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> [log in to unmask]:
[...]
> electronic communication and not Internet because store & forward email is
> a lot more achievable in Africa that the sort of connection for Web surfing
> that we who are in the West take for granted.
 
Are some of you rejecting Internet's role in Africa just because you see it
only as Webberie?
 
I for one am leading a very active Internet existence using "store & forward",
namely UUCP.  Not only email but 'ftpmail' and 'webmail'.  I do have a PPP
account for Web surfing but it is of limited value due to the deficiencies
of the French communications system.
 
And you don't have to wait until you get a high-speed connection for UUCP.
Remember that leading businesses in the developed world were using Telex
at ~75 baud just ten years ago.
 
But UUCP could profit from some additions for the benefit of those who
must pay dearly for every kilobyte.  For instance, to be able to preview
incoming mail for size, origin and content before downloading from the
server (presumably located at a high-speed node).  This is necessary
if one is to subscribe to mail-groups that are prone to spammers and
other noise-makers.
 
Our beloved and grumpy Dr. Lisse could probably comment on what more
could be done with UUCP.
 
Those of us in the high bandwidth world could help out by gathering and
digesting useful information to be passed on to BW-challenged users.
 
And speaking of 75 baud, this has been used by radio hams as well as
news agencies on the short-wave bands for decades.  For non-commercial
text this narrow-band method could work very well.  I could consider
renewing my ham license just for that.
 
One can do very well without expensive equipment.  For 2400 baud a
few resistors, capacitors and an op-amp can substitute for a modem.
A cheap cassette recorder can capture text for replay on a dumb
terminal.  These tricks were what I used out of necessity 15 years ago.
 
The following expresses my sentiments very well;
> Your statement concerning road and simple telephone systems brought to mind an
> article I read in Harvard Business Review (Nov-Dec 1993) about Satyan Pitroda
> of India and his efforts to build a telecommunications structure for his
> country. Mr. Pitroda fought an uphill battle because (non-governmental
> organizations) NGOS felt that India needed what he calls "two-penny"
> solutions... immunizations, basic literacy, disease- and drought- resistant
> cereals and oilseeds, simple pumps and deep-drop toilets. A technological
> infrastructure wasn't a priority the NGOs asserted. He stated that these low
> standards placed on India threatened to mire his country into a cycle of
> underdevelopment. To make a long story short, Mr. Pitroda has almost
> single-handedly laid a workable infrustructure in India reaching into the rural
> areas.
 
Long live appropriate technology!
 
Roger Wiesenbach
http://www.liber.net/law-france/