Thursday, July 17, 2008

evaluating Sugar in the developed world

How teachers in the developed world can run the Sugar software and activities in our computer labs which run only Windows!!

Problem: Shortage of OLPC machines in the developed world, ie. you need to be able to play with it, immerse yourself in it in order to be able to evaluate it. That's how computer learning works.

Educational objective: I will get my year 10 IT class to systematically evaluate the Sugar software and activities

Summary: Make a bootable USB key of the XO-LiveCD image and setup the BIOS on each computer to boot off the USB key

  1. Download the bleeding edge joyride version of the XO-LiveCD, currently XO-LiveCD_080607.iso
  2. Burn an image CD
  3. (It's not practical for me to use the CDs at school since the CD drives have not been enabled due to student vandalism in the past)
  4. download unetbootin-windows-241.exe from
  5. format your usb drive under windows (or delete all the files of it if already in windows format)
  6. run the downloaded file unetbootin-windows-241.exe
  7. it should find your usb drive
  8. click on the diskimage radiobutton
  9. browse to your XO -live CD iso (must have it in iso format - cant use a burnt cd)
  10. click on OK
  11. wait till files are copied (it takes a while)
  12. go into BIOS and setup to boot of USB-HDD key
  13. reboot off USB Drive
Update:(7th August)
With the above there is a problem that the USB key does not boot into the introductory menu seen on the bootable CD, which enables you to select the bleeding edge joyride version and choose your language. It boots into the default German language standard version of Sugar.

To fix this problem:
  1. Open the syslinux.cfg file (on the USB key) in notepad or some other editor
  2. Change lb_country=6 to lb_country=1 (German to English)
  3. Change lb_config=update.1 to lb_config=joyride
  4. Change lb_system=build-708 to lb_system=joyride-2024
  5. Save and reboot
A one gig usb drive is the minimum requirement because the joyride CD is 700 mb

Update (30th August):
Don't use cheap LASER USB keys, they are unreliable (failure rate 1 in 3) and slow. Kingston USB keys are far more reliable and about 5 times faster in transferring data to them.

Thanks to tony, joel and paul for help with this


Anonymous said...

To what extent does networking work with the joyride?

Bill Kerr said...

hi anonymous,

Good question. I haven't got the collaborative aspects of Sugar working on our school network yet, unfortunately, but collaboration is built into Sugar software so it should be possible. See this earlier article: sugar collaboration .

Patricio said...

Hello Bill, regards from Santiago, Chile.

We have downloaded the last .iso that you've linked:

But we have problems loading the .iso from the USB disk, giving a error message about not finding SQUASHFD (or something like that).

What could be the problem? Especially when the same instructions work out fine with the earlier .iso. It shouldn't be a problem of the .iso, because the live-cd work fine too (even in spanish).

Thanks for your time,


Bill Kerr said...

hi pato,

I've upgraded to the 080812.iso image over the past few days without any problems. I don't get that error message. Sorry, I can't be more helpful.