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Hwyl
09-24-2007, 06:08 AM
What is the general thought of these (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/6994957.stm). I'd be using mostly for Nobeltech or similar (marine) navigation software, but the ability to get WiFi would be desirable.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-24-2007, 06:43 AM
Neat

The laptop has been dropped from 1.6m (5ft), with the antennas up, with no breakages. According to OLPC, the laptop keyboard has also been dunked in water for 10 minutes with no effect.

A daylight readable screen and low-power requirement ++++

BUT - 433MHz processor and a custom Linux - I'd guess that the big question is "Will it run the software you want?"

Hwyl
09-24-2007, 06:51 AM
I'm not sure how one gets the software in there, does not seem to be any CD or DVD drives

Edited: Thanks Allan, doing too much multitasking this AM

S/V Laura Ellen
09-24-2007, 06:57 AM
I'm not sure how one gets the software in there, does not seem to be any CD or DVD drives

If there is network connectivity the software can be downloaded.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
09-24-2007, 07:03 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6679431.stm

Got ethernet, got wi-fi, got USB - even got a built in camera - with practice you could be mistaken for Joe.

cs
09-24-2007, 07:39 AM
For the software loading it would be done through a network connection or over the internet.

Now if you want rugged you can go with this one from VT Miltope.

http://www.armedforces-int.com/images/companies/851/vtmiltope2.jpg

This thing can be dropped of the running board onto concrete and still work. It can survive rain showers and dust storms and can be your for around 5-7k.

But really a deceant laptop can be bought for personal use for less that $600 with a little shopping around. Go in to your nearest Best Buy. They have weekly sales and they will usually have a good machine around that price.

Chad

GregW
09-24-2007, 08:02 AM
It's neat little computer with lots of neat features, however it does not have a HD, it's really designed for school children, with simple learning applications.
They estimate it should last 5yrs or so in the hands of children, they don't mention how long it would last in the hands of sailors.:)

cs
09-24-2007, 08:41 AM
Matt, Panasonic's toughbook line is pretty good. Don't know if they are as ruggedized as the Miltop machine, but I do know the Army buys an awful lot of them.

http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/products.asp

Chad

Tom Montgomery
09-24-2007, 08:52 AM
Hundred-dollar laptop: Now $400, and for sale to American yuppies

http://blog.estadao.com.br/blog/media/negroponte_01.jpg

See here. (http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2007/09/24/building_a_critical_mass/) Since orders aren't rolling in from the Third World, Saint Nicholas now is targeting a new audience -- freetards who will overpay for a piece of not-quite-working-right equipment in order to keep Double-N from having to admit defeat. The deal is you'll have to buy one for yourself and one for the kids who don't want them, under a new buy-two-and-get-one model that takes the concept of freetardation to a whole new level. Money quote from the Double-N: "There's a much bigger gulf between a handshake with a head of state and a real check coming out of the treasury. You could argue I could have been more realistic in the beginning, but if I had, I would never have done this."

Think about that last sentence for a minute. Read it again if you need to. Let it sink in. Kind of distills the entire OLPC fiasco right down to its essence, doesn't it? If I'd been more realistic, I wouldn't have done this. Wow.

Meanwhile, in light of the fact that they'll be selling these machines in November, maybe you're wondering how close to being completed the actual product is. If so, check out this reassuring memo (http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/community-news/2007-September/000077.html) that OLPC prez (and MIT Media Lab dude) Walter Bender sent out over the weekend.

http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/

Hwyl
09-24-2007, 09:00 AM
To be fair Tom they're $200 and the price increase is somewhat due to the freefall in the American dollar

Tom Montgomery
09-24-2007, 09:14 AM
You are right, Gareth. Fake Steve Jobs often has his head up his butt. He has had it in for OLPC and Negroponte from the beginning. This morning he's cranky because one of his favorite babes dissed him, harshing his mellow:

People forget that I'm a real human being with real feelings

How else to explain scathing articles like this ( http://ries.typepad.com/ries_blog/2007/09/touched-by-an-i.html) by marketing guru Laura Ries? Her premise is that iPhone is a dud, and that its failure has clouded the launch of iPod Touch which she feels is the better and more important product. She says, "iPhone is distracting Apple." She says, "Apple is cooking the goose that has laid the golden eggs." She says, "Jobs loves to create cool things. And Jobs is a great salesman. Initially the media, the market and consumers eat his stuff up. But eventually you come crashing back to reality."

Well, I told you the backlash was coming. Still, Laura Ries, listen to me: When I read stuff like this, it hurts. Okay? I'm a very sensitive guy. So go easy on a brother.

http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/

Tom Montgomery
09-24-2007, 09:42 AM
Now this is just catty. He needs to roll another number and chill:

Chandler update: Final beta now due in 2H2008

http://wkp.fresheye.com/ja/shared/thumb/f/f6/MitchKapor.jpg/180px-MitchKapor.jpg

Speaking of Cantabrigians with who dream big and talk even bigger, I shared a spliff with Mitchell Kapor at a drum circle workshop over the weekend and he told me his revolutionary Chandler software project, which has been in development since 1988, now is making huge progress. Mitch says they're now at version .7 (see here (http://chandlerproject.org/)) and should be hitting beta by the second half of 2008, with a final release scheduled for a year or so after that. "So we're looking at late 2009 or early 2010," he says. "And the whole team is just totally pumped up. Really on fire."

Mitchell says the project would be farther along but recently he made a unilateral decision to scrap what they had and rewrite the code so that Chandler will be optimized to work on the OLPC XO laptop, which he says is going to become "the de facto computer standard around the world."

http://fakesteve.blogspot.com/

Tylerdurden
09-24-2007, 09:59 AM
Gareth, I see still no one can answer the question you posed but there sure is a lot of dung slinging to confuse the issue.
I get my laptops from usedlaptops.com they are cheap and replaceable and with the abuse I can dish out that is perfect.
If I could add and external drive I would buy one so some kid can have a crack at it and let the politics be damned.

Its a noble concept raising the education level of the poor and be sure.
Anybody in power will be against it because they need stupid people to control and if they cannot control what is taught they will do the best they can to stop it.
I think this is a better idea than throwing money at a public fool system so the poor can be indoctrinated into being smart sheep like most of us are.
Myself I hope it will work and I will buy one myself.

ishmael
09-24-2007, 10:15 AM
Hm. I used a laptop for the first time when I was up in Michigan. Just a couple short times. I didn't like the keyboard. Probably could have gotten used to it. I also didn't like the drag screen instead of a mouse, but another bit of habit, and you can always plug in a mouse.

Don't ask me. I use my computer as a glorified typewriter, yet I know there's a bunch of other potential in it. Do you need mobile computing, or does it just look fun? My next machine is going take up less desk space, but is going to have a real keyboard and a mouse.

Hwyl
09-24-2007, 11:48 AM
Gareth, I see still no one can answer the question you posed but there sure is a lot of dung slinging to confuse the issue.
I get my laptops from usedlaptops.com they are cheap and replaceable and with the abuse I can dish out that is perfect.
If I could add and external drive I would buy one so some kid can have a crack at it and let the politics be damned.

Its a noble concept raising the education level of the poor and be sure.
Anybody in power will be against it because they need stupid people to control and if they cannot control what is taught they will do the best they can to stop it.
I think this is a better idea than throwing money at a public fool system so the poor can be indoctrinated into being smart sheep like most of us are.
Myself I hope it will work and I will buy one myself.

Thanks for the link Mark, I do think some people here answered the questions well, but everyone throws a little invective in there.

The Maine laptop program took a lot of abuse, but my son got one and loved it and so did the teachers, in fact they used "denial of laptops" as a kind of punishment, which does not say much for teachers.

I like the fact that these are rugged and water resistant, but I value Normans insight into whether they'd carry charts and such. The kind of sailing I do is often rougher and wetter than most do.

I have to admit that it did cross my mind that liberal women would perceive me as cool as I checked my email in Jimbo's in Sint Maarten
http://www.jimboscafe.com/images/gallery/girls_in_pool_thumb.jpg

elf
09-24-2007, 01:07 PM
My Powerbook is my only computer. At home I have an external keyboard, trackball and Wacom tablet for input and external 19" monitor. It might not be that hard to hang a monitor on a hook in a boot and use the laptop as computer without the liability of a small screen.

There are a growing number of small computers out there, lightweight and not necessarily intended for playing high powered games, but very useful for GPS and chart apps. Walt Mossberg has reviewed a few of them in the last 6 months.

Some further ideas might be found on his site.

Tylerdurden
09-24-2007, 06:53 PM
I have to admit that it did cross my mind that liberal women would perceive me as cool as I checked my email in Jimbo's in Sint Maarten
http://www.jimboscafe.com/images/gallery/girls_in_pool_thumb.jpg

Thats why you are the man! Spartacus! Always thinking of the upside.

George Ray
09-24-2007, 11:33 PM
It is a slow computer by todays standards, but it has some wonderful SW and HW features and the right SW would turn it into a great navigation tool . It is too underpowered for the graphics intensive and memory hogging requirements of a windows program like Nobeltec even if the program could run under LINUX OS. You could get a windows OS emulation program for LINUX, such as WINE, and then a simple chartplotter like the freeware 'SeaClear' might run, but the relatively slow processor and main bus speeds might not be up to even that task. The best bet is a native Linux GPS chart plotter program. Most of the freeware I have seen in windows world recently only supports raster charts and not the ENC vector charts if that matters to you. I have not researched the LINUX world of nav programs up to now, However, given the price, waterproof keyboard, sunlight readable display, and ultra-lowpower consumption the OLPC is VERY attractive on board a boat.
For a Linux GPS Marine Charting program see notes at end of post.

http://laptop.org/laptop/
http://laptop.org/img/specs_dimensions.jpg

OLPC_myths:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_myths

Physical dimensions:

* Approximate dimensions: 242mm×228mm×32mm;
* Approximate weight: 1.45KG with LiFeP battery; 1.58KG with NiMH battery;
* Configuration: Convertible laptop with pivoting, reversible display; dirt- and moisture-resistant system enclosure; no fan.

Core electronics:

* CPU: x86-compatible processor with 64KB each L1 I and D cache; at least 128KB L2 cache; AMD Geode LX-700@0.8W (datasheet);
* CPU clock speed: 433 Mhz;
* ISA compatibility: Support for both the MMX and 3DNow! x86 instruction-set extensions; Athlon instruction set (including MMX and 3DNow! Enhanced) with additional Geode-specific instructions;
* Companion chips: PCI and memory interface integrated with CPU; North Bridge: PCI and Memory Interface integrated with Geode CPU; AMD CS5536 South Bridge (datasheet);
* Graphics controller: Integrated with Geode CPU; unified memory architecture;
* Embedded controller: ENE KB3700 or ENE KB3700B;
* DRAM memory: 256 MiB dynamic RAM;
* Data rate: Dual — DDR333 — 166 Mhz;
* 1024KB SPI-interface flash ROM;
* Mass storage: 1024 MiB SLC NAND flash, high-speed flash controller;
* Drives: No rotating media;
* CAFE ASIC (Camera, Flash Enabler chip, provides high-performance Camera, NAND FLASH and SD interfaces); Marvell 88ALP01: (CAFE specification).

Display:

* Liquid-crystal display: 7.5” Dual-mode TFT display;
* Viewing area: 152.4mm × 114.3mm;
* Resolution: 1200 (H) × 900 (V) resolution (200 DPI);
* Monochrome display: High-resolution, reflective sunlight-readable monochrome mode; Color display: Standard-resolution, Quincunx-sampled, transmissive color mode;
* LCD power consumption: 0.1 Watt with backlight off; 0.2–1.0 Watt with backlight on;
* The display-controller chip (DCON) with memory that enables the display to remain live with the processor suspended; the display and this chip are the basis of our extremely low power architecture; the display controller chip also enables deswizzling and anti-aliasing in color mode.

Integrated peripherals:

* Keyboard: 80+ keys, 1.0mm stroke; sealed rubber-membrane key-switch assembly;
o Keyboard layout details;
o Keyboard layout pictures: international, Thai, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, West African, Urdu, Mongolian, Cyrillic, Amharic;
* Gamepad: Two sets of four-direction cursor-control keys;
* Touchpad: Dual capacitance/resistive touchpad; supports written-input mode; ALPS Electric Dual capacitive/resistive touchpad;
* Audio: AC97-compatible audio audio subsystem; internal stereo speakers and amplifier; internal monophonic microphone; jacks for external headphones and microphone; Analog Devices AD1888 and Analog Devices SSM2211 for audio amplification;
* Wireless networking: Integrated 802.11b/g (2.4GHz) interface; 802.11s (Mesh) networking supported; dual adjustable, rotating coaxial antennas; supports diversity reception; capable of mesh operation when CPU is powered down; Marvell Libertas 88W8388 controller and 88W8015 radio;
* Status indicators: Power, battery, WiFi (2); visible when lid is open or closed; microphone in-use and camera in-use visible when lid is open;
* Video camera: integrated color vision camera; 640×480 resolution at 30FPS; Omnivision OV7670.

External connectors:

* DC power: 6mm (1.65mm center pin) connector; 11 to 18 V input usable, –32 to 40 V input tolerated; power draw limited to 15 W;
* Headphone output: Standard 3.5mm 3-pin switched stereo audio jack;
* Microphone input: Standard 3.5mm 2-pin switched mono microphone jack; selectable 2V DC bias; selectable sensor-input mode (DC or AC coupled);
* USB: Three Type-A USB-2.0 connectors; up to 1A power supplied (total);
* Flash explansion: MMC/SD Card slot.

Battery:

* Pack type: 2 or 4 cells LiFePO4; or 5 cells NiMH, approximately 6V series configuration;
* Capacity: 22.8 Watt-hours (LiFePO4); 16.5 Watt-hours (NiMH);
* Fully-enclosed “hard” case; user removable;
* Electronics integrated with pack provide:
* Identification;
* Battery charge and capacity information;
* Thermal and over-current sensors along with cutoff switch to protect battery;
* Minimum 2,000 charge/discharge cycles (to 50% capacity of new);
* Power management will be critical.

BIOS/loader

* Open Firmware used to load the operating system.

Environmental specifications:

* Temperature: UL certification planned to 45C in Q32007, pending 50C certification in mid-2008;
* Humidity: UL certification planned to IP42 (perhaps higher) when closed, the unit should seal well enough that children walking to and from school need not fear rainstorms and dust;
* Maximum altitude: –15m to 3048m (14.7 to 10.1 PSIA) (operating), –15m to 12192m (14.7 to 4.4 PSIA) (non-operating);
* Shock 125g, 2ms, half-sine (operating) 200g, 2ms, half-sine (non-operating);
* Random vibration: 0.75g zero-to-peak, 10Hz to 500Hz, 0.25 oct/min sweep rate (operating); 1.5g zero-to-peak, 10Hz to 500Hz, 0.5 oct/min sweep rate (nonoperating);
* 2mm plastic walls (1.3mm is typical for most systems).

Regulatory requirements:

* The usual US and EU EMI/EMC (Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility) requirements will be met;
* The laptop meets IEC 60950-1, EN 60950-1, and CSA/UL 60950-1 specifications. It also complies with UL 1310 and UL 498. In order to guarantee the safety of children using the laptop, it also passes ASTM F 963;
* The external power adapter complies with IEC, EN, and CSA/UL 60950-1;
* The removable battery pack complies with IEC, EN, and CSA/UL 60950-1 and UL 2054;
* RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive – EU)

**********************************

Linux GPS Marine Charting program:
I found only one after some goggling about. It requires a serial port which is NOT standard on the OLPC but I think will be an OLPC option. Otherwise the folks at Navgator might be talked into updating thier code to talk to a GPS over the USB port. Most of the slightly older GPS's alive today are serial rather than USB interface. Serial to USB devices exist and can be made to work with LINUX but is not a simple as with windows. (? did I just say simple and windows in the same sentence... UGH!)

http://www.navgator.com/ConsumerProducts.html
http://shop.sailnet.com/product_info.php/products_id/34592
http://shop.sailnet.com/images/navgatorscreenshot1.gif