The importance of UI

One of the most interesting things we found in Bhagmalpur was that a couple of children had accidentally switched over their XOs to Spanish. They didn’t bother to switch back! So, in a small village in Uttar Pradesh, India, there are these two kids who have been using their XOs in Spanish. Go figure 🙂

They simply look at other kids’ XOs in English and follow along the icons. This observation raises the question about the importance of localization in a UI, especially if it is icon-driven like Sugar. Are the icons enough by themselves?

Other interesting observations:

The voltage of grid electricity is so low, that the soldering iron wouldn’t heat up! Anish had to twist wires by hand for sensor exercises using Turtle Art.

We connected to the XS school server via a crossover cable to a Fedora laptop to a cellphone to a GPRS connection, which then established a OpenVPN connection to San Francisco. At 2.4kBps it was painfully slow, but it worked! Sameer managed to edit Apache config files to serve static content. It is evident that the offline School Server plays a major role, but its current software stack is still complicated. At 2.4kBps one cannot hope for a live Internet experience, but there is a good possibility to perhaps do SMTP and POP/IMAP once or twice a day.

We plan on sending updates and content via USB sticks. That seems to be more reliable than the Internet connection.

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More photos from Bhagmalpur are up at http://on.fb.me/M7aDZC

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Filed under education, network, outreach

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