PRESS RELEASE Ė 24 October 2001
Free Technical Know-How CDís
A lot of technical know-how exists globally.† Some of it is deliberately or accidentally kept hidden or made difficult or expensive to access by corporations, institutions and governments.
The internet can be a good source of technical knowledge, but of course one requires some basic infrastructure to access the internet, sometimes response is slow, and there are definite running costs involved such as telephone and ISP connect charges.
Another source is technical libraries in the 3rd World with paper sources.† Their books and reports can usually be photocopied or sometimes bought.† But they are almost always situated only in the Capital City, and are not always comprehensive and up-to-date.
A global charity in Belgium (Humaninfo), run by very few people, has compiled sets of computer CDís which have a tremendous amount of useful technical information on them.† They are mainly in English, with some French, Spanish and Portuguese content also.† They cover agriculture, food processing, small industries, health, water supply, sanitation, aids, technical and vocational education etc..† Content has been and is being contributed by a number of organizations, including GTZ, ITDG, SKAT, KIT, USAID, DFID, UNFAO etc..† There are 5 CDís per set Ė HDL, environment, medical, nutrition, and vocational education.† HDL is the main CD.† Each CD contains the equivalent of 500 books, which would weigh 250 kg and cost US$ 10,000 to produce.† By comparison, each CD weighs only 25 grams and costs only US$ 1 to produce.
No NGO anywhere in the world should be without one or several sets of these CDís, nor Government Ministries (including Employment Creation), nor schools with a computer with CD Rom drive.† Any individual or group running a self-help project.† Small engineering companies, including those informal industries in the slums of 3rd world cities, can get useful ideas on products to make from looking through these CDís.
A Large number of CDís can be supplied free of charge to Government, schools (public and private), colleges and universities (public and private), NGOís, churches, mosques, missions and Charities.† They will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.† Individuals and commercial establishments are welcome to buy them for US$ 2 per CD, us$ 10 per set of 5 CDís..†† Persons and organizations are also free to resell these CDís.† And each CD can be copied on to the hard drive of many PCís Ė there is no copyright or prohibition against that.† In fact we encourage distributors of PCís to copy these CDís on to new and used PCís which they are selling.† We are issuing this press release to produce requests for these CDís Ė so please email, write or phone your requests now.
The CDís are not some magical facilitator of development and creator of money and income.† But they can help.† Given some self-reliance and hard work, they can help people to get techniques and technology right first time without making expensive mistakes which other people have made before.† Power to the People.
Contact Alex Weir, 2 Pepper Close, Hatfield, Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa. Tel +263-4-571 062.† email: firstname.lastname@example.org .† You can get some overview information at http://www.humaninfo.org or contact Humanifo direct at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .†
PS - You do not need any telephone or internet connection to use these CDís Ė only a computer with Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98, Windows NT, or Windows 2000 and about 5 megabytes spare hard disc space for each CD installed.† Each of the 5 Encyclopedias can be run from CD or totally from the hard drive with no CD required.† There is no copy protection and no CD Key is required.† All information can be printed out, copied to word documents etc..† The CDís are reissued in updated form every 12-24 months.† Humaninfo welcome feedback, both positive and negative.† Note that you do not need your own computer to view these CDís on Ė you can have the CDís and use someone elseís computer.