Free software

Playing games with computer education: ArabDev’s Menia initiatives

GOA, INDIA 27 July 2006 (FN for APCNews)

Gaming is very popular with the children and youth. So what better way is there to introduce computing and free and open source software (FOSS) to kids, than through fun didactic software?

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Summary page of Drupal's main features

GOA, INDIA 4 June 2006 (FN for APCNews)

Some of Drupal’s features include multi-user editing, an advocacy component, flexibility and configurability, multi-lingual support, a strong and dedicated developer community, as well as a vibrant community of users.

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From theorising about the media to coalition building around free software

DHAKA, BANGLADESH 19 May 2006 (FN)

The Foundation for Media Alternatives was one of the groups that pushed to have a community-focussed track at the latest Linux World Philippines. The programme listed themes like free and open source software in government, health and education. The FMA then helped create an open coalition. More recently, this APC member has also backed up a bid to set up a regional node of the International Open Source Network.

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The software challenge? How to popularise Indic solutions with users

DHAKA, BANGLADESH 18 May 2006 (FN)

Indian language computing solutions in free/libre and open source software is "doing fine" but needs better documenting and packaging. It also needs to find sufficient numbers of users. There is a lot of potential for regional, cross-country cooperation in this field in South Asia, a region in urgent need of solutions to its computing challenges. This interview with Sarai.net, the Delhi-based new media initiative, also self-defined as a "space for research, practice and conversation about the contemporary media and urban constellations", explores these challenges.

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A computer for Africa, will it work?

KADUNA, NIGERIA 24 March 2006 (FN)

A computer that’s encased in wood to resist tropical temperatures and consumes thirty times less electricity than the standard PC? The “Solo” a unique computer that fights rural Africa’s heat, dust and unreliable power supply is being tested in Nigeria and will be ready for commercial production shortly. APCNews interviews Ochuko Onoberhie, a technician from APC member the Fantsuam Foundation, responsible for testing the Solo.

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APC members see FOSS as route to building skills, sharing knowledge

GOA, INDIA 27 February 2006 (APCNews)

APC member-organisations, who responded to a survey, see free/libre and open source software (FOSS) as an opportunity to learn new skills and share knowledge. They also see non-proprietary software as an "important form of co-operation" or being capable of "reducing desktop costs".

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FOSS breaks many walls... but not among the genders?

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS 26 February 2006 (Yuwei Lin)

FOSS, or free/libre and open source software, has dramatically changed the way software is produced, distributed, supported and used. It has a visible impact on enabling a richer social inclusion. But how has it allowed the gender problem existing in the software industry to be replicated in the world of FOSS? Amsterdam-based Taiwanese researcher Yuwei Lin lists seven reasons why women stay off FOSS — including its strong long-hour coding culture, a lack of mentors and role-models, discriminatory language (including in documentation), a gendered text-based environment, a lack of women-centered views in FOSS-development, a male-dominated competitive worldview, and the lack of sympathy from woman peers.

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Share your experiences of shifting to FOSS, says Shuttleworth

MANILA, PHILIPPINES 22 February 2006 (Cheekay Cinco)

As part of his Asian tour to promote free/libre and open source software (FOSS), the techie-millionaire founder of the Ubuntu Linux Foundation Mark Shuttleworth spent a day in Manila on February 2 to meet with different sectors of the ICT industry in the country.

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Khmer software initiative: an APC member takes language solutions to 13 million

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA 31 January 2006 (Javier Sola)

"2005 has been a good year for KhmerOS, and, we hope, for Cambodia’s technological future," says APC member Open Forum Cambodia, writing out of the southeast Asian kingdom of 13 million. Here’s an update of their project to create a Khmer-language solution in computing.

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Africa Source II makes befriending FOSS a real treat

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA 24 January 2006 (Elizabeth Araujo)

Women’sNet’s training co-ordinator Elizabeth "Liz" Araujo writes that the recent Africa Source 2 event was set "against a beautiful Lake Victoria island backdrop, replete with sandy beaches, and fishing boats", and turned out to be a "smashing success". Held from January 8-15, 2006, the skills-packed practical workshop was aimed at introducing and exploring free/libre and open source software (FOSS) for non-profit organisations and local African communities. She says that what made this camp radically different from other technology-focused workshops was the almost natural seeming integration of novice, occasional user and high-end techie.

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