What would *you* put on a harddrive going out to Africa?

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When I was in Kenya in July 2008 with Camara teaching people how to use Ubuntu Linux, I brought a hard drive mirror of apt with me. Over in Africa bandwidth is slow and expensive, I was able to use this apt mirror to install new software easily over in Kenya. I gave a talk at OSSBarCamp about Using Free Culture in an Internet Free World.

I’m doing it again. A friend of mine in Kenya asked for a new harddrive.  So what would you put on a harddrive going to Kenya?

I asked on the Ubuntu NGO mailing list, and got some great responses, from Ubuntu Screencasts, printer drivers, and wikipedia dumps. What else in the free culture world is there?

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16 Responses to “What would *you* put on a harddrive going out to Africa?”

  1. Ubuntu NGO Team: What would *you* put on a harddrive going out to Africa? | TuxWire : The Linux Blog Says:

    [...] is the original post:  Ubuntu NGO Team: What would *you* put on a harddrive going out to Africa? Share and [...]

  2. freedomsoftware Says:

    RIP! A remix Manifesto
    A stack of music off Jamendo

    All the restricted stuff (Nvidia / ATI drivers, Wifi drivers etc)

    • rorym Says:

      freedomsoftware –

      re: restricted stuff – I doubt it’s legal to distribute that around for free… That’s why it’s called ‘restricted’

      re: jamendo – I like the idea of Free (as in freedom) music, I’m skeptical of the value of a jamendo dump. It’s not artists people have heard before, they aren’t going to just change just cause it’s freely available.

  3. Nico Says:

    A suitcase of condoms?

    Half joking aside…

    Books.

    Books about what make the Free software culture thrive. Books about programming, books about anything that can take them to the next step.

    Teaching how to make it yourself.

    Give a fish and the poor man will eat for a day, teach him how to fish, and he will eat everyday. Or something like that better put in words by someone with more abilities than mine.

    OR maybe something in some areas more basic : flashlights, so that the kids can learn from their books after the generator has gone off.

    I’m hosting a site for a friend who used to try to distribute flashlights for that purpose. Too bad her personal life forced her to stray from that.

    http://www.givealight.org/

  4. What would *you* put on a harddrive going to Kenya? — Technomancy Says:

    [...] This post also appeared on the Ubuntu NGO Blog [...]

  5. Raphink Says:

    A full mirror of Ubuntu takes less than 1To and it’s easy to find 1To hard drives for a good price now. Do you really need to make a choice in what to take?

  6. anonymous Says:

    Sugar and maybe even the sugar liveCD.

    • rorym Says:

      I’m including the Ubuntu APT archive, which includes a sugar interface. Not the best but goes 90% of the way there.

  7. chris Says:

    We have students who come here from Africa on a scholarship. They study at our school then go back. While here, they are given a laptop. My issue is….what to load on that laptop when they leave? If I put windows on it, their computer will be useless in 6 months. These men are not savvy with what they download and such. I thot about loading them with ubuntu. what would you recommend in terms of an OS that will last and last for a student who is not up on how to keep a windows computer clean?

  8. rorym Says:

    Chris, Camara (http://www.camara.ie) has been using Ubuntu for years now with great success. Only Windows get virsus, so you don’t have to worry about someone’s laptop getting slower over time. It includes all the software people need out of the box. And it’s free to download and share around!

  9. chris Says:

    What if the student goes back to Africa with Ubuntu and never updates it?

    • rorym Says:

      Chris – Not doing updates is more of a problem on Microsoft Windows than Ubuntu. A Windows computer that isn’t updated is much more likely to be the victim of a virus, but on ubuntu you’re still safe from viruses even if you haven’t updated your computer in 3 years! The main problem out in Africa is poor internet connection which makes it hard to install new software.

      One of the things I’m sending on this computer is a backup of all the Ubuntu software (http://ubuntungo.wordpress.com/2009/11/26/what-would-you-put-on-a-harddrive-going-out-to-africa/#comment-65), this allows people to upgrade the computers we sent out earlier and to install new software. Since it’s all Free Open Source Software, I can download all this legally.

  10. How can I limit the bandwidth of apt-mirror? Drija Says:

    [...] I need to make a once off mirror of all the Ubuntu apt repository (for the record it’s because I’m sending it to Kenya (see here and here). [...]

  11. How can I limit the bandwidth of apt-mirror? - Admins Goodies Says:

    [...] I need to make a once off mirror of all the Ubuntu apt repository (for the record it’s because I’m sending it to Kenya (see here and here). [...]

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