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AFRIK-IT  July 1999

AFRIK-IT July 1999

Subject:

Re: Insect@thon

From:

Joris Komen <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Wed, 21 Jul 1999 18:52:59 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

Hi AFRIK-IT Listers!

A short while ago I announced the Insect@thon project on this list in
response to a thread on ICTs:-).  Encouraging responses have continued to
roll in, and it's still raining computers and modems here in Windhoek:-).
In response to some off-list international appeals earlier this week, I've
managed to source 7 airtickets to send one of the winning Insect@thon team
(6 kids + coach) to Sweden in May next year to computerize hand-written
insect catalogue records at some of the key museums there:-).  I am also
busy source airtickets to send two (or more:-)) other teams to other key
firstworld museums with significantly large collections of insects
historically collected in Namibia (the British Museum Natural History,
London - 65 million insect specimens, 180-200,000 specimens from Namibia!;
the Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin - similar volumes:-); and the Academy of
Sciences, Claifornia - similar volumes:-)).  If you know of suitable
airticket/funding sources, please don't hesitate to call me:-).

However this wasn't the main reason for starting a thread on this list -

NewDeal Corporation in Cambridge, Mass., USA. produce inexpensive
windows-like software which can be loaded onto old generation PCs (286
upwards), and *will* serve admirably in the project.

Take a look at  (http://www.new-deal.com/about/about.html).  Schoolsuite
sells at US$60, and their websuite at US$ 40.  I'm trying to get their
Foundation (the CEO is Clive Smith, an ex-South African) to subsidise these
prices, so that we can distribute them locally for next to nothing:-).  I'm
more than willing to give them loads of advertising hype, on the web, and
in the printed and TV/radio media.  I need financial support, or a strong
lobby from other first world foundation voices to encourage them to bring
down the prices - I've, as yet, not been able to contact Clive directly,
but NewDeal management (Kevin Welch) has reacted fairly positively:-)  but
they're being incredibly *sloooow* with their reaction!  Could anyone
living in the USA, give them a firm prod by voice, supporting our drive for
their software:-)?  I would be extremely grateful!  Kevin can be reached at
(1)-617-661-0590.   The more signals he gets, the more likely he'll jump to
it:-)!

I am looking at obtaining 15 packs now, and at least 100 - 200 NewDeal
packages over the next few months to put into PCs that will go out to
schools under my  "inventory-credit" scheme. [Hand-written insect records
added to our webtop database represent the pay-back scheme, no interest
charged:-). If a school student team doesn't perform, we take it out and
give to another aspiring team.  There should be a snowball effect (its
already happening:-)), since school teams can carry on earning points to
acquire hardware upgrades, additional equipment, more internet
subscription, etc.]

Cheers and thanks!:-)

Joris @ Insect@thon:-)

http://www.natmus.cul.na/insectathon.html

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