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19 July 2002
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Pleasantries were exchanged and Mr Hun Heng told us how poor the province is and how few computers they have. I was about to suggest we start talking about their needs in more detail when the meeting finished abruptly and we were led down the corridor and into a large meeting hall. Once again we found ourselves seated on a stage facing a crowd of people who looked like they had some kind of expectations of us! The "ceremony" began and we were told that the fifty-plus people in the audience were computer users from all over the province and they had come to take a test with us. The Governor declined to say anything more so I was handed the microphone to take over. This was not (at all) what we had expected, but what to do? Luckily we had prepared a short questionnaire about computer usage, so we had extra copies made and then put the "students" into groups and went round to talk to them about what they do and how they do it. Very few use anything more than Word, but they were good people and many had learnt computing in their own time rather than at work. And they were all looking to us to make their computing lives much richer...