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Opera Running on the OLPC

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the music-in-the-strangest-of-places dept.

193

An anonymous reader writes "The Opera developers have ported their browser to the $100 laptop. Håkon Wium Lie writes: 'Seeing Opera run on the OLPC for first time was a revelation — no browser has ever been more beautiful. The resolution of the screen is stunning (200dpi) and Opera makes the most of the embedded DejaVu fonts.' Claudio Santambrogio writes: 'Opera runs beautifully on it. The machine is not really the fastest, but Opera's performance is excellent — the browsing experience is beautifully smooth: all sites load fine and quickly, and even complex DHTML pages with heavy animations do not suffer.'"

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I still want one (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300316)

Great. So when can we buy one?

When can we buy one at 3 times the target price to make a donation to poorer countries?

Will this only ever be vapourware over here?

Re:I still want one (1)

mwanaheri (933794) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300488)

Oh yes, I'd also be happy to get one. Perfect for traveling on trains.

Re:I still want one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300770)

Me too. I want something light and cheap that will let me edit text files and maybe use SSH on the move. THERE IS NO SOLUTION. $100 is what, £50 these days? Compare that to a Pocket PC (which will cost at least 5 to 6 times that and won't have a keyboard) and it looks really nice. Hell, you could double or triple the price of the OLPC to sell to the developed world and it'd still be a fantastic deal.

Re:I still want one (3, Informative)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300502)

Here's a little snippet of the availability of the OLPC [wikipedia.org] . It's looking really good for us OLPC supporters. I was in contact with one of the designers a few months ago, and he said by March '07, they would be down to about $60-$90 to produce and that they might even start wholesaling them if they could get the proper government contracts in Pakistan. It's looking very interesting from an economist's standpoint.

Re:I still want one (4, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301038)

An interesting thought here is how useful it might be as an accessory to a normal desktop or laptop?

It'll certainly make a much nicer ebook reader than most which are already available.

I'm surprised that companies like vTech and Leapster haven't looked into licensing these.

William

Re:I still want one (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300992)

Man, I would drop $200 on this just for the browsing and ebook mode. Heck, I'd probably buy two at $200 a piece so my daughter could have one too. I'm a little suprised its taken this long, and that there isn't a drive to make them commerically as well. Make the ones "for sale" to us commoners in black or white, to distinguish from the governmentally purchased ones if you're concerned about resales.

What a bargain!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17302730)

Wow... they are going to sell a $30 browser for a $100 laptop.

Amazing how the puling, drooling morons gnashing their teeth and tearing out their hair over a so-called "Microsoft Tax" will jump for joy over an OS-X tax and an Opera tax.

Sure is hard being an anti-MS zealot. There are so many contradictions in their logic to ignore... but it's exactly like any religion in that respect.

furst post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300328)

I AM A FISH!!!

frist psot! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300348)

hot grits!!!

screen is stunning? (3, Funny)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300376)

I paid 700 quid for my monitor. The entire laptop is 100 USD. How exactly is the screen "stunning", in the slightly breathless tone of the article?

Re:screen is stunning? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300494)

I paid 700 quid for my monitor. The entire laptop is 100 USD. How exactly is the screen "stunning", in the slightly breathless tone of the article?


It's 200dpi. Your 700 quid monitor isn't.

Re:screen is stunning? (3, Informative)

ambrosen (176977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300514)

You almost certainly don't have a 200ppi screen. My mobile phone has one, and it is indeed stunning. My laptop has a premium 127ppi screen, and that is nice, but 200ppi does look very good on a computer.

Re:screen is stunning? (3, Interesting)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300542)

If 200dpi is so good, how come regular LCD monitors are *not* 200 dpi, when a 100 USD *entire laptop* can have such a screen?

Re:screen is stunning? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300570)

Because it is monochrome, and they are not.

Or rather (as I understand it) it has two modes - one monochrome, reflective high DPI, and one colour, backlit and "normal".

Re:screen is stunning? (5, Informative)

crow5599 (994334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300586)

The OLPC's screen has a black and white 200dpi mode. I imagine that has something to do with the price.

Re:screen is stunning? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301816)

Can you then explain why the pictures in TFA shows a colored screen? From the posts I've read so far, it seems that this 200ppi resolution is only in black and white, so the statement in the article that the image is "stunning" because of that "200ppi" resolution is really misleading.

Re:screen is stunning? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17302500)

Can you then explain why the pictures in TFA shows a colored screen?

That's African American screen, bigot.

Re:screen is stunning? (2, Informative)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301436)

Because of the amount of horsepower that would be required to drive such a display. For instance, a typical 19" 4:3 monitor at 200ppi would be a 3000x2400 display.

Re:screen is stunning? (3, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301568)

If 200dpi is so good, how come regular LCD monitors are *not* 200 dpi, when a 100 USD *entire laptop* can have such a screen?


Because "regular LCD monitors" don't have a special, black-and-white, high-resolution mode designed for use as an e-book reader under a wide variety of conditions with a small screen, instead being optimized for bright, vivid color use, and dealing with readability by making bigger screens.

Re:screen is stunning? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302548)

The screen on the Nokia 770 is 225dpi and it looks stunning. IBM made some 23" workstation monitors that were also 225dpi, but they pre-dated dual-link DVI so they used two DVI inputs and Xinerama for a single screen.

At that resolution, you don't need anti-aliasing, because you really can't see anything much smaller than a pixel. The 770 comes with Opera as standard, and it really does look amazing. I use mine as an eBook reader quite a lot (hats off to the FBReader guys); it's not quite as good as paper, but it's not far off and the convenience of being able to carry a lot of books in a jacket pocket makes up for it in a lot of situations. It's ideal for flying when space is at a real premium; I can load enough books to last me several weeks onto something that fits in a pocket.

overrated? (1, Offtopic)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300518)

How exactly is my article over-rated, when there are no ratings on it?

It's a shame the meta-moderation process doesn't let you know the article score when the moderation was given, so you can catch out improper uses like this.

(I await this post being marked off-topic...)

Re:overrated? (2, Funny)

xiong.chiamiov (871823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300808)

It's over-rated because, well, that's a moderation. If I want to mark you down, but you're not really a troll or flamebaiter, I just mod you overrated.

Re:overrated? (0, Troll)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301214)

I think that's a mis-use of the moderation system.

As I understand it, the mod system is designed such that it does not express the readers *opinion* about the *subject in hand*.

It expresses an opinion about the *post itself*.

So over-rated means what it means - and to use it for something else is actually to subvert the mod system and perhaps use it to express your opinion about the matter in hand.

That mis-use happens chronically with the troll/flamebait mods.

Re:overrated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300816)

Maybe because you used your karma bonus to crow about how much money you wasted on your bloody LCD? You don't get to start at Score:2 for free, you stupid git.

Re:overrated? (1)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301238)

This is why we need a "Twat (-1)" mod...

Re:overrated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301002)

You got owned in the taint yo!

Re:screen is stunning? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300532)

Technology moves on....

I paid over EUR1600 for my LCD monitor, back in the day.

200DPI is very high resolution for a monitor, 2/3rds that of the 300 DPI considered acceptable for print. Add in subpixel rendering, and it means the screen should near enough be clear enough to read comfortably. Due to windoze brain-damage, lots of computer users still think in resolution-dependent pixel sizes.

But on a monitor, a font that is 10 points high (a real-world unit) should be the same height on a 640x480 display and a 2048x1560 one. It should just be far clearer on the latter.

Re:screen is stunning? (3, Informative)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300932)

The 200DPI is with sub-pixel rendering. The OLPC's LCD has a colour mode and a hi-res mono mode.

You're right, a "point" is technically 0.35277... mm (and is the standard measurement unit in PostScript) but the definition has become altered by popular usage so that 1 point now means 1 pixel on screen.

I usually put the line
/mm { 360 mul 127 div } def
near the beginning of all my PostScript documents. Then I can write things like 10 mm 10 mm moveto.

I hope that the OLPC people stand their ground and refuse to allow a closed-source browser, however beautiful it may look, anywhere near this thing. For one thing, it's the thin end of the wedge; the world and his cat will be wanting their slaveryware on the machine. For another, it's the absolute antithesis of what the OLPC project is about; everything on the machine must be open if we're not to be encouraging dependency.

Re:screen is stunning? (1)

mccoma (64578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302406)

why worry about a closed source browser when they already have closed source drivers. that would seem to be a more fundamental problem.

Re:screen is stunning? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17303122)

Drivers are innately hardware defendant. Their only purpose is to expose hardware functionality. Proprietary drivers are *really obnoxious*, because they have bugs that you can't fix, but they are - by nature - a short term problem. When that hardware gets replaced, there will be different drivers. Free drivers are much better, but it's not as important as other software, because other software lasts much longer than one hardware generation.

Re:screen is stunning? (1, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300554)


How exactly is the screen "stunning", in the slightly breathless tone of the article?


You'll be shocked when you see it.

Re:screen is stunning? (1)

AVee (557523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300794)

So where can i see it?

Re:screen is stunning? (3, Funny)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17303140)


Quick - somebody post a screenshot!

Re:screen is stunning? (1)

egr (932620) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300708)

Haven't you heard about price fixing [betanews.com] ?

Re:screen is stunning? (3, Informative)

iabervon (1971) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300824)

The screen is small in total size, probably has a lot of dead pixels (which are tiny, so who cares?) and doesn't have good color accuracy or consistency. There was an article a while back about how the OLPC project visionary went to an LCD manufacturer and told them that the OLPC screen didn't need any of the features that make LCDs expensive to make, and did need a bunch of different features. They laughed at him, and then he told them that he wanted quantities of millions, and they were suddenly very nice.

The number of LCDs which need to be produced to get a single LCD that works perfectly is exponential in the physical area of the screen, because defects are independant, based on the size of the crystal, and cannot be repaired. This factor means that a "stunning" tiny screen is a whole lot cheaper than a big screen of worse image quality. The OLPC computer is actually smaller than the pictures make it look, because the whole thing is uniformly child-sized.

Re:screen is stunning? (2, Informative)

Brazilian Joe (514100) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301094)

Color mode is not 200dpi, but new development technologies allowed it to consume just 1 watt. This new tech is eventually going to be used on all LCDs, as its development was meant for both power consumption *and* production cost reduction.
200 dpi mode is monochrome, e-ink mode for ebook mode, capable of being read comfortably even under direct sunlight. and yes, having pixels so small you can't see them without a magnifying glass DOES look nice.

Re:screen is stunning? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17303124)

Because technology moves forward.

Your LCD uses more or less the same technology your 5 year-old LCD uses. The OLPC display has a LED backlight, higher energy and light efficiency due to an innovative non-absorbing color splitting layer and has a 200dpi reflective mode (transmissive mode is also somewhere around 200dpi, but it's a little more complicated than that).

They are not really the same, so it's very hard to compare them.

the real important question (-1, Redundant)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300386)

can it run flash videos like youtube.

Re:the real important question (4, Funny)

trashbat (976940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300962)

can it run flash videos like youtube.
If so then let's hope they don't start blowing a load of aid money on two-litre bottles of Diet Coke and rolls of Mentos.

So? (1)

junglee_iitk (651040) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300390)

While that is good as it will bring OLPC users a browser, what good is it for Opera? It's not like OLPC is a potential market, or will become one in near future.

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300480)

A good deed is its own reward - even for companies.

If you don't believe that, believe this - respect has monetary value. It affects who will buy, the price of stocks, the confidence of shareholders, and lots of other unmentioned things. By doing this, Opera buys themselves some respect for fairly cheap which they can cash in later at a premium.

What Opera gets? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301052)

Choose the benefit you want:
  • Brand recognition: Lots of people will know Opera. By word of mounth, lots can buy it.
  • Market dominance: Opera will start to show up at web statistics. It can now get out of the "nobody uses that" class, and it could be the end of the "your browser is not supported" messages.
  • Charity: Yep, companies also do that. It is normaly a way of getting free publicity, or fix problems with their image, but they do.
  • It's free: It doesn't cost Opera anything, since (as you stated) those people wouldn't buy anything from them otherwise. And copying software is free. So, they have nothing to lose... Any possible benefit is a net gain.

Re:So? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301584)

A couple.
1. I am pretty sure Opera has a deal with Google for using it as the default search engine. More eyes = more money.
2. Standards. If enough people use Opera then people will have to code websites to work with it so more people will use Opera.
3. Why not? They had one on hand and it runs Linux.

Re:So? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301620)

While that is good as it will bring OLPC users a browser, what good is it for Opera? It's not like OLPC is a potential market, or will become one in near future.



If they become ubiquitous, compatible but more powerful machines for business, government, and industry (as well as private purchase) will be a market in the countries in which they are ubiquitous, as will software for such machines.

For that matter, so will OLPC software; both governments and the individual owners (not every schoolchild in the developing world is poor) will be interested in software for the OLPC once they are in place.

Not too suprising... (3, Informative)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300420)

Not too suprising - the browser built into the Nokia 770 is a customized Opera, it works great...

Re:Not too suprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301014)

Too bad it runs like shit on the Nintendo DS. In the grand scheme of things its performance really isn't that great. Consider there are browsers for the Amiga that work on a 7 Mhz CPU.

Re:Not too suprising... (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301370)

Also consider that your Amiga isn't swapping data to an external RAM cart (which is much slower than internal RAM), and maybe you'll understand why Opera DS isn't lightning-fast.

Try it with simple webpages that are not heavy in graphics, you'll see that Opera DS is quite fast. And my Nintendo DS + Opera DS fits in my shirt pocket, your Amiga doesn't.

And last, Nintendo DS + Opera DS is still cheaper than most Wi-Fi enabled PDAs too, not to mention their (usually) non-standard browsers. And Opera DS has both a SSR mode and a full-screen mode, which allows Opera DS to access the real web, not some watered-down WAP crap.

Re:Not too suprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301414)

> the browser built into the Nokia 770 is a customized Opera, it works great...

Unless you want to view more than one page at a time and it runs out of memory. Not blaming Opera, but the 770 is a dud.

Re:Not too suprising... (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302918)

Not too suprising - the browser built into the Nokia 770 is a customized Opera, it works great...

Beg to differ, but it runs like crap on mine. The 2006 OS improved the problems with constantly running out of memory, but seemed to make it crash a lot more. I can usually flip through a couple of article pages on /. before the OS freezes up and the device is forced to reboot itself. It also has a very tiny screen that often makes it difficult to select links. You tap and nothing happens. The only way to open the link is to hold down the stylus and wait for the contextual menu to appear. Opera may be great software but its implementation on the Nokia 770 -- alas, like most everything about that product -- leaves something to be desired.

Opera is better on any system (4, Informative)

CDMA_Demo (841347) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300424)

For those who don't know, Opera has been the browser of choice for embedded platforms like Qtopia because of it speed and small footprint. I'm glad to see its full potential finally realized.

Re:Opera is better on any system (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300566)

Whats interesting, and quite damming in its own way, is that the test systems had to have extra memory included because of the requirements of a certain other browser.

Re:Opera is better on any system (1)

badpazzword (991691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301378)

Whats interesting, and quite damming in its own way, is that the test systems had to have extra memory included because of the requirements of a certain other browser.
From the article [opera.com] :

Keep in mind that the additional RAM that now has been added mainly to allow the bundled browser to run, will be removed again.
Unless I'm mistaken, that refers to the Mozilla-based browser.

Re:Opera is better on any system (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301636)

Better on any system? Not on mine. It keeps crashing.

Why would I want a non-free browser anyway? I might as well be running Windows with that kind of thing.

Re:Opera is better on any system (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301714)

speed and small footprint.


I generally recommend Opera for old hardware, for that very reason. I remember one time my brother dredged up an old 486 laptop with next-to-no memory (by today's standards) and managed to get some version of Windows running on it. Just for kicks, we tried running several browsers, but the only one we could get to start in less than a minute (other than IE 2.0, which is literally unusable since it doesn't send a Host: header on HTTP requests, and therefore is unable to visit any website on a shared server) was Opera.

In the eye (1)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300442)

Håkon Wium Lie writes: 'Seeing Opera run on the OLPC for first time was a revelation -- no browser has ever been more beautiful. The resolution of the screen is stunning (200dpi) and Opera makes the most of the embedded DejaVu fonts.'

dpi? fonts? OK, but how does he get from an appreciation of those elements to a "revelation" about the "browser" "being" beautiful?

It sounds like he looked at some content on a high res screen with good fonts and said "wow. My browser is good".

But if his browser really is standards compliant, the irony is that the browser itself is invisible.

Re:In the eye (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300888)

There is no standard telling how a browser should look.

Not enough revert from free to proprietary (3, Insightful)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300486)

I think I'd be happier running free software, and giving free software to developing nations. Let them tinker, let them become experts, let them become self sustaining rather than start them on a path to dependency.

Re:Not enough revert from free to proprietary (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300562)

Opera is free, it's just not open source.

Re:Not enough revert from free to proprietary (1)

xiong.chiamiov (871823) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300838)

Mmm, you've obviously missed the "free as in beer, or free as in speech" lesson. You can't be on /. without knowing that.

Re:Not enough revert from free to proprietary (-1, Flamebait)

joebp (528430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300642)

All the free software browsers variously lack modern features or are of poor quality.

Re:Not enough revert from free to proprietary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300662)

Unfortunately, Gecko is far too big and bloated for the OLPC. It doesn't run good at all on the machine, from what I've heard (even requiring extra memory to be installed), and frankly, I don't think it has its place there. Opera might not be the best choice since it's proprietary (although it's the perfect fit for such a device given the available resources), but perhaps something based on KHTML could have found its way to the OLPC.

I think I'll post this anonymously... It's not good to bash Gecko on /. :(

Re:Not enough revert from free to proprietary (1, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300982)

I won't post anonymous, but state it here load and clear: Gecko is far too big and bloated. Period. Plus, Firefox 2 is to buggy to be taken seriously for any use at all and standards compliance seems to be defined as 'just be a bit better than IE'. Frankly, most recent Mozilla stuff sucks big time, like most other commercially sucessfull software. There it is. Now mod me down please.

But google.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17303144)

supports Mozilla foundation. They gave them $77M. The excuse was that mozilla redirected searches to google search. And in other words, google makes money when you search.

OTOH, google blacklists konqueror.

Go figure who is "friend of open source"!

Why not konqueror? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300872)

I use konqueror for most of my browsing, it's "free" in both meanings, comes with full source code. In other words, the ideal browser for the OLPC.

Re:Why not konqueror? (2, Informative)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301004)

Unfortunately, Konqueror is tied into KDE. You could maybe wrap the KHTML rendering engine in an alternate skin, but that'd be a huge project. It might be less bother to persuade Opera to open up their source code.

Wrong (1)

Proud like a god (656928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301438)

One word: Safari

Re:Why not konqueror? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301522)

It might be less bother to persuade Opera to open up their source code.
The problem is that the opera guys show NO intentions at all of releasing the source to their browser and make it truly free software.
As hard as it might be to build a complete browser around KHTML (or WEBKIT), as a free software solution it's at least doable.

Re:Why not konqueror? (0)

pajeromanco (575906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301546)

Unfortunately, Konqueror is tied into KDE. You could maybe wrap the KHTML rendering engine in an alternate skin, but that'd be a huge project. It might be less bother to persuade Opera to open up their source code.

Sorry, but no. Actually, khtml makes it extremely easy. Example [kde.org] .

Re:Why not konqueror? (4, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302276)

Actually, it is not. The Konqueror-Embedded [konqueror.org] project has had a working browser for some time. It does require QT or QT/Embedded, but then again so does the version of Opera they were testing.

Re:Why not konqueror? (1)

Derbeth (960686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301384)

Are you joking? Being "free" in "both meanings" does not make automatically make software good. The truth is Opera is technically superior to other browsers on this platform and chosing another solution only because it is "free" would be unresponsible. People running these laptops need efficiency and ease of use, and they don't care about the rest as long as they don't have to pay for it. Can't you realise that "free software" does not imply "best software"?

Re:Why not konqueror? (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17303010)

Who cares about "best"? Frequently, Free Software *is* the technically best solution, but even if it isn't it's still the best choice. Freedom is way more important than minor technical differences. Without Free Software, every user is dependent on the software developer for support. Will Opera add a feature to their program for the cost of getting a couple local programmers? Even if they would, is that better than helping the local economy?

A project like OLPC should be helping local economies become self-sufficient. That's not going to happen as a result of making users dependent on foreign software companies, and it's not something to throw away over a couple megs of RAM.

Oh I can answer that! (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301494)

Because then they will have to put a processor good enough to run Konqueror crap libs and they would have to include 512MB of memory in order to make it usable...

Yeah, that is why Opera is so cool, I used to use it in the Navigator vs Explorer days, then I moved to firefox and just recently I moved again to Opera. I use Linux and I have used Konqueror and all the resource hungry KDE things but I decided not to touch any Krelated software as they are very unstable and resource hungry (from debian, fedora, mandriva and ubuntu experience over here).

Re:Oh I can answer that! (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301782)

You seem to hate KDE for some obscure reason. I have used konqueror in a 16MB memory machine with no problem, I don't know where you get this "very unstable and resource hungry" thing. Of course, if you have the full KDE system in all its glory, with translucent menus and all that stuff, then naturally you'll need more resources, but KDE applications can be configured to run nicely in very modest machines.


The problem with Opera is that it goes against the OLPC spirit, which is to give children a system where they can grow and learn. Those who eventually become involved into software would naturally have a big incentive in learning all about their own computers. Opera doesn't allow that because it doesn't come with source code, not even the "shared source" that Microsoft provides.

Re:Not enough revert from free to proprietary (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302696)

Linux is the path to dependencies.

Unless Opera open sources its browser... (3, Insightful)

ezh (707373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300622)

Unles Opera open sources its browser, this news of little value. There is little chance closed source Opera will be installed on any standard OLPC distribution. The OLPC guys made such a huge issue out of close-source wireless Marvel chips, the only closed-source hardware component of the laptop that Marvel finally open source its drivers. So whoever thinks they would allow close-source browser on the 100$ laptops must be out of little mad...

Re:Unless Opera open sources its browser... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300918)

Okay dude, first off... Opera didn't come with it preinstalled. Secondly... Who the hell are you to tell people what they can and can't put on their computer?

Re:Unless Opera open sources its browser... (1)

ezh (707373) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300972)

I was talking about default install from OLPC. Anything else does not matter since people who are mainly going to use the laptop will not really care what browser they are using. You, on other hand, are more than welcome to install Opera on your own $100 laptop that is probably going to cost you around $400.

Site is slow - here's the text (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300648)

As A/C - I've plenty of karma.

Opera on the green machine

On Friday, I received a call from Opera's accounting department. That normally means trouble. My warning lights starts flashing.

There's a package for you waiting here. I'm looking for the invoice for customs purposes. Can I open it?

Sure, I said, hoping to quickly return to whatever I was doing.

There's no invoice inside. Strange. The value has been declared to be 100 dollars

100 dollars?

Yes. There's a machine inside the package. It's cute. Green.

GREEN? A GREEN MACHINE? 100 DOLLARS?

Yes.

DON'T MOVE. DON'T LET ANYONE ELSE SEE IT. LOCK THE DOORS. I'LL BE RIGHT THERE!

[slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org] --> [slashdot.org] -->

As the alert reader has figured out by now, the machine inside the box was a prototype of the $100 laptop from the OLPC project [laptop.org] . Since then, I've kept the machine close to me, but lots of people around here have seen it. The Opera geeks gathered around it at the Friday night beer bash. Someone suggested testing to see if the machine could keep running in rough environments. For example, would the rubbery keyboard withstand beer? Better not try.

Invariably, the machine gets attention. It attracts people more than any other unit I've seen. (Only Wii [opera.com] comes close.) People want to see it, touch it, and feel it. They want to know why the USB ports are placed where they are (on both sides of the screen), how the SD card can be inserted (the SD port is under the screen), and where the crank is. The crank, meant to generate power to run the machine, was part of an early design. It has been replaced with a foot pedal which is still under construction. However, it seems that people somehow got emotionally attached to the hand crank and want it back.

Once the machine is turned on, a Linux boot sequence appears. Red Hat is one of the sponsors and the machine comes with a tuned version of Fedora. New boot images are published regularly, and the first thing to do was to install the latest build. All of this is documented at the project's Wiki [laptop.org] . The next thing to do was to find a shell. The magical key combination is Alt-Shift-F11. However, the keys don't have function numbers and finding F11 requires counting. When you get it right, a shell appears and you can start typing. Typing would have been easier if my hands were smaller. That's a feature, not a bug.

For me, the next thing to do was to install Opera [laptop.org] . This is also the reason why the OLPC people are kind enough to send us an early prototype: we want to make sure the machine has a choice of good browsers. The browser is easily the most important application on the machine. In fact, a modern browser is more than an application — it could be the platform onto which OLPC applications are built, like Opera Platform [opera.com] is for mobile phones. OLPC has decided to only include open source software on the machine. I have discussed this issue at length with Nicholas [mit.edu] , Walter [mit.edu] and Mako [mako.cc] . At Opera [opera.com] , we think that what really counts is open standards. It's less important what runs inside the box as long as what crosses the wire is standards-compliant. They argue that, in an education project, students must be allowed to peek inside the box. That's nice, I say, but if Opera makes the difference between a usable or an unusable machine, perhaps you will reconsider?

Getting Opera to run [laptop.org] was quite simple. The statically linked rpm package [opera.com] of Opera 9.10 downloads and installs easily. Only the static version will run out of the box, as the box doesn't have Qt on it. Seeing Opera run on the OLPC for first time was a revelation — no browser has ever been more beautiful. The resolution of the screen is stunning (200dpi [laptop.org] ) and Opera makes the most of the embedded DejaVu [sourceforge.net] fonts. At the moment, we are struggling with a problem that seems to be caused by Opera. When visiting sites that use JavaScript heavily, the machine freezes intermittently. We're also trying out various builds of Opera on the machine. Qt is cute, but it comes at a price (in MBs, that is). We'll be playing with a non-Qt version and measuring performance in the time to come. Also, on our todo list is making an OLPC skin.

Needless to say, I'm a great fan of the OLPC project. The altruistic nature of the project is compelling. Giving children in the third world access to information through a durable machine without paying the MS-tax is all good. However, I want no less for my own children. Many kids in the first world will ask their parents for laptops this Christmas. Should their wish be granted? Will they be better off with $1000 (including MS-tax) laptop? I think not — we should give them $100 laptops instead, like the children of Massachusetts have been promised [mit.edu] . At a global level, kids in rich and poor countries would be using the same machine. At a local level, the children of rich and poor parents would be using the same machine. As such, the machine will be an equalizer. And our kids will be spared a bleak future in the MS-Office tar pit.

Re:Site is slow - here's the text (2, Informative)

nicomen (60560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300690)

Mirror: http://opentheweb.org/olpc [opentheweb.org]

Title is misleading! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300706)

I was expecting to see Opera running on one of the children... :(

small footprint? (1)

zesty42 (1041348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300730)

Just an honest question- why wouldn't they use something like Dillo [dillo.org]

I know it's basic and maybe that's not the exact browser they should use, but it seems like there should be a simpler solution given the system's limited resourses. I'm starting to get the impression that a lot of companies are just jumping on the OLPC bandwagon. I understand why the OLPC would accept any help it gets, but wonder how much these companies are really helping.

Re:small footprint? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300790)

Because usability and features trumps ideology, as it should in any project that wants to succeed.

Re:small footprint? (1)

zesty42 (1041348) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300996)

Agreed, usability and features should be at the core of the ideology. I guess it just depends on your goals...
features = minimal system requirements?
useability = open source?

Re:small footprint? (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301112)

For this project, Open Source isn't just a nice bit of ideology added-on as an afterthought. It's an integral part of the whole project. Some of the machine's usefulness is derived directly from the Openness of the software installed on it. If the software isn't Open Source, then it can't be field-maintained; it can't be built upon; and it can't be used as an example in an advanced programming principles class. That already makes the machine less useful.

Once somebody has decided to open a vegetarian restaurant, don't knock them for refusing an offer of free m**t. Especially not when there'll be an unknown price tag on the next delivery.

Re:small footprint? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301472)

The OLPC project is made to be as open-source as feasable. Not open-source at all costs. Much as I myself deride them for being techno-utopian airheads, they actually want to ship a decent product. Now. Linux and the other parts of the open-source stack is simply a means to that end.

small footprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301296)

Just an honest question- why wouldn't they use something like Dildo [dildo.org]
I know it's basic and maybe that's not the exact browser they should use, but it seems like there should be a simpler solution given the system's limited resourses. I'm starting to get the impression that a lot of companies are just jumping on the OLPC bandwagon. I understand why the OLPC would accept any help it gets, but wonder how much these companies are really helping.

Dillo (2, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301972)

Dillo is philosophically a perfect match for this project. One of its goals is to bridge the "digital divide" by providing a fast, low-footprint browser that can run on cheap or old hardware.

Unfortunately, current versions have no support for JavaScript or CSS, and character sets other than Latin1 currently require a patch. The next version will have Unicode support, due to the switch from GTK1 to FLTK2, and CSS is being worked on. But the project is bogged down due to lack of funding, and the main developers are having to spend time on other projects so they can do stuff like eat and pay rent. Jorge Arellano Cid describes it [wearlab.de] as a chicken-and-egg problem:

People in the embedded market want a small featured browser, but don't want to invest in it. This is: if we develop it they'll use it, but there's not much interest in funding the development.

From a business perspective it makes sense. Investing in Dillo to make a full featured embedable web browser of it, is a three years plan (and who knows what the Web will look like in three years). Now if they only need an embedable web browser that evolves into a full-featured one. They could start deploying it in a year.

Unfortunately, those gaps severely limit Dillo's suitability for a large-scale "here's all you need!" project. In an ideal world, OLPC would invest some cash in Dillo so that they developers could at least finish the port to FLTK2 and basic CSS support, which would go a long way toward making it fit with the project's goals, and maybe even get started on JavaScript.

mirror (4, Informative)

davek (18465) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300822)

The site has a robots.txt that doesn't allow a quick mirror. I had to cut-y-paste the image links into a terminal and use wget for each one.

http://6thstreetradio.org/~davek/olpc/ [6thstreetradio.org]

The 4 images are there, though, which is probably what most people want.

Re:mirror (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301664)

You're mirroring Opera.com? Um, thanks.

It's True. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17300828)

The hot chick with the ponytail poured $100 worth of grits down my pants. Thank you.

Opera is everywhere (2, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300856)

After playing with Opera for Nintendo DS since last friday, it doesn't surprise me one bit to see Opera running on the OLPC. After all, they even have a mobile version for cellphones, so they're used to make their software work with extremely limited hardware.

Most important image ;) (5, Interesting)

Nachtwind (686907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17300860)

http://people.opera.com/howcome/2006/olpc/img/SH10 6875-m.JPG [opera.com] Yes, that thing can display slashdot. Just what the third world needs, more geeks!

even mroe important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301054)

was that it passes the acid test.

can you say that about any other browser on the market today?

Re:even mroe important (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301232)

Yes: Konqueror has been passing ACID2 since ..... well, a long time ago. (Firefox 2 still mungs it up, quite badly).

Re:even mroe important (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17301504)

ACID2 is cute, but hardly represents a conformance test. It's not a comprehensive CSS compatibility suite, it's a test of graceful failure modes of CSS errors -- none of which is actually in the spec, but is more or less how the author interpreted a lot of ambiguities.

It does nothing to test how well or completely a browser implements CSS when the CSS is actually correct.

Re:even mroe important (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302132)

was that it passes the acid test.

can you say that about any other browser on the market today?

I don't know, maybe SAFARI, the browser that was first across the finish line for Acid2?

Not to mention iCab and (as another poster mentioned) Konqueror.

Another Reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17301424)

Another Reason to realize the superiority of Opera and switch over. Viva La Opera! Hey, its a form of art! :)

I don't think OLPC means what you think it means (2, Funny)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302384)

Opera Running on the OLPC
The PC in OLPC does not stand for Personal Computer. If it was
Opera Running on the One Laptop Per Child
the problem with this title would be obvious. It's bad form to rearrange other peoples' acronyms, so
Opera Running on the One-Per-Child Laptop
is right out. I suggest:
Opera Running on $100 Laptop

When accounts conflict, only report the nicer one. (1)

blueroo (553454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17302510)

"Opera runs beautifully on it. The machine is not really the fastest, but Opera's performance is excellent -- the browsing experience is beautifully smooth: all sites load fine and quickly, and even complex DHTML pages with heavy animations do not suffer." - http://my.opera.com/csant/blog/2006/12/18/opera-on -the-olpc [opera.com] "At the moment, we are struggling with a problem that seems to be caused by Opera. When visiting sites that use JavaScript heavily, the machine freezes intermittently." - http://people.opera.com/howcome/2006/olpc/ [opera.com] Discrepancy anyone?
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