Ivan Krstić Resigned from One Laptop Per Child!!

   
   
   
   
   

Oh. My. God. I don’t even know what to say right now. I can only quote Ivan's Krstić's own explanation while the shock still works through my brain:

vsat dance
No more Ivan on roofs?!
Not long ago, OLPC undertook a drastic internal restructuring coupled with what, despite official claims to the contrary, is a radical change in its goals and vision from those that were shared with me when I was invited to join the project.

Adding insult to injury, I was asked to stop working with Walter Bender, without a doubt one of the most stunningly thoughtful and competent people I’ve ever worked with. Following Walter’s demotion from OLPC presidency, I was to report instead to a manager with no technical or engineering background who was put in charge of all OLPC technology.

I cannot subscribe to the organization’s new aims or structure in good faith, nor can I reconcile them with my personal ethic. Having exhausted other options, three weeks ago I resigned my post at OLPC.

Oh what have you done One Laptop Per Child?!

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34 Comments

Sounds like a take-over and the end of the OLPC as we know it.

What happened?

Winter

Yeah, when Gabey8 broke with the story last night I about fell out of my chair. Im still in shock too Wayan, though maybe now this explains why they let him on the rusty roof in Peru? ;)

It'll be interesting to see what comes out of this, I don't think its the "end of OLPC" just a radical change in direction (which actually might be a good thing?).

Reading the commentary on OLPC News Forum:

http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=2340.msg18594

I have to say that I agree with Gabey8. I want to know what these "new goals and aims" are and would love to understand how they are going to better achieve the OLPC mission. Or the old, new mission, as the OLPC mission already changed once before:

http://www.olpcnews.com/use_cases/education/olpc_mission_constructionism.html

My comments in that thread were what I came over here to post. There seems to be only a partial crossover between the posters on the OLPC News forums and the regular commenters on the OLPC News articles, and I'm keenly interested in the insight of both groups of posters.

I'm curious to know just what, besides reorganization of personnel, has changed within the organization itself. What new goals and aims are we talking about? It would be good to see those topics discussed openly. I know I support the original concept of OLPC, and *I* haven't changed. If the organization has refocused its goals in some way, I'd like to know what their CURRENT mission and goals are, so I can tell if we're all still on the same page or close to it.

I know from experience that an organizational restructuring can make a previously enjoyable job untenable. :( So if that's a large part of the reason for the resignation, I can't say I blame him. But the aims and goals... that's something that extends a lot farther than one individual's job. So, what has changed? Is this connected in any way to the (allegedly) imminent release of XP for the XO? Or (as a commenter on the OLPC News forums wondered) could it be connected to making sales of units a higher priority than it was previously? I don't know. I hope that we learn more as time passes.

1. If this is a change to make OLPC more efficient as an implementing organization, its a welcomed and slightly overdue change.

2. I think that a large-scale XP on XO effort will see massive defections from OLPC, including myself.

3. If OLPC is now focused on just selling laptops, its going to lose any pretense to being an education project.

As you might suspect, I really do hope its (1) and that we see an organization focused on its customers (MoE's) and through them, its target group (children) that leads to greater success (educational change).

It's quite simple, boys and girls: Prof. Negroponte does not care about education and this has NEVER been a humanitarian endeavour.

Yes, it seems like a nasty thing to say, but it is also true.

This is about Prof. Negroponte's demented idea thast he could trick his way into selling millions of laptops at any cost.

The kids, along with the more-than-liberal use of "Constructivism", are nothing but the perfect prop to make a strong sales pitch.

The final objective is very clear: sell the XO, no matter what it takes.

As I have said before, that's the logical explanation to why Prof. Negroponte has gotten in bed with Intel, microsoft and all the people he HIMSELF claimed were out to destroy his "vision".

Only the blind followers ignored the obvious question: if Microsoft and intel are so bad, why is he in bed with them?

There is a point where nobody can't continue to ignore the truth. Ivan Krstic just reached it.

Expect more debris to come your way, as the house of cards finally disintegrates. And expect the usual sychophants to come up with the most bizarre excuses for all the terrible things happening to the OLPC Project.

Don't be surprised if the next shameless, stupid claim is that Krstic was a bad guy, anyway, and not really important to the project.

I have seen Ivan as a to-the-point, strong, clear opinion, let's-get-moving guy.

If I may share a similar experience, from a job I resigned from, there is a time for pioneers - I was loved and constantly congratulated my first year. Then the joint needed (or thinks it needs) to become an institution, respectable, political, mindful of feelings rather than of goals. Out with the Swiss-army types, in with the bean-counters and feel-good ones.

Ivan is a doer. I do not see him thriving in an institution.
Like Koestler for his main character in "Darkness at Noon", I see that Walter Bender and other creative folks are sacrificing themselves for a hope, an ideal, that the institution they serve still say in its statements, but actually has already left for pragmatic and not necessarily wiser way.

XP on XO is a feel-good stance pointed to people with little vision that just happen to be the ones writing checks that pay OLPC deployments.

Now, please do not all leave! There is much to be done, and even though OLPC has and had and now will have ideologies and policies that we might not agree with, the idea of coming together to get computer-based education for free is inherently a Good Thing, and we should keep that effort up.

@Yama Ploskonka:
"Now, please do not all leave! There is much to be done, and even though OLPC has and had and now will have ideologies and policies that we might not agree with, the idea of coming together to get computer-based education for free is inherently a Good Thing, and we should keep that effort up."

In general, I would subscribe to your view. However, with Microsoft, I would decline. If you have seen MS from the start, you will see that they have corrupted everything they touched.

It is not just that XP is bad for education, it is positively dangerous to kids. I consider XP laptops for elementary school children like giving them Cadmium containing toys. Nice and shiny, but in the end very dangerous.

Winter

Yama wrote:

"the idea of coming together to get computer-based education for free is inherently a Good Thing, and we should keep that effort up."

That's not what OLPC is about. There is nothing free for the target customers.

Prof. Negroponte travels first classs to meet Intel and Microsoft executives, so that the "bad guys" (bad according to Negroponte himself) can throw a few millions into his project, while the poor kids in Peru are still looking for the "print" command on their "laptop".

By 2010, Prof. Negroponte will be in a 5-star hotel suite, busy on the phone describing his latest "vision" while poor Uruguayan kids expect technical support from a company (OLPC) that no longer exists.

It would be a terrible thing for poor nations to waste their scarce education dollars on Negroponte's the demented, callous, dishonest offer.

Krstic is not the only - or first - one to see the scam for what it really is: the much-touted involvement of Trevor Baylis lasted a few days only. The guy, being a bright fellow, quckly realized it was all pure bs:

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2146399/uk-wireless-radio-inventor

@ Irvin: the article in question is from November 2005. There wasn't even a working prototype at the time.

I had a comment to this effect in the "No XO for Peace Corps volunteer going to Ghana" article, but I'll state it here, too. On the other article, you posted something containing specs from October 2005 while saying that the XO fell short of its hardware goals. Now you're sharing a link to something that's nearly as old, about the "involvement" of Baylis lasting a few days, when all I see in the article is that he went to meet with the people at MIT about the XO.

At least post CURRENT specs and compare THOSE to the actual XO, when evaluating whether the device's hardware falls short of its goals. (If there wasn't a working prototype at the time the Baylis article was written, then there surely wasn't one a month earlier when the hardware-related article whose link you posted elsewhere was written.) And at least highlight someone who actually was on board with the project and left, when offering an article about someone and saying they left the project. That's only being fair.

From Krstic's own comments, he still supports the mission of OLPC and wishes them well. Yet, for the personal reasons he described, he couldn't continue to work there. So that makes me think that while the ultimate mission may be the same, the path that the organization is choosing to reach that goal might have been remapped.

I'm still where I was before. I still want every kid to have the opportunity to learn, and I still think that the XO can be a highly viable tool to assist in that process. I'm largely OS-neutral, except that if an operating system requires additional processing power and security (cough WINDOWS cough), I know that will drive the price of the machine up to compensate and I think that's a dubious idea at best.

As far as OSes go, if Ministries of Education are hesitant to invest in a machine with Sugar on it, maybe a version of the XO with a more standard version of Linux could be provided, and we could see how THAT goes over. But I digress.

What I really do want to see is whatever the new aims and structure are that Krstic was referring to in his blog. I think it's only fair to everyone -- the people who have already invested in the program as well as those who are considering investing in it -- to know where OLPC stands now, and how they're planning to achieve the goals they've set (since even if the goals remain the same, the intended path to reach them appears to have been revamped).

Oh, and when the heck did Walter Bender get removed as president? I thought I'd been doing a good job of keeping up with OLPC announcements, but I totally missed that one. :(

*rolls eyes at Irvin*

>It is not just that XP is bad for education, it is positively dangerous to kids. I consider XP laptops for elementary school children like giving them Cadmium containing toys. Nice and shiny, but in the end very dangerous.

Hmm, funny. You see XP in the same way I see unfiltered Internet... Nice and shiny, but poisonous if not handled right. What do you think about the Internet in this sense, Winter?

@ Donna,
>a more standard version of Linux could be provided, and we could see how THAT goes over. But I digress.
I am totally with you.
I guess one of the main reasons for Sugar was to avoir Religious Wars about _which_ distro to use. Sugar is woefully limited, from what I have seen trying the live CD. And from posted comments, it's not even that good even when running native on an XO.

donna wrote:

"At least post CURRENT specs and compare THOSE to the actual XO, "

current specs of what? The XO? so that we can compare them with themselves?

Everyone knows that the XO has been advertised as doing "the same things that a regular laptop can do" (Negroponte's own words - not mine) and everybody knows that's not true.

The thing can't print (unbelievable, isn't it?)
The dysmal browser can't boookmark pages; it can play media files like Flash or MP3 and others
The much-touted "code view" is not available
The much-touted "battery life measured in days, not hours" is nowhere in sight.
The school server is far from finished
The energy sources (yoyo, crank, whatever) are no longer even mentioned
There is no current implementation plan or even pretension of one - buyers are stuck with an underpowered, slow and buggy laptop and...NOTHING else.

The list goes on and on...

The usual answers are "everything will change when the miraculous Revision X happens in (February) ____insert your favorite date here_____"

-------------------------

Now, let's assume for a second that I'm just a troll, a Negroponte-hater, a child-hater and also a direct descendant of Satan and Hitler together.

Why is it that the entire world does not share Negroponte's wonderful "vision'?

How come nobody wants to buy the wonderful XO?

How come all the rats (including Negroponte himself) are abandoning the sinking ship?

If everything is fine, why is there a crisis?

Is it possible that you are not fooling anyone?

:-)

It's easy to believe that this is a switch to push XP on the XO. I wish that it is not so, but even if it is Sugar (in all it's glory) will still be available, and will be taken up by some countries. If Sugar deserves to live then the only worry is that Microsoft will bribe it away from everyone that wants it. Not that they would actually do something that low.

@Irvin

"How come nobody wants to buy the wonderful XO?"

I'm really sick of this propaganda! Peru is buying 260,000. That's far from the wishes but even further from "... nobody wants to buy the wonderful XO ..."

Please stop lying.

The latest rounds of lies - a good one repeated in each of those two videos:

"The XO does NOT need electricity to operate"

Especially funny is the Indian gentleman in the second video!


http://www.eux.tv/article.aspx?articleId=19953


Enjoy!

>It is not just that XP is bad for education, it is positively dangerous to kids. I consider XP laptops for elementary school children like giving them Cadmium containing toys. Nice and shiny, but in the end very dangerous.

Hmm, funny. You see XP in the same way I see unfiltered Internet... Nice and shiny, but poisonous if not handled right. What do you think about the Internet in this sense, Winter?

@ Donna,
>a more standard version of Linux could be provided, and we could see how THAT goes over. But I digress.
I am totally with you.
I guess one of the main reasons for Sugar was to avoir Religious Wars about _which_ distro to use. Sugar is woefully limited, from what I have seen trying the live CD. And from posted comments, it's not even that good even when running native on an XO.

@yama

"Sugar is woefully limited, from what I have seen trying the live CD."

Sugar is a LOT different when you are actually using an XO. I tried the Live CD and was horrified. With the XO, with all it's flaws, Sugar sort of grew on me.

Irwin wrote:
[[donna wrote:

"At least post CURRENT specs and compare THOSE to the actual XO, "

current specs of what? The XO? so that we can compare them with themselves?]]

At the very least, we should compare the actual XO to specs more current than the ones that describe the laptop as having a hand-crank right on the computer itself. That design element was scrapped long ago.

[[Everyone knows that the XO has been advertised as doing "the same things that a regular laptop can do" (Negroponte's own words - not mine) and everybody knows that's not true.

The thing can't print (unbelievable, isn't it?)]]

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't some people post print instructions on the OLPC News forums? There's a thread in this forum http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?board=36.0 that is entitled "Printing works for me".

[[The dysmal browser can't boookmark pages; it can play media files like Flash or MP3 and others]]

Yeah, Browse is definitely better for kids who aren't experienced internet surfers. I installed Opera on my machine and I like that a lot better. However, I do need Browse to read my PDF ebooks. I downloaded a lot of those from gutenberg.org when I first got the XO.

[[The much-touted "code view" is not available]]

Not yet. Neither has the full touch-pad been enabled yet. Those are slated for a future release. IMO, the XO wouldn't have come out as soon as it did if there weren't competing products that were about to ship (the Classmate and to a lesser extent, the Eee). I honestly think that's the only reason that the XO came out before those features were ready for prime time.

[[The much-touted "battery life measured in days, not hours" is nowhere in sight.]]

And yet there are some developers' builds that more than double the battery life (ten hours vs. four, with the backlight on, with the most current stable build). So when they say "power management improvements are on the way", I believe it. Also, I've mentioned this in other discussion threads, but the decision to use the LiFePO battery is part of the reason why the battery doesn't last as long as the designers originally intended. The tradeoff is that the LiFePO battery costs less, is safer/less likely to explode, and permits more charge cycles. Exactly how many more cycles depends on whom you ask, but more cycles means more days before the battery requires replacement, which saves money.

[[The school server is far from finished]]

I can't answer this one way or another, as I haven't kept myself up-to-date on the school server issues.

[[The energy sources (yoyo, crank, whatever) are no longer even mentioned]]

Freeplay and Potenco both have mailing lists for people who want to be apprised of when their crank/yoyo chargers, respectively, are made available to the general public. One of those companies, I think it was Freeplay, did have a manufacturing run of chargers but they were all earmarked for the educational deployments of the XO, rather than being made available to G1G1 participants.

[[There is no current implementation plan or even pretension of one - buyers are stuck with an underpowered, slow and buggy laptop and...NOTHING else.]]

If there's "no current implementation plan or even pretension of one", then what exactly are they doing in Mongolia, Peru, Uruguay, et al? The places where we have articles describing how the devices are being deployed? Surely someone's operating with SOME kind of a plan or they wouldn't be forging ahead with the deployments. At what point do the education systems themselves become responsible for designing their own plans for XO use? Do other educational-tool providers (of books, lab equipment, etc) have to provide the lesson plans for the schools that use them?

[[The list goes on and on...]]

OK, now we've gone from discussing specifics to discussing the ether, so there's no answer for this.

[[The usual answers are "everything will change when the miraculous Revision X happens in (February) ____insert your favorite date here_____"]]

Anyone who declares "EVERYTHING will change" when there's an update is unrealistic. Anyone who can offer a list that begins, "the next update will provide the following changes to these items" is talking sense. I'd rather discuss the upcoming updates with the people who are talking sense, so I know what I'm getting when I update the computer. If you want to interact with people who are talking sense about updates, visit the OLPC News forums.

I don't know if Ivan's Krstic came up with the idea for BitFrost, or if he was just the one tasked to implement it, but that was an insane idea.
You stop using the XO laptop for a while or go away from wireless access and the laptop cripples and disables itself? That's even worse than something Microsoft would do. Microsoft doesn't make you report in with them before they allow you to use your own computer.

They had some pretty condescending ideas and paranoid attitudes about what kids need in the XO laptop. How about an OS that is stable and works all the time. Why create your own OS out of Python? Why not just use Ubuntu, like EeeXubuntu for the Eee PC. Crazy. But they had good marketing - the same folks plopping down for iphones were picking up XO laptops. The exact opposite demographic from what the XO was supposed to be designed for.

Donna wrote:


"At the very least, we should compare the actual XO to specs more current than the ones that describe the laptop as having a hand-crank right on the computer itself. That design element was scrapped long ago."

OK. So, the interest generated by that promised feature is gone, because Negroponte never delived on the miraculous promise. Fine...

So, what about the yo-yo power generator being pulled in and out of people's sight (pun intended)? The point is that Negroponte and company keep promising things that they never deliver. The yo-yo power generator replaced the "crank", but it has not materialized, either. will it be "scrapped" too?

Is the yo-yo power generator a real promise or some false promise or a reality or some promised reality?

Nobody knows at this point. It may happen, it may not happen. Prospective buyers are promised that it will become a reality, but there is no guarantee it will actually happen.

No wonder the orders are not materializing and the rats are abandoning this sinking ship...

Donna wrote:

"At the very least, we should compare the actual XO to specs more current than the ones that describe the laptop as having a hand-crank right on the computer itself. That design element was scrapped long ago."

Yep. They are now promising something else. The problem is that it is a false promise, too. The untis are NOT shipping with any human-powered charging device.

This is from OLPC's own wiki:

"Early concept devices were shown with a hand crank on the side to demonstrate that they would work in areas where the only electricity available comes from devices like the Freecharge portable charger. This was removed due to concerns about stresses on the casing, and ease of use. The units will ship with some kind of human-powered charger that plugs into the DC socket."

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Battery_and_power


One of the main problems that the OLPC Leadership faces is the fact that after three years of unabated hype, the XO is twice the price with half the main features, plus a lot of bugs thrown in for goodwill :-)

Main features originally advertised compared to the CURRENT (as in "as of today") specs:

1. $100 price tag - it is now $200
2. Human-powered generator - One type or another always promised but never delivered.
3. Access to "source code" - Not delivered.
4. School Server - Non-existent (but they promise it for the "future", whatever that means)
5. Fully-functional Mesh Network - Not fully-functional, as the Nepal project amply demonstrated.
6. Google-based storage - no longer in the picture
7. Battery life "measured in days, not hours" - Never materialized. In fact, battery life is quite poor for this type of device. The reason is the Mesh Networking always active, draining the battery.

Any reasonable person will be very careful before committing serious money to this shaky project. That's exactly the reason that orders are not showing up, and the reason for many disappointed followers.

The features disappear, but the price goes higher. A sure recipe for failure.

Negroponte promised a wonderful device, but delivered a dud. The only thing truly nice about the XO is the screen technology. The rest is an assortment of bugs, older hardware and empty promises that have taken the OLPC Project to the grave.

Sad, but true...
4.

If you are looking for information on the yo-yo generator, go here: http://www.potenco.com/home

I got on their mailing list of people who will be notified when the item is for sale to the general public.

If you're interested in the crank charger, go here: http://www.freeplayenergy.com/ Right on their front page is an email address to contact if you want to be on THEIR mailing list and be notified when THAT device is available to the general public.

The fact that neither Potenco nor Freeplay have got THEIR chargers ready to go is not something that can be ascribed to OLPC. If the chargers were available and there weren't any laptops being made, then the problem would reside with OLPC.

BTW, how is Google-based storage no longer in the picture? I send my meeting minutes, which I take on the XO by touch-typing in real time, to Google Documents. I've read some things about Google Documents behaving strangely with Browse, but as I use Opera for everything but PDF reading, I can't confirm or deny that. I'm able to use Opera with Google Docs with no problem.

To try and un-hijack this discussion, none of these things have anything to do with the reasons that Ivan Krstic has resigned, lest we forget. Chargers and Google documents weren't among his stated reasons for leaving. His issues were the corporate restructuring and as-yet-unspecified irreconcilable differences with the new direction that the company was taking. He still supports the MISSION (emphasis his, but I don't think we can use italics in these comments as he did in his blog). Because he phrased it that way, instead of saying "their previous mission" or something along those lines, that tells me that OLPC's stated mission hasn't changed. However, if he disagrees with the route they've decided on to reach that goal, he's within his rights to do as he's done.

Donna wrote:

"The fact that neither Potenco nor Freeplay have got THEIR chargers ready to go is not something that can be ascribed to OLPC."

Then, why is OLPC promising things it doesn't have? Isn't it dishonest to lead people into believing a certain feature is part of your product when that feature doesn't exist?

Look at the OLPC people still making false/misleading promises TODAY:

- The XO does NOT need electricity to operate
- The yo-yo is part of the product...but in a year!!!!!
- The XO can be submerged in water without damage (I guess it might be good if some of the OS bugs drown!)

http://www.eux.tv/article.aspx?articleId=19953


"BTW, how is Google-based storage no longer in the picture?"

It was promised, but never delivered. if you think it is in the picture, show me. BTW, it was just one more of Negroponte's lies. The Google "terms of agreement" specifically denies minors access to the service. That's why it is no longer in the picture. :-)

Finally, I'll be a nice guy and will give you a bit of a clue as to the origins of the current the crisis: it all began around Christmas...keep the clue in mind...


:-)

Now, I'll let you have the last word. Intelligent people have seen the two views and will reach their own conclusion. Thanks, Donna, for the dialog. It has been quite entertaining.

OK, I'm watching the first of the two videos on the eux.tv site listed above.

What I just heard at 1:17 of the first video was Matt Keller from OLPC say, "It doesn't need electricity. It can be powered by the sun, and in development is a pull charger (etc etc description of the yo-yo charger, complete with gestures)".

The thing is, where's the lie? When you follow up "It doesn't need electricity" with the two statements that immediately follow it on the video, you get three true statements in a row. It CAN be powered by the sun, and there IS a pull charger in development.

It's disingenuous to only give a partial quote, without the supporting information that's been provided right along with the quote, and call it a lie.

Donna,

"The thing is, where's the lie? When you follow up "It doesn't need electricity"..."

The speaker clearly means 'power grid' - and I'm sure Irvin knows that but true to his trolling form chooses to spread more misinformation...

I hope that the Bitfrost system works and can be implemented without Ivan Kristic. Hopefully he left just as Mary Lou Jepsen did, when the job is mostly done. So hopefully now he can work on the next phase of the Linux revolution in security, to support a safe mass deployment of Linux everywhere thanks mostly to the first generation OLPC laptop. Which should be in the hands of millions of children hopefully within a few months.

OLPC has got to work in collaboration with commercial companies to bring the OLPC technology and the XO laptop to USA and Europe. Cause entering those markets will definately influence the pace in which the OLPC project can be deployed all around the world in developping countries. The USA and Europe simply decide which technologies should be embraced, and as long as the OLPC is not available for 200 dollars in every computer store and supermarket, third world politicians aren't going to invest the required tens and hundreds of billions of dollars necessary for every child on the planet to have a laptop and truly revolutionize education worldwide which will make a better world for everyone.

Irvin should stop trying to spread false propaganda in forums. I've got an OLPC XO laptop, it runs over 12 hours on a battery in black and white mode, and the DCON instand standby and resume modes have not even been completely integrated. You have to consider 80% of the code for the OLPC project comes from volunteer open source developpers around the world and the remaining 20% is invented, optimized, and implemented by only a small bunch of 15-20 geniuses in Boston like Ivan Kristic and Walter Bender.

Think about it for a second, OLPC has 30 employees, Microsoft has 79 thousand emplyees and Intel has 86 thousand employees. Think about it for a second please Mr Irvin. OLPC has 30 employees, Microsoft and Intel has 165 thousand employees. Look at those numbers please for at least 30 seconds before typing in your next blatant untrue propaganda.

OLPC needs to become a Microsoft, giving every child a laptop and making of it a successful revolution in the worldwide education system, implementing new digital curriculums successfully, supporting students, parents, teachers and schools the right way. Speeding up the software development work, speeding up the availability of educational software and content for the laptops. This requires many more employees at OLPC then 30. The little non-profit that is OLPC today needs to become at least 10-200 times larger in terms of number of employees, all the while continue to engage even more enthusiastic software developing volunteers around the world. So definately OLPC needs restructuring. Ivan Kristic hopefully will be convinced to get back in the project even though "things have to be managed more like Microsoft", and hopefully he can contribute as much of his genius as is still needed to make sure the global Bitfrost security system and every other parts of his expertise works well both when using the Sugar OS and the Windows XP.

@Charbax:
"Think about it for a second please Mr Irvin. OLPC has 30 employees, Microsoft and Intel has 165 thousand employees. Look at those numbers please for at least 30 seconds before typing in your next blatant untrue propaganda."

Irvin is not here for the technology, nor for the education or to help or understand children in developing countries. HE confessed once that he really enjoys coming to OLPCnews, which sounds weird. Like someone visiting biker cafes night after night, cursing the patrons for not taking public transport for fun.

Never ever has he (or she?) contributed any insight, knowledge, or information in any of these fields. to OLPCnews If you follow his "evidence", it never says what he pretends it to say. Often because he seems to genuinly not understand the topic at all and seems to use Google on keywords.

What we do know is that he detests Negroponte and will say anything, really ANYthing, to damage his projects. If it means he has to slander Mary-Lou Jepsen as a tax-defrauder and con-woman, be it. He will combine every mention of a OLPC employee with the words "liar" and "immoral".

Just remember that he is a "Geist der verneint" (untranslatable German expression).

Winter

For what it is worth, Winter's quotation is from Goethe's Faust. It is from Mephistopheles's self introduction, where he says that he is 'the spirit that denies'.

I don't know what the organizational changes are but the current implementation strategy of OLPC does seem faulty to me, so maybe the organization profits from personal changes.

The laptop is half baked on the software side, yet there are quite huge projects based on it (Peru, Mongolia). Winter may be very forgiving about this but I believe that at least power management issues should have been fixed before starting such projects. I understand that they wanted to grab the momentum but this is far from ideal.

Irvin has a point that development milestones for Sugar and its applications are vague. Update.1 should have been released 15 Feb 2008. They missed that completely without an explanation and simply there is no release date targeted (take a look at dev.laptop.org). This never happens with good management. At least somebody should say sorry and give a new deadline to the milestone. I don't see when Sugar/XO reaches maturity.

My opinion is that a regular Linux distro (Xubuntu) customized for the XO would have been a much better choice for OLPC than the whole Sugar development. Call me short-sighted but the complexity of developing the hardware should not have been coupled with such risky software development. Especially not if you have 30 employees only and a limited budget. Abiword (Write), Firefox (Browse) and Evince (Read) could have been extended with plugins for collaboration (but not forked like this).

On the operating system front even Windows XO may make the situation better. That would make the XO much more competitive with the Classmate and Sugar would have time to stabilize and reach maturity without a huge stress put on the developers due to the way-early projects. If the XO ever becomes successful (I hope it does) and sold in tens of millions then Linux distributions WILL be made anyway because it will be an appealing target.

Hm. I just got my G1G1 OLPC on Tuesday. I am so happy to have this machine. Yes, the software is a little raw still (particularly the non-development version). But this is a wonderful piece of hardware - it fixes a lot of my major complaints about standard laptops - too noisy, can't be used in daylight, too power hungry, weighs too much, too much stuff in it that I don't need (internal DVD-ROM?!?), etc.

I have to admit to being craven about the G1G1 program - I'm delighted that kids in Mongolia are getting OLPCs as a result of this program, but I bought into it because I wanted an OLPC, not because I wanted to give one to kids in Mongolia. I think when people say that they are disappointed with the OLPC, it's because they didn't have realistic expectations for what it was going to be.

This device really feels like the culmination of work that's been going on in the Media Lab for the past 20 years, and it's great to see a physical embodiment of it. I was shocked to see that Ivan Krstic is leaving the project, and I hope it doesn't mean that the OLPC hardware platform is dead. If OLPC passes the software development torch to the Free Software community, that's fine by me, as long as the hardware remains available.

BTW, 60k programmers is a recipe for disaster, not a recipe for success. The reason XP is so hard to shoehorn into an OLPC is because there's too much in it, not because there's too little. Plan 9 is a more appropriate comparison,. I'm not suggesting that Sugar ought to be replaced by Plan 9, just that minimalism is a good thing - it's astonishing how much less responsive computers are now than they were ten years ago, despite advances in processor and memory speed.

A source within OLPC, who asked not to be identified, reports that people within the project have a low opinion of Krstic's work, and that most of it is gradually being reworked, including BitFrost, replaced by something simpler caller Rainbow. They basically say: 'Good riddance!".

Donna, Irvin is a troll and an unusually mean one at that. Sorry to see that you got sucked in.

According to what I have heard, OLPC has completely abandoned its educational mission and has decided to become purely a laptop manufacturer. This is so absurd and bizarre that I am reluctant to believe it, despite the reliability of my informant.

By the way, while I cannot speak for the people within OLPC, I have spent time with Ivan Krstic and there is absolutely no question that he is very smart, and was very dedicated to the OLPC project while he was a part of it. I would be delighted to work with him someday.

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