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Web design vs Graphics design, my honest opinion — October 29, 2017

Web design vs Graphics design, my honest opinion

A few days a friend came to me with a question. I believe it was a result of looking a web design as a tough game. Since profound web designers have to pull off a lot of skills to be able producer an above average website.

Her question was. Of graphics design and web design which one is smaller than the other? Find what I answered below.

Though the answer I gave to her was brief, let me try to elaborate.

By definition.

Graphic design is the process of visual communication and problem-solving using one or more of typography, photography and illustration. – Wikipedia

Web design is the process of creating and updating websites.

Web designers may have some level of graphics design skill say they the ability to use graphics design applications such as Sketch or Photoshop or Adobe illustrator to create web layouts and mock-ups which are the static and none functional representations of a website. It is also true that web design encompasses numerous disciplines such as User Interface design, User Experience design, Information architecture, navigation ergonomics.

I will categories graphic design into two primary categories .i.e. Screen and print graphics for more clarity. For whichever element that is designed but won’t be out put through printing on paper, wood, metal, clothes etc I will consider that designed for electronic screen display hence have under screen graphics contrary to it’s sibling which is targeted for print media.

Websites are among those products that will be designed following all graphics design aesthetics and tools but will be primarily accessed on screen devices like desktop computers, laptops and hand held devices.

To conclude, I will say web design is a discipline in the graphics design ecosystem. Other disciplines could include motion graphics, video editing, animation, logo design etc.

Do you have a your own opinion, criticism or suggestion? I have opened and allowed to receive your comments below.

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What will be able to do in 2018? — October 8, 2017

What will be able to do in 2018?

From experience I know either set your goals for the new year a few months before the end of the current year and be guaranteed some success or end wondering why you’re not developing as some of your colleagues and age mate. Not to mean to compete though, just emphasizing taking full responsibility.

Last year, I planned to be a better coder, tech trainer, team member than the years before.

At the moment of this writing am enjoying every moment I spend with fellow founders and employees at Gagawala Graphics limited. A branding agency located in Kampala, Uganda along Nasser road, where I double as a web developer and operations manager. We intentionally work in an open work space, producing crystal  clear prints, graphics, webs and mobile apps. Doubling responsibilities has never been as easy as said however much it’s a joy to see accomplishments in a good timing and through a peaceful way. Ours is a brand where people don’t get bigger salaries but everyone reports at work everyday, inclusive weekends sometimes.

Towards mid 2016, I met someone who would actually be a fellow coder and great friend. I hadn’t found a challenge before until I met him. We shared ideas about our work and personal goals. You can really see someone energized and ready to face any code challenge in favor of helping businesses improve. He sets himself deadlines and meets them most of the time, he loves to help out friends if they are failing with a code challenge. It’s for Ronkas that I manned up and coded my first ever Hybrid Mobile app, which has taken me about 10 months. Being able to extend WordPress and build a custom API which serves our mobile app, has not only challenged me, it has made me a better coder and a web developer.

I have also held a couple of tech training classes throughout this year teaching the basics of technology in local communities, to web development at Hostalite Cyber Academy and Metajua a coffee processing company.

To be sincere am happy 2017 have achieved some and looking to 2018’s task. So what’s in the goals?

Languages.

With the availability of internet which looks to get cheaper next year, I hope to use this opportunity to learn some French and Swahili, which will be a big inspiration for the taking on Chinese. China an interesting country that I would love to visit someday maybe to import some tech items to my country or even export skills. I decide to learn French, because I love it and am looking forward to make friends which our neighbors in Kenya and would love to communicate effectively as much as possible.

Career upgrade

My path into technology started with selling translated movies to being a typing to serving in an internet cafe as assistant helping clients who were not comfortable to search on their own, repairing and troubleshooting computers and networking them to make sure they share resources efficiently.

During my free time, I could learn about coding in HTML, PHP and little bit of JavaScript. When I left internet cafes, I co-found a business offering computer repair, network setups and consultation to internet cafes and small offices. Cutting the long story short I was aspiring to be a web designer which have done for some years and now want to upgrade to web and hybrid mobile app development. That said, in the new year I should be a MEAN or MERN stack developer. Able to use Mongo db, Express, ReactNative and NodeJs efficiently.

Music

As of now all I can say is that the piano has got 8 notes which are C, D, E, F, G, H, A, B also called 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 keys on the scale. These notes run across the low and high pitch sides whereby the low pitch is the left whereas the high pitch is the right of the piano. The player has got 10 fingers numbered started from the thumb as 1 to the little(pinky) as 5,

At the moment am able to play the 8 notes as well as the C, D and F chords. Looking forward to a better piano and guitar player before end of 2018.

I have a feeling I want to communicate and connect with many people of different life backgrounds and my involvement in such things will help.

Want to advise me anything or wanna share with me your goals, let’s meet in the comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to set up a Hybrid Mobile App development environment! — March 26, 2017

How to set up a Hybrid Mobile App development environment!

Have you ever wanted to develop mobile apps using web technologies i.e HTML, CSS and Javascript? In fact, you might have tried but failed along the way after failing to set up your computer for the task. It has happened to many others simply because coding and setting up developer environments are two different games which require different skills.

In this post I have listing what you require and briefly suggest what you have to do to have each tool installed on your Windows computer. Though guideline is eccentric to Windows Operating Systems, it’s transferable to Mac OS and Linux.

Let’s get started!

  • NODE.JS

Get Node.js

Install Node.js and add it to PATH environment variable ). Confirm installation by running $node –version at command line. I prefer using Windows shell instead of CMD. Because Windows shell executes some linux commands such as $ls.

  • GIT

Install Git with default settings.

  • CORDOVA

Installation

In Git Bash or Windows Shell execute the command below

$npm install -g cordava

Confirm installation by running

$cordova –version

  • JAVA

    • Install Java Development Kit (JDK). From Oracle’s website download the Java Standard Edition (Java SE). Add the JDK’s installation path to the PATH environment variables. Usually the location is c:\Program Files\Java\jdk version\bin. Create a JAVA_HOME if it doesn’t exist, setting it’s value to c:\Program Files\Java\jdk version To confirm if all is well run javac -version.
  • APACHE ANT

    • Install Apache ANT. (This is the build system for Java). I kept on failing until I discovered this was the missing piece in the puzzle. Search for it on google, download the zip file and unzip it whenever you want, noting the location. Proceed by adding the Apache ANT bin directory e.g c:\apache-ant\bin to the PATH environment variable and creating a ANT_HOME variable to which you assign the Apache ANT directory. e.g. c:\apache-ant. Now in Git Bash or command line tool of your choice run $ant -version
  • ANDROID

    • Download and Install Android SDK by downloading Android Studio. Before we could install the Android SDK alone but it seems impossible now a days, maybe you or I should do more research about this. Add the Android SDK tools and the Android Platform tools to the path variable. Usually these are located at the SDK installation directory\tools and SDK installation directory\platform-tools.
    • Launch the SDK manager by running the command $android use may use it for downloading additional sdk, platform tools etc.
  • TEST ENVIRONMENT

    •  In command line of your choice. Run $adb -version.

Navigate to a directory of your choice and issue the cordava app creation command. i.e $cordova create app_directory com.domain.app AppTitle

    • Add android platforms to your app. At command line change directory to app_directory by running.
      • $cd app_directory
      • $cordova platform add android
    • Connect your phone will developer options and usb debugging are turned on.
      • $cordova run android.
    • If phone does work for some reason you can try to install Universal Adb drivers or view your apps in the browser by running $cordova run browser.

Conclusion.

Knowing how to code is a good task, setting up the developer environment is another thing.

 

 

 

“Ugandan Graduates” are not employed because they don’t offer value to business! — March 12, 2017

“Ugandan Graduates” are not employed because they don’t offer value to business!

Many of them think the money spent in school and the bachelors/masters accolade is a guarantee to a job. What a lie?
 
Time, skill, market, labor & ideas are the value one has to offer to an employer or business partner in exchange for a job opportunity. How many Ugandan graduates posses the above?
 
If you don’t know the fact, most of the jobs created are by younger people or age mates who don’t have access to free first hand business information, mentor-ship and interest free business funds!
 
Yet once created, there is need to formalize, attracting hefty bills for Tax, Trading Licenses, Rent fees, Marketing fees etc… even before a business acquires the necessary tools and team for production.
 
Well, this works against a Ugandan graduate’s dream of wanting to drive like others do, wear expensive clothes, go to bars etc… which incites the habit of undermining jobs.
 
The Ugandan government has a great role to play as well. It should saws in it’s citizens than milking them. They’re many times when professional graduates have turned to informal business due to lack of job opportunities but they’re energy, plans and passion has been destroyed by exclusive leadership and decision making.
Take for example sanctioning hawkers off Kampala streets, it’s a great move because it’s a way of supporting the businessman in a shop but the timing was totally wrong. You don’t take such a move without first informing the public  and the alternative solution you’re offering.

Photo by chimp reports
 
It’s now – the encouraging lesson! — March 5, 2017

It’s now – the encouraging lesson!

Hey! Hope you are doing well.

Today I want to share my thoughts about the idea of now. I’m writing  about this because many people in the world are suffering from regrets.

A story

I’m an iron blogger (ibcoco.net). Here everyone of us writes once in a week without limitation of the type of content. You owe 5 euros or a good deed in the community, for every week missed. I currently owe 30 euros for missing 6 times and I don’t want to increase. That would be a bad idea, isn’t it? As of now I would have to be suspended, if I don’t write. To get back in, I would have to settle my debt!

At this point, I want you to pause and ask yourself, what if the world worked this way?

Life is a free gift to all living things, thus it’s worth all the happiness and joy!

How many times how we given it to ourselves or someone else? As I was dozing, dozing on the bed, I wrote to iron blogger facebook group chat, that I won’t be able to write. As a family, everyone was sympathetic because they knew I would be suspended for laziness though for the past week I have been sick!

Suffering from stomach ulcers, is creepy. It reminds you the days you didn’t eat well or starved  or skipped visiting a doctor whenever symptoms showed themselves!

I’m lucky am feeling better, after a week of medication, following doctors orders.

This blog wouldn’t come if my team mates didn’t react to my message immediately. They showed compassion and I was encouraged.

This article is a dedication to you my readers and my iron blogger teammates! I appreciate the encouragement you give me and I encourage you to:-

Eat well now!

Work on your dreams now!

Visit a doctor now!

To avoid the punishment of laziness.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

This cable is all I need to start — February 19, 2017

This cable is all I need to start

A few months ago, I decided that I should use the raspberry PI before proceeding with the Mobile Digital Hub which I think will be ready by 4th July 2017. The objective is to increase technology literacy and accessible among the rural and suburban citizens.

So I had to acquire a raspberry PI 3. Through http://www.supaprice.co.ug I was fortunate enough to receive one from London, U.K to Kampala, Uganda, East Africa in just 9 days including weekends. This was really  what I wanted.

However, I still need an HDMI to VGA adapter to be able to experiment with this cute little baby computer. I can’t wait.Some of the experiments I want to try first are playing a game on it. Kindly suggest me one since I have not played games in a while.

I also want to install an ftp client for downloading back ups from our online cPanel server once in a day.

Fingers crossed as I may get the cable tomorrow courtesy of Solomon King the founder of Fundibots.org

 

How to earn from a blog? — February 11, 2017

How to earn from a blog?

Many people from different walks of life ask me this about making an income from blogs or websites. As if everyone is looking at alternative ways of making money. Is it because of the world’s economic recession or the improved level of awareness in the third world countries like Uganda? Before sharing what I know about making money from blogging, I want to say am proud of people like Mark Zuckerberg, Adam D’Angel and many visionaries who implemented social platforms such as facebook.comquora.com, google.com etc…

Let’s get to it.

How can I earn from a blog or blogging?

First of all what is a blog? What is blogging?

Quoting from Wikipedia, a blog is a discussion or informational website published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries (“posts”). Click here to find out more.

Assuming we understand the definition above, blogging is the process of writing content and publishing on the blog.

Is it about text only? Text alone is not enough anymore. Therefore blogging is about podcasts and Vlogs where podcast is audio whereas Vlog is video.

Let’s briefly talk about the income bit.

Advertising

If you write informative content which people like, you will most probably attract thousands if not millions of readers(traffic). This is a great opportunity for you because many business people want to be seen. Simply create a space where adverts can be displayed and set up your pricing packages.

Reviewing

Some companies are willing to pay great reviewers to write about their products and publish on their blogs.

Affiliate marketing

Online stores like Amazon.com and advertising agencies such as google have affiliate marketing opportunities for bloggers. The good thing they can give you products links related to your content. These links are to be integrated in your blog articles so that people can click them as they read. If they like the product and buy it, you earn commission.

Tutoring

If you know something write about it and let others learn from you. Eventually this can turn into some of training from which you can earn from.

Basically that’s what I could rushy write about but it’s a diverse topic. My advice to you is to research more and start a blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Why entrepreneurship is not freedom? — January 29, 2017

Why entrepreneurship is not freedom?

Building myself as an entrepreneur I juggled between freelance and employment. During the time until mid 2015 the market pulled me into and I virtually identified myself as an Information Technology expert than what I truly desired to be since 2003.

You see I wanted to code and develop solutions which could help me especially. I never owned a PlayStation yet kids next door did, my playing time was boring most of the time. Such incited the desire to be creative. Later spent every penny in the internet cafes for years to learn this thing called software development.

All the way, developed desire to make money, so I instead of going at it through coding looked for the simplest way possible. I went into troubleshooting computers and setting up internet cafes. As this brought in some money, it positioned me more into the I.T arena than giving than coding. Much as had lots of ideas flowing in my blood, couldn’t find the courage to start or pick up where I left off.

When you want to be something, it’s good to discover the way you want to do it and fall that. If you don’t you are most likely to do it just like anyone else. Will this bring you happiness?

As for me solving problems through coding will be my first method, even if I run away it will always haunt me.

If anyone wants freedom or is pursuing happiness my recommendation is to try and spare sometime to discover yourself. Try so much to become as much self aware as possible so that if anyone has to tell you something they know or are observing about you, you don’t feel offended and surprised. Because you entirely know where it begins and ends.

For many coders, there is pain on start and during debugging phase but that pain has never compared to the happiness that comes at launch of our system.

If you’ve never gone through any self-awareness program, start now. Don’t let fears and thoughts like discovering the opposite that you want something or you who someone else than you’ve known. The magic here is that you will know yourself more than anyone knows you and you can now continue on your journey taking the right direction. I got a chance to attend Unleash dreams in 2016 co-found by David Reeve. One of the sessions Christine taught us about the life ecosystem, it’s my center of reflection since then.

How to remove Woocommerce sidebar from front-page using hooks — January 18, 2017

How to remove Woocommerce sidebar from front-page using hooks

Woocommerce is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress because it’s used by anyone wants to setup online shop without the need writing a single line of code.

Themes are one of the notable features that come with Woocommerce out of box. It comes with a default theme as well as you can download many out from WordPress.org theme repository and many theme stores online. In fact most of those themes on the WordPress repository and theme stores are fully compatible with WordPress.

Therefore this post is targeting people with custom themes made by themselves or got from somewhere but haven’t come with Woocommerce support.

Let’s start right away!

Go to Appearance -> Edit after logging in to the WordPress Dashboard where Woocommerce is installed.

Look for the functions.php file. For experienced WordPress coders you can create your own site specific plugin. This is where you can add custom code.

Let’s remove a Woocommerce sidebar action.

Use the code below in your themes functions.php or site specific plugin.

<?php

remove_action( ‘woocommerce_sidebar’, ‘woocommerce_get_sidebar’, 10 );

Save and reload the front-end of your shop page.

As simple as that.

 

 

 

Pursuing happiness by building communities. — December 13, 2016

Pursuing happiness by building communities.

Over the years I have learned about many things including but not limited to computers, business and education. The knowledge acquired helped me develop  website designing, entrepreneurship and community activism skills.

These skills help me, run a small mobile money business, with the aim of employing at least 3 youths before the end of 2017 and Gagawala graphics ltd, one of the fastest  growing website design, graphics design and printing business in Kampala,  Uganda employing 8 young skilled professionals who didn’t  have jobs. In all the businesses I involve, I like to emphasize self sustainability.

This is the reason why I honour invitations to hold workshops in rural and rural-urban areas.

The last free entrepreneurship workshop,  I facilitated was in Masese slum at Jinja(Eastern Uganda).

To make it inclusive and have maximum attention from everyone, I suggested we have a question and answer session instead of a speech kind or black board kind of class.

Everyone agreed. Questions started to flow from participants. One of the questions the participants asked was “What things do we have to consider,  to be able to start a business?” Answers contributed were idea, market, labour, skill, capital and time. I emphasized that without embracing all the 6 elements, the business my not grow or even serve it’s purpose in a single day. Business the discussion, we had a little physical activity in which participants made a circle while holding each others’ hands raising it up high.

This activity helps participants to work together for productivity. And also help relieve and resolve what’s learned from the discussions.

More activities at the event were poping, breakdance, sports workshops and dance competitions happened.

How to uplift a rural child in Uganda. — September 25, 2016

How to uplift a rural child in Uganda.

In Uganda, approximately 70 % of young people living in the urban areas don’t have access to computers. Worst of the matter is that you may find 40% of them have also never seen or practically used a computer for once in a lifetime.

They are possibly like me at 14 years of age, I had never seen one though I heard about it, I used to think it referred to a walking robot, such as the one I watched in movies. However, that happened to me a decade and 2 years ago. Shocking isn’t it? I wouldn’t expect someone today to find it hard to access a computer or be able to use one!

However, similarly to other countries in Africa; the largest part of Uganda is a rural area. Rural areas are negatively affected by having poor education, poor health care, ignorance and many disadvantages you could imagine of including poverty. 

Some of the biggest reasons why youths and adults don’t have access to computers is ignorance & poverty, in my own opinion.

Other factors could be lack of connectivity to national grid hindering the access to electricity which could be used to power the computer devices. And even if the connectivity was in existence in the rural and urban areas of Uganda, many families struggle to put food on the table, which means they couldn’t afford spending on computers.

In many countries children use computers to create things like robotics, play games, have fun with friends and this keeps them curious, creative and productive. It also helps them not to get involved in drug abuse, sex abuse and many other bad habits.

The same or better, is what I also want to happen in Uganda. At least by 2030, it should be very easy for someone to access and effectively use a computer. Employment opportunities among the youths to have improved due to skills acquired through using computers.

How is this possible.

We can start by building less power consumption, portable and affordable computers. 

With only $100, it’s possible to build a portable DC powered computer for a youth. Two or more youths can even use one in intervals so that everyone gets to learn how to use a computer and leverage the opportunities that come with it.

Since Uganda’s population is largely young people, actually 78% all being below the age of 35 years; according to wikipedia and the Uganda’s recent census in 2015. This is not a one man’s task.

What shall we do together?

We shall build portable, DC powered functional computer kits, installed with open source software.

Though we shall be able to build sellable computer units, our major aim is to uplift rural communities for free. And we hope to approach impact & climate change funders, to invest the initial capital to support us to build the first 50 pilot units.

Our pilot phase, will involve introducing community labs comprising of 3 to 5 units per lab per community. This means, in a day of 8 hours, one lab will be able to give access to 24 up to 40 youths at a rate of 1 individual per computer per hour.

The computer kits!

Each computer set will be a composition of a Raspberry PI, Memory Card, LCD monitor, USB keyboard, USB mouse and other necessary cables. Each full unit could cost between $120 to $145. Approximately UGX 407,249/= to UGX 492,093/= according to Google currency converter as of today 09/Oct/2016.

Initial training

In the first week, after setting up the lab, we shall conduct free workshops, to train youths and citizens of that particular community, on how to use these computers, troubleshoot them and in partnership with other social enterprises, we will educate them in personal development and leadership.

Our aim for these workshops, is to build/develop a self-sustaining project in which the citizens of the community have a bigger commitment and responsibility.

Good News: Equity bank and PayPal announcement to improve investment. — September 16, 2016

Good News: Equity bank and PayPal announcement to improve investment.

In a bid to improve their service for Kenya citizens PayPal and Equity Bank Kenya have just announced improvements in their service.

PayPal is an online (internet based) payment service originating from United States of America. PayPal helps individuals and business/organisations to send or receive payments across different countries of the world.

However not all PayPal features are available in to the citizens of every country. For example, the citizens of Kenya’s neighbor to the West “Uganda”, is able to use PayPal features such pay for goods and send payments but is not able receive payments and pay for goods.

This has been different for citizens in Kenya, especially for the Equity Bank customers and US bank account holders. Even though of recent funds withdrawn from PayPal wallet to Equity bank Kenya had to take 8 days ( more than a week) to be deposited on the bank account.

This announcement made by both financial giants confirm the reduction of this delay by 5 days, to bring the delay down to a maximum of 3 days.

This is means more cash flow for the I.T population which largely earns from online money making like blogging, working on upwork and other freelance platforms.

This moves is also a step forward towards increasing the chances of investment by the locals who earn online.

For instance, in 30 days, a earner of 100 USD online in a period of 10 days, will have access to 300 USD in cash feasible to be invested.