O'Reilly's Safari Books on the XO Laptop eBook Reader


A year ago I received an OLPC XO (the "$100 laptop") through their Give One Get One program. I played with it for a few days and found it essentially useless due to unstable and slow software (and lack of WPA support), so it quickly began gathering dust on a shelf (it has since improved).

Last week I was thinking about how cool it would be if Amazon's Kindle supported O'Reilly's Safari Books Online service, and I decided to dust off the XO to see if it could be used as an ebook reader for Safari Books. With a little help, it can.

olpc safari

In ebook mode you can scroll in all four directions, page up/down, and jump to the top or bottom of a page, but you cannot click the next/previous buttons within Safari Books. However, GreaseMonkey and a simple userscript can solve that.

The first step is to install the Firefox "Activity", or a version of Linux that runs a stock Firefox. Then install GreaseMonkey. Finally, install this userscript: http://tlrobinson.net/userscripts/xo-safari.user.js

This simple userscript intercepts page up and page down (the "O" and "X" game pad) buttons and maps them to "previous" and "next" actions in Safari Books, allowing you to easily switch pages in ebook mode.

This article was original posted on tlrobinson.net and is republished here with Tim Robinson's permission

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The initial premise of this posting is frustrating. "Does not support WPA" "Unstable software" - the only reason this could happen is if they were running an early version of Sugar.

Dear original poster. You'll get far more mileage out of your XO laptop if you do not use an outdated software release.

See http://wiki.laptop.org/ for information on how to upgrade your XO.

I agree some of the wording could be a little better, but the links are very useful. Thanks Tim.

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