XP on OLPC - a contrarian view

Albert Cahalan acahalan at gmail.com
Sat May 17 04:06:26 EDT 2008

On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 2:24 AM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:
> Albert Cahalan wrote:

>> Watch the video. XP boots fast,
> What does a fast boot up have to do with the overall usability and
> productivity of a system? You can always show a boot screen early in the
> process and say its boots fast. Its not so much the boot speed that
> bothers me, but the impression it creates that if it boots fast, it must
> be fast overall.

True, but the rest didn't look bad at all.

>> handles video very nicely,
>> runs Microsoft Office just fine (spreadsheet!), and in general
>> looks to be highly usable.
> What bothered me most about the video is that it was all XP and no
> Sugar. Yes, we have yet another OS. Where's Sugar?

Ever wonder why Microsoft fought Java, Netscape, Borland, and ODF
so viciously? (purposely making their Java incompatible, attacking
Netscape's revenue stream by making IE and IIS free, hiring away
Borland's employees, buying the OOXML ratification)

Microsoft is all about controlling the platform. They want you to
depend on a Microsoft platform, and especially not a portable platform.

Sugar qualifies as a 3rd-party portable platform. Forget it.

> If we are comparing
> OS only, how does Xubuntu stack up against XP's performance on the XO?

That is an excellent question. I suspect that the Xubuntu stack
has far more potential than sugar.


Unfortunately, sugar got blessed.

> The other thing that was strange was that when he captures video, the
> camera light did not come on. Isn't the camera wired in series with the
> LED? If that's the case then the LED should be on...or the video was
> edited post production.

Probably it is old hardware.

>> http://mediadl.microsoft.com/MediaDL/WWW/U/unlimitedpotential/WindowsXP_XOLaptop.wmv
>> (works OK in mplayer)
>> Don't bet for a moment that Linux will get to stay. That is
>> simply not how Microsoft operates.
> Based on my impression from the video clip, its all talk about XP,
> Office, etc. and native XP apps, so at this point, I would be surprised
> if Sugar ships at all.

Of course. Remember: it's about controlling the platform

BTW, though sugar-free XP is a certainty for business reasons,
it's not as if giving up the XP experience would be desired by
any of the buyers. Sugar has that frame getting in the way,
a look that is some adult's wrong idea of what kids see best,
a spam-filled journal that is **planned** to lose your data,
and incompatibility with everything. XP can at least run lots
of free software like Thunderbird, Audacity, Pidgin, and gimp!
(even Open Office, but that counts as a platform)

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