notes from the field - Mongolia

Rafael Enrique Ortiz Guerrero dirakx at
Mon Oct 6 20:44:15 EDT 2008

Hi Elena,

I agree with your points about the way that children and professors can
perceive the XO and Sugar..and i agree that this issues are of capital
importance and the technical community  is  aware of those problems.

But i have to report an experience made in the field also, specifically in
in a nearby  economically depressed zone called Soacha in an neighborhood
altos de Cazuca.

We had a series of workshops, and the same problems you listed before showed
But the conclusion of the experience was favorable in the sense that both
parents and  children were continuously interested by the XO, they never
lost focus on it.
and they were very thankful to have the opportunity to play with a although the XO is not a perfect or either completed tool is
more than good compared to nothing.

On Mon, Oct 6, 2008 at 10:20 AM, elana langer <elana.langer at>wrote:

> Hey Tech Community-
> I just wanted to give y'all some feedback from my experience in
> Mongolia. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Please excuse my
> lay language - it's how i roll.
> 1) Computers are slow - So I was in a Ger in the west part of Mongolia
> and I thought I would show the computer to the family that was hosting
> me. The husband, wife and 8 year old child huddled around the computer
> and pressed the on button. Instead of being delighted by the computer
> they waited, and waited for the computer to load. I asked them in
> broken monoglian to be patient but once the computer loaded they
> wanted to open an application and again more waiting. The 8 year old
> lost interest as did the mom and only the man of the house stuck
> around to try things.
> This is not a unique experience. This is a culture that lives close to
> the land. Action- reaction. No one is used to "waiting" for an
> computer to load or a bagel to toast for that matter. (of course
> cooking takes time but they can watch as it changes form not just an
> unmoving screen)
> In the city the experience is worse. Kids used to PCs quickly grow
> impatient and leave the XO to find other faster computers.
> 2) Can't save files - this should probably be the first item on my
> list. It drives teachers and students crazy. They make something in an
> application, take some pictures or write something and then have to go
> through a really tough process to find it and save it on an external
> drive.
> 3) Basically - The journal is really hard for people/ kids to use over
> a longer period of time. Kids and teachers can't find things that they
> did unless it was done within the last 30 minutes.
> 4) Mesh problems - my sense is that you are all pretty aware of those
> issues.
> There are a bunch of bugs that I reported through reuben which include
> the problems with applications once they have been translated into
> cyrillic. These are some of the main foundational issues that folks
> are having. Let me know if you have questions.
> elana
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Rafael Ortiz
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