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Wednesday, January 02, 2021

child, please
I got a heads-up just before Christmas that I’d be receiving my previously-ordered One Laptop Per Child XO Laptop (half the order I placed under the now-expired “Give One, Get One” promotion — the other XO is on its way to Mongolia, Cambodia, Haiti, Rwanda or Afghanistan) before mid-January.

Lo and behold, FedEx delivered the package today! I’ve got my tech toy.

What I don’t have is time to play with it. So I’ll have to let it sit until the weekend, when I can try ‘er out. In the meantime, first impressions of the hardware, after cracking open the box:

It’s small. I mean, small. I realize the XO was engineered for use by child-sized hands, but I was still a bit shocked. The dimensions are about 9 inches by 9 inches, including a built-in carrying handle; thickness is no more than 3 inches when shut. I have to admit, the size and bright colors make it look and feel more like a toy than a “real” computer.

The keyboard is also similarly compact. It’s also made from a rubberized membrane with no spaces between the keys — I believe this is to avoid operation problems in dusty terrains where some of these machines will be shipped. I pressed a couple of keys, and they have the tactile feel they should have in a keyboard. It actually reminds me of the ancient Atari 400 Personal Computer from the early 1980s, which also sported a membrane keyboard, although less sharply-formed than the XO’s modern rendition.

That’s that for now. I’ll give it a spin in a couple of days. I can’t wait to see how the Linux interface and program set came out.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/02/2021 10:14:24 PM
Category: Tech, Society
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  1. Interesting…wonder if/how it compares to the latest small wonder — the Asus EEE-PC?

    Comment by david — 01/02/2021 @ 11:40:59 PM

  2. Yeah, all the noise from the recent spate of tiny notebook computers to come out, including the Asus, did come to mind when I saw how small the XO is. Don’t know if I can make a direct comparison. I will say that I could see myself toting this little sucker if all I needed was low-level computer power — including wifi — for a couple of hours, i.e. on an airplane. Price is the other factor, but then, XO’s not for conventional sale.

    Comment by CT — 01/03/2021 @ 10:18:47 PM

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