Shortly after reading the note about a VMWare image of the operating system for the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), my curiosity got the best of me and I promptly started downloading it into my laptop (roughly 180 MB) and waited for my lunch break to give it a spin.
- ..image:: http://static.flickr.com/104/309721351_0013360a38.jpg
The bootup process was very quick, even running on VMWare, and within a few seconds I was staring at the desktop.
- ..image:: http://static.flickr.com/117/309721353_35df8778e7.jpg
The concept for the mechanics of the desktop is “interesting” and, in my opinion a bit hard to get used to at first for those of us who have been around computers a bit too much. ;) The “frame” around the desktop works as the main menu/panel from where all applications and features can be accessed, hiding when you’re busy doing stuff on the laptop, and appearing whenever the mouse is close enough to the lower edge. Unfortunately, exploring all the buttons and features was extremely painful since the operating system, for some reason, was very slow to react to the mouse/border interaction.
- ..image:: http://static.flickr.com/104/309721355_0e200ab8b1.jpg
During my exploration, I was able to find an instant messenger, a web browser, a rss reader (above), a drawing/modeling application, and a text editor (below) that I believe to be the new Abiword widget.
- ..image:: http://static.flickr.com/100/309721354_8b9a6a80b2.jpg
Due to the unexplained slow response of the system and being pretty busy at work, I was unable to perform a very thorough test. My initial impression is that the OLPC will be a system very similar to the mobile devices out there. Though it felt awkward to maneuver the mouse through the screen, I believe that this should not be an issue for younger computer users. Above all, I think any kid would be extremely happy to have a system as cool-looking and chock-full of features as the OLPC!