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?

1 comment:

  1. A mesh network is a wireless network where the computer connect to each other rather than one access point. For example say computer A is as far as it can be while still in range of Computer B but out of the range of computer C. However, computers B and C are still in contact. Computer A will still be able to contact computer C routing through computer B.

    The server has a 160GB HDD but the XOs have flash based storage. Each has around 450MB free.

    The mesh network should not be used when a server/access point is in range. The mesh is slower and does not have as high of bandwidth. Ask Ruben to double check but I think you would want 3 access points plus the server to support 100 laptops.

    I don't know how well two servers will work together because they might conflict. I would talk to Ruben about this as well.

    Access points can be purchased here in the US but you need to make sure the power adapters support the deployment countries power voltage OR you need to get a power inverter. Search "Wireless Access Point Compatibility" on the wiki and you will see which work.

    Generators generate electricity but different generators generate different amounts of power (110V or 220V). The efficiency determines how much petrol it takes (think MPG in a car). Your team should have specified to Nia which power adapters you want. Power strips just turn one outlet into several. You will need to be sure on the plugs you requested for deployment and the plug which will come from the generator.

    NGOs can have internet without the vsat depending on if they have hard wired lines. We aren't buying vsat modems because we chose schools which already could have internet.

    What do you mean by solar batteries? Batteries to store energy obtained from solar panels? It's up to us to buy everything except the Laptops, the server and the power cables.

    The network cards come with the server. One is built into the server and the other is on a USB connection with an adapter provided.