Hardware

Lessons Learned in Shipping ICT to Africa: LCD's are TV's and Keyboards are Musical Instruments

At Inveneo, we've learned the hard way that getting information and communication technology equipment to different countries in Africa can be a challenge, but even we are surprised some days. Here's an email we received from one of our Inveneo Certified ICT Partners about a recent shipment of computers:

Guess Who Sells The Most Laptops in Nigeria?

If you think the answer to, "Who sells the most laptops in Nigeria?" is a big western brand like HP, Dell, or Toshiba, you would be wrong. You may be surprised to learn that the leading laptop sales company is the homegrown, Nigerian compnay Zinox, as IDC confirms:

The Q2 2010 IDC report posted on the company’s web site reveals that Zinox laptops are the fastest growing and best selling Notebooks in the Nigerian market.

Village Telco and OpenBTS Networks: Technology Overview and Challenges

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Village Telco and OpenBTS are different technologies but they have a lot in common. One big thing they have in common is the belief that telephone networks don't need to be run by top-down command and control organisations, that anyone with some expertise and comparatively modest resources should be able to start their own phone company.
I'll give a brief summary of both and then explain the challenges that each face.

A Short History of Low-Cost Computers: From the IBM PCjr to Simputer to OLPC

Historically, there have been numerous initiatives targeting the creation of "computers for the poor," but the quest for such devices has been an elusive one.


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Arguably, the original "low-cost PC" was IBM's PCjr, which was launched in 1983 with much fanfare, including a magazine devoted to coverage of it even before its actual release. The product led to a wave of clones, some fairly successful, including the Tandy 1000, though it did not itself succeed in the market due to design issues.
Low-cost innovation

Mobile Phone Math: ICT4D Scale in the Millions

I’ve been working or interested in the space of ICT for Development (ICT4D) for about a decade now. During this time, I’ve seen a lot of exciting changes, but nothing has been exciting or frankly paradigm shifting as the wide spread growth of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) networks and emergence of applications that leverage the now ubiquitous mobile phone to deliver services by leveraging their ability to deliver and collect data.

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Achieving limited scale, chasing sustainability

$100 Huawei Android Mobile Phone is Bringing the Netbook Revolution to Smartphones

huawei ideos smartphone
Yesterday, Huawei introduced a revolutionary Android smartphone in the Kenyan market. The tech specs for the IDEOS mobile phone will make any hardware geek drool - 2.8-inch (240x320) touch display, 528MHz processor, 3.2-megapixel camera, 16Gig memory with a microSD slot, HSDPA, Wi-Fi (802.11n), GPS, Bluetooth, and 3G Mobile Hotspot support for up to eight devices. That's hot and all, but...

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It is the $100 price that's revolutionary

NCC Wants to Track Nigerians Movements via Mobile Phones

I was attracted by the headline of a news report on 234next.com: Commission to tackle kidnapping with technology

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The spate of kidnapping in the country can be curtailed by embracing the use of telecommunications technology. The acting vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) expressed this view yesterday, following the release of the four recently abducted journalists.

Low-Cost ICT Devices for Educational Systems in the Developing World

Back at the turn of the century, education was gripped by the diffusion of amazing hand-held devices for children. These tools, at first considered an expensive and delicate novelty, soon became standard for every child in wealthy education systems and from there defused around the world to nearly every classroom.

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This is actually a description of slate tablets in the early 1800′s, but it could aptly describe the technological revolution we are seeing in education today with low-cost ICT devices.
The rise of ICT devices

Low-Cost ICT Devices for Educational Systems in the Developing World

Back at the turn of the century, education was gripped by the diffusion of amazing hand-held devices for children. These tools, at first considered an expensive and delicate novelty, soon became standard for every child in wealthy education systems and from there defused around the world to nearly every classroom.

tweetmeme_source = 'ICT_works'; Share

This is actually a description of slate tablets in the early 1800′s, but it could aptly describe the technological revolution we are seeing in education today with low-cost ICT devices.
The rise of ICT devices

Win Government Contracts with Solar Power Computing

Electrical power is an issue across Africa - or more accurately, the lack of reliable, affordable electricity is one of the greatest barriers to the adoption of information and communication technologies.
But good businessmen look at barriers and see opportunity. If rural areas lack a reliable national power grid, then develop solutions that do not need that electrical infrastructure and capture market share from technology vendors still waiting for KPLC or NEPA.

Solar Power Computing

Win Government Contracts with Solar Power Computing

Electrical power is an issue across Africa - or more accurately, the lack of reliable, affordable electricity is one of the greatest barriers to the adoption of information and communication technologies.
But good businessmen look at barriers and see opportunity. If rural areas lack a reliable national power grid, then develop solutions that do not need that electrical infrastructure and capture market share from technology vendors still waiting for KPLC or NEPA.

Solar Power Computing

Which is Better: $100 Smartphone or $15 SMS Mobile Phone?

The $100 smartphone price barrier is broken! Nokia recently announced the 2730 Classic and Synchronica released the MessagePhone. Both mobile phones will retail for $100 or less across the developing world.

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Are Solid-State Memory Drives Really Needed in Rural ICT Deployments?

Back when Geekcorps was deploying Internet connectivity to rural radio stations in Mali - literally beyond Timbuktu - we opted for solid-state drives (also called SSD or flash drives) in our custom built computers to ruggedize them. The threat of dust was just too great to use spinning media. The pervasive Saharan sand would eat regular hard drives.
But outside of this rare, harsh location, do you really need a solid-state drive?

Are Solid-State Memory Drives Really Needed in Rural ICT Deployments?

Back when Geekcorps was deploying Internet connectivity to rural radio stations in Mali - literally beyond Timbuktu - we opted for solid-state drives (also called SSD or flash drives) in our custom built computers to ruggedize them. The threat of dust was just too great to use spinning media. The pervasive Saharan sand would eat regular hard drives.
But outside of this rare, harsh location, do you really need a solid-state drive?

Are Solid-State Memory Drives Really Needed in Rural ICT Deployments?

Back when Geekcorps was deploying Internet connectivity to rural radio stations in Mali - literally beyond Timbuktu - we opted for solid-state drives (also called SSD or flash drives) in our custom built computers to ruggedize them. The threat of dust was just too great to use spinning media. The pervasive Saharan sand would eat regular hard drives.
But outside of this rare, harsh location, do you really need a solid-state drive?

How to Ship Computer Technology Equipment to Africa

If you want to send computers or other technology hardware to Africa, how do you do it? You can't just walk down the to Post Office and put a stamp on the outside of the computer box and mail it to Nigeria. Okay, so you could, but you'd have many problems.

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First, your package might make it to a regional post office in the country, but it would take ages and when it arrived, the recipient would have to pay whatever customs and duties the local postmaster thought was due on the equipment. That might work for a random present, but isn't the best way to ship equipment to Africa.

How to Ship Computer Technology Equipment to Africa

If you want to send computers or other technology hardware to Africa, how do you do it? You can't just walk down the to Post Office and put a stamp on the outside of the computer box and mail it to Nigeria. Okay, so you could, but you'd have many problems.

tweetmeme_source = 'ICT_works'; Share

First, your package might make it to a regional post office in the country, but it would take ages and when it arrived, the recipient would have to pay whatever customs and duties the local postmaster thought was due on the equipment. That might work for a random present, but isn't the best way to ship equipment to Africa.

How to Ship Computer Technology Equipment to Africa

If you want to send computers or other technology hardware to Africa, how do you do it? You can't just walk down the to Post Office and put a stamp on the outside of the computer box and mail it to Nigeria. Okay, so you could, but you'd have many problems.

tweetmeme_source = 'ICT_works'; Share

First, your package might make it to a regional post office in the country, but it would take ages and when it arrived, the recipient would have to pay whatever customs and duties the local postmaster thought was due on the equipment. That might work for a random present, but isn't the best way to ship equipment to Africa.

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