I've owned two XOs (actually my kids have owned them) since early January, 2008. My biggest issue with the OLPC program is that the activities aren't ready for prime time. Fundamental to being ready is reasonable documentation. Most XO activities have just a couple of paragraphs describing their purpose and how to use them. That leaves most people guessing at how to do things.
I started this site to record what I've learned about installing and using XO activities. Partly so that I can go back and do it again later (since upgrading the XO operating system can end up destroying previously installed activities) and to share my learnings with others. Finally, there are lots of optional activities out there and some are much better than others. I've provided my personal ratings for those activities that I've looked at.
My ratings and their meaning:
I've included version numbers so that you can determine if a later, and possibly better version is available at the OLPC Activities site. There's no easy way, at this time, to determine the version that you have on your laptop. You have to use the Terminal activity. Here's a description of how to figure it out.
I make no guarantee that what I've written is correct and welcome corrections - and enhancements - to the content of this site. If you see something that is flat our wrong or could be said better, send email to OLPC@spitting-image.com.
Now for the activities themselves...
Preinstalled Activities - these are the activities that come installed as part of the XO operating system. On these pages, I've tried to document how these activities are used, where they fall short, where they are confusing, how to request a fix, and how to uninstall them.
Optional Activities - the activities on these pages represent the meat of this site. The best activities of all don't come installed as part of the basic XO. But that doesn't change the fact that these activities are usually badly documented as well. Here are my picks for the best add-on activities, how to get them and how to use them.
If you decide to download and install an activity, use the Browse preinstalled activity to do it. The Browse activity has functionality built-in to download, unpackage and install XO activities.
Managing your activities:
Other OLPC Activity and Game Sites:
Note that I've already stolen every activity/project I thought was of any value from these sites and posted them here but you may be interested in other information you can find there.
Page last changed: 12/27/2009