Grassroots bootcamp/Results/monday transcript

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<mchua> Morning session from grassroots bootcamp, transcript start

<mchua> sj: introductions!

<mchua> hello, I'm sj

<bjordanprojector> Mel: I'm transcribing this for #olpc-groups

<mchua> when people come in - this is a working session for 4 days to hash out what needs to happen to make a grassroots group

<mchua> bjordanprojector: :p

<mchua> christoph (cd): most of you know me already, I'm christoph, I'm from Austria

<isforinsects> cd: co-editor of

<mchua> also run

<mchua> isforinsects: thanks

<isforinsects> mel: this is my fault, from IL, working on grassroots, running jams and organizing university groups, local people who don't quite know how to get involved mel s

<isforinsects> runs a conference and teaches them

<mchua> brian jordan (bj): I'm brian jordan, working on 2d physics engine as an olpc intern

<mchua> Elements

<mchua> seth woodworth (sw): is isforinsects

<mchua> is an intern here as of yesterday

<mchua> working on grassroots developments content workflow and <something I missed>

<mchua> jonathan (j): I'm jonathan, from Birmingham, al

<isforinsects> Jonathan Austin: from Birmingham

<mchua> haven't been involved before

<isforinsects> Bootcamp in July, 6 week project

<mchua> 6 week project working with...

<mchua> diana daley?

<isforinsects> Working with Julian and ?

<mchua> 15k laptops in the hands of students

<mchua> we're going to be on a team to help train the local teaches and set up a laptop hospital

<mchua> teach them how to repair laptops

<mchua> I'm here to learn as much as I can

<mchua> my background is in nonprofit management

<isforinsects> My background is in NP management

<mchua> executive director of a nonprofit for 4 years

<mchua> been doing np work for 11 years

<isforinsects> in NP world for 11 years

<mchua> neighborhood grassroots organizations

<mchua> working with communities around the city

<isforinsects> Churches are major parts of the community

<mchua> so they do a lot of the outreach and community involvement in education

<mchua> they set up bake sales <?> and etc

<isforinsects> set up daycare

<mchua> so they're a huge presence in Birmingham

<isforinsects> 1600 churches in the city

<mchua> 1500

<mchua> 1600? ok

<mchua> corporations set up different labs

<isforinsects> and np's ^

<mchua> technology opportunities program

<mchua> ffm: I know you're watching us long-distance, so if there's something incoherent in the transcript, please holler - we want to clean these up so they're readable by others later, but all the info needs to be in first

<isforinsects> Fund to engage students and adults in education

<isforinsects> first 5 and now 7 labs around the city for training in low income communities.

<isforinsects> Basic computer skills training

<isforinsects> Internet browsing and security

<mchua> julian talking about how they've run tons of community programs - large scale outreach - with volunteers in Birmingham

<mchua> nikki (nl): I'm Nikki, going to ILXO which is a grassroots startup in Chicago

<mchua> been involved in olpc a little over a year, doing grassroots, outreach, support-gang stuff

<mchua> Olin is a university chapter

<mchua> sj: does everyone know what s-g is?

<mchua> (yes)

<mchua> al: I'm andrea lai, also going to Chicago been doing stuff with the Olin university chapter

<mchua> cc: my name's chris carrick, I'm another ILXO member, I'm fairly new to OLPC, just really started in the last couple of weeks

<mchua> but I'm helping to work on power peripherals, developing voltage regulators etc. for off-grid charging

<mchua> (that's everyone)

<mchua> *francesca comes in*

<mchua> fs: I'm francesca slade, an undergrad @ Yale, background is in theoretical math

<mchua> but going to cs

<mchua> and I grew up being better at math than most of the people in my grade being frustrated at that

<mchua> I think theoretical math can be taught differently

<mchua> what's happening in new haven is that we're trying to set up a pilot

<mchua> Yale olpc will be an official chapter in the fall

<mchua> issues becoming an official organization @ school during the summer break, so we have to wait until the fall


The mindmap discussed is at File:OLPC Grassroots

<mchua> sj: we should start off brainstorming - we have a mindmap (on the projector)

<mchua> isforinsects: can't understand sj half the time - can you help by transcribing him? I think I can get everyone else since they're looking at sj

<isforinsects> SJ over lunch we'll have core OLPC staff that will answer questions

<isforinsects> Today we'll have Adam Holt and Robert Fidel(sp?)

<mchua> isforinsects: <3

<mchua> Robert Fadel

<isforinsects> afternoon is 2-4 and working on open projects

<mchua> Adam = Support manager, Robert = director of finance

<isforinsects> groups of 2-3 and coming up with suggestion models that OLPC can assess

<mchua> (as sj talks, bjordanprojector is adding to the mindmap - brian, are you posting the mindmap up at the end of the day?)

<isforinsects> Duke is an example of non-supported grassroots running in parallel to other projects

<bjordanprojector> mchua: yup

<mchua> bjordanprojector: hurrah, thanks!

Brainstorming on problems

See the list of problems at Grassroots problems

<isforinsects> Sj: how do we address core communication issues?

<isforinsects> How do we organize organizers

<mchua> cd: yes, let me pull up the wiki page

<mchua> sj: topics: how we start a local chapter, grassroots groups, and what kind of interfaces olpc can provide to them

<mchua> cd: talking about olpc Austria - we started ~1yr ago

<mchua> we were the 1st European grassroots

<mchua> this was an interesting place to be because it gave us a lot of insight on what is going on @ Europe, how we can leverage across countries, connect people

<mchua> the idea at the beginning was we were going to support the olpc effort via various means

<mchua> some of the things we've done are doing presentations, universities in Austria

<mchua> various festivals

<mchua> events,

<mchua> talking to Austrian computer assoc

<mchua> also went to Germany, conferences

<mchua> icd tradeshow

<mchua> er, ict

<mchua> CEBIT

<mchua> the next one's really actual projects - so producing things

<mchua> ex: activity handbook

<mchua> that me and 2 other people coauthored

<mchua> basically a document n how to get people started w writing activities for the xo

<mchua> because we will probably explore that in one way or the other in the next few days - documentation is one of the big tasks that hasn't really been tackled

<mchua> presentations for olpc which basically comes form our own end to have presentation materials

<mchua> the materials we made are cc-licensed on our wiki

<mchua> also available in English

<mchua> we try to make all we do as easy as possible for others

<mchua> the former layout and skin for was done by an olpc Austrian

<mchua> the postcad design

<mchua> hoping grassroots communicate and set up stuff

<mchua> a lot of communities to better communicate a collaborate about things

<mchua> because I think we can all agree that communication is the goodness

<mchua> languages, time zones, etc.

<mchua> in face meetings are important

<mchua> we all over the internet

<mchua> but it makes sense to meet face to face so people can meet, hang out

<mchua> that's just some of the many things that I've been working on

<mchua> sj: we are using the olpcaustria skin - we just changed it to a white background

<mchua> cd: back on schedule!

<mchua> we're going to start today's question w some of the topics on the screen


<mchua> bjordanprojector: I've got notes - go ahead and show the wiki page on the screen

<mchua> cd: is reading through Grassroots bootcamp/Topics

<mchua> cd: I personally think all of these are big projects where grassroots can easily contribute

<ffm> mchua: will do.

<mchua> ffm: thanks.

<mchua> cd: one thing we talked about was the need for a community ambassador @ olpc to serve as a point of contact for the community

<mchua> also, financial support - we're very us centric right now, it would be great if we could get Nepal, Rwanda, etc. people over, but they often need travel funds

<mchua> grassroots conference - something in early 2009

<mchua> collaboration and communication among grassroots - it doesn't makes sense to duplicate effort

<mchua> ...and more

<mchua> repair center infrastructures. one of the pressing things is the next g1g1 starting august/sept timeframe and the fact that there's no support structure setup for it

<mchua> and also the way information flows - between 1cc and the community, and among the community.

<mchua> want to start off w/ brief brainstorming; what are the biggest problems you see with respect to community work?

<mchua> ffm: chime in if you have ideas ;)

<isforinsects> Chris: getting people connected and aware of the issues

<mchua> cc: people aren't connected and aware of the issues I've talked to a lot of people who would love to be involved

<mchua> but don't now where to start really

<mchua> getting onto the wiki, there's a learning cure

<mchua> curve

<isforinsects> Learning curve to getting on the wiki

<sj> me : a group to process volunteer requests and match them

<mchua> it's just guiding those interested parties

<isforinsects> guiding those interested parties

<mchua> me: the lack of value we place on volunteer coordination and infrastructure

<sj> and someone in each region who can respond to interest

<mchua> fs: do you think it would b helpful to have some turn based governing body of grassroots organizations

<mchua> so that someone is the leader of the group of 5 people that respond to X

<isforinsects> fem: coordinator for grassroots recruitment?

<sj> fem : some sort of ongoing term-based structure that helps oversee various grassroots efforts

<mchua> sw: it should get done more efficiency - I've answered many emails in the mailing lists

<mchua> saying hey I want to get more involved need more info

<sj> perhaps a small group of people to find someone to look after repair centers -- making sure there's one within a certain distance from every deployment / cluster

<mchua> if we had a person whose job that was, who knows this stuff...

<sj> and someone to look after matching volunteers, and someone to look after pen pals or communication programs

<mchua> sj: I'm trying to keep this channel and the talk in the room synced, so this = notes

<sj> and someone to organize public documentation / information about all groups; including the wiki, blogs, and such

<mchua> fs: need a portal to direct people to what they're interested in - I'm a teacher! I'm interested in this! they should know where to go

<sj> mchua ; I'm adding transcriptions of femslade that weren't picked up ...

<sj> I think we're talking slowly enough that we can support discussion too :)

<mchua> sj: thanks. I'm missing bits and snatches as I type

<sj> brian : we could first outline bits and snatches of who wants to contribute...

<mchua> sj: eh, attention should not be split between screen and discussion, except for one scribe

<mchua> sj: that's what I'm trying to do - so everyone else can focus

<mchua> fs: I think we do need a much... right now we have students, educators, developers, but we need more specific range of paths to follow

<mchua> seth: we need to break it down to the level of "I'm an illustrator" etc

<sj> [sure. if people /not/ in the room want to chime in, please do]

<mchua> fs: I also think we need when you click on that button it gets to a page where it's "here are poe nprojects!"

<mchua> bj: and have contact points

<mchua> sw: not contact points! just tasks

<mchua> mc: guys, we're thinking about problems ,not solutions

<mchua> fs: organization

<mchua> * Hard to find out what's going on in your location, and in your area of interest

<mchua> * Steep learning curve to climb to use the tools we use to communicate and work with each other (wiki? git? come on.)

<mchua> * Community organizing work is not valued.

<mchua> fs: people knowing this is something they can do is also a problem

<mchua> fs: people not knowing that they can contribute is a problem

<mchua> bj: agrees with fs - my university profs fall into that category

<mchua> bj: problem - university professors don't know how they can contribute

<sj> sj : notes Jonathan is being quiet...

<mchua> ja: one problem is that people aren't made aware

<mchua> cd: there are two issues here

<mchua> 1. olpc and the olpc community haven't been good at using people who email us and say we want to help

<mchua> 2. ?

<mchua> ja: olpc does not have a main contact outreach person?

<mchua> sj: there are two of us - I work with grassroots groups, adam holt works with support-gang

<mchua> sk: say more about what kind of contact you have in mind

<mchua> ja: a job description - all they would do is community outreach, getting people involved - depending on the mission

<mchua> getting involved with and understand the local bureaucracy is really... how to get into neighborhood associations, the local library

<mchua> probably send... you can have a top down or bottom up approach

<mchua> these are similar

<mchua> you probably have a lot of different things to do

<mchua> organizing campaigns, answering emails...

<mchua> but not just that - just someone to do outreach

<mchua> sj: we've only done outreach to govts - not people

<mchua> er, sk^^

<mchua> sk: I'd like us to focus more on the def. of grassroots/collective groups - here is an organizing body

<mchua> this body may not have anything to do with olpc - which is probably best

<mchua> sw: so to add on that - it's a question of scale - we have so many people interested and sw have so many people who are speaking different languages

<mchua> so many projects

<mchua> if we think of.. look, if we had a job for someone to do this, it's all going to scale as afar as that person to do it

<mchua> if we think about scaling a process (rather than a person)

<mchua> it's more scalable... infinitely saleable.

<mchua> cd: personally, I think this is true on paper, but there are some bottlenecks

<mchua> like access to xos

<mchua> which may be easier to deal with in the future but right now it's encumbering us in Austria

<mchua> because we can't get laptop without olpc approval

<mchua> sw: that's the case exactly - we need to get away from olpc to make that community process

<mchua> fs: that cant be a community process!

<mchua> in the sense that olpc has to say "we will sell you laptops at x price"

<mchua> sj: the process for allocating laptops should be community run

<mchua> there's also the question of how do we support a small school - maybe they need 50 laptops

<kikka> Heya.

<mchua> kikka: hi there. we're in the middle of a meeting, trying to transcribe from 1cc, so you will see lots of spurious typing and bad spelling here.

<mchua> kikka: feel free to chime in.

<mchua> sk: what I'd like us to get to this week is to find a way to define a way for people to say " I want to do X"

<mchua> if we define this rightly we'll be able to say yes

<mchua> isforinsects: I'm taking a break from transcribing to write our problems list, can you take over for a sec?

<isforinsects> t: in SA it takes 1.5 hours to charge with a solar panel

<isforinsects> we also got the textbooks from the dept of education in SA

<isforinsects> We had to load them on the server, if we never had the server we would never get them on the XO's

<isforinsects> X didn't know that they needed a server to serve textbook

<isforinsects> cd: are there external community members in SA?

<isforinsects> t: I'm running a University club

<isforinsects> Makes it very easy for the people donating the laptops

<isforinsects> For it was more about relationships than donations

<isforinsects> also people from gov, and other groups from the mailing lists

<isforinsects> Mostly it's us, but we share with them

<isforinsects> only ones at the moment with the XO's

<isforinsects> Many people ask us questions

<isforinsects> sometimes it's touch

<isforinsects> *tough

<isforinsects> And it's hard because we're not experts on the XO yet

<mchua> h01ger: when would be good?

<isforinsects> lost...?

<mchua> isforinsects: as am I

<isforinsects> sk: you're basically the liaison for the group?

<isforinsects> t: yes

<isforinsects> How many laptops in Cliptown

<isforinsects> t: 100 laptops, might be getting another 100

<mchua> bjordanprojector: can you put up?

<isforinsects> sup ffm?

<h01ger> mchua, probably Wednesday or Thursday or Friday, and a bit earlier (like from 1600-1700 utc or earlier, but I'm not sure this is good for 1cc :) - usually less short notice than a few hours also helps :) (but today it would have

<sj> please add problems here in-chan that we've missed...

<isforinsects> Julian Daily just joined us

<isforinsects> OLPC Learning Team

<ffm> isforinsects: not much.


<mchua> bjordanprojector: can you add these problems to the pastebin please?

<mchua> bjordanprojector: nm, I'll do it

<bjordanprojector> k

<mchua> bjordanprojector: refresh page please

<mchua> bjordanprojector: er... again? I don't think that took

<bjordanprojector> got it



<sj> seth: ubuntu's package popularity system! &c.

<sj> [cd notes he has a plan for sth like this as well; cf. Mozilla's plug-in review]

<homunq> what's going on? meeting still happening?

<homunq> mchua: ?

<mchua> homunq: lunch break

<homunq> (btw, mchua: great job with transcription, props.)

<mchua> homunq: thanks - it's somewhat spotty but if people ask for clarification in parts I'd be happy to try to fill the gaps in


<mchua> *emiliano pavorvo <sp?> enters, introduces self*

<mchua> implementation/deployment team in... Peru?

<mchua> (having a hard time understanding)

<isforinsects> The thing is that right now in Ur are thinking of

<isforinsects> more concerned of delivering laptops, next year is elections

<isforinsects> The goal is to deliver all the laptops

<isforinsects> Ceibal has a little bit of everything, kernel hacking, school server filtering

<isforinsects> Parents want filters on the laptops

<isforinsects> I have a coworker that is compiling modules

<isforinsects> And is doing filtering at the OS level

<isforinsects> trying to make changes without branching the builds

<ffm> isforinsects: eeew, filtering!

<homunq> but that is not for this room anyway.

<homunq> the point I actually wanted to raise here, and it's hard to know when to do so, is that content (lesson plans, etc.) is generally a bigger mess than software. It's a harder problem, I understand - partly because different XO supp

<homunq> One big piece of a clear portal is back links, when you find something you should have a link to "how I should have found this".

<homunq> and "how can I find more like this"

<homunq> this helps the portal grow wikily.

<homunq> (other issue which is harder for content than software is language, but we essentially have only 2 so far. Spanish > English >> everything else)

<isforinsects> homunq, Yes, that in fact is a project that I am going to be working on later in the week

<isforinsects> back links

<homunq> (because the metric is n(n-1) where n=number of independent groups. Mongolia, Nepal, Haiti are all just one group, so in-language communication needed = 0)

<homunq> s/all/each/

<homunq> isforinsects: :)

<mchua> homunq: +1

<isforinsects> back links and disambiguation

Open work time

<mchua> getting started again

<mchua> trying to consolidate projects - too many people working solo

<ffm> kk

<isforinsects> Mel: there is now how to run a Jam guide

<isforinsects> Mel: blah blah blah, make sure you have pizza, blah

<isforinsects> Mel: Going to write up a how-to Jam handbook

<isforinsects> Sj finishing a guide that people can use?

<mchua> projects for the day:

<bjordanprojector> Jam Kit (Mel, Brian)

<bjordanprojector> Materials for running jam

<mchua> Brian Jordan and Mel Chua working on a "running a jam" how-to

<bjordanprojector> Community Content Contribution

<bjordanprojector> Use cases

<bjordanprojector> Roles

<bjordanprojector> University Chapters

<bjordanprojector> Fixing U Chapter wiki page

<bjordanprojector> Removing Mel from process

<bjordanprojector> Grassroots Org. Org.

<mchua> bjordanprojector: you rock!

<bjordanprojector> mchua: I can make logos

<mchua> bjordanprojector: with a "beta" sticker?

<bjordanprojector> definitely

World computer exchange

<sj> Tim Anderson has the floor


<sj> we have 2500 volunteers... a few people who do nothing but hold the hands of participating organizations

<sj> we have 45 formal partners; it could be a Ministry of Education, or world vision, or a team of peace corps volunteers

<sj> primary things we do are : getting used computers into public spaces

<sj> different not new tech, not to individuals

<sj> occasionally they get computers, but it's primarily to be placed in schools and orphanages and youth centers...

<sj> questions?

<sj> what motivates people to come to our equiv of jams

<sj> are testing & packing computers

<sj> generally hardware and sw techies who love seeing PIIIs and souping them up and packing them to go out

<sj> we ship in containers of 200-400...

<sj> sometimes it goes to 20 diff schools; people often need network gear, or sw, or patch cords made up, or servers.

<sj> we go gather things and throw it i

<sj> we have teams who go ~2 months after it arrives to help with network

<sj> so if a place doesn't have capacity to do that, a team might go with 12 people.

<sj> they pay their own way, like it b/c they are seeing a diff culture, having a goodtime.

<sj> getting to show off tips and tricks they show off

<sj> the age range is 17 to 45...

<sj> apologies for interrupting - wasn't aware that Tim was in here to speak. (not on schedule == not in consciousness.)

<sj> we also have individuals who go, b/c they were planning on going anyway. they ask if there's anything they could do to help.

<sj> we'll connect them with a diff country to see if they have skills to help solve.

<sj> the main thing we're trying to do is leave things with a stronger capacity for involvement that they had in the beginning,.

<sj> they have to do fundraising, planning, tech plans, program development, org development

<sj> it's a lot of ... mgmt consulting

<sj> when I say holding their hands, it's helping them specifically do something they need

<sj> it usually falls into 5 areas

<sj> the chapter jobs ; get computers, get volunteers, get money, get press, get uni/school connections

<sj> Jonathan : how do people get things to you? do you pick them up, do they send them?

<sj> Tim : lots of different was

<sj> we tend not to have volunteers go out for less than 80?

<sj> they tend to bring them and stack them in a central repository

<sj> we only accept working equipment, people are roughly honest

<sj> not too much work that needs to be done

<sj> Tim : do you recycle ones you don't use?

<sj> (john, sorry)

<sj> Tim: yes... mostly boxes of extra things, power, floppy drives, carts. what you need to pack safely in a kit. they always get extra so those, extra hard drives for spaces

<sj> and hubs

<sj> it's a lab on a palette; you might have 20 in side a container. a lot of time you measure by 20s. one palette can hold 20 sets, packed tall and big

<sj> 8' tall.

<sj> seth : I envy you of your capacity to use volunteers in countries

<sj> that's something e would love to be able to do

<sj> and are barely even considering talking bout

<sj> [sj : how do you deal with accountability?]

<sj> Tim; we have 25 diff global strategic allies that operate in these countries

<sj> they can get ... 100 people to help unpack containers

<sj> it's the parents and people who ant this for their kids!

<sj> seth ; two things for you : 1, do you want some content? educational material?

<sj> Tim : well... we always work through our partners. . we would put this to our partners. they always say yes, and it's always different.

<sj> they might want diff language or grades

<sj> we do ship sometimes egranaries

<bjordanprojector> it's used in some of the university settings

<bjordanprojector> not so much in primary schools

<bjordanprojector> 11million pages is 11 million pages

<bjordanprojector> the focus was primarily Africa

<bjordanprojector> there are a lot of documents about the forming of Africa (?)

<bjordanprojector> the development function of giving away stuff is a debilitating thing in lots of countries

<bjordanprojector> we're really opposed to it

<bjordanprojector> sometimes it's 2 years where they're saying we'll take the first step and we'll say no we'll take the first step

<bjordanprojector> seth: we'd be really happy to just have positives and silence

<sj> seth : that's exciting, all the same. though I Suppose people won't always give honest reactions

<sj> Tim : peace corps volunteers are good about that

<sj> they'll rip into you (if a program isn't run well)

<sj> and you could ask them to do the review

<sj> seth : (aside about cargo trailers)

<sj> as for shipping...

<sj> we have a policy against bribing

<sj> tradition often includes lots of bribes; it's a lousy tradition.

<sj> it ill be good for everyone if we can stick together and not do it.

<sj> we do a loot of that, trying to get people to not do... w have all sorts of biases.

<sj> fem: what support system do you have?

<sj> notes about wcoe partners

<sj> on the website : /partner

<sj> Tim: they are really basic questions: who are you, why, what will you do with these

<sj> where will you place them, will you use linux or windows

<sj> how does money work short/long term?

<sj> they answer those, working their way through

<sj> some come back instantly with clear 40pg docs

<sj> others come back with 2pg docs

<sj> both are fine.

<sj> others come back talking about servers?

<sj> and they say "I am the principal server of the Lord"

<sj> and you say wow... but you know where you're working from

<sj> it can take 2 yrs from those initial answers to answers that make sense

<sj> for someone who will have a lot of computers coming in

<sj> (presumably : they have to figure out what they want --ed.)

<sj> we're working at the bottom of everything; old computers, cheap, spares; people have little previous experience.

<sj> fem: we're dealing with new comps, but many similar problems. in talking about even q's of us deployments people say oh yes! give us laptops, we'll be great... and then they don't know what to do when they break

<sj> Tim :the chapters for us are interesting; you'll run into the same thing: everyone wants to do their own direction

<sj> we try to divide geographically so there's something that makes sense.

<sj> :you want to help with Bangladesh? great. you have to pay attention to all of our Bangladesh work

<sj> or :you want to be involved with linux installations: help us think through the whole system and help with that.

<sj> we try to get each chapter to take one mgmt and admin thing; dc took marketing, others took fundraising to help out with fundraising.

<sj> usually those are geographic, single country.

<sj> trying to get all to go in the same direction was... we had to put together an org chart with titles. we went with a very traditional hierarchy

<sj> there are regional managers and program officers

<sj> in big countries like Nigeria, or India with lots of states, you have someone in-between those two levels

<sj> a program manager for that whole country

<sj> they watch each other to keep things straight, the program officers can get help from someone above.

<sj> our whole goal -0 I'm the only paid staff - is to do as much virtually as possible.

<sj> fem : you've been there since the beginning? can you talk about the initial infra and what you started with?

<sj> and what didn't work?

<sj> Tim : sure... the main thing we started with was a group that said ; ok, we'll trust each other and try out t a lot of things and make mistakes.

<sj> we wrote that down as part of our first personnel policy; we embraced mistake making

<sj> I've tried to introduce that to other odrgs where I'm on the board

<sj> they completely lost it, they didn't think t hat should ever be written down publicly

<sj> but in the beginning we had no idea what we were doing; didn't know who to trust or listen to; we got ripped off a minimal # of times

<sj> we came in doing some things like a predecessor org "east west educational development foundation" had

<sj> we met with their board chair and exec dir as they were going bankrupt.

<sj> "what would you do differently?" and they told us

<sj> so we learned a lot about capital expense

<sj> w went with completely donated space

<sj> we got freight companies in multiple locations to help us out

<sj> a lot of it was supply chain logistics

<sj> and the volunteers -- at the start we said "everyone can go in their own direction and enjoy it"

<sj> then it was difficult to say "we know what we want : can you offer one of these?"

<sj> (getting $, press, volunteers, tech, unis)

<sj> then everyone who wanted to do pr could share packs and improve them

<sj> and that worked great

<sj> we started this without wikis and the like, and slowly people started joining who knew technology and gave us better tools

<sj> the main thing was : getting as quickly as possible to a defined way of going forward

<sj> making mistakes and then limiting things about what we're trying to do

<sj> then we started writing job descriptions for each of those 5 roles

<sj> so every chapter has 5 roles for this as coordinators

<sj> and teams that help ... in countries we started with those questions and they're basically the same now as they were

<sj> we started emphasizing you can be brief and not answer all

<sj> our job is to say yes, and it might take two years, but *our job is to say yes*

<sj> and some people didn't understand and thought we would say no and so wanted to get everything perfect

<sj> fem: and some people culturally want to be positive, not negative

<sj> Tim : we have people show up... if we have people travelling anyway, they are going to are anyway for some other reason, going with their spouse who has this job; they ask if we have something for them to do

<sj> we say yes, meet with these people, these aid orgs, they all come to a meeting,

<sj> and it actually helps break through that ice; they can have a simple conv about how it's okay to get things wrong, just communicate.

<sj> and face to face it's a lot easier.

<sj> and they on do this sort of workshop thing to help them solve and write down the answers.

<sj> fem : just to be sure ": for onsite things people do in countries :T here's deploying of the computer. is that everything?

<sj> Tim : in almost all cases, they do that..

<sj> if we have a team going, it's 2 months. it might be a cranky linux ltsp thin client install and we know the others won't do it themselves

<sj> otherwise they tend to do (installations themselves.

<sj> seth ; I saw expected cost / processing is $67... mostly pII of IV?

<sj> Tim : thin clients are $27. we don't encourage that unless they have capacity, or will have at eam come...

<sj> seth: what is the life expectancy?

<sj> Tim : it depends on the sophistication and resilience of the group.

<sj> in India : we've only been around 8 yrs, and they're all still working pretty much.

<sj> in Guatemala, mayhan group.. I met the guy after 3 years and asked how any were still working

<sj> he was dumbfounded and said of course they were al still working

<sj> it was a matter of pride

<sj> Tim : they will always ask can you put in 40 extra hard in this motherboard or drive...

<sj> it cost nothing to pack up and send this stuff if you already have the container going.

<sj> so we just add all these things, for part and spares and drives.

<sj> laptops it's always power adapters and they need another one.

<sj> they swap out parts very readily.

<sj> they will have things waiting for the next container to come and fill them in

<sj> sj : what's the average lag b/t a request and a container shipping out

<sj> Tim : we can always starts shipping within a month.

<sj> it can sit on a ship for a long time while it is routed.

<sj> that is 45 days and can sit at the dock for a week or 2 months for each stop.

<sj> only 5% of the time it's over 2 months.

<sj> that's usually or some sort of major problem where someone wants to take a serious kickback... there's a wrestling match about whether they can take 15% of the computers

<sj> we get an inventory from the recipients and people are unhappy if they are missing a part. and 5% or so have problems.

<sj> it is a matter of ... containers getting dropped on its side and braking things.

<sj> &c.

<sj> or after unloading in the warehouse floods come in and 100 are underwater.

<sj> hard to plan for.

<sj> and if we reship things after a failed shipment the people who were in country to help out may vanish...

Open work time continued

<mchua> folks - brian and I have outlined - feedback welcome as we start to fill it in

<homunq> reading the backlog. just noting, you guys are cool.

<ffm> homunq: O RLY? WE THE AWESOMENESS!!1!!

<ffm> </immaturity>

<homunq> (getting $, press, volunteers, tech, unis) --- unis = ???

<isforinsects> homunq, universities

<isforinsects> mchua, ping

<homunq> This is amazing.

<homunq> My big question, from my exp. here, is customs?

<homunq> don't they eat you alive?

<mchua> homunq: oh, we haven't posted our work up yet ;)

<mchua> some good stuff from today

<homunq> I mean, taxes, custom fees.

<homunq> not cultural customs.

<mchua> homunq: ooh, good question to ask Tim - he's out of the room atm, I'll try to see if he's still here

<homunq> also, I want the contact for the "Guatemalan" group

<mchua> homunq: ok, asked him

<mchua> Tim says it's not so bad

<mchua> they ship en masse to one country at a time

<mchua> what they do is - their org handles things from the us side, their partners handle thing from the receiving country side

<mchua> their org has a set of template legal paperwork for shipping - pro forma invoices, bills of lading, etc. all the usual stuff you need to ship internationally

<mchua> they send it to the customs dept of the country they are sending to

<mchua> and say "hey is this ok"

<mchua> (they start early - Tim emphasized that is important - as soon as you start talking with a country, you tell them "go, find out about customs, because it takes a while")

<mchua> so they send these template docs to the customs dept of the country they are trying to ship to

<mchua> and go back and forth revising them and "customizing" until the customs dept is happy with the forms

<mchua> (rephrasing, removing certain words, etc)

<mchua> he also said that if you use something like FedEx, they take care of all that paperwork stuff for you, but charge extra - but for one-off, time sensitive things, it's one way to get around it

<mchua> not so much for their business, though

<homunq> and they can usually get away with paying nominal amounts?

<homunq> because I have tried this stuff at micro scale here and that was the deal breaker.

<mchua> micro scale == small scale, or a specific store?

<homunq> probably because I didn't plan for it though.

<homunq> small scale.

<homunq> OK I gotta go, but thanks.

<mchua> homunq: oh - well, they do large scale, and plan way in advance

<mchua> homunq: have fun