All systems: If you're keen on trying out one of those clever devices from the One Laptop Per Child project, you can get halfway there by running the OLPC's operating system from a USB drive.
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A feature of Linux.conf.au 2009 in Hobart is Batteries Not Included, a tech-influenced art event -- and one of the more striking installation ideas is the Frank Zappa Project, a garbage bin for collecting plastic shampoo bottles from delegate hotel rooms to be recycled into casing for machines built as part of the OLPC project. As of Thursday, the bin isn't looking too full, but I'd expect the volume to grow as the conference nears its end and people use up their shampoo. (Alas, I've been unable to contribute myself, as my hotel has fixed-to-the-wall dispensers rather than individual bottles.)
If you've managed to lay your hands on the XO Laptop from the OLPC project, chances are you're a hacker-friendly type who won't have any trouble working it out. But what about the target audience for the machine, who aren't necessarily going to be so computer literate? The Simplified User Guide at the OLPC Wiki is a great place to start, with largely jargon-free guides to all the basic functions.
Back in February, we broke the news that the One Laptop Per Child charity was set to come down under - which was great news for people interested in helping with the development of its uber cool open source laptop, the XO. OLPC Australia has just announced it will host its first OLPC Techfest in Sydney on Sunday, 1 June. It will include demonstrations, workshops about the OLPC hardware and software, and developer tutorials. If you're at all interested in the OLPC, I strongly recommend you attend this event, as a lot of its very cool features are best demonstrated when you can network a bunch of the machines together, as will no doubt happen at this event.For full details, check out the OLPC website.
I'm pleased to say that while I was at the OLPC love-fest that was Linux.conf.au last week, I managed to snag one of their XO mini-laptops to review. We have two in the household so we'll be able to test out some of their cool mesh networking capabilities. I'm also keen to see how it stacks up as a mini-laptop compared to the *other* geek toy du jour, the ASUS Eee PC.Watch this space for the full review plus pictures. :)
There's been a lot of talk about the OLPC's cute little mesh networking laptop at Linux.conf.au this week. The foundation is taking its low-cost, robust laptop the XO to underprivileged kids around the world, but it's also funding its work by selling XO laptops to the public. The cool news from the LCA conference was that a local OLPC group is setting up in Australia to help get computers to kids across Australia. This means that we'll now have a local supplier to buy the XO laptop from. You can read the full story at The Open Source Report - but the group is so new that its website at www.olpc.org.au isn't live yet - check back in about 2 weeks.