Sameer Verma of OLPC-SF, as he mentiond at last week’s amazing community summit, is putting together a book server for use in rural India, with 20,000 books and audio files on it for students and teachers to use locally. He is going to deploy it at a school pilot near his familial hometown.
This is a Pathagar server implementing the OPDS bookserver standard, running on a tiny Sheeva Plug device, accessible over a local network to XOs in the neighborhood.Â The Sheeva Plug is low power and has USB and SD ports that make it easy to expand such an offline library.Â Here it is plugged in and in use, drawing a total of 4 Watts:
Sayamindu Dasgupta, who contributed to the design of the OPDS specification, developed the Pathagar server to implement the spec; Manuel QuiÃ±ones created the version of the server used here.Â Book and audio suggestions are welcome for this particular build, and a web-based form for linking to OPDS archives suitable for inclusion in the image will be up shortly.Â If you have your own Sheeva Plug, you can torrent the original disk image of this installation.
The setup was load-tested last night, using a simple build: a stock Sheeva Plug and 16GB USB key (total cost: $100). Quick statistics:
- Power draw: 4W
- Simultaneous downolads: 500
- Library size: 10,000 â€“ 50,000 books
For details, images, and a mailing list for discussion, see the bookserver project page.
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A great innovation and will certainly help a lot of rural kids. I suggest to have tie ups with programmes like ICICI Fellows( https://www.facebook.com/ICICIFellows) so that their fellows can take these products to the rural India and put them to use and make most out of them.
Lots of people checked out a local plug at a 150-person event @ the Internet Archive, downloading PDFs and a piece of music. Feature requests: a GetBooks that searches thel oacl network for an OPDS server broadcasting its presence… and a Pathagar update that lets a reader choose how many items to show per screen.