OLPC:News/2008/Week 30

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Contents


^ Overview

  • Local repair centers are increasing their activity, including one in Paris, run by OLPC France, and the one in 1CC -- three people came by this week to fix parts of their machines, including eidolon from IRC and Kat Gunion from Vancouver.
  • Summer projects are being presented and midterm milestones assessed. Speech synthesis is being tested for full integration into Sugar, email and typing tutor projects are underway, and vision processing is improving performance week by week.
  • A late summer gathering is being planned for August 28-31, 2008. Save those dates -- we will be building games and activities, testing materials, holding an XOlympics, and planning for an international gathering at the end of the year.


x Connections

opportunities, people, engagements

Calendar
  • July 23-25 : Scratch conference @ MIT - in attendance, Cynthia, Bert Freudenberg, femslade, and many XO-philes.
  • OLPC community mini-conference, August 2008
  • End of July: Thailand learning workshop : Julia Reynolds is helping organize a learning workshop in Thailand this coming week, which will see educators and attendees from across Asia gather for part of the week.
  • August 3: OLPC India Day -- a day of talks and celebration of OLPC in India is being held; user:arjs and user:manu are helping pull this together.
  • August 23-28: OLPC/Sugar documentation sprint : a doc sprint is planned for Austin the last week in August, hosted by Anne Gentle. Details are being finalized, with a few sponsors and attendees already confirmed. The goal will be a complete updated set of user and developer docs for 8.2.0, with an eye towards being included in the recommended customization keys when it is released.
Regions
  • France - OLPC France had a busy week, with members presenting at three conferences, and a repair jam attended by 10 people most of whom learned how to effectively disassemble and repair XOs while working through the problems of 8 broken machines.
    • The OLPC France idea competition continues through the end of August; winning ideas receive fame and perhaps a new XO, and all submissions will be broadcast and discussed among the community, which will hopefully lead to first implementations for many of them.
  • Ghana - The OLPC Mesh Project in Ghana is proceeding with a group at Princeton, including M. Fiuczybski; Xavier Carcelle's roommate was recently in touch with people working on the project.
  • Countries and Country updates group -- Information about all of our countries is being updated; we could use a few wikignomes to help organize the new and old information.
Offers
  • Jeff Keller, a community member and developer on the Gigapan project, is offering a Gigapan video unit for people heading to an OLPC deployment to borrow. He is willing to train people in using them, and notes that they are producing more "beta" gigapans like the one he has, which could be acquired at cost, if this seems like a promising tool for creative projects in classes.


· Results

projects, events, news, materials

Recently:

  • Wikimania 2008 was held in the new Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Many groups in attendance wanted to start OLPC-related projects, to set up local interest groups or to facilitate contributions from students and developers in their organizations.
    At the library : Sohair Wastawy, chief librarian, and Lamia Fattah, head of their children's library, are planning a small installation for the children's section -- a set of 6 rooms that are restricted to children under 12 (there is a small waiting area for parents) and library staff. They have 60 to 100 children in the library during most days in summertime, for up to eight hours each day.
    A number of individual developers were interested in helping in their spare time. The Library employs 2000 staff, many of them working full or part time on digital initiatives and development. Most of their in-house development is open source, and their works freely licensed. In particular, people working in their accessibility lab on the DAISY Quran project for the blind wanted to make sure their work was usable on XOs, and offered help with producing Arabic .
    In the universities : Cairo U and Alexandria U both had student representatives attending Wikimania who hope to start OLPC chapters at their schools.
  • Repair Jam in Paris : OLPC France organized a repair day on Wednesday July 24 (full report in French). 10 people attended, working with 7 broken XOs and one customer's XO, and 6 new people practiced their repair skills. 3 XO's were fixed, and 2 used for spare parts.
  • OLPC Frnace has been organizing many talks and interviews, including presentations at 9eme Rencontre Mondiale du Logiciel Libre at Mont-de-Marsant, the Hacker Space Festival at /tmp/lab, and at La Main A La Pate university at Erice (Bastien and Xavier Carcelle were there, as was carla). Lionel Laske gave an interview to the French WebTV (http://www.tv4it.net) and was consulted by TV channel M6 which is planning a documentary on UMPC computers in September.


= Basics

status, deadlines, assumptions, processes

Summer intern projects:

from last week:

Michael Lew has taken an interest in the videoedit project, and in helping the existing collaboration. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Talk:VideoEdit

Mohit Taneja and Deepank Gupta now have a working game for Food Force 2, suitable for an alpha; it is being repackaged as an .xo bundle. http://code.google.com/p/foodforce/

Summer of Code:

  • Vision Processing - Massive performance improvements... Nirav Patel
: Nirav Patel has sped up his vision routines, and is working directly with the pygame developers.  They recently slated a merge of his branch into pygame 1.9.
: Juliana Lipkov√°, working with Thomas Breuel,has mockups and code for her handwriting recognition activity.

http://olpc-dhw.blogspot.com/ http://code.google.com/p/olpc-dhw/ .

: Assim Deodia has a playable 'Listen and Spell' activity to test, using speech-dispatcher for voice synthesis.  He is working on toolbar and Journal integration. 

Geography: Rajan Vaish finished v2 of his Atlas America activity, working with Nestor Guerrero in Monterrey, and is back in school. The activity needs testing. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Vaish.rajan/Weekly_Updates


+ Priorities

milestones, sequences, first and next

  • Greg Smith has been working on short-term forecasting and planning for beta releases. If you have milestones and priorities in mind for either a betatest process or for 9.1 in mind, please send them his way or post them here.
  • Many groups working on mediawiki, static wikipedia, and semantic mediawiki are interested in offline priorities from our community. You can post these here or to the library mailing list.


o Reflection

review, updates, analysis, feedback

  • Christoph Derndofer is in town Boston this weekend, and reflecting on how to make excellent documentation. He plans to work on docs for Record as a model for the activity devs handbook and perhaps also activity-specific howtos.
  • Wednesday nights are becoming regular nights for peaceful discussion about the week's work on IRC; perhpas this will filter into more channels and community groups.
  • Open houses: We are also inviting local tech groups to hold events at OLPC HQ on Wednesdays in the early evening.
  • Open houses: Saturdays we still have open houses @ OLPC HQ from 3 to 5pm. This week the IDDS students came to visit -- some 20 students from all walks of life and from fifteen countries.
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