Information Technology

Presentation: The Status and Future of Mzuzu University Internet Connectivity

Over the past several months the ICT department of the Library has conducted an extensive analysis of Internet connectivity at Mzuzu University. Nkhaniyawo Nyirenda, of Mzuzu University, and Jon Saints, of The University of Arizona, will present the results of the analysis in order to educate and inform users of the Internet and influence future Internet policy decisions.

All members of staff and students and the general public are invited to attend.

Following the presentation there will a discussion session for members of staff
involved in ICT policy making.Presentation Discussion

Location: Mzuzu University Children’s Library
Date: November 24th 2006
Time: 1300 hours

Keeping Many Debian Machines Updated

There are an increasing number of Ubuntu Linux machines on the Mzuzu University campus network (DHCP, squid, iptables, email, web, and some desktops). As you all know, keeping both Windows and Linux machines up-to-date with security updates can be very bandwidth intensive. Because our 256 kb/s connection is used heavily during the day we are trying to schedule all security updates to run once at night and then have all of our client machines connect to the local repository during the day for their security updates so as not to use bandwidth while students and professors are trying to connect online.

Ungweru Community Center

I think that I have found my dream job. Directly across from Mzuzu University, down a dirt road, through a corn field you will find the Ungweru Community Center. There you will find nice 4 computers, the latest news papers, sodas and cookies for sale. Ungweru Community Center is a for-profit endeavor, started by the catholic church and the university, to offer technology classes to the public at very reasonable prices. Currently there are typing and basic computing classes (Microsoft Word and Windows XP) offered at Ungweru. I have been asked to help them begin teaching basic computer networking and internet skills... without using the internet of course!!

What is a Blog?

“Blog” is a term used to describe a specific type of website. The term “blog” comes from joining two words “web” and “log” into one. In fact, “web log” is a perfect description of what blogs truly are- online journals! Blogs are websites consisting of a series of regularly posted entries that are usually displayed on the web page in chronological order. Blogs can be written by one author, known as a blogger, or have many contributors (bloggers) writing entries about a common topic or theme. Blogs almost always encourage participation from their audiences and usually provide an easy way for readers to respond to an entry and publish their comments on the same web page.

Fulbright Research Proposal

Here is a shortened copy of the proposal I wrote for the Fulbright grant. It describes the project I will be working on while in Malawi

Overcoming the lack of access to appropriately implemented technologies in the developing world is fundamental to the problem of realizing social development. By increasing productivity and diversifying the workforce, the proper use of technology lays a vital foundation for public health, democracy and economic development. This is certainly true for the proliferation of information and communication technology (ICT). Studies by the Digital Opportunity Task Force, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank's Information Development Fund and Harvard eReadiness Project all prove that the expansion of ICT connectivity can augment social development. Building community telecenters, enhancing rural commerce via ICT-based microcredit lending, launching web-based e-commerce, using the internet to teach public health and land management in rural areas, and using email to relay commodity prices: these are among the many ICT strategies that can enable faster progress. Increasing access to technology and crossing the digital divide is not an option; it is an absolute necessity if the poorest nations are not to fall even farther behind.