Ask OLPC a Question about Hardware


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Will the XO really have a hand-cranked battery charger? What will the keyboard be like? What about size & weight? If you don't find the answer in the specifications page you can find additional information at this hardware Q&A.

Questions here should be about current hardware; questions like "why don't you include gizmo XYZ" should be asked/discussed in Hardware ideas.

Other hardware questions


I think the following should be put on Hardware Ideas, but there is no proper subcategory for this idea. I can not find a way to creat a new subcategory. If somebody can add a subcategory --touchscreen, please move the message to it. I'll upload an image to make my idea clearer.

Touchscreen is a natural way for people to interact with computer. Its price barrier prevents it from more extensive applications. The infrared touchscreen with retroflector only needs a few components(reflective tape,two optical scanners, collimated light sources and light detectors) and the price can be very low. The problem is reliability and cost of the scanners. An invention on optical scanner has solved the problem. I estimate that the inventions on key components can drive the touch screen's unit cost down to $5 at mass production volumes.

The optical approach to the touchscreen needs not a film to cover the screen. It has following advantages: 100% transpmittance, Easy to install, high resolution, high reliability, very low power consumption. The cost is almost the same for larger and smaller size screen. It is possible to save the cost of keyboard and touchpad if their layout can be changed. More discussions are welcome.(User: Jun)

Or, it could incorporate two screens, using one for controls and one for image output ( 10:24, 7 October 2006 (EDT))

Can I also ask what is the price comparison between a touchscreen and a touchpad? Is it just conservative inertia amongst developed country computer users that is favouring a touchpad? Check out the Psion Netbook (review here: ) for a solid state laptop controlled by a touchscreen. Even though its late 90s we still use it daily as a wireless domestic machine as it is indestructable, simple and easy and ergonomic to use. Simon Chadwick

Touchscreen issues are already dealt with elsewhere in the Wiki. Use the Search button at the left to find the pages. Note that the touchpad on the 2B1 can be used similar to a touchscreen for some functions such as handwritten input.

I'd give that about 2/10 as an answer, but thanks anyway lol :-)

(Edward Hasbrouck) The Psion netBook is the closest predecessor to OLPC in hardware form factor, and was actually used in an earlier pilot project for students in Malaysia (links here: ). So it is worth studying closely. The project was aborted because of high cost, but the netBook remains unmatched for hardware usability, including its durability (designed to withstand a 1 meter drop onto a hard floor, as I have inadvertently verified empirically), keyboard (better "touch" than most full-sized keyboards) and touchscreen. I think the netBook had the largest touchscreen ever made available on a mass-market device. netBook users are the largest test sample of users of such a touchscreen, and the netBook community is fervently convinced of its value.

A touchscreen is a big advantage, especially for children, because it is so much faster and more intuitive. With a touchpad, the user has to mentally synchronize physical movements in one place (the touchpad) with movements or locations on the display screen. With a touchscreen, they are the same. A touchscreen is the only truly intuitive pointing method. No one who has gotten used to a netBook would think of going back to a mouse or touchpad. Few people who haven't used a netBook realize how big an advantage a touchscreen this size can be. (I use my netBook daily, in spite of its age.) "Handwritten input" is not the main use of a touchscreen: it's mainly for navigation, selecting screen objects, selecting text, etc. I know it would be more costly, but I think that a touchscreen should be retained as part of the specification of design goals.

There is a prototype made using resistor panels here:

Flash memory

Won't the flash memory wear out eventually? If a child uses it from 6 to 18, that's 12 years of usage. If the conditions are harsh and there's a heavy usage it eventually will start failing. Shouldn't it be at least replaceable?

  • There are several mechanisms on the OLPC that are designed to increase the life of the laptop: (1) the chips themselves are designed to move writes around so that no cell gets written to repeatedly, minimizing the probability of killing it; and (2) the Journaled Flash File System is also designed to move writes around, to further minimize block failures. I'd imagine that the OLPC won't be continously rewriting bits—e.g., there won't be a swap file—given the limited number of writes, and the fact that they will be moved around, the flash should have a pretty long life. --Stranger 18:15, 30 July 2006 (EDT)

What are the expected shipment volumes or units of the olpc for 2006-2011? Do you expect the density of the NAND Flash to increase over time as the price drops to the $10 NAND price for 512MB or 4Gbit SLC NAND part today?

Shipments start at 5 million, after contracts for that many are signed. It would be foolish to attempt to forecast demand after that, but it is conceivable that several hundred million units will be needed over the next decade, or possibly even sooner.

Is there a drawback to using flash memory? It seems from this website that it is very economical, but how come laptops and computers still use hard drives? Why doesn't everyone switch over to flash memory?

Flash is much more expensive for high-capacity storage. A 120GB laptop hard drive has a retail cost of around $70, while 120 gigabytes of flash storage have a retail cost of around $1500. If you only need a gigabyte of storage, though, flash is cheaper: 1GB of flash has a retail cost of around $15, while the smallest laptop hard drive readily available is a 40GB drive for $50.

Where can I buy this Touchpad?

My laptop has a very different touchpad than the olpc laptop has. Is it possible to buy that kind touchpad with an USB connector?

Where can I buy this Hardware?

I´m a developer of embarked systems and I would like to acquire the Hardware of the project. He is possible?

After the launching, the hardware (Mother board) could be sold ?

The Developers program page lists how to obtain one of the test boards. Since you received the board free, I imagine you must return the boards once you are done using them, and cannot sell them. --SamatJain 13:50, 8 August 2006 (EDT)

DOS and BIOS drive recognition for OS repair

Is the 512mb primary drive write protected? Can the operating system be updated or, if it crashes, reinstalled. Is disk cloning supported? Can one USB port be used to load a DOS diagnostics and repair program while another USB port is used to download files or for disk cloning? Can the BIOS (and, by extension, a program like Ranish Parition Manager) see two USB drives simulaneously?

The 2B1 is not a PC. It doesn't run DOS and it doesn't run DOS software like the Ranish partition manager. It will not run DOS or any DOS diagnostics unless someone chooses to port such software which will probably involve replacing the BIOS and making the unit incompatible with the standard 2B1 software build. As far as USB capabilities, those are whatever Linux supports. At a minimum, 4 ports should support 4 simultaneous disk drives but with chaining the number could be quite a bit higher. Your question about the 512 disk drive is answered elsewhere on the wiki. Try the Search button at the left. If you get stuck, try JFFS as a keyword.

Wear levelling

Will wear levelling and bad block management be used to prevent and cope with failure of cells from excessive overwriting of some blocks of the 512mb flash drive?

Built into JFFS2, as well as compression to reduce the data size. --Bluefoxicy 15:38, 23 September 2006 (EDT)

Built-In GPS Unit?

With GPS units becoming cheaper and cheaper, I see this $100 laptop as a great product if it had a built-in gps receiver. Even put a small switch to turn off the receiver when not in use to save battery. I know the machine has 3 usb ports and I could add a gps module, but having it already built-in just makes it that much cooler! What gps units have you seen that have generators attached to recharge the batteries - complete with wifi and a lcd screen - for less than $500-$600 USD? - And adding a gps module would would only marginally increase the current $138 USD.

The OLPC design includes GPS capability. It is called a USB port and there are 4 of them. They can be used for an astounding variety of USB peripherals. For instance, using a USB-Serial adapter one of the cheap GPS bricks will work with the OLPC. Or you could add a USB Bluetooth adapter and a cheap GPS brick that uses Bluetooth. I have a Nokia N70 telephone with Python and Bluetooth and I bought one of the cheap Bluetooth GPS bricks. After a few hours with Google and Python I was able to write a script to grab and save GPS locations over Bluetooth. I imagine it would be just as easy to do on the 2B1.
Great! I'll just tell the kids to go buy a Nokia N70 or a bluetooth GPS unit. Great plan.
Actually bluetooth and WLAN work in the same frequency band, 2.4 GHz. I suppose that makes it possible in principle to use the same transceiver for both, as the Nokia 770 appears to do. Any plans in this direction?

The idea of having a GPS chipset on board seems to have some major benefits over an external unit including: Cost of a few USD compared to more than $50USD per unit, no drivers for the user to add and fully integrated into the OS. Also nothing extra to break, loose or get stolen (the idea behind soldering everything to the mobo). GPS is so important: it can teach kids about measuring their world, it can allow users to record observations with an accurate location and even be used to build local maps of roads or hazards. GPS via USB is very handy but IMO it will never be as well supported as an onboard chipset. How many developers would support video in their application if the XO didn't have a built-in camera as compared to now? Personally I would be surprised not to see built-in GPS on a future version of the XO. BTW, would there be any security reasons not to have built-in GPS? Thanks to the parent for bring up a good idea.
GPS chips can be had for less than a dollar. They provide perfect time. They could enable anti-theft without leases, with the firmware simply requiring a visit to the school every now and then. AlbertCahalan 15:02, 7 October 2007 (EDT)

The hardware: schematics?

Are schematics for the Btest Boards available?

If you join the design team. Not for people who just want to make a few for themselves. You can get information on nearly equivalent boards on the Build your own page. --Mokurai 06:03, 7 November 2006 (EST)
The schematics are on the internal-only wiki because Quanta has not released them to the public. MitchellNCharity 15:18, 13 July 2007 (EDT)
Are the schematics going to be available to the public?

Wireless Mesh Testing

Considering the recent slashdot story about partially connected networks, and to what extent they are still a research project, it sounds important to test the Marvell firmware-based mesh networking technology. What kinds of large-scale tests or simulations have been performed to justify the expectation that the wireless mesh would work as hoped?

Someone also asked here:

Power / Energy

What about (alternatively) using pedals?

I don't know how much a hand crank would need to be used, but using feet instead of hands is a much LESS involving "experience", so those children could perform other tasks ( who knows how busy they are! :-| ) while also preparing the laptop for using it soon after. Also, pedals could keep the hands free for using the computer.

This question and many others are answered on the Battery and power page. Note that the charger is not built-in to the laptop, it is an external device. Therefore any other means of providing electricty can be used in place of the charger.

About Power Generation

Why don't you put large solar cell panels on the laptop, this will recharge the battery all the time. And the battery life will be longer. - Nikolay Banchev - Bulgaria

The cells don't need to be on the laptop. See Battery and power.


How much power are we talking about, exactly? A FAQ estimates milliamps, but that is not a power. How many watts, typical?

Figures from the hardware specification page
Capacity, 22.8 Watt-hours; 6 volts; maximum power 500 mA; so 3 watts for 7+ hours.--Ed Cherlin 2006/09/14 21:42 GMT - 07:00

I just recently heard that the project will be using a foot-powered crank, instead of the hand-crank directly on the machine. Could the foot powered crank be used to power other laptops (recycled, or otherwise) or even adapted to power other devices? There is already a device on the market, that I saw in Popular Science, that is a small foot powered generator, capable of powering small devices, such as drills, saws, etc. Consider other interfaces... Stay on the idea of giving out the $100 laptop, but if you have the foot crank already, why not let people donate their old laptops, and use the crank to power them. Go from the $100 laptop to the free laptop, and $35 foot crank. And use the other $65 to pay for shipping to a poor kid! After all you'll still have to ship the $100 ones, that's if they even get to the kids...

  • Unfortunately, conventional laptops (even old ones) typically require far more power.

I only know about thermal solar cells through pop science but, i read in their that they are far more efficient per unit size than photovoltaics. I was wondering if the low powered e-book part could be powered by thermal cell grips on the device as well as a flexible thermal cell neckband or headband that could, if needed, provide extra power and service area. Thank you for your time.

  • Thermal solar cells are indeed more efficient but they are just a way to collect heat, they do not produce electric power, at least not directly like photovoltaics.



To reduce repetitive strain injury, will the units be offered with a Dvorak keyboard layout? It's also a tad easier for non-typists to learn. The rest of the world uses Qwerty, I know, but the rest of the world doesn't have string-powered laptops.

The Dvorak keyboard layout comes standard with Linux. It is not "the rest of the world" that uses QWERTY, just that minority whose languages are written in the Latin alphabet. With variations such as the French AZERTY keyboard, the German QWERTZ keyboard, and so on.
Many writing systems are typed on keyboards that follow the same basic principle as the Dvorak layout, particularly putting all the vowels on one hand (left hand for Indic INSCRIPT keyboards and their relatives, right hand for Korean Hangeul). Ed Cherlin

If the mission of this project is to create educational tools, wouldn't it make sense to arrange the keyboard in an educational manner? In other words - why not arrange the letters alphabetically? I understand alphabetical ordering is not the most effecient but when we're talking about a project that is trying to improve literacy I think improving the education value of the tool is worth sacrificing typing speed. If the keyboard was alphabetical, think how many kids would learn the alphabet without even turning the machine on!

No. That is a grotesquely inefficient layout. Nothing prevents a school from having an alphabet on the wall, as is often done in developed countries. They'll just have to write it themselves in many cases, instead of buying a fancy one from a school supply house.--Mokurai 02:23, 13 October 2006 (EDT)
Though keep in mind that QWERTY was specifically designed to be more inefficient than the alphabetical layout. It does seem like a logical issue to address which layout should be used.

ARE the monitor and keyboard DETACHABLE??

In poor countries (and not only), exchanging components could be very useful... You can't imagine how useful! For instance, when some kid's monitor is dead, but the rest of the computer still works fine, it would be WONDERFUL if that kid could get a monitor from another kid whose monitor is still working but the rest of the computer is not.

Fortunately, the laptops have been designed so that parts can be replaced with simple tools. It will be the responsibility of each country's ministry of education to maintain spare parts depots and fix the laptops.
We cannot make the units separate because our core idea is to provide an electronic textbook/notebook for the kids. Even though there is a PC underneath the hood, the core concept is for a single device, an e-book that kids can carry with them easily.


I'm in love with the one laptop project, but are we really going to spread the evil and slow QWERTY keyboard to the rest of the world? This must be the ultimate opportunity to introduce a keyboard that has an effective interface. Why not take the opportunity?

A choice needed to be made for the English keyboard overlay. There's nothing "evil" about QWERTY, as far as I know. (Do the letters spell something bad?) As for "slow", this is largely a myth---see e.g. Many more English-speaking folks know how to touch-type QWERTY than Dvorak, which I presume to be the proposed alternative. (It always is. :-) It's all just a rubber overlay---if there's enough demand by English-speaking third-world child touch-typists, I'm sure something could be worked out... --Bart Massey 17:41, 22 December 2007 (EST)


Why does the laptop's keyboard have no key between the "z" and the left shift key, as just about every QWERTY keyboard (except US) has?

Presumably because it was modeled after a US keyboard. It presumably also saves some space in the already-cramped layout. --Bart Massey 17:46, 22 December 2007 (EST)


There are several new buttons on the keyboard that I haven't figured out how to use. I haven't found a crib sheet that explains the new keyboard buttons, such as the "dots" beneath the Hinge, the hand, and some of the other function combinations.

See the keyboard section of the Getting Started guide, which displays the key description when you move the mouse over the circles. Several of the keys are reserved for future features. —Joe 13:07, 19 December 2007 (EST)

Physical Attributes


Why did OLPC go with the laptop form instead of a slate form or something like the Dynabook mockup, Speak&Spell or Pepper Pad? When could this become available?

We are using a transformer hinge that allows the children to use the machine in both laptop and tablet modes. --Walter 08:58, 16 August 2006 (EDT)

Laptop Size

The laptops appear to be sized for five to ten year olds. Do you plan to make a size that would be right for high school students and teachers?

How much will the laptops weigh?

That is not totally settled. Check the hardware specification page for the latest specs.--Mokurai 02:23, 13 October 2006 (EDT)

School Gateways

I've looked around the site for a while and cannot find much about gateways at the schools. Can somebody tell me about the connectivity to the internet for the whole mesh network through gateways at schools? I'm especially interested in what the power requirements will be for a gateway, because I'm hoping to find out how hard it would be to set one up in an area where there is no electricity. Thank you!

The OLPC networking concept is not Internet-based. We assume that there will be no Internet connectivity and no Internet gateways. The laptops are being deployed into countries which do not have a lot of native-language content available on the Internet. The networking focus is to make sure that the laptops will be able to communicate with each other over a larger than normal area, and that they will be able to communicate with resources in the school. In most cases, these school resources will not be Internet gateways but will be more like a cross between a library and an FTP site with content that kids can download to their laptops. Of course some schools will have Internet access and may copy Internet content for use by the kids, but the laptops are not intended to be used for direct Internet surfing.
OLPC is not interested in taking on the added burden of Internet connectivity for dozens of countries, but others are, including OLPC4USA. See Internet for more. --Mokurai 15:30, 26 December 2006 (EST)
In regard to your questions about power, you may wish to read the Battery and power page for tips.

(JK, USA) I think it would be a good idea to use satellite broadband connection with the school gateway/routers in areas where local broadband access is too expensive or local internet infrastructure is poor. And then on the local school gateway it would be a good idea to include paypal donation feature like this one PayPal& Wifi APs so that donors living in the 1st world countries can make direct and easy donations to specific schools where funding is very limited.

Impending Ergonomic Disaster ?

As a computer science graduate student I and nearly everyone of my colleauges seem to have had non-trivial issues with RSI (Reptitive Strain Injury) which has impacted both our productivity and quality of life in significant ways. Increasingly these problems seem to be showing up among law students and others that make regular use of computers (especially laptops) in their work -- I cannot comment about the prevalence of this among tech workers in general, though I seem to hear horror stories from those I encounter in companies on a pretty regular basis.

Given these sorts of issues, as well as the notable difference in western countries (especially the U.S.) with chronic back pain, and a variety of other degenerative disease which are a function of lifestyle and posture, doesn't massive deployment of a technology like this in other countries (not to mention the use of laptops in our own country), demand serious critical study? -talg

This is not a laughing matter. Consider consulting with piano teachers for their ideas on including some simple instructions on break-in training and appropriate rest breaks to avoid the overuse injuries. --FGrose 13:33, 27 August 2006 (EDT)
Wrist stress will be particularly bad with the toddler-sized keyboard. It makes a huge difference to split the keyboard down the middle, as with the Microsoft Natural Keyboard. The raised middle is impractical in a laptop of course, but the rotation (lower row spreads apart) is still useful by itself. Duplicating the Y and 6 keys on both halves might be wise. AlbertCahalan 23:51, 19 February 2007 (EST)
The rugged membrane keyboard probably won't be able to split or expand; this would greatly increase the complexity and failure rate. I agree that RSI is a concern and proper stretching should be an essential part of this program. There are programs like Workrave which will remind users to stretch and exercise periodically. In a classroom setting this may be initiated by the teacher instead of an arbitrary timer. Should the OLPC feature any graphic warnings printed on the case? LeeColleton 12:25, 21 November 2007 (EST)

Technology innovation is moving at a very rapid pace

How are you guys planning for the future. How are you guys preparing for the technology currently planned to be used inside the laptop becoming absolete. What is your turnaround time between parts going into production and actually being distributed to the people? --314159271828 01:55, 4 December 2006 (EST)

(JK, USA) To ensure long-term sustainable success and growth of the OLPC project, especially in regard to your concern over future parts availability I think the OLPC hardware designers should use as many generic parts as possible. And I think the retail "Buy2 give 1 free" program will help boost the production numbers so that in future there will be abundance of used spare parts for the OLPC. I think the OLPC project should create an online database where donors can register the serviceable used parts that they want to donate. While discussing the same topic I would like to propose another project for school gateways and wifi APs that would meet the needs of 3rd world countries. i.e. using solar or wind power etc.


Can I use a printer with an XO? If not, will that be an option in the future. How would one add a printer to the computer?

Thank you, Joan

Printing is not currently supported, although it may be in the near future. When people get printing working, I expect the directions will appear on the Printing page. —Joe 12:05, 17 December 2007 (EST)

USB Keys

Since for now a main way to move files off of the XO is the use of USB keys, it is critical to have information about formatting. I have tried attaching a USB key (SanDisk Curzer 256 MB) formatted for Mac and then reformatted (on the Mac, the computer I use) for Unix File System -- neither one was recognized by the XO. What formatting is required? Can it be done with the XO?

I believe FAT32 is the format that the XO expects for its media. It's probably possible to format a USB drive on the XO via the command-line, but I don't know how, myself. —Joe 12:05, 17 December 2007 (EST)

On the Mac I seem to be able to format the key in FAT16 but not FAT32. However, after some delay this seems to be recognized by the XO

opening the laptop

How would I open the laptop to add an SDHC?

There are instructions and pictures on the Disassembly page showing how to take apart the laptop. I assume you know your way around a soldering iron, because the laptop is otherwise not easily upgradeable. —Joe 17:41, 21 December 2007 (EST)
Note that there IS a user-accessible SDHC port under the display. To access it, simply rotate the display counter-clockwise by 90 degrees so that the right-hand side of the display is just beyond the handle. -- Supersat 00:10, 30 December 2007 (EST)
True... I assumed he wanted to add an additional card reader—which, on reflection, is probably not what he wanted to do at all. —Joe 11:14, 30 December 2007 (EST)

Opening the laptop part II

The instructions showed how to open the screen-motherboard compartment but I saw nothing there about how to gain access to the ALPS touchpad and keyboard. Can you instruct me?

Also, what's the honking powerful magnet to the left of the touchpads for? Thanks, Bill Wvbailey 11:02, 28 December 2007 (EST)

Is there a "sleep" mode? - i.e. can I just close the lid on the laptop?

Does the OLPC go into sleep mode if it is booted and I close and lock the lid? It doesn't seem to. Am I supposed to shut down the OLPC whenever I'm done using it and don't want the battery to drain? Thanks for any info or pointers...

See "How do I put an XO laptop to sleep?" in the Support FAQ. —Joe 17:46, 21 December 2007 (EST)

Wireless problem

Have a XO laptop that does not see any networks - mesh or wireless. The antenna light does not light up. Any idea on how to fix this problem?

Doubt it will help, but it should be mentioned that the XO currently will only connect to WAPs on channels 1, 6, and 11. Changing my WAP from channel 9 caused it to show up. --Bart Massey 17:33, 22 December 2007 (EST)

How do I determine the state of battery charge?

How do I determine the state of battery charge? What does the battery indicator-light color mean?

  • green means the laptop is plugged in and the battery is fully charged;
  • yellow/orange means the laptop is plugged in and the battery is charging;
  • no light when the laptop is powered on means it is running on battery power;
  • no light when the laptop is powered off means the battery is not recharging;
  • red means the battery is low; it should be recharged.
this taken from the laptop dot org webpage ~~DZ

Can I run the laptop while plugged in for extended periods?

I am a little confused about the concept of charging and running an XO laptop. I have never owned a laptop before. Do I only run on battery power when it is absolutely neccessary (like when I am outdoors away from a power outlet)? Do I run the XO laptop with the wall outlet power cord for extended periods of time even when the battery is fully charged?

I have been told on the OLPC-US yahoo mailing list that I may leave the power plug plugged in all the time. The laptop has a sensor that prevents the battery from overcharging. ~~DZ

Touchscreen - How?

I'm sorry if this question is answered elsewhere...I'm cross-eyed from searching. Can someone tell us how to enable/use the touchscreen. We can get the screen flipped around, but then what? A certain program? Need a stylus? Thanks for all help.

Sadly, because of design constraints, there is no touchscreen. The screen-flipping is primarily intended to be used as an e-book reader, but is also useful for video chat. It would be fun to build a gesture-based interface for the video camera, but as far as I know there isn't one yet. --Bart Massey 17:50, 22 December 2007 (EST)

Cannot connect to Belkin Pre-N Wireless Router

I have tried connecting to my home wireless network, which utilizes a Belkin Pre-N wireless router model F5D8230-4, but have had no success. I am using 128Bit WEP security, and it prompts me for the passphrase key, but will not accept the key. Has anyone successfully connected to a Belkin Pre-N router?

Make sure that you're supposed to be supplying a passphrase, and not a hex key. If your key consists of 32 characters in the ranges 1-9 and a-f, select the "Hex key" option instead of the "Passphrase" option. --Bart Massey 17:33, 22 December 2007 (EST)

I have tried both the passphrase and the hex keys, and both the "open" and "shared" options in the XO drop down box, but still not able to connect.

This is bug 5485 on trac. It is resolved in the latest builds.
No, this is issue #2 in bug 5527. The Airgo radio in these routers is not friendly with the XO in an environment with even the smallest amount of noise. I can find no way to connect using build 703.

What command would show the memory and flash drive configuration of my XO?

I have not found one flash video on youtube or elsewhere that will play on my XO. Either it skips many frames or there is only audio or it never completes loading. Can anyone point to a video that will play? Does the XO need to have more memory added to play flash. FYI, I installed Adobe's flash player to replace the gnash flash that came with the XO?

I am expiriencing the same difficulty with youtube and other sites with FLASH. I installed Adobe Flash and uninstalled GNASH. I also added an 8Gb SD card. ans still get choppy videos, etc.

First there was sound, now there is none.

I got sounds out of TAM TAM the first few minutes I ran the machine. Since then the only sound the laptop prodices is the start-up theme. I tested it with voice recording--nothing is heard on playback. Is there a "quiet" mode that I may have triggerred inadvertently, or is this a malfunction?

Connecting to Apple Wireless

I have successfully "unlocked" my Apple Wireless using the instruction elsewhere for a WEP key airport extreme. My airport shows now in Neighborhood without a lock, but I still can not connect. I know the airport is working, since I'm using it now with an MacBook. Any additional troubleshooting ideas? I have not tried to connect to any other access points (like T-Mobile) so do not know if there are additional issues. Thanks!

I don't think this was a problem with earlier releases --- I use an Airport at home. Are you clicking on the icon in the mesh view ? What does hovering over the circle in the Home View (fifth key from the left, top row) say ? Try using Update.1 (noting that you will have to reinstall your activities afterwards).--Wad 01:41, 21 April 2008 (EDT)

Measure activity: Schematic, or at least info about the microphone input's hardware

This is related to the measure/oscilloscope activity. I've been trying to flesh out the hardware part of the article, but all's I can do is terminal measurements. What's going on at "the front end?" The mic input draws huge currents when you exceed +5 volts and -0.6 volts. I presume there's a TVS or diode protection there. I measured 200K input resistance (with and without power) so there must be a protection resistor before the codec (its input resistance is only 20K). The upshot of this is a simple reversal of a battery voltage applied to the mic input could cause equipment damange.

BTW I posted a strongly-worded warning re putting AC line voltage into the mic input. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Example #1: when I was about 8 I got hold of an old electric shaver. I pulled out the armature (a reluctance-type armature with no windings), was puzzled as to how such a thing could be (universal motors have windings). So I wound magnet wire on it, scraped off the enamel insulation, and plugged the wires into the wall-outlet. KABANG! Example #2: true to type, my son as a toddler found (because he was about 3 feet tall), underneath a kitchen countertop, an exposed AC outlet box unknown to us grownups. So he takes his kiddie spoon and sticks it between the box and the outlet proper and makes contact with the live 120 VAC. KABANG! Blew a notch in his spoon and knocked him backwards.

I'm doing due diligence here. A hunk of my professional career was working on standards for the welding industry, and part of this was writing safety instructions using international symbols, designing warning labels, etc. Is there a safety-contact at OLPC? We need to chat. Lemme know, please. Bill Wvbailey 11:23, 28 December 2007 (EST)

Camera and Microphone do not work

My camera and microphone worked for about 20 minutes the first time I opened Record, then after taking a few pictures the screen went black and the LED status lights turned off. I have rebooted a few times and there is still nothing. When I open Record the LED lights flash briefly, but do not stay on and I can not get a picture. Any suggestions?

You should post this question on Support

Does a USB mouse work with the computer?


Upgrade CPU and/or Flash memory?

Is it possible to upgrade cpu and/or flash memory 'in the field'? With or without a soldering iron?



I am a youth fellow of ITU Telecom Asia 2008 from Bangladesh.I got one OLPC.But now my Keyboard is not working.What can i do now? Please help me. Please email me ->

Marzia Bangladesh

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