Join me as I document the trip of a lifetime into Soweto, South Africa's most historic terrain, where I will live and work during the summer of 2009 donating XO laptops to children as part of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
These Questions Should Have Been Asked Long Ago--Welcome to the Life of an OLPC Non-Techie!
--first of all, what is the mesh network? that allows all the XO users to have access to information on each and every computer, right?
-second, since the XO has no hard drive, the storage capacity is on the SERVER (which is the large server with 1GhZ processor, right?) and 1 gig USB's, although we won't be purchasing those for each student because we have the server. how many gigs can the server store?
-moreover, for fully simultaneous info sharing between 100 computers, we are told to get 2 access points (AP's) and one server, meaning the mesh can handle 30 XO's, the AP's can handle another 30 each, and the server can only handle 10? is this right?
-also, our NGO already has a server from previous deployments, and because of this, they already have 300 XO's, meaning another server (for more storage capacity) would be nice. can we still take the server that is going to be allotted to our team in Kigali knowing there is already one at the NGO?
-these access points--should we purchase them in the US? what are the costs, what do they look like, what properties should they have, ect?
-some more stupid questions: what does the generator do? it charges the laptops, right? how much petrol do we need for 2 months of charging? do the chargers work in SA? if not, where could we purchase *converters* and how costly would these be, and do we need EU or US or African ones? are these converters the same as the plug in/outlet adapters, or are they entirely different? if so, what are those?
-also, where can we purchase power adapters and power strips, and how many of each do we need? these are for charging mass amounts of laptops at one time, right?
-our NGO already has internet...this means they have the vsat modem, too, and we don't need to purchase it, right?
-it is up to us to buy solar batteries, right? how much are they and where can they be purchased?
-last but not least, where do we purchase the 2 network cards for the server?
The XO is a potent learning tool designed and built especially for children in developing countries, living in some of the most remote environments. It’s about the size of a small textbook. It has built-in wireless and a unique screen that is readable under direct sunlight for children who go to school outdoors. It’s extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, and fun.
I am a 27-year-old journalist currently living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, reporting for The Cambodia Daily, the country's widest read English paper.
I'm trying to learn about the land of the Khmer--one story at a time.