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[News] South Africa Gradually Embraces GNU/Linux

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Open source questions answered and myths debunked

,----[ Quote ]
| In South Africa, businesses are starting to put Linux on their radar but it 
| is not mainstream yet. Businesses are still hesitant because of the perceived 
| risks associated with open source. These risks have generally been blown out 
| of proportion by proponents of proprietary software through fear, 
| uncertainty, despair campaigns.    
| In terms of the growth of the Internet and the Web2.0 community, Linux is not 
| only mainstream, it is close to being the only stream.  



SA govt joins Software Freedom Day

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the key proponents of open source software within the South African
| government, the department of science and technology is joining in this
| year’s Software Freedom Day celebrations with a dedicated programme on OSS
| during its Insite show this week.


Free software, freely available

,----[ Quote ]
| Open source software costs nothing to own, and now costs nothing to obtain
| thanks to a group of entrepreneurs determined to get around the problem of
| expensive bandwidth in South Africa.
| The Freedom Toaster originally started in 2005 as a project by the
| Shuttleworth Foundation as a software kiosk where anyone can burn -
| or "toast" in Linux jargon - open source software such as Linux and other
| information onto CDs and DVDs.
| "One challenge in developing countries is that free software is generally
| distributed online, and in those countries the bandwidth is often expensive
| or non-existent so free software does not reach those communities that most
| stand to benefit from it," said Mark Shuttleworth. "The Freedom Toaster is a
| way of making free software, and in fact many forms of free content,
| available in these places."


Unisa toasts open source success

,----[ Quote ]
| It uses a customised open source operating system that allows the kiosks to
| burn multiple disks at once.


Bridging the African digital divide - with a ‘toaster’

,----[ Quote ]
| The foundation was convincing schools and even government offices to switch
| to Linux, the open-source equivalent of Microsoft Windows or Mac OS.
| “We were getting a lot of people excited about it,” Hudson says. But when new
| fans asked how to get their hands on the newest version of Linux, the answer
| was always the same: Download it. “We’d see their shoulders slump,” he
| says. “We had a clear message, we were getting out there and talking to
| people, but we were clearly falling short.”
| Then he started thinking – why not make a software vending machine where,
| instead of having to download large files, a user could just burn them to a
| CD?
| It so happened that the MTN Sciencentre in Cape Town was about to have an
| exhibition on open-source computing, and Hudson convinced his bosses to let
| him try to design a prototype that would burn a small selection of
| open-source software, including Linux, to CDs.


Welcome to the Freedom Toaster Website

,----[ Quote ]
| Freedom Toasters are conveniently located, self-contained,
| computer-based, 'Bring 'n Burn' facilities.
| [...]
| The Freedom Toaster project began as a means of overcoming the
| difficulty in obtaining Linux and Open Source software due to
| the restrictive telecommunications environment in South Africa,
| where the easy downloading of large pieces of software is just
| not possible for everyone.


Channel welcomes Red Hat

,----[ Quote ]
| Commercial open source software (OSS) vendor Red Hat has opened a South
| African office, which will be headed by Louis Seyffert.
| Paul Holt, EMEA regional director at Red Hat, says there has been strong
| demand for open source skills and methodologies in the local market.


SITA braves open source

,----[ Quote ]
| SITA has chosen Ubuntu for its desktop operating environment. Running on top
| of this will be open office, as well as several other FOSS applications,
| aimed at improving SITA's collaborative and engagement environments.


Brazil explores SA open source push - ITWeb

,----[ Quote ]
| Brazilian ICT companies are keen to capitalise on the South African
| government's latest e-government push.


CSIR to switch 2300 users to Ubuntu Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Parastal CSIR, South Africa’s national science and technology research
| organisation, is readying to switch most of its more than 2300 staff to using
| Ubuntu Linux as their default desktop

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