Janajyoti Lower Secondary School, Ugratara-8, Janagal, Kavre - the Department of Education, Ministry of Education had already provided us the name of school where it'd be best to do a pilot. But the real work began as we received 25 B4 XOs sent in by OLPC International. It was almost at the beginning of the month, but we decided to keep the news little low. Afterall it was just a pilot and not a major distribution. All we wanted was to make it work rather than have big publicity. However, all the active volunteers knew about this and we had the news quite goin in our IRC too.
As the project started to heat up, we started getting help from everybody. Department of Education provided us the computer for School Server. Sastra Net helped us with wireless AP. Our community volunteers were excited more than ever. Our Development Lab became home. IRC channel was busier than ever.
We approached Curriculum Development Center (CDC), and they agreed to provide us books in digital format too, but due to upcoming election, the person in charge wasn't available. However they provided us with hard copies of the books, which volunteers from Kathmandu University did a great job of scanning and converting them into pdf books. We're getting the digital copies of the book immediately after election is over.
Similarly we also received a lot of help from Help Nepal Network LTSP eLibrary guys. They provided us all the contents they have been using for their eLibrary to put in our school server. This contained a cache of Wikipedia, HowStuffWorks website, Doctor Na Bhayema Website and lots of other stuffs. The collection of content was simply incredible.
Volunteers from Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus did a incredible job of arranging all these contents into one place and making a nice searchable web interface to access them on XO via wireless connection.
Even the volunteers not physically available but have been close to the community via IRC did a great job preparing the questionnaires and preparing lots of other documents.
The build we put on the XO was Joyride 1774. There was a huge discussion among us for using this instead of the current stable build, but in all our tests the Joyride build turned out to be stable enough. We did the following customization to the build:
- Firmware: Q2D14
- Build: Joyride 1774
- Localization: ne_NP.UTF-8
- Keyboard layout: Romanized Nepali (Fixed version. The standard Romanized keyboard distributed with any linux distribution is broken)
- Little hack to olpc.fth file to display the rotating XO sign at startup
- Adobe Flash Player
- Increased Font Size. We seriously felt that the font size is too small, especially when Nepali glyphs are displayed.
- School Server: OLPC_XS_160
- Translation of XO Guide in Nepali
- All books of Grade 5
- Bal Gyankosh (Children mini-encyclopedia in Nepali)
- Wikipedia Mini
- HowStuffWorks Cache
- Doctor Nabhayema