More XO photos

More images of the XO laptop, this time from a digital camera. Yes, my hand is on the keyboard so (no) that isn’t foreshortening. It really is that small, so no touch typing for me, but the rubberized keyboard is light touch, not hard and “clicky” as I suspected.

XO laptop and Unitarian Universalist hymnal, with ruler

XO laptop, my hand and ruler for size comparison

Also, Dan Harper ordered one, and it has arrived. More at his blog.

8 Replies to “More XO photos”

  1. As a field paleontologist, this little guy might actually be pretty useful for taking notes and collecting data in less than optimal conditions. Wonder how it holds up to 100+ degree heat and a constant stream of sand and dust. . .and a hand-crank charger would be nice for those long flights when I inevitably run out of batteries!

  2. I think it would be exactly as robust as a field paleontologist would need, and was designed such for kids in rugged environments. But the XO that Western donors get doesn’t come with a handcrank — as the kids get — but a AC/transformer plug. That’s a disappointment.

  3. I hadn’t thought about it, but this would be NICE for paleo field notes. And the handcrank would not only be good for long flights, but for longer and more primitive camping sessions on BLM land. I’m thinking about specific places in western Kansas, where I was happy just to have access to a toilet and shower. Electricity was not an option. This would also have worked way back when I did work in Montana’s Judith River Valley.

    Also, it’s nice to see another paleo-person reading Scott’s blog. Who would have thought that there would be more than one of us.

  4. Sorry Andy and Derek — got word from a Day Job colleague who knows someone who got XO laptops for young relatives. Those kids have already put a slit or break in the keyboard. Not a good sign, and I’d not be too hopeful for a repair option like a commercial product.

  5. Wow, two paleo folks reading here – great minds think alike, I guess. . .

    I wonder if some of the kinks re: the keyboard might get worked out in future editions. . .it will be interesting to follow future developments on the XO laptop.

    Of course, these laptops were really designed and intended for kids, so there are certainly downsides for us grownups – the lack of .doc support would be annoying at times (especially given that I often need to turn field documents around to colleagues in .doc and .xls format, while still in countries with. . .limited. . .computer access). Not sure if I’ll be giving up my field notebook anytime soon. . .I can’t exactly envision taking a laptop (even a small, rugged one) up the side of a 50-foot exposure while measuring section! I had enough of a heart attack the time my buddy dropped his Brunton, and we watched it bounce the 30 feet to land mirror-first on a big sandstone point. Half the pleasure of fieldwork is getting away from computers and cell phones anyhow!

  6. So…does it have word or wordperfect? Does it take a thumb drive? Can I throw it in my luggage, take it to grad school this summer, and manage to get my papers done?

  7. @Adam. It has a basic word processor — plenty fine for sermons and newsletter copy; I wouldn’t want to rely on it for making the newsletter, but I bet it could be work — based on the light-weight Abiword. (Which, if you need a right-to-left language word processor, is a good choice in its own right.)

    It saves as plain text, HTML and Rich Text Format. The last of these should work for you. (But Abiword saves as DOC, so I don’t know what XO doesn’t, apart from philosophical reasons.)


    Yes, it takes a flash drive.

    But I think of this — or the Asus Eee — as more useful for conferences, when traveling, and perhaps as an email and browsing appliance.

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