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@ rmyers7
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Ok, I'm finally going to make a stab at starting this page.

My name is Robert (Bob) Myers and I live in the Chicago, IL area.

I am an under-employed software developer, and work for the local school district in a elementary school library.

I have had a long time interest in constructionist education and when I discovered that the OLPC project was developing a machine along those lines rather simply being an internet appliance for the third world, I became an enthusiast.

I purchased an XO through the G1G1 and have become one of the legions of unpaid beta testers, finding and filing bug reports, logging my experiences on the wiki, and trying to participate in the local community, generally poking my fingers in things.

I love the fact that the XO is small, rugged and low power consumption. In many ways it is around as powerful as a typical 'first world' computer of a couple of design cycles back. So figuring that since those machines did just just fine about eight years ago, that there is no reason that the XO can't be successfully used for 'first world' applications of the vintage. I've stuffed XFCE onto my XO and try to see how far I can get in installing linux productivity applications.

I am a model railroader. One of my first projects was to get the Java Model Railroad Interface installed on the XO. This is a FOSS Java program suite that allows a computer to control a model railroad layout. It virtualizes the various control systems, so that you can learn JMRI, rather than learning individual systems. My installation instructions can be found here. As that is a static page, updated information cam be found here.

As far as some projects that are more directed to the true target audience of the XO, I've got a couple of things that I'm interested in doing (or helping out on). Basically, I'm thinking along the lines of some old school, beginning of microcomputer sort of projects. I'm of the opinion that some of the things we were doing with micros in the '70s opened the world to go farther, and that if kids start there, the newer stuff will be ready and waiting for them to move up to. So:

  • Get a real LOGO running on the XO. TurtleArt is fun, but it isn't LOGO. Given Dr. Papert's presence in this project, it just has to be done. To me, the most practical approach would be to put a Sugar wrapper on something like Berkely LOGO.
  • Port some old school BASIC games to Python. The sort of grab bag that was in 'What to do after you've hit return'. Math and logic games, simulation games. IIRC someone has started something similar with translating some Commodore 64 BASIC programs to Python.

Squeak is great, SimCity is great, but they are pretty high curbs to step off of if you want to figure out how making a code change affects a game. LOGO, Hammurabi and even 'nim', could be more approachable.

On a personal level, in support of the project I'm trying to

  • Use the XO
  • Get better with Linux
  • Get better with Python
  • Learn how to do things like get code into the repository
  • Kick others into doing things

I found some issues with the Asteroids activity, and am currently trying to get a new revision back in. File Format

I have a brain-dump of a different XO follow-on here: User:Rmyers/XO-Senior

Panda3D is a FOSS 3D game framework with hooks for Python. This seems like a framework that could be useful for developing 3D content for the XO. My notes on exploring it are here: User:Rmyers/Panda3D.

ILXO Related

I'm participating in some ILXO activities this summer. The following pages are related to this effort

Mom! Dad! It's Evil! Don't touch it!

The prototype machines for the dual boot Linux/Windows XOs are orange and red rather than white and green. I stumbled over this image while browsing the wiki.


My son's first reaction was that the antennae looked like demonic horns. Surely that wasn't anyone's intention, was it?

Bonus points to anyone who knows what movie the header is from.

good educational game

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