An anonymous reader writes: 21-year-old Australian Joel Stanley, who not only snagged a coveted Google Summer of Code (GSoC) spot, he is spending his internship at One Laptop Per Child's Cambridge headquarters developing "gang charger" power systems for the XO-1 laptop, baking OLPC's in a food warming oven, and in XO computer maintenance he does bug fixes on damaged laptops and probably helps with the "free drop" testing.
The "drop test": "The units are dropped on all corners, all side bumpers, and front and back. Initially, we had dropped onto plywood, but this spring we made the test tougher: we have been dropping on a hard steel plate, with and without a carpet.
B4 units pass a 150cm 10-point drops onto a carpet-covered steel plate; a 105cm simulated slanted-desk "slide" onto a steel plate; and a 80cm 10-point free drop onto a steel plate. The laptop, when dropped on the antennas, withstands a 150cm drop."
The "bake test": "The oven is large enough to house eight fully opened XOs and allows us to examine the behavior of the laptops under temperatures ranging from a warm 40C, up to a toasty 60C and above.
Some preliminary tests were conducted, examining the operation of the battery charging systems under the extreme heat that may be encountered by, say, a laptop sitting in full sunlight.
One motivation for this testing is that the NiMH batteries that are used in some of the XOs lose the ability to be charged above 55C. (The newer LiFePO4 technology allows charging above these temperatures, for when the need arises.)
We are pleased to report the XOs ran flawlessly in the extreme heat, even when the oven's unpredictable thermostat inadvertently allowed the temperature to reach 68C."
Pretty impressive !!