Yesterday I spent much of the day rendering the screencasts into the various formats we’ll need: MP4, FLV, OGG. Rendering’s the kind of thing you do in the background, but it requires monitoring, at least the way I was doing it. All done, and ready to upload, and I discover that a setting in Final Cut was wrong, which means I need to redo 6 of the 10 I’d finished. It’s the kind of setback that can really kill momentum if you let it, but there’s no time for a pity party here, so I fixed the problem last night and have started rendering again today.

In other news, the laptops are all sitting at the DHL office in Port-Au-Prince. Yesterday it became clear that the local DHL confused “Haiti Partners” (John Engle’s organization) with “Partners in Health” (Paul Farmer’s organization). They were waiting for a customs broker from Partners in Health instead of calling John. Adam, John, and I figure this out, and John drives to DHL with a friend good a “brokering” to clear things up. The day ends with “we need a letter or it’ll cost lots of money.” I suggest that Adam resend the letter we made last week, presuming that Texas forgot to send that along as well. John’s making his own letter, so let’s see what happens today.

Among many other details, I tended to mobile wireless concerns. Turns out AT&T’s special free deal for mobile phones has ended, and without another deal, phone calls would cost $2 a minute. Even worse, their normal roaming data rate is $20/megabyte! After about an hour of weaving my way through their website and phone chain, I arrive at a better solution … special Haiti voice plan for an extra $20/month which makes iPhone voice calls 25 cents a minute and iPhone data 50 cents per megabyte. I also switched on a special Haiti USB modem rate of an extra $200/mo for 400 megabytes and 5 cents per megabyte after that. Little details like this could mean serious money later. I’ve also got an email into Digicel to see if things would be cheaper for the team to get phones & USB modems down there.

I also talked to Fedo at Creoletrans, who is very enthusiastic for the project, having taught technology himself. They’re still hopeful for a Friday finish. I haven’t yet sent the rest of the words, which is worrying me, but it’s where I am now. Now to finish the courseware!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *