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Why Techworld Code School
Posted on May 2, 2017 by Administrator
Open Source Software Zimbabwe? Techworld Code School?
originally published on facebook on July 20, 2014 at 6:46pm
The year was 1989, the place was St Augustines Mission in Penhalonga, Eastern part of Zimbabwe. A group of form one pupils took an interest in forming a computer club at the school and would often spend time playing 'Snake' and 'Hangman' on the tiny green or orange screen computers in the computer lab. When they were not playing these games they were experimenting with Basic and Pascal programming languages. Unlike now,where there is Internet and hundreds of programming languages back then there was no such thing. So you couldn't google anything and you either had to use Pascal or Basic. There were no experts to ask about how to write a Basic or Pascal programme. It was all trial and error. This experimentation led a number of these form one pupils to choose carreers in IT related fields, whilst i chose Economics.
In college between 1995-1997 i invested in a computer, a 586 processor PC to be exact. Whilst i concentrated on using its word processing power ( it was easier than programming) and of course games such as Doom, Paper boy etc, I never lost my interest in trying new things on computer. Remember there were no dongles to connect to the internet. Internet was expensive and only accessible on a few machines at the main University Library. My experience using computers at Secondary school would once again come to my aid, and i would quickly grasp concepts but never took up computer programming. I majored in Economics, but my interest in computers never died.
After college, i continued experiementing with computers and in 2011 i opened my very own business,Techworld Internet Cafe, with one aim, to offer people an opportunity to use the internet and print and copy their documents, right in the heart of Harare. This would mark the beginning of my appreacition of Open Source Software. A friend of mine had introduced me to Linux Ubuntu a few years back around 2005/06 to be exact. I installed it on an old machine and began to experiement with its command line interface. Soon i moved on to learning about how to install a server and as the internet became more and more available i did more and more new things. I googled my way out of problems and soon discovered that there were a lot of forums and dedicated websites with tonnes of information on how to build a server, how to secure it and how to build your own website.
My first website was outsourced. I moved on to Google apps and each time i moved up to more complicated things I soon discovered that it was not all that hard to build a functional website. Today i have a few websites under my belt and have successfully configured a server both locally and in the cloud. My internet cafe runs different flavours of Ubuntu but we have settled for #Peppermint Linux OS, due to its ease of use. Many people who used our Linux Systems were often intimidated at first because it was alien to them, but as they continued to use it they realised that it was not very different from Windows and soon fell in love with it.
Unlike some Internet cafes were downloading to flash is not allowed, due to fears of viruses, at Techworld Internet Cafe we allow downloads to flash . All our business applications such as the point of sale, customer relationship management software etc are all open source. In 2014, i realised that i had learnt learnt a lot on my own spare time and starting this page was a no brainer. I wanted to share my knowledge and help others benefit from the use of Open Source Software in Zimbabwe. Our business has few employees and there are many business like ours who still rely on manual systems to run many aspects of their businesses yet could be using free solutions to improve their processes and systems, without breaking the bank!
There is plenty of information on Open Source Software online. Sifting through whats useful or applicable to your own situation can be a duanting task. This is one of the reasons this page was started. To share relevant information that is usable. Since Zimbabwe has many upcoming programmers, I also thought it would be useful to point these programmers into areas that i think would benefit Zimbabweans the most if certain Open Source solutions are adapted to local situations. I hope you can help spread the word and help me make my dream of seeing a Zimbabwe that is using Open Source Software to better our lives. You can help by doing the following:
- Sharing http://www.facebook.com/openzimbabwe and leaving your comments
- Visiting Techworld Code School and leaving your comments
- Following us on twitter @OpenZw and @TechWorldCafe @hararehub
- Sharing your own experiences with Open Source Software on our facebook page
- Visiting Techworld Internet Cafe in Harare and experiment with Open Source Software if you dont know what it is.
- Bring a CD/Flash and get the latest versions of Open Source Software for free. We have Ubuntu 14.04 and Peppermint 5 OS
I hope you have enjoyed my article and hope that you found the information useful.
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