Information and Communications Technology in Kenya


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Information and Communications Technology in Kenya

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What is Information and Communications Technology in Kenya? How has it developed to its current state? How does it affect you?

Come on, I think the easiest way for me to try and explain Information and Communications Technology in Kenya is recounting my experience. I started on this way back in 1991.

This was the Personal Computer (PC) age period marking the slow death of Mainframe computers and dummy terminals. My first encounter was with a mainframe computer. This giant computer the size of a small car used dummy terminals (Monitors) (You could connect a number of this to one computer). Believe it or not, this giant computer had a hood and the motor was the size of that of a car. Mainframes still exist to date though the size has greatly reduced.

My early encounter with Information and Communications Technology in Kenya

I had just been employed in one of the local Information and Communications Technology companies in Kenya, after graduating from one of the local universities. The company specialized in data processing. I familiarized myself with its operations.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya

Old IBM Mainframe

In those days the “Computers” were kept in “secret” separate rooms with an “Authorized Personnel only” warning posted on the door. The rooms were freezing cold and were supposed to be dust free. How they were to be dust free in Nairobi is a mystery to date? It was rumored that this seemingly intelligent machine could detect food and drink, this two items were prohibited in computer rooms.

Any way I learn t data processing and then programming with some programming languages that are long forgotten…… no wait a minute!, I remember one, ha RPG 3,  RM COBOL…, that’s it! am not sure if i got that one right!

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Believe it or not the monitor was huge (36 inch in length) black and white, “That is what I was told but really the blinking color was more green than white”, we used to work on this things for six hours maximum. We have come from far.

The organization I was working for acquired three black and white, 8086 processor Personal Computers, that had no hard disks, we learnt how to use this by inter changing 5 1/4 inch floppy drives, it was a great improvement considering the mainframe was using an 8 inch floppy drive. It marked the beginning of micro parts, for the 5 1/4 gave way to the 3 1/2 inch which was to be replaced by the flash disk.

Why do most gadgets start with big then move to small? take mobile phones in Kenya for example we started with those that made us all look like policemen manning busy traffic to the ones that simple disappear in your pockets and are difficult to find when you urgently need them, the beauty of dynamics in Information and Communications Technology in Kenya knows no bounds, any way….

After one year of exchanging 5 1/4 floppy’s, the organization acquired one more Personal Computer that had a 10 MB hard disk. We celebrated in jubilation!!!!! a hard disk at last!!!! We screamed, we no longer had to interchange drive A: with B: and vice versa. More celebrations followed when a color monitor was bought (this really had only two colors RED and BLUE) but it was color all the same, we could not hide our joy on how fast Information and Communications Technology in Kenya was changing.

The fast changing computer technology left us in mild shock, before we had mastered using the 8086 processor, in came the 286 processor with 20 MB hard disk, then the 386 with up to 50 MB hard disk space the 486 processor came knocking before we could shut the door on the 386, which was followed by the Pentium in quick succession. Nobody then dared even dream the possibility of having 100 MB hard disk space, then come the Giga Bytes, leaving us all stunned, the climax of which is the current Teller Bytes (hope I spelt it correctly, am still too excited on the long and short road traveled by Information and Communications Technology in Kenya).

The 8086, 286, and 386 processors were basically DOS Operated (Disk Operating System). The dynamics of the operating systems left most of us overwhelmed, I had barely mastered DOS 3.0 before other version cropped up to stop at DOS 6.22 Which gave way to WINDOWS 3.0, WINDOWS 3.1 AND WINDOWS 3.11 FOR WORK GROUPS. Information and Communications technology in Kenya has come from far to rattle us all.

DOS is an operating system where you have to correctly spell and enter all commands on the command line, with the advent of WINDOWS platform the use of a mouse and clicking your way through the command was a most welcome move, though most of us (my old colleagues) to date still prefer entering commands than clicking them. The mouse was also welcome but viewed suspiciously by most during that time. My supervisor could have nothing to do with it.

Besides the dynamics experienced in Computer Hardware and Operating Systems, there was a shift in data processing. When I started, our organization was processing data for most of the organizations in Nairobi, with the popularization of the Personal Computer most firms started acquiring their own and installed Applications that could help in data processing and analysis.

The “NEED FOR INFORMATION” “bug” had bitten and was spreading. Today any worthy organization has a Personal PC, that alone was not enough, the need to share information and resources, propelled the use of Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks, that is how communication entered the arena.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya or “ICT” is a general term for all kinds of technologies which enable users to create access and manipulate information. Information and Communications Technology is a combination of information technology and communications technology.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya, is often used as an extended synonym for information technology but in reality it is a more general term that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya consists of all technical means used to handle information and help communication, including computer and network hardware, communication middle ware and necessary software.

In other words, Information and Communications Technology in Kenya consists of Information Technology as well as, all types of audio and video processing and transmission.

The term Information and Communications Technology in Kenya is now also used to refer to the merging of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system. Information and Communications Technology in Kenya has helped expand the growth of organizations through process merging of different network systems.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya (ICT) and Information Technology (IT)

While Information and Communications Technology in Kenya or anywhere else refers to the general time as indicated above, it was a derivative of Information Technology which was also a derivative of what was earlier known as Computer Science.

Information technology (IT) is the acquisition, processing, storage and electronic dissemination of information in various forms i.e. vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical.

IT spans a wide variety of areas that include but are not limited to processes, computer software, information systems, computer hardware, programming languages, and data constructs.

In short, anything that renders data, information or perceived knowledge in any visual format whatsoever, via any multimedia distribution mechanism, is considered part of the domain space known as Information Technology.

Future of Information and Communications Technology in Kenya

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya

New Dawn for ICT

In time long forgotten, the need to make fast and timely decisions marked a new dawn to data processing, Data had to be collected and analyzed manually, imagine what it was like during the first and second world wars, Field officers had to collect data from both sides of the divide, analyze it and send it to the armies.

While knowledge is power, Information is Knowledge. Early scientists embarked on a search for a method to collect and analyze data. Where possible communicate the same to the recipients.

These need saw the growth of data processing and in time, the need to communicate information resulted to information technology and lately Information and Communications Technology in Kenya and elsewhere.

Growth of Information and Communications Technology in Kenya has matched global growth and in recent times it has expanded tremendously. The future is beckoning and looks bright. Imagine, during the 90’s you could literally count “gurus” of Information and Communications Technology in Kenya, today our universities are graduating enough numbers that are catapulting growth at admirable speeds.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya, professionals perform a variety of functions that ranges from installing applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. A few of the duties that Information and Communications Technology in Kenya professionals perform may include data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as management and administration of entire systems.

Information and Communications Technology in Kenya is starting to spread further than the conventional personal computer and network technologies, and more into integrations of other technologies such as the use of cell phones, televisions, and more, which is increasing the demand for such jobs.

Any talk of Information and Communication Technology in Kenya cannot be complete without mentioning SAFARICOM. SAFARICOM has become synonymous to Information and Communications Technology in Kenya, people in every village and hammock know how this giant organization has been instrumental in revolutionizing mobile telephony and most recently they form the biggest and fastest gateway into the Internet. To continue with this interesting subject read more on Computer Software Services Providers and  Information and Communications Technology in Kenya.

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