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Hands-On with One Laptop Per Child's XO Laptop

We visited the OLPC Labs to get our hands on the much-hyped laptop. Created with children of the developing world in mind, this notebook might just change the face of mobile computing.

handson-olpc-kids_shThe XO's collaboration software was very impressive and reflects the educational purpose of this ambitious machine. Although you can chat easily with any other XO computers on the mesh network, the real purpose of collaboration was seen in the Write application; it easily lets any number of XO computer users to participate in the same writing session. XO users can also employ the drawing tools while collaborating. We pasted a picture into our Write application, and it appeared on the other computers that were in the same session. The TamTam program, a suite of music and sound-related activities, encourages personal music development. XO users can collaborate to make music and play the digital instruments.
We did notice that while toggling among applications the system moved quite slowly, especially when two computers were attempting to collaborate in a program. According to Bender, the B4 version of the software is still being tweaked to improve productivity and multitasking capabilities.
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