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How Classsmate PC Stacks Up Against OLPC

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the cheap-laptops-go-toe-to-toe dept.

Intel 284

lisah writes "While the One Laptop Per Child project pulled itself together and shipped its first Beta machines, Intel was busy developing its own version, the Classmate PC. Inevitable comparisons will be made between the two (especially since OLPC's chairman Nicholas Negroponte called Intel's move "predatory"), so Linux.com's Tina Gasperson and her kids took a Classmate PC for a test run to see how it does in the real world. The upshot? Good battery life, easy to use, and great with ketchup. 'The Classmate is so adorably cozy it make you want to snuggle up on a comfy couch or lean back on some pillows on the floor while you surf. Good thing wireless is built right in. Too bad the typical Linux foibles apply. The first snag was having to log in as root to check the system configuration because the Classmate wouldn't log on to the network. Something tells me most elementary and high school teachers with nothing but Windows experience aren't going to get that.'" Linux.com and Slashdot are both owned by OSTG.

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284 comments

Classsmate... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256659)

...the extra "s" is for extra class!

Re:Classsmate... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256691)

Newsss for sssnakesss, thingsss that ssslither.

Re:Classsmate... (2, Funny)

lisah (987921) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257557)

Are you guys making fun of my lissssp? ;-)

Re:Classsmate... (4, Funny)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257585)

I don't think so, where's the parentheses?

The test-drive displays massive ignorance (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256717)

Below is the comment I posted under the story on linux.com. For those too lazy to read it there:

After five days with three active kids, the Classmate PC still works, and shows relatively few signs of wear [...] We ran through the battery three times, but Classmate was running most of the time we had it; the battery life was pretty good, lasting at least two hours at a time.

Five days with three active kids? The fact that you believe that this utterly minor quantity of abuse is significant displays an utter ignorance of the situation in which the systems will be used. And two hours? After which point it must be plugged in? Kids in many if not most of the locations in which the systems will be used will not have access to an electrical outlet. I know this concept is amazing to someone who has never thought about life beyond the borders of the first world...

The ClassmatePC is utterly unsuited to use anywhere outside the rosy, warm and comfortable existence that we in the first world enjoy. I'm sure it makes a very nice toy for your children, however. Be sure to get back to us regarding its durability after they've drug that gigantic (for children) lug of a machine through the dirt on their miles-long walk to and from school every day, mm?

(You can see that I am just as charming in other parts of the web as I am here)

The first world displays massive ignorance (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256841)

"The ClassmatePC is utterly unsuited to use anywhere outside the rosy, warm and comfortable existence that we in the first world enjoy. I'm sure it makes a very nice toy for your children, however. Be sure to get back to us regarding its durability after they've drug that gigantic (for children) lug of a machine through the dirt on their miles-long walk to and from school every day, mm?"

Do third-world children really abuse what they own like that? Or is that the way a first world child would?

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256987)

Do third-world children really abuse what they own like that? Or is that the way a first world child would?


Do third-world children really have a choice? Many do not have a roof over their head and those who do live in horrid squalor with no toilets, electricity, running water or even floors. Their machines will get dirty just from exposure to these environments.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (4, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257297)

Do third-world children really have a choice? Many do not have a roof over their head and those who do live in horrid squalor with no toilets, electricity, running water or even floors. Their machines will get dirty just from exposure to these environments.

I'm not sure those are the children that the OLPC/Classmate are really being aimed for. Looking at the governments that are purchasing them, while they do have some poor areas, they're not exactly sub-Saharan Africa; I'm not sure that kids who lack electricity or a roof at home are probably going to be the first ones to get their hands on one. I suspect they're going to go to poor urban students, whose conditions are probably pretty deplorable by U.S. standards, but they're not dirt farmers either.

I'm pretty sure that the population of a lot of Third World countries supports this; they have fairly sizable chunks of the population living in crowded cities. The utilities may be old and unreliable, but it's not a shack-in-the-woods situation.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (2, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257407)

Even so, the conditions for the urban kids you mention are a lot worse than you might think [blogspot.com] . My point still stands.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (1)

Pentavirate (867026) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257569)

I lived all over Venezuela for almost 2 years. Almost everyone has electricity at least. They may live in a house made of plywood and corregated tin for a roof but they do have electricity. It's not as if they're living in caves. I've never lived in any other third world countries so YMMV.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257691)

And the kids in Dharavi have electricity as well. But it's a far cry from the reliable, stable power even the poorest kids in the U.S. enjoy.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257537)

I'm not sure those are the children that the OLPC/Classmate are really being aimed for. Looking at the governments that are purchasing them, while they do have some poor areas, they're not exactly sub-Saharan Africa


Of the six currently announced launch countries, three are in Africa, and two of those (Nigeria and Rwanda) are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (4, Informative)

tb()ne (625102) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257249)

Do third-world children really abuse what they own like that? Or is that the way a first world child would?

They probably don't. But their environment does. In contrast to the ClassMate, OLPC has no openings so that sand won't penetrate it. It also has a sealed keyboard so that water (read: rain) can be poured on it without damaging the laptop. OLPC was specifically designed to be used in a third world environment.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (2, Insightful)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257281)

I think the point was that 5 days with 3 kids in Tina Gasperson's cozy comfy home is hardly a test of ruggedization for normal use in a developed country let alone the conditions that may be encountered in a third world country.

Re:The first world displays massive ignorance (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19257597)

No YOU display massive ignorance... These laptops will all be resold by third parties on ebay... you OLPC nut-jobs are living in lala land.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (2, Insightful)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256917)

And them there are some good points. Added to which, they can't even get the permissions correct? Oh wait they aren't tailoring the OS to the hardware are they. I can understand when I install Ubuntu (or whatever) on *my* laptop that I have to enter a password to access the wireless (actually I don't, but that's a different matter), but if they are trying to build something for children and for education, the least they can do is tie the OS to the hardware (al la the OLPC laptop).

And as you said, they can only get two hours!? Thanks, I'll go back to lusting after the OLPC laptop (with a little extra storage space though thanks).

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256945)

"Below is the comment I posted under the story on linux.com. For those too lazy to read it there:" ...guilty as charged, dude. I admit I am way too lazy to read every comment you post - it's hard to justify, but y'know, I just have better things to do

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19257029)

Mod Parent Snark up as insightful.

Really grandparent post was just a flame and not worthy of anything but a flame attribution.

and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (2, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256965)

Hell I bet in a few years you will see them in casual pictures along the roadsides in ditches and the people who get them find out they have very little to do with improving their lives.

OLPC and this are feel good ideas when too much of this world does have clean drinking water and adequate medicine or food for the day.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (3, Funny)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257119)

OLPC and this are feel good ideas when too much of this world does have clean drinking water and adequate medicine or food for the day.

But how will we be able to exploit these populations for profit if we don't get them addicted to expensive electronic gadgets?

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257333)

But how will we be able to exploit these populations for profit if we don't get them addicted to expensive electronic gadgets?
Forcing them to make Nikes for 17 cents per month seems to be working so far...

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (4, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257445)

But how will we be able to exploit these populations for profit if we don't get them addicted to expensive electronic gadgets?

Everything about the XO (the actual name of the OLPC project computer) is open source. That includes both software and hardware designs. If these countries had the proper facilities, they could, and would be quite welcome to, build it themselves and keep the money in their own economy.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (1, Troll)

level_headed_midwest (888889) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257575)

But how will we be able to exploit these populations for profit if we don't get them addicted to expensive electronic gadgets?


The corrupt dictatorships that keep the countries third-world but live in massive palaces seem to have figured out that one, why not ask them?

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (2, Insightful)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257379)

So since they live in deplorable condition they should be kept ignorant so it propagates to the next generation?

These machines, at least the OLPC, are not designed to be time wasting game platforms. They are meant for education. Rather than have 5-10 paper books to carry around and protect from the elements you will have a small computer and your books will reside on a USB flash drive. You will do your assignments on the machine and zap them to the teacher using the wireless, or a USB drive.

Well, after thinking about it as I wrote this missive, you're right. When they find out they can't plaw WoW on their school property computers, they will throw them in the ditches and drop out of school.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (5, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257391)

OLPC and this are feel good ideas when too much of this world does have clean drinking water and adequate medicine or food for the day.
I think it was Smithsonian that ran an article about the impact of cell phones in Africa and how it improved people's nutrition.

It's long been too expensive to run phone lines all across Africa. However, once the mining companies starting throwing up cell towers, poor people got a hold of used cell phones on their own. Now they are lining up buyers for their crops in the field, instead of harvesting them, trotting them all the way to market, and then letting them rot in the hot sun.

I spent a 10 weeks with a poor indigenous family in Ecuador. They were more or less malnourished -- a 5-year-old looked like a 3-year-old. However, all their kids were in school. They brought home homework that they did in candle light in their open-air thatch-roof plywood-platform 'houses'. Poor people all over the world take incredible advantage of the meager tools they have in front of them. If they can talk to people in far away villages with an OLPC mesh network, they will. They will use it to communicate and improve their lives.

Most people in the world understand that education, whether it's how to hunt monkeys in the canopy, or how to speak English to guide jungle tours. It's only in relatively wealthy countries with enough infrastructure and social programs that people can afford to stay stupid.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (4, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257447)

*My* biggest question is "What are these kids actually going to DO with these computers anyway?" The sort of starry-eyed idealistic answer given by OLPC is basically "They're going to use educational software to learn, use the internet to better themselves, etc." But take a hard, realistic look at countries like Nigeria and THEIR experience [cnn.com] with an impoverished population gaining access to the internet. When poor Nigerians got access to the internet, they didn't use it to primarily to better themselves--they used it to set up scams, relay points for identity theft, etc. When you give a truly impoverished kid a computer, it's very nice to think "Well, he'll use that to go through years of education to get a job in a country where even IT professionals make a pittance." But, more likely, he'll see the MUCH more provocative possibility of using it to scam and steal from those with VASTLY greater resources than he has (i.e., us in the first world) with relative ease. Even if he can just scam, spam, and ID theft his way into $40 a week, it's more than enough to bribe local authorities to look the other way, feed his whole family, and buy himself access to a world which was way beyond his reach before. To him that's a good thing. To the rest of the world, it's a huge pain in the ass. In a way, it's a warped way of leveling the playing field and "redistributing wealth," but definitely NOT in the way the OLPC expects.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257633)

When poor Nigerians got access to the internet, they didn't use it to primarily to better themselves--they used it to set up scams, relay points for identity theft, etc.

You're not making any sense. They did better themselves (economically if not morally); the scams were the mechanism for doing so.

Sooner or later Nigerans will accumulate enough of their own wealth to want to protect it, at which point they'll crack down on the scammers themselves.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (5, Insightful)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257509)

OLPC and this are feel good ideas when too much of this world does have clean drinking water and adequate medicine or food for the day.

So lets not work on anything else until these issues are solved. What are you doing posting on slashdot, you should be out feeding poor children.

What do you say, you have more experience working with computers and would rather work on something you will be more efficient at than food provider. Tough, can't go educating people until everyone on the planet has food.

Re:and you don't OLPCs won't be laying unused ? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257649)

Hell I bet in a few years you will see them in casual pictures along the roadsides in ditches and the people who get them find out they have very little to do with improving their lives.

OLPC and this are feel good ideas when too much of this world does have clean drinking water and adequate medicine or food for the day.


You know, just like they say "it's not the gun that kills someone, it's the shooter". It's up to the people themselves to use this *tool* to make their life better.

I'm not sure what people imagine should happen when they touch a laptop. Should be some sort of magic where sparkles form in the air and suddenly money start falling from the sky?

I was raised by a single mother, a teacher (over here teachers get even worse pay than most teachers get in other countries). When I was a kid, I had some old books for Apple II programming in Basic, that I was reading over and over, but I never actually had a computer.

I whined the hell of my mother (I was a terrible brat I admi), about how I have to have computer since it's "my destiny" and what not, the poor woman had to do miracles to save a bit of money, and take loans, so I could get my first computer.

There were no magical sparks and money falling from the sky. Would I play games all day long, it'd be all to waste. I instead taught myself development and design, and later on when the Internet started showing promise I saved some money to buy myself a dial-up modem and start looking for work, using my new skills, later got together with few guys like me to do business together.

This is an example of how a computer can change your life. It's not glossy, it's boring and casual. I'm not going to end up being the second Bill Gates, but I won't also spend my life asking for change on the street.

If the government steps up to the task to make this first step easier (i.e. getting the computer in the kids arms), so poor families won't have to take loans and do miracles to get their children one, then that's a sound investment in the coutnry's future. In the end, however, it's all coming down to the children, their parents and teachers, to utilize this properly..

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (3, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257041)

I'm a little more worried about the battery life comment. A little over two hours? The OLPC is designed to be able to run for 10 or so if you use it to look at static stuff (like ebook mode). It's designed to run for ~10 minutes for ever minute of effort you put into it's charger (when you're not charging it with that new-fangled electrical outlet thing).

2 hours?

Yeah, the classmate is a revolution. Amazing. I bet you can't even see the screen outside very well!

This little "review" does nothing but sour my already dim views of the Classmate. It seems more proof that the classmate is nothing but a normal laptop that was miniaturized. The OLPC was basically designed from the ground up for this task. To be cheap, energy efficient, to be visible outdoors, to provide connectivity, etc.

The classmate may work for people here in the US, or in relatively developed areas. But these things sound like they won't do very well if you put them in rural areas without great infrastructure, which is one of the main areas the OLPC is targeting.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (2, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257095)

Five days with three active kids? The fact that you believe that this utterly minor quantity of abuse is significant displays an utter ignorance of the situation in which the systems will be used. And two hours?

My sister-in-law lives in Nigeria, one of the target markets. In town, she says they are lucky to have more than a few hours of power and lets not talk about clean power. It's a neighborhood by neighborhood situation, and she lives in a relatively nice neighborhood. Out in "rural" Nigeria it will be worse. In India, her second home, the situation is little better in many of the places she goes.

For this to work, the systems should be sold to schools with a bunch of extra batteries and a huge gang recharging station for when the power is on.

Why not focus on One Meal Per Child, Debt Forgiveness for the Third World, Free Medicine for the Third World, the Robert Mugabe Silver Bullet to the Dictator's Head assistance.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257279)

Why not focus on One Meal Per Child, Debt Forgiveness for the Third World, Free Medicine for the Third World, the Robert Mugabe Silver Bullet to the Dictator's Head assistance.

In places like Nigeria and other African countries especially, it may be more worthwhile to invest some effort into forcing the multinational corporations that currently take all of their natural resources and destroy their environment to actually give some of the wealth all that destruction generates back to the people. That way, you won't have these peasants living amid the filth generated by the oil wells that provide CEOs of multibillion dollar corporations with bigger yachts.

If the people of these nations are allowed to actually equitably share in the wealth that their vast natural resources provide to multinationals, they wouldn't have so much incentive to join armed rebel groups that go around and tear up what little of the country is left after the multinationals are done with it. Sure, the dictatorships don't help, but the raping of the country by multinational corporations generates the environment under which corrupt dictatorships can thrive.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (1, Troll)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257501)

Why not focus on One Meal Per Child...

If you give a child a meal, he eats for a day. If you give a child a way to learn about farming (e.g. looking it up on the Internet), he eats for a lifetime.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (5, Insightful)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257139)

After which point it must be plugged in? Kids in many if not most of the locations in which the systems will be used will not have access to an electrical outlet. I know this concept is amazing to someone who has never thought about life beyond the borders of the first world...

The ClassmatePC is utterly unsuited to use anywhere outside the rosy, warm and comfortable existence that we in the first world enjoy.


The fact OLPC is targeted at the poorest countries of the world, where a family doesn't have an electic outlet, doesn't mean that all people who do have electrical outlets need to use cranks and pedals.

Take for example the new EU member countries, Bulgaria and Romania. They're on a much lower level, financially-wise and technologically-wise, than the rest of the EU. I'm in Bulgaria.

Trust me, we don't lack electrical sockets. We even have (gasp!) ADSL that can be delivered over the old copper phone wires in any school around the country.

You're complaining how come Intel just made this laptop for the "warm and rosy" first-world countries, failing to see that A) first-world countries also need a classmate PC and B) poor country doesn't mean we run around naked in the dust and can't read/write.

All in all, I feel OLPC and Classmate PC will fill two different niches, and both are great products. Now, Negroponte much be hurt that he's not the only one making children PC, but in the long term he'll realize that the world is a large enough place for two products of this kind.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (1)

greginnj (891863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257587)

Take for example the new EU member countries, Bulgaria and Romania. They're on a much lower level, financially-wise and technologically-wise, than the rest of the EU.
Hey, don't sell yourself short! There's a Porsche dealership right next to the airport, and Bulgarians are widely respected as some of the craftiest virus-writers around...

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257627)

You're complaining how come Intel just made this laptop for the "warm and rosy" first-world countries, failing to see that A) first-world countries also need a classmate PC and B) poor country doesn't mean we run around naked in the dust and can't read/write.

This is especially important because Negroponte actively avoids having the OLPC project being active in places outside of Asia, Africa, and parts of South America.
 
 

All in all, I feel OLPC and Classmate PC will fill two different niches, and both are great products. Now, Negroponte much be hurt that he's not the only one making children PC, but in the long term he'll realize that the world is a large enough place for two products of this kind.

Negroponte is hurt because when Bulgaria and Rumania start buying Classmates, along with school systems in the American Appalachia and Rust Belt states - the political agenda underlying the project will be exposed in sharp relief.
 
[Rant]
 
It's always bothered me how many folks of a liberal bent (in America) will send money, doctors, and missionaries to Asia, Africa, South America, etc... As well as adopting children from those regions. Will they do so for the 'hood or for Appalachia? Many that I've talked with react with horror at the very prospect.
 
There's a word for that - racism.
 
[/rant]

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (1)

steveness (872331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257203)

There's more to the third world than just dirt-poor villages in rural Africa. In both Africa and South America, there are cities where the standard of living is beginning to approach 1st world standards. Now, obviously, these ClassmatePCs are not suitable for the poorest of the poor, in places where technology must take a back seat to basic survival needs. That's a place where the OLPC has a better chance of helping to provide a better education. That doesn't mean there isn't a middle ground, where a cheap laptop can be useful.

Now, I think the OLPC beats the Classmate across the board in terms of hardware, infrastructure requirements, and overall utility, but that doesn't mean there is no place for some competition. One of the links in the summary leads to a discussion of how the Classmate has forced Negroponte to deal with smaller orders and with less insistence on only talking to heads of state. Really, what's the down side of Intel producing these things? If they won't work for a given market, they won't sell well there.

Re:The test-drive displays massive ignorance (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257449)

And two hours? After which point it must be plugged in? Kids in many if not most of the locations in which the systems will be used will not have access to an electrical outlet. I know this concept is amazing to someone who has never thought about life beyond the borders of the first world...
So. What was your expectation? 7 day continous operation? a month? Alternate power sources? Non-electrical computer?

That's the silly thing about computers. They're electrical. They require power. I think you expected there would be some sort of revolutionary advance in battery technology or power storage. The guy made a cheap PC. Solve one problem at a time. Either the kids get a cheap PC that requires power or they don't get a PC at all. Obviously, if they're learning about technology they're going to have a power source available.

Its from intel.. (-1, Flamebait)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256739)

Its from intel... the final version will run windows of some kind ... those "linux foibles" wont be an issue.

Re:Its from intel.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256811)

It's from Intel, a major advertiser on /. Wonder why it got such a good review.

Re:Its from intel.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19257223)

STFU you stupid Slashbot. I hope you die a painful death.

Re:Its from intel.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19257675)

we, Slashdot, cannot die, there will always be others to take over, to annoy you more, to boldly go where no nerd has gone before!!!

Predatory? Ha! (1, Insightful)

GoodbyeBlueSky1 (176887) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256785)

Ostensibly the "One Laptop Per Child" thing was meant to provide computing access to underprivileged youths. Now there's competition in the same market and somehow that's bad? If Intel strong-arms the OLPC project into oblivion but continues to provide the same "philanthropic", so to speak, service, don't the children still benefit?

The more I read from and about Negroponte the more his true colors show through.

Re:Predatory? Ha! (2, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256923)

Ostensibly the "One Laptop Per Child" thing was meant to provide computing access to underprivileged youths. Now there's competition in the same market and somehow that's bad?


The OLPC project was to provide educational resources to developing countries, centered around low-cost, reliable computing hardware adapted to the needs of education in the developing world and services and open content for that platform.

Yeah, yeah, the interesting part to first-world geeks seems to be primarily the hardware platform. But that's not what OLPC is about.

The ClassmatePC, while it is introduced to as a competitor to the OLPC hardware, is not part of Intel competing to provide what OLPC is trying to provide.

Re:Predatory? Ha! (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257151)

If Intel strong-arms the OLPC project into oblivion but continues to provide the same "philanthropic", so to speak, service, don't the children still benefit?

While I agree that we shouldn't feel OLPC needs to be the only platform available to these people, I think your question indicates the source of people's concern: What if Intel strong-arms the OLPC project into oblivion but then does not continue to provide the same philanthropic service?

Re:Predatory? Ha! (1)

dominator (61418) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257155)

Here are some comments by EntropyMan @ Digg that highlight the the underlying issues that 60 Minutes (at best) glossed over.

If Intel -- which is not in the business of selling laptops, and is in fact losing money on every laptop sold -- wants to get its processors -- its actual business -- into the hands of the world's kids, all it had to do was offer its CPUs to OLPC at a lower volume price than AMD. It would be in the market with first mover advantage, AMD would be out, and Intel would win this round without breaking any laws.

Instead, it builds a whole new laptop and dumps it at a massive discount below cost wherever OLPC tries to sell theirs. OLPC can't use the heavily discounted Intel CPUs in those, because Intel effectively won't let them.


If I were Intel, I'd be peeved that the (potentially) largest laptop roll-out ever won't be using my chips. But the free-market solution to that is "simple": make better performing, lower wattage chips at a lower price than AMD's Geodes, and make them in bulk. They've shown that they can do that with your high-end chips. They could do it for the low-end market too if they wanted to. Let Intel's products compete on their own merits or let their laptops compete at their fair-market value. *That's* competition. What Intel's doing is predatory poaching of an emerging market.

Re:Predatory? Ha! (4, Insightful)

MBCook (132727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257199)

Yep. Intel really has it right and proves Negroponte is an idiot.

  1. The classmate runs for about 2.5 hours on battery! The OLPC's low power modes letting it run 10 is just wasteful of precious electricity
  2. The classmate was easy for a kid used to Windows to use! That's perfect for the kids in small villages who've never seen an electric light-bulb. They'll pick it up like that.
  3. You can draw on the tab.... no... that's the OLPC.
  4. You can hand charge it when it runs ou.... no, that's the OLPC
  5. It has a Wireless, so you can surf the web when you're near a hotspot! The OLPC can only do that and make mesh networks across a small village so you don't have to be so close
  6. It's rugged against suburban 8 year olds who are used to being careful with a computer. Who needs to worry about dust storms and torrential rains and such. Oh, right, the OLPC does that.
  7. Well at least it costs le.... no, OLPC is cheaper.
  8. It can run Windows, which the kids are familia.... no, many won't have ever touched a computer.

Like I said in a comment above, I can see how this might be a better option for more developed countries (US, large cities, etc) where things like power aren't as big a problem. But like I said the other day, the more I see of this, the more it looks like a status-quo laptop that was made 20% (or whatever) smaller.

Not only is the OLPC hardware superior for a large class of people, I think it's design (including software) is fantastic, especially its emphasis on learning as opposed to "this is a computer, here, enjoy" that the classmate seems to have.

Re:Predatory? Ha! (2, Interesting)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257567)

It has a Wireless, so you can surf the web when you're near a hotspot! The OLPC can only do that and make mesh networks across a small village so you don't have to be so close
One more thing: the OLPC radio is designed to run while the laptop is sleeping, in order to do mesh routing without drawing too much power.

Re:Predatory? Ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19257215)

I would think having "competition" to the OLPC, especially linux based competition is a GOOD thing.

1) Competition from Intel demonstrates to gov'ts that the concept is real
2) Linux based competition helps assure software to the educational market will be linux based
3) Intel has more clout with hardware vendors and can probably get more buy-in and cheaper hardware available for this class of machines than OLPC
4) Even if OLPC hardware itself went away, if the only thing OLPC did was to work on the software/network/educational aspects removed from hardware costs, why is that a bad thing?

I don't understand why Intel's effort has to be framed as competition and not as potential supporter and developer of a new class of machines.

And frankly with two daughters I would love to get them either an OLPC or a Classmate. So Nicholas, is the cost for my two daughters $100, $200, $300, or just not available to first world kids? Oh, I can get a classmate by the end of the year? Kewl.

(Let the OLPC create the "ractive" educational software from the Diamond Age.)

Re:Predatory? Ha! (3, Informative)

burnin1965 (535071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257289)

Ostensibly the "One Laptop Per Child" thing was meant to provide computing access to underprivileged youths. Now there's competition in the same market and somehow that's bad? If Intel strong-arms the OLPC project into oblivion but continues to provide the same "philanthropic", so to speak, service, don't the children still benefit?

The OLPC is not about providing computing access to underprivileged youths its about "children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves." [laptop.org] The market droids are doing a good job of twisting this nonprofit educational project into a competition for "emerging markets" [classmatepc.com]

The people who developed the OLPC have been working on this project for years and they have experimented extensively in 3rd world countries before designing their learning device to ensure success in achieving their goals, Intel's objective as stated on their classmatePC website is simply marketing.

So you see, it is predatory, not competition.

Insightful? Shortsighted and ignoreant. (5, Insightful)

Derivin (635919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257657)

Intel is NOT interested in providing computing access to underprivileged youths. They are interested in keeping 30Million children from learning to use AMD based devices which htey previously called a 'toy', a 'joke', and 'of little interest to Intel's business'. In short, they are scared they will loose money, and they are correct. Competition in the market is not bad. The practices Intel is employing to kill off a humanitarian effort to protect their bottom line is.

OLPC is a humanitarian project which is trying to provide educational devices to third world countries. These devices are 100% open (open hardware and software) with minimal maintainance. They are designed for the harsh environments and to have minimal environmental impact.

Intel at first dismissed and made fun of the project, then realized that it could be a threat to their business. Instead of developing a better product with humanitarian goals, they created a piece of closed hardware junk with huge environmental impacts. These devices are not designed for third world environments, have a 2 hour battery life, etc, etc, etc. They are being sold well below cost, and Intel is flying all over the world to the governments which approached OLPC and spending millions to sell these devices to them. Not out of a humanitarian effort, but as a business transaction. While on the surface this may seem like competition in an open market, that is just not the case.

OLPC is not a market driven business project. OLPC did not go to governments to sell their program, they announced the program and the governments came to them. In order to provide the devices cheaply, and allow the governments to develop the devices themselves, OLPC needs 3Mil units ordered. They were close to having that before Intel came along and started lobbying only these governments, and offering these junk replacements (internal cost estimate at $400, NOT the $200 under priced value, nor the $50 'introductory' price).

The sole purpose of this is a predatory act to stop an AMD based device from gaining acceptance. This also ignores the software effort. The hardware laptop is only 50% of the OLPC project. The other half is the revolutionary new operating system and GUI being developed as part of OLPC, specifically for child learning. Intel doesn't want to be bothered, because they are not in the business of providing a learning device, they are in the buisness of selling intel chips.


So yes its predatory. VERY predatory, because that is what the computer business is, and that is what Intel is. The stock holders and board members would not have it any other way. OLPC is something completely different, and is being hurt by their actions.

Is this bad for the children? Just look at the two devices, and I think you have your answer.

no way the public will use linux on this (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256797)

In regards to how well students adapt to technology, here is an excerpt from a recent blog entry [myspace.com] by a college-educated grad (and minor radio celebrity in Austin, TX):

As for the rest of you. I discovered the most astounding invention today. My mind gasps in amazement. I am purely stupefied at the sheer glory of technology. Not since the invention of the mechanical pencil have I been so intrigued by a device that leaves me dumbfounded and invigorated, thinking, "How did they come up with this?! It's GENIUS! What could they possibly think of next?!!"

My friends...today, I discovered a USB port. Holy balls, it is incredible! You can transfer your pictures from your crappy PC to your slick Mac Book Pro in the blink of an eye! No joke.

Now, I've heard 'USB-this' and 'USB-that' for awhile now...but I never really let it "register" because it involves computers. Anything that has to do with computers or sports, my brain automatically shuts down and my eyes roll white...until today. I'm on top of things from now on. I can't let another invention like this pass me by.


Since USB ports haven't apparently been discovered by the general public, what's the chance that "root passwords" and wi-fi configuration have?

Re:no way the public will use linux on this (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257003)

What is this USB thing they speak of ? Where can I get one ?

I bet aliens left it there for us to find !

I for one welcome our USB using, alien overlords !

Re:no way the public will use linux on this (1)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257063)

These were meant for kids in 3rd world nations. Kids learn fast when they aren't glued to a TV. My kids at 10 could log in to linux and windows. And that way RedHat 5.0 with KDE 1. They didn't want windows 95, they were used to windows 3.1. They knew what a root or admin log in was I told them. They are now in their early 20's and still know a thing or two. My kids were more interested in ipods, aim, cellphones and MTV. But they weren't stupid, just not interested. In a third world country, a large minority would learn what a root password is, they wouldn't know any different. The other group would be more worried about eating and surviving.

I wonder ... (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256805)

If they feel good competing AGAINST a charity. It's like trying to run the red cross out of town because you want your own select staff of employees to profit from the same line of work.

Why didn't Intel work *with* OLPC to make a laptop to help educate people? Now all they're serving to do is divide the market and confuse customers [re: governments] with a laptop which imho is less suited for the task.

It isn't like OLPC *has* to run a geode. I mean at this point a rework is out of the question, but they could have switched it to an intel chip a couple of years ago if a low power chip was suitable for the task.

Tom

Re:I wonder ... (1)

shdwtek (898320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256975)

I agree with you about them competing against a charity. Next thing you know, MS will want to sue OLPC for some reason. It's like Wendy's competing w/ a soup kitchen.

Re:I wonder ... (2, Funny)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257111)

Think of it more as , Carl Lewis running a race at the special olympics !

Re:I wonder ... (1)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257113)

How does competing "AGAINST a charity" hurt that charity? Are you suggesting that there can be only one charity in any given field, and that any field with competing charities is necessarily worse off? Not to mention that any "charity" that has any non-volunteer staff isn't really a charity -- they may do charitable work, but they've in business just like anyone else.

I know people don't always pick the product best suited for their needs, but I don't see how offering two choices for computing platforms hurts anyone. If their laptop really is worse, then they won't sell many, and the OLPC program will be largely unaffected. And there may well be situations where Intel's laptop is better than the OLPC offering, even if you don't immediately foresee them -- it's hard for me to believe that the OLPC machine is the only one that could be useful for people who currently don't have a computer.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257195)

Because intel will use their financial resources to push an INFERIOR solution over the XO design. Intel can outspend OLPC on marketing, PR, etc, etc.

It's kinda how everyone runs MSFT Windows even though it's rarely the ideal OS for most users.

Tom

Re:I wonder ... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257283)

How does competing "AGAINST a charity" hurt that charity?


In this particular case, Intel is competing against the end-user hardware platform that is the core around which the OLPC education project is built and to which its software, content, and services is customized and optimized, but is not providing competing alternatives to fulfill the mission of the OLPC project.

And that's how the ClassmatePC hurts the mission of the OLPC project.

Re:I wonder ... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257673)

Why didn't Intel work *with* OLPC to make a laptop to help educate people?

Why? Because the OLPC project (I.E. Negroponte) resisted any help other than handouts. He wasn't (and isn't) interested in cooperation. His political and philosophical goals were (and are) more important than anything else.

Challenges of using Linux (2, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256809)

Well if you cant use Windows, and you cant, you have to learn linux sometime. Might as well be young when they dont even know windows. Only admins will have issues like this anyways. Are not most of the kids that are going to be using these computers kids that have never used a computer before and therefore, Windows? Even if they did, they are young and will be much more open to changing as their ties to Windows could only be so strong at that age.

So intel completely ignored the software aspects? (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256817)

The security and authentication aspects of OLPC are vital to its deployment; any dropping to root to "fix" something is a total failure.
Did Intel address the power issues as well? Or does it expect access to a wall-wart every 2 hours?
The hardware isn't really what makes OLPC attractive; those who evaluate it only by that measure are missing the point.

dropping to root is a failure? (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256925)

Why is dropping to root a failure for this laptop? It seems to me to be the solution to keeping kids out of things they shouldn't be in...just don't give them the root password. And if they WANT kids to be getting into it, how freaking hard is it to drop to root? You show a kid that one time and it is all it would take. As Windows has gotten more locked down, there are things only an Admin can do and people have to log out and log in as admin...and the world has survived.

Transporter_ii

Re:dropping to root is a failure? (2, Informative)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257045)

You need to read the bitfrost spec [laptop.org] . "root" isn't a viable security mechanism for modern computing, much as you like it. It doesn't distribute, and doesn't offer the multiple levels of security that are required in the OLPC types of deployment. There likely isn't an expert around who can "root" around problems. Instead, OLPC has a well-defined security model that makes sense for its deployment environment.

Re:dropping to root is a failure? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257061)

Why is dropping to root a failure for this laptop?


"Failure" may be excessively binary. If we're comparing it to the OLPC, we should compare the security model to the OLPC's Bitfrost [laptop.org] security model.

Re:So intel completely ignored the software aspect (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256963)

The OLPC has better hardware in a number of key areas - I think the screen is the best example - I would much rather have the OLPC's dual-mode 1200×900 than Intel's 7-inch 800x480 LCD.

It's like they were not even really trying - other than to come up with something that runs a crippled version of Windows to dump on the market.

Are we going to forever measure (0)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256839)

things against Windows, forever and ever? How about a Mac, or something else? Or nothing at all, and see something on its own merits.

Re:Are we going to forever measure (1)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257529)

Okay: This product is marginally better than nothing at all.

Re:Are we going to forever measure (1)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257605)

I do it the other way. I compare windows against everything, even a mac or nothing at all. It usually comes up wanting.

Good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256877)

Good thing wireless is built right in.

So what happens [slashdot.org] when these people turn there computer on and it automagically connects to the coffee shop across the road's network?

Re:Good thing? (1)

BosstonesOwn (794949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257231)

Well considering there these things are going to be used , it may interfere with my buddy Mitembo Dunabo. He may have issues getting me my $80,000,000 us after I sent him that $10,000 check.

Classsmate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256889)

I just hope it has a built-in spellchecker...

$200 classmate vs $100 OLPC (3, Insightful)

SpinyNorman (33776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256905)

It's be pretty sad if there wasn't *some* advantage to the Classmate given the cost, but since low price was the whole point of these machines, any advantage is rather moot.

I learnt to program back in 1978 on a 1MHz Z80 with 1K of RAM and no software other than a monitor program that let me type hex codes into memory. I turned out OK.

If the point of this is to get computers into as many kids hands as possible, where cost was previously a limit, then cost should in essence be the only consideration once any other minimal design goals have been met. Putting in more features (able to run expensive Microsoft bloatware!) for a higher cost would seem to be a detriment to the overall goal rather than a benefit.

Doesn't matter (3, Insightful)

slashthedot (991354) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256907)

The better value-for-money laptop should win. OLPC may be taking too long to get into production.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256957)

Not necessarily. It may be that a $200 is simply too expensive, even if technically better "value".

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257087)

I would much rather read a book from OLPC's dual-mode 1200×900 than Intel's 7-inch 800x480 LCD. Even more so if I had to supply the power myself with a human powered generator.

Re:Doesn't matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19257589)

From someone who lives in the developing world (Colombia), and I am in the "upper middle" class here, I can say this:

$100 = 1-2 month's savings
$200 = 2-4 months' savings


That is, of course, if life runs *perfectly* well and you have *no* other expenses. And you get a good salary, with regular work.

Right now, my cat's got to go to the veterinarian. Will I put off my kids' education for four months, or for two months?


Note that these laptops are not pitched at "my" market as such, but to the lower middle and "upper lower" classes, those on a third to a fifth of what I earn. For some - most - of these people, the intel laptop is simply unattainable anyway, so no news there. Can the kids get on the internet? Can they play some simple games? Type out an essay for school? Learn to read and write in both English and Spanish? Switch to Portuguese in an instant? Read about their Inca ancestory? Wow, they could learn to program! Sold.

Treacherous computing included (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256919)

Classmate PC comes with Treacherous computing. I'm not buying this 'market forces will sort it out/competion is always good' argument that keeps being posted.
The OLPC is definitly more in the spirit of charity.

Re:Treacherous computing included (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257055)

Once again, the TPM chips are only "treacherous" if you don't have control over the software using them. There's drivers in the Linux kernel to let you use the TPM to encrypt stuff, and there's a variant of GRUB (Trusted GRUB) that keeps you from taking the HD from a laptop and booting somewhere else.

Re:Treacherous computing included (1)

idesofmarch (730937) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257081)

Keep in mind that if it actually becomes profitable to sell laptops to poor people at prices they can afford, this is a good thing. For purposes of enterprise continuity, it is always better to rely on people's profit motives than their sense of charity.

Re:Treacherous computing included (1)

TheBigBezona (787044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257123)

Perhaps, but is there something wrong with those who need the charity getting more than one option? Personally, I think it's great that people are looking at a market like this and saying "hey, let's try to compete in that market", instead of "hey, I think I may have some dirty old socks around here I can unload on them".

OLPC? (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 7 years ago | (#19256979)

This article says very little about the OLPC, and it would appear that the author has never used it, so the title of this post is incorrect.

W00T Fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19256999)

a BSD box that join in. It can be

Nothing to do with comparing to OLPC (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257001)

That title has got to change since the blog had nothing to do with OLPC. If anything, it shows that the Intel ClassmatePC was not even designed for the same market as the OLPC. A 2 hour battery life? Standard software interface? And don't even get me started about how the wireless didn't work.

This is purely a simplistic review of a small piece of hardware Intel half-heartedly designed and is using in an attempt to stall acceptance of the OLPC. The ClassmatePC is not designed for use outside of 1st world classrooms or homes. And shame on Intel for putting such little effort into this and going after OLPC customers.

LoB

Fair to assume ghettos ~= third world environment (2, Interesting)

f0dder (570496) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257023)

Don't flame me I know little about either.. Would it be fair that children in the ghettos would similarly treat their new laptops the same as kids in the third world? Has any kind of user testing been done to show what these kids would really get from it. IMHO computers in the classroom is highly overrated. From my observation kids end up using the computers to waste time, surf web, play games. Not that there isn't learning going on. But more often detracts from the lesson that is being taught.

OLPC in the US (1)

chakan2 (1106731) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257043)

Two comments. One, I don't get it, why aren't we targeting an OLPC for the US? Why only 3rd world countries? Personally, I'd love to have a 100 dollar laptop to toss around and be generally mean to. I was all for the 200 dollar program where I get one, and I send one to one of Sally Struther's kids. 2nd, why not just run windows 2000 on this thing? I've gotten 2000 to run acceptably on machines with far lower minimum specs than this. (Granted it's not as 1337 as Linux, but a lot easier for non IT personel to run...i.e. middle school and K-school teachers).

You could READ about OLPC and get an answer (4, Informative)

Derivin (635919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257271)

Please go read up on the OLPC project.
Start with the mission statement:
OLPC is not, at heart, a technology program, nor is the XO a product in any conventional sense of the word. OLPC is a non-profit organization providing a means to an end--an end that sees children in even the most remote regions of the globe being given the opportunity to tap into their own potential, to be exposed to a whole world of ideas, and to contribute to a more productive and saner world community.

Q: why doesn't OLPC make a $100 laptop for the US Market?
A: That is not the purpose of the OLPC project. They do not have the resources nor the infrastructure to pursue such a commercial, non-humanitarian effort, nor the desire.
Q: Why do companies like Dell and Intel make a sub-$100 laptop for the US market?
A: There is very little profit in it.

Misleading Summary (3, Insightful)

asphaltjesus (978804) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257047)

There are a bunch of false assumptions with this review, not to mention Intel _must_ have put in quite a PR effort to get this story published.

1. The family "just using it."
I think there are enough admins here who understand that the OLPC will probably be delivered pre-configured.

2. So, wireless, much less a steady _Internet connection_ is widely available in developing nations?

The OLPC is getting destroyed quite publicly and there's nothing OLPC can do about it. They've been out-financed.

Today's lesson: Selling to governments without 10's of millions of dollars for bribes of all kinds (including campaign donations)doesn't happen. This is a text book case of what happens to anything innovative (read: new vendors) in government.

Re:Misleading Summary (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257181)

The OLPC is getting destroyed quite publicly and there's nothing OLPC can do about it. They've been out-financed.

Today's lesson: Selling to governments without 10's of millions of dollars for bribes of all kinds (including campaign donations)doesn't happen. This is a text book case of what happens to anything innovative (read: new vendors) in government.


Is that true, though? Sure, Intel is doing a great job dominating the first world media, and certainly they are trying to undermine the OLPC launch, but are they actually succeeding?

I thought it had some version of Windows? (2, Interesting)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257093)

Maybe I'm wrong... Just saw the screen captures and that's what it looked like.

Anyway, it would seem smart for Microsoft to bundle in a 'gimped' version of Windows because of their already wide adoption, helping the third world and poor countries get a leg up into becoming Windows developers only helps them in the long term.

I guess the next generation of kids will just be Linux gurus and facilitate our whole moves into Linux for the home and enterprise. Time will tell, but the OLPC project is something that is going to get a LOT of kids excited about being "into computers". I would think that Microsoft would be following suit. Giving away their OS isn't that big a deal since everybody in the third world pirates it anyway.

Re:I thought it had some version of Windows? (1)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257455)

it would seem smart for Microsoft to bundle in a 'gimped' version of Windows
You haven't exactly narrowed the selection down there, buddy...

Ridiculous Review (4, Insightful)

bigwave111 (1046082) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257209)

This review makes me angry. Why the hell would you review something as though it were a consumer product for spoiled white kids who have two computers to choose from and who see if their children's version of "second life" works. OLPC is intended for kids who have one extremely endangered life and need to learn basic computer skills. The fact that they had to CALL a tech support place is the sign of Intel's failure. What, are kids in Africa going to walk 30 miles to a pay phone that they can't afford just to be put on hold and deal with call centers in Bangladesh? Are we trying to punish these poor kids?

"Too bad the typical Linux foibles apply." (1)

PHAEDRU5 (213667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257265)

Thank you for playing. Next!

2 hour battery life? good for developed countries? (1)

COMICAGOGO (1055066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257269)

This is the main problem I have with the Itel offering. A 2 hour battery life is not very good at all. I use a battery guzzling toshiba m-105 for school work and it still gets much better than 2 hours (granted it has a larger battery, but it does more too.)

Most children in developing countries that are able to attend school are going to want more than 2 hours of use from a computer. They might have a place to plug it in once a day or maybe they won't. How are they supposed to deal with a constant need to plug in a laptop? The OLPC "charge-it-yourself" solution seems to be a much better fit for most of these kids.

I do think that the Itel offering would be great for developed countries where electrical power is available everywhere. $200/ student in public schools is quite a chunck of the per-head money that the school is alloted, but you could make up for it by triming back on other computing products. For example: Instead of buying/ upgrading current classroom computers @ approx $600 each you could get three of the Intel lappy's. If a clasroom was slated to get 4 new computers that would work out to 12 of the Itel machines. Even if evry kid didn't get their own 12 is much better than 4. I remember fighting to use an Apple IIe when we had only 6 of them for a class of 21 and the teacher insisted that papers must be typed.

Wifi and Linux not totally intuitive (-1, Offtopic)

SuperDuperMan (257229) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257395)

I run Ubuntu Linux on my Toshiba laptop. I had to install two proprietary drivers to get accelerated video and support for the wifi. Ubuntu does not install these by default. If I were a complete novice I'd have no idea that this would solve my problem nor would I know how to do it.

The next thing that I consider a shortcoming to using Wifi on Linux is that if I don't have the Wifi radio switched on when I boot the machine Linux does not detect this and allow me to network automatically. I still don't know the solution but whatever it is on Windows and Mac OS X this is a simple no brainer operation. It should be completely automatic and transparent.

I have been trying Linux off and on for many years and still see areas where if it were "just a little better" I could replace my Windows with it. I'm looking forward to that day.

Classsmate? (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257457)

I, for one, welcome our new preciousss classsmate overlordsss.

Charity turf wars (1, Troll)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257497)

Nicholas Negroponte called Intel's move "predatory"

Huh? Isn't the point to get 'puters to the po' folks? Shouldn't the response be "the more the merrier?" Is Negroponte looking for monopoly control of this market? Intel has every right to do this.

One laptop or TYPE of laptop? Huh (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#19257681)

(especially since OLPC's chairman Nicholas Negroponte called Intel's move "predatory"),


Lighten up Nicholas if you really care about getting computers into the hands of kids. Competition should be welcome in this case. Now they should rebrand to One Type Of Laptop Per Child (OTOLPC)

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