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Negroponte Says Windows 'Runs Well' On XO Laptop

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the set-the-hook-and-reel-them-in dept.

Portables 339

Stony Stevenson alerts us to comments from OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte indicating his approval of Windows' performance on the XO laptop. Negroponte said in an email, "Sugar needs a wider basis, to run on more Linux platforms and to run under Windows." The full email is available at OLPC News. He was also quoted by the Associated Press as saying that Sugar "didn't have a software architect who did it in a crisp way," and cited the lack of Flash as an example. Negroponte continued, "There are several examples like that, that we have to address without worrying about the fundamentalism in some of the open-source community. One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist."

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339 comments

Lack of Flash?!?!?! (5, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177478)

Sorry, he's citing lack of Flash as an example of open source failing?!??!

The reason they went with Gnash in the first place was because the Adobe Flash player needs more CPU power than the entire damn machine had available.

How is hell is MS's bloatware supposed to fix that?

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (5, Funny)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177504)

How is hell is MS's bloatware supposed to fix that?

Mystically, with an infusion of Bill Gates $$$ up the orifice, like any other Kool-Aid©.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177574)

He didn't say it failed open-source, he said it was a failure in that it lacked a much desired feature. Even the summary states:

"One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist."

Between that and mentioning Windows, he is urging the project to be less open. Frankly, I don't care if it can run Windows. I'm all about choice and competition.

And maybe (just maybe, but I doubt it) someone can spin this to Adobe as a PR move, and they will release an open-sourced Flash plugin, or more likely, a build of the Flash plugin for the next XO.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (3, Interesting)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177686)

I'm very tired of hearing people use the world fundamentalist in any and every context.

You can be an open source fanatic, but you cannot be an open source fundamentalist.

Stop. Think about the meaning of the words you are using. Select correct words. Continue.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177918)

I'm very tired of hearing people use the world fundamentalist in any and every context.

I'm very tired of hearing people use the word fundamentalist in any and every context.

I fixed that for you.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177924)

Stop. Think about the meaning of the words you are using. Select correct words. Continue.

If I actually thought about the meaning of words I'm using, then I'd never be able to use the word "fartknocker". So I simply find your advice impractical.

Fartknocker (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23178038)

Mod this guy up - great word - fartknocker! We just need an appropriate use case for it now.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (2, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177934)

Fundamentalist: A usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.

How does that not fit *nix/OSS zealots?

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23178024)

For that matter, it fits MS fanbois too - maybe better.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (5, Funny)

TeacherOfHeroes (892498) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177946)

What are you, some kind of language fundamentalist?

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (1)

garbletext (669861) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177964)

My dictionary gives as one definition:
fuhn-duh-men-tl-iz-uhm n. strict adherence to any set of basic ideas or principles. Sounds quite straightforward to me. Maybe you need to lighten up.

Power Power Power and infrastructure (5, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177708)

You nailed it. The key insight of the OLPC was that it needed to be ultra-low power and not rely on a lot of infrastructure. e.g. it's not so easy to run out and buy a USB cable on Nahru.

Thus I always chuckle when I see comparisons to this or that better performing laptop. Of course it's possible to get cheap and faster by going to high power. And you can add more features again by adding power. They were going for cheap and low power.

I think what may have happened here is that windows is now learning to play nice with flash memory and windows CE is presumably learning to play nice with batteries.

The other thing is that the world is moving towards cloud computing. Now while their may not be a cloud available to bushmen in Nairobi. it's not unthinkable that schools might be able to serve apps locally. And MS is building that infrastructure.

So maybe Microsoft is up to the task.

The problem MS will face I suspect is that they lack an agile resizable code base like Linux and Apple have. Windows CE and Windows XP only are simmilar in their look. So this may be a complete blank sheet. Sure XP will run but will it meet the original driver of low power? I suspect not out of the box otherwise it would be Window CE instead.

But MS does have the dowry and an incentive. And the OLPC does need the cash. So it might be a successful arranged marriage. Or maybe it will be one of those Weddings where the groom tosses the bride on the funeral pyre.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (5, Insightful)

cretog8 (144589) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177734)

The reason they went with Gnash in the first place was because the Adobe Flash player needs more CPU power than the entire damn machine had available.
Flash runs fine on my XO. It's easy to install it and use it instead of Gnash.

The lack of Flash is a really stupid argument against OLPC design, though. I don't think there's anything--legal or technical--to keep a school or country from mass-installing Flash for themselves, even if OLPC doesn't.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177966)

Flash runs fine on my XO. It's easy to install it and use it instead of Gnash.

Screenshots, please. Although, you appear to be correct. [laptop.org]

News Site? Large Grain of Salt on Order. (-1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177836)

Is this the same Intel friendly "news" site previously discussed by Slashdot? [slashdot.org] Now for a parody interview with an Intel representative about what they really think is going on:

Me: What gives?
AL "APCI" Jones, VP INTEL Perception Management: Hey, thanks for asking! We think that OLPC has gotten along so famously with us that they are going to try their luck with the ever so cooperative people at Microsoft.
ME: Really? That's amazing. I'm surprised they want to talk to you at all after you did everything possible to derail them [slashdot.org]
ACPI Jones: Sure, we write their news for them - they love us.
ME: Tell me more about Fundamentalists.
ACPI Jones: That's easy, Developers, Developers, Developers!
ME: That's about all I can take, thanks for your time.
ACPI Jones: I'll take more of your time tomorrow, it's my job.
ME: No thanks.

Back to reality and quoting the letter:

Because of public attention, anything we say will be quoted out of context. We can only speak with our actions and those are only one: a reliable and ubiquitous Sugar.

Getting away from reality with the letter:

the best educational tool is constructionism and the best software development method is Open Source. In some cases those are best achieved like the Trojan Horse, versus direct confrontation or isolating ourselves with perfection.

That and other things in the letter make it look like he thinks he will be able to run Sugar on more than the OLPC. This ignores the experience of other companies who thought they could get along and work with Microsoft and not be "isolated" and an alternate GUI will surely be seen as confrontational in Redmond. The more OLPC tries to interact with the non free software community, the more chances OLPC will give that community to kill them.

Sadly, Negroponte is correct... (4, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177936)

Flash Player: OLPC FAQ [laptop.org] :

Quote: "Adobe makes the official Flash plugin, but OLPC cannot ship it on the XOs because it is legally restricted and doesn't meet the OLPC's standards for open software. Instead, the XO ships with Gnash, an open source Flash plugin that can play some (but not all) Flash content. As shipped on the XO, it cannot play YouTube videos. Skilled users can rebuild it to include that functionality."

The Sugar distribution's exclusion of Flash, and only shipping a crippled version of Gnash, is all about open source politics, not technical performance limitations.

Re:Lack of Flash?!?!?! (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177952)

How is hell is MS's bloatware supposed to fix that?

Sure wasn't Vista. Fatware extreme. I can say, I have not seen my Vista crash on a Q6600, but strange behavior and slow like molasses on a -35C day, you bet. And if it is XP, I wonder how many features it lost. Probably more than we can count. I can't believe they would put MS-Windows on a $400 PC without bribes and price slashes. What is going on here? Linux should kick some serious butt here. Lean, mean and ready to go.

On the other hand, maybe Microsoft is realizing they have a $19 product and XP is what people want. Suck the big boys with lots of bucks into Vista Ultimate and MS-Office retail... sure would blow the OLPC budget if not your own.

Now for the MS-fanboy mod burn. Ubuntu in 1 day!!!!

Wow (5, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177480)

Negroponte decrying fundamentalism. That's rich.

No kidding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177530)

One word: sellout

Re:No kidding (2, Insightful)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177922)

Its not-like there was a fundamental tenant to not cause any long term dependence on the west other than the hardware, oh wait.

Re:Wow (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177542)

Listening to Fox News and mimicking what you hear there does not make you insightful.

PLUG time for FanBoys... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177622)

Fundamentalist = Fanboy?

Well, we always did call the Windows/mac/*nix/os2warp battle a "holy war" so I suppose he has a point. What is he gonna do now? Protestant Linux User Groups (Or PLUG for short)?

Oh, and just one more thing... /me sings "Its springtime for fanboys, and openscource...."

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177722)

Spot on. He's pretty much doomed his own project by his reluctance to let anyone who wanted one buy one.

Screw Sugar (1, Flamebait)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177492)

and screw windows. Seriously, Sugar sucks hard. They should have just put Puppy linux or something like that on it. And is it that hard to get Adobe to donate some licenses for flash so they can be pre-installed? It's not like they're charging money for it anyhow.

Re:Screw Sugar (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177610)

Care to elaborate how exactly Sugar "sucks hard"? Seems it is fulfilling all the goals it was intended to.

Re:Screw Sugar (5, Informative)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177702)

Well, first off for such a bland-looking GUI, it's certainly slow. Xubuntu on the same hardware runs a good bit faster than Sugar/fedora. The wifi neighborhood view is nice, except that when WPA doesn't work you're left out in the cold. Once they fix the WPA issues that'll be satisfactory. The activities are ok, though the activity frame can get annoying when you accidentally hit a corner with the cursor and make it pop up.

The biggest problem is the Journal. Personally I find it far more confusing than a hierarchical file system. More often than not I find myself using the terminal which, by the way, doesn't seem to allow copy and paste.

A conventional computer isn't hard to figure out, even for the very young. Beyond basic functionality, I think sugar will hinder learning more than anything, given how tough it can be to do even very basic things.

Re:Screw Sugar (2, Interesting)

cretog8 (144589) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177798)

This turns out to be a matter of taste, for users like us. And I'll defer to the folks using them with kids to decide what's better with the kids.

Anyway, a lot of what you say as negatives, I like. I don't know this for sure, but I attribute the slowness to two things about Sugar--it's in Python, and it's handling communication. The communication is a major feature. The fact that it's in Python means it's hackable.

So, for instance, you & I (and almost everyone else) gets annoyed with the frame popping up when the cursor gets near the corner. It's an easy fix in the code to stop that from happening. I can go in with a non-programmer 11-year-old, and show them how to change that! That's so cool.

I've also decided that Journal rocks (well, OK, rocks except for some bugginess). I'd switch to that over my directory tree on my Mac if it was possible.

Re:Screw Sugar (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177838)

WPA has been working fine for me (with a Linksys WRT54G), but I guess some people still have trouble with it. Of course, us G1G1 folks are in a different boat than the intended recipients, who won't be setting up their own home routers.

At least *some* of the criticisms of OLPC are really criticisms of the G1G1 program in particular, which was a nice concept but breaks expectations because this isn't a consumer product with the usual bubble of customer support around it.

So personally I separate out all the G1G1 issues before weighing the merit of criticisms.

Re:Screw Sugar (5, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177612)

The one thing I rather like about Sugar, is that the interface was designed to be accessible in countries lacking proper localization, using symbols heavily in the interface, and by representing data graphically perhaps moreso than via text in some places.

It also allows young children who can't read to interface with the computer in a meaningful way.

Sugar was also designed around mesh-networking, power-consumption, e-reader mode, etc.

Certainly there is room for improvement, but Puppy/Slack/DSL would not have been a perfect implementation either.

No kidding (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177898)

I gave up trying to get it to connect to a hidden ssid. Amazing hardware, but pathetic software.

Btw, my Everun also has a Geode processor, and it runs XP better than the XO-1 runs Sugar, even in power-saving mode - in which the Everun's LX 900 processor runs only at 400mhz [umpcportal.com] , slower than the 433mhz of the LX 700 in the XO-1. Unfortunately, the Everun lacks drivers for Linux, but there's no reason to believe that the XO-1 wouldn't be fast and responsive with a lean Linux distro. Make a kid-friendly menu (the XO-1's is tiny and confusing even for me), install open-source educational software (the XO-1 has a bit of junk, but lacks the few decent Linux programs), and throw on a bunch of copyright-free ebooks, and it would've been great.

Re:Screw Sugar (2, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177984)

Unless you are a small kid going to school, your opinion doesn't count. If Sugar isn't for you, then install something else. It's not like the XO is DRM'ed and you can't install anything else.

If you want Puppy Linux, by all means do it. But, unless you are a trained educator, you shouldn't be the one who decides what experience the kids should have.

Sugar seems fine for them for now.

Typical knee-jerk reaction (3, Funny)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177494)

"One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist."

Nuh-uh!

In the Crossfire (2, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177590)

Now we turn to RMS for his response...

don't I know it (5, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177704)

I've fallen out with some friends because even though I'm an open source developer, and have been for the last five years, I'm still in favour of closed source for some applications.

I am both amazed and dismayed by the extent to which such issues effect people.

Not only that, but almost everyone I know who has been what I would call a rabid opponent of proprietary code haven't themselves released any open source code. They just download the free stuff and get angry about the non free code without a single opinion that wasn't borrowed from someone else.

It seems to me that the fashion is that open source == hates proprietary. This is a nieve viewpoint in my opinion.

In other words (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177496)

Microsoft has cut him a hefty check.

And with this... (2, Insightful)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177518)

The OLPC project has officially lost its way. I can buy Windows performance as being tangentially relevant, although I don't agree with it. But Flash?

Perhaps Nick Neg is more interested in delivering advertising to his customers than he is learning opportunities?

Re:And with this... (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177638)

Apparently the most popular use of the XO model in test-cases I've read is the camera. Apparently kids in Africa see tourists with cameras, but likely never had any access to document or record their lives before.

The camera can record brief bits of video. I wouldn't be shocked if users are peeved they can't upload said videos to sites like YouTube. I think that is a valid reason to ask for Flash support.

Re:And with this... (3, Informative)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177888)

but Linux can support flash, what's your point?

No, Flash is Wrong. (2, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177932)

These are valid reasons to demand ogg theora support from service providers, not a reason to support people who back software patents and do other things to make imaging hard.

just remember nicholas (5, Insightful)

frinky525 (210472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177526)

you can't get a little bit pregnant

Re:just remember nicholas (1)

Greg Hullender (621024) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177900)

Actually that feature is supported in the first service pack.

--Greg :-)

What version (4, Funny)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177528)

I don't doubt that Windows 3.1 runs fine under VirtualBox running in Linux... Of course that might have been mentioned in the article, but who reads that anyway?

Re:What version (2, Interesting)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177556)

After dutifully checking all three linked articles, not one of them specifies a version of Windows that "runs well". Just remember that poor foreign kids when Microsoft charges you $100 bucks for software they no longer support.

Re:What version (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177974)

I don't doubt that Windows 3.1 runs fine under VirtualBox running in Linux... Of course that might have been mentioned in the article, but who reads that anyway?

I tossed my CDs years ago. Got a copy of a CD-ISO, be glade to try it.

Poor software design??? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177540)

Is he trying to make us believe that they couldn't get a decent software architect at MIT??? I really have to wonder how many zeros were in the check that Ballmer wrote him.

Re:Poor software design??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177642)

You get a lot of theorists out of MIT, not software designers. The last thing to come out of MIT that was actually practical was X.

Re:Poor software design??? (3, Insightful)

kelnos (564113) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177730)

And, while I'm not among them, there are many who consider X to be a horrible design failure where windowing systems are concerned.

There's also Kerberos. While it's a great auth solution, MIT's implementation of it is just plain frightening to read... let alone modify. Though I suppose it's been a good 4 years since I've had to work with it.

Re:Poor software design??? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177972)

And the problem with such thing is that in theory, theory and practice are the same but in practice they are not... [citation needed]

So in theory the OLPC software design paragidm and approach are great... in practice, well, see it for yourself.

Re:Poor software design??? (1)

conan1989 (1142827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177644)

how many zeros? come on, they don't call it "M$" for nothing.. it's "how many commas?"

Re:Poor software design??? (0, Troll)

tknd (979052) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177772)

Are you trying to make us believe that because a student attends MIT that they are a good software architect?

Re:Poor software design??? (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177834)

No, and that was not what I said. I'm pretty sure they could find at least ONE good software architect there. Nice try at trolling though :)

Re:Poor software design??? (3, Insightful)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177992)

That would definitely be the case, since they initially rejected [wsj.com] free Mac OS for the platform. It seems that the idea of the OLPC has been corrupted by influence.(one can only speculate what kind or how much.)

Typo (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177548)

Actually, what he said was "Windows, well... runs..."

Re:Typo (1)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177880)

Yes, it certainly does. When it's sitting idle.

Two models (4, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177562)

If XP can't run well on the ASUS EePC, then I doubt it runs well on the XO. This letter is all hype.

Frankly, I think the OLPC project did a great job with their first release, but realize it is only a first release. I think they should diverge and release two models next time.

Model A is closer to the $100 price tag, and will sell better in certain countries. Features should be comparable to the current XO model, but flash memory, processors, etc. keep getting cheaper.

Model B is slightly closer to the ASUS in processing power and storage. Shape, chassis, etc. can all stay the same. It won't match the ASUS model, since power usage is a major concern. But if it were slightly more powerful, you might see a KDE build optimized for it, or maybe even a toned-down version of Windows.

Being able to support a more robust Linux distro, AND the possibility of Windows will be a huge selling point. If they can get a Model B at $250 a pop, they'd sell a ton of these as well.

Re:Two models (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177710)

XP runs just fine on the EeePC. My roommate runs it on his.

Re:Two models (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177820)

I've heard complaints about how well it runs, and last I heard, Microsoft is making a special toned-down version of XP for these new cheap laptops.

Re:Two models (4, Informative)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177906)

The problem is the resolution. A standard XP window will not fit and you will loose the bottom buttons or the top buttons/menu.

The performance is fine. He even plays a few fps games on it.

Re:Two models (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177878)

Don't bother, these people don't care about facts.

Re:Two models (1)

Rob Simpson (533360) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177986)

True, but the eee has a faster processor and 512 megs of RAM. I can't imagine XP running well on 256 megs of RAM and a flash memory drive (much slower swapping, and running with Virtual Memory turned off probably wouldn't work).

Re:Two models (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177808)

May be they can cut off Windows to make it run on the XO.

But what about running another application beside Windows. If you can run the operating system but nothing more, that is useless.

It's the same with my laptop it could run Vista, but then nothig else.

Uh... (0)

OldFish (1229566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177578)

that prolly should be "runs good" After all we're in Amurrica and some of our lectrical comes from nucyulerr. err. pardon me while I drool.

Apple (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177580)

Apple was willing to provide the OS for free, but were denied because it wouldn't be open source. Now Windows is OK?

It runs well on the XO? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177588)

That's great. Now all Microsoft have to do is fix for every other computer in the world.

Looking forward to dozens of replies... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177602)

Attacking Negroponte, attacking Microsoft, attacking Adobe, attacking everyone. But nothing positive at all. Because "free" software people would rather see the entire world on Windows than give up even a tiny bit of their own idealogical self-righteousness. And that's why Linux will never be more than a curiosity on the desktop outside of the group that define themselves as geeks.

Re:Looking forward to dozens of replies... (1)

Dextrously (1086289) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177774)

If there is indeed anything positive to say about this at all, please by all means, say it. Other wise, all you are doing is trolling.

Re:Looking forward to dozens of replies... (1)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177982)

I don't think the point was meant as trolling, and is quite valid. Apple was indeed rejected because MacOS X was not open source. Now, Windows is allowed. What has changed? Why the double standard?

I think it's a very relevant point.

Re:Looking forward to dozens of replies... (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#23178006)

Apple was willing to provide the OS for free, but were denied because it wouldn't be open source. Now Windows is OK?
If there is indeed anything positive to say about this at all, please by all means, say it. Other wise, all you are doing is trolling.
Said the Apple zealot
hahah
gotcha!

Re:Looking forward to dozens of replies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177892)

Looking forward to a ton of MS feltching trolls lashing out at those who don't swoon at the sound of the word "Microsoft". Nothing positive at all. Because MS "trolls" would rather suck the festering wads of semen from Ballmer's asshole, than to admit that they've chosen to align themselves with a company in decline. And that's why they'll never be more than a laughing stock in the tech community, a group that can only be quantified in units of pure awesome.

meh (1)

heathenos (1261632) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177606)

negro-ponte please...

Don't forget... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23177620)

Windows rocks. It has much better driver availability.

HERESY!! (3, Funny)

conan1989 (1142827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23177626)

"One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist."

HERESY!! release him to the penguins, wildebeest and cute little devils wearing green shoes

Don't need to be a fundamentalist? . . . (1)

MistaE (776169) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177650)

Don't tell that to Richard Stallman. I wonder how many 'fundamentalists' he alienated by saying that.

Flash message for NN (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177652)

According to Walter: http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-April/013067.html [laptop.org] First of all, just to make this clear. "Flash does run on the laptop: there is a choice of both the Adobe Flash player and the FOSS Flash player, Gnash. We opted to install the Gnash player by default. We don't load proprietary codecs onto the machine by default, but they are available for download and some of our deployments in fact do opt to load some proprietary codecs--after of course obtaining the proper licenses. I see this approach as a reasonable compromise given the goals of the project. Apparently others see this as fundamentalism?

This is what happens when you call it a "Laptop" (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177676)

If they had called it "One E-book Per Child" and then all people would have is praise. "Wow, they were just trying to give an e-book to every child in the world, but look at all this other cool stuff it does!"

But no.

But not as good as Linux would! (1)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177688)

Windows on XO Laptops would run like Windows XP on my 10 year old Dell XPS D333... it's a mirical I even got Windows XP on that hunk of junk!

bigotry+buzzwords=? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177696)

One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist.
Did he maybe mean 'open-source purist'? Because I don't see how the fundamentals (as in basic elements) of open-source software relate to open-source advocacy. I think he is taking 'fundamentalist' as it is used by the religious right, and applying it to certain parts of the open-source community. If that's the case he managed to combine religious bigotry and two instances of the same tech buzzword in a single mass generalization. Kudos!

Isn't Microsoft out to destory OLPC? (2, Insightful)

Wavicle (181176) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177698)

I have been shouted down several times here for objecting to the groupthink that Intel/Microsoft had some sort conspiracy going because the Classmate could run both Linux and Windows, but customers generally only wanted windows. I was informed repeatedly that "WinTel" was out to destroy OLPC.

So, here I am again to get beaten up by all the zealots... Ready for it?

THERE IS NO WINTEL CONSPIRACY TO DESTROY OLPC.

Intel just wants to sell semiconductors, no matter what software is running on it.

Microsoft just wants to sell software, no matter what semiconductor it is running on.

Flame away, but I think this development just proves my point.

Re:Isn't Microsoft out to destory OLPC? (1, Flamebait)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177740)

Stop playing victim for once, ok?

Well, it is clear there is no MS plot to destroy OLPC now that they have successfully embraced it, you are right.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2, Insightful)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177700)

You know, it's easy to read into this and turn this into a flame war against the current OLPC Execs, but the reality is that this was probably a better solution in the long term of getting the machines into the hands of the needy children.

After all, the former head of Microsoft is a well known advocate of African public health and education. It's possible that aligning the OLPC Foundation with Microsoft also would align them with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which would be a perfect avenue to get the machines out to the people that actually need it.

If the former exec left because he didn't want to "be associated with the devil", that's pretty bad. And certainly goes against the aim of the machine to begin with.

I think people need to be less about "THIS MACHINE NEEDS TO BE OPEN SOURCE!" and more about providing help to the kids in Africa, clearly something that isn't doable with the direction they were taking.

OLPC = Often Loony, Politically Correct (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177748)

There are food riots going on across the world, and people are seriously arguing whether impoverished children in developing countries should have Windows or Linux installed on their first laptops? And what about the disposal issue?

I think the project suffers from a lack of introspection and (especially) sense of humor. Everything is deadly important, and you are either with us or with the reactionaries. Contrast this with Larry Wall, for example, who came up with an alternative acronym for Perl: "Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister." It showed that Wall acknowledged some of the criticisms/weaknesses of his project, and that those were kept in mind.

Re:Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2, Insightful)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177760)

windows = costs more = less kids in Africa get helped.

Re:Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177794)

That's not necessarily true, especially if the Gates' could get the OS for cheaper, heavily discounted, or just subsidize it themselves.

This is why even more openess is needed (2, Insightful)

dgym (584252) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177712)

This wouldn't be a problem if the hardware was open, the company would just be forked and OpenXO would be available to those that want it.

As it stands this project seems doomed, maybe not from the point of view of getting a laptop to a lot of children, but the original goal was to get an enabling device to a lot of children and was a far better idea.

Re:This is why even more openess is needed (0)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177736)

The device does not need to be "open" nor does the software.

Win98? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177726)

I assume he's talking about Windows 98?

There's no way that Vista or XP "Runs Well" on that device. No way.

Re:Win98? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177916)

256 MB Ram, 433 MhZ processor. Windows 2000 ran fine on computers with only half those specs.

Re:Win98? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177928)

Even without swap?

who wins? (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177728)

So he says Sugar should be ported to windows, may I ask who exactly wins with this? The result will be a xo with the same interface but that will run windows instead of Linux. I guess the intent is to make Microsoft happy, to ensure that the third world countries stay dependent to windows and obviously to raise the cost of the OLPC. So, Mr. Negroponte, why would you or anybody want those things to happen?

Re:who wins? (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177856)

> I guess the intent is to make Microsoft happy

Exactly. If Microsoft is happy then a lot of obstacles vanish. If Microsoft isn't happy a lot of obstacles appear, deals never finalize, etc. They are the 800lb gorilla in the room and you can't ignore them.

My guess is this outcome was planned from the start. My guess OLPC got from us (us being the OS/FS crowd) exactly what they wanted. Which was exactly what Asus got. Microsoft's attention.

Both wanted XP really really cheap. Both knew that the most reliable way to get it was to wave the Linux flag and prove viability. As long as OLPC looked like vaporware Microsoft was perfectly content to allow RedHat and a bunch of idealistic volunteers to waste their time developing software to run on it. Once they shipped working hardware and showed every sign of shipping a lot of units Microsoft had no choice but to offer up XP to keep their monopoly position. OLPC knew this would happen and almost certainly planned on this outcome from day one. Had they really planned on staying with the Penguin they would have used an ARM based one chip solution and saved a lot on the 'ol power budget. The ONLY[1] reason to insist on x86 compatibility is keeping the door open to Windows.

Note that most of the same applies to Asus except they were producing in partnership with Intel as a flagship for their new low power chipsets so using an ARM wasn't an option. From day one they were including all of the drivers for XP with each unit with the expectation many/most would be reloaded after purchase. And note that just as soon as they demonstrated volume sales[2] they used that to negotiate a really sweet deal for XP. I kinda doubt even Dell got prices on XP so low they could sell Windows and Linux for the exact same price except they toss in 8GB of flash as a bone to the poor saps who buy soon to be abandoned Linux version.

[1] Remember that OLPC lacks the excuse of needing the x86 only Flash plugin since they don't ship it.

[2] To be fair, the original plan was to retail for $199. When that didn't work it probably made business sense to rethink the Linux decision since $500 machines do have the margin to cover a Windows license.

Re:who wins? (2, Interesting)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177944)

My guess is this outcome was planned from the start. My guess OLPC got from us (us being the OS/FS crowd) exactly what they wanted. Which was exactly what Asus got. Microsoft's attention.



If true, then idealistic hardware and software designers need to remember this example the next time they are approached by someone like Negroponte. I have no problem with helping kids but it's starting to sound to me like the open source talent was cynically used to attain this end.

This just has to be a reverse MS double psych out (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177746)

Since it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to ship a Windows XO to a developing country--none--nada--zero--I have to think that Negroponte is simply pulling an MS.  You know, act like your all Mr. Cooperative and let the other guy expend resources to his heart's content, and then whammo! you pull the rug out from under them.

This way he can placate whatever board members MS has paid off, but when the time comes he can pull out a laundry list of requirements that MS has not met--like source code, for example.  And then it's, "oh man I'm so sorry I reeeeally wanted this to work for you".

XO: Best Laptop for Windows (5, Funny)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177766)

If Windows runs well on an XO laptop, then that makes the XO laptop the best PC in the world. Because I've never seen Windows run well on any other machine.

Maybe it "runs well" because it doesn't run at all. Probably the only way to get it to run in a "secure mode", anyway.

I couldn't agree more (4, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177784)

One can be an open-source advocate without being an open-source fundamentalist.

How true, how true. I couldn't agree more. Open source is like so many things (human rights and the lead free nonsense come to mind) where some people go overboard and just take it way too far. I mean, sure, having your kid chew on a hunk of lead isn't going to be good for them. For one thing, it's not very nutritions. But some people take this way too far, and say that something that is 98% corn syrup with only a trace of lead is just as bad.

Humbug.

I think it is perfectly possible to be an open source advocate without getting all fundamentalist about it, just like you can support human rights but not get too worked up about the occasional state sponsored rape, torture, genocide, or whatever. The important thing is that you advocate the right side on the broader issue, not that you pay any attention to any specific exceptions.

And besides, what's the big deal about open source anyway? Big deal.. It's not like it was free software, or anything.

--MarkusQ

Mac OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23177832)

Wasn't this the same guy that dissed Mac OSX?

Re:Mac OSX (2, Funny)

Blackbrain (94923) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177882)

Yes he did. Negroponte is very insightful.

No big deal (5, Interesting)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177848)

When this constructionism project started and they were testing laptops in Cambodia I'll bet they were running Windows. Everyone needs to keep in mind that its not about the laptop or the software but the educational project. Arguably Open Source Software and the ideology of the project go hand in hand, but one is not absolutely necessary for the other.

I read the letter on the OLPC site and the article about Windows running well on the XO, but I couldn't get to the article that mentioned flash. Flash in my opinion is the scourge of the internet these days, and don't go off on a youtube rant, internet video and streaming codecs were available before flash.

From what I've read nothing has really changed, Windows on OLPC was in the works and it doesn't mean that linux will be dumped. So much for the sensationalist headlines. You have media outlets and scumbag corporate leaders who will juice this for all its worth but really it means nothing.

I will say that it appears from Negroponte's message that there may be some friction between the Sugar developers and Negroponte probably concerning the porting of Sugar to Windows. He is welcome to his view but really it has absolutely nothing to do with Open Source Fundamentalism.

If the open source developers of Sugar are balking at porting their work to Windows it should be no surprise, unless you've been living in a vacuum for the past 10 years. The Microsoft Corporation has not only been found guilty of using illegal business tactics to destroy competition in the market to maintain their ludicrous profit margins but they have also been on a non-stop PR harassment campaign specifically targeted against the same developers who wrote Sugar.

In the end it matters not, if Negroponte wants Sugar on Windows all he has to do is ask that wealthy corporation to invest some of their ill gotten gains in porting the open source code themselves. After all, its not like Microsoft's developers aren't used to leeching off the open source community to support their proprietary products. What would be interesting is seeing the response he gets to using open source code in a high profile project considering Microsoft has labeled it a cancer.

To think... (1)

decriptor (762523) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177886)

I spent all that money on a core 2 duo and all I really needed was an OLPC. I could have saved a ton.

Microsoft wins again... (0)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 5 years ago | (#23177908)

...and developing nations loose. Let's face the music: Microsoft is not getting Windows running on the XO out of the goodness of their heart. Developing nations will soon be able to enjoy the same privilege that so-called developed nations have: paying the Microsoft tax. The next thing I expect to hear for Negroponte is that Windows will account for 60% of the Eee^H^H^H XO's sale.
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