Jim Gettys jg at
Mon May 19 10:49:47 EDT 2008

On Mon, 2008-05-19 at 07:55 -0400, Walter Bender wrote:
> The price often quoted has been $7 for the SD card. Not sure where
> that number comes from. I recall that a $19 high-speed card was used
> in the original testing; at the time it was asserted that a
> standard-speed card was necessary.

Prices keep falling for flash....

Seems plausible, given the difference of when; or people could be
low-balling the price by looking at close-out prices on obsolete cards.

If you don't have a high speed SD card, then the performance will suffer
significantly; when running a high speed card, the (optimum) SD
bandwidth performance approaches that of the internal NAND, but still
with higher latency, and the details of file system layout make a huge
difference on write performance.  

Some conventional file systems will crawl during write due to bad
interactions with file system block sizes and the block size of the
                                      - Jim

> I don't know that this is still the case.
> -walter
> On Mon, May 19, 2008 at 4:20 AM, John Gilmore <gnu at> wrote:
> >> So... all the new 200,000 XOs that will come to Peru will come with this
> >> new V2 Bios.  and the first 45,000 will be updated?  Or we have to
> >> deal with a mixed enviroment? (no problem... just asking...)
> >
> > Since the V2 firmware is only recently demo-able, not yet product
> > quality, it's too early to tell when it will roll into the Quanta
> > production line.
> >
> > Here's what I expect (which may be total fantasy).  When each child's
> > XO gets a new software update (probably the scheduled August update,
> > suitably augmented by the in-country team), then along with the OS and
> > Activities, they'll also get the latest OpenFirmware update.  That
> > firmware will include the capability to boot Windows, and have various
> > other improvements.
> >
> > "The capability to boot Windows" does not include a copy of Windows
> > itself.  To find out about how and when that will be available, you'd
> > have to talk to Microsoft.  I hear each copy is $3 in some countries,
> > and requires an SD card for more storage, that'll cost a few dollars
> > also.  So if Peru wanted it on every laptop, figure it'll cost US$1.4
> > million or so (200K x ($3 + $4)).
> >
> > Most of that cost is unavoidable hardware cost, unless MS slims down
> > Windows to not need >1GB.  It'd cost US$800K even if MS let everyone
> > in the country "pirate" the OS.  Doing so might well suit their
> > purposes even better than charging $3 per copy, since they wouldn't be
> > expected to provide any support for a stolen product, yet they would
> > still be weaning kids away from Linux.
> >
> >        John Gilmore (not an OLPC employee!)
> >
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> >
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Jim Gettys <jg at>
One Laptop Per Child

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