Upgrading my OLPC XO (thinking about it)

I haven’t done enough with my XO since I purchased it.  Thought I’d take another look at it, but thought I should upgrade it before I start installing things again.

It’s all still pretty confusing.  All the steps I see seem not-too-complicated.  The problem is I’m not sure if those are the steps I’m supposed to doing.  I think there is firmware, OS and software upgrades but I’m not 100% sure.

I am sure I won’t be doing this upgrade today….

There are “activity packs” too.  I think if I run “update.1” I lose all the basic activities.  I thing we need need a simple G1G1 update that updates everything to a newer version of what I purchased back in December 2007.

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Opera on my XO

OperalogoI love the browser on the XO, but I don’t like that it doesn’t have normal bookmarks (or if it does, I’m not sure what I’m doing). It scales everything nicely and does CSS very nicely. But I wanted my CTRL-L to highlight my web address and CTRL-D to bookmark a site. So I caved and followed these very easy instructions to install Opera (looks like a version from Jan. 2007).

Opera is more than a secure web browser, it’s also an RSS and Atom feed reader, bittorrent client, email client, and IRC client. It also has many keyboard shortcuts that make navigating on the XO easy.

It’s not perfect, but it works; it’s got bookmarks (favorites) they way you’d expect it. The downside is it doesn’t scale anything on the 1200×900 pixel screen and things appear really small, the XO browser normally scales to 840×630 and it appears very legible.

Plus they’ve got some tips on configuring the keys for eBook/tablet mode. We’ll see what I end up using for the long run…

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Get Your XO Laptop

You can still Get 1 Give 1 through December 31st, 2007, they extended the date. I don’t know what availability is going to be after that, but you’ll have to take your chances after that…

As of JANUARY 1, 2008 they still have the G1G1 order form on-line.

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Peru orders 272,000 XO Laptops

An AP video clip on the XO and use of them in Peru (with a bit of background).

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I just increased the quality of my XO experience by ten!

I just made working on the XO seem so much better! All I did was plug in a USB mouse! Honestly, I think some of my issues with getting used to it have revolved more around getting used to the track-pad than the OS.

The first 90-seconds with the mouse makes me fell like I’m using a different computer. I’m totally floored at how much more intuitive everything seems now. The operating system feels like I just got a upgrade. If you’ve got one of these laptops, get a mouse and try it out!

Okay, so now I’m talking it up too much and you’ll have expectations that are too high, but you do have to try it.

FYI – A USB Keyboard works too!

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The LCD Display on the XO Laptop

The LCD display is great in all areas (other than it’s size).

Color – The colors are great, I haven’t done any testing on the range but the few photos I’ve pulled up look beautiful.
Size – The size is small it’s only 7.5 inches across.
Pixels – it’s 1200 × 900 and the amazing thing is that it’s 200 dpi (I think most LCD displays these days are 85-100-ish, maybe 120).
Outside use – Using the LCD in direct sunlight gives an excellent image. The color goes away but you are left with a crisp grey-scale image. You’ll want to dim the LCD since you’re probably just wasting battery life. You’ll probably want to site so the sun is hitting on the display, but it hasn’t been nice enough out for me to try it like that for an extended period.

I can’t wait to use this outside on a nice sunny day instead of sitting inside. I can be on the porch, the park or the beach and be typing or maybe reading an eBook on it (I haven’t tested that out yet).

So the only problem for me, the display is a little small and the dots are way small. Most of the software does use normal size fonts and the higher dpi just makes it look crisper (the web browser pretends to be 840×630, instead of 1200×900 pixels, and the XO scales to give really crisp text). But some of the games (like SimCity) use such small dots for everything it’s really hard to see. I’ve found myself using my reading glasses a lot for using the XO (usually I only need reading glasses sometimes at night and sometimes in the morning). Enlarging the fonts work but you’ve got such a small precious amount of screen space you hate to waste it if not necessary.

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First Impressions on the XO

MyxoopenThe laptop is way cool, it’s nice and tiny, feels durable and has great reception. It could be a little snappier speed-wise, but if every kid in the world had one of these things it be interesting to see where we are in another 10-20 years (even just 5 years). Heck, if every adult had one (and learned to use it) it’d be interesting to see where we’d be.

  • I want to start a school and have every kid have one of these.
  • I want to have some more so I can see better how it’ll work collaboratively with kids.
  • I want to get 3,500 of these, one for every kid in my school district.
  • I want to reinstall linux on it so I just have a little linux machine running everything that I want on it, the way I want it.

    I’m so excited about all the possible options for this!

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    T-Mobile Attempted Activation

    In the same message that notified me of my shipment I got my T-Mobile activation info, which I sadly cannot get to work. Others have activated theirs without problem, so I’m not sure what the problem is. I contacted OLPC and immediately got a generic reply but then a few hours later I got this reply –

    Thank you for your patience with us in regards to sending out your T-Mobile HotSpot Pin Number. Please allow 3-14 days to receive this code via email.

    Still semi-generic, but obviously sent by a human. I did write back to clarify that I did have a code and they’re sending me a new one *just in case they didn’t read the first message and think I didn’t get my code in the first place).

    FYI, it looks like the T-Mobile code is your OLPC confirmation code (from the original order confirmation letter) and e-mail address of the order. I can’t swear, since it didn’t actually work but that’s what they said. (This was a link I found earlier and this is the one in the ‘now shipping’ e-mail).

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    I got an e-mail today, My XO Finally Shipped!

    It’s funny this morning I got my e-mail notice that it was shipping with my tracking number and everything. It’s about a week late when you consider that the e-mail should have gone out a about a week ago if it was to notify me in advance (the laptop actually showed up this past Wednesday). I’ve this has happened to a few others, so I wasn’t shocked but it was strange enough to warrant me mentioning it to you…

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    I got my XO Laptop

    I’m SO excited!I wasn’t expecting it for at least another week….

    For more info, go to Laptop.org


    I got my XO Laptop‘ uploaded by garylapointe 

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