Category archives: The Laptop
The One Laptop Per Child project and similar educational initiatives RSS
Idly trying to get my (Lenovo W500) to suspend again this morning as I wait for the washing machine to finish. Biggest problem is that there are so many sites all with outdated information so I have to filter through hundreds of posts most of which are discussing e.g. Ubuntu 8.10 (which suspended fine with compiz disabled), or how to get compiz+suspend working (I don't need the effects).
Seems we need a tracker somewhere that "moves" with the current version of Ubuntu, where we can install, test each component and report status and any work-arounds needed ...
Have TED talks running in the background (I'm beginning to see TED as more useful these days, it's not about new information, it's about getting a feel for how people are communicating the issues). Interestingly, in Gates' presentation (the one where he releases the mosquitoes) he describes briefly the idea of the video-recording and migration of teaching material as resources, right up to the idea of allowing for a published set of DVDs (DVDs, seriously?) which would represent the best-of-the-best lessons on a topic.
The OLPC seems to have run off a cliff. Sugar labs seems intent on continuing their OS UI experiments, which might bear fruit in a few years, but which for now make development for the platform untenable. Sad to see all that wasted potential that seemed to just lack someone practical saying "hey, you need to make this platform use standard mechanisms" a few years ago, or rather, someone listening to same.
So the question keeps popping out, how do I make a difference in the post OLPC world, where there are dozens or hundreds of different machines that might ...
We did 3.5 days of sprinting at PyCon with ~12 people (the GASP folks were sort-of part of our sprint, as they are targeting the laptop, and we worked with them). Mostly we worked on games, with Tony leading a smaller group working on accessibility tools.
We had most people (basically all those using Win32 or Ubuntu) set up with a development environment within a few minutes. That's a great improvement from last year having 5 of us spending 4 days to not-quite get a working development environment.
I spent pretty much the entire time on management, mentoring ...!-->!-->!-->!-->
Good (and long) day today. Phil and I worked through his porting of the Watermelon game to the XO, with Phil documenting what he was doing and my trying to answer his questions. It exposed a large number of issues that I've become to familiar with to recognize any more. Mel is going to read through it and give me feedback. There were a number of issues we just wound up punting on due to problems with the Win32 quick-start environment he was working on (see below), the system was just plain broken, so we didn't get issues ...
Spent the whole day in the OLPC booth today, didn't wind up seeing any talks at all (including the keynotes, though luckily that meant that I didn't wind up with a blood-pressure issue over the whole Py3K mess :) ).
After that needed some decompression. Had a pleasant dinner with Tony and Val. Took a shower to wake myself up, then went down to the games room and chatted with Phil. He's apparently got a neat little engine he wants to hook up to Shed Skin, sounds like it would be fun.
Apparently the little puppy we have been ...!-->!-->!-->!-->
The tutorial went reasonably well, but had a rather hard time with the lack of networking (writing networked code sans network isn't very practical). We ran out of time due to the delays on getting everyone set up, so we didn't get to talk about Telepathy or what goes on in the packaging process much. Charles suggested it might be an idea to re-run the tutorial as an audio presentation (in a network-enabled environment) so that people could use that when working through.
I'm not terribly disappointed, but I'm afraid I let the lack of network ...!-->!-->
Will need to have users do an "apt-get install pygame patch" to be able to run on a LiveCD. Similarly on an XO you'll need to su and then "yum install patch". Got Productive's packing script updated so that you can play on an XO from a download.
OLPC meetup was exactly what I needed tonight. Talked at length with Josh and Amanda about the various advice-to-developer items and in doing so realized what the introduction was missing. Timing is looking a bit long at the moment, will need to tighten up on practise tomorrow.
Develop's latest ...!-->!-->!-->!-->
Have been doing a lot of PyCon preparations lately (mostly on the tutorial), working around the paying stuff. But some time this morning I switched to "PyCon Mode", with the work at home falling into secondary position. Got the Airline ticket printed, got the hotel information updated for my roomie, copied out the Hotel information for customs, and generally got ready to go tomorrow. Need to leave around 11am tomorrow to get to the airport on time.
The tutorial is now officially full at 21 people (in fact, almost all of the tutorials are full, with just a few of ...!-->!-->
Have been working on the introductory presentation for the Tutorial most of the weekend. Decided against a "normal" presentation; after all, everyone there has already committed enough to pay for the tutorial, they are going to be more interested in the current project status, how the philosophical approach has emerged in practical code, and what areas are still under active development.
As part of pulling all that together, have been going through the Activities page, installing the various activities on my sugar-jhbuild workstation and seeing how they are doing. There are a lot of games that are really in need ...!-->!-->