I Got My XO computer from OLPC

I GOT MY XO!!!!!

Well, actually, I got it about a week before Christmas, but with all the preparations I didn’t get a chance to blog about it. Also, I showed incredible restraint by telling myself that I would not seriously play with it until I got my grades submitted. What self control!!!!

You can see that it’s a little smaller than the average laptop computer. Actually it is a lot smaller than my MacBook. The XO screen (and usable space) measures 9″ x 6″. My MacBook is 13″ x 9″. That’s OK. It’s designed for children.
I was amazed by the sophistication of this computer.

  • It has a 7.5″ screen (diagonal).
  • It sports a microphone and camera.
  • No moving parts but it has a 1 GB flash drive. (This memory can be augmented with an SD card slot in the lower right corner of the screen below the power switch – don’t know the capacity.)
  • Ready with 802.11 b/g wireless.
  • Comes with 19 programs including a browser, word processor, recorder (audio, still and video), draw, musicmaker, TurtleArt (Logo), eToys (multimedia authoring tool – looks comprehensive), Pippy (programming language), calculator, news reader, and a variety of other programs that I don’t understand yet. Here is a site that explains them all http://tinyurl.com/246ay2
  • Runs on Linux so I can download programs for free. I have already downloaded SimCity and a variety of games. Only problem is that I have problems reading some of them on the 7.5″ screen.
  • When I go to the Community-mode, I can see the various wi-fi access points in my immediate area. I can’t wait until I find someone else with an XO so we can peer-to-peer file share. I haven’t figured out how to go peer-to-peer with my MacBook.
  • My MacBook’s screen runs on 40 watts of power. The XO screen takes 2 watts.
  • IT’S AMAZING!!!!!

Problems or Things I Haven’t Figured Out Yet:

  • The keyboard is too small for me to touch type. You can see this in the photo. I have to remember that this computer is designed for kids. They have smaller hands. The kids of Asian countries have MUCH smaller hands than I do.
  • Don’t know how to access my flash drive when I insert it into one of the 3 USB ports. Nor do I know how to access the SD cards when I put them in the slot.
  • I still haven’t figured out how to use Sugar (the Linux-based interface designed especially for kids to use on this computer.)
  • The documentation is all supposed to be online at http://www.laptop.org/en/laptop/start/ but it isn’t in-depth enough for me. You know that we Digital Immigrants (gotta love that Dave) sometimes need a little help to get over our lack of intuitive insight. =-)

I truly believe that the XO is the beginning of a new revolution in computing. It isn’t that this computer is the greatest computer on the planet, but it is a fully-functional wireless multimedia laptop that has broken the $200 price barrier. Granted that this is not a machine for MMORPG online gaming. It does not sport the multimedia recording equipment needed for making YouTube videos, but it has shown that a laptop doesn’t have to be a $2,000 investment.

I thank Dr. Negroponte for developing a dream and allowing us to begin on the journey to affordable, accessible computing in education so that computers aren’t devices that we visit every Friday to learn about keyboarding. They can become integral learning machines that will provide the palettes and canvases needed to release creativity in children ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Dr. Z

Other XO First Impression Reviews
Kathy Schrock – XO Laptop from OLPC Arrives!
Scott McLeod – XOs for my XO

What’s YOUR opinion?
Leave a comment and keep the discussion going.

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