The 13th edition of CAN Info Tech 2007 opened in Kathmandu this week at the Birendra International Convention Centre. A tech fair is by definition au courant, but this year the Computer Association of Nepal has taken trendiness a little further, giving Info Tech the motto 'e-Nepal, New Nepal'.
Technology professionals, enthusiasts, and students are thronging the 170 stalls and over 250 people have attended a conference on'Building e-Nepal for socio-economic development'.
"We are talking about a new Nepal and about inclusive democracy, at CAN we are talking about the possibility of eNepal, egovernance, ecommerce, elobby, etourism and ultimately ecitizens, to improve access of each citizen to all sectors of the state," says CAN president Biplav Man Singh.
Among the stalls are one for Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, which is spreading the word about NepaLinux, and Nepal Wireless Company, which is working to link Nepali villages to WiFi networks. One Laptop Per Child, Nepal (OLPC, Nepal), a local initiative of the global movement was also launched at the fair's opening on 10 January. These laptops, which cost $100 each, are specifically designed with an open-source license.
Browsing through the gadgets is interesting, but most of what is on display, including the CCTVs, anti-shoplifting software, ipod USBs, desktops, laptops, has been available in town for a while. D&D International has Mac products, such as the MacBook Pro, iMac, and the ipod, while JBL Products features high performance loudspeakers, a home theatre projector, and digital photocopy machine. Mercantile's display includes Acer notebooks, and a range of Epson products, particularly printers. Worldlink is providing discounts on unlimited internet access with one and two telephone lines, discounts on installation, and night surfing.
International speakers at CAN this year include professionals from Intel Singapore, AMI Singapore, and Mumbai Red Hat. Singh says of these diverse offerings, "Our aim is convergence, which is why we are promoting this year's CAN as an event of ICE Technology (Information, Communications and Entertainment)."
CAN's social outreach program this year includes a blood donation camp in which over 150 people participated on the first day. The event will be up again on Sunday. CAN also donated a computer to the Blood Donors' Association to aid in documentation and data collection.
CAN Info Tech 2007 at Birendra International Convention Centre, New Baneswor 9-14 January 2007.