Gay Awards

So the Auspicious KHRC decided that they would hold an awards ceremony for all the supporters of the gay community and to all those that have contributed to this good fight.

 

I must say the way it was portrayed in most mainstream media was rather appalling.  What I understood from the news reports was that gay people were being awarded and I was obviously perturbed as to the rationale behind the whole affair.

Needless to say it appears mainstream media and by extension the general public is far from being tolerant to and accepting of the gay community if the reactions on twitter were anything to go by. Twitter for me is a very useful barometer of what the middle class intelligentsia /consuming class is harping on about, what the latest outrage by the ruling class is or the latest ignorance or ‘shagzmodo’ behavior emanating from the ‘ghettos’ . All in all it paints a rather accurate picture of what the public thinks of current affairs and it doesn’t get more current than having a gay awards gala.

I can understand why the Kenya  Human Rights Commission would want to award those who advocate for gay rights. Its a tough world out there for gays and  especially worse here in Africa. Ask the regular African pedestrian what he thinks of gay people and he/she will say its unafrican. I have always been stumped by this universal opinion. I mean, how far back in our history can we pinpoint and say “See. For thousands of years Africa has not had a single gay man or woman. There are the records’ you can pore through them and see being gay is very unafrican.”

I believe this notion was a cultural import by the puritan and prudish missionaries that landed in Mombasa and decided that worshiping a Caucasian featured Jew who supposedly died thousands of years ago was better for the community than the spiritual based religion they found. As John Lennon once asked, “Why do we hide when making love but glorify violence in the open?”

Its about time we stopped this fear based attacks on individuals freedoms on their sexual orientation. Its really none of your business what a man decides to do with another man.

 

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Mac OS X vs Windows 7 Usability

I use a Macbook Pro running Mac OSX 10.7.5 and its safe to say its a tough sale for anyone with a linux and windows background. The OS is restrictive, very few customizations that I can use and though beautiful, wants you to buy all the apps. It also doesn’t help that the proprietary format of the apps and the immense cost of owning one of these machines greatly reduces its mass market appeal.

Screenshot
Screenshot

Recently the need for a windows environment necessitated the installation of windows on the macbook and nowadays the only way to go is 64 bit so as to utilize the full RAM. The process was painless enough what with the help from the mac based Boot Camp app that does the hard disk partitioning for you and downloads the latest windows drivers for the apple hardware.

I find the mac environment to be more stable(as compared to Windows 7), tends to consume less resources of the machine doing the same task and feels more fluid in carrying out transitions between windows, minimizing , maximizing and related actions on the interface. Application interactions with the OS are however much more restricted leading to some frustrations if you are a previous windows or linux user. For instance, I have not found a way to configure a bittorrent client to initiate a system shut down when it finishes    downloading a torrent. I do not like wasting resources and keeping the Macbook on all night with most of those hours spent doing nothing sounds unattractive to me. Also no USB tethering of your smartphone for internet access. I did not understand this one.

Also moving files back and forth between an external hard disk and the macbook is a pain for no particularly apparent reason. A multitude of other nuances that are taken for granted in the other environments are just not doable here. I suppose these are meant to make the OS very limited in terms of what an unknowing user can mistakenly change by installing a rogue app.

I still find myself mostly booting into the Mac environment more when I want to have some fun be it writing this blog post, playing music or watching a movie. The windows side is for the boring stuff, project work, report writing, document editing etc.

The Mac is made for the wealthy as is evidenced by its price, content and usability quirks. That being said I do not find its interface advantages big enough to warrant investment by a regular laptop/computer user.

 

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Gtide E7 Vs Samsung Galaxy Pocket

Am an Android Freak. And that’s only because windows phone is feeling sexy punda (Phrase borrowed from @machomoja) with East Africa and their definition of an entry level smartphone hops along with a Kshs 16,000  price tag. No thanks.

Seeing as we have established my cheapskate credentials, allow me to introduce the latest Chinese smart phone from the company locally known as G Tide (and internationally going by whatever you feel like calling it that morning) that has been rocking my world for the past 4 days.

I have a Samsung Galaxy pocket that has disappointed me severally with a plethora of problems that custom ROMS have not resolved yet. The teeny-weeny screen, plasticky feel, average battery life and pre-installed bloat crapware drove me nuts.

*side Rant-\

The galaxy pocket comes with the following pre-installed and nonremovable on the stock rom without rooting the device.

  • Accuweather.com app though there is an inbuilt android weather app.
  • Some Yahoo! finance nonsense
  • Samsung apps app plus it forces you to download some other Samsung ad things and push services
  • Operamini 6.5 that CANNOT be upgraded.
  • Some educational and music apps that I really did not care about.

Now the pocket comes with a GB of  phone memory and 2GB of user memory so storage and app installation even without a memory card is plenty. The thing however hangs for me every single day without fail like clockwork and goes to a crash upload mode that rarely ends and when it does, just for dramatic effect, the screen goes off, the phone becomes unresponsive and it proceeds to enter an epileptic vibration mode which only ends when the charge runs out.

The 3G is also extremely flaky and I am forced to restart the thing every few hours just to keep myself connected to the internet.

Not Impressed.

*End Side Rant-/

The Gtide E7 is an Android based smartphone running gingerbread on a 1GHZ ARMv7 based processor. No GPU as far as I can tell and sports a 3.5 inch capacitive HVGA screen, 2 mp back camera and a 0.3 mp front facing camera. And of course all the other usual suspects, GPS, HSDPA, 32GB memory card support, WiFi, Bluetooth, gyro sensor, gravity sensor, ambient light sensor etc

Now what sold me (refer to cheap skate inference above) was the price. You get all this for Kshs. 7,000 . Thats right just 7 Ndovus.

The galaxy pocket costs Kshs. 10,000, has fewer capabilities and is loaded with crapware. Granted the G-tide doesn’t come with the fancy e-warranties and support declarations from the parent company but solid performance is delivered nonetheless.

Below are some rudimentary  photos I took of the phone. I haven’t figured out how to take screenshots of the phone yet but will post as soon as I can.