Re: [GKD] RFI: Computer Donations To The Third World

2003-06-21 Thread Larry Njungu
To My learned, advanced and updated colleagues on this forum.

It is not my intention to divert the current discussions or even to draw
you back on issues that you may have already probably discussed in the
past.

I still get back to the first issue I earlier raised on procurement of
the so called donated computers, particularly to Africa.

I received a few responses from individuals, who I thank most sincerely
for the bother. Some of these just told me to visit websites like
ComputerAid.org  WorldComputerExchange.org  Indeed I took some time and
spent some money (internet is really expensive in this part of the
world) to explore how our poor training institution can at least acquire
some of these computers, which have become so central to today's modern
life.

My findings are that it may seem so easy and a real donation in the eyes
of our colleagues in the developed world, with healthy economies, that a
donated computer only attracts about 80 British pounds from recipients.
Even then, many of these colleagues are oblivious of the exorbitant
import and other related taxes obtained in such slumped economies. This
means that apart from the 80 pounds, recipients have to pay other costs
in their own countries to finally get the so-called donated computer.

To sincerely bridge the digital divide, as shown by our many endeavors
and commitment, we must start all over again and revisit these issues
especially from the African perspective.

For instance, we can seriously lobby governments to zero rate ICT
equipment and concomitant software because of the key role they play in
life.

Many African countries seem not to appreciate ICTs as evidenced by these
taxes and other man-made inhibiting factors.

Secondly, I know the sourcing of computers and other administrative
aspects involve some costs in the developed countries. But can't this be
part of the full package donation--a culmination of well givers and
volunteers efforts.

In the meantime, can someone please help us acquire free donated
computers, in view of our training institution's position.  It is also
our desire to be part and parcel of the ICT family and contribute
positively to the development of our country.


Lawrence

Zambia




***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
Archives of previous GKD messages can be found at:
http://www.edc.org/GLG/gkd/


Re: [GKD] RFI: Computer Donations To The Third World

2003-06-21 Thread John Hibbs
I have been down this used p.c. road to a very great extent. In fact,
I spent several days in the Chicago area with a first class outfit that
supplies good used p.c.'s to the Illinois school system. They come
licensed by Microsoft with a later Windows 2000 o.s. and a monitor for
about $150. FOB Chicago. For some small amounts they will load some
browsers and some free stuff (real audio, Star office.)

All that sounds good until arrival when the units have the usual
problems - plus. Each one is slightly different that the other, so when
there is a problem it is hard to diagnose a solution.

We decided that the only way these could be cheaper than some new
alternatives was if the original shipments went to a technical training
school which already was set up to handle a variety of problems. That
part of their training was to give each computer to a student and have
him or her work on it, make it run, load some software, etc. etc...even
break it down and put it back together again.

So, if on arrival these come into a facility where there are parts,
inventory controls, skilled individuals who will work as part of their
education, then used p.c.'s may well be a good solution. But just
because the starting price is $300. less than new, doesn't mean, in
the end, the $150. unit is cheaper.

(Oh, they would ship you as is computers for about $30. each...we had
long discussions about that and absolutely decided the $120. of value
they added was cheap.

They are real nice guys by the way. You can contact


Willie Cade
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
or Frank Goetz
[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Shucks...I can't get their URL to work.

John Hibbs
[EMAIL PROTECTED]
www.bfranklin.edu




***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
Archives of previous GKD messages can be found at:
http://www.edc.org/GLG/gkd/


Re: [GKD] RFI: Computer Donations To The Third World

2003-06-21 Thread Guido Sohne
I was in a thread elsewhere that discussed this same issue and I also
thought that shipping used PCs makes perfect sense. The problem is the
actual cost of the used PCs when other overheads are taken into account.
Appended is an excerpt from an email I wrote concerning this:-


I've done a little research to put this issue in perspective ... The
website of the World Computer Exchange claims that:

WCE has shipped 6,434 computers in 21 shipments worth $1,931,200 to
connect 784 schools with 306,200 students in the following 15 countries:
Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Georgia, Guatemala, India, Kenya,
Lithuania, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

I pulled out a calculator and assessed the above figures.

It works out to about $300 per PC. 21 shipments implies that there are
306 PCs per shipment. Seperately, it was mentioned that it costs $20,000
per container to ship the PCs over which works out to $65 per PC.

With those figures, it appears that shipping Walmart PCs at a cost of
$65/PC (assuming it costs the same to ship them as the used PCs) on top
of the *retail* price of $199 is still below the cost of shipping the
used PCs.

--
Guido Sohne[EMAIL PROTECTED]
At Large  http://sohne.net
--
A master was asked the question, What is the Way? by a curious monk.
It is right before your eyes, said the master.

Why do I not see it for myself?  Because you are thinking of
yourself.  What about you: do you see it?

So long as you see double, saying 'I don't', and 'you do', and so on,
your eyes are clouded, said the master.

When there is neither 'I' nor 'You', can one see it?

When there is neither 'I' nor 'You', who is the one that wants to see
it?




***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
Archives of previous GKD messages can be found at:
http://www.edc.org/GLG/gkd/


[GKD] Patent Vote Fails Europe's Software Programmers

2003-06-21 Thread Frederick Noronha (FN)
Thanks to Lawrence Liang [EMAIL PROTECTED] for routing this. FN

http://www.greens-efa.org/en/press/detail.php?id=1445lg=en



Bruxelles/Brussel, 17 June 2003,

Patent vote fails Europe's software programmers

Unlimited patents will be disastrous for the European software industry
and SMEs

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament today adopted a
report that allows for the unlimited patenting of software which will,
in one swoop, entrench the market dominance of multinational companies,
force small software firms out of business and bring to an end the
European free software movement.

With precise briefing from the Commission - where the bureaucrat
responsible is a former employee of the UK patents office, and by the
European Patent Office (EPO) - which pockets money on every patent it
grants, the rapporteur, British socialist Arlene McCarthy, has defended
a confused report that is full of contradictions. In doing this she has
a strong backing from Conservatives but fierce criticism from her own
political group.

UK and German MEPs, in rejecting amendments to the report, have ignored
the opinions of the Economic and Social Council, the Industry committee,
the Culture committee, 140,000 people and 30 leading software scientists
who signed two petitions to the Parliament, as well as the 95% of the
European citizens who took part in a European Commission public
consultation.

The EPO has been illegally granting patents for computer programs for
two decades. This practise completely contradicts the Munich convention,
which in 1973 established the EPO and decided that computer programs and
other rules of organisation and calculation were not patentable
inventions under European law.

Dany Cohn-Bendit MEP (Greens - Fr) Co-president of the Greens/EFA group
and chairman of a conference earlier this year on software patents and
SMEs, said: This patent report is an insult even to the principle of
free trade. Pretending to protect inventors and their inventions, it
instead allows multinationals to lock up the market.

Mercedes Echerer MEP (Greens - A), member of the Culture Committee,
said: It is truly regrettable that some of my colleagues are so
confused about the nature of information technology. Ideas and
algorithms are already protected under copyright. A computer program, on
the other hand, is like a kitchen recipe - all that is needed is a
pencil and paper to write it down. Patents already protect technical
inventions - there is no reason to extended them to cover software.

This legalisation, as it stands, represents the death of the European
software industry, and the death of the free and open-source software
industry which, by more than a coincidence, is primarily a European
sector. If implemented, it would conclude the transfer of our
data-processing control to the US. You can be sure that the report will
have a very bumpy ride when it goes to plenary in September with one
third of committee members in opposition.

Neil McCormick MEP (EFA - Scotland), member of the Legal Affairs and
Internal Market Committee, said: This is a matter of great public
concern. It is important to give incentives to inventions, but this does
not and should not cover the essentially logical and mathematical work
of software development. There is a real danger that legal development
of the kind favoured by the majority in the Legal Affairs Committee will
hinder innovative development by small firms, not protect it.


For further press information:
Helmut Weixler
Head of Press Office
The Greens in the European Parliament
Tel: (Bxl) +32 2 2844683
phone: 0032 475 671 340
fax: 0032 2 2844944
mobile phone: 0032-475-67 13 40
[EMAIL PROTECTED]


THE GREENS/EFA in the European Parliament
-- 
-
Frederick Noronha (FN)| http://www.fredericknoronha.net
Freelance Journalist  | http://www.bytesforall.org
http://goalinks.pitas.com | http://joingoanet.shorturl.com
http://linuxinindia.pitas.com | http://www.livejournal.com/users/goalinks
-
T: 0091.832.2409490 or 2409783 M: 0 9822 122436
-



***GKD is solely supported by EDC, a Non-Profit Organization***
To post a message, send it to: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To subscribe or unsubscribe, send a message to:
[EMAIL PROTECTED]. In the 1st line of the message type:
subscribe gkd OR type: unsubscribe gkd
Archives of previous GKD messages can be found at:
http://www.edc.org/GLG/gkd/