Uganda is a very beautiful country in the eastern part of equatorial Africa. Stunning national parks, lakes, volcanoes, waterfalls and the most diverse wildlife on the African continent! Many scientists believe that the birth of civilization took place here and the first people of our planet appeared.
Today, however, Uganda remains a poor country and ranks 204th in the world in terms of GDP per capita. Despite the fact that the Nile River flows through its territory and the first hydroelectric power station was built in 1946, today only 29% of the country is electrified. And 90% of the rural population does not have electricity at all until now.
But even where it is, it is dangerous to turn on electrical appliances without a stabilizer – the voltage and frequency are constantly “fluctuating”.
High cost, constant interruptions, and daily power outages for several hours pose difficult challenges for those involved in education – how to give children at least the basics of computer literacy in such conditions? Indeed, in our time, without it, the development of the country is impossible. And since most families in Uganda cannot afford to buy a computer, one of the few opportunities to introduce children to computing is to create computer classes in schools.
The only available solution at the moment is autonomous solar generation. Moreover, both in combination with fuel cells, and using conventional batteries as storage devices.
Thanks to government programs and international assistance, more than 30 schools have been equipped with such energy sources. But the power of these units does not exceed 3 kW. How to create a computer class for at least 20 seats, with such restrictions? The average computer consumes 200 watts per hour (160 watts system unit and 40 watts monitor). Even if all the school’s electricity is given to the computer class, we won’t be able to support more than 15 places. But there are other consumers in the school – for example, a pump for supplying water to the toilet, lighting, communications, a printer after all! It seems that the situation is hopeless.
And here the ASTER program comes to the rescue, which, on the basis of one system unit, allows you to create a multi-user system for up to 12 workplaces. A simple calculation showed us that just under 1.5 kW is needed to create 24 workplaces.
- two system blocks 160W x 2=320W
- plus two more video cards in each system unit 40W x 4 = 160W
- 24 monitors 40W x 24=860W
Total 1340 watts (approx.)
How is this possible?
The ASTER program allocates computer resources according to the needs of users connected to it. Since, the power of modern computers in most cases is excessive for solving the problems of one user, we can connect additional monitors, keyboards and mouses and create a multi-user system based on one computer using the ASTER multiseat program. At the same time, each user can work as if he had his own personal computer. He will have his own desktop, his own settings and his own set of devices he needs.
This example of computerization of schools in Uganda shows how a non-standard approach helps to solve seemingly unsolvable problems.
If you need to carry out computerization in places where there are problems with electricity or it is very expensive – take a closer look at the ASTER program and you can, not only save on equipment cost, but also reduce electricity consumption and bills!