OLPC: The First Easy Linux Desktop Distribution

   
   
   
   
   

Wrestling the OLPC

The OLPC laptop has a unique feature, which up until now, only Apple has possessed. The hardware and software configurations are known. So this means that the people writing the software and drivers for the OLPC laptops know exactly what they are writing for.

Up until now, every version of Linux has suffered from this problem. Yes, Ubuntu and the newer flavours of Linux are far better at recognising hardware, and choosing the correct drivers, but soundcards and USB peripherals still often cause problems. OLPC won't have this issue.

When wrestling with a new distribution of Linux, I've often wondered why developers don't simply post known-working images of their distributions for each new type of hardware, so for example, if you're using a Dell Latitude D600, there would be a specific image for you.

Over time, experienced users would create these images, and upload them back to the organisers for validation. This would make the installation process much simpler in my opinion, but perhaps the problem is bandwidth. So the OLPC project could create an open-source, Linux based PC that "just works".

In other words, OLPC could erode one of the unique points of owning a Mac. Thankfully, the manufacturers don't have to worry as the OLPC leadership have chosen not to compete with the commercial laptop market, but it does beg the question - at what point of market saturation does the OLPC project become a problem for Microsoft and Apple?

If the OLPC project gains the same sort of momentum as other open-source projects such as firefox & wikipedia, we could finally see a flavour of Linux which works flawlessly straight out of the box on millions of (bright green) PCs.

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2 Comments

"but it does beg the question - at what point of market saturation does the OLPC project become a problem for Microsoft and Apple?"

One Million Laptops per order.
I'm guessing that would saturate Apple right there.
150 Billion dollars per year?
Goodbye Microsoft.

Heh, when I saw the title of the post in the RSS feed, I admit I thought "...They're not plugging Freespire are they?" Then I remembered that duh, OLPC is technically a distribution, too, not just a laptop. And much better than Fs.

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

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • Hi!

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

    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 …

    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 …

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

  • Warning: Use of undefined constant title - assumed 'title' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /nfs/c03/h05/mnt/54379/domains/olpcnews.com/html/includes_c/sidebar.html on line 1473

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

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

    Comment on Guest Post: My XO Tablet Technical Review and First Impressions

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

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

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

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

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

    At what address to s …

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

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

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

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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 …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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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 …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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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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