Not So Young / Regina Coyula

“25 Years, a present full of the future.”

We are now celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Youth Computer Club (JCC). The initiative itself is positive, because it allows everyone from a housewife to a grandpa to learn about a discipline essential to everyday life.

Beyond these good intentions, the JCC hasn’t escaped the deterioration and corruption that characterizes the country. All the buildings constructed for this purposes are falling into a state of neglect: lack of paint, broken toilets, leaks, neglected gardens and surroundings. They are frequently closed because the air conditioning is broken. The essence of these centers, the computers, for the most part are out of service without replacements, having been “cannibalized” as doubtful but certain alternatives to improve the salaries of the computer teachers. The stoic computers that still work, are blocked or they frequently break.

In theory, at a JCC you can choose a basic computer course, courses in Photoshop, or specialized courses about Microsoft programs; they are still committed, there, to Bill Gates’s programs. Despite having announced two years ago that they were migrating to Nova-Linux, at the JCC where I asked, they didn’t have any courses on Linux nor did they use it as their operating system, nor did any of the young people, much less the young people working there, care about it, not even as additional knowledge.

Reluctantly, you can surf EcuRed, a version of Wikipedia controlled by the government. With all my heart I hope Cubans continue using the portable Wiki which covers everything, and not that monster that confuses and lies. You can also ask for an antivirus and with a little money under the table you can get an only slightly outdated version of Kaspersky anti-virus software.

The internet connection slows down the machines, and for that reason only one (the teacher’s) has access to it. Internet? No, I’m not exaggerating.

September 10 2012