Well, initially it was great. I participated in the original G1G1 program. I received my laptop, but I never received a number which would give me T-Mobile HotSpot access for one year. Now, let’s think down this chain a bit further. However there are a few things you need to understand about me.
- I know several languages (C, perl, python, x86 assembler, 68hc11 assembler, php)
- I haven’t done gtk / glib but I know gnome (it uses it heavily).
The OLPC people decided to make a laptop which would be:
- Power-saving / low power consumption
To this, they met their goals. Now let’s simply consider functionality. That right there is where they messed up.
They developed a GUI using some of the slowest engines and languages known. I personally love python more than perl. However OLPC has a CPU which is designed to not have as much juice or use as much juice, as such they should have chose a better method to interact with the system. Forget MIT graduates, what happened to common sense? I have a laptop here which is far less powerful than their laptop. It’s an IBM 240. It’s a subnotebook with a Celeron 366 CPU. In terms of functionality and usage, it blows the OLPC away. It also has more connectors and is pretty durable. The battery life is half of what the OLPC’s is, but don’t forget this is a very old laptop (think year 2000).
Now the nail in the coffin comes from them moving towards Microsoft. They already had a rather silly GUI interface going for them, but now the few open-source people that joined them in their quest they are going to lose. Not everyone can afford Microsoft and I don’t want them to. I don’t have anything against Microsoft but despite what my family may think, they were poor. We could not afford their software, other children shouldn’t have to either. They also don’t have a complete open-source / free model. Take their wireless card for instance. I’ll make references later, but end rant
Negroponte and Co. Good idea, but poor execution. Personally, I think if we told Bill Gates to make a cheap laptop and make it completely open-source he would do a better job. Intel, not so much.