CNet did a few bits on Windows on the OLPC. Which is great for those of us who worked on making that happen. So… without any further adieu… here’s where you can find these gems.
I think Ina’s comments were pretty fair and right on track. Obviously – Sugar’s something that is very cute. There are criticisms that its more of a suped leap frog under Sugar – which is also unfair. Sugar, for what it’s designed for is very good. But keep in mind Sugar is not meant for taking a child much past a very early learning level. Constructionist learning is a good starting point. But to me, it’s really not a long term education solution. Apparently this concern is matched by a lot of educators and governments.
For that – you need the ability to have a unit that can allow someone to compete, match the capabilities of other students – not just in the same school but in schools all over the world, and also to provide a growth story. Okay, so the Windows interface isn’t cute – but as has been shown over and over – it is easy enough for even small kids to work with.
Larry Dignan, gives us his take on this issue here… in his blog entitled “OLPC meets XP: Does charm matter?”.
But to be honest I think they need to re-evaluate the statement “The kid-friendly programming tool Scratch is one of the few software pieces that exists in the same form on both Windows and Linux versions of the XO laptop.”.
There are actually a lot – in fact, almost every software piece you can run on one … you can run on the other. Any limitations would largely be on the hardware itself. But… you can check that out for yourself.
There’s even a full Sugar virtual machine on the OLPC Wiki site that you can download and run on Windows XP. But check out the stuff on Cnet – and find out more about this for yourself.
As for me – my last day on the project was yesterday. So I’m moving on to other things. It’s been a great project to work on and extremely rewarding. I look forward to seeing more great things about Windows on this little green box.
Some points of clarification and updates to this blog:
* I mentioned that there’s an emulator for a virtual machine of the OLPC. This is for the SUGAR based OLPC – not the Windows version. And the intent was to allow people who wanted to experience the Sugar interface to check it out for themselves. You can find out more about this here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Emulating_the_XO/Quick_Start/Windows
You can also download the CNET Podcast for this at: