Not a BAR nor a CAMP!

This past weekend was dominated by all things beer with the Tusker Safari Sevens and Tusker Project Fame finals happening on the same weekend, I wonder how the Tusker big brass were able to divide themselves between the two events happening on opposite sides of town. Despite the obvious temptation especially on the former I ended up in a different type of Bar which was not a Bar. With a nudge from a techie guru whom I know and  also happens to work with skunks I found myself spending the better part of Saturday at Barcamp. Despite my initial misgivings about what I presumed would be a very techie affair with acronyms and abbreviations being thrown left right and centre I ended up learning alot and having a good time to boot.

Alot of posts (More than 10 at last count) have been writen up about the content of Barcamp Nairobi including pictures where I have spotted my smug mugshot in the crowd! so I won’t attempt to try and go into the content of the presentations cos they have been covered my more worthy campers. Instead I will just state what I liked about it and what little more I would like to see added.

What I liked.

  • Democracy, people got to choose what topics would be included and because the sessions were going on concurently in 3 rooms you had a choice of which particular session to attend this was a true reflection of ‘people driven process
  • Participation, was not only expected and encouraged it was demanded, it was not just about a speaker talking for half an hour while we were watching the clock in fact most of the times I got a feeling that the sessions were ending too fast.
  • Networking, I was able to make the aquintance of several bloggers and persons in the blog and IT community who despite being ‘famous’ were all approachable and willing to engage all and sundry.
  • Ubuntu, not the software (although I noted that many of the poeple attending are big fans of FOSS) but the spirit of humanity where people were genuinely willing to be helpful, this puts a human face rather than the obnoxious geek image that people have of the techies.
  • Variety, It was not just about computer systems and develpment of software there was diversity in topics from setting up Ubuntu servers, rural lighting to Iphones and Blogging tips so I didn’t feel left out although quite a number of the topics were above me I could still find enoug sessions to occupy me all day.
  • Unconference, this terminology intrigued me and I wanted to know what it was all about but as the day wore on it impressed me, the informal nature of going about things, the lack of moderators, the diversity, the lighning sessions (I didn’t think it would ever be possible to keep a public speaker in kenya to a presentation of only 5 minutes!) and the lack of the usual evaluation forms at the end of the seminar. there was not even a guest of honour although the PS for information turned up he particpated and contributed like any other camper.
  • Mixed Grill,- not the food (there was none but I don’t think anybody missed it) All sorts of people turned up from IT specialists, Bloggers, Civil Society, Enterpreneurs, Students and even government policy makers and all mixing and participating as equals and wanting to share something.
  • HotSpot, thanks to Wananchi for some of us it was our first time to experience really fast, Unrestricted internet (really had to restrain myself from abusing the connection to do hefty downloads) connections and as the presentations went on we were able to google all the interesting facts that came up and I have a nice big BarcampNariobi bookmark folder full of juicy links to nibble over slowly with time.

Oportunities for Improvement

  • Space, I guess even the organizers did not bargain for such a big attendance especially on a cold July Saturday but the 3 rooms for most of the sessions were full to capacity, I can bet that next time due to the favourable reviews I have read so far they can expect even more people
  • Timing, ok this is personal! I really really really missed the rugby so next time tafadhali consult the KRFU calendar.
  • Publicity, the whole thing needs to be demystified so that we can have more people coming in especially as presenters cos alot of times people get intimidated by technology and think that it is only for experts.
  • Beer, si it’s a Bar ama? 🙂

so to the organizers of Barcamp this is my unofficial conference evaluation form in case you forgot!


The Book or the Movie?

The Bourne Ultimatum is finally out in movie theatres in Nairobi. I haven’t watched the movie yet although I intend to at the first opportunity I get. What has been interesting though is the inevitable debate on whether the movie is better than the book. This debate I guess has been going on since the first movie adaptations of popular books began. Many literature purists will always argue that books are always more superior to movies but this is often said with a hint of superiority complex cos it is often argued that reading is a more intellectual activity that just following an already packaged movie. I wont play down the importance of reading books (which I wholeheartedly support) but I also think that in many cases the movie can be better than the book and may also lead to more people appreciating and understanding the book.

The following is just a sample of some my thoughts on some of the movies that I have in my DVD collection that I have read also read the book from which they were adapted.


  • The Godfather – by Mario Puzo, This is one of the most facinating novels that I read while still in high school the story was so well written and I do believe that this is one of the greatest novels ever written. In this case I valued the book more than the movie, I had to watch the movie a couple of times before I really appreciated it but the movie also added value because whenever you think of Don Corleone Marlon Brando immediately comes to mind. 

    Book ♥♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥


  • Jurrasic Park -by Michael Chrichton; For this one I first watched the movie before I read the book, I was so enthralled by the movie that I quickly went out looking for the book and quickly went through all the other Michael Crichton books as well, the book was definately more detailed and helped explain much more than the movie, the other Crichton movie adaptations apart from The Lost World and Disclosure such as Time Line, Congo, Sphere were much less interesting than the books. I guess the tech aspects are too detailed for a good cinema experience.

Book ♥♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥


  • The Bourne Identity/Supremacy by Robert Ludlum; Ludlums books are extremely detailed and intricate and I doubt any movie producer can be able to accurately depict all the things that occur in the books but the Bourne movies are definately a very good attempt to dramatize the books and for that I will give them a goood score but the books are definately better.



  • The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King; I am a loyal Stephen King Fan and I believe he is the greatest story writer and his characters are always believable unfortunately most of the screen adaptations of Stephen King novels almost always disappoint cos they don’t give enough time to the character development which is always key in the books (before they start being haunted or hacked) Of the older movies I can only reccomend Christine as a good attempt. As for The  Shawshank Redemption which is actually an adaptation of the short novella Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption from his Four Seasons compilation I can trully say that the Movie surpassed the book, I rated Shawshank as one of the greatest movies ever made but the book is also excellent so I give them all top marks. The other two stories in Four Seasons, The Body was also made into a pretty good movie – Stand by Me but Apt Pupil was not good at all.

Book ♥♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥♥


  • The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre; I only bought the book because it was set in Kenya but after I started reading it I found it quite captivating. I watched the movie after reading the book and in my view the movie script stayed very true to the movie. It is difficult to decide which was better but I will have to back the book since it was much more detailed.

Book♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥


  • The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien; I first heard of the Lord of the Rings when The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out I watched the movie first on Video and loved it this inspired me to get the book to read. In the case of the LOTR I will admit that the books at first are definately hard to read but after watching the movie I found it much easier to understand the book but overall I prefer the movie to the book and the 12 disc DVD boxset is the pride of my DVD collection

Book ♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥♥♥♥


  • Queen of the the Damned by Anne Rice; I am a fan of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches series which I have read most of however with the movies only Interview with a Vampire starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt was really a good movie, Queen of the damned which was Aaliyahs last movie before her untimely death was not a great movie however the redeeming feature was the excellent visual effects on the scary stuff which I totally loved but overall the book was much much better

Book ♥♥♥♥ / Movie ♥♥

Onto other stuff, I lost my Motorolla SLVR phone fortunately I had just upgraded to another phone but I still needed the second phone for my Safaricom line which I just use for calling only I think murphys law must have come to play to deny me the bragging rights of having two high end phones. Talking of phones multichoice/KBC is launching Mobile TV in Kenya it figures just when I had upgraded my phone with all the features I thought I would ever need! See story here.

ps. Gollum kinda reminds me of this fella.


_EX Wars

I have an accute case of Bloggers block if there ever was one. I can’t for the life of me come up with an original idea for a post this week. I have a few ideas brewing but they require some time to gel and definately when I can get some free time I will dive right in.
So in the mean time I will do another one like this. This week I have noted alot of men vs women wars erupting all over KBW I guess it is the same old story since men and women always never seem to get along despite the fact that we are always struggling to hook up with someone to complain about.
It seems to have started last week when HnH‘s old half decided to crawl back after being dumped by his new half only to encounter the scathing and utter wrath of his past. then Archer who introduces us to the potato wars (not this tato!) beginging with a chick who decides to play mind games and tempt her jamaa with her pal in order to test his loyalty but tough luck cos he failed the test but the question is who actually lost since she lost the jamaa (probably the pal as well!), Baadaye he chomoas a take-away chips episode with a new age sophisticated babe which leaves a poor dude as leftover. Inexes after last weeks fiasco with Rihanna look-a-like is busy reminding us of his undergraduate tally.
Klara got us thinking of how to handle a tricky situation like getting invited to an Ex’s wedding would I go, maybe depending on the nature of the parting I guess it can serve as a form of closure cos you are resigned to the fact that she is no longer available while still single the possibility always lingers. Talking of Exes and weddings Mocha is perplexed by the Ex who doesn’t know how to tell her he is getting married and then an old friend confesses he has been getting some Bill Clinton action on the side while still considering himself to be faithful to his mama I don’t think that trick can work again, Meanwhile while dishing out this issues Mocha still lets her share in some beautiful shots. Gishungwa had us questioning whether we are in love or in lust my take is that isn’t possible to have both wrapped up in one Yaani Lust for the one you love? We are still all waiting very patiently for Unyc’s story to unravel.
Top prize leo is 3N who has organized a Seminar in Kigali for Kenyan men to scope out the action with the hutu and tutsi babes since Kenyan Mamas have declared their disinterest in us. Apparently I will be one of the resource persons. My my what to say?
The question I ask is why cant we just get along?
Not only bad things happen in Kenya this sounds good