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OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1" Comes To Europe 134

Posted by kdawson
from the can-i-play-tictactoe-on-that dept.
Christoph Derndorfer writes "Last year OLPC's XO-laptop was among the hottest Christmas gadgets thanks to the organization's G1G1 program, where you could donate $399 to give one XO-laptop to a child in the developing world and receive one yourself in return. However in 2007 the program was only available for US and Canadian citizens. This year's program, which takes off November 17, is also available to citizens in the EU member states, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey. This is certainly awesome news for all the OLPC / Linux / gadget enthusiasts here in Europe! P.S. Before anyone asks, these XOs will come equipped with the child-friendly Sugar platform, which is based on Fedora 9, and not Windows XP."
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OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1" Comes To Europe

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  • by feyhunde (700477) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @04:54PM (#25725695)
    If and when I get a Job after being laid off due to the bum economy I'll really think about this. It's a great program and I'd love to tinker with one.
    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:03PM (#25725829) Homepage

      If and when I get a Job after being laid off due to the bum economy I'll really think about this. It's a great program and I'd love to tinker with one.

      Don't worry. The OLPC computer gives you the tools to overcome your low social class, enabling you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and find myriad possibilities in today's globalized, technological market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by negRo_slim (636783)

        Don't worry. The OLPC computer gives you the tools to overcome your low social class, enabling you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and find myriad possibilities in today's globalized, technological market.

        Yes with the OLPC's help it will only be a matter of time before the wealth from the world's top 1% trickles down to you! Then with the crumbs that drop from their mouths you can feed your family!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by horatiocain (1199485)

          Don't worry. The OLPC computer gives you the tools to overcome your low social class, enabling you to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and find myriad possibilities in today's globalized, technological market.

          Yes with the OLPC's help it will only be a matter of time before the wealth from the world's top 1% trickles down to you! Then with the crumbs that drop from their mouths you can feed your family!

          Honestly? This is funny to you? Here we have a project operating in the wealthiest nation on Earth which attempts to balance out the logarithmic income discrepancy between the first and third worlds, and you're reframing its ideal outcome - competing in a global information economy - as 'feasting on crumbs'? What the fuck is funny about this?

          You're a sad person.

          • by mewshi_nya (1394329) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:51PM (#25727699)

            He was talking about the fact that this 'trickle-down' bullshit is completely bunk. And, frankly, we have bad enough income discrepancy in the first world. We need to fix our own problems - however, I have no problem with solving both concurrently.

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            You're a sad person.

            Now this is funny to me - you entirely missed the point of the "joke". The very patheticity (yes, I invented that word just now, fuck off) of your response to the joke demonstrates how "sad" you are - which is hilarious.

            Perhaps you should pull that ivory tower off your ass, and come down here to the real world, where it is acceptable to make such statements about life and existence.

            You're an idiot.

        • by bXTr (123510)

          Yes with the OLPC's help it will only be a matter of time before the wealth from the world's top 1% trickles down to you! Then with the crumbs that drop from their mouths you can feed your family!

          There maybe something dropping from somewhere, but it will not be, and it will not come from, what you think it will.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by east coast (590680)
      If you had one you could be browsing Monster or Dice for a new job right now!

      That's the catch-22 of OLPC.
    • by Progman3K (515744) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:23PM (#25726799)

      Funny story,

      I got laid off at the beginning of the year and took the time to come up with this, with my now-copious amounts of spare time:

      www.gentooxo.org

    • I'll give them $200 for mine and they can keep the spare.

  • by glop (181086) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @04:59PM (#25725767)

    Hi,

    I don't mean to troll.
    I am not sure how well the device has aged with all the new netbooks that are available.

    A few features that remain unmatched:
      - screen that works in sunlight
      - ebook mode (although I can read a PDF on my EEE and it looks great)
      - more rugged than other computers
      - battery life (?)
      - hand crank (did they provide it this time?)
      - wifi mesh

    Also, is there a guarantee that the OLPC you donate will not be running XP? I would not be too happy about sponsoring Microsoft...

    I am not shopping this year but I am afraid I would not choose the OLPC. Maybe I would get it for my kid though, I wonder.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Also, is there a guarantee that the OLPC you donate will not be running XP? I would not be too happy about sponsoring Microsoft...

      This needs to be said! There is obviously no such guarantee, as Colombia is getting Windows-XP based OLPCs... And soon others will follow...

      Boycott OLPC!

      • by popo (107611)

        The problem is though, that XP would be much, much more useful to teach young kids than the absolute horror story which was the OLPC flavor of Linux.

        Not only was the OLPC OS an atrocity, but frankly -- if you were a poor kid in some Rio favela -- what would you rather know: Some obscure flavor of Linux which looks something like Microsoft BOB, or a global standard?

        • by Hucko (998827)

          But the global standard is like microsoft bob...

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          The problem is this: if you look at the specs of the OLPC,it would run WIN98 okay. WinXP? Not so much. Not to mention the elephant in the room that nobody seems to mention. SWAP

          Working freelance jobs and with SMBs I've had the chance to work with XP Embedded, WinFLP, vanilla XP,and even rolled a few of my own with NLite. And you know what? They ALL pound the swap like it is going out of style! I don't think I've ever seen a Windows that DIDN'T like to pound the swap like a red headed stepchild. This would n

    • by calmofthestorm (1344385) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:24PM (#25726071)

      If you're a kid, it may be a usable computer, but I'd advise against getting one for personal use. The sun screen is incredibly awesome and the hand crank is neat. If I could just pay $600 for an eee that could take variable power source and had the OLPC's sun viewable I'd totally do it (yes overpaying, but it would have incredible utility to me).

      Thing is, it's a cheap computer (for obvious reasons), big, heavy, and has terrible battery life*

      A steal at $200. Not so much at $400. This of course ignores the social impact. Getting one for a kid is not a terrible idea, my cousins seem to get sugar quite intuitively:-)

      * Tested last spring. Software improvements may have changed this. Also no suspend to RAM at that time.

      • by Sir_Kurt (92864) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:21PM (#25726769)

        I one (actualy two) for the personal use of me and my family in the original G1G1 program. They arrived on time, are very robust little computers. Great battery life, super screen and with the latest software load, suspend to ram and other goodies work just great. We use them as our travelling computers. I loaded mplayer, opera and midnight commander on the little beast, built a cord so we could run it off the power plug in the car, and we are good to go. I bought a 120 gig usb powered HD for the little beasty, and ripped and loaded our dvd collection on the hard drive. Many hours of driving entertainment for the kids. The wifi is fabulous, and it never met a hotel setup it couldn't connect to instantly. For those hotels with hardwired ethernet, a $10 usb ethernet port does it all.

        We are pleased.

        Kurt

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        If you're a kid, it may be a usable computer, but I'd advise against getting one for personal use. The sun screen is incredibly awesome and the hand crank is neat. If I could just pay $600 for an eee that could take variable power source and had the OLPC's sun viewable I'd totally do it (

        Its called a DC-DC converter. Its fairly simple and cheap to build(1 IC, an inductor and a FET are the major components), and if you put a step-down after a step-up you can build a high current system that will take anything between 6V and 28V and provide the correct output for any laptop. I run my laptop off such a system without problems. Efficiency is above 80%. Just make sure the supply can provide sufficient current. Sealed Pb-Acid batteries work well.

        The sunlight readable screen is just a bit harder

    • by LMacG (118321) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:29PM (#25726119) Journal

      If you're buying via the G1G1 program primarily to get yourself a new notebook, you're doing it wrong.

      • by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:05PM (#25726579) Journal

        No you aren't.

        The G1 still goes to someone who doesn't has, and you still has G1.

        That's exactly right, no matter why you wanted to G1.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Rogerborg (306625)

          The G1 still goes to someone

          Citation required.

          As far as I can see, OLPC makes no guarantee at all that they will "give one" for every one that's bought. Rather, they sell you a "$100" toy for $400, and plough the profit back into their business. Given the colossal serial fuckup they seem to be making of that, I doubt that a free device will ever pop out the other end due to your generous "donation".

          Maybe that's good enough for you, but if I'm going to pay $400 for an obsolescent widget with no suppor

          • by blair1q (305137)

            Actually, the "citation required" would put the onus on you to prove OLPC is committing a crime such as that.

            I encourage you to do so, but I would bet against your being correct.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        If you're buying via the G1G1 program primarily to get yourself a new notebook, you're doing it wrong.

        If you're buying a laptop you don't like and won't use much only for the sake of making the donation, you're also doing it wrong. The environment doesn't need more junk, if you don't want it then buy one you do want and give some other way. I think most here on slashdot use their computers too much to have one they're not happy with, it would get replaced.

        • by kesuki (321456)

          considering how badly put together modern portable dvd players are (unless you buy the ones with out hinges) if the olpc laptop could play dvds (it can't that i'm aware of) it would be worth the money.

          but it can't so since i lack any children. there is no reason for me to buy a 'learning tool' i know i'm not the only slashdotter without a family. i just don't see the g1g1 working for people without kids.

          portable web browser? today's phones do that, and with better coverage.

          • by conlaw (983784)

            since i lack any children. there is no reason for me to buy a 'learning tool'

            You could buy two and give the second one to a disadvantaged child in this country.

            • by kesuki (321456)

              touche.

              i was going to write more, but it was more important that i typed it out, rather than post it.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          I want the XO to use for reading email, chatting, and reading ebooks. But I'm not going to G1G1 at $400 when I can pick up a used XO on ebay for $300...

      • Insightful? No, you could not be further from the truth, my friend. There's nothing wrong with looking to be satisfied through ways which help others. Ever heard the verse, "Jesus, for the joy set before him, endured the cross"? I'm not sure who started it, but somewhere down the line we believed the lie that if we in some way get satisfaction out of helping others (volunteering at the homeless shelter or something) that this, in some way or manner, decreases the value of the kind act we did. Not true.

        • while I fully believe that altruism is simply a form of selfishness, this is right; just because you do it for your own happiness doesn't mean you devalue the act. It's still the same act.

          • Selfishness, by definition, is pursuing your own happiness to ends which are a detriment of others. There is nothing wrong with altruistic acts to make yourself happy.

            • by jlarocco (851450)

              Selfishness, by definition, is pursuing your own happiness to ends which are a detriment of others.

              Bullshit. That's honestly the stupidest fucking thing I've heard in months. Show me the definition of "selfish" that requires you to do harm to other people.

              It's not in the definition Merriam Webster [merriam-webster.com] uses. And it's not in Wiktionary's [wiktionary.org] definition. And it's not in the definition at reference.com [reference.com].

              Seriously, how do you people come up with this bullshit? Fucking idiots.

              If you're doing something to make

    • by Threni (635302)

      If they'd made these 1) any good, and 2) available at some point (in the UK) over the last 2 years they've been going on about, I'd have bought one and some profit could have been used to fund giving stuff away elsewhere. In the end I gave up and got an Acer netbook.

    • by poot_rootbeer (188613) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:13PM (#25726669)

      I am not sure how well the device has aged with all the new netbooks that are available.

      The OLPC XO-1 is not and was never intended as a general-purpose netbook. Yes, it's possible to read Slashdot and play Doom and compile a Linux kernel on it, but that's only a side-effect. The hardware was specifically designed to be low-cost and geared towards primary-school-aged children.

      - hand crank (did they provide it this time?)

      In the developed world, a hand crank is even more a novelty than the XO-1 itself is.

      It will come with an AC adapter suitable to mains power in your country; if you really truly need dynamo power, you can salvage one from an emergency radio.

      - wifi mesh

      Really only useful for collaborating with other OLPC users in your immediate vicinity.

      I am not shopping this year but I am afraid I would not choose the OLPC. Maybe I would get it for my kid though, I wonder.

      Now you're beginning to see things the way OLPC wants you to.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        In the developed world, a hand crank is even more a novelty than the XO-1 itself is.

        I want the XO for two reasons; for everyday use, and for post-collapse use. A pair of XOs, hand-crank or yo-yo chargers, and a useful reference library on flash memory storage can be carried by two people in their packs, unlike a big shelf full of reference books. Even if you just want to use it while you're out in the wilderness, backpacking, et cetera, a hand-operated mobile power solution is mandatory.

        The charger was billed as a major feature of the XO, and the fact that it was dropped from the US progra

      • by Ant P. (974313)

        In the developed world, a hand crank is even more a novelty than the XO-1 itself is.

        You must have a very boring life if you've never been without AC power for more than 3 hours.

        • You must have a very boring life if you've never been without AC power for more than 3 hours.

          You must have a very boring life if you can't go more than three hours without a computer.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by schwaang (667808)

      A few features that remain unmatched:
      - screen that works in sunlight
      - ebook mode (although I can read a PDF on my EEE and it looks great)
      - more rugged than other computers
      - battery life (?)
      - hand crank (did they provide it this time?)
      - wifi mesh

      Among those features, some are still not fully realized on the XO, due mostly to software. Sunlight-readable, check. Ruggedness, check.

      But the ebook mode is not nearly as usab

      • by jc42 (318812)

        The wifi mesh isn't useful for G1G1 users, unless maybe you GnGn for n > 1. The mesh is one way that application collaboration is enabled. From my reading, it seems to be problematic in the field, at least for fair sized meshes ...

        My wife and I got a couple, plus one for a grandkid, and we did a bunch of experimenting. We were never able to find anything that we could call a successful collaboration. We don't consider seeing each others' icons on the screen and "friending" each other to be collaboration

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by schwaang (667808)

          I spent some time poking around in laptops.org to get more info, but that didn't lead to any collaboration. Anyone know where it might be documented?

          I haven't tested collaboration myself, but here's what looks like documentation [laptop.org]. And here's a link [laptop.org] that describes how a Jabber server is used to enable collaboration without using the mesh. I believe that by pointing to a particular server anywhere on the net, you can collaborate with anyone else on that server. Here's a blog post [livejournal.com] showing how to point sugar

  • Before anyone asks, these XOs will come equipped with the child-friendly Sugar platform

    If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by CRCulver (715279)

      If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

      Pedobear?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Diss Champ (934796)

      Microsoft

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The greater majority of teens and adults.

    • If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

      Anyone with enough money to satisfy the greed of Microsoft's board members.

    • by westlake (615356)
      If Sugar is child friendly, to whom is Windows friendly towards?

      Is this a trick question?

      The answer, of course, is "anyone using a computer outside a grade school classroom."

      The UI will be familiar and the core apps much the same in any working environment.

      That is what makes Windows on the XO so compelling to the third world education minister - who wants to get as many of his kids as possible on track for the higher grades, college, trade and business school.

  • by GBC (981160) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:11PM (#25725929)
    I am based in the UK but ordered an XO in the initial G1G1 programme and had it delivered to a friend in the US who then sent it on to me here in London. All I can say is that the experience was an absolute debacle. If you check the forums of OLPC News [olpcnews.com] you can see just how bad it was - repeated broken promises as to delivery dates, support staff who couldn't provide any answers and an end product less than what was initially promised (e.g. no separate power generating devices).

    I was and still am a supporter of the OLPC; whilst the product itself is not aimed at me, even still I think it is a great computer and a lot of fun to use. I give them full credit as well for creating the "netbook" market from nothing. However, the G1G1 experience turned a lot of people off the OLPC organisation. It is hard to have confidence that they can execute their mission when they couldn't even get the logistics right for a first world country. I just hope we don't have a repeat of that this time around.
    • As one who participated in the first G1G1 I can attest that they were totally unprepared to handle the orders. It was a huge mess. That said, it was eventually made right, the little green guy showed up, and although the initial software kind of sucked, the new build [laptop.org] is a lot, LOT better.

      And as a bonus it came with a year of T-Mobile Hotspot access free, which is nice.

      I presume the new OLPC this year will not look like the 2.0 "all touch [engadget.com]" dual-screen design previewed in May?

      Actually somre more info re: th

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:43PM (#25727025)

      repeated broken promises as to delivery dates, support staff who couldn't provide any answers and an end product less than what was initially promised (e.g. no separate power generating devices).

      No shit. A client of mine ordered *TWO* G1G1 packages, and they never showed up. Repeated calls to the company resulted in: "we lost your order", but they couldn't even figure out how to refund his money. He ended up having to do a chargeback.

      Given that loads of people never got theirs, what do you think the chances are that the *other* party in the whole "G1G1" scam*cough*, I mean, "program", got theirs?

    • My daughter's at school in the UK, so I bought one, sat through the delays and more delays (told her that there was a "late Christmas present" coming, but I wasn't quite sure when) then FedEx'ed it over to her. FedEx alone cost close to half the "value" of the thing - and then the UK bastards wanted her to pay customs duty too. Teach me to ship it in the original box, I guess...

    • by teazen (876487)
      That's why they're handing the logistics over to Amazon this time around.

      And yes, also for me it was a disaster. XO order was months behind schedule, contact information was wrong, they double billed me. They should have outsourced this the first time, but since they didn't have any experience in this department, they didn't know what they were getting themselves into.

      You have to take the good with the bad I guess, when you deal with a non-corporate startup that wants to do stuff differently.
  • Pandora is better (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:14PM (#25725953) Journal

    Few years ago the OLPC was my wet dream, but it took soo long for it, to be available for buy, that it's plain crazy. The Eee and ASUS stuff appeared. But they are all plain junk - very heavy, and very short battery life. OLPC at least is rechargeable...

    But, oh well, fortunately now there is Pandora, I have ordered one and got to wait until december to receive it. I think that Pandora is revolutionary to Portable / Personal Micro Computers as Sinclair ZX Spectrum was at its own time. I may be wrong, but there's something in it. So it might be true. Time will tell.

    • Re:Pandora is better (Score:5, Informative)

      by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:15PM (#25725985) Journal

      ah, for those who don't know what I'm talking about, here's the website http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

      • by spinkham (56603)
        That looks like a nice homebrew gaming machine, but a really crappy laptop. That is NOT a usable keyboard.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      When I saw this, I thought: why did this spam get modded up?

      Then I saw the device, and thought: wow, that's small, but I probably won't buy one because that woman is wearing a top I can't see down.

      Then I saw that it's a British company (?!!!!) that's making something useful, and it runs on an ARM processor with reasonable specs ...

      Then this happened [youtube.com], now I just have to persuade the wife -- after changing my pants -- that she should buy me one for Christmas.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        It'll have to be a late Xmas present, they sold out and aren't getting in more until january.

  • Shame, I already ordered a Dell Mini 9.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:18PM (#25726025)

    I'm still waiting for the Buy One, Taunt One program. Where you buy a laptop loaded with Linux, and another is sent to a Microsoft employee. Complete with the Firefox home page set to the last Slashdot story bashing Microsoft.

    Naturally the packages will be addressed to:
    Micro$oft,
    One Micro$oft Way,
    Redmond, WA 98052-6399 U.$

  • Ah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:18PM (#25726027) Journal
    so when they want our money, then it is Linux configured. Otherwise, they take MS. Hmmmm. Thanx, but no thanx. Besides, it is the west that is hurting bad.
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Besides, it is the west that is hurting bad.

      It's only hurting relative to a couple of years ago, we're not starving, and we're still able to send our kids to school.

  • I think the idea is great and thinking about buying one as a xmas present for a 5 year old kid. Is this something for a child that age?
    What about pricing? $399 or â 312. I thought it would be a $100 dollar laptop, so I'm buying 4 (1 for me, 3 for OLPC)?
    Did they beef up the spec or is this the same version with just a new OS?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      GFE.

      But on a serious note - It's been said for a long time that the price point of $100 was an eventual goal, and that manufacturing scale did not allow it to meet that goal (yet). As such, the laptops cost roughly $200 ($188 to quote OLPC's information precisely) - hence the "Give 1, Get 1" program name.

      As for the spec, this is the same thing with a new OS. That being said, the OS improvements are supposedly vast in the performance department.

      Lastly, on the topic of giving it to a 5 year old - well, that r

  • by Anonymous Coward

    G1G1 was great when people thought they were helping a non-profit promote free software and open hardware throughout the world. Now that that dream is over and OLPC is primarily promoting MS, who cares about OLPC?

    • If you were doing OLPC because you're a zealot looking to promote your ideology, not to help out poor people, you were doing it so wrong it's not even funny.
      • You sound like a zealot looking to promote
        your ideology, not to promote software freedom.

        (your ideology being that poor people should be
        helped, and that this should be done by providing
        them with free-as-in-beer electronic junk)

        Making poor people depend on a for-profit
        software vendor is an "interesting" ideology.

        • (your ideology being that poor people should be helped, and that this should be done by providing them with free-as-in-beer electronic junk)

          Terrible assumption you've made. I think we should help poor people by whatever means possible (ethics permitting, of course... no killing people to help the poor or some crazy scenario like that, and no, it is not unethical to give them proprietary software). Free software, proprietary software... it's the same in my book. Use whichever helps your goals more.

          So if you want to call helping the less fortunate an "ideology", then I guess I'm a zealot for that ideology. But I don't think that's a reasonable ca

    • OLPC is *NOT* primarily promoting MS.

      In fact, I don't think anyone at the OLPC core dev team is actively doing windows-related work on the XO. All work is being done on Sugar XO-OS.

      It's Microsoft's problem to make XP work on the XO.

      The MS thing was a compromise for governments who inisited on computers that run XP. Basically, it's more of "hey, if you want to run a different OS on the XO, it's your machine". The OLPC folks aren't the ones maintaining the XP version.

  • by bangzilla (534214) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:31PM (#25726149) Journal
    Starting November 17 Amazon.com will off the OLPC http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&me=A34NLXJLC88VVS [amazon.com]. Quite appropriate since it was Jeff Bezos that came up with the buy-two-get-one program.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Great. One year after the US and Canada, we in Europe should be pleased to be elegible for a program that was a flop in the US, at a moment when the hardware was up to date.
    Now OLPC wants us to get hyped for a piece of hardware that has become old and irrelevant, just because they couldn't include us at the moment when the offer would have been interesting because it consisted of some relevant hardware?

    Sorry, for me it's again 'too little, too late'. If the OLPC would have included us last year, I would hav

  • by EWAdams (953502) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:51PM (#25726425) Homepage
    I'd love to ditch my laptop and replace it with an XO just for the cool-value at conferences, but I need to give presentations. Any way to get SVGA out of it?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This [209.85.175.104] (google cache - the OLPC wiki seems to be down) should help you (it's a bit clunky, but it works fine)

  • Fact check: Turkey is NOT an EU member.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by esampson (223745)

      Neither are Russia or Switzerland. That's why the list says 'EU members states, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey' instead of 'EU member states; Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey'. :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by sanso999 (997008)
        That may be so, but they all take part in EuroVISION, so they have a foot in the door....
    • Fact check: Turkey is NOT an EU member.

      Duh. Who said it was?

      For once, the summary is correct "in the EU member states, Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey." This is a list, meaning "in the EU member states AND Switzerland AND Russia and Turkey", not a definition. If it were, it would use a colon, like "in the EU member states: Switzerland, Russia, and Turkey". I mean, who would imagine that Russia was in the EU (aside from Sarah Palin)?

  • Disillusion (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XB-70 (812342) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:25PM (#25726829)
    I bought into the dream last December. Sent in my money and got a unit in Jan/Feb (I forget). I played with the unit like crazy - learning all its idiosyncrasies. Then the whole OLPC program started to unravel. Key people dropped out. The O/S and Sugar had not evolved much as of June '08. OLPC sent ONE (1) person to Peru for a roll-out of thousands of machines - many of which had problems or needed upgrades. Intel got involved - and dropped out... and now Microsoft...

    -I have managed to upgrade the software exactly twice - a complex, virtual dance of death if the upgrade doesn't take.

    -The machine is DOG slow.

    - The keyboard is useless for high school kids.

    - There is not enough memory for much A/V.

    - Connecting to WiFi is counter-intuitive if security is involved.

    - There is no native printer support.

    Quite frankly, I'm sceptical that this thing can fly long-term because other, full-fledged products are catching up (ASUS) to the OLPC price-point will fully loaded Linux on a better machine.

    Now, the positives - battery life has been amazing. The screen is truly a wonder and great as a reader flipped over and turned sideways.

    One issue troubles me: In this and other projects, no-one has solved the problem of supplying internet connectivity in remote areas. I know that Google is launching a constellation of Ka band satellites - but they will be commercial. One idea that I saw was to use a WiFi server on either buses or motorcycles. Local servers pump email etc. to the mobile servers which then dump the data when they get to a hot-spot - and visa-versa. Sort of a sneakernet for the back woods.

    I'm concerned about the entire support infrastructure. Further to that, why don't these things come pre-loaded with regional Wikis and the full slate of curriculae as set out by the country involved?

    • Re:Disillusion (Score:5, Informative)

      by Brain_Recall (868040) <brain_recall@@@yahoo...com> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:48PM (#25727679)
      I can't defend everything, so I'll just post some info. Full-scale OS updates aren't intended for its intended audience. I've had bad upgrades, but only when playing with the development branch (joyride). Activities can be updated easily with a new Sugar build. Sugar was just updated very recently. I would post a link, but the wiki is down at the moment. It has some changes, modified layout, better power management, and a control panel with a software updater. Wifi with security is a LOT better than it was. Mine syncs right up with WPA for me without any trouble. There are localized Wiki activities now available. And, these do often come specialized for the country they are being delivered to, including electronic books that they use. These are often special builds not available to the public, so you wouldn't see much of them.
    • by grcumb (781340)

      One issue troubles me: In this and other projects, no-one has solved the problem of supplying internet connectivity in remote areas. I know that Google is launching a constellation of Ka band satellites - but they will be commercial. One idea that I saw was to use a WiFi server on either buses or motorcycles. Local servers pump email etc. to the mobile servers which then dump the data when they get to a hot-spot - and visa-versa. Sort of a sneakernet for the back woods.

      You've effectively answered your own q

    • The hardware is nothing nice by 2008 standards,
      but it isn't hopeless. It's like 1996 to 2000.

      The problem is that a bunch of dumb-ass morons
      decided to write the entire GUI in Python. WTF?
      Then, since that wasn't stupid enough, they used
      lots of message passing and SVG graphics.

      I've never seen a good explanation or excuse for
      this, or even an admission of the mistake. Sugar
      developers do all sorts of nasty performance hacks
      yet are unable to confront the real problems.

  • Why no info were disclose? Are there any different?

    Last years's G1G1 does not count an success by some means.

    Check out the price on ebay.

  • With all the bad experiences related, I thought I'd add my good experiences. Ours came a week before Christmas. It worked great. It is as fast and has as much memory as the email/imap/vpn/squid server used by one of my clients remote offices. The only thing that is too slow is the Flash plugin that runs Webkins - but I don't really want my daughter playing Webkins all the time anyway. With current releases, I get 5 hour battery life - better than any full size laptop at our house. The 10" screen is ra

  • Given OLPCs backflips on Free Software being included do not support this if your intent is to help spread Free Software. They could just as easily turn around and ship your "give one" with windows. And really who wants to give the "gift" of Microsoft? Well done Nicolas. You were teaching them to fish, but ultimately caved and gave them their first Microsoft fillet. Not only have you let down those you sought to help, you've irrevocably destroyed the value of your word. You have no credibility here time to
  • Because they switched to being windows-bootable. http://bostonreview.net/BR33.6/stallman.php [bostonreview.net]
  • As the OLPC is nolonger "free", there is absolutely no reason to buy an OLPC instead of an ASUS Eee PC. I lost interest in the OLPC when they lost interest in my efforts. Go Richard!

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