[Olpc-open] Why is G1G1 program ending?

Steve Franks stevefranks at ieee.org
Fri Dec 28 23:02:21 EST 2007

I hope I'm not echoing someone else's sentiments verbatim, but,

I've been a developer since my grandparents got suckered into paying
286 prices for an IBM 8088 in 1991 (I think I was 14).  As I got
older, I heard the old sysadmins evangelizing unix in college when a
20MHz workstation was $5000 and a 66MHz PC was $1500.  All the noise
between MS and Unix got me to form an opinion, (which it the point I'm
getting around to) namely:

Microsoft is King Of The Hill because of  (1)Visual Basic (2)MSDN, and
(3) the $1500 PC.  Namely, planets aligned to increase the number of
developers by maybe 1000 times in a short while by (1) Lowering the
learning curve for making something useful (VB Tool), (2)  Making
documentation ubiquitous and unified (MSDN), and (3) Hardware was
suddenly reasonably easy to lay hands on.

One week ago I knew squat about Linux, now, I could appreciably help a
student (namely mine) make her XO "do something", and I'm about to
contribute a quick report on running Sugar on top of XFCE4 (yes, it
works great, plus alt-tab works).

If we didn't have one this wouldn't be the case.  I'm not going to get
particularly ecxited about running an XO emulator on my PC and start
adding to the wiki, or writing apps; not without my own 'toy' - basic
human nature.

I'd say G1G1 is pretty much essential by my philosophy - look at
wikipedia compared to other online encyclopedias.

Besides, mixing 'gift for me, gift for charity' is a killer marketing
move if nothing else - hopefully the G1G1 numbers speak to that...if
it was up to me, I'd get Newegg.com and Thinkgeek.com to become
resellers for G1G1.  Why ever stop it?  I'll bet G1G1 would hold it's
own indefinitely against Asus eePC (sp?), etc, if it was as well
publicized. I don't mean it would necessarily outsell a giant
manufacturer, but I'll bet it would keep the doors open at OLPC, and
keep some core developers paid to make apps that really uphold the
OLPC philosophy - like PBS for TV.  There is more to life than
commerce, and other than being a geek, that's why I did G1G1 on the
first day.  That's why my folks bought a Prius even though they never

Tucson, AZ, USA

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