Tag Archive for 'Phone'

Too Much Information

Since I lost my phone a while back, I finally bought a new one—a Nokia 5230, called the “Nuron” by T-Mobile in America.  It has some goofy features that I’ve been playing with.

One program that runs on the phone is called Qik and it streams video directly from my phone’s camera.  I’ve used it a couple times and the videos I’ve taken (all in Mombasa, despite the fact that Qik seems to think I’m in Ethiopia sometimes).  Feel free to check on my page on the Qik website.


I also have been playing with the GPS, which is kind of fun.  The other day I turned the tracking feature on, put the phone in my pocket, and went to lunch.  You can see my journey on Google maps below, or you can check out my page on Nokia SportsTracker site to see all sorts of info, like the top speed of the matatu I took.

We’ll see if I continue using these features, but I thought I’d share what I’ve done so far.  I do have a plan to perhaps make a map of matatu routes in Mombasa, since no such map exists and all I’d have to do is sit in matatus with my phone in my pocket.  Anyway, enjoy!

AN UPDATE FROM THE FUTURE: On August 30, 2014, Qik shut down. I managed to grab my video files before that happened. They’re not that exciting, but in the interest of preservation, here they are.
Students in library
In the hands of children
All you can eat Indian food
A water park to ourselves
A second in the classroom

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FUZOMA in the library

So tonight I followed my usual schedule, which is to eat dinner at home and then open the school library from eight to nine, allowing kids to come in and use the computers before they go to bed.  Things went along nicely, and then at nine the kids filed out to go to the dorms.  I took the rare moment of peace in the library to start making copies of the floppy disk I use, since I want to bring a bunch of them to Nairobi to give out.  At the same time, I was testing a new program I had recently put on the floppy disk—a space flight animation that acts as a lead-in to a map of the solar system.

Anyway, some of the older kids who were in study sessions came in and saw I was still there, and they saw the recent addition playing on one of the monitors.  They ran out and grabbed some other kids—maybe 40 of them in total—and they all ran in and watched the one tiny yellowing monitor until the spaceship completed its flight and the screen was filled with stars, and then suddenly it flickered to the map of the solar system.  Thunderous applause ensued, and then the kids got closer to study the map, which led to  conversations about the different size of the sun and the moon.

This map has been on the floppy disk for ages, and I haven’t been able to get anyone to look at it for more than five seconds, and I feared that giving it an exciting intro would make it even less appealing, but there I was, trying to explain why the sun and moon look the same size.  Cool.

Anyway, it’s a small victory on the road to making the best use of the little bit of computer time the kids have (and of course I’m a sucker for any story that ends with me being applauded).

It also coincides with me putting the new version of the floppy disk programs onto the blog.  It’s the version I’ll be bringing to Nairobi for next week, so I figured it made for a decent milestone, since I haven’t updated that part of the site in a while.

In other news, I have my old phone number back (see right column).

And just so you don’t have to endure a blog post without a photo:

P1040304 - Copy

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Nairobi: Burning DVDs

Another weekend, another adventure.

On Tuesday night I jumped on the train to Nairobi, Second Class, and despite a rocky start (the engine car was missing, but it eventually showed up almost two hours late), things went pretty smoothly.  On Wednesday I got my Swine Flu shot while visiting the Peace Corps office, and then I had meetings on Thursday and Friday, during which time I burnt a number of DVDs which will be used as samples in the near future for this project.

My coworker on the project was kind enough to let me stay with her instead of paying for a hotel (since Peace Corps only covers travel costs for medical issues, required events, and anything involving HIV/AIDS, and my trip doesn’t meet any of those requirements).  I didn’t take any pictures of the inside of the apartment, but trust me, it was pretty cool, since it had been painted with a lot of green, much like the apartment I left behind in Santa Monica.  Just like home, except with a bigger kitchen and rationed water.  Here’s the outside:


While in Nairobi I also saw a volunteer who was a day away from hopping on a plane back to America.  Sad to see her go (again), since I actually went to Malindi last weekend to say goodbye, but then we ended up being in Nairobi at the same time for a second goodbye.  We went with a group and ate a good dinner.

I left for Mombasa by bus on Saturday morning, which, much like the train, was pretty uneventful, and involved much sleeping, but it unfortunately had an obnoxious end to it.  As I stepped off the bus in Mombasa, I realized that my phone wasn’t in my pocket!  The bus had already started moving so I immediately grabbed some transport to follow the bus to the station, but by the time I got there, they told me the bus had already gone to another station, “not far,” and then I ended up leaving Mombasa island completely as my quest led me out past the airport.  The employees at the bus office were completely unhelpful, and my gut feeling is that they actually stole my phone when I told them where my seat was, since they wouldn’t let me check for myself, and the guy I talked to first made a mysterious disappearance after he “looked for it.”  I wasn’t surprised—I figured it was as good as gone as soon as I realized it wasn’t in my pocket—but it was worth a shot.  Asking the bus people if they saw it is like asking the lions in the zoo if they found the steak left in their cage.  “Really, a steak?  Where exactly did you say you left it?  I’ll go check…”  Oh well.

To top it all off, I didn’t have enough to pay the driver who followed the bus “not far” to the distant outskirts of the suburbs and back, and I ended up giving him some Tanzanian shillings to calm him down.  What a stupid night.

So anyway, don’t bother calling my old Safaricom number, since it will just connect you to some local thieves, so try the Zain number (listed at right) instead.  I’ll be using it for the time being on my backup phone.

Here’s the last picture I ever took while I still had my trusty Nokia 6300 in my pocket.  We had some good times together, me and that phone.  Despite the fact that I lost it in Mombasa, I blame Nairobi anyway.


2 Responses to “Nairobi: Burning DVDs”

  • that really sucks, but I get it. How many matatus can YOU find in this picture??

  • To this day I still get compliments on the shades of green you used to paint the apartment.