I couldn't agree more with Mr. Morrison that context is the key to
understanding any proposed assistance or development -- technologically
based and otherwise. I've in no way suggested that Mr. Grant's proposed
design is suitable for _all_ applications in all contexts, any more than
I would dismiss Mr. Morrison's DOS / laptop-based solution because it
doesn't provide enough functionality for schools or telecenters.

Mr. Grant's design has the potential to provide value for networked
computer installations in low-infrastructure environments. I encourage
him to develop it on that basis and for those contexts -- I suggest as
well that as a first step he work closely with organizations and
individuals in his prospective user base to be sure that he's addressing
their needs in terms of ease-of-use and functionality.

With regard to Linux implementations and free software, again it's a
question of context, as well as capacity, and also a question of future
contexts and capacities. Linux may well not be an effective solution in
all development contexts, or even in many of them, at present. But we
are, I hope, building a future in which infrastructure is enhanced
through sustainable means, and local technical capacities are enhanced
as well.

(And I'm aware of situations in which new, donated desktop computers
have lain in the warehouse for months simply because the manufacturer's
donation didn't include a license for Windows. Why not evaluate
solutions to this problem, including Linux and alternatives such as New
Deal software?)

If I can offer a final suggestion: Mr. Grant has made it clear that he's
interested in developing software that will support socio-economic
development, and that will be freely available. If his initial design
query _isn't_ valuable, perhaps Mr. Morrison or others offer guidance
toward a project that will return greater benefits.


Edmond Gaible

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