The question has been asked, whether the XO, as it went into manufacturing, was really ready for the children. In one way, that's like asking if your computer is fast enough, which is silly. No computer is fast enough for everything we want to do.
We can all agree that the XO isn't as fast as we could wish, but we can also consider another meaning of the phrase. The XO is certainly fast enough to provide an education. You can't even compare the possibilities with and without it. Similarly, there is no way the XO software could be finished.
We're talking about education here. There are no known limits to education, and good reason to suppose that there aren't any unknown limits either. But in the same way as speed, we can say that the software provided is working, and supports the mission.
The XO Laptop? Dayenu.
There is a Jewish song, sung every year at Passover, called Dayenu. This means, "It would have been enough for us."
In effect, it is the Jewish Thanksgiving song. If God had rescued the Jews from Egypt, and done nothing more, Dayenu. If he had fed them in the desert, Dayenu. If he had given them the Torah and nothing more, Dayenu. If he had brought them to the Promised Land, and nothing more ever again, Dayenu.
But, of course, God always does more. Including whacking them over the head when they don't get it. Be that as it may, when we look at the XO laptop, we can also say, Dayenu. It's $188, not $100, but Dayenu. If it didn't have Mary Lou Jepson's amazing screen, or her two-dollar clip-on microscope, it would have been enough to revolutionize education worldwide and lift multitudes out of poverty. If it didn't have the new less-toxic batteries, Dayenu. If they hadn't wrung out quite so much power drain, Dayenu. (They announced recently that they found the major bug preventing proper suspend-resume.)
And the same in software. Even if we didn't get Etoys, Squeak, Smalltalk relicensed under GPL, Dayenu. Even without the amazing Measure activity that turns the XO into a digital oscilloscope, Dayenu. And so on. If it were only a book reader with Internet access and a calculator, it would be revolutionary enough for a first cut. It's far more than that.
Let's not stop at Dayenu
But we aren't stopping there. There will be field upgrades of the software, using an automated process driven by school servers. Much more existing software will be Sugarized to run in the XO user interface, and new software is appearing, some of it from the children. The community has started to look into localizing user interface sounds, not just text.
There are numerous improvements to hardware on next year's list, including the possibility of a touch screen. I can't give you a number for how much content can be licensed for free distribution on the XO or the school server, but it will be a lot. So much for quantity. Now to quality.
I'm not going to tell you that the XO is shipping bug-free. That would be silly. No computer ships bug-free. I'm about to file some bugs on keyboard layout switching and booting with USB devices plugged in myself. But the show-stopper bugs such as crashes, loss of sound, dud components from suppliers, and inability to suspend properly have been fixed, along with plenty of others. And work continues.
You can join in, whether you can develop or translate, or just have a conversation with a child. And so I invite you to join me in saying, Dayenu, Amen, Brothers and Sisters, Amen. Or whatever that comes to in Kiswahili and Mongolian.
The XO laptop is enough for us. And enough for Peru too!