Thursday, December 02, 2010

1:1 XO's in a Seattle 3rd Grade? Asking OLPC

The first user - on OLPC (Lincoln)It's been nearly three years since I received my XO laptop. The scenario that has unfolded around that event is simply amazing. I remember talking with my wife about whether we could afford the $400. Turns out a gift from her dad actually financed it. I had asked my school's PTSA to buy one for the school, but got turned down. But I bought one anyway. Lincoln, my cat, loved it.

12 XO's of Christmas. The holiday season begins.Jump forward three years, and I now have 14 XO laptops in my third grade classroom. Every single one has been donated. Here's a picture I took a couple of days ago of my kids using them. We have a 2:1 ratio, so they can share as partners.

I've written over 40 articles here about that journey. Search this blog for XO or OLPC, and you'll see them. I've always tried to stay leaning forward, willing to let developments and opportunities come our way. We even field tested and debuted an experimental software release.

So now I find myself in the very strange position of actually asking for more. I'm sending a request for 13 unusable and maybe damaged XO's to OLPC.

Part of the reason I'm in this position is that, at the end of the school year last year, I let some of my kids take them home for the weekend - kind of a lending library. I wrote about the experience, the idea was picked up, and several more XO's were donated. Now I'm going for the ultimate in computers in the classroom - 1:1. Unbelievable.

Here is part of what I'm asking for from OLPC:
    1) To place XO laptops in the hands of third graders at 1:1 ratio for learning
    2) To have enough XO's to establish an XO lending library
 Plan of Action
    1) Continue integration of the XO's in daily instruction in classroom
    2) Get word out via PTSA and local blogs to increase interest in lending library.
    1) Establish the use of XO's, 1:1, in the classroom on a daily basis by 1/31/12)
    2) Establish lending library for rest of school by spring vacation (April, 2011)
    3) Continue program during 2011-12 school year.
    4) Progress will be updated on personal blog, at
    5) Updates will be posted to and

1) Main forum for posting updates:, Technorati-tagged olpc
  2) Updates will be cross posted to and
  3) Updates will be cross posted to Twitter (mahlness, tagged #olpc)
   4) Updates will be cross posted Facebook 
  5) Pictures will be posted to and tagged olpc
3So here we go. The one recent development that has made this at all possible - from a tech support point of view - is that someone has been helping me by reconditioning donated computers and shipping them my way. He's also helped me repair a "bricked" XO. I would be sitting here with a 1:3 ratio otherwise.Thank you, Nathan.

13 align=right XO laptops in my 3rd grade class. Christine (open) arrived today #olpcThe XO laptop is slow, by today's standards. It's underpowered. Yet it can do things other laptops have no chance at. Did I mention that two of ours are solar powered? Or that several of them can run an overclocked version of Linux that emulates a regular PC? Or that I hope to have a flash drive Sugar on a Stick OS in the hands of every one of my kids by the end of the year?

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Trust Me

Let me teach.
I know how to teach..
I have a Masters degree.
I can do more than read from a script.
Trust me.

Let me teach.
I know how kids think.
I've been doing this for 30 years.
I know more than my supervisors.
Trust me.

Let me teach.
I know what's important.
I care about my kids as adults.
I know learning is not reflected in a test score.
Trust me.

Let me teach.
I have a passion for it.
I seek to improve my craft every day.
I know my #1 job is to help create responsible, caring individuals.
Trust me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Repairing a Bricked XO

I now have 11 XO laptops in my third grade classroom. The latest arrived DOA, or "bricked", as in the RTC bug (real time clock failure). I mentioned this earlier in Remarkable Generosity

So tonight I took apart an XO, hooked up a custom cable from the motherboard of one, to the USB port of another. Once connected, I ran a program on one XO that would supposedly fix the other. This just sounds like hocus pocus, I know.

But it worked. Lazarus came back from the dead. I am still shaking my head in amazement and gratitude:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Remarkable Generosity

Remarkable Generosity
Originally uploaded by mahlness
On the right is an XO laptop donated to my third grade classroom from a teacher in L.A. This generous person sent me two. One is in my classroom now and runs great. The one on the right is "bricked", XO jargon for a laptop that will not boot because the RTC (real time clock) went bad - and a bug in the original firmware will not allow it to boot if the RTC is not there...

On the left is an XO from New York, by way of Michigan. This little guy works great. What's even more amazing, is that it came with several things: a USB cable, an 8-GB SD card with ExtraOrdinary 2010 loaded on it, a one of a kind cable to connect the motherboards of both these XO's, detailed instructions on how to hook the good one up to the bricked one, special software loaded to upgrade the firmware on the bricked one once I connect the motherboards, and detailed directions for exactly how to accomplish this delicate task. I feel as though I'm about to do brain surgery. Oh, it also came with a postage paid return envelope for the special cable.

I'm just blown away by this generosity. I've never met nor spoken with the folks who put this stuff in my hands. They trust that I will put them in the hands of kids and use them to enrich their lives.

This comes at a time when it feels really, really GOOD to say that.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Thank goodness for the kids

Thank goodness for the kids - who come tomorrowTomorrow it starts all over again. My new class of third graders will enter a new classroom, bringing with them what keeps me coming back as a teacher. They bring enthusiasm, confidence (some more than others), wide eyed wonder, curiosity, creativity, and a wealth of values from a variety of backgrounds. I love being a teacher, and I can't wait for it to really start.

It was a rough summer to be a teacher. Mostly, I can blame Diane Ravitch for this. I blame her for writing a book that put education reform on its ear. That book changed the way I looked at education reform - forever. So thanks a lot, Diane (big, fat genuinely thankful grin)!

One thing led to another over the summer, and I found myself following people like Ken Bernstein on Daily Kos, The Answer Sheet, from the Washington Post, Teachers' Letters to Obama on Facebook, and a host of others as I tried to follow people not interested in trashing me just because I was a teacher.

The more I read from those learned sources (and clearly not ed secretary Duncan), the more furious, outraged, and ultimately, despondent I became. Lies and untruths were flowing from sources I thought I would follow forever: a liberal Democratic administration headed by Obama, and someone who was a supposed champion for technology in education, Bill Gates.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I also followed ed-reformers like Tom Vanderark (know thine enemy). I sat around tables in Seattle with him, heads from Microsoft, IBM, Dell, Seattle Schools, and then superintendent John Stanford, as they drew up plans for the Seattle ed/tech plan. I was a teacher. I had differences with Stanford, but to his credit, he surrounded himself with admins and CLASSROOM TEACHERS (there was one other besides me). I spoke at that table of powerful folks as an equal. Stanford heard me. They all did, they all listened, questioned, and engaged. We had conversations.

That scenario is a distant memory from a bygone age - when teachers were not the cause of the problems in education, they were the answer. Now ed leaders are not looking for a conversation as much as the holy grail. This year the answer is bad teachers.  The conversation is over.

I need to stop with the rant. In 12 hours or so, 28 fresh new faces will walk into my classroom, and I will know once again why I do what I do. Thank goodness.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

With 30, do you get eggroll?

With 30, do you get eggroll?
Originally uploaded by mahlness
This fall I begin my 30th year as a public school teacher. I feel lucky, and I do love being a teacher.

But I go in to that year with egg on my face, simply because I AM a teacher. I am absolutely astounded the way the new education reform movement has taken over and is being sold and bought, hook, line and sinker.

It is so wrong and so totally misguided.

I have never felt so discouraged.
I have never felt so disrespected.

I have never been so competent at what I do.
I have never been so restricted from doing fantastic things.

We teachers are being blamed for what's wrong in education.
We are being threatened.
We are being told to shape up, or else.
We are being evaluated by invalid measures.
We are being evaluated on the wrong things.

Our president thinks this is great.
So does his secretary of education.

School starts in three weeks.
Instead of encouragement, I hear threats.
Instead of freedom, I feel tighter shackles.
Somehow I have to close out all this awful noise and teach.

Is this any way to make great teachers even better?

Of course not, it's a prescription for driving people who care right out of the classroom.

Thank goodness there are teachers like Ken Bernstein who are battling for us all. He wrote this today as he prepared to start his teaching year:

Today I return to school.

Today I begin the necessary preparation to do the work which consumes me.

Today I begin yet again the process of preparing to teach.

I am a teacher. I wear that title proudly. I am honored to be in the company of those who are teachers. There is no more important work that I could be doing.

I have always wanted my life to make a difference.

I am a teacher. If I live up to the meaning of those words, I will be making a difference.


Thanks Ken.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Louis Schmier: To Be A Teacher

To Be a TeacherI believe part of the answer to bringing the current teacher bashing and testing obsessed edreform movement to its senses lies in reminding people, from politicians to parents, why teachers teach.

The following was an email written by Louis Schmier in 1994. The image to the right is an excerpt, so please read his entire "To Be A Teacher". Below is the version from his blog:

Well, I just went out for a pre-dawn walk. After being spoiled by ten idyllic days of walking the cool, inviting, gnatless, mosquitoless environs of Seattle’s streets and Vancouver’s Stanley Park, my body had seemed to know what torture it was about to endure. I had started sweating before my hand was on the door knob. It is hot down here! It is humid down here! It was like slogging through a paved rain forest. And, the sun hasn’t even come up yet!
Anyway, as I was hoping against hope that the heated asphalt wouldn’t fry the soles of my feet before I finished my route, I was thinking about a question raised by a student in my class yesterday morning. I think he and the others were intrigued by the four days scheduled in the syllabus of what I call “stuff,” those bonding and trusting exercises with which I begin all my classes. It’s my way of starting to replace what I think is the strangling atmosphere of isolating, destructive classroom competitiveness with the sweet smelling air of a mutually supportive and cooperative learning community. He wanted to know what I thought it took to be a collegiate history teacher. I told him that I would have to reflect on that question and would bring in an answer today.
I’m sure he and the others are expecting me to talk mundanely about techniques, courses to take, areas in which to major, advanced degrees to acquire, research in which to engage, stuff to publish, and so on. But, I don’t think I will because I don’t think the essence of teaching lies in the “doing,” that is, I don’t think teaching begins with, is and ends with technique. Nor do I think the seminal issue of teaching lies in the “knowing,” that is, having a grasp of the subject and the subject content of the course. Certainly both technique and subject are important, but I think teaching, and learning for that matter, ultimately rests on “self.” I think the essence of teaching and learning lies in the “feeling” and the “being,” that spirit which surrounds each of us, which brings life and meaning and purpose into the learning experience, and which creates that critical common bond of humanity among the students as well as between them and the teacher.
So, here is what I am going to tell the students about what I think it takes to be not just a collegiate history teacher, but a teacher of anything at any level:
If you want to be a teacher, you first have to learn how to play hopscotch, jump rope, ride-and-seek, learn other children games, learn how to watch a snail crawl, blow bubbles, read “Yertle the Turtle”, and watch “Bullwinkle”. If you want to be a teacher, you have to sing “she loves me, she loves me nots” as you blow at a dandelion or pull the individual petals of a daisy. It you want to be a teacher, you have to stop and watch a rainbow, listen to a distant train, wiggle your toes in the mud and let it ooze through them, stomp in rain puddles, look up and watch an airplane, and be humbled by the majesty of a mountain. If you want to be a teacher, you have to fall in love each day. If you want to be a teacher, you have to paddle a canoe, take a hike, or just get out. If you want to be a teacher, you have to watch intently the artistry of a spider weaving its web. If you want to be a teacher, you have to fly a kite or throw a frisbee, skip stones in a lake or brook, make sand castles, and love people. If you want to be a teacher, you have to listen intently to the rustle of the leaves, to the murmur of the brook, to the pitter-patter of the rain, and to the whisper of the breeze. If you want to be a teacher, you have to dream dreams, play games, talk to the flowers, catch fire flies, admire a weed, walk barefoot, hold a worm, and see what is yet to be. If you want to be a teacher, you have to think silly thoughts, have a water gun fight, have a pillow fight, swirl a tootsie pop in your mouth, burn sparklers at night, and see in a tree more than a mass of atoms or so many board feet of lumber or something that’s in the way. If you want to be a teacher, you have to skip as you walk, laugh at yourself, smile at others, hang loose, always have an eraser handy, concoct an original recipe. If you want to be a teacher you have to be inspired and inspire. If you want to be a teacher, you have to fix a bird’s broken wing, pinch the neck of a deflating balloon and play a tune, do zany things, play with a yo-yo, and lose yourself in the quiet scenery to find yourself. If you want to be a teacher, you have to feed the pigeons or squirrels, sing in the shower or tub, smell the flowers, play with finger paints, and do a belly flop in a pool. If you want to be a teacher, you have to bring joy into everything, watch in awe a sunset or sunrise, ride on a swing, slide down a slide, bump on a seesaw, and respect even a cockroach as a miracle of life. If you want to be a teacher, you have to ride a bicycle or roller skate or ice skate, and live today. If you want to be a teacher, make all those marvelous feelings and images an intimate part of you and bring them into the classroom with you and share them. If you want to be a teacher, as Carl Jung advised, you have to put aside your formal theories and intellectual constructs and axioms and statistics and charts when you reach out to touch that miracle called the individual human being.
That’s what I am going to tell my student about what it will take to be a teacher.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

New look, new mix

This blog has not had much ed/tech content lately.

Well, I got a new phone, and had to do as much as I could with it of course.... then there's been Facebook, lots of stuff going on there.... Twitter is still very much in my new mix... then Posterous came along for me and I found I could post everything everywhere, instantly, via email, especially easy on my phone.

As a result, and also because of the intensity (no, difficulty) of the past school year personally and professionally, this blog has been content silent.

I hope to change that. I have more time right now. My next school year (my 30th year teaching) will be a better one, I'm pretty sure of that.

So here's to a new look, more frequent incredibly insightful posts - ha, and who knows what else...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

10 Line June Beetle

Made an appearance in Seattle today, on our front porch, first noticed by the guy hauling away our old refrigerator...

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Conversation with Diane Ravitch

A fantastic opportunity to speak with Diane Ravitch via Elluminate. I asked a question about unions... She was wonderful!

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Forwarded from State audit critical of Seattle school district

Mark Ahlness ( has sent the following story
to you from


State audit critical of Seattle school district
SEATTLE -- The state auditor's office on Tuesday issued a
sharply critical audit of Seattle Public Schools, accusing the
district of misappropriating money or leaving public assets
"susceptible to misappropriation" because of ineffective
policies, failure to enforce its own rules and inadequately
trained staff.

* Read the full article at:

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

NC classical in WA, amazing technology...

Listened to WFDD from Winston Salem NC on our deck in Seattlethis evening,
via my phone and a nice speaker. Is there anyhing technology cannot do...?

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hop tragedy - Attack of the Aphids!

Had to cut down three huge hop plants that were totally overrun with aphids, thanks to the cold wet Seattle spring (yes worse than usual). Will monitor as they come back, and hope for a long hot summer!

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Domain renewal = reality check

I own several domains. Some of them are for my school. I was speaking with a rep. from today who was offering discounts if I’d re-up them now at a reduced rate. We went through all that are coming up in the next few months.

I held off on the domains I own that have to do with my school, said I’d decide on those later. Worst case scenarios flashed by as we spoke… It continues to be a strange, uncertain time.

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer starts with light skies, candles & wine

Sometimes a heart breaks all at once, sometimes a few pieces at a time...

The kids' last day was yesterday, and it was incredibly intense, in the best of ways. But today we had a staff meeting, and I'm a mess, wondering what to do and where to go...

We rescheduled an all school event, impacting my classroom and my school in a couple of ways next year. I will not be publising a "Best of My Blog" book with my third graders. And I will probably not be running the Earth Day Groceries Project at my school. The rescheduling of the school event precludes both from happening. I have no idea if I can even keep running The Earth Day Groceries Project on the Internet. Timing is everything. And this is bad.

One might think I'd be excited about having less to do, but that's not the case here. My heart is heavily invested in these things. Both are central to how I build the school year for my third graders. One is a chance to grow up and mature, doing things at the edge of their reach - I love giving them that in the Earth Day activity. The other is the culmination, or focal end point, of a year long process of growing and maturing as writers – on their blogs. Do I care about blogging with my kids? Ahem. The Internet project, I don’t even know what to say.

It breaks pieces of my heart to say goodbye to these things, but there is no choice. A decision has been made. I will move on.

A couple of other decisions were announced/made today, both with program wide implications. One I can live with, the other leaves me speechless. Everybody has their important things, and priorities differ, no question. Compromise is an art. So is negotiation. But I am so tired of leaderless decisions quickly made, based on selfish thinking. That’s how I see it anyway.

This has been the most difficult year in my 29 years of teaching, without a doubt. I figured I had a 50/50 chance of actually making it through, so I’m a little proud of my resolve, and thankful to those who let me lean on them along the way.

I am, like most teachers on the last day, totally spent. I have some decisions to make this summer, to take care of myself. I’ll wait for the return of some energy, and maybe, some perspective.

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Last day in my special chair

My students gave me a wonderful chair to relax in - and they signed it! I have been blessed this year

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Report cards, yard work a reward

It's the last weekend of the school year. Grading and scoring like the last three Everyday Math unit tests. Then on to the report cards. If I get enough done, my reward will be some yard work. Woohoo! If the sun shines…

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A classroom visit from Jeff Utecht, blogger, teacher, author!

Jeff Utecht talks with room 12 - aI tell you what. There’s nothing more exciting or rewarding than to have somebody you admire walk into your classroom and just take over for a while. And just sit back and watch. Jeff Utecht, Bangkok teacher summering in chilly Seattle, dropped by my third grade classroom this afternoon.

With 4 days left in the Seattle Public Schools calendar, the wheels on the bus are a little loose right now. We had Field Day in the morning. The afternoon work was writing a blog article about blogging. We would watch another installment of the movie Because of Winn-Dixie later…

Reach 1
It was so great to have Jeff there – teaching, helping, engaging. And it meant so much to exchange a short story, anecdote, or update in the midst of kids who were ready for summer a couple of weeks ago.

And then Jeff the Author signed my copy of
REACH (download #132). Frosting on the cake. Thank you Jeff!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

So if a school votes no confidence in its super...

...and news media does not report it, did it really happen?

Two more no confidence votes happened in Seattle schools on Friday. Nobody knows.

I'm discouraged that my teacher colleagues have no clue how to make their voices heard these days, but I am much more disappointed in my union for totally ignoring this.

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Hops trussed for the summer, doing well

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Student Newsletter wraps up for 09-10

Last night I wrapped up the 19th year of the Jr. Seahawk Newsletter at Arbor Heights Elementary with the publication of the June edition (pdf). This was my 16th year as editor and online publisher. It has for the past several years run as: “The oldest continuously published elementary school student newspaper on the Internet!”

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Monday, June 07, 2010

Seattle teachers vote no confidence in super

Four Seattle Public Schools have put forth no confidence votes in the superintendent in the past few days, as the school board gets ready to renew her contract. The teachers' union has not acknowledged this occurrence, nor has it offered support to schools taking risks by speaking out.

Covered exclusively in education blogs, Twitter and Facebook, mainstream media has not noticed, or has not cared to report. An exception, with links to the information, is here:

Friday, June 04, 2010

5 XO laptops hit the road

On Friday I send home 5 XO laptops with my third graders. They are to return to the classroom on Monday of course, but it's nervous time... At a value of $400/each, well, that's a piece of trust I have never extended before. The reason for doing this is simply that I'd like my families to have a chance to see/feel/experience these wonderful computers.

I've not been able to use them as often as I'd like in class... So I believe in my kids, and I have faith in their responsibility. Seems  like everyone wants to take one home over the weekend (not surprising), so  we had to have a session of "pick a number" to settle things. Luckily there  are two more weekends... More later...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Two big chunks of cake delivered by neighbors in 2 days

Man I love this town and our neighborhood

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Today's a welcome chance to catch up, and gas up, for the final stretch...

Memorial Day weekend at last, can't believe I made it this far. The year has been a challenge, certainly. A chicken is simmering on the stove for a comforting and sustaining soup later. It feels like fall here in Seattle, mid-50's and rainy. Got some paperwork taken care of, much more to do of course, but the next three weeks feel more do-able at the moment.

I'm working on a first - an agreement/contract allowing my third graders to check out one of our seven XO laptops at home for a day or two. The demands of the year have relegated them all too often to a locked file drawer, many days never even getting them out. I hope to at least put them in the hands of more people by the end of the year, just for the experience. Back to the soup, smelling real nice right now...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Young Authors Day celebration underway at Arbor Heights Elementary in Seattle:

Kids sharing books they wrote, listening to each other, signing each other's beautiful shirts, it's always a special day.   Here's last year's, with links at the bottom to many years past...

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Monday, May 24, 2010

Outa ink and air

Now I’m not usually much of a whiner, but this afternoon was a bit much. This morning my classroom color laser printer told me I needed to replace the black cartridge. I called the local Staples and learned it would be $93. This was just as I was beginning to print out my third graders’ “Best of My Blog” books. Ouch.

On my way home on my bike I headed on a side trip to the store. Halfway there I got a flat tire. Second one in two weeks. Goodness, I’d  gone two years in a row without a flat before.

So I walked my bike home, replaced the tire (thank goodness for two spare bikes I have kept around for parts), and headed off to Staples when my wife got home with the car. I just went to the garage to check the air in the repaired tire. A-ok, yippee skippee!

In the silver lining department, while walking my bike home, I found a glove I had lost five days ago by the side of the road…
Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Friday, May 21, 2010

Third graders respond to high stakes test

My third graders blogged brief thoughts on Washington State's latest high stakes test, the MSP, replacing our WASL. Lots of references to the snacks and doing well, so I guess I did my job just fine - giving them confidence and goodies to take away some of the sting of test anxiety, just like the test prep manuals suggest. Right.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

msp testing, day 2

Kids really concentrating at the outset on the reading test. Will see well how their concentration holds. Test is long, and pretty tough. I don't think the IOWA tests of my youth were this bad - nor were they as hard on us.

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Testing sign

Outside room 12 on the first day of MSP testing

Posted via email from Arbor Heights Elementary

msp testing, day 1

First break time a few minutes away. Snacks await my third graders. Most are finished with the math test. Deathly quiet in here...

Posted via email from Mark Ahlness on posterous

Monday, May 17, 2010

High stakes testing starts tomorrow, feeling ill...

Disheartened by stories of colleagues spending not just hours, or days, but weeks - doing schoolwide, daylong test prepping. Thanks NCLB and RTTT.

Doing my best to not succumb to the insanity, to keep the kids relaxed - and even have a little FUN in school. Here goes...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday, April 03, 2010

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Phone Phun

Phone Phun
Originally uploaded by mahlness
Been a little distracted the past few days playing with my new Nexus One - the Google Phone. I've never had anything like this before.

My goal at first was to see how much regular computer stuff I could get it to do (like handle 4 email accounts - easy, peasy)...

But the things it does that my computer can't - that's the really amazing, eye-opening part.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love stinks

Love stinks
Originally uploaded by mahlness
Happy Valentine's Day, 2010.

I got this from one of the kids in my third grade classroom, and I just had to laugh. I called him over and showed him the card. "You can't say this!" I insisted.

He shook his head and did not recant.

Other kids and parents took a look, rolled their eyes, and shook their smiling heads.

One more time I count myself lucky to be a teacher.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lincoln on Lincoln on Lincoln

Lincoln the cat on Lincoln the XO laptop - a screenshot of the desktop on Lincoln the XO, which is running on an SD card.

Lincoln is the last of my six classroom XO's to be set up in this way. I was unable to get a developer key for it (to load a different operating system), until the helpful volunteers at OLPC actually entered the serial number, etc. into the database - where it should have been all along.

I was told this XO was produced on the second day of production in the first G1G1 run, back in 2007. Still tickin', and moving along faster than the good old days, too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Samish flats sunset

Samish flats sunset
Originally uploaded by mahlness
Leaving the Samish flats after a great day of birding with our new scope. A couple thousand dunlin are parked in the mud on the left.

Friday, January 15, 2010

XO Desktop, 2010

XO Desktop, 2010
Originally uploaded by mahlness
A screenshot of the XO I'm working on. Taken, saved, uploaded, named, blogged, tagged, etc, etc - on an XO laptop, easily and quickly. Getting 4 more of these for my classroom, right away. This is so very cool.