Lettre de motivation centre de maintenance local

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Hi Adam,

Following our phone meeting, here is our motivation letter for the new Paris Repair Center in France.

Our ambition

Our ambition is for the Paris Repair Center to become:

  • one of the best OLPC repair center about quality of work, productivity and reporting;
  • the first support of the European G1G1 program users;
  • the meeting point of all XO users in France;
  • a XO supply center for OLPC pilot deployment in France.

Our force


Paris Repair Center would rely on all OLPC France staff. OLPC France is composed from about 15 people coming from very different horizons but all dedicated to the promotion of the OLPC project.

  • Some people come from the OpenWRT project, a Linux system for embedded devices (see http://openwrt.org/). They have very good hardware knowledge. For example: Xavier Carcelle and Florian Fainelli. Samuel Klein met them at FOSDEM 2007 in October 2007.
  • Some people come from the OLPC translation team and have been working on OLPC French translation from months. For example: Samy Boutayeb, who is OLPC language administrator for French.
  • Some people came from pedagogy. For example Bastien Guerry, who was at the MediaLab from May 21 to May 25 and who is currently helping the Haïti OLPC community.
  • Some people produce pedagogical materials. For example Hilaire Fernandes, who works on DrGeo (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/DrGeo).
  • Some people coming from academic and/or experimental fields, have good knowledge about ad-hoc wireless routing protocols and quirks occurring in large 802.11 ad-hoc networks like Xavier Carcelle, Florian Fainelli, Nicolas Thill and Laurent Dehoey [1][2].
  • Some people come from associative organizations. For example Kirsi Traore who is cofounder of Dembe Sou, an organization to help children at Burkina Faso.
  • Some people come from software development. For example Sebastien Adgnot which is web developer at Dailymotion and I (Lionel LASKÉ), software architect and author of a Logo compiler (http://liogo.sourceforge.net/).
  • Finally, one comes from the MediaLab: Miguel Alvarez which worked for OLPC few month ago.


Paris Repair Center will be located at /tmp/lab (http://www.tmplab.org/), a hacker space near Paris hosting workshops, conferences and a lot of various technological activities within its 100 square meters underground space. This place allows us to store a large amount of pieces, incoming XOs for repair and outgoing XO, and also to be a collaborative place where experimented people could meet newbie hackers. The /tmp/lab is located at Vitry-sur-Seine, about 15 kilometers in the South-East of Paris, near a subwaystation (RER C - Les Ardoines) and an important highway (A86).


Paris Repair Center will supply XO to OLPC France. These XO will be used in three areas:

  • PROMOTE: OLPC France plans to present at least one conference a month on the OLPC project. Our objective is both to promote the OLPC philosophy to french people and to motivate new volunteers. From the beginning of the year, OLPC France gave talks (or plan to give talk) in six conferences, including in the 9th "Libre Software Meeting / Rencontre Mondiale des Logiciels Libres" LSM/RMLL (http://2008.rmll.info/) and in "La Main à la Pâte" at Erice, Sicilia (http://www.inrp.fr/lamap/index.php?Page_Id=68&Element_Id=14), where a very important community of educative content developers is expected. Each time, our talks are followed by workshops to let people handle a few XOs. XOs coming from the Repair Center allow us to let more people handling and falling in love of the little green laptop.
  • SUPPORT PROJECT: OLPC France supports all local initiatives to create or adapt french content on the XO. More than ten projects are actually referenced on our wiki on very different domains: Software (Dailymotion on the XO), Hardware (XS Server) or Educative (WindRose, Dr Geo II). OLPC France provides help (money, XOs, knowledge,...) to people or communities working on XO content. Recently, we decided to launch a "XO Idea Contest" to promote XO development in France before the next G1G1 Europe. XOs coming from the Repair Center will allow us to distribute more XO, hence ensuring that more and more people will develop contents.
  • DEPLOYMENT: Deploying pilot is a good way to give XO to its primary target: children. So we organized "OLPC School Days": one day to discover the XO for one educator and his students. We lent a "XO Demo Kit" (one XO laptop with some specific content) to some French schools and we plan to work with local NGOs to deploy XOs to french people with low incomes. XOs coming from the Repair Center will allow us to put more XOs in children's hands.

Our way of working

Here is how we plan to work at the Paris Repair center.

  • We plan to provide three levels of repairing depending of type of problem and knowledge of our team:
    • Level 1: Basic diagnostic using an USB key, flash to a new build, etc.;
    • Level 2: Single part replacement: battery, chargers;
    • Level 3: Diagnose using Serial Adapters, Oscilloscope, more important part replacement: displays, touchpads, keyboards, etc.
  • Training Workshop: Paris Repair Center will begin to work with two or three main people. Because the /tmp/lab organize every weeks a tuesday hacker workshop, we'll organize later training workshops to recrut more people depending of the number of XOs to repair. More precisely, we plan to recrut students from french electronic schools of engineering (EISEIA, ENS, EPITA, ...). The training activity may include an assistance and technology transfer for the creation and qualification of regional or local repair centers in France or in other deployment countries.
  • Delivery and packaging: When users will call the repair center, they will be charged for the packaging and delivery. Cost of repairing will be based on the suggested pricing that you propose (batteries $20, chargers $15, keyboards $18, touchpads $20, display $70). Thought Paris Repair Center, like OLPC France, will be a non-profit organisation, Money that will gain in repairing XOs will be transfer as donation to cover your delivery cost from US to France.
  • Reporting: Reporting will include a list of all XO processed with serial numbers and parts changed. We could send you an Spreadsheet Reporting on a monthly basis with all tasks done. Reporting will include: total number of XO processed, number of repair by type, if possible estimated time to repair, etc. Our experience will contribute to elaborate best practices for the other repair centers in the world.
  • Self-Service using our web site: Our web site will include a FAQ with a description of common issues to allow a self-service for users. Pricing for all parts and shipping cost will be displayed also.
  • Localization center: If French keyboards are available, Paris Repair center will provide a Localization Service to replace XO US Keyboard by the french one. This service will include also a localization refresh for all activities on the XO. Keyboards and delivery will be charged to the users.
  • Delocalize repair center: In the future, Paris Repair Center could also help to delocalize the organization of repair centers both in France or in future OLPC deployment countries where french is spoken.

Our next steps

We'll be on line for the repair central conference call on June, 26th.

If you are okay with our proposal, our wish is to have a first shipment for about 30 XOs or more depending of the repartition decided by the OLPC staff. This first shipment could also include one or two serial adapters to help us to diagnose advanced issues (D6 bricks, etc.). Once repaired, 10 XOs could be used for the Idea Contest and 15-20 XO could be used for pilots in French schools. Thought we don't have founds today, let us know shipment cost for this quantity, we'll try to do a donation for this amount.

Delivery address is:

/tmp/lab & 6Bis
6Bis rue Leon Geffroy
94400 Vitry sur Seine

We are at your disposal for more information about our proposal. I will call you tomorrow to ensure that you receive this letter.

Best regards.

Lionel LASKÉ
OLPC France President