Windows XO Video: XP and Sugar Dual Boot

   
   
   
   
   

Sadly, some would say, we now have a dual boot XO. Gizmodo has just released a video of the XO laptop booting both the Linux-based Sugar and the Microsoft Windows XP operating systems.

olpc windows xo
Windows XO laptop in action

Congratulations to One Laptop Per Child developers, as this was a software feat. As Wilson Rothman says:

To get both operating systems to run, the BIOS has been modified to behave more like standard PCs (rather than Macs or Linux machines). The original BIOS for the XO was originally conceived for AIX and Solaris servers, all running variants of UNIX.
While OLPC should be all proud of themselves for the accomplishment, Microsoft should be ashamed of their earlier "massaged" XP on the XO video. According to Michail Bletsas via Wilson, XP takes a little over a minute to boot up on the XO, not the 4x faster time promised by Bohdan Raciborski's video.

Stepping back to look at the big picture, I still have to agree with Peter Simpson on this achievement:

"[XP] seems a little slow to boot"

That's got to be the understatement of the year! So they had to change the BIOS from LinuxBIOS to something that XP could deal with, and rewrite XP...and it still takes twice as long to boot.

Perhaps this should be an indication that XP might not be the best choice for an OS for the XO?

Perhaps OLPC should be focused on perfecting Sugar, a design breakthrough developed expressly for children to learn with. Not business process software designed for adults. Again, the whole concept of Windows XO is a OLPC marketing flaw and distracting to both the target audience, children, and the stated mission of the whole OLPC enterprise, education.

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7 Comments

Since OLPC and Microsoft have every intent of going through with this, maybe MS should come up with a version of Windows that's suitable for ultra-portable notebooks? (What's the current jargon for small laptop computers? "Netbooks"? I forget.)

That might be easier on everyone, manufacturers and consumers alike, than trying to cram a resource-intense OS like XP -- even the bare-bones version of XO -- onto an ultraportable machine.

So now that the dual-boot XO has a more standard bios, does this mean a better chance that Puppylinux can run on the new hardware? This dual-boot capability can be a boon to XO to further liberate it for ultra portable notebook uses.

After all, it's now a technology product (not an education project), eh?

-- Dan

Now we just need an anti-virus program capable of running on this computer in 256MB.

Pretty much every anti-virus I tried on my Eee takes way too many system resources to run well on that system. So how is a 75MB memory resident program going to behave when you have 256MB total and a 450MHz processor?

Maybe Microsoft will make a version of XP that won't get viruses next. :-)

"So now that the dual-boot XO has a more standard bios, does this mean a better chance that Puppylinux can run on the new hardware? This dual-boot capability can be a boon to XO to further liberate it for ultra portable notebook uses."

It always was there. Ubuntu and, I think, OpenSuSE work on XO when booted from SD card, and anything small enough to fit onto NAND flash should work on it, too (Ubuntu, even after massive slimming down done by moocapiean, freelikegnu and myself is a bit too fat for that). Those ports used the original OLPC kernel and ramdisk images, so there never was any issue with dual-boot compatibility to begin with -- BIOS compatibility is only necessary for Windows with its primitive and inflexible bootloader.

"Maybe Microsoft will make a version of XP that won't get viruses next. :-)"

Just disable networking and removable media.

...what? Isn't this how Windows users secure their computers?

Sugar is a terrible human interface.
The children that have learned Sugar is unable to use a normal GUI, like
Windows or KDE.
Focusing on "activities" is a very bad idea; what we make are files.
The Fedora+Sugar do not have plug-and-play capabilities: it is impossible to attach a printer to it.
I think taht is time to eliminate Sugar and put a standard Linux distro in the XO (maybe a small size distro).
XO is good idea; Sugar is terrrible bad.

"The children that have learned Sugar is unable to use a normal GUI, like
Windows or KDE."

So what? I learned Word Perfect 5.1 in school, because that was what was being used on computers then. I guess none of the kids in my class ever used WP after they finished school. Windows-like GUI's (XP/Mac/KDE/Gnome) are not here to stay. Sugar may be closer to what YOU will be using in 10 years than Windows XP is. Just think about that.

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