Monday, March 8, 2010

OVC Early Experiences

My name is Taylor Rose. I am a third year computer science major at Rochester Institute of Technology. This Spring I'm going to be working on a project to improve the Video Chat Activity on the XO Laptop. Our major goal is to improve the frame rate of the program to a point where deaf and hard of hearing students can communicate easily using American Sign Language. This project is partly about the programming and partly about the story and the journey. Like all great journeys this one started off with a bumpy start; at least for me.

My first assignment last week was to make a live usb "Sugar on a Stick". Okay, so I look up sugar on a stick and download the LiveUSB Creator which allows you to install several different OS's onto a usb memory stick. I run the software and have myself a nice bootable usb drive with Sugar on a Stick 2.0 Blueberry. I reboot my machine and select the usb drive to boot from. "NTLDR is missing". I couldn't find anything online describing my specific issue. That error means that you're trying to boot from something that isn't bootable.

I hopped on IRC and sent out a message seeing if anyone could help me out. I get a response from Luke Macken. Turns out he's a developer for LiveUSB. Luke helped me try some things to fix the problem. We finally found that the problem was between the keyboard and the chair. I had forgotten that my large external hard drive was still plugged in. My system was trying to boot from the external HD instead of the memory stick. After we figured this out I was able to get the OS running no problem.

Although a little bit of a rocky start for me, this became a huge learning opportunity for me. This was a crash course in the open source way. I had a problem and I tried to find a solution through my own resources. Then I looked for help through the community. I was able to find help pretty much immediately. I see this as a good sign that this project is going to go smoothly as we begin to dive in.

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