Laptop Mission for Kids

One Laptop per ChildThere is a big boost in the community about One Laptop per Child project these days, and this is a great and a valuable gift given to children who doesn’t have opportunity to have their hand on a computer because the world we live is evolving very rapidly that if we don’t meet up with it, it’s most likely that you are gone. If you don’t know how to operate a computer you finds yourself deserted from the rest of the world because life ahead is mainly based on them. So this gives them an opportunity to keep you updated with the current basic requirements.
Nicholas Negroponte is a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab and is founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child project. From November 12 to November 26 you can buy one and donate one (GIGI) for a child in the third world country for $400 but this offer is only available in USA and Canada. Currently there are several countries that has shown their interest towards this project.
Let me talk bit more about the technical side regarding OLPC. It has a 433MHz AMD processor which is x86 complaint and 256Mb of system memory. And for the secondary memory it has a 1Gb flash drive. It’s OS is based on Fedora and since it is FOSS you can install any application on it that supports Fedora but the only problem is its limited storage capacity. Its has some cool features built into it, such as a camera,WiFi networking capability with mesh networking are some of them.


Why some people are afraid of FOSS?

In our country most of the people who are entering into the software development don’t have a clear idea about what is really FOSS and they mostly think that life will be hard for them if they select any of them. Among the student community they don’t have a clear idea about the values and opportunities they can gain by working with the FOSS related technologies, such as:

  • Availability of resources
  • Community support
  • Exposure to the community
  • Other opportunities and future prospects.

I think this is mainly due to lack of awareness, and if we can create opportunities for them to get to know the values and benefits in this domain we can increase the community to a greater extent.

Life at School days and Varsity

Life at school was very simple and with less responsibilities apart form getting through the end term exams because our father was very strict on them, and at the end of every term my brother and I go to see our grandparents at Hingurakgoda situated near Polonnaruwa, and it is a five hour journey from Kandy, a place which is famous among local and foreign visitors for its valuable ancient monuments. The main reason that took us there because of the freedom we had to do what ever we want and our grandparents loved us very much that they waited for our arrival at their place with all sorts of fruits and foods, and if by any chance if we failed or got delayed to get their during our vacations they were very upset.

At my grandparents place there is a huge paddy field and a stream going near their premises. So those are the most attractive things to us those days because we didn’t had any of those near our house. Most of the days we wakeup early in the morning and go to the paddy field with our grandfather to see what sort of work going on there. I sometimes take part in some of the activities happening in the paddy field, such as plowing, planting paddy, removing unwanted plants etc with the assistant of the workers that work under my grandparents. During the tea breaks I enjoy a fresh drink of king coconut with them. And when the lunch time is nearing we go to the stream flowing next to the paddy field to have a bath. I spend a long time in there catching fish and doing all sorts of funny events with my brother. My grandparents rarely scold us unless if there is a very serious thing that we have done.

My grandfather is a good business man having a paddy field, a rice mill, lorries and a shop. My grandmother is another wonderful person that I have met in my life. Everyday she used to make us different kinds of delicious food that I have never tasted. It was a some kind of a thrilling experience that I will never forget in my life. Unfortunately my grandfather got passed away while I was studying at grade 10. During his latter days he suffered from Kidney failure and had to hospitalize him weekly to clean the blood and it was a very painful experience for him. But after my G.C.E. (O/L) exams most of activities got changed (like visiting my grandparents) because I had to put more efforts on my higher studies. I got through my G.C.E. (A/L) exam to enter into the university and I it was the time to say good bye to my school.

I had to wait for nearly one year to get into the university after sitting for the G.C.E. (A/L) exam because the opportunity is very limited out here. During this period I worked at Informatics Information Systems, though the stay was a small period I had a very enjoyable time with them. I got myself selected to follow the degree course in Information Technology at University of Moratuwa. I started my chapter at university after our Sinhala and Tamil New Year, at the beginning of May 2005. The first day at university I was bit scared but I had one of my classmate following a Engineering course, so I had a little advantage over that. During the first few days life was comfortable because it was the first time I spent leaving my parents and the life at boarding place is not that pleasing.

In our batch of 104 there are students representing all the districts except one. It gave me a chance to understand how various people see the world and to experience their way of life. There are some students that used the Sinhala differently from the way we pronounce and express our ideas on daily things. I saw that difference mainly with the students that came from the Southern part of Sri Lanka. Most of the time the lecturers were so boring because most of the lecturers were so serious about what they taught (no jokes in between at all) but there were few occasions in between.

There is student movement, which is called “INTECS” having its slogan “It happens!” but everybody tells it “Nothing happens” but I have to agree on that to a certain extent and major reason I see why it got it like that because we have to take seven or eight modules per semester in order to meet up with the required credits so the people are busy with their course work. During the second year I had a chance to get involved in an IT awareness program. It was a two day workshop, where fifteen of us Our Team went to remote school at southern part of Sri Lanka, and we were accompanied by a team from Virtusa and it was a memorable experience for all of us. During the same period year I started a library in the faculty and managed to collect 700 odd books covering most of the course materials, fictions, novels, etc and I must mentioned that several people helped me on this, there was this lecturer an Australian who taught us Software Engineering, Mrs. Debora Mackan Markar helped me a lot.

During the latter part of my second year got an opportunity to work in a Web Designing and Development company called VESESS co founded by one of my senior. I worked there until recently on part time basis, and currently I’m working at LSF under the project SAHANA a FOSS disaster management project as an intern. I have my interests towards FOSS and the place where I work currently do really helped me to fulfill them.

Dear reader…

Thank you for spearing your valuable time to visit my blog. You can view an excerpt on how I see myself and the world around me under About section.
Hope to meet you with interesting articles in the future with thoughts and ideas about the things I’m interested in and the world I around me.

Thank you.