Immediate and Future Action on cd3wd and cd3wd for schools

*** All Rights Reserved Alexander Weir 2011 ***
Immediate and Future Action Plan for cd3wd and cd3wd-for-schools
Alex Weir, 22-26 August 2011
Executive Summary
New material available to cd3wd plus new techniques of mastering that material to dvd and USB flash ram have led to an imminent expansion in the range and in the quantity of products which cd3wd disseminate.
The new products are primarily to do with schools and education. The new markets are everyone globally with a DVD Player but without a computer, with also some emphasis on smart-phones and sub-smart-phones. However 3 of the 6 new DVDs are specifically for individuals and organisations with computers.
Dissemination will be largely commercially-driven, by vendors selling at typically US$ 3 per dvd. There will be free downloads of all products. We expect at least 6 different dvd products.
The new products will become available through late August and September 2011 – watch , on Facebook ( , or for updates (which will appear in all 3 media concurrently, but with some small delay at )
END of Executive Summary

1. The Environment:

2. We (the royal we – Alex Weir / ) recently paid some attention to the two great projects Wikipedia-for-Schools and also Project Gutenberg.

3. We also recently developed and refined the technology for producing highly-readable text-plus-photos on dvd or flash ram for dvd players to show on Televisions. Since maybe 2% of average Third World Country population have access to computer but 60% have access to DVD Player-with-Television this is a huge jump forwards.

4. We need also to pay some serious attention to the rising populations of smartphones and also sub-smartphones or CIEMs (cheap internet enabled mobiles) in the Third World. Maybe at the moment it is average 5% smartphones and 20% CIEMs, but both percentages are rising.

5. There is also the question of products such as Vodafone’s Webbox, which is on sale in Ghana and in South Africa. This is a box with mobile phone sim-card and GPRS/Edge connectivity which uses a normal USB keyboard and a TV as the screen.

6. We need also to pay some attention to the World Bank-driven on-going privatization of School, College and University Education throughout the Third World, and the parallel trend of declining quality of education in the remaining State Sector.

7. We need also to try to counter the obscenely high charges by these existing and new privatized Primary Schools, Secondary (High) Schools, Colleges and Universities.

8. More Detailed Considerations

9. Wikipedia-for-Schools has about 5,500 excellent and visually appealing articles in English on countries, geography, history, English, religion, mathematics, art, music etc. In fact the quality is such that this project is effectively equal to or better than many existing school textbooks. Orientation is towards the UK syllabus, which is found in many English-speaking third world countries. The content is about 2.7 GB, and is wrapped up in a specialised format which makes it difficult to break down into bundles.

10. Project Gutenberg is about 17,500 e-books from the years BC through till about 1930 (i.e. it is out-of-copyright material). Most are in plain text, with a few some in html or pdf formats. Many literary classics are there, and some reference books such as the CIA 2010 World Factbook, Roget’s Thesaurus etc.. We downloaded and used the 2006 dvd of 4.33 GB of individually zipped files (which it seems is NOT available through Gutenberg’s mailing scheme – only through download). Gutenberg daily get 100,000 e-books downloaded.

11. The technology for producing highly-readable text-plus-photos on dvd or flash ram for dvd players to show on Televisions – we use (or ) Slideshow XL product, along with for pdf-to-jpg conversion, pdfill for pdf editing and for print-to-pdf, screen snap-shooter-to-jpg, and Microsoft Word 2010 to edit txt files into pdf. The exact process is detailed elsewhere and will be listed on the DVDs and downloads as listed below.

12. There are 3 options with Smartphones and CIEMs:

a. Conventional browsing

b. Conventional browsing but on a free-tariff model – aka – where the Mobile Network Provider (Orange, Vodafone, Sprint, Bharti Airtel, Safaricom, Virgin etc) provide a toll-free service when browsing certain sites or sub-sites from their networks from certain countries (or indeed from all Third World Countries). Such a scheme is a financial and political (and CSR/PR) issue. No headway has been made so far after 2 months with this question. But it is a very interesting way to get more usage of cd3wd and cd3wdfs in the Third World…

c. Offline browsing/viewing. Most devices are sold with 2 GB SD or microSD cards only, although many or most are capable of reading and using 32 GB cards. The cost is pretty much $2/GB these days, scaled linearly. An additional consideration is that, if the files on the card are relatively small (e.g. html and jpg/gif files) then space utilisation is very inefficient (typically 50% only). Thus 500 MB of html files on a PC will require 1 GB space on a SD Card. There may well be advantages in converting html content to larger PDF’s, both for space utilisation and for reading/viewing purposes. This will be investigated over the next few days, and feedback may be re-incorporated here in a later version of this document. Viewing can be done on certain devices using browser, pdf viewer, text viewer or html viewer. Feedback results – htm seems preferable to pdf since htm is formatted automatically for the narrow screen displays. Note that phones which use opera mini cannot usually browse local material – since opera mini can only be routed via one of the opera servers in Norway – to get around this it may be necessary to install a second alternative browser.

d. Loading of material onto smartphones and CIEMs can be done by:

i. Cable from pc
ii. Bluetooth from pc or server
iii. Bluetooth from other smartphones (peer-to-peer)
iv. Physical removal of SD card to computer, copy/overwrite and replace
v. Download from internet (unfortunately usually/always chargeable)

e. We need to think ahead also to a general environment where in the Third World, which will still have slow and expensive bandwidth, there may be a place for Bluetooth downloading to smartphones/CIEMs of files while waiting in the supermarket queue – e.g. of today’s newspapers, government & community notices and announcements. Such a service would be free and would be sponsored or funded by in-file advertising. The files would be pdf and/or html/jpg/gif and/or plain text. Alternative to Bluetooth would be a mini-USB cable, probably of the type used by Androids and IPhones. The system would always look for the directory SDCard/newspapers or some similar convention, and would not overwrite of today’s files were already on the phone….

f. A further option may be that people queuing in supermarkets can download stuff to their USB Flash Ram, which can then be played in their DVD Player using DVD-PS technology…. – e.g. of today’s newspapers, government & community notices and announcements. Such a service would be free and would be sponsored or funded by in-file advertising. The file format would be the photo slideshow – .avi or similar video format.

g. It appears from the above that option (c) may be the best at the moment, although work should be done on implementing (b). (a) is already in place for cd3wd although not yet for cd3wdfs.

13. The best way to counter trends as per (6) and (7) above is to automate or semi-automate education and learning. Education, along with Law, Medicine, Engineering, and IT are slow to be automated. These sectors are largely producer-driven and are not really operated for the benefit of the consumer.

a. An option for State Schools is to have one teacher per school, with 5-10 classes, 5-10 Televisions and DVD players, hopefully some computers. There may be some lower-paid security/ child-minder personnel to assist. Students/pupils will have 10-20% teacher contact time. The rest will be self-learning, CBT, Video training, or Still-DVD training. The students/pupils will also be given the full DVD’s to take home, whether or not they have a dvd player, tv and electricity at home (they may get access at a communal facility, a commercial facility, or a friend or relative’s house). 5 year’s textbooks will typically fit on one dvd using photo slideshow technology.

b. Private schools will take advantage of the same DVD-PS (photo slideshow) technology, but will also have many computers and use full interactive CBT material. As time progresses, hopefully State Schools move to at least one CBT station per 5-10 classrooms and then eventually 5/5 or 10/10. The provision of high quality free public domain CBT material for all subjects is a matter of great importance – Donors should have already funded and supplied this (!).

c. Note that ideally there is one PC or server per classroom or one PC per school, and pupils can access through their smartphones or CIEM’s. This access may be via the internet (which then becomes chargable!) or through Wifi or Bluetooth connection or some similar system, where there is a very localised wireless system. I am guessing that using the pc and wifi router as a wifi hub with the smartphones having wifi switched on would work – they could be totally disconnected from the internet but have their own little wireless network (?). Probably this kind of system has never been used yet (except in military environments?), but I think all the components are available – it would only be a question of systems integration or configuration ***

d. Note that the DVD-PS stuff also plays fine on computer

14. A Third and Deeper Level of Briefing

15. Regarding (6) and (7) again, with perfect competition, there would arise private schools which were less profit-oriented and more education oriented, possible run as cooperatives by the teachers. Having global public-domain teaching material would help such a movement.

16. Since the school building cost is a major factor and a major investment (and risk), using factory, office or warehouse buildings as schools would help tremendously, since they could be rented on a monthly basis with no up-front investment. School furniture could hopefully also be rented or leased in a similar fashion, or very basic simple inexpensive but not uncomfortable school furniture could be designed and manufactured.

17. Solutions and Action

18. Liberate and popularise the dust-on-shelves Gutenberg and Wikipedia-for-schools Projects for the Third World, from their relatively healthy Developed-Country utilisation to a relatively untouched Third World Population.

19. Use DVD-PS technology to expand coverage from the 2% of Third World populations who have internet access to about 60% who have access to DVD player and TV.

20. Use DVD-PS for cd3wd to a very small extent but for cd3wd-fs to a much greater extent. There is great scope for groups using cd3wd to create their own dvd-ps’s concentrating on particular documents covering a particular topic so that the participants can have full access to material at home.

21. Cd3wd will master and issue the following dvd’s for computers and for dvd players (all dvd’s for dvd players should also play on computers but not vice versa)

a. Cd3wd_fs_wkp_cmptr_6 will have the existing Wikipedia-for-schools content at 2.7 GB in computer/windows format plus the tools for making DVD-PS (without product keys of course – those must be bought directly if required. Note that it is possible to make fully functional small photo slideshows – up to 10 slides – without purchasing any key). Plus also probably some of Gutenberg and some of cd3wd itself – both as Samplers or come-on’s. This dvd will be 95% for computer usage but will also have a few of the DVD-PS photo slideshows as samples/examples and for trying out on various dvd players and Televisions. Target audience schools, ministries, and school kids with computers at home.

b. Cd3wd_fs_wkp_dvdps_7 will have the remastered-for-DVD-PS existing Wikipedia-for-schools content. We estimate that about 50% of the 2.7 GB material can be fitted into a 4.33 GB dvd. It will also have the toolkit for making DVD-PS, and the indexes/ title listings only probably for cd3wd and for Gutenberg. To the NTSC standard which is used in North America and Japan, and which plays on pretty much every PAL DVD and TV (which are prevalent throughout Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia). Target audience schools, ministries, and school kids with dvd players, tv and electricity at home or a communal or commercial rig available nearby.

c. Cd3wd_fs_gut_cmptr_8 will have about 3 GB of the unzipped and directly accessible higher quality content from Gutenberg 2006 downloadable dvd. Accessible from computer only (in txt mainly with some html and pdf). Plus the tools for making DVD-PS. Plus about 1 GB of the Wikipedia-for-schools content as pdf files. Plus some DVD-PS samples. Plus the indexes/title listings for Wikipedia-for-schools, cd3wd, and the complete Gutenberg. Target audience schools, ministries, and school kids with computers at home.

d. Cd3wd_fs_gut_cmptr_9 will have about the remaining 4 GB of the unzipped and directly accessible lower quality content from Gutenberg 2006 downloadable dvd. This 4 GB plus the 3 GB from Cd3wd_fs_g_c8 together comprise the complete material from Gutenberg 2006 downloadable dvd (when unzipped). Accessible from computer only. Plus the tools for making DVD-PS. Plus samples of the Wikipedia-for-schools content as DVD-PS. Plus the indexes/title listings for Wikipedia-for-schools, cd3wd, and the complete Gutenberg. Target audience schools, ministries, and school kids with computers at home.

e. Cd3wd_fs_gut_dvdps_10 will have probably 40 out of the 1750 total Gutenberg titles in DVD-PS format, taking about 3.5 GB of the 4.33 GB dvd space. Also the pdf (and in some cases jpg) files from which that dvd-ps content was created – thus it will be possible for people to get access to print (from a computer) material which they have viewed on dvd player. It will also have some Wikipedia-for-schools content in DVD-PS format, the DVD-PS toolkit, and maybe the cd3wd title-listing in DVD-PS format. The focus of this #1 product will almost certainly be classic novels, poetry and plays which are used in the UK secondary school exam system, as listed on the Wikipedia-for-schools product. About 80% of those titles appear in the Gutenberg product, and will be put into this dvd, along with the matching reviews and discussions from the Wikipedia-for-schools product. Target audience general public/ readers, schools, ministries, and school kids with dvd players, tv and electricity at home or a communal or commercial rig available nearby.

f. Cd3wd_fs_gut_dvdps_11 etc may be one or more of the following themes:
i. Religion (Christianity, Islam and hopefully some others)
ii. Cookery books
iii. Reference books -e.g. Roget’s Thesaurus, CIA World Factbook 2010 etc
iv. Children’s books

Target audience pastors, religious persons, parents, people who cook and/or eat, general public/ readers, schools, ministries, and school kids with dvd players, tv and electricity at home or a communal or commercial rig available nearby.

g. Cd3wd_efl_x_dvdps_12 etc will be for early learners and for persons learning English as a foreign language. It will be in DVD-PS Photo Slideshow format with audio/voiceover. The intention will be to assist the alphabet, numbers and words recognition process. Since this product should be quite small, it may be issued only as downloads, instead of as a complete dvd. Alternatively it may be issued as part of a Children’s Books dvd as above. There is also great scope for using this technique for teaching Arabic, Urdu, Thai, even Chinese, and one can imagine several language products on one dvd. Even assistance in learning English can be in several different modules depending on which language you are coming from….

Target audience parents, general public/ readers, schools, ministries, and school kids with dvd players, tv and electricity at home or a communal or commercial rig available nearby.

22. Downloads for smartphones and CIEMs. Cd3wd will bundle content from cd3wd, Wikipedia for schools, and from Gutenberg into handy 500 MB chunks by subject area for use on smartphones. Downloading by Bluetooth, cable, or by SD Card removal and replacement. There may also be scope or reason for bundling into 10 MB chunks. These chunks will be available for download and may also be bundled onto dvd. Whether the concentration is on html or pdf? – it seems that html is better because the output adapts nicely to the narrow smartphone screen, unlike pdf (?). Target audience – people who like to read and who like free stuff…..

23. Commercial policy –

a. All downloads will be free of charge from and related websites.

b. Some dvd’s will probably be issued free as a seed/starter into third world countries

c. We see the majority of dvd distribution as occurring through vendors who we anticipate will sell the dvd’s for about US$ 3 each (BWP 20, ZAR 20, GBP 2, EUR 2 etc..). The dvd’s as listed above are internally bundled and combined so that such sales do not contravene any restrictions set by Project Gutenberg in particular who (for very good and commendable reasons) insist that any sales which occur must take materials cost only and zero labour and other costs. This recommended US$ 3 charge compares with the cost of blank bulk dvd’s at US$ 0.20, and an effective copying cost which approaches zero. We recommend US$ 4/dvd as a maximum price – that is the figure we already use for our airmailed distribution of cd3wd dvd’s from our USA Mailing Depot (we airmail free of charge to all Third World Destinations, partly funded by the profit from our Developed Country Sales).

d. Using such normal commercial channels, then we anticipate a wildfire / snowball effect where the DVD-PS content in particular gets a very wide distribution in a very short time (there may be a slow start however – a lot depends on sympathetic media and governments).

e. There will be no restrictions on who is allowed to vend the products – it would anyhow be unenforceable – anyone who buys a dvd or set of dvd’s today can himself or herself become a dvd copier and vendor tomorrow – thus we have a pyramid or snowball situation.

24. There should be great scope for Donors, NGOs, Third World Governments or philanthropic publishers and/or authors (do they exist?) to master existing high quality school textbooks onto DVD-PS format and make them Public Domain. Alternatively, there is a strong possibility that informal vendors would create such DVDs themselves as pirated products; Cd3wd would never condone such actions, nor participate in any such program.

25. Some numbers on the economics of printed paper vs. computer dvd vs. dvd player dvd-ps:

a. Colour printed school textbooks cost in Botswana (a small market) seems to be about $10/100 pages or $1000/10,000 pages.

b. Photocopy cost globally is typically $0.08/page (?), or $800/10,000 pages (black-and-white)

c. Global cost of A4 copy paper is approx. $8/500 sheets for good quality paper

d. That would seem to imply a cost for paper of $0.40 per 100 pages of A5 book, without any ink, master, printing, marketing, retailing, origination costs. That comes to $40/10,000 pages, or $4 per typical 1000-page textbook (which normally costs in the region of $30 these days in the USA, but maybe $15 in India?).

e. Global cost of blank bulk DVD-R or DVD+R approximately $0.20 each

f. One such blank DVD takes about 10,000 pages in dvd-ps format (with 1 second between slides and no audio or voiceover)

g. Thus cost is $0.20 / 10,000 pages net of copying cost, distribution etc.. If one takes a retail charge of $3/dvd, then cost moves to $3/10,000 pages. The buyer can reduce that cost by sharing with friends or by himself/herself becoming a reseller.

h. Think also that a USB Flash Ram Memory Stick can be used on a DVD Player instead of a DVD – the cost for an 8GB stick is about $16, and it can be reused over and over again. It usually needs to be loaded from a computer – DVD Players themselves and even smartphones at the moment cannot load and unload USB Sticks.

i. If we consider electricity costs for running dvd player and television, dvd player is typically 25 watts and TV (46 inch) is typically 250 watts. Electricity cost is typically $0.10/kiloWatt-hour. Therefore 1000 hours per year (3 hours per day) usage for book reading translates to $25/year, and probably covers 10,000 pages. That translates to $25/10,000 pages energy cost. If a petrol or diesel generator, or PV solar array has to be used then the cost is usually higher by a factor of x2 to x4 (?).

j. Investment for computer – approximately $500. Investment for DVD Player – approximately $30. Investment for large TV – approximately $200 – $800. Note of course that a DVD Player and decent TV are almost considered basic items in a house with electricity supply.

26. Some numbers on logistics:

a. Manual loading and scanning books without dis-assembling those books – maximum practical throughput per 8-hour shift = 500 pages scanned/8 hours – which translates to 160 hours for manual scanning of one complete dvd-ps format dvd, if that is the route which is taken.

b. With dis-assembly of books and de-binding, using automatic feed double-sided scanner can process 1000 pages per hour to pdf or jpg files

c. Photo Slideshow XL throughout on Toshiba L650 laptop with i5 quad processor approximately 200 pages/hour – or 50 hours to master the complete content for one dvd-ps format 4.33 gb 10,000 page dvd.

d. Print-to-pdf using PDFill is very fast – and never a bottleneck.

e. Screen capture from an application (such as the Wikipedia-for-Schools product) using has an output of about 60 pages per hour – and thus is a serious bottleneck if that has to be used for any bulk or volume. Print-to-pdf using PDFill is much preferable productivity-wise although the result and quality are less good…..

f. A-pdf throughput conversion of pdf to jpg files to input into slideshow XL package – very high – maybe 5000 pages/hour – not a bottleneck

g. Processing using MS Word of txt text-files into PDF for a-pdf then photo slideshow processing – maybe 1000 pages / hour – certainly much faster than the slideshow XL and not a bottleneck.

h. Thus the minimum investment for mastering one dvd-ps seems to be 50 man-hours, with a much higher 210 man-hours if manual scanning is employed. If the DVD mastered is popular and has large or huge sales then of course the investment is justified. But because of the buy-and-sell pyramid situation, there is no guarantee that any investment in time and effort to master a DVD will make a return for the creator/seller. This probably means that there will be a line of people (we hope) to copy and resell such DVD’s, but relatively fewer people willing to create masters. And those who do create such masters may be looking at a higher price than $3 – 4 retail.

27. Conclusions

a. DVD Player Photo Slideshow Technology is an interesting and economically/financially attractive alternative to conventional paper books. Where a computer is not available it is a good alternative for passive (non-interactive) material. That applies in the home and also in the classroom. The unusualness of using a TV to read instead of watching video is an obstacle which hopefully will be overcome. The quality on 46 inch Televisions is very good, hopefully that quality and viewing acceptability remains down to 32 inch and below…
b. This technology is attractive in the Third World, where maybe only 2-5% have computer access at home, but also in the West, where a distinct segment of society is through financial and/or cultural reasons largely excluded from the IT Revolution.

c. It is even possible for newspapers in the West to popularise such technology through newspaper DVD giveaways – such giveaways are already primarily oriented at DVD Players and not at DVD’s for use on computers.

d. The use of DVD-PS with audio/voiceover for language teaching for juniors, adult education/ adult literacy and for foreign language teaching has great potential…..

Alexander Weir, Gaborone, Botswana, Monday 22 – Friday 26 August 2011
*** All Rights Reserved Alexander Weir 2011 ***


About alexweir1949

software developer, inventor and innovator, Fraud Proof Voting Systems Inventor, founder of Based in Botswana and Zimbabwe, work everywhere.
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