Monday, January 14, 2008

No Blue Screen of Death for my Little OLPC

I thought you might want an update on my progress with the OLPC. I am beginning to enjoy it, as it's one of the cuter little knick-knacks that sits on the table next to my couch. Tonight I was feeling courageous, and give it one more try. The battery was dead, and when I plugged it in, my journal told me I hadn't turned it on for over 2 weeks. I decided to try a simple little task: open some old e-mails, take out a little information, and put that information in the word processor.

For a bit, I was pretty pleased with my progress. I was able to connect to the Internet, go through the emails, put the information into a document, and have both applications open. I found myself doing a pretty good job navigating back and forth. I was becoming increasingly proud of myself when I realized that this was cumbersome and slow and a very poor use of my time.

I thought about saving the information and finishing the job later, but then I realized that not only did I not know how to save a document, it would be faster to copy the information from the document into an e-mail, and just finish the job later--somewhere else.

It was easy enough to select the information, but I found myself lost on how to copy it. I was also curious to see whether I could copy from one application and paste it into another. Since copying seemed pretty difficult I thought I would try Cntl + C, another experiment. Guess what? All the information I had put so carefully into the word processor disappeared, to be replaced simply by the letter c. As I started trying to figure out some way that I might be able to retrieve what I had tried to copy, the entire screen darkened somewhat, and everything froze. Completely. What looked a lot like a miniature piece of 8 1/2" x 11" inch paper covered the middle of the screen. Was this a sign? I let 20 minutes elapse and nothing had changed. I gave up.

While it was nice not to have to see that old-fashioned blue screen of death, I am still trying to figure out how the children will be able to learn to use their specially designed laptop. (Previous adventures with the OLPC)


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