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A look at the Mozilla-based One Laptop per Child web browser

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OLPC
Moz/FF

The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project is in the final steps to finally ship the first laptops to poor children living in poor countries.

XO, as the laptops are officially named, use a Fedora Core 7 based operating system with a user interface dubbed Sugar that provides a simple desktop environment to access the bundled applications including: a Gecko-based web browser, an Abiword based word processor, a web feed aggregator, a Tetris clone, a paint application, a Logo implementation, a video/photo capture application to use with the included web cam, a simple music composition tool and a calculator.

The Gecko-based browser is as simple as it gets and then a little bit simpler. As you can see from the screenshot below it provides back, forward and stop/reload buttons and a location bar that also acts as a progress bar while content is loading.

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OLPC XO reviewed... by a twelve-year-old

Somehow, a twelve-year-old child has been given the opportunity to take the OLPC XO for a test drive, and we've got the blow-by-blow for you. The critic, named "SG," has spent a lifetime using computers, and claims that he / she had low expectations, but the XO took him / her "by surprise," calling the child-centric green laptop "cleverly designed, imaginative, [and] straightforward." The reviewer says that Negroponte's pet-project is "great for first time users."

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At LinuxCon this year, the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds, was asked what he wanted for Linux. His response? "The desktop." For years, the call to Linux action was "World Domination." In certain markets, this has happened (think Linux helping to power Android and Chrome OS). On the desktop, however, Linux still has a long, long way to go. Wait... that came out wrong. I don't mean "Linux has a long, long way to go before it's ready for the desktop." What I meant to say is something more akin to "Linux is, in fact, desktop ready... it just hasn't found an inroad to the average consumer desktop." Read more