[Community-news] OLPC News (2007-05-05)
walter.bender at gmail.com
Sat May 5 10:38:46 EDT 2007
1. Green laptop: By concentrating on low-cost, low-power, long-life,
and field repair, we have achieved what many assume costs extra (and
many corporations would ordinarily charge more for): XO is the most
environmentally friendly laptop ever made. At one point we had heard
from very knowledgeable manufacturers that it would cost us at least
US $20 extra just to meet the EU environmental requirements. This was
not true. In fact, if every laptop and desktop user in the world
switched to an XO right now, about 85 terawatt-hours of energy could
be saved. The energy-bill savings alone could fund the outright
purchase of 50-million XO laptops. In addition, 50M barrels of oil
could saved, which is an additional US $500M in carbon-offset dollars,
2. Vatican City: Antonio Battro participated in the XIII Plenary
Session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which was
dedicated to "charity and justice in the relations among peoples and
nations." He presented the OLPC program at the round-table on the
Millennium Goals on education.
3. Brasilia hosted a conference on digital inclusion on Thursday.
Prof. Lea Fagundes stole the show with an impassioned talk about olpc,
showing the work and sharing the words of the children involved.
4. OLPC is very pleased to announce the hiring of Kim Quirk as Project
Manager. Kim comes to OLPC with over 20 years experience managing
projects in industries ranging from network products to e-commerce to
5. Mesh: Michail Bletsas evaluated three sets of rubber rabbit ears
(WiFi antennae); one is much better than the others. Quanta will use
these ears for all the B4 units. Look for the WiFi range on your XO to
increase by at least 50%.
6. B3 build will start on May 11 in Shanghai. B3 is essentially the
mass- production laptop (without texture on the plastic surfaces).
7. Richard Smith and John Watlington wired up a pre-B3 to the
voltmeter, allowing detailed measurements of power consumption, broken
down component by component (LCD, CPU/Southbridge, EC, WLAN, etc.)
This work will continue next week as more components are gradually
8. Work on the School Server hardware design continued this week. It
was decided to attempt a sealed case design for areas of high humidity
and salt exposure, but we are still exploring the thermal issues.
Processor selection will be completed by the middle of next week. The
industrial and mechanical design have begun.
9. The Collabora team continues work on a video-chat application and
have found (what we hope are) the remaining bugs in the video stack.
They are working with John Palmieri to get the code packaged up and
into our builds.
10. J.M. Maurer made progress on a syntax-highlighting plugin for
Abiword. This will be useful for children (and adults) who want to
develop software on the laptop. Right now it supports syntax
highlighting for both Python and C++.
11. Data store and journal work continues. Tomeu Vizoso has hooked the
browser history into the journal and Ben Saller continues working on
various parts of the data store. Ben is currently working on getting
the data store properly exposed through DBus.
12. Dan Williams and Jordan Crouse fixed some problems in the X server
on the GX and the video stack. Dan also demonstrated a version of the
Read activity that can show itself in the mesh view: you can click on
it and a PDF is downloaded between two machines—suddenly two kids are
13. Mitch Bradley released candidate firmware for the B3 SMT build, with:
* enhance diagnostics suitable for manufacturing burn-in tests;
* fast-boot using game keys to force interaction;
* more secure EC command access; and
* a larger frame buffer to prevent pixmap starvation.
14. Andres Salomon spent this week on pre-B3/LX debugging. A NAND
chip-select fix (to enable doubling the size of NAND on B3), audio and
camera fixes, etc. were committed to the stable kernel. (The image
quality of the camera is much improved as a result.)
15. Chris Ball compiled a collector bug of issues to fix before the B3
16. Jim Gettys worked on a system-software (primarily
power-management-related) specification (See
One Laptop per Child
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