Ghanaian Tech People [Do Something Before You …]: Steam OS


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A new Debian based Linux operating system was recently released in Beta and while, I don’t have my hands on it( I doubt I would for a while), the idea behind it is awesome. It’s mostly a gaming Linux distribution.

Need I explain further? Okay, so you know Ubuntu ships in several flavors for whatever user needs may be, such as Ubuntu Studio  for multimedia guys, Edubuntu for education oriented people etc. (you do know right?), well pretend SteamOS is one of those Ubuntu releases meant for gaming; except it is independent of Ubuntu.

But that’s just the icing on the cake. SteamOS is actually gonna work with a dedicated console. So just like the PlayStation, Steam is the console and like XrossMediaBar, SteamOS provides the software!

Now where the big opportunity is….

If you’re familiar with Linux, you know it’s a lot about modifying, hacking, alterating and any synonyms that come to mind. Thus, the whole concept, the console i.e. can be taken up as DIY project.

The hardware requirements are as follows:

  • Processor: Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  •  Memory: 4GB or more RAM
  •  Hard Drive: 500GB or larger disk
  •  Video Card: NVIDIA graphics card
  • (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon!)
  •  Additional:UEFI boot support
  • USB port for installation

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Considering doing business , in order to sell, you’d need a licence of sorts though.

So my Ghana people, I believe herein lies a wonderful opportunity to actually make something technologically innovative, how about build a Steam machine, and who knows, you might well be on your way to being a relevant OEM and at least, an African gaming innovator!!!!

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[Update](of the)[Update]


Remember my previous post? well, turns out my post before that is coming on:

Fellow Python Enthusiasts

ImageOk so come Saturday, March 30th April 6th, a group of python enthusiasts plan to meet up to you know, share ideas, learn from each other and network. These “pythonistas” are based in Accra, the meet up is in Accra, but it is not limited to only “Accrarians”. I should have posted this earlier but I’ve been a bit lazy. Sorry. But pass through if you can; you never know.

Anyway, the meeting is at the Open University of West Africa campus in Osu. There are directions here, or you can simply call Victor Ofoegbu or Courage Mabrey on +2330200217650 and +233207508668 respectively; they’re actually nice, they won’t bite, ok maybe Victor would, funny guy. lol.

You can look up this page for more details.”

So yeah, do well to pass through. Its on this Saturday chale!!!

Fellow Python Enthusiasts


ImageOk so come Saturday, March 30th, a group of python enthusiasts plan to meet up to you know, share ideas, learn from each other and network. These “pythonistas” are based in Accra, the meet up is in Accra, but it is not limited to only “Accrarians”. I should have posted this earlier but I’ve been a bit lazy. Sorry. But pass through if you can; you never know.

Anyway, the meeting is at the Open University of West Africa campus in Osu. There are directions here, or you can simply call Victor Ofoegbu or Courage Mabrey on +2330200217650 and +233207508668 respectively; they’re actually nice, they won’t bite, ok maybe Victor would, funny guy. lol.

You can look up this page for more details.

Oh one more thing, I’m sure you’ve probably heard of these guys?

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Yes? No? Well they’re an awesome organization who are all about the alternative -never the norm- and projecting Accra, showcasing the rich culture (troski life, music, fashion, that waakye etc) and all the aesthetics the city has to offer. You can check their blog.

So there’s this social thing they do together with their interns [me included] where they we take turns with cameras, learning how to take beautiful photos thereby creating content to share with everyone. Our little gig is aptly and funk-edelically called Foto Klub.

We’re taking shots around the lighthouse at Jamestown, so if you happen to be in the neighborhood, you can always drop by and you know, interact. Begins at seven (7) am though, but you can always catch up nonetheless. We’re awesome people, like really. Heck ada brought you !ndie/Ind!e Fuse, Chale Wote and still bring The Talk Party Series which is on tomorrow at the Passions Cafe in Osu. I won’t be there sadly, but it’s all good.

:). Ok I’ve talked chao already, nti you dierr, just make it to anyone of the three hangouts.

Good evening.

Gbala of the 21st Century!


Gbala, or Agbala, simply is voodoo, juju, consultation with spirits and what not. It is often the case where one has to travel to the outskirts of the country and villages in order to consult with the “pros”.

There might be a few practitioners around the city, but I doubt anyone would take them that seriously, after all, gods have traditionally been in conflict with technology. I mean, I can’t possibly imagine some god hanging out in Accra.

Accra, well if you live in Accra, I am sure you’ve noticed as well. I haven’t been around the country that much so I can’t say for sure if this is only an Accra phenomenon. Back to Accra, well if you live in Accra, you might have noticed the influx of an eclectic array of advertisement.

I mean, it’s bad enough our ears and eyes are bombarded with all these commercials. Move to and from any point in Accra and you won’t find fault in my reasoning.

I did say an influx of advertisement, have you noticed all the ads pronouncing financial freedom, love, academic success and a whole lot more? And no, these aren’t by the churches, they’ve told us all of that and probably shouldn’t anymore because we get it; if you got a problem, come to church, no problem is too small; neither the consultation fees and psychological brain washing you might have to endure.

Back to gbala, chale have you seen the posters! Often it is some “mallam”, striking as fearful and yet cool pose as possible, with a stash of cash (more than often dollars) in one corner, and of course, some earthen pots. Oh , oh, oh, don’t forget the snake!

Okay, first up, who the hell does these posters, are they Photoshop artists from the program’s inception? I mean the poster art is terrible! Are they oblivious to the fact that packaging is key to gaining customers?

Okay enough “non-fa”. It’s impressive that our “traditionalists” and “mallams” and “gbala-ists” and “gbala-istas” are using technology to reach out to people. For me, that sure as hell is a positive sign Ghanaians are becoming better at adapting to changing times.

Well this got me thinking, it’s the 21st century, would gbala of today be any different from say, a decade ago? I don’t know any priests, and frankly I’m too scared to go investigate one, that leaves me with Nollywood. The portrayal in their movies tells me no, there hasn’t been that much a change in the affairs of juju!

Well I think some “reforms” would do for the er, institution(??:p). I mean imagine: some girl bi you dey want toast, you go see the gbala man, der norr e say e know why you come, e gey some iPad bi kraa, chant some things, norr the chica in pic that for the tablet top, der norr e give you some Galaxy S3, wey e tell you say in a few days time call am, but before you call am ah, dial some number bi, e go help am communicate with the spirit of love (not cupid), and voila, move na pai!

And oh, did I mention you could pay him via eZwich?

And oh, you know how in the movies, they would often show real time cinema via a mirror, well they could switch to HD, crisp and clear. Imagine executing your enemy while watching it go down on HD. [You might pay a hefty sum though if you have to do the whole cracking the mirror thing], but oh well…

I meant to adopt this concept in a comic, but then as it stands, it’s four am and I can’t sleep, so I just had to share…

but think of it, albeit the dark overtone, tech could be applied by our “gbala-ists” and “gbala-istas” to do all the healing stuff, and perhaps, we would save all the animals and the trees, and save all the spitting and concoction stuff or something…

Why did I write this anyway??

I Is Cuz We Is…(Quantal Quetzal)


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I recently started using Ubuntu, perhaps the most popular Linux distro out there. i can’t say my experience was smooth. i have plunged myself into an absolutely new world.

Oh so badly i wanted to learn to program, yet here i am and i already wanna jump overboard and swim ashore to the cozy, relatively easy windows sands.

My installation of the OS didn’t go great, it just wouldn’t install on my rather crappy computer, in dual boot mode. as a last resort, i replaced my version of windows 7.

Oh did i mention i was stupid enough to turn the third partition of my hard disk into a bootable USB..big mistake! But that can be solved, there are a ton of tools i should be able to use, so no problemo there.

Using Ubuntu, i can just feel its benefits, although i am not sure i can put it in words. I feel like a geek, running commands from within the terminal, though it really is nothing considering i get how-to’s from the numerous forums dedicated to the distro. And the interface is sweeeeet, or as I love to write and *ahem* say, niiiiiiiiiiiiuuuuuuce!!!!

Default Interface

Default Interface

The one thing i am grateful for is the Wine package, which enables me to run native windows applications on this Linux distro. awesome right??

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Wine

I still get to use my Picasa, i can still use fl studio, i get VLC, and i should be able to more importantly, run Microsoft office. Supposedly because it still isn’t working. I’ll keep trying until i do, the office suite on offer doesn’t quite suit me so yeah.. LibreOffice is an okay alternative though.

So about a week of using Ubuntu, and i have a headache. am i unhappy? Hell no! I am just excited and totally adore the feeling i get when i finally manage to make something work. 

As at now, i am still familiarizing myself with the OS  learning as much of the ropes as i possibly can.

Starting off my programming adventures in Python, following Zed Shaw’s lessons, the native Python integration (both versions) is a definite plus for me..=D.

Then the most important asset of this OS i must say is the community behind it. Considering its open source and all, there is an awesomely dedicated team of developers and users ready to give a helping hand in times of trouble. And oh, did I also mention there’s an equally suitable alternative to your favorite apps? Only thing is the experience feels a bit different and needs some adjusting to. 🙂 

That is awesome, cuz it ensures you’re not stuck.

All in all, I’ll give my Ubuntu experience 8 out of 10 stars, just being me

1.5 if i have some problems because I’m stupid

10 for being a totally challenging experience.

For what other reasons can i rate it??

I dunno. drop a comment and tell me how else i can rate my experience, and oh,do tell me if you’re using the same OS, what your expectations are, and what experiences you have.

And oh, please tell me why you want to be, because of what everyone is. [that is basically what Ubuntu means. understand my title now? Go figure!!:P]

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Nurture, Start, Start…Start it Up


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For a long time i have wondered about start-ups, investment opportunities and such in Ghana. I wondered if there weren’t any rich people in this country who were interested in investing into other people’s ventures. Perhaps they are just selfish and don’t see themselves doling out major investment money to others?? But c’mon, the word is INVESTMENT!!!

Anyway, I’ve been following the activities of Peter Thiel, venture capitalist, hedge fund manager and founder of Thiel Fellows, yes Thiel Fellows! What Thiel fellows does is admirable, and risky. But what is any venture without risk? This is a quote from their website:

“The Fellowship brings together some of the world’s most creative and motivated young people, and helps them bring their most ambitious ideas and projects to life. Thiel Fellows are given a no-strings-attached grant of $100,000 to skip college and focus on their work, their research, and their self-education. They are mentored by our network of visionary thinkers, investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs, who provide guidance and business connections that can’t be replicated in any classroom. Rather than just studying, you’re doing.”

Skipping college in Ghana might be too much of a hurdle perhaps, but something like what the Fellows are offering is worthy. Across the world, cities abound in tech incubators, start-up hubs and many a platform for bringing to fruition the dreams of young and innovative entrepreneurs. Not too far away, in Kenya, there is a bubbling over into this transformative space, a good initiative considering technology is the new economy, and Africans would be cheated if we don’t venture into this by ourselves.

Unfortunately, Ghana doesn’t have much to offer in terms of start-up incubators and venture capitalists. This link is a list of a few of the incubators in Ghana. There should be other ones, but these ones are prominent. OUWA offers an incubation programme as well.

Walk in SliceBiz, a start-up incubated by OUWA. What SliceBiz wants to offer is similar to what KickStarter and other popular crowdfunding sites have on offer. I am happy that a company with this vision has been set up in Ghana. Only problem though, it is a fledgling company, no wait, it is a start-up in itself.

At the moment, it is trying to garner funds. They recently won the second edition of Startup Weekend’s competition. At the moment, they are in a global competition to garner more funds to make their dream of being the next KickStarter, a reality.

They currently have 686 votes, and still need more if they are to be in the top 15 contenders, and eventual winners (hopefully). Please go over to this link to vote. I think they’ll be a good addition to the prosperity of this nation, Africans and the world at large. After all, ideas abound all over; the resource to implement them is usually the only drawback. Why don’t you help draw back this drawback??

Oh quick entry. There is this other great initiative i want to quickly mention; it is called Yeboao a crowdsourcing service. What this service does is to bring together textual and graphic creatives in an environment social platform where they can contract jobs. Think of it as a kind of deviantART or Behance network for Africans, except with revenue. 🙂

Check this page out to track the growth of start-ups and incu-hubs in Africa.

On our path ↑, it would be best to nurture our engines, start it up, and drive on to infinity and beyond; no pit stops :D.