Episode 004: Throw Back Thursday – First Cellphone

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe on iTunesPocketCastsTuneIn, and Stitcher.

So it is the fourth episode of my podcast and the first Throw Back Thursday. I had a couple of options that I thought about sharing but, I decided to kick this feature off with a look at the first cell phone I ever owned.

Ericsson GH197

I cannot recall the exact year… I know I must have been over 14 because I bought the phone with my own money, heavily influenced in the choice of the phone by a friend who had the same thing. It was bought from a used electronics store and was the Ericsson GH197.

The phone itself had been released (based on my research) in 1993. I can still recall getting an MTN Pay As You Go starter pack and making a call to my dad – with excitement – the moment the SIM card was active.

The truth is, the phone was a brick, even at the time I had bought it used, there were better phones out there. It was simply was a large box with a rubber antennae that flipped up from the side of the phone.

The reason for getting it was because I spent a lot of time cycling back then and was also working part time. So I reasoned it was good in case of an emergency. It also allowed my father to call me when he was close to fetching me from work (there were no rules back then about not talking on your phone while driving) and lastly, I also thought I was cool to have a phone.

Durability like a Brick

I recall having taken the phone on a cycle with my friend on one occasion to his house. Close to his place the phone unclipped from my belt and went into the back wheel of the bike. Unlike today’s glass laden smartphones, this Ericsson GH194 looked fine, I think it bent a spoke on my bike though.

Apart from the durability, however, there were some serious limitations to this phone compared to the luxury we enjoy on today’s feature phones yet alone smartphones.

Perhaps the most glaring issue as I look back on images of that phone now is that the screen was basically like a calculator. Granted it had two rows on it but the type of display was not that much different to a calculator. Can you image using for text messaging?

Still, I look back on that phone with fondness now which gets me wondering, what was the first mobile phone you owned?

Episode 003: Work Wednesday – Perspective

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This is the first Work Wednesday feature and the subject I want to chat about came to me where I hope many other people get great ideas, an early morning shower. I think it must have something to do with the brain being more active with spare capacity given the routine nature of the task of getting ready for the day.

Get Perspective

The idea of talking about perspective came from reflecting on my night’s sleep.

The Samsung S-Health app I use asks me to rate the sleep it has tracked and I noticed that I got an hour less sleep than the night before. I also woke up at around 2am because I had forgotten to turn the lamp off and so my first reaction was to think I had slept worse than the night before.

Here is the thing, the night before I had experienced less deep sleep and so despite getting an hour more sleep, the app rated this sleep as only ‘fair’ compared to the ‘good’ sleep I was being asked to give a star rating to at that moment in time.

I am getting a little sidetracked with details perhaps. Here is my point. I wanted to give the same or one less star rating (out of 5) to sleep that was actually more restful (particularly after reflecting on how I really felt) simply because I saw that I got an hour less than the night before.

Perspective in the Workplace

Coming back to how this relates to work (I should include a disclaimer to do as I say and not as I do perhaps) the way we rate our work environment, business ideas, performance etc all requires a little more perspective than perhaps we are getting.

Working in a technology environment as an example, I often have to remind myself and my colleagues that the average customer is less concerned and educated on technical details of a product. This is important when choosing the kind of language you use to communicate the features or benefits of a new product.

If you are unhappy in your job, have you spoken to colleagues about how they feel only or have you looked outside your immediate reference point? Perhaps you should try to reach out to people in other companies and industries and learn about their work environment and culture. Don’t just believe what their perspective is of their situation, their ‘star rating out of five’ but ask questions that can give you an idea about more factual details.

Perspective is also a very important principle to apply to your business ideas. Often we get caught up and attached to our ideas to the point that we are blind to their flaws or risks. It is understandable given the emotional attachment which we have to our ideas – and I would not want to kill that passion  off as it can increase your chances of success, but having a realistic view of the risks in your idea is extremely important.


So to end off with, try and relook at situations from a different perspective. You may still come out finding that your original view was accurate, but it could help you find other solutions to problems and perhaps a little more empathy with people as you move forward in your career. It is easily said, but not always easily practised, so be patient with yourself as well.

Episode 002: Tech Talk Tuesday – Internet Speed

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe on iTunesPocketCastsTuneIn, and Stitcher.

This is the first episode of Tech Talk Tuesday and today I am going to touch on internet speeds and an interesting headline I saw about Tencent. Let me kick off with the story on Tencent.

Tencent Caps Gaming Time

For those of you who don’t know, Tencent is a large media and gaming company based in China. It offers online advertising and payment platforms as well as a large social network in China and messaging services including WeChat.

Reuters reported this week that the company would be restricting the game time of minors on the company’s popular “Honour of Kings” stating that:

Parents and teachers have complained that children were becoming addicted to the multiplayer online battle game, which, according to the company, has more than 200 million users, mostly in China, and is the top-grossing mobile game in the world.

Children under 12 will reportedly be limited to one hour of play time per day while children 12 to 18 would be restricted to two hours of play and blocking minors from playing at all after 9 pm.

This story is of particular interest to me given that Naspers, a South Africa’s leading media business, hold a large one-third investment in Tencent.

My question to you is, do you think that companies should be made responsible for restricting or governing game time for minors? What role or accountability should parents take in this matter?

Lastly, considering this is a role-playing game, should children under 12 even be playing such a game, or owning a smartphone capable of playing the game at all? Surely if this distraction is blocked, kids will find another app to pour their time into?

What Internet Speed is Enough

This evening on a WhatsApp group, we got into a conversation about what internet speed is enough, given that a friend was juggling the idea of upping his current connection package or downgrading and saving some cash.

Given that in some parts of the world you can get intern speeds in excess of 4Mbps, the debate begins on what is actually enough?

A recent trip back to South Africa to be with the family put me into a situation where the only connection in my in-law’s home is a 2Mbps ADSL connection. In this situation, two of us were surprisingly able to stream YouTube at the same time, although it was as 360p, though it seemed good enough at the time.

It turns out that Netflix – as an example – recommends a 5Mbps connection for streaming HD content. Using this benchmark, one could argue that a 10Mbps line for the average household could be good enough for a single HD stream and when occasion requires,  two standard definition stream will likely be suitable for many.

So then why, one should ask, are we being pitched 100Mbps speeds for the average home user? For revenue most likely would be the answer.

Here is the truth of the matter, what is more, important than the speed is firstly the stability of your connection. Here in Nigeria, this has been my ongoing issue.

So for the average home user, I would recommend trying out a 10Mbps line with a stable connection and see if you really need more from there. Money in the pocket or savings account is, after all a wiser investment I think.

Episode 001: Mostly Me Monday – Introduction to my Podcast

This Podcast is published on Anchor.FM or you can subscribe on iTunesPocketCastsTuneIn, and Stitcher.

Recently I have been intrigued in the audio app, Anchor FM following a friend’s recommendation to check it out. The application was intriguing but because the audio files were only live for 24 hours, I gave up on the idea of using it to create content.

Now that they have launched the ability to podcast from the app, I am back on track to give it a try. I need to start creating things and while I struggle with my photography, I figured it was time to turn to something else that I enjoyed from my publishing days, content creation.

So this is episode one of this audio podcast journey. Let me break down what I am thinking I will do, and the corny names I am giving each segment. I thought I would hold off till I think of better names but I spend too much time procrastinating as it is and this time I am just going to work with what I have.

I will first be creating show notes for each episode in order to get back into writing again.

Here is the list of segments I have come up with so far.

Mostly Me Mondays

This Monday feature, as the name suggests, will be mostly me talking about me. It may go off topic sometimes, but generally speaking, it will be a segment for me talking about myself. Hey, don’t judge, many of us like talking about ourselves. The idea is not to boast here, in fact, I think it will personally be more reflective.

Tech Talk Tuesday

Tuesdays will be focused on talking about another passion I have, technology. I am not sure exactly how this segment will unfold or what it will focus on primarily, but it will be technology based.

Work Wednesday

So this will be a place for me to talk about stuff work related I think. That said, because I work for a tech company, I am going to try not focus on work related to my work, but business focused discussion in general.

Throw Back Thursday

Okay, I know this is overdone, but I am going to try talk about things I have owned or used in the past and reflect on them from a modern perspective today.

Photo Friday

Now, this is a term I used at PhotoComment Magazine back in the day. The difference here is, that I am not going to be publishing a photograph because obviously this it going to be pushed out as an audio podcast at first. So due to the medium of publishing, this segment will be about various aspects of photography and not just about a photo that you cannot see in audio waves.

But now it is getting a little late and I am exhausted from my travels back to Nigeria after a short trip home to be with the family.

I also hear the rumblings of a thunderstorm. Storms here in Lagos are like nothing I have experienced elsewhere. It is like a war with bombs being dropped. I though Johannesburg, my hometown, had terrible summer storms, but while lightning is aggressive in Johannesburg, the thunder in Lagos really makes me think that Zeus exists and is having one heck of a tantrum.

Will the next episode, chow.

P.S. while I will try to make a show each day, it may not always be practical and I would ask you to be patient with me. Your contributions on how I can change and improve things are welcome.