Archive for June, 2009

OLPC Paraguay report & more

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

I wrote up a summary of my experience in Paraguay, you can read it on the OLPC wiki.

Last week, I gave a presentation about OLPC in the field at an OLPC UK meeting. It went well and it was nice to meet everyone for the first time. They are planning an exciting pilot deployment in a London school. I’ll leave them to announce the details as things progress.

The development of the XO-1.5 software release is progressing nicely. We have automated builds that work reasonably well.

And now would also be a good time to mention my upcoming plans; on July 18th I will be flying out to Nepal to spend 12 weeks as a volunteer for Open Learning Exchange Nepal, the organisation implementing One Laptop per Child in that country. Exciting!

XO-1.5 development underway

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

The OLPC tech team recently flew out to Quanta in Taiwan to bring up the first handful of test boards for the next generation XO laptop, known as the XO-1.5. The new laptop is basically a refresh to solve the difficulties that occur when you continue to try and source 2-year-old technologies in bulk, but will result in core improvements at the same time.

The Geode processor from the XO-1 has been end-of-lifed; the new laptop uses a VIA C7 CPU with the brand-new VX855 chipset. The flash storage and RAM have been quadrupled, providing 4GB and 1GB respectively.

I’m now joining the efforts for a few weeks, helping out on the software. We’re aiming to make a new “deployment quality” software release, including the newer version of Sugar and a generally more-up-to-date system based on Fedora 11. I received my A-test board today, it is already booting into Sugar and is quite functional.

OLPC UK Pilot planning underway

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

A while ago, I created an OLPC UK page on the OLPC wiki, and a mailing list alongside it with the hope of linking together the various people who were interested in organising various kinds of UK-based One Laptop per Child activities.

These small efforts have proven fruitful; a number of people from various backgrounds have teamed up and are organising a pilot programme for deploying a small number of XO laptops in a UK school.

I’m back in the UK for a little while and am excited to get involved where I can.

Their next meeting is June 17th in central London. I will be giving a presentation about my experiences with OLPC to date. More details here (RSVP requested). I hope to see you there!