Archive for Październik, 2011

Opinion: The desktop is dead

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

By Pierre du Plessis, Datacentrix next generation services advisor

Public, private and hybrid clouds, software as a service, business service management, application streaming, virtualisation, virtual desktop infrastructure, automated provisioning and service catalogue – not only is the hype deafening, but the list of acronyms and buzzwords is growing by the day.

Now add smartphones, which for the first time in history have shipped more units than desktops, laptops and thin clients combined this year, as well as tablets, like the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy and RIM’s Blackberry Playbook, to the mix, and you will soon realise why the title is relevant.

But, do enterprises really realise what the impact of this is? Many users walk around with smartphones, tablets and laptops, all connected to enterprise back office systems, which means that Active Directory, Exchange and the internet proxy server all work three times harder. They also consume more bandwidth, support (well not really, as power users tend to help themselves) and other scarce enterprise resources. So, the question companies need to ask themselves is, did we factor all of this in when cloud and device mobility was sold to us?

So, what does this mean to us mere mortals who consume enterprise applications and services on our traditional 7-9K desktops and 15K laptops? The golden age of power at the fingertips of the distributed end user device is gone. Why do we need super-fast processors, lots of RAM, our own little quagmire of operating system, anti-virus, productivity software and a plethora of utilities like Adobe’s Acrobat reader – all which have to be installed, patched, managed and more importantly, paid for?

Virtualisation, automated provisioning and cloud services tenets dictate that most of the applications consumed can be delivered via a browser to a thin client device, obviating 99 percent of the issues described above, and at a much lower cost.

For the mobile warriors who lug laptops around, the tablet will truly revolutionise their habits and behaviour. And, although the enterprises resisted adoption of iPads, users sneaked them in because they could easily set up and configure their own devices without the help of the IT department. A rich application store, from which users elect what they want to buy and pay for themselves is the paradigm shifter.

And who should be blamed for the wasted investment in an i7 dual quad core CPU, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 2TB of storage and a chassis that consumes 450W of power, hooked up to a 24” LCD monitor, wireless keyboard and a laser mouse that lurks around on many desks? Certain hardware and software suppliers that seldom release updates to major chipsets, processor standards or operating systems. It all just gets too complex, like a big engine with hundreds of cogs that have to mesh before I can fully utilise my desktop.

Smartphones and tablets will destroy the current market domination of some of the larger hardware and software providers. Not only are their developers Gen X and Y, and whatever comes after that, they also release new processors and operating systems every three to six months. They open their operating systems to millions of developers who further enhance their product (Apple & Google Android are great examples).

Enterprises in turn will increasingly adopt thin client virtual desktop infrastructure, with applications hosted and managed centrally, and only a browser as the interface that has to be maintained. And this all at a price point that could be as much as 70 percent less per user. That is IT budget liberated, green and enterprise bottom line added for very little effort.

Digital press buying guide

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

According to Leon Minnie, product manager of production solutions at Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa, there are several key points that must be considered when it comes to purchasing a digital press.

Thus, the first question any print shop looking to procure a digital press must ask is what their specific requirements are – both currently and in future – as this will determine the type of machine to be purchased.

“There are so many different solutions on offer in the marketplace, that it is key to narrow the selection down by looking at points such as quality requirement, machines’ standard features, volumes produced and speed versus productivity,” explains Minnie. “It is important to remember that different types of media affect productivity especially when it comes to finishing equipment, such as perfect binding, stapling and folding and so on. In order to calculate productivity, the entire process must be taken into consideration.”

Next, the print controller must be investigated. “People have different preferences, some favour Fiery over CREO, but they must also look at what is currently being used at the facility and how easily a new controller can be integrated into the current workflow,” he says. For instance, CREO is usually a better option when it comes to variable data printing (VDP), but Fiery is preferable for some businesses as it is far more user friendly.

In addition, not only must the colour management ability of devices be assessed, but also the solutions the supplier can offer to make all the different printing processes work in harmony to produce either the same colour or conform to a specific colour standard like ISO or FOGRA.

Finishing requirements should also be investigated. For instance, inline finishing provides a one-stop process with no human intervention necessary, greater productivity and no need for additional equipment. Unfortunately, certain finishing requirements cannot be done inline, such as hard cover books, embossing and lamination, without a third party finisher at a huge premium. For this reason, it is important too look at the requirements and business plan for your digital press in order to make the correct decision on whether to use inline or off-line finishing.

The next consideration is ROI – the outright purchase cost must be weighed up against the print volume in order to be justified. On this note, Minnie points out that companies must remember that service charges for maintenance must be all inclusive otherwise they could end up paying much more than planned. “A three year investment is recommended, provided that the machine will be fully utilised, but with the fast pace of technology change, future growth must also be taken into consideration due to the reduction in service charges with every new technology being released. Unlike litho printing, digital technology has a very short life span making it expensive to keep old technology alive, which results in print providers being less competitive in the market.”

Minnie also states that quite often, solution providers try to sell high end office machines into the production market, but these devices are not designed for this sector. “Only ten percent of volume can be done on thick stock and the office machines are not geared for this process, ultimately resulting in the ability of the machine being affected, missed deadlines and lower productivity becoming a frustration for both supplier and print provider.

“Finally, one of the most important factors to be considered is the technical support received,” he adds. “Questions to ask include: does the solution provider offer standby for after hours support, remote monitoring and fault diagnosis, qualified, trained technicians, software support specialists, training for users and, most importantly, do they have the necessary spares available? As one of the leading digital production suppliers to the South African industry, Konica Minolta South Africa’s award winning digital presses combined with our focus on this market will give print providers the competitive edge in the market.”

HP and Cisco partner on HP BladeSystem

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

To ensure choice and interoperability for their joint customers, HP and Cisco recently announced another option to bridge their data center server and networking architectures.

The Cisco Fabric Extender for HP BladeSystem, also known as the Cisco Nexus B22 Fabric Extender (FEX) for HP, benefits customers by extending the Cisco Unified Fabric into the HP c-Class BladeSystem.

The solution offers tighter integration for customers investing in HP BladeSystem and Cisco Nexus switch environments by preserving investments with existing data center technology.

Co-engineered by HP and Cisco, this solution allows customers to easily connect and configure their HP BladeSystem c-Class infrastructure and Cisco Unified Fabric.

Benefits of the Cisco FEX for HP BladeSystem includes:

  • increased network bandwidth and resiliency, which is needed for delivering mission-critical applications running on multiple server links;
  • expanded flexibility to address changing business demands with consolidated migration paths from 1GbE to 10GbE networks;
  • reduced network provisioning and maintenance required by IT administrators from the Cisco Nexus parent switch to as many as 24 fabric extenders

HP BladeSystem c-Class provides integration of data center resources including cables, power supplies, fans networking and redundancy for increased efficiency and reduced costs by addressing IT sprawl at the server-to-network layer.

“BladeSystem customers are looking to HP for solutions that easily integrate into existing environments,” said Andrew McNiven, Industry Standard Servers and Software Product Manager, HP South Africa. “This new solution allows industry-standard collaboration options for enterprises choosing HP BladeSystem c-Class infrastructure while simplifying their connections and reducing network costs.”

“Our customers want to easily and cost-effectively take advantage of the latest Cisco Unified Fabric innovations,” said Soni Jiandani, senior vice president, Server, Access and Virtualization Technology Group, Cisco. “By offering the Cisco Nexus B22 Fabric Extender (FEX) for HP, our customers can extend the benefits of the Cisco Unified Fabric across their existing data center infrastructure.”

Pricing and availability

The Cisco Fabric Extender for HP BladeSystem is now available directly from HP and its authorised partners.

Samsung introduces SMX-F70 camcorder

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in digital media and digital convergence technologies, has today announced the launch of the SMX-F70, a new family camcorder that provides incredible quality video at an affordable price. The SMX-F70 is the only SD camcorder on the market to offer a CMOS sensor with progressive (1280×720) recording, at 30 or 25 frames per second for NTSC or PAL systems respectively. With the SMX-F70, Samsung innovation builds premium quality recording technology and high-end features into a compact and affordable device that the whole family can use and enjoy – year after year.

The SMX-F70 enables the effortless capture of vivid and clear video, without the drawbacks of high price, cumbersome body or short battery life. It is the only SD camcorder to include a CMOS sensor, at a market-leading 5 Megapixel resolution. This incorporates a RGB primary colour filter to reproduce rich, accurate and natural coloured images. The CMOS sensor also provides protection from light smears that can appear on CCD sensors when filming bright targets such as lights or the sun. To avoid the shaky footage that many associate with home video, the SMX-F70 employs the CMOS sensor to provide Hyper Digital Image Stabilisation, significantly reducing shaking and blurring while recording.

As the only SD camcorder to incorporate progressive recording, the SMX-F70 ensures every frame of your video is sharp and clear, for smooth and seamless footage without blurring at twice the quality of conventional interlaced recording – whether being played back on the camcorder or shared on a TV or computer with family and friends. The SMX-F70 also enables HD recording, allowing users to capture dynamic video in intense detail, retaining its incredible resolution when played back on HD PC monitors. It also features a powerful 65x intelli-zoom and 52x optical zoom Schneider Kreuznach lens so that every detail can be picked up, even when focusing on a distant background scene.

The SMX-F70 is built to fit into a busy family life, with a light and compact body that is easy to keep on hand for those spontaneous shots, whether they be a baby’s first steps or a special family celebration. When needed, the SMX-F70 can also be used to take 1.9 Megapixel quality still photographs.

Mark Geldenhuys, Business Leader for Digital Imaging at Samsung Electronics South Africa, says; “With the new SMX-F70, we are proud to bring to market the first SD camcorder that offers a CMOS sensor and progressive recording. The device has been designed to put incredible movies within the grasp of all the family with an easy-to-use and affordable camcorder. Important family moments such as graduations, birthdays and sports games deserve the best quality possible, so Samsung has incorporated these premium technologies to capture these occasions in seamless, dynamic quality to be shared time and time again. The new SMX-F70 means that a busy mom or dad can effortlessly create the kind of movie quality that they would normally expect to see on TV, at a price that won’t break the bank.”

Capture every detail effortlessly

Along with the stunning quality of the video capture, the SMX-F70 includes features that allow you to exercise your creativity as you record. With the SMX-F70’s intelligent Smart Auto feature, the camcorder automatically selects one of seven shooting modes depending on the light conditions and your subject to give you the best possible picture. This incorporates Face Detection, to make sure that the faces of up to six people in the shot are kept in focus at all times, maintaining clarity in busy scenes such as parties or school plays. Additionally, with Smart Background Music (BGM), you can enjoy your videos with great background music – just like a professional production. This function lets you choose from a variety of prerecorded background music tracks and overlay them over your movie. It will also automatically adjust the music volume when speech is detected to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.

Edit and share your video without the headache

Like its predecessor the SMX-F50, the SMX-F70 has a number of features that make recording and editing your video easier than ever. Samsung’s Record Pause technology users to briefly pause while recording and then resume filming from that exact moment, avoiding the need to merge files for editing when recording is finished. When the time comes to download and edit your footage, the SMX-F70 also features built-in intelli-studio software that runs automatically when the camcorder is connected to a PC for easy editing and playback. For added convenience, the SMX-F70 can also be easily charged via USB port, reducing the need to carry around extra cables, batteries and chargers – for one swift action to download and charge before you’re ready to go again. This ‘plug and play’ feature also makes sharing easy, with instant uploads via the camcorder’s USB port.

Time lapse recording for breathtaking storytelling

The SMX-F70 features Time Lapse Recording, a fun and creative new feature that lets you capture hour upon hour of your family’s special occasions. The camcorder can be set up to take shots at intervals between one and thirty seconds, with the frames eventually spliced together to create a classic time lapse video. So, whether recording the comings and goings of a summer braai while the sun sets or showing the special effort that went into setting up a birthday party, the video you produce offers a twist on video storytelling that will be sure to entertain and impress your friends and family.

E-mail turns 40 in October

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

October marks the 40th anniversary of the first e-mail. As one might imagine, it was connected with the Internet’s forerunner, ARPANET, the military communications network. Ray Tomlinson, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was modifying a program that allowed different users of the same computer to send messages to each other. In those pre-PC days, computers were expensive items to be shared.

He succeeded in October 1971, and the now ubiquitous e-mail was born. Tomlinson also developed the familiar e-mail address using the “@” symbol. Tomlinson claims he could not remember the content of that first e-mail, but as there was no communications expert to craft it for him, it’s likely to have been pretty banal.

The term “e-mail” was only coined in 1982, which also saw the first emoticon. Microsoft first released Outlook in 1997, the year it purchased Hotmail for an estimated $400 million—and Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starred in You’ve got mail. E-mail had become well and truly mainstream.

“E-mail was immediately recognised as a great productivity tool and an excellent way to communicate cheaply and reliably,” notes Walter Penfold, managing director at Prefix Technologies. “I think it’s safe to say, though, that it has become the prisoner of its own success as volumes have increased and spam has come to clog our inboxes.”

The Radicati Group estimated in 2010 that some 294 billion e-mail messages are sent each day. Of these, says Internet statistics website, around 89% is spam. Ninety percent of that spam is in English, down from 96%, showing that spam is internationalising fast! Eighty-eight percent of all spam comes from spam botnets or networks of computers compromised by viruses.

“Some trend watchers feel that e-mail is actually on the way out, but I am of the opinion that the qualities that make it so useful haven’t disappeared,” Penfold says. “It’s particularly useful as a business communication tool, accessible from virtually any device that has Internet access: phones, tablets and computers. Social networks have similar reach but do not have the integrity that e-mail has as a business communication tool. In fact e-mail was the original social network as it ‘invented’ the concept of direct interaction with a large number of people and data sharing. And unlike social networks, nobody owns e-mail technology: it’s a totally open protocol which allows it to be a truly universal platform. E-mails also have legal force.

“In addition, most Internet-based activities require an e-mail address for confirmation and verification processes. Facebook’s recently launched messaging service seeks to take e-mail to the next level by integrating it with instant messaging—it’s ‘not an e-mail killer’, as Mark Zuckerberg has been quick to point out.”

Penfold says that the growth of spam and other forms of digital communication mean that companies need to develop clear communication strategies that blend e-mail with other forms of communication, perhaps with social and/or instant messaging taking over some of the more routine intra-company communication requirements.

“For this reason, pMailer, South Africa’s home-brewed messaging platform, integrates both SMS and e-mail to allow companies to leverage both channels effectively. Inboxes are crowded and so competition for attention is fierce,” he says. “That is true of most forms of digital communication and the challenge will grow as more of the world comes online.”

“E-mail is going from strength to strength and will not die. What is will do, however, is evolve. Happy birthday—and the best is yet to come!” concludes Penfold.

Altech Technology Concepts introduces ViBE

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) revolutionised telephony by providing cheap or free telephone calls worldwide. However, the bandwidth limitations and bandwidth cost in South Africa have restricted the adoption of VoIP, not to mention the volume and quality of VoIP calls. Altech Technology Concepts (ATC), a forward-thinking business communications service and solutions provider, has identified these constraints and introduced ViBE, an enabling technology developed by UK company Voipex. ViBE uses a quarter of the bandwidth of other conventional methods, and the prioritisation of voice traffic means that it improves the overall quality of the call.

“ATC has an advanced network that delivers a world-class voice and data service”, says Wayne de Nobrega, CEO of Altech Technology Concepts. “Our network is gaining traction in the market and in order for us to ensure the best possible quality service, we implemented the ViBE solution. It overcomes the limitations posed by existing technology, delivering an efficient, high-quality solution.”

ViBE enables voice and data to coexist on a single link; voice packets are not compromised by the presence of data packets. With ViBE, classes of data can be given their own share of available bandwidth in a much more granular way. ViBE effectively removes the inefficiencies of VoIP and reduces the network load. With this increased headroom, an ADSL connection can manage in excess of 20 concurrent calls, without sacrificing quality.

“We understand our customers”, continued de Nobrega. “It’s delivering the best possible service that drives us. With bandwidth still at a premium in South Africa, there are some very real concerns associated with using voice and data over the same broadband network connection. ATC is proud to offer an innovative solution that meets and exceeds our customers’ needs and expectations.”

Owen Rodgers, vice president of sales and marketing for Voipex in the Africa region says, “We welcome the adoption of ViBE by Altech Technology Concepts. It represents a significant step forward for Voipex and our roll-out of ViBE in South Africa. ViBE makes business grade VoIP ADSL a reality. It is designed for companies of all sizes and features full redundancy and failover. Another significant benefit of ViBE is that it can significantly reduce the effects of packet loss and network inefficiencies, a significant problem in the South African market, on relatively low or poor quality broadband connections through the utilisation of RAIN mode. The technology is network agnostic.”

“ViBE is a cost-effective and technically superior alternative to the traditional voice service and has finally made VoIP a reality by radically improving the user experience”, concluded de Nobrega.

MTN Business announces Desktop as a Service

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment

MTN Business announces the launch of Desktop as a Service (DaaS). In line with Gartner’s predication that the worldwide hosted virtual desktop market will increase through 2013, reaching 49 million units, this launch by MTN Business will now provide all desktop services virtually through the cloud.

Say’s Justin Colyn, general manager of Fixed Mobile Convergence at MTN Business; “Through this offering, MTN Business is addressing the biggest concerns that businesses have today; that of safe, cost effective ICT solutions. MTN DaaS offers customers a complete service that not only makes commercial sense, as it requires little reconfiguration, should there be changes to the organisation in the desktop environment, but delivers full security and limited IT maintenance – as the solution is hosted in the cloud.”

According to a study undertaken by Gartner, on average, companies spend up to $7 000 per PC per year on operating costs, where 77% of this is on service and support alone. “These figures strongly suggest that traditional desktop PCs are an expensive capital outlay for a business, even if they are a necessary one. Furthermore, what elevates concerns for organisations is not merely the rising cost, but the heightened security risks that this digital environment brings with it, as often critical company information is lost when a computer crashes or is misplaced or stolen – and we know that managing the complexity of this information can be very overwhelming to companies,” says Colyn.

“Through using MTN DaaS these costs and concerns can be significantly reduced. In fact, through our own research, we have discovered that MTN DaaS can assist businesses in saving between R60 000 – R70 000 per employee over a three year period. What’s more, MTN DaaS can also assist a business in promoting a greener framework, as currently each PC user consumes between 360 to 500 watts per hour. By implementing MTN DaaS into a business model, this can be condensed down to 4 to 12 watts of power per user/hour – a massive power saving.”

Considering the benefits of cost, security and ongoing limited maintenance and the fact that this solution can co-exist with traditional desktops, MTN DaaS will fast gain popularity among enterprises. Concludes Colyn; “This DaaS solution forms a crucial part of MTN Business’s ICT roadmap and 360 degree communication service offering to our customers. We look forward to the prospects that this solution will hold for our customers.” launch WiFi eReader

By admin, 20 października, 2011, No Comment announces another first ; the launch of its new gobii 7” eReader with WiFi and a host of other features that make it the perfect eReader for those on the go. The new WiFi model follows the initial launch of the gobii 7” colour LCD eReader which, at a price of R899 with additional R160 in vouchers, sold out within 21 days of launch in August this year.

gobii is a sleek new range of affordable electronic products available exclusively on  The new WiFi model will retail at R1,299. Both devices are available on pre-order and will be available for purchase from early November, making them the perfect stocking filler this festive season.

Comments Gary Novitzkas, CEO of, “2011 has been the year of the tablet and eReader as these hotly demanded electronic devices fly off’s shelves. eReaders are starting to enter the mainstream as customers look for the ideal device on which to consume their content. As the largest supplier of digital content in South Africa, we believe that this range of eReaders is ideal to meet the specific needs of the local market.”

Novitzkas moves on to say that the motivation for the WiFi enabled gobii 7” eReader came about after a snap analysis of the buying patterns of the more than one million registered shoppers.

“Some interesting statistics came to the fore:  we saw that our female shoppers clearly preferred eReaders while our male counterparts favoured the Tablet. The launch of gobii provided the perfect opportunity to cater to that need; whilst the WiFi enabled version of the gobii 7” eReader will be valued by the more itinerant consumer looking for increased access to eContent.”

Novitzkas confirms that has seen a 100% year on year growth in the sale of eBooks for the last six months. This growth can be attributed to increased consumer familiarity with the format of eBooks, greater product availability, and of course, the proliferation of affordable devices which have been spearheaded by the online retailer.

“We saw massive uptake in eBooks with the release of our eReaders for under R900. Moving into hardware manufacturing was a bold step to take for, but it has ultimately benefited the consumer by driving down prices and pushing up the demand for eBooks locally. is working hard to make eContent and eBooks more accessible to all South Africans and to that end the Gobii range of eReaders continues to drive adoption locally. We believe that ultimately local demand will emulate the growth we have seen in the US where the sale of digital reading devices jumped fourfold from three million in 2009, to 12.6 million in 2010,” confirms the CEO.

A major worldwide trend is that consumers are not as interested in owning content as much as they are interested in having access to it. The Internet makes this possible.

“What this means is that the way we interact with literature is changing as we begin to include this new technology into our lives. alone has more than 350,000 international and local eBooks leaving consumers spoilt for choice.The WiFi enabled gobii makes that entire library available with the flip of the on-switch,wherever the customer is online,”continues Novitzkas.

He explains that the gobii 7″ Colour LCD eReader with WiFi allows you to carry approximately  5,000 eBooks, several eMagazines, a few digital photo albums, a host of digital movie clips and music, with the option to download more.

“Digital content allows for more connected experiences. In the future, opportunities exist for publishers to provide more than just their print content by enriching the reader’s experience through rich media with links to the Internet, embedded video, sound clips and other interactive features such as applications. is proud to be at the forefront of this change in South Africa with the release of its affordable gobii range of eReaders.”

The gobii range of eReaders, and other electronics, are available exclusively through

Nology to demonstrate ViBE at Mybroadband conference 2011

By admin, 19 października, 2011, No Comment

While broadband has become considerably more available and affordable in South Africa in recent years, the challenge of last mile connectivity remains. Getting the available bandwidth from the service provider to the business or home can be expensive, and the most affordable best effort broadband links are not up to capacity, have no Quality of Service (QoS) and do not have guaranteed speeds.

Wireless connectivity is not always cost effective for the majority of businesses and home users as a full time solution and because of last mile connectivity issues ADSL is mostly oversubscribed. The upshot of this is that while we can now access more bandwidth, the majority of users remain unable to harness the capability and cost benefits of Voice over IP (VoIP).

Bottlenecks on the last mile lead to inconsistent speeds and the lack of QoS means that data always takes priority over voice traffic, with the result that VoIP calls tend to experience delay, dropped calls and  poor audio quality.

Nology, a supplier of quality security-driven broadband, networking and communication hardware and solutions in South Africa, has the answer: the Voice over Internet Broadband Enhancement technology called ViBE. ViBE is a revolutionary new technology which circumnavigates the existing bottlenecks in the last mile to deliver clear, concise VoIP even on low available bandwidth. The company will be showcasing ViBE along with a range of high quality, value for money Yealink IP phones at the 2011 MyBroadband Conference.

“The MyBroadband Conference is the premier event of the year for new developments in broadband as well as the latest trends and technology. As such it is the perfect platform to showcase our revolutionary ViBE product. We will be demonstrating this product at our stand to show visitors how it works and how it can improve their VoIP experience. To complement this we will also have a variety of Yealink IP handsets and phones at our stand,” says Ernst Ohlhoff, VoIP Business Unit Manager at Nology.

ViBE works by stripping away protocol overhead and retaining only the actual voice data, providing QoS to ensure that voice always has priority over data and allowing users to conduct four times the number of voice calls on the same amount of bandwidth. This enables high quality voice to be transmitted over low cost broadband connections, finally allowing VoIP to become a viable option in the local market. It also has intelligent redundancy management and the ability to use multiple links, providing automatic failover to another connection should the primary connection fail.

“The Yealink product suite offers a range of innovative IP phones developed by specialists in the industry, which offer excellent value for money in terms of the price to performance ratio,” says Ohlhoff. “We will be showcasing a video phone as well as a new Gigabit phone with a colour screen that is able to run on a LAN at 1Gbit per second to ensure compatibility with the latest LAN technologies.

These products and more will be on display at the Nology stand, Stand 9, at the MyBroadband Conference to be held at Vodacom World in Midrand on 26 October 2011.

Computer Applications Olympiad winner

By admin, 17 października, 2011, No Comment

Helen Denny, a grade 12 pupil at La Rochelle Girls High in Paarl, emerged as the winner of the gold medal and the CoZa Cares Trophy in this year’s Computer Applications Olympiad. This sterling achievement was acknowledged at an awards function held at Kelvin Grove in Newlands, Cape Town recently.

Helen`s achievement is a remarkable achievement, given that the Olympiad attracted more than 13 000 entrants from close to 400 schools this year. The Computer Applications Olympiad, backed by UniForum SA and organised by the South African Computer Olympiad Trust (SACOT), aims to identify, encourage and reward computer application skills in high school students.

Silver medals went to Jaco Nortier of Paarl Gymnasium and Sean Wentzel of Westerford High School. Paarl Gymnasium’s Erns Labuschagné, Richard Saunders and René Engelbrecht from the Hoër Volkskool, Potchefstroom took bronze medals home.

The Computer Applications Olympiad challenges the skills of learners in the use of productivity software packages like Microsoft Office, Open Office and Libre Office.  The competition is open to all full-time school learners in South Africa, but is aimed at high school learners specifically.

The first Applications Olympiad was held in 2010 and attracted entries from more than 6 000 learners from 118 schools. The growth this year was far beyond expectations, with a pleasing number of entries from schools in under-resourced communities.

The final event in Cape Town saw 13 participants from six different provinces using their word processing, spreadsheet and database skills to create or manipulate various documents for an estate agency.

The winner, Helen, is a regular competitor in the Maths Olympiad, the Science Olympiad, the English Olympiad, the Global Olympiad, the Accounting Olympiad and many other competitions and Eisteddfods. She is the 2010 Dux of her school and has enrolled at the Stellenbosch University to read for a BA LLB.

Said Fiona Wallace, director of UniForum SA: “We congratulate this year’s winners for their excellence in a year we received so many entries. It is pleasing to see how much enthusiasm there is for this important subject among educators and learners.”

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