I suppose you could say my blog is now officially launched. My first reference (fr) from a fellow blogger Rachid Jankari was published today (merci Rachid).
I lived and worked in Morocco for over four years with a leading independent ISP, MTDS. During that time I travelled around the fascinating North African country, and was privileged to be able to visit Tunisia, Malawi and Haiti as part of my job. Internet in the developing world is an important resource for education and communication, and the difference that it can make is more profound as I see it compared to the widespread acceptance and gradual taking for granted of high bandwidth that I am now experiencing living in France.
I was heavily involved in Linux projects and I worked with the staff at the Rabat American school which is fully open source based. I also helped set up email, firewall and network infrastructure projects around Rabat and Casablanca. Free software allows anyone to set up a customised solution for just labour charge – and is I believe a stronger educational tool for the nitty gritty of computing compared to commercial solutions.
I still participate in the Moroccan IT community via the mailing list MarocIT (un bonjour aux abonnés de la liste). Rachid (who quoted my site in his blog) founded that list. I got to know him initially via a project from the dot com boom : orientation.com a local web portal for Morocco in English and French, part of a network of portals that shared the slogan “think globally, search locally”. When the venture capital ran out, the business quickly closed, but it was a very interesting project. Rachid, a professional journalist, wrote some articles for us, and went on to become a reference in online journalism in Morocco. He now writes for the technology section – including articles about open source – of the leading Moroccan web portal Menara.