[Olpc-open] Another adult early adopter here :)
M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
znmeb at cesmail.net
Sat Dec 1 15:16:23 EST 2007
> Neophile early adopter, here. I'll make a confession: I've used linux
> for years, but I'm no black belt geek, so who knows if I'll be smart
> enough to figure out the Sugar interface. I bought it anyway, and I'll
> tell you why: sunlight-readable screen and long battery life. I do a
> lot of writing, and I like to do it anywhere, including out on the
> beach, on mountaintops, wherever. I'm hopeful that the Green Machine
> will be a light, sturdy, use-anywhere writing machine. The small
> keyboard may be a problem, but I've used a Treo. I know for a fact it's
> bigger than that.
Another adult XO early adopter here. :) I consider myself at least a
brown belt Linux geek -- my home distro is Gentoo. Why did I enter the
1. My main personal interest in the system is as a tool for
collaborative computer music creation, along the lines of the Princeton
Laptop Orchestra. The mesh networking and the fact that CSound is a
native tool on the system were the clinchers.
2. Given that, what I'd like to see is a world-wide network of XO
musicians of all ages. I'm particularly interested in finding some way
of collecting the music from the younger XO users in the rural areas
where the XO will be used. That of course means they'd need school
servers with Internet connectivity.
3. The screen was also a deciding factor -- I read a lot of PDFs and I'm
sick and tired of having the print them out to be able to read them at
all. As far as the keyboard is concerned, I too have adequately adapted
to smaller ones -- the HP-100LX and the Toshiba Libretto 70.
> I didn't pay $400 out of charity. I'm 100% in favor of the OLPC ideals
> and project, but in monetary terms, 100% would probably be about $25. I
> paid $400 because it's the only thing out there, at that price, that can
> do what I need it to do. That's in sunny, cutting edge, Southern
> California. (The warm glow from knowing I'm also helping somebody is
> just lagniappe.)
I think I'm more along the lines of the G1G1 split -- a $200 unit for me
and a $200 unit for a young learner somewhere in an underdeveloped area.
> So, anyway, the point of all this is that nobody really knows what
> anybody else's priorities are. Just because I'm an urbanite, doesn't
> mean the Eee is for me. The life of a rural farmer is different from
> mine, and mine is different from yours. The Green Machine won't suit
> some people, and will suit others down to the ground. The important
> thing is to have *choices*.
> And that's the thing that really freaks me out, watching the Intels and
> Microsofts trying to figure out how to squash the OLPC before it gets
> beond them. It's not that their machines are useless. It's that we
> need more than one kind of machine, and I worry that they're trying to
> make sure we don't get that.
Well ... Intel and Microsoft are huge giants, to be sure. But they
aren't the *only* giants in the industry by any stretch of the
imagination, nor do they have commanding market shares *everywhere*.
There's IBM, of course, Sun, Google, all of whom have built open source
to the point where I don't think survival of open source is in question
And as far as the "educational market" is concerned, at least here in
the USA, there are folks other than Intel and Microsoft with
well-established niches. Texas Instruments, for example, has a pretty
good grip on the educational calculator niche. Some major universities
require their students to own Macintoshes. And I'm sure Red Hat also has
a presence in the educational market.
My main concern is not that Intel and Microsoft can out-manufacture and
out-sell Quanta/OLPC. My concern is that there aren't *enough* "adult
early adopters". I think there are too many people that will pay $400
for an ASUS Eee rather than $200 for an XO, simply because the Eee is
faster and has more RAM. As you noted, though, those of us who chose the
XO each had our own reasons.
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