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Playing with the OLPC OS

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I just got a qemu image of the OLPC (one laptop per child) OS and played with it for a few minutes. It's really different from anything I've ever seen before, the whole gui is really based around sharing and being able to communicate with other friends on the mesh wifi network that gets created when you put a bunch of these boxes next to each other (I've yet to use it, but it's there). The taskbar is right in the middle of the screen which forms a circle of open applications centered around a little stick figure which I'm assuming represents you.

These pictures should clarify things (the one on the right is annotated):
olpc-desktop-small.jpg olpc-desktop-notes-small.jpg
If you want to play with it yourself, there are instructions on how to get it as well as qemu running here. The qemu images are available here. I chose olpc-redhat-stream-development-build-303-20070312_1824-ext3.img.bz2 and it worked fine after unpacking it.

You might also want to use the qemu kernel accelerator module, if you're using FC* you can get it from the freshrpms repo (yum install dkms-kqemu dkms).

And if you feel uncomfortable and need a terminal, while in qemu press CTRL + ALT + 2 then at the (qemu) promt type: sendkey ctrl-alt-f1, then press CTRL + ALT + 1 and login as root. To get back repeat the process but on the second to last step use sendkey ctrl-alt-f7 instead.

I really like the gui (Sugar), it seems like the perfect user interface for kids (or old people for that matter). Everything's nice and big and easy to use!

nick