Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 24th Apr 2008 07:50 UTC, submitted by happykid
Hardware, Embedded Systems The road to the One Laptop Per Child has been riddled with humps and bumps, such as hardware issues, the failure of the 'G1G1' scheme, and the inability to reach the USD 100 price mark, culminating in the resignation of the project's president yesterday. Now, Negroponte, the project's founder and chairman, has stated something that might alienate the project's strongest supporters even further: the OLPC might evolve into using Windows XP only.
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strange choice
by collinm on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:34 UTC
collinm
Member since:
2005-07-15

strange choice when we say than

asus eee
msi wind
Van Der Led Jisus
Everex CloudBook
HP 2133 Mini-Note
...

come with linux or linux/windows

Reply Score: 11

RE: strange choice
by Snapper on Thu 24th Apr 2008 16:17 UTC in reply to "strange choice"
Snapper Member since:
2005-11-16

I replaced Xandros on my Eee 701 with XP after a full day of trying to get 802.1x peap/mschap v2 working for wifi access.

They could have sent it to me blank and I would not have had an issue with it. I gave it a shot. I prefer XP over Linux on the desktop, though.

To each their own.

Reply Score: 3

Surely he jest?
by DevL on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:41 UTC
DevL
Member since:
2005-07-06

OLPC running XP seems like a bad joke to me.

Reply Score: 22

RE: Surely he jest?
by Darkelve on Thu 24th Apr 2008 09:15 UTC in reply to "Surely he jest?"
Darkelve Member since:
2006-02-06

I was gonna say, is it April 1st again?

XP does not align with their goals at all. Unless they changed their goals behind my back x-)

Edited 2008-04-24 09:16 UTC

Reply Score: 15

RE[2]: Surely he jest?
by wirespot on Fri 25th Apr 2008 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Surely he jest?"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Come on, is it so hard to notice that there's no link provided with that alleged declaration? Why do you take such an outrageous claim for granted without checking around first? Try a real news site, one that checks facts before posting:
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080424-negroponte-developers...

"OLPC is not dropping Linux in favor of Windows. OLPC will continue to support Linux but is also working with Microsoft on a Windows version," an OLPC spokesperson told Ars. "This is not new news. It's been out there for more than a year."

It's just the old FUD machine at work.

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Surely he jest?
by sappyvcv on Thu 24th Apr 2008 15:07 UTC in reply to "Surely he jest?"
RE[2]: Surely he jest?
by Quake on Thu 24th Apr 2008 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Surely he jest?"
Quake Member since:
2005-10-14

No, because buying Windows XP's license to a supposedly "cheap" laptop is a bad joke.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: Surely he jest?
by sappyvcv on Thu 24th Apr 2008 20:24 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Surely he jest?"
sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

No, definitely fanboy.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Surely he jest?
by tomcat on Thu 24th Apr 2008 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Surely he jest?"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

No, because buying Windows XP's license to a supposedly "cheap" laptop is a bad joke.


Apparently, the joke is on you, because it's more likely that MS will pay the OLPC project to incorporate XP -- and that's why this change has occurred. Why, you ask? Because MS (in its own self-interest) will ensure that the next wave of con$umers starts using -- and continues to use -- MS software. And, in the end, if there is no price difference for end-users, you don't have anything legitimate to complain about.

Reply Score: 1

Blah
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:48 UTC
Xaero_Vincent
Member since:
2006-08-18

Who cares? The OLPC pretty much lost most of their credibility I think.

Installing Windows on it will just increase the price more. But the OLPC is already priced 2x higher than the original target.

IMHO, the Sugar interface is crap and too toyish even for most kids. The kids laptops you find at Toys"R"US have a better interface than Sugar.

It would have been a far better decision to have made a lean installation of Fedora--uninstall and disable unnecessary programs and services, while preserving a standard desktop like Gnome.

This is probably partly why the laptop hasn't got the reception the OLPC organization hoped for. Turning the Sugar UI into a replacement shell for Windows would be no different; it will just turn Windows into a toy as well.

Edited 2008-04-24 08:51 UTC

Reply Score: 19

RE: Blah
by FunkyELF on Thu 24th Apr 2008 14:13 UTC in reply to "Blah"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

While the UI does look toyish it is targeted towards kids.
...and not just any kids. Kids that have probably never seen a computer before, in real life, in a movie, or in their dreams.

I couldn't imagine what the best UI would be to start them off with having no previous experience at all.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Blah
by momendo on Thu 24th Apr 2008 15:30 UTC in reply to "Blah"
momendo Member since:
2006-10-24

It would have been a far better decision to have made a lean installation of Fedora--uninstall and disable unnecessary programs and services, while preserving a standard desktop like Gnome.

This is probably partly why the laptop hasn't got the reception the OLPC organization hoped for. Turning the Sugar UI into a replacement shell for Windows would be no different; it will just turn Windows into a toy as well.


That's not the issue. It's the software. You need great apps to drive the hardware sales. The laptop has great simple apps that do what they do well, but there isn't anything there that is sexy that governments find attractive. There may be a bit of uncertainty since most of the world's computers run Windows. Intel is helping either with them bad mouthing the product against their Classmate.

I wrote a post about it on olpcusers.com.

http://www.olpcusers.com/headlines/2008/04/24/nicholas-negroponte-e...

Edited 2008-04-24 15:33 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Making it expensive!
by MaCkeR on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:49 UTC
MaCkeR
Member since:
2008-04-21

Doesn't anyone think using WinXP would further increase the costs!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Making it expensive!
by stestagg on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:51 UTC in reply to "Making it expensive!"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Of course not. Microsoft would pay to bundle Windows with the OLPC, not the other way round.

Reply Score: 11

RE[2]: Making it expensive!
by TBPrince on Thu 24th Apr 2008 11:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Making it expensive!"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

Definitely.

Plus I'd say that, as it could be expected for something led by Negroponte, OLPC turned to be the testbed for intestine wars among players involved, a speculation for people willing to get easy money from ignorant governments and another speculation from West to drain money from third-world countries. And that was before Microsoft entered the game.

I wouldn't have been surprised to know that such poor countries should have got expensive loans from IMF and World Bank to buy OLPC machines, typical Capitalist speculation.

Bring them water and energy and they will buy their own computers without any help from greedy westeners who are trying to get even more money from poor countries. Plus, we have literally MILLIONS of PCs which are considered outdated for West standards and which are AVAILABLE NOW to be bought and shipped for ... how much... 20$?

Negroponte... yeah... we know him very well...

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Making it expensive!
by WereCatf on Thu 24th Apr 2008 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Making it expensive!"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Plus, we have literally MILLIONS of PCs which are considered outdated for West standards and which are AVAILABLE NOW to be bought and shipped for ... how much... 20$?

I kinda agree that just shipping some lower-spec PCs might be more useful in the end. Of course, it's of no use in areas where there isn't electricity, and a laptop is in so many ways more useful in those areas anyway, but still, shipping a few million PCs to the poorer countries for free would still help. In those areas where there is electricity kids would likely start studying those machines, tear them apart and put back together and all that, all those things we do here too. If I just knew where to call and it was guaranteed that the computers did reach poor kids/families I would instantly donate one of my PCs.

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Making it expensive!
by TBPrince on Thu 24th Apr 2008 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Making it expensive!"
TBPrince Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sure that if you ask, you will hear about associations which should take care to do that. But I agree: I don't trust most of them. No guarantees that they won't charge money for them or will use them for something else than what they're supposed to do.

And avoid priests.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Making it expensive!
by Rugxulo on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Making it expensive!"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09


I'm sure that if you ask, you will hear about associations which should take care to do that. But I agree: I don't trust most of them. No guarantees that they won't charge money for them or will use them for something else than what they're supposed to do.


Not everyone is a bastard. Besides, you have to trust somebody sometime. If you don't try at all, it's the same result as your "worst case scenario" anyways.


And avoid priests.


Uhhhhh ... yeah, sure. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Making it expensive!
by Pro-Competition on Thu 24th Apr 2008 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Making it expensive!"
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

I kinda agree that just shipping some lower-spec PCs might be more useful in the end.


I don't think there's a conflict between the two. They serve entirely different groups of people.

Of course, it's of no use in areas where there isn't electricity, and a laptop is in so many ways more useful in those areas anyway,


Bingo!

To me, the most interesting features of the OLPC were/are the hand-crank and the ad-hoc mesh networking. These allow people without access to electrical and telecom infrastructure to gain the biggest (IMHO) benefits of computers (i.e. document creation/storage and communication) without reliance on government and/or corporate support. I consider this to be very important.

but still, shipping a few million PCs to the poorer countries for free would still help. In those areas where there is electricity kids would likely start studying those machines, tear them apart and put back together and all that, all those things we do here too. If I just knew where to call and it was guaranteed that the computers did reach poor kids/families I would instantly donate one of my PCs.


I agree.

Edited 2008-04-24 18:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

v RE[3]: Making it expensive!
by muffenme on Fri 25th Apr 2008 02:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Making it expensive!"
Comment by pistooli
by pistooli on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:49 UTC
pistooli
Member since:
2005-07-09

"He claims that the Sugar UI "grew amorphously" and "didn't have a software architect who did it in a crisp way"."

Then he did not hire the right resources... ;) sounds like poor management indeed...

Reply Score: 9

Not the first mistake
by rhyder on Thu 24th Apr 2008 08:55 UTC
rhyder
Member since:
2005-09-28

He'd already doomed the project by refusing to allow people to buy them freely. I'd love him to explain what advantages exclusivity gave the project.

Reply Score: 10

obsolete
by jensa on Thu 24th Apr 2008 09:48 UTC
jensa
Member since:
2006-12-01

Thought I read that WinXP would reach End of Support within a year or so..!?

Reply Score: 3

RE: obsolete
by miscz on Thu 24th Apr 2008 15:55 UTC in reply to "obsolete"
miscz Member since:
2005-07-17

IIRC Windows XP support was recently extended for low-end notebooks/subnotebooks like EeePC and OLPC. No surprise here given the system requirements of Vista.

Reply Score: 2

The wrong direction
by Janvl on Thu 24th Apr 2008 09:54 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

This is really the wrong way, the XO desktop is very good for the audience it was ment for, small kids. The only way to get it on its way is to give it free for sale everywhere.
XP is absolutely unsuitable.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The wrong direction
by collinm on Thu 24th Apr 2008 10:24 UTC in reply to "The wrong direction"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

olpc have a very slow cpu
i don't think winxp is the best choice for it...

also this project started with freedom in mind... now this project lost its goald

anyway, olpc is too expensive and not enough machine are delivery

public can't buy it...

i hope asus eee or another eee "like" will start a similar project with a better management and marketing team

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The wrong direction
by Different on Tue 29th Apr 2008 04:08 UTC in reply to "RE: The wrong direction"
Different Member since:
2007-07-03

OLPC can run Windows via a terminal server such as ThinServer XP

http://www.aikotech.com/thinserver.htm

If the OLPC is made Windows based, it still can run Linux software via NX Machine

http://www.nomachine.com

This is true meaning of freedom of choice

Reply Score: 1

The End of OLPC
by bolomkxxviii on Thu 24th Apr 2008 10:28 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

The hardware will have to change to accommodate XP, adding cost, complexity and fragility (if they use a hard drive). The learning curve will increase for the target audience. The hardware/software will be more attractive to others, making them more likely to be taken/stolen from the kids for which they were intended. I am not a big fan of the OLPC interface, but it did make it less likely for the machines to be stolen. Add to this the reports of keyboards failing at an unacceptable rate and you have a project that will implode. It is just a matter of when, not if.

Reply Score: 4

WoW
by WereCatf on Thu 24th Apr 2008 10:31 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I had to read the news 3 times just to make sure I didn't misread :O OLPC to become Windows-only?? I mean, I like Windows XP, I use it daily as my gaming platform, Linux I use for everything else, but geesh! OLPC was supposed to be as cheap as anyway possible, and bundling Windows XP with it will just increase the costs, not to mention the fact that XP is reaching it's end of life in a moment! A lot of free software enthusiasts and open-source supporters have been backing OLPC up, it fits very well in with the idea of free & gratis software so this kind of an announcement will surely drive quite a lot of supporters away from the project, not to mention that they'll feel like someone had just lied to them..

I kinda have the feeling that OLPC will be left in the pages of the history books as a cool and humanitarian idea but complete failure as a product..

Reply Score: 8

RE: WoW
by lemur2 on Thu 24th Apr 2008 10:45 UTC in reply to "WoW"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I had to read the news 3 times just to make sure I didn't misread :O OLPC to become Windows-only?? I mean, I like Windows XP, I use it daily as my gaming platform, Linux I use for everything else, but geesh! OLPC was supposed to be as cheap as anyway possible, and bundling Windows XP with it will just increase the costs, not to mention the fact that XP is reaching it's end of life in a moment! A lot of free software enthusiasts and open-source supporters have been backing OLPC up, it fits very well in with the idea of free & gratis software so this kind of an announcement will surely drive quite a lot of supporters away from the project, not to mention that they'll feel like someone had just lied to them..

I kinda have the feeling that OLPC will be left in the pages of the history books as a cool and humanitarian idea but complete failure as a product..


There is a possible explanation.

Before, when it was a Linux machine, all sorts of inexplicable problems were constantly popping up to hinder the project ... even parters would dis the XO machine to potential customers.

... it was like some mysterious force was trying to make the project fail ...

Now that the underlying OS is Windows, yet the Sugar GUI is still used so as far as the users are concerned it is basically the same as before but just more expensive, slower, and closed source so they can't investigate how it works ... suddenly one gets the feeling that there won't be these mysterious problems getting in the way of the project any more.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sabotage

Third meaning.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: WoW
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 24th Apr 2008 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE: WoW"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06
RE: WoW
by ari-free on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:37 UTC in reply to "WoW"
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

basically they knew this would not survive in the free market so they tried to get poor (in other words: less free and not very smart) governments to pay for it.

Reply Score: 2

v They should have done this earlier
by gedmurphy on Thu 24th Apr 2008 11:55 UTC
Comment by Stephen!
by Stephen! on Thu 24th Apr 2008 12:12 UTC
Stephen!
Member since:
2007-11-24

It seems Ironic that OLPC would endup running XP considering Bill Gates originally mocked it.

Edited 2008-04-24 12:14 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Turned down Apple?!
by apoclypse on Thu 24th Apr 2008 12:38 UTC
apoclypse
Member since:
2007-02-17

Can somone explain to me what they were smoking when they tunred down Apple? If Apple comes up to you and offers to let you use OSX in your project and you say no. Those would have sold like hotcakes if that were the case.

I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's purchase of PAsemi wouldn't signify their interest in such a project. That is why the OLPC was such a huge thing and why MS wants their OS to be used so badly. It means huge contracts and vendor lock-in, what else could MS ask for. Not only that, the target audience may one day be the future of IT and what better way to bring them up than on a healthy diet of MS software. There is absolutely no real reason why Linux wouldn't work for their needs and right now its more of an excuse by the project leader for his bad management and even worse decisions in the project.

They should have went with Apple from the get go. All of my fondest child hood memories with computing had an Apple computer in it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Turned down Apple?!
by collinm on Thu 24th Apr 2008 14:29 UTC in reply to "Turned down Apple?!"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

the initial idea of the project was freedom...

so mac os is like windows... it's closed and propriotary os

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Turned down Apple?!
by apoclypse on Thu 24th Apr 2008 18:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Turned down Apple?!"
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Well sine that threw that out the window without a second thought, they should have just gone with apple. I personally liked the fact that they were using OSS software in the project. But if they were going to shit all over it then they should have at least went with the company with a 1. a more scaleable kernel 2. a proven track record in making easy to use UI's 3. know how to market products succesfully.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Turned down Apple?!
by gustl on Fri 25th Apr 2008 10:33 UTC in reply to "Turned down Apple?!"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

If you want to produce several million of these devices, even a one dollar license fee is too much.

That was the reasoning, 60 million laptops save 60 million Dollars, that is a lot of money you can spend upfront in customization and development.

Reply Score: 2

Three letters
by MiliTux on Thu 24th Apr 2008 12:58 UTC
MiliTux
Member since:
2007-05-16

Three letters sum up my feelings on this:
WTF?

Reply Score: 4

So
by Treza on Thu 24th Apr 2008 13:04 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

OLPC Might Become Dead Only

Reply Score: 1

SamAskani
Member since:
2006-01-03

Since the very moment that MS was interested in the OLPC MS has been pushed to put the project under their control and now the the can cry victory. The minds of children with small resources will be not contaminated of the FOSS germ. The status quo has been preserved.

Edit: A typo error

Edited 2008-04-24 13:28 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Reality check ...
by MacTO on Thu 24th Apr 2008 13:29 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

The old line goes: "it is an education project, not a laptop project." As such, we should be concerned about what it will take to get these computers into the hands of children and what it will take to deliver effective educational software into their hands. If that is Windows, so be it.

Windows has a couple of advantages going for it. Alas, one of those advantages is pervasiveness and the perception that children must learn the software that business will use. In a lot of cases, statements like "kids should learn general technical skills, and not Microsoft Office," will just fall on deaf ears.

There is also another big advantage to Windows: it is one of the three major platforms that actually has an extensive library of education software (the other two being the original Mac OS and the Apple II). Yes, some of that software is best described as sugar-coated skill and drill. But some kids need that. Yet this software will also serve a broad range of other learning styles, including those that reflect the constructivist model touted by the OLPC foundations.

One of the things that we were hoping for was the ability for kids to go into the source code and tweak the software, simply to learn how things work. It really must be said that the use of Windows does not exclude that. Yes, it will exclude the child's ability to play around with the kernel and closed source software. On the other hand, the Linux based OLPC also had a barrier that is just as effective as the legal barrier: the source code for the kernel and the source code for large chunks of many activities (like the browser component of Browse and the word processing widget of the word processor) were not included. Neither was the compiler to compile those widgets. That leaves the activities that are more than just a wrapper for a binary blob or a gtk+ based widget that is a binary blob. Well, there is nothing preventing people from developing similar activities on a closed source operating system.

I know that there is a lot of negativity towards Windows. I know that a lot of us would rather not use Windows. And I am happy to say that my XO will always be Linux only. But we must also consider that this project is about the future, and not about the technical ideology of geeks.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Reality check ...
by apoclypse on Thu 24th Apr 2008 14:02 UTC in reply to "Reality check ..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

That is the point. If this project is about the future, why should these children be tied to the past. MS is the past, they are old, big and slow to change. Do we really want our future generation tied to one platform the way our current one is. The OLPC project was a chance to break away from that and the only reason its failing its due to lack of a well thought out plan an bad leadership. The only thing that MS adds to the table at this point is probably monetary incentive, chances are that they are paying to get on these laptops and that they are "greasing the wheels" with all the connections and contracts they already throughout the world.

So on the surface, yeah it seems like a good idea to ruh with MS, but the damage to the intended audience will be long term.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Reality check ...
by tomcat on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality check ..."
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

That is the point. If this project is about the future, why should these children be tied to the past. MS is the past, they are old, big and slow to change.


I thought that this project was about putting a laptop in the hands of children that would never otherwise have access to that kind of technology? Perhaps I was misinformed because, quite frankly, who cares who services that need; whether it's Microsoft or some other vendor is pretty irrelevant.

Here's my take on things. This project has always had noble ambitions. The project originators thought that open source would be the best platform for this hardware. For one thing, it's cheap and, another, the availability of the software would allow kids to modify and tune it, themselves. But cost really isn't a factor here, since Microsoft is apparently either giving away, greatly reducing the price of, or paying OLPC to include XP. Which leaves the open source issue. I'm not sure that it's all that important for kids to have access to the source code for the OS platform in order for them to be able to dabble in open source. There is plenty of open source code (eg. compilers, apps, libraries, etc) which runs under Windows and which serves as an excellent learning tool. So, consequently, if you see XP as an impediment, it's probably because you're not seeing the bigger picture here.

Edited 2008-04-24 19:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

v RE[3]: Reality check ...
by Yagotta B. Kidding on Fri 25th Apr 2008 04:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reality check ..."
RE: Reality check ...
by collinm on Thu 24th Apr 2008 14:31 UTC in reply to "Reality check ..."
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

linux have a lot of education software too....

that a reason why so much school switch to it

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Reality check ...
by MacTO on Thu 24th Apr 2008 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Reality check ..."
MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

linux have a lot of education software too....

that a reason why so much school switch to it


Linux has some education software, and a lot of what is available is cross platform (e.g. Squeak/Scratch) or a variation upon an existing Windows/Mac product (e.g. Kig is a variant of Geometer's Sketchpad). But Linux also lacks a lot of educational software, or can only run it in a labor intensive way (e.g. Geometer's Sketchpad and Fathom seems to run well in Wine). So you are left with both choice and resources as an issue.

Choice also has an impact on resources. Teachers tend to be busy people. Same goes for parents. If they want to get something running for their kids, they probably don't have the time to futz around with Wine in order to expand that choice. In the case of teachers, they don't always have the time to plan out lessons either so curricular resources are essential. A choice in software allows you to go out and find both the software and curricular resources that match your needs. A lack of choice means that you are pretty much stuck with what you are given, and that is rarely a good thing.

As for schools switching to Linux, I've heard of very few instances of where that is the case. If anything, I've been seeing a wholesale migration from the Mac to Windows. Well, unless you're talking about server-room stuff. There I can see Linux being an advantage. (Even administrative stuff would be hit-and-miss on Linux because a lot of schools use proprietary systems to manage everything from payroll to attendance.)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reality check ...
by Robocoastie on Sun 27th Apr 2008 07:52 UTC in reply to "Reality check ..."
Robocoastie Member since:
2005-09-15

"There is also another big advantage to Windows: it is one of the three major platforms that actually has an extensive library of education software (the other two being the original Mac OS and the Apple II)"

That is crap. Linux has tons of education software as well and are far less bloated.

Reply Score: 1

Treason!
by wannabe geek on Thu 24th Apr 2008 13:32 UTC
wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

Those who have donated their time and money to the OLPC project now must feel betrayed. What a disappointment.

I can't believe the complaints about flash animations. I thought the OLPC was about building a brand new software framework and community around open standards. If compatibility with all existing proprietary formats was a concern, they should have kept a regular RH installation with multimedia repositories, and forget about sugar.

Going XP only is the worst possible outcome, beyond the most pessimistic predictions. Frankly, I'd rather see the OLPC go down in flames and die than become yet another instrument of Microsoft dominance.

Reply Score: 9

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Thu 24th Apr 2008 14:07 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

Microsoft: "Ride that fat cheque, bitch!"

Reply Score: 3

What I said from the beginning
by joshv on Thu 24th Apr 2008 15:07 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

The problem is that they slapped a confusing, non-standard interface on the thing, and it won't run windows software. Duh.

Did they actually ask any of the prospective users what they wanted? I am sure they would have asked for Windows compatibility. I am sure they would have liked their children to learn the basic desktop metaphor shared by almost all modern operating systems, as that's what they will be using if they get a job working with computers.

Reply Score: 1

G1G1 a failure?
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 24th Apr 2008 15:13 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

I wouldn't really equate "complaints over shipping delays" with "failure." If that were the case, every new Apple product launch for the last 10 years would have also been a failure.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Robocoastie
by Robocoastie on Thu 24th Apr 2008 16:01 UTC
Robocoastie
Member since:
2005-09-15

once MSFT got involved I had a feeling the project would go to hell in a handbasket rapidly.

Reply Score: 0

It is about the children
by JPisini on Thu 24th Apr 2008 16:26 UTC
JPisini
Member since:
2006-01-24

I don't care about MS I use Linux on a daily basis but as long as the children that need them get the laptops I don't care if they come with Windows, Linux, OS X or even Dos it doesn't matter these kids need laptops to help bring them into the future. This is not about MS or Linux or Intel it is about Children with real needs.

Reply Score: 4

RE: It is about the children
by fretinator on Thu 24th Apr 2008 16:43 UTC in reply to "It is about the children"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't care about MS I use Linux on a daily basis but as long as the children that need them get the laptops I don't care if they come with Windows, Linux, OS X or even Dos it doesn't matter these kids need laptops to help bring them into the future.


I respectfully disagree. It is essential what future the children are being brought into. I understand that in America we are used to being bought and sold by the major corporations - it is our way of life. However, this is not the vision much of the rest of the world has. They do not want to be under they sway of large corporations. We cannot even imagine such a thing (think of our politics!), but I beleive it is vitally important that the next generation not experience this. Even in America, it would be good if our schools started to teach such basic human freedoms. If not, we may soon see the rest of the world pass us by.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: It is about the children
by ssa2204 on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE: It is about the children"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I respectfully disagree. It is essential what future the children are being brought into. I understand that in America we are used to being bought and sold by the major corporations - it is our way of life. However, this is not the vision much of the rest of the world has. They do not want to be under they sway of large corporations. We cannot even imagine such a thing (think of our politics!), but I beleive it is vitally important that the next generation not experience this. Even in America, it would be good if our schools started to teach such basic human freedoms. If not, we may soon see the rest of the world pass us by.


This is only politics because FOSS lovers make it out to be. Hate to break the news to you but the 1960s are over, the cold war is ended. The world's economies are run in a market system, and corporations are a reality. Human freedom has absolutely nothing to do with this. But I will tell you what is against human freedom, people that now want this project to fail simply out of their own personal biases and prejudices regarding their OS religion of choice.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It is about the children
by ari-free on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:45 UTC in reply to "RE: It is about the children"
ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

yes, the vision of much of the rest of the world is that information is to be controlled by dictators such as in China. Poor people need more freedom, not govt subsidized laptops. Give them more freedom and they will be able to afford their own laptops.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It is about the children
by ssa2204 on Thu 24th Apr 2008 18:59 UTC in reply to "It is about the children"
ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I don't care about MS I use Linux on a daily basis but as long as the children that need them get the laptops I don't care if they come with Windows, Linux, OS X or even Dos it doesn't matter these kids need laptops to help bring them into the future. This is not about MS or Linux or Intel it is about Children with real needs.


How sad that there is only one person here to comment on the real point to this project.

Children in Sierra Leone or Senegal really do not care or know the difference between any OS. Most have probably never even sat in front of a computer. The whole point of this project was to bring technology to them, not to advance some idealogical OS religion. Windows increases costs, then I say use something else, if Linux fails, then use Windows, if OSX is the choice then select it. In the end this is NOT about promoting one OS over the other, or promoting FOSS or closed source.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: It is about the children
by wannabe geek on Fri 25th Apr 2008 00:03 UTC in reply to "RE: It is about the children"
wannabe geek Member since:
2006-09-27


The whole point of this project was to bring technology to them, not to advance some idealogical OS religion.


The point was not just to "bring technology" to them, it was to give them all the tools to learn, among other things, all the details about the technology they are using. This requires a full stack of open standards: FOSS software over hardware with available specifications (open hardware would be even better).


http://laptop.org/en/laptop/software/

"XO is built from free and open-source software. Our commitment to software freedom gives children the opportunity to use their laptops on their own terms. While we do not expect every child to become a programmer, we do not want any ceiling imposed on those children who choose to modify their machines. We are using open-document formats for much the same reason: transparency is empowering. The children—and their teachers—will have the freedom to reshape, reinvent, and reapply their software, hardware, and content."

Many people believed in this vision and contributed their time, effort and money, and now Mr Negroponte slaps them in the face. That's nothing less than scandalous.

Reply Score: 2

RE: It is about the children
by Rugxulo on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:41 UTC in reply to "It is about the children"
Rugxulo Member since:
2007-10-09

I don't care about MS I use Linux on a daily basis but as long as the children that need them get the laptops I don't care if they come with Windows, Linux, OS X or even Dos it doesn't matter these kids need laptops to help bring them into the future. This is not about MS or Linux or Intel it is about Children with real needs.


http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/e510_nseries?c=us&...

:-) No, seriously, ...

I don't think most people (besides me, heh) would advocate FreeDOS (no decent USB support), but it is very very very lightweight and there's obviously tons of software for it. Anyways, portable DOS machines have been done before:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poqet_PC
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atari_Portfolio
http://www.pocketdos.com/

Reply Score: 1

Craziness
by jaebird on Thu 24th Apr 2008 19:27 UTC
jaebird
Member since:
2006-09-27

so now it has become One Lousy Piece of Crap

Reply Score: 3

Not sure I understand
by miles on Fri 25th Apr 2008 00:44 UTC
miles
Member since:
2006-06-15

I perfectly agree that Win XP is far better than the previous Windows, and, put in knowleadgeable hands, can be quite safe.

However, I also know from experience that put into perfect newbies without access to a nerd, an XP box is going to get trashed in a few weeks. I also know from experience that a preconfigured Linux box (I tend to use Ubuntu, but other modern distros should be as good) put into perfect newbies' hand is rock solid. It can go for years with or without automatic updates, and it's still going to work (other people would be able to trash it, but newbies won't ever be able to do anything to mess it up).

They're putting themselves in a load of hassle if they ever manage to secure a big contract for XP-only OLPC. Even if they sell it to some countries where teachers are familiar with using XP, only a fraction of them would have the skills required to maintain ONE XP box, and here it's more like 30 XP boxes / teacher.

Have fun reinstalling images every night over wifi ;)

Edited 2008-04-25 00:46 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Putting the XO on the black market
by torbenm on Fri 25th Apr 2008 08:31 UTC
torbenm
Member since:
2007-04-23

I think the OLPC foundation missed an important point in the design of the XO, and they are missing it still: Anything given as aid to the poor is likely to be diverted to the black market if it has any potential black market value.

A laptop that can (or even worse, does) run Windows is infinitely more valuable on the black market than a laptop that only runs Linux or, even better, only runs software written for this particular machine.

Choosing an x86 processor was a bad choice because it enables Windows. Selling XO PCs identical to the donated ones to private users was a mistake, as it gives private people who have an XO PC plausible deniability about having bought it on the black market. And actually putting Windows on the machine is making it even worse.

What they should have done is:

- Use an ARM processor or some other non-x86 processor. ARM has the added advantage of offering more processing power per watt.

- Use a non-standard OS. This need not be an open source OS, as long as the OLPC foundation could get it at little or no cost. If ARM was chosen, a version of RISC OS might have been suitable -- it is robust, there are tons of educational software for it, it has low hardware demands and it is sufficiently non-mainstream to make it of low black-market value. It is not free, but I'm sure the OLPC foundation would have gotten an excellent deal from the owners, quite likely even at no cost for PCs donated to children in developing countries.

- Making commercially sold PCs markedly distinct from the donated PCs. This could be done simply by changing the colour of the green plastic bits to, say, blue or red. This would not cost much extra, as the same molds could be used, but it would be very costly for a black marketeer to pass of a donated PC as a free market PC.

Reply Score: 4

rakamaka
Member since:
2005-08-12

I think XP will be best choice for OLPC as it works on bare minimum hardware, compatible with all peripherals including wi-fi and scaled down version is less resources hungry. On top of it MS will pay for it rather than collecting licence fees.
Example of XP on bare minimums.......
My Laptop..Gateway Solo9100 366 MHz YES it is 366MHz with 256 MB Memory
I have removed all fancy graphical effects fom XP Increased paging file to 1GB.
It runs FANTASTIC with wireless adaptor.
I am running Word or Excel, +Firefox, +ComodoFW or Avast + listen audio cd SIMULTANEOUSLY at 800x600 res. No CPU load. It takes 1 minute to start application but once page file adjusts no problem running afterwords. I use lots of "freeware for windows." Almost all software on this machine is freeware.

Ubuntu refuses to get installed on my 366 MHz, and I consider any other 'lightweight linux distro' is not better than Win 3.1.

Edited 2008-04-25 13:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Meanwhile...
by Finalzone on Fri 25th Apr 2008 22:35 UTC
Finalzone
Member since:
2005-07-06

here is an interesting read from Ivan Krstić:
http://radian.org/notebook/this-too-shall-pass

In summary, Nicholas Negroponte statement does not represent OLPC. Comments are also worth a read.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Meanwhile...
by adricnet on Sun 27th Apr 2008 09:30 UTC in reply to "Meanwhile..."
adricnet Member since:
2005-07-01

Ivan to our rescue yet again, huzzah.

Editors, would you kindly replace this FUD-ridden post and thread with Ivan's ?

No? Oh well, worth a try...

Off to find those Ubuntu packages for Sugar ..

Reply Score: 1