Our March meeting is upon us this Saturday at the Arlington Career Center, but at 1pm instead. At the meeting, we’ll review this month’s OLPC/Sugar Labs headline news starting with the relaunch of the Sugar Labs web site to coincide with a new release of the Sugar user interface, now dubbed Sucrose 0.84. Not only is this new version ready to install on the OLPC XO-1, it can be tried out as “Sugar on a Stick” (SoaS) on USB flash drive (as demonstrated last month and pictured above) as well as a “live” CD-ROM. We’ll review the new features and help those who want to have it installed on their XO or want a USB drive configured. You must request a developer’s key from OLPC to install this update, and a 2GB USB drive is recommended for the SoaS. As you may have seen at the last meeting, Sugar runs on many netbooks now as well as desktop PCs and Macs using Virtual Box.
I visited OLPC Headquarters at the beginning of the month and I’ll report on what’s new there including a new Contributor’s Program. Work is beginning on the XO 1.5 with updated hardware specs and a release date of late 2009/early 2010. We may also have a special guest from Boston.
Randall Caton, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Computer Science at Christopher Newport University in the Department of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering, will speak about his work at NASA developing Etoys lessons and his hopes for the future of learning. At the January meeting, we some of us participated in a Jam session to review and collect feedback on his existing Etoys activities. We’ll be presenting our preliminary findings to Randall.
And I finally bought a replacement for the $149 Alpha 400 netbook that was smashed by some kids slamming into me on the subway. I’ll bring it to the meeting.
If you aren’t already subscribed, our monthly email update is the best way to find out about meetings. April’s meeting should be back at Gallaudet, and our confirmed guest speaker will be our very own Kim Toufectis, who will speak on using the OLPC XO to access web-based productivity tools–or what techies call “cloud computing.” Kim published some of his intial thoughts and discoveries in a post on OLPC News last month.
The photo is of my 5-year-old daughter Cici posing with two netbooks running Sugar on a Stick. The shot is from a set I created and donated to Sugar Labs.