Becoming reality

Brian Hayes’ XO laptop has arrived.

If the styling has a whiff of Fisher-Price about it, there’s also some thoughtful ingenuity at work here, and designers of machines for grownups might learn something from it.

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The wifi transceiver is amazing. I never knew I had so many well-connected neighbors—people named linksys and netgear, for example. No other computer I’ve had in the house has ever detected any of these networks.

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…the software is just not finished yet. Some basic capabilities (printing, a sleep mode) are not yet implemented, and there are various buttons that don’t yet have functions. The web browser is primitive (no tabs, very limited facilities for bookmarks). There’s an RSS reader that doesn’t seem to work.