I’ve been messing with it for about an hour, and I am deeply impressed. It’s smaller than I expected and the keyboard is a bit cramped for my big, sausage fingers (although they did put CTRL back next to “A”, where God intended it to be). Still, I’m typing this post on it and it’s not as difficult as I had expected.
Yes, this is clearly a 1.0 release. It’s a bit underpowered. The keyboard and mouse are difficult for adult hands. The software has a few rough edges. YouTube sends it to The Sad Place and makes Baby Santa cry.
What excites me most is that it comes with eToys installed. When Julianna ws younger, she and I made fun little gizmos with eToys on the PC. We only had one PC, though, and she couldn’t really use it without me to help. I can’t wait to see what the kids do with it on this device.
The OLPC may or may not change the world by itself, but something very much like it will: cheap, rugged, wifi enabled, and end user programmable. This is not a replacement for your laptop. I think of it as being closer to a chumby that you can program.
It was said of Lou Reed’s old band, The Velvet Underground, that only a few thousand people bought their albums but every one of them was inspired to start a band. The OLPC has that same feel. It feels like The Future.
All in all, I would not hesitate to buy another one for $200.
I absolutely do not understand the bizarre way this thing is being sold. They complain that they can’t bring the price down because they can’t get to scale, but they refuse to sell to people who want to buy them. It makes no sense to me.