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The OLPC XO Sugar OS

Hands on with the XO interface using a VMWare image

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Topic: VMWare
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1 of 15 Christopher Dawson/ZDNet
Get hands on with the XO interface using a VMWare image.
A bit minimalist, consider this the Windows task bar on a serious diet.
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2 of 15 Christopher Dawson/ZDNet

Moving the cursor to the corners pops up a border with available applications on the bottom and available views on the top.

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Hovering over an icon will tell you the application it represents; clicking fires up the app.

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Jump to any URL or use the OLPC recommended links at the left.

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Following the provided links gives some directed content; presumably this would be fleshed out at a local level.

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Sugar is all about starting and stopping activities; the top tabs give you access to different icons, including those related to saving or quitting an activity.

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Very straightforward writing application, allowing documents to be saved in HTML or RTF. I just can't see Microsoft Word here.

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Again, straightforward, icon-based, nothing fancy. You can make Valentines, though!

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This saves your work and sends it to the Journal application. This was the most confusing aspect of the OS for me, although kids new to computers may pick right up. The Keep icon doesn't launch a "Save as" dialog; it just dumps files in the journal where they can be accessed and managed later.

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10 of 15 Christopher Dawson/ZDNet

A searchable repository/history/log for documents, browsed pages, etc. This was actually a bit buggy, sometimes requiring the user to exit the journal and restart to see changes made to file attributes.

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Files "kept" are represented in the Journal by a 1-page snapshot, as well as user-updateable tags.

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This is actually a nice interface for getting at your files once you stop looking for a directory structure. Will it provide adequate organization, though, once kids get more sophisticated?

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Not only does the OS include the graphical introduction to object-oriented programming, Squeak, but it also includes facilities for sharing programs with other XOs in the neighborhood.

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14 of 15 Christopher Dawson/ZDNet

Not seeing the utility of this sound/music program. Anyone used it before? If so, how do you integrate it into a curriculum?

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15 of 15 Christopher Dawson/ZDNet

At the Home view, you can move between and close open "Activities"

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