Energy Poverty-The Role of Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora

“Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” said World Bank Vice President Rachel Kyte. “It is energy that lights the lamp that lets you do your homework that keeps the heat on in a hospital that lights the small businesses where most people work. Without energy, there is no economic growth, there is no dynamism, and there is no opportunity.”

Energy Poverty is a one of the major challenges we face in Sierra Leone. Energy poverty refers to the situation where large numbers of our people’s well-being is negatively affected by very low consumption of energy, use of dirty or polluting fuels, and excessive time spent collecting fuel to meet basic needs.

In other words 60% plus of our people reply on expensive and unsustainable alternatives such as kerosene, batteries and candles for their lightning needs. Until the grid expands, which will require of hundreds of million of investment, the majority of our people would have to adopt sustainable alternatives. Solar lanterns is one such alternative.
Burning money: In Sierra Leone, for example, poor families spend between 5-8 USD a month of kerosene, batteries and candles combined. This amounts to 96 USD a year! This is unacceptable when many people, 60% live on less than 2 dollars a day.

At the same time Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora remit some 55 millions dollars every year back to their family and friends home. A large proportion of these remittances goes to household consumption. Very little is saved. As so many families are off grid, spending on kerosene, candles, batteries, diesel for lighting constitute a significant expenditure for many families. Given the alternative of solar, this is a real waste of money.
Unintentionally your remittances are contributing to Energy poverty and financing poor health. In addition, many of our children are not able to properly study because they reply on Kerosene lamp or candles.

Burning of fossil fuel like kerosene, oils, woods and coal are the biggest sources of indoor pollution. Indoor pollution causes half as many deaths as malaria, nearly as many casualties as TB, and half as many as HIV/Aids. Indoor pollution is leads to thoracic infections and lungs diseases. World-wide some 4 million people die every year from indoor pollution-the majority woman and children. Of the 4 million it is estimated 800,000 are children, majority in Africa and Asia.

Think about investing in a solar lantern for your relatives and friends back home. You can mitigate the effect of climate change by contributing to the use of more sustainable lighting alternatives.
The savings from not buying kerosene will free up funds for other household items or even schooling; reduction from the serious effects of indoor pollution; better light for studying purposes; safer home environment and more.

Visit DiasporaSolar.com to learn more. We have charts, diagrams and calculations showing the case study. For example, every year on average each Sierra Leone spends $97 on Kerosene, candles and batteries. A solar lantern costing $50, with a phone charger has no running cost and the battery can last from 3- 5 years. This means after year one you can potentially realize savings of $97 every year and you get better health!

Diaspora Solar.com

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How Hybrid and Private Clouds Solve Problems for Schools with Limited Connectivity

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The use of digital content is an exciting concept for schools in developing communities. Schools all over the world, especially those in developing countries, are adopting videos, ebooks, and interactive software to supplement the learning experience. However, schools with limited Internet (including some access to the Internet but sporadic and/or low bandwidth) face unique challenges. They cannot access content online consistently. Additionally, if the content is hosted locally on one’s own computer, how does this content get updated and made available to all in low bandwidth situations?

These problems have existed for a long time. The typical approach is to install a server somewhere within the school and use it to host content. Often these are either expensive Windows servers or complicated-to-maintain Linux servers. On top of that, there’s still the issue of getting these servers updated content. It’s typically an inefficient or non-intuitive process.

As one of Inveneo’s Project Engineers I’ve experienced these problems first hand while working in Tanzania. I was hoping there would be a better way to handle these issues and I believe there is: utilizing the private cloud or the hybrid cloud.

Public cloud systems such as Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Google Drive, and so forth are great for scalability and maintenance because you do not host them. You don’t have to run your own server to get these services to work. By using the Private Cloud you get to own the infrastructure (unlike Amazon or Dropbox). That means you are responsible for the equipment and maintenance. This may sound complicated, but there are devices out that make this very simple and can be reasonably cost effective, particularly when considering my favorite device families to use – Synology DiskStations. Synology DiskStations have been marketed widely towards small, medium, and large business as well as home users as a NAS (network attached storage) solution that offers file backup and fault protection (RAID) solutions. Even better, it’s set up to flourish in limited connectivity scenarios. Synology DiskStations are remarkably easy to set up (you don’t use a command line once), and it opens the door to many options that schools in developing communities can utilize.

Highlights of some of the most useful features for ICT4E:

1) Syncing of Content

Dropbox has gained a lot of fame by syncing content from a folder on a computer to their servers. This is great if you have multiple devices and want access to the same content. Synology has actually borrowed this idea, and you can set up your own private file sync locally! For example, if you have 50 laptops (or even tablets) in a school and you want to distribute a new video to each of the devices, you can simply add it to your Synology. It will automatically get downloaded and distributed to all the machines that have the Synology Cloud Station client installed.

Now consider the situation where the new content that you’d want to distribute is a video produced by someone else not near the school. You can simply link up the Synology unit to a Dropbox or Google Drive account and it will download over time in the background while connectivity is available. Once the content has been downloaded, it will then sync to all the devices locally (just like before).

2) A High Level of Scalability

If you’re working across a number of schools and each school wishes to have the same content made available, you can simply configure the DiskStations to be able to sync with one another.

Synology also has a wide variety of DiskStation devices that have different hardware specifications that are able to meet the needs of most environments. These range from simple and cost-effective ARM-based processors with limited memory to powerful Intel Xeon processors that carry up to 8GB of memory.

3) Easy Remote Management

With DiskStation Manager 5.0+, it’s possible to set up outside access to the units utilizing Synology’s QuickConnect feature and their Cloud Station Server client. There aren’t any complicated port-forwarding router configurations. If you desire a more advanced setup, you can choose to set up your Synology as a VPN server. They even provide free DDNS services.

4) An “App Store”…for Servers?

These devices have a growing list of applications that you can simply login to the device and select for a one-click install. Some applications include Moodle, Asterisk (for VoIP), antivirus software, and WordPress. See the full list here.

5) No Monthly Fees

A lot of cloud services have a monthly or annual payment business model. This is not the case for the services provided by Synology.

These devices are incredibly exciting, and I am really impressed with the direction that Synology has taken. The user interface is incredibly easy to navigate when comparing it to products that can do similar things. They’ve found a way to make servers simple without losing a lot of functionality.

The most similar products to the Synology DiskStation family are from QNAP, which I’ve heard very good things about as well, but I had some complaints about the UI.

For more information on the Synology DiskStation please visit the Synology website.


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Finger millet genomics project to provide researchers with better tools for variety production

Finger millet is a staple food for South Asia and East Africa where it has been grown widely for thousands of years. The importance of finger millet as one of the solutions to food security cannot be underestimated considering the many uses of the crop in a farmer’s household. It is a source of food for many households across eastern Africa and beyond, used in brewing traditional beer and the straw as animal fodder. Such versatility makes finger millet an ideal food security crop.

Benta Auma Ochola from Siaya County, Gem District, Sagam area is a farmer who has embraced modern finger millet farming practices as well as improved finger millet varieties. On her four-acre piece of land at Marenyu sub-location, Benta farms maize, sweet potatoes among other food crops and keeps animals.

In 2012, Prof Matthew Dida a researcher on the sorghum and finger millet project from Maseno University in Kenya introduced her to finger millet farming and she has not looked back. That year she harvested 67 gorogoros (two kilogram tin farmers use when measuring grain) equivalent to 134 kilograms, on a quarter of five-acre shamba (land). In 2013 she increased land under finger millet to half an acre buoyed by the good yields from the previous year and harvested 80 gorogoros.

This year she wants plans on increasing acreage under finger millet as her yields gets better and better. “By selling one gorogoro at Kshs. 150 (Kshs. 75 per kilo equivalent to $0.87), I am making more money from finger millet than I used to do from maize,” Benta beamed enthusiastically.

Prof Dida who has been implementing this project has been educating farmers about modern farming technologies whilst providing them with high yielding finger millet varieties.

Benta has been planting Maseno 60D and P224 improved varieties. These varieties are superior over the traditional varieties as they flower in 60 days and are ready to harvest in 80 days compared to other commercial varieties, which take up to 120 days.

“Maseno 60D passed the National Performance trials in 2012/2013 and is currently undergoing DUS testing by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) before being released officially as a finger millet variety,” Prof Dida explained. “We plan on disseminating these varieties to as many as 10,000 farmers in Kenya and across the region.”

Benta’s story is one that can be scaled out to a wider community with significant impact. However, it has taken the researchers many years to develop these varieties, a situation that needs to change if we are to bring these agricultural innovations quicker to the marketplace to address farmers’ productivity challenges. The conventional breeding methods although effective tend to take a long time because they are not very precise. Modern tools including genomics would augment and hasten varietal development process.

In March 2014, Bio-Innovate Program initiated a finger millet genome sequencing project to complement the work on the identifying, developing and delivering millet varieties to smallholder farmers in the eastern Africa region project that has been on-going for the past three years funded by the Program.

Sequencing a genome in layman’s language is “decoding” a genome to understand what each gene does. This will be the first ever of such work ever done on finger millet. Genome sequencing will give finger millet breeders a map that can be used to easily locate and identify genes responsible for progressive traits in finger millet varieties to assist the breeding process.

Bio-Innovate has partnered with the African Orphan Crop Consortium to initiative the sequencing of finger millet genome. This initiative is being coordinated by The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT) regional team based in Nairobi in partnership with Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub, University of California, University of Georgia (UGA) and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

The knowledge gained and molecular tools developed in this work will be transferred to breeders in the eastern Africa region to be routinely used in their breeding program. Finger millet has had low research investments and the genetic potential of this crop has not been fully exploited to address the productivity constraints affecting the smallholder farmers – especially drought and diseases, with productivity averaging 0.4 – 2 tons/ha against a potential of 5 – 6 tons/ha from research done in Kenya.

“The sequencing of the finger millet genome is important because it allows for the development of molecular tools to complement the conventional breeding currently used by the breeders.” Dr Allan Liavoga stated.

The combination of conventional and advanced technologies will lead to more efficient breeding process that deliver far superior varieties to the smallholder farmers in a comparatively shorter period of time. This is expected to significantly improve the productivity of finger millet and mitigate climate change, consequently enhance the competitiveness of this orphan crop – contributing to food security and improved livelihoods in East Africa with potential spillover effect in sub-Saharan Africa.


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Regional experts meet to discuss sustainable management of industrial effluent in East Africa

Regional experts meet to discuss sustainable management of industrial effluent in East Africa

On 19-20 May the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) of Ethiopia in conjunction with Bio-Innovate Program convened a two-day regional meeting in Addis Ababa that brought together environmental management regulators, high-level policy makers and industry owners and players to discuss and recommend enabling policies and regulations needed for efficient and sustainable industrial effluent management in the region. Participants were drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania.

At hand to officiate the opening of the forum was Ato Abdisa Yilma the advisor to H.E. Demitu Hambissa the Minister of Science and Technology. “The bioscience revolution, with its spectrum of application to improve agricultural productivity, environmental protection and human health provides new opportunities for economic and social development worldwide.” Mr. Abdisa said in his opening remarks.

“However, to grasp the benefits, Ethiopia as well as other countries in the region needs to adopt appropriate regulatory and policy incentives. The ministry of Science and Technology is committed to promoting clean technology for sustainable development.”

The ministry recognized that environmental problems require environmental policies and strategies that favor generation and adoption of green technologies in agriculture, energy and water resources use and management. He expressed the commitment of the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology to work with the Bio-Innovate Program to take this agenda forward to ensure the environment is kept clean for many generations to come.

The meeting whose agenda was two-fold sought to identify opportunities and challenges of adopting new technologies and fostering innovation for industrial effluents management in East Africa; and develop a set of recommendations for enabling policy and regulations, including incentives schemes for uptake of innovations in industrial effluents management in region.

Seyoum Leta of Bio-Innovate used the industrial wastewater treatment and value addition consortium funded by the Program to contextualize the problem facing many industries in the region in fulfilling set rules and regulations in managing their wastewater.

“Industries in the Eastern Africa region are growing because of the opportunities and the conducive environment for investment. However, this growth, and more specifically the nature of the waste these enterprises produce aren’t matched with appropriate waste management technologies.” He indicated.

He revealed that there are more than 5,000 agro-processing industries in East Africa and only 10% of them treat industrial their wastewater to some degree, which often does not meet national environmental quality standards.

According to Dr Leta, lack of awareness has seen many of these enterprises install an oxidation or stabilization pond that can only treat effluent partially and does not reduce the level of toxins discharged to the environment.

“If we really want a treatment that complies with existing national standards, it has to meet all the discharge limits contained in a given environmental standards.”

“We are approaching different funding agencies within and outside the region to support the roll out of the waste treatment and value addition innovations that Bio-Innovate has developed in partnership with the private sector to industrial players across the region.

Participants of the Bio-innovate Regional Industrial Effluent Management Workshop
Participants of the Bio-innovate Regional Industrial Effluent Management Workshop.
(Photo credit: Bio-Innovate)

In his keynote presentation, professor Karoli Njau from the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, the lead for the industrial wastewater treatment and value addition consortium said that, “the condition of industrial effluents management in sub-Saharan Africa is terrible. You do not have to be a scientist to see this. If you go to any city in sub-Saharan Africa you will see poorly disposed solid waste and wastewater that is directly released into the municipal sewage or river systems without any form of pretreatment thus polluting our water resources. “

He pointed out various challenges that hamper industries from adopting effective effluent management Including the sizes and the economics of the industries, failure to enforce laws and also because such solutions are unknown to the end-users or perceived to be costly.

“We need to develop home grown solutions and technologies, that suite our unique environment and challenges. The problem with imported technologies is that they may not be sustainable and the after sales services may not be readily available and are often costly. The best option is to develop homegrown solutions hence building the knowledge base within and creating jobs. In addition, due to the initially high capital outlays need to install these technologies, the private sector should be incentivized to adopt these environmentally sustainable industrial waste management technologies.”

The forum invited several experts from the East Africa region to present the status of effluent management and existing policy framework in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia. These experts presented their finding which formed the basis for the two-day discussions.

The Program through the policy consortium aims at using the findings from the discussion to publish policy papers and briefs distilling the issues and making recommendations to inform policy change or improvement to support industrial waste management in the region.

You can find the meeting’s presentations here: http://bioinnovate-africa.org/publications/regional-experts-workshop-on-industrial-effluents-management-in-east-africa

Photos from the meeting can be view here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ilri/sets/72157644791183624

Listen to what four participants from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania had to say about the forum:
Interview of Enid Turyahikayo, Assistant Audit and Compliance Officer, NEMA, Uganda: http://youtu.be/fjG4iwM8WWI?a
Interview of Flora Tibazarwa Director at Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), Tanzania: http://youtu.be/dfk_Y4-taG0?a
Interview of Suresh Patel, Chemical Engineer, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya: http://youtu.be/_5Rrty6igI4?a
Interview of Margaret Karembu Director, ISAAA Africenter, Kenya: http://youtu.be/hXLEC20SVAk?a


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For Breakthrough Innovation, Focus on Possibility, Not Profitability

More than 15 years after its founding, Google remains a company that inspires profound admiration — and at times, a bit of confusion.

The company is currently investing in self-driving cars, a futuristic idea that some people believe will never be achieved. It’s also rolling out Google Glass, a wearable computing device that’s inspired skepticism and some mockery.

The derision is misplaced. As someone who’s been involved in marketing breakthrough innovations, I’m convinced Google’s approach is the right one. Google is focused on possibility rather than profitability — a mindset that’s necessary to create innovations that transform categories. Many breakthrough innovations I’ve led have suffered when I’ve let the profitability mindset creep in. Google should be admired for first setting out to answer the question: “Is this possible?”

Successful innovations programs create a balance between the probable/profitable short-term programs and the possibility programs that challenge the status quo. Unfortunately, most companies are organized and focused on the probable/profitable short term, and therefore miss the potential of breakthrough innovation that comes from being focused on the possible.  This is frequently how well-established category leaders miss opportunities that transform their categories.

Programs that transform take patience. Speed to market, probability of quick return, and profitability mindset have to take a backseat to truly delivering a product that delights the consumer in every aspect. My perspective on this comes from my own experience.

At Keurig, the pod-based coffee company where I worked as president for six years, sales grew at a 61% compound annual rate, propelling Keurig Green Mountain from $500 million to $4.5 billion in net sales from 2008-2013.  Keurig machines sit on the counter in more than 18 million households. Most people think that Keurig just recently appeared.  But in fact, Keurig was founded more than 15 years ago.  The first machines were sold in 2000.

Today, The brewers cost $100 or $150, still a significant premium to the standard drip coffee maker. But what many people forget is that in its early years, Keurig brewers cost $900 apiece. Early K-cups were made by hand. Keurig opted to  start out in the office coffee market, not the consumer market. That made the $900 price point competitive and acceptable. The whole approach to the office became a way to commercialize the design quicker and to gain consumer experience as the company drove the brewer down the cost curve. The wider diversity of coffee drinkers in an office (vs. a single consumer household) planted the seeds of the importance of having an eco-system of brands beyond our own. This led to the variety and partnering strategy that has been at the core of Keurig’s success. Today, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Folgers, Caribou, Peets, and Snapple, to name just a few, participate as partners in the system.  It’s the only brand of single serve that offers a wide variety of brands of coffee and roasts, along with other beverages.

If the company’s founders and early leaders had focused on profitability instead of possibility, I’m not sure the system would have been as successful. And they certainly wouldn’t have invited the competition to share in the system to maximize the variety. Variety accelerated the growth.  It was the vision of transforming the way consumers make coffee that took them on the decade long journey to success, growth and profitability.

Possibility sharply focuses the scope of the breakthrough innovation. If the only question is “Is it possible to make it?”, then that question defines who you bring onto the team both from a capability standpoint (can this person help us figure it out?) and from a character standpoint. (Specifically: Does this person bring an optimistic or pessimistic perspective?) People who make great leaders of breakthrough innovation programs always ask the “What if” question. It frees you to look for talent and resources beyond your company — who are the partners who will share your vision, who bring incremental talent and cross-category perspectives to make this work?

One of the key ingredients to the possibility mindset is the addition of truly understanding what the consumer wants.  The question isn’t just “Is it possible to make it?” but “Is it possible to make exactly what your specific target consumer wants?” In contrast, the profitability mindset shuts down ideas and shortcuts the process. It stifles creativity and likely limits the team to only those ideas, capabilities, business models, and resources already inside the company.

Once the original ‘is it possible’ question has been solved for, the trick is to apply the same optimistic, focused thinking to the commercialization process. Now that we know it is possible to make, is it possible to make smaller, faster, better, and more cost effectively?

The opportunity is to create a win-win:  Create something that is right for the consumer and by doing this, transform a category and create a long term sustainable growth opportunity for the company.

Google is looking at “possiblity’ with Glass and self-driving cars. Both may seem like strange or silly innovations today, but over time they could turn into true breakthroughs and gain wide acceptance.

When Innovation Is Strategy
An HBR Insight Center


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Why entrepreneurs should play more games: discover new ways to make money.

Business model of most consumer products & services

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Many industries make the mistake of limiting how much a client can pay for their products. In the music industry, albums are still sold at a fixed price. As a result, even the most loyal fans can only pay €15 for an album. The gaming industry has already evolved. A couple of years ago, they sold games in boxes at a fixed price and gamers paid a once-only, flat €50 fee for the full game. They realized that this is old-school pricing. They moved on and so should you.

The gaming industry’s success strategy

ani2Today, many titles are offered via a free-to-play model. A variety of complementary in-app purchases offer extra add-ons or features to enrich the gaming experience. There is one rule: a client should be able to spend all his money if he wants to. For some mobile games, only a few people (sometimes fewer than 1%) will bring in nearly all of the revenue! This pricing strategy is becoming so successful (for the publishers) that new problems start to emerge. But that is a different story.

Do you block your clients from spending an infinite amount of money?

anigraph3Many SME owners and entrepreneurs should take a closer look at the gaming industry and evaluate how they are limiting clients to spend more money. Take the (Belgian) restaurant business for example. In my experience, maybe 50% of restaurant owners only accept cash. Knowing that the average Belgian walks around with €30 in their pocket, you know  you can’t earn €100 from that visitor – at best maybe €25 if he wants to keep €5 back for cigarettes later that evening. You get the picture. A stupid strategy.

By design, the business model of restaurants is broken. Even when paying with a credit card, I personally can’t eat more than a few dishes and drink a couple of glasses of wine. Honestly, I’m amazed at how few restaurants experiment with alternative ways of selling me more products. If I buy one piece of delicious apple cake in the afternoon, why not offer me the full cake in a box to take home to my family later that day? Or sell me recipes of your marvelous cocktails and promise to deliver all the ingredients to my home for my party a week later. What about interior advice and referral fees to get an introduction to your contractor? And so on. You could come up with dozens of (crazy) alternative revenue streams that aren’t limited to the amount of food my body can handle within a two-hour timeframe.

Just keep in mind – regardless of the industry you’re in – that there are numerous ways to rethink or challenge your business model by looking at similar concepts in other markets. We see that the analogy thinking brainstorms in our training program are often the most effective tools for finding new business ideas. What market should you learn from?

Update: 29/04/14
I received a great comment via this post on Facebook by @bartclaeys (Belgian, Living in Seattle):

So true, restaurants in Belgium limit themselves based on tradition. In a Belgian restaurant you can’t:

1. Take out food (which is possible in ANY restaurant in US). Seats in a restaurants are limited, but take-out requests can be served endlessly. It requires a more efficient kitchen and less waiting times, something Belgian restaurants – for some bizarre reasons – didn’t figure out yet.

2. Get a doggy bag (note: never use that term in US, nobody does) to take your left overs home. This is especially handy when you dine with your partner who does not finish her plate I tried that in Belgium during my last visit. I insisted and the restaurant was really offended. They almost refused.

3. Tip. Belgian restaurants don’t do the whole tipping thing. Which is great – because I hate it – but which limits them receiving more money for extra service. Delivering extra service is easy and cheap. Checking in once in a while, bringing something extra,… Americans easily fall for that and open their wallet a little wider.

4. Get water for free. Which seems a loss of revenue at first sight, but which reduces the cost of a restaurant visit which means you will go more often. Here in US (at least in Seattle) – I’ve just calculated it yesterday – it’s more expensive to cook your own food than to go to a restaurant because of this. You can get great Thai, Korean,… food for $10. Try to get anything other than a sandwich in Belgium for that money…

5. Get overpriced drinks. Wine and beer are fairly cheap in Belgium and thus accessible to the masses. In US (at least in Seattle) both wine a beer are extremely expensive, starting at $10 for a glass of wine. This reminds me of the price strategies with SAAS companies, offer something cheap, offer something medium priced and offer something extremely expensive (for those who don’t care about money at all). Do Belgian restaurants have an option on their menu that you can waste your money on?

6. Get fast service. American restaurants serve their food fast. No, not only the fast food chains For some reason Belgian restaurants are super slow and thus have less earning potential. I think it has something to do with the number of people in the kitchen. Because employment in Belgium is expensive, the number of people in the kitchen is probably limited in comparison with American kitchens.

Now, I’m not saying that dining in America is better (anticipating on negative responses, here) but it’s definitely more commercial while in Belgium it’s more traditional (aka they stick to their principles).


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What’s the Best IT Equipment to Use in Harsh Environments?

ICT4D practitioners work in all kinds of difficult weather conditions and environments. Dust, humidity, unreliable power, heat, and blowing sand can all make it tricky to keep IT equipment clean and working efficiently for users.

Recently United Methodist Communications (UMCom) asked Inveneo to test, rate, and recommend IT equipment suitable for the diverse environments that ICT4D practitioners work in. Inveneo staff conducted several tests on laptops, tablets, desktops, and monitors/projectors. To share the results and offer recommendations, the team published the “ShopUMC Product Evaluation Report” for UMCom’s audience and the larger ICT community.

During the testing stage, the engineers rated each piece of equipment in terms of battery life, power consumption, performance, and several other components. A few of the tests included in the report were:

Power Consumption Tests

Engineers tested DC power consumption. For example, if the product operates from an AC-to-DC power adapter, most typically from 12 VDC to 19 VDC, Inveneo tested a sample unit under various operating scenarios using a bench power supply that can source a varying DC voltage.

The team also measured AC power consumption. Products with internal AC power supplies were tested under the same test scenarios as units with external power adapters, but the power consumption was measured with either a Watts-UP power monitoring device or a Kill-a-Watt power meter.

Environmental Tests

Inveneo designed and built its own high temperature test “hotbox”. The hotbox employs two microprocessor-controlled 300W incandescent light bulbs and can reach an internal temperature of as high as 80°C (176°F) but it is very rarely used above 55°C maximum. Devices that fit into the hotbox are normally tested for 2 to 4 days at increasing temperatures while operating in a simulated maximum load scenario.

The piece of equipment under test was monitored throughout these temperature tests, both electronically and visually, to ensure that it was still functioning correctly under the test scenario.

Inveneo’s engineers looked at the amount of airflow going in and out of products undergoing temperature testing to make a somewhat subjective judgment about potential dust accumulation.

Which Equipment Models Were Tested?

Desktops:

  • ASUS EB1007P
  • Aleutia T1 Fanless Eco PC
  • Dell OptiPlex 3010 Small Form Factor

Laptops:

  • Intel ClassmatePC Pupil 103 Laptop
  • Intel ClassmatePC Pupil 104 Laptop
  • Acer TravelMate 5744-6695 – 15.6 – Core i3 380M – Windows 7 Professional
  • Panasonic Toughbook 53

Tablets:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet 2 (10.1) WiFi
  • Nexus 10 Tablet
  • Apple iPad with Retina Display
  • Turcom Zenithink C93 10”

Peripherals – Monitors and Projectors:

  • Asus VS208N-P 20” LCD/LED
  • Optoma PK320 Pico Projector

The report gives an extended graph and list that offers ratings for each of these pieces of equipment. A quick snapshot for the best choices when it comes to environmental and application suitability can be found below.

ShopUMCReportGraph

The “ShopUMC Product Evaluation Report” was commissioned by UMCom. The equipment is available at the Shop UMC store.


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