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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Puppy Derivatives
HanSamBen-a derivative of Edupup with Gcompris 8.4- Alpha V2
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sidders

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Bolton, uk

PostPosted: Sun 26 Apr 2009, 03:18    Post_subject:  

Its a star rating they have. I think 1 star is for the littlest ones and 6 stars will include the electricity game with GNUCAP etc, for the not so little ones. The kids can be grouped by teacher and a profile assigned to the group, then the stars are assigned to that group. Its more for a networked classroom enviroment. I have PM'd a reply to ljfr about it. Going to test whether we can be rid of the Pysqlite and lose the admin console for a standalone enviroment. 1 less dependency and a smaller app.
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Thu 30 Apr 2009, 19:33    Post_subject:  

About time I did some reporting. I visited the preschool yesterday, and had a good sit down and chat with the team of testers there. Theyre very excited to be a "testing station" for a free kids distro (and to get their computing so cheap!). They really have had a really good look at HanSamBen, and their childrens use of it. Overall theyre VERY impressed indeed, and have asked me to send you their heartfelt thanks Sidders/LJFR and everyone involved on a job well done.

......they were just a little confused I didint know your real life names!

They especially commented on all the new sounds/stamps noises on paint, which they have missed with ecopup.

Now being the pernicious Virgo software tester I am, who nothing is ever good enough for me (even when its free), I really pressed them for ways that it could be improved, as only by being (constructively) critical can things become even better (sorry Im still a little sore about the official puppy 4.2 testing program I was on!). I will do my best to improve too.

Heres what they said....Since Im a bit formal I will list them under "Feature requests", "Change Requests" and "Bug Reports".

Feature requests

I hope Sidders your research into freeDOS games is coming on well, perhaps this will help you in your choices.

-They have requested some more games of a "drag and drop" or "mouse control" variety. Part of their job is to teach them "motor control" skills...how to pick things up an manipulate them.

-Also any more games that will help them learn the recognition of shapes and colours, and matching/sorting of these.

-Apparently the little darlings have been practicing their newfound dragging and dropping skills on the desktop icons too! They have asked for a way of locking these down so wont get moved about.

-They have also requested a way of Locking the keyboard too (at the moment they put the the keyboards around the back of the computers....I dont know how this could be accomplished because many of the games require the use of the keyboard too (especially the DOS ones I would think).

-They have also requested that a Playleaders Manual be provided, preferably including screenshots, with a list of things in "Playleaders terminology" that each game provides. Im happy to help with this if needed...hopefully someone else will volunteer who has a better understanding of this.

Change Requests

-They have suggested that a brighter Wallpaper would be more attractive to the children (although they like the icons). Apparently strong primary colours is the key here. The computer we have testing HanSamBen is next to an ecopup one (a general purpose puplet I made for windows refugees...who also have children) and apparently the children use that one first in the morning simply for this reason (despite it has a lot less for children on it). This is also really disturbing as Ecopup looks like Windows!

- I purposefully asked if a puppy on the wallpaper would be appropriate...they said that would be fine as long as it was a primary coloured puppy, and it was "smiling" Rolling Eyes

-May I suggest IceWM as a change of window manager, as jwm isnt as capable of the big bold types of graphics children like. May I also suggest this theme which I have used before for kids computers in homes.

- Theyve also requested that a larger, more colourful mouse pointer would be helpful, to give the children more feedback when they use the mouse (like the one in gCompris itself).

Bug Reports

- Apparently Gcompris has a bug where, when the "Home" icon in the bottom right is clicked, the icons for the game menu on the left and bottom disappear (I wish I had took a pic as it happened while I was there). I set the gCompris going again from the command line with "gcompris > error.txt", but the bug failed to manifest again in the time I was there. I will try and get a more detailed report. Apparently it happens several times a day. They have been applying the "switch it off and back on again" workaround for now, though Ive did give training on the more convenient but less obvious "ctrl+alt+bkspace...xwin" method.

Im sorry Im not able to supply more information. Ive done a quick google for this bug but havnt found anything. Hopefully someone will be able to recreate it and post some more detailed information.

-Apparently also, there is a problem with the gcompris mouse pointer (the big red one they like) not showing if gcompris is started from the desktop icon...but apparently it works if started from the start menu entry.


@ Sidders

Thanks loads for the work you have put in already, and Im sorry to provide you with yet more of it! Im looking forward to an updated version with FreeDOS, let me know which areas you would particularly like me to direct testing at from a technical point of view.

Woof Woof and Doggie biccies all round

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sidders

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Bolton, uk

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 03:00    Post_subject:  

Thanks Rob.
All noted. I'm off to the nursery in Rawtenstall where this is being tested (the kids have been fighting over the mouse and it needs replacing).
They have also asked for some documentatin on whats whats. I think Gcompris alone has a such a myriad of activities it can be confusing. Peter has pointed out the big red cursor in Gcompris, i havnt found anything also.
I've been working on Dosbox and it works . Trying to create a .desktop file to point to a simple script for the DOS program, but failing. The script is fine (dosbox -exit, so they dont have to exit the DOS prompt after every game).
I will report back later, as 2 of my little ones are whining, they've got a bug. AGAIN!
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 09:27    Post_subject:  

Yes, I always leave a stock of spare mice in the stock cupboard....we must put that tip in the documentation Very Happy

[Shudders as he thinks back to his windoze days]

I think perhaps what you need is a .bat script to run the game and then exit
a .bat is the dos equivalent of a .sh, but nowhere near as flexible. It should suffice for this purpose though.

Call the .bat batch file from the icon, which calls the game itself, then exits.

You could also create a menu of the games included with a .bat file, this would mean that we could release it as a kids games pack as an .pet for all Puppies.

Of course, THE computer for schools before the PC came along was the BBC MicroComputer (My first computer as well). I remember programming a game for it at my 2 week school work experience aged 15, it filled all 32K of RAM!

There is an emulator here

http://www.mkw.me.uk/beebem/index.html

I suspect it would not be very large, and there is a whole wealth of free abandonware out there for it. Many of the more senior teachers would already be familiar with the BBC Micro.

Thank you for noting my report. Let us know the results of your findings in Rawtenstall. Anything common between the two reports will definetely be interesting.

Oh, I nearly also forgot to mention, I got a copy of the Early Learning Curriculum DVD, with guidlines for playleaders etc. Im told its not confidential so I will upload it to my site (mainly .pdf's). The government are very strict about "learning outcomes" of the kiddies Play, and the playleaders have much form filling to do, so they can quote nice statistics about how well theyre doing in Education.

If the manual made reference to which games fulfilled which "outcomes", it really would make their job a lot easier, and them a lot more willing to use the computer to help educate the children.

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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 11:58    Post_subject: Re: Testing Results  

ecomoney wrote:

A few years ago (before I came to puppy), I set up some really old 486's with quite a bit of DOS software for Aids workers/Schools in the Gambia....there is/was a whole wealth of kids software available in DOS format that are TINY...the drives were 300mb and I packed about 400 different programs on it.!. Have you heard of DOSBOX or FreeDOS (there is a .pet available for puppy). This is basically a licience free dos emulator that can run many older DOS applications, without the need for any licience. heres some software

http://www.kidsdomain.com/down/pc/_agefreeware-index.html

Perhaps a thought of getting more software on....worth the moral compromise I think.


I don't think its much of a compromise if the purpose of the puplet is to reach kids on a Puppy platform. However, it would have to be VERY easy to use and completely preconfigured.

Icon on the desktop that either opens dosbox to a menu (maybe by age) or separate icons for each dos program that boots them separately. Can't ask teachers or kids to configure anything.

Sully

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 14:37    Post_subject:  

Well, yes...just the thought of using FreeDOS, which really is free, to run programs designed for Microsoft products....

Looking into it, and DOS's history (which I wasnt aware of), I can see comparatively there is really no compromise at all, its all above board and a perfectly acceptable way to get kids educated.

Ive been busy on my facebook, and think I have a few more testers for the home version with the ntfs/fat drivers taken out. Ive also been sent links to a lot of very active parenting forums. I will contact the Mods there to see if we would be able to offer some more testing versions to the people on there. Chances are they will be quite IT literate, have kids, and be able to use a forum to report back here!

I can see this being brilliant for parents just for being able to boot the computer with the CD in and go get on with another job around the house, safe in the knowledge that there little ones were safe and learning. The internet has suffered a bad press from the TV (basically because its going to supercede the TV!), and I believe HanSamBen would be of benefit to a lot more children if we could say that it was totally incapable of accessing the internet at all. I know there are a lot of resources (cbeebies.com) etc for children online, but this would require parental supervision.

i.e. If we could say "will not effect your M$ windows install and will never let your children on the internet" it would attract a lot more parents to provide it to their kids.

This would we could removw seamonkey/firepup which would make a lot of room for extra games and activities. If we were to aim it at being able to boot into ram at 256mb then that would be a definate "sweet spot" that would still make a lot of computers available that wernt useful for running XP or any other linux.

Just some ideas.

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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 14:57    Post_subject:  

I know I just started looking at this, but I'm very excited. I really liked Edupup but felt that it didn't focus as clearly on the younglings as I would like.

I agree with the idea of taking the internet out of the equation too. If the focus of the puplet is children and skill building, they don't need to have internet capability enabled.

OR

leave the connection wizard and one browser but bury them in the menu out of the way. But freeing up space for good quality learning games is a hugely good idea.

Sully
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sidders

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Bolton, uk

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 17:04    Post_subject:  

Quote:
focus of the puplet is children and skill building,


I rubbed my chin for countless hours wondering whether to put a browser in and with wireless issues and this game in with the space issues. In the end i just posted what i had and stopped fiddling. It was worth it. Nurseries do not use the internet (well the ones i deal with dont) and if little Johnny is just going to boot i to go on the internet, then he can use daddies vista. I can make versions with and without, then you have the choice.

With the Dos games. I have played with a couple. I have used Dosbox 0.72 (without the GUI). Each game has a script. eg:

Code:
#!/bin/sh
dosbox -conf /root/dos/Learn123.conf

This script will direct dosbox to the conf file of that particular game. In the Autoexec part of the conf file, eg Learn123.conf

Mount c ~ /dos/Learn123/Learn123.conf
c:
Learn123
Exit

the Exit command will automatically close dosbox after the game is closed. Put the file in /user/bin. Create a .desktop file to integrate it into Puppy more so you can start the game from the Fun menu.

Code:
[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Learnabc
Icon=/root/gobilly.gif
Comment= ABC learning game
Exec=Learn123
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Game
GenericName=Learnabc



I went to the nursery as well today, they have managed to crash the machine. I get a white background with a folder called home. Thats it. I swapped it out and will investigate later. The staff arent as articulate as the ones Rob deal with when it comes to curicullum etc, i just got out of them that the kids loved it, so i thought the quote from sullysat is an ideal focus.

Rob i am interested in the Early years DVD. Let know when its posted and i didnt think of the parenting forums, which is odd as ive browsed them myself a number of times. Thats the problem with being a stay-at-home-dad, your brain goes to mush!.

If anyone stumbles across a Dos game that they think would be good- post.

Thanks- Sidder (Sid)
Edited, worked out dosbox and .desktop entry. ammended above[b]

Another edit, sorted out the script and dosbox.conf. Sorry for feeding false info[/code]

Edited_times_total
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sidders

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Bolton, uk

PostPosted: Fri 01 May 2009, 17:19    Post_subject:  

Forgot to mention. The new machine i put into the nursey i tweaked the Gcompris. I posted this on the other Gcompris thread:
Quote:
You can remove\hide apps that crash or are too much for the little ones in Gcompris admin console.
gcompris -a

Go to Profiles and add a profile. Within that profile add the 'All users' group. Then make the profile default.

Go to Boards and expand the categories and individual boards and deselect the ones that may cause problems or that you think are too much for your particular age group.


I also took Robs advise and changed the wallpaper to a happy bouncy wallpaper from:
http://www.flash-screen.com/free-wallpaper/classic-linux-wallpaper_6911.html

I locked down the icons so they couldnt delete them, but you can still maove them around and (I may have mentioned this before), shut out the menus by editing
/etc/xdg/templates/_root.jwmrc_

saved a copy as origonal_root_.jwmrc

and wiped the menus and put !-- before Menu label (below) then fixmenus and restarted JWM.

Code:
<!--Menu label="Shutdown" icon="shutdown24.png" height="16">


Gotta remember to populate the desktop first with the games.

Peter444 has mentioned the cursor in this thread and have done it for the desktop. Havnt solved the big red cursor in Gcompris though.
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sidders

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Bolton, uk

PostPosted: Thu 07 May 2009, 18:14    Post_subject:  

Me again

Just made pets of some dos games for kids and posted them here
http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=42119

I will include them in the next release.

Coming soon!

Ta for the suggestion Rob
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sullysat


Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 364
Location: San Antonio, TX

PostPosted: Thu 07 May 2009, 19:03    Post_subject:  

Sounding good!

Finally, a reason to find homes for some of these computers!

Sully
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sandyb


Joined: 08 May 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Lincolnshire

PostPosted: Fri 08 May 2009, 17:09    Post_subject: thanks  

iam the preschool supervisor in scunthorpe where we are testing hansamben. we really like the new wallpaper rob has shown me. its very bright and will atract the childrens attention to use it. our children find the games fun and are learning while playing. they have gained good skills on this software which will help them when they go to school. they love to paint and drop and drag and the dot to dot. thankyou keep up the good work. sandra Very Happy
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sidders

Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 470
Location: Bolton, uk

PostPosted: Fri 08 May 2009, 17:26    Post_subject:  

Thanks Sandy, its good having news from the front line (as it where). Any requests or ideas?. Dont be shy Laughing
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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Fri 08 May 2009, 20:18    Post_subject:  

Sandra was the one that provided the info in my report above.

Cheers for registering Sandra Smile

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ecomoney


Joined: 25 Nov 2005
Posts: 2183
Location: Lincolnshire, England

PostPosted: Sat 09 May 2009, 11:54    Post_subject:  

Hi All, regarding the ntfs drivers/ little ones access to the hard drive/internet, Ive heard back from Barryk who I pm'ed about it. This explains why deleting the ntfs3g driver had no effect!

I will post his pm in full (as its only technical information)

BarryK wrote:
The problem is, ntfs and fat drivers are built-in to the kernel. They were not configured as separate modules.

We do have the separate ntfs-3g driver, which is the enhanced ntfs driver, however the more basic driver that comes with the kernel source has been configured as built-in.

So, you would have to compile the kernel with these as modules, or block loading of filesystems in some other way.

One other way is to modify /bin/mount, which is a script. It really depends how clever these kids are, as someone knowledgeable could open /bin/mount in a text editor and change it any way they want.

But, you could modify /bin/mount to put up a message saying, "this operation is not allowed". It is possible to distinguish between internal and usb drives -- see the ATADRIVES variable in /etc/rc.d/PUPSTATE.


Heres the /bin/mount file mentioned



Code:
#!/bin/sh
#BK 2006 www.puppylinux.com
#2007 Lesser GPL licence v2 (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/lgpl.html)
#v407 fix for floppy drive icon.
#v409 gparted create ext3 part. failed, fixed by making /etc/mtab a symlink.

#mount-FULL, umount-FULL, losetup-FULL are the full versions.
#The Busybox versions of mount and umount are available but only by:
# # busybox mount ...
# # busybox umount ...
#mount and umount are now scripts.
#if an ntfs partition, puppy uses user-mode ntfs-3g driver.
#the mount and umount scripts allow seamless mounting and unmounting of ntfs f.s.

[ ! $1 ] && exec busybox mount

#i realised this script has to allow reentrancy. So, all temp file now unique,
#using ${$} which is pid of script.
MYPID=${$}

. /etc/rc.d/functions4puppy4 #v4.02

#v2.12 discovered difference between $@ and $*. Replaced all $@ with $* in this script...

#extract all the '-' options, on separate lines... do NOT use $@!!!!...
#v3.93 eliminate ' -- ' and all past it...
DASHOPTS="`echo "$*" | tr '\t' ' '  | sed -e 's/ -- .*//' | tr ' ' '\n' | grep '^\-'`"

#needs an explicit '-t ntfs', does not work with /etc/fstab...
if [ "`echo "$*" | grep 'ntfs'`" = "" ];then

 #v3.93 always use full mount, in case of params not understood by bb-mount...
 ##v2.10 hack for T2, scripts have '--bind'...
 #if [ "`echo -n "$*" | grep '\-\-bind'`" = "" ];then
 # busybox mount $@
 # RETVAL=$?
 #else
 # #busybox mount does not support '--bind'
 # #as have mtab file (see below), can now use full mount...
  #v409 put in '-n' option as now have /etc/mtab symlink to /proc/mounts...
  mount-FULL -n ${@}
  RETVAL=$?
 #fi
 
else
 #screen out all the options...
 CMDPRMS="`echo -n "$*" | tr '\t' ' ' | tr -s ' ' | tr ' ' '\n' | grep '^/' | tr '\n' ' '`"
 #kirk advised these options so Rox will not complain about file
 #permissions when copy a file to a ntfs partition...
 [ -f /tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt ] && rm -f /tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt
 
 ntfs-3g $CMDPRMS -o umask=0,no_def_opts 2>/tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt
 RETVAL=$?
 #v2.16 ntfs-3g v1.417, part. scheduled for check, failed with value 10...
 #v4.00 ntfs-3g v1.2412 does not have 4,10, has 15 for dirty f.s., 14 hiberneted...
 if [ $RETVAL -eq 4 -o $RETVAL -eq 10 -o $RETVAL -eq 15 -o $RETVAL -eq 14 ];then  #try to force it...
  if [ $RETVAL -eq 14 ];then
   #ntfs-3g $CMDPRMS -o umask=0,no_def_opts,remove_hiberfile 2>/tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt
   #RETVAL=$?
   echo > /dev/null
  else
   ntfs-3g $CMDPRMS -o force,umask=0,no_def_opts 2>/tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt
   RETVAL=$?
   ERRMSG1="`cat /tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt`"
   echo "$ERRMSG1"
   if [ $RETVAL -eq 0 ];then
    echo "WARNING: NTFS f.s. mounted read/write but corrupted."
    [ ! "`pidof X`" = "" ] && nohup gxmessage -bg red -center -title "NTFS WARNING" "The ntfs-3g driver was able to mount the NTFS
partition but returned this error message:
$ERRMSG1

It is mounted read/write, but advice is only write
to it in emergency situation. Recommendation is
boot Windows and fix the filesystem first!!!" &
   fi
  fi
 fi
 
 #ntfs-3g plays very safe and will not mount if thinks anything
 #wrong with ntfs f.s. But, we may want to recover files from a
 #damaged windows. So, fall back to the kernel ntfs driver...
 if [ ! $RETVAL -eq 0 ];then
  #mount read-only...
  busybox mount -r -t ntfs $CMDPRMS
  RETVAL=$?
  ERRMSG1="`cat /tmp/ntfsmnterr${MYPID}.txt`"
  echo "$ERRMSG1"
  if [ $RETVAL -eq 0 ];then
   echo "WARNING: NTFS f.s. mounted read-only."
   [ ! "`pidof X`" = "" ] && nohup gxmessage -bg red -center -title "NTFS WARNING" "The ntfs-3g driver was unable to mount the NTFS
partition and returned this error message:
$ERRMSG1

So, the inbuilt kernel NTFS driver has been used
to mount the partition read-only." &
  fi
 fi
fi

#v4.02 if there is a desktop icon (see pup_eventd), then refresh it...
if [ $RETVAL -eq 0 -a "$DISPLAY" != "" ];then
 DEVNAME="`busybox mount | tail -n 1 | grep '^/dev/' | cut -f 1 -d ' ' | cut -f 3 -d '/'`"
 if [ "$DEVNAME" != "" ];then
  DRVNAME="`echo -n "$DEVNAME" | cut -c 1-3`"
  #special case, SD card /dev/mmcblk0p1...
  [ "$DRVNAME" = "mmc" ] && DRVNAME="`echo -n "$DEVNAME" | sed -e 's/p[0-9]$//'`"
  xDRVNAME="$DRVNAME" #v404
  [ -d /root/.pup_event/drive_${DEVNAME} ] && DRVNAME="$DEVNAME" #icon for each partition.
  if [ -d /root/.pup_event/drive_${DRVNAME} ];then
   case $DRVNAME in #v407
    fd*)
     DRV_CATEGORY="floppy"
    ;;
    *)
     dnPATTERN='/dev/'"${xDRVNAME}"'|'
     DRV_CATEGORY="`probedisk2 | grep "$dnPATTERN" | cut -f 2 -d '|'`"
    ;;
   esac
   icon_mounted_func $DRVNAME $DRV_CATEGORY #see functions4puppy4
  fi
 fi
fi

#v409 now have /etc/mtab a symlink to /proc/mounts so this section not needed...
##v2.10 do not update /etc/mtab if '-n' option...
#[ "`echo " $DASHOPTS" | grep '^\-n$'`" != "" ] && exit $RETVAL
##busybox does not support /etc/mtab, but some apps (ex: eject
##and the full mount,umount, mke2fs) need it...
#[ $RETVAL -eq 0 ] && busybox mount | sed -e 's/ on / /g' | sed -e 's/ type / /g' | sed -e 's/ (/ /g' | sed -e 's/)$/ 0 0/g' > /etc/mtab
##note, it is a long story here. Busybox can be configured to
##support /etc/mtab, however the information it writes to mtab
##is incomplete, different, and breaks my scripts.

#v409, instead just make sure the symlink stays there...
if [ ! -L /etc/mtab ];then
 rm -f /etc/mtab
 ln -s /proc/mounts /etc/mtab
fi

exit $RETVAL


Sidders is this useful to you? I think I can just about figure it out (thanks to the helpful comments) You could perhaps make it so that only the pup_save.2fs could be mounted.

Remember I know how to change the name of the pup_save, say to "edu_save.2fs", so it will not conflict with existing puppy installs. I would need to modify initrd.gz to do this, but its not difficult. Shall I do this for HanSamBen and post the new initrd.gz?

Ive also discovered (by dissecting a .pet file from Tempestious) that the net drivers are stored in

/lib/modules/2.6.25.16/kernel/drivers/net/

Removing these should stop network cards unloading...its a risk but it should work. I use the same technique for castrating windows machines from the web when Ive installed dual boot puppy!

Hope this is useful info for you Sidders. Keep us informed Smile

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