Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Jan 2008 20:44 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems El Reg has an in-depth review of the XO laptop. They conclude: "There's a lot to like about the XO laptop. It's tough, it's great as an eBook reader, it has a big (for its category), high resolution screen. It runs silent and cool, has good battery life, and the clean design of the Sugar interface is easy to use. But several areas need work. The browser should be replaced by Firefox, and the Journal needs to support folders to match how people actually organise their work and play. Multimedia performance needs to be improved, which can hopefully be done through software. The XO needs a unified media player that supports all media types, along with playlists, and should be integrated with the UI. Most of these changes come down to the OLPC organisation placing more emphasis on real-world usability and less on their ideals of a perfect interface. If they can manage to do this, the XO laptop could be a great tool for learning and play."
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RE: So ... - Sugar = UI unlimited by language and exp
by jabbotts on Fri 18th Jan 2008 17:14 UTC in reply to "So ..."
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Sugar was designed specifically for the XO to transend language barriers and the hurtle of never having seen a mouse and GUI setup before.

It's all picture icons so that one does not have to first learn english or translate the XO into the local languages. It also allows children who have not yet or are still learning to read there native language to understand the UI through it's basic icons.

XO is going to be used by kids who have never even concieved of the mouse and GUI concept before. Not all kids will be like that but many will be seeing a computer for the first time when they are handed a XO. while it seems perfectly natural for someone like you are I to sit down at a GUI and expect the pointer to move when we push the mouse; this is not the case for a first time user. For that reason, Sugar was designed to be fairly basic in it's presentation. Even now, it's hard to teach most people a new program on the same old UI they've always used (MS only users, I mean you) without them feeling overwelmed; a kid who's never seen a mouse and is suddenly dropped into a full KDE/GNOME/IE or osX UI is going is not going to just pick it up.

Try to remember back to the first time you saw a Windows machine. For me, it was after years of Dos (and Apple 2e before that) text input interfaces. I remember sitting down infront of a win3.1 UI at the highschool library and being completely lost with that little I-beam cursor in wordpad. Granted, the lost feeling didn't last long but that was after many years mucking with computers.

Any of us techie types evaluating the Sugar interface based on our own experience can only provide broken analysis because most of us can not clearly remember that first time seeing a mouse and resulting cursor movement. Heck, these days, the younger techie types can't concieve of a non-mouse interface (anyone remember lightpens?).

In short, none of us here can accurately evaluate the Sugar interface. Remember also that it's *nix underneath; how long do you figure it will take for the XO owning kids who share our love of computers too change the UI to something the prefer more?

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