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RMS on the death of OLPC
olpc : by Tommy - November 3rd 2008, 02:51PM
Richard Stallman gives an interesting look at why the One Laptop Per Child project has "died". I don't think there's much happening with this project that had so much promise just 1 year ago. If you'll notice, I haven't given it much attention since this time last year because of the changes in administration and the "sell out" to major corporations for financial gain.

I guess it was too good to be true.

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

OLPC: PSK31 is here!
olpc : by Tommy - February 4th 2008, 04:33PM
It wasn't by my doing, but I'm glad it's finally working. The XO laptop from OLPC now has PSK31 available for ham radio operators. Talk about a niche!

Jerry Dunmire, KA6HLD, finally got Fldigi working on his XO and bundled the program as a stand alone activity. For those of you with an XO of your own that want to try out PSK-31, here are the steps included in his HOWTO:
First you must enable the DSP on the laptop:
  • login as root: su -l (that's a lower-case L, not a 1)
  • echo "/sbin/modprobe snd-pcm-oss" >>/etc/rc.local
  • reboot for the changes to take effect

    Once you've rebooted the XO, download and install the activity:
  • Start the browser and enter the URL: http://www.dunmire.org/olpc/
  • Click on the FldigiActivity-1.xo link
  • Wait for the download to finish
  • Click on the Open button

    You should now have the Fldigi activity on the right side of your Activity toolbar. Enjoy operating PSK, see you on 14.070 MHz!

    For detailed instructions, click here to read Jerry's HOWTO. Or, if you'd prefer to do it manually (with no Sugar launch icon) there's a HOWTO by yours truly, here.

    update: First contact made via XO with WI4USA.
  • ( Comments : 1 | Full article )

    XO Laptop
    olpc : by Tommy - August 16th 2007, 10:15PM
    Well the wait for me is over, less than a month after getting the emulator running on my home computer - I got my hands on an actual XO laptop!

    Last week I officially joined the OLPC developer network and told them I would be trying to get some ham radio software ported to the XO. Because the applications can be resource intensive, especially when dealing with a 433MHz Geode processor, the OLPC dev team saw fit to send me an actual machine to test on. Thanks guys!

    As for a review of the machine, it really is an amazing machine. All of my friends here in Longview that have seen it were all equally impressed with its construction, feel and size. (It's very solid, even if it does look like the malformed offspring of an iMac and Fisher Price toy.) If you want to read more about the hardware specs you can check out the OLPC wiki, to read about the software being developed, you can start with the wiki page on Sugar. The screen is really amazing for it's size and cost. The "dark" mode (for use in the sun) is incredibly crisp and clear. I tried out the PDF reader with the screen turned around like a tablet PC in the sun and it was as nice (if not nicer) than reading on a nice LCD indoors.
    I'll post a full review of it later as I learn more about the machine both inside and out. I also hope to let a few grade-school kids try it out for a day and get their thoughts.

    For now, you can check out a couple other pics I have of it here and here.

    And those of you that still haven't a clue what I'm talking about, you can read my other posts on the One Laptop Per Child project.

    Continue reading...

    ( Comments : 2 | Full article )

    Virtual Sugar
    olpc : by Tommy - July 29th 2007, 012:05AM
    This one was just too cool to wait. For those of you that know, I'm quite pumped about the One Laptop Per Child initiative.

    I've written about it in the past, as I write this I have a couple of links in the shoutbox. The most notable one is that prospect that the XO laptop will be commercially available for Christmas 2007. By who? How much? Nobody knows. I do know that I want one.

    The XO Laptop uses a custom-rolled distribution of the GNU/Linux system with an overlay known as Sugar. Although Sugar is specialized for the XO hardware, you can install it over a linux setup, or try out a pre-configured virtual machine image (if you use VMware Player or the like). There's even a walk-thru to get you acquainted with Sugar's interface. It took me all of about a minute to point and click my way around before even looking for a guide.

    UneasySilence has the links to the files needed to run an image of Sugar.

    ( Comments : 5 | Full article )

    One Laptop Per Child
    olpc : by Tommy - May 21st 2007, 12:08PM
    It's been talked about in the media for a while now. If you're a regular visitor to Slashdot or Digg, you may have stumbled across the One Laptop Per Child project. It was featured last month in CPU Magazine and in MaximumPC before that. The project is really picking up steam now that it has a hands-on prototype available.

    The goal of OLPC is to provide cheap laptops for free to children in poor countries. They are some of the most robust laptops available, water-resistant, splash- and dust-proof for the harsh environment found in many developing countries.

    The project's official website is laptop.org and was most recently featured on 60 Minutes (mirror) in a 13 minute clip. For breaking news on all things OLPC, you can also visit OLPCNews.com which tracks OLPC developments.
    It's an exciting move for the PC industry. By making cheap, relatively slow, linux-based laptops available to millions of children, the software market will begin producing applications to run on Sugar (the GUI for the laptop). This may just usher in, or at least broaden, the usage of online applications.

    ( Comments : 1 | Full article )


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