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Novel OS Drives the '$100 laptop' 174

jrwr00 writes with a link to a CNN story about the $100 laptop's unique operating system. We've discussed the OLPC's UI before but the article offers a few new piece of information on the project, which is expected to roll out this year. From the article: "The XO machines are still being tweaked, and [OLPC UI] Sugar isn't expected to be tested by any kids until February. By July or so, several million are expected to reach Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, Thailand and the Palestinian territory. Negroponte said three more African countries might sign on in the next two weeks. The Inter-American Development Bank is trying to get the laptops to multiple Central American countries."
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Novel OS Drives the '$100 laptop'

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  • Re:Novell OS? Whoops (Score:4, Informative)

    by rholliday ( 754515 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @07:47PM (#17467020) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, me too. I don't think "novel" is the best choice of adjectives in the OS world.
  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:02PM (#17467246)
    Surely, it must be possible to build the same "Sugar" interface on any full install of a moder Linux OS... Where are the OS packages? Where is the SVN respository?

    Look at the OLPC wiki [laptop.org].
  • by Starji ( 578920 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:38PM (#17467654)
    How about Opera?

    http://people.opera.com/howcome/2006/olpc/ [opera.com]
  • OS is Fedora based (Score:3, Informative)

    by GodWasAnAlien ( 206300 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:46PM (#17467736)
    The word "OS" is not mentioned in the article.
  • by Simon80 ( 874052 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @08:53PM (#17467842)
    No actually, the closest they'll get is an enhanced derivative version of Abiword.
  • Re:Screenshot (Score:2, Informative)

    by Mike89 ( 1006497 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:20PM (#17468108)
  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @09:30PM (#17468204)
    This "mesh network" idea is pretty pie-in-the-sky for the technically barren regions the idea is being pushed on. Is someone going to establish transponders or regenerators, bridges, etc for Internet access?

    The point of the mesh networking is to enable certain network applications without a persistent connection to the internet, but yes, a company has developed and will be making available a satellite earthstation designed especially for rural village and donating satellite time to provide internet access to accompany the OLPC project.

    Does anyone even know if the schools are going to participate?

    The purchasers of the laptops in the involved countries are the national ministries of education, who tend to be the people that run the schools. One might surmise, then, that the schools will participate.

    Sometimes I think a bag of rice would be better spent on these areas than air dropping pastel, wind-up computers.

    And, if you want, you are free to send a bag of rice to any region you think needs it. There are even many charities that you can contribute to that will take care of most of the logistics of providing food aid for you, so you just can give them money. OLPC will continue working with interested countries to develope and deliver educational tools that both the people behind OLPC and the countries to whom they are being sold, rather than air-dropped as unilateral gifts, believe will be useful to those countries educational systems. The two kinds of projects are not opposed to each other.
  • Re:OLPC Sucks (Score:2, Informative)

    by psy0rz ( 666238 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @10:38PM (#17468738) Homepage

    I think the "OLPC" is just a first wave in a new corporate strategy to "legitimately" dump difficult-to-dispose-of old hardware and then sell new hardware in developing countries.
    Please read the OLPC wiki before you start rambling, especially this page: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_myths [laptop.org]
  • by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @10:45PM (#17468792) Homepage Journal
    Why don't you try [vmware.com] it [tuttlesvc.org] for yourself ?

    Then you can have an opinion.

  • by Apotsy ( 84148 ) on Thursday January 04, 2007 @11:02PM (#17468958)
    Ever been to sub-Saharan Africa? I have. I've seen Massai living in mud-and-cowshit huts out in the middle of the savanna. Everywhere you go, poor kids beg you for pens. Yes, pens, as in Bic. Having simple supplies for writing is a big deal to many people in the world. Maybe his attitude is "Colonial", but it appears to me at least to be based somewhat in reality.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 05, 2007 @04:04AM (#17470694)
    SWT "feels" slower because you already "know" Java is "slow" through years of self-reassuring and circular reasoning based on the tech equivalent of old wives' tales. EOL.
  • by KlaymenDK ( 713149 ) on Friday January 05, 2007 @05:05AM (#17470964) Journal

    Personally I think the whole $100 laptop thing is a huge marketing gimmick to prime the populations of third-world countries for consumerism (Linux aside, $100 cost aside, it still falls victim to engineered obsolescence).
    The following would be true for any contraption: the device needs not change if the usage pattern does not. I have a PDA that by current standards are outright archaic, but it fulfills my needs just as perfectly as when it was new. Sure, new products offer more features, but that does not detract from the old product; unless you are made to think the product you have is no longer good enough.

    It is my impression that the whole idea of creating a brand new interface is to escape the eternal upgrade spiral. On the surface, they do away with folders and mainstream OS vendors, but consider how this affects the entire paradigm of computing. In a few years these people will be old enough to work in an office (not saying they will, it's just a possibility), and set me tell you, I think they're not going to *want* to touch Windows, MacOS, or KDE/Gnome with a fire poker -- it's too messy. They won't want to work on their computer, they'll want to work on their *tasks*.

    You and I can do a lot more by donating to charities or 'adopting' a child through a group like World Vision.
    Great! By all means, if you are so inclined, fund and donate all you like! :o) But this is completely separate from the OLPC project. Both are valid options in their own right; it's just that you can't make individual contributions to one of them.

    I used to work for an electronics recycling company, whose business was increasing partially because of SB20 and SB50 and partially because a lot of companies were no longer being allowed to ship their junk computers (many components of which are toxic waste) to third-world countries to be disposed of or scrapped, as opposed to properly recycled stateside, for a fee. We got all kinds of junk, from Dreamworks to Viewsonic, but I couldn't handle the third-world pay anymore.
    I don't know the "SB*0" you mention, but I for one think shipping waste "under the carpet" *should* be regulated, if not avoided altogether.

    I think the "OLPC" is just a first wave in a new corporate strategy to "legitimately" dump difficult-to-dispose-of old hardware and then sell new hardware in developing countries.
    Irrelevant. This has nothing to do with old hardware. The entire concept targets an environment where traditional computer devices would be useless (power, wired networking, harsh conditions, &c).

    As you state in a later post, hardware failures are a different topic; that's mostly a question of build quality and durablity. While it is to a high degree possible for a manufacturer to skimp in this department, and thus encourage more purchases, it's not my impression that the OLPC project has chosen this path -- quite the opposite.

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