Monday, June 11, 2007

One Laptop Per Child

I was fortunate enough to be sent an OLPC laptop, when they did their run of the B2 (the second build of the X0-1). This came about through my participation in the Linux.Conf.Au conference in Sydney, earlier in the year, and was one of the coolest things that has ever happened at any of the LCA conferences.. ever. (Even better than the dunk tank in at the Adelaide Conference - sorry Michael). I've named it sparky, and he's starting to become known as a bit of a celebrity. For more information about the OLPC project itself, see their website:

Connecting Up 07

Sparky recently appeared at the Connecting Up 07 conference in Adelaide in the Linux Australia booth, along with two of his mates. Lisa Harvey, the Managing Director of Energetica in New South Wales borrowed Sparky as an example in her talk - 'Clever Cookies, Innovation in the Non-Government Organisation sector'. Hand delivered by Joel Stanly, the three laptops had just come back from a weekend in Melbourne where they had put in a guest appearance at a teachers conference. Here you see Joel attempting to cross North Terrace in Adelaide, which is currently subject to construction work as the new tram line is being put in. Other people also had a chance to have a look and play. All in all, the everyone who came to the booth got a chance to meet Sparky. There was also a funky piece of networking (if I do say so myself) that was done to get Sparky to be able to access the local wireless internet service.. it involved two other laptops, a crossover cable and a 802.11b network card with some dodgy firmware, but nothing that a periodic shell script couldn't fix. I'll let you join the dots.

Since Connecting Up..

Sparky has also spent two weeks with Dave the 'life kludger', who spend some time looking at accessibility. You can find the writeup, with some great pictures in Dave's blog.

What next?

Sparky needs an operation. In order to fix a couple of hardware issues, he needs someone with some surface mounted component soldering skills. The details are here: B2_Suspend_ECR Watch this space.