Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Old computers

I spent all day reinstalling Windows XP on a computer at the Myanmar Christian Fellowship of the Blind. The computer I was working on was quite old. It was Pentium 3 (300 MHz) with 128 MB of RAM. Hard disk had 20 GB of space. I made 2 partitions, 10 GB each. Windows XP ran fine on this. It ran a bit slow with Norton Antivirus 2005. I decided not to have any antivirus program since they don't have Internet access to be exposed to the world of
virus and trojans anyways.

Here in Burma, we made old computers work with pirated Windows software. Linux is not a big thing because most people don't have reliable Internet connections. Nobody sells software for Linux. However, we can buy any versions of Windows, Adobe Suite, AutoCAD, Macromedia DreamWeaver and any software you name it. It cost only 500 kyats (50 cents) a piece. I love Burma. All local Christian organizations use pirated software, which cost 50 cents a piece. (Note: The maximum salary of a professor at a seminary is $20 a month.)

Mehm Thaung Tun, the president of Mon Baptist Bible School, using a computer donated by Friends of Burma. (www.friendsofburma.org) The computer has pirated Windows XP installed. Microsoft Office XP, Adobe PageMaker, Photoshop and Macromedia DreamWeaver, Visual Studio and many other software are all pirated copies.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Kachin Environment Report banned by KIO (Kachin Independent Organization)

KIO banned the environment report saying it tarnished the KIO image. Is it as bad as any repressive ruling class?


Ceasefire Groups Defiant

Ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma will not surrender their arms to the junta, despite the government's stated claim that all such groups must disarm, said officials from three ethnic ceasefire groups.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Myanmar being slashdotted :-) for its Internet censorship

In the world of computer scientists/geeks, being 'slashdotted' is an honor :-) Today, an article concerning Myanmar's Internet is being slashdotted :-) Isn't it a fun thing to be in Burma? :-)

Myanmar slashdotted


Study Says Software Makers Supply Tools to Censor Web

Fortinet, a company in Sunnyvale, California, is supplying filtering software to censor the Internet in Burma


Bus trip home

I came home from Myay Ni Gone at about 6:00 in the evening. There were a lot of people at the bus-stop. When I got on a bus, it was crowded and I decided to go to the back of the bus. The conductor of the bus shouting at everybody to go to the back. He wants to have more passengers. A poor mother was sitting on the floor, breast-feeding her baby. A father was holding his baby in his arms. The scenes I would miss if I take a taxi or if I am out of the country. The general public of Burma and their daily lives are very interesting. It would be both disappointing and rewarding at the same time if you take a bus during rush hours.

The following picture was taken from Times magazine. I don't remember who took the picture.

The dream is Honda, but the reality is the bus (Photo source: unknown)

Neil and Diana Sowards, my host-parents, took the following picture in Burma