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Hands On With One Laptop Per Child's XO

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OLPC

There's been quite a fuss made over the XO, developed by Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). The OLPC vision was to design a low-cost, but powerful connected PC in order to provide kids all over the world with Internet-power. OLPC wants to sell the XO, in bulk, to third-world countries.

At first glance it looks about as garish as those plastic-y toys with chips from companies like LeapFrog and VTech. According to the site, the brightly colored X and O on the cover of the computer are supposed to look like a body inside a mind, but to me it looked like a game of Bingo. Call me crazy, but I expected a PC that was out to change the world to have a bit more gravitas.

Next, I found out that you need to be either Hercules or Houdini to open the case of the XO. Three of us sat there idiotically poking and stabbing at things but the clamshell seemed to have a death grip. Finally someone discovered the key: Locating the big green antennae on the side and flipping them up releases the entire machine.

The keypad—a lime green membrane keypad—feels great, even though it has some bizarrely-labeled keys unique to the OLPC.

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Chew on this: Ubuntu Core Linux comes to the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board

Linux and other open source software have been in the news quite a bit lately. As more and more people are seeing, closed source is not the only way to make money. A company like Red Hat, for instance, is able to be profitable while focusing its business on open source. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems, and it is not hard to see why. Not only is it easy to use and adaptable to much hardware (such as SoC boards), but there is a ton of free support online from the Ubuntu user community too. Today, Canonical announces a special Ubuntu Core image for the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board. Read more