OLPC upgrades

david at lang.hm david at lang.hm
Tue Feb 3 18:15:20 EST 2009

On Tue, 3 Feb 2009, Tiago Marques wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 8:38 AM, Bobby Powers <bobbypowers at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 2009/2/2 Tiago Marques <tiagomnm at gmail.com>:
>>> On Thu, Jan 29, 2009 at 4:03 AM, Mitch Bradley <wmb at laptop.org> wrote:
>> The current dual mode touchpad hardware is being discontinued and new
>> machines are either currently, or will be in short order, being
>> produced with a 'standard' capacitive touchpad.  IN FACT, the stylus
>> mode had been implemented and enabled in the driver in previous builds
>> (joyride, up to the beginning or middle of summer 08), but was
>> disabled and removed from the driver because having the device in dual
>> input mode made things worse for a large number of laptops.  The dual
>> mode hardware is pretty flakey.
>> I believe view source is implemented to some extent in Sugar 0.83 (the
>> current development branch).
> Hmm.... ok. Is it possible/easy to use the whole touchpad as pointing
> device, instead of just the middle. Since the middle has no "bump" that
> could give some feeling of where it ends, enabling all would make it more
> usable. At least I, frequently, need to look at it to understand if it's
> going bonkers on me, or if I'm just trying to use it out of the it's limit.
> I don't see a practical use for all that wideness but it would just to be
> less error prone.

only the center section is a touchpad, the sides are the stylus-only 
areas. the new systems are not going to have the 'wide pad', only the 
center section.

>> Have any experience with the kernel or suspend/resume issues?  I'm
>> sure CJB would love some help here.
> Not really, I just hacked a driver once to add AGP and IDE DMA support for a
> VIA chipset, just added the hardware IDs.

as I understand it, the biggest problem right now is that the power 
savings stuff is all done in a Sugar specific way. I've used Sugar with 
full power savings enabled (backlight off) for light-duty tasks (e-book 
functions) and had it last an 8-hour day with half the battery remaining. 
I've also had it last 2-3 hours with power savings off and the backlight 

non-Sugar distros currently can't do any power management, so they are 
stuck with the short battery life. As this gets fixed and the power 
capabilities get standardized this should improve.

>>> they should, and that leaves the XO in a competitively bad position. And
>>> that's what you should also talk about, nowadays everyone knows they're
>>> ripped off in their laptops, iPhone, PSP, whatever battery, that's part
>> of a
>>> good image that the project can benefit from, if retail availability ever
>>> comes.
>>> Python is killing the XO, what's being done in that regard? The $100
>> laptop
>>> will always be hardware limited, how can python be a benefit and not a
>>> *huge* burden? I for one can't get my head around that.
>> The idea is to give kids as much transparency into the software stack
>> as possible, AND make it easy to hack on and easy to create new
>> activities for.  Python is much more forgiving than C.  Its killing
>> the XO?  A personal pygtk based project launches in a few seconds on
>> my debXO install on an XO, but much much longer on 8.2.  It is a
>> completely loaded statement to say that Python is killing the XO, and
>> didn't really deserve a response :)
> That's my view on it, although I don't have any experience in Python
> programming. Launch time doesn't really bother me, memory consumption on a
> device with no swap and 256MB of RAM does. Is it just Sugar/Fedora/XO distro
> specific?
> Please elaborate on what you mean by 8.2 taking much longer to launch. That
> would be something I would be interested in looking at, although I don't
> think I have what it takes to "fix" Pyhton itself, if that's what's needed.

the fact that KDE and GNOME (both desktops that are considered pigs on 
normal machines) make a XO laptop seem snappy by comparison to Sugar (as 
of December) means that there is a significant problem with Sugar. when 
people ask about how to fix things, the answers that keep coming back all 
appear to be python related. so it's not FUD to say that the dependance on 
Python is hurting performance.

David Lang
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