XO-3 Announcement?

Chris Leonard cjlhomeaddress at gmail.com
Sat Jan 7 20:49:57 EST 2012

On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 6:40 PM, Alan Eliasen <eliasen at mindspring.com> wrote:
>   Does anyone have any comments about the XO-3 announcement here?
>   http://tinyurl.com/74vd7ec
>   I'd think that the smart people who are actually doing all the work
> here might have talked about it more!
>   I'm also curious about the power claims.  What is its power
> consumption and charging requirements?  Has it actually been
> demonstrated to be chargeable by "solar panels, hand cranks and other
> alternative power sources?"  Especially ones not requiring systems which
> cost many times more than the price of the laptop, nor require someone
> with the green skin color of the XO to crank.
>   What is the projected operating system and desktop manager?  What
> sort of educational software has been developed?  How much memory?  What
> kind of hard drive?  What power consumption?  Firmware?

I am not an OLPC employee, but I have kept my eyes and ears open.  I
suspect the smart OLPC folks are busy making sure their demo units are
ready for their debut at CES, so I wouldn't expect an immediate answer
from them.

If you've been following XO-1.75 development on this list, it might be
helpful to think of the XO-1.75 as an evolutionary step towards the
XO-3.0.  More-or-less the same stuff on the motherboard, but a
different form factor, and as mentioned in the artic, other options on
screen, etc. that may cause the detailed answers to your questions to
vary depending on the exact SKU number.  I haven't seen an XO-3.0, but
I've had the pleasure of testing a B1 prototype of the XO-1.75.  I've
been very happy with the Sugar / Gnome dual-boot development builds
that have been rolling out, and the accelerometer (on XO-1.75, pretty
sure it will be on XO-3.0) is just plain cool and full of
possibilities.  I'm really excited by the possibilities that a virtual
keyboard on the tablet XO-3.0 will represent for ease of localization,
no more messy, physical,  custom silk-screening of rubber membranes as
a limitation on the potentially available keyboard options, just
invoke different file(s) for a new keyboard layout.

My current understanding is that the firmware will be the latest and
greatest in Open Firmware, with OLPC's specific needs being addressed
by contributions from OLPC coders.  If you've been watching the devel
list, you've probably seen a fair amount of traffic about Fedora on
ARM.  Just like Sugar on earlier XO models, the Sugar UI on the
XO-1.75 (and XO-3) sits on top of what is basically a Fedora Linux OS
spin,.  Obviously the packages are a little different (they are ported
to ARM) but they still come from Fedora repos.  Being an ARM
processor, it is not a huge mental leap to imagine that Android code
can be used. although I'm not sure why you would do that in an
educational setting, but "open" means "open", so sure, why not let
people know about that possibility and bask in the Android spotlight
at CES.

It is worth noting that the power comments in the linked IDG News
article were made by Ed McNierney (OLPC CTO) and not by NN,  they are
not blue-sky dreams.  The history of ARM processor development in
general has been driven by low power consumption needed for battery
life in mobile devices, so that is a good starting point. Like any
other electronic device, the nitty-gritty details of how long you can
stretch the battery life will depend on what you use it for (e.g.
video, high power use, e-book, low power use), what can be said is
that the OLPC folks have been spending a lot of time and effort on
extending that battery life by creating aggressive suspend / resume
features in the firmware on the machine.  They have a really good
handle on the "worst-case" scenario and the "best case" battery life
gets better as they work on it.

None of this information has been hidden from public view.  In fact
there is a lot more in terms of details on the wiki, but being a wiki,
the details are subject to change. :-)



I anxiously await the results of the helicopter drop test :-)

Sugar Labs Translation Team Coordinator

More information about the Devel mailing list