FUZOMA in the library

So tonight I followed my usual schedule, which is to eat dinner at home and then open the school library from eight to nine, allowing kids to come in and use the computers before they go to bed.  Things went along nicely, and then at nine the kids filed out to go to the dorms.  I took the rare moment of peace in the library to start making copies of the floppy disk I use, since I want to bring a bunch of them to Nairobi to give out.  At the same time, I was testing a new program I had recently put on the floppy disk—a space flight animation that acts as a lead-in to a map of the solar system.

Anyway, some of the older kids who were in study sessions came in and saw I was still there, and they saw the recent addition playing on one of the monitors.  They ran out and grabbed some other kids—maybe 40 of them in total—and they all ran in and watched the one tiny yellowing monitor until the spaceship completed its flight and the screen was filled with stars, and then suddenly it flickered to the map of the solar system.  Thunderous applause ensued, and then the kids got closer to study the map, which led to  conversations about the different size of the sun and the moon.

This map has been on the floppy disk for ages, and I haven’t been able to get anyone to look at it for more than five seconds, and I feared that giving it an exciting intro would make it even less appealing, but there I was, trying to explain why the sun and moon look the same size.  Cool.

Anyway, it’s a small victory on the road to making the best use of the little bit of computer time the kids have (and of course I’m a sucker for any story that ends with me being applauded).

It also coincides with me putting the new version of the floppy disk programs onto the blog.  It’s the version I’ll be bringing to Nairobi for next week, so I figured it made for a decent milestone, since I haven’t updated that part of the site in a while.

In other news, I have my old phone number back (see right column).

And just so you don’t have to endure a blog post without a photo:

P1040304 - Copy

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