Rwanda adds laptop security, gets new XO-1.5s

Rwanda is rolling out a software and firmware update to the students and teachers in their current schools, as they prepare to deploy a new batch of XO-1.5s as they approach their 100K milestone.   Project lead Nkubito Bakuramutsa gave a few interviews about the process, which started two weeks ago in southern Rwanda.

The security update may also give them a chance to reflash their current machines to XOOS 11.2, which has improved solar charging performance and overall power management along with many speed and interface improvements.

The planned expansion of their program will make Rwanda the largest OLPC deployment outside of South America, surpassing even the US and Mexico.

School Server v0.6 released

The School Server is a key component of OLPC deployments — and one that was somewhat late to the stage. So I am pleased to report that there is a new and improved! version 0.6 available.

The main goal of this release is making installation and configuration easier and more reliable. It is an incremental update on the XS-0.5.x codebase, light on new features but strong on the “it just works” side. And very easy to upgrade for XS-0.5.x users.

What is a School Server, you ask? When you deploy XOs to a school, you want a server to connect them to the internet, serve content locally, provide backup  and upgrade services, and more. You can find out more in  our earlier story on it, or jump straight into the wikipage that explains it all.

This release brings:

  • Easier installation. Mysterious ejabberd commands are gone, rejoice!
  • Moodle and the XO authenticate transparently. Register, restart, click the ‘Local Schoolserver’ link in Browse. It just works.
  • Better network scalability. Moodle can directly control the neighbourhood view which is controlled by ejabberd. Now traffic no longer swamps the network and XOs.
  • Delegated security. You can use time-based security even with disconnected or partially connected School Servers.
  • An XO can run as a School Server. Suitable for small schools or groups.  This is still experimental, but is running pretty well.
  • Want to know more?  Read the release notes.

The work for our next release has already started, as people have been working ahead.  More after the jump.

Continue reading School Server v0.6 released