Archive for February, 2009

OLPC discontinues “Change the World”


In a stunning moment of irony, OLPC has discontinued “Change the World”.

In an email that leaked out onto the grassroots mailing list, OLPC quietly announced the end of the “Change the World” program previously known as “Give Many”, where you could buy 100 or 1000 XOs for the school of your choice.

Here’s the relevant excerpt:

> Unfortunately, as some of you might have heard "Change the World" aka "Give
> a School" aka "Give 100, Give 1000" will cease to exist. We are just waiting
> for the info to be taken off the main website (any second now).
> We are doing this in an effort to refocus back to large-scale deployments
> that create change in a major way. We WILL honor all requests that we have
> received prior to the info being taken off the website. So if you know
> anyone who is interested, tell them time is of the essence!!

Indeed, the ways to give page no longer lists “give a school” as an option. That option used to read (courtesy of Google cache):

Give 100 or more laptops with this special program that allows donors to choose the country where the laptops go. This geo-targeted program can impact a village, a region, or even a country, with large group donations.

The page it linked to is still live, but the link is gone.

I’m speculating that the minimum deployment is back up to 10,000 XOs, which was a previous category of deployment.

This is a blow to future small deployments in South Africa, as we have over 600 XOs deployed in South Africa through this program with more that were planned. Marco Rosa has been setting up a local non-profit organisation to raise funds and coordinate deployments – now to no effect unless we use laptops from other vendors.

Now I’ll get back to making Sugar, the learning platform originally developed for the OLPC XO, work on other hardware via Ubuntu

[Image remixed from Ploum, CC-BY]

Status of Sugar on Ubuntu

Here’s the status of Sugar on Ubuntu:

[ Help wanted sign ]

Sugar 0.82 on Intrepid (8.10)

There are various bugs and issues with Sugar 0.82 on Intrepid.

I’ve finally got a fix released for the problem of Browse not starting – it breaks every time we get a Firefox security update and we need to go through the process of getting hulahop rebuilt against the newer xulrunner path and uploaded to -proposed, tested and pushed out to -updates.

Other issues in Intrepid include needing support for Network Manager 0.7, and the Journal appearing not to store any entries (which is a xapian corruption thing fixed in Debian which we need to apply to sugar-datastore). We need to get these fixed, and there are patches available, so it takes people to do the packaging, sponsor the uploads, test the results, and keep testing and giving feedback.

Sugar 0.84 on Jaunty (9.04)

I’ve been working on packaging Sugar (sucrose) 0.83.x for jaunty. At this stage, the packages are uploaded to a PPA: Don’t expect them to work yet, but if you have a troubleshooting mindset, please do help test.

I’ve got tickets open for uploads to jaunty, ready for sponsoring. In the mean time, jaunty still has 0.82.x.

(Please note that PPAs now have signing keys, so you need to add the GPG key to your apt config. Instructions are on the PPA page.)

I’ve packaged glucose and Browse and Chat for now. I could use help packaging the rest of the activities that we have in the archive.

Also, we need to get Read and Write working for Jaunty, which means evince and libabiword. I know Tomeu’s working on the former, and Luke on the latter. Please give feedback to the Ubuntu Sugar Team if you are stuck, or if you have been in contact with the Ubuntu packagers for these.

Logging bugs

If you have problems with Sugar on Ubuntu, please report bugs per the instructions on If you don’t report a bug, please at least let us know by mailing the Ubuntu Sugar Team (