DOOM on the OLPC XO!

Update: Now you can install Doom on your XO with a simple hack from the OLPC News XO Games Forum.
Now imagine you are the One Laptop Per Child software design team, and you've just received the very first order of Children's Machine XO's. Around a thousand pounds of laptops actually, and you wanna take one for a fun filled test drive.

You could play with all the software on them, like AbiWord or the Sugar OS, or you could install new software you've developed just for this working model.

Or you could do what Christopher Blizzard and friends did. You could get all old school crazy and install and play DOOM (the original) on the OLPC XO:

I have to agree with the video's defining comment, "This is so 1992," and it's also so damn cool! And what could be better than a killing spree on a laptop for children? A killing spree on a reflective dual mode screen! That right, this next video shows DOOM carnage with the backlight off and the screen in black and white reflective mode:

Damn, now that's got me all full of techno-lust! Um pretty please, can we all have one too now? Can we buy a OLPC via eBay XO sales already? All the cool kids in Brazil and Argentina (but not Thailand) are getting them for Christmas!

I want my OLPC XO too!

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Hasn't anyone thought about how quickly those *ears* on the machine are going to get broken off?

i love the anonymous voice in the background trying to do work.

Yeah - I absolutely need to have one of these. Does it come in red :)

The dude got wasted in Level One, trying to remember how to raise doors. Geek cred = low.

Yet I love that they thought of running DOOM on a fresh new laptop. Sweet!

In Brazil, most of "cool" kids need that opportunity! Name it: "digital inclusion".

This story hints at the value of opening up a retail sales channel for this device to complement the sales to governments. I think there are multiple really good reasons to sell these devices at a low retail price:
1) Biggest reason: there will be demand. Avoid the disconcerting scene of Brazilian school children selling their brand new unused laptops on ebay by easing the pressure on demand through a parallel attractive sales channel.
2) Cheap is its own virtue (everyone I know is buying a mac mini, just because they can, and then finding all kinds of cool uses for it). Get more units shipping to get costs down by selling them into a market that will also find interesting things to do with it. I can immediately think of all kinds of things in my market that I could do with a $150 (or even $300) mesh networking long battery life laptop.
3) Because it is a more effective way to develop the community of open source developers that you'll need to make this thing more interesting than NeXT or BeOS. You need LOTS of people doing interesting things with them, not just people picked to be on a distribution list.

Plus... I want one.


I couldn't agree more. Its just too bad that while Negroponte has hinted at allowing eBay sales, he's dismissed most requests for retail sales, even double-priced retail sales where the mark-up would fund computers for needy school kids, as "a bad idea".

Is this what you meant when you assured us that this discussion would finally move to the XO software and its role in 'kids and learning'? If so, I fear the spume of your "technolust" has blinded your otherwise fine journalistic instincts. Much more of this, and we are doomed. <>tim (I am as old as I sound :-()


While we are all "DOOMed" in the end (couldn't resist), you'll find Negroponte's current kids + laptops + miracle = learning methodology here:

Yes, its shocking as well as depressing, and we'll be back at that soon enough. But like the hard working developers, some days ya gotta just enjoy life and play.

Education is the LAST thing a child living in a third world, war-torn area of the world needs.

What's that billy? Your mother was killed last week by a military regime/extremist militant group and now you're dying of starvation/dehydration? Well I've got just the thing for you! Here's a laptop!

Instead of wasting money on laptops, why not put that money towards creating sustainable sources of water, food, and shelter?

Dammit, make them for the masses.
There are plenty of kids that would benefit from these things in the rest of the world.
Who is going to complain about paying 3 times the price when they are so easily affordable and the profit gets ploughed back in to help even more kids?
This is the way tech needs to be! :)
There's a middle-class, white boy's opinion for you.

I realise I'm too late to offer design suggestions, but..
You gotta offer them in different colours too! Not everybody likes kermit green.
What about a clear panel in them so kids can customise their own laptop by slipping a piece of their own art in there?

Sorry to be marginally off-topic, but I see you guys are mentioning Doom on the OLPC laptop a lot lately.

1. Doom isn't exactly hard to run. The Gameboy Advance has a 16MHz processor and runs it fine. There are cell phones that run it. The machine I first ran it on back in 1993-94 was a 25Mhz 486SX with 4MB of RAM. Just booting Linux and X on that thing was enough to send it to swapping hell, but Doom ran great.

2. That said, we geeks do make a big deal out of it, but that's because Doom is a visually impressive "Hello World" that indicates graphics, sound and input are working pretty well, not because it indicates a machine is especially powerful.

Think of "but does it run Doom?" as the followup to the eternal Slashdot question, "Does it run Linux?" It's just not that big a deal.

my fucking mp3 player can run doom.

anonymous: There are plenty of places where kids have clean water, shelter, and food (and no wars) but don't have access to education. Those places are where this laptop will go.

I see a lot of the resistence to this idea is coming from Intel and Microsoft... "we can do it for $400 and it will have a hard drive" and stuff like that. I suspect that is why Negroponte doesn't want to sell these things retail. Doesn't want to further poke the bear.

I still think it's a mistake though. This thing is front page news on NY Times online today to highlight the debate over whether this is educational etc. Wait till the story hits that hundredes of them are on ebay with "ship from" point = Brazil. He really needs to short circuit that probability.

Hey man i dont know if YOU know but brazilians guys are much more smarts than u speaking 'bout computer and stuff
u can see it that we are the people that most spend time in front of internet

I think that selling it to 1st world countries at a triple markup price is a great idea. I would love to get one, and would have no qualms buying one if I knew I was paying for two more to be given away to people (esp. people in schools) in poorer countries.

"Education is the LAST thing a child living in a third world, war-torn area of the world needs.

What's that billy? Your mother was killed last week by a military regime/extremist militant group and now you're dying of starvation/dehydration? Well I've got just the thing for you! Here's a laptop! "

Gosh, THAT is ignorance.

I don't recall any war/military regime on the last... 60 years, in Brazil or Argentina (maybe even Thailand)...

Sorry David, but I have to say for you that education isn't the "LAST" thing children in the "third world" need, it's probably the only way for us (I'm from BraSil) to get out the poverty.
Then I ask you: how to combat these kind off REGIMES DITATORIAIS if the population don't have the basic instructions? Actually, I live in BraSil and what I can see isn't the "extremist militant groups" or the "militar regime" killing "mothers"; nowadays our problem is the corruption and the lack of eficient in our government. These are some reflects of an alienated population, without instruction and education, when talking about politic - if you don't know, Lula showed for the world to be one of the most corruption governors that BraSil had in all time, and even so, he was reelected. Populism?...
And David, how to generate better leaders for our people? How to modify our condition of "third world"? How to expand our PIB? How to increase our economy or decrease unemployment? I can tell you David: investment in our HUMAN CAPITAL is the solution. Education. This is what the history tell us what to do.
We have a lot of countries that for their huge investiment in education thougth the last years could transform their condition of poverty. If you want to see what I'm trying to say, compare South Corea's HDI (do you like Samsung? Subaru? did you watched the 2002 World Cup?) with BraSil's HDI. Compare other economics values - I'll help you my friend, and You'll be surprised to realized that a country with 1/40 of Brasil's territory; that don't have the richest biodiversity in a rain forrest ; and don't have the same mineral richest that BraSil has, have a better economic development, even having, practically, the same historical problems, conflicts and military-regime-mother-killers-that-you-so-like. What is their secret? Education. Do you really still complain these project of digital inclusion, or educational investiment??? Thank you....

Its actually and

If you paste links please make sure they work.

I have got to get one of these i think it is pretty cool, but the colour would have to be different like a black one, yeah baby a black one... I want one can u get them in the UK or can you export one in. lol

"Education is the LAST thing..."

For sure that's trollbait ppl, let it go. You only see that kind of ignorance from the michelle malkins and ann coulters of the world.

This Children's Machine computer is a good idea. Every family should want these for their children. These computers should not be available to only schools in third-world countries or whatever. They should be made available around the entire world, donated to schools everywhere and also available in retail and electronics stores everywhere. Hell, I'd be inclined to go to my local Best Buy store and pick myself up one of these if it were available. I agree that it should come in more colors though. I'd like one in Black. Besides, if they are only available to needy countries with poor educational systems, what's the likelyhood that many kids who receive these laptops won't even know what the heck a computer even is? That said, they wouldn't know how to do anything with it, and might be more amused at throwing it about and damaging it than using it to learn stuff. America could use a 100 dollar laptop more than any third-world country could, that's my opinion.

i think that education through technology is the future to a better world. plus selling these babies retyail would be a good way to generate more money for the cause, and what else? without education in "3rd world" countries, what hope do "they" have of a prosperous life, children need education in order to be successful.

If Mr Negroponte et al need help delivering huge volumes of xo machines, there are huge mass production facilities available in China, a country which would probably use many of the machines itself. In fact, if Mr Negroponte doesn't get someone like the Chinese to help fill the huge need, someone in China is likely to produce copies of them anyway, with or without sanction. If I can't get a legitimate one, I'll be sorely tempted to buy a copy - but I would prefer to buy one that helps to provide others where most needed.

He is using Chinese manufacturing. Check out:


Hello, I hope that it comes to Nicaragua. I would like to buy one of those.


I know my next gaming laptop!

Ull never beat the original Doom! Quake II next! YEAH!

This is pretty cool, I´m gonna buy this "laptop" :)

Despite all the negative comments I have to say I think you guys are doing a great thing here. I think that any help or contribution to the children of the third world is a step in the right direction - the computer is a mighty tool and is great for education.