Friday, November 30, 2007

QuickGuide: Changing the Language to English

Although not obvious, it is fairly trivial to change the language of the CLI on the XO-1 in the pre-joyride builds.

  1. Switch to a developer's console via Alt + =
  2. Change to root using su - root
  3. nano /etc/sysconfig/i18n
  4. Change the LANG to "en_US.UTF-8"
  5. Reboot
For a permanent solution, see the wikipage on tag editing.
Now, although part of the initial boot sequence may still be in the previous language, the terminal and sugar will all be in English.

To change the languge in sugar, use sugar-control-panel

New XO

Thanks again to Micheal Connet and Julie Fletcher over at Nortel for providing us with another laptop.A post on some networking experiments will be forthcoming.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Gasp running on XO

Here is a quick pic of gasp running using the developer terminal.
As you can see it creates an activity window that fills the screen, but does not fill it, leaving black space. A solution may be to change the default screen size in gasp.

QuickGuide:Renaming your XO

As requested, this is the fastest way I have found to rename the XO.

1.Open up the developer console (Alt-= on mine,may be different on others)
2.Go to the terminal
3.Open the file ~/.sugar/default/config with your favorite CLI text editor
4. Find the line that says nickname and edit to it your liking.
5.Restart sugar (ctrl-alt-backspace) or restart the computer
6.Voila, the laptop is now renamed!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

QuickGuide: Installing a XO activity using removable media

Here's a quick tutorial on installing a package from a usb thumbdrive or sd card:
  1. On a computer with internet access download a .xo package onto your removable device.
  2. Insert your usb drive or sd card (usb ports are under the "ears, sd slot is on underside of monitor)
  3. Wait a minute for the device to mount.
  4. Using the web browser activity, go to "file:///media"
  5. Find your device and click on it.
  6. Find the package and click it. The main Sugar frame should come out , then hide again.
  7. Wait a minute or so , and your activity should appear in the XO launcher.
  8. Enjoy

Results from first day

The XO seems to have some strange issues with my wireless at home and I was only able to get it online for 30 minutes but in that time I learned several things.
  1. You can share activities across the whole Internet
  2. Google Video does not work (due to gnash lacking .flv file support apparently) Maybe I can install regular flash?
  3. Normal computers can connect to the XO's mesh network (though it crashed my network card after a while).It shows up as "olpc-mesh"
  4. Support for WPA appears to be very finicky
After trying for several hours to get it back online, I decided to try a firmware upgrade using a USB thumbdrive.At first it was giving me an error about "wrong machine type" but I found that taking it in 2 firmware steps worked fine.

Then I decided to start messing around with gasp , and I figured out several things
  • In some areas of the system ,gasp works just fine natively but if it is part of an activity it needs(or rather pygame does) the olpcgame wrapper.
  • Its better suited for building activities then being an activity itself
  • Someone has already mentioned gasp as a useful game development tool on the game development page (this certainly was not me)
  • Pippy example code would be really sweet.
Then ,just for fun , I decided to find out if it was possible to get activities installed without internet access.The answer is that yes it is possible,but you still have to go trough the browser(only to your usb drive instead of a website).So installed Sim City, which runs great.
Of course the nostalgia ran out in about 10 minutes,but it was still fun.

Well, hopefully I can figure out my networking issues and dig deeper into this great device.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Introducing the XO

Thanks to Jeffrey Elkner,Micheal Connet and our friends at Nortel for allowing me to test the XO laptop and attempt to get some of our learning activities working on it.

Information on the laptop
Color: Green(only color available at the moment)
Hardware Revision: B4-15
Software Revision : Unknown now(but working on it :) )

Current Plan for first day:
1. Change language to english
2.Investigate Pippy
3.Attempt basic gasp compatibility (draw a window. or activity)
4.Check out some of the basic networking capabilities of the XO