With regard to our earlier discussion about Linux, I chatted with
someone in Cameroon who recently had learned the operating system.
He tells me he appreciated the experience of learning Linux,
describing it as "tedious" but worth the effort. He learned Linux by
studying the readme files and with occasional email questions to a
My impression was that he spent perhaps two weeks or so to
configure SMTP, POP3, Taylor UUCP, figure out how to set up
accounts, etc. etc. Much of the time is spent on resolving specific
problems. An installation will either go smoothly and take only a
short time, or something will fail to work properly and then require
hours of study and experimentation in order to resolve it.
His next task is to set up an httpd server. He's also begun
studying various client options.
I loaned him my copy of Wildcat5 and watched while he installed it
with the Internet Connectivity Package on a Windows95 machine. The
system was up and running in about 15 minutes, and he used it to view
local copies of the AfricaLink web pages. It's configured for UUCP
mail transfer as well, though we didn't look at that aspect.
There's an additional module that is a gateway for the message base
to Fidonet if he wants it. And of course with leased line TCP/IP
access he can immediately become a full Internet services provider.
It was interesting for both of us to compare the differences between
a package Internet services system like Wildcat5 with the various
components that make up an Internet services site installed under
Linux. As the folks at FormNet in Nairobi have found, this type of
Windows NT/95 package is a simple and attractive alternative. FormNet
uses Galacticomm's Worldgroup.
Jeff @ Douala
AfricaLink -- http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk