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Community Computer Lab in Zimbabwe

BryteCloud Consulting is very proud of this computer lab that we deployed in a solar powered community library in the middle of a game preserve. The 10 station lab is based on the Raspberry Pi and is available to give access to computers to the community at large.

We decided to use the Raspberry Pi because of it’s low power usage, lack of moving parts (the Pi uses an inexpensive SD card for a hard drive), and small form factor, as the Pis needed to be flown to Zimbabwe. Shipping can be tricky in some of these areas, and we didn’t want to arrive to deploy a computer lab and not have computers. We also liked the idea that the Pis include all open source software so licensing doesn’t ever become a hassle.

The lab is centrally managed from a laptop using PiNet and Epoptes. This makes it easy to manage users accounts, add additional software, and monitor and control all of the Pis from one location, so that every Pi doesn’t need to be touched in order to make changes.

The Library

Outside view of the community library. Behind me are the pens where the Rhinos and Elephants sleep at night.

Opening Night

The big reveal of the computer lab. Some of these excited folks have never used a keyboard and mouse before.


Network gear installed and cabling mostly neatened up.

9 to go...

Bringing the first Pi online.

All 10 Pis online and ready to go.

Network Wide Ad-Blocking with Pi-Hole

I’m a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi, the tiny Linux computer. So much so that I deployed an entire computer lab in Zimbabwe using them.

So what do you do with the extra Raspberry Pi that’s been languishing in your desk drawer? Build a Pi-Hole of course!

The setup is very easy. Start with a freshly set-up Pi and install pi-hole. After some basic configuration, you point your router at the Pi-Hole to use for DNS and viola, Ads are blocked on your entire network. And since the Pi-hole intercepts the DNS requests, the content is never even downloaded to your network, unlike browser based ad-blockers, which download the content, but hide it in your browser. This means a generally faster browsing experience, and lower data usage over your internet connection. You can see all of your ad-blocking statistics in a very clean web interface.

This is a fantastic use for a RasPi, and wildly improves your internet experience!