[AfrICANN-discuss] OWARE, Africa's Forgotten Mechanical Computer,
a book by Prof Nii Quaynor, NBS Multimedia, 2007.
klohento at panos-ao.org
Mon May 26 18:15:05 SAST 2008
Hello - For those who were not informed, see below and congrats to Nii -
OWARE, Africa's Forgotten Mechanical Computer, a publication by Prof
Nii Quaynor, NBS Multimedia, 155p, 2007.
"This volume contains the background of the OWARE game board and how
like the abacus, it was used for calculations/ computing in days past by
It is a solid material for both undergraduate and graduate studies in
the university that reinforces the contention that Africa needs more
inclusion in the production/supply side of services. The principal
barrier to contributions by African scientist is the admission that the
continent does not have simply because it was very, very far from the
eye of the storm." (extract from the "Forward").
Until recently, many Africans were of the view that computing was,
generally, a foreign concept. They perceived computing as one of the
exotic introductions from 'afar'.
Undoubtedly, this is a fallacy. Take the OWARE game board. A close
observation will reveal that before he became literate, the African used
the board for complex calculations. That board indeed, was as powerful
as the Chinese Abacus that served as the computing instrument for the
people of Asia for many years.
This volume, borne out of years of research, is intended to demonstrate
how the OWARE game board was used for very simple calculations in the
everyday life of the African.
It is a documentary proof that computing is after all, not as foreign as
many Africans have been led to believe; that Africans may in fact have
contributed to the development of computing worldwide.
It may be informative to point out here, that the OWARE game board has a
variety of names depending on which part of the continent you find
yourself. It scomes in different shapes and sizes and enjoys a variety
of game rules.
It is on the strength of these rules that its computing strength is
proven in this volume"".
The Oware is called "Awale" in Côte d’ivoire and "Adji" in Benin.
Content of the book:
- Chapter 1 : Oware : a Computing Instrument
- Chapter 2: Representing Numbers on the Oware Computer
- Chapter 3 : The Operations of the African Mechanical Computer
- Chapter 4: The Mathematics of an Oware Computer
- Chapter 5: Traces of Oware Operations
- Chapter 6 : The Modern Computer and relation to Oware Computer
- Chapter 7 : The Famous Games and Teaching Tools
- Chapter 8 : The Theory of the Mechanical Computer
Nii Quaynor authored this book after painstaking research and co-operation
from institutions like the African Network Operators' Group (AFNOG), the
University of Cape Coast in Ghana and research assistants who worked with
him in his research oriented Network Computer Systems, NCS.
Nii recently received the Internet Societys Jonathan B. Postel Service
Award for Pioneering Work to Advance the Internet in Africa
Contact for the book:
34 Church Cresent
Private Mail Bag Osu
email: zormelo at ghana.com
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