OLPC glossary

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  • Brick
    • Noun
      • 1. Term used within the OLPC community. The thicker principal part of an open XO, which contains the display, motherboard, and battery, as well as smaller items. The other principal part contains the keyboard and touch pad. (Note that this is different from a typical laptop computer, which places the motherboard below the keyboard, along with disc drives and the battery. In a typical laptop computer, the display is the other principal part.)
      • 2. Slang term for a power converter operated by commercial power (AC mains) that feeds an electronic device, nearly always with a voltage lower than that of the power fed to it. Typically, a "brick" hasa power cord for the AC input, which may be detachable, and a second cable ("cord") to feed power to the device. For instance, some Hewlett-Packard inkjet printers used converters built this way. The XO's power converter plugs directly into an AC power outlet, such as a wall socket or power strip. This variety is sometimes called a "wall wart" in English, a whimsical and colorful term.
    • Verb
      • To disable -- "Bricked": Disabled, made nonfunctional. It can refer to one kind of disabling which is the result of a firmware problem (the usual understanding at OLPC {please verify}), or a hardware problem.

Usage note: Please be careful when using this word in any wikis or other documents that might be read by people other than those close to, or part of, OLPC. OLPC is currently using it to mean two very-different things (a major subassembly, and a disabled XO). Suggest we deprecate or disambiguate.

See Wikipedia's definition for more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brick_(electronics)

  • Build - A specific compilation of all the source code and other data required to create a software application. During development, new builds are frequent -- they incorporate the latest changes. Each build is designated by a (typically concise) number or combination of letters, numbers, and perhaps punctuation.
  • Game key(s) - A compact group of four pushbuttons near the lower right corner of the screen.
  • Update.1 - The first major software update, Summer 2008
  • XO - The common name, very concise, for the first design of the OLPC -- the laptop computer, itself.

Like emoticons in Europe and the Western Hemisphere (some Asian emoticons, such as (^_^) are right-side-up), "XO" makes sense when you rotate the image a quarter turn. On the back side of the display (as on many other laptops), a stylized "X O" is the OLPC computer's logo. Plastic inserts of many different colors serve to distinguish individual computers so that each of the children can quickly identify their own. (Colors of the "X" and the "O" are usually different.) (The "O" is a solid circle of one color, not an outline.)

If the O is above the X, the combination suggests a child with legs apart and arms raised.

  • word - A fundamental unit, usually relatively small, of storage in a computer. Words in a computer are often transferred all at once. They generally do not correspond to words of text in a computer file. See FOLDOC for more detail: http://foldoc.org/index.cgi?query=word&action=Search