Hardware hacking : first pass at an XO Projector

Guest post by Yama Ploskonka

Yama wandered into the offices yesterday with some unusual gear.   We were all surprised that he managed to bring it onto the plane with him…

An LCD projector, the kind you buy at electronics stores for $500 or so is basically an LCD screen, a light source, and some optics, and stuff to keep it cool, build an image and such. The hard part of finding information in the internet about how to build one at home is that there is so much of it.

Mary Lou Jepsen has talked about building a $100 projector in the past, using different parts.  But the XO happens to have an LCD screen, and differently from the screens I have hacked in before, the XO is designed to be easy to take apart.
Doing the basic set up took me about 6 months of imagining, and 6 hours of actual work – your mileage may vary.

The end result was exciting, we actually were able to see the XO screen projected on the wall. Details and procedure below the fold.

Continue reading Hardware hacking : first pass at an XO Projector

The OLPC Laptop Guide hits bookshelves near you

guest post by the inimitable Anne Gentle

Copy this book! We hope you will.  I am proud to say that through a collaboration with One Laptop per Child, Sugar Labs and FLOSS Manuals, a print and online manual about using the XO laptop and Sugar operating system is now available as via print-on-demand at Lulu.com.   Tom Brady checked it out when he was visiting the office last week and thought it was pretty neat.

You can order your own print copy for a modest price – someone walks off with one of mine every week, and I’m due to order some more.  Or you can read it on your XO laptop –  the PDF is always available for free and for remixing into your own works. Soon, the book will be for sale on Amazon as well.

Two sides of an elegant book
Two sides of an elegant book

The OLPC Laptop Guide has a simple, clean cover design and the content inside was written by a community of professional writers, editors, open source experts, and OLPC staff. This book contains 240 pages of how-to information for your XO laptop and the operating system that kids love, Sugar. This book was written by a group of people in the unique wiki tool offered by FLOSS Manuals. Much of the content was written in a five-day collaborative BookSprint. In it you’ll find instructions for connecting with and caring for this unique little laptop. The neat thing is, once you’re done with a real book, you can pass it on to the next person who wants to learn about their XO. Get a book and pass it on.

G1G1 goes international

One Laptop per Child: Give 1 Get 1

Update: We are shipping G1G1 Internationally to 45 countries, through December 31st this year. See details on the late-November countries post.

We have spent the past two weeks preparing for the Give One, Get One fundraising campaign starting on Monday.  Last year’s donors (thank you!) were critical to launching projects in Rwanda, Haiti, Ethiopia, Oceania, Afghanistan*, and Mongolia.  This year’s campaign will begin a new wave of OLPC projects.

The biggest difference this year is that G1G1’s donors are also going global — we are launching the campaign simultaneously in the US and Europe at 11am UTC (6am EST) on the 17th.  (UPDATE: Amazon.com information pages are up, and it is possible to put in a G1G1 request now, but the Give Only and other pages will not be up until later this afternoon.)

Donors in the US will be able to donate and Give a laptop through Laptop.org/xo.  The Get laptops going to recipients in the US will be fulfilled right away.  Donors outside the US will be able to donate through Amazon.co.uk, where G1G1 will cost £275 (currently just over 322 Euros) plus shipping.  The Get laptops for recipients outside the US will be fulfilled as soon as possible.  stay tuned to this blog for more details in the coming days.

Update: the Christmas round of shipments was sent out last week; everyone who donated by December 16th should have received their XO by now, unless we are still waiting on clearance to ship to their country [sorry, Japan!  Fumi, where are you when we need you?].  A final batch of machines will be sent out in January; the program is expected to end on December 31.

Update 2: donors in Australia, Hong Kong, and France are encouraged to donate through pages specifically set up for your country for a tax deduction.

The benefit of working with leading industry partners like Amazon to expand our reach is that our mission becomes clearer, letting OLPC focus on its real purpose: giving One Laptop per Child — at a global level.

Party this Sunday in Harvard Square

The Boston-area OLPC crowd are organizing a launch party for G1G1 this Sunday night between 7pm and midnight in Harvard Square. The party will be at John Harvard’s Brewhouse.  If you’re in the area, it should be an amazing time — come say hello!

XOs welcome; the first 10 people to bring a G1G1 machine from last year will get a sweet G1G1 2009 t-shirt.  No word yet on whether any velociraptorz will be present.  I’ll update with more info and photos once I have them.

OLPC XO Map

Eben has been working on a little Google Maps project — you may have seen the map of XOs around the world before, but it’s now bigger, better, and full of juicier data.

XOs around the world
XOs around the world

So drop in and add yourself… in your favorite color/language combination.  And note what jabber server you use if you want to connect with others near you…

Now that’s a great smile…

We all took a group photo yesterday afternoon, after a long week.  There was a camera crew idling in the office who were kind enough to oblige us.

That’s Delisile’s son in front holding up an XO and smiling… as charming as he is gorgeous.  Even Tom Brady was shy in his presence.

The Cambridge crew takes a break
The Cambridge crew takes a break

Everyone has been getting a bit jumpy with the gray weather and long days, but this was fun. Henry is showing off the New York Times front page.  If you look closely, you can see that after Amy, our controller, came into the office this morning the market rallied a few hundred points.

More updates coming soon: with news about G1G1 around the world, launch parties this Sunday, and new videos, photos, and essays.  Send specific questions and requests our way!