Sugar Learning on Armel Platform: Nokia N810


This past week I managed to do something quite interesting. I got sugar, running on my Nokia N810, compiled for armel.

Sugar running on Armel!

The trick that made it work was thanks to easy Debian chroot, that got me access to installing sugar without a few good hours of compilation for arm (and I did that before).

Touchscreen is cool!

The first thing that I found pretty neat was running sugar on a touchscreen device. It really felt better, since most people that I let play with my XO and flip its screen 180 degrees naturally try touching the screen, expecting it had a touchscreen. Sugar was actually quite good with it on the Nokia.

Any hardware - Any use

It is refreshing to see Sugar running on a different system, let alone a difference architecture (armel). Sugar seems to be attributed to OLPC and its unique hardware. I guess this comes to show that to in order to get sugar really to reach its full potential, we should take in to account it can run on anything: Why not old hardware? Why not smartphones? OLPC uses the XO, but everyone else can use anything else really.

This also is connected to things going on in our pilot in OLPC Israel. I won't get in to it in this post, because Netzach and I are going to write a report about it regarding a pilot we are doing with 9 Bedouin kids in the Ilan Ramon Youth Physics Center.

More about the hardware - How to get Sugar in your pocket

If you are wondering if this actually worked fully on the Nokia (unlike people who claim Android worked there, and it's just the x86 emulator). Well, it did pretty much work. However it was slow, and you wont get the browser working on it with 128MB ram. However I did get avahi-daemon working (remember to turn it on). Then I got in to the Chat system, and I could share things, etc.

You might need to enlarge the easy chroot iso image, so you have space to install sugar. I also guess that if someone installs it on Mer (an Ubuntu-based distro for the Nokia), it might even work faster.

Another problem is that the Nokia keyboard has no F1-F12 keys. They are essential in sugar. So I had to plug in an external USB keyboard for that. It could be fixed with an Xmodmap script.

Guysoft originally posted this as Nokia N810 Running OLPC Sugar and its republished here with his permission.

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