[Server-devel] Can XSCE benefit a tablet deployment?

George Hunt georgejhunt at gmail.com
Mon Dec 2 09:42:46 EST 2013

This is a branch off of the thread "Does XSCE need a new home?", and
stimulated by James Cameron's comments quoted where  in part:

I also disagree with the implication that the tablet is any more
proprietary than the laptop.  The mix of intellectual property is
certainly different, but the opportunity for use is also different.
Therefore the products shouldn't be compared at an intellectual
property licensing level.

What is very different is that the laptop was ground-breaking
original technology, and the tablet is buy-in technology.  This
cascades into completely different community involvement models.

(I don't yet see how XSCE can benefit a tablet deployment, nobody
appears to have enumerated that.)

At the SF summit, last month, Rodrigo demonstrated sugar running on a
google Nexus tablet. This was achieved by running the python/sugar
mega-package on top of the Ubuntu touch distribution.

Is the Nexus the right hardware platform long term? Well, it's
bootloaderis unlocked! And here, in my opinion, is where the licensing
becomes an

A little Vivitar digression:

The XO tablet is rebranded Vivitar. On Amazon, besides the XO Tablet, there
is also a lower cost/capability tablet introduced as a "Camelo".  I
purchased one. Looked at it's End User Licensing Agreement. Under the
DCMA(Digital Millennium Copyright Act), it is illegal to reverse
engineer or
repurpose hardware that has proprietary material, without the express
consent of the manufacturer.  I contacted the Vivitar customer support for
the Camelo, and asked that they tell me how to unlock the boot loader --
that I liked their proprietary material, but I preferred to load other
software which was not covered by their license. They refused.

Whether Miami sees any value in giving its permission to unlock, and
repurpose the XO Tablet seems to me an open question. My own preference
would be to help increase manufacturing volumes of the XO tablet, and
continue to explore classroom technology integration of client and server,
which has really  only been successful in a few deployments.

At the Malaysia summit, there were a few Taiwanese tablet entrepreneurs,
pushing to become a hardware base for next generation classroom technology.
Whether any of these initial contacts could provide a way forward is my
current question.

I believe a tablet should be thought of as part of a learning technology
system, which also includes a laptop, and a school server. The tablet is
more appropriate for younger grades, and I believe will always a more cost
effective solution. Touch keyboarding, an essential skill for upward
mobility, can come with the addition of a bluetooth keyboard, or in upper
grades, a laptop. The school server is essential for both of these client
interfaces to manage media storage, limit pornography, collect usage
statistics, etc.
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