Monday, November 12, 2007

computers: Gave one, getting one OLPC

The OLPC Give one get one site went live, so I forked over my $400. According to the inspiring OLPC weekly news, mass production has started. I should get my XO in December.

The anti-fan boys who want this project to fail are so depressing, because they're busy telling other people what to do with their charitable impulses while sitting on their asses typing negative statements, doing f***-all themselves. So listen up, anti-fan boys, responding to some of of your negative points:
  • “third-world kids need food and shelter”
    True for some kids in crisis, so leave this site right now and go to CARE or the Red Cross and give them your $200. But if you weren't so patronizingly unaware, you'd realize there are hundreds of millions of children who have food and shelter but poor education and little opportunity for advancement.
  • “they should focus on seed programs/health/clean water/whatever”
    It's not a zero-sum game. Some talented computer engineers are applying their skills to developing a free and open-source learning computer. If you dicks waved your magic wand and shut this project down, their talents wouldn't magically breed super crops or cure malaria. Meanwhile, where are you applying your limited talents?
  • “kids need to learn the standard platform, i.e. Windows, so all this engineering effort is a waste”
    Go volunteer to teach MS Windows and MS Office computer skills to the poor in your area. Meanwhile, let this project deliver to grade school children a software and hardware platform optimized for learning, and we'll all see what happens. The geeked-out hardware and software efforts have already inspired the development of lots of open source courseware and learning materials.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

computer: One Laptop Per Child going gangbusters

OLPC news looks good. B1 prototypes! Supposedly the learning community responded well to this keynote. Paper textbook publishers and people with ties to Microsoft/Intel are going to go even heavier into politics and FUD mode to bring this down.

By designing everything from the ASICs to the apps in an open concerted manner, they're optimizing and improving the entire system on an hourly basis, in a way that a Wintel laptop can only dream about. (In contrast, here's a long sad post from a Microsoft engineer about the hassles and crapware of a typical Windows PC.) Even though I'll probably never own one, much of the improvements in software will flow to LinuxBIOS, Linux, X windows, and other open source projects.

And I find another super-talented long-timer is working on it, Mitch Bradley of Sun, Forth, PROM fame.

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