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Ghana: Mobile Phones for the Itinerant Travelers

This time, my luggage made it all the way to Ghana with me. Although I had to rescue my suitcase from someone else=E2=80=99s luggage cart=E2=80=A6 So I was very reassured to find upon exit that they were actually checking luggage tags against identities. After about two hours of immigration, waiting for luggage, and customs, a slew of Ghanaians tried to help us with our luggage, in an enthusiastic effort to earn tips.
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Check out the AirJaldi Blog

Eric and Sonesh are currently in Dharamsala at the AirJaldi conference. There's a lot of great stuff going on there - with some amazing people. For more information check out the Dharma TV blog: The website for the conference is Sonesh at this very moment is working on a long distance wireless link between two schools in the area. Melissa
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Larry Brilliant: The Health of Humanity

I went to two talks on Monday - the second was given by Larry Brilliant, Executive Director of, founder of Seva, winner of the 2006 TED Prize ("One Wish to Change the World") and leader in the eradication of smallpox. My notes are here. He decided not to give his normal "Health of Humanity" talk, instead giving a rather inspiring talk about what it means to change the world, and wh
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Jenna Burrell: Internet caf=C3=A9s in Accra, Ghana

Jenna Burrell, from LSE, gave a talk on her research in Ghana for Intel People and Practices on Monday. My notes are here.
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Bridging the Divide 2006

My notes from this year's UNIDO/Berkeley Bridging the Divide conference are available on my web site ( It's been a very interesting weekend, with engaging speakers and panelists. As usual, I would have to say the best part of the conference is the opportunity to meet all of the people that came. I hope you were able to make it - but if not, I'm sure the rest of the TIER group will be posting notes as well... melissa
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Tim O'Reilly on books for developing regions

A fellow iSchool student forwarded me a link to Tim O'Reilly's blog on the new wireless networking in developing regions book. I think someone (me?) already posted about the book, available for free download online. (So much for that book we were going to write.) What stands out to me (as a potential opportunity for the general interested public) is this quote:
I had hoped to get a couple of geek volunteers to take on the job of "remixing" content from existing O'Reilly books into some books specifically targeted to developing countries.
So my general question becomes - what types of O'Reilly content are people in developing countries interested in? What books are being donated - and more importantly - used? What would be the target audience for the remixed content? And how would these people access (and print?) it?
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Change the Channel, Please

I came to the sudden realization that if I didn't make it to Korlebu Medical Library this weekend I wouldn't make it at all - my sojourn in Ghana is coming to a close on Sunday night.
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A Bird's Eye View

So, today, in a fit of hopeful productivity, I headed out to City Campus (the professional school of University of Ghana) to put up a new board to replace the one that got accidentally shorted by a miswired ethernet cable going into the PoE (Power over Ethernet for you non-techies) port. Thinking that of course the cable had been recrimped, I screwed the board into the enclosure, and plugged the cable in. No power. No little red leds, no comforting beep, and certainly no little green led saying that all was well and happy. Hmm.. good thing I brought an extra board.
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Challenges to the Information Profession in Africa

One of the two projects for this trip is to set up a long distance wireless inter-university backbone between the libraries of Kumasi, University of Ghana, and the University of Cape Coast. So, today I went to visit the head librarian, Prof.
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Our Faithful Antenna Maker

For our longer links, we have hired a Ghanaian, Abubakra Aido, to make high gain antennas for us, since we like to use local manufacturers whenever possible. Last Saturday, Eric O. and I went up to Tema (about 40km north of Accra) to check on his progress. We drove through the town, turning into a dirt road (as usual), and driving into a dusty residential area, finally pulling up next to a wall with a lock and key embossed in blue on it.
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