OK, so, here's a post from the OLPCNews.com/forum that I wrote detailing my impressions thus far:
After two days of messing around with it, I have to say that I really like everything about the design of the hardware. I don't have the problems others are having with the keyboard being so small--sure, it's not like a full-sized laptop keyboard and I am typing differently (more hunting and pecking, sometimes with just one hand, even), but I have little doubt that I'll adapt in another week or two and be comfy with it.

The software is taking a bit more effort to adapt to. I was surprised at how underfeatured the SugarFox browser is. No tabs, no multiple browser windows, and no easy way (that I could find) to configure Gnash for Flash playback (or not). I managed to install the Opera browser and Adobe's Flash plugin. But, ironically, SugarFox runs Flash better than Opera does. Now Gnash is still trying to handle Flash, but doesn't do it automatically, it just replaces any Flash instance with a "Click here to Play" link, but since I have Adobe Flash installed, each Flash instance appears again right under Gnash's attempt and plays it automatically, just fine.

SugarOS, itself is a cool OS, to be sure, though it does re-think things in ways I was surprised about. "Journal" is about as accurate a term for what it does as "Finder" is on the Mac. I think a better term would be something like "log" since "Journal" seems more personal and opinion-based and "log" tends to refer more to literally "what happened". Journal in SugarOS is literally your computer's history. In fact, maybe that's the word to use? "History"? Also, the way it works in conjunction with websites is not what we're used to--which is fine (when you click "browse" button on a website it brings you to Journal), I just hope there is a better explanation of how this is supposed to work. Right now it seems a little amorphous for me to even explain.

Over all, I'm not putting this baby up on eBay. I see that there are two directions to take it in--first, the intended route and stick with the way SugarOS runs things (ideal for kids, somewhat limited for adults looking for more to do and more control to have), or, second, use Opera for everything--Zoho, Google Docs and Meebo run in it reasonably well, so there's no reason to even worry about using SugarOS and since Opera accesses local storage directly and not through the Journal. This means you can treat it like a "regular" PC. The key there is learning where everything is kept.

Either way, this is a great laptop and I don't see myself ever parting with it. I just hope that the OS improves quickly. I don't mind a bit of buginess, but if we can add things like "force quit" and have it generally handle memory allocation more effectively, that'd be great. Oh and I also like how "alt+tab" cycles through the open apps, just like on a regular machine Smiley

Things I'd like to do next:

1) Work out why I can't upload through Flickr's website (I click "browse" in SugarFox and it does nothing)
2) Work out what the "game controller" style buttons on the right of the screen do (or how to tell them what to do)
3) how to configure Gnash to play mp3/4s and STOP trying to play Flash in either browser.
4) Invent a time machine so I can do points 1-3 and still have time to celebrate Christmas at the same time. ^_^


So, for anyone debating about doing the Give 1 Get 1 program, I'd say that depends on your patience level. For very basic things, it's perfectly reasonable (though a little slow). If you're cool with that, I'd say go for it. If you're not cool with that, but have faith in the concept that programmers will improve the OS and apps in time, go for it. If you're a gearhead or a programmer looking for a cool new device to challenge yourself with, do G1G1. If you're not in any of those three camps, I'd just donate $200 to OLPC. Regardless, check out XOgiving.org to order your XO before December 31, 2007. You can also donate at that site, as well.

Questions about the XO laptop? Don't hesitate to leave a comment, email/IM me or stop by the OLPCNews.com/forum, sign up and ask your question there. We're all learning and that's pretty damn exciting to me ^_^

Orignal From: OLPCXOPotD: Two Days In with the XO: My Impression