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Following the announcement of the XO-2, I thought I'd like to share a brain-dump of a completely different approach to an XO follow-on.

My starting point was "How do you keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Paree?". After a child has an XO for several years, what can you give her then? We can't simply figure that after elementary school that she'll be told that she can't have access to this sort of tool anymore. And we shouldn't figure that she can or should simply purchase a conventional laptop.

So if the original XO is aimed at 6-12 y.o., primary school children, and the XO-2 seems to be aimed at even younger children and people of all ages that might want a bookreader/browser, the XO-Senior is aimed at middle schoolers and older. It should also appeal to first world users who want to show support for OLPC, or to use a 'greener' computer. It could also be an 'XO for the first world'. It seems that there are pilots developing in the U.S. and other first world countries. I suspect that a machine with performance closer to expected norms, while still providing the original XO's interface and educational mission would be desirable for this market.

Share a lot with the XO

The XO does a lot of things right that should be carried forward

Share hardware and industrial design

  • DCON screen
  • Mesh networking
  • Rugged
  • 'Green' -- low power, recyclable
  • Minimum number of moving parts and connectors
  • Distinctive sit on keyboard and handle with the guts behind the screen design
    • this is a real design breakthrough with the XO. It gives a distinctive product image, projects a go anywhere message, and provides some real utility with the easy grab handle and the fact that the heat generating components aren't on your lap when used as a real laptop.
  • Swivel screen bookreader mode.
    • Maybe add a touch screen

Share software

  • Linux/GNU/Sugar
  • FOSS
  • Constuctionist educational tools

Differ where it is needed for different mission

  • Big enough for adults to use
    • full size keyboard
  • Powerful enough for
    • 'first world' applications
    • full motion video
  • 'Normal' Desktop easily available
    • Gnome?
    • XFCE?
    • one click reboot from Sugar to Gnome and vv.

Suggested specs

  • Fastest available passive cooling processor
    • 1.2 GHz Via C7?
  • 1Gb Memory
  • Enough flash for reasonable use
    • 8 Gb?
    • 16 Gb?
  • Screen that gives real 1024x768 color
    • at 200dpi and the DCON screen that works out to about 11" diagonal
  • video out, for desktop use or sharing/demonstration
  • Full size keyboard
  • Expandibility
    • second memory slot
    • in machine USB or SD slot (SD should work by then)
    • 'Whale back' add-on for rotating memory with room for 5" optical drive and 2.5" HDD
  • Big enough battery to give similar life to an XO with this configuration

Whale back

How about a removable rear panel where a rotating media subassembly could be added?

The typical dimensions of a 2.5" HDD are 70mm x 100mm x 9.5mm, of a slimline 5" optical drive 128mm x 126mm x 12.7mm. This means a package about 210mm x 135mm x 16mm could hold one of each. This _nearly_ would fit on the back of an XO.

This would allow storage needed for a truly 'adult' model, access to optical media, rotating memory swap space.

Doesn't fit the Microsoft ULPC model

For better or worse this proposed machine doesn't quite fit the Microsoft ULPC spec where MS keeps XP alive. I've seen '10.2-inch screens, 80GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, 1GHz processors (with some exceptions) and no touchscreens.'


This is obviously blue sky, but given the typical fall in computer prices and the fact that this does not entail any great new technological leaps over the XO, a price similar to the current cost of an XO (<$200) seems reasonable for a base, no rotating memory version.

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