A One Laptop Per Child group out of Afghanistan have come up with a way to power the XO using pedals. The system interfaces a set of pedals with the Freeplay hand-crank charger, freeing up both hands for typing. Although not as compact, using both legs makes power generation much easier. Apparently a child as young as 3rd grade is able to pedal this well enough to power the computer in real time.
We just hope this contraption is used for learning and betterment, and not in a pedal-for-porn scenario.
Gizmodo has the first ever footage of an OLPC dual-booting both its default OS, Sugar Linux, and Windows XP. The BIOS was not originally intended to boot XP, so it had to be modified for this to work. The XO’s screen flipper and directional buttons work in XP as well.
It’s not all good news, though: XOs are designed to be ultra-lean, packing a meager 256MB of RAM, which is hardly ideal to run XP. Booting it alone took an eternity, so we can’t imagine anyone doing anything practical with this. The machines will never ship with only XP installed.
Not even a week ago we asked what we should do with our OLPC XO. InformIT’s [Seth Fogie] has written a great two part article that covers turning it into a hacker toolkit. Part one is an overview of the OLPC, how to upgrade it, and do some usability tweaks. Part two covers installing Nessus, Metasploit, and doing some wireless sniffing. We’ll be building our own little green monster based on this and let you know how it goes.
While we haven’t talked about the OLPC XO laptop much here, don’t think we haven’t had our eyes on its developments. Originally shipping last November, this unit captured the interest of many for its humanitarian goal, low cost, and potential hackability. After the break, let’s take a look at what has been done with this device and poke at the prototype for version 2.
Continue reading “Hacking the OLPC now and the future”