Sorry for not getting back to you sooner.
As far as I'm aware this issue (spell check and help files not working) did not come up in testing of the build.
The problem is that the build was set up using regional settings based on Ireland. This works fine for anything made by Microsoft in the last 8 or 9 years or so - they put a lot of effort into their localisation (possibly because of all the Government aid/subsidies/incentives).
Open Office and Ubuntu are "free" open source software and there's much less of a commitment to localisation for the relatively few users in this country. They've certainly not bothered to localise Open Office for Ireland.
The solution to this problem (Open Office spell-check dictionaries and help not working) is that you need to install a total of three additional packages, change Ubuntu language settings to English United Kingdom, and change Open Office language and locale settings to English United Kingdom.
This can be done as follows:
(A) Log in to Ubuntu as camaraadmin / camaracamara
(B) Double-click on each of the three attached packages and choose to install them (you'll need to enter the password camaracamara)
The first package to install is the myspell-en-gb then the openoffice.org-l10-en-gb then finally the openoffice.org-help-en-gb file.
Don't worry about any warnings.
(C) When the packages are installed in Ubuntu go to the System menu.
Select Administration \ Language Support
(D) Set both languages to be English United Kingdom
(E) Log out of Ubuntu (no need for reboot)
(F) Log back into Ubuntu as camaraadmin / camaracamara
(G) Open Openoffice writer / word processor
(H) Go to the Tools Menu
(I) Select Options \ Language Settings \
(J) Set User Interface = English UK
(K) Set Locale = English UK
(L) Set Default Language for Documents = English UK. There should a blue tickmark and abc next to this language option.
(M) You might want to set the currency to something other than default (£)
(N) Make sure that "for the current document" is NOT ticked
(O) Click OK and notice that the language at the bottom of the opened blank writer document is now English UK
(P) Close open office and choose NOT to save changes to the blank document.
(Q) Log out of Ubuntu
(R) Log into Ubuntu as camara / camara (or whatever ordinary user account you're using).
(S) Repeat steps G through P.
You might note that because of the far superior language support (for us any way) in Windows, there is still a problem with Open Office but it's much less of a problem.
I don't really want to put together a build of Ubuntu 9.04 incorporating these changes. We'll fix it in the next camarabuntu build (likely to be 10.04 and not ready before you leave for Africa. The above steps only take a couple of minutes to do. The packages need to be copied to the target PC but this can be done over a network.
If you do want a new build prepared and rolled out, I would need confirmation from Eoghan and Kirsty before starting work on it. An updated build would need to be deployed (probably as updates to the PXE servers) to all the regional and local hubs, and would need to be loaded to all the volunteers' laptops (and would wipe out any work they have saved).
For now I'd be happier to say that the problem with the build is as per above and can be fixed using these instructions. On the other hand, we'd want to know that the volunteers who are going to be installing PCs are happy enough to be doing this.
To be honest, I'm not sure that English United Kingdom is the best regional setting to be using for some of these countries. There's plenty of people in this country who wouldn't like it.
If we decided to switch to using Microsoft Windows + Microsoft Office this problem of [Irish] spellcheck not working will disappear. But it would be very expensive.
Please feel free to contact me with any queries.