I finally got my XO laptop working with our NJ wireless internet. The "passcode" didn't work, I had to enter the hex code. Fortunately, I only had to enter the first of four hex codes that were listed when I checked at our wireless ip address.

Now, about this XO laptop; there are pros and cons. The XO laptop is the so-called $100 laptop that Negroponte (sp?) is trying to use to revolutionize education across the globe. I have one since there was a period of about 6 weeks when there was a give-one-get-one program. See, the laptops never really got down to $100. So the third-world didn't order as many as hoped. But me and quite a few other Americans took advantage of our window to buy a $100 laptop for $200 for a Mongolian student, and to buy one for ourselves at the same time. It's still comparable to what I would've paid for a new Palm Pilot (I used to use that but didn't replace it when my second was stolen within two years).

So first I'll list the pros. My XO promises to work well for the purpose I need it. Which is to read the Wall St. Journal online from my hammock. Now, I'm not SURE that it will work for this. But I can vouch for some applicable claims.

For one, I was impressed with the purported battery power. It's good. I don't know if I can get 24 hours of power out of the laptop when it's on monochrome mode, but it does last a long time. I heard that the laptop had some amazing screen that could be viewed clearly in full sun. My large tradtional laptop is useless in the sun. But sho nuff, this little beauty works fine by the pool.

Now for the wireless internet reception. The XO has these cute little "ears" that pick up wireless. I think they promote it as picking up wi-fi from 1/2 mile away. I haven't tested that, but I have picked up wireless that should only be available in a hotel room from the hotel pool. My hammock is about 1/8th mile from my wireless point, but I haven't actually tried that yet. I got my laptop in December, and I haven't yet set up my hammock for the season. But I really think it will work from that far.

There are some problems. The keyboards are problematic. I've already had to reprogram the keyboard to reposition the "alt" key function. But now the "ctrl" key acts up. The "warranty" lasts only 30 days, so anyone with this laptop is quickly on their own. But I've learned through the XO "chat" group some work-arounds for the keyboard glitches.

Another problem is browser issues. The built-in browser works ok for many pages, but it doesn't support "tabs". For me, that's like going back to 2000. It's not a big deal for Terry since he's still using Internet Explorer whatever version supported only one window. But it's tough for me.

I've installed the "Opera" browser on my XO. It's great for a lot of this, but certain pages don't comply with current standards. Like Scrabulous, it drives me bats that I can't play it on Opera. And the reason I went off Opera on my regular laptop was that I started to use a personal wiki for, hmm, every fact I wanted to get at easily. And I can't save my "tiddlywiki" properly from Opera. So I switched to Firefox and never looked back. Except for the XO, which doesn't take Firefox.

It's all a bit of a problem for those of us who live off their USB. But I don't think Mongolian students will care about these incompatibilities.

What else? I don't know. The keyboard is small (supposedly scaled for child-sized fingers), but I haven't had much problem adjusting to touch-typing on it. If your hands are really big you'll hate it. Keyboard flakiness is more of a problem. On the other hand, if I took a regular laptop out to the pool I'd probably have larger problems than just a few keys sticking.

I think they're expanding the give-one-get-one (search also on G1G1) program so more people can get these laptops.

That's all I can review right now. It's quite late, and I've been blogging while watching some comic show that comes on after Craig Ferguson. It's late. I gotta sleep now. TV has gone to some "Iceland Health" commercial show. It's silly. Good night.