Some problems including loss of keyboard input!

Discuss peripherals for the XO and power management.

Some problems including loss of keyboard input!

Postby PeterC » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:55 pm

I was very excited when I received my XO. When it came out of the box, my first impression was, "Wow this is CUTE. This has to be a great toy." (The next thought was "How the hell do you open it??")
Once I started out playing and working with the XO, which I did for about two weeks, I felt a little less in love with it. First of all was the keyboard. I was very happy when I found that a USB keyboard worked fine. Folks, get real. The tiny keyboard is an impediment to poor kids that grow up and still need their computer. Exploitive adults will just plug in a cheap keyboard and mouse. This is a really stupid "feature" that was not thought through. It just makes the computer less useful top the target market and less marketable to governments, NGOs etc. This has to be fixed.
Software evaulation: 1) It needs a file system. If kids write stuff etc. they need to file what they write in folders. The current version is simply incomplete. By the way, the Journal is not permanent. Items get deleted as new ones are created. It is OK that the storage needs to be a memory stick, but there has to be a non-Linux way to access the file structure. I think they just didn't have time to get this done. This is critical.
2) Re didn't get done: cut and paste don't work yet! That makes a lot of things, especially Linux software installs really hard. This also MUST get fixed fast.
3) Browse is not a complete browser, no bookmarks etc. No cut and paste. Please finish it.
4) No Flash. Without Flash, Browse was really useless, no Youtube, no Flickr slide shows etc. If you insist on no Flash initially, at least make it possible to load Flash by clicking on a link (make the installation .xo). Without cut and paste it was really bad. I kept making command line typos. Why make this so ridiculously hard? What about the intended audience, who probably won't have broadband Internet access? Get real.
5) Opera: This was ALMOST a solution, but there are font size problems etc. that are noted on the Wiki page. The worst was the tiny mouse arrow in Opera.
6) No email application: A VERY simple application is needed. Access to G-Mail does not meet the need. This needs to be developed.
And NOW to my CRIPPLING hardware problems. First, 10 days after the XO, arrived, it just stopped working. I took out the battery cleaned the contacts and reinstalled it a couple of times. It then started working again. Is there a problem here??
REALLY CRIPPLING: Shortly after I installed Opera (15 minutes or so later), input from the keyboard went crazy. At first I thought it was just in Opera, but then it turned out to be general. When I typed either the wrong characters were entered or later nothing happened. I could not even try to fix THAT, so I called for an RMA.
I was on the phone waiting for over an hour. There must be a lot of other machines being returned for repairs. Is it the same problem I had? I haven't seen that mentioned by anyone else yet, but S
This is a computer that needs to be reliable under rough circumstance. if these computers are shoddily made, the project is doomed.
Final thoughts: despite all this it is hard not to like, even love, the XO, but really it is a project, not a product. The product needs to be finished, or it ill turn off its potential audience. (I hope a certain Prof. Negroponte is listening.)
After finishing the product, I would also make it available for first-world kids. The price of the product could be, say, $250, $200 for the computer plus a $50 donation to the project. It is really adorable and people will buy it and get hooked on the project. This is just a variant on G1G1, and it would work.
Despite my disappointments, I am still guardedly enthusiastic about the project, but there is a lot of work that is needed before it can succeed.

Postby tdang » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:38 pm

Hi Peter-

While I think I disagree with many of your complaints, I suspect you might have had the same keyboard problem that many (including me) have had. They've specifically requested that if you do have this problem, you get an RMA and return the machine, since they want to fix it for you and make sure it doesn't keep happening: thread here

My machine went bonkers because the particular key which went funky was the Alt key, which meant, for instance, that when I hit the "R" key, the screen reoriented itself. Eek.

You didn't say if you got your RMA # or gave up from the long wait? If you haven't sent it back yet and you want to test the keyboard instructions are at the wiki.

I hope I get my XO back soonish. I'm lucky that I got three--one for a young friend, one for my son, and one for me. So I can use my son's while I wait for mine.
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:07 pm

OLPC Problems

Postby SamTam » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:49 pm

Why is it, here, that every time someone just says what their experience is with the XO, people say they disagree? Who cares if you disagree. The fact is, despite the stated good intentions of OLPC (who knows what their real intentions are?), many people here, overseas, young and old, have experienced the product as a dog.

Keyboards don't work, trackpads don't work, the browser is incomplete, the word processor corrupts any file it touches, there is no file system, and it is nigh on impossible for non-geeks to install anything to replace the broken apps that come installed. Lastly, the target audience, here and overseas, are unable to use the XO for learning. It is not intuitive in any way and they need training that is not there. They do use it to show off and clobber others who try to take it to show off, as well.

Luckily, governments did not jump at buying this pig-in-a-poke...they would be better off with real pigs!


Postby samtam » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:51 pm!

Re: OLPC Problems

Postby tdang » Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:43 pm

SamTam wrote:Why is it, here, that every time someone just says what their experience is with the XO, people say they disagree? Who cares if you disagree.

Well, obviously I care that I disagree. I obviously don't disagree that there are problems. I've had to RMA 2 of 3 XO's that I got because of the keyboard problem.

And I'm not going to disagree with anyone's experience--if you hate the Journal, you hate the Journal, that's a completely valid choice. That doesn't necessarily mean you're right that the Journal is bad for its intended purpose. (I'm still agnostic on Journal.)

Without going into the details of what in PeterC's message I disgreed with, I mentioned that I disagreed because I wanted to post a useful response in regards to the keyboard without seeming to endorse his opinions.

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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:07 pm

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