OLPCs land at ZDNet Towers

OLPCs land at ZDNet Towers

Summary: We are now the proud, if temporary, possessors of no fewer than four OLPC XO laptops. The XO is Nicholas Negroponte's brainchild: a machine that, he and his team hopes, will change the way education is delivered in developing countries.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Reviews
2

We are now the proud, if temporary, possessors of no fewer than four OLPC XO laptops. The XO is Nicholas Negroponte's brainchild: a machine that, he and his team hopes, will change the way education is delivered in developing countries.

OLPC XO laptops

Apart from our general interest in all forms of mobile technology, we are examining the XO as part of a wider project in collaboration with Computer Aid, a charity that collects unwanted PCs from UK businesses, refurbishes them, and then ships them for reuse in education, health and not-for-profit organisations in developing countries.

We're in the process of testing a number of low-power computers, ranging from mini-desktops to thin-client solutions to notebooks such as the OLPC XO. Power supply, of course, is a key constraint in developing countries, and the aim is to test a number of representative systems under realistic workloads and then select a shortlist of three solutions that will go on for further field testing in Africa.

We're in the midst of the testing at the moment, but the product arrival that has caused the most stir in the office so far is definitely the OLPC XO. Initial comments included "That looks a bit Fisher-Price" and "How do you open it?" An hour or so in, we've begun to examine the mesh networking and other useful features. Stay tuned for more coverage on the XO and the low-power computing project generally.

Topic: Reviews

About

Charles has been in tech publishing since the late 1980s, starting with Reed's Practical Computing, then moving to Ziff-Davis to help launch the UK version of PC Magazine in 1992. ZDNet came looking for a Reviews Editor in 2000, and he's been here ever since.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • OLPCs land at ZDNet Towers

    Could you test and monitor power consumption levels somehow? Test battery life in black and white ebook mode..

    Even though it seems from the OLPC wiki, that they still have some battery optimizations to do in software to better manage standby/resume features, WiFi mesh while in standby, DCON features and such to improve the battery life.

    Also there is Update 1 scheduled to be released on something like the 2nd of February or something according to http://dev.laptop.org so check that out if the release candidates of those improve the battery life already.
    charbax@...
  • OLPCs land at ZDNet Towers

    We'll certainly be testing battery life, in both mono (ebook) and backlit (colour) modes. Already started, in fact, although it's too early to begin bandying results around. We'll keep an eye out for software updates too.
    Charles McLellan