some first impressions

Guylhem Aznar olpc at
Sat Aug 11 11:12:00 EDT 2007


On 8/11/07, Yuan Chao <yuanchao at> wrote:
> On 8/11/07, Guylhem Aznar <olpc at> wrote:
> > Today I just received my XO after having some problems with DHL and
> > DDP. I'm in France, but I had the same problem Xavi mentionned on
> I also got an XO shipped to Geneva several weeks ago. Luckily I didn't
> meet this problem with Swiss Custom. :)

DHL is just weird

> I'm assuming you've got the same type (BTest-4) of machine as I have.


> It's simply like most SD devices that it *does* have a spring, just
> the slot is a bit too tight. (tested with my genuine panasonic SD

Ok, I feared I was pushing too hard. I will try again harder

> >  - there should be a direct key to go to the journal, since that is
> > where the main interactions will happen
> It seems that F6-F9 is not used anymore in 5xx OS image, maybe they
> can be mapped to launch the key activities like browser, read, write
> and journal. The reader launch icon on sugar is also gone since 5xx.

F6-9 seem reserved for activities dedicated functions. This could be
helpfull : for example in the browser to zoom in/out, to enable
autoscroll and change the autoscroll speed in the reader, etc.

I would rather see that mapped to the magnifier key (F1), so that kids
can perform a search on relevant stuff, directly in the journal

> I guess you are also a Zaurus user. ;)

And developper :-) I did maintain a 2.4.18 fork (the 'common kernel'),
a custom ROM for the 6000 to be more user friendly ('guylhem rom'), a
gsm phone application (which wasnt that good), etc.

But I was in the minority who didn't share the opinions of the
openembedded team. I wanted to focus more on simplicity and robustness
than anything else.

> It would be nice that Plucker can be supported. Although the original
> idea of plucker would be and alternative to a *heavy* browser on PDA
> or as an off-line browsing RSS reader, there are tons of free resource
> ready to use and would be of great help to children. The UI features
> would be also worthy learned from for current PDF reader. (I still
> can't understand why there's no zoom in/out function for PDF reader.
> ;) )

Right. Many things are missing. And there is a lot to learn from
plucker and opie-reader (for which I helped Tim Wentford on CHI
features). The plucker format should be supported, but most advanced
formats like the custom rb2 are more interesting.

I remember evaluating various settings before finding some real good
compromise between access speed and compression. We were working on
big and complex documents (the mercks manual, the english wikipedia,
dictionnaries...) and were aiming at the Zaurus.

A lot of work has been done on that, focusing on user experience. It
could certainly be reused.

> I do have some suggestions for the Library. For example, the picture
> books is not so easy to read as you always need the touch pad to
> navigate (no hot keys available) and the font is too small even for
> adults. To be more ideal, the framed menu sould be able to be closed
> and opened when needed.

Have you seen how kids read cbr comics on computers? Usually the
picture is in portrait mode while the screen is in landscape mode -
they display the top half of the picture then click to display the
bottom half instead and click again to move to the next picture.
(clicks can be on screen buttons, or directly on keys)

> >  - Is the lack of audible feedback from the volume up/down keys on purpose?
> Honestly, I would opt for a visual feedback and an instant mute key. :)

Any feedback at all would be better than nothing!

Regarding  the parallel port, the solution mentionned are of course
better than my suggestions. I didn't know about them - sorry, i'll try
to read more documentation before asking my next batch of questions


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