Posted by: vwbusguy | October 18, 2008

XO : First Impressions

OLPC XO

OLPC XO

My first impressions of the XO is that it is like no other laptop I’ve ever used.  I’ve only been using it since last Sunday (less than a week), so I’m sure there will be features that I haven’t discovered yet, but I’m amazed by the amount of things it can do!

The interface was really confusing for me at first, but whenever I’ve seen a kid play with it, they seem to have no trouble at all with the interface.  The Sugar Desktop Environment works really well.  Even though the screen is a fairly small display, Sugar works well to make the most of it.

The wireless has a very interesting interface for connecting to nearby networks.  I like how it shows you in the midst of several access points around, and connecting is just a simple click.  My only disappointment here is that it doesn’t seem to remember my WEP key and I have to enter it in every time I reboot.

Another interesting feature is it can find other XOs in the area and you can connect with them and chat and share activities.

The keyboard is a basic QWERTY style, but with a modified layout.  I haven’t yet figured out what all the buttons do yet, but there are no F-keys.  The keyboard is well sealed to keep a spill from damaging it.  I have found some difficulty with my adult-sized hands on the slightly smaller keys, but with a little practice it comes easier.

The hardware features are kind of cool, the screen turns 180 degrees either way and can snap back down and you can use the arrows on the screen to scroll and to do things like take pictures with the webcam.  The picture/video utility is very easy to use.  The video quality is a little weak, but there’s not much storage space to work with.

One of the best features of the XO is the fact that it is like nothing anyone has seen before.  I took it to a downtown coffee shop last night and was greated with a lot of stares and a lot of people asking “What is that?!?”  Which is a great way to introduce people to the project and also to say – ‘Look what Fedora can do’.

I look forward to seeing what the OLPC group will continue to do with this already amazing platform!

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Responses

  1. That’s exactly why I think XOs are soooo important for Ambassadors to have. Despite the fact that they were available for public consumption, they draw a ton of attention. That gives you an opportunity to show off what Fedora is doing, and more importantly, so make the call for volunteers – all with audience who might not have even given you the time of day.

  2. The buttons along the top are the function keys. Aside from the first, which is Esc.


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