PDAs, together with barcode readers, are the ultimate implementation
for rural networks. Not so different from what we (actually, some of
us! ;) would see in a supermarket or carry around in a suitcase, but
to be field-proof - or we normally call them Africa-proof, if there is
such a thing! - they need to answer some specific questions, like:
1. what happens if a user leaves the device for hours in the sun?
2. how do I collect information in a standardize form?
3. how do I customize my last-mile data capture device to my needs?
4. how do I make it user-friendly, to the point where the user doesn't
actually need to know anything about hardware/software?
5. how do I get my info back into the PC network: do I have to drive
back to my pc or can I connect it to my VHF radio, pass it through a
repeater and transmit the data back and continue the collection?
Some organizations, like DHL, are using some very robust &
programmable Barreaders, which have definitely proveb being
It sounds like you're interested in PDA devices, but in most
bushnetworks , depending on user's needs, barcode readers can prove
being more robust and easier to use. Agreed, the functionality are
different: readers are data-collection-only and PDAs are... PDAs...
These are not 'stand-alone' stations, therefore you also need to look
at connecting them to your computer network via a bush communication
Our company is specialized in Information Management and Connectivity
Structures for organizations and companies operating in the bush. Our
core business is to provide connectivity and access to internet via
wireless systems, but we also specialize in remote data collection
devices and information management systems.
Should you want to continue the discussion please feel free to e-mail
us directly and/or come and visit our site on http://www.bushnet.net.
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Tel.: +256 41 267561
______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: PDA's & rural networks?
Author: "African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List"
<[log in to unmask]> at Internet
Date: 6/12/97 5:53 PM
An interesting question was posted to the Acacia-L mailing list. Nobody
replied with any useful information so I thought I would re-post the
question here on Afrik-IT (you'll see why when you read the message). FYI
the context of the Acacia-L list is: using ICTs for community development
in sub-Sharan Africa.
Here is the original posting:
I`m new here on this list, so let me first intoduce myself:My name is Jens
Krause and I study science of communication, sociology of development,
Africanistic at Berlin/Ge
Last year I did a research about radio use among rural small scale farmers
in western Kenya. Currently I`m working on my Masters. I`m especially
interested in existing and planned networks for rural areas.
My question is, has anybody experience or information on the use of PDA`s
I will forward all relevant replies to the Acacia-L list for Jens to see.
The Acacia Initiative
International Development Research Centre
(613) 236-6163 x2056
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