notes from the field - Mongolia

Mikus Grinbergs mikus at
Fri Oct 10 01:55:28 EDT 2008

Deniz Kural wrote:
> This whole "why would you need a USB in mongolia?"  conversation shows how
> out of touch some people on this list are with the people the project is
> trying to reach.
> People live miles and miles away from one another (in Mongolia), and it is
> entirely normal to travel to your friends yurt or yer or house with a horse
> and want to plug in your USB stick -- especially if your mesh isn't
> connecting due to the distance and you don't have internet because a) no one
> in your family has a computer b) your house keeps moving around c) it'd be
> too costly.

The original post said only "an issue ... being able to save files
to a USB key easily".  I am not in Mongolia.  Thank you for 
describing the situation there - now I don't have to use "second 
sight" to understand what that post referred to.

In response to that original post, I wrote:
>>  -  If the purpose is to later load the objects from the USB key to an XO,
 >> I believe the mechanism is supposed to be 'drag-and-drop'.  In 
the source XO,
 >> have Journal show the XO datastore content, and drag the 
appropriate Journal
 >> entry to the USB-icon at the bottom edge of the Journal screen. 
  In the
 >> destination XO, have Journal show the content of the USB key, 
and drag
 >> the appropriate entry to the XO-Journal-icon at the bottom left 
of the
 >> Journal screen.
Also, Martin Dengler wrote:
| 1. Plug USB stick into XO running build from the last six months
| 2. Drag files from the Journal to the USB stick icon
| 3. Drag files from the USB stick's file list to the Journal

I believe that for the situation you describe, 'drag-and-drop' is 
how one should save files to a USB key.  That should answer the 
concern originally posted.

Deniz Kural wrote:
> Also, assuming people want to be able transfer files/objects/things between
> mac, *nix, windows etc and assuming the lack of a reliable network it makes
> perfect sense.

I've already said: 'Here we come against "initial expectations".'

What you are describing here appears to be based on expecting the XO 
to serve as a "laptop computer", whose files can be transferred to 
existing non-Sugar computers.  My belief is that those who developed 
Sugar as an "educational tool" expected its focus to be on 
interacting with kids, not on interacting with other computer platforms.

All I can do about this description is to repeat what I said in my 
response to the original post:

>>  -  If the purpose is to transfer, via USB, an XO datastore item
 >> (e.g., file) to a non-Sugar system, I don't know whether that is
 >> currently supported by Sugar.  Some Sugar users may have developed
 >> manual procedures or helper scripts to perform this task - I'm not
 >> able to provide citations to help you.


My apologies for repeating myself, but what I wrote in my response 
to the original post was the best advice I knew to offer.  Thank you 
Deniz for helping with my question: "I'm trying to think of why
a kid would want to save files to a USB key" - but my advice remains 
the same.


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