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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mat69
Member since:
2006-03-29

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.

It seems you are mostly talking about people that allready adopted to a system and are maybe older than 30. I'm talking about children. Children can manage DOS, they can manage Windows they can even manage to learn different languages at the same time.

Children can do a lot more you seem to think.
So instead of teaching them a "language" (UI principle) none speaks they should learn something "international", not that they have to adopt later on when learning is not so easy anymore.

And I bet a child you show how to start a little game/a program to toy with will remember the steps to do so very fast.

It's true that it is not that easy to navigate a computer without reading skills, but children will remember the icons and the shape of the words they have to press in the menu to get to a game they like very fast.
Hell, children beat most grown ups in playing memory, they won't have a problem to remember such little pieces.

Overall: Children rule. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

"
It seems you are mostly talking about people that allready adopted to a system and are maybe older than 30. I'm talking about children. Children can manage DOS, they can manage Windows they can even manage to learn different languages at the same time.
"

I remember learning Dos and thinking I broke the secret code when I discovered that the neat menu system was a collection of batch files I could edit. I'm also watching my first born go through the natural learning process currently. Oh, I don't doubt how fast kids will learn and that's why I say that the kids who take interest in computers will very quickly and easily be able to change the UI. Not all of them are going to be interested in computers though, for many, the device will be a tool that provides them with content on the topic they are interested in.

But the point is still that the basic UI bridges language barriers and provides an overwhelming introduction to computer use for people who have never considered the concept of mouse and GUI. It's for the youngest school children and initial introduction to them and older school children as well as there parents.

The interface provides access to the devices native functions in a manner that doesn't require children to learn words from other languages. I personally think and understanding if not more complete knowledge of multiple languages is very beneficial but that also shouldn't be forced. (there is already some uproar over us westerners forcing our version of history and other texts on the recipients. a language neutral UI helps overcome that initial fear)

I'm not saying all kids are dim and need to be hand held. I'm just saying that maybe Sugar is very well designed for it's purpose rather than simply slapped together and as restrictive as us full UI users are accustomed too.

Reply Parent Score: 1