First OLPC Test: How To Open the XO Laptop


Soon, America will be flooded with XO laptops from Give One Get One, geeks nationwide rejoicing with an OLPC Christmas. Until they try to open the XO laptop and the real fun begins. That's when we'll see the start of America's next parlor game: How long does it take you to open an XO?

I know I've yet to tire of this game myself. I love handing the XO laptop to an adult and timing them to see just how long it takes them to figure out how to open the XO's clamshell form factor.

Here's a group at FOSS India giving it a go for over two minutes:

Before you stress out about embarrassing yourself at the next OLPC LC/DC meetup, relax and read OLPC's handy Getitng Started Guide to opening a XO-1. If you are still technology challenged, don't fret. First, OLPC will offer professional troubleshooting help:
Beginning on December 26, 2007, a fee-based service will also be available to those who desire it. More information will be posted about this service at that time.
And if that doesn't work, just hand it to a child. They'll open the XO in a few seconds flat.

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I look forward to doing this test with people, too ;) It's like those puzzles with the 2 nails looped around each other cleverly, such they they can be easily separated, as long as you get the angles and alignment *just* right ;)


To have such a wonderful device (and project) hampered by a design that makes opening it so unintuitive is unfortunate. I hope detractors don't use the apparent user-unfriendliness as ammunition against it.


I consider the parent-proof yet kid-friendly XO laptop latch design to be a brilliant and intuitive for its target audience: children.

Kids open the laptop in a few seconds flat - no matter if they've seen a computer before.

They are tricky critters to open, even if you know how to do it. Then again, part of the design criteria is to keep out dust and moisture. Any such design will, undoubtedly, be harder to open than your standard PC or Mac laptop just on the merit of having to latch a bit tighter.

I wish I could see a video of kids trying to open it for the first time. Right now this "any kid can open it, but not adults" remains a tell tale.

Maybe the kids are not so stressed because of the "try to open it" test because they are able to take anything for a new game, while adults take the same things for a Test.

But until I remain skeptical about this tale until I see some real kids doing it.

This video is very painful to watch...

Everybody seems to be having a pretty good time though. Maybe not so painful for the participants.

This reminds me of how childproof caps on medicines are almost impossible for adults to open, but to kids, they are easy as can be.

The latches when close keep the laptop completely sealed off. They cover the only openings the laptop has,the USB and headphone and microphone jacks, which if not properly sealed could stop working with dust, moisture or even water entering them.
No matter how much banged around, the laptop won't open by itself, which is also a good thing (imagine it tossing around a kid's backpack, or the kid dropping it when carrying).
I think no one receiving the G1G1 laptops will have problems with opening them, even if they haven't heard about the way to do it on the web: their shipment comes with a simple manual, where opening the laptop is the first thing shown.

I think its hilarious. One thing, the latch system shows how innovative the design is, remember it is for children 6 through 12 years old. I am not going to let any adult touch it without supervision, kids, O. K.

The startup guide is very clear. A nice piece of documentation. After looking at the computer and pix of students walking to class, I wonder what kind of cheap but effective case might be provided. Or is it something I imagine the kids will need, and that's not evident yet.

I remember teaching in rural Togo. I watched a man walking along with a hat upside down on his head. I called, "Mister, why are you wearing that hat upside down?" He answered, "Teacher, I'm not wearing it. I'm carrying it."

An XO carry case you ask? Here, OLPC News provides:

Hilarious video. It just made my day.

This is another brilliant design. Expect to see this in many new laptops soon.

After seeing this laptop, the first question to any new laptop sales person is:

Why can't I have this in my laptop?

This is a cheap "toy" and it is so much better than your $1000 high powered lap cooker. I want more!


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