[Grassroots-l] NON-TECHY Indivual beginning a program in Kyrgyzstan...

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Sat Apr 26 09:02:17 EDT 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 1:57 PM, Nan A. Canter <nana_canter at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Let's get to work.....
>  I  have three (3) OLPC's as I call them...I am 63
>  years old with NOt an inkling of what you all talk
>  about.
>  I am taking/donating my three (3) GOGO OLPC's to
>  KYRGYZSTAN  this JUNE.  They will reside in an
>  elementary school in a farming community in the
>  eastern most corner, up in the mountains betwen
>  Kazakstan and China. I ill only be bringing them.  I
>  have no idea what they will be able to do....

Yay. I'll bet they think of something. ;-)

>  There is no internet access up there but there are
>  internet cafes in the town about 2 hours away.  And we
>  need a Cyrillic keyboard until they kids/teachers
>  learn some english... which is part of what I hope
>  they will get out of this adventure...

The cyrillic keyboard layout for Russian is built in. In the terminal
activity, use the command

setxkbmap ru

to activate it. Kyrgyz requires some extra letters, accessed using the
alt gr key (Unicode fonts required to view properly): өӨүҮңҢ

setxkbmap kg

and of course

setxkbmap us

to get back to US English. We will have to write some scripts with
Cyrillic names for more convenient keyboard switching.

Do you have any friends who know Linux near where you live? If all
else fails, you can talk to
NYLUG.org: The New York Linux Users Group
to ask for help locally.

There is a pilot OLPC XO project in NYC. Somebody here can put you in
touch with them. I hope that you can interest students there in
writing to make new friends in Kyrgyzstan. Tell the children that they
are welcome on this list in any language.

>  I am looking for someone help us get started.  I want
>  to put together an OLPC Kit to bring with basics so
>  the kids/teachers can just start them themselves
>  without the internet part.

They should have flash drives and a solar panel connected to a car
battery with a US socket. Or you can use a battery with a local power
socket if you provide the international power adapter for it.

What else would you like the children to be able to do?

>  I hope to find someone who lives nearby to be the
>  go-between with the school, the internet, and you
>  folks.... someone who can downoad programs and bring
>  them up and teach them.....

Fine. My Russian is rusty, so I will need assistance, but I'm sure we will cope.

The Russian localization is in fairly good shape. Somebody can point
you to the Wiki page that explains how to download and install it on
your XOs.

If your users would like to start a Kyrgyz localization, we can create
the project and explain to them what they need to do. They don't have
to be on the Internet to translate, as long as someone can send and
receive files in town. Somebody needs to provide the files for them
after the project is set up. Have them contact me to get going.

We can ask for help to set up a point-to-point wireless link between
the school and the town so that the school can have Internet. Or for
donations to fund a satellite dish.

>  I am in New York City.

What are your Kyrgyz connections there? I see the Kyrgyz mission to
the UN, but nothing about local communities.


Certainly. Thanks for doing this, and thanks for asking.

Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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