• What to Write when you don’t Know What to Write

    What to Write when you don’t Know What to Write
     

    It has been a hazy couple of years, and like a dripping faucet, the energy I usually derive from putting my thoughts into words has leaked away into the great unknown.
    What joy is there in sharing my most intimate thoughts with complete strangers? Is there a point to us humans just curious about what is going on in other people’s lives?
    No matter the color of your skin, or the society that produced you, connection, not isolation is woven into our DNA, and we thrive or otherwise in direct proportion to the quality of our association, or more specifically, the people closest to us, the people we spend a majority of our time with.

    Like sponges, we gradually absorb the mannerisms, behaviors, and biases of the people closest to us, and like perfect mirrors, reflect the same with near perfection.
    Take a good look at your closest associates today, and ask yourself if you can achieve your life goals with the same set of minds. While it is not black and white, you can begin by making small changes, reaching out and making new connections, learning something new, and stretching beyond your comfort zone.

    In the words of C.S Lewis, “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

  • The Spark

    The Spark

    At this point, I should give you a bit of background information on how I got to that point.
    My earliest memory of getting interested in technology was in early 1993 and I had just witnessed my dad bring a huge device out of our stereo system. I was so upset I began to cry, telling him how he has damaged the equipment (I loved listening to the radio), unfazed, he coupled the stereo as it was and turned it on. My bewilderment turned into amazement as the radio crackled back to life. Stupefied, I asked him, what happened?
    How could it continue to work after removing such a huge thing from inside it? It was the rotor (motor) that was bad, and that is why it stopped playing cassettes, but the radio part was untouched. From that day, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life (not so much repairing stereos but learning the inner workings of electronics and much later, computers).
    Fast forward to another 5 years, in late 1998, I was so dissatisfied with not being able to watch TV after there was a cut in electricity supply (for my Nigerian readers, Generators were virtually non-existent in those days), so much was the disquiet within me that I finally thought up a solution. A mobile TV set; drew the sketch, with 2 knobs, one for volume, and another for frequency tuning. I expected it would be battery-powered, and somehow, I figured the CRT would be too bulky to make it portable enough to fit the pocket, and that was it. I got stuck, and never went back to it.
    The following year 1999, I attended a 2-week training organized by an NGO and that was my first encounter with a Laptop. The trainer had an IBM laptop that was running Windows 98 Operating System. I was so mesmerized that I would spend as much time as I could just staring at the beautiful piece of technology. I stared too much I must have burned the image into my mind. That was another initiation into the world of technology, but it would not be until 2 years later, in late 2001 that I would fully delve into that world of infinite possibilities – The Internet.

  • Highly Indebted

    Highly Indebted

    There is no self-made human being anywhere, we are all products of the people in our lives, a reflection of who they are. More often than not, we turn out just like the people closest to us, and we perpetuate or if at all possible, re-invent ourselves to chart a new course. I would like to appreciate some of those people who shared their knowledge with me.
    Sometime in December of the year 2000, my friend Bukola had told the class to expect someone who would come to teach us some science subjects after closing hours. I couldn’t have imagined that the trajectory of my life would be altered forever.
    He sauntered in about a full-hour behind schedule, said simply “my name is Franklyn Eze, you can call me FRC” and after apologizing asked the about a dozen of us left in the class the question “what makes tomato red?” I was taken aback, not only because it had never crossed my mind, but because I had been asked by someone who was about the same age as me or a couple of years ahead of me at best.
    After waiting a few minutes and being apparent that we were all clueless what he was talking about, he said “the substance that makes tomato red is Lycopene, and the IUPAC name is 1-cyclo propyl, 2-methyl cyclo butane”. The whole class (all dozen of us) erupted into shouts of excitement. That was a mouthful, I thought. How can someone know this? He continued, “do you know Citric acid?” We answered in the affirmative, feeling cool with ourselves that we were not total ignoramuses. “The IUPAC name for Citric acid is 2, 3, di-hidroxyl butyric acid”, another bout of screams. I was hooked already.
    He went on to take the class on the dispersion of light, using the VIGBYOR and ROYGBIV interchangeably, and the entire 2 hours he spent exploding our brains, he didn’t look at a single book! I was mesmerized, and totally in love with this brainiac. I wanted in on the action. Whatever he was doing to know this much, I wanted to do it too.
    A couple of months later, my confidence levels were through the roof and I would go to the junior classes to teach some of my favorite subjects, and I got good feedback, and all the while, kept receiving lectures from Franklyn. He had expanded his reach at that point, so, the classes were no longer holding at our school, so, a couple of us would band together to travel down to the school where the lectures were holding.
    There was a day when he didn’t show up though, and everyone else left for home one after another, but for whatever reason, I waited at the bus stop for a good 4 hours until it was getting dark. All sorts of scenarios were running through my mind, (those were the days before Internet, mobile phones, etc) and even I reached my limit and went home, all the while replaying the preceding events in my mind, checking to see if I had missed him in the bus while waiting.
    I did see him on the next meeting day, and turns out he was held up somewhere else, I was too focused on what new thing he was going to teach, and the hunger for a whole new world of information had just been re-awakened in me.

  • Growing Up in the 90s

    Growing Up in the 90s

    I remember rapping in primary school for uncle Sola, my teacher who also raps. We would rap together and he would let me have the second verse after he took the first verse. Somehow, we would rehearse every day during break time and sometimes after school hours. It got to a point he told me that if I practiced and got so good, he would take me to the United States of America.
    I was about nine years old then and I believed him. I remember getting home all excited and telling my parents that uncle Sola was going to take me to the United States of America because we rap together. I don’t remember what response they gave then, but I think I remember their shrug and the concern on their face, a deep desire for it to be true, even though they knew it was a bucket load of crapware.
    What did I know? I was just a kid who didn’t know what puberty was yet and grew up on the outskirts of Lagos. In those days, the only bank I had ever been in was LBIC and I remember queueing up for hours on end just to make a deposit into my father’s account there were no computers, so, the cashier had to write the amount deposited in a ledger and on the customer’s passbook.
    In those days, I had never seen a mobile phone, a computer, a flat-screen TV, or a cell tower. There were a couple of phone booths scattered around the largest residential estate in Nigeria but never muster the course to enter into one, for what na? In those days, power supply was guaranteed for at least 18 hours a day, unless of course there is a major fault that would require NEPA officials to come and fix or replace as the case may be. In those days, our past time included flying kites, making paper planes, a game called sure, catcher, after round one, tic tac toe, and messing.
    TV had programs for children from 4 pm and there was no 24-hour station. Only those who were considered rich back then (now realize they were the middle class), had cable TV and the rest are condemned to whatever was dished out by NTA2 Channel 5, NTA Channel 10, NTA Channel 12, NTA Channel 7, LTV, OGTV, and the newest kid on the block, AIT.
    Those days, the Walkman was a dream gadget for young boys everywhere. Nintendo’s Gameboy, Brick Game, and gaming consoles like Famicom, NES, SNES, and Sega were the order of the day and the defacto business for young entrepreneurs was opening a gaming center where boys of various backgrounds could come and show their skills in Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, and the popular Super Mario.
    Those were the days of Okin biscuit, shortcake, crackers biscuit, and the huge cabin biscuit which was the default birthday celebration snack. Condense was the name of the homemade popsicle, and lolly was the name of the industrial one. Balewa was the name of the local candy that came in a variety of colors. Baba Dudu was another local candy that was packaged differently.
    Football competitions were called form, and the organizer was called association. The trophy is an ingenious contraption.

  • Newton's Second Law of Motion in Life


    Newton’s Second Law of Motion says, “The rate of change of Momentum is directly proportional to the force applied”.
    This implies that to get to the point where you achieve your goals, you will have to work very hard at the beginning. 
    Remember Newton’s First Law, you are starting from Zero. The force of inertia (the reluctance to leave a state of rest) is your biggest enemy. You will need reserve energy to continue applying force in order to activate big MO.

    What is big MO?

    Momentum is the Eldorado when motion is the subject. This is the reason why the rich gets richer, and you guessed it, the poor gets poorer. Momentum favors those who have something going on, and of course, it doesn’t manufacture anything, it only reallocates resources from those who don’t have anything going on to restore balance in the world.

    Once upon a time, a man got lost and ended up in a desert. After days of wandering and near exhaustion, he saw a shack (shed) and half-heartedly wobbled towards it, hoping it wasn’t another mirage. On getting there, he found a pump. I’m saved!!! He thought. He pumped frantically with renewed vigor that he had no idea where it came from. Zilch. No water. He pumped some more, still nothing. He let out a deep groan and his heart sank.

    He looked around and saw a bucket of water. Why didn’t I think of that? He kicked himself mentally. Beside the bucket lay a note, it read “If you would like unlimited water supply, you have to pour the contents of this bucket into the pump to prime it. Every last drop must be poured in. Then pump like your life depends on it”

    His internal turmoil began, should he drink the bucket of water (security) and go on his way (uncertainty), or should he follow the instructions (insecurity), take a chance and hope it works (uncertainty). After what seemed like an eternity, he made the most unlikely decision.
    He poured the entire content of the bucket into the pump and began his fight for survival. 

    After a few minutes, which could very well pass for a few hours, it started in trickles. The glimmer of hope became a flood of sunlight and he pumped harder. It soon  started gushing and with little efforts, the water kept gushing (that is the Big MO). He drank to his heart’s content, filled the bucket and wrote underneath the note “Trust Me, it really works! You have to pour it all in”

    Anything worth doing will first get harder before it gets easier. Only those who keep at it get to activate Big MO. That is the leverage employed by the Wealthy and it validates the principle” the rich gets richer, the poor gets poorer”
    This is the end of 2015. Unless there is a change in your thinking (still your fundamental human right), your realities by December 31st, 2015 may not be very different from the present.
    Yours in Service of Humanity,
    @aibitoye (twitter, Instagram)
  • LIF101 – POST NO BILL

    I want to tell you a story, and in the next couple of minutes, I would appreciate if you could loan me your undivided attention. I promise to return it with interest;

    A child was born in an urban area in the heart of Lagos state almost 3 decades ago, attended about 5 primary schools, finally obtained a first school leaving certificate, from there on to just 1 secondary school, being a very brilliant and apt student, he obtained the necessary 5 O’Level credits in senior school certificate exams and got an average score in the university and tertiary matriculations exam. He got admitted to study Physics because they just had to put him somewhere because he knows somebody who knows somebody. Even though in his heart, he wanted to study Electronics and Computer Engineering because that’s where his strength is, mechanization and electronics.
    The result? Instead of the standard 4 years, he ended up spending 8 years and still did not graduate. For those wondering how come, here it is. Through no fault of the university, he kept failing the mathematical courses over and over again! Had 3 extra years! That’s right! 3 solid extra years, before being told that the allowed number of extra years is 2. That ended his quest for a B.Sc. in Physics and freed him up to pursue his passion – Computers!

    By the time he realized he was coming back for an extra year in second semester of 300 level, he was determined not to come back, his thoughts were to just bail out and escape. However, he had a coach who sat him down and showed him the big picture “that LASU was just a minute phase in the story of his life, and he should see it to the end, then move on with his life”. That was exactly what he did!
    Here is the good part, since his 100 level days, he had known that he had no future in Physics and as such decided to enroll for another course in Information Technology on the internet (Note: in 2002, there were no online Universities or Open Courseware/MOOCs; there was w3schools.org). He spent all his pocket money on over-night browsing twice a week, learning about Website Design using HTML, CSS, DHTML, Javascript and Flash; then Graphic Design using Photoshop, CorelDraw and 2D animations using CorelRAVE. Since he had spent all his money to pay for the overnight browsing, there was no money left to print. So, would write out all he had to print and in so doing, was assimilating a whole new world of information that he can still remember to this day!

    Do not let this society define you, it will set you up to fail and ruin your life. As a fish, do not wear yourself out trying to fly. There are some specie of fish that actually fly for a few seconds and if that’s what you want, you can have it. A flash in the pan, that’s the idiom for it. Dolphins and Whales do jump out of the water briefly and go back under to continue life as usual. However, if you spend your time actually swimming, you would have made considerable progress.

    I am the one in that story, I was admitted to study physics, but I spent most of my time and money in cyber cafes, a decade later, it has paid off.
    I will not tow the path of countless others and tell you that’s the end of the story, let’s sing kumbayah and you’re good to go. It takes guts, moments of doubts, loneliness, and depression; desperation and regrets will overshadow your heart along the way, but if you stick with what you love doing, you will flow right to the top. Don’t deceive yourself and think you will be successful in 6 – 9 months, it will take as long as it takes if and only if you do not give up. History is laden with those who got phenomenal ideas and nearly implemented them.

    The educational system of this society is amoebic at best, at the same time, it is a cookie-cutter, churning out hundreds of thousands of job hunters per annum. You need to decide NOW if you want to be a part of the 10,000 applicants queuing up to write an aptitude test for a job that has only 2 slots! If not, it is time to rise above the inhibiting factors that is prevalent all around you and stick with your guns!

    Let’s go back to the beginning!
    If you have no idea what you want to do with your life, now is the time to find out. You are protected to an extent while you’re within these walls; once you step outside, you are on your own!
    I haven’t mentioned career much thus far because you need to find out who you are first, then you will know what career path is best suited for you. For those who choose a career path because “there is money there”, they soon discover that it is short lived. Jobs are springing up now that didn’t exist 5, 10 years ago! Life is too short to spend it chasing money, and miss out on the good things of life.

  • Three Decades On


    Its been almost 9 months since my last post and looking back now, I had been drifting gradually from writing and focused more on joining the race that over 2 million individuals before me had run faithfully.

    I was born on a cool Saturday morning somewhere in Lagos Nigeria, back when the military junta was making a comeback and the Naira was stronger than the US Dollar (yes, that time existed in our history).

    Fast forward ten years, and my most dominant thoughts were how I was going to prepare and scale through my common entrance and G2 examinations in order to gain admission into a secondary (high) school. I was bummed though as I was not allowed to write that year and had to wait another year before I could prove my mettle against other brainiacs in the state.

    Two decades on, my life revolved around getting my grades up in the university, flexing my public speaking vocal chords and chasing the girl of my dreams. I got my heart broken for the first time and was depressed for about 6 months, got better towards the end of the year and had a couple other heartbreaks in the ensuing years (that is another blog post)

    Taking stock on the day commemorating the third decade spent on God’s green earth, I am married to the love of my life, sit on the board of a couple of companies (www.itooknow.com, www.mugusguide.com, www.wawradio.com, www.dedgedigital.com) consult for a couple of organizations (www.goldelsh.com, www.fifthgearplus.com), host a couple of technology shows on radio (www.digitalspaceng.com, www.facebook.com/pcfixnigeria3)

    I have learned a whole lot, but some of the lessons that stood out are as follows;
    * Somethings can be thought, others can only be caught (you have to go through it)
    * No matter what you do, people will talk. Do it anyways.
    * Life is all about stewardship. We find fulfillment for our lives ONLY when we live for others.
    * No matter how bad your luck is, someone else has it worse. Be thankful.
    * Life is a gift. Use your time wisely.

    Thank you for reading, hope to write another soon.

  • #ChildNotBride

    #ChildNotBride was the major rallying cry over the weekend and it brought to the fore, our innate feelings of love and compassion for our fellow humans, especially our children.

    Let us borrow a leaf from the reaction generated by this debased form of thinking (inferred or not) and extend that same anger to the paraplegic educational system, the hostile business environment, the derogatory lyrics and plots in the entertainment industry, the slaughter houses that serve as our healthcare facilities, the cauldrons that have overtaken what used to be roads, the power sector that has gulped more money than the whole of Djibouti, the railway system that will fall miserably short when compared to the World War II museum artifacts and setup petition signing centers all around to force a change in the policies and impel them to action.

  • Social AI

  • About AI

    Akin Ibitoye is a Computer Maintenance Expert who studied Physics at the prestigious Lagos State University. The first encounter he had with a computer was with a laptop running Windows 98 Operating System in 1999 while he was attending a Conflict Resolution workshop organized by the Christian Impact for Nigeria (CIFN, a UK-based charity organization comprised of Nigerians in Diaspora) and that created a lasting impression (left an indelible mark) on him so much that he dabbled into the computing world as a user in 2001. From there he proceeded to learn web designing in 2003 starting with HTML and graphics designing. It was the endless possibilities presented by this “new” field that got him hooked. From there, it was a one-way street for this bundle of creativity. He designed this logo as his personal brand identity, and after working on it for three months, this masterpiece came out.

    He learned about computer hardware and software with lots of hands-on experience to put into practice all the theories he had come across, he then decided to focus more on software and its applications. Now, he is a very well-rounded expert on software usage focusing on the beginner, average to the advanced users of computers. His philosophy is that technology is supposed to help us do more with less effort, and that is what he is committed to helping computer users achieve.

    He has a Basic Diploma in Leadership, Organizational Excellence, Financial Management, and Career Management from the Premiere Leadership Institute in Nigeria – The Daystar Leadership Academy. He proceeded to obtain an Advanced Diploma in Leadership, Conflict Resolution, and Mentoring from the same Institution. He has attended/co-organized various seminars that focus on helping individuals release their potentials; one of such is The Megastar Summit which held in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010 respectively. He organized a motivational seminar in 2004 at the MBA Hall, Lagos State University which had over eighty young minds (undergraduates) in attendance. He published over thirteen editions of his motivational newsletters called “LIF101” between 2002 and 2003; also, between 2002 and 2005, he held frequent motivational talk sessions lasting between 30 – 45 minutes in the lecture halls during lecture-free hours.

    In October 2009, he started a Company called ibidTECHNOLOGIES an IT-based company that offered a unique service called iTOOknow; which is an information service that helps individuals and organizations up their skill-set by providing them with books, magazines, video tutorials and other resources from respected authorities that focuses on their area of expertise. He joined Workforce Management Center (an HR/Consultancy firm) in October 2009 and left in December of the same year to focus on iTOOknow. Eight months after he started iTOOknow, he was invited to feature on a technology program on radio (PCFix on Radio Continental 102.3FM); from there, he was invited to another radio station for another technology program on radio (IT World on Eko 89.75FM). It was on the radio shows that he met Ayo Makinde (media personality), Bolaji Salawe (computer geek), Awesanya Isaac (computer hardware specialist) and Kelly Eyiaromi (marketing guru), they would later become his partners when they founded a company called PCFix Nigeria (an IT Consultancy company focused on providing, installation and maintenance of computers and computerized devices) in January 2011.

    In February 2011, he along with the PCFix team organized a free workshop for computer users; it featured the review of new technologies back then, like the Apple iPad and Hitachi Magic Board, free diagnosis of the computers brought by the participants and free installation of Linux Operating System among other free software. By December of the same year, the second edition tagged “PCFix Workshop 2.0” held at CMD Events Center, Lagos and saw well over 250 participants registered and about 120 showing up for the event. He is currently the head of Software Maintenance at PCFix Nigeria, and the Host of IT World and PCFix on Radio.