[Server-devel] Ultra Mobile XO Server
yama at netoso.com
Mon Jun 23 10:51:21 EDT 2008
> We could have 2 options:
> a/ a dedicated XO based XS server, to be used during classtime, serving
> eventually a few (< 40-50) XOs, for example in a class) as well as the teachers
> monitoring XO.
One thing that concerns me here is connectivity. The class XOs would be
expected to connect to this server, right?
Using the mesh? Wiki and experience say the mesh cannot handle 40 XOs,
probably 15 is tops.
Now, if an access point would do the job... Can a wireless router
operate as an AP by itself? it probably can, but of course then it would
merely establish a local network, which in my opinion is not such a
loss, though full access to the internet tends to be considered
essential by many. I'd like a school-wide or even area WAN to engage
kids in collaborating beyond walls in any case, even without full
internet. The mesh has very short reach.
> b/ a multipurpose XO with an alternate boot options, to be used by the teachers:
> - with the kids, during classtime, for monitoring purposes,
> - outside of the class, in order to prepare/evaluate the class activities.
This looks mostly as a software issue, which I think deserves some
attention. Clearly moderating blogs, etc, would be helped by some
specific tools the teacher needs but are not needed by kids' XOs.
In any case the XS plan was that it would not have its own screen etc,
but would be managed remotely, probably from teacher XOs?
> In case a, booting from an external storage may be an option, especially if
> additional storage is needed. The installation of the XS on the internal disk is
> another option, eventually with additional storage for the user data.
Then the kids are depending on that teacher XO to be available to access
that data, which as an idea is sort of transformational, since the
current canonical vision I have heard around here is that the server
should be available 24/7, and that obviously would seriously hinder
flexibility for the teacher.
Yes, we would save $500 a pop per server, but would we really?
Personally I believe a server that does the server job, and feeds
several APs is the way to go, even if the server is not up 24/7 (for
example to save power) or even just feeds a LAN or WAN and not off the
internet (to save on VSAT or other such expenses)
Leaving the teachers to have flexibility with their XOs to use them as
needed and take them home in the afternoons is important. Of course it
all depends if teachers actually use them for something. It appears
that many of the XOs handed to teachers in Uruguay got Bitfrosted over
the December-February vacations, for they did not go near their servers
often enough or some such cause.
It's still an interesting idea, which at least in my case reinforces my
interest in researching more about APs and region-wide networks.
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