Playing with OLPC/XO

I wasn’t able t0 meet up this week because of car trouble (sorry guys), but I have gotten some time to play with the XO and see what it (and Sugar) are capable of. I knew the system was built on Linux, so I decided to just start plugging stuff in and see what worked. Initially I tried:

  • Kensington USB wireless mouse
  • Dell USB wired keyboard
  • Microsoft USB LifeCam HD 6000

These worked fine (although the webcam is a bit tricky since the XO uses its own webcam until you restart it, unless you tell it otherwise).

I also spent some time tweaking the source code for the ‘record’ app, to try and trick it into using a larger resolution for the webcam. Alas, even though it was simple to start editing the Python source code (which I backed up first of course) I could not get ‘Record’ to work with larger videos. I could play video fullscreen from either the built-in or Microsoft webcams from the console.

I also played with the software some, especially the composer app and ‘Measure’. ‘Measure’ seemed really interesting since it seems to have the ability to measure voltage and resistance, so maybe it could be used as an oscilloscope. Or even an amp meter too, with some extra circuitry.

Lastly, the XO seems like a good robotics platform. I think you could use it with an Arduino or a TeensyUSB to build some cool projects. It doesn’t look like there’s a Sugar GUI for either yet, but both have Linux console utilities.