My early Christmas present

OK. So, I know these are supposed to be for underprivileged children and all, but I just had to get my hands on the OLPC XO laptop, quite possibly the coolest tech gadget of the year. Sure, my BlackBerry probably has more processing power, but an afternoon spent playing with the pint-sized XO leaves me with the feeling that this little wonder could really change the world.

I am sure the machine’s intended users will find it even more compelling than I do. Still, I managed waste about two hours playing SimCity (the original version I remember from my childhood!)

I took the photo above with the XO’s built-in camera. Not great, but certainly adequate. I am also writing this entry in the device’s web browser.

The keyboard and trackpad are way too small for my fingers, but again, I’m not the target audience. Plus my Mac keyboard and mouse worked just fine when plugged into one of the device’s three USB ports (that’s one more than my PowerBook has).

On the whole, I have to say, I’m really impressed. Good thing I got two of these, so I can give one to a deserving kid in my family and keep one for my less deserving self.

P.S.: If you now have gadget envy, you should know that OLPC’s Give One, Get One program has been extended until Dec. 31.