[OLPC-Peru] [Server-devel] Extreme Linux Server Available to North America

John Watlington wad en laptop.org
Mie Abr 30 23:43:14 EDT 2008

On Apr 30, 2008, at 4:45 PM, info en olpc-peru.info wrote:

> Hello John and all,
> Using "Servers" and VSAT connections in Peru is not the best way to  
> reach the "most needed" children in my country.  I say this with  
> the most humble and full respect for your work and the work of all  
> our peruvian authorities.
> I understand fully (more than that!) the problem that our president  
> (Dr. Alan García) has indicate: "... there are 85,000 cities in  
> Peru.  80,000 of them are cities with less than 100 families.  It  
> is impossible for the government to reach those 80,000 small  
> villages easily.  Those 80,000 villages are located over the 3,500  
> meters altitude" (it was said just 2 days ago).  This explains why  
> the Peruvian Government officials are happy to send the XOs to the  
> locations were there is energy (electricity), VSATs (from the  
> previous "Huascaran" project) and they will look in their budgets  
> to buy some servers.  We can not fix this (we can not fix the  
> mentality, the real scenery, all the people and facts limitations).
> But we can not preach to the chorus (the chorus is formed by those  
> 5,000 cities with more than 100 families... they are part of the  
> top of the pyramid) .  We need to give tools and solutions that  
> will help those peruvian functionaries to send the XOs to some of  
> those 80,000 forgotten villages and not JUST to the other 5,000  
> (that is clear that they are not in the bottom of the poverty  
> pyramid).  Once we provide these tools the functionaries, and our  
> president, will be MORE THAN HAPPY to send the XOs to those  
> forgotten villages.

This message has been repeated  to me many times by the people  
organizing the OLPC deployment within
the Peruvian Ministry of Education.  They understand the mandate of  
which you speak.

> So we need to learn about 3 things:
> How is the advance in providing some kind of autogenerated energy  
> (crank, weels, human or animal generated energy) ? (I know Richard  
> is the most interested in this issue, but I have not get further  
> information about many issues related to this "energy" aspect, we  
> have discuss solar panels and other options that seems not very  
> useful for our mountains... but I don't know what is the state of  
> the things on this moment.  Many pending answers in this area).

No servers have been deployed anywhere, they will be coming in the  
next few months.   10W Solar panels will be deployed with the first  
laptops in areas without power.    We are working on other ways of  
charging our batteries (the multi-battery charger) and better ways of  
distributing power to laptops within a classroom, but not on larger  
power generation devices.    You seem particularly focused on this  
area.  Please understand that OLPC cannot become too involved in the  
actual alternate power generation schemes for these low power  
schools, we simply don't have the personnel.   If you wish to contact  
people within the Peruvian MED to discuss starting an open bid for  
such systems (which will probably be necessary), let me know.

> How useful or practical is if the XOs behave without a separated  
> server? Is there some testing about that option? Will it be useful  
> and realistic?  Is this the first recommendation that the OLPC is  
> doing to the peruvian government or is the "you need to buy a  
> server" the preferred option that you recommend?

There is some testing, but this is not a very good experience if  
there are more than around 20 - 30 laptops in a small area (school  
building size)
The networking and collaboration experience gets much better with a  
centralized server and access point ("Internet" access or no.)    
Think of the
server as a convenient (and very cost-effective) way to package 500  
GB of library for such an offline school, where it is needed the most.)

> Is there some advance in relationship to developing a "sneaker  
> net" (I call it a "llama net"...) for those localities where there  
> is not Internet available or all the efforts of this first 40,000  
> computers located in Peru are focused on villages that have  
> "VSATS" ?  (If my memory is not bad... in some moment Walter told  
> that the OLPC project will be more than happy if they hear about  
> some kind of "off line" connection for the XOs... something like  
> the old UUCP method).

There is no requirement that participating schools have Internet  
Yes, our intent is to make distribution of data available over USB  
key, or DVD, or networks of any latency (weeks, etc.).

> I ask your pardon if some of this questions are too hot to handle.   
> But sooner or later we need to take the bull by the horns.  If  
> not... the project will not survive by itself and it will depend  
> ALL the time on the will of the government that will be in charge.
> Thanks for your time and big efforts to help our country.  We know  
> is a valuable effort.  Let's convert it in a unforgettable journey.


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