OLPC outlines XO-2; Can it deliver?

OLPC outlines XO-2; Can it deliver?

Summary: The One Laptop Per Child project has taken its lumps lately from its own software developers for going with Windows XP, but its next generation XO could be interesting.According to various reports from Laptop Magazine, Xconomy and Gizmodo, OLPC chief Nicholas Negroponte unveiled this e-book-ish device as the future of the XO laptop.

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TOPICS: Laptops
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The One Laptop Per Child project has taken its lumps lately from its own software developers for going with Windows XP, but its next generation XO could be interesting.

According to various reports from Laptop Magazine, Xconomy and Gizmodo, OLPC chief Nicholas Negroponte unveiled this e-book-ish device as the future of the XO laptop. One thought: Would this thing run XP? Two thoughts: Can the OLPC actually deliver this pup?

The device, dubbed the XO-2, aims to run about $75, will be low power (1 watt) and be half the size of the original XO.

From the OLPC (all resources) press release:

  • OLPC is betting that new developments in hardware, software, display and processor technologies will lower the XO-2's price tag to $75.
  • OLPC is going with the 1 watt power consumption target so XO-2 can be powered by a hand crank.
  • The XO-2 will feature dual-touch displaces for the e-book. OLPC says:

Dual-touch sensitive displays will be used to enhance the e-book experience, with a dual-mode display similar to the current XO laptop. The design provides a right and left page in vertical format, a hinged laptop in horizontal format, and a flat two-screen wide continuous surface that can be used in tablet mode. Younger children will be able to use simple keyboards to get going, and older children will be able to switch between keyboards customized for applications as well as for multiple languages. The dual-touch display is being designed by Pixel Qi, which was founded in early 2008 by Mary Lou Jepsen, former chief technology officer of One Laptop per Children and a leading expert on display technology.

And now the hard part: Can the OLPC deliver? This gizmo looks pretty ambitious to me considering the OLPC's $100 laptop still runs $188. I also wonder how these touch displays will hold up in rough conditions.

Topic: Laptops

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11 comments
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  • could be done

    when parts and labor are donated...or as an old Madonna saying, "when monkeys fly out of my..."
    nothingness
  • RE: OLPC outlines XO-2; Can it deliver?

    The "XO" name was chosen in part when you flip it up it
    supposed to resemble a child. What does "XO-2" resemble?
    By 2010 there'll be dozens of low cost laptop/readers all look
    like this prototype. Oh, and by then the iPhone v.X will cost
    about $125 and be 10 times more powerful. Good luck on
    trying to under sell them to developing country. Negroponte
    should just declare his concept took on a life of its own and
    quit.
    g15host
  • Corrupt Windows Registry...

    will leave a lot of OLPC machines thrown in the corner and unusable. Improper shutdown, as we all know, can corrupt an XP registry in a hurry. In the hands of the intended users I forsee this occuring on a regular basis.

    At least most Linux FS's are journalizing to protect the file system on improper shutdown. Once Linux is up and running, it is far more reliable than Windows in the face of adversity.

    As nice as XP is, it will make the OLPC a disaster.
    bjbrock
    • What are you talking about?

      "...most Linux FS's are journalizing ..."

      Unless these guys are loading Windows onto a fat23 partition, you'd be running NTFS which is journaling.

      That's not to say the registry can't get corrupted during improper shutdown as you say, but you make it sound like you can unplug a Linux machine with impunity.

      As the voltage decays in the various chips, system consistency cannot be maintained and errors will occur on any system that is in the process of doing I/O.

      The only way around this is to ensure I/O is as atomic as possible to avoid maintaining file handles for no good reason, and to ensure that you don't needlessly write into system-critical areas on the disk. Both of these issues put you at risk during a sudden shutdown. Linux does have advantages in these areas, but filesystem journaling has nothing to do with it.
      croberts
      • While NTFS uses a transaction...

        journal it obviously fails to protect the registry quite frequently. I've lost count of the machines I've seen that are running NTFS that refuse to boot after improper shutdowns. I have yet to see a Linux box running Ext3 or Reiser fail to boot after an improper shutdown. I'm sure it happens but I can guarantee you it isn't a registry or single point of failure issue.
        bjbrock
        • Improper shutdown isn't the only thing

          That corrupts a Windows registry. Microsoft considers any registry change NOT approved by Microsoft corruption, so there are any number of changes that can (and will) result in a corrupt registry.

          Linux does NOT have a registry, so is NOT vulnerable to a corrupt registry. It's that simple. I'm not saying that's it's not possible, but I haven't had a Linux system fail to boot after improper shutdown (power outage, accidental, or whatever) since I started using Linux. I HAVE hosed a few Linux systems by messing around with them, but never because of improper shutdown.

          To be fair, I haven't had a Windows system fail to boot after improper shutdown since I disconnected them from the internet and stopped installing Microsoft's malware (updates, patches, service packs, secret forced updates, or anything else from Microsoft), so my experience tells me that Microsoft is responsible for more registry corruptions than anything else, whether caused by improper shutdowns or anything else.

          Your mileage may vary, so don't get your britches in a wad and jump on me for being a zealot. If you love Microsoft, use your Windows in good health and enjoy it. I still use XP, and 98 (which is also NOT connected to the internet, still running beautifully, and hasn't crashed in eons), but Linux is what I enjoy, and the only system I allow to connect to the WAN. I use Windows only when I NEED to.
          Ole Man
  • Can it deliver?

    Didn't we learn from the last project that they NEVER delivered at the set price?

    Why should we expect any improvement?
    JCitizen
    • They did deliver on the first one. They never claimed the first units would

      sell for $100. Given time, and a refined simpler design, they will hit $100, and eventually $75.

      But, Intel and MS will do everything they can to slow them down.

      The important thing here is that these designs are transforming the industry and we are seeing products that would never have seen the light of day if not for OLPC.
      DonnieBoy
      • Give me a break

        Only a company like Asus could possibly get the high enough volumes and supplier leverage to make a PC for $75.

        Given that Asus is selling for between $300 and $400, their cost is somewhere in the $100 range using mostly off-the-shelf traditional components.

        Sorry, but that's as low as she'll go....
        croberts
        • They will be able to get the price of these down to $100 comming off of the

          assembly line. If it is $185 now, and prices for memory, displays, and processors are dropping, and they have a simpler design coming up, the $100 target is very real.

          Now, that is for sales in the thousands to schools. Retail prices will obviously be a fair amount higher.

          But, look at the innovation that Intel and others have poured into this area because of OLPC.
          DonnieBoy
  • Wow, the inovation continues!! Another industry changing design!!

    The OLPC is forcing us to rethink how we use computers and what the form factor should be. Whether or not OLPC delivers these in high volumes or not, it will transform the industry ---- AGAIN.
    DonnieBoy