Ivan Krstić Implements OLPC Uruguay's First Real Deployment


Ivan Krstić, the guy behind the BitFrost system which is key to security in OLPC's XO laptop, wrote on his blog Saturday an inspiring story about the laptops' first deployment, in Uruguay.

Who's the happiest kid here?

In Krstić's words, his badgering about the details of securely deploying the new XOs drew an unanticipated reaction from Nicholas Negroponte:

"Well, we'll just mail you along with the first laptop shipment, and then you can be sure just how things will work."
Krstić went (as a passenger, not as mail), and helped deal with shipping hassles at the airport, as well as reflashing 200 machines with a newer version of the OS and some custom software specific to Uruguay.

There are some well-linked technical details of interest. It took about 12 minutes, he writes, to complete the entire process of reflashing each box of 5 laptops, once the custom image was prepared. The IBM x3105 servers (running Debian) providing some of the infrastructure. There are three kinds of wireless access points to be used:

The Wavion WS410 provides heavy-hitting coverage with six radios and six beam-forming antennae, while custom-assembled Mikrotik R52 routerboards are used as school access points. The Mikrotik devices allow up to three radios and antennae to be plugged in easily, accommodating quite a bit of variation in school size.

Finally, BelAir 100 nodes are used for meshing. Schools too small for even a one-radio Mikrotik AP are using Linksys WRT54g devices.

The best part of Krstić's story, though, might be the pictures -- happy, intent adults, and happy, intent kids. Here's a video:
This story was submitted by Tim Lord, a law student at Temple University in Philadelphia. You too can write for OLPC News today!

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I love Ivan's comments about his photos, especially this one: "The only good use for windows: getting into a crowded room to pick up an XO."

Yes Ivan is quite the one with a sense of humor.
I also point out its not his 'Blog', Its his 'Notebook'. As Ivan says on his website home page, "I now have a notebook, which is like a blog, but doesn't sound as idiotic.".

Interestingly, His site seems to use WordPress 2.3.1 latest release but there was a lack of any footer on the site. As WP is released under the GPL I would have though the footer would include a link to WP website at least. Nice job Ivan. Free as in Free Lunch ;)

in the first paragraph it's uruguay, not uraguay. A very common error for some reason..

I really felt the urge to travel south to that little country to see that in person. Seems wonderful.


My mistake! Any errors in there are strictly my responsibility. Thanks for pointing that out!


p.s. Posting this from the Live CD Sugar emulator (with Xubuntu 7.10) -- works very nicely! (Though there are some limitations -- some apps obviously won't work without the OLPC hardware.)

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