Unpacking the XO ($100) laptop
~ 19 December 2007 ~
Mine arrived today, and I hope its companion arrived to a child in a developing country just as quickly. Below are a few pics I snapped as my boys and I unpacked it. Learn more at laptop.org (give one get one ends Dec. 31).
Larger pics available at Flickr.
- It’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be.
- The keyboard is definitely made for small children. I had a difficult time typing letters. Isaac (pictured) seems to do okay.
- The OS is a bit slow compared to systems we’re used to, but given the extremely low manufacturing cost and the fact that most children in developing countries will have no reference point to our systems, this isn’t an issue at all.
- Lots of buttons around the fold-up portion of the screen, not sure what they do.
- There seem to be three mouse keypads, not sure why. Perhaps if three kids are playing a game at the same time or something?
- Can’t figure out how to connect to wi-fi. Seems to be configured for “mesh” networks. (The Google page is cached, btw.)
- The OS, keyboard, and mouse combination will be the make-or-break for this thing. I was a bit surprised to see that the three map to metaphors we (experienced computer users) are used to. There’s something to be said about the years of research that have gone into those three elements, but at the same time I’m quite concerned the learning curve for someone who’s never used a computer will be rather steep. For example, the power button looks like all the other buttons flanking the left and right sides of the screen. I would have made this one big and fat, centered, etc.
- Update: Failed to say I enthusiastically applaud the efforts of Nicholas Negroponte and many others to bring this to market. To have one in my hands and see his dream become a reality is incredible.
Update: Finally got the web connection working…
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