OLPC News (2008-05-26) - Tech Team

Kim Quirk kim at laptop.org
Tue May 27 00:00:02 EDT 2008

Software News

Scott Ananian:
* Created tool to generate images for manufacturing from customization
key: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Image_builder
* Created Peru/703 image for Quanta
* Merged Pippy patches to improve pygame integration
* Will be working on a trial integration of Whizzy Digital Courier
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wizzy_Digital_Courier ); let me know if
you want to help.

Guillaume Desmottes:
- Designed and started to implement Gadget D-Bus API in Gabble. Lot of
it is working and will be usable with real Gadget very soon.
- Improved Gadget's XMPP protocol and queries/views code.
- Released presence-service 0.81.1

Morgan Collett:
* Refactored Sugar invites to handle invitations to incoming XMPP
connections. This is now pending review. This means that a normal
Jabber client on the same jabber server can initiate an IM chat, which
displays an invitation to Chat in the frame. Clicking on the invite
launches Chat and displays what the Jabber client had sent. This
should also work for incoming streaming media - video, voice -
connections, once VideoChat is updated.
* Released Chat-39 for Sucrose 0.81.1.
(For naming conventions of Sugar-related releases, please see:

Simon Schampijer:
* Worked on the release of Sucrose 0.81.1
* Released Browse version 87

Tomeu Visozo:
* Modify the DataStore so metadata is stored outside the fulltext
Xapian index. This will help with backups to the school server.
* Several fixes for the Sugar shell redesign.
* Refresh the journal UI less often, this helps on activity startup performance.

Marco Presenti Gritti:
* Coordination and process/infrastructure work for Sucrose 0.81.1.
* Allow palettes to be created lazily, should help performance quite a
bit when we start using it.

Martin Langhoff:
- Backups, backups, backups. Tomeu contributed a patch to store
metadata outside of Xapian so we can back it up sanely. Right now
playing with counting network hops to the mesh portal to decide
whether we are close enough to the XS to attempt a backup (amongst
other criteria).
- Planning to spend most of June @ 1CC. Get in touch if there are
specific things you want to coordinate doing with me.

Dafydd Harries:
* Helped with getting the wiki server activity ready for the Peru
customisation image.
* Improved testing code for Gadget, the collaboration discovery service.
* Helped Ben Schwartz gather debug information for #6463.

Michael Stone:
- packaged touchpad changes and sent them off toward joyride
- taught puritan how to download packages and how to keep logs
- worked with Robert on the Collabora/OLPC relationship and Marco on
the SugarLabs/OLPC release relationship
- touched up the 'Finding Activities' instructions in the Update.1
(8.1.0) release notes

Sayamindu Dasgupta:
* Using a more compliant window manager would let us more easily run
standard GUI applications within Sugar. I spent some time,
trying to figure out if Metacity can be used as a drop in replacement
for Matchbox (our current window manager), and I have posted the
results of my work so far at http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/WindowManagement
* Apart from following up on the issues with regard to Haitian and
Ethiopian keyboard layouts, I also posted the XKB symbol file
required for the proposed Turkish keyboard.
* Released Terminal Activity version 11 as a part of the
upcoming Sucrose 0.81.1 release. This release completes the i18n
support in the activity.

Mitch Bradley:
* Reports that dual boot  is working.  You can plug in an SD card to
boot Windows, then remove it to boot back to Linux.

Multi Battery Charger

Richard Smith:
* Continued to work with the multi-battery charger team on the
issue where the charging circuit has problems at high temperatures.
The  team has several ideas and at least one test modification that
seems to resolve the issue.
* More testing of this modification will occur next week.
* Richard presented the engineering prototype in his
power presentation at the country meetings and was pleased to find
that there is a lot of interest in the product.


The Tech Team had some focused discussions this week with Hernan
Pachas and Oscar Becerra from Peru as well as Fiorella Haim and Miguel
Brechner from Uruguay to get feedback on the issues they are facing
and the support needs for these countries.  A repeated request in
those meetings was to get documentation for troubleshooting and
repairing the laptop.  A lot of this info exists on the wiki but its
organization is very scattered. Richard Smth and John Watlington are
taking the lead in house for pulling this together. Thanks to Nikki
Lee, Tank Lai, and Chris Carrick who jumped right in to create some
more step-by-step repair pages on the wiki:

Our request to the countries is to provide us with more detailed and
accurate data on field failures so we will have early knowledge of any
new problems and be able to use this information with other

Some of the Tech Team helped out with presentations at the Country
Meetings this week to give people information on the new Sugar UI,
Localization, Activities, Power alternatives, Connectivity, our
Software Roadmap, and Support/Repairs. Many others as well as
volunteers and interns were involved in demos and individual
discussions with our guests.

Thanks to Scott, slides and video from the events last week are being
posted here:

* Worked tickets focusing on RMA requests and shipments, refund
requests (ie PayPal) and tax receipts/donated laptops.
* Put process in place to communicate with Carolyn at PayPal regarding
refunds for transactions over 120 days old (which we cannot refund


* We have received three new rack-mountable HP DL 185 servers. The
first of these, tentatively named weka,laptop.org, has been set up by
Erik Garrison, Martin Langhoff and Henry Hardy. It will be used as a
build environment for the school server and other projects.

* Security: Due to a recently documented weakeness in cryptographic
key generation on Debian and Ubuntu systems, all users must update
their public keys to new RSA (not DSA) keys. If your account has been
locked out due to this issue, please file a ticket by emailing
sysadmin at laptop.org with the new key or a link to it as well as the
account name and machines which need the new key installed.

Please do not set up servers on the network or wireless at 1cc without
first notifying the system admin. Do not set up accounts on any computer
with no password or trivial passwords such as "password". Please make sure
all software is kept up to date.

* Henry Edward Hardy will be on vacation the week of
(US) Memorial Day, May 26, returning June 3. Dennis at laptop.org will
assist with urgent server issues and cjb at laptop.org will help with
urgent computer issues in the 1cc office.

All monitored systems have had 100% uptime this week.

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