Support meetings/20080120

Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, January 20, 2008

(4 - 6pm EST)


many Community Support Volunteers and wikifiers:

  • Iain Davidson (Bellingham, WA) (Only via IRC, unable to listen via Costa Rica)
  • Anders Mogensen (Denmark)
  • Joshua Seal (Belkin, UK)
  • Vesna Misanovic (Stuttgart)
  • Giovanni Caselotti (Stuttgart)
  • Seth Woodworth (Washington state)
  • FFM (Virginia)
  • Ian Daniher (Ohio)
  • Thomas Tuttle (Pennsylvania)
  • David Aquilina (North Carolina)
  • Mel Chua (Illinois)
  • Dan Bennett (Massachusetts)
  • Steve Holton (North Carolina)
  • Caryl Bigenho (Southern Calif)
  • Sandy Culver (Massachusetts)
  • Austin Appel (Southern Calif)
  • Michael Burns (Oregon State Univ)
  • Kate Davis (Middletown, CT)
  • Guynn Prince (North Carolina)
  • Chihyu (support intern, Massachusetts)
  • Arjun Sarwal (1CC, intern, author of Measure)
  • SJ Klein (1CC, Director of Community Content)
  • Kim Quirk (Boston, Product Manager, QA Lead)
  • Adam Holt (1CC, Support Gangster in Chief)

1: Anders

Special Guest Anders Mogensen will update us on some OLPC Nigeria possibilities, even though he himself is not involved, he has a lot of great deployment ideas, and has lived in Nigeria for 10yrs.


Calling from Denmark! Spent time last week in Boston at a meeting with folks from all over. Works for a private consulting company in Denmark. Likes to work with projects like OLPC. Not directly with OLPC Nigeria. Is studying what they are doing and has visited the pilot site. Shared the setting and what is being done in Nigeria

135 million people. Only about 1 million computers in use. Huge "digital divide" there. Challenge partly due to cost of the computers. Teachers earn about $100/month. Computer costs about $600-700. Gov is working on a "gap" program to try to get computers to folks by financing them over 24 mos or so.

In: education 20 million elementary, 6 million secondary, 1 million university. Poorly funded by the government. Funded at the state level. Some states better than others. Lots of poor management and corruption. Minister of education..."why have a laptop when we have no chairs, the kids have no clothes to go to school etc?"

People are talking about "computer labs" may be 3 computers for 300 students! Richer private schools may have 2-3 per student. 1 to 1 only in pilot school and some of the more expensive universities.

Challenges... Financing...not impossible but requires a committed government Private schools may the first to adopt not bad because they can show what the OLPC can do. How children learn and how teachers teach...mostly students copying what the teacher says or writes on the board. Laptop will be a threat to the teachers traditional responsibility. Children in Nigeria "own" nothing, not even their clothes Kids have a lot of chores at home when not in school. Parents need to know students nead time to learn. Electrical power needs are also important.

Q What fractional part of schools will want "bandwidth" within a few years

A Having a connection to the world is central element for success of the OLPC program. Costs, who pays, who maintains etc are big questions. Will need infrastructure.

10 min video available on the web about the Nigeria test school.

Q Power needs?

A Need to find a way to have power to charge the laptops for as many hours use per day as possible.

Wants to set up another test school this spring. Looking for ideas about how teachers can

Q Appropriateness of content

A Some areas very religious. Christian and Muslim. Moral values very important. Kids will be kids (pornography). Not sure how to filter content

Q A point of contact for folks who want to help in Nigeria?

A Government interested in private initiatives. Many religious organizations have initiatives in Nigeria. Contact Anders to pass on names to some organizations who would like help.

Q Religious aspect...lots of religious texts available. Are schools secular?

A Schools try to be impartial. In secondary school students can choose to take special courses focusing on their religion. Religious schools might be interested in doing something with religious texts on the OLPC

2. Josh Seal

Special Guest Josh Seal, Product Manager at Belkin in the UK, who has spent time working on peripherals at OLPC around late summer 2007, may introduce several new electrical/power ideas that might help the developing world.

2 issues Connectivity and Power

Power ... how do you get power to the laptops in a safe and efficient manner? DC, and perhaps AC as well. Where there is limited power, how do we get to as many laptops as possible? Power generation? Small (80 W)? Bicycle generator?

Q Have you tried the hand crank? Getting it Monday. Problem is you can't work and generate power at the same time. People want but probably not a solution. Need other things...maybe like old sewing machine?

A maybe make a small generator that can be attached to all sorts of mechanical generators. Leg generator best because can stiill work while generating

Connectivity... not every school can afford a connection. Maybe several schools in an area could share a large mesh connection.

If you are looking for a connector to experiment with contact he has some connectors also see battery and power on the wiki.

Q Is info about the generator he is working on available?

A He will put info up on the wiki

other notes

3) Missing/Delayed Orders Update: how we're finally making progress helping our corporate partners deal with these sometime horrendous ongoing problems. No consumer protection was never supposed to be our job, but yes we are now genuine donor advocates making things happen. Thanks everybody for:

(A) assigning these tickets to culseg, sph0lt0n, holt, kim (and babbing when he gets back from the north country next week!) for basic verification in Brightstar's shipping database, so we can escalate missing/delayed orders to PatriotLLC for payment/validated-address/etc investigation.

(B) providing your own warm handholding that such donors have been missing for 2 months -- you as volunteers are quite literally keeping the entire OLPC project on course!

Kim & Adam...2 databases: shipping and orders. Orders...Patriot Shipping...Brightstar She is going to work with the orders database to try to check integreity

Way under a 24 hr response time in responding to tickets. Folks working on it are keeping an Excel-like database compiled from the RT tickets and sharing the data and working on it.

Some people have not received XO or an email about it. Working on it. Changes daily.

Later may need more volunteers to assist with tracking down orders. Will figure out the best and fastest way to do that. Currently only 5 working with database at Patriot. We need to better understand their data base and later possibly train a few people make correction therein.

Need to avoid overlapping / duplication of emails.

Volunteers are welcome to send some "warm words of welcome" to the folks but also be careful: don't promise what you cannot deliver. Hard information is what they need, and we will get it to them all in the coming days/weeks.

Assign tickets to {culseg, sph0lt0n, babbing, holt, kim} so they will follow up with each.

Discussed making a new queue for shipping problems would be made and shipping tickets could be put there. Not crucial, but possible in future.

Subject line on tickets can be amended to include "[shipping]" or "[reference#] but be careful what you put...the donor gets a copy of what you write.

Kate had a section on the wiki to help folks know what info they should give us to get help. She took it down, but will put it back.

Clarification: Patriot LLC is "Donor Services" and is based out of LA. They are the ones that donors reach via the 800 number. Orders database. Brightstar's facility near Chicago (Libertyville, IL) is the shipper that completes the process.

Many people are taking out their frustrations on Brightstar incorrectly. This support team was Tech Support but in the short term will be an absolutely crucial piece in (1) resolving this overall problem (2) communicating sincerely and accurately to those who are justifiably frustrated.

Kim...thanks again to everyone for helping!

4) Rising RMA-Related Issues Update -- as donors increasingly reach their 30 day limits! Short version: assign these tickets to your favorite "donor advocate volunteer" among {culseg, sph0lt0n, babbing, holt, kim}

Adam and Sandy...are working on fixing the problem of folks not getting RMAs. Be sure to enter know RMA#'s into RT tickets

Brightstar delayed replacement machines. Supposed to get machines in 2 weeks. Did not. Should in OK he future.

Required for RMA:

  • Serial #under the battery (CSN...)
  • full name (ORIGINAL name on order)
  • correct shipping address (NOT PO Box!)
  • phone #
  • email address

5) Call center & phone training update from MOG: sorry about calls being blocks during last Monday evening's training!

Matt not there

6) Repair Center and parts update, and the progress that has been made during Thursday's meeting with Brightstar. See:

OLPC and Brightstar support idea of community repair centers. Plan is that Brightstar will set up a website offering parts for purchase. Want to send RMAed machines to universities we have identified as locations for repair centers.

Hope to have both ready sometime in the spring.

7) Documentation Progress Report: update from Kate or anyone else interested! Which audiences are we addressing today? Tomorrow??

Kate...Working on Journal activity page.

Tech-writing classes at( ? )University will be able to help write documentation. May be able to spend entire semester working on it.

Q Can we get a flowchart to sort prospective volunteers into categories where they can best help.

A This could be a good project for the tech-writing classes

8) QA Update from Kim, Chih-yu and Adric: Volunteers page...a volunteer portal would be the Educators Portal Caryl is doing

9) All Volunteers Speak Their Minds -- what was YOUR toughest challenge this week?

Get photos of demos of XOs to put up

Canada French localization is not fully implemented. Not same as France or Uganda

Vesna from Europe...have people who can help with languages.

The wiki has a jumping-off page for help with translations.

10) Weekly Zine Update from Seth & SJ Etc:

Interviews, photos, news, articles. Need content from other areas.

Should have first issue out by Mon or Tues. Want to include things about shipping issues, 3 or three good images of smiling kids with XOs from Flicker, something about censorship,

11) Vesna/Holt/Etc Discussion on "Social Cartography" and how the ~55 of us here can each get to know each other Much Better, to know who to Go To, to learn every day how to solve tickets more efficiently. Far more than just a Directory of phone numbers, or pins-on-the-map! will likely help host a lot of this. We're not designing Facebook 3.0 -- we are however *always* trying the enhance the collegiality and outreach of our group.

Vesna...wants a "social cartography" with several layers...such as support gang, XO owners who have the machine already, various support issues. One person in charge of each section. Wants to know who to ask for help with different topics. Would not have to be private.

Layered development and support issues...development, special projects, resources, etc. to know who to contact about different things.

Third and fourth layers private info.

Someone asked it we could have a private facebook group. Will we do it???

After-meeting meeting was held, this time on repair centers. Notes are here on teamwiki and have also been mailed to the support-gang list. Contact Mchua for more info if you're confuzzled.

More mchua notes

Lost laptop howto on teamwiki, for those who have access (request an account with Team namespace access if you're in support-gang and don't already have a teamwiki account). Also see support-gang section of Team mainpage for more tutorials - please contribute.

Document everything possible on the wiki - mark with the "stub" template if you have to, but try to get pages to the point where others can contribute, even if you leave a one-line description of what should be on the page (but isn't) and an invitation to help edit. Please read Style guide for effectiveness-boosting hints.