punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

More on the OLPC: Part 5: How is this to write on and send e-mail?


OLPC Keyboard
Originally uploaded by punkwalrus
As a writer, I'd probably use a regular laptop. First, if you are a touch-typist with hands larger than a child, you're boned. You will have issues with the tactile feedback for one, and second, well the keyboard is very small. Typing quick messages and short posts in non-HTML/graphic heavy message boards using hunt and peck are easier, and really, most of the kids using this laptop are not exactly writing long novels and essays about the cultural differences in varying economic climates. Here's what I typed on the OLPC:
The keys are okay, but I find the spacebar does not have a very tactile feedback. This makes typing a bit weird. Since I can hunt and peck, I can quickly adapt by typing slower. Touch typers will, I think, will have a worse time adapting. The other keys are more tactile, but it takes a little getting used to. I find I have to "trust" that I hit the keys instead of constantly checking.

There seems to be a spellchecker alert, because some of my misspelling is highlighted in red, but there are no "suggest alternatives" I can see. Right clicking does nothing.


G-mail? Worked. It was dog slow, but that may have been my connection. Yahoo? I couldn't get it to go back to "classic," it kept timing out.

Youtube was too slow. The video never loaded. I am ambivalent.

I also found out if you close the OLPC without waiting for it to fully power down (as in, you click your home icon, select "shutdown," and then close the laptop right away), it will fully shut down anyway. This is nice, because my other Linux laptop will just sit there and drain battery juice. Closing my Inspiron before the screen winks off and all the LEDs turn off puts it in some half-hibernation mode that eventually shuts down when the battery runs out, and then on boot, you have to hold down the power button until the lights go off. Then you can power back up, but it states it's an unexpected shutdown, and insists on checking the disks, even if you watched the disks unmount before you closed the laptop in the first place. It also did this when it had Windows.
Tags: computers, olpc, review
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