to would-be respondents. They then have to print the questionnaire, fill it (in ink), scan it, and e-mail it to you.
What a drag!
How about going paperless and making them fill the questionnaire on their PCs (in Word).
The following quick tutorial will get you on your way. Enjoy

After launching Word, make sure the Developer tab is showing.
If it is not, do the following (in Office 2010) to display the Developer tab:
Click on File, and choose Options.


Under the Customise Ribbon Tab, make sure the checkbox in front of the Developer option is checked.
Click on OK.


The Developer Tab should be visible now, on the Ribbon.
Click on the Design Mode icon.

Type a question for your survey and add a corresponding control from the Controls group.
While the control is active, click on the Properties icon to set properties for the control. An example can be setting the property to make sure the control cannot be deleted.
Example: The Drop down list control properties dialogue box.
Click on Add to add options for your respondents to choose from.
You can choose more controls from the Legacy Tools icon.



When you are done with the design of the questionnaire, click on the Design mode again – to deactivate it. This allows you to see the finished questionnaire the same way your respondents would.

I hope this has been helpful.

PS: Another tool to use is Google forms. It actually creates responses in a spreadsheet and has an analytical part too. I will create another quick tutorial on this soon.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My language. My identity

Recently a number of my friends ask why I LOVE to engage my online connections with my local language -- Ewe -- quite frequently.
I. Just. Do.
I have been doing it since I became a netizen, but it was mostly in Twi, and sometimes in Ga. The Ewe language (and indeed most Ghanaian languages) has some unique fonts that the 'normal' PC keyboard doesn't support -- yet.
So what chaged and made it easy for me to type in my beloved local languages? Kasahorow.
Kasahorow is a project of the GhanaThink Foundation that seeks to bridge the langage learning gap. I love them. Do download their keyboard for PC and Android.
I was able to write arguably the first blogpost in Ewe (in Ghana) with their android keyboard. Hehe
I see this country moving forward by loving our languages and incorporating them in  our apps to improve productivity of our countryside folk. I made a case for local user interfaces in this post. I look forward to a YouTube revolution of Ghanaian videos having subtitles in the local languages.
Do let me know how your experience goes.