XO Laptop - The $200 Hacker Laptop!
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Thread: XO Laptop - The $200 Hacker Laptop!

  1. #1
    Senior Member wolfman1984's Avatar
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    Thumbs up XO Laptop - The $200 Hacker Laptop!

    The Wolfman is very excited about the XO project.

    The purpose of this project is to develop an affordable laptop that can be used in third-world countries that don't have the infrastructure or resources to support the laptop.

    The final result of this project is the XO laptop.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XO-1_(laptop)

    For the next week, the developers of this affordable laptop are offering the system to the public!!

    http://www.laptopgiving.org/

    Here are the specs:

    Type Subnotebook
    Connectivity 802.11b/g /s wireless LAN / 3 USB 2.0 ports MMC/SD card slot
    Media 1 GB flash memory
    Operating system Fedora-based (Linux)
    Input Keyboard / Touchpad / Microphone
    Camera Camera built-in video camera (640×480; 30 FPS)
    Power NiMH or LiFePO4 battery removable pack
    CPU AMD Geode LX700@0.8W + 5536
    Memory 256 MB DRAM
    Display dual-mode 19.1 cm/7.5" diagonal TFT LCD 1200×900
    Dimensions 242mm × 228mm × 32mm
    Weight LiFeP battery: 1.45KG; NiMH battery: 1.58KG

    Here are some cool-cat features that may appeal to the hacker type:

    Wireless Sniffer? - http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/softw...p#Neighborhood

    Web Browser - http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/softw...ace.php#Browse

    Music Sequencer or Tracker -
    http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/softw...php#TamTamEdit

    Pippy the Python Editor! -
    http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/softw...face.php#Pippy

    Since the XO comes with USB, SD memory slots and wireless, I'm sure additional apps can be installed, making this laptop and affordable solution for anyone. Nessus, SSH, Nmap, Metasploit....

    The icing on the cake for this laptop is the fact that by donating $399, a child in a third world country will receive a laptop with your purchase.

    The Wolfman digs this device!
    I AM... THE WOLFMAN!!
    The Wolfman's Homepage: http://www.fangtastic.org
    Do you dig the Wolfman?? Sign his Ghoulbook or listen to him Howl

  2. #2
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    wolfman1984;
    First, your link for the referenced Wikipedia article should have been
    OLPC XO-1

    I have been following this project from the outset, and have very mixed feelings about it. I was very enthusiastic at first.
    ( you might also want to read One Laptop Per Child )

    I have played with a few of these. I was disappointed that the “ears” were so delicate; pieces actually came off in my hand. While using it I was trying to picture a third-world child ( or my grandchild ) dragging it around to-and-from school. I don't even think a Tough-Book could handle that!

    The hardware is not high-end. The programs are geared toward child learning, and some are impressive ( or should I say fun to play with? ) Some of the features look very innovative, though I did not get a chance to play with it in a mesh network.

    At $100 I might have considered getting one of these for my granddaughter.
    But, because of cost overruns ( now estimated at $199 each ), and, I am not from a “developing country,” my cost of $399 ( half of of which goes to supplementing the development costs, or, as it is advertised, to “give one” to a child in a third-world country ) seems a little steep to me for what you get. ( They do say that $200 of that cost is tax-deductible. But didn't I hear something about a proposed 40% tax on my tax refund? Oh, that's another topic. )

    For members here, it would be more of a novelty ( probably worth it for that reason ) then a useful computing device.

    IMHO, it is much more important to concentrate resources on a suitable learning environment ( both at home and in the classroom ) then to invest limited resources on gadgets and gizmos. So far, it has not been proven that electronic learning of basic skills ( reading, writing, and arithmetic ) are superior to classic methods ( and I have seen recent studies that indicate it is not. )

    .
    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  3. #3
    Senior Member wolfman1984's Avatar
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    The Wolfman only began looking into this late last night. But after some further reading this morning found that the laptops only communicate on a ad-hoc network. It also appears root access is granted to the end user.

    IKnowNot, my man, since you have been following this from the get-go, please answer this:

    How feasible would it be to install extra applications like Nmap or Nessus?
    I AM... THE WOLFMAN!!
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I wonder if this might also be part of the thinking behind the new Microsoft "Authorised Refurbisher" programme?

    When Vista or its successor finally becomes accepted, there will be a lot of low to medium end ex-corporate hardware on the market that will probably be sold off to developing country markets, as they won't support the new OS, and aren't worth the cost of upgrading.

    I honestly can't see MS giving Linux a clear run in these markets?

    As IKnowNot also observes, they are very "low-endian" and apparently not very robust. I would have thought that refurbished machines would be a better bet for educational purposes, particularly as soon as you get to secondary schools.

    Also, a laptop may not be the best solution if you have no, or unreliable domestic power supplies? At least schools are easier to provide for in theory.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    Senior Member IKnowNot's Avatar
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    How feasible would it be to install extra applications like Nmap or Nessus?
    I followed through news articles, and when I played with it I never got to dig deep inside. But seeing that iPod, iPhone, game boxes, etc. have all been hacked, what do you think?
    Just remember, the OS ( Linux ) is customized to run on this hardware. I has only 256 Meg of memory, with a 1 Gig flash drive ( no moving hard drive. ) I'm guessing one could always plug in a 4 Gig usb drive to do some tweaking to it.

    Also, a laptop may not be the best solution if you have no, or unreliable domestic power supplies?
    Actually, it originally had a crank on it to charge it if there was no power available, but now I believe that is external and optional.

    I honestly can't see MS giving Linux a clear run in these markets?
    Over the summer I was introduced to a small downsized laptop developed for classroom use ( again, lower end processor, etc. ) running Windows ( CE ? )
    The company reps ( which I don't recall the name of right now ) were insulted when my wife asked if that was the “$100 Laptop” she read about.
    It sold for under the $399 price of the “$100 Laptop”, and appeared more durable ( though not as cute, or innovative. )
    " And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be" --Miguel Cervantes

  6. #6
    Senior Member wolfman1984's Avatar
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    Regarding the power consumption of the laptop. This is what Wikipedia has to say:

    The laptop will consume about 2 W of power during normal use, far less than the 10 to 45 W of conventional laptops.[2]

    In e-book mode, all hardware sub-systems are powered down except the monochrome display. When the user moves to a different page the system wakes up, draws the new page on the display and then goes back to sleep. Power consumption in e-book mode is estimated to be 0.3 to 0.8 W.
    It looks like the laptops are built to use very little power! I wonder why they decided to take the crank out though.
    I AM... THE WOLFMAN!!
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    Do you dig the Wolfman?? Sign his Ghoulbook or listen to him Howl

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