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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

I own a smartphone

In In my mind, Technology- our black magic on October 8, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Indeed with the worldwide craze about people owning a smartphone, our little paradise in the sun wasn’t spared and so wasn’t I!

It changes your life completely when you actually own one of these technology wonders. In my case, it literally made my PC  seem like obsolete !

What still amazes me is how I am experiencing real ubiquitous computing thanks to my smartphone. Although most of apps I use are social apps, it has really enabled me to enhance contact and communication with people around me.

I still find it quite incredible how I may be hitting the streets in Mauritius and be in touch with a friend abroad, something which was possible before only on Skype on my PC at home!

Today, I may interact more easily and quickly with anyone thanks to the different options available on a smartphone. I may ask my insurance agent to send me information I need in a mail even if I’m not at home and still forward these to my car leasing company without the need to be in front of a computer or a laptop!

I know,whatever I am writing here seems like old news for most of us but still I had to express my views on the subject.

As far as I am concerned, the use of a smartphone has recently seen a big leap in Mauritius and quite quickly the culture of using your smartphone more like a computing device than a mere calling device is spreading around…

Although we still are to acquire some local apps for local use like local newspaper apps for instance, the use of a smartphone is quite pleasant given you enjoy it. There are still those for whom a mobile phone is only to make calls and send smses.

In my case, my mobile phone is my full entertainment package – camera (Instagram), music, chat (Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook Chat, GTalk), social network (Facebook, Twitter, Google+), communication, mailing (Gmail), games (Angry Birds), geolocation (GMap and Foursquare), blogging (WordPress), online shopping (eBay and DinoDirect) and more… I can rarely get bored if this little wonder is around plus it has made instantaneous exchange of information may it be in form of messages, pictures or even recorded sounds or videos a reality!!!

Looking back in time, during my college days, where smses were still free and how we would spend houuurs texting friends, I consider that new generations have it even more enjoyable nowadays (provided they activated the 3G service) !!!

This technology world is really a crazy one, bringing people into one huge network where information is exchanged so rapidly and in such big volumes everyday! Imagine in the next decade, how things shall be. What am I saying, imagine in only 5 years from now! Incredible and wonderful indeed how man has been able to move from the Morse code to the binary world !!!

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The Woes of a Web Developer

In General thoughts, Technology- our black magic on September 29, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I’ve recently reached a 6 months milestone at my new job and 3 years of experience in web development and these are really but oh really the bad things that happen to us web developers:

$developer_woe[0]:

Spending hours figuring how to actually integrate these new customer requirements (I’d say whims) and when you actually do it, they’d say “Euhm, you know, we finally liked it as before…”

$developer_woe[1]:

Discovering Internet Explorer launched a new version (Gee why does it still exist anyway???) and no tweaks done for previous versions works for this one! (IE is EVIL!!!)

$developer_woe[2]:

Receive the designs late and being told “Could you possibly find it in your capacity to still meet the deadline? We totally understand if you’d like to work from home too… ” (oh come on you gotta be kidding me right?)

$developer_woe[3]:

Actually integrating the late designs and discovering that no matter how much you’ve optimised your code previously, you will have to adapt it to the present design.

$developer_woe[4]:

Oh no, the internet is slow today or no wait my pc also is running slow! And what? Gee today’s supposed to be our delivery date!!! (actually it makes sense why there is “dead” in deadline ! )

$developer_woe[5]:

The client just sent a mail, he’s happy with what we delivered, BUT (there’s always a butt euhm but !) he’d like a few changes – see document attached (don’t freak out on the list of changes, they are only minor – or are they?)

$developer_woe[6]:

Testing over and over again a page, becoming mad about how that’s not working when it was simply a matter of file permission! (Duh!)

$developer_woe[7]:

The client has decided to migrate to a new server. “Oh great! Good for him!” Well it seems that now, nothing’s working. “Why’s that?” Oh the new server runs on an old version of PHP, nothing too serious…

$developer_woe[8]:

The client is more than happy of his website now. He even brought us a list of  “add ons”. Looking at his list, it’s in fact all the web site to be revisited -.-” (why do they  think web developers are magicians?)

$developer_woe[9]:

It’s Friday night, everyone’s at the pub (or even at home) chilling out and you’re stuck with a slow machine, a bugging javascript and a backache from too much sitting in front of your pc. (No comments, 1 minute of silence please…)

Positioning Mauritius on the Web

In Events, General thoughts, Technology- our black magic on March 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

On this special date, I have been thinking what article I could write to celebrate my beautiful island in the sun. Then I also remembered having a conversation with my ex-director about the various Mauritian sites I’ve had the chance to work on, when I was at Netgroup. Hence the idea of writing about how Mauritius is being represented on the web through different local websites and more specially those I’ve developed.

To begin with I must say that Mauritius is being slowly and surely better represented on the web now. With the emergence of several web agencies in the country we can now see local sites of better quality may it be graphically or functionally. Besides I seize the occasion to also mention all those Mauritian bloggers who have also brought their participation in giving Mauritius an identity on the net.

Apart from websites, we also have social communities, the most famous one being Facebook, which has subtly taken its place in Mauritians’ everyday life. And local companies have very well understood the extent of this phenomenon! Hence the creation of many Facebook pages about local organisations, companies or events.

We therefore see how Mauritius, despite being late in technologies, has been able to reach the internet and make its position. Mauritian companies are understanding the importance of having a web presence in the sense that they are moving with the trend and that if they wish to go international, the internet can be a key success factor. Concerning, our local people, they have also grown an interest in the internet not only for research but for leisure and social purposes. Thanks to the web, Mauritians are being able to work for international companies without leaving their country as well as keep contact with family and friends abroad.

Coming to the different local sites I’ve developed as a web developer at Netgroup, I have made up a little list. It’s like my own hall of fame, I would say, because I particularly feel proud to have had a role in building those sites. It is a pleasure to have contributed to bringing more Mauritian sites on the internet and thus make Mauritius better known to the world! So, here’s my little list, hope you have a visit on the sites:

  • Maurilait – the website of our local dairy products manufacturing company
  • Mauritius Villas – a local website about villas offers in Mauritius + other services
  • Dodolidays – the very first local website I’ve developed incorporating an e-commerce module, it’s all about renting, buying residential properties as well as other services
  • Harel Mallac Technologies –  the branch of Harel Mallac dealing with technological services
  • Harel Mallac Bureautique – the branch of Harel Mallac dealing with bureaucratic services
  • LMLC – the official site of Les Moulins de la Concorde
  • ADS – the official site of Aventure Du Sucre
  • Compare Prices – the very first site in Mauritius enabling local people to view products from different suppliers and get price comparisons
  • Connections – the very first Mauritian website built by Netgroup concerning Connections Tourism Management Ltd (CTML)
  • Cargotech – my first Joomla website

So this is my salute to my beautiful country, where together with the Netgroup team, we have been able to promote local websites and on behalf of that same team, I wish all those for whom we have worked, to keep their websites alive and thus keep the Mauritian presence on the net. And I hope more and more local websites will emerge and that soon e-commerce becomes more popular among Mauritians…

Till then let’s celebrate our nation, our freedom, our dynamism in wishing to make this country progress and achieve heights even if it is just a little dot in the Indian Ocean.

Mauritian colours in logos

In General thoughts, Technology- our black magic on March 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm

This post has a less serious note than previous ones. Some crazy thought that came to my mind. Have you ever noticed how many logos there exist that actually include our national colours? Let’s have a look together:

Number 1 on the list is the number one search engine itself – Google

Number 2 comes with another good old friend (though not so favorite :-P) – Microsoft Windows

Number 3 here is related to Windows again, it’s the Windows Media Player

Number 4 brings another common software used – AVG antivirus

Number 5 lists down one of Google products – Google Chrome

Number 6 brings the award winning open source CMS plarform  – Joomla

Number 7 (suggested by Prerna) is none other than our dear dear MSN’s butterfly

Well that’s it! If you have others in mind let me know 😉

Actually I don’t know how you peeps will find this article but it just was a lil tribute to our beautiful national colours 🙂 (in a developer kind of way).

Is the texting language threatening other traditional languages?

In Technology- our black magic on October 16, 2008 at 9:39 am

The title might seem maybe somewhat ambiguous so let me explain myself first:

Texting Language – language used to send SMS or chat

Traditional Languages – any other languages coming along with a dictionary, syntax guidelines as well as grammar rules

So what’s my point? I just happened to wonder if texting language is getting more popular than other languages to the point of making new generations become oblivious of traditional languages…

it sure calls for debate. Still, texting language has brought a revolution in communication specially if we consider Mauritius where so many communities live together. How’s that? We, Mauritians, have developed the anility to mix in Creol,French, English amd even languages like Hindi in messages and that too without prior “schooling” in the subject. The amazing thing about it is though we all have our own way of writing our abbreviations and mixing up our words, we all really understand. So, could we think of it as a uniting factor?

The black spot though would be the over-exposure to this language, which would eventually lead to a decrease in the interest in other languages (specially that we know that very few people still enjoy reading books).

Yet, I don’t think it would replace other traditional languages because it’s far from being a formal language. However with things like chat forums, messengers, blogs etc… the use of texting language can incredibly increase and they can become fully integrated in our lives. An incredible spin off of the world going global as well as technologically advanced!

P.S: The picture illustrates a French book made specially for learning the texting language (Texto). Click here for more details.

Influences

In General thoughts, Technology- our black magic on September 10, 2008 at 8:28 am

Everything today is based around the computer. People live behind masks in the Digital World. What lies behind the mask?
Digital World by darkthunder89

Humans are so complicated creatures and so is their life. Throughout these years, they have been evolving and creating – always seeking for innovations and new creations. Whatever has been done and is being done in this whole world has and will always have a direct impact on us.

Have we ever wondered how we could control all these influential forces that carve our lives and make us mere followers of a continuous and everlasting flow?

There might not be much we could do though because we depend on the world around us, we depend on what it gives us to advance and progress. However, if we are to come up with new creations, ideas, technologies, trends, fashion why don’t we also think of the consequences? Has everything become so commercial that it’s no use pondering what will be the after effect? Or maybe the after effect also shall become an opportunity to create for more new things…

I believe whatever I’ve been saying here has appeared a lot abstract and unreal, right? It’s just some thoughts that arose in my mind these last days when I was cut from the internet and my pc. I realized how much we’ve grown to depend on new technologies – cars, mp3s, pcs, mobile phones etc… What would we have been without those today? They’ve become essential things in our lives and no matter how sophisticated and expensive they get we always want to get them. It’s not greed though it’s just that we are following this world’s trends, needs and aspirations from us.

I don’t see any harm in using technologies to simplify our lives or entertain but I see it harmful when it concerns our youngsters – adolescents. I am not criticizing them – adolescence is such a phase of life where everything rebellious seems cool. However, with so many technologies, easily available, they tend to get absorbed by all the magic without realising about the consequences of their acts. Our new technologies have indeed created uproar in communications but all the freedom it offers now has made our youth too much independent. Independent because they have their own devices – pc, mobile phones, mp3s, mp4s etc… and because these have enabled them to create a whole digital world for themselves where they tend to shut themselves and avoid the world outside. It might seem too alarmist to state that this is dangerous because, after all, the whole world is turning digital… However, our youth is at risk in this digital world – let’s forget about pornography, identity misuse etc – let’s just focus on the consequences of having them enclosed in so much facilities. They forget about the real world around them. They get immersed in this whole new world where your identity is what you want it to be – today a rock star, tomorrow a movie star – where nothing is for real everything is for fun. Their upbringing is being done in this unreal world where all their young fantasies can become true but then, what happens in the real world? What happens when they try to live it up for real? That’s maybe the reason why youngsters are getting more difficult to control and understand – they are too much influenced. Is it parents’ fault, teachers’ fault, technologies’ fault? Or is it worth it anyway to find whom to blame?

Placing the blame won’t solve anything. Our youth is full of imagination, creativity and energy. Yes they should get along with new technologies. Yes they have the right to communicate with the rest of the world but they should also realise that this world is much more than mouse clicks or message transfers. We all need to realise it, in fact. Just once try to turn off the T.V. and the pc and have an evening with your loved ones. Just appreciate this real world with real people to talk to, real places to enjoy yourselves and mind you there’s nothing that can replace these moments of real experiences! Then maybe this will help us all in distinguishing the difference and become less addicted to technologies. Technologies are our tools let’s not let them lead our lives!