OLPC XO: Kid tested, geek approved

Over the course of the past few years, the OLPC project has had more than its share of detractors. Not that it ever really mattered whether Intel or Microsoft liked the little device–the XO’s real test is whether it meets the needs of students who will receive the units. Now that the green and white lappie has started shipping to developing nations, we can finally comment on the response the XO is getting, which is said to be overwhelmingly positive. Just check out these comments from a surprisingly eloquent 12 year-old: “It was cleverly designed, imaginative, straightforward, easy to understand (I was given no instructions on how to use it. It was just, ‘Here. Figure it out yourself.’), useful and simple, entertaining, dependable, really a ‘stick to the basics’ kind of computer.”

Now that units are out in the field, however, the OLPC project will have to turn their attention to maintenance issues. Rather than launching a costly worldwide support team, OLPC head Nicholas Negroponte’s plan is for “children to do 95% of technical support” themselves. Don’t believe it’s possible? Check out the video below to see an 8 year-old and a 10 year-old replacing the XO’s motherboard without any adult intervention. Seriously.

For more reactions to the OLPC XO:
– see this story from OLPC News
– and see this video of the motherboard replacement

More stories about OLPC   Microsoft   Intel   Open-Source   Linux   Laptops  


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