Support FAQ/Getting Started, Laptop Settings

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Contents

Getting Started, Laptop Settings

Where do I get support?

Click Support.Laptop.Org for

  • an extensive list of documentation
  • live chat support
  • interactive web forums
  • regional user groups
  • repair options

Please consider joining an One Laptop per Child (OLPC) real-live community!

How do I get started? Where are the manual and best learning materials?

Figuring out the XO in Mongolia

OLPC encourages kids to discover/learn things by themselves (Constructionism), as well as to conserve our forests.

Balancing these goals, volunteers have created many great manuals, similar to the Help Activity (included by default in recent releases). Versions of this 240-page manual are available online or in downloadable format(4.7MB), or purchased in book form ($17).

The "XO Laptop in the Classroom" book by Sdenka Salas in Peru is excellent in both the original Spanish (6.7MB) and in English (5.5MB). This 100+ page book is highly recommended for teachers. See also this colorful 48-page Uruguayan guide (2.5MB) and new 31-page Spanish starter guide (15MB). Additionally, there are excellent websites, manual and teacher topic guides for the OLPC Peru deployment. An auto-translated Spanish manual and hand-translated Spanish manual are also underway. For other resources from deployments across Latin America and other Spanish speaking contributors, see Recursos en espanol and the new P+F FAQ.

A French translation was released in June 2009.

For earlier versions (2007/2008 software), consider upgrading to the latest stable release! Otherwise, learn here about your XO laptop and what it can do, or download the older Getting Started Guide pdf (17.5MB), or for a snappy introduction to the earlier software, see the volunteer-created Simplified user guide.

You too can help enhance our many community manuals such as our "Class Acts" story archive!

Can I print from the XO laptop?

For the first shipment of XOs in December 2007, there was no built-in Printer Support.

Documents can be saved to a USB drive or SD card and printed from another computer. Click on the general steps for saving a document here.

How do I access a Linux command prompt?

For a Linux command prompt, run the "Terminal Activity".

What does "Register" (in Home view) do?

"Register" allows children to connect to a School Server, and serves no function for G1G1 XOs that are not used in a school with a "school server."

See School Identity Manager for more explanation. After a child uses the Register function once at his/her school, this line disappears from the Home view.

Why is there no windowing system? How do I learn the XO Sugar Environment?

One Laptop per Child's XO software environment uses the Sugar graphical user interface on top of the Linux operating system. This environment is new and different from traditional PCs and Macs. We hope you will not only "learn by doing", but also seek out others to collaborate with you in the learning process— taking the initiative to join/form users groups both online and in the real world. If you have ideas for other ways we can promote OLPC's worldwide learning community, please let us know.

How do I change my XO's Nickname? The color of my XO Person's icon?

If you are hopefully running a recent software release, you should hover your cursor over your home view XO Person and click on the Control Panel option. Click on "About Me" and change your nickname and color as you see fit (to see more color options, click on the colored XO person). Any changes on this page will require you to restart your computer.

If, however, you are running our older 2007/2008 software nicknames and other options can be changed using the Terminal Activity's text-based Sugar Control Panel.

The hardware XO Person's colors are selected at random to keep costs down for kids in the 3rd World and help them distinguish their own XO Laptop! Of course, you can change your colors with your own materials if you very carefully follow these disassembly instructions.

How do I set the date, time and timezone on my laptop?

If you are hopefully running a recent software release, you should hover your cursor over your home view XO man and click on the Control Panel option. Click on "Date and Time" and change your timezone as you see fit (UTC is Greenwich Mean Time). Any changes on this page will require you to restart your computer.

If, however, you are running our older 2007/2008 software date and time can be changed using the Terminal Activity's text-based Sugar Control Panel. You may set the date and time as follows:

  1. Connect to the Internet. (For details, see How can I access the Internet? )
  2. Open a Linux prompt. (For details, see How do I access a Linux command prompt? Note: unless you are an advanced user, you should use the Terminal Activity button to open the prompt.)
  3. Login as "root". Assuming you are using the Terminal Activity program, you can login as root by typing "su -" at the command prompt and pressing the Enter key. Note that as user "root" you have the ability to destroy all software on the XO, so you should end your session as soon as you successfully change the date and time.
  4. At the command prompt, enter the following commands:
    /usr/sbin/ntpdate time.nist.gov
    /usr/sbin/hwclock --systohc
  5. Press the Enter key after each command. In response to the ntpdate command, if it successfully contacts this US government official time server, the system will output a line of data displaying the correct date and time.
  6. Click the "Stop" icon at the upper right corner of the screen to log out and close the Terminal Activity program.

How do I disable the bootup sound?

Turn the volume down while the laptop is booting (i.e. before getting into Sugar).

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