Just after I cleared high school, I was very energetic and geared towards learning computers and how things worked in that field. It was the era when just basic Ms Word knowledge earned you respect. It was strange times by today’s standards. There was Adobe Pagemaker and there was Printshop, with that only you were the king of design.
It was an era with no mobile phone and even no phones at all of most families. We planned dates a month earlier and we kept time. We devised ways to communicate, we had meeting points that were crowded as they were everyone’s meeting points. Kenya Cinema Plaza was one such places, just outside next to the public phone booths. Phone directories in there were our message pads. We would agree on a page number of the directory in a specific booth to write a message in case either of the parties missed the appointment. And you were doomed if such a page was already torn out. Then you would have to wait for school days so you can write the person a letter and plan another date 3 months later. That only was enough to get you booted.
Then came the era of Erickson 1018. You had to tie it on your belt so everyone could notice you had a cell phone. There were very few people to call. It was too expensive to call. My 1018 cost me 6,000 shillings while my 072 Safaricom line cost me 2500. It was packaged in a case similar to that of the Kiwi shoe polish. Then came the day I afforded my Nokia 3310! Others were messing with cheap Sagems. Mine had a custom monotone ring, composed in the same Nokia handset.
Then I got my email address. My yahoo address, which I use today only for IM. Hotmail was still hot. I paid 10/= per minute at cybers. It was interesting but really unaffordable. Then came dial up. Jambonet. Oh my the telephone bills from Telkom! Life was indeed better.
Graduates.com was the first social network I ever got on. Then MySpace. Hi5 and the rest followed. Facebook and Twitter made a knock and it was all then a new league. Then the Kenya scene had Sasanet and smsanyone.com for free sms. John Karanja of while.com had kutavitu.com. Mashada.com ran by David Kobia of ushahidi was the biggest forum. Then I had nipende.com which was a dating site. There was no money in it. Even the Nation had no website.
And then enters the Safaricom revolution. M-pesa, Bonga points, Sambaza and then 3g and smart phones. And everything else after that. And then this blog post from my Samsung Galaxy Tab, trying out the WordPress app for Android. Then your comments….