Friday, 1 May 2015

Kenya Power prepaid bill payment using MPESA

Our landlord decided that we will no longer use Kenya power postpaid billing system and its time to go the prepaid way. This comes late since the system was introduced early 2013 but still to me its something new but very convenient.
I have done some research and to be honest everything has its advantages and disadvantages, but today morning I woke up to find my electricity gone so I headed to the meter section only to find my units reading zero. So I called their customer service number which I had tried earlier but was not going through, but this time there I waited for only 1 minute and a lady picked and explained to me how to pay my Kenya power prepaid electricity bill.
Some important things to check before the new system is installed in your home make sure you pay the pending postpaid bill.
Second always confirm the meter number when buying the tokens; you may end up buying them for your neighbor.
I am always ready and eager for changes especially when they involve making my life easier, convenience and efficiency is the word. I have been using the postpaid meter which has been working perfectly for me. At least am assured if I miss paying the bill I get some leeway to pay later, unlike the new Kenya power prepaid bill system.
Check the following photo that guides you on how to pay your KPLC prepaid bill using M-PESA or Airtel money. You can also buy the token at any Uchumi supermarket, KCB bank etc.

As much as we hate them for constant blackout especially when you least expect like on weekends I believe everything has its advantage.
I remember one time I paid my bill late having been disconnected I had to find the carts let to get a technician to reconnect mind you I paid the reconnection fee. This will be avoided using the new prepaid Kenya power meters.
For now I know many Kenyans have experienced issues with prepaid tokens delay but that is normal with any system especially if payment is done via mobile money or banks. My advice is always check and confirm your meter number consists of 11 digits. I also got some useful info when I rang their customer service number. You can confirm your account number by dialing 804 then press enter to confirm before making a payment.
I haven't confirmed yet but I believe Safaricom lipa na m-pesa rates apply when making payments through their gateway.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

AT&T iphone unlock and other networks in kenya

AT&T unlocks for iPhone and Lumia phones are our specialty in Kenya. The last time I wrote about unlocking iPhone locked to AT&T  phones that come from abroad it was still very hard to get the  service at a lower price. But we are glad that Unlocking policies were reviewed in USA and now we can unlock the phones with fewer restrictions. If you got yourself a phone that came from abroad and its locked on any of the following networks we are the right people to help you get it unlocked at the best rates in the market.I have received many inquiries about iPhone unlocking and other phones unlock in the recent past. Other phone models such as Blackberry, Samsung, LG , HTC are supported.
  • AT&T USA
  • Verizon USA
  • EE orange UK
  • Vodafone UK
  • Telus Canada
  • Testra Australia
  • Tmobile UK
  • Bell Canada
  • Rogers Canada
  • Telia Sweden
  • Docomo japan
  • Virgin/Optus Australia
  • Sprint USA
SO far this are the networks I have successfully unlocked and I can say with confident provided the phone is not blacklisted, barred, stolen or iCloud locked we can manage to unlock it successfully.
All unlocks are done remotely that means you don't have to give us your device. Provide us with the IMEI and we submit the IMEI to the respective carrier for unlock. Different international carriers charge different prices to unlock the phones.

Don't throw away that phone which came as a gift from your relatives abroad or lose hope of ever unlocking the phone. Most iPhone will give you the message "Sim Not valid" "The Sim card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy currently assigned by the activation server.."

If you phone cannot be unlocked we always inform you before proceeding, some of the networks that are not supported include KDDI and Softbank.Simply because most Japanese mobile providers don't allow this.
 Please comment or shoot me a mail if you have any phone that you would like to know the Unlock status.If we have unlocked your phone please leave us a positive feedback on our facebook page
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Sunday, 26 April 2015

How to make a whatsapp call in kenya

I know this is a late post but I feel may be some people have not yet upgraded their Whatsapp application. Kenyans are very cautious with their data bundle usage and will not update their apps unless it’s not working or mandatory. That’s not what I want to talk about. Whatsapp have introduced the calling feature which will make it possible to make a call within the application without incurring the normal call charges by the carrier. So the next time you connected to a Wi-Fi network go ahead and give it a trial. This feature uses cellular data that means the only cost you will incur is in terms of data usage.

For you to be able to receive the calls via whatsapp both users must be online or have whatsapp and data on in their phones. When the call is made it indicates whatsapp call somewhat different from the way you receive a normal call.

As we know the main telephony companies in Kenya have been trying to outdo each other in terms of competitive call rates. Airtel introduced Unliminet package recently which to me is not bad. Considering data bundles have become cheap Whatsapp calling feature is something worth checking out in Nairobi.
Both Safaricom and Airtel have the same price for making off net calls that is 4ksh per minute. If you do the math if you spoke for 10 minute that will cost you 40ksh which can buy 50MB worth of data or even more in Airtel.

Whatsapp calling feature consumes around 1mb for a 3min call. Well this is very interesting and lets just hope it’s going to challenge the main players to reduce the call rate to may be 3ksh. The only drawback which will not make it the mainstream option for calling is some folks still don’t have whatsapp like in upcountry. So you will still need to have your airtime ready if you can’t make a whatsapp call in Kenya.
The service is already in motion on most android phones and soon Windows, IOS and blackberry will receive the same. I updated my whatsapp on my iPhone and was able to make the call which means it can also work on IOS. I haven’t blogged for quite some time but am back to keep you posted on any development. Have a great week folks.

Turning your windows PC to a Wifi hotspot

Today I discovered a very useful feature that can be used to create a hotspot using windows 7 or windows 8 computers. Basically you can share your internet with other users via Wi-Fi without having to tether your phone like in the case of android phones. What happens is your Wireless adapter can be used to create a virtual Wi-Fi hotspot and then share the connection with other users. This can work for instance in an office where you have a laptop and it uses an Ethernet connection but the laptop has the ability to access WI-FI. You can therefore go ahead and share the same internet with your other Wi-Fi devices such as a Phone, Tablet etc.

You are going to create a virtual router using your laptops Wireless Lan card. To do this you will need to first check if the laptops WLAN card supports this service. Most laptops running Windows 7 support Microsoft Virtual Wi-Fi miniport adapter. You can check on device manager by expanding Network adapters. In some cases this might not be available and will need you to update your drivers for the WLAN card like in my case. I couldn’t find the Microsoft virtual Wi-Fi miniport adapter first until I updated my drivers from HP website. Also check by going to the device manager then select View>>Show hidden devices>> Network Adapters and it will show up. If disabled, enable it.
The following steps will help you set up your Wi-Fi hotspot.

  1. You will need a laptop or desktop that has Wi-Fi drivers and connection working. 
  2. Head to this website and download the Virtual Router manager v1.0 , this tiny software will do the everything for you. It has an option to set the Wi-Fi name/SSID and Password for the Wi-Fi connection.
  3. Select the connection you want to share e.g. Local Area Connection 3 and you are good to go.

For those who are not able to create the Virtual network the following troubleshooting steps can be followed to make it work

  • Uninstall and re-install the WLAN drivers or Update them.
  • Microsoft has also released  a hotfix for the same for anybody getting the following error “The group or resource is not in the correct state to perform the requested operation”  you can download it from this page.
  • If that doesn’t work also check enable Windows Hosted virtual network by using the following Commands in CMD

netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allowTo allow hosted network to work
netsh wlan show driverTo show the state of the adapter if hosted network is on and supported
netsh wlan set hostednetwork mode=allow ssid=VirtualRouter(SSID) key=123456789 (password)To start it manually using command prompt

NB:Remember some old laptops wireless card may not support this feature also computer running older version of windows such as Windows XP,Windows Vista
If you need my help you can comment and I will help where I can

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

How to load windows 7 from network

Have you ever been in a situation where you need to install Windows on a laptop or machine and you don’t have a flash disk, USB cd rom or the CD rom doesn’t work? This is what I experienced lately but I stretched my limits and decided to try loading the OS using the network boot option.
So today am going to explain to you how you can load your windows installation over the network. This can be achieved if you computers are on the same network i.e. if you are using a router or using a cross over cable like in my case. Ever wondered how Windows is deployed in big companies with over 50 computers. This is how it’s done.
You need software called SERVA.  Head over to their website and download the NON-Supporter version which is free.
We will refer to the computer that has the OS as the SOURCE and the one we want to install the OS as the CLIENT. Most of the work will happen on the SOURCE computer.

Requirements before starting:

  1. Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows XP whole installation files the way they appear on a DVD.
  2. Source computer must have a username and password
  3. Computers on same network or IP address set with the same range
  4. Network drivers for the client computer extracted. Check for ".inf" and ".cat".
  5. Network cable cross over or straight through cable if using a router
Now that we have ensured all pre-requisites are set we need to extract the SERVA software to a folder on one of our local partitions on the SOURCE computer. D:\Serva
Next thing you do is create another folder named D:\Servaroot remember the folders should not contain spaces or long names. This is the folder where you will store Windows installation files

Step 1

a)Start serva from the D:\serva folder and run it for the first time on the source computer.  Go to settings to configure the settings for DHCP and TFTP. If you are using a router enable Proxy DHCP, BINL and Bind DHCP. In my case I used a cross over to connect my two computers, so I enabled DHCP server and BINL and also enabled Bind DHCP to this address options. This is how I set up my configuration refer to this image
b)Go to the TFTP tab and enable TFTP server also make sure bind TFTP to this address is selected don’t change anything here except the TFTP server root directory which you will set to the folder you created D:\Servaroot\
c)Close serva program and it will configure some folders on D:\servaroot ready for you to copy windows files.

Step 2

Copy your windows installation files on the folder that has been created automatically on D:\Servarot\WIA_WDS\Windows7. If you are installing earlier versions like win XP use WIA_RIS folder or NWA_PXE for Linux installation
The next thing you need to do is make sure you share the WIA_WDS. The exact name for the share name should be WIA_WDS_SHARE.
Also very important copy the Network drivers you extracted for the client computer on the following folder D:\servaroot\WIA_WDS\WINDOWS7\$OEM$\$1\Drivers\NIC.

Step 3

Start serva program on the source computer and don’t close it.
Boot the client computer and select the Network boot option, Boot from LAN or PXE boot. Remember you can set it as first priority clients BIOS.    

Step 4

If everything goes successfully you will see some activity on the Serva program as it binds the Clients IP address and starts communicating with it. You will be prompted to choose the Operating system you set i.e. Windows 7 and press Enter. After successful network drivers installation you will be prompted to enter the source computer log in details and the installation will run just like a normal windows installation.

If you encounter any problems you can always comment and i will try my best to assist. Most errors occur if you don't configure the IP address correctly or if you the clients Network drivers are not detected.Make sure you have the correct NIC drivers for you network card.