Ordering an OLPC laptop from Trinidad

Since the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society (TTCS) has access to a OLPC laptop, I’ve been tinkering with it, updating the firmware and the operating system image file. It has been shown at a TTCS meeting and you can see photos of the OLPC in action in Trinidad at the TTCS meeting.

photo of the OLPC laptop at a Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society meeting

Until December 31st, 2007, one can get the OLPC under the Give One Get One program . However, when I tried to order one online, I encountered the same problem as CFR : you’re required to create a Paypal account and the online web form is meant for US and Canada donors.

Luckily, I did something yesterday that I should have done earlier : Read the OLPC Give One Get One FAQ . And behold :

“If I live outside of the US or Canada, may I participate in Give One Get One?
Yes, but only if you provide a shipping address within the US or Canada. To participate, please call 1-949-608-2865. International calling charges will apply.”

So, I called today (December 31st, 2007), gave my credit card and my P.O Box address in Florida and placed an order. It will be useful to have two OLPCs at TTCS meetings to demonstrate the mesh capability of the OLPC laptops. The official OLPC wiki also has lots of information ,both news and technical details about the OLPC.

TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.84 released

Season Greetings from the management of the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society!

The TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.84 is available for download at Filefront. Other download mirrors will be updated soon.

Changes from v1.83

  • updated GanttProject, Wikidpad, Maxima, Kobo Deluxe, Portable Puzzle Collection, Sokoban YASC, Freeciv, Paint.NET, XAMPP Lite, VirtualDub, PDFCreator, Launchy.

Re-coded the installers for Kobo Deluxe v0.51 (which was released December 27th, 2007) and VirtualDub using NSIS and improved on the installers by using the actual program icons for the program shortcuts in the Windows’ Start Menu. Seemingly small detail, but it is the small details that can detract from using a program.

TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.83 released

The TTCS OSSWIN CD v1.83 is available for download at Filefront. Other download mirrors (thank you all!) will be updated soon.

  • Date created : December 10th, 2007
  • File name : ttcs_osswin_cd_v1.83.iso
  • File size : 691 MB (725,065,728 bytes)
  • MD5 checksum : b997e23e90a60d4d5e407f5709742614 / b997e23e 90a60d4d 5e407f57 09742614
  • SHA-1 : bd08a8f4 5747c4f8 29dc0731 5a81e014 c7be0026
  • SHA-256 : 890e47b2 cfd86c5e 8b8b735c 72261297 4fc94965 56a040e0 bbe150bf 977163c2

Changes from v1.82

  • removed Trackballs
  • updated OpenOffice.org, 7zip, Tux Paint, Sokoban YASC, Freeciv, Gimp, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Filezilla, Thingamablog, HTTrack, Miranda IM, VideoLAN, InfraRecorder, Virtual Magnifying Glass, Folder Size, AutoHotkey

TTCS submission for Software Freedom Day 2007 receives “highly commended” award

The Software Freedom Day (SFD) Competition 2007 results have been announced by the Software Freedom Day organisation and the Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society’s entry for SFD 2007 received a “highly commended” award from the Software Freedom Day organisation!

Redelegation of ccTLD for .BB ( Barbados) to Barbados Government

From http://www.icann.org/minutes/prelim-report-20nov07.htm :

Redelegation of ccTLD for .BB ( Barbados)

Kim Davies advised by way of background for new Board members that the board is regularly asked to approve redelegations of ccTLDs and in more recent times there has been at least one per Board meeting for consideration. IANA Staff prepares a report that provides a recommendation to the Board. The report is considered confidential but
on approval by the Board a version of the report is made public on the website. Some portions of the analysis of the request for redelegation are not made public.

The redelegation application for .BB ( Barbados) meets all of the necessary criteria. The current operator supports the transfer as does the Government, who is the proposed operator. There is limited support from the local Internet community; however, Staff have visited Barbados and discussed matters locally. Staff also met with the proposed operators at ICANN’s San Juan meeting. Currently the nameservers do not meet the technical test; however, these will be made more robust, and Staff recommends the redelegation be approved.

IANA will review nameservers performance to ensure compliance if the Board approves the request.

Steve Goldstein moved, and Demi Getschko seconded the following resolution:

Whereas, the .BB top-level domain is the designated country-code for Barbados.

Whereas, ICANN has received a request for redelegation of .BB to the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development’s Telecommunications Unit.

Whereas, ICANN has reviewed the request, and has determined that the proposed redelegation would be in the best interest of the local and global Internet communities.

It is hereby resolved (___), that the proposed redelegation of the .BB domain to the Government of Barbados Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development’s Telecommunications Unit is approved.

A voice vote was taken of all Board Members present and all Board Members present approved the motion unanimously by a vote of 13 to 0.

More street map information for Trinidad added to Google Maps

Even more updated street maps of Trinidad on Google Maps since October 17, 2007. There is now street data for nearly the western side of Trinidad and the original locations mentioned in the October 17th, 2007 blog post have more street details added.

screenshot from Google Maps website showing map of Trinidad

See for yourself. Check out the Google Maps of :

The street data for Google is provided by Lead Dog Consulting which also has a webpage where you can  view street maps of  Trinidad AND Tobago

screenshot from Lead Dog Consulting website showing map of Tobago


WinTabber – group Windows applications in tabs under one window

In Windows, I often have multiple Explorer windows open as I cut/copy and paste files between multiple locations. Time is wasted Alt-Tabbing to switch to the Windows Explorer session I need and the desktop becomes cluttered. Often I wished that I could group the Windows Explorer sessions in tabs like Mozilla Firefox does for webpages. There are several freeware multi-tab Window Explorer replacements but I never felt comfortable using those as I preferred the familiar interface of Windows Explorer.

WinTabber to the rescue! WinTabber is a tabmanager that can add tab support to almost any window under windows 2000/XP. Meaning you can group several Windows Applications under one window, with each application in its own tab.

Here’s a screenshot showing three Windows Explorer sessions in one window :

Wintabber in use showing three Window Explorer sessions in one window, each in its own tab.

You can run multiple instances of WinTabber to create different groups of applications under one window. For example, Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird :

Wintabber in use showing two applications Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird, each in its own tab.

WinTabber is freeware, although donations are welcome. A very useful application.

WinTabber home page : http://www.wintabber.com/

Added to http://del.icio.us/ttcs

Tux Paint v0.9.18 released

Tux Paint v0.9.18, the fun open source drawing program for kids is available from New Breed Software for Windows 2000/XP/Vista and PowerPC based Macs (versions for older Windows 98/Me, Intel based Macs will be available soon).

A key feature of the new release is the ability to write and add your own “Magic Tools” plugins. Read the Tux Paint press release for more details.

Screenshot of Tuxpaint

TTCS tech meeting on Saturday 24th November 2007 – DIS 29500

The Trinidad and Tobago Computer Society will be having a tech meeting on Saturday November 24th, 2007 from 1 to 5pm at Engineering Consultants at 112A Edward Street, Port of Spain (corner of Oxford and Edward Street).At this meeting, we will be looking at the DIS 29500 (Microsoft Office Open XML format). This draft standard is currently being reviewed by the Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards (TTBS) IT committee.

The TTBS as a P-status member of ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1 will be voting on this standard at the ISO level very soon. See “TTCS invited to Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards IT committee to work on ISO/IEC JTC 1 matters“.

The DIS 29500/Office Open XML format can be found at http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-376.htm but given the length of the specification under review (6000 pages of technical details) and that time is limited, we will be attempting a test ; see http://ttcsweb.pbwiki.com/DIS29500 for details and information on how you can take part. You can also add your comments by editing this page.

Anyone interested in this topic are welcome to attend. A contribution of $20 towards refreshments is expected. See you there!