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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You are missing the point
by Samhain on Thu 17th Jan 2008 22:51 UTC
Samhain
Member since:
2005-07-06

Although I agree with some of the points you are making from my use with the XO (mine arrived 2 days ago) you are pretty much missing the point of this device.

You are reviewing this as a consumer electronics device. Telling what is missing before you would recommend going out and buying one of these. They are NOT for sale. You are never going to buy one. So the developers don't really care that it is missing the multi-media features that you want.

The OLPC is designed to be given away, and it will be given away as an educational tool, not something to play video's or mp3's with.

Does it still need work as an educational tool? Yes it does, but I bet the OLPC developers are going to work on those things and not your multi-media requirements.

Now, the device is open source. And this means that someone else (maybe even you) could indeed put some other OS on it that does the things you want. Open source is kind of cool that way. So if this is what you want then show us the code. I don't think the OLPC people are going to, and I don't think the kids in Mongolia that they are giving these too (remember it is not for sale in the west, will not be, and is not designed to be!) will care.

Reply Score: 10

RE: You are missing the point
by mat69 on Thu 17th Jan 2008 23:25 in reply to "You are missing the point"
mat69 Member since:
2006-03-29

Well I thought it was for sale in the west.
Buy two and get one or something like that, where the second OX is given to a child in a poor country.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Samhain Member since:
2005-07-06

They are not really selling them. That is not what the "Give one, get one" campaign is all about.

They need money to finish the project and in order to get donations they promise to give you one and give one to a child. It is a limited time offer to raise capital, but the laptops were never designed to be sold and it is not supposed to continue.

Even still. That is missing the point that the laptop is designed for educational purposes and not as a media computer for consumer use.

But you can make it that if you wish.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

It's still not a consumer gadget. The buy one give one is/was a great promotional event but the XO is not designed to be a consumar product. This continues to be a concept that us techie types can't seem to comprehend.

It's not a hardware project, it's a hardware supported education project. It's not a consumer product for us spoiled EU/North American kids to play the latest DivX on, it's a hardware tool specialized too the purpose it's meant to support.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: You are missing the point
by dagw on Fri 18th Jan 2008 10:23 in reply to "You are missing the point"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

Video and mp3 playback is an absolute must for education. For example one of the best way to learn a new language is to listen to that langauge. Watching a movie in English, subtitled in your local language is amazingly effective way to improve your vocabulary, once you've got the basics of the language down.

Secondly there is an amazing wealth of educational videos and lectures on the web in both video and sound format. Letting potentially interested kids have access to these could be an amazing resource for them.

Reply Parent Score: 2