[sugar] OLPC's bizarre behaviors

Paul Fox pgf at foxharp.boston.ma.us
Thu May 22 17:21:46 EDT 2008

c. scott ananian wrote:
 > On 5/22/08, Todd Cranston-Cuebas <geekhunter at gmail.com> wrote:
 > > I think it's worth noting that with the announcement of the
 > > new 2.0 spec on the hardware, you're going to get even more
 > > backlash of current G1G1 participants feeling like they
 > > helped to fund and purchase a system that is basically
 > > really a serious work in progress and test bed for the new
 > > system.  Again, impression counts.
 > I'm not sure exactly what you mean.  About a million kids will be
 > using the XO-1, in *just this calendar year*.  The XO-2 will not be
 > ready until 2010 at the earliest.  How do you feel that the XO-1 is
 > merely a test bed?

i won't presume to speak for todd, but i suspect he was referring
to some of the very frustrated and sometimes vocal G1G1 folks on
the forums (both olpcnews and laptop.org) who felt when they
received their machines that they'd gotten something
half-finished and poorly executed.  i'm sure adam and sandy and
the other support folks can confirm this, even after subtracting
out the whopping shipping issues.  between the failing keyboards, the
jumpy touchpads, the bad batteries, the SD corruption, the s/w
crashes, the boot-time, the lower-than-expected battery life, the
missing "view source" feature, the total absence of a spare parts
supply, and the lack of apology or explanation along the way,
there is a huge sense of having been sold something less than
what was promised in the TV commercials.  to those folks, the
announcement of the Next New Thing when the Old Thing doesn't
even work right yet seems a little disingenuous.

it doesn't matter that all of the issues i listed above either
affect only a fraction of a percent of the total, or are s/w
features that just aren't quite completed, or that G1G1
participants have hugely elevated expectation levels relative to
the true target audience -- it's how they feel.  (and you can't
argue about feelings.  or so i've been told.  :-)

 > This is a serious question: if this impression is widespread, we need
 > to do a better job communicating, and your help in discovering what we
 > still haven't said is important.  (See
 > http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2008-May/013694.html for my
 > previous best effort.)

i think your earlier proposal for establishing a liaison/ambassador
role was spot on -- that role of evangelism and outreach was
missing throughout G1G1, and is still missing today.

 paul fox, pgf at foxharp.boston.ma.us (arlington, ma, where it's 54.3 degrees)

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