Minimatech at UPLB

velasco testing the eBox2300
Chancellor Velasco tests the eBox2300.

UPLB through the College of Public Affairs has been researching on low-cost computing solutions since 2005. The technology package is called eMinima, which means “easy” to use and “minimalist” in its requirements.

In November 2006, through the support of Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco and pioneering work of Dr. Raffy Mananghaya, the chipmaker VIA Technologies, the Philippine eLearning Society and the ICT Commission (CICT) launched an Affordable Computing Workshop that demonstrated low-cost PC solutions. The workshop featured the VIA integrated board and Puppy Linux Operating System. It also featured a tiny PC, the eBox2300 (shown in the picture being tested by Chancellor Velasco), which can deliver day-to-day computing at only 15 watts maximum power consumption.

The successful workshop prompted CICT in January 2007 to adopt a PC4ALL program that advocated the use of $200 PC package (P10,000, given the exchange rate at the time).

D201GLY board
Intel's D201GLY integrated board.
However, commercial products under the PC4ALL initiative have not become available in the local market until the last quarter of 2007.

In October 2007, Intel exhibited through the Philippine eLearning Society and commercial distributor Infoworx a low-cost integrated board solution. Named “Xplore Avenger”, the PC uses Intel's D201GLY board and comes with an integrated 1.33 Ghz Celeron processor. This is more than adequate for office computing using modern operating systems such as Linux or BSD.

The low-cost PC conforms with the PC4ALL low-cost target, and was exhibited at the UPLB Admin Building in March 2008.

Dr. Ranola with the eee PC.
Also in October 2007, ASUS and Intel introduced the eee PC, a low-cost but versatile laptop. Whereas small laptops have been priced upwards of P80,000, the eee PC costs only P18,000 when purchased on COD.

UPLB assists its employees in buying a PC through its Computer Loan Program. In February 2008, affordable computing pioneer Dr. Raffy Mananghaya availed of this loan to purchase an eee PC.

Vice-Chancellor Bert Ranola is proud that UPLB is in the frontier of grassroots computing, and he is happy that employees enjoy a loan program for purchasing their own low-cost PC.

Comments (0) Added by raffy December 3, 2009 (11:05AM)


coweb group in 2008
Raffy, Carol, Ben, Laury

The founders of Collaborative Web welcome you to your new portal for elearning.

Constantly bringing new low-cost innovations to elearning, the CoWeb founders launched in December 2, 2009 its new Web portal solution during the Philippine eLearning Society (PeLS) Conference at Baguio City. Prof. Benevieve conducted the workshop while Dr. Raffy took charge of the Web back-end.

Well-received at the Conference, the portal solution is now being used in this site. Feel free to register here and then email email raffyif you want to be upgraded to editor (editors can write articles while regular users can only write comments).


Comments (0) Added by raffy December 3, 2009 (10:47AM)

How to Administer Your Own eMinima Web

Any registered member who is given admin privileges can do the activities described below. Better yet, get your own site for as low as P1,500 per year! You can share the cost with your co-teachers or let your school pay for it.

Creating Your Own Banner

To change banner, upload a new header_bg.jpg to the css folder. The recommended banner height is 90 px and width is 780 px.

The site title is set in the admin settings, but the title that shows up in the banner is taken from css/title.txt, and the caption is taken from css/title_caption.txt.

  • To change the values of title and caption, upload new title.txt and title_caption.txt into the css folder. Make sure that each file contains only one line of plain text.
  • To hide these values so that the admin-settings title can be shown, delete the files title.txt and title_caption.txt in the css folder, or upload blank files with the same file names.
Adding Members to Your Site

Invite your co-teachers and students to register in the site by clicking on "Login" and then on "Not registered?". After they have registered, you can administer the users, such as upgrade teachers to editors (or to admins), delete/add users, or change passwords.

Don't forget to change the admin's password by clicking on the "profile" link at the bottom of the page (the "profile" link is visible while the admin is logged in).

Comments by Members

Ordinarily, any reader of the site can post comments, but the admin can enable only registered users to post comments - this is the present rule.

Whether comments are shown directly or first approved for display is also set in the admin settings.

The writer of an article can also allow or disallow comments under his/her article.

If the registered users are students, then they can interact with the teacher through their comments.

Upgrading Members

A registered member can be upgraded by the admin to editor, super-editor or admin. An editor can post articles, a super-editor can edit others' articles, and an admin can help administer the site.

Have fun!

Comments (0) Added by admin November 27, 2009 (6:12AM)

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