CFS Soas Laptops

February 14, 2010 at 6:26 am (Sugar)

-originally written on 2-13-10, in the pm hours-


Hi. This is Melanie. I’m the kid of Lynne May, the first grade teacher for the Cambridge Friends School Sugar on a Stick pilot, and a deployment support team member for the pilot. I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to be doing, but I want to help out. So far it looks like I’ll be writing some documentation for the project. I’d been eavesdropping on conversations between Mel and my mom so I knew they were planning a pilot. Partly because I was interested in the process of deployment, partly because their conversations about how curriculum would be built around various Sugar programs intrigued me, and partly because it apparently counts as part of the 80 hours of community service I need to graduate, I agreed to help out. I was introduced to the XO laptops by Mel a while ago, was involved with a ILXO, a grassroots group of OLPC that was together for a summer a couple years ago, and am a current user of Fedora. This is the first “actual” project that I will be helping out with, so there are a lot of unknowns to me. I know how my mom runs her classroom, and I know what Sugar is capable of. It’ll be really interesting to see how those two connect. I’ll be watching the pilot develop and become successful over the next few months.

Geez, that was longer than I intended. Oh well.

This evening Mel and I installed Fedora 12 (the XFCE spin) onto three multicolored (red, silver, blue) acer Aspire One netbooks that were bought for the pilot. The silver one, which will be known as Hedwig in the classroom (upon my mother’s suggestion, we took the names of the laptops from creatures from Harry Potter; apparently, my mom’s students are into wizards, and enjoy casting spells with paintbrushes) had some issues. When we ran Firefox it crashed every time we tried accessing a website other than the Fedora website, the default home page. We attempted to fix the problem by looking at the errors received in terminal, but the errors we got weren’t uncommon enough to pinpoint the specific problem. In the end, we reinstalled Fedora, and it worked fine after that. The other two machines had no installation problems.

After installing, I played around with the netbooks for a little bit. I downloaded Adobe Flash Player for Firefox, etc. I have discovered that the speaker quality on the laptops isn’t amazing, but they’ll be good enough. The mouse button has some pros and cons: on the netbook it appears as one long bar, but it actually has right and left mouse buttons. Then again, there are right and left mouse buttons!

Also, the scroll pad next to the mouse pad works with Fedora! We weren’t sure if it would still function after we got rid of Windows 7, the original OS on the laptops, but it did! -happiness-

The battery life is also all right. It lasts a good four hours without a charger. That should be enough for classroom use. I’ve been jumping between windows on Fluffy (blue) and Hedwig for the past hour.

…Actually, correction: we actually DO have unresolved problems. I unplugged the charger on Hedwig just now…and it died. Turns out the battery wasn’t in all the way, so I pushed it in and locked into place, but attempts to restart it results in not booting up properly. It gives me a black screen with white text that confuses me.

Eh, it’s one o’clock. I should sleep. Will maybe fix problem tomorr- no, later today. We’ll probably end up reinstalling yet again. That’s the easiest route to take, heh.

-sigh- Dear Hedwig, we haven’t even introduced you to the first graders and you’re already being angry.

You should expect to receive future documentation on the project, but I’m not sure how soon something that is worth noting will appear or who it’ll come from. Someone will keep you posted.

Good night, and [hope you had} Happy Valentines Day/Happy Lunar New Year/ [hope you have a good] Mardi Gra!


1 Comment

  1. [M]etabrain [E]ntry [L]og » Blog Archive » Random snippets said,

    […] CFS SoaS blogger – Melanie Kim, deployment support. Coming soon to a Planet Sugar Labs near you. […]

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