Day 1: The Starting Line

With the project having officially started yesterday, I decided it’s time to explain in more detail what the project will entail, and what we achieved on the first day.

With the finite tasks still a little hazy and a To Do list not completed yet, the beginning of the day was spent looking into the task brief to identify what the project should entail.

The brief envisaged that the project would involve three main phases which were to be part of a continuation of last years CODEX 1 project, as the brief stated:

  • Investigative phase: background research on OLPC, study of XO software base and its existing applications, study of existing results achieved in CODEX (1) and review of updates required.
  • Development phase: updating of the CODEX 1 Live CD and development of an enhanced version comparable with recent developments of the XO Sugar interface and Ubuntu and production of a CODEX USB.
  • Trial usage and evaluation phase: develop a range of simple applications using the deliverable of phase 2, i.e. the new updated and enhanced CODEX USB, update the CODEX 1 tutorial guide for project students, and develop a CODEX 2 web site and repository for XO application projects to be used by Lincoln students in 2009-10.

One of the main achievements of the CODEX 1 project was the production of the Live CD which allowed users to boot a computer using Xubuntu, which then emulated the SUGAR software, however one of the downfalls from using a CD to boot, was that it mainly acted as a blank template which could not be updated or saved to.

This problem could be solved my using a USB stick which would act as a personalised portable (computer to computer) operating system from which users could save to. This coupled with the SUGAR interface would allow users to learn and develop for the SUGAR software, and save their accomplishments without the need to install anything on the computer.

The day then continued into research of the current materials for the previous CODEX project, namely James’s blog, OLPC & SUGAR projects, and the utilization of OS emulation and USB bootable drives.
The outcome of this meant that we already started to build a repository of knowledge through the web links saved, and further allowed us to test some of the software currently available.

First we utilised a virtual machine called Virtual Box which allowed us to emulate the Live CD ISO provided by James from last year in order to test out the Sugar Software, and as Andy rightly put it, “found ourselves stuck in an emulator, within another emulator.”

This was further developed to test out current released ISO’s of Fedora, Ubuntu and its lighter partner Xubuntu.

Then through further research into the bootable USB drives, were able to successfully load a new version of Ubuntu onto a pen drive and boot from this pen drive using one of the lab computers, thanks to the help at PenDriveLinux.

At the moment, most of the main links we discovered are available directly in my blog (to the right), however the plan is to move these links to a central Codex 2 repository.
Below I have displayed some usefull links found throughout the day and used in this post.

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