AFRICAN BUSINESSES CAN BENEFIT FROM OPEN SOURCE

In my honest opinion ,and speaking from my experience as an African, i believe Africa general and businesses in particular have a lot to benefit from the deplyment of Open Source softwares.This is even more true for African businesses that use modern IT systems.My reasons for believing so can be summed up in these few points –

    LOW COST
    The cost of maintaining an Open Source OS like Ubuntu for instance is close to nil.This is because of the very architecture of the OS which makes maintenance on a daily basis highly unlikely.FOSS can run for a very long time without the need for any human intervention.This can be a big boon to African businesses who have to always call on so called experts to fix their system deployments for them at very prohibitive costs.Also most FOSS can run on even very old machines.This again reduces the need to have to overhaul the entire IT hardware infrastructure of businesses for a long time.This,there is no gain saying,is a big cost saver.

    CUSTOMIZATION
    IT will be very easy with FOSS,for African businesses to customize their softwares to suit their specific needs given the divergent number of customers they cater for.This will also make it easy for business to deliver essential services at very reduces costs because system resources have been customized for the business.

    OPPORTUNITY FOR LEARNING
    Because of the relative flexibility of FOSS, African govenments can take such the opportunity to encourage their citizenry to show interest in computing especially the young ones.This can be done by setting up good,public computer schools to teach children the mechanics of computer and programming based on Open Source ideals and benefits, which in the future can be of immense benefit to the continent as a whole given the fact that Africa is far,far behind the rest of the world in in terms of IT.

    JOBS
    Since FOSS is free as in free speech,African governments can again encourage their young ones to go into progamming so as to be able to also write new code from existing ones which they can sell as long as their new code will also be made available to others. A government that actively uses Open Source not only saves money but also helps both its employees and and the public in general to learn new skills and open the doors of great insight for them as a nation.
    I strongly believe that it is time African businesses and governments wean themselves off the MS and save money,extend the life of their IT infrastructure,improve efficiency and help their employees and populace learn new skills and knowledge.

    Do you know of a better way that Africa can use to benefit from FOSS.Please share your thoughts in the comments form below.

    MY DEFINITION OF SUCCESS

    My understanding of the word success was formed by my teacher in high school who once told us that it is an acronym and that it will be good to have it incorporated into our daily lives .Over the years,i have pondered so much over it and tried in every single way to personify every one of the eight words in the acronym and now i have come to believe i have incorporated it into my life as much as possible.I write this piece of knol to share my small life experience in the context of the acronym for success with the whole world.

    S- Sense of direction.
    Every one who knows how to drive always has a direction before climbing behind the steering wheel.If something as simple as driving requires us to have a direction before we can use that very skill of driving, then how come most people go through life without any direction in their lives?Until you have a detailed direction in your life as to how to achieve success, then you will keep on going in circles throughout your life.

    U- Understanding
    Most people assume they have understanding when in actual fact they don’t. Understanding in this context means having a deep insight into life and its ways of dealing with people.Life most of the time deals randomly with people how it wants and it is up to us to understand in proper perspective the how and why of what life hands to us.

    C- Courage
    Courage here does not mean the ability to see danger and jump into it but rather how to be able to withstand and pass the toughest of life’s lessons and tests.Courage means the strength to obey laws, the ability to forgive the gravest of wrongs done against us and the strength to face tomorrow despite our disappointments today.

    C- Charity
    The strength and ability to always have and make room for others in our lives.To genuinely share in the pain of others and rejoice in their happiness.The heart to know how to forgive even when we know we have our rights trampled upon.The ability to have a heart full of real love for those around us .

    E- Esteem
    The ability to respect ourselves and not demand it from others.

    S- Self Confidence
    The knowledge to know who we really are and why we must be proud of ourselves.The ability to love ourselves even when others choose to hate us.

    S- Self Acceptance
    This is the ability to accept ourselves as who we are and not live our lives as who someone or the society wants us to be.In short,the ability to live our lives by our own blueprint instead of that of others.

    This is my small understanding of what success is and how a successful person really looks like.
    Please let me know what you think of my understanding.Thank you for reading.

    Why i love Ubuntu Linux

    Yesterday evening i had to reinstall my Ubuntu Jaunty after PclinuxOS messed up my partitions pretty bad.I had installed it the previous night with the intention of dual booting with ubuntu just to get a feel of it.But after installing it(PClinux),it just hijacked my Ubuntu installation.I could not boot into ubuntu again.I tried to reinstall GRUB,that did not help either.So i decided to backup and do a clean reinstall of ubuntu.That was wheni realized how far advanced ubuntu was as compared to other linux distros.
    My love for ubuntu can be summarized in the following points.

    EASE OF USE
    Ubuntu is,in my view the only linux distro that is so easy to master.I started using it without any experience whatsoever,but after about two months,i can say though i am not a linux geek,i can confidently tweak my system somewhat.It is in so many ways like Windows albeit it has a long way to go to catch up.Also the installation process is so easy and simple that even a newb to computers can do it.Again,its ability to recognize other OS is a big plus.

    READY TO GO
    Just after installation,i was ready to use my system even though i had to install some codecs to play multimedia.That is not a problem for me since Ubuntu prides itself on being a completely free and open source software and thus does not come with any proprietary software installed.I had my office suite ready which i needed to do some work.

    JUST WORKS OUT OF THE BOX
    My wireless,touchpad,bluetooth and all my other hardware just worked after installation.I did not have to look for any wireless drivers or any thing else.I mean it just worked out of the box.

    SUPPORT
    Ubuntuforums.org is in my view the best software community in the world.The speed at which my questions have been answered is so heart warming.And anytime i have an issue with the OS,i just search for it and find that it has already been addressed.Also if you dont find what you want on the forunms,then you can turn to the big G for help-just google it.

    SHIPIT
    In my opinion,Ubuntu’s biggest advantage over other distros and almighty windows is their shipit service,where they send you a free ubuntu cd anywhere you are in the world.And by free i mean free,as in free beer or lunch.To me that is the killer function of Canonical that has worked so much in making it so popular.It so of so much benefit to those of us who do not have high speed internet to download large iso files.It also makes it easy to convince others to try it using the cd you receive it from shipit since a friend is likely to try a professional looking cd than one that i make on my own.
    There are countless other reasons why ubuntu is set to be the next windows and why i love the distro so much.But these are what make me tick and give a thumbs up for the worlds most popular linux distro.
    Have a different opinion.Please share it.