New XO-1.75 contributors program: test our new prototypes

Are you programming on XO hardware today? Working on Sugar core or
activities? Porting Fedora or other distros to ARM?

As I write this, XO-1.75 B1 prototypes are being assembled 20 meters
away from me. These are engineering samples — some will go to drop
tests and mechanical and electrical torture tests. Luckier units will
go to the hands of passionate developers interested in helping us with XO-1.75.

To request one, please follow the instructions on the wiki:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors_program#FAQ

We cannot guarantee every request will be satisfied –
unfortunately, we have a limited number of units and we may have to
turn some requests down.

These units will be early samples: expect hardware and software bugs,
and be prepared to report them and help us in the diagnosis and fixing
(it wouldn’t be fun otherwise!). We will be asking recipients to be
very proactive in reporting bugs and using the latest software for
them. And to remember that these machines are /on loan/: offer to pass
on your prototype if it is not being used.

It will be a fun 2011 — our goal is to have a new hardware platform
and OS: XO-1.75 running XO OS-11.3.0, and there is a lot to do between
now and the end of the year.

We’re hoping to hear from you!

bottle rocket on the XO

Mobile App team bottle rocket borrowed an XO for a few months to play with it and test out their apps on it.  They recently sent it back along with a donation from their amazing staff.  Their founder Calvin Carter writes:

“Recently I was having dinner with a client.  [H]e had his OLPC laptop with him. The waitress recognized the laptop and started asking him questions… While my friend was proudly demonstrating the newest model to her, I was reminded of one of Bottle Rocket’s core beliefs: exceptionally innovative technology not only enhances the way we do things – it redefines the way we live our lives. I realized that these laptops can truly change lives. What a perfect way for Bottle Rocket to give back. The next day, four laptops were on their way to tease out the imagination and ambition of their new owners.”

bottle rocket staff with their test XO

bottle rocket staff posing with a test XO

That’s a great photo!  I wonder when some of their apps are going to appear alongside Batovi‘s in the Sugarlabs Activity center

Designing a new look for laptop.org

Our new site design, first mentioned earlier this year, is close to fruition. You can now see our alpha site online.

We are working on ways to better link the site, wiki, and blog together, and to aggregate and point to every site in the OLPC community. For now, you can add information about your own projects and websites, and links to them. We will be working on other visualizations of this data, and connecting our map of major deployments with the growing olpcmap network, over the coming month. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

An overview of stories

OLPC testers get support from Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Virtusa has been working with our support gang over the past six months to provide a team of testers to help improve test depth and quality for new Sugar releases. They have been working with both XO-1 and XO-1.5 machines, and are now testing our upcoming 10.2.0 release.

Update: Fast Company just picked up this story over the weekend. Thanks again to the Virtusa team!