[IAEP] Sunflower for Science on XO

Tomeu Vizoso tomeu at sugarlabs.org
Fri Nov 27 05:39:06 EST 2009

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 09:50, Danny Kodicek
<danny at sunflowerlearning.com> wrote:
>  Hi, Tomeu, thanks for your reply
>> > 1) Screen resolution
>> > The biggest problem we have is that the screen res of the XO seems
>> > unnecessarily high and can't be changed. This leads to two
>> big problems, one
>> > of readibility (which we can fix with a bit of work) and
>> one of performance.
>> > Given the low spec of the machines, running full-screen
>> animations, some of
>> > them in 3d, is pretty hard work for them at that
>> resolution. Does anyone
>> > have any suggestions for ways to get round this issue? For
>> example, I've
>> > been thinking about whether we could run the software at
>> half-res and then
>> > use a screen magnifier app to bring it back to fullscreen
>> That approach has been discussed and I think that someone got it to
>> work up to some point, I recommend you to search in the
>> devel at lists.laptop.org archives for the keyword "scaling", "zoom",
>> etc. I'm cc'ing that list in the hope that someone will reply.
> Thanks for that, it's very helpful. I did some searching as you suggested
> and it seems that this is a very commonly recognised issue, with lots of
> discussion but no real solutions. It did seem that several people have been
> calling for the XO to have a screen resolution switch option, which would
> certainly be the simplest solution from our point of view. There was a
> mention of a particular driver which apparently fixes the issue but hasn't
> been included in any Sugar builds - anyone know anything about that?

There is no such thing as Sugar builds. Sugar is a set of software
components that people such as OLPC and Sugar on a Stick take and
distribute on top of a linux distribution. Questions specific to the
XO are better asked to the OLPC community.

> On the same subject, we've also found that running in 16bit display mode is
> a serious issue for any of our content that uses 3d. Is there any way to
> cheat the display to think it's 32bit instead?

I think you can draw to either 16bit or 32bit surfaces, then the X
system will convert them to whatever it's using internally. But I have
no idea how you would do that in win32 and/or wine.

>> I recommend you to make an .xo that contains both wine and you binary,
>> when the activity is launched, wine would be called with your binary
>> as an argument. I think there was a good example running around some
>> time ago, which did just that with an excel viewer or similar.
> That's kind of what I was aiming for, yes - if anyone could point me to that
> example or any others that would be a big help.

Maybe this could help?




>> > I'm afraid I'm a total Linux novice, so any advice would be
>> welcome, but if
>> > you could talk to me like a small child that would be very
>> helpful :)
>> Sorry I cannot give you more precise instructions, I'm really short of
>> time these days. I would suggest you to google around, patiently ask
>> here and in other fora, and go step by step towards your goal,
>> learning on the way. That's what small children do, right? :p
> Unfortunately I don't have quite as much time as the average small child to
> build up my muscles - there's a chance we might be piloting the software in
> a number of schools very soon and so I'm really trying to get up to speed
> quickly! I'm a fast learner, but I find learning about Linux in general and
> Sugar in particular to be like picking up sand - it's very hard to find info
> that doesn't already assume a lot of prior knowledge.
> But as I say, even little bits of help are very gratefully received! In
> particular, just nods in the right direction make a big difference - your
> tip above was very helpful indeed.
> Thanks
> Danny

«Sugar Labs is anyone who participates in improving and using Sugar.
What Sugar Labs does is determined by the participants.» - David

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