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Occasionally (perhaps too often) I do a thorough cleaning and reinstallation. Part of that process is to reinstall all the activities I use.

Normally, the XO will ask for permission to check for activities over the wireless network. But I reason that if I have the up-to-date OS on a USB key, then I might as well have my up-to-date activities on a USB key as well. Sugar Labs tends to have the most recent versions of activities on their downloads site, but some activities are found elsewhere.

After a lot of trial and error, here's a concise, condensed, and wholly incomplete table of activities that work with build 8.0.2 and where to obtain them. These can be stored on the same USB drive as the OS installer. That way, all you have to do is copy the activities to /home/olpc/Activites and unzip them.

Activity Version Notes
Terminal 31 Tabs aren't fully functional and $PATH isn't always respected, but that's what the console shells are for.
Write 60 Newer versions appear to have abandoned 8.0.2/Sugar 0.82
View Slides 12 I have not tested version 13, but suspect it will work. Great for standalone slide presentations (Read: "Lemme show you some of the cool OLPC stuff I've done and others are doing" in a single zip file)
Sugar Commander 5
Record 67 Video capture at "best" quality barely averages 1 frame per second; at "high" quality, 5 frames per second; "low" quality has fluid motion but terrible picture quality. Also, trying to remove a recording that's being viewed will crash the activity and force Sugar to restart.
Moon 11
Log 16 Sugar Labs does not provide version 16.
Image Viewer 8 Handy, but I prefer gqview
Chat 60 Sugar Labs does not provide version 60.
Browse 102 Even though Firefox 6 runs well, its UI doesn't translate well into Sugar and the downloads manager is annoying. Besides, Browse uses less resources and has a very elegant UI for bookmarking.
Journal 86 Sugar Labs doesn't host Journal.
Read 52 Sugar Labs does not provide version 52.
StarChart 12
Mini vMac 1 Between my notes and the build notes, surely you'll find a way to build your own [better] version.
Berkeley Logo 4 The next-best thing to Atari LOGO...
IRC 5 You need to tinker inside ~/Activities/IRC.activity/ to change some (all?) of the default settings

That pretty much sums up all of the Sugar activities that I've come to rely on over the years.

A few activities didn't make my "must-have" list. Here's why:

  • Jukebox
    I've never gotten it to "see" my media files.
  • SimCity and/or Micropolis
    Illegible UI, cities can't be saved, and more often than not crashes when quitting.
  • Doom
    The most counterproductive Sugarization ever: it's not educational, it gives reactionaries and alarmists the "violence argument", it saps precious battery power, and I sincerely doubt that You-Know-Who intended to fill childrens' lives with the stuff of nightmares.
    Computing should be fun, liberating, helpful, empowering, and the stuff of wonder.A shoot-anything-that-moves electronic killing spree smacks of sheer ignorance, as some young XO recipients have already been subject to warfare, violence, and terror.

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