In Rio de Janeiro, when I lived there, if you looked at all agile the bus would not completely stop to let you on. It would slow down to a walking pace so you could grab the handle next to the door and let the momentum of the train swing you aboard. Since you boarded at the rear door and exited at the front door you never go in the way of disembarking passengers; who also often exited while the bus was moving.
It was great sport and probably saved a lot of fuel. Not sure I'd like to do it at my age now (68) but I might just for old times' sake. LOL
A similar system was in place in London. There was an open platform at the back of the bus: if you were fast you could sprint up to a bus and get on even if it was pulling away from the stop. Likewise you could jump out exactly where you wanted to. The bus still made actual stops so other passengers could get on/off but for me it was so much more convenient and fun to get on/off while the bus was in motion. The good ol' days. I think the bus design changed to ensure that all passengers had to pass the driver (who was is also now the conductor). Previously the different roles were fulfilled by two people.
CrashPlan works well for me. I backup my data locally (main Mac to 2nd Mac) and remotely (main Mac to CrashPlan). The option to encrypt data with your own key is *very* attractive.
But I think it's probably easier to rent some hosting space and create your own "photo share" website. You could permission the directories more granularly etc. I mourn Apple's decision to shutdown their MobileMe galleries because it was perfect for sharing photos with family/friends (it's laughably easy to publish from iPhoto or Aperture).
Name one reason why it is a good idea that application programs or the kernel or ANYTHING ELSE should even be ABLE to screw with the BIOS. There should be a big red PHYSICAL switch which makes the BIOS read-only, and it should only be temporarily turned off to allow updating with the manufacturer's files and NOTHING ELSE.
I'll bite: bulk BIOS updates on thousands of PCs. My company has an enormous number of PCs - paying someone to manually flick a switch, stand by while a BIOS update is performed, then unflick it afterwards would represent an enormous cost in time and labor. We buy large numbers of identical machines every year - so when a BIOS update is needed it needs to be applied to a lot of machines, globally.
Secondly: we set BIOS passwords to prevent (or make it harder for) the machine to be booted from USB thumb drive, DVD, external hard drive etc.
How about making the PC detect signed BIOS packages?
Exactly. I did Habitat for Humanity build with my church. I was slinging sod with a lawyer, rocket scientist, and a microbiologist while several of our other members where doing the skilled job of putting in windows. It was a lot of fun and we since we did two weeks worth of work that day. Because of our efforts a single mom and her two kids got to move in on Mothers day weekend. Why just use the skills you have when you can gain more skills, Do you know how to hang dry wall, lay tile, install cabinets, or frame a wall? Now is the time to learn. The skill of being a geek is the ability to learn. So use that skill. Find out what needs to be done where you live and do it. I could be helping in a school, Big Brother/Big Sisters, or a local food bank. Not as glamourous as going to Africa but then you may be needed down the street now. Just find a cause your interested in and say, "How can I help?"
I was going to post exactly the same thing. I volunteered for Habitat through my employer's philanthropy scheme. I learned a lot of useful homebuilding stuff. In addition to the skills you've mentioned I learned how to install hardwood flooring and exterior wall insulation.
There're plenty of geeking opportunities: in addition to the enormous number of extremely dangerous power tools you may use, there're hundreds of hand tools, lots of Pythagorean mathematics, different materials' properties, stress/strain etc. You'll be physically active, be maintaining the discipline of turning up at a work site and meet a different set of people.
Plus there's the added bonus that you get to practice all your new skills on somebody else's house while under the tutelage of someone who knows what they're doing.
Finally: if you ever need work done on your own home you can have an educated idea about the cost/effort required to, say, frame and finish your basement yourself. You may be able to weed out unscrupulous contractors, or even undertake the work yourself.
Other commenters have noted that while this is not as glamourous as a trip to a developing nation (BTW which African nation???) it is probably more practical in the short time you have. Your own community needs your help too.
The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold