Taiwan Earthquake Impeding OLPC XO-B2 Builds


Last summer, I went to Taipei, Taiwan for the enjoyable Computex Trade Show. It rained enough to feel like typhoon Taipei, but I kept dry in the city's unique attractions.

Hearing about last week's earthquake, I knew there would be tragedy and loss, and my condolences to those effected, but I didn't think it would have relevance to One Laptop Per Child. Yet, an email from Mark J. Foster on the OLPC Developer listserv is another reminder how amazingly small yet interconnected the world is today.

No stopping now!
We're facing a very interesting infrastructure challenge here for our B2 build. As most of you may have heard, the recent earthquake near Taiwan damaged most of the primary trans-Pacific fiber routes, leaving China with extremely poor Internet connectivity.

We're facing the reality of that situation now, where we typically can't exceed 2-3KB/s throughput on downloads. Interestingly enough, uploads from here are actually quite fast, presumably due to the asymmetrical traffic flows between China and the U.S.A. As you might expect, downloading our typical large 120+MB O.S. images isn't something we can do routinely.

We've looked into a variety of options, including the bsdiff/bspatch programs, which would presumably let us send binary differences between O.S. builds. An easier route might be to ensure that the release occurs at least 24 hours in advance of when we need it, during which time we might be able to download a full O.S. build.

Ah, the joys of software development in a low-bandwidth environment. Somehow, I can relate in multiple bandwidths.

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1 Comment

effected ≠ affected

(grammar error, dude!)