Windows Version of OLPC

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In a speech this afternoon to the Harvard Business Club at Harvard College, Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop Per Child, hinted at an upcoming agreement between Microsoft and OLPC. This agreement, expected in the next few weeks, will create a Windows version of the OLPC XO laptop.

A working prototype of the computer, the first of its kind, was passed around the room. The laptop had a quick startup time, with all the sights and sounds of Windows XP. A team of 25-30 Microsoft engineers worked on creating this modified version of Windows XP, designed specifically for the XO. The laptop connected to the local WIFI connection, ran Microsoft Office, and had no obvious difficulties running the operating system. A quick look at the system properties showed the laptop running at 433 MHz on an AMD Geode processor, with 232 MB of RAM, representing the standard hardware configuration of the XO.

The ability to run Windows will certainly bring credibility to the OLPC. Fighting the stigma of being a toy, this ability shows the real potential of the laptop. Additionally, a Windows version could be a very big selling point for the Give One Get One program, providing a revenue source for success of distributing laptops throughout impoverished countries.

The XO is currently in mass production, manufacturing 110,000 laptops last month, all running the Linux OS.

Google Calendar Mobile Sync

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Google Calendar Sync At long last, Google today released an official Google Calendar / Blackberry solution. This mobile software, dubbed Google Mobile Sync, runs in the background on a Blackberry, allowing users to take advantage of the Blackberry Calendar application in coordination with Google Calendar. I’ve had a chance to use the software and I am impressed. Besides accomplishing the obvious goal of two way calendar updating, the software pays special attention to data usage by displaying usage in KB’s– a helpful feature for Blackberry users on limited data plans.

Mobile Sync joins a series of excellent Google Blackberry applications, including Gmail Mobile and Google Maps Mobile. It is refreshing to see this important update to the family of Blackberry applications. With the integration of the iPhone into the mobile market, it began to seem that every new Google product was being designed for an iPhone-toting clientele.

Read more about this release on the Google Mobile Blog.

OLPC – Give One Get One Program

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OLPC XOThe One Laptop Per Child program, headed by Nicholas Negroponte, has begun its Give One Get One program. Order by November 26 and they will try to have it to you before Christmas. Half of the $399 pricetag is tax deductible. Get one for yourself or for someone else, all while supporting international diffusion of technology to developing countries.

http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/give-one-get-one.php

iPod Touch – Wireless Sync?

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Steve Jobs introduced the iPod Touch last week to a crowd of Apple faithful. Similar to the launch of the iPhone, the crowd went wild. The new iPod looks like an iPhone, with the same screen, twice the storage, and most importantly… WiFi.

However, it appears that the iPod Touch is lacking perhaps the most useful feature: wireless syncing with your iTunes library over WiFi. Sure, the new iPod can connect directly to iTunes Music Store, but why not have it capable of connecting with your Mac/PC to sync your existing collection? This would solve the constant hassle of using a USB cable to sync playlists and podcasts. The way it seems, the WiFi technology is now built in, and should be used for this very useful purpose.

On a similar note, why not allow the iPod Touch to broadcast music directly to AppleTV / AirTunes? It will be interesting to see these features develop. Hopefully, this will be possible in the future with a simple software update.

Archive Old Outlook Messages to Gmail

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I am happy to report that by using Mozilla Thunderbird and Google’s own mail fetcher, I have neatly migrated and archived into Gmail nearly 5,700 old messages from the days before Gmail. All messages are correctly dated and named inside Gmail.

The process took a few hours in all, and involved importing the old Outlook messages into Thunderbird, which then redirected the messages to a duplicate Gmail account, and finally the messages were fetched via POP3 by the Gmail’s built in mail fetcher. By closely following the directions from Zoli Erdos, the process was smooth and successful.

http://www.zoliblog.com/2007/03/28/how-to-import-all-your-archive-email-into-gmail/

It is a great relief to rid myself of a 500+ MB Outlook .pst file. Thanks Zoli for these directions.

Google Calendar Mobile

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Google has released a mobile WAP version of Google Calendar, highlighted in the New Features page of Google Calendar. This is great news for Blackberry and all mobile users, since previously there was no official method to view or update your g-cal on the go, other than a few third party sync applications which, in my experience, are quite buggy.

While this is a step forward, the mobile calendar feature is still light years behind the Gmail Blackberry App, which looks graphically amazing and offers many features not possible in the WAP version. Maybe we can hope for a Google Calendar Blackberry App in the future?

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