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New OLPC Laptop 1.5 Dual-Boots Sugar, Gnome Desktop 81

griffjon writes "The new hardware release (you can read about the upgrade here) also comes with a dual-boot option. Start rejoicing now; it's not XP or Sugar (the native, education-centric OS) — it's Sugar or Gnome. And of course there are other homebrew distributions like Xtra Ordinary, built off of Debian."
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New OLPC Laptop 1.5 Dual-Boots Sugar, Gnome Desktop

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  • Chrome OS (Score:4, Informative)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:01PM (#29531235) Journal

    The boot time on both seem a little slow however. Would be nice if they also build really minimalistic OS that supports just browsing - kind of like Chrome OS. Maybe it gets integrated in the future versions? Would make a good sense with OLPC.

  • Re:Chrome OS (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:36PM (#29531615)

    I don't think you realize how slow this computer is. Having used one (actually, I own one), I think it would choke on any kind of virtualization. It has enough trouble doing normal tasks in Sugar, let alone something "more robust".

  • by 0x4a6f6e43 ( 837256 ) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:46PM (#29531717)
    The OLPC needs to cost half as much, run twice as fast, with twice the memory. Then it will meet the expectations they made for it two years ago. I know. I own one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:57PM (#29531873)

    No idea why. I got it to run on a 8088 netbook with 4MB RAM and 1.2 Windows experience rating

    BTW to get MSDNAA you need to go through or and get a student account.

  • by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @02:59PM (#29531903)

    I believe the Negroponte's goal is to get computers into the hands of students in developing countries. Not to promote open source software.

    One of the original goals/specifications was to have the entire platform be open source. This wasn't to save money. This was to allow those students to use the entire platform as a learning tool. They would be able to tinker with the guts if they wanted to. And they wouldn't be beholden to any particular company to roll out a new update/patch/localization/whatever.

  • by RoboRay ( 735839 ) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @03:50PM (#29532503)

    I've been tinkering with the lightweight XFCE desktop on my XO and it seems to be a pretty good fit for the hardware. I'm still experimenting with various packages (using it as a learning experience, as I knew basically nothing about linux before starting this project) but I've got most things working. The only real snag seems to be unreliable connections to WPA-protected wireless networks. Several methods and WIFI managers are mentioned in the various wikis and blogs covering XFCE on the XO, but there seems to be no really good, reliable solution.

    Luckily, I have several neighbors that don't bother to secure their networks and the XO doesn't really need to access my network shares. ;)

  • Re:A backwards step (Score:4, Informative)

    by schwaang ( 667808 ) on Thursday September 24, 2009 @04:49PM (#29533227)

    I don't know about "backwards", the XO-1.5 is a just "harware refresh" of the XO-1, giving it more speed, more RAM, and more flash memory, while fixing some of the bugs. Nothing is rolled back, the original innovations (some of which have not yet been matched even by your Mini 10's generation of netbooks) are still there.

    Meanwhile, aspects of XO-2's design (two hinged touchscreens) have been widely copied by MS's Courier and others for their next generations of netbooks/tablets.

    For those interested in the hardware differences, here's the XO-1 motherboard [] and the XO-1.5 motherboard [].

    To summarize the differences from eyeballing the diagrams:
    - CPU is upgraded from 400MHz AMD Geode to 1GHz Via C7.
    - The corresponding AMD southbridge is replaced w/ Via VX855
    - RAM is upgraded from 256MB DDR to 1GB DDR2
    - flash is upgraded from 1GB soldered-on to 4GB microSD in a slot (i.e. replaceable, interesting!)
    - WLAN is changed from a soldered-on Marvell part to a daughtercard (currently still a Marvell part IIRC).
    - the Marvell CaFe chip is apparently gone. This provided NAND FLASH and SD interfaces and some camera functions?
    - audio seems to be upgraded

    Some stuff that's the same:
    - The display controller (Hymax HX8837), that lets the display remain live with the processor suspended.
    - The embedded controller (KB3700)
    - external SD slot (though not controlled by CaFe anymore)

    Not sure:
    - battery and charging circuit
    - other power supply design

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson