Showing posts from December, 2023

Enjoy the journey

All day I have been trying to figure out what I should write about. It is the last day of twenty twenty three. The countdown is on for the grand entrance of the new year, twenty twenty three plus one. Soon it will be twenty twenty four. I know I wanted to write about this. We made it to the end of another year and the start of another year. My day was a quiet one so far. I went to the mini mart and stocked up on water and raisin bran. I ate a doubles with slight pepper that really tasted like medium pepper. I had a nap that made up for the late night I had. Yesterday I won some money and that made me feel lucky. Money that discounts the price I paid for our new Lasko fan. I was eating my dinner, the same dinner I have every day, raisin bran and milk, when it occurred to me that the anticipation of today was much more thrilling than today itself. This was a reminder to me that I should focus on enjoying the journey and less on the destination. I think I do that enough but it was a remin

When TSTT launched their internet service in 1995

Following up from my blog post : Back in 2017 when Graeme Suite was Manager Brand, Public Relations & External Affairs, I had emailed him asking, "Does TSTT have any information on the history of internet in Trinidad?" He was able to send me a Newsday September 21, 1995 article titled "TSTT surfs the Internet" written by Horace Monsegue. Below are the contents of that article written more than 28 years ago. I was in form five at St Mary's College at that time. I remember Carib-Link and according to my friend Bard, they operated from 1995 to 2003 and initially provided dial-up internet access across Trinidad and Tobago. Here is the contents of the Newsday article that I carefully converted to text on my mobile phone to make it indexable by the search engines. Page 4 NEWSDAY Thursday September 21, 1995 NEWS TSTT surfs the Internet By HORACE MONSEGUE MORE TRAFFIC joined the Information Superhighway, yesterday, when Telecommuni- cations Services of Trinidad and

Early computers at UWI Mona

Prof. Emeritus Robert J. Lancashire of UWI Mona read my blog post and emailed me some information relating to the early computers at UWI Mona and I had to share bits of it on my blog for anyone who finds these bits of history fascinating. Please feel free to message me with additional information or corrections or feedback. We really should pay tribute to the pioneers and early efforts that laid the foundation for the progress that we enjoy today. Before I started I did a Google search to see what I could find. Bard tells me that UWI Mona campus established the island's first computer center in 1961. This center initially housed an IBM 1620 computer, which was primarily used for scientific and engineering calculations, which is the information I also have. Some other early computers included another IBM mainframe following the Jamaica census and a Convex 3440 supercomputer (1992). According to wikipedia, Ronald Cedric Read, born in 1924 and passed away in 2019, was a British mathe

Interesting local coding projects

I set out to learn about interesting local coding projects. We have the recently launched DHub gitlab instance but there are no public projects in there to look at. The next place I could look is github but where do I start? I decided that I should look at the top github users in Trinidad and Tobago and see what projects they are working on. If you know of interesting local coding projects I can look at please leave a comment with links to them. The problem is that I could not find a list of top github users for Trinidad and Tobago. I found this project but Trinidad and Tobago was not included. Jamaica on the other hand is there. I then set out to create my own listing for Trinidad and Tobago. I found that github had a REST api that I could use. I could have also used GraphQL but the REST api would be easier. I have Pydroid installed on my mobile so I decided to use Python for the coding. After some Google searches and figuring out I was able to come up with a list sorted by follower

Cyberattacks on the rise in Trinidad

This morning I woke up and the first thing I saw when I checked my notifications was that NIB was closed for the rest of the year because they were dealing with a ransomware attack. The notice they put out indicated that they were working with TT-CSIRT (Trinidad and Tobago Cyber Security Incident Response Team) under the Ministry of National Security. In the press they indicate they are working with external technology partners. These attacks highlight vulnerabilities in cyber security within Trinidad and Tobago. These attacks cause disruption and can be sources of data exposure and misuse. One thing we can all agree upon is that we have a big problem that needs an all of society response. This includes collaboration between government agencies, businesses, individuals, and cybersecurity experts. There has been no shortage of voices calling for these attacks to be taken seriously and steps taken to address the situation. Several voices in the tech space have been leading the calls for

Arima Smart City project - Smart cities need smart people

This morning I decided to see how much I could learn about the Arima Smart City project. I started with a Google search. I found an outdated page on facebook for an NGO called the Smart Arima Foundation and I emailed them to get more info about them and see if they are related to the government's smart city project. I also emailed the Ministry of Digital Transformation inviting them to take part in an emailed Question and Answer about the project. I also asked my friend Bard about the project. The project is officially called Connected Arima and is an ambitious initiative aiming to transform the borough into a vibrant and sustainable community powered by technology. Components include climate resilient infrastructure, intelligent traffic management systems, waste management solutions, energy-efficient street lighting, smart poles, free wifi, e-government services, mobile apps, technology training and more. The use of mobile apps got my interest and I asked my friend Bard, what migh

History of computers and technology in Trinidad

It is late Christmas night and my brain is buzzing. I am thinking back to the early days of computers and technology in Trinidad. In trying to locate this history online I am coming to think that this is just not available and this makes me sad. I am creating this blog post as a starting point. The idea is that persons searching for this history might also find this blog post and leave in the comments what bits of local tech history they have. I will get the ball rolling by sharing this story of the first Computer Operator at UWI - . According to the article, ""Long ago students had a hell of a task," he says. They "would have to key punch (their) own work and it would have to be done in a language, FORTRAN or COBOL or RPG, to actually get the output…nowadays you use the software, which is the programme already built, and you just put in your data, so in those days you had to actually be a programmer to ge

Which came first?

It is early Christmas morning and I am up early. Santa did not bring me anything. He never does. Does that mean I was naughty? Santa goes "ho ho ho" or rather "no no no" as in no gifts for you. I then reply, "ha ha ha, I am on the laughty list this year". How did I get here? Here as in this blog post. I went to search for something on Google and I mispelled Google and ended up with Goohle instead. Found out that Goohle is a mountain peak in Somalia. My interest peaked and I began on an adventure of learning. Goohle in reverse is elhoog and there was nothing interesting to me to find there. I then realised that Google in reverse is elgoog which led me to . A website that documents Google Easter eggs. It is Christmas morning and I am playing with Easter eggs. Go figure. Then I noticed that if I rearrange the letters of google I can get "egg" and "ool" and "ool" is the abbreviation for origin of life as I found through

Technology research and inventions in Trinidad

I am trying to figure out what technology research and inventions have happened in Trinidad and Tobago and some quick searches on the internet are not helping. I think this sort of information should be easily available and publicized. Is it because there is not much research and invention happening in the technology space? I wish there was one place I could go to to see all the research and inventions that are happening in the tech space locally. And the info should be simply presented in ways that the layman can make use of this. Maybe you can help me and comment where I should be looking or who I should be contacting? I know there is TTLAB, UWI, UTT, Cariri, and NIHERST where I could start with my question and which I will do. Maybe the open data folks can create a listing from each of these bodies: title of research or invention, details, contact, link to more details, date, comment and tags. I asked my friend Bard, what info do you have about technology research and inventions fro


It is the Sunday before Christmas. I was making my way to the mini mart and a question happened to me. The internet is a relatively recent English word. Do other languages use "internet" or did they create their own word? I asked my friend Bard and he replied that it is true that "internet" is a relatively recent English word, emerging in the 1970s and how languages deal with it varies. Many languages have simply adopted the English term. Others add minor changes to the pronunciation or spelling, like Japanese "インターネット" (intānetto). Some languages have created their own terms for "internet" often based on existing words for "network" or "web" like in Spanish they say "red mundial" (world network). Bard then goes on to tell me more about intanetto. Intanetto is a compound word. We can say netto for short. Unlike most Japanese words, which are written in kanji or hiragana, intanetto is written in katakana. Katakana is

Kickstarter for Trinidad

It is Saturday before Christmas and the beginning of the long weekend. The place where I live is extremely quiet. There are hardly any cars on the road. I ate my breakfast and I am surfing the web. Then I came across Kickstarter and I started asking questions. Mainly, can Trinidadians use Kickstarter? Are Trinidadians using Kickstarter? Do we need a Kickstarter type website for Trinidad and Tobago/Caribbean? There is fundmetnt but the idea is not the same. Kickstarter is for creatives and you are creating a tangible deliverable that is shared with backers. Also there is a vetting process. Fundmetnt is more akin to gofundme. I went to the Kickstarter website and I filtered by Trinidad and Tobago and only 17 projects were returned and many of them dated. This is not much. I contacted @kickstarter on Twitter and asked them "Hi. Can Trinidadians 🇹🇹 use Kickstarter? Will they be able to get the funds to their local bank?". I will also send an email. I will also send an email to

All you can eat technology

I was scrolling through facebook and came across Kam Wah and their buffet and it looked delicious and my mind clicked probably because the word "buffet" resembles "buffer". I asked my friend Bard, is the term buffet used in technology? And the reply was certainly yes. There is software buffet: a software licensing model where users pay a single subscription fee to access a variety of different software applications. Then there is API buffet: This is an architectural style for APIs (application programming interfaces) where developers can choose and integrate the specific functionalities they need from a larger set of available functions. This allows for more flexibility and customization than traditional APIs, which are often more monolithic. How about data buffet: This is a concept in data analysis where users can access and analyze a variety of different data sets from a central repository. This can be helpful for researchers and businesses who need to access a wi

What problem do you wish tech could solve?

I woke up this morning thinking about writing a blog post and the question that popped into my head was, what problem do you wish tech could solve? I started by asking my friend Bard. He said, "I can identify two major challenges that technological advancements could significantly address: mitigating the harmful effects of climate change and ensuring equitable access to clean water and sanitation for all." I turned to my social media and I asked the question and the first answer I got was crime. Crime is evolving into a huge problem for us in Trinidad. I then went searching the internet to learn about what people were thinking. One person wanted teleportation to solve our transportation problems. Another person wanted to be able to download food. Bard described these as the power of imagination: What other seemingly impossible solutions can we dream up, and how can we harness the power of imagination to drive technological innovation in a positive direction? Some other things

More tech please

It is Sunday the seventeenth of December and about two weeks before the new year. Twenty twenty three was a good year for me although it does not take much to make me happy. Currently a big truck is passing through my road playing soca music on blast with Santa in tow with gifts for the kids in the village. This happens every year. I wish Santa would bring me a laptop this year. The end of year is a time for reflection and planning. For asking questions like what have I accomplished and what do I plan to do better in the new year. This year I wrote two books and started another. I have started taking fitness and eating healthy seriously. I have written many blog posts but I have strayed too much from tech content. In the new year I want to write more tech related content. I want to complete my book called "learning to code again" and I want to create my portfolio for coding and web development. I have some ideas of projects I want to work on but first I want to work on gettin

Caribbean Devfest started today

This is a local Google Developer Group event where people come together and share stories and discuss topics in the developer realm. I tuned in to the live stream for Jade Ganga's presentation on "Making something from nothing". It is nice when we get local perspectives and discussion and insights. You can rewatch the live stream on their youtube channel - . Jade talked about her journey becoming a Data Analyst. I listened attentively and with enthusiasm and I share my takeaways in this blog post. I like the idea of data driven decision making and I think this is much needed. The role of data analyst is very important and the opportunities for this are growing locally. Jade is a recent graduate and her experience will resonate with people now starting their careers. Data is not limited to professionals, there are data enthusiasts. According to my friend Bard, Data enthusiasts are individuals who are passionate about data and its potential to so

How I came to know about Jungian Sand Therapy

I asked my friend Bard, "give me a random number between one and one million". I got 425712. Using the letters the numbers most resemble, I got AJSTIJ. This lead me to AJSTI - Association for Jungian Sand Therapy in Ireland. Which leads me to Jungian Sand Therapy. What is this? According to my friend Bard, Jungian sand therapy is a therapeutic technique that uses sand, water, and miniature objects to explore the unconscious mind. Clients create scenes in a sand tray, which the therapist interprets to help them gain insight into their thoughts, feelings, and conflicts. The technique is based on the work of Carl Jung, who believed that the unconscious mind is a rich source of creativity and healing. Sand therapy can be used to treat a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and relationship problems. It can also be used to help people develop their creativity and self-awareness. I asked my friend Bard, What might Carl Jung say about how I found this? He might

Breaking the cycle

It is a rainy morning in Trinidad. It is gloomy and cold and wet and my spot on the ground bed looking through the front door is cozy and relaxing. I am thinking about something I said earlier, "Politics has ruined us .... We can't fix our problems if the politics does not change and the politics wont change if the people dont change and demand change .... Sometimes I look to the next generation but then I see that they are being molded in the same ways as the current generation." There is a lot of despair and complaining and finger pointing which only makes things worse. I asked my friend Bard, how do we break the cycle? We need to focus on solutions more than the problems. We need to listen to those who have good ideas and can think smartly about problem solving. We need to support those who are working to make things better. We need to practice gratitude. I think this is in short supply and ingratitude only makes things worse. We need to take responsibility for the thi

Trying again

I am no stranger to losing weight and eating healthy and getting fit. I have done it several times but some how I lose myself and have to start again. But I keep trying and I am not giving up. One of the best pieces of advice I heard recently was to focus on the next pound. Losing just one pound is easy. You are not losing thirty pounds, you are losing one pound, thirty times. It has been forteen days and I have lost three pounds. I have been eating three simple meals a day. No drinks, only water. And no snacks. Everyday I am doing chores around the house that count as my exercise. My sleep has been spotty and getting better and I am getting good naps in the day. One of the major benefits of eating healthier and exercising is that I feel good. I like doing this kind of thing. I like challenging myself. I like working on myself. I like making myself better. I came across a few persons on tik tok who lost weight and their stories inspire me. Always think that your story and journey will

Game changers

If I am someone with an idea in Trinidad that I think is game changing, disruptive and innovative, all the buzz words, how do I move forward with this idea? I asked my friend Bard this question and he came back with some good points. Firstly, I must refine and validate my idea. I must clearly define the problem I aim to solve and the unique value proposition my solution offers. I must conduct market research to assess the demand. Then develop a business plan, protect my intellectual property, assemble a strong team, seek funding, develop a prototype or minimal viable product, market and promote, and embrace feedback and adapt. The way forward seems obvious and solid but it is a lot of work, plenty of risk taking and no guarantee for success. For all the success stories we have there are even more stories of startups that went under. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. My friend Bard has some advice for us. Pursue your idea with unwavering passion and a deep belief in its potenti