A few years ago, I wanted to get my hands on a PDA. Since I couldn’t even afford a monochrome Palm PDA, I went for a cool & cheaper Texas Instruments AVIGO 10 that basically did the same things like a Palm.
Since I couldn’t stand their battery consumption and in the course of  improving it, I had even built my own recharger for Avigo’s 2xAAA power supply that I had managed to mold into the PDA’s cradle.

As PDAs are great toys and since I don’t need any Blackberry styled e-mail-push-service, I soon switched back to my beloved paper organizer.  Now upon reading some older gizmo boingboing entries, I’ve come across this lovely PocketMod nini which seems to be quite useful for my needs. That is, I always have to write down my own to-do-list in order to remember the stuff that rumbles round in my head. PocketMod could easily become my styled up to-do-list :-)
Another great link on this subject might be the D*I*Y Planner

What I like about PocketMod is the folding method. Might be useful for other needs as well….

The African Hacker

An interesting story about a coder in Accra, Ghana:

<< Besides being compact, his programs also write frequently to disk, reducing the chances of losing data if power is lost, as it often is. Because Internet connectivity remains relatively expensive, his programs also work offline as much as possible. And to combat the rampant piracy, beta versions of software rarely leave Soft’s premises, finished products don’t have an autoinstall function (you need a Soft technician to launch them), and batches of bug fixes are often delivered individually to customers rather than generally released. (…)
Software vendors doing business in Africa constantly battle technological ignorance. (…) >>

This is SO true…not only on the African Continent…

<< Ghana’s* educational system is exceedingly theoretical and designed to train people to manage, say, a Mercedes dealership rather than to build a Mercedes," Chinery-Hesse says. "What we require is more practical education. >>

* = Ghana, Germany, … you name it, same problems everywhere. Imagine I had to learn FORTRAN for my studies in civil engineering. Why? Because it is a) simple, b) shows the structure behind coding and most importantly c) the prof only knows Fortran as a programming language. C++? Visual Basic? No chance!

[found via: cyrusfarivar.com]

the bathroom story

The other day I received an inspiring telephone call by my dear friend A.-M. from Freiburg in southern Germany, who had been schooling with me way back in Nairobi. She asked me to help her renovate her awful 80s-styled bathroom, which had been left within a “light-brownish” state since the mid 1980s. Knowing how much it means Continue reading “the bathroom story”