C|Net Reviews Windows XP and Sugar XO Laptops

   
   
   
   
   
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Are you inspired by Windows XO?

C|Net reporter Ina Fried has an interesting review of Sugar and Windows XP on the XO laptop, and I found his review both evenhanded and enlightened.

First, for all those who get all riled up over Windows vs. Linux, Ina delivered a great zinger I think we can all agree on:

"But what's missing in the Windows version is the personality that oozes out of the Linux incarnation"
Call the Sugar user interface what you want, but its damn cool looking when compared to the boring Windows XP desktop. Yet it's the call that Ina makes on the comparison between the two that is the real zinger.

Rather than playing up on or the other, Ina goes with a young review's opinion to show the real issue facing any computers in schools implementation:


I like my XO pyramided
In the end, she said she liked the XO no matter what software it was running. It was fun and just the right size for her (even if all the adults complained about its small keyboard).

From my perspective, her experience shows not that the software doesn't matter. It matters a great deal. But it's all about how a school chooses to use the laptops. Used properly, as part of a well-thought-out curriculum, both models offer tremendous opportunities for students to learn about technology and how to use technology to learn about many other areas.

And that's the take-away we need to focus on when comparing the different ways to integrate computer-assisted learning. We need to have education projects, not laptop projects. No matter the governmental, pedagogical, or computational operating system.

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What I want to know is if Windows 7 will run on the XO, or on netbooks in general, or are they all going to have to stick with XP?

"What I want to know is if Windows 7 will run on the XO, or on netbooks in general, or are they all going to have to stick with XP?"

Neither. Microsoft will release something called "Windows 7 for netbooks" that will look like Windows, include applications called "Microsoft Office for netbooks" and "Internet Explorer for netbooks", and they will be nearly unusable for any practical purpose.

Microsoft has a well-established tradition of scorched earth strategy in markets where Microsoft products don't work -- release something that will sound familiar to the user, advertise it as compatible with Microsoft Office and Windows desktop applications to shut out all competitors, see hardware manufacturers being blamed by customers, watch the market being destroyed.

Ex: old "Pen Windows" product, Windows CE of all versions, Tablet PCs, current "domination" of smartphone market by "selling" Windows Mobile devices through cellular providers to keep Symbian out.

Unfortunately, the review was quite limited to the "feeling" side of the story.

For example: I would have liked some words about how power management worked on the XO under XP. This is an important aspect of daily use of the XO especially in a "school/home/on the way between" scenarios. Even if a kid will not think about it when first tries out things.

If suspend works on XP, it may be usable on the XO.
If both suspend & hibernate works in XP, it may be even called good since the hibernate functionality is completely missing in Sugar even though it would be very useful (esp. now that the major EC leaks are fixed).

Who really cares if the XO will run the latest version of Windows. What matters is simple: can the XO run software that is useful in education. Right now, the platform of choice is XP. Not a product that doesn't exist (i.e. Windows 7) and not a platform that most schools cannot afford (i.e. Vista). So as long as XP runs on the XO, you have satisfied the goal of making a computer that is useful in education.

As for the Linux fan boys, you may want to tone it down because you're detrimental to your cause. Noone really wants to hear about why they should not run Windows, because they have a longer list as to why they want to run Windows. Spreading misinformation about Windows or Linux will only convince people that you're either misinformed or liars.

If you want to convince people to use Linux, show them why they should use Linux. And show them stuff that they would care about. Show them the educational software. Show them the teacher's resources. Show them kids having a good time and learning at the same time. After all, that's what the XO is supposed to be about.

"Right now, the platform of choice is XP. Not a product that doesn't exist (i.e. Windows 7) and not a platform that most schools cannot afford (i.e. Vista). So as long as XP runs on the XO, you have satisfied the goal of making a computer that is useful in education."

WHAT software that is now written for Windows -- XP or otherwise is actually useful for education (with "education" being something other than "teaching how to use Microsoft Office")? At the moment there is almost no software that actually serves any educational purpose and is demonstrated to actually improve quality of education.

"As for the Linux fan boys, you may want to tone it down because you're detrimental to your cause. Noone really wants to hear about why they should not run Windows, because they have a longer list as to why they want to run Windows."

Shut up. We (Linux software developers) did most of the useful work on this project. By being spineless, Negroponte did more damage to the credibility of this project than would be done if Richard Stallman himself was responsible by its PR, and if Dan Bernstein was writing press releases with Theo de Raadt proofreading them.

" Spreading misinformation about Windows or Linux will only convince people that you're either misinformed or liars."

What misinformation? Claims that "Peru officials" protested Linux and demanded Windows? That's a misinformation indeed, however it's taken from the article itself.

"If you want to convince people to use Linux, show them why they should use Linux. And show them stuff that they would care about. Show them the educational software. Show them the teacher's resources. Show them kids having a good time and learning at the same time. After all, that's what the XO is supposed to be about."

Not if Microsoft, with generous help of people like you will make sure that no one will have access to Linux-based XO.

I am dying to know how Windows XP handles SSHDs?

I noticed that netbooks with XP were all sold with had disk drives!

Why is that? Bad swap use?

Winter

"If both suspend & hibernate works in XP, it may be even called good since the hibernate functionality is completely missing in Sugar even though it would be very useful (esp. now that the major EC leaks are fixed)."

The way how hibernation is implemented in Linux makes it among the easiest things to enable on XO. The catch is, hibernation on any system requires a dedicated amount of disk space that is equal to the RAM size. On Linux you can actually get away with less space by enabling compression, however then the system may refuse to hibernate if compressed RAM image exceeds it (say, it's full of programs that handle already compressed data such as, say, web browser), and will immediately return to "awake" state.

XO has 256M of RAM and 1G of flash. Taking away 1/4 of already limited storage space is a really bad idea, however if someone is willing to keep SD card in the laptop fo this purpose, the whole thing would be a pretty trivial modification to the boot process.

"If both suspend & hibernate works in XP, it may be even called good since the hibernate functionality is completely missing in Sugar even though it would be very useful (esp. now that the major EC leaks are fixed)."

The way how hibernation is implemented in Linux makes it among the easiest things to enable on XO. The catch is, hibernation on any system requires a dedicated amount of disk space that is equal to the RAM size. On Linux you can actually get away with less space by enabling compression, however then the system may refuse to hibernate if compressed RAM image exceeds it (say, it's full of programs that handle already compressed data such as, say, web browser), and will immediately return to "awake" state.

XO has 256M of RAM and 1G of flash. Taking away 1/4 of already limited storage space is a really bad idea, however if someone is willing to keep SD card in the laptop fo this purpose, the whole thing would be a pretty trivial modification to the boot process.

@Winter: I have an EeePC 701 4G with WinXP. Boots up from power-on in 40 seconds. Runs just fine. One reason why netbook makers install XP on netbooks with harddrives is because of the amount of space that will be needed to install the variety of other apps the user will want.

I have WinXP w/SP3, full install of MS Office 2003, Avast AV, Firefox, e-Sword, and other apps all on the internal flash and consumes less than 1.5GB total.


Re: XP and Sugar on XO
I'm sorely disappointed in the approach that Microsoft took with the whole XP on XO task. It is painfully obvious that they simply did the least they could to claim that "XP runs on the XO". The latest 8.2.0 release of Sugar is really starting to shine, IMO. There are still a few things missing, but the improvements over the last year are significant.

I'll be sending you a note via the OLPCNews forums. I have an Eee 701 4GB with XP and I would love to know how to clear off that much space on the SSHD.:) I'm forever checking the remaining free space and running CCleaner to remove extraneous files.

The truth -- or some of it at least -- about XP on OLPC can be found in court exhibits from Comes vs. Microsoft:http://antitrust.slated.org/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011607/9000/PX09643.pdf

These are internal emails from Microsoft showing Microsoft's proposal recommendations for XP on the OLPC.

For people like Jordan, who seem to think that MS wins on merit or customer demand, it might be worth a read. Other people can probably already guess what's inside.

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  • Oh, come on Michael. Do you really think anything that was said on OLPC News would have had much …

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  • Hi!

    I bought 2 "Tablets OLPC." I had to return because the two did not work. O …

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

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  • Bonjour Mokifisi!
    Je suis bien d'accord avec vous. Je travaille depuis 4 ans dans un petit …

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  • You just follow the same route upstream how you got the 2XO Tablets? How did you get them? Bring …

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  • └ quelle adresse envoyer mes deux XOTablet qui ne fonctionnent pas?

    At what address to s …

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  • That's called "Death on arrivals". They happen. That's why there's always some additio …

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  • What is a shelf XO? If you tell me what did you buy and from whom, perhaps I will have a suggest …

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  • Voici mon message en franšais...

    Bonjour,
    Je viens d'acheter 2 tablettes XO. Les d …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

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  • OLPC is not death; eg. this One Laptop per Child San Francisco (OLPC-SF) June 21, 2014 Meeting a …

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