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Author Topic: When children design laptops  (Read 3558 times)

app103

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When children design laptops
« on: November 20, 2007, 11:27:11 PM »
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When I saw Amy Tiemann’s blog post on CNET two months ago about a children’s “laptop club,” I asked her to send me some samples. Many permission slips later, a package arrived in the mail bursting with construction paper—a wonderfully crafty collection of laptops designed by seven- to nine-year-olds in North Carolina that are both heartwarmingly personal and frighteningly tied to pop culture. A close study reveals keyboard buttons assigned to “Barbie.com,” “best friends” next to “friends,” “HP [Harry Potter] trivia,” and “werd games” as well as “rily werd games.” I asked Tiemann to explain a little bit about the program, where it came from and what it says about how children (girls in particular) think about computers these days. There are also interviews excerpted below that I conducted with some of the laptops’ designers.


f0dder

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2007, 07:03:00 AM »
Oh my, those OPEN and CLOSE buttons are huge, I'd hit them by accident all the time :(
- carpe noctem

Ralf Maximus

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2007, 08:17:03 AM »
Bahahahaha!!

It makes about as much sense as some of the Vaio or Toshibas I've seen in the past.

Darwin

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2007, 08:56:27 AM »
Or put another way, the designs stand as much chance of making sense as do some of the latest offerings from the laptop manufacturers. Tangentially, WTF? I've never understood this issue of making a laptop a lifestyle choice - it's a freakin' computer! A tool! (Darwin wipes spittle from his monitor and tries to calm the pounding in his chest... The zealous light fades from his eyes...).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Ralf Maximus

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2007, 11:38:39 AM »
I've never understood this issue of making a laptop a lifestyle choice - it's a freakin' computer!

You're right -- it's not a choice.  Some people are just born that way, craving the laptop experience.  Society isn't mature enough to accept this behavior, but someday we might be come enlightened enough to embrace man-on-laptop love.

Darwin

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2007, 11:42:31 AM »
Ah..., when human and machine become one... (Darwin pecks at his laptop keyboard and notes the irony of his preference for laptops over desktops  ;D)
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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2007, 04:46:12 PM »
Ah..., when human and machine become one...

Resistence is futile!

But seriously - look at the keyboard there. It's all about, "I want THIS." It makes sense in a particular way. The point to abstract away is simplicity and instant access.

Quite often I find that in order to perform a task, I can either fart around learning some wierd software, or I can just program my own. I end up programming my own utility very often because it's just easier for me. Computers *should* be easier than that!

Just look at what it takes to get anything working on a Linux box! Mother of god! There's no way a regular person can do that! Windows is bad enough, and Windows is "easy".

The key to computing is dumbing it down at first glance, but leaving more powerful options available in a way that novices can get things done NOW, while more experienced users can get complex tasks done also.

Why does the average user ever need to choose between Deflate and PPMd when they try to compress a file? That's just stupid. Nobody knows or cares what PPMd is. All they care about is that they can compress the file to a nice, small size. These kinds of things need to be available to power users, but hidden from people that won't understand what they are. The picture there shows this kind of task-oriented approach that a novice or "regular person" takes.

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Edvard

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2007, 05:47:42 PM »
*ahem*

specs_dimensions.jpg

from http://laptop.org

Well, ok it was built for children, but it's got cute factor anyways...
Quote
Just look at what it takes to get anything working on a Linux box!
And it's linux-powered...

Ralf Maximus

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2007, 05:55:07 PM »
Awwwww, wook at de widdle compwooter!  Aren't you a cute one?  Yes you are!  Yes you ARE!

The sad thing is: that's got more UI inputs than most off-the-shelf devices from Dell.  "Stylus area"?  Whoa.  And not only that, there's two of them -- for lefties and righties.  Assuming I'm not just leaping to conclusions...?

Make'em in black and I can see adults hauling these around for the price.

app103

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2007, 06:24:49 PM »
The sad thing is: that's got more UI inputs than most off-the-shelf devices from Dell.  "Stylus area"?  Whoa.  And not only that, there's two of them -- for lefties and righties.  Assuming I'm not just leaping to conclusions...?

Make'em in black and I can see adults hauling these around for the price.

You mean 3...don't forget the one under the center arrow.  ;)

And they don't need to be black for 'adults' to want one...Apple proved that a long time ago.  :P

Lashiec

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Re: When children design laptops
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2007, 05:20:39 PM »
Ya know, in computers black is the new beige, that's what some people say ;D