OLPC aka XO Laptop aka $100 laptop

This forum will hold posts about new technologies and how they could be or are being used to benefit the Church.
fraserredmond
Member
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 6:44 pm
Location: New Zealand

OLPC aka XO Laptop aka $100 laptop

Postby fraserredmond » Fri Oct 05, 2007 8:42 pm

So yesterday I was reading this review of the OLPC laptop, and was quite interested in it:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/04/technology/circuits/04pogue.html

Some more info:
http://laptop.org/
http://www.xogiving.org

I'd heard bits and pieces about it before, but it was cool to hear about the sharing and code-view button, and some other bits and pieces.

So my question is: Apart from the obvious interest the Humanitarian/Welfare Dept might have in them, is there any more creative usage for them by The Church or its members?

(No, I'm not envisioning primary talks read off the screen, or shared to the other kids by
mesh-wifi. :))

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20734
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:15 pm

redzarf wrote:So my question is: Apart from the obvious interest the Humanitarian/Welfare Dept might have in them, is there any more creative usage for them by The Church or its members?


My interest in them is for emergency communications. Passing formal messages by voice is horridly slow and requires a good radio circuit. Digital allows you to do much more and can get through a weak signal - very handy when using improvised antennas and low power.

However, the power consumption of a modern computer, even a laptop is ugly. Do the calculation of how much battery power you would need to run a laptop for 3 days and you'll see what I mean. You're talking at least multiple car battery-sized units. And that's just for the computer. Unless you're at a site that has a generator, it's not practical. Unfortunately generators have a whole host of liabilities.

But the XO's power draw is a lot less. If the article is accurate, an average of 2W, that's incredible! That is very do-able on emergency power. The fact that it's rugged and spill proof is just bonus. With those monstrous wi-fi antennas, I'd hope that it has a good range for networking in a shelter/eoc.

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Fri Oct 05, 2007 10:47 pm

Also continuing with what Russell said, just having the ability to recharge using a drawstring is very beneficial in emergency comms.

As for the church in general, I do not see a great benefit, but it does allow those in impoverished regions to access articles from the church's website.
- David

cannona-p40
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:32 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA
Contact:

Postby cannona-p40 » Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:00 am

RussellHltn wrote:My interest in them is for emergency communications. Passing formal messages by voice is horridly slow and requires a good radio circuit. Digital allows you to do much more and can get through a weak signal - very handy when using improvised antennas and low power.

However, the power consumption of a modern computer, even a laptop is ugly. Do the calculation of how much battery power you would need to run a laptop for 3 days and you'll see what I mean. You're talking at least multiple car battery-sized units. And that's just for the computer. Unless you're at a site that has a generator, it's not practical. Unfortunately generators have a whole host of liabilities.

But the XO's power draw is a lot less. If the article is accurate, an average of 2W, that's incredible! That is very do-able on emergency power. The fact that it's rugged and spill proof is just bonus. With those monstrous wi-fi antennas, I'd hope that it has a good range for networking in a shelter/eoc.


Yes, it does draw only a couple watts an hour, but that's assuming that it will be used continuously. The interesting thing about the laptop is that it can suspend and resume in a few milliseconds, so even when it is not "on", it can still receive and relay network traffic.

In addition, the power circuitry was designed to be unbelievably tollorant, so you can pretty much hook it up to any power source of any voltage you happen to have, within reason. (The actual numbers are anything from 5-25 V; see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Battery_and_power)

Aaron

rmrichesjr
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:32 am
Location: Dundee, Oregon

Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:06 pm

cannona wrote:Yes, it does draw only a couple watts an hour, ...

Aaron


Bringing to mind how my EE and physics professors of former decades would correct the above...

The correct way to say that is "it draws only a couple of watts", period. Or, to be extra wordy, you could say "it draws only a couple of watt-hours per hour". The Watt is a unit of power. The Watt-hour is a unit of energy. Power is energy divided by time. Energy is power multiplied by time.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20734
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 07, 2007 5:04 pm

cannona wrote:Yes, it does draw only a couple watts an hour, but that's assuming that it will be used continuously. The interesting thing about the laptop is that it can suspend and resume in a few milliseconds, so even when it is not "on", it can still receive and relay network traffic.

In addition, the power circuitry was designed to be unbelievably tollorant, so you can pretty much hook it up to any power source of any voltage you happen to have, within reason. (The actual numbers are anything from 5-25 V; see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Battery_and_power)


I know the unit has some very heavy power management going on. I was kind of concerned that the programs I'm interested in would cause it to run continuously and not be able to "sleep" as it does normally.

The wide range of voltage input is added gravy. Most radios and such were designed for mobile use, so most hams are setup for 12V operation. Many business laptops use some other voltage so one would either have to get a car adapters to boost the DC voltage, or run an inverter to power the AC adapter. Either way, it's not as simple or efficient as letting the computer do it.

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:45 pm

rmrichesjr wrote:Bringing to mind how my EE and physics professors of former decades would correct the above...

The correct way to say that is "it draws only a couple of watts", period. Or, to be extra wordy, you could say "it draws only a couple of watt-hours per hour". The Watt is a unit of power. The Watt-hour is a unit of energy. Power is energy divided by time. Energy is power multiplied by time.


You forgot to include j in case the power transfer was not matched. :D
- David

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20734
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:12 pm

thedqs wrote:You forgot to include j in case the power transfer was not matched. :D


Nice try, but that only applies to AC power, not DC. :)

cannona-p40
Member
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 1:32 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA
Contact:

Postby cannona-p40 » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:57 am

rmrichesjr wrote:Bringing to mind how my EE and physics professors of former decades would correct the above...

The correct way to say that is "it draws only a couple of watts", period. Or, to be extra wordy, you could say "it draws only a couple of watt-hours per hour". The Watt is a unit of power. The Watt-hour is a unit of energy. Power is energy divided by time. Energy is power multiplied by time.


Yeah, I'm sure I learned that at some point. I was just being sloppy. But thanks for the correction.

73's
KD6QPK

User avatar
thedqs
Community Moderators
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:53 am
Location: Redmond, WA
Contact:

Postby thedqs » Mon Oct 08, 2007 12:56 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Nice try, but that only applies to AC power, not DC. :)

Though I believe the recharging mechanism generates AC power.
Though the storage medium is DC, true.
- David


Return to “Emerging Technologies”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest