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i am a web developer & startup founder based in Nigeria, West Africa, a place where there is hardly any electricity, so my startup is run on generators & inverters, broadband isnt available, dialup is the norm here. the computers we use are 5 years old, the list goes on. but i & my team still get stuff done, because of the passion we have and i guess its because we are 'relentlessly resourcefull'. Thanks pg for another excellent write up.

When I lived in Kenya for two months, this is one of the things I found fascinating. People would face immense daily challenges (compared to what is faced in the "West") and yet they would still go about their business without a hint of anger or complaint.

It's sad though because you just have to wonder what bigger things could be accomplished if infrastructure was more stable so people could put their focus towards bigger issues rather than smaller ones.

Interesting, I'm also from Nigeria. What's the name of your Startup?

I'm not sure whether it possible to get them in Nigeria, but devices like Nokia N810 or Google G1 Dev. Phone can be very useful. They can stand by for almost a week. At least for me, here, in Nepal, these devices are very good solutions for electrisity outages. There are only 8 hours per day with power in Kathmandu (4 at morning and 4 at evening), but of course, mobile towers works 24/7. Some cheap netbooks with a 6-cell battaries is also reasonable. They could be used as linux-based test servers (without running X11.)

If your startup's core competence is online 419 scams then I wish you guys were a bit less resourceful ;-))

(sorry dude, but I couldn't help it... though distasteful this joke might seem)

Wish I could down vote you

Kind of PC, aren't we? Lower bound is -8. Knock yourself out.

Your being down voted has little to do with political correctness. You insulted the OP and the comment wasn't even funny.

He included a ";-)" which of course makes everything perfectly acceptable.

Oh it was a little funny. Lighten up.

For what it's worth, if something is only a little funny, I tend to mod it down.

There's no accounting for taste, so I won't discuss whether the comment was humorous or not. However, I respectfully disagree that I have offended the original poster. Please allow me to explain:

As an engineer, I appreciate the original poster's resourcefulness and can-do attitude. Getting things done with minimum means is something admirable. However, it wouldn't be too far-fetched to claim that anyone who reads the words "Nigeria" and "internet" in the same sentence will think of 419 scams. That is not the OP's fault, of course, but it would be naive to think that such a prejudice does not work against him. Countries have reputations, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Sometimes your country's reputation helps, sometimes it hinders.

I am sure some people think I am being racist. Just so you know, I am no bigot. Moreover, if the OP was offended, he can defend himself, and I am here to apologize if my joke was offensive. I conjecture that if the OP were Russian and I made a stupid joke about vodka bottles and stuff, I wouldn't have been down-voted as fast. Not all bigotry is created equal, I guess.

Nah, it would have- and that's why HN is awesome. Dumb jokes get downmodded into oblivion, which keeps the quality of conversation high. If shit like that flew, the site would devolve into Reddit levels of lolcats. It doesn't contribute to the conversation and it leads into detours like this thread.

It's also beyond ridiculous to mock someone who's busting his ass to build a company when he has to transcend things like, you know, regular access to electricity, but that's a matter of personal taste.

I'm not saying show blind admiration because the cool kids are upmodding, I'm saying be respectful... especially when the OP is as badass as the OP in question!

AFAIK, the OP did NOT request your intervention (I am sure the OP's skin is thicker than yours, so to say). You are making a storm in a teacup. BTW, I was not mocking the OP, in case you haven't figured it out yet. Borrowing a British expression, I was taking the piss.

Born and raised in Western Europe, I have lived some time in a 3rd world country. I have seen the most annoying condescending gaze on the faces of so many American and British expats who claim to be very sensitive to cultural issues, but who actually never bother to interact with the locals. Going for a game of crickett at the private club is more fun than hanging out with the local "savages".

I admire people who work hard and get stuff done with minimum means, regardless of their race or nationality. Period.

and thats what has been downvoted, while it may be racially insensitive, "taking the piss" isnt really what the comments here are for, regardless of what you were taking the piss out of

To me, the insulting nature of your comment stemmed not from the economic status of Nigeria as a poor country (or the skin color of its residents) but the fact that you were jokingly implying the OP was involved in something illegal.

A joke about a Russian entrepreneur selling vodka, for example, would not be insulting, just trite. Which, quality of content wise, is equally bad.

Makes sense. I had never thought of it from that POV. I can't take back what I wrote, though. Personally, if someone made a joke implying that I was doing something illegal, I would not be offended at all (unless I was, in fact, doing something illegal), but it seems not everyone's skin is as thick as mine. Cheers.

or in this case, -16

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