Jugaad. The Indian way.

Jugaad (जुगाड़) is the Hindi word for figuring things out. It’s been the Indian way for a long time now. Lack of resources push people to figure things out. I remember, when I was in high school, I used to ride three different buses for over two hours, so I could go to an electronics repair shop and get my hands on a broken motor.  All for the love of science experiments, of course, unsanctioned by my parents! Now, I live a short walk from Radio Shack, but it’s not the same. Hack, make, fix. It’s all jugaad.

I just got off the phone with folks in Bhagmalpur, and they were all beaming. The kids had figured out something. While visiting Bhagmalpur in January, I had copied a whole bunch of music for them. Some of these were in MP3 format. I know the XO is not geared to play MP3 out of the box, but I had little time, and I figured they’d skip it and move on to the Ogg ones. Guess what? They sure did play the Ogg files, but for the MP3 ones, they got a microSD card reader, copied the files onto the microSD card, moved the microSD card to someone’s mobile phone, and got to play it there! Did I teach them about copying files? No. Did I show them how to copy files from the Journal to an external card? No. They figured it out on their own!

Next, they’ve gotten onto Facebook, but the XO-1 is slow to load, and Facebook can make the network connection slow. They spotted on some visitor’s mobile phone that if you tack on a “m.” in front of facebook.com it loads faster. Now, everyone is browsing Facebook using the m.facebook.com address!

Give the kids an inch, and they’ll take a mile. I hope they go far! Welcome to the new jugaad. Same as the old jugaad, only better :-)

m dot

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3 Comments

Filed under children, music, network, software

3 responses to “Jugaad. The Indian way.

  1. the kids almost got the mp3s onto the xo. they missed one step that other kids figured-out. 1) get mp3s onto card 2) put card into cell phone 3) play mp3s 4) record mp3s to Record activity by putting phone near microphone(now in ogg format) 5) success! (if you have a stereo audio cable to directly connect them, that might be better)

  2. In the OLPC France deployment in Madagascar, we discovered that kids had a lot of music on their XO. They simply recorded the music from a traditional radio with the XO, then shared the music with others using USB sticks! Give them a serveur and they will build Napster :-)

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