[Server-devel] [Fwd: Systems Administration Development for OLPC school server proposal]

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Fri May 18 00:24:16 EDT 2007

Hello Chase,

This all sounds great.  We have some backup scripts currently, but I bet
even there we could use some help in improving them; and we could definitely
use good administrative interfaces for these kinds of simple daily

Some related issues, each of which have partial solutions but could use
unified simple interfaces:
 - monitoring what machines are on the network -- which students and
machines are close to a server, and how to add new ones to the set that are
  - maintaining a list of systems, parts, repair parts, and issues related
to each... since you might diagnose a broken antenna but not be able to fix
it for a little while, and two different people might make the original
diagnosis and be on hand to fix it later.

Since you have some specific ideas you mention below, you might want to sign
up to have a project for your software suite hosted on our development


On 4/24/07, Chase <cdp2055 at cis.rit.edu> wrote:
> --
> Chase Putnam
> Student Systems Administrator
> OLPC Project Staff and Community:
> My name is Chase Putnam. I am an Information Technology student at the
> Rochester Institute of Technology. I have been keeping up with the
> development of the OLPC project and believe it to be of great benefit to
> the many countries who decide to embrace its functionality to expand
> their educational institutions.
> A group of fellow students and I, ranging in majors from Information
> Technology to Software Engineering, have come up with an idea that could
> very well benefit the implementation of your proposed school server in
> the developing countries where they are installed. Since the school
> administrators will usually have little to no knowledge of how to
> maintain and administrate over a computer network, much less address
> issues that might arise through use, we believe that a GUI based systems
> administration software suite could be developed to help these teachers
> and other school faculty to maintain the school infrastructure after the
> initial installation of the OLPC project systems in their schools.
> The software suite would be a GUI front end to a variety of scripts that
> could repair permissions in a standardized manner, perform network wide
> automated system updating, and even diagnose networking problems in the
> local mesh network around the school server. Think of a very simplified
> version of Apple's Remote Desktop administrative software program, just
> without the inclusion of any VNC front ends. To diagnose networking
> problems, there could be a graphical representation on screen of various
> portions of the Mesh network, and through varying means, show the server
> administrator if there is a machine that is not sending or receiving
> certain network protocol packets, or not transmitting or receiving
> signals properly. This could lead to diagnosis of a broken antenna or
> just an indication that a certain laptop is not functioning properly.
> This kind of program would make it very easy for school faculty who
> supervise the OLPC implementation in each school to maintain and
> troubleshoot their infrastructure and find specific machines that may
> need maintenance.
> We also had the idea to make a very user-friendly backup suite that
> could back up an OLPC machine's OS install onto the server in case of
> hardware failure on a student's machine. But backup software has been a
> staple of your server development vision for some time now, so we do not
> know how far along that might be or what you do have planned.
> If you are interested in further development of these ideas into actual
> programs, we have a group that would like to come on board and
> participate in this great humanitarian endeavor. We could develop all or
> a part of this software suite and bring to the table ideas and insight
> that you might otherwise not already have. We would like to do our part
> to help bring modern resources and education to the world in order to
> make this planet a better, more prosperous place for all.
> --
> Chase Putnam
> Student Systems Administrator
> Information Technology Student
> Rochester Institute of Technology
> _______________________________________________
> Server-devel mailing list
> Server-devel at laptop.org
> http://mailman.laptop.org/mailman/listinfo/server-devel
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