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@ mel
help@ This user is a Support gang volunteer.
Specializes in: documentation, peripherals, new volunteers, grassroots
IRC Nick: mchua
This user is a spare parts hound.
This user is a member of the Volunteer Infrastructure Group.
en This user is a native speaker of English.
zh-1 这个用户是能够有助于满足于基本 水平的 中国人 。.
ja-1 この利用者は少しだけ日本語を話すことができます。
This user's time zone is UTC-5.

My name is Mel Chua. I'm not active in OLPC these days since returning to graduate school; this page is more an archive than anything else. Feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, or ideas you might have.

English is my native language. I have a basic understanding of ASL und mittelstufe (B1-B2) Deutsch.

Quick reference

You might be looking for...

  • My talk page - for leaving me a message.
  • My Planet Laptop blogposts.
  • My projects - to see what I'm working on, have worked on, or should/would-like-to work on.
  • My braindumps - Thoughts in progress that are not yet fully formed or ready to go to main wiki. Probably inaccurate, half-baked, or some combination of the two. You have been warned.
  • /Templates - things I've made that may be useful for wiki-users, including Firefox bookmark shortcuts.


My volunteering interests include Community testing, Support gang, OLPC Chicago, and the ILXO grassroots office in Illinois. I am an alumni from (and involved in the OLPC groups of) IMSA and Olin as well as University chapters, Boston pilots, and Grassroots in general. I ran the first Jam in Boston 2007 and continue to assist with coordinating and presenting at Jams and other events. On the technical side, I'm a wiki sysop and create documentation and templates on this wiki on a regular basis and generally like making it easy for new contributors to get started. I'm also involved upstream with Sugar Labs, the project that creates the user-facing software that ships on OLPC's XO laptops, and with Fedora, the project that creates the underlying operating system that ships on the same.

Current goals and projects

I tend to set my goals in 6-month cycles. This list is super-flexible; stuff changes all the time, random cool ideas come up, and so this has deliberately been planned with lots of wiggle room. As things change, I (usually remember to) edit this page to reflect that.

My current goals are working with OLPC's software upstreams - namely, Fedora and Sugar Labs - to build capacity there and give OLPC a richer selection of resources (both code and people) to draw from as a downstream that is doing great things.

My last cycle focused on (grassroots) Boston pilots and having them running as a self-sustaining, scalable, distributed, and well documented model that can be adapted to other locations. Much of my initial focus was on the Cambridge Friends School deployment, as it was the first in the area to go live. It's an example of a deployment with no full time deployment employees (or indeed, employees at all) anywhere; this is a model optimized for a $0 manpower budget.


I've been an OLPC intern (content and grassroots) twice (summers of 2007 and 2008), an employee once (QA/Support engineer for 3.8 months between 2008 and 2009), and - what I consider to be my most important role - a volunteer since January 2007. There is an archive of weekly updates that sporadically describe in more detail what I was doing at any given point in time.

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