OLPCSF Community Summit 2011

Across the bay the OLPC SF Community Summit 2011 started Friday evening, Oct 21st. The main sessions were Sat, Oct 22nd and (still going today) Sun, Oct 23rd. A panel is live streaming now. Tweets come from @olpcsf on twitter and

After the Christmas programs of 2007 & 2008 that offered a laptop for a child and a laptop for the buyer, 2009 and 2010 saw a hiatus of the Give One, Get One now give One or Many offer by Amazon. There are more laptops shipping each month to children all over the world, 2.1 million as of Jan 2011. The project is going strong. A community map shows information contributed about deployments.

Hardware wise, the second revision of the OLPC 1.0 hardware, the OLPC 1.5, is shipping now and the OLPC 1.75 in the same green and white form factor using an ARM processor is being tested in very limited quantities right now. After four years, OLPC blogged about the progress that every child between the ages of 6 & 12 in Uruguay has an OLPC. This is due to Uruguay’s Plan Ceibal.

I just heard on the live stream about a new manual bookmarked at Help_Activity_Refresh (was, an update of the FLOSS manual previously published lead by Carol and Christophe which goes into the Help Activity of every OLPC.

The OLPC Contributor program meetings on Fridays are a great way to network and meet people.

Already underway, as it is the 4th Sunday of the month the meeting at Bobby GÔÇÖs Pizzeria is already underway. Please join us.

Learning the Command Line

One of the biggest challenges when becoming truly proficient with computers of all kinds is getting started with a command line interpreter. The “prompt” can feel intimidating at first. GUI programs can not always predict all possible needs. Though not as visually appealing text-based programs have powerful features that GUI programs do not. Simple new commands can be added almost instantly.

I have tried many times to explain or teach how to get started with a command line to an interested, eager and otherwise resourceful person. What I have been missing is a useful & concise list of resources to help them. There are many excellent resources already available to help during such “teachable” moments. There are different guides for different kinds of people depending on one’s familiarity & computer brand. To help people I have started collecting Learning the Command Line resources which I will be enhancing from feedback and additional research.

I would be thrilled to collaborate with regulars, beginners and professionals alike. Please comment below with your favorite resources or with feedback about the ones I’ve already listed. You may also join me and others in the #berkeleylug IRC channel. My computer is always online and I hope happen to be looking when you try. If you leave a message there I should get it. I look forward to people sharing their stories of how they learned to use their command line. I will try to highlight the best resources available in a way that is accessible to newcomers.

I would like to find a better collaboration platform for this effort but as I need Learning the Command Line now I will write an HTML page until something better is used. It’s a work in progress and could use some additional appeal and organization, particularly focusing on helping those curious to try a command line on Linux, Mac or Windows computers for the first time.

As it is also the 2nd Sunday of the month I hope the meeting at Bobby G’s Pizzeria goes well. I look forward to some pizza when I return.