Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Our deployment is lucky because most of our power issues were taken care of last year. One of our schools had power when we came last year and we have purchased generators for the other two schools. We also provided each school with power strips and outlet converters since we ordered the laptops with US plugs last year. Unfortunately, things do come up, and we ran into some unexpected power issues today. Over the past two days, we have collected all of the old laptops and power strips that were given to the schools last year so that we can update and charge the laptops. Because we won’t have the capacity to plug in 200 laptops at a time at our XO camps, we need to have them fully charged before we begin each day. This means that we have to charge 200 laptops each night. We charged all of the laptops today because we are leaving for two days tomorrow and we need them to be fully charged for the first day of our camp on Monday. Normally, we would just charge large numbers of laptops at one time using the power strips and rotate the uncharged laptops into the power strips as other ones become charged. When we started to plug the laptops in, however, we found out that about half of the power strips from last year no longer work. We are down to charging about 20 laptops at a time, with each laptop taking an hour or so to charge... It is taking forever. Considering that we will have to charge 200 laptops every night for the next 3 weeks for our winter camp, this system is definitely not going to work. We are going to have to drive to Tzaneen sometime this weekend to get a few new tech items such as 4GB USB sticks, so we are going to go ahead and purchase some new power strips (that hopefully last longer than a year). Power strips aren’t a huge expense that will break our budget or anything, but small unexpected costs like this can add up and interfere with other plans. Hopefully, the new power strips will solve the problem and we won’t have any more power issues this summer.

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