Home and Away

I’ve taken some leave from the project so that i could sort some things at home. However i can say i’ve found a couple of interesting things to take a gander at.

Firstly i was told about BackTrack – a pervaisive network security toolkit that works on the same principles as our project, the supply of required tools to the people who need them. I have to say there are some interesting things on it which are pretty cool.

Secondly i found out about Slax and thier web based iso builder, its pretty nifty. Basically rather than having to make a config file i.e. a kickstart file, you can self build the package and download it from the slax website. So if all else fails we have the web package builder to look into.

Even better than both of them, i’ve finally managed to move into my room for uni. Yey! So now i have a house, or will do in a few hours (train journey from birmingham to lincoln).

Day 9 – A nod in the right direction

This week we’ve been looking into various installations of linux and trying various installations for pendrive use. Currently we’ve looked at Fedora 10 –Ā  11, (X,K) Ubuntu as well as James Monro’s version of xubuntu. After our previous find with SOAS it seems pretty obvious to follow suit and aid Sebastian with his Edu-spin and hopefully learn how to strip down an OS so that we can make it as light as possible.

This light OS is obviously required so that its possible to fit on a pen drive, but by cutting down on unnecessary programs it also allows for more development packages/tutorials/various programs to be installed and maximise the user experience.

We have some good news from Sabastian (sugar developer) about the Edu-Spin which will hopefully be available within a few hours (once he can find a host). This means we’ll be able to have a look at the spin and the tools/tutorials included so that we have an idea of what we can include in our own distro.

Therefore the plan of action is as follows;

1. Obtain a copy of the Edu-spin produced by sebastian

2. Learn how to create a kickstart iso

3. Research into the various development packages available and generate a list of tutorials / examples and insert them into firefox.

4. Compile and run!

That is the basic project outline that should keep us busy for the time being.

Day 4 – First contact with sugar team

After researching further into the development of Sugar we stumbled upon Sugar on a stick (SOAS), which offers “ubiquitous access to Sugar in a USB (Universal Serial Bus) flash memory drive (stick)”. Therefore it seems fruitless to re-invent the wheel and so Karl and myself aim to use some of the resources such as the Fedora USB stick installer for our own distro in the future.

On Wednesday Karl and I spoke to the Sugar developers over at #Sugar (freenode) via IRC so that we could introduce ourselves and our project. After a lengthy discussion with the Sugar developers a project was suggested to us which followed a very similar goal – to produce a bootable USB Linux distribution that incorporates suitable Integrated Development Environments as well as other educational packages, which can be handed to the budding software developers of Lincoln’s University.

The idea behind the proposed project is to create a Fedora Spin (customised distribution) for use at the Professors Open Source Experience (POSSE) 2009 Conference.

POSSE 2009 – ‘Sponsored by Red Hat, the POSSE program is a week long boot camp that will immerse professors in open source projects. Participants will spend a week of intensive participation in selected open source projects, led by professors with experience in teaching open source development, in partnership with community members who have deep experience and insight.’

As you can see the POSSE program will require an open source platform and development environment which would be hopefully compiled by myself and Karl. In order to complete this we’d follow on from the Fedora Edu Spin which aims to ‘create a ready-to-go development environment for contributing to educational packages within the Fedora ecosystem‘.

Based upon the Fedora Edu Spin, Karl and i could possibly use a similar collection of development tools that would be more suitable for the student’s of Lincoln and thus create a tangible outcome for the end of the UROS project.


Day 1 – Project underway

The project is now officially underway and i have spent some time today looking to the One Laptop Per Child website (http://laptop.org/en) and also the Sugar + Ubuntu packages available.

I’ve taken the time to read up on James Munroe’s blog and the previous CODEX project and have noticed that the previousĀ  CODEX project worked towards creating the live CD using Xubuntu – a lighter version of its original counterpart.

Within this project Karl and I are hoping to do the following;

  • Research into the effective release cycle of both the ubuntu/sugar interface
  • Create a bootable USB pendrive version of the ubuntu/sugar combination
  • Create a report based upon our findings

Today we have covered the following;

  • James Munro’s blog
  • Downloaded virtual machine and ran Jame’s Live! CD
  • Utilised the Sugar emulator – and got stuck inside an emulator, inside of another emulator
  • Read up on some Pen DriveĀ  options available out there (see links)
  • Spoken to a member of the sugar team about a possible .exe installer for a combined sugar/Ubuntu package

The main idea behind the new USB pen drive sugar/Ubuntu combination is that it can be easily distributed to students of the university of Lincoln. With this in mind im hoping to create an exe that users of Windows operating systems can automatically install/copy over the Xubuntu ISO which has all sugar emulator software / useful apps preinstalled. This ensure that students will not be deterred from trying the idea of a new operating system.

Some of the useful links;