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Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Take on the XO So Far


Well, it's been about a day and half since I got my XO. First off, it's a great little device. It does the basic stuff I think most of us need from a computer these days. I can process words, surf and even instant message, though I have not IMed anyone on it yet, but PixelFish was IMing me from her XO the other night, so I know it's possible.

Last night the challenge was working out how to log in to a WPA-encrypted network, which was not a huge deal at all (there's a page on the wiki with straightforward instructions). Sadly it was more complicated than it probably should have been, but hey, it's early. I'm sure they'll work this kink out in time.

Last night, I tried to get Gnash to run MP4s and Flash. Sadly, I couldn't find the installed version to configure it so I assumed there was no installed version. So, I downloaded it and tried to install it--no luck. Then when looking for instructions, I discovered it IS installed, but I couldn't find any mention of where it is on the system so I STILL couldn't configure it. Instead, I just decided to install the Adobe Flash plugin. That's allowed videos and audio clips to run, but the video is choppy and not at all smooth while the audio mostly runs fine.

I think those are the limitations of a 433 mhz machine, sadly. I did get listen to some of my tracks on http://Anywhere.FM/ so that was cool. They streamed perfectly well, too.

This afternoon I installed Opera on there using the instructions on the OLPCNews.com/forum. It was surprisingly easy, actually. Opera runs really well, but, interestingly enough, doesn't seem to run Flash very well. Anywhere.FM took forever to load. I didn't test YouTube on it, but I will soon.

I'm going to spend the next week putting it through it's paces and trying to get it to do the things I need it to do--like allow me to blog, work on a novel and do minor multimedia stuff. The other thing I noticed was that Flash doesn't seem to like the built-in camera. I went to both BlogTV.com and SnapYap.com and neither Flash apps worked with the camera. This is kind of disappointing since I wanted to use both sites with my XO. :(

OK, that's it for now--I need to crash. Sooo very much to do in the next two days. I hope everyone is having a nice relaxing holiday season so far!!

Beyond that, it's definitely a cool gadget, but I'm not sure how "ready for prime time" it is.
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Pete,

    I found it very disspointing that those cameras did not work on blogTV as well since we gave them out as prizes! Do you know why they wouldnt work? Also, I would still really love to see you at blogTV and you are welcome to email me directly about anything having to do with it at community@blogtv.com

    Thanks and happy holidays!
    Kara-Hannah

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  2. Hey Kara-Hannah, thanks for your comment! There's something up with the way Flash accesses the XO's camera--Adobe Flash wasn't meant to be on the XO, though it can be installed. Instead, the people behind the XO have Gnash which is supposedly an open source Flash player, but it does not appear to be very robust (aka it sucks). Also, I have yet to work out how to configure it. I may be able to configure it in a way that allows Flash to access the camera--I don't know. Until I work out *how* to configure it, I won't know :(

    And if that doesn't work out, the OLPC folks seem very gung-ho about continuing to develop the SugarOS. In fact, I just read last night that they are releasing a new version in January. So, perhaps we'll have better luck with it. There's also talk of getting other OSes onto the XO. So, I'm definitely hopeful for some solution.

    As for using BlogTV--I really like BlogTV a lot--but there are some features I'd like to see. Mainly revenue sharing. I'm between jobs so creating content for other websites is something I do instead of looking for work. This is because creating content for any site is really what I'd like to do for a living. :)

    I'm very active over at Utterz.com--more so than BlogTV because they have more to do over there. Obviously, BlogTV specializes in vlogs, but Utterz allows you to vlog, phone blog, sms blog and even plain old text blog. I just wish they supported live video broadcasting--I think that's what you guys do really well. That's what impressed me the first time I tried BlogTV. While BlogTV does have a strong community, there's not much to do with them when you're not watching a video or broadcasting your own. Also, I can't post stuff shot with something other than my computer. I can't even post without a computer. :\

    What I do like about BlogTV is the diverse, generally friendly community there at BlogTV. I've always felt welcome there and that's why I was happy to broadcast my XO unboxing live from there. Sadly, a connection error screwed things up, but people still saw some of it--and luckily I had another camera running, too, since if the connection with BlogTV is interrupted the recording is lost, too.

    I wish BlogTV all the best, Kara-Hannah! Thanks again for posting a comment!

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