I received my first XO yesterday, and I felt it important to give a short summary of my experience.
To be more accurate, my 2 year old daughter Amelia got her first laptop.
She was very excited...
She had a moment of trouble opening the laptop on her own in that she could not figure out the ears, so I had to help. I twisted both ears and she was able to open the screen herself. I showed her how to turn it on, and the first program I started was Tam Tam, and went to the first main screen with all the animals. I showed her how to move the arrow with the touchpad and how to click (she had already used my laptop) and immediately she began clicking on all the animals and listening to the sounds. Young children will pick up this action quickly, and explore from there.
After 30 minutes she was carrying the laptop around the house, and in fact fell asleep with it. Perhaps she has seen her mother and father on the computer a lot, but i also think the industrial design is so good you feel instantly attached to the XO. In my opinion the size shape, and ears make this the most appealing laptop I have seen ("its sooo cute" is what my daughter says).
Only tam tam was of use that night. There are not enough animals and sounds - we need a central community forum for users to add their own sounds. (maybe it exists?).
--The "record" section did not work for (the boxes with the microphones).
--tam tam froze a couple of times, i had the opportunity to show her how to "reboot" the system by pressing the power button and waiting and then pressing it again.
Day 2 First thing in the morning she wanted her "puter". She now knew how to turn it on without me (it was open already), and go to tam tam and start making sounds. At various times during the day she would play with it and make sounds, it has become a main topic of conversation for her.
--The mouse is jumpy, i have reset it (four corner buttons with fn last) but that has had no effect.
Tonight she went to bed but wanted her "puter". It was already on and i left it with her. when i came back she had a drum track playing (figured this out on her own) and was making animal sounds to the beat. She did this until the computer froze and there was no mouse to move. Since i was not with her and came back to find the XO I taught her again how to reboot it.
Thoughts: Excellent industrial design, can't say that enough. I think this will be extremely attractive and personal to the children. It appears to have a personality. You have to see it in person. Need more and better software, that will come with time and a more open forum for exchange of programs.
I believe children are going to gravitate to this and take personal ownership very quickly. We need to continue to make the software easier and more extensible - this will be the key, and only by building a community and sharing code. Frankly, i will and probably many parents would work hard to build great software for this so (like more animals in tam tam) their children can continue to learn at their own pace.
For any parent who can get one - you must, it is an excellent educational device- it is a "real" computer, full linux and all, but it is designed for the child. I intend to experiment with it and different children over the next few weeks to get a stronger understanding of their usage and learning patterns.
--could not get it to grab dhcp from my linksys wrt54g, it would grab it from my belkin, but it still does not get online, have to get some help on that. (even added the ip address manually with vi, and did "network services restart" but still could not ping any other computer on the network).