OLPC photobook available online: via the community summit

OLPC-SF has posted their beautiful photobook with images from grassroots deployments around the world, along with a link to a print-on-demand service where you can order your own. I have one of these on my desk; it is beautiful! As Sameer says, “many thousands of words” in one smooth package.

Book Server 0.01: Pathagar + Sheeva Plug for offline reading

Sameer Verma of OLPC-SF, as he mentiond at last week’s amazing community summit, is putting together a book server for use in rural India, with 20,000 books and audio files on it for students and teachers to use locally. He is going to deploy it at a school pilot near his familial hometown.

This is a Pathagar server implementing the OPDS bookserver standard, running on a tiny Sheeva Plug device, accessible over a local network to XOs in the neighborhood.  The Sheeva Plug is low power and has USB and SD ports that make it easy to expand such an offline library.  Here it is plugged in and in use, drawing a total of 4 Watts:

Sayamindu Dasgupta, who contributed to the design of the OPDS specification, developed the Pathagar server to implement the spec; Manuel Quiñones created the version of the server used here.  Book and audio suggestions are welcome for this particular build, and a web-based form for linking to OPDS archives suitable for inclusion in the image will be up shortly.  If you have your own Sheeva Plug, you can torrent the original disk image of this installation.

The setup was load-tested last night, using a simple build: a stock Sheeva Plug and 16GB USB key (total cost: $100). Quick statistics:

  • Power draw: 4W
  • Simultaneous downolads: 500
  • Library size: 10,000 – 50,000 books

For details, images, and a mailing list for discussion, see the bookserver project page.

Summit notes: XO keyboard and touchpad fixes

At the community summit, Caryl Bigenho talked about the need for a musical keyboard for the XO, and discussed a design for an overlay that could be placed on top of the normal (typing) keyboard with the names of musical notes.

And there was a little repair session, including showing how to fix various XO-1 issues. There are still a few people who need the frozen keyboard fix. Others were playing around with keyboard overlays.

Others need touchpad fixes, and benefited from upgrading to 11.2 or 11.3 — which has an option in the frame to turn on the resistive touchpad mode. For people working in areas that are very humid, or have high iron content of the dust, the resistive touchpad mode can be a reliable alternative to an external mouse.

Community Summit, Day 2

We have had an incredible 1.5 days thus far at the OLPC San Francisco Community Summit 2010. Mayor Gavin Newsom declared October 23, 2010 as One Laptop per Child Day in San Francisco!

There are some lovely photos online from the events and sessions, thanks to Mike Lee and

You can join us online today at 11:30AM and 13:45pm Pacific online with our live ustream video stream, and the notes from all sessions are now online on the wiki schedule.