Thursday 21 February 2008

OLPC – cute and interesting – but what type of computer is it?

After the conference I had finally some time to try out my new XO Laptop (OLPC). It is fairly small, has a rubber keyboard and a very good screen. It can be used in laptop and e-book mode. A colleague described it as somewhere between a mobile phone and a notebook-computer – first I did not get it – but after using it I fully understand.

There is good documentation out – the getting started manual at provides a very good entry point. Getting it up and running was really easy (finding the key for my WIFI-Access point at home was the most difficult part ;-)

There are two interesting wikis with material online at and I am looking forward to trying the development environments supplied with the standard distribution (Pippy and Etoys).

I would expect when Vivien get up in the morning and sees it I will be second in line for exploring the XO further. It is really designed in a way that makes it attractive for children. To say more about about the usability (in particular the software) I need to explore it more...

To me it is not understandable why it is so difficult to get them in Europe. I think the buy 1 and donate 1 approach was very good (but again this was only in the US)...