Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Meeting 24th April

Apologies to all who went to Wananchi Online - 1st Floor, and for those who did not get to the venue (near Norfolk University).

The venue of the meeting was changed at the last minute to accommodate a group of students from UON :)

Robert and Laban from www.penguinlabs.co.ke did their presentation on FOSS software, presenting arguments on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS):

Why use SQLServer2000 unless you are focussed on Business Intelligence, Oracle unless you want grid computing. You could use MySQL or PostgreSQL for your projects.

FOSS provides you with freedom. No need to worry about the Business Software Alliance (BSA) knocking at the door of your office or home asking you to pay up for all the unlicensed software you are using.

FOSS is not free (as in cost) - It requires effort to implement.

Some applications:
openmoko.org - a phone running embedded linux with among other features GPS and GPRS.
The phone when released will retail at around $300. Think of all the applications you could have with such a phone. GPS location based software that alerts you that you need to buy your girlfriend a chocolate when you enter Uchumi :) - Look for Laban's previous post.

An SMS application that consists simply of a mobile phone, linux box and abit of code and you could offer a myriad of services. This compared to the cost of setting up a similar Windows based system, where you will need to buy the OS license, Antivirus, software development platform, among other things.

From a business point of view, it is important to provide a solution (using open source software)
It is important to think of providing a FOSS based software solution that solves/meets business needs and processes.

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