[nSLUG] Must read report on OLPC in Peru: Astounded in Arahuay

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Apr 1 08:28:10 ADT 2008


"I recently returned from a grueling three-week stay in Peru, where I
worked with the serious Ministry of Education team entrusted with the
country's 260-thousand laptop OLPC implementation. "

"Note to self: it's nice to work with hypercompetent people."

PBS has had a couple shows about the project and the very bitter
feelings between Intel and OLPC, and speculation that M$ has been
working behind the scenes to sabotage OLPC.  No wonder M$ sees
this as a serious threat -- it has the potential to make Linux synonymous
with personal computing and internet for a huge emerging market.

There has been press coverage of the OLPC screen technology, and
also some mention of the wireless networking.  The latter is very interesting
because the wireless chip has its own CPU so the machine can act as a
wireless relay node with the main CPU powered down.  Conventional
engineering wisdom is that you lower cost by simplifying silicon and doing
more in software, but this means having a high-powered CPU running
all the time, so you end up spending more on battery capacity.

I also wonder about the differences between my own education, largely
based on using print sources, and education where the main sources
are internet.  Recently I've been working with time series and many of
my internet searches yield only links to proprietary software and commercial
print publications (available online for a price).   This is in contrast to
some other fields were the  best sources are readily accessible online.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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