http://transworldafrica.com

A Story is told of an investor who sent two scouts to a remote village. His core business was shoe manufacturing. The first scout came back and told the boss, sorry we have no market here! nobody wears shoes, better try another village. A few days later the second scout called the boss and said, boss you will not believe it, we have a huge market here everyone is barefoot!


http://kenya.or.ke

Barry Schwartz’s book, Paradox of Choice gives us a great concept

The idea as the title infers, is counter intuitive: We believe that ‘free choice’ is an inalienable right, and that as such, the more ‘choice’ we have, the ‘happier’ and more fulfilled we will be. Schwartz reasons that the availability of so much choice, in fact, works to reduce our happiness because of various psychological factors at play: Regret over the realization of not having made the ‘best’ choice, and that sheer complexity effectively makes it impossible today, to make a ‘best choice’: The result is paralysis, procrastination, and in severe cases, depression.

For many people, all the hundreds of choices means nothing but confusion as they simply gaze upon a wall of pretty labels. This did explain why the easiest choice is always to buy what is ‘on promotion’


http://kenya.or.ke

All is Vanity.

vanity is the excessive belief in one’s own abilities or attractiveness to others. Prior to the 14th century it did not have such narcissistic undertones, and merely meant futility. The related term vainglory is now often seen as an archaic synonym for vanity, but originally meant boasting in vain, i.e. unjustified boasting; although glory is now seen as having an exclusively positive meaning, the Latin term gloria (from which it derives) roughly means boasting, and was often used as a negative criticism


The bottom of the pyramid.

Warning! If you are overly patriotic to the point of being deluded, do not read ahead.warning

Kenyans are deluded. How can you have a new republic with the same rulers? Our intellectual discourse is worse than that of a child.

Finally we can be a proper capitalist society, where everyone is respected for their talent rather than their name, and where every man and woman eats the fruit of his or her sweat and not the proceeds of corruption. This is freedom, is it not?

Kenyan new constitution. Free at last, from the tyranny of the State, and so we hope.

In the past 50 years, Kenyan Politicians and senior civil servants became, some of the biggest landowners in Africa. They still are!

I am very hopeful because the Second Republic comes at a time Kenya is alive with creative energy. We have a generation of young people brought up to a cross-cultural cosmopolitanism and who are not held hostage by the past. It is a generation in which you do not detect particularly the sad ethnic and tribal divides that derailed our First Republic.

The new constitution will create more elective offices to accommodate political rejects, tribal chiefs and corrupt public officers

the reform path Kenya has chosen, means that for the first years county government will have to content with corruption. This is because the political peculiarities of a country usually determine how it devolves power.

The Constitution, however good, will not implement itself; we must continue to be vigilant for democracy and realise that revolutionary struggle for freedom and social justice is a permanent vocation for the progressive mind.

Kenyans were very optimistic in 1963, 1992 and 2002, but all the same Kenya still went to the dogs. Good governance is you and me. Demand it.

For there to be a new republic, there has to be a complete and decisive rupture between the old and the new socio-political order. Our new dispensation is still nascent and we have to leave it to future historians in their fullness of time to reach conclusions. Now, we are just laying the foundations that could be either solid rock or quicksand.


It doesn’t matter what you do for a living.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
for dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain!

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy,
mine or your own;
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to be careful,
be realistic,
remember the limitations of being a human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself;
if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it’s not pretty every day.
And if you can source your life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,
yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
‘Yes!’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know,
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside,
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself;
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

(c) copyright 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. From the book, The Invitation, published by Harper San Francisco, 1999. All rights reserved.


It’s rare that someone will see his fortunes and blessings for a particular year. Nevertheless, I choose to count them.

This past year 2009 has been the most fruitful for me. The biggest achievement has been going back to school. This is something I have puffed and dreamt of for the whole decade, and at some point it looked like a mirage. I can only thank God for making it a reality. Desiderata says “…be at peace with God, whatever you perceive him to be” This is a plan that took ten years to achieve. I only pray that my education does not become as helpful to society as a bookshelf at Paris Hilton’s house.

All the same I still maintain that “in the third world, education is the last place called hope”.

Another big stride has been building a permanent residence for the family. Now my quinquagenerian parent can get a place to live in peace happily ever after.

More blessings, my company grew with increased net profit growing by about quarter more in 2009 than year 2008.

The social scene was even better. I mingled with so many people, which improved my atom confidence. However, it still seems the only way I’m meeting the girl of my dreams is if I go to sleep.

Maslow said people have no choice but to do all they can to meet their own basic survival needs. For the year, I did more to prove Maslow’s theories.

Now I have set two resolutions for the decade and the year 2010. Less talk, more deeds. Resolution two: drop my lethargy, especially on items that matter?
This is procrastination in a nutshell.

Resolution one gets its motivation from “What is more eloquent than silence”, from the movie Candilejas starring Charles Chaplin. “The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear”, from my backtrack Linux. For some people the less they know, the more they talk. My big mouth has not always landed me at the beach so for a change I will try to please Ndungi, and all those I interact with, and are annoyed by the talk. My sanguine easygoing but obnoxious attitude does not seem to go well with my friends and workmates who have been schooled the English way. They take life too seriously. You might think they will get away alive.

Resolution two: use my brain for a change. Of course, white people did not get slaves because they are the hardest working of all animals. If I can’t do all this stuff for myself, I will get someone to do it, paraphrasing Rockefeller “I would rather earn 1% off 100 people’s effort than 100% of my own” and the Luo “if you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go with others”

I have been in school for four decades now. That is a lot of schooling. I will strive to make this decade my last in class, therefore I will learn all there is to learn. Of course I went back to university to be at par with my friends who are generally more educated. Remember king Solomon in Ecclesiastes said “and I observed that all men labor and strive for success because they envy their neighbour …”

My mother, to whom I owe so much respect, did not pass a chance to remind me “a man becomes the company he keeps”.

Sadly, or is it sad, as I say goodbye to the old decade, I don’t expect to get married in this new decade.

I hope the new decade will bring even more success.


http://hosting.Kenya.or.ke

Domain transfer policy

KENIC has a very good mechanism for domain transfers between registrars. The process is as simple as 123. The domain owner aproaches the registrar of choice, and decides to transfer in, the registrar then puts an online request to the competitor to transfer out. If he refuses, there is a despute committee than can arbitrate. Of course the big players are the hardest to transfer out of, and also some quacks will never transfer a domain at all. This is an issue of ethics.

It is illogical to transfer an expired domain. You have to renew it first.

If you have paid for domain renewal and it has not been renewed, then you have been scammed. You can take the issue with KENIC desputes committee.

KENIC domain pricing

The KENIC pricing has been discussed at lengths. I used to advocate lower prices, but since I became an insider, I now know better. Look at the price of .x xx domain. At $60 translating at about KES4500 with more than 100,000, domains already booked, that’s $6M per year, while .org and .com costs KES800, enjoying millions of subscribers, thus giving them economies of scale. You will realise that KENIC survives on a shoe string budget. If you look at their balance sheets, you can’t help but pity them. According to this presentation by Kemibaro, .ke domains are not overpriced http://www.slideshare.net/kemibaro/kenya-network-information-centre-kenic-marketing-plan-for-201011

We only have paltry 30,000 .ke domains.

At some quarters, its has been argued that personal .me.ke domain should be given out for free for the first year. Maybe even .sc.ke and .ne.ke. I think that would be a brilliant marketing strategy, then go back to 500bob per year thereafter.

Anybody advocating for lowering of .ke prices should also at the same time come up with a survival tactic for KENIC. How they will pay their staff and maintain the servers.

I would suggest that KENIC start offering hosting, colocation, consultancy, and such related services. But again such divergence might bring about conflict of interest.

Barrack Otieno, hit the nail directly on the head when he declared, ‘ask not what KENIC has done for you, but what you have done for KENIC’. As registrars we are always faced with the choice of whether to give our clients a ccTLD or gTLD. Most of us opt for gTLD because we are saving some few cents. After doing a market survey, I realised that most established registrar charge the same amount for either gTLD or ccTLD. We need concerted effort and willingness by the registrar to convince clients to take our .ke ccTLD, only then, shall we prosper as a registry

We Kenyans should start feeling proud of our ‘identity’. I think the patriotic card can be played well to convince people to take our local domains. The marking strategy of ‘zingine ni COMmon’ was very good. It should be revived. We should also convince our politicians to take .ke domain when they are launching their campaign websites. In that way, the population will be exposed to the .ke brand.

Register .co.ke .or.ke domains at KES950, use coupon code 950.

The most affordable .ke domains in the world. Register .ke domain from transworldafrica.com


I find the following batch script very useful to backup files in Microsoft Windows everyday, and give each backup a unique date or time stamp.

Use date stamp as filename
xcopy D:Data"folder to backup" D:"My Backup"data_%date% /s /i

Use timestamp as filename
xcopy D:Data"folder to backup" D:"My Backup"data_%time% /s /i

Save the file as backup.bat, and schedule it using windows Task scheduler.

Here is the meaning of the syntax we have used

/s Copies directories and sub-directories except empty ones.
/i If destination does not exist and copying more than one file, assumes that destination must be a directory.

Beautiful piece of scripting

Now to make this interesting, I compressed the backup and saved it over the network. I downloaded 7zip from http://www.7-zip.org/download.html

To backup remotely, run such a command

7za a \servernamefoldername%date%.zip data_%date%

NB: The foldername must be a shared folder on \servername


I run Plone on port 80 for our intranet server.

Once in a while, port 80 gets hijacked by some services, Which is suspected to be our ERP Microsoft Nav MSSQL services related.

To restore order, i follow these steps

1. Reboot the machine
2. Open command prompt using … start > Run > CMD
3. Type the command “netstat -ano”
4. Note the Process ID PID that is using the port by analyzing the results.
5. Use taskkill /pid# to kill that process

Now, restart Plone, or Apache, or whichever server you are using


This is a comparison between two of the top Content Management systems (CMS), Drupal and Joomla. WordPress did not make the comparison because its more a blogging systems than a CMS, although it’s working hard to shed it’s dippers.

Site Building

– Flexibility & Power: Drupal looks significantly more powerful — much more flexible. Looks like Views, CCK, Panels give Drupal a huge advantage over Joomla. You simply can’t get that flexibility with Joomla. Joomla developers design around their own paradigm with very little flexibility. You can get up and running much quicker with Joomla, but you will hit the wall sooner or later.

drupal vs joomla

Performance

– Drupal blows away Joomla. With the new version of Joomla, the good template makers junk them up with gee-whiz gadgets that are not suitable for the enterprise

Learning Curve

– Joomla is far easier to get up and running. Even with all the free videos, blogs, etc, Drupal is still a lot more challenging. Big oppty for comprehensive business business/enterprise book/education

Templates

Joomla wins by a huge margin. For example, companies like Joomlart, Joomlashack do a good job. Drupal theme companies are simply horrific. What’s needed is a Template strategy that emulates the requirements for the top web sites in the country and, bundles modules, blocks etc. that work out-of-the-box to give businesses a head-start. For example, with our Websphere Portal product, we deliver incredible Themes/Skins that are rock solid and professional with no fuss or muss. I think you guys have a good stated strategy, but you’re missing a big oppty to deliver what enterprises really need.

Your templates are the best I’ve seen, but, an enterprise that is just getting started with Drupal will still have a huge ramp to climb to get a News site, mag site, etc. to look good. Joomlart delivers their Teline II template with a special install that gives you all the sample data, all the components in place — everything in place.

Finally, the biggest problem with Drupal templates is that the developers completely miss one of the key elements that any evaluator looks at: the menu system. If you don’t have a professional navigation system on your web site, you’re perceived as a low quality site. The other top items: Layout, Graphics, speed are also critical, and Drupal developers don’t seem to care. Exception:

Code developers

Based on my limited review, it looks Drupal coders are much more professional, skilled, disciplined. Good Joomla coders are rare. Must have something to due with the Drupal culture. I’m sure the Joomla devs are just as capable, they just don’t institute the same rigor

Admin

Drupal’s backend admin functionality is bad. The front end, backend separation is tenuous and confusing. Joomla is far better.

Content Management

– Drupal’s taxonomy system is excellent. Joomla’s “straight-jacket” approach (Content items confined to one Section/Category) is poor. Joomla’s admin console is much easier to organize, find content. Joomla’s WYSIWYGPro is better than the options available for Drupal.

Content Presentation

– Drupal’s tools are very, very good — they don’t come close to the built-in power of IBM tools — but they’re light years better than Joomla. I like CCK, Views, but wonder why they aren’t part of the code base. Seems odd. WIth Joomla, you have to acquire components that will meet 60-80% of your needs. For example, iJoomla has a tremendous news component, but it will never meet the capabilities of Drupal’s CCK, Views, etc.

Multitier Deployment

I’m shocked that there are no good tutorials, articles, education on the proper method for implementing Dev, Test, Staging, Dev environments. Drupal and Joomla communities both suffer from this. Also, basic backup and restore is not addressed adequately. The Drupal community is clueless on this. Joomla at least has two good solutions. If I decide to recommend Drupal for a production site, I’l recommend use Xcloner from Joomlaplug — this product will work with Drupal and does backup and restore of the site and the SQL db.
Summary to Date

– Use Joomla if you want to get nice looking site up quickly and can deal with a slower system, rigid content categorization and limited design/configuration options.
– Use Drupal if you want high performance, scalability, good content management and significant design flexibility. But, be prepared to spend a lot of time/money to get the site to look professional.