Day 17: Missing a Beat

I realise that I missed what seemed to be turning into a regular Thursday post last week, and thought I better not let Tuesday go to slip too!
I better start with tracing my steps over the last week’s events..

Day 13 (2009.07.01) consisted of further reading in the labs including a very interesting article by a magazine called “Communications of the ACM” (Thanks to Cornelia for the link) which discussed the “Vision vs. Reality” of the past present and future plans of the OLPC project, an issue copy of which should be available here for free (VOL.52 NO.6). There are also a number of other interesting open source community and general technology discussions that are inside too!

After the general realisation that I didn’t know enough about Linux, I also went onto look for some guides on the Linux world, and came across a useful array of 10 Free Linux Ebooks for Beginners which I have been trying to work through a little.

Day 14 (2009.07.02) found me working from home as I have been since, as there didn’t seem to be any major need to work in the labs when at the moment most of my time is being taken up by reading.
This did allow me to try out the Sugar Jhbuild again (as the lab access was restricting), however after a successful download, further problems cropped up in trying to build, and unfortunately I am still no further. Ill return to this when I am able to work with a little more confidence on the terminal.

This days main point of interest was an IRC meeting that I was invited to join at 7pm which wanted some support for a proposal of a project in London (among other pilot studys), where XO laptops were being requested for what looks like the biggest UK pilot study done so far. The main project can be found here, along with its proposal over here.
It was interesting watching a live meeting of real projects being discussed and passed for support with available XO laptops and showed there is defiantly some activity going on!

Day 15 (2009.07.03), Day 16 (2009.07.06) and Today have been spent reading into Python and Linux, finishing a Byte of Python, which I would recommend to any beginner python programmer, or if your just starting out at all! (See previous posts for links)
It was interesting to learn that Python was actually based on “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and not of the snake!

The next step up from this is a more hefty book “Begginning Python – From Novice to Professional” by Magnus Lie Hetland (Thanks to Cornelia) and I have already started having fun trying to craft my own applications, such as recreating simple command line games that I have worked on in the past for previous programming languages such as C# & Java, I might even post a few polished scripts up for those of you reading to try! – Though ill warn you they aren’t anything special.

I would however, like to try and see if I cant make myself a simple space invaders type game, and then see how easy it is to import into Sugar using the abundant information there is on creating Sugar Activities, and moving from Python to Sugar found at Sugar Labs.
Indecently, I’v come across the “Activity Handbook” wiki which’s purpose is to “provide you with all the information you need in order to get started with software development for the OLPC XO.” – So this will be added onto the pile of reading to get stuck into!

On the Linux side of things, a useful tutorial website I am working through at the moment is “Learning the Shell”, which is allowing me to get a better concept on how the BASH shell works inside out! Id also like to include a note here in case anyone missed it in the comment, a link to a very interesting paper on Teaching and Learning Open Source Development (thanks to Joss) headed “A Model for Sustainable Student Involvement in Community Open Source, Chris Tyler”, which I think would be useful for any student involved in a project like this where we are interacting with the community

Andy recently checked up to see how things are going, and its funny to hear they are putting him through his paces, he will be back with us next week, which has let me decide to continue working more on the Python and Linux knowledge bases until he returns, meaning we will be able to attack the Sugar side of things better prepared.

Right now however, I have just received my results for the year and they have turned out very positive, meaning some celebrations are in order I think!


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