Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ubuntu ?

Last year when we visited Kigoma Tanzania on a service trip. Bro. Stan a Brother of Charity spoke frankly about their need. He spoke about the need for books lots of them especially in areas like social work and nursing and education. He spoke about the need for computers and information systems that could connect Kigoma to Libraries and give the people there access to good professional journals.

He requested that we send them a shipping container filled with these essentials. I have to admit the project seems stalled. There is a committee and interest but we just can't seem to get beyond stage one. It is frustrating for me I am sure it is also frustrating for Bro. Stan.

I have to say though that we made just a little progress this weekend. CUA buys new computers every year. The hardware requirements of Windows just keep growing and sometimes a hard drive or a mother board or something goes bad. The university has give us access to all of the used computers some are in really good shape, and we have been trying to figure out how we could use them. We don't have the money to provide Microsoft liscenses for all of these machines but we have explored open source operating systems. These are programs that people work on together and provide free of charge. These last two days I have been "playing" perhaps "fighting" is a better word with Ubuntu it is a free linux based operating system with which runs Open Office a Microsoft Office clone. It is really stable and did I mention it is free and viruses are not really a big issue for linux based machines. This is huge because it brings us a small step closer to reconditioningthe best of those used computers and sending them to places that could really use them.

Right now I am typing this on a Intrepid Ibex machine (that the name for version (8.10 of Ubuntu)

We shall see.... If anyone one knows anything about Ubuntu and wants to help let me know.


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