Omo Oaiya's blog

ICT Directors Forum formed and ngREN gets new life

A committee has been formed to organize ICT matters more efficiently in the Nigerian Universities. It was formed in a World Bank/STEP-B sponsored, NUC hosted meeting for Directors of ICT in Nigerian Universities held yesterday.

The communique will no doubt be circulated by the committee shortly but attached presentation may be of interest to some as it updates on the World Bank supported initiative to contribute to the development of the Nigerian Research and Education Network .

With this, progress with Eko-Konnect - http://www.eko-konnect.org.ng and the BB4NG stakeholders meeting in July - http://www.forum.org.ng/BB4NG, it appears that the lull in the pursuit of broadband connectivity in the community is coming to an end.

What do we need in a Network lab?

If the forum has the resources, it could establish a test lab in Abuja where we can try and these things and show prove of concept ... then member universities can copy. With such a lab ... any one of us could just pop in (or it could be more organized like a week for a team of 5 ppl to come to the lab) and work on a solution and get it to the level of proof of concept.

We need to develop Mukoms idea quoted above into a full fledged concept paper/proposal complete with a budget that can be presented to the Forum secretariat. Inputs from varied sources interested in these sort of experimenting are solicited so we have as extensive a plan as possible.

Discussions would necessarily revolve around the purpose of the lab in greater detail and how this will be effected. One thought that springs to mind as I write is the need to articulate any outcomes to the larger membership who are the ultimate benefactors of any evaluations/experimentation.

WiTricity - Look Ma! Electricity without Wires!!

Researchers at MIT have figured out how to transfer power wirelessly, a technology they've dubbed "WiTricity." Potential applications for WiTricity include powering cell phones, laptops, household robots and other battery-run devices. However, before WiTricity enters the mainstream, there is still work to be done, as the group's tested device operated at only 40 percent efficiency

It was demonstrated by a team of researchers from MIT's Department of Physics, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), and was reported in Thursday's edition of Science Express, the online publication of the journal Science .

See http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/1143254/DC1

UNIJOS VC approves low-interest loan for staff to acquire HP Laptops

About 6 months ago I commented on a forum thread started by Dr Aminu Ibrahim on the preference for notebooks rather than desktops in addressing the high costs that universities face in the provision of alternate energy infrastructure required to keep their networks running.

In my post I referred to the Unijos Laptop Scheme, an initiative by the University, Datasphir Solutions and HP to provide laptops for staff at discounted rates with payments spread over a period to remove barriers to ownership. At the time, the scheme was structured so that the staff purchasing the laptop entered into an agreement directly with the bank providing the loan. My argument was that although this was a welcome development and some savings and convenience had been achieved, more was possible if the University would leverage it's clout with it's bankers and assume the responsibility of the borrower.

I have since learnt that there are guidelines that make this difficult to actualise but the fantastic news out of Jos is that the current Unijos Vice Chancellor, Prof. S.G Tyoden has actually done even better and provided funds out of the University's kitty. The funds provided by the University of Jos attract a very low interest rate to cater for administration and works out to be about a tenth of the best rate available from any bank within the industry.

UK universities love open source

Original URL: http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2006/08/04/uk_unis_loving_linux/
UK universities love open source
By John Oates
Published Friday 4th August 2006 14:59 GMT

UK colleges and universities routinely consider open source solutions to IT problems - even when official policy might not support it.

A survey of colleges and universities by the Open Source Software Advisory Service (OSS Watch) found 77 per cent regularly consider open source software during procurement even though only 25 per cent mention open source in their IT policies.

Open source software is more common on servers than on desktops, but 68 per cent of desktop computers provide the Firefox browser despite all of them having Internet Explorer.

OSS Watch manager Randy Metcalfe told the Reg: "The biggest change from our last survey (in 2003) is the success of Moodle which just wasn't on the radar last time. To reach 56 per cent in two and a half years is amazing."

Moodle is an open source course management or Virtual Learning Environment.

ITU TO ATTEND THIRD ANNUAL AFRICAN VOIP FORUM IN NIGERIA

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) will be attending the third African VoIP Forum in Lagos over 21-23 August 2006. A statement issued in London by the organisers of the VoIP Forum, AITEC Africa of the UK, has confirmed the attendance of Paolo Rosa, Head, Standards Co-operation & Communications, ITU-T, Switzerland, as one of the high-level speakers for the event.

Nigeria's chief Regulator, Engineer Ernest Ndukwe, will be making a keynote address at the event which is expected to be opened by the Honourable Minister of Communications, Chief Cornelius Adebayo. Another keynote speaker at the high-profile event is the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem.

The VoIP Forum is being supported by the African ISP Association (www.afrispa.org), ISP Association of Nigeria (www.ispan.org.ng), the Nigeria Internet Group (www.nig.org.ng), and the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), giving it an impressive stamp of endorsement by the ICT industry.

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