OLPC admin is non-obvious…

So I’ve had the OLPC for a couple of weeks. I love it but there is something worrying me at the back of my mind. Last night as the latest 180Mb of bug fixes for the MacBook arrived it hit me.

There is no way for the OLPC to be low maintenance.

Let me explain. Apparently, there is a firmware update but I’m unsure which one and how to apply it. I’m sure that the response is on the Wiki but it’s not clear where I should look.

I’ve updated to build 656 of the OS (I think) but that took a couple of hours of hunting and understanding.  Once I’d found it and understood it was easy but it took a while. I’ve a friend in the US and he needs to update for his wi-fi connection to work. I can’t say to him launch the OLPC and press button X.

All this reminds me a bit of my Windows PC at home. I spend hours working (after all it’s work) on the PC ensuring that it works, is backed up, and up-to-date.

The OLPC misses an idiot option; not because its users are idiots but because not everyone has the time to invest in keeping up to date.

I know that the response from the project will be that this isn’t intended to be a consumer product. They’re right. However, not ever user in the field is going to have the time either from day one. I think there is a possibility that you’re making the learning curve too steep.

All this said. I love my OLPC (or is it my daughters?)