Friday, April 24, 2009

give a linux laptop. change the world.

Well it seems that this is the "almost one year ago I wrote ..." time of the year in blogging :)
But almost one year ago I wrote about how the OLPC seemed to steer towards the crimson blue waters of Microsoft's Windows XP. And I was down right pissed about that...
Today I got some of my enthusiasm back when I somehow got to the Sugar page via a Lifehacker article about Sugar on an USB stick. And there I saw that they actually provide a VirtualBox image ready to use. Well long story short, about half and hour and some 300 megs later the OLPC OS was ready and running on my Leopard inside a VM.
I must say that it's a cute and elegant GUI and software package. A handful of apps so friendly that any primary school kid would instantly fall in love with. And like with any user oriented Linux there's a certain power under the surface, in places that you don't need to look into but where you eventually get to poke because you just have to. The browser even has the Gnash Flash Player which seems to be on par with the Adobe Flash Player 9. It certainly runs the games on Miniclip.com and that is something.
And with these great I18n, multimedia, learning and collaboration tools who wouldn't like to own one. It's like the Apple OS for kids :)
A really great effort and result from the team so I really hope this keeps moving forward.
So now I would really be pissed if these nice laptops would run XP. But since the:
"As a matter of practicality and given the necessity to enhance performance and reliability while containing costs, XO is not burdened by the bloat of excess code, the “featureitis” that is responsible for much of the clumsiness, unreliability, and expense of many modern laptops."
statement is still on their page I'll be happy to presume that it implicitly excludes using Windows as an alternative OS.

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