Lately, I've been working with the Rochester Institute of Technology on
a project that is a mix of Fedora, OLPC, Sugar Labs and Teaching Open
As a capstone to the Open Source Development class held in the Spring
'09 quarter at RIT  I was able to take a field trip to Boston with
Dave Farning of Sugar Labs, Wes Dillingham, Tyler Bragdon & Eric Mallon
RIT Co-Op students, and their Co-op Adviser, Fred Grose.
Here's a brief breakdown of the days and what was accomplished.
Monday - 10Aug - Travel and Dinner at John Harvard's with Mel Chua and
Adam Holt of OLPC.
Tuesday - 11Aug - MIT Museum - Toured Exhibits in the morning and used
work space to Test Sugar's Jabber Server Features in the afternoon.
Minus a few hours for lunch and missed rendezvous we were at the Museum
from open until close. Caroline Meeks of Solution Grove joined us for
the afternoon work session. At dinner that evening we were joined by
Dogi of OLPC and Caroline Meeks.
Wednesday - 12Aug- Flagship Computer Clubhouse  at the Boston Museum
of Science. We initially met with Keith Simmons, who is the Technology
Manager for the Computer Club House Network and also an RIT alum. We
met Keith through Steve Jacobs the RIT class Prof. Keith was then able
to introduce us to Marlon Orozco the Flagship Clubhouse coordinator and
some clubhouse alums who continue to use the facilities for some
The space was great, and there was some more testing Sugar applications
and filing bug reports. For the record, I didn't actively participate
in the code-it, test-it, file-a-report activities. I'm more of a social
engineer - if that's the right term. I did try to fill my brain with
everything I could about the folks in the clubhouse so that I can use it
to make connections later. I also got a very important email inviting
our groups to present our educational outreach activities at Ontario
Linux Fest this fall. (So if you'd like to present something, there's
still time to send in your ideas)
Thursday - 13Aug - We spent the afternoon back at the Computer Clubhouse
- this time with Kids! A group of children were in the clubhouse and we
were able to set up all the machines with Sugar on a Stick and allow
them to play. The group was able to get some very important insight
from the kids on how the software behaves and how the children use it.
Before I move on to Friday, I want to pass on Keith's desire to do more
Open Source within the Computer Clubhouse network. Following up and
being a point of FOSS contact for the computer club house is on my list.
Friday - 14Aug - Red Hat Offices Westford, MA. Our field trip group
plus Adam and Dogi of OLPC took over a conference room at Red Hat
Offices. We need to thank Máirín Duffy for helping us get comfortable
and Luke Macken for hosting and for joining in on some of our sessions.
The tasks for the day were to brain storm along the lines of Teaching
Open Source. We broke off into groups and discussed what we could have
done better for the students and what we could have done better with the
Mel Chua helped the Co-ops get their thoughts out so that other students
can benefit from what we were able to learn.
The consensus was that we overloaded both sides of the equation. Too
much info with the students (what's GIT? Why IRC? Who to ask? etc),
and too many people to mentor for the community to absorb without notice.
While we didn't find a magic potion to deal with these issues, we did
make progress. Most of what we learned will end up in the wiki at
if it hasn't been added already.
Saturday - 15Aug - Free day. Only One formal meeting was scheduled for
Dave, Fred, Eric and Tyler to conference call with William Schaub on his
Teotwawki Network . Later that evening, Wes, Fred and I did meet up
with Adam Holt for a small, informal, Beer SIG which is a LUG of
Sunday - 16Aug - Returning home.
I should formally thank Fred for putting the trip together and for
allowing me to tag along. I hope I can use the insight gained on the
trip to better coordinate needs between the organizations I got to know
while in Boston. While I'm not a coder, I do hope I can play a role
matching up people and solutions where they'll have the most impact for
Comments and questions appreciated.