The One Laptop Per Child foundation has done some amazing work towards the goal of providing a ubiquitous $100 laptop targeted towards education for (3rd world) children.
Lately, however there has been some upheaval within the organization, following many leaked reports that the XO OS Sugar may be transplanted by some scaled down version of Windows (presumably XP).
Frankly, I don't understand why the OLPC volunteers are getting their panties in such a wad - as I comment here:
I'm curious as to why Windows on the XO is somehow considered as inhibiting the learning value of the XO.
I fully understand that XP is not open source, but why is it so fundamentally important that the OS be open source? It's not as if the hardware is open source, right? As long as there are no restrictions as to what can be put ON the OS, that's what ought to matter. Arguing about one OS vs another seems silly, and it strikes me that certain members of the OLPC community are letting their anti-MS bias get the better of them.
Part of the answer I got from Wayan, is telling (emphasis mine):
Many of us invested our hearts and minds into OLPC because it was Open Source and not MS. To switch a fundamental aspect of the program this late in the game is alienating all of us who are here because Sugar + XO = Education + Open Source.
XP on the XO can be educational, its just not the OLPC we signed up for.
Basically he argues my point: the anti-MS bias is overshadowing the larger goal.
As I've stated before, I am not a 3rd world child, and my primary purpose for buying the XO was to have another cool little wireless gadget on which I could surf the Internet. That little experiment failed, largely due to the clumsy Sugar OS.
Labels: experiment, me-me-me, olpc, rant