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OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1" Comes To Europe

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the can-i-play-tictactoe-on-that dept.

Software 134

Christoph Derndorfer writes "Last year OLPC's XO-laptop was among the hottest Christmas gadgets thanks to the organization's G1G1 program, where you could donate $399 to give one XO-laptop to a child in the developing world and receive one yourself in return. However in 2007 the program was only available for US and Canadian citizens. This year's program, which takes off November 17, is also available to citizens in the EU member states, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey. This is certainly awesome news for all the OLPC / Linux / gadget enthusiasts here in Europe! P.S. Before anyone asks, these XOs will come equipped with the child-friendly Sugar platform, which is based on Fedora 9, and not Windows XP."

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FRIST PSOT!!! (-1, Offtopic)

michaelmuffin (1149499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725607)

lalala!

KIKE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726135)

KIKE KIKE KIKE

If and when I get a job... (2, Insightful)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725695)

If and when I get a Job after being laid off due to the bum economy I'll really think about this. It's a great program and I'd love to tinker with one.

Re:If and when I get a job... (5, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725829)

If and when I get a Job after being laid off due to the bum economy I'll really think about this. It's a great program and I'd love to tinker with one.

Don't worry. The OLPC computer gives you the tools to overcome your low social class, enabling you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and find myriad possibilities in today's globalized, technological market.

Re:If and when I get a job... (3, Funny)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725967)

Don't worry. The OLPC computer gives you the tools to overcome your low social class, enabling you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and find myriad possibilities in today's globalized, technological market.

Yes with the OLPC's help it will only be a matter of time before the wealth from the world's top 1% trickles down to you! Then with the crumbs that drop from their mouths you can feed your family!

Re:If and when I get a job... (3, Insightful)

horatiocain (1199485) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726719)

Don't worry. The OLPC computer gives you the tools to overcome your low social class, enabling you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and find myriad possibilities in today's globalized, technological market.

Yes with the OLPC's help it will only be a matter of time before the wealth from the world's top 1% trickles down to you! Then with the crumbs that drop from their mouths you can feed your family!

Honestly? This is funny to you? Here we have a project operating in the wealthiest nation on Earth which attempts to balance out the logarithmic income discrepancy between the first and third worlds, and you're reframing its ideal outcome - competing in a global information economy - as 'feasting on crumbs'? What the fuck is funny about this?

You're a sad person.

Re:If and when I get a job... (5, Insightful)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727699)

He was talking about the fact that this 'trickle-down' bullshit is completely bunk. And, frankly, we have bad enough income discrepancy in the first world. We need to fix our own problems - however, I have no problem with solving both concurrently.

Re:If and when I get a job... (1)

bXTr (123510) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729419)

Yes with the OLPC's help it will only be a matter of time before the wealth from the world's top 1% trickles down to you! Then with the crumbs that drop from their mouths you can feed your family!

There maybe something dropping from somewhere, but it will not be, and it will not come from, what you think it will.

Re:If and when I get a job... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725837)

How about getting off your arse and looking?

I hear walmart is hiring. :)

Re:If and when I get a job... (2, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726137)

If you had one you could be browsing Monster or Dice for a new job right now!

That's the catch-22 of OLPC.

Re:If and when I get a job... (4, Interesting)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726799)

Funny story,

I got laid off at the beginning of the year and took the time to come up with this, with my now-copious amounts of spare time:

www.gentooxo.org

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725719)

Porn

How relevant is it now? (5, Insightful)

glop (181086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725767)

Hi,

I don't mean to troll.
I am not sure how well the device has aged with all the new netbooks that are available.

A few features that remain unmatched:
  - screen that works in sunlight
  - ebook mode (although I can read a PDF on my EEE and it looks great)
  - more rugged than other computers
  - battery life (?)
  - hand crank (did they provide it this time?)
  - wifi mesh

Also, is there a guarantee that the OLPC you donate will not be running XP? I would not be too happy about sponsoring Microsoft...

I am not shopping this year but I am afraid I would not choose the OLPC. Maybe I would get it for my kid though, I wonder.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725945)

Also, is there a guarantee that the OLPC you donate will not be running XP? I would not be too happy about sponsoring Microsoft...

This needs to be said! There is obviously no such guarantee, as Colombia is getting Windows-XP based OLPCs... And soon others will follow...

Boycott OLPC!

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

popo (107611) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728131)

The problem is though, that XP would be much, much more useful to teach young kids than the absolute horror story which was the OLPC flavor of Linux.

Not only was the OLPC OS an atrocity, but frankly -- if you were a poor kid in some Rio favela -- what would you rather know: Some obscure flavor of Linux which looks something like Microsoft BOB, or a global standard?

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

Hucko (998827) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728241)

But the global standard is like microsoft bob...

Re:How relevant is it now? (0, Offtopic)

uassholes (1179143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729553)

Bullshit.

Re:How relevant is it now? (3, Interesting)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726071)

If you're a kid, it may be a usable computer, but I'd advise against getting one for personal use. The sun screen is incredibly awesome and the hand crank is neat. If I could just pay $600 for an eee that could take variable power source and had the OLPC's sun viewable I'd totally do it (yes overpaying, but it would have incredible utility to me).

Thing is, it's a cheap computer (for obvious reasons), big, heavy, and has terrible battery life*

A steal at $200. Not so much at $400. This of course ignores the social impact. Getting one for a kid is not a terrible idea, my cousins seem to get sugar quite intuitively:-)

* Tested last spring. Software improvements may have changed this. Also no suspend to RAM at that time.

Re:How relevant is it now? (5, Informative)

Sir_Kurt (92864) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726769)

I one (actualy two) for the personal use of me and my family in the original G1G1 program. They arrived on time, are very robust little computers. Great battery life, super screen and with the latest software load, suspend to ram and other goodies work just great. We use them as our travelling computers. I loaded mplayer, opera and midnight commander on the little beast, built a cord so we could run it off the power plug in the car, and we are good to go. I bought a 120 gig usb powered HD for the little beasty, and ripped and loaded our dvd collection on the hard drive. Many hours of driving entertainment for the kids. The wifi is fabulous, and it never met a hotel setup it couldn't connect to instantly. For those hotels with hardwired ethernet, a $10 usb ethernet port does it all.

We are pleased.

Kurt

Re:How relevant is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25727773)

Buy a eee and give a OLPC!

Re:How relevant is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726107)

I would not be too happy about sponsoring Microsoft...

Luddite.

Re:How relevant is it now? (4, Insightful)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726119)

If you're buying via the G1G1 program primarily to get yourself a new notebook, you're doing it wrong.

Re:How relevant is it now? (5, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726579)

No you aren't.

The G1 still goes to someone who doesn't has, and you still has G1.

That's exactly right, no matter why you wanted to G1.

Re:How relevant is it now? (2, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726837)

If you're buying via the G1G1 program primarily to get yourself a new notebook, you're doing it wrong.

If you're buying a laptop you don't like and won't use much only for the sake of making the donation, you're also doing it wrong. The environment doesn't need more junk, if you don't want it then buy one you do want and give some other way. I think most here on slashdot use their computers too much to have one they're not happy with, it would get replaced.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727971)

considering how badly put together modern portable dvd players are (unless you buy the ones with out hinges) if the olpc laptop could play dvds (it can't that i'm aware of) it would be worth the money.

but it can't so since i lack any children. there is no reason for me to buy a 'learning tool' i know i'm not the only slashdotter without a family. i just don't see the g1g1 working for people without kids.

portable web browser? today's phones do that, and with better coverage.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

conlaw (983784) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729327)

since i lack any children. there is no reason for me to buy a 'learning tool'

You could buy two and give the second one to a disadvantaged child in this country.

Re:How relevant is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25729725)

If you're buying via the G1G1 program primarily to get yourself a new notebook, you're doing it wrong.

If you're buying a laptop you don't like and won't use much only for the sake of making the donation, you're also doing it wrong. The environment doesn't need more junk, if you don't want it then buy one you do want and give some other way. I think most here on slashdot use their computers too much to have one they're not happy with, it would get replaced.

Yep I replaced using a Windows system for an OLPC XO. Sugar is simpler and easier to use and the underlying Fedora 9 is very useful. I also have Ubuntu running off an SD card and the Open FirmWare makes it simple to multiboot.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726881)

Insightful? No, you could not be further from the truth, my friend. There's nothing wrong with looking to be satisfied through ways which help others. Ever heard the verse, "Jesus, for the joy set before him, endured the cross"? I'm not sure who started it, but somewhere down the line we believed the lie that if we in some way get satisfaction out of helping others (volunteering at the homeless shelter or something) that this, in some way or manner, decreases the value of the kind act we did. Not true.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

mewshi_nya (1394329) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727931)

while I fully believe that altruism is simply a form of selfishness, this is right; just because you do it for your own happiness doesn't mean you devalue the act. It's still the same act.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728069)

Selfishness, by definition, is pursuing your own happiness to ends which are a detriment of others. There is nothing wrong with altruistic acts to make yourself happy.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728367)

Selfishness, by definition, is pursuing your own happiness to ends which are a detriment of others.

Bullshit. That's honestly the stupidest fucking thing I've heard in months. Show me the definition of "selfish" that requires you to do harm to other people.

It's not in the definition Merriam Webster [merriam-webster.com] uses. And it's not in Wiktionary's [wiktionary.org] definition. And it's not in the definition at reference.com [reference.com] .

Seriously, how do you people come up with this bullshit? Fucking idiots.

If you're doing something to make yourself happy, you're being selfish. Whether it's altruistic or not.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729375)

2/10

Re:How relevant is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726203)

More importantly will they deliver them? With the netbooks you can get one now, in stores or via mail order. The OLPC debacle last year with money taken and orders never delivered should put anyone off after a bit of research.

Re:How relevant is it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726325)

$400 a reasonable price to pay for one of these devices for your own personal use, so technically you're not giving anything: the company is the one giving away its own profits. So no, you won't be given any guarantees, since they're the ones doing this out of the goodness of their own hearts.

If you want to give a gift, buy one, configure it the way you think it should be configured, and then give it to someone you think needs it.

$400 was almost reasonable last year (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728881)

Normally, products drop in price as competitors
show up. They are also now XP-tainted (even if not
shipping it in G1G1) and not the "new thing".
OLPC is going to be sorely disappointed this year.

They've never been the type to accept reality.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726339)

If they'd made these 1) any good, and 2) available at some point (in the UK) over the last 2 years they've been going on about, I'd have bought one and some profit could have been used to fund giving stuff away elsewhere. In the end I gave up and got an Acer netbook.

Re:How relevant is it now? (3, Insightful)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726669)

I am not sure how well the device has aged with all the new netbooks that are available.

The OLPC XO-1 is not and was never intended as a general-purpose netbook. Yes, it's possible to read Slashdot and play Doom and compile a Linux kernel on it, but that's only a side-effect. The hardware was specifically designed to be low-cost and geared towards primary-school-aged children.

- hand crank (did they provide it this time?)

In the developed world, a hand crank is even more a novelty than the XO-1 itself is.

It will come with an AC adapter suitable to mains power in your country; if you really truly need dynamo power, you can salvage one from an emergency radio.

- wifi mesh

Really only useful for collaborating with other OLPC users in your immediate vicinity.

I am not shopping this year but I am afraid I would not choose the OLPC. Maybe I would get it for my kid though, I wonder.

Now you're beginning to see things the way OLPC wants you to.

Re:How relevant is it now? (2, Informative)

schwaang (667808) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727137)

A few features that remain unmatched:
    - screen that works in sunlight
    - ebook mode (although I can read a PDF on my EEE and it looks great)
    - more rugged than other computers
    - battery life (?)
    - hand crank (did they provide it this time?)
    - wifi mesh

Among those features, some are still not fully realized on the XO, due mostly to software. Sunlight-readable, check. Ruggedness, check.

But the ebook mode is not nearly as usable as it could be IMO. For one thing, when you rotate the display orientation using the rotate button, the scroll buttons don't rotate to match. Also, it's surprising how little UI activity you can accomplish from the ebook mode. (The XO's ebook mode is when you fold the display to cover the keyboard. You have access to a four-way arrow pad, a rotate-screen button, on/off button, and the four-button game pad which is used to give you page up, page down.) In particular, you can't access any menus, or use arrows to move the mouse, or anything like that.

On battery life, the vaunted powersaving potential of the XO's micro-sleep ability is only just beginning to be implemented in the latest software. It is considered experimental. After x seconds of inactivity, the display dims and presumably the CPU naps until a key is pressed. This came out in the latest supported release. When the original G1G1 came out, you couldn't even do the normal Linux suspend/resume, which was a bit of a shock. Things have come a long way, and my guess is this will continue to be polished.

The hand crank concept was replaced with a pull-cord. It isn't provided to G1G1 users, who live amongst reliable electrical infrastructure.

The wifi mesh isn't useful for G1G1 users, unless maybe you GnGn for n > 1. The mesh is one way that application collaboration is enabled. From my reading, it seems to be problematic in the field, at least for fair sized meshes (> something like 12 users, could be > 30, I forget where this stands now).

Collaboration is one of the coolest features of the XO in its target environment, but typical G1G1 folks won't get to play much with it.

Going back to ebook mode, I also found it difficult to adapt to the Sugar journal when it comes to storing my PDF books for later review. Kids not habituated to typical file hierarchies may not have that problem. And of course you can put some variant of a standard Linux distro on it, there are lots of ongoing efforts at making that easier and better.

In summary - this year's G1G1 donors will be in *way* better shape than last year's, because OLPC is teaming with better order-fulfillment partners and because the OLPC/sugar software has begun to realize more of the XO's potential. But frankly, the software still has a ways to go, and suffers from the herculean strain of making modern software work on very limited computing resources with a development staff that is smart, dedicated, and amazing -- but not very large for the size of the task.

Re:How relevant is it now? (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#25730085)

The wifi mesh isn't useful for G1G1 users, unless maybe you GnGn for n > 1. The mesh is one way that application collaboration is enabled. From my reading, it seems to be problematic in the field, at least for fair sized meshes ...

My wife and I got a couple, plus one for a grandkid, and we did a bunch of experimenting. We were never able to find anything that we could call a successful collaboration. We don't consider seeing each others' icons on the screen and "friending" each other to be collaboration, since it doesn't actually accomplish anything. I spent some time poking around in laptops.org to get more info, but that didn't lead to any collaboration. Anyone know where it might be documented?

The grandkid did find a few games that he liked, but we didn't find any way that the games could be played in a collaborative fashion. We keep thinking that we missed something important.

OTOH, we were impressed by how much better the OLPCs used any nearby wifi access points than any of our "grownups'" computers. It can see and use our (and our neighbors') Apple airports at 2 or 3 times the distance that a Mac laptop can, for instance, and it can use wifi APs that various Windows and linux laptops can't successfully use at all. I wonder if we could get the OLPC's wifi software and port it to RedHat and Ubuntu (and XP and Vista ;-).

And on the third hand, I wish we could figure out how to use the OLPC's browser's bookmarks and history. It seems to have those features, but we've been defeated at every attempt. WTF is going on with those things? Are they documented somewhere that we can't find (in a way that makes sense to adults with computer experience)?

Child friendly (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725809)

Before anyone asks, these XOs will come equipped with the child-friendly Sugar platform

If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

Re:Child friendly (1, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725861)

If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

Pedobear?

Re:Child friendly (3, Informative)

Diss Champ (934796) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725949)

Microsoft

Re:Child friendly (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726763)

The greater majority of teens and adults.

Re:Child friendly (1)

torry_loon (1180499) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727723)

If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

Anyone with enough money to satisfy the greed of Microsoft's board members.

Re:Child friendly (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728001)

If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

Is this a trick question?

The answer, of course, is "anyone using a computer outside a grade school classroom."

The UI will be familiar and the core apps much the same in any working environment.

That is what makes Windows on the XO so compelling to the third world education minister - who wants to get as many of his kids as possible on track for the higher grades, college, trade and business school.

Still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725851)

...on my promised 100$ laptop. OLPC and Asus didn't deliver.

100 $ laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725877)

Costs were supposed to come down but it hasn't happened. The idea was great but project's failure has been its relatively small scale, partially because the market is artificially limited by the project itself.
It's ironic that for-profit company Asus has started a revolution with its commercial line of netbooks. Huge volumes and low cost in these commercial products can eventually deliver one laptop per child -project's goals by making computers cheap enough for the third world.

Re:100 $ laptop (4, Interesting)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726213)

I've never understood the coy attitude of the OLPC. Why do they go to such lengths to make it difficult for the average Joe to buy one of these things? A couple of years ago this would have been the ideal stocking filler for kid with nerd parents. Actually getting these devices into the hands of the geeks who were clamouring for one would have benefited the project in so many ways. For one thing, by allowing such a group to buy the things, they could have begun to cultivate a hobbyist development scene for the platform.

What possible harm could it have done to make it available to anyone who wanted one?

It's probably too late for the project now anyway. It's lasting legacy might be some awareness of the importance of IT to developing nations in addition to helping kickstart consumer interest in netbooks.

From now on this should be referred to as "pulling an Amiga". I.e. killing off a good idea by restricting access.

Re:100 $ laptop (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726401)

To make the OLPC laptop possible, they had to get help from big manufacturers. These manufacturers probably made it a condition that the market in high income countries won't be ruined by extremely cheap laptops. So you can get one of these laptops, but only if you pay a first world price for it. It doesn't matter that they have to build two for that price, as long as you pay the higher price and only get one.

Re:100 $ laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25730251)

This sounds like a rather silly theory. The market in high-income countries *is* being ruined by much better cheap laptops, like netbooks. Personal computers are a commodity and manufacturers don't make huge margins on them, so nobody is in a monopoly situation where they have a market to defend. And OLPCs don't compete with laptops directly anyway because they're so slow and limited in features - they would probably fit the same niche as today's netbooks, a lighter computer for those on the go.

Re:100 $ laptop (1)

tylerni7 (944579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726859)

They had some problems shipping laptops to everyone that ordered one, with a whole lot of people complaining about not getting their shipment. It wouldn't surprise me if they stopped shipment because they couldn't keep up with the demand.

Re:100 $ laptop (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729581)

They also complain that they haven't been able to drive prices down because they haven't been able to achieve sufficient volume.

Re:100 $ laptop (2, Insightful)

Brain_Recall (868040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727587)

One of the big concerns is the inability to provide large-scale support (hardware warranty, returns, software mishaps). The average-Joe would expect this, as a lot of them did even with the G1G1 program. Support for new schools usually came from people who were trained by the OLPC staff, and who continued support after the staff had left. It would be a logistical nightmare to try to provide support to thousands of people all over the country, something this non-profit didn't want to get involved with.

Hope they get the logistics right this time (5, Informative)

GBC (981160) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725929)

I am based in the UK but ordered an XO in the initial G1G1 programme and had it delivered to a friend in the US who then sent it on to me here in London. All I can say is that the experience was an absolute debacle. If you check the forums of OLPC News [olpcnews.com] you can see just how bad it was - repeated broken promises as to delivery dates, support staff who couldn't provide any answers and an end product less than what was initially promised (e.g. no separate power generating devices).

I was and still am a supporter of the OLPC; whilst the product itself is not aimed at me, even still I think it is a great computer and a lot of fun to use. I give them full credit as well for creating the "netbook" market from nothing. However, the G1G1 experience turned a lot of people off the OLPC organisation. It is hard to have confidence that they can execute their mission when they couldn't even get the logistics right for a first world country. I just hope we don't have a repeat of that this time around.

Yes, it was a cluster fuck. (2, Interesting)

VValdo (10446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726259)

As one who participated in the first G1G1 I can attest that they were totally unprepared to handle the orders. It was a huge mess. That said, it was eventually made right, the little green guy showed up, and although the initial software kind of sucked, the new build [laptop.org] is a lot, LOT better.

And as a bonus it came with a year of T-Mobile Hotspot access free, which is nice.

I presume the new OLPC this year will not look like the 2.0 "all touch [engadget.com] " dual-screen design previewed in May?

Actually somre more info re: the new G1G1 is here [laptop.org] . From TFA, looks like Amazon will be handling the orders [amazon.com] this time, which should be a major improvement. Is T-Mobile going to throw in like last time?

W

client of mine never got his, had to do chargeback (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727025)

repeated broken promises as to delivery dates, support staff who couldn't provide any answers and an end product less than what was initially promised (e.g. no separate power generating devices).

No shit. A client of mine ordered *TWO* G1G1 packages, and they never showed up. Repeated calls to the company resulted in: "we lost your order", but they couldn't even figure out how to refund his money. He ended up having to do a chargeback.

Given that loads of people never got theirs, what do you think the chances are that the *other* party in the whole "G1G1" scam*cough*, I mean, "program", got theirs?

I also bought in the US and shipped to the UK (1)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25730059)

My daughter's at school in the UK, so I bought one, sat through the delays and more delays (told her that there was a "late Christmas present" coming, but I wasn't quite sure when) then FedEx'ed it over to her. FedEx alone cost close to half the "value" of the thing - and then the UK bastards wanted her to pay customs duty too. Teach me to ship it in the original box, I guess...

Pandora is better (4, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725953)

Few years ago the OLPC was my wet dream, but it took soo long for it, to be available for buy, that it's plain crazy. The Eee and ASUS stuff appeared. But they are all plain junk - very heavy, and very short battery life. OLPC at least is rechargeable...

But, oh well, fortunately now there is Pandora, I have ordered one and got to wait until december to receive it. I think that Pandora is revolutionary to Portable / Personal Micro Computers as Sinclair ZX Spectrum was at its own time. I may be wrong, but there's something in it. So it might be true. Time will tell.

Re:Pandora is better (5, Informative)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 5 years ago | (#25725985)

ah, for those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's the website http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

Re:Pandora is better (1)

spinkham (56603) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729295)

That looks like a nice homebrew gaming machine, but a really crappy laptop. That is NOT a usable keyboard.

Re:Pandora is better (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726333)

Very short battery life??? My eeePC 901 claims 8 but gets gets a very real 5 1/2 hours running XP. I think that's pretty decent!

Re:Pandora is better (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726597)

When I saw this, I thought: why did this spam get modded up?

Then I saw the device, and thought: wow, that's small, but I probably won't buy one because that woman is wearing a top I can't see down.

Then I saw that it's a British company (?!!!!) that's making something useful, and it runs on an ARM processor with reasonable specs ...

Then this happened [youtube.com] , now I just have to persuade the wife -- after changing my pants -- that she should buy me one for Christmas.

Re:Pandora is better (-1, Offtopic)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727497)

Why oh! why have we switched from talking about a program that could benefit both the poor and the rich at the same time, to the latest fashion in techno gadgets?

Your egocentric attitude is killing me.

Mod idiot down (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25728495)

Spaming moron.
Besides the fact that its the OLPC that is heavier and has the shorter battery time.

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25725955)

I'm an anonymous coward. :

Also, this website sucks nigger tits

Dell Mini 9 on it's way... (1)

hm2k (763776) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726009)

Shame, I already ordered a Dell Mini 9.

I'm still waiting (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726025)

I'm still waiting for the Buy One, Taunt One program. Where you buy a laptop loaded with Linux, and another is sent to a Microsoft employee. Complete with the Firefox home page set to the last Slashdot story bashing Microsoft.

Naturally the packages will be addressed to:
Micro$oft,
One Micro$oft Way,
Redmond, WA 98052-6399 U.$

Ah (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726027)

so when they want our money, then it is Linux configured. Otherwise, they take MS. Hmmmm. Thanx, but no thanx. Besides, it is the west that is hurting bad.

Thinking about buying one (1)

The_DoubleU (603071) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726049)

I think the idea is great and thinking about buying one as a xmas present for a 5 year old kid. Is this something for a child that age?
What about pricing? $399 or â 312. I thought it would be a $100 dollar laptop, so I'm buying 4 (1 for me, 3 for OLPC)?
Did they beef up the spec or is this the same version with just a new OS?

Re:Thinking about buying one (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726171)

GFE.

But on a serious note - It's been said for a long time that the price point of $100 was an eventual goal, and that manufacturing scale did not allow it to meet that goal (yet). As such, the laptops cost roughly $200 ($188 to quote OLPC's information precisely) - hence the "Give 1, Get 1" program name.

As for the spec, this is the same thing with a new OS. That being said, the OS improvements are supposedly vast in the performance department.

Lastly, on the topic of giving it to a 5 year old - well, that really depends on the child. On the one hand, they may become bored with the somewhat slow processor. On the other, they may not have the experience to know that you can do most of the things it can do much quicker. Having purchased one during the previous G1G1 initiative (and having experienced NONE of the problems that plagued it, though it was sadly stolen), I would say that it would be a good bet.

Anybody still care? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726089)

G1G1 was great when people thought they were helping a non-profit promote free software and open hardware throughout the world. Now that that dream is over and OLPC is primarily promoting MS, who cares about OLPC?

Re:Anybody still care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726753)

If you'd RTFA, you would see that over 99% of all shipped XOs run Fedora.

Re:Anybody still care? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727009)

If you were doing OLPC because you're a zealot looking to promote your ideology, not to help out poor people, you were doing it so wrong it's not even funny.

you're a zealot too (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728949)

You sound like a zealot looking to promote
your ideology, not to promote software freedom.

(your ideology being that poor people should be
helped, and that this should be done by providing
them with free-as-in-beer electronic junk)

Making poor people depend on a for-profit
software vendor is an "interesting" ideology.

Re:you're a zealot too (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729483)

(your ideology being that poor people should be helped, and that this should be done by providing them with free-as-in-beer electronic junk)

Terrible assumption you've made. I think we should help poor people by whatever means possible (ethics permitting, of course... no killing people to help the poor or some crazy scenario like that, and no, it is not unethical to give them proprietary software). Free software, proprietary software... it's the same in my book. Use whichever helps your goals more.

So if you want to call helping the less fortunate an "ideology", then I guess I'm a zealot for that ideology. But I don't think that's a reasonable categorization by a long shot.

Re:OLPC is primarily promoting MS (1)

naz404 (1282810) | more than 5 years ago | (#25730167)

OLPC is *NOT* primarily promoting MS.

In fact, I don't think anyone at the OLPC core dev team is actively doing windows-related work on the XO. All work is being done on Sugar XO-OS.

It's Microsoft's problem to make XP work on the XO.

The MS thing was a compromise for governments who inisited on computers that run XP. Basically, it's more of "hey, if you want to run a different OS on the XO, it's your machine". The OLPC folks aren't the ones maintaining the XP version.

Switzerland!=EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726177)

Come on, it's not that hard....

Re:Switzerland!=EU (1)

Markspark (969445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726509)

and neither is Russia! but alas, i am not surprised.

Re:Switzerland!=EU (1)

Markspark (969445) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726535)

hehe, and after reading the summary, i realized, neither is Turkey.

Re:Switzerland!=EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726729)

Well, duh, Einstein.

That's why they wrote EU member states and Switzerland.

I don't know what is sadder: that you didn't realize "W, X, Y and Z" can mean "W and X and Y and Z" or that you seem to think Russia and Turkey are members of the European Union...

Too little, too late (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726185)

Great. One year after the US and Canada, we in Europe should be pleased to be elegible for a program that was a flop in the US, at a moment when the hardware was up to date.
Now OLPC wants us to get hyped for a piece of hardware that has become old and irrelevant, just because they couldn't include us at the moment when the offer would have been interesting because it consisted of some relevant hardware?

Sorry, for me it's again 'too little, too late'. If the OLPC would have included us last year, I would have gladly donated, but I'm sick of being percieved as a second-class citizen that only matters when there are problems to be solved.

Any way to hack it to get SVGA out? (2, Interesting)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726425)

I'd love to ditch my laptop and replace it with an XO just for the cool-value at conferences, but I need to give presentations. Any way to get SVGA out of it?

Re:Any way to hack it to get SVGA out? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726607)

This [209.85.175.104] (google cache - the OLPC wiki seems to be down) should help you (it's a bit clunky, but it works fine)

Re:Any way to hack it to get SVGA out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726687)

USB adapter. At least i think so. There is an article about that on their wiki (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Adding_USB_SVGA), but it's slashdotted.

Re:Any way to hack it to get SVGA out? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25729791)

I'd love to ditch my laptop and replace it with an XO just for the cool-value at conferences, but I need to give presentations. Any way to get SVGA out of it?

Use VNC or similar

Google is your friend! (1)

carvalhao (774969) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726717)

Fact check: Turkey is NOT an EU member.

Re:Google is your friend! (2, Insightful)

esampson (223745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726831)

Neither are Russia or Switzerland. That's why the list says 'EU members states, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey' instead of 'EU member states; Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey'. :)

Re:Google is your friend! (2, Funny)

sanso999 (997008) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727571)

That may be so, but they all take part in EuroVISION, so they have a foot in the door....

Disillusion (5, Interesting)

XB-70 (812342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25726829)

I bought into the dream last December. Sent in my money and got a unit in Jan/Feb (I forget). I played with the unit like crazy - learning all its idiosyncrasies. Then the whole OLPC program started to unravel. Key people dropped out. The O/S and Sugar had not evolved much as of June '08. OLPC sent ONE (1) person to Peru for a roll-out of thousands of machines - many of which had problems or needed upgrades. Intel got involved - and dropped out... and now Microsoft...

-I have managed to upgrade the software exactly twice - a complex, virtual dance of death if the upgrade doesn't take.

-The machine is DOG slow.

- The keyboard is useless for high school kids.

- There is not enough memory for much A/V.

- Connecting to WiFi is counter-intuitive if security is involved.

- There is no native printer support.

Quite frankly, I'm sceptical that this thing can fly long-term because other, full-fledged products are catching up (ASUS) to the OLPC price-point will fully loaded Linux on a better machine.

Now, the positives - battery life has been amazing. The screen is truly a wonder and great as a reader flipped over and turned sideways.

One issue troubles me: In this and other projects, no-one has solved the problem of supplying internet connectivity in remote areas. I know that Google is launching a constellation of Ka band satellites - but they will be commercial. One idea that I saw was to use a WiFi server on either buses or motorcycles. Local servers pump email etc. to the mobile servers which then dump the data when they get to a hot-spot - and visa-versa. Sort of a sneakernet for the back woods.

I'm concerned about the entire support infrastructure. Further to that, why don't these things come pre-loaded with regional Wikis and the full slate of curriculae as set out by the country involved?

Re:Disillusion (4, Informative)

Brain_Recall (868040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25727679)

I can't defend everything, so I'll just post some info. Full-scale OS updates aren't intended for its intended audience. I've had bad upgrades, but only when playing with the development branch (joyride). Activities can be updated easily with a new Sugar build. Sugar was just updated very recently. I would post a link, but the wiki is down at the moment. It has some changes, modified layout, better power management, and a control panel with a software updater. Wifi with security is a LOT better than it was. Mine syncs right up with WPA for me without any trouble. There are localized Wiki activities now available. And, these do often come specialized for the country they are being delivered to, including electronic books that they use. These are often special builds not available to the public, so you wouldn't see much of them.

Re:Disillusion (1)

grcumb (781340) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728357)

One issue troubles me: In this and other projects, no-one has solved the problem of supplying internet connectivity in remote areas. I know that Google is launching a constellation of Ka band satellites - but they will be commercial. One idea that I saw was to use a WiFi server on either buses or motorcycles. Local servers pump email etc. to the mobile servers which then dump the data when they get to a hot-spot - and visa-versa. Sort of a sneakernet for the back woods.

You've effectively answered your own question. Yes, it's early days yet where rural Internet access in concerned, and as you imply, there is no silver bullet. Just as it was in the early days of Internet in the developed world, it's a matter of choosing what's technologically appropriate for each particular case.

In my neck of the woods (South Pacific) we're taking advantage of a happy accident to get very low-cost VSAT access throughout the region [imagicity.com] . In other countries that I've spoken and/or worked with, the plan is generally to start with VSAT, then attack the necessary policy issues that need to be addressed in order to create a national ICT policy.

It's slow going, but the work seems to be paying off. Here in Vanuatu, we're already piloting the XO with a local NGO, and the Ministry of Education has indicated their intent to run a pilot of their own. We're explicitly linking the provision of Internet to the XO roll-out for obvious reasons.

In all, the process of liberalising the local telecoms market has taken about a decade, and we're not done yet. It's unfortunate for us geeks who always want tomorrow's toys today, but slow and steady really is the only way to go if you want things to be sustainable.

Re:Disillusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25728947)

Agreed - there are much better products at $400 now. If they'd just sell the things to make a profit, say, at $300 it'd be a viable competitor.

Selling at a premium price point only works when the hardware is something special. If they put the things in Wal-Mart at $279, sales would skyrocket - and thus they would have piles of cash to give them away wherever they like.

That's what they do now anyway - you don't actually purchase two computers, but one of them is shipped somewhere else - you buy one computer, with $200 profit attached, which is put into a pile of money to build more to send off to wherever. $400 is just too aggressive for what it is.

Think about it - if you go to Goodwill, you don't buy a coat so that an identical coat can be given away to someone who needs it. You go in and spend, say, $20 on some old records, a book, and a sweater, the profit from that goes into Goodwill's general fund, which then buys whatever is needed at the time - which is then given out. G1G1 is gimmicky nonsense that limits the charitable impact of the whole program.

"DOG slow" (1)

r00t (33219) | more than 5 years ago | (#25729001)

The hardware is nothing nice by 2008 standards,
but it isn't hopeless. It's like 1996 to 2000.

The problem is that a bunch of dumb-ass morons
decided to write the entire GUI in Python. WTF?
Then, since that wasn't stupid enough, they used
lots of message passing and SVG graphics.

I've never seen a good explanation or excuse for
this, or even an admission of the mistake. Sugar
developers do all sorts of nasty performance hacks
yet are unable to confront the real problems.

Too late, I might have bitten last year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25726901)

But now I have an EeePC.

Says it all, really.

Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25727095)

Last year I couldn't order one. Now I don't want to.

What is the different (1)

kentsin (225902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728085)

Why no info were disclose? Are there any different?

Last years's G1G1 does not count an success by some means.

Check out the price on ebay.

A Positive Story (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728421)

With all the bad experiences related, I thought I'd add my good experiences. Ours came a week before Christmas. It worked great. It is as fast and has as much memory as the email/imap/vpn/squid server used by one of my clients remote offices. The only thing that is too slow is the Flash plugin that runs Webkins - but I don't really want my daughter playing Webkins all the time anyway. With current releases, I get 5 hour battery life - better than any full size laptop at our house. The 10" screen is razor sharp and the sun mode and ebook mode are great. It is a big hit with the kids in the neighborhood. I use it myself a lot because I can curl up with it in an easy chair.

The bad news: It took some updating and playing to get to the above. The keyboard is too small for an adult, but USB keyboards work fine. Here are the things that made it slow as delivered:

1) The FFS2 filesystem is slow and eats a lot of memory. Running from a USB drive - even a fast 8GB flash drive - is much faster. Doing so is poorly supported as of yet - although there is a test project for a SDHC card OLPC distro based on Fedora 9. There are also Ubuntu ports to run from USB or SDHC card.

2) Adding swap space (via USB or SDHC card) is a big improvement.

3) The Sugar software is vastly improved in speed between the version delivered in last years G1G1 and the current 767. Each update brought speed improvements in Sugar. The applications were always reasonably fast (except flash plugin for browser and memorize).

4) The first update to support suspend to ram also removed power from the SDHC card without the proper hardware protocol, and then wrote over the partition table on wakeup. NOT cool. (Apparently fixed now. Moral - remove SDHC before testing base OLPC updates.)

Note that G1G1 will be distributed by Amazon this year. They should do a better job than the volunteers did in last years.

Re:A Positive Story (1)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 5 years ago | (#25728481)

I meant to say "overtaxed volunteers". It was simply a matter of biting off too much.

Yesterday's project, surely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25728819)

"Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that mattered two years ago."

Sugar's a horrible, horrible UI. It's Linux's Microsoft BOB. The OLPC hardware's largely been supplanted by eeePC-class laptops that deliver more bang for fairly equivalent buck.

Thanks OLPC for kick-starting a market segment, but, your day is done.

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