Notes from Nepal lunch with Rabi

Carol Lerche cafl at
Sat May 31 11:41:53 EDT 2008

I have thought for a while, especially after my six days of classroom use of
these,  that having a spare battery per XO and a way of charging these
independent of the laptop would be extremely helpful.  If the batteries are
a $10 part (I thought I had read that before, but can no longer find the
reference), it would be excellent to ship with a second battery and some
kind of mass charger.  In settings where homes don't have power or not
reliable power, it would be more useful than shipping an individual charger
with each laptop.  It would mean that the battery could be switched for a
fully charged one when the laptop was sent home and that it could always be
used untethered in the school.

On Sat, May 31, 2008 at 8:26 AM, C. Scott Ananian <cscott at> wrote:

> Notes from a meeting we had on Friday with Rabi Karmacharya from OLE
> Nepal.  Notes were taken by Kim, with minor edits by Bryan Berry and
> Paul Fox.
> Rabi: could we get a copy of your slides to post?
> Kim: it may be worthwhile for OLPC to purchase a video camera so we
> can get in the habit of posting video of talks like this.
> Community: could I get a volunteer to wiki-fy this?
>  --scott
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Fri, May 30, 2008 at 2:15 PM
> Subject: [Techteam] Notes from Nepal lunch with Rabi
> --------
> Rabi Karmacharya works with Bryan Berry on OLE Nepal; presented
> information from a recent trip to Denmark (who has sponsored much of
> their work)
> Found their own board of directors: Medical doctor, bank CEO, Lawyer
> (delicensed frequency band)
> Individuals are from the private sector. They got money from the
> government of Denmark to help with this education project in Nepal.
> OLE Nepal is working together with Nepal's Department of Education.
> Rabi expects it will take 3-4 years to completely hand over
> administration of OLPC to the government.
> In 1951 there were 351 schools in Nepal; In 1971, there were 7250
> schools (after the fall of authoritarian regime); 32% enrollment.
> In 1971 started a push for mass education. In 2003 there were 28,000
> schools, 87% enrollment; but 46% drop out by grade 5.
> Focus has been on quantity... now OLE wants to help improve quality
> and reduce the disparity of education. Nepal government has signed on
> to "educational for all".
> 25 million population, Nepal
> 8 million school age children
> 2-3 million in Kathmandu
> Average 80 students/class in the south
> In the sparsely populated areas, there might be only 10 students in a
> grade level, so they will have multi-grade classrooms.
> OLE is creating software to integrate the laptop in the curriculum.
> They are also doing teacher training and trying to get the involvement
> of the teachers. Teacher preparation (not really training). Design and
> installation of physical infrastructure.
> Connecting schools together is one challenge, then bandwidth to the
> internet is the next level.
> Goal: 3-4 years and then government should take ownership of the project.
> Nepal has created their own server and hope to roll this out. John
> explained the limitations of our 'chatty' mesh and the recommended
> practice for wifi, school server that might help Nepal to be
> successful. Our recommendation is an infrastructure access point
> (wifi) with school server including a jabber service.
> Other info:
> 200 laptops have been received; 135 given to children and 20+ given to
> teachers
> 1 case of sticky keyboard, 1-2 battery problems
> Touchpads - lots of complaints at the beginning; sweaty fingers;
> pushing too hard; sometimes the probelm just went away over time or
> with a reboot. If you go into a school today you might find 10% of the
> kids complain about the touchpad. But they get around the problems.
> Using build 703
> Spare parts will be needed
> Power racks were built for charging laptops; the kids are mostly
> sitting on the floor so there is no way to have power cables. When the
> laptop has low battery, they need to put in the charging rack for a
> few hours.
> ---
> Paul Fox adds:
> you might include rabi's comment that one teacher thought that
> having the chargers remain at school might be a good thing, since
> it encouraged the kids to come to school every day.  :-)  they
> don't send the chargers home, since it's more important that the
> laptops be chargeable while at school than at home.
> (in conversations with richard and me after the broader meeting,
> rabi made it clear that the availability of extra batteries,
> extra chargers, and the bulk charger, are very interesting.  many
> kids don't have power at home, meaning they have to charge their
> laptop when they get to school.  this makes using the laptops
> during the first class of the day problematic.)
> --
>  ( )
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