September’s meeting might be our most information-packed ever with Jeff Elkner’s report on Sugar Labs DC and a reprise of the preview at HacDC of the new XO-1.5 brought to you by SJ Klein of OLPC Headquarters.
Since the formation of Sugar Labs DC back in June, Jeff Elkner at the Arlington Career Center has hit the ground running mobilizing a team of high schoolers to develop software for the Sugar Learning Platform. Jeff’s students started with enhancements to TimeLapse, an Activity for the OLPC XO designed to easily record, store, and display data to be used in applications that need a scheduled recording mechanism. TimeLapse came out of a student collaboration with club member and beekeeper Dr. Frank Linton to capture periodic audio of bee sounds to access the health of the hive. That project was presented at our November 2008 meeting. Jeff will talk about current and future plans for our local lab.
A photo composite of two photos I took of the new laptop at HacDC illustrating both the Gnome desktop manager and Sugar running.
SJ Klein will be bringing one or both of the XO-1.5 prototype laptops that were shown at HacDC Tuesday night. SJ will talk further about OLPC’s plans for the XO-1.5. In addition to the hardware improvements such as increased processor speed and memory, we were impressed with the new ability to rapidly switch between the Sugar desktop for children and the now pre-installed Gnome window manager for adults. OLPC News has blog posts about SJ’s talk as well as a video comparing the startup speed of the XO-1.5 to an XO-1.0.
George Hunt, Kevin Cole, Yama Ploskonka and Adam Holt hold the first paper printout of the 93-page draft of the teacher guide.
Also this past week, Kevin Cole hosted the OLPC Community Book Sprint at Gallaudet University, where onsite and virtual volunteers marshalled by Adam Holt, OLPC’s community support manager, collaborated on creating a new teacher guide for deploying laptops. Filled with inspiring stories and a wealth of practical advice, the manual will go a long way to supporting the OLPC Contributor’s Program and small deployments all over the world. More editing and post-production remains, but you can take a look at the draft on the Floss Manuals site–or even jump in to help with writing and editing! Photos of the book sprint are on my Flickr set and another from Nancie Severs.
And to cap off the weekend, XO laptops were part of the Ubuntu DC Local Community (LoCo) booth at the Takoma Park Folk Festival. Halfway through the festival, the number of visitors to the booth exceeded last year’s count of 180. Photos also on Flickr.
We hope to see you at a meeting. Do sign up for our monthly email newsletter if you’re not already on.