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[2]: XO Laptop
by Finalzone on Fri 18th Jan 2008 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE: XO Laptop"
Finalzone
Member since:
2005-07-06

The flawed assumption is to think the XO as another laptop. That is mostly Western mindset. You can find document on www.laptop.org or wiki.laptop.org that should cover some question. I will try to answer some below.

Yep, I doubt there's a kid anywhere who doesn't want to play mp3 files and u-Tube movies. That's a significant omission. Other standard media file types are reportedly not supported either. FYI to the OLPC folks, distributed educational materials generally contain multimedia presentations!


You mean for developing countries which are OLPC? Most of them don't have the concept about mp3. Remember the OLPC only bundles free and uncumbered patent format which is the logical decision. There is an application called OggConvert that allow to convert proprietary audio/format formats into ogg so it is a no-issue.

* How can anyone learn to use a computer without being familiar with folders and subfolders? Being able to store, organize, and retrieve data is critical for any job or educational task. The XO file method looks like a real mess, and reportedly doesn't even work correctly.


You think too much into the old semantic. One keyword, share. The XO is desgined to share between other XOs. To transfer a critical file you worked, simply insert either a USB pendrive or a SD card, access to Journal activities (it contains saved files from different applications, drag the file into media icon. Granted Journal activites does not have folders concept outside the XO, you can address the issue through bug report. The XO still uses Unix method in the background.


* Hardware/software problems. Here's a computer long overdue and quadrupled in price, but yet there's defective hardware, and software that doesn't work like it should. Just how would OLPC issue mass refunds or recall repairs for millions of computers distributed to remote locations around the world?


You talk about Give One Get One program where you donate one XO you receive one. It already ended since the end of 2007 and there is plan to launch similar program in Europe. You will be surprised the XO is fairly easy to repair. XO value is USD 200 which should drop to USD 100 in a few years..

* Why does it take five times longer to boot than the Eee?

The operating system is not fully optimized yet. It is unavoidable that some new features cause regression. Now that number of XO reached some public, expect a much faster optimization and bug fixes.

* Why is the XO purposefully designed to make running non-included apps difficult? Should children really be expected to launch additional programs via the terminal? And how difficult is it going to be to install those programs in the first place?


There is a bunch activities (applications ) for XO available from wiki.laptorp.org in .xo format. It is clear if you run a non-xo version application, then you will have to go through terminal.

One additional topic I wish the reviewer would have "touched" on, how responsive is the keyboard? Do the keys promote proper typing and have a good solid Click? Or are they spongy with no tactile feedback, like the chicklet keyboards from past decades?


Very responsive although the keyboard is small and get some used to.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: XO Laptop
by Bobthearch on Fri 18th Jan 2008 17:04 in reply to "RE[2]: XO Laptop"
Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

* How can anyone learn to use a computer without being familiar with folders and subfolders? Being able to store, organize, and retrieve data is critical for any job or educational task. The XO file method looks like a real mess, and reportedly doesn't even work correctly.

You think too much into the old semantic. One keyword, share. The XO is desgined to share between other XOs. To transfer a critical file you worked, simply insert either a USB pendrive or a SD card, access to Journal activities (it contains saved files from different applications, drag the file into media icon. Granted Journal activites does not have folders concept outside the XO, you can address the issue through bug report. The XO still uses Unix method in the background.


I understand the concept of sharing, and how one of the primary features of the XO is to allow multiple users to network together and complete group projects. But without a method of organizing data and files, the materials from Project #1, Project #2, and the user's personal files are all jumbled together into the same "Journal." That's not productive or logical.

At least that's the way the review describes it. Perhaps someone could clarify if that's not correct?

Reply Parent Score: 1