Computer in Uganda

Unfortunately this article, “Computer in Uganda” is only available in German. You can try to use Google Translate to get a version suitable for you.

LUG Uganda – Python + AppEngine

After the monthly meeting of the Linux User Group (LUG) Mbarara, there was another meeting on 23. July. A coorporate meeting of all three LUG groups here in Uganda, with Google.

After many weeks of preparation on the Uganda LUG mailing list, many phone calls and a lot of worries, I, who is living 5 hours away from the capital city, to get up at 4:00 am, At 5:00 am, the LUG Mbarara met to drive to Kampala with a hired coaster.

Shortly after 1:00 pm, the time, whe wo wanted to start, we arrived at Makerere university. The traffic jam and the security checks with full body checks made us arrive a bit late. The bulk waiting for us was huge.

Fortunately, I just bypassed the waiting crowd to discuss the last details. The rest from Mbarara had, at least, priority to chose places at one of the 100 Ubuntu Thin Clients. Unfortunately the others were not so lucky. After the room was overcrowded with 160 people, we had to close the doors. Some other 50 interested people could not enter anymore. Worse Luck.

After some introductiory speeches about the Linux User Group Uganda, FOSS software, our partners,  Hackers for Charity, S7 Labs, Apps4Africa and Google, the real program started.

John Chamberlain held a 2 hours introduction to python. In front of 160 people something not really easy. After using the interactive python shell, some calculations and a “hello world” programme, a game got programmed, where the player has to guess a numbre between 1 and 100. The computer then answers smaller or bigger, depending on nuber that the computer generated randomly before.

Afterwards Richard Ngamita showed the Goole App Engine. Web programs based on Python, that are hosted by Google and build on an Google frameword, what promises scalable and always available programs. There is no need to connect to a database, this is automatically done, by the Google API. The To-Do list, that was created in the presentation, is really slim. You only need to know all the API commands. Unfortunately my list was on of the few, that were running in the end.

In the meantime, Daniel Stern had his UConnect truck build up, to be stared at after the presentations.

The great end of the day was the after party in the Google offices in Kampala. A nice office with an nice view on the glowing city in the evening. Although the pizzas were gone even faster as the places at the workstations before, the evening was really great.

More pictures, reviews and some videos are available on the official event page:

Linuxoutlaws – LUG Mbarara

I knew, that the city where I am living right now is a good tongue twister. I did not expect, that this would be a funny thing in a well known (I did not know it actually) linux podcast.

Not to beat around the bush: Listen to episode 152 of Linuxoutlaws and cock your ears at 1:22:14. They mention the next meeting of the Linux User Group Mbarara then.

The podcast is available as a Mp3 or Ogg file.

First Meeting LUG Mbarara

Yesterday we had the first meeting of the Linux User Group Mbarara. We met in the Computer-Lab of Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) and about 40 people attended this first meeting. Most were students of MUST, but there were as well some from the outside (as me for example).

The first topic was my presentation (Pdf, Xetex), introducing Linux and especially Ubuntu.

Then we discussed what settings would be appropriate for the LUG Mbarara. Here is the result:

We will meet once in a month (at a Friday 5pm), and until somebody has a better idea, we will meet somewhere at MUST. Next meeting will be on Friday 18. June 5:00 pm.

The Ubuntu 10.04 CDs, I gave out for fee, were sold like hotcakes. It was amazing. Quite a lot of the students had already some experience with Linux. I did not expect it to be like this. And some also came with their laptops to get a problem fixed. The mainly used Linux distribution there was the Ultimate Edition a distribution I had never heard about before.

Unfortunately I could not make so many pictures as I was giving the presentation myself.

Thanks everybody who was involved in the planning for this meeting for the great work you have done. As I arrived, I just connected my laptop and we started. Special thanks to Robert from MUST for setting up the place, Thomas for his input for my presentation and the help during the event and Simon and Kyle for inspiring me.  😉

I am looking forward to the next meeting because I think it will be a benefit for all of us. I hope I could make some advertisement for Free Software and Linux especially. And at least I had a lot of fun.