Sunday, March 27, 2011

Koha rocks!

I love Koha! No, Koha is not a woman. Koha is an Integrated Library Management System that is open source. I have been following Koha since 2002, when, in conjunction with Projektlink Konsult Ltd, we deployed it for the Hezekiah Oluwasanmi library at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

The past three years has however seen a renewed intrest in Koha in Nigeria. We have deployed Koha in over 13 libraries these last 3 years.

Why do I love Koha?
  1. It does well what other (costing thousands of $$$) library management systems does. So you get great value for your money.
  2. It is open source, so you own your data! And get to modify the code to your heart's content.
  3. A great support community (www.koha-community.org)
  4. Its a great opportunity for libraries in developing countries like Nigeria to automate their functions.
Koha was 10 last year (2010). The Koha conference was held in New Zealand. I made a presentation via skype at the conference on the prospects and challenges of Koha in Nigeria. You can see the presentation here.

This year Koha conference will be held in Thane, India. Full details here.

Koha is so much fun that doing stuffs on it gives me great pleasure. Expect to read more about Koha in this blog!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Free Bandwidth Usage Monitoring

Recently, my senior partner decided to buy MTN Fastlink (A product of MTN Nigeria for Internet Access using a 3G Modem). He loaded the 1 day data plan with a volume limit of 150 MB. In less than an hour of browsing (checking e-mail, no downloads), his plan expired. He tried again with another 1 day, and in less than 2 hours later his plan finished.

He called my attention to it and I was quite surprised but guessed the updates on his Windows 7 laptop, which was new, may have caused it. This led me to look for a truly free bandwidth monitor application compatible with Windows 7. The last one I used on my Vista machine gave several definitely false figures.

Googling later got me several options, some not compatible with Windows 7. I downloaded some few one like Netmet (Not Win 7 compatible) and Networx.

I installed Networx and gave it a trial, and I was impressed. Contrary to what I read at a forum online, where a user was complaiing that networx consumed 20k of RAM, mine only had about 9k. The controls were quite fluid and if you are looking for a Windows 7 compatible bandwidth monitor just head over to http://www.softperfect.com/products/networx/.

I have been using Networx now for more than 2 months, on Windows Vista and have found it quite useful. And best of all, it's free.