Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Red Hat Software Businesses Education Operating Systems Portables Software Hardware

Negroponte Sees Sugar As OLPC's Biggest Mistake 268

griffjon writes "In an interview, Nicholas Negroponte claims that the biggest mistake OLPC made was the revolutionary Red Hat-based Sugar desktop environment — instead, he says, they should have built Sugar as an application that ran on a 'vanilla' Linux OS. Some disagree."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Negroponte Sees Sugar As OLPC's Biggest Mistake

Comments Filter:
  • by eosp ( 885380 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @03:31PM (#28760499) Homepage

    Added to all the other problems you said, OLPC should have realised that putting a damn computer in the hands of some country's kids is completely missing the point when the kids have probably no electricity, not even basic healthcare, no sanitation, little or no education, and perhaps barely enough food. Forget the computer ---- there are far bigger problems to solve first.

    This objection has been raised several times, and is still wrong. OLPC isn't meant for the countries where feeding one's children is the largest problem. They're meant to target populations where (for example) food and clean water are generally available but the education is poor.

  • by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @03:55PM (#28760845)

    You are so right. I'm still trying to see the benefits of the latest Office 'ribbon' interface...
    Trivia fans: Shift and F5 in Word will still take you back to the last point where you edited the document, (not where your cursor position was...unless you changed something there...)

  • by dominator ( 61418 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @04:01PM (#28760937) Homepage

    Their working with MS amounted to, what - adding a $2 MD card reader to the XO? I think that's all that it changed in terms of the hardware plan, anyway.

    I have an XO. The card reader is bloody useful, if you ask me.

  • by mister_playboy ( 1474163 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @04:14PM (#28761133)
    I ran Xubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 on a machine with 160 MB of RAM... 8.10 wasn't too bad, but 9.04 was quite sluggish (albeit much more attractive). Since the I couldn't get WPA working consistently on either release, I decided to give Win2000 a shot... that runs very well and makes the computer quite usable. I never personally used a Win2000 computer back in the day, and it does seem light years ahead of the 16/32-bit Windows branch in terms of stability. If anything, it makes me realize most of the good NT stuff is already present in 2000, and the later releases added more style than substance. It can still run the vast majority of programs and games, and if anything, can probably run them with better performance than the newer, heavier versions of Windows can. I'm a Linux convert, but I'll give credit where it is due.
  • by 0x4a6f6e43 ( 837256 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @04:52PM (#28761763)
    Missing keys? WTF. People with pocket knives cut them out or something? It's a frigging rubber mat keyboard. How does it loose a key? What kind of trade show was this? A razor blade trade show?
  • Re:mistakes (Score:2, Informative)

    by RoccamOccam ( 953524 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @05:07PM (#28761977)
    Interestingly enough, there is a library available that provides something similar to that:

    import psyco

  • by RedK ( 112790 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @06:07PM (#28762781)
    What you say would be true, except for a while there, the buy 1, give 1 away program was so overloaded with demand that they just couldn't produce enough to meet the orders.
  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @06:11PM (#28762825)

    get a clue buba, the world is not all poor and starving or wealthy and not starving. There are probably more places around the world where there's enough food, basic schooling, but little to no electricity. I even think there was a Peruvian village which made the press when interviews of the fathers of the kids who were getting OLPC XO's were originally going to take them away until they saw how much they were learning. The deal was they parents had no idea what the kids were learning because there were no supplies they could take home. After the fathers seeing the kids learning on the new computers, they let the kids have more time away from the fields because they felt if the kids learned more, they would have a better chance of a better life than their parents had or could provide.

    So that junk about the world is starving so don't send them computers, send them food is naive at best and more likely, just plan ignorance. IMO.

    Regarding Walmart, I don't know if putting them in Walmart would have worked. I've told people over and over that the laptop was for children but after looking over it they would almost always say it was a nice device but it was too small and the keyboard too tiny to use. I'd also read a number of the OLPC forums where people who ordered G1G1 devices were complaining because they didn't run Windows. In other words, a whole lot of people are clueless about the XO being an educational device. Even your bend on this shows it is incorrect. You remark about the kids learning programing and open source and then add a third entry of "that other good stuff". "that other good stuff" is education and the reason for the device. Sorry but you flunked the test.


  • by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday July 20, 2009 @06:19PM (#28762899) Journal
    That's not a good comparison to the post that sparked his comment.

    Von Braun offered more than comments. When a person's entire topical output is a written comment on a message board, then overt racism in the comment is cause to ignore the whole thing.

    Simply put, a comment on slashdot is not *important* enough to override the derision such outright racism deserves.

    That's my opinion, yours might differ -- but I think that overlooking such blatant racism is tantamount to approving of the racism.
  • Re:mistakes (Score:2, Informative)

    by Sam Douglas ( 1106539 ) <> on Tuesday July 21, 2009 @08:00AM (#28768141) Homepage

    If you 'pull the cover off' a lot of the boot process is just generic Fedora stuff. It doesn't help the computer is underpowered (they are fucking slow actually!) but a lightweight operating system would be the way to go. Fedora really was a bad choice. It doesn't help that under Sugar is running half of a Gnome system anyway.

    I really like the XO hardware, the design is nice (people who complain about the toyish look should actually use one -- the keyboard is their flaw not the colour scheme). I would be happy using one for day to day computing with a better operating system installed. The screen is a real pleasure to use (transmissive colour, reflective monochrome ... in daylight the picture is extremely sharp). I would choose an XO in preference to current model netbooks any day.

    The software is still a big let down. Sugar (the interface) is slow, a bit awkward to use and understand how to program for. Being able to only run one windowed application at a time is annoying for an experienced user, but if it wasn't for performance problems it really isn't unusable.

    Additionally: multiplayer pong tablet ... the software is built into the firmware. Much better than Sugar.

BLISS is ignorance.