[OT] Test run of 2009/05/25 image

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Thu Jun 11 12:35:47 EDT 2009

On Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 11:44 AM, Stanley
Sokolow<stanleysokolow at gmail.com> wrote:
> Mikus,
> I've been using the Ubuntu version customized for the XO for a couple of
> days now.  (See www.olpcnews.com for info about "Teapot's" XO-customized
> Ubuntu 8.10 release.)   It is a little slow compared with my other
> computers, as expected for a computer running at less than .5 GHz, but much
> more comfortable and responsive than running the standard Sugar/Fedora
> system on the XO.  I personally can't stand some of the human interface
> aspects of Sugar, such as the time delay before a menu appears instead of
> right-clicking to get a popup menu in context and especially the annoyance
> of the frame appearing when I get too close to the trigger point in the
> upper left corner, not being able to use non-full-screen windowing to see
> multiple programs at same time, etc..   All together the stripped down xfce4
> based version of Ubuntu with Firefox, FlashPlayer10 plugin, OpenOffice
> writer,impress,& draw, and other utilities, occupies about 1.7 GB of a 2.0
> GB SD chip in the XO's slot.  It is fast enough not to annoy me, unlike the
> Sugar/Fedora system on the XO.  I can even do 2-way video and 2-way audio
> web conferencing with whiteboard using www.vyew.com, a FlashPlayer-based web
> application.  I could not do that with the XO's standard operating system.
> This all fits on and runs well from a cheap (US$6) SD card that I got at my
> local office supply store.
> What the XO hardware has over the netbooks is its great screen -- high
> resolution, color or monochrome reflective for outdoor viewing, with matte
> finish instead of the highly glare-producing high-gloss screens that are
> almost universal these days.
> Personally, I feel it is a mistake for the OLPC project to continue with the
> concept of the Sugar platform as its exclusive model for an educational
> computer.    The Sugar applications (activities) could just as well be run
> from the Ubuntu desktop.   Then students would actually be learning in an
> environment that can take them into the real-world that grown-ups occupy on
> computers, when they are ready to go beyond the Sugar applications.

That's like telling a 3 year old to wear grown-up pants and simply
roll up the pant legs because some day he will have to wear "grown up"
pants and might as well get used to it.

Here's another flaw in this approach. If we used this approach in 1992
with a 5 year old, then we would ask him to use Windows 3.1 Fast
forward to 2002. He would be 15, and would be faced with Windows XP.
His skills gained on Win 3.1 would be of little use.

Instead of making children do what *we* think is right (I am running
34 years behind my daughter), how about giving *them* a platform and
asking *them* to create what they think will be their future? That
way, it will be current!


Dr. Sameer Verma, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Information Systems
San Francisco State University
San Francisco CA 94132 USA

> The
> knowledge of the operating system's interface would be transferrable to
> other Linux/Mac/Windows systems when they outgrow the XO.  A Linux desktop
> is not harder to learn than Sugar and it's a heck of a lot more comfortable
> to use.  Moreover, there isa lot of educational software available for it
> that won't run in the Sugar environment.
> Stan Sokolow
> On Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 6:37 AM, Mikus Grinbergs <mikus at bga.com> wrote:
>> Disclaimer:  This post contains Off-Topic meta discussion
>> >>> Conclusion:
>> >>>
>> >>>    fedora-olpc, to be a sucess, needs a much slimmer UI than that
>> >>>    of GNOME.
>> >>
>> >> "Success" needs to be defined.  Seems to me the OLPC was envisioned
>> >> mainly for a single-application environment.  Except for being slow at
>> >> processing, I think it succeeds admirably.
>> >
>> > I'm not talking about the sugar interface, which is what you're talking
>> > about.
>> >
>> > Non-sugar interface is something I'm also interested.
>> The reason for my enthusiasm:  I think the OLPC offers the bringing
>> of technological assistance to economically disadvantaged locations.
>> I think that people who focus on "slimming" the OLPC are missing the
>> point.  What they end up with is a slow, small Linux system.  But if
>> what they want is a small Linux system, today's 'netbooks' offer
>> more capability (and as netbooks continue to be produced by the
>> millions, I expect tomorrow's models to cost less than the OLPC).
>> For those who are interested in using the OLPC to bring conventional
>> applications to people who already have access to technology - why
>> not work with a netbook instead?  For those who think the OLPC *is*
>> suited to the environments in which it is being deployed - let's
>> work on developing OLPC-scale applications to assist 'the things
>> people do' wherever such "computerization" could improve matters.
>> mikus
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