Tuesday, August 18, 2009

physics- make a game

As a group or single our task was to create a game using the activity 'Physics' on sugar. Me, Airsokand DarkDragon had created this game.

The aim of the game is to try and get three balls of any size (your choice) and using the rubber band like tool to throw the ball over the wall and get the ball to land on either of the three platforms which have points on them (5,10 and 20 points). The ball must be on one of the three long platforms in order for the point to count. Once all three balls have been thrown it is the next player's turn to throw.

After all players have had a shot throwing the points of each player is added up and the person witht he highest total in the end is the winner.

My views of this game is that it can be quite challenging trying to get the 20 points.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Joel Stanley's Talk

Today Joel Stanley came to answer some of our questions.

Joel Stanley is a student at the University of Adelaide studying computer system engineering or electrical engineering. Electrical engineering is all the hardware of a computer/laptop not software. Joel had decided he wanted to study this in year 10 when he was at a camp. He learnt to touch type through msn and prefers Linux over Windows because Windows annoys him.

He was working on a 10 week project involving the XO’s, the laptops I mentioned in my other blogs. He was testing their resistance against certain things such as heat and if they were dropped. He cooked them at 65 degrees using a kettle and testing if they still worked because some of the developing countries have temperatures that high, so they would have to make sure it could endure heat. It was also tested and proven that it is drop proof and Joel even demonstrated that to us. His main focus was on testing the power usage of the XO’s. Testing out how much each part uses and developing ways to lower the usage if required. The display used the most power on the XO followed by the CPU.

He went to places to further develop this project. He went to Massachusetts institution of Technology and Romania to talk to children about the XO, about why they exist and the benefits of the XO. Many of the kids were unaware of these things. He was also at America for 3 months. There was a project in America called the give one get one where you buy two XO’s and one was for you keep while the other once had to be donated to a child in a developing country. Joel was also part of the Google Summer of Code which paid university students to work on an open source project. He found that he did not see this as work but more of helping children change their lives and it was enjoyable to him, and if he could he would go and do it again.

Joel also met many talented people. He met Mary Lou who invented the screen for the XO and Richard Smith who made the low level software of the XO. Mary Lou was actually once working on project to project adverts onto objects and she was aiming to project it on the moon so that people could see. There was also two 10 year old children who were able to take apart the Xo and fix it which shows how simple the design of a XO is. The XO has only 8 screws all the same size (So only need one screw driver) and is basically a three part laptop (The Motherboard, Display and Casing).
The XO laptops wireless receivers in their clips on the sides of the screens and i thought that doing this was very clever. Unfortunately there have been no plans to sell these Xo laptops in stores for everyone’s use, it is designed only to be used by the developing countries.

The Children who were disassembling the laptops can be seen on this youtube link: