The contrast between rural and urban areas in Malawi is huge. I remember an article I read (probably The Nation or The Daily Times) during my last stay, on how people in a remote village in the northern region near Rumphi can get reception for their mobile phones if they climb a certain ant hill. There was a photo of a group of people with a solar panel. And somebody was quoted as saying how this is improving communication with family members all over the world.
(BTW, if anybody in Malawi remembers this article and has access to the archives, I’d appreciate a digital copy. Should be an issue in Feb or March 2007… i’m asking for the impossible)
Fellow blogger Mlle. A. pointed out that this kind of discussion isn’t new.
A couple of days ago she sent in an article by Ann Blair on “Reading Strategies for Coping with Information Overload ca. 1550-1700” published in 2003 in the Journal of the History of Ideas.
As more and more books were published, academics worried about keeping up: they discussed the effects of reading manuals and encyclopedias or reading “only in parts”. And discussed strategies to classify information, added indexes and used cut and paste to arrange the information they received.
Blogging isn’t new either:
“Reading is useless, vain and silly when no writing is involved, unless you are reading (devotionally) Thomas a Kempis or some such. Although I would not want even that kind of reading to be devoid of all note taking.”
Running didn’t go well today. I was totally demotivated. Although I’ve been training regularly all summer, I was slow and running behind the group. After about 45 or 50 minutes I slumped in a deep dark “not motivated” hole. And knowing the route didn’t help much either, ‘cos it demotivated me even further.
The newness of my MacBook is decreasing rapidly. I’ve installed GIMP (works nice and zippy), GraphicConverter (useful for quick resizing of images), TextWrangler (an editor), MS Office 2004 (although I’m considering to install NeoOffice and use MS Office via Parallels only).
I had a look at the websites of Scribus and Inkscape, but I think I’ll wait before installing them.
I’ve installed the Subversion command line client and a little plugin (aargh, can’t remember the name) that allows you to upload and commit files from the finder. I didn’t like SvnX much.
I like the size of my MacBook. Much easier to lug around. Quicksilver is very useful.
Here are some quick notes on installing a CVS client on my MacBook (for my own future reference):
Install CVS, if you haven’t done so already. It’s part of the Apple developer tools on Mac OS X Install Disc 1 called XcodeTools. To test if it’s installed, open Terminal and type cvs to get a typical Unix app welcome screen.
Install a GUI for CVS. I’m trying out CVL which is available for download here.
Select Tools > Repositories. Click New… and add your CVS repository details.
Click Modules to see all CVS modules available to you.
Click Checkout… to get a local copy of the CVS files.
Ã ¨ voila. A console window shows the files being checked out to your hard disk. Work Area shows you an overview of the new or modified files.
Disclaimer: I’m a low and humble content developer and use CVS and Subversion for versioning at my day job. If I get something very wrong or if you have useful tips, please leave a comment. I’m moving from Windows to Mac and documenting my experience.
Regarding version control:
I used an older version of Visual Sourcesafe a couple of years ago and IMHO, CVS and Subversion are easier to use once you’ve got past the install hurdle. Subversion’s next on my install list.
SSH is pre-installed on the Mac: Open Terminal and type ssh followed by your username@hostname.
Here’s my comment I submitted a couple of minutes ago at Climb to the Stars on Most People Are Multilingual (cos I’m not sure if my comment wasn’t gobbled):
In southern Africa (Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, SA) most people are multi-lingual with varying levels of language competency in at least 3 languages.
For example in Malawi, children learn English and Chichewa from the first class onwards. Their mother tongue being Chitumbuka or Chisena or Chilomwe. At secondary school level, nearly all subjects are taught in English.
My new MacBook arrived last Monday. And I’ve started installing software and exploring. Slowly. A new laptop is like getting a new exercise book at school. An empty book equals an empty hard disk. And a new operating system is a new learning experience.
Software installed so far:
Firefox and Thunderbird
The latest version of Safari
Quicksilver – looks like a really powerful tool. There’s a whole series of articles at Lifehacker.
Parallels and MS Office 2000 for Windows
Canon digicam software – ImageBrowser, EOS Utility, CameraWindow
Flickr Uploadr – I’m missing some kind of integration into a file viewer and the possibility to rotate imgs before uploading them. Any tips regarding a photo viewer with integrated Flickr upload functionality? Would be cool if I could use Flickr upload functions in an image browser. What are you using?
And here’s the list that I’ll still need to add:
Subversion and CVS tools
GraphicConverter (by Lemke Software)
MAMP or XAMP for Mac (see also this thread at Metablog.ch)
I found some useful articles at Tao of Mac, which I’d like to share:
Capital FM is uploading its daily morning show to the web:
The only early morning radio show in Malawi with a complete range of the latest news, views and interviews from across the country. You can now listen to daily recordings of Daybreak Malawi Online and keep abreast with what is going on in Malawi.
I started reading “The new rules of Marketing and PR” yesterday, and I like it. I’m at Chapter 3, and so far it’s a good summary of things I’ve discovered. Reinforcing experiences which I’ve been calling Low Budget Internet Marketing.
A couple of notes:
Today’s search engine setup means you can reach buyers directly.
One-way interruption advertising is over.
Good content will help buyers decide. There’s people like you and me that do their own research and consider a decision over a period of time before buying.
There’s a “long tail” effect for news announcements as well.
The lines between PR and marketing are blurry.
Meerman’s right about the way consumers and buyers do their own research, ignoring the advertising to a large extent. And evaluating on their own. Take me as an example: I’m in the marketplace looking for an entry-level DSLR and I’m reading review sites, asking questions, watching the news and prices.
(Yes. My evaluation process is long. And I overdo it sometimes. But then I’ve been working in IT for the past 9-10 years. 6 months minimum.)
The Learning Effect of Blogging:
There’s one effect I’d like to highlight: by setting up my own blog, posting short tumble blog-like entries, and keeping track of a couple of marketing bloggers, the new rules aren’t that new to me. Blogging is a great way to learn. Instead of watching from the sidelines, my advice is to dive in.
I’ll try to post a summary as I go along… Mlle. A. is reading the same book. Between the two of us, we’ll get some two-way discussion going. Feel free to join us.