OLPC Rochester, NY/Event history/23July2009


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  1. William Schaub brought his latest version of Teowawki Net (TN) in for a second demo (notes from first).
    1. Bill has compiled a version to run on Debian Linux and DebXO (Debian with the XO-1 kernel), separated the source and binaries and put them in their own tarballs and found that the whole system takes on 72 MBytes of space on the hard drive (172 MB or more if it is on NAND flash running in Sugar on an XO-1 due to the loopback mounted filesystem). The extracted tn-src.tar.gz amounts to almost 200 MB.
    2. Bill is building the system now on an ancient Slackware 10.2 (with a bunch of stuff upgraded from Slackware 11) laptop, and has a set of shell scripts that will bring the system up on a new Linux distribution, provided it has all the required tools for compiling.
    3. New features include 4 new modes of networking:
      1. Ad-Hoc - using 802.11 Ad-Hoc (IBSS) with the ESSID set to teotwawki, no encryption, using avahi-autoipd to manage the interface and keep a unique link local address. It broadcasts to the local network and discovers others by their broadcasts like before. This mode, however, will work with any generic wireless device that can go into ad-hoc mode. No routing is done; but machines that overlap the coverage area should be able to see the machines that the first system can not see and pass things on that way. (Bill would love to find a way to test this out.) The propagation is a side effect of how the system works.
      2. AP mode - If your system has the MadWifi drivers and a supported Wi-Fi card, this mode turns your laptop into a fake access point, and through the use of Dnsmasq, hands out DHCP addresses and also resolves all DNS requests to the IP of your laptop. Anyone can join this network like a regular access point and access the TN web interface simply by going to any web address.
      3. Managed mode - This mode simply lets the systems network manager do its thing and only starts the boradcaster and udpserver/network mapper/syncer daemon. This is exactly how the OLPC Demo worked. Bill plans to add the Ad-Hoc mode to the OLPC demo soon. On the OLPC version there will be 3 modes: Mesh, Ad-Hoc, and Offline. Ad-Hoc gives compatibility with regular PCs running TN (or with people using DebXO).
      4. Offline - In this mode no networking is attempted, nothing is broadcast, but the web interface and news daemon is started on localhost so you can use the system without causing any network traffic or draining the battery needlessly.
    4. Work in progress:
      • A CVS server or a space on Sourceforge so others might more easily contribute to the project.
      • A Slax package for Teotwawki Net, and a Slax LiveCD image with TN pre-installed.
      • Improved perl scripts (smarter and more efficient).
      • Microsoft Windows experimentation on how best to get the system running in Windows. A virtual machine (but the network card would have to be configured for the ad-hoc mode with teotwawki net by hand), or make the whole thing run native in Cygwin, and learn enough about the Windows wireless API to make a simple wireless configuration utility under Windows.
      • Also looking at other Unix systems like OpenBSD, NetBSD, & FreeBSD, possibly even Solaris/x86 & SPARC (although he is unaware of any wireless SPARC machines).
  2. Wesley Dillingham and Fred Grose talked about the 'Teacher Reporting' project they are working on, http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Teacher_Reporting
    • Wesley has realized that he can best contribute by working on the organization of curriculum element testing algorithms for Sugar Activities. We will help document and the administrative features of the various Activity groups such as GCompris and Karma so that integration with Moodle and Sugar Teacher Reporting or Learner evaluation will be easier.
    • We would like folks to look at the curriculum elements in the wiki table and submit ideas for how Learner progress could be monitored. This example could be followed. What measures of success could be applied for each element?
  3. Our involvement with NYSCATE 2009 Nov 22-24 need further planning.
  4. (Meeting followup) Karlie Robinson has proposed that we join a LUGOR picnic on 30 August 2009:
    • If folks bring their laptops, we could test the ad-hoc network chaining for Teotwawki Net (Item 1.3.1 above)!
Last night at the OLPC Grass Roots meeting, we decided to have a 
geek-nic get together so I can stop talking about the great FOSS 
resources we have in Rochester and finally make introductions.

The biggest reason to have a get-together on the weekend is so that a 
couple guys living in Hornell can bounce ideas off the group without 
paying for the late night out at work Friday morning.

The details are still tenative, but it will most likely be an afternoon 
start at my house (Near RIT) unless it looks like we need to do 
something else.

I hope we can plan something that will become an excellent opportunity 
to bring your family to meet the people taking up so much of your time ;-).

While we have over a month to plan, I'm open to suggestions so please 
let me know.

I'd also like to get a general idea of how many people might be coming.  
I do have a big yard and plenty of parking, but if it looks like it will 
be /very/ well attended we might need to think about an alternate venue.

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