XO prototype on loan from Google
Wait! How do you open this thing? The person I'm picking it up from in the parking area of the Googleplex doesn't know.
Figure Closed XO
Photo source: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid
License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Look closely at the XO, and then discover how to open the XO. Don’t look at the directions. Most people can do it in a minute or two.
Further discovery: What was you strategy for discovery? Did you try to figure it out from what you could see of the construction of the XO, or did you poke and pry everywhere? Did you get part of the solution, but think you had failed? What did you learn from things you tried that didn’t open the XO?
Let's see, this is a hinge, so this swivels up here...except that it doesn't. Something is holding it closed, then. OK, I have to let her go back to work, so I'll figure it out when I get home.
Is there a latch? If so, it has to be at the other end, away from the hinge. It can't be...so it must be...Aha! Good puzzle. Yes, you can't see the latch mechanism until after you open it. Very clever, those MIT design engineers. No doubt some would say too clever. I like mechanical puzzles. Time, about 2 minutes.
Can you see how the latches work now? Can you tell why the latches are made that way?Is it clear how to close the XO?
Figure Open XO
Give this puzzle to others, and observe their strategies. Resist the temptation to show them, unless there is a time constraint and it is more important to get to some other aspect of the XO.
Do you like puzzles? Mechanical puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, sudoku? They are excellent for mind training, assuming that you do puzzles within your ability range, not too hard, not too easy. Some studies indicate that they can delay loss of faculties by the old, as well as getting the young excited about their own accomplishments. Of course, if you get good at one level of puzzle, you can try the next harder and get even more benefit. Or you can make up puzzles. Really. There are even apps for that.
Now, what do all of these buttons do? What are these other holes in the bezel around the screen? There are some funny symbols on the keyboard. Wait, the screen section is on a swivel!
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
How far does it turn? What's that for? I suppose I can find out after I discover how to turn it on. So that's another one for the notebook.I hope that after working out how to open an XO, you don't have any trouble closing it up again in exactly the reverse order, or in a slightly different order.