Notes Information Apocalypse

OLPC in Peru

A fascinating chronicle of introducing the One Laptop Per Child project to a small school in Peru. One particular aspect that really jumped out at me was:

On the first day, we also discovered that children started punching all the keys as soon as the laptop starts. And on that first day we had four laptops that were all confused for being typed on while the OS was booting. One worked after simply being re-started, though three of them had to have their NAND re-installed.

We're so used to making assumptions about technology based on our own limited experiences. In my case, with the first computers I used, the only way to store information was on tapes or floppy disks. Long load times are something I associate with computer interaction, without really thinking about it. But if you had never seen a computer or cellphone boot up, wouldn't it be natural to assume that you could use it as soon as you switch it on? Most recent OLPC publicity and press has focused on the hardware specs and manufacturing concerns, but ultimately, it will be its overall usability that will have a far greater impact on the success or failure of this device than raw hardware performance.