Sunday, October 29, 2006

Internet on mobile phone comes to Karagwe!

Passing Dr. Msalilwa's drug store yesterday evening, i stumbled upon a service i didnt think was available in Karagwe.

We currently can surf the internet on our phone here in Karagwe, if you are on a network like TIGO. Users can surf the Internet via the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) activated on their handsets. Supported handsets are Nokia 6020, Sony Ericsson, Siemens, Motoral & Panasonic. GPRS networks deliver high-speed data services to mobile phones. Users of GPRS can obtain high-speed access to 'WAP' enabled Internet websites.

They are also offering multimedia messaging service (mms), a store & forward messaging service that allows subscribers to exchange multimedia messages with other mobile subscribers. With MMS, you can transmit media types such as text, pictures, audio, video or combinations of the above.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bandwidth management book free for download!!

Below is the text as posted by Peter Kremer on telecentre.org blogs,


The BMO Book Sprint Team is pleased to announce the release of the new free book, “How To Accelerate Your Internet: A practical guide to Bandwidth Management and Optimization using Open Source Software”.

The book was released in October 2006 under a Creative Commons license, and was written in an effort to help network architects understand and troubleshoot problems with managing Internet bandwidth, which often result in unnecessarily high operational costs in the developing world. Network connections are very expensive in most parts of the world, and it is often costly and difficult to add additional network capacity. Therefore, effective management and optimization of bandwidth is crucial.

Research and education benefit significantly from Internet resources, yet the majority of institutions take little or no action to manage their bandwidth usage. This waste results in high operating costs, slow network connections, and frustrated network users. The goal of the book is to provide practical information on how to gain the largest possible benefit from your connection to the Internet.

By prioritizing certain kinds of network activity, reducing the impact of spam and viruses, providing local content caching, and performing extensive monitoring and analysis of network usage, Internet consumption can be brought to manageable levels. This makes it possible to provide equitable access for all users, even when the available bandwidth is quite small. But technical solutions only solve part of the problem. In order to prioritize network traffic, an organization needs to have a clear idea of the intended purpose of the network connection, as well as insight into how the connection is being used.

The book addresses this complex topic by covering the three major components of effective bandwidth management: Effective policy, extensive monitoring & analysis, and solid network implementation. In addition, troubleshooting techniques, advanced performance tuning tips and tricks, and real-world case studies are also provided. The Book Sprint began with online correspondence via email, which led to an initial face-to-face meeting of bandwidth management experts from around the world in May 2006. Intense online collaboration followed over the next few months, which then culminated in the production of the 300 page printed book, as well as a PDF and HTML version. The book was sponsored by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (http://inasp.info/), and was produced in association with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (http://www.ictp.it/), Aidworld (http://www.aidworld.org/), and Hacker Friendly LLC (http://hackerfriendly.com/). By releasing this work under a Creative Commons license, the Book Sprint Team hopes to disseminate it as widely as possible, bringing this information into the hands of people who need it most.

The book can be downloaded for free, or a printed copy may be purchased at the book’s website: http://bwmo.net/download.html
enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

EA-TLF 5 - 7th oct...

Last we attended the East Africa Telecentre Leader's Forum (EATLF), which was hosted at Ridar hotel, situated in Seeta - Kampala, from the 5th - 7th oct '06. The workshop brought togather participants from all over East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania); Rwanda & Burundi. We had participants from other areas around the world including Mark Surman, telecentre.org (Canada); Meddie Mayanja, idrc.org (Canada); Muki hansteen, intel.com (US); Libby Linn, microsoft.com (US); Peter Cranstan, (OKN - UK)

The workshop was a great way to talk about the different technologies at our disposal, especially for rural telecentres. Technologies like wireless were mentioned. A case in point was the recently setup 8km wireless link to a secondary school at FADECO, Karagwe district, Tanzania
Many participants expressed ethusiasm at having wireless connections in their communities. For many, it was the first time to hear of accessing internet via a wireless connection.

Among the resolutions, was a general concesus to have a big wireless workshop in either Kampala or kayanga. During the workshop, participants would be educated more on how wireless can cut down on bandwidth costs, earn some income for the telecentre, create more employment, have more rural people access internet etc.

The full report of the workshop will soon be posted on the ugabytes website, http://www.ugabytes.org/

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

8km wireles link to secondary school launched!

Afternoon of tuesday 3rd oct '06, found us at the karagwe secondary school. We set about getting computers & everything else ready for an audio/video conference with friends in europe and the US. We planned to have a conference with Martin junginger & Peter Kremer (netherlands), Joseph croskey (US), lilian njogu (kenya) ...

Martin at utretch university, was the first to address the students. He talked about his place of work, utretch university employing about 2,000 people with over 20,000 students. He also talked to the students about the usefulness of using computers and the Internet among which was: email, research, report writing, chatting & free voip calls just like the one we were conducting :) Martin was able to also view the pictures of the students & everybody present using the webcam we had set up.

Peter later signed in and he too gave an inspiration to the students on the use of computers & the internet. He was also able to view the live webcam transmission from the school.

The headteacher promised to have every student get an email address before they completed their stay at the school. He also gave a short demonstration of the popular google search engine, how to get answers to student questions, etc.

In all the students expressed happiness at being able to finally have internet at their school and currently they are to have access to it in the school library and the computer laboratory under supervision of the librarian & computer teacher respectively.



John (with headphones) & Joseph conducting the audio/video conference with Martin & Peter in Holland. Behind are the students & teachers very listening on the replies beamed over on the big speaker.

More pics, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjohnah/

karibu sana

:-)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

8km wireless link working - finally up!!!

The computer teacher, Kaungya mujuni, at karagwe secondary school taking in the moment of having internet on his computer. He is happy to finally be able to explore the net in the school's computer lab.

The headteacher, joseph kabalimu, could not quite believe that he was accessing his hotmail box from the comfort of his office, he had to adjust his contact lenses for a closer view.


Now recognising his hotmail inbox, he gets down to work on the urgent emails requiring his attention.




Well, having gone through a series of opening different websites, he was happy it was working fine after all. The speed was much better than what most internet cafes have around here in kayanga. Here is that "grateful" handshake from the headteacher - notice the satisfied smile on his face :o)



more pics can be viewed here, http://www.flickr.com/photos/kjohnah/

enjoy & dont forget to leave comments

:o)

Using netstumbler - very handy networking tool!

Using netstumbler to find the best location of the wireless with my personally made omni :) A lovely feeling i should seeing using it to collect an abundant signal, 8km away!!

Students below very eager to have the Internet working at their school. Well, i should say they were really supportive especially when you need someone to pass you a screw driver, ladder... but their endless inquisitive questions can also easily take away your much desired concentration!!