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Our technology education program will be called… — July 29, 2017

Our technology education program will be called…

In last week’s article Updates on the 5 units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda about technology, I was shared an update about the technology education program, my friends and I are about to enroll in Uganda a few weeks from now.

I would to appreciate everyone who is reaching out to support with courage and in any way possible.

In fact many of you have asked what’s the name of the program. Today I will like to give you an answer but after narrating a bit more of our approach and why.

Our approach

To partner and visit learning participants in their communities. It’s our priority to visit the community with training equipment, we are also flexible to utilize the resources on ground hence we can visit a community prior to community interest and invitation.

Our major focus is someone who is just starting out to use a computer and self taught but interested in learning more from our team.

Why?

The tradition method is prospective learners to look out for training centers which offer an education in technology. This is an outdated approach in education service delivery  since it is most likely to exclude low level education background people, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, elderly community leaders,  people living in remote and rural areas which are also far from towns where schools could be located and marginalized groups of people. Our solution will introduce as many people even beyond 100000 to technology through offering technology literacy and accessibility.

If we want to achieve our dream, one of our goals is sustainability, and we think it is important to use little resources on our away to attaining the dream. Instead of waiting to raise capital for renting a space, we are fortunate to roll out the program in the communities where our people live and have an affiliation.

The ordinary methods would attract huge customer acquisition costs, which means the founders and investors must have to invest heavily in the start up unlike us whose approach is to have people push the solution furthest for the betterment of their communities and the surrounding.

So what is the name of the program?

First of all the program will be carried out by a team of volunteers on behalf of You Inspire You. You Inspire You, is a social entrepreneurial establishment, focusing on utilizing the most accessible resources to stir up potential by teaching technology and technology related disciplines to ordinary people, with an aim of improving livelihoods by leveraging on the numerous opportunities presented by a technology savvy.

The name of the program is Mobile Digital Hub and MDH in short. The name was chosen reflecting the process and digital technology skills acquisition.

 

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Updates on the 5 units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda about technology. — July 23, 2017

Updates on the 5 units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda about technology.

Introduction

For about 7 years, I face technology challenges many of which am fortunately able to solve due because of the repeated usage of computers, tech gadgets and the internet.

Some of the challenges are education, health and income generation related.

Technology doesn’t only help me keep in touch with the people that matter, it also gives me the chance to learn, earn income, educate others and contribute in different ways to community development.

With gratitude am happy to:- to participate in the designing of websites such as eastafricatourismguide.com, theelephanthome.com, africawildexplorations.com, ugandatrip.org, rubonicamp.com, homesteadtoursandsafaris.com and ucota.or.ug among others. Perhaps some of you reading this article have ever visited Uganda through one of those websites. The existence of the businesses and organisations which own those websites are helping reduce unemployment and provide a way for numerous people to earn an income in Uganda.

I have also been able to build financial business website like rapidadvisory.com, personal websites like kaweesimark.com, bboydancemachine.com, joramc.com, and kibuukaphotography.com other websites are directory sort of such as kansanga.com which is a free platform where a locals in my township can lookup or upload businesses, places etc.

One of the reasons I’m a web developer is to solve real life problems such as lack of accessibility to affordable means of marketing and business opportunities as well to help brands establish a presence on the internet.

Through experience, I have discovered that people are spending a great deal of funds and time to a lot important and useless things due to lack of technology skill and knowledge. Some people spend on expensive web tools to build good looking websites but they don’t have a budget set a side for marketing and maintenance of their websites.

Some people would easily have time to edit and upload content to their websites but they lack technology skill and the confidence to pull it off.

Currently some good number of Ugandans, have managed to get an income opportunities abroad in the other parts of the world and they would love to send money back home, safely, fast and securely which could be easily done through platforms such as useremit.com and worldremit.com  etc but the confidence that they can do it without a mistake is in lack.

What do I do?

A few years ago, with two friends, we found a company discovering the opportunities availed by technology. The business we initiated in 2014 to celebrate 3 birthdays and established itself as fully legally recognized business in Uganda. We started with the capital of less than UGX 300,000/= ( about $80 USD).

From two individuals to six full time employees, in an economically stricken market, we are persevering. We are strategically located in the center of Kampala capital city, at the heart of the printing industry in the country on Mirembe Arcade, 4th floor, office number E09 at Nasser Road which helps customers locate us easily for bespoke products and services helping their businesses grow and become or maintain sustainability.

Additionally I volunteer to educate people of all walks of life and introduce them to the technology since I have developed from someone who couldn’t afford food worth 1000/= ($0.27) to someone is sustaining myself.  The tech training I offer covers, introduction to computer usage, internet, coding through HTML, CSS, JS and PHP and Website design using Content Management Systems especially WordPress and Joomla. As I have many less tech skilled friends and people in my network, I sometimes help with troubleshooting their devices or offering tips for whatever they stumble with the gadgets and software systems they use.

A self question

Looking where I am from, where would I be without the help of the people with a good heart? How can I pay it forward?

A self answer

I should volunteer more often reaching out those who can’t afford tech education at school or paid for training centers.

The progress so far

At the beginning, what was a virtual dream, is becoming a reality.

Have been able to acquire two used laptops at an affordable fee from a friend who deals in selling used computers.

A few weeks ago I was able to set these laptops up by installing Windows OS, Microsoft office suite, typing master and web browsers. Those tools will be enough to get some started with technology.

I appreciate that some few friends have believed in the idea and are willing to involve as trainers, project ambassadors, pilot program hosts and website hosting partners among other responsibilities.

When do we roll out?

I will bring more updates next week.

Conclusion

This will be the first official fully packaged program am heading to impact social change and community development. I have little experience and exposure in managing such a program thus I kindly request for any of your suggestions and ideas.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

100s meet at Luwero district, in Uganda to attend a cocktail of workshops ? — July 16, 2017

100s meet at Luwero district, in Uganda to attend a cocktail of workshops ?

In month of May a group of young adults planned a social community activity in Luwero district in Uganda. Luwero district, is one of the districts located in the central part of Uganda, the biggest part of Luwero is rural despite the district being the place of safety during the war, that paved way for the National Resistance Movement on their way into power to govern the country since 1986 to date.

Whoever attended would had access to several workshops including but not limited to  beat-boxing, Rapping, Bboy dance and technology for free of cost before taking part in several Hip-hop Breakdance battles.

I was also able to attend and take part because such are the days I get a chance to expand the awareness of technology among people in the rural parts of my country.

IMG_20170527_143436
David getting closer to listen to a participant’s question.

Observed challenges

  • Luckily some of the participants had smartphones though the biggest number of them were wondering how computers look like. Actually 70% of the young people of the rural areas seems to have missed the biggest opportunity to change the world through the technology simply due to accessibility. As much as the reason  to lack of access many blame it to poor financial standards and corrupt leaders.
  • The lack of communicating comfortably in the official language (English ) of Uganda, leaves one questioning the quality of education the rural people acquire at school. I believe this is contributing a lot to lack of self-esteem among most young Ugandans.

Take a ways

  • To be honest the energy in the room, noticed from the number of participants no matter the age in each single workshop boosted my will to continue participating in such workshops.
IMG_20170527_131508
Ugandan rapper, St. Nelly Sade coaching takes children through a music workshop focusing on Rapping.
  • The questions asked are a significant symbol of desire and commitment to learn regardless accessibility.

My thoughts

  • I believe sooner than later, the technology skill and knowledge divide in Uganda will soon be overcome especially if leaders and parents get involved.
  • As much as the government claims to put in place inclusive systems, the impact is yet to be felt. More effort should be put in especially to combat corruption which is a major hindrance to accessibility of many services today.
  • Should put final touches to the training guide we are developing to allow us increase our attendance more people in rural communities as we teach them about technology and participate in life change.

 

 

How to buy computers with best processors — July 9, 2017

How to buy computers with best processors

Almost the most important component of the computer is the processor because it does the heavy duty of computing/processing requests. Because the strong it is, everyone wanting to buy the a computer considers the most popular of the processor while buying.

However following the trend is usually not the correct thing to do. In this article I would like to talk about intel processors especially the iCores.

Intel is a brand well known for manufacturing both computers and mobile processors. The processors are quite high performing due to quality but that dictates the price.

i3, i5 and i7 are the intel processors which replaced the popular duo core or core duo processors. When people look at the numbers after the letter i, they think it automatically means the higher the number the stronger.

Is that true? Well there is something more to that which is known as processor generations. If want to learn the several processor generations and their code names, head over to the this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_CPU_microarchitectures

So how do you know the processor generation before buying the computer.

If you are not comfortable touching the computer to check by yourself, then ask the seller to tell you the model of the computer so that you search about it on the internet.

Else physically check the computer by yourself.

In windows 7, right click computer and choose properties from the context menu else right click This computer if it’s windows 8 or 10.7tnME

A page will show details of your computer, including RAM and Processor. Besides the processor field you will the processor labelled like the illustration above.

According to intel, the number which appears immediately after the hyphen (-) determines the generation. i.e. i3-3215U means the processor of 3rd generation.

To more  about the particular processor head over to intel’s website, and compare it to others.

Choose the right processor to have the best computer experience!

 

 

 

Empowerment through each one, teach one concept. — July 3, 2017

Empowerment through each one, teach one concept.

If you are a son/daughter of the ghettos or rural areas in Uganda and across Africa, and made it out there, I guess you have a great story to tell.

I’m sure you shared a pain that will never be forgotten for your entire life as much as \ things are better now. This is manifested when I find a young man or woman or child who is doing his or her best to make a living or learn a skill which can give them an alternative way of living a life.

Currently as I type this, I can recall the 2 to 4 years I spent using internet cafe and computers of my friends. In the process, I seemed to be selfish to some, aggressive to some and a good person to some. Fortunately, some years fast forward am happily running digital agency which also offers printing services in Kampala, check out gagawala.com

This is where it all begins. I’m able to earn a living and as well as help 6 others earn. But that’s not all, the businesses, organisations and individuals we serve are also able to sustain their ideas and businesses, which maintains the employment and service delivery in the country.

What this improved a little more?

If am able to earn, help my family of 4 of us have food and afford electricity bills every month, as well as help 2 children go to school, how can I help others to also improve both personally and on the financial front?

I started teaching about technology to individuals and groups in my free time for free. Of course, I have done this already in the communities but it’s on an irregular basis due a couple of reasons.

Teaching small groups or individuals seems to be a little bit easier because you get to attend to attentive yet eager to learn.

On 4th June, 2017 I had the first official class to which a team of two young youths from Democratic Republic of Congo, living and studying in Uganda attended. Andrew and Rogers are both artists working in communities performing beatboxing drills and teaching people of the communities how to beatbox. You can catch up the two in the video below and learn more about their work.

During our training session with them, my friend Mutebi Ivan Junior and I taught them how to use internet, YouTube in particular to promote their work. Through the process they were able to create a YouTube channel and upload their performances and workshops, they also learned how to use gmail to communicate. We set a target to save money together so that by October 2017, they can acquire their first ever smartphone which could enable them serve more in the communities as they inform the world about their work. Hope to meet them again soon to review their progress.

I’m happy about the efforts engaged by everyone on this day, the feedback I get from these life changers is tremendous and encouraging me to learn more and support numerous others.

Kansanga, first Ugandan town to publish local content online? —

Kansanga, first Ugandan town to publish local content online?

In 2016, I had an opportunity to attend several web and blogger meet-ups in Kampala, Uganda.

With hospitable people, Uganda has over 1000s of tourism businesses contributing millions of dollars to the economy of the country.

Tourism is enabled because of the nature of the country which is gifted with rivers, lakes, hills & mountains, very unique and miracle making hot-springs, wildlife and abundance of the biggest bird species on this planet!

However, every part of Uganda has something that the world doesn’t know about or will never know about unless it’s shared on internet where over 4 billions of people end up for information.

I live in Kansanga, a township which is only 6KM away from the city center of the capital city, along Ggabba Road.

Through this town Pope Francis passed from Munyonyo to go to Kololo and meet the youths congregation on in his visit.

Kansanga a home to 2 big international universities; Kampala International University and International East Africa University. A home of several Banks, fuel stations, and a lot of malls with restaurants, clubs for entertainment and gardens good for hosting special events.

Kampala International University
Kampala International University main branch in Kansanga

I believe that all of this information is worth uploading on the internet.

Thus I took the initiative to build the first website of this township, which will allow the locals and anyone to contribute anything about Kansanga for free of cost. Of course there will be a challenge to moderate and maintain the hosting of the website online.

I have a small business strategy in place for guidance.

I would encourage everyone to participate as well as the people living in other towns to copy the idea for their own towns.

Here is the link of kansanga.com clicking sign up, it will take you less than one minute to to get a free account and start your contributing.

Also find out more about Kansanga on wikipedia at the following link => https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansanga where our website is also referenced, putting us in a good position to develop this idea.

Why Bootstrap is a bad fit for WordPress Themes — June 14, 2017
Why haven’t you developed a single Mobile App yet? — April 2, 2017

Why haven’t you developed a single Mobile App yet?

Are you interested but have never gotten the courage to take the chance or have tried but upbeat by the long learning curve?

First of all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you are not to blame. I personally love to create solutions for myself and the other people around me.

I utilize the skills I have to create the solutions. Take for example, by having a HTML, CSS and PHP skills, I’m able to run a web agency which also gives printing and graphics design services. At this agency, I work as the operations manager and leader of the digital department.

Due to business dynamics, there is need to learn a new skill to strengthen my personal portfolio as well as that of the company.

What comes to my mind is developing mobile apps which can solve real life problems. For this I will concentrate on developing Android apps not Windows and iOS, due to my target consumers. Since am not a fan of Java, I chose to go Hybrid way because at least I wouldn’t have to learn a lot, I will port my HTML, CSS, PHP and SQL knowledge to reach my target. Additionally, I would have a chance of compiling my mobile app code, for other platforms as well we grow without investing money for another developer yet the client’s budget is too low.

Recently I posted about setting up the Android Hybrid App development environment article, to let you know how practically it’s easy to get started.

Right now, am creating my own App, which will be used for personal finance book keeping, with features such as automatic notification  a few days towards loan date expiry, loan amortization and so much more as time may allow. I hope to an api and remote storage in the cloud, in future to be able to attract more people to use it.

I think by now, I would have completed developing the app but looking at available resources, couldn’t manage learning one.

Listen I have set 10 days, of researching and studying about JQM. In a few days, I have been able to develop the login and logout screens.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

5 Units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda. — March 19, 2017

5 Units to educate 100,000 people in Uganda.

A while  ago I discovered my calling which is about educating or teaching others. Fulfilling my why is not a comfortable zone and I must discover how.

I already set my dream affirmation for what I think is a brilliant goal. First of all, it’s not the only goal I have in regards to improving technology skills and employment opportunities in Uganda. However by analyzing several ideas, I believe it’s the sustainable one than the others. My goal is to teach over 100,000 in Uganda, in 3 years about technology and fallback to monitor progress and impact.

The number looks big especially reflecting to my personal financial ability and the availability of resources.

Courageously, an organisation in Tanzania (http://poweringpotential.org) is using almost 90% of the technology we shall use for our Mobile Digital Hub.

What happens is that we shall use single board computers (Raspberry Pi), connected to a LED Monitor together with a USB Mouse and Keyboard. We shall install a favourable but light linux distro, open office, google chrome and firefox browsers and notepad++ open source software to cut costs. Additionally the project will run on green solar energy, and the trainers will be volunteers. We take this approach so that we can reach as many communities where people can not afford a computer as well as are not in position to pay study fees for computer lessons.

I kindly request for your advise/help in all ways to realize this dream and have people empowered.

Thank you

“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!