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March 19, 2005

Jugaad and its limits

Indian users of technology-based devices cannot rely on formal networks of distribution, support and maintenance: these are often incomplete, unimaginative or unrealistically priced. They therefore turn to the temporary fixes or ‘jugaads’ carried out by Indian street technicians. An army of pavement-based engineers and fixers keeps engines, television tubes, compressors - and a thousand other devices – working long after their prime. Right outside the Doors 8 office here in Delhi, for example, hundreds of tiny workshops, plus sole traders sitting on on the street, sell (and fix) the countless hardware peripherals that keep office life running. Everything from toner cartridges to USB sticks is available, and gloomy but bustling basements contain amazing arrays of ancient monitors, terminals and motherboards awaiting repair. Mind you, a jugaad for my rapidly diminishing connectivity has stymied even this army: my webmail has now gone on strike in solidarity with my cable connection at home - so I now believe myself to be orchestrating this global event using sms. Seems to work fine.

Posted by John Thackara at March 19, 2005 07:34 AM


Hello anyone who reads this. It is not an answer to the the topic, it is another route to access dear John who seems to have forsaken his e-mail for his blogs. So dear John, the question is: I am arriving tomorrow (Sunday 20 March) in New Delhi aiport, coutersy of Air France from Paris. Where do I go ? Who do call ? where should I be on Monday AM ? PLEASE ANSWER by e-mail at d.dekerckhove@utoronto.ca
Cheers. ddek

Posted by: Derrick de Kerckhove at March 19, 2005 10:48 PM

A litle bird told me that your cable connection at home is fixed

Posted by: Insider at March 19, 2005 11:38 PM

We are in Delhi and am wondering what is going on. We have no information about where the workshops are or the office or indeed the welcome event for the international delegates. We have lucky found a very help rickshaw driver who has been driving us from the IIT to FIAT in search of the workshops. We have talked to some students who are involved in social robotics. We have been looking for the servicing workshops and are now resiogning ourselves to the fact that we will not be participating!!!

We have tried Joost's phone and are regularly checking emails so if anyone can share some information we would be very appreciative.

Posted by: Dianne Moy at March 20, 2005 07:04 AM

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