Day 6 — Shopping Trip

Today, we set out to pick up necessary supplies — a small router to set up a test environment for the new servers, RAM for Brenda’s machine, and the school’s first wireless access point. We were directed to Incredible Solutions at Riverwalk. Nothing could have prepared me for this modern shopping experience, apparently in place since 2002. The pace of development here is incredible. Ten years ago, you could only buy computer supplies from tiny shops that also provided services. Now, I felt like I was in Best Buy. I wish I’d brought my camera to show you — you could hardly believe the rows and rows of blank CDs, iPods, digital cameras, laptops, and printers available for purchase. They even had a Skype phone! Prices weren’t bad, either. The router cost the equivalent of $100, and Phil picked up an iPod Shuffle for himself for $120. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the WAP. The school will have to wait a little longer for its wireless, though hardly anyone has a wireless-equipped laptop to use it, anyway.

Computer Lab

The web site is moving into a new stage of development. As I mentioned before, the software is installed and running well. I have also pulled content from a variety of other sources and lain out the site in a rough fashion. We continue to wait for the graphic design. Now, I need to edit the pages for HTML format. It’s great that the HTML carried from one site to the other when I copied and pasted in Camino. However, some of the formatting doesn’t fit the new site and needs to be stripped. On Sunday, Andy and I have a date to review the organization of the entire site, so that the architecture best reflects the intended priorities of emphasis. We are simultaneously pulling photos from other publications for the site, mostly shot by professional photogs within the last two years. Finally, we will edit for voice, creating a sense of common language with content that has come from disparate sources. By then, the graphic designer should have finished, and I will apply the template to the site. Hopefully, this won’t take more than a couple of weeks. I am optimistic that I will able to use the web editing interface effectively from the States. If that fails, I can always ask Phil to help FTP files! Truly, the West has become so much closer since ADSL has become available in Botswana.

Phil started to really help people today, ticking off some of the to-do items we had compiled in the last few days. RAM installed, Brenda’s machine now flies as it should. The staff computer local profiles are cleared, allowing everyone to log in without error. We found out that the school does not implement full roaming profiles. Instead, there is a standard profile that is copied to the system each time a user logs in. The system is supposed to delete the local profile on logout, but that has been failing. Login was prevented because one file name in the local profile was too long to overwrite. Go figure.

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