Talk:School server

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Status of this info

What is the status of the info in this page? User ramblings or OLPC page?

At first it seemed to fit the Category:Hardware ideas, but the use of XS & XSX names seems to hint or plays into some kind of officiality... although it doesn't give the impression of being so.

Given that there are OLPC plans for the servers, this page should clearly state the origin of its content: community or OLPC. --Xavi 09:34, 27 January 2007 (EST)

This page (the XS_Server_* pages) are currently ramblings (hence not referenced from a higher level), which over time have some decent chance of becoming official.
I'm new to these parts, can you explain why the origin of the information must be stated ? --wad
I was just wondering if my classification was 'correct'... :) I had heard 'rumors' about the server and its 'soon more info'...
Thus the 'origin' question: 'idea' or 'fact'? Personally, I take 'ideas' pages as that, ideas--without any concrete implications. While non-ideas pages have a bit more 'weight' on the subject. But that's my PoV... and of course, material is not consistently edited :) --Xavi 00:50, 28 January 2007 (EST)
All 'facts' begin as 'ideas'. You stumbled on a set of questions being posed, which I hope will blossom into 'facts'. The wiki is being used so that these questions can be discussed and edited by interested members of the community. --wad 1/28/07

The correct classification would also list it in Software ideas, as it is a system comprising both hardware and software.--Wad 00:03, 29 January 2007 (EST)

Any old OLPC laptop is a server

All of the OLPC laptops can act as servers. If one kid creates an activity bundle, then his laptop becomes a server. If one kid plugs in a USB thumb drive or USB CD Reader, then his laptop can serve content to others.

Of course. But there are resources needed which aren't well served by ad-hoc presence. If your laptop is acting as a server, you can't just put it to sleep to save power, or close it up to take home! Right now, we use a variety of methods for transferring content from machine to machine (rsync, ftp, smb). We can also do this transfer using an intermediary (rsync,ftp,smb it to a machine which serves it up via http/ftp). The advantage of using the intermediary is that others (even you) can easily access it later.
We ARE trying to build a system which is as distributed and scalable as possible (c.f. the choice of mDNS for service discovery). Perhaps the school server is just a laptop running a different set of software. At the end of the day, however, good engineering practice will probably suggest a slightly different combination of processor/memory/network than that optimum for a laptop, thus the discussion about school servers--Wad 00:49, 2 February 2007 (EST)

These pages seem to have been written by someone stuck in the US high-school IT environment mindset. Free your mind if you want to contribute useful stuff to the OLPC project! Who would have thought of a screen which shifts to low resolution monochrome to save energy? Who would have thought of a wifi module which keeps on running after the computer is shut down?

Please take your ad-hominem attacks elsewhere, they are not constructive... (And please identify yourself!) Constructive would be starting a separate page dedicated to explaining exactly how each of the services being proposed for the school server could be implemented in a fully distributed manner, and starting a real dialog on the pros and cons. Feel free to link to it from the School server page.--Wad 14:43, 1 February 2007 (EST)
BTW, the network interface of XO is strongly reminiscent of the Monsoon project at the MIT AI lab. Separate network processors are not a new idea.

Thoughts from a tiny island

I am teaching in the Kingdom of Tonga. There are about 40 inhabited islands, and every village has at least a primary school. The XO is going to be a good fit here, but I have thoughts about the server. First, hard disks fail too easily. Just as the XO has none, I think the server should go without one too. Second, battery power. There are many smaller islands where the electricity is turned off during the day. It is only on when adults are likely to be home (for the lights). It just wastes petrol to run the generators all day, so I think the server needs battery power too. Also the power is not very reliable even when it is on, breaking many computers and other electronics frequently. Battery and charging circuit in the server, thats what we need.

yours -- james noxon

--- Switching off electricity when the sun is shining, hey ? That must be the upside down way of doing things ... You might wanna have a very serious look at ... unlocking the "Kyoto Protocol"/CO2e-Certificate Potential for OLPC. PhotoVoltaics generate CO2e-Certificates, offering additional Return on Investment and Risk Reduction for Investors and governments from the non(sustainably)developed countries who HAVE to buy and look for these CO2e-Certificates. --SvenAERTS 06:50, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

disk usage

  • Core OS - updated specially
  • Content mirror - synchronized with a global collection
  • Local [Web] cache - shared libraries and services
  • Local backups - automatic backups from XOs
  • Local content - other material, services, programs installed and created and explicitly saved here for shared use

One Server Per School or One Per District?

While I think one laptop per child is essential, it may not be essential to have one server per school. In Nepal, where I live, it can take several days to walk to remote villages. We can train villagers how to do basic hardware maintenance and restore the Laptop OS from a flash drive, but I am not sure it is realistic that we can train them in server maintenance. I favor the server be located in a regional town that support staff can get to in several hours in case of hardware failure. If the school server has no GUI, that means local support would have to learn Linux command line tools. It has taken me a while just to get rudimentary skill w/ Bash. Nepal Wireless has had great success with this model. Bryan Berry OLE Nepal 24 Oct 2007

P.S. A district in Nepal is about 100 square km, large but nothing like the state of California, my home district/state

XS Alternatives

Has anyone considered the Zonbu desktop platform(the non-subscription developers version) as a possible alternative for the XS it being a low cost/low power/small formfactor machine?

I understand that it's new and unproven as to it's reliability but it corporate philosophy (open source, energy use...) appears to be compatible with OLPC's ideals --Chief Mike 08:19, 2 December 2007 (EST) :)

What does this solve in human language, comprehensible by the rest of us

Do you recognize this ... you always want more, more, more ... like obviously you have your favorite ebook on your Xo/laptop ... and your favorite programs ... and your favorite movies ... ow, and of course pics of the family/friends/your latest great places and adventures ... more, more, more ... Certain laptops had 50 Gigabyte Hard Drives ... was not enough ... so if you could afford it ... the new computers came with 100 GB Hard Drives ... and not even 3 yrs later ... that memory wasn't enough ... people just bought a digital camera ... more pics they wanted to keep at hand ... music ... more more more ... STOP ... something had to be dealt with fundamentally differently: why don't we - instead of ever heavier/bigger/more expensive/more more more ... and group 1 of people having exactly the same programs, some same pics, some same music, some same ebooks ... on their personal computers, and group 2 a slightly different set ... why don't we just put the books, pics, movies on 1 same place ... and we make it possible for you to access them whenever, wherever ... then you don't have to carry all that stuff with you in your little computer ... and free its memory and computing power for the thing or things you want to do now... we'll serve them to you when you need it ... server ... get it ? Much more efficient ... much more energy efficient ... hmm... wonder if Energy Efficiency measure count under the Kyoto Protocol to generate CO2e-Certificates ... to find out : = Unlocking the CO2e-Certificate/Kyoto Protocol Potential of OLPC. --SvenAERTS 07:06, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

XS on regular distros

Having trashed my notebook hard drive trying to create a XS server from ISO for a demo to show at FOSE2008 (expected a partitioning question since was fedora based), and given that XO runs on a Fedora distro anyway, and Sugar environment is going that way, why not have XS available as a fedora package/environment?

Suggest running different networking stack options... Regular wireless, eth wired and classical Mesh...

Leverages off the existing linux distro platform. Might bring in existing linux community to the project and above all makes my life easier ;-/

Even experienced people don't want to try setting up a XS or security server in my local community, which makes me think it is harder than it needs to be...

Would make a portable little school environment for after school activities, XOCamps (not full XO Dev Camps, but bringing XOs to a school/ daycare/ etc environment for someone to try the whole package, backing up to server, etc...

danceswithcars 12:34, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Proposal for a Community Development project to Upgrade XS from FC9 to FC16 or CentOS

By George Hunt

Highlight the strategic importance of the XO-XS combination

I have even stopped using the word XO, I prefer the XO-XS denomination as I find the combination so fundamental. Laptops and tablets for private use, all that you want, but when it comes to e-devices for our kids, what would you recommend parents and schools to go for? A 99 € anno 2012 tablet? Don't believe the marketing that you can surf the web with that device, forget it, it's a lie. Our Flemish government gave a grant to a Flemish not for profit that was into studying the sense/non-sense of ICT in education, etc. to go look for an alternative to the 120 € Texas Instrument graphic calculator that's compulsory from the age of 12. They came back from a tour in Asia with a tablet of 99€. The assembling company whispered in their ears they could actually also make a copy of the iPad, if they were interested. So they also offer a 249 € iPad imitation. To support the initiative, I bought both. Surfing the internet doesn't work on any of them. What does work is downloading stuff from the apps-store and then playing on them on the tablet. But our 5 yr old gets bored after playing these games about 50 times, and prefers to go online to some site and choose a new game out of hundred to play online, but he can only do that on daddy's laptop. I've been working for 2 months with the XO and with the XO you CAN actually surf the web. So again, what first e-device would you recommend any parent or school ? I think it would be the XO: you just WANT a rugged laptop for your kid, not some tablet that can break, not made for repairs or updates.

The XO has to take on the commercial teams of normal laptop manufacturers: Apple, Toshiba, etc. . You can beat them e.g. by pointing to the fact that at OLPC they take into account the strong cards of the educational landscape: organised, massive orders, trained workforce, used to attribute every €/$/¥ to the best place, etc. You don't want to increase the costs of your project by giving every laptop an expensive and power consuming Hard drive, you don't want to waste money on bigger batteries for spinning a hard drive, you don't want to spend excessive money on the latest processor. In a school setting, you want to take advantage of the organised environment and group working: you want an XO-XServer combination to start building upon from. You WANT a cheap normal fast processor in every XO and a really fast processor in the XServer. You WANT some SD flash card style memory without moving parts and a VERY FAST processor in the XServer to go get all the stuff you ask the server to go get on the internet and process it so it can give your XO easily digestible bits. The XS should have a large HD so it can store all that info/websites/ebooks 99,5% of the kids always want, so you save money again on NOT going to the internet every time as it is already on the Hard Disk of the XServer.

Can we highlight this more on the page? Sincerely, --SvenAERTS 23:32, 23 July 2013 (UTC)