Software Freedom Day

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Hello guys. Hope you’re having a beautiful morning (it’s actually 4 a.m in Nairobi but who cares). I’m just from bending some pixels and I remembered an initiative suggested to me by a fellow on the Ubuntu Kenya mailing list (join).

As some of you know Software Freedom Day takes place every year around September. There was a conference last year sponsored by the Linux Professional Association Kenya but it was a paid for conference attended by some old men (I digress).

Back to the original aim of this post, so a couple of us (about 4 or less I’m not sure) want to organize this year’s #SFD_Kenya. If you know how to plan events and are passionate about #FOSS please tweet me @mojo706 and you can help us plan.

Things we need in order of urgency:

  • Sponsor (s)
  • Venue
  • Suggestions on event theme

For the main sponsor (s) let it be one or some of the Big companies (you know what I mean Safaricom, Google Kenya, suggest others) These we call gold sponsors.

Then Silver sponsors Local Companies that want to get free rep, please do suggest some.

We will only have two tiers. Why so many sponsors? Because we want a whole day event with some informative speakers and sessions :) if we cannot manage then we do an afternoon event.

Venue? Preferably one of the tech hubs that most people know. Why? Accessibility is key! If you can get any of them if not all to help well and good. People from the tech hubs are good at planning they could help.

Any Suggestions you have feel free to leave it on this Google doc
Oh before I forget please share this post with everyone! Have a great day or night. Thanks.

A How-To Guide: To Integrating Your Gists with ST2

ImageGist is a service of Github that lets you store your code snippets and allows the addition of authors. If you haven’t already go to gist.github and try it out, invite your team mates and do a joint programming session.

The main aim of this blog post is to get Gist working in/on (sp) Sublime Text 2. The following are the steps to be followed.

1.    Package Control

The gist plugin can easily be downloaded with the help of Package Control the sublime text package manager written by Will Bond. Go to Package Control site and follow the installation instructions there in. Afterwards move on to step 2.

2.    Open Package Control

Now that you have got Package Control working, open it up by using the command palette using the shortcuts  cmd+shift+p/ctrl+shift+p . Type “install” (without the speech marks duh!) this should highlight Package Control: Install Package hit return.

3.    Install Gist

Now just search for Gist and click it or hit return to install it, this should take a few seconds to install.

4.    Settings (The Difficult Part)

This part is whats forgotten so first of we have to open the gist settings – 1. Go to Prefrences>Package Settings>Gist>Settings - Default. – 2. Focus on the top 3 sections ”’username”’, ”’password”’ and ”’token”’. – 3. First type fill out your (github) username and password in the respective fields – 4. Save cmd+s/ctrl+s - 5. open up your terminal (i use iTerm2) – 6. paste in this line of codecurl -v -u USERNAME -X POST https://api.github.com/authorizations --data "{\"scopes\":[\"gist\"] }" - 6a. replace USERNAME with your username (duuh). – 7. this will give you a random string as your access token – 8. paste it into your settings file and save!

5.    Usage

open your command pallete and type in gist this allow you to insert/open gists from your gist stash or create and push a new one

Remember to ** have fun **

Lessons From Obama for America Campaign

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Happy New Year! I hope its begun well. A while ago (November to be Precise) I read an article titled: When the Nerds Go Marching In about a group of engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and Google built the software that drove Barack Obama’s reelection. That post got me thinking. What if politicians in Kenya were to adopt such a strategy and not rely solely on the traditional forms of advertising (TV, Dailies, Billboards etc)

Traditional forms of advertising are quite costly. for example a full page printout on a daily costs nearly a quarter of a million shillings and a billboard just as much or even more. According to CCK 6.4 million Kenyans have access to the internet and that number is growing at an astounding rate. Any person of sound mind who is contesting in the upcoming general elections must see this as a potentially untapped segment. If you are a politician you cannot afford to be disconnected at any moment during and after the campaigns.

Back to the lessons to be learnt from Obama for America. Unless you were living under the proverbial stone, it is a well known fact that The Obama campaign raised a lot of money almost a Billion dollars (if not more). Some if not all Kenyan political aspirants have taken to sending Text Messages to their supporters asking them to attend the various fund raising functions in a bid to raise capital. I have gotten a few :) and will decide if and when to donate.

The 2012 Obama Team made a wise choice in investing in this highly qualified individuals who built a masterpiece which contributed in large to Obama’s victory. The system code named Narwhal was divided into subsystems (Software Engineering 101) that handle different aspects of the campaign. One subsystem handled emailing the list of registered supporters who gave out their email addresses, another subsystem was responsible for sending personal text messages to supporters and donors and yet another subsystem handled all the details about transactions for example when a donation is made. The last subsystem handled all aspects of social media, which kept supporters and non-supporters updated.

Kenyan politicians should adopt technology into their (and no having a Website, Facebook page and Twitter account is not enough) According to Harper Reed (Obama Campaign’s Chief Technology Officer) Narwhal was built for ease of use to accommodate even the least technical people for example people could donate money online through Narwhal’s web interface and also through their phones. In Kenya this could be easy especially with the popularity of mobile money service and Web API’s. 

Change can be a very scary thing, to base most of your campaigns online would be silly but being totally offline is as silly. Kenya is also not short of qualified engineers who are well versed in both web/mobile web and native application development. In an email conversation I had with Harper Reed (cool and kind fellow) he said that they used existing technologies and would seldom write new frameworks/software, although Narwhal is a totally different piece of software its components are not new. They even hosted with third party hosts and not entirely in-house. The cost of outsourcing equipment is cheaper in the short run (such as a campaign period) hence politicians should invest.

I applaud the IEBC for partnering with Google to launch an API for developers to use in order to monitor the election process. My final point is that the election process including campaigns can no longer afford to be “offline” with the current technological advancements. Any forward thinking politician will notice the potential reach of their “online campaigns” as seen from the example of the 2012 Obama campaign.

One last piece of advice to my fellow Kenyans, vote wisely and peacefully do not allow yourself to be incited by politicians but also vote for whoever you want and lastly vote for the future and prosperity of Kenya as a whole and not for selfish reasons. Have a good evening!

I AM BACK

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Hello people due to some reasons (read laziness) I have not blogged  (November  - April = a couple of months). But due to some recent blogging advice from a self titled blogging “guru” who makes thousands of $ from his blog, I decided to revive my blog. I have been in search of great content (read nerd techie stuff) to keep you entertained starting tomorrow.

Good news also I have gained a couple of followers to my blog (Woop Woop!) and this has also given me hope for a brighter future for my blog. 

So keep watching my timeline(@mojo706) for some new and great content. Spoiler Alert: I’m jumping on the campaign comet with the title of tomorrow’s blog post Lessons from Obama For America campaign Stay tuned. Goodnight (sp)

Google Why You No Have a Google Drive Client for Linux?

Google Why You No Have a Google Drive Client for Linux?

Google Drive

Create and Collaborate


Good morning to all. Before KPLC decided to force me to turn in early yesterday (ever notice that when it rains there is always a blackout? But I digress) Google had just launched Google Drive. I and some fellow Linux users and enthusiasts had nothing to smile about because Google Drive has no client for Linux although it has clients for Windows and Mac. Is this a way to show disregard for the Kernel they use? I’m a Google fan boy but I was so disappointed when I found out that Google had left Linux out. When I say left out I do not mean completely because you can still access it over your browser but having a dedicated desktop client is better especially if you have a notification or something. I know some of you are wondering what I’m talking about but I know some  understand. I’m just trying to cause some out cry and maybe twist Google’s arm into making a client for Linux. If you are a Linux user Ubuntu specifically you can try to port it as OMG Ubuntu!  has Suggested here is the link [How To] Access Google Drive Via Nautilus in Ubuntu . In the mean time we wait and see. After reading this please share. Try and have a good day.

Google Commemorates Jamhuri Day with a Doodle!

Hello Guys (This includes you ladies)

Following my daily routine of waking up and switching on the computer, I chanced upon today’s Google Doodle which as you can see is celebrating Jamhuri day. Yes Kenya Turns 48 today whoop, whoop but do we really have anything to be happy about. 

I’m just from the supermarket and I got a reminder of the dire situation in our beloved Kenya. Everything is expensive and what I could buy with 2k last year at this time is far more than what I bought today.

But today lets not complain be happy that you are alive and that you have seen this day. Now to the real reason why Google has a Kenyan Doodle that is a mystery or are they trying to cozy into the Kenyan Tech Scene I don’t know but one thing is for sure, I love the Doodle and I love Kenya!

Have a Great Afternoon people.Image