... a pleasure and a challenge
You may want to read the article of September 2007 (click here) on the OLPC project and the visit of its president, Walter Bender, to the SilverStringers.
On the afternoon of December 19 a small carton, one foot square by four inches, appeared on my front porch. My OLPC laptop had arrived! I was thrilled to have this self-donated Christmas gift to play with over the holidays.
I opened it and found my XO laptop, all folded up, a power adapter to keep the battery charged, and two instruction sheets. That's all! There is enough in one flyer to get the XO open and see the inside. The only other (very important) piece of information was to log onto http://www.laptop.org/gettingstarted to get further assistance. I later found another link that was more helpful: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Getting_Started
Here are pictures of the XO laptop folded, and the Home view when it is opened.
There are many interesting "activities" to open and try out. Since there is no documentation in the laptop itself, it is essential to go to the online OLPC websites and read through the quite extensive instructions. Most of us are already online with our home PCs, so this is not a big problem.
Luckily my home happens to be in range of an "open" wireless provider, so I was able to connect to it and run the browser that is part of the XO system. This is the page that shows how to connect, taken from the XO browser screen. Note the thumbnails along the bottom of the screen. These are "bookmarks" that I have created for websites of interest.
My first bookmark was the Melrose Mirror!
As each Activity is run, the Journal saves the information of what it is and everything about it, along with how much time it has been in the Journal. This is how you restart a particular activity. These can be web browsing, games, toys, writing pad, and a terminal activity. Watch out for the terminal activity, which is a Linux console. You can destroy things by mistake! This is a shot of the Journal.
I have tried various games, making music, and some other toys that kids are supposed to run. I'm going to have to read more on how to do it. I think I'm too old to get it without instructions. My next installment will be on kid stuff as soon as I "get it".
Seriously, this OLPC laptop is pretty neat. I'm really impressed by the project. The plan for the foreign country laptops is for a local teacher to be instructed. In turn, the teacher will instruct a few pupils, who will in turn show their classmates how to do it. I believe this will indeed work out fine. For our local "donation" XO laptops, we will need to spend some extra time on the internet to teach us.
January 4, 2008