I've been using the Ubuntu version customized for the XO for a couple of
days now.  (See www.olpcnews.com for info about "Teapot's" XO-customized
Ubuntu 8.10 release.)   It is a little slow compared with my other
computers, as expected for a computer running at less than .5 GHz, but much
more comfortable and responsive than running the standard Sugar/Fedora
system on the XO.  I personally can't stand some of the human interface
aspects of Sugar, such as the time delay before a menu appears instead of
right-clicking to get a popup menu in context and especially the annoyance
of the frame appearing when I get too close to the trigger point in the
upper left corner, not being able to use non-full-screen windowing to see
multiple programs at same time, etc..   All together the stripped down xfce4
based version of Ubuntu with Firefox, FlashPlayer10 plugin, OpenOffice
writer,impress,& draw, and other utilities, occupies about 1.7 GB of a 2.0
GB SD chip in the XO's slot.  It is fast enough not to annoy me, unlike the
Sugar/Fedora system on the XO.  I can even do 2-way video and 2-way audio
web conferencing with whiteboard using www.vyew.com, a FlashPlayer-based web
application.  I could not do that with the XO's standard operating system.
This all fits on and runs well from a cheap (US$6) SD card that I got at my
local office supply store.

What the XO hardware has over the netbooks is its great screen -- high
resolution, color or monochrome reflective for outdoor viewing, with matte
finish instead of the highly glare-producing high-gloss screens that are
almost universal these days.

Personally, I feel it is a mistake for the OLPC project to continue with the
concept of the Sugar platform as its exclusive model for an educational
computer.    The Sugar applications (activities) could just as well be run
from the Ubuntu desktop.   Then students would actually be learning in an
environment that can take them into the real-world that grown-ups occupy on
computers, when they are ready to go beyond the Sugar applications.   The
knowledge of the operating system's interface would be transferrable to
other Linux/Mac/Windows systems when they outgrow the XO.  A Linux desktop
is not harder to learn than Sugar and it's a heck of a lot more comfortable
to use.  Moreover, there isa lot of educational software available for it
that won't run in the Sugar environment.

Stan Sokolow

On Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 6:37 AM, Mikus Grinbergs <mi...@bga.com> wrote:

> Disclaimer:  This post contains Off-Topic meta discussion
> >>> Conclusion:
> >>>
> >>>    fedora-olpc, to be a sucess, needs a much slimmer UI than that
> >>>    of GNOME.
> >>
> >> "Success" needs to be defined.  Seems to me the OLPC was envisioned
> >> mainly for a single-application environment.  Except for being slow at
> >> processing, I think it succeeds admirably.
> >
> > I'm not talking about the sugar interface, which is what you're talking
> > about.
> >
> > Non-sugar interface is something I'm also interested.
> The reason for my enthusiasm:  I think the OLPC offers the bringing
> of technological assistance to economically disadvantaged locations.
> I think that people who focus on "slimming" the OLPC are missing the
> point.  What they end up with is a slow, small Linux system.  But if
> what they want is a small Linux system, today's 'netbooks' offer
> more capability (and as netbooks continue to be produced by the
> millions, I expect tomorrow's models to cost less than the OLPC).
> For those who are interested in using the OLPC to bring conventional
> applications to people who already have access to technology - why
> not work with a netbook instead?  For those who think the OLPC *is*
> suited to the environments in which it is being deployed - let's
> work on developing OLPC-scale applications to assist 'the things
> people do' wherever such "computerization" could improve matters.
> mikus
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