is anyone actually doing Windows on XO work here?

Walter Bender walter.bender at
Tue Jul 21 08:33:11 EDT 2009

On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 7:53 AM, James Cameron<quozl at> wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 21, 2009 at 07:37:44AM -0400, Walter Bender wrote:
>> More seriously, I don't know if it is possible, but getting Nicholas
>> to stop making a "scrambled egg" out of the software stack with his
>> "omelet" analogy would go a long ways to reducing the confusion in the
>> media as well. His continued insistence that Sugar is an operating
>> system--the problem--is being spoken out of ignorance and does not
>> reflect well on either project.
> When talking to non-technical people, "operating system" means what they
> see on screen, the user interface.  I've not heard Nicholas on this, but
> going with the incorrect definition is probably a reasonable fallback
> plan ... take for example the word "hacker".

I agree that the short hand makes it easier when communicating to a
non-technical audience. But the problem is that Nicholas is using
Sugar as a basket word for everything software-related and keeps
repeating that if only if we had separated the OS concerns from the UI
design, everything would have worked out great.

It is fair to critique Sugar, but not fair to those, such as Mitch,
Richard, Chris, et al., who have worked so hard to get the hardware
running robustly to lump those efforts into the same basket and use
that as the basis of the critique.

Further, it should not be underestimated how much work even Microsoft
had to invest to get Windows running on the XO, even without power
management, mesh, security, etc. This stuff is hard.

> I was at Parkes Radiotelescope last weekend for an open day, relating
> to the site's involvement in the Apollo programme, hundreds of people
> strolling past to get a tour of the dish ... demonstrating with my wife
> Sugar on five OLPC XO-1 units ... and we frequently had to decline to go
> into details ... when asked what operating system, we would say
> something like "Sugar desktop on top of the Linux operating system" ...
> and this will no doubt be remembered as "Sugar".  We found about 25% of
> our visitors already used Sugar desktop on their kids.  Quite a select
> visitor group ... they had shown dedication to science and technology by
> travelling four to six hours by car to get there.
> Now, if it was a group of journalists, I'd have to be extra careful.

They are running Sugar... that is the user experience.

> --
> James Cameron


Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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