AOL Instant Messenger was a defining part of my childhood. As part of the first generation to grow up with the internet, it helped me understand internet communication intuitively and emotionally in a way that people just a few years older may have only considered intellectually.
Growing up, I lived in a different town from most of the kids I went to school with. I lived in Dobbs Ferry, but went to school in Ardsley — a town small enough it imported students from nearby towns. There was a bridge separating Dobbs Ferry and Ardsley, and every day I took a bus across that bridge to school and back home.
That meant every day after school all of my friends were on the other side of this bridge. A lot of my interaction with them was through AIM. I developed a lot of empathy for the nuances of how people expressed emotions and ideas online, and I became very focused on improving how this worked.
For example, I didn’t like that I had no control of whether AIM told my friends I was active online, because sometimes I just wanted to code without being interrupted unless someone I really wanted to chat with signed on. This may have seemed like a small detail to whoever designed it, but it was my social life and I really felt it. So I hacked together a tool that let me set myself as if I’d been idle for a long time, even if I was actually at my computer. (Because of this, Facebook chat today always lets you turn off your online activity indicator.)
My friends and I spent a lot of time curating our online identities. We spent hours finding quotes for our AIM profiles that expressed how we felt, and we picked just the right font and color for our messages to signal what we wanted about ourselves. I built a tool that let me send messages with the letters fading between any colors I wanted. It was simple, but it was fun to build and it made my messages look different.
One day my dad saw me using AIM and asked if I could set it up in his office so he could communicate with the other dentists and hygienists. I told him I didn’t think AIM was ideal and since he controlled the network in his office I could make him something better.
I built him a system I called ZuckNet that he used for many years afterwards. In addition to chatting one-on-one, he could broadcast an update to everyone in the office at the same time. It also saved every message you received so you wouldn’t lose them when you closed your chat window, and it queued up messages to be delivered later if a person wasn’t online at the time. Everything was encrypted so sensitive information could be secure. These were all features that solved pain I felt using AIM. ZuckNet improved how the dentists communicated and changed how they worked.
As a child, many people will tell you that you don’t have the skills or experience to build something that matters. I was certainly told that many times. But these days I wonder if children actually have a unique perspective to build some of the most important things. The world is changing quickly, and only a child has a full emotional understanding of what it’s like to grow up today, with say, mobile phones or AI you’ve been able to talk to your whole conscious life. If you grew up before this, you can intellectually reason about what this might be like, but you can only understand all the emotional nuances and develop a world view based on how it feels if you grew up with it yourself.
I always loved coding. I vividly remember riding home on the bus across that bridge after school thinking to myself that now I had the whole evening to build things on my computer. Fridays were the best, and I remember being even more excited because I had the whole weekend to build things.
Those early projects and experiences had a lot of the seeds of what would become Facebook. Since early on, AIM shaped a deep aesthetic sense that the world works better when we can all connect and share. I’ve lived these ideas since I was a child, and I still believe them deeply today. Thanks for everything, AIM.
Ibadan Poly postpones examinations, gives reason
The Polytechnic Ibadan on Monday informed that it has postponed its first semester examination for the 2019/2020 session scheduled to commence today.
The decision, as learnt was taken in view of the protest embarked upon by the students who protested against inability to complete their registration.
Confirming the postponement of the examination, the Registrar of the institution, Mrs. Modupe Fawale said that the decision was taken “to enable students who were unable to meet registration and payment of tuition deadline to do so.”
Fawale added that the examination has been postponed till next week.
“Students are to also note that examination etiquette are sacrosanct hence, any student involved in examination malpractices will be sanctioned.
“Equally, any student caught with cellphone and smart watch will be suspended from the institution and the materials will be confiscated.
“Students are expected to observe all Covid-19 protocols including the use of facemask and those who failed to abide shall not be permitted to take part in the scheduled examination.
“As earlier informed, students facing registration challenges are to go to the accredited ICT centres for solution”, she submitted.
Education: Oyo Govt Rolls Out 226 Contracts for 2019 UBEC/SUBEB Intervention Projects
No fewer than 102 Local contractors participated in the bid opening exercise for the 2019 FGN-UBEC/OYOSUBEB Intervention projects held at Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board’s premises on Friday.
The exercise, according to the Executive Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Aderemi Adeniran was done in compliance with provision of Public Procurement Act 2010.
“We allowed due process in this bid opening, which states that people should be allowed to tender for any goods and/or services, and the tender should be open in the presence of the tenderers”, he said.
While he reiterated the Board’s commitment to transparency and integrity in the selection process, he admonished contractors who submitted bids to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship.
The Chairman also revealed that the projects are being jointly financed by Oyo State Government through the State Universal Basic Education Board and the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission.
Dr. Nureni Adeniran further said that a total of Two Hundred and Twenty-six (226) lots are being rolled out, adding that the process involved transparency and due process.
He said the contracts bidded for include: Construction of a Model School; Construction of eight blocks of six classrooms; construction of 14 blocks of four classroms.
Others are construction of 32 blocks of 3 classrooms; construction of 4 ECCDE pilot centres; construction 10 perimeter fencing.
Also, the contractors bidded for renovation of 66 blocks of classrooms; sinking of 40 boreholes; procurement of 48 lots of furniture and procurement of 3 lots of sport equipment/facilities.
Dr. Adeniran also disclosed that the Board is on the verge of completing the 2018 FGN-UBEC/OYOSUBEB Intervention projects, adding that the projects are on 80% completion.
The Chairman therefore urged tenderers to deliver a thorough job and ensure speedy completion of the intervention projects.
He said, “Bidders are strongly advised to ensure speedy project execution, as this administration has zero tolerance for time wastage, as far as project execution is concerned”.
The bid opening exercise was witnessed by representatives of Universal Basic Education Commission, Nigeria Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Bureau of Public Procurement, Federal Ministry of Education.
Other bodies represented include, Nigeria Institute of Engineers, Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers and CSACEFA.
Teachers’ Day: Akanbi heaps praises on teachers for creating future world leaders
Former Senator Adesoji Akanbi, on Monday recognized the sacrifices and accomplishments of all teachers, commending them for creating future world leaders in their various field of endeavours.
The APC chieftain, who represented Oyo South Senatorial District between 2015-2019, in an emotional appreciation message made available to Mega Icon Magazine, also paid glowing tributes to the teachers for working their hearts out to lift up young people.
Akanbi, who was conferred ‘Distinguished Education Stakeholder’s Award’ by the NUT, Ibadan Southwest Branch said, “here is to the men and women who get up every day and work their hearts out to lift up our young people.
“The men and women who teach our children to make the world a better place.
“The men and women creating future world leaders, Doctors, Engineers, Scientists, Lawyers, Philosophers, Entertainers, and of course, more Teachers.
“To the men and women toiling hard for the betterment of our children, striving for a better future of the nation, we say thank you Sir/Ma.
“Happy Teacher’s Day”, the message concluded.
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