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First Graders and XO Photo Retrieval Woes

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Every Wednesday morning, I volunteer in my son’s first grade class. You could describe my duties as crowd control. As Mrs. Richmond works with small groups of children on their reading skills, I’m keeping an eye on everyone else.

Some children are writing in their journals. Others are working on handwriting or reading along to a picture book at the CD player. 3 kids also get to go to the computers.

Problem is, only 2 of the Macs in the room are working properly. The 3rd just won’t boot and I don’t know enough about them to trouble shoot. Plus the School’s IT department probably wouldn’t be too happy with me if I did.

A few months ago I came to school with an XO laptop so when 3 kids were working in that “Center” they could use a computer if they wanted to.

As you can imagine, the XO has been a big hit in the classroom. We started out playing Speak, but the kids have been exploring and have also discovered the Record Activity and I’ve finally managed to get at the pictures.

Why have I “Finally Managed?” Well because it was a giant PITA to get the pictures off the XO.

You can use Flickr’s basic uploader to capture 6 images at a time. Fine if there were just a few, but with 180+ images on the XO and most of them named “Photo by Karlie” it was more than a waste of time trying that route.

Method 2 was plugging in a USB or SD card and moving the files. Equally painful especially since keeping track of which “Photo by Karlie” was moved and every image transferred was appended with an underscore and series of numbers. How’s that bad? Well the 15th image I moved was appended with _1_2_3_4_5_6_7_8_9_10_11_12_13_14_15

Method 3 was right up there with knowing the secret handshake. Lucky for me, Mel Chua is in the club and showed us where to grab every file from the XO’s Journal. It’s /home/olpc/.sugar/default/datastore/store in case you’re wondering. But you’ll still need to use the terminal to transfer the files.

This method still had it’s draw backs, but turned out to be the least annoying.

For one, every file has a seemingly random name assigned to it and no extension to sort by. However, once the files were transferred to USB, Fedora was smart enough to see pictures even though none had .png or.jpg extension.

To upload to Flickr though, they’d all need their appropriate extension. Easy enough to fix, but again, so down right annoying that you’d even have to include this step. While I’m told you can do a batch update, I hate the terminal so it was faster for me to ctrl+v .jpg and rename the files one by one (vs learning the commands).

~Karlie

PS, I’ve left full Copyright intact on these pictures. While we don’t have names or other details on the images, they’re still 6 year-olds and that brings a certain amount of restrictions as to their use. If you’d like to use them for something, ping me and we’ll discuss it.

Written by Karlie

February 16th, 2010 at 11:05 am

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