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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Puppy Power
New page on Puppy and the OLPC project
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Joined: 16 Aug 2007
Posts: 2607
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep 2007, 01:57    Post subject: One Laptop Per Child Revisited:
Subject description: sugar or spice?

From the One Laptop Per Child wiki:

"“One laptop per child” is a concept. It is an education project, not a laptop project. . . . OLPC is based on constructivist theories of learning pioneered by Seymour Papert and later Alan Kay, as well as the principles expressed in Nicholas Negroponte's book 'Being Digital'."

From what I have read, OLPC is not so much about getting any particular distribution to work in a low-powered laptop. Rather than thinking of the computer as a networked tool whose desktop provides a graphical human-computer interface (HCI) to an underlying hierarchy of directories and files, the OLPC desktop HCI called "Sugar" conceptualises the desktop as a mirror of the collaborative universe itself. Instead of folders and files on the desktop, you find icons representing the individual users and collaborative groups using the networked computer facilities. This is a radical shift in thought away from the current GUI desktop model we have become indoctrinated with... The current incarnation of Sugar is written in Python, on top of X.

You could, it seems to me, say that OLPC "Sugar", using the educational concepts of Papert et. al., involves an object-orientated desktop paradigm which attempts to map the physical universe of humans collaborating with each other rather than simply mapping the hierarchical position of folders and files (which themselves are simply other objects involved in the collaborating universe). The OLPC desktop is therefore populated with icons representing these sets of collaborating users (and other objects) rather than simply representing files and folders as in the currently (conventional) human-computer desktop interface. Linux just provides the underlying OS functionality. That's my take on it anyway.

So maybe some thought should go into providing a "Sugar" interface to Puppy in some incarnation of it or other? Smile Perhaps Sugar or something similar is about to become the future of networked computing (or a dismal failure...)?

Personally I think the radical shift in thought is long overdue.

However, none of the above takes away from what I think is a fact: Puppy Linux is currently easily the best OS distribution out there (in terms of efficiency and usability)!!! But we have to realise that, conceptually at least, Puppy is still a conventional OS distribution. By all means its important to keep improving the Puppy we know, but its equally important, I think, to be willing to think laterally in order to prepare for and help formulate any possible future.

I found the following links concerning OLPC Sugar particularly enlightening

Interface: http://laptop.org/en/laptop/interface/

Principles: http://laptop.org/en/laptop/interface/principles.shtml

and in particular, from a much more technical perspective (though worth skimming through the whole thing even if a lot goes over your and/or my head),

The OLPC Human Interface Guidelines at

The above "Guidelines" really helps to illustrate the radical different conceptual nature of the OLPC desktop. Food for thought! Smile

William (mcewanw)
>>>>Brief Extract from the OLPC HCI Guidelines:

[The traditional desktop] metaphor has evolved over the past 30 years, giving rise to distinct classes of interface elements that we expect to find in every OS: desktop, icons, files, folders, windows, etc. While this metaphor makes sense at the office—and perhaps even at home—it does not translate well into a collaborative environment
. . .
The traditional "open" and "save" model commonly used for files will fade into abstraction on the laptops
. . .
Based on the Object model associated with files, each kept Object is, technically speaking, a separate instance of the activity which created it. This eliminates the need to "open" a file from within an activity, replacing the act of opening with the act of resuming a previous activity instance.
. . . incremental backups will occur at regular time intervals . . .
the laptops will drastically minimize the hierarchical filesystem as a means for organization, replacing it with a temporally organized list of activities and events, furthering the Journal metaphor. This drastically simplifies the auto-keeping behavior, since it eliminates the need to specify a location in which a newly started activity should be kept; naturally, the newly started activity will appear as the most recent entry in the journal.<<<<
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Joined: 09 Nov 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 09 Nov 2008, 22:22    Post subject: Sugar and Kernel
Subject description: My experience with XO-1 OLPC

I own a XO-1 from the G1G1 project. I would like to share my opinions based on my personal experience.

As noble or not the instance on purity of code from proprietary sources and pedagogy of a new take on computing, the XO-1 in the real world is getting hung by these ideals stuck in vain pride. The journal is a lie. Under the sugar shell is a file system as on any other computer. When you upload files to the net, you need to know this file system. Keeping a sugar coating on the facts is not promoting self guided learning. It is the folly of a parental stance that the children should be distanced from real code. The turtle can not handle more than two variables and two procedures. The TamTam does not have a full scale. In the end the tutorials in English on Youtube have been placed beyond the capacity of the XO-1 as shipped. There should be language software and not a fake avoidance of language, with English still silently expected.

Developers of Puppy Linux, please to not heed the advice of mcewanw. Sugar makes the OX-1 slow, and for the end user unreliable. Sugar will delete a picture that you just took if you do not give enough time and wait for the picture to be considered permanent. Save and open are often missing features of it's implementation. This is not a benefit to any child. The slowness of python as the main programming language wastes energy, harming the environment. Euphoria should be the programming language. http://www.rapideuphoria.com/ Framebuffer UI should be the graphical user interface. http://home.comcast.net/~fbui/

There is much that is wonderful about the XO-1; the camera is readily available; the screen has a good quality image; the build is durable and capable of withstanding earths environment. Yes, the keyboard is small, but it is not a high price to pay at all. What is unacceptable is a result of pride. In order to use the computer for a person not surrounded by other XO-1 users upgrades to Opera, Firefox, a full Abiword are required. Once installed one recognizes the blight caused by the instance of python activities and sugar journalizing. If Puppy can be placed on the XO-1 it would be a savior. I know how pleased I was when I booted up old laptops with Puppy, the speed and sense of security. My files were now safe from the bloat of Microsoft. XO-1 files are not safe from Sugar's journalizing. Any file can be considered too large or not looked at for long enough and deleted by Sugar. XO-1 does not need a Puppy coated in Sugar, XO-1 needs puppy as he is.

Here is a link I found on rebuilding the OLPC kernel. I hope it helps.
Also some internal config files

I tried to change the olpc.fth as presented here.

Here is what I learned.
Case 1:
" u:\boot\initrd.gz" to ramdisk
boot u:\boot\vmlinuz root=sda1
having initrd.gz and vmlinuz from puppy linux in the usb drive, which seems to be all that is required by the instruction. Will freeze the XO-1.

Case 2:
Replacing the initrd.gz with the olpcrd.img found in XO-1, will start the boot but choke on a panic kernel not found.

Case 3:
If both the ramdisk and vmlinuz are replaced by the XO-1, version but the root is still set sda1, the boot gets hung when it tries to mount sda1.

Case 4:
\ space after slash
" n:\boot\olpcrd.img" to ramdisk
boot n:\boot\vmlinuz root=mtd0

is all that is needed for a boot from olpc.fth. But what you have is a reduced olpc.fth and not puppy on the xo. Also a little less secure without the back upfeatured in the orginal.

I prefer the smaller font, I can see more of the lines.

I wish you the best of luck. I do look forward to the day that there is a version of Puppy that works on the XO-1.

Here is another link that may be of help.

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Puppy Master

Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 7603
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov 2008, 06:29    Post subject:  

I am now experimenting with the 2.6.27.x kernel, which is "OLPC aware".

I do have a OLPC that has been sitting there for sometime, so I will probably get back to trying Puppy (or Woof) on it soon.

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Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 1169
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov 2008, 10:14    Post subject:  

It knows!!!! O.o

run for your lives people! it has viral p2p networking skynet is coming!

it will beat you to death with it's flip up antennae!

Taking Puppy Linux to the limit of perfection. meanwhile try "puppy pfix=duct_tape" kernel parem eater.
X86: Sager NP6110 3630QM 16GB ram, Tyan Thunder 2 2x 300Mhz
Sun: SS2 , LX , SS5 , SS10 , SS20 ,Ultra 1, Ultra 10 , T2000
Mac: Platinum Plus, SE/30
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Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 17 Nov 2008, 07:23    Post subject: OLPC XO-1 running Puppy Linux  

Barry and community,

THANK YOU for Puppy! It is wonderful, rapid and practical!

Up until a few weeks ago, my G1G1 (Give one, Get one) XO laptop had been collecting dust. That's when my beloved, 400mHz IBM Thinkpad finally died. With Puppy, this baby would boot in about 40 seconds and it blew the pants off the newest computers (with 3 gHz processors!) with its quick boot time and noticibly faster application launch times.

Yes, I have personally witnessed Puppy being responsible for converting several Microsoft users to Linux.

In theory, Puppy should be even faster on my OLPC XO-1, since its hardware specifications are faster than my IBM Thinkpad's. However so far, I have failed miserably in all my attempts to get Puppy running on my XO-- Despite using the latest version and attempting many of the alternate boot scenarios that Phoenix described.

The last several weeks have been both frustrating and wonderful. The XO laptop gets the most insane amount of attention everywhere I take it, however its 2 minute boot time and slow Sugar interface is practically rather limiting. Even using Debian, or simply XFCE, it is still sluggish.

TODAY, Amazon has just launched the G1G1 program for OLPC (www.amazon.com/xo). With Puppy, I think we have a real opportunity to turn the XO into a truly functional laptop for G1G1 participants and thus help the OLPC program grow with positive visibility.

From my perspective, it is all about speed and practical functionality:
Rapid boot time, flexible wifi management (like wifi-radar), and a lean suite of programs that can: Surf rapid and leanly (like Opera?), AbiWord (or rapid equiv.), gNumeric (or lean spreadsheet equiv.), a lean PDF viewer and preferably a LEAN presentation program that is Office 97 compatible.

I have absolutely no doubt that you guys can make this happen. I'm still figuring out the basic Linux commands. We XO owners just have to provide encouragement and reassurance that we don't expect perfection. We're not expecting full power management or Python functionality. Simply quick boot and business basics will turn the XO into a mean machine!

Thank you!
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Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Dec 2008, 19:38    Post subject: one more plea for olpc puppy  

i would like to say "me too"!

I spent several(20-30) Hours trying to get the OLPC usable. I would love to use it as a document-reader with its excellent screen.
But I could not get Puppy running, and I dont know why, icewm and xfce are to slow.
So now my OLPC (G1G1) is gathering dust too, and now i am using a eee-pc clone with via hardware 4-5 hours runtime(good) and 800x480 screen(miserable).
I would like to beta-test if you have images for the OLPC.
I am a long time debian admin(part of my work), so I usually dont ask beginners Questions.

greetings and thanks for your work,
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Joined: 06 May 2009
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PostPosted: Wed 06 May 2009, 09:00    Post subject:  

Hi, any news on puppy and olpc ??
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Joined: 25 May 2005
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Location: Manila

PostPosted: Wed 06 May 2009, 17:15    Post subject: overtaken  

OLPC has been overtaken by the eeePC and now other ARM-based netbooks.

There are active discussions here about Asus' eeePC and Acer's Aspire One. Puppy is not yet ported to ARM-based machines.

Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Jun 2009, 15:04    Post subject: Re: overtaken  

[quote="raffy"]OLPC has been overtaken by the eeePC and now other ARM-based netbooks.[quote]


My XO-1 has not changed into an eeePC that my parents own. The XO-1, as I stated has a better screen and is more durable. This thread is about Puppy on the OLPC and that is what I am looking forward to.

My IBM ThinkPad was long "overtaken" at the time I bought it used. Puppy works great on it. I believe the philosophy of puppy does not use the concept of overtaken.
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PostPosted: Fri 26 Jun 2009, 03:05    Post subject: open arena  

I mean "overtaken" in the open arena (among users who want to use another OS for their machine).

No other than Negroponte admitted to this initial mistake in XO1 development (from engadget):
"The XO-1 was really designed as if we were Apple," Nicholas Negroponte says in the interview. "The XO-2 will be designed as if we were Google - we'll want people to copy it. We'll make the constituent parts available. We'll try and get it out there using the exact opposite approach that we did with the XO-1."

That explains why users of G1G1 are effectively prevented from using the machine with other Linux builds.

Hopefully, the XO2 will live up to the new annnouncements. Smile

Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul 2009, 14:11    Post subject:  hmm  

To bad nobody took the time to get puppy to run on olpc ..probably BarryK lost interest since red hot stole puppy's chanse with the xo . It would have been great to run a fast easy softwhare on my xo 1 (in stead it seats colecting dust ..sugar is unuseable)

Hardwhare olpc is a great mini laptop that offers much more then an eepc and cheaper, It has a better screen , better batery life , an ebook reader posibility , a good inovative wifi but it is ruined by the slow hard to use softwhare . It's a shame, y would of payed for puppy on am xo (i'm shore that not just me) ..microsoft got it and came out with xp for the little laptop (@60$-80$ ) . To bad that Puppy bilders did not take advantage of that (a 10-20$ puppy for xo would have been a real help for olpc comunity and for puppy's development )
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Jul 2009, 19:36    Post subject: bios  

Using the XO1 with another distro involved painful work around the "firmware" BIOS and the use of new kernel (2.6.27 was recommended).

Now that Puppy is experimenting with a 2.6.30 kernel, you could try and get Puppy working on the XO1. There are discussions here about trying to load Puppy on the XO1.

Puppy user since Oct 2004. Want FreeOffice? Get the sfs (English only).
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PostPosted: Sun 16 Aug 2009, 15:22    Post subject:  

bump. Anyone Linux/Puppy savvy able to figure out the challenging OLPC boot puzzle to get Puppy to work on it? Barry?
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug 2009, 14:44    Post subject:  

I used the newer puppy 4.3beta1 with the (olpc-aware) 2.6.29 kernel and a simple olpc.fth in a "boot" folder at the root of the stick

\ Boot script
" root=/dev/sda4 rootfstype=fat16 console=ttyS0,115200 console=tty0 fbcon=font:SUN12x22" to boot-file
" disk:\vmlinuz" to boot-device
" disk:\initrd.gz" to ramdisk

For the first time with puppy I saw that actually something is loading the camera and mic lights come on and off (the camera) and then it stops. Unfortunately I did not get off the OFW (the while) screen to get to a console and have a chance to see what's going on.

Then I used the F11-xo1/os5 vmlinuz (with the olpc 2.6.30 kernel) from here http://dev.laptop.org/~smparrish/xo-1/builds/ and all of a sudden I got a console and program loading(!) that stopped at
Loading drivers needed to access disk drives           done
Searching for Puppy files in computer disk drivers...pp4a-423.sfs not found. Dropping out to initial-ramdisk console...
/bin/sh:can't access tty; job control turned off

The pp4a-423.sfs file is there but somehow not visible. I can only assume that the kernel module needed to recognize the puppy filesystem (sfs) is missing.
The kernel supports cramfs but the squashfs that the sfs files need(?), is missing.

As you can tell from my approach I'm a complete noob and recompiling the kernel is far beyond my limits. I just hope that a more capable person might take it and ride with it or that someone comes up with noob-appropriate instructions.
Just in case I also attache the dmesg output of this failed boot.

Filename  puppy_dmesg.zip 
Filesize  5.11 KB 
Downloaded  515 Time(s) 
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Sit Heel Speak

Joined: 30 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Aug 2009, 15:34    Post subject:  

I do not own an XO1 or whatever...however, am presently at work developing a custom Pup for the Dell Mini-9.

In order to load a Pup on the Mini-9 I had to devise a roundabout procedure using Rudy Puppy. I posted the procedure here. You need to have a nearby computer with a live-CD or already-existing installation of Rudy Puppy (a 2.14 variant). Perhaps other 2.14 Pup(pie)s will also work.

Maybe my procedure will work on other netbooks as well, provided it has a usb port and can boot from usb.
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