The Complexity of Development Aid
Tuesday November 29th 2005, 22:22h
Filed under: Development Cooperation

Picture of the movie Darwin's NightmareSome weeks ago we went watching the movie “Darwin’s Nightmare”, a very striking documental picture, winner of various awards. It reports about the horrible situation in Tansania and around the Victoria Lake how fishing industry exploits people and destroys the environment - only for granting us Europeans nice meals of Nile Perch. Now tonight my friend Stefan Kreis pointed out an interesting critic about the movie picture which disagrees with fundamental issues of the documentary. I think this film and its discussion show once more how complex issues about development aid and politics really are.

Happy Birthday puzzle itc!
Thursday November 24th 2005, 23:34h
Filed under: Linux

It’s great to hear there are still innovative and successful Open Source IT companies in Bern. Today the nice team joined the 5th anniversary of puzzle itc and enjoyed a great apero after the movie “OSS Revolution” in the art gallery of Bern (cool place for such things!). As the picture of the presentation shows the young company is ambitious to be soon the fourth piece of the global dotcom puzzle, so good luck for the next 5 years!

Mark Waber presenting puzzle itc among the Big Three
The nice team Emanuel Indermühle, Pascal Zumkehr (only nice today ;) and me

Paper for Open Source Jahrbuch 2006 finished
Wednesday November 23rd 2005, 11:20h
Filed under: Research

After two months of writing, restructuring and reviewing Prof. Thomas Myrach and I finally finished a summarized article (PDF, 240 kB, in German) about my master thesis to be published in the Open Source Jahrbuch 2006. Now I hope the reviewers there don’t bother about the 1500 words the text is too long…
PS: Many thanks also to my father Ekkehard Stürmer who patiently reviewed all my writings.

Open source and developing countries
Tuesday November 15th 2005, 23:07h
Filed under: Development Cooperation, Education, FLOSS

The Indian government is funding an initiative to distribute free CDs containing open-source software. Around 3.5 million CDs of Tamil-language versions of open-source applications and 3.5 million Hindi-language CDs containing have already been sent out. There are plans to distribute software translated into all 22 official languages of India.

Full article at CNET

And speaking about ICT for developing countries:

The MIT Media Lab has launched a new research initiative to develop a $100 laptop—a technology that could revolutionize how we educate the world’s children. To achieve this goal, a new, non-profit association, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), has been created.

MIT Media Lab $100 Laptop Website

Visiting the MSF Refugee Camp in Zürich
Tuesday November 08th 2005, 16:59h
Filed under: Development Cooperation

This noon I went with the team of TearFund Switzerland visiting the Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) Refugee Camp which they rebuilt in a fabric hall in Zürich. The guided exposition is still open until November 27. It was very impressive seeing original development aid equipment like vaccination tents, mobile toilets and cholera treatment installation. The BP-5 food tasted not bad but when I imagine eating this standardized 2500 calories wheat-grass first aid food package every day I don’t know if I wouldn’t prefer a little bit of rice once in a while… And once again: landmines ARE the horror…

Medecins Sans Frontiers doctor explaining how to measure lack of food of childrens
The famous BP-5 food package, corresponding the daily need of calories of an adult
A colorful landmine mockup, especially nice looking so children go play with them as the guide explained With this arm band malnutrition of 5-year-olds can be measured quickly<

The German Ubuntu 5.10 User Manual
Friday November 04th 2005, 11:47h
Filed under: Ubuntu

It’s really a great job Marcus Fischer accomplishes: writing a now 219 pages high quality and completely updated Ubuntu 5.10 German User Manual free for download! And new releases will follow soon. (Remark of the author: Please pay attention to environmental aspects and print the manual economically)

Patrice Neff continuing work in Peru
Tuesday November 01st 2005, 0:38h
Filed under: Education, Lima, Linux

I’m happy to hear that Patrice Neff arrived well in Lima after learning Spanish for one month in Arequipa, Peru. He’s starting this week the second stage of Open Source Software introduction in the Diego Thomson teacher’s seminary where I worked this year for already three months. First Patrice will improve the Linux server of the school which handles all students accounts including a home directory mount for everyone. Later on he’s going to work on the sillabus of the computer science education preparing the Linux course material among other activities. I’m excieted to read on Patrice’s blog how his work advances. Last week I was happy to hear from the Leopold Bachmann Stiftung in Switzerland that they’ll support the project again with USD 5000!