Casey Bralla on 29 Feb 2008 16:00:52 -0800

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[PLUG] OLPC Comments

My dad bought a couple of the OLPC mini-laptops (You buy 2.  You get 1, the other is 
donated).  He messed around with it for a while, then sent it to me to try.   I was 
not very impressed.   Here are my thoughts on the unit.

- It's fairly small, and looks like a Fisher-Price toy.  Definitely aimed at kids.
- It is amazingly non-intuitive in almost everything about it.  (at least to this 50 
year-old kid)
- I couldn't get the blasted thing open at first.  The latches that keep it closed are 
well hidden.
- It's physically robust, and probably very resistant to being damaged through misuse.
- I couldn't get the networking to connect to my WAP, although it saw lots of other 
WAPs in the neighborhood.
- The Black & White display was small, but very crisp.
- I couldn't get to a "Linux" prompt.  They've hidden the OS pretty well behind the 
custom GUI.

The biggest disappointment for me was that I couldn't connect to my Wireless Access 
Point.   I have a rather old WAP, but have no trouble connecting to any other machine, 
but the OLPC never did see it.  it did see several other Wireless ports in my 
neighborhood, but could not connect to them when they were encrypted.   It reported 
that it saw lots of "mesh" network points (my WAP may have been one of them.  Who 
Knows?), but even tough it said it was "connected" to one of them, I never got any 
networking action.   If I could have gotten to a CLI, I might have been able to figure 
it out, but the GUI hid every drop of Linux from me.  <sigh>

I thought perhaps I was just missing something since I'm too darn old, but my 13 
year-old nerdette daughter got nowhere either.

All in all, a great disappointment.


Casey Bralla
Chief Nerd in Residence
The NerdWorld Organisation
Philadelphia Linux Users Group         --
Announcements -
General Discussion  --