Total Cost of Ownership Webcast at 11am EST


While I am preparing for the biggest Obama party, I'd like to remind you that you're invited to a very special webcast.

In coordination with the World Bank e-Development Thematic Group, infoDev, and the Technology Salon, we will have a World Bank ICT and Education Community of Practice Discussion:

olpc Nepal disto
What's the TCO of XO?
How much does it really cost to introduce and sustain computers in schools?
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): A Study of Models of Affordable Computing for Schools in Developing Countries.
11am - 12:30pm (Washington DC time)
6 November 2008
Live Webcast
During the seminar, we'll focus on two new reports and deployment tools for educators to consult in their decisions:The lively presentation and discussion of both activities, their potential implications, and the underlying methodologies will be led by Vital Wave Consulting and our own Jon Camfield, who developed an early OLPC TCO calculation.

Now if only we could also discuss the TCO calculator that One Laptop Per Child has developed but not released for public analysis. All we know is this snippet from Jim Gettys' Community News:

Deployment Costs: John Watlington, Richard, and Reuben worked on a manual for calculating actual XO installation costs under various conditions.

Richard, for example, produced a rough BOM and associated costs for 1 and 2kW off-grid solar and wind power systems. What is the real cost of giving a laptop to a school that lacks power? Using solar power alone and providing a single charge to each laptop each day (3-4 hours of conventional use; much longer in ebook mode), the additional cost is around $200 per laptop for a mid-sized school (100 students).

The manual is still being refined, but already it reinforces the importance of laptop power consumption in making it feasible to bring laptops to these cost challenging, yet common off-grid schools.

Yes, I think we can all agree that there are shocking electrical costs for any technology deployment in the developing world. Now join us at 11am Eastern Time on November 6th to discuss them.

Related Entries


If you'd like to watch the presentation, you can find the "Study of Models of Affordable Computing for School" video archived here:

Note that you will need to use Internet Explorer to watch the video.


Could you, or somebody else, discover the direct stream URL. That way I can try whether VLC or Mplayer can still access the stream.

Currently, the web server simply blocks my access URL is nowhere apparent.

Anyhow, is there a way to get the pure Audio file?


I too would like the video on a simpler platform. I had to dig up an old Windows box just to find the video. How annoying.

I found this under "Properties" in Windows Media Player:

mms:// of Models_2778_transcode.asf

It also said this: Windows Media Audio 9
12 kbps, 16 kHz, mono 1-pass CBR
Windows Media Video V8

I hope this helps.

FYI: I was messing around with VLC, trying to get the stream to work because it wouldn't play as a network stream. I opened the Wizard from the File menu and chose "Transcode/Save to file" and "Next." On the Input tab, I chose "Select a Stream" and pasted the mms stream listed above in the other comment into the box by Choose. I hit Okay, then Next when it returned me to the Input window.

Now I was on the Transcode tab, and I don't know all that much about codecs and bitrates and such. This is what I chose, but please post if you get something better working! I selected Transcode Video and picked Theora from the dropdown menu, bitrate of 768. Then on Audio, I picked Vorbis at 64 for the bitrate. Next...

The next window said Encapsulation format, which was marked OGG, fine with me. Next...

Additional Transcode Options...I picked a place to save the file....Finish! It actually worked. I stopped the process a couple minutes into the clip and played it. Note that the sound in the original video wasn't on for the first two minutes. Also, the beginning of the clip was green, but sharpened up into a real picture after a short while.

This worked on both a WinXP machine and a Ubuntu machine.


Could you make my day and make the whole video appear on Google Video? Its about an hour long, so only Google will host all that.

Wayan, do you know who the owner of this video is? I couldn't find information on the website.

I looked on the World Bank website and found more links that won't play this video in anything but Real Player and Windows Media. See,,contentMDK:21956632~menuPK:559467~pagePK:64020865~piPK:51164185~theSitePK:559460,00.html

Then I went looking for their policy on sharing and found this on,,contentMDK:20130471~menuPK:1041850~pagePK:50016803~piPK:50016805~theSitePK:13,00.html

"Use of this Site constitutes agreement with the following terms and conditions

1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (The World Bank) maintains this web site (the "Site") as a courtesy to those who may choose to access the Site ("Users") . The information presented herein is for informative purposes only. The World Bank is pleased to allow Users to visit the Site and download and copy the information, documents and materials (collectively, "Materials") from the Site for User's personal, non-commercial use, without any right to resell, redistribute or create derivative works therefrom, subject to the terms and conditions outlined below, and also subject to more specific restrictions that may apply to specific material within this Site."


I clicked on the link to Rights and Permissions but the page never loads to anything but an error.

So will the World Bank bankrupt me if this video magically appears on Google or somewhere other than their pages? Hmmm. But how DUMB for the WORLD BANK to only offer things to Windows users... At least the really dedicated people can download (and transcode) the video for their own "personal" use.


I think the WB has a lot more to worry about than us trying to share its public seminars with the public. Especially since those in the video would be very happy to have it seen by everyone, regardless of operating system.

Mplayer or SMplayer can open the stream from mms:// of Models_2778_transcode.asf

I finally succeeded to listen to the "webcast" using VLC under Mac (very bad quality here, I managed to follow about half of it).

I still find that Vital Wave has made some "strange" assumptions. They were not quite answering some of the questions:

- TCO duration. A 1:1 laptop project in VERY poor regions would use each computer for the full course duration, ie, 6 years. The XO should be able to last that long, with some replacements for maintenance. Why continue to fix netbooks to 3 years?

- A central assumption of the study was that equal amounts of maintenance time was needed for Windows and Linux. However, that is NOT the experience in the field. I have seen estimations that Linux administrators could handle 50-100% more computers than a MSCE. How did Vital Wave come to the idea that Linux and Windows require equal administrator time? (even viri alone would cost more time)

I loved the "question" and examples from Sri Lanka.

Small correction, the link is:


What is needed to get realistic estimates of XO TCO?

After listening to the webcast I come up with a few extra points.

- Hardware maintenance XO/server
- XO expected lifetime

But we need time estimates for

- Software maintenance of server
Full Linux administrator needed

- Software maintenance of XOs
Limited knowledge needed. These are single distribution platforms with "automatic" networking.

There have been several deployments now. So I expect some of these factors must be known by now.

Are the children able to mess up the install? How often?
Do the XOs need software maintenance because of kids messing up the OS, filesystem, or do they get viri?
Are manual installs or updates necessary?

On the server side.
Do the mesh networks need a lot of maintenance?
Backup and security procedures?
Uplink network maintenance?

And, in the light of the Viral Wave study, how does this compare to Windows deployments? How often is a complete re-install of the server/desktop needed? And is there data-loss?


@ Winter: thank you for the correction. It's odd because I copied and pasted the stream link right off of the Windows Media Player properties window and also straight from the web page of the World Bank.

You have some very good points about what we don't know about the cost of ownership of the XO.

"It's odd because I copied and pasted the stream link right off of the Windows Media Player properties window and also straight from the web page of the World Bank."

Clipboards do not consistently translate the hexadecimal %20 type characters. They tend to "recognize" them in texts and translate, but should leave them alone in URLs.

It does not always work ;-)


We'll post this on Google video as well. Our apologies for the delays in getting it up there quickly.
Relying solely on files streamed with Windows Media or Real Media is obviously not an inclusive solution.

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