Muffin Stump? OLPC is a Whole New Biscotti!


In reading Fred J Aun's "Is OLPC Putting a Band-Aid on a Gaping Wound? article, I was surprised to see that Linspire President and CEO Kevin Carmony is still using the muffin stump analogy to describe the Children's Machine XO:

"It's the notion that you can go to a third-world country and give them the muffin stumps," he told LinuxInsider. "That's how we feel about these computers. They are so limited and so restricted as to what they can do, they're not going to have much value."
It seems that Linspire leadership is still under the misguided impression that the "$100 laptop" is trying to replace a standard computing environment. That a Sugar UI is meant for adult OLPC XO users, and therefore OLPC hardware is limited.

While I will grant Linspire the argument that Sugar isn't fully tested, with children or adults, and the developers are only now have a stable build, the OLPC laptop platform is not a Linspire competitor. It's not a "muffin stump". The OLPC XO is a whole new baked good. If anything, the OLPC XO is a biscotti.

olpc beer
An alternate biscotti beverage

Like biscotti, the OLPC is meant for a certain clientèle. It is twice baked, once as a slab of dough, then again when it's cut into strips. This double-baking makes them store longer and back in the pre-espresso bar days, were meant for explorers, soldiers, and other adventurers in extreme environments.

Today when you get biscotti, you have to dip it in your favorite hot beverage for it to be edible. Coffee for many, tea for some, hot chocolate for others, and for the hardy, un-dipped and crunchy. Sound familiar?

And biscotti will never be an American Heartland favorite, like muffins. Muffins are soft, easy to eat, and often way too sweet. Perfect for those who want the "world's easiest" something. No biscotti, OLPC, are different. Yes, like Linspire, OLPC will be an easy Linux distribution, but don't confuse your target markets or your baked goods.

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1 Comment

The 'limited machine comments' are really baffling to me. I recently bought a laptop for waaay more than a $100, and I wish it could do the things the OLPC will be able to do. Laptops are now just internet devices, overpowering them is just waste.

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