On the XO Laptop

Putting your XO on the Web

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Here is a picture I took as a test of my wireless connectivity, using the XO to access my blog:

Using my XO to view my blog
XO serving up the web

I’m finally finding some time to work with my XO. I have already demonstrated it to a few people, and all have been quite drawn to it, especially those with some expertise in computers. However, I have found a few rough edges, especially when I thought about not just using the XO to run some code, but in having to use the XO to write the code itself.

I thus spent a few hours earlier today trying to make the XO more fun to use, since I think it quite important to always have fun when working with the XO.

The XO keyboard is quite small. It is meant for use by children, not adults. I also recall reading this was done in part to make the XO less likely to be stolen, since adults would find it harder to use. In any event, it is possible to use a USB keyboard with an XO; for example, I use a Kingston K64365, the keyboard used by most of my family members (it is more compact than that standard WinTel monstrosity, though still much larger than the XO keyboard.)

I also wanted web access for my XO. The XO doesn’t come with a port for hard-wired ethernet access. I recall seeing mention on the XO wiki that this was done by design, as wireless is much more common in the less-developed parts of the globe where most XO’s are to be used.

I have used a Linksys WRT54GL router for some time. It is very reliable and is not expensive. Moreover, it can run a variant of Linux created for just this purpose, OpenWRT. I run WHITE RUSSIAN (RC5). It uses a nice browser-based interface to control the router.

I had configured the router to use WEP encryption within our house. But, mostly just for the fun of it, I decided to open up the router for use by the XO by disabling WEP. That worked fine, though I did notice that in order to access the network I needed to open up the neighborhood (The third button from left on top row, it also corresponds to F1) and click on the icon that corresponded to my wireless network. I then enabled MAC filtering to prevent unauthorized use, though I live on the edge of the woods, and last I heard the nearby dear weren’t big on computing, being too busy spending most of their waking hours eating my shrubbery.

I then remembered that the XO is just a Linux box, so I configured the the router to assign the XO a fixed IP address. I then confirmed that I could get into the XO using SSH. Of course I could, for I know Linux. The XO knows it, too.

See also Using SSH to access your XO Laptop for some additional guidance on using SSH to access your XO.

I then checked to see if the XO was running Apache, and found that it wasn’t.

I decided that was enough for a first go. I hade made the XO more fun to use, and had some fun doing that. I also had to take some time to write about my experiences so I could share them with you.


Written by daveshields

January 2, 2008 at 3:56 am

Posted in xo-laptop

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