[Sugar-news] Sugar DIgest 2009-04-09

Walter Bender walter.bender at gmail.com
Thu Apr 9 16:49:06 EDT 2009

===Sugar Digest ===

1. We are getting very close: Caroline Meeks and I visited the
computer lab at the Waltham Massachusetts YMCA to test the latest
Sugar on a Stick images built by Sebastian Dziallas and the release
team. The lab is a small room with 10 tower PCs of different models
and manufacturers. We managed to get nine out of ten machines to boot.
Three of the machines required a "helper CD", since they didn't have
USB boot ability in the BIOS. The one machine that would boot Sugar on
a Stick wouldn't even power on, so arguably we had a 100% success

There are still a few issues to work out: the helper CD, which is
based on Fedora 9, only seems to work for SoaS-1 (the Fedora-10-based
images). Sebastian, Sascha Silbe, and Simon Schampijer are
investigating (and issued a new helper CD will I was writing this). A
seemingly more intractable issue is the network. The lab has a wired
network with static IP addresses assigned to each machine. I was able
to get the network working but the process is tedious—I don't think we
can expect teachers and youn children to use ifconfig, route, etc.
from the shell. I also had to boot each machine in Windows, get the IP
address, netmask, gateway, and DNS, but this is something that needs
only to be done once per machine. Configuring the network on Sugar on
a Stick has to happen every time, presuming the children will be
jumping from machine to machine. A control panel widget for setting up
a static IP address is a first step, but I wonder if there is an
easier way.

Caroline and I will be back to the Y in a week (Healthy Kids Day) to
test the set up with children and parents attending a day-long open
house. This will be the first real test of Sugar on a Stick by
children in a real-world setting.

Many thanks to the release team, everyone who has been helping with
the testing, and a tip of the hat to Sebastian, who has made an
extraordinary effort.

2. I am more than a little behind in my weekly Sugar update. Between
planes, trains, and automobiles I have not had the time or ability to
concentrate on writing.

After leaving the Skolelinux meeting in Bergen, I went to Paris where
I spent a couple of days meeting with Sean Daley, Patrick Sinz, and
the crowd at Solutions Linux. Sean and I demoed Sugar on a Stick to a
crowd gathering around the Open Office booth–Open Office has a team in
France working on a version for children (and maybe for Sugar?). Other
potential projects we discussed at Solutions Linux included extending
the file sharing and privacy models within Sugar.

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