National ICT Plan – FastForward (2003)

fastforward brochure cover

FastForward was the final name given to the National ICT Technology Plan developed in 2003. It was formally launched in May 2 2003 and had five working groups under a ICT Steering Team under the Ministry of Public Administration and Information. The development of the National ICT Strategy was from May to September 2003 with several public consultations in Trinidad and Tobago and posted online at

The National ICT Strategy was officially launched in December 2003.

The Vision of the FastForward agenda is :
“Trinidad and Tobago is in a prominent position in the global information society through real and lasting improvements in social, economic and cultural development caused by deployment and usage of information and communication technology.”

The FastForward plan was made available in several chapters :





Computer Security: Free tools in Mozilla browser

(Created : November 1st, 2003)

There are many problems which are guarenteed to annoy any Web surfer:

  • Privacy concerns related to cookies.
  • Animated GIF files that contain infinte looping animation.
  • Pop-up and pop-under windows that flood your screen with obnoxious advertisments and other nuisances.
  • Offensive banner advertisments.
  • Javascript routines which takeover your browser.

The Mozilla browser (available from: has built-in features that can tame these annoyances for free. The following tips assume that you have already downloaded and installed the Mozilla browser suite. It is recommended that you use version 1.4 and higher.

Continue reading Computer Security: Free tools in Mozilla browser

DVD recordable media

Note: The acronym “DVD” originally meant “digital video disk” but since the disk format can be used for more than just video, DVD is unofficially refered to as: “digital versatile disk”. In 1999, the DVD Forum (the creators of the DVD specification and format) declared that for the purposes of international standards, DVD is just the three letters (with no special meaning).
Continue reading DVD recordable media

FLOS Caribbean 2003 Report

FLOS Caribbean 2003 Report

(Updated : March 2015  – added wayback links to FLOS Caribbean website and removed the “contact the creator” section)


The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society was one of the exhibitors at the Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) Conference.

The Conference and Exhibition was held at the Central Bank, Port of Spain on Thursday 26th and Friday 27th June 2003.

This page provides details about Society activities for the conference.

NOTE: Programs on the GNUWin II CD were updated by the TTCS for the FLOS Software Conference. You can get the CD for TT$20. Please email us at: ttcs at and let us know if you wish to purchase a CD.

Preparations for the conference

Preparations for the Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) Conference began in early 2003 when we offered space to operate a booth in the DOT Org section of the main exhibition area by the conference organisers: the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies and Trinidad and Tobago Linux Users Group.

During March and April, members were asked to contribute ideas and suggestions as to what could be done at the booth; they were also kept updated on the status of the conference thanks to regular email notices and live reports from Richard J at TTCS Pizza Limes.

Work on the booth began in the middle of May. The objectives were to promote:

  • the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society.
  • the GNUWin II CD: a CD-ROM containing a variety of open source software for the Windows operating system.
  • Knoppix: a GNU/Linux distribution that runs completely from the CD (no hard drive installation required) and includes recent Linux software and desktop environments.

Sunday 25th May 2003: Created the initial booth layout sketch and equipment list.

Saturday 31st May 2003: Timetable for conference preparations finalised. Began planning booth activities.

Saturday 7th June 2003: Draft versions of the 3 OpenOffice.Org Impress presentations presented to members. CD label designs modified.

Saturday 14th June 2003: Finalised: the Impress presentations, the Society brochure, the one-page flyer (for use with the CD sales), tested the video splitter for the first time.

Saturday 21st June 2003: Tables, chairs and computer equipment were set-up, plugged in and tested. The initial layout was modified to accomadate a “demo” machine. This computer would be used by anyone who desired hands-on experiance with the GNUWin software or Knoppix. Everything worked smoothly. The “Booth Crew” and daily timetable were also finalised.

Monday 23rd June 2003: Informal site visit to the exhibition area at the Central Bank.

Wednesday 25th June 2003:

  • installed and tested the GNUWin software on the “demo” machine.
  • burned CDs for sale during the Exhibition.
  • packed equipment.

The Booth

The Booth was located on the western side of the exhibition area between the TTLUG and TTAC booths.

Diagram showing the general layout of the booth


Picture of the booth at the Central Bank


Photo of the booth at the Central Bank


Equipment used:

  • Three Athlon class machines.
  • Three 17″ CRT monitors.
  • One LCD monitor.
  • One 15″ CRT monitor.
  • One 4-port video splitter.
  • One 4-port KVM switch.
  • One 4-port ethernet network hub.
  • Three tables.

Software on display:

  • Applications and games from the GNUWin II CD-ROM.
  • The Knoppix GNU/Linux distribution.
  • An offline version of the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society website.

Two of the machines were plugged into the KVM and video splitter. These were used to demonstrate the software on the GNUWin II CD and the Knoppix live Linux distro. The third machine was a “hands-on” demo machine where visitors to the booth were able to use the GNUWIN software. In the case of Knoppix, visitors could boot the machine themselves and use all the Linux software on the disk.

The Society’s FLOS Caribbean “Blog”

Thursday 26th June 2003:

There was a mix-up in the scheduling and we were unable to set up the booth on Wednesday 25th. This meant that we had to spend the first three hours of Thursday morning transporting and setting up tables and equipment. Fortunately, our staging area for the Conference was located in Port of Spain so only a little time was lost due to transportation.

The Conference was well attended on Day One, in fact so many people were present that the initial area set aside for lunch (on the 16th floor) could not accomadate everyone. The Conference organisers decided to split the group: half would take lunch immediately while the other half would go downstairs to the official launch of the Exhibition. The original schedule called for the launch to take place at 1300 hrs.

Many of the Conference attendees were curious about the Knoppix CD since many of them were of the belief that GNU/Linux could only work if it was installed on a hard drive. The GNUWin CD was very popular with visitors since many of them were unaware that there was open source software available for the Windows operating system. Others who were aware, were surprised at the variety and high quality of the available applications. Many of the visitors took the opportunity to try out both the Knoppix distro and the various applications from the GNUWin CD on the Demo machine. We had 30 CDs (19 GNUWin and 11 Knoppix) alloted for the two days of the conference. All were sold by closing time (1700 hrs) on Thursday.

Friday 27th June 2003:

The traffic from Conference attendees on Friday was not as heavy as on Thursday but more members of the general public, Central Bank employees and TTCS members visited the booth. In a way, less traffic was a good thing because visitors got to use the Demo machine for a longer period of time.

A second batch of 23 CDs (11 Knoppix, 12 GNUWin) was burned overnight for the second day of the conference. All were sold out by noon. We had to purchase and burn additional CD-Rs, print new CD labels and handouts.

Closing time on Day Two was about 1715 hrs and all equipment was returned to the staging area by 1830 hrs. There was a get-together after the close of the conference at Pizza Hut Roxy Roundabout (it was not a TTCS Pizza Lime). Some of the TTCS booth crew attended along with other Conference persons such as Robin ‘Roblimo’ Miller, David Sugar and Steve Traguott. FYI: We sold a total of 30 Knoppix CDs and 40 GNUWin CDs.


  • Overall there was a good level of enthusiasm for the concept and (perhaps more importantly) the products of Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS). Our (TTCS) experiance with booth visitors suggests that local computer users are willing to experiment with alternatives to expensive, proprietary software. If they will continue to use it after the initial “thrill” has worn off is unknown.
  • Awareness of the existance of Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) is another problem. Local user groups and individuals have been promoting FLOS concepts and products for some time now but mainstream users have yet to hear about them.
  • Many mainstream users who know about Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOS) are reluctant to try it because they fear it is not as good as commercial, proprietary software.
  • Acceptance of FLOS is less about technical merit of the software and more about the attitude some i
    ndividuals and comapnies have towards it.
  • There was talk of a need for a “grassroots” movement to spread awareness of FLOS. While it is good to “start small but think big”, persons who are involved with such a concept or who are thinking about becoming involved with such a concept, must remember:
    • There are no short cuts to success.
    • Difficult and thankless work is required to achieve a successful “grassroots” movement.
    • The “grassroots” movement will be in direct competition with multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and other promotional efforts from financially wealthy proprietary software companies.
    • Acceptance of FLOS requires a change in attitude amongst potential users. Changing that attitude will be difficult.
  • FLOS can only achieve its full potential if there is a change in the local attitude towards: self-sufficiency, computers/information technology, data security, the local economy and expenditure of local tax dollars.
  • The FLOS Caribbean Conference was a first step in raising awareness of FLOS and addressing some of the issues mentioned in this list of comments. Attendess, presenters and the organisers must now capitalise on this surge of interest and show how FLOS can truly benefit this nation.

Thanks and acknowledgements

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society would like to say thanks to:

  • The “Booth Crew”: Dev, Paul, Colin, Helen, James.
  • Dev, Paul and Anil for donating equipment.
  • Richard, our liason with the conference organisers.
  • All members who took time out to visit us at the Conference booth.
  • All members who contributed ideas, comments and suggestions via email and helped us to have the best booth possible.
  • The Trinidad and Tobago Linux Users Group (TTLUG) and the Caribbean Centre for Monetary Studies (CCMS) for the invitation to take part in the Conference and for providing the exhibition space.

Links to sites mentioned in the slideshow, the brochure and at the conference booth


GNUWin II is a compilation of Free/Open Source software for the Microsoft Windows® platform. One of the main features of this software is that most of the programs on the CD are also available for free/Open Source operating systems, such as GNU/Linux, debian, FreeBSD, etc. The compilation was created by: GNU Generation a team of students from the: EPFL. The compilation was developed in Europe and is available in the following languages: English, Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian and French.

NOTE : The TTCS does not distribute the GNUWIN II CD since 2004. The TTCS has created its own open source compilation for Windows : TTCS OSSWIN CD and as of 2011, the TTCS OSSWIN DVD

Continue reading GNUWin II CD

Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2002

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society held two types of meetings : Pizza Limes and Tech Meetings. A Pizza Lime is the name given to our monthly discussion forum which is usually held at Pizza Hut, Roxy Roundabout, Port of Spain on the second Wednesday of the month. The tech meeting is when we have computers on site to demonstrate a particular type of hardware or software.

This year, there was only one tech meeting due to a lack of a suitable venue. As a result, there were two pizza limes each month
Continue reading Summary of TTCS Meetings held in 2002

About Ringtones | – [17-07-2002]

About Ringtones

Updated : July 17th, 2003


Ringtones are the melodies/tunes/sounds/”noise” played when a call is received on your cellular telephone. Each phone has a certain number of tones pre-installed. However, many modern phones can be customised with a personalised ringtone. The user/owner has a wider variety to choose from and with a unique ring tone, it’s easier to distinguish one phone from another.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can get ringtones on Nokia cell phones. Many web sites now offer “ready to use” ringtones. The tones can be composed directly on the phone or they can be sent to the phone either from a computer (using a data cable) or via short messaging service (SMS).

How do you send/receive ringtones on Nokia phones?How to obtain a ringtone on the TSTT system

It depends on the particular model. There are 3 different systems to transfer ringtones to Nokia phones.

  • RTTTL/Nokring (a format used in the Nokring program)
  • Nokia Composer (used by some Nokia phones)
  • Nokia Keypresses (the sequence of keypresses on the composer in your Nokia phone)

Each phone uses one or two of these systems. See this list for further information on phone models.

How do you use public “gateways” to send ringtones?

It is simple. Enter the number of the cellphone which will be receiving the new ringtone (remember to include the 868 if necessary). Choose a tone from the available selection. Click “SEND”. (Note: different sites may have different procedures). Read all instructions carefully!

Where can I download new ringtones to my phone?Where can I find new tones?

At this time, TSTT does not offer ringtones for download. You can download ringtones for Nokia phones from (free registration required). You can also use a search engine such as: to search for other ringtone sites.

Remember, your phone (brand/model) must support the ability to change ringtones via SMS (check the user’s manual/manufacturer’s website for the specific details).

What are the fees for obtaining ringtones?

At this time, there are NO charges/fees (from TSTT) for sending/receiving ringtones to/from cellphones (Nokia or otherwise) via a public SMS gateway. Independent ringtone providers (i.e. not associated with TSTT) may charge a fee for sending the new ringtone to your cellphone.

What happens when my phone receives a ringtone (via SMS)?

Your phone should recognise the SMS message as a ringtone and alert you that a new ringing tone has been received. Options to listen to it (preview the sound before saving it), delete it or store it for future use will be provided at this time.

Nokia specific

Your Nokia phone will alert you that a ringtone has been received. Press OPTIONS and these menu options will appear: PLAYBACK, SAVE, DISCARD.

  • PLAYBACK: Select PLAYBACK and press OK to listen to the ringtone. To stop listening to the ringtone press QUIT, this will return you to the previous options: PLAYBACK, SAVE and DISCARD.
  • SAVE: To save the ringtone: Select SAVE and press OK. The ringtone will be added to the list of ringtones that are currently available on the phone.
  • DISCARD: Deletes the downloaded ring tone.

Some Nokia models which support the ringtones facility will only allow one ringtone to be stored in a user defined slot, thus, future new ringtones will replace whatever was previously stored in the user preset. Other models have several user defined slots, thereby allowing multiple ringtones to be stored before older ones are deleted. Check the users manual for further information.

Nokia cellular phones that support ringtones


The following phones can receive Ringtones sent as a “Smart Message” by a specialised ringtones site:

  • Nokia 3210, 3310, 3330, 3390
  • Nokia 5130, 5165
  • Nokia 6110, 6130, 6150, 6190
  • Nokia 6210, 6250
  • Nokia 7110
  • Nokia 8110i
  • Nokia 8210, 8260
  • Nokia 8810, 8850, 8890
  • Nokia 9110, 9110i
  • Nokia 9210

The following phones can have ringtones of the “Nokia 3210” format (also called “Nokia Composer ringtones”) typed directly on their keyboards:

  • Nokia 3210
  • Nokia 3310, 3330, 3390
  • Nokia 8250

The following phones can receive ringtones of the binary format sent through a free SMS gateway:

  • Nokia 3320, 3360
  • Nokia 5125, 5160, 5165
  • Nokia 6120. NOTE: Some 6120s are unable to accept new ringtones.
  • Nokia 7110
  • Nokia 7160
  • Nokia 7260
  • Nokia 8260

The only way to know for certain that your phone has the ability to receive new ringtones is to send a sample tone via SMS and see what happens.


  • Check your retailer to make sure your new phone supports the ability to receive new ringtones before purchasing it!
  • This list is not the final word in compatible phones.
  • If your phone model/manufacturer is not listed here, Read your user’s manual and/or check the manufacturer’s website for further information on these features.
  • All sms/ringtone options supported by these units may not be available on the TSTT system.
  • Check the users manual for further info on how to use these features on your phone.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Can you tell me if brand X, model y is ringtone capable?If it is not on the list, then no. Read your user’s manual and/or check the manufacturer’s website for further information.
  • You keep telling me to “read the user’s manual” but I don’t have one! Where can I get one?The manufacturer of your cell phone should have an electronic version of the manual available for download (usually a Word .doc file or an Acrobat .pdf file) from their official website. Nokia and Motorola offer such a service.
  • Why can’t I email ringtones to my phone?The SMS message must be processed in a special manner (regular email cannot do this) in order for your phone to recognise it as a tone. If it is not processed, you will receive a regular text message full of strange characters.
  • Can my phone be “upgraded” (via hardware or software) to support customised ringtones?If the manufacturer did not include the capability then you either have to live without it or buy a new phone with such a feature. It cannot be upgraded.
  • My phone is SMS capable but I can’t receive customised ringtones . . .What’s wrong?Several older model cellphones (Nokia and other brands) are SMS capable but not have the ability to receive new ringtones. Read your user’s manual and/or check the manufacturer’s website for further information.
  • Do other brands of cell phones e.g. Ericsson and Motorola support customised ringtones?Certain models do support customised ringtones. Check the user’s manual/manufacturer’s website for the specific details.
  • My phones has useless built-in tones . . . Can I delete them and make space for customised tones?Built-in tones (i.e. those that were installed at the factory) cannot be deleted.
  • Is there any way to increase the number of “user defined” slots that are available for customised tones?The number of “user defined” slots is fixed by the manufacturer (usually 1 to 7) and cannot be changed by the user.
  • Do I have to save the new ringtone when my phone receives it?No. Your phone should have an option to discard it. Once again, read your user’s manual an
    d/or check the manufacturer’s website for further information.
  • Can I send ringtones from the network in my office?You must use a special SMS gateway in order for your phone to recognise the SMS message as a tone and not a regular text message. Regular Internet email will not work. Check with the system adminstrator to see if such access is allowed.
  • Why don’t you have links to sites where ringtones can be downloaded for free?We had links but unfortunately they have all become pay sites, with the exception of If you are interested in finding such sites then you can use a search engine such as: If you want to share those links then email us: [email protected]
  • Is there any way to block someone from sending ringtones to my phone?The only definate way to block unsolicited tones being sent to your phone is to contact TSTT (at 824-8788) and have SMS the service discontinued, unfortunately, this would mean all SMS service/features, not just the nuisance messages, would be blocked.
  • Why all the talk about Nokia on this site? Don’t other brands have similar ringtone ability?Here are the reasons for focusing on Nokia phones: It is the dominant brand in the country; Nokia tones are the most common/readily available tones on the Internet; it is the brand with the most information, software tools, etc available on the Internet. If you want to share information about other brands/models of ringtone-capable cellphones then email us: [email protected]
  • How long has SMS been officially available on the local cellular network?TSTT officially launched the service to the public under the brand name “TSTT Lingo” on Monday 4th march 2002.
  • I don’t want SMS . . . Can I switch it off?Once the cellphone provider has switched on the service and your phone is SMS capable, it will automatically receive messages addressed to it. However, (according to an official TSTT advertisment on page 15 of the Trinidad Guardian newspaper dated Thursday 7th March 2002) TSTT Connect and TSTT post paid cellular customers can contact TSTT to have the service discontinued. The contact number given in the advertisment is: 824-TSTT(8788).
  • Where can I find out more about SMS?The TTCS has a separate page to provide details about SMS service in T & T at this URL:
  • How long has the SMS page been online?The SMS page has been online ever since TSTT started testing the service in the last quarter of 2001.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Why can’t I receive ringtones?
    • Is your phone capable of receiving ringtones? not all phones can do so. Check your users manual.
    • Was it sent properly? review the …phone receives a ringtone (via SMS) section and the use public “gateways” to send ringtones section to make sure.
    • Was it sent via email? (it will not work if it was sent in this manner).
    • Is your phone an analog phone? only digital phones have this feature.
    • If it is a used phone, did the previous owner have SMS service discontinued?
  • Why is the ringtone being received as a text message instead of a tone?Whenever my phone receives ringtones, I do not get the tone, instead I get an SMS message with lots of numbers, letters, weird characters and symbols.
    • You must use a special SMS gateway in order for your phone to recognise the SMS message as a tone and not a regular text message.
    • Did you receive the correct format? The phones can only accept tones in a manufacturer-approved format. For example, Nokia can only accept the various Nokia formats, Motorola can only accept Motorola formats and Ericsson can only accept Ericsson formats. It is highly unlikely that a Motorola phone would accept the Nokia or Ericsson formats or vice versa.
    • Was it sent via regular email? (it will not work if it was sent in this manner).
    • If you could not find your answer here, Read your user’s manual and/or check the manufacturer’s website for further troubleshooting information.
  • I sent a ringtone to my phone and it has yet to arrive! What’s wrong?The problem could be due to the site you used although this is highly unlikely. The most common cause is the TSTT SMS system which tends to go offline at random intervals. Your tone may have been sent but it got lost due to the unpredictability of the SMS service.
  • Why can’t my non-Nokia phone receive Nokia ringtones from internet sites?Nokia ringtones are transmitted in a special format that only Noika phones (or phones using the Nokia “standard”) can recognise/interpret as ringtones and not a regular text messages. Read your user’s manual and/or check the manufacturer’s website for further information about what format of ringtones is supported by your phone.

Useful Links

Contact the creator of this page

Before you send that email, remember:

  • We can only answer questions involving services in Trinidad and Tobago
  • Do not email us about services/problems etc in other countries.
  • We may not be able to answer your question(s). No one invoved with this page is employed by/affiliated with TSTT.
  • Information on this page is subject to change without further notice.
  • We may not reply if your question has already been answered by material provided on this page.
  • This page is for information purposes only. It is not an endorsement of the services provided by TSTT.


Last updated : 21/june/2003


DISCLAIMER: The creator(s) of this page and the TTCS are not affiliated with Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT). This page has not been endorsed in any way by TSTT. Information on this page is subject to change without further notice. If you use any information from this page, you do so at your own discretion and risk and you are soley responsible for any and all damage to your equipment or loss of data that may result directly or indirectly from such use.

In other words, if you screw-up, or your equipment or data gets screwed up, it is 100% YOUR fault! Don’t blame anyone else.</ p>