[Community-news] OLPC News (2008-05-31) - Tech Team
kim at laptop.org
Sun Jun 1 21:37:06 EDT 2008
This week I have added a new section called 'Production' to provide
information on laptops currently in production. Most large deployments
will ask for their laptops to be shipped via sea, which generally
means 4-5 weeks of transit before arriving in country.
This information does not reflect ALL the countries we are shipping to
as many of them do not get their own manufacturing configuration (they
might get US/International laptops, for instance). It can provide
insight as to larger country deployments, generally >1000 laptops.
One reason for providing this information is to help focus community
volunteers towards specific language translations, keyboard creation
or general deployment concerns/questions.
Rwanda and Ethiopia laptops (about 5000 each) finished production by
the end of April and should be arriving at their destination in the
next week or two. Laptops for Haiti (about 7000) finished in mid-May
and are in transit. About 20,000 laptops for Peru have been built in
May and about 10,000 each for Uruguay and Mongolia. A relatively small
number of laptops for Cambodia have been built in the last week or
Looking forward (discussions not finalized): Afghanistan (Dari),
Russia, Nigeria (US/Intnl keyboard), Turkey, Brazil. Still not enough
information on the specific countries that will be part of the next
Give One Get One. When that becomes available, we'll post it.
* Organized the weekly software status meeting (Wed, 2pm EDT, irc:
oplc-meeting on freenode).
* Prepared build 706 (see #7014) and organized its initial testing.
- Please help test update.1-706! Report results at
* Wrote a patch for #5549 with Erik Garrison.
* Released rainbow-0.7.13 with a fix for #6989.
* Advocated recent work on Puritan.
* Continued release process discussions on devel@ and sugar@, with
special focus on Trac.
- We really need some help maintaining trac. Please contact me if
you want to help.
* Offered xen hosting for Sugar Labs' automated testing efforts.
* Documented the 'grinch' fileserver on the internal wiki.
* Added a workaround in olpc-utils for the typo in the mfg-data of
machines destined for Ethiopia. Made changes to the Ethiopian XKB
symbol file based on input from Michael Stone, so that the file
matches the layout which is being shipped with the actual laptops.
- Fixed blocker issues in all my Gadget branches and merged them
(thanks to Daf for the review)
- Improved buddy and activity management in Gadget
- Start to integrate gadget in PS. Had sugar-jhbuild displaying random
buddies without shared roster!
* Caught up reviewing Guillaume's Gadget code
* Improved Gadget's internal data store
* Discussed future networking enhancements with Jim Gettys
* Worked on private invites for Chat more after my patches were
reviewed. Final testing was blocked by a palette problem in sugar.
* #5767 Patch for Chat to use black text on light fill colors
* Started on API documentation for collaboration
* Added some more palette options to content in Browse
* Added copy, paste, undo, redo commands to the Browse toolbar
* Fix activity order in the activity list and shell
* Prepared peru-703-4. Please help test!
* Tested/improved tool to convert customization keys into jffs images
for manufacturing: http://dev.laptop.org/git?p=users/cscott/image-builder
* Added a bit of functionality to my (incomplete) icon-draw-activity
to make a it a complete "convert SVGs into proper Sugar icons" tool:
* Filed bugs with improved icons for scratch (#7140), gcompris
(#7138), paint (#7139), turtle art (#6836), and wikibrowse.
* Update boot animation frames from Eben to match new Sugar design.
* spent time working on grinch
* preparing to add 8 * x86_86 and 6 * ppc64 builders to fedora's
buildsystem. The increased capacity will help speed up builds
* Made the first release of the Wikipedia activity, which contains a
30,000 article offline snapshot of the Spanish Wikipedia with 3,000
images. The activity is based on code from Patrick Collison's
"wikipedia-iphone" project, and our version was mostly developed by
community volunteers -- thanks to Wade Brainerd (porting from the
wikipedia-iphone code to a Python activity, fixing parser bugs), Ben
Schwartz (image download and scaling, bug-fixing) and Madeleine Ball
(algorithms for article and image selection). The activity is
available from http://dev.laptop.org/~cjb/eswiki/, and there's a wiki
page at http://wiki.laptop.org/go/WikiBrowse.
*The next step is to document the procedure so that it can be followed
easily for any language's Wikipedia; we chose Spanish to start with
because of the large OLPC deployments in Spanish-speaking countries,
but the technique can be generalized.
* Next week - Back to power management. John Gilmore points out that
our wireless firmware now supports many useful features for mixing
power management and collaboration -- wake on multicast groups and
wake on ARP. The driver support should be nearly complete for this.
* With the help of Yani Galanis, I have configured a USB cellular
modem with the XO and am able to provide internet access to XO with
its help. Presently I am working on writing a script for configuring
* Working with SJ Klein to help organize Saturday OLPC Open Jams here
in Cambridge. For more information on this, please see:
HARDWARE / EC
Paul Fox joined the OLPC team here in 1cc this week. One of Paul's
responsibilities will be to assist Richard Smith with the EC code.
Richard worked with Paul to start getting him up to speed and plan
The multi-battery team tested fixes for channel failures at high
temperatures and so far they are working. Richard was able to do
several tests with 14 channels running. Unfortunately, the internal
temp rise is about 30 degeres C. This will not pass UL across our
specified temp range. Operation at 50 deg C would result in a case
temp of 70 to 80 deg C. The team is currently investigating methods
for increasing the convection of the chassis to more effectively
exhaust the heat. We think it is likely the goal of fanless operation
at an ambient temp of 50 deg C may have to be revisited.
* Tested 706 on several machines espacially
collaboration/registration/association etc. Generally no new (706
only) bugs showed up.
* Tested some new interesting PS bugs: 7143,7144
* Charlie and I tested chat collaboration with suspend/resume(both
manual and automatic). The tests showed that Chat may crash after
resuming. Also, it did *not* wake in multicast packets when suspended
automatically. (I know the new firmware should support it, but i dont
know whether it is implemented yet in ohm?)
*We also tested salut and mesh collaboration with many XOs generating
lots of traffic. The results were generally impressive(6XOs typing
concurrently on abiword without any loss). We observed abiword
crashes(not filed yet), but they seemed activity related.
*Ankur and I managed to properly install a cellular usb modem on the
XO. The XO could connect to the internet using the the device.
* Added ticket #7128 ( http://dev.laptop.org/ticket/7128 ) after
running tests on how suspend/resume affects collaborative activities
under build 706. Found that behavior of suspended/resumed laptop
seemed better when the laptop auto-suspended due to idling (removed in
build 706; the /etc/ohm/inhibit-idle-suspend flag was removed to
perform this part of the test) instead of being manually suspended via
the power button or closing the lid.
* Ran additional tests on collaborative activities with five
participants under build 706 using Write and Chat. No new bugs were
found; Smoke test results can be found in the 'Test Group Release
* One item which came out of the country meetings last week was the
need for a Repair manual for tihe XO, including a troubleshooting
guide. John Watlington started a Troubleshooting guide to augment the
excellent work on a Disassembly and Repair guide being done by Nicole
Lee and other volunteers. Richard and Mitch Bradley immediately
started to help adding information and reviewing the existing content.
John will be visiting Peru and Uruguay next week to train on some of
these items as well as school server issues.
* The Tech Team had a good discussion with Rabi Karmacharya from OLE
Nepal this week to find out how that deployment was going and how we
can help each other from the support/development perspective. We
discussed joint development efforts, the need to keep in touch with
OLPC development especially in areas where things are still changing a
lot (connectivity information, school server capabilities), and we
heard about their touchpad issues. Notes from that meeting are
* Adam Holt and Emily Smith continue to work the refund requests,
replacement laptops, and problems with people who have never received
their laptop. As of this weekend, all phone calls and emails that were
directed to our partner donor services programs in the past are now
coming into OLPC. This is the last phase for closing down the Give One
Get One program.
* Kim Quirk continues to work with Brightstar and other partners on a
Spare Parts program that can meet the needs of large country
deployments, mid-size deployments, and the most difficult support
cases, individuals anywhere in the world. Needless to say it becomes
cost prohibitive to send a small number of parts overseas to
individual recipients. Adam and Kim continue to work with for profit
as well as non-profit repair centers to help them get off the ground.
* We signed a contract for some test and development space for the
100+ laptop test bed near Davis Square. Official move in date will be
in July, exact date to be determined.
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