My OLPC Journey Feb 2011
Previous: Sep 10   Oct 10   Nov 10   Dec 10   Jan 11  


What a great start to February! I know you'll find it hard to believe but, despite the thousands of downloads, this is my first real feedback.
I just want to say a heartfelt thank you to you because my kids *LOVE* the games that you have made for the XO. As a parent, I love the smart thinking & logic required to play them. I really love the pre-Turtle programming games because it does a great job sparking the curiosity for them to go and learn how to do it by themselves with the Turtle Blocks. My girls are 5 and 7 and they both have picked up on it immediately and yours are the first ones they like to play. I think some of the fun comes from just trying to figure it out the first time. I just wanted to voice my appreciation for these fun activities and hope you continue to make more. Leslie

Activity 15 - Appel Haken

Feb 1 A bit of fun for you - try to work out what an activity called "Appel Haken" might look like.

Feb 2 As I type, Cyclone Yasi is approaching our old hometown of Townsville but, thankfully, I'm able to tell you that we now live some 1,200 km (about 740 miles) to the south of Townsville and are in no danger.

Feb 5 Well ... how did your Appel Haken research go? Here's my finished version in action:

Feb 18 Hmmm ... another long break but I've been working non-stop to sort out cursor issues once and for all. I won't bore you with the technical details except to report that I've wasted a lot of time trying solutions on my Windows XP test machine only to find that it behaves very differently to the Mac, my Linux box and the XO.

You can check out the fruits of our labours in my latest public activity: Sudoku. It has the distinction of being the first of my activities to automatically save your partly-finished game, restoring it when you restart.

Another point of interest: Martin and I exchanged 14 e-mails in an attempt to get it just right!

Feb 20 Busy! Busy! Busy!

The "new" cursor has been fitted to all 15 activities. I've also done a lot of tidying up (esp the earlier activities) in the light of what I've learnt from experience. I'll be sending the updated activities one-at-a-time to Martin for testing before publication.

In amongst all this I've managed another trip to Sippy Downs. As a consequence I'm hoping to meet with the Principal and teachers from Doomadgee when they visit in April.

Feb 21 I've just heard from OLPC Australia that Follow Me, Numbers and Tessellations have been included in their standard software builds. This means that every child in Australia will be receiving these activities. Very encouraging!

Activity No 16 - Mancala

Feb 25 This is one of my favourite games - very simple to play yet lots of careful thought, counting and planning required. Mancala is often played in remote villages - the dishes are simply holes in the sand and the pieces are stones. It is a two-person game so the player gets to play against me. That's not as one-sided as you may think because my program deliberately doesn't use any look-ahead. Anyway, here's what it looks like so far: this is at the start of a game.