Friday, July 31, 2009

Internet / Activity

Today I further explored the Sugar Operating System and learnt how to set up my school's internet upon the Sugar Operating System. I did this by changing the default proxies and then I login into my school's account and access the internet.

After connecting to the internet on the Sugar Operating System, I thought I'd try a new activity on the Sugar Operating system, an activity I've never played before. I played the JigSaw activity, at first, I tried to solve a picture on an advanced setting but it was too hard and after many tries, I quitted and tried the beginner level. As you can see I am very bad at Solving Jigsaw puzzles and even on the beginner level, I still needed help, so I asked a friend and miraculously he solved it within seconds. I was astonished and asked him how he did it but all he said was that it was easy. This made me feel uneasy because it left me in doubt, am I really that slow?

Here is a screenshot of what happened ;)
I purposely left the last piece to make it a bit more entertaining? I guess?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Guest Visitors

Today in our Control Tech class we had guest speakers, Rosemary and David, talking about their journey to East Timor/Timorleste. They explained how the XO was helping the country little by little and also explained about the country’s social issues.

The first topic they mentioned was that East Timor was once a Portugal country but then Portugal had left and in 1975 the Indonesians invaded. They pulled out in 1999. Rosemary also mentioned that foreigners were called Mallai which literally means 'White Man' in Tetun. Most foreigners are from the United States or Australia and would you rarely see anyone else visiting East Timor since its tourism is still undeveloped. To prove this, East Timor only has two residential areas for foreigners, which are the beach and a rundown hotel behind it. They also told us that in 2006, a civil war broke out between the Timorese which caused many casualties and that sparked the arrival of the United Nations and The Australian Army to keep the peace in the country. Just recently the country just nationalise Portugal as their main language, although, some people use the local language called Tetun.

Deanne works in a village and made a project to help people bring water supply to the locals, this is so that women don’t have to do this themselves. Deanne uses trolleys to bring the water supply down. Rosemary told us that Deanne and many other foreigners here are missionaries from various countries, some sent by churches, to help out in East Timor.

Rosemary told us that they met a boy called Lukas at the age of 8 and his sister at the age of 5 and they could clearly understand English. Most children have no exposure to English so they said they were really surprised as to Lukas and his sister understanding English. They later found out that Lukas and his sister were the offspring of a missionary family, so that is what gained them their skills in English.

They also told us that nearly everyone in East Timor had access to scooters and that the local price for gas and petrol refill was an average of $2.50. East Timor uses US currency so everything is expensive to even us Australians. Most children don't go to school because of poverty and some who do go to missionaries or official schools with poor school equipment. The education standard over in East Timor is so bad that most University students in East Timor are only considered to be a grade 10 in Australia. The poverty is so bad that most houses don't have proper flooring, heating, water supply, electricity and many more simple accommodating factors.

Rosemary continued and told us about a store called Leader in Dilly which was a 'Big W' style shop over there. It had western food, western furniture and western appliances which are usually for foreigners. David, co-guest, also worked nearby for a project called the N.G.O. IT forum. This project aims to help people with access to net, computers and to aid IT skills at an affordable rate. To provide net coverage, they built a tower containing a router, connecting people to net. Usually doing this would have very slow internet speed, luckily they have great net connection so the net speed is averaged out and is at a fine rate.

David and Rosemary also mentioned that working with locals in partnership gives them a better understanding of the situation so it is easier to solve and aid the locals in need. It is like hitting two birds with one stone. From this David has taught and helped many locals to use the internet, use of phones and programming of phones. Most locals have never even see a phone in their entire life, so some of the women found it awkward and hysterical as they used the phones. David taught the locals this so that they can use the phone for assistance and for emergencies due to most people are distanced and have no other way of communicating with each other.

Rosemary explained the main purpose of her visit, which is a brief explanation about how the XO is being used over in East Timor and its benefits to the civilians. She said that the XO was being used for teaching children skills in English, Mathematics and many more. It also helps develop a lesson which only consists of the teacher telling the students what needs to be done and they will therefore write/answer it in the XO. The XO is also very durable and this is very good for curious children mucking around with the XO. It is also very energy efficient, using low amounts of battery power and some using solar energy which is very cost-efficient, perfect for the locals in East Timor.

Warren, missionary from the US, was said to be teaching the locals English and apparently taught a boy named Syntus who is now working full time for the Australian Army. He now spends his free time translating in a church in Dilly which hosts up to 90 people. The church has made the locals have more hope and they now perform Baptism on the day of newly births.

Rosemary told us about a project called Green PC which was a Melbourne based development to train local residents on how to use computers and to repair computers thus making a profit out of it. Some are taken to Australia by Andrew, one of the heads of Green PC, for six month computer maintenance training. After that he will send them back and get another six East Timor locals back to Australia and start the training process again.

The last topic Rosemary and David told us was how they flew to a town which had a Project run by nuns teaching local East Timor girls hospitality, cooking, use of utensils, use of cooking equipment and cleanliness. On the way to the town, they encountered a mass of clouds usually the ones that might start Monsoons. Rosemary told us that nothing was visible except for the clouds which made it dangerous for them but luckily the pilot saw a hole in the dispersed clouds and landed safely.

Here are some Pictures of what happened

27th July / Physics Activity

Today I am mucking around with the Physics activity, it is really fun and good for children to develop the basics of physics. The activity has many features which allow the user to move, grab, drag, draw, place, motor, pin, joint, play and pause objects in the activity. There are a wide variety of objects such as the, Polygon, Triangle, Circle and objects that you can draw. This makes it simulate what would happen in real-life in a somewhat mild simulation rather than a professional simulation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Impression of Sugar OS

My first impression of the Sugar Operating System was that the interface and commands looked extremely unique compared to the commonly known operating systems used in school, like the Microsoft Windows XP Operating System, but it also looks a tad bit similar to the Linux Operating System. The Sugar Operating System has a special but complex navigation system, but once you are adapted to it, you are sure to navigate very easily and freely. I was surprised that the Sugar Operating System was running on a slim, compact and uniquely small notebook called the XO. The size of the XO and its use surprised me because it was very small and very much portable as well as some versions of the XO could twist its screen to a full 180 degrees.

The contents of this operating system targets children and teaches them the starting point in the use of computers and the-like because it has spectacular and unique programs which allows children to develop their skills in English, Maths and computing in a fun and non-boring manner.