Rains in Gaborone, Botswana

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It has finally rained in Gaborone today on 27th September, 2007 after a long spell. It was extremely hot during the past two weeks and the dam that supplies water to Gaborone was reaching critical low-water levels.

The weather is very cool outside. However, I have decided to stay indoors since I am just recovering from a hard-hitting flu. So what next? Web surfing... Hahaha!!!

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Gliffy: a great online diagram editor

I wanted to quickly create some neat diagrams for my work but I had not installed any diagram editor on my computer. So, I googled for "online diagram editor" and one of the results pointed to http://www.gliffy.com. A quick registration at the Gliffy.com home page led me to the user interface of this web application.

I was absolutely amazed with the intuitive user interface it provides. It is like a diagram editing application which is installed on your computer's hard disk like the famous Visio. But nope! Gliffy is an online application which one can use right within their web browser - for me, I hope you guess it, I use Mozilla Firefox!

In Gliffy, one can create flowcharts, network diagrams, UML diagrams etc. One other great thing with Gliffy is that you save your diagrams online (hence accessible anywhere) and you may save the diagrams to your hard disk by exporting them into various formats such as SVG, JPEG and PNG. I like PNG.

Let me not also forget to say that one can share and publish their diagrams on the Web right from Gliffy.

I do not think I can manage to explain all the features of this great web App. Just try it for yourself at http://www.gliffy.com

I greatly recommend it for a person who does not have a diagram editor but would like to create a neat diagram on the fly!

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Reducing Computer Stress

Thursday, September 20, 2007

As an academic in Computer Science, I find that I spend most of my time doing my work on a computer. This can be very stressing and exhausting. Here are some tips I use to try to avoid this stress:

  1. Make sure that the room you are working in, is well ventilated. Open the windows wide open so that fresh air circulates in the room
  2. Make sure that your room is well-lit so that eyes are not strained due to poor lighting
  3. Drink lots of water so that your body is kept well hydrated. Doing something on a computer like programming is a highly demanding cognitive task, therefore the brain cells need to have proper blood circulation and we can't have proper blood circulation in a dehydrated body
  4. Make sure that you eat enough food before sitting on a computer. We are not talking about sports drinks here but rather food rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats etc . Hey! Am talking of a balanced diet.
  5. Remember to do some physical exercises such as hand grip exercises, chest pull exercises, running etc at some point during the day
  6. Avoid staring on the screen for a long time. To do this you could be looking outside your window every five minutes or so, so that your eyes get relaxed.
  7. Take some time off that computer screen. It helps a lot.
I use these tips myself and they seem to work. I suggest you try them.

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Microsoft loses landmark appeal

Monday, September 17, 2007

The software giant, Microsoft, has lost a landmark appeal in a case where the Redmond company was challenging a fine the European Union imposed on it in a fair-competition dispute. What will this ruling have on the rest of the computing world? I don't know. Check out a BBC News article on this at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6998272.stm

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My laptop screen gets damaged

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A friend gave me some screen cleaning fluid. Yesterday, I tried to clean my laptop screen with it. Actually this was the second time using the fluid. Unfortunately, the screen got damaged. I went to an HP dealer where they have ordered a replacement of the HP500 laptop screen.

I wish I did not use the fluid. Anyway, crying over spilt milk does not help. Let me just wait for the screen replacement. Am told it should arrive in two weeks time. Looking forward to the day the spare part arrives.

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Vote for Wambali Mkandawire on MOBO MUSIC AWARDS

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A fellow Malawian, Wambali Mkandawire, has been nominated for the Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards (BEST AFRICAN ACT category).

To vote for him, simply go to http://www.mobo.com/?page=016 and scroll down the web page where you may vote for nominees in this category.

Lets support this son of Malawi.

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Edmond Kachale, an upcoming Malawian Inventor

click on the scanned image to read the contents of the news item.

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