OLPC (One Laptop Per Child)

by William Raymond (Buzz)

My wife and usually donate to our own pet causes at the end of the year. This year instead of an open source program I decided to go for the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child). What happened is that if you bought one for donation you could also get one your self to do with as you wished. Mine arrived just before Christmas. Opening the box and seeing the computer for the first time I could now see why people were asking how you open it. Well I opened it up and fired it up, btw, there is no instruction book, all information is in the on line wiki: Simplified user guide - OLPC or forum site: http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php

I will list some of the basic hardware and software used in this laptop and if you still want to know more than the above sites will quench you thirst.

Hardware: Core electronics Display Integrated peripherals External connectors That about covers the basic hardware configuration.

Operating system

Programming environment

Libraries Libraries to support all of the above, others can be installed by Yum or RPM.
User environment Flash space available for other software content ~800 MiB.


There are three types of activities distributed with the base system: tools for exploring, expressing, and collaborating. A matrix of applications that have been (or are being) built for the laptop can be found here.

Tools for exploring Tools for expressing Tools for communicating Other Tools Games See the games list on the activities download page Activities#Games

Shared Applications

All applications share a common data store accessible through the Journal; Most applications, including reading, writing, recording and browsing, allow for collaboration; through the network: child-to-child and teacher-to-child. See Activity Sharing and Shared Sugar Activities and Tubes Tutorial.

Mesh Networking

School Server

The School server is software for a resource-rich peer to the laptop, which provides additional storage, and Internet access.

Additional Software projects

(Please see the Activities page for a more complete list of activities being developed for the laptop. Below is just a sampling.) So those are the specs on the Xo laptop. First off I added a 2gig sd card to increase the memory. The laptop is wireless only at this time but some are trying to use a usb dongle for wired connection. The boot up is quite fast due to the os is on a 4 gig flash internal memory. This is what the start Screen looks like:
Start up screen
Programs are referred to as activities, this is when you navigate to the activity screen and select from there.

The laptop come pre loaded with educational programs for students. Some of the programs teach the kids how to do simple programming in Python like Turtle art.

A chat program is also supplied so users can collaborate on school projects. I added Xoirc so I could communicate with other chat servers.

chat screen
This is the Slug chat room.

You can also use gmail as your email program:
gmail on laptop
This is the reader configuration of the laptop.

Some of the other things I have done was update the laptop with a new build which was very simple..just open the terminal and enter the commands and a new build is downloaded and installed. Other programs that I installed included Over the next week or so I will be trying to set up the Xo to view video and to install some games.

One of the nice features is the reader function in which you turn the LCD sideways for reading PDF?s which can be downloaded off the school server on from the net.

Well I am still exploring the Xo every day... If anyone has any questions about it you know how to contact me.