looking to deploy IIAB in Afghanistan

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Naseer Azizi

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Nov 18, 2019, 2:59:58 PM11/18/19
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Hello Everyone,

For several months now i have been familiarizing myself to IIAB and what it can do and i hope to run a pilot test program in 4 high school locations in Kabul Afghanistan. i will be flying in 10 days and i am eager to hear from others on this group who have deployed IIAB in places similar to Afghanistan and what challenges you faced and how you overcame it. i will be in Kabul for two weeks and i hope to make my trip a success so any helpful tips or advice is greatly appreciated. i am planing on using 2x RP4 and 2x RP3 and i do have some questions and concerns below. my apologies in advance if any of the questions seem redundant. 

1) is cloning an SD card with IIAB on it ideal for quick deployment? if not what is? i intend on providing each location with a cloned SD card for rapid system recovery 
2) i read somewhere on IIAB FAQ page that 32 concurrent connections to a IIAB device is supported, what if a laptop is used? are more users supported? is there a max?
3) what solar options and backup batteries are ideal? i found a few online but not sure if there is one recommended by IIAB group. 
4) what is the best way to provide support and maintenance to IIAB devices in such far places? is openVPN the best way to go? there is 3G-4G connections available locally 
5) is there an application that can index and stream videos? i read something about cham is this a working option? i plan to generate my own video content similar to khan academy 
6) majority of the users will be mobile(andriod) users are there any limitations or problems? is there anything i should consider and plan for?  

i will conclude my post here but i may have some more questions and appreciate your help and patience!

thank you
-NA 

Adam Holt

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Nov 18, 2019, 3:28:55 PM11/18/19
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On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 2:59 PM Naseer Azizi <azizi...@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello Everyone,

For several months now i have been familiarizing myself to IIAB and what it can do and i hope to run a pilot test program in 4 high school locations in Kabul Afghanistan. i will be flying in 10 days and i am eager to hear from others on this group who have deployed IIAB in places similar to Afghanistan and what challenges you faced and how you overcame it. i will be in Kabul for two weeks and i hope to make my trip a success so any helpful tips or advice is greatly appreciated. i am planing on using 2x RP4 and 2x RP3 and i do have some questions and concerns below. my apologies in advance if any of the questions seem redundant. 

1) is cloning an SD card with IIAB on it ideal for quick deployment? if not what is? i intend on providing each location with a cloned SD card for rapid system recovery

Yes.  We recommend Linux's 'dd' command if all your microSD cards are the exact same make and model.

(Try to make all your IIAB microSD cards the exact same make and model, to save yourself many hassles!)
 
But if that's not possible, read http://FAQ.lIAB.IO #44 ("How do I back up, shrink & copy IIAB microSD cards?")

2) i read somewhere on IIAB FAQ page that 32 concurrent connections to a IIAB device is supported, what if a laptop is used? are more users supported? is there a max?

A laptop's internal WiFi typically usually offer a lot less than 32 WiFi devices (if its Linux driver work at all :)

Example: many (expensive!) Intel NUC PC's only support 12 WiFi devices maximum.
 
3) what solar options and backup batteries are ideal? i found a few online but not sure if there is one recommended by IIAB group.

Whichever solar option you end up with, it's usually a good idea to send the power into a standard MicroUSB power banks / battery packs like:


Then teachers can run IIAB for many hours (or many days if they are judicious).

This avoids many hassles of wiring classrooms (and associated theft risks).  If you go this route, it also gives teachers much more flexibility to move from classroom to classroom (or outside) if they so choose, with IIAB + an attached MicroUSB power bank / battery pack right in hand.

4) what is the best way to provide support and maintenance to IIAB devices in such far places? is openVPN the best way to go? there is 3G-4G connections available locally

Best way is always in person to cultivate a trusted IT person on site, even if their Linux knowledge is quite limited.

If you gain the trust of any such teacher (or advanced student/teen) on site, WhatsApp is the most common solution worldwide to sustaining a meaningul tech support / learning support conversation going.  We typically call that person the 'local hero' or 'local champion' or TLC = Technology Learning Coordinator !

If you don't have a trusted/competent person on site at the school/clinic/community center, you're inevitably going to have problems regardless, no matter what happens (:

But yes OpenVPN or similar can sometimes supplement working alongside an intelligent on-site human (typically WhatsApp is the best way to sustain this relationship, to keep things on track month-after-month, semester-after-semester).  The catch is that you may have to get the Linux drivers working well with a 3G or 4G dongle inserted in your Internet-in-a-Box, and sustaining that 3G/4G service can sometimes be quite complicated, e.g. if anything goes wrong in the weeks/months after you leave Afghanistan.

5) is there an application that can index and stream videos? i read something about cham is this a working option? i plan to generate my own video content similar to khan academy

This is very active ongoing research!  Anish Mangal can say more.  Many Groups around the world would *love* IIAB to help curate and organize their local videos, from Android and from USB sticks etc.  Current options include WordPress, Nextcloud and also copying local videos into /library/www/html/local_content -- so that the very best such vids appear immediately for all students/teachers who punching in http://box/usb

6) majority of the users will be mobile(andriod) users are there any limitations or problems? is there anything i should consider and plan for?  

i will conclude my post here but i may have some more questions and appreciate your help and patience!

Thanks Naseer and give me a ring so that we can help further?  If that's useful, write me email with your contact info (Skype or similar?)

Best,
Adam Holt

Naseer Azizi

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Nov 20, 2019, 10:56:23 AM11/20/19
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Adam my apologies for the delayed response but thank you for all the helpful answers and i will make sure to reach out directly for anything specific. 
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