Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 6th Dec 2007 16:27 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Microsoft is serious about getting Windows XP to work on OLPC's low-cost laptop, but the company still isn't sure it will be able to make a go of it. In an interview, James Utzschneider, the general manager of Microsoft's emerging market unit, says Microsoft has devoted about 40 employees and contractors to work on its effort. However, there are plenty of technical hurdles, he said. One of the biggest is the fact that the XO has no hard drive and only 1GB of built-in memory. The company concluded it needed at least 2GB of memory just for Windows and Office, so it convinced the OLPC folks to include an SD slot on the laptop's motherboard.
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RE[2]: How ridiculous
by kragil on Thu 6th Dec 2007 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: How ridiculous"
Member since:

Hello? It is designed for little children. It is way way better to have a open OS where kids can learn EVERYTHING about it than to have a nearly obsolete 7 year old crippled CLOSED OS.

If kids learn linux they wont have any problem using Windows ( they prolly dont want to but if they have to they can ). Children are smart they learn much faster than adults and they can adapt really fast. So there is absolutely no need for XP on OLPC. Everyone who thinks so prolly lost the ability to adapt.

Reply Parent Score: 18

RE[3]: How ridiculous
by google_ninja on Thu 6th Dec 2007 17:09 in reply to "RE[2]: How ridiculous"
google_ninja Member since:

Kids aren't going to learn linux, they are going to learn sugar, which does its best to keep linux hidden. As I said in a previous comment, kde would be ideal, but even xp will help more in actually developing useful skills. Just because it has linux under the hood doesn't make it pro.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[4]: How ridiculous
by butters on Thu 6th Dec 2007 20:05 in reply to "RE[3]: How ridiculous"
butters Member since:

they are going to learn sugar, which does its best to keep linux hidden

Sugar has a feature built right into the interface that opens the source code for any application. That's got to be the most transparent user interface ever devised, trumping "view source" in the web browser.

How does Sugar "keep Linux hidden"? By not being KDE or GNOME? Come on, you'll have to do better than that on this site...

In any case, the OLPC objective is more about free software than Linux in particular. So if it emphasizes to these kids the importance of choosing free software in general rather than merely choosing a free software kernel, then they're doing the right thing.

Linux is often the most suitable kernel for any given free software product, but it's not enough to have the growing and youthful middle classes in developing nations worshiping Linux as the key to achieving independence from the multinational vendors.

The whole stack must be free, end-to-end, in order for these people, their businesses, and their governments to bring themselves into the digital cloud age while retaining their cultural identities and regaining their economic independence.

The kernel probably isn't the package that will see the most development from the XO community in the short-term. The work is likely to focus on Sugar, the core applications, and other user-visible components.

So it's important that Sugar is clean and hackable. Although KDE, especially KDE4, is pretty hackable for those who grok C++, it has more of a learning curve. It's not clear how useful it would be on a machine with such meager hardware and screen real estate.

Just because it has linux under the hood doesn't make it pro.

This is some delusional Western imperialist mindset. Who gave anybody the right to go and define what it means to be a "pro" at doing stuff with computers? Give these people, especially the kids, some time with open hardware and open software, and they will surely develop amazing skills and functionality.

These people deserve better than figurative "Windows" into the conventional wisdom that locks them into the indentured servitude of global capitalism. They deserve an equal playing field that offer limitless possibilities for innovation and empowerment.

KDE and GNOME have a lot of our Windows-tainted conventional wisdom and cultural DNA already baked in. They already have their visions more or less in focus within their development communities. I think it's better for everyone to give fresh minds a fresh whack at a relatively clean slate.

They will show us that "pro" comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and income levels. Let us have a little more faith in humanity, and let those of us living in relative comfort resolve for the coming new year to consider the economic, cultural, and spiritual value of bringing hope and opportunity to the lives of the world's vast underclasses.

Edited 2007-12-06 20:10

Reply Parent Score: 15

v RE[3]: How ridiculous
by Almafeta on Thu 6th Dec 2007 17:22 in reply to "RE[2]: How ridiculous"
RE[4]: How ridiculous
by DigitalAxis on Thu 6th Dec 2007 22:06 in reply to "RE[3]: How ridiculous"
DigitalAxis Member since:

Being forced to give up your work may be a choice a fully-informed adult can consent to and live with, but how will those countries who have bought in to OLPC react once they find out that the copyleft licenses Sugar is based on requires them to give up copies of everything their children have made to anyone who asks?


I must have missed something there, but I wasn't aware of any free software licenses that extended to any content created with that software. I find it hard to believe I'll have to give away the .gif animations I've made because I created them in the Gimp, or the papers I wrote in OpenOffice.

The GPL, for instance, requires you to make modifications to the software available if asked, or the source code to programs derived from GPL'd code. I don't recall seeing any notice requiring all content created on an OLPC to be distributable under a Creative Commons license, even.

The OLPC is meant to be a learning tool. Yes, the operating system is open source, and modifications will also have to be open source... but Negroponte's vision for the OLPC was as a platform for a whole range of interactive educational and developmental* activities, not just computer programming. I'm more worried about how much of those curriculum activities and e-textbook materials actually exist, and I think we've been paying too much attention to what OS the hardware is running. Yeah, it's Linux, get over it.

*in the psychological and sociological sense

Edited 2007-12-06 22:11

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[4]: How ridiculous
by Vanders on Thu 6th Dec 2007 22:20 in reply to "RE[3]: How ridiculous"
Vanders Member since:

Besides, being closed-source should be a prerequisite for this project; or, if the source is freely available, it should at least use a modern free software license. Being forced to give up your work may be a choice a fully-informed adult can consent to and live with, but how will those countries who have bought in to OLPC react once they find out that the copyleft licenses Sugar is based on requires them to give up copies of everything their children have made to anyone who asks?

Yet more ill informed nonsense bordering on trolling.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[5]: How ridiculous
by chemical_scum on Fri 7th Dec 2007 17:53 in reply to "RE[3]: How ridiculous"
chemical_scum Member since:

Quite aside from the other inaccuracies in this post that have already been addressed we have:

How are foreign kids going to benefit from being able to look at obfuscated, ill-documented C code with comments, variable names method names, class names, and library names written in English? And not even full English sentences, mind you, but a horribly contracted version (HorCntrVers) that's barely readable even to a native English speaker?

The OLPC's Sugar environment unlike the Linux kernel is not written in C but rather in Python. Python is an excellent language for learning programing. As for the use of English, you have to learn some English to program, as virtually all programming languages including those developed by non first language English speakers are written in English anyway. Learning English is educational too.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: How ridiculous
by TaterSalad on Thu 6th Dec 2007 21:47 in reply to "RE[2]: How ridiculous"
TaterSalad Member since:

Hello? The kids aren't getting the laptop to learn about operating systems and how computers work, they are getting them to help educate them about reading and writing and arithmetic. It doesn't matter if the software was opened or closed for those tasks. The kids aren't learning programming for the age group this is targeted at. I don't see how if they learn linux they can learn Windows but not vice versa. Your arguments make no sense.

Reply Parent Score: 2