Saturday, November 29, 2008

Australian Governent is planning to install ISP filtering

It is scary to think that the Australia Federal Government under Kevin Rudd is planning to install internet filtering at the ISP level. According to the Getup website:

"The Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter internet traffic and block any material the Government deems ‘inappropriate’. Under the plan, the Government can add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret blacklist."

What Kevin Rudd's government is trying to install is the type of internet censorship that happens in China. Where a Government chooses what is appropriate to view and what is inappropriate to view. Then it is only a small step away from getting to the stage where if the Government does not like what is being said about it, the government will just filter it away. Removing an individuals right to freedom of information and people's civil liberties.

According to the nocleanfeed website:

This plan will waste tens of millions of taxpayer dollars and slow down Internet access. Despite being almost universally condemned by the public, ISPs, State Governments, Media and censorship experts

APC states that the top 5 reasons why this plan should not go a head are:
  1. It will slow everything down (meaning that recent trials showed that by using Kevin Rudd's ISP filtering technology it was 30% slower to view sites etc then it was with out Rudd's technology.
  2. Offensive is in the eyes of the beholder
  3. It pressumes families care about this stuff
  4. It makes Australia look stupid on a global scale
  5. The people supporting it don't like mounting rational arguments (for example why not make the blacklist public and debate on what should be on it or not on it)
The reason why I find what Kevin Rudd and the Australian government is doing scary is because in recent times in Papua New Guinea we have seen members of the National Parliament trying to dictate to the Papua New Guinean media what it can say and can not say. A good example of this is what our PNG Finance Minister did to Post Courier at the 2009 National Budget lockup. Where reporters from Post Courier were locked out of the budget which according to Post Courier was to teach them a lesson because they had printed something that he did not like. Now if the PNG Government was to install laws like what the Australia Government is doing I fear that this technology would be used for Government propaganda in Papua New Guinea, to filter out anything from the press that the Government did not like.

Should Papua New Guinean's be scared of what is happening in Australia? I really think we should. The PNG Government may follow the Australian Government's lead and use this technology to regulate the media in Papua New Guinea.

Website for online safety tips - Get Safe Online

While surfing the web this morning I can across a educational website that gives tips on online safety. The site is call Get Safe Online. The foundation was founded by Microsoft, HSBC, HM Government, and SOCA. Other partners include Paypal, Symantec, and Cable&Wireless.

The aim of the website is to provide expert online safety advice to people for free. To counter internet crime by answering questions and providing advise on:

  • What are risks?
  • How do I protect my pc?
  • Avoid online rip-offs
  • Where do I get more detailed advise
  • Where do I get alerts?
  • How safe am I?
  • etc
There is also a section where you can test your online safety skills, which takes a few minutes to do and can give you insight into how much you do know or don't know about online safety. I for one think that this site is a great initiative by Microsoft and co to help everyone including my wantoks in Papua New Guinea learn how to do things safely online.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Are Papua New Guinea newspapers dying?

I was reading an interesting post by Erick Schonfield about the declining advertising in the Newspaper industry in the United States. Basically what was said was:

"Print advertising has been declining for ten straight quarters, but this marks only the second quarter that online advertising also went down. More concerning is that the overall rate of decline seems to be accelerating"

Based on these comments and statistics from the Newspaper Association of America I began to wounder is the newspaper industry in Papua New Guinea eventually going to die out because of the web? I for one believe not in the near future. The main reason being that there is a huge gap in the digital divide between developed nations like the United States and developing countries like my beloved home Papua New Guinea. My argument is best summed up in the words of a fellow Papua New Guinean Jeremy Ningiga in his Knol article on the digital divide:

"Currently ICT is making the gap worse in developing nations like P.N.G. The reason being is that until ITC becomes an affordable or free commodity for the nation’s poor the gap will continue to get worse. For example in P.N.G a minimum wage earner who earns 66.68 Kina (K) per week as stated on the Investment Promotion Authority of P.N.G (2007) website. When converted to the Australian dollar is $26.00 a week at an exchange rate of 1.00 Kina to $0.39 at per the Bank of South Pacific website exchange rates (2007). Now if you take in to consideration that standard dial up plan with a local ISP Daltron Ltd costs K45.00 for 10hours. It is not feasible for a minimum wage earner in a developing country to use the Internet let alone buy a computer, once you take living expense in to account."

Although the exchange rates used in the above article are out of date now. The general sentiment of the article is still the same. In Papua New Guinea currently not everyone can gain access to the web. To read up to the minute news articles, Blogs, Knols, etc. Until such time that this is possible all of our Papua New Guinean published newspapers are safe, from the web taking their ad revenue to the extent that it is not economically viable to run and print newspapers in Papua New Guinea. So the answer to the question "Are Papua New Guinea newspapers dying?" Not for now or the near future for that matter. I don't think they have to worry to much about the web stealing their thunder just yet.

Here is some food for thought, will the day come when online ad revenue in Papua New Guinea is large enough for a person to sustain his or herself financially, and to make a comfortable living from something like blogging about Papua New Guinea or Papua New Guinean issues? Who knows, only time will tell.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Playing for change - music created by people around the world

While surfing the web tonight I came across a great music clip that inspired me so I wanted to share it with my wantoks. The song in the video clip is Stand By Me and it is played by different people from all around the world. The Playing for change foundation is making a documentary about the filming and recording of different songs around the world in areas where the foundation provides support.

What the Playing for change foundation is "dedicated to connection the world through music by providing resources (including but not limited to facilities, supplies, and educational programs) to musicians and their communities around the world."

Have a look at the clip and if you are interested in finding out more about the people and foundation behind this video go to May be there might even be a chance for communities around Papua New Guinea to benefit from this foundations work. I reckon it would be great to see a couple of Papua New Guinean wantoks dressed up in traditional gear belting out a few all time greats like Stand By Me. Below are a couple of other Playing for change music videos that were recorded while people from the foundation were doing providing assistance to communities in need.

Fedora 10 released - free linux operating system

Just the other day I was over at Tuuans & Dukduks and was posting a comment regarding freeware operating system Ubuntu. Well the Fedora project has just released the latest version of Fedora 10. Fedora 10 is a free Linux based operating system which is sponsored by Red Hat.

The latest release is around 682Mb in size so sorry for all the wantoks out there with dial up connections but it is going to take forever and a day if you were going to attempt to download such a big ISO file. But never fear there are other options out there for wantoks with dial up connections. If you want you can purchase a copy of Fedora 10 online or you can order a copy of Fedora for free online (click here for free ordering of Fedora).

For more information on Fedora I suggest you visit the Fedora website by clicking on the link above.

What does this mean for my wantoks in Papua New Guinea well it is a free operating system. So you don't have to spend money on paying for a operating system for your computer which can set you back well over K800 at Datec, etc. Not only does it save you on spending money on an operating system, it also comes with open office so you don't have to buy programs like Microsoft Office, etc.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to track your bandwidth usage for free - bitmeter

For six months when I was using Daltron's (ISP) wireless service at the end of the month I would see the bill and wounder if I really did use the amount of data that they were charging me for. I know that Daltron does offer a page where you can see how much data you have used. But how do I know that their data is correct. Well this post is going to introduce you to a tool that I have recently discovered that that allows Windows users to see how much data they are chewing through. The tool is called bitmeter which is offered free from

What bitmeter does is that it allows you to visually monitor your Internet connection by showing a scrolling graph that shows your download and upload speed over a period of time. The features of bitmeter are:
  • Graphical and numerical displays of historical data,
  • Web interface,
  • alerts,
  • stopwatch,
  • calculator,
  • transparent/float/click-through modes,
  • help file,
  • audio notifications,
  • configurable color-schemes
Follow these instructions to set up the monitoring notification to let you know once you have hit your monthly megabytes limit.
  1. Download & Install bitmeter from
  2. Once bitmeter is installed and running click on the bitmeter icon in your windows task bar to see a graphical view of your data usage.
  3. To access bitmeter's features right click on the bitmeter icon and it will show you a list of options. The one that we are looking for is called ISP restrictions. Now select it.
  4. Make sure that you select ISP restrictions apply check box.
  5. Select what day of the month your new billing period starts.
  6. Then you need to put in your monthly down load limit.
  7. Then select when bitmeter should alert you that you are getting towards the end of your limit.
  8. click Apply

Monday, November 24, 2008

Microsoft to release free anti virus software

According to the APC website Microsoft is in the process of releasing it's own free security software in the second half of 2009. Due to an anti trust ruling that prevents Microsoft from building virus protection in to Windows. The new software code named "Morro" is not going to be a direct replacement of OneCare, instead it is going to be a stripped down version of OneCare. Morro is going to be aimed at defending against viruses, malware, trojans, etc.

What effect will this have on the average Papua New Guinean wantok? I believe that it is going to have a positive effect because if Microsoft releases a free anti virus program. Anti Virus vendors like Symantec, McAfee, etc will be forced to release free versions as well. I believe they will have to base their business modules on AVG's (by the way is a great anti virus software). Where a free version is offered but the Grisoft (Company that produces AVG) recommends that you purchase the premium verison because it also does x amount of extra things that are not offered in the free version. To cut a long story short in long run if Microsoft does something link release free virus software it is going to increase compertition and choice. Which we have seen in Papua New Guinea in recent times is a good thing e.g. Digicel Vs B Mobile, Airline PNG Vs Air Nuiguni. Due to compertition bring down prices and improving customer service.

Time how long it takes your blog to load - Stopwatch

In the pursuit to find out which items on IT Tok Tok are taking the longest time to load, and to take measures to fix the loading speeds. I came across a website that has Stopwatch on it, which times how long it takes particular items to load. Which I found while surfing the Blogger Help Center.

The idea behind Stopwatch is that you put your url into the stopwatch box and it times how long it takes to load all the items on your page.

Great little tool for all the wantoks out there that want to improve their blog loading speed times. Click on the Stopwatch link above to be taken to the Stopwatch website.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Firefox extension - Video DownloadHelper

Do you ever run into the problem when you are surfing the web while killing time before you have to do something and you run into a video that you would really like to watch? But due to time constraints you are not able to watch the video. Well if this is you here is a Firefox extension that can solve this problem for you. The extension is called Video DownloadHelper.

Video DownloadHelper is a tool for web content extraction. The purpose of this Firefox extension is to capture video and images from websites. It works by detecting if there is any video images content on a particular webpage that it is able to download. If there is and you have the Video DownloadHelper icon on your tool bar the icon will change from being Grey in colour to Red, Yellow, and Blue. It works on all types of sites like YouTube, Google Video, MySpace, etc.

From version 3.1 onwards Video DownloadHelper is able to convert downloaded movies to your preffered video extension automatically.

A great tool for all the Wantok's out there that want to download a video and watch it later when they have time. Also another benefit of Video Downloader is that it downloads video's one at a time. So for those Papua New Guinean's that like to multitask and do a number of different things at the same time. It will free up bandwidth for you to keep on surfing the web, using Skype, etc.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pacific Blue makes travelling to Australia easy

The introduction of competition has being great for the airline industry in Papua New Guinea. For starters the cost of air travel to destinations within Papua New Guinea and to overseas countries has become a lot cheaper. For example this week Airlines PNG was offering specials to Lae for K99 from Port Moresby.

On Wednesday I had a bit of time to kill so when a friend asked me to accompany them to the Air Nuigini travel center at Wagani next to Stop n Shop. I decided to tag along for the ride. In hind sight I wish that I had not gone. There was a long line and after waiting for what seemed like ages my friend suggested that we log on to Virgin Pacific Blue's website and see if it was possible to book a ticket to Sydney. To cut a long story short using a credit card it took a whole 5 minutes to book and pay for the ticket online. The great news about this is now you don't have to wait in a long line any more to book overseas flights as long as you have credit card or debit card (e.g. BSP Visa Debit Card).

It is times like this that it makes me think that the gap of the digital divided it getting smaller. If you don't know what the digital divide is click on the link above to read a paper that I found on Google Knol that I fellow Papua New Guinean has writtern.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Google release's "Let me google that for you"

Google has recently launched Let me Google that for you. Which allows you to do a Google search and copy and past the resulting link to an email or instant message, etc. It is designed to help enable the search savvy people assist those that are not capable to use the correct syntax to get good result with links that are relevant.

I am constantly getting asked by friends and relatives a like to do searches for them or look up something for them. That a simple Google search would provide them with answers. In regards to how this would benefit my Papua New Guinean wantoks well it is quiet simple. A lot of my fellow country men and women, who do not fully understand the whole syntax concept when doing searches. So it will allow someone like myself to do a search and provide them with a link that is relevant to the topic that they are after.

When it comes to syntax it does take some getting use to. I know it took up a whole lecture in ITC113 a life time ago when I was at university and learning all about the web and html. It has made helping our wantoks a lot easier when it comes to doing web search's. Thanks Google.

Skype - free calls from Papua New Guinea

Since the start of November 2008 I have being able to make free calls to Australia land line telepones and 29 other countries through Skype. Currently Skype is running a promotion where for the next 30 days you will be able to make free calls to a number of selected countries around the world. When I say free I am not taking into account the megabytes that are used for the calls. So there is some cost by it is an ISP that is making money instead of say Telikom or Digicel.

I personally have being using Skype for well over 2 years now to ring friends and family overseas which uses VoIP. I have found that this has dramatically decreased my phone bill. For example if you were to ring from your Digicel mobile in Papua New Guinea to a telephone land line in Australia it would cost you 99 toea per minute using Digicel. Normally when there are no Skype promotions on and you are ringing from Papua New Guine to Australia it would cost almost 3 australian cents. Which when converted at todays exchange rate of around 0.54 Aus$ to 1Kina it would cost you all most 6 toea per minute to call an Australian land line. You don't have to be a Uinversity of PNG accounting student to work out that you are saving 93 toea per minute by using Skype.

There is a large potential business use for this technology in Papua New Guinea. For starters companies can use Skype to call overseas to reduce their phone bills. They can also set up overseas numbers that are linked to there Skype account so when people from overseas want to call them they can dial a local number in the country that they are in, so that the call cost will be for a local call instead of an international call. Better yet people can do Skype to Skype calls so it will only cost you the megabytes that you are using. You can also do video conferences, instant messaging, send text messages to mobile phones, transfer files, etc.

Only real draw back of using Skype in PNG for the wantok on the street apart from an internet connection would be the ability to have access to a credit card. But now with the introduction of Bank of South Pacific's Visa debt card it would make it more viable for wantok's to pay for top ups of their Skype accounts.

I know as a fact that some of the large mining companies in Papua New Guinea are already using Skype to communicate. For example one of the mines that has a very remote site uses Skype to communicate the weather details so that helicopters that fly in and out of their site are aware of the weather forecasts in the area.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

LogMeIn - Remote desktop software

LogMeIn has made my IT support role a lot easier. Recently I have started using log in to work remotely from home. I am now kicking myself for not using LogMeIn earlier. For starters it saves me in fuel costs and the environment. Because every time something goes wrong at work and I need to do something on a server etc. Before LogMeIn I would have to drive back to work to fix things. Now a days it is simply a matter of me connecting to the internet and logging in to the computer/system that I need to attend to.

What LogMeIn is a remote desktop software that is web based. You do need to install some software on the machine that you wish to control. But after that is done you can control that computer from any computer that has a connection to the internet, which will allow you to log on to the log me in website (please note that you do need a decent amount of bandwidth, otherwise it can become a bit like watching paint dry).

What does that mean for Papua New Guinean's well instead of paying an arm and a leg to get a VPN set up to access your network from home or from work to home. You can now use log me in to do the connection for you. Provide that you are able to install the LogMeIn software on the computer that you wish to control.

Well wantoks instead of giving your hard earned Kina to Datec or Daltron etc, if you need a cheap fast solution for a remote desktop/VPN give LogMeIn a go.

Traim LogMeIn

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Woolworths Deli number system better then Australian High Commission's

If you have every being to a deli section of a Woolworths or Coles supermarket in Australia. You would notice that you have to take a number from a roll that gives out numbers. Then you would watch a small screen that shows the number that is going to be served next. A simple idea that puts order into customer service and works on the principle of first come first serve. Which is great during the busy times and the slow times a like.

The Australian High Commission in Port Moresby could learn a lesson or two from the above example technology. For starters it seems that there is a million and one different hi tech gadgets in the Visa section in the Australia High Commission. With a big flat screen television and cable TV. But the number system for the order that people get served is straight out of the stone ages. The current set up is you pick a number from a roll just like in the Woolworths case above but that is where the similarities end. The way that the different service counters communicate is by the ladies in the different counters yelling out that they have finished. Then whoever is keeping count will yell out the next number that is suppose to be called. It works out that three or four minutes go by before the correct number is called out and someone goes to the counter to be served. In the mean time a number of people have jumped the line and have gone on to get served. Even though their number is not going to be called this century.

Wantok's the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby has forgotten about customer service that simple technology like the one above could improve dramatically. So the next time you go to the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby to apply for an Australia visa. Don't expect to much.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Travelling overseas and need accomodation -

If you are traveling overseas whether it is Australia or where ever else. Take a look at I found this site to be extremely useful. For example a family member of mine is currently traveling in Australia and needed accommodation in Sydney the next day. I logged on to Wotif and using a Papua New Guinean credit card I was able to book and pay for the accommodation online.

The best thing about it was that the accommodation was around 50 per cent cheaper online then it would have been, if I was to book in person or through a travel agent. Another problem that I had with other online accommodation websites was that they did not accept Papua New Guinean credit cards.

With the introduction of BSP Visa Debit card. Now online transactions are only a website away. At the moment online sales have not really taken off on Papua New Guinean websites. But that should not stop you from logging on to a website like to buy books, etc, that you can not find in Papua New Guinea, or getting cheap last minute accommodation.

Well to sum it up Wantoks if you have a PNG issued credit card or debit card and need to book overseas accomodation try having a look at to find the best deals.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Telikom's ADSL Versus Daltron's Wireless

Telikom PNG is offering a great ADSL Broadband service compared to ISP's like Daltron. I have being using ADSL now for over three months and have had no major complaints. Over the last three months I have only had the system fail on me once and that was due to a power surge which knocked out the router. But with in a couple of days the problem had being resolved totally and I have not had any service provider problems since.

On the other hand before I swapped over to Telikom I was using Daltron's wireless service. The service worked fine when the Daltron DNS servers weren't down. Which I kid you not seemed to be like every other day. I also had a number of problems with the billing. Where Daltron on three separate occasions double billed me for bills that I had already paid. When Daltron's wireless service was up it worked fine, but due to the poor customer service that Daltron offers and the constant down time. I decided to take my business else where.

The swap to Telikom ADSL from Daltron's wireless has being great for the pocket. For example for a 1.5 Megabyte service at Telikom it cost about K170 per month that is with 500 Megabytes of downloads included. Now for a 512Kb plan with Daltron will cost you K1,250 per month with 2400 Megabytes of downloads included. The cost per Megabyte is Telikom = K0.32 per Mb and Daltron = K 0.52 per Mb. This does not take in to account that Telikom's service is a 1.5Mb link and the Daltron service is 512Kb service. The only good point about the Daltron Wireless service is that it provides more Megabyte before the excess Megabytes charging starts.

Now to be honest who in their right mind would not choose the Telikom ADSL service over the Daltron one. I for one have swapped over to Telikom and am really happy with the decision. Not only is it saving me in the pocket but Telikom's ADSL customer service is a lot better then Daltron's customer service. The only downside to this is that at the moment Telikom is not able to roll out their ADSL service to more customers because they are awaiting new equipment. I had to wait around 6 months to get installed. But it was worth the wait.

For all my Papua New Guinean Wantok's out there instead of wasting your money on Daltron's wireless service. If you get the chance swap over to Telikom's ADSL service and keep the money in PNG. Instead of giving it to an oversea's company that provides a poor service and charges you and arm and a leg for the privilege of getting a poor service.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Video tutorial site - Howcast

While taking my daily dose of blog's I came across a blog about Howcast. A video tutorial website that provides tutorial's on a number of different topics. From Banking and Finance to website development and a lot of topics in between.

The reason why I liked this website was it provides video tutorials on how to do things. I know a lot of websites provide written explanations on how to do things, but it is not the same as watching it getting done, and getting it explained to you during the process. Just like prac's at school are a lot more fun then the theory and you seem to take in a lot more then when you just do theory. Going over this website for an hour or so I found that it teaches you a lot of different things and is a handy URL to have booked marked.

Another IT video website that is great to have bookmarked is which allows you to search the web for specific IT video's from DNS explanations to Active Directory installations and more. For the average home user this may be a bit to much in depth for you but again it is a handy resource to have.

From the Papua New Guinean view point the bandwidth may be an issue when trying to view this website. So I would only recommend it for broadband users. These websites are great for learning stuff which you may general not be able to find a course to learn about. So in summing it up it is a great way for Papua New Guinea's to teach themselves about new things without have to fork out some Kina.


Friday, November 14, 2008

Microsoft launches online store in USA

Yesterday Microsoft (MS) launched its USA online store. Where people can buy MS products online and download it. In other words the death of packaged software has began.

What the store is offering is for consumers to purchase MS products like MS Office, Vista, etc, then download the product. Thus reducing the delivery time.

This sounds great but it will only benefit people that have broadband connections. For the majority of Papua New Guinean home internet users that have dial up access. The idea of having to download large software packages is ridiculous. When you take into account that ISP's like Daltron Ltd offer 56kb dial up connections (in reality it is more like 28kb or even less, don't let their advert's fool you!).

The death of the package software may have began with MS opening online stores to sell their products. But for developing nations like Papua New Guinea such steps like this will only make the digital divide even greater.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Google release's video chatting from with in Gmail

Google's official blog has announced the release of video chatting capabilities from with in Gmail. What does this mean for Papua New Guinean's not a lot if you have a small dial up connection. But for those Papua New Guinea's that have services like Telikom's ADSL broadband. It means that if you have a Gmail account after downloading a plug in you will be able to have video chats using your Gmail account. Instead of having to open a third party software like Skype, etc.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't waste money on Microsoft Office

Yesterday's Post Courier came with a Courts Furniture lift out. I was horrified to see what Courts furniture is charging for Microsoft Office 2007. The price was around Eight Hundred Kina.

There are Open Source Freeware alternatives available like Open Office. It offers all the basic Microsoft packages like Office 2007 but does not cost you anything to own it. The major draw back in that it is around 120 Megabyte download, so the average Papua New Guinean dial up connection would take forever and a day to download this software.

If you were to do the sums it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to go to somewhere like Datec, etc and get them to download Open Office for you. Then it would be to buy it and the best thing about it is that you could give it to all of your family and friends to use legally without infringing any copyright laws.

So may be next time before you rush out to by Microsoft Office what work out how much it is going to cost you to download, and if you could get someone else to split the cost with you it becomes even cheaper.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Free software to convert DVD's for Portable Players

Back in the old days Port Moresby use to have Video rental stores. These were the days when VHS Tapes ruled the home entertainment industry and you could get a 285ml bottle of Coke for 25 toea. Fast forward 25 years when all the VHS Tapes are now paper weights or dust collectors and a 375ml can of Coke will set you back Two Kina.

With the death of VHS video came the dawn of the new era of the DVD. The problem was that all the movie rental stores died with the VHS video in Papua New Guinea. Now a days when you want to watch a new release you have to buy the movie on DVD. Mind you most of the time you can watch what is in the cinemas around the world on DVD in PNG. Due to this problem it has lead to me have a large collection of DVD movies.

To cut a long story short if you want to be able to transfer your DVD's to a portable player like an iPod you need a software. Instead of going out and spending a couple of hundred Kina at Daltron or Datec etc. I suggest you try using Handbrake.

Handbrake is freeware open source program. Which I have found to be extremely powerful to use when converting DVD's to be played on my iPod. It also can be used to convert DVD's to other portable players like PS3, Quick Time, Television, Apple TV, etc. So if you want to save a couple of bucks and get a great product try out Handbrake.

Handbrake works on Windows, MAC Leopard, & Linux. It is only a couple of megabytes to download by this I mean the biggest download for Handbrake is the MAC download. All the others are smaller then the 5.2Mb download for the MAC. So taking in to account the small bandwidth dial up connection that most Papua New Guinea household's have it is still possible to download Handbrake.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Simple way to start programing

Microsoft has recently launched a program called Small Basic which is aimed at teaching children how to program. The software is 4.06 Mb in size so it is small enough for the typical Papua New Guinean dial up internet connection to download. Small Basic is based on .Net and inspired by the Basic programing language. Even thought Small Basics is aimed at children it can be a great way for an adult to learn how to program.

Small Basic is made up of three parts: Language, Environment, and Libraries. The Language is made up of only 14 Keywords, it comes with a simple programing environment, and its own libraries. Which you have the option to create new libraries or modify existing ones. Small Basic also allows third party libraries to be plugged in.

Requirements to run Small Basic is a Windows XP or Vista operating system and .NET 3.5 Framework.

What does this mean for the people of Papua New Guinea. Basically it gives any Person in PNG the opportunity to learn how to program with out having to attend expensive courses. It must also be noted that this is not a open source software.

Text messages can help the fight against AIDS in Papua New Guinea

Over the last couple of weeks I have taken a keen interest in reading up on articles of how HIV AIDS is being fought in African countries using Technology. An article that was of particular interest to me was the use of text messages to remind AIDS infected people to attend appointments at clinics. The reason why this article was interesting is that it is using a "Please call me" service similar to the one that Digicel PNG is offering.

How it works is quite simple a medical clinic sends a text message to a patient using the "Please call me" service to remind a person to contact the clinic.

To implement such a system here in Papua New Guinea would be quite simple considering that Digicel all ready offers the free "Please call me" service. It would just be a matter of clinics obtaining a Digicel mobile phone. There would also be a number of other steps that would need to be taken like obtaining a list of patients mobile numbers. A major limitation would be that since the "Please call me" service is only offered on the Digicel network it would only work on Digicel phones.