Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Kenya

These are some of the various initiatives/community efforts going on (that I know of)

Mailing list: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kenyalinux/- oldest one I think?
www.lpakenya.org - recently launched Linux Professionals Association
www.osskenya.org - just recently come across it.

I wonder how many people and organisations in Kenya actually use a Linux distribution for ordinary day to day tasks.

I use Ubuntu for my personal (and non day job :) ) stuff but unfortunately :( have to use Windows at work - policies). OpenOffice for Documents, AmaroK for Music, Firefox for the web, I'm about to start on GnuCASH for my personal finances, GAIM for Yahoo,MSN,gtalk, skype for linux(no video though). List is long.

There's lots of legal FOSS software alternatives available - have a look at this chart:

http://linux.wordpress.com/2007/04/08/why-use-software-illegally-when-you-can-use-legally/

and this website: http://www.osalt.com/

I think for a developing country like ours, more and more people and organisations need to be exposed to FOSS alternatives which will go a long way in reducing the cost of software ownership (legally that is :) ), while, due to the very nature of FOSS, encouraging development of custom/homemade software solutions and services.

3 comments:

egm said...

Thanks for the headsup on linux organisations in Kenya. Like you, I run linux at home, but have to contend with Windows at work.

On my home machine, I run Archlinux. As far as applications, I will choose a simple, lightweight program before the many-featured one, so for music I use moc. For image manipulation I use Imagemagick (excellent for bulk processing) and the Gimp. I have many books, and one software that enables me to manage them well is Tellico. It is good not just for books but for any collection of items, be it CDs, DVDs, coins, stamps... whatever you collect and keep in bulk, this software will help you manage it well. To manage my extensive photo collection, I use Digikam. A good viewer for photos is Feh for those times when you don't want to load up Digikam. Feh is very lightweight in comparision. For movies, nothing beats Mplayer. And with the Mencoder which comes with it, you have the option of converting movies on VHS into digital format. This is just a sample of what I use. I keep saying I should compile a list of the software I use, but never do, so I guess commenting on here might have to do.

Josiah said...

www.penguinlabs.co.ke
www.openworld.co.ke

are a few other companies doing FOSS based business

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Ochieng, Edmund said...

Though still a small group, its good to notice there exists a www.coscomu.org