Archive for the 'One Laptop per Child' category

Friday round-up

It’s been a while since we posted a good round-up, and there’s so much we’ve come across lately that we really wanted to tell you about. In no particular order, here’s a list of things that have piqued our interest in the last few weeks:

  • Thomas Chung’s photo essay from SCALE 6X.
  • Here is another SCALE 6X trip report from Fedora Engineering Manager Tom “Spot” Callaway
  • Mary Lou Jepsen’s (the former CTO of the One Laptop per Child project) keynote at the Greener Gadgets conference: How green is the XO?
  • Top 10 Linux distributions for audio
  • Check out Gobby on For those not in the know, Gobby is “a free collaborative editor supporting multiple documents in one session and a multi-user chat. It runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unix-like platforms.”
  • More One Laptop in the news: A comparison of sub-$300 laptops
  • Dave Eggers, winner of a 2008 TED prize, wants 1,000 people to engage with their local public schools through They need domain hosting, developers, and non-technical people. A perfect opportunity to combine open source’s benefits with education…
  • Love. As in the love of game development. Check out the amazing graphics in this multiplayer first-person shooter game that was created entirely by one person.
  • You’re going to have to pull yourself away from the screen sooner or later. When you’re looking for something to eat this weekend, may we recommend bacon cups? (Because here at Red Hat Magazine? We like bacon.)
  • Neil Gaiman’s giving away books and name-checking Cory Doctorow. Trent Reznor’s up to much of the same with NIN’s new album, Ghosts. Yay for major artists getting on the sharing bandwagon.
  • And speaking of Cory Doctorow, check out this list of 20 science fiction novels that will change your life. Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is a particular favorite and shouldn’t be missed. But what’s your favorite that didn’t make the cut? For us? Madeline L’Engle’s transformative series about the Wallace family, starting with A Wrinkle in Time.

OLPC: Give One Get One, right now

I’ve been demoing this little green laptop for months. Everywhere I go, it’s a star, and everyone who sees it always asks me the same question: when can I get one? Finally, I have an answer: right now. But you’d better hurry, because they are only available for another 12 days. And here’s a little secret: it’s a really good deal.

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Open source and Blog Action Day

Today more than 15,000 bloggers are participating in Blog Action Day, an initiative that asks bloggers to post on one topic en masse on the same day each year. The 2007 topic is the environment, and open source bloggers are joining in. » Read more

Book review: The End of Poverty

The End of Poverty

Author: Jeffrey D.Sachs
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication date: October 1, 2006

Last weekend I finished reading this book and watched Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, all in the span of 24 hours. Thoughts of global warming, the threat of a permanently altered planet, and extreme poverty killing thousands every day were swimming in my mind. While I felt a sense of urgency, I also felt conflicted. Because it’s hard to feel urgent about both. In fact, history shows it’s hard for the US government to give urgent attention to more than one crisis at a time. So what to do in the face of such cultural monsters?

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Inside One Laptop per Child: Episode 04

Download this video: [Ogg Theora]
Video by Simple Coat. Produced by Julie Bryce, Kristin Hondros, Kim Jokisch, and Tim Kiernan.

(video)  Episode 04 takes us on location in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Where the first batches of XOs have been delivered and deployed. Meet the teachers using the laptops in the classroom. Where besides doing daily assignments on the machines, some students have already learned programing. Local culture has permeated the project, and as a veteran school principal explains, an improved education is set to equip a new generation of Brazilian citizens. Watch past episodes.

Inside One Laptop per Child: Episode 03

Download this video: [Ogg Theora]

Video by Simple Coat.
Produced by Julie Bryce and Kristin Hondros.

Since piloting this video series, we’ve received lots of questions about the XO’s mesh network. How can these laptops “talk” to each other even without widespread internet access? How is the network they create different from the network at your home or office? Episode 03 explains it all.

One Laptop per Child on 60 Minutes, Sunday May 20

Episode 1. Filmed and edited by Simple Coat Productions.
Download this video: [
Episode 2. Filmed and edited by Simple Coat Productions.
Download this video: [

(video)  Little green men often make the front pages of supermarket tabloids. Little green laptops? Not so much.

But this Sunday, the XO (which we’ve been talking about for months) will get its mainstream news debut on CBS’s highly regarded program, 60 Minutes. (A far cry from the National Enquirer.)

Faces familiar to our readers have helped make Nicholas Negroponte’s dream a reality. From the earliest concept (remember the hand crank?) to its current working build which has been deployed in several nations for beta testing, this laptop has come a long way. And it would not have been possible without the hard work of folks like Chris Blizzard, Dan Williams, David Woodhouse, Marcelo Tosatti, and John “J5” Palmieri.

Just as our developers were inspired by Nicolas Negroponte and Walter Bender’s concepts, we hope the millions watching Sunday night’s newscast will see in the project the promise for a worldwide solution to poverty. In a word: education.

And more than that, we hope they’ll get involved, whether it’s donating money, developing code, or simply spreading the good word.

Congratulations to everyone working on the project. We wish you continued good luck and prosperity. And good press.


Building the XO: Porting a PyGTK game to Sugar, part two

In the last lesson we learned about what made Block Party tick. In this lesson, we will turn the same PyGtk codebase into a Sugar activity with only minimal modification of the core code. As always, the code for this lesson can be found at:
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Inside One Laptop per Child: Episode 02

(video) Filmed and edited by Simple Coat Productions.
Episode 02 of this series documenting the One Laptop per Child project focuses on the activities built for the laptop. Activities, not applications, since the machine is designed for children and applications is a decidedly adult word.
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Building the XO: Porting a PyGTK game to Sugar, part one

Welcome to this tutorial series on porting a PyGTK game to the OLPC’s Sugar environment. While we will be concentrating on a game called Block Party, the lessons taught here can be used as a guide to create or port any number of applications. Games are just more fun to learn with. On top of learning a bit about the Sugar environment, one will also learn about graphics and input handling in PyGTK as well as a few object oriented concepts. All code in this tutorial should run as standalone PyGTK apps as well as inside of the Sugar environment.

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