Perspective and Compromise Positions

Michael Stone michael at
Thu Oct 2 20:52:05 EDT 2008

John, Mitch,

First, thanks for improving pretty-boot!

Second, I have a suggestion for you:

I have always regarded our various locks (software: firmware lock,
activation lock, kernel lock, reflash lock, root password, minimal
default ui; hardware: USB/SD slots, screws, solder-points) as
reifications of the idea that our intended end users' desire to be
responsible for maintaining their system falls along a continuum. You,
and probably all the folks reading this list fall near one end of that
spectrum whereas I am given to understand that most of our intended end
users fall at the other end. Consequently, I have no particular moral,
social, or economic difficulty recommending the current arrangement
though, like Scott, I'm interested in making it easier for people to
adapt the system they receive to better reflect their actual desires.

However, perspective aside, a compromise position that would seem very
reasonable to me would be to make the software shipped to G1G1 'happy to
boot or NAND-flash anything' but unwilling to write the SPI flash
without authorization.

The compelling advantage of this position is that it would permit all of
the diagnosis and most of the ease of use that you desire while still
protecting OLPC from most of the risk presented by making it trivial to
brick laptops manually (let alone in an automated, networked fashion,
which I suspect would be doable in your current proposal).



P.S. - As others have suggested, please do not assume that any
individual on this list speaks for everyone else involved; in almost all
cases, they speak only for themselves (but for their clique with
whatever measure of authority they happen to hold).

P.P.S. - In my opinion, it would be necessary to slip the 8.2.0 schedule
by at least a three weeks in order to make the change I suggest above;
however, I'd be happy to try to help you push it into a future
engineering change order.

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