Jam in a box

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Pencil.png NOTE: The contents of this page are not set in stone, and are subject to change!

This page is a draft in active flux ...
Please leave suggestions on the talk page.


This proposal was originally intended as a application to the Developers program and was written by Mel Chua as a strawman to figure out how to get short-term hardware loans and support to local communities that want to run Jams. It's since been expanded to include the possibility of running workshops with the XO, which aren't much different from Jams (they just don't have an explicit content-production focus). Comments welcome - please use the talk page.


As more places around the world start running OLPC Jams and workshops to create software, content, and other things for the project, we've started to get more requests about how people can get access to actual XO laptops for testing and judging at their Jam, running workshops, or things of that sort. Since they only need it for a short period of time (1-2 weeks), it would be great to have a set of laptops we could turn into a "Jam In A Box" kit that local groups could "check-out" for their events if they otherwise wouldn't have laptops (or enough laptops) available.

What it includes

  • 10 laptops
  • 12 batteries (1 per laptop + 2 extra)
  • 10 chargers
  • 3 USB flash drives for swap/storing new materials
    • 1 of the flash drives will hold an activated upgrade image of the latest build with G1G1 Activities included - this makes it very fast to reflash/wipe/upgrade any XOs to the latest build with Activities.
    • 1 of the flash drives will come preloaded with slide/handout files with basic information on OLPC, the XO, and Sugar, as well as instructions on how to join the formal developers' program to get a laptop for a longer period of time.
    • 1 of the flash drives will contain a customization key with Other Fun and Random Things that can be installed.
  • 3 cheap USB-ethernet converters

How it works

Organizers can reserve the box for the week of their event, pay for shipping, sign an agreement to be responsible for the laptops and to return them by a certain date, obtain appropriate power adapters for their location, use the laptops at their Jam to facilitate testing and pique development interest, then ship the laptops back to the Boston office for maintenance and repackaging for the next Jam.

If local Jam groups paid a small fee towards hardware and maintenance costs on top of all shipping fees incrued, the cost to OLPC would eventually be a grand total of $0. If we include some feedback forms, it would also have the added benefit of giving us a lot more first-time-user impressions, particularly those of children (the Jam judges) from different countries.


Mel has offered to take responsibility for arranging usage of the Box as well as the upkeep and maintenance of all 5 laptops (keeping their software updated, fixing/replacing broken hardware, loading language/event-appropriate content onto the laptops before shipping them out to Jams, etc). She has also offered to build/obtain a more-rugged-than-cardboard box to hold the laptops + materials, time and machine-shop access permitting. It is also possible that this box could be populated with older (non-B4) laptops, at least at first, if new prototypes are in short supply.


  • Any customs issues?