Feeds

The OLPC XO laptop

Is the mean, green thing hacker-friendly?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Battery and boot-time

Battery life is good. The XO ran an average of just over three hours in three separate tests with the screen on maximum brightness and in continuous use. This is comparable to the Eee. The system gave no on-screen warning before halting, but the battery icon on the case turned red about 20 minutes before shutdown. According the OLCP Wiki, the battery should last 3-5 hours, and OLPC is= working on software updates to improve this.

The XO takes its time booting. It takes about 1 minute 42 seconds to boot the Fedora Core 7 OS and Sugar UI, compared to about 22 seconds for the Eee. It boots to the Home screen, which is used to launch and terminate applications, and is headed Activities.

The XO's home screen - click to enlarge

The XO's home screen
Click to enlarge

Next up, let's see the radical new GUI - and find us some wireless.

The center XO represents the laptop. If the mouse is hovered over it, a menu pops up to shutdown or reboot the system. The immediate area around the XO is called the Activity Circle, which serves as a task list. A single click on the icon will switch to an activity. To shutdown an activity, mouse over the icon and it will give an option to resume or close the program. The space occupied by icons in the Activity Circle also gives a very rough idea of how much system memory is remaining. There's no way within the GUI to tell exactly how much memory is available, but the online manual warns: “Take care not to fill the circle."

The bottom icon on the task list is reserved for the Journal, which is a combined activity log and file manager. The Journal is always running. More on this later.

Below the Journal are icons showing battery life and wireless signal strength.

The black border around the screen is called the Frame. The top part represents places: left to right, the Neighborhood (all wireless access points, and other XO laptops), Group (eg. a child's classroom), Home and Activity (the last used application on the Activity Circle). There are handy shortcuts to all places, plus the Journal, along the top row of the keyboard.

The Frame is always visible on the Home screen. It can be invoked in any other screen or activity by mousing to any corner of the screen, or pressing the open rectangle key on the keyboard.

The right side of the Frame shows the XO laptop user, and any other users the child is collaborating with.

The bottom row is used to launch activities. Invitations from other users to join shared activities will show up here too.

The left side of the Frame shows items copied to the clipboard. Hovering the mouse over a clipboard icon shows the options to Remove, Open, or Add to Journal.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Wireless

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.