- iHRIS: a suite of open source tools for managing and supporting the health workers
- DHIS2: an open source system for collecting and analyzing health information for national planning and decision making
- OpenMRS: an open source medical record and clinical care health system.
This press release below is from AITI-KACE concerning the upcoming Software Freedom Day Celebrations in Ghana
Celebrating Software Freedom Day 2010 in Ghana!
We are proud to announce that the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE) in collaboration with the FLOSSInclude Project will again be hosting a special event on Saturday, September 18th under the theme “Knowing the alternative software solutions”. The venue for this year’s celebrations is the AITI-KACE premises and the time is 9:30 – 15:00. This is the biggest international celebration and outreach event for Software Freedom globally involving hundreds of teams from all around the world.
In an increasingly digital age, more and more of our everyday experiences depend upon software. Software influences how we interact with each other, enjoy different media, get paid, and even navigate our roads. Software underpins our very way of life, our basic freedoms such as freedom of association, freedom of thought, freedom of choice and much more, yet many people do not realize the importance and influence of software and other technologies on their lives.
What do we mean by Software Freedom? Software Freedom is about a technology future that we can trust, that is sustainable, and that doesn’t negatively impact on the basic human freedoms we take for granted. For instance, spyware is a software that monitors what we listen to, our banking details and who we email. This software can be installed on our computers without our knowledge. Proprietary data formats can mean lockout to accessing your own information! Software Freedom can be maintained by transparent systems (such asFree and Open Source Software – FOSS) that are based on open, secure and sustainable standards including data formats and communications protocols.
Software Freedom Day is a yearly celebration of Software Freedom and why it is important; our purpose is public education about these important issues which we believe will eventually ensure that all barriers to the use and deployment of software are eliminated.
The AITI-KACE and its partners have been celebrating Software Freedom Day for a number of year and we have had many members of the general public and IT Community participate through the doors. We would like those that have attended or are attending for the first time to bring a friend along. Share with us the possibilities. Come and see demonstrations of open source software to suit just about every usage that you might think of. Take home some ideas, and CDs/DVDs full of software that you can use straight away.
People in the Eastern Region of Ghana can also join the Computer Science Department at the Koforidua Polytechnic to celebrate the day.
AITI-KACE is located near Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), adjacent to the Council of State Building on 2nd Avenue, Ridge, Accra.
Members of the media are invited to cover the event.
Contacts : Fred Yeboah – Tel 0302 679542-4 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Come tomorrow the 29th of April, the Lucid Lynx will be officially released. To most of you, downloading the ISO will be just a matter of minutes. However, have you ever thought of the less fortunate people in other parts of the world who do not enjoy the internet the same way you do?
Yes there are people that downloading the 700MB ISO is a great challenge. Now did you also know that you can help such people enjoy the latest and almost greatest piece of software the Open Source world has to offer? Yes you can by simply pledging to send out a FREE Ubuntu Lucid Lynx ISO to someone in Africa who for one reason or the other cannot get their hands on tomorrows talk of the day.
This is how it works. You pledge voluntarily to send out a FREE Lucid CD to anyone on the African continent who cannot download. All you have to do is head over to the CD donation forum to add yourself to our esteemed donors. When someone makes a request for a CD, we will get in touch with you personally to find out if shipping one to that person will be convenient to you taking lots of factors into consideration.
Should you agree to send one out, we will then furnish you with the name and mailing address of the person for onward shipping of the CD. You can also mail the CDs directly to us for giving out. Simple as that. In case you are wondering what happened to Canonical’s Shipit program, please be aware that for every CD request that we receive, we will ascertain from the one requesting whether they have tried to get one directly from Canonical itself before looking up to us. Since that program does not and cannot ship to everyone, why not have the Ubuntu community itself step in?
So please spend no more time. Head over to OMG Africa! and start sending out a CD today. For more information, please contact us and we will be more than happy to address your queries. Go on and show some love to the Lynx in a Lucid way. Go on.
As part of our drive to help improve the lives of Africans through the use of Free and Open Source Software, I am happy to announce that the OMG Africa! Project is seeking highly motivated writers from all over the continent to act as ambassadors for the project in their respective countries.
You will be a contributing author on this blog and will be responsible for providing unique insights into how people use technology in their day to day lives in your country and how FOSS can be introduced to such people. You will be expected to write at least 3 posts in a week and also be willing to record/shoot videos for our upcoming podcasts. Having your own tech related blog will be a great advantage though not required.
It is a very exciting time for me personally as we try to help ourselves on this continent through the power of information and communication technology. I look forward to having reps from all 52 countries that make up this continent. For more details about available compensation plans and how to get started, please get in touch with us via email at omgafricaproject at gmail dot com.
Alternatively, you can contact us through Twitter or Facebook. This offer is opened for a short period only so please hurry up and make a move to join what will be Africa’s biggest online tech community. Join us today and make a difference.
The general fall in the prices of new computers relative to some years ago means a rise in demand and consequently, an increase in the number of used ones too. I am wondering how you dispose off your old computer hardware.
After spending your hard earned bucks to acquire that shiny new box, what normally happens to your old one? Where do you dispose off it? Do you think it can be used again? Would you mind donating your old hardware to somebody you do not know?
Have you ever thought of where your disposed off computer hardware ends up? Do you believe even your old hardware can make a difference in the lives of people you may never know? I’d really love to hear your views and experiences which will go a long way to help us at the OMG Africa! Project finalize our strategic plans.
Over here, due to our low incomes and low technological penetration, most of our softwares are pirated and our IT hardware are mostly outdated and substandard. There are some exceptions though, but that is the case with the majority of IT users here. This is where I think projects like Ubuntu can make a head way. Due to its low resource usage and ability to run on very old computers, it is just a matter of embarking on an education campaign to introduce it to the masses here.
Also, most businesses here in Africa do not simply know that there is an alternative to MS Windows and they simply get locked up with high overhead costs of maintaining Windows run enterprise network. Even those who know of Linux and Free Software have never thought of it as a viable alternative to Windows due to the perception of Linux being for geeks alone.
Again, I strongly believe that if basic schools here can be introduced to ICT using Open Source software, it will go a long way into helping create an awareness among the next generation of IT users in Africa that there is a very powerful, reliable and free alternative to MS and other closed source commercial applications.
Then there is the issue of African governments trying to modernize their IT resource bases. This is also another great opportunity for FOSS evangelists to lobby hard for the governments to opt for Open Source and Free Software to save money on both licenses and hardware costs since it costs more to run MS Windows on a unit of computer than it costs running an OS like Ubuntu on the same unit of computer.
There is some progress being made in terms of evangelizing Open Source and Ubuntu to Africa and Africans. Examples can be seen here, and here. I was also really happy when I heard of another project aimed at bringing FOSS to young basic school pupils in rural parts of Africa called Rural Internet Kiosks.
In my post yesterday, I had some complaints about Linux and its ability to take on Microsoft’s Windows OS due to its heavy reliance on the terminal and much technical jargon that scares away the average user. Today however, I intend touching on some ten reasons why in my view, despite Linux’s set backs, it is still worth a try especially by my African brothers and sisters. The distro I am going to base my assertions on is the Ubuntu Linux variant (thats my primary OS) all the assertions are equally applicable to other distros too.
FREE FROM VIRUSES
Linux if free from viruses and other malware, trojans and rootkits that infect Windows systems on a daily basis. This is because of the authorization management system used. When you install Windows, your account is automatically given administrative powers. You have almost total control of the system and can easily tweak it. Ubuntu Linux however is not like that. When you make an installation of Ubuntu, two sets of accounts are created. You the user’s account is given limited authority over the system. Only the root account has full access to the system. So any time you have to do something that requires an administrative power, you would have to enter your password to certify to the system that you really are the one authorizing the task. Thus no virus can infect in the system without asking for your password. The kernel moreover, is built from ground up to be resistant to viruses.
Also. because the Linux kernel is an Open Source project, it is under the watch of thousands of programmers from all over the world and thus anything that looks the least suspicious is quickly discovered and weeded out.
Why use a pirated software when you can have a very secure, reliable and great one for free. And by free I mean free as in both free beer and free drink. All you need to get Ubuntu is just go to the Ubuntu site and download. That’s it. If you don’t have a fast internet access, just ask Ubuntu to ship one to you and they will be glad to. Most of the Windows softwares that are used here in Africa are I believe pirated since i doubt the average African can cough up about $300 to pay for a license. So just go ahead and get your copy of Ubuntu for free.
MASSIVE SOFTWARE REPOSITORIES
There is a massive repository of softwares in Ubuntu. And by massive I mean over 25000 applications that you can install on your system for free. When you need any software, all you have to do is to go to Add/Remove software, search for what you want and just click apply and you are good to go. No need to Google and scour the internet for anything. You have everything at your finger tips. All you have to do is install. And they are all free of charge.
De-fragmentation basically means the sectors in which your system and programs are installed gets scattered. So when you tell your system to perform a task for you, it would have to take time to look for all the pieces of the command you issued it. This slows your system down very much over time. Ubuntu, on the other hand, does not experience such issues due to it’s very organized and systematic way of handling system and program files.
GIVE YOUR OLD PC A NEW LIFE.
You don’t need up to 2Gb of Ram and 15Gb of HDD space to optimally run an OS. Ubuntu can run and perform well even on a system with just 128 Mb of Ram. So why buy a new PC when you can still use your old one?
Ubuntu Linux users have a superb support system made up of the users themselves. The Ubuntu Forum is in my view one of the most superb forums on the internet. Just post your problem and in not more than 20 minutes, you will have someone willing and able to help. There is always some form of help for anyone. From the beginner to the geek, every one heads to the forum for help. And its not just a geeky forum, you can talk about virtually everything with just about anyone from any part of the world.
Because all the softwares that run on you Ubuntu system are centralized, you only need to run just one update to get all your applications and system updated with the latest patches and upgrades. No need to waste time running update after update for every single program on your system.
ONE TIME INSTALL
With Ubuntu Linux, you only need to do one installation, and all your hardware just work out of the box. Your Bluetooh, wireless, network manager, screen resolution and all your other hardware just work. You don’ t have to fiddle with drivers to get things to work. Its all built into the kernel.
Ubuntu makes it very easy to reinstall your system in case of any such unlikely incident. This is because you can choose to install your root (/) files a directories on a separate partition of your hard drive and then have all your home folder also on another partition. The Ubuntu root is the Windows equivalent of C: and the home the equivalent of Windows My Documents. So in case you have reinstall your system, you wont have to worry about your personal documents since they are on a separate partition of your HDD.
EASY TO TRY
Ubuntu comes on a live CD which you can try without having to touch your existing installation. And if you like it, there is an icon right on the desktop where you can install the system as you are testing it.
These are just a few of the reasons why I would very much encourage my African brothers and sisters to give Ubuntu Linux and other Linux distros a try. After all, they are free, great, safe and you become part of a worldwide community.
I would very much like to know your thoughts of Linux OS and your experiences with it.