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Colombia Signs Up For OLPC Laptops With Windows 154

Posted by timothy
from the buncha-the-green-ones-hold-the-sugar dept.
Reader Cowards Anonymous writes with this excerpt from Good Gear Guide: "Colombia will become the second country to use the One Laptop Per Child Project's (OLPC) XO laptops running Microsoft Windows XP in schools after signing an agreement for pilot programs in two towns. Schools in the towns of Quetame and Chia will be outfitted with the small green XO laptops developed by the OLPC. The pilot programs are expected to expand over time."
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Colombia Signs Up For OLPC Laptops With Windows

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  • Tragedy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Divebus (860563) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @10:47AM (#25720265)

    Isn't there enough pain and suffering down there?

    • Re:Tragedy (Score:5, Funny)

      by Smelly Jeffrey (583520) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:04AM (#25720491) Homepage
      According to the spec [laptop.org], the XOs have a 433 MHz CPU and 256 MB of RAM.
      Windows XP requires [microsoft.com], a 233 MHz CPU and 64 MB of RAM.

      I can just picture Microsoft suggesting that the XO is overpowered for the job, and that they should run Vista instead!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        You should have been modded funny instead: according to Microsoft.com, the requirements for bottom-of-the-barrel Vista Home Basic are:

        - 1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
        - 512 MB of system memory
        - 20 GB hard drive with at least 15 GB of available space
        - Support for DirectX 9 graphics and 32 MB of graphics memory
        - DVD-ROM drive
        - Audio Output
        - Internet access (fees may apply)

        No way in hell that they're going to force that upon Micro-Laptops. If anything Microsoft are shooting themselves
        • - Audio Output

          Uhhh... Why?

          • Surely they want to make sure that users notice that amazing startup sound [slashdot.org] they created. :)
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              Robert Fripp, mastermind of long-lasting progressive geek band King Crimson [king-crimson.com], made the sounds.

              Kinda odd considering that King Crimson have always been an under-the radar cult band and using their sounds on Linux would be a more fitting match. Microsoft should have instead had Fall Out Boy or Puff Daddy record the sounds, those'd be much more appropriate to Vista :)
          • by gparent (1242548)
            To play sounds, obviously. An internet connection isn't required either but quite frankly a computer is quite boring without them.
        • No way in hell that they're going to force that upon Micro-Laptops.

          .
          How many times has the geek been absolutely certain that this time the hardware requirements for a Windows OS would remain out-of-reach -- leaving a clear track ahead for Linux in some new market segment - only to see high-end specs become low-end specs in a year, or two, or three?

          HP 8.9" 2133-E Mini-Note PC [walmart.com]
          Vista Basic. 1.2 Ghz VIA CPU. VIA DX 9 Graphics. 2 GB RAM. 120 GB HDD. $610

      • According to the spec [laptop.org], the XOs have a 433 MHz CPU and 256 MB of RAM.

        Windows XP requires [microsoft.com], a 233 MHz CPU and 64 MB of RAM.

        Minimums are one thing, but from personal experience I've seen that XP isn't worth a damn without at least a 700mhz cpu and 512 mb of RAM. Now I don't know for sure, but isn't the version of XP the MS puts on these OLPC machines somewhat stripped down to run faster on fewer resources? If not, a version of Windows 2000 would have been more appropriate.

        And how long will OLPC be relevant anyway? Now you've got netbooks with 1.6 gig cpu's and 1 gig of RAM running full versions of XP, and their price point is st

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      They must be on crack. Oh wait.

  • Will they be reinforced to stop a 9mm round?

    =Smidge=

  • gentlemen (Score:3, Funny)

    by nimbius (983462) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @10:50AM (#25720309) Homepage
    let the conspiracy madness begin :)
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No need for a conspiracy. Colombia is a very right wing country (at least the ruling elite here are) and Windows is a better fit for keeping control than Linux is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @10:53AM (#25720353)
    Too bad it's Windows; they might have actually had a chance to learn something about computers. Now all they'll learn is that things mysteriously going wrong can be fixed by a reboot for equally mysterious reasons and that applications are this highly polished black box that you're not allowed to examine to determine how they work since that might violate someone's intellectual property. They'll also learn that application crashes are fairly normal, that they don't happen for good reasons that can be permanently fixed but are more like a throwing of the dice so you better save your work frequently. If they're sharp they'll also learn that open standards are bad and should be subverted whenever possible.
    • On the upside, they'll learn that they don't actually need a cannon to kill a mosquito.

    • I mean, we don't want to be cruel
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      Too bad it's Windows; they might have actually had a chance to learn something about computers.

      You assume that the purpose of this deal is to have someone "learn something about computers". It might come as a surprise, but for a lot of people (and students), computers are not "the thing to learn about", but just a tool that assists in the process of learning.

      Now all they'll learn is that things mysteriously going wrong can be fixed by a reboot for equally mysterious reasons

      Oh yes; as opposed to the ritual

    • This is a blip. (Score:4, Informative)

      by RustinHWright (1304191) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @02:49PM (#25724067) Homepage Journal

      A.) This is TWO TOWNS. I'm finding all the teeth gnashing here a bit sad. The real deployments are already underway and most are using Linux.

      If you RTFA you'll find that:
      . . .several towns in Colombia were in the process of buying or deploying its XO laptops, most of which use a Red Hat Fedora Linux OS... An initial 20,000 laptops will be handed out . . . in . . . Bogota. Another 90,000 laptops will be deployed in Cartagena.

      Around 1,000 XO laptops have been earmarked for schools in regions where the Revolutionary Army of Colombia rebel group remains active. The XO is already used in Marina Orth, former home to drug lord Pablo Escobar.

      B.) And what makes you so sure that in a few years they won't eventually switch the OS on the M$ boxes when the press and suits go away? Quite a few Latin American countries are framing the switch to Linux as a nationalistic thing, as a chance to use Spanish-language optimized versions from Mexico instead of the Norteamericano corporate beast.

      In short, dudes, relax.

    • In other words, if any of them come to the United States and have to use a computer at work, they'll be ready.
  • Pet Project (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The ones going to Quetame will be standard OLPC laptops, the other town will get the Greener Green(tm) version with foliage.

  • by Mr. Slippery (47854) <tms.infamous@net> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @10:58AM (#25720413) Homepage

    I have to wonder what role Sugar plays in the decision to go with XP.

    You get one choice that looks like a computer, windows and menus and the like; and you get one choice that looks like nothing you've ever seen, that doesn't give kids experience with a typical computer internface and is based on unproven ideas about how children learn.

    OLPC w/ XFCE FTW.

    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:26AM (#25720815) Journal

      and you get one choice that looks like nothing you've ever seen

      Oh, this old, tired line again. When I was at school, sure there was MS and Word, but it was DOS 3.2 and Word 2.something which ran in text mode only. If I remember correctly. So frankly what I had at school was NOTHING like what I have now. The point is, it doesn't matter what you teach kids today, since it will be nothing like what is in the office when they turn 21, even if you teach them MS products, they won't be the MS products of 2020.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by pizzach (1011925)
        This may sound a bit wierd, but I wish that my first computer was a commodore 64. I think it would have been a much more educational experience than Win 3.1 on a mulitimedia PC. Meh. Shoulda woulda coulda.
        • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          My first computer WAS a Commodore 64. Actually it was a Commodore Vic 20 and I later UPGRADED to the 64. Yes, I am that old...

          Did I learn MORE than someone using Win 3.1? No. I learned different stuff. I did learn about PEEKs and POKEs and an oddball OS running on very, very limited hardware. I learned to be patient while Crush, Crumble and Chomp spent 30 minutes loading from cassette tape (50% of the time it would fail too, plus when you die you had to RELOAD the game, good times). You could have learned f

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Cajun Hell (725246)

            Did I learn MORE than someone using Win 3.1? No. I learned different stuff. I did learn about PEEKs and POKEs and an oddball OS running on very, very limited hardware.

            Actually, you did learn something. You learned about memory-mapped I/O, something that most programmers of higher-level OSes are never exposed to (because they use APIs instead). Later, when you get down in the dirt and have to write a driver or something, your C64 general programming experience has prepared you for something that normally

        • Windows 3.1 and multimedia PC's are about two decades apart.

          --Toll_Free

          • by pizzach (1011925)
            The definition of multimedia has probably changed with time. Multimedia was the marketing gimmick with that packard-bell machine because it could play poorly encoded itty bitty movies off of a CD-ROM.
      • The point is, it doesn't matter what you teach kids today, since it will be nothing like what is in the office when they turn 21

        Precisely, which is why giving them Windows XP is no better or worse than giving them Linux. It will all be different later anyhow.

      • The problem is we had a chance to break from ms standards with XO. If it took off Linux will now be a targetable market and these students likely will prefer it in the office when they get older.

        Since they chose Windows developers will now say go install Windows we wont port to sugar

      • by Draek (916851)

        Fact != Perception. The fact that whatever technology you're taught in school is almost certainly going to be obsolete by the time you even begin to write your CV doesn't mean that the people in charge of purchasing decisions don't believe it'll matter.

        It's hard to fault them for thinking as such, though... after all, I studied math in school using my dad's books, which my grandpa had bought for him second-hand when he was a kid, and they served me just fine. For all the advancement in the more 'theoretical

      • The point is, it doesn't matter what you teach kids today, since it will be nothing like what is in the office when they turn 21

        I will bet you $20 that office software 10 years from now will still use files and some sort of desktop metaphor - things lacking in Sugar.

        Just as cars eventually settled, after a period of diversity, into the wheel-and-pedals interface we have today, the GUI has settled into the desktop metaphor.

      • by ignavus (213578)

        When I was at school micro-computers had not even been invented. An office suite back then was a desk and a set of nicely upholstered chairs.

      • by jrumney (197329)
        Back in those days, schools didn't care that they were using obscure software like MS Word when the clear market leader was WordPerfect, they were teaching skills not software.
    • by grumbel (592662)

      You get one choice that looks like a computer, windows and menus and the like; and you get one choice that looks like nothing you've ever seen,

      Have you actually used Sugar? The difference between Sugar and Windows is really no different then between Gnome and Windows or KDE and Windows or any other GUI. Sugar really only has two main differences to a normal GUI: every application is started in fullscreen (just like on lots of PDA, mobile phones, etc.) and you don't have a normal filesystem, instead you get a Journal which really is not much different from Gnomes Beagle or other desktop search applications. Other then that its really just cosmetic,

  • Green and blue (and even lesser: blue with white print) do not match!
  • hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apodyopsis (1048476) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:04AM (#25720497)
    FTFA

    Installing Microsoft software in OLPC's laptops has been controversial. OLPC started out offering Linux on the devices because the OS costs nothing and organizers believed it made the device run more efficiently. Some open-source software advocates hoped the XO would spread the use of Linux and the open source philosophy to the 5 billion people living without computers in the developing world.

    Microsoft hopes to capture these 5 billion people for its future market potential.

    ..at least they are honest about it. and none of this "offering a better, competative.." rubbish. its plain old "get them when they are young" philosophy....

    • Re:hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:15AM (#25720647) Homepage

      As opposed to the equally blatantly stated "Spread the use of Linux and the open source philosophy"?

      They're both attempting to do the same thing... but apparently, Microsoft has more money to throw at the problem.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by EvilRyry (1025309)

        Spreading free and open access to information is a bit nicer goal than getting the kids young so we can rape them with licensing fees when they get older.

        • Re:hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Atlantis-Rising (857278) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:47AM (#25721121) Homepage

          Possibly. I'm not necessarily convinced that free and open access to information is necessary... or even useful.

          However, IMNSHO, that's not what Open Source is about anyway. Open Source has really never been terribly important for your average person; all of its important freedoms relate to developers. The freedom to sprout wings and fly away is irrelevant to people who have no ability to sprout wings and fly away, and in the same manner, the vast majority of computer users (and this percentage is growing, not shrinking) are not developers. Open Source, arguably, does not strive to protect them or provide open and free access to them.

          Microsoft's tactics are primarily profit-driven, of course. But Microsoft is no longer a booming growth organization like it once was; it must shift its goals toward long-term sustainability and medium growth, and this it has tried to do. You'll notice this in the fact that Microsoft's licensing fees are not terribly high. The vast majority of users, in fact, do not pay these fees on anything but an irregular basis, and the fees they do pay, which are rolled into OEM machines, are so low when spread across the time involved that Microsoft's 'raping license fees' work out for your average user somewhere between $20-$30 per year, I would imagine.

          Is free cheaper? Certainly! But it's patently obvious that Microsoft hardly rapes their customer base with license fees. This is especially true in developing countries where copyright infringement runs entirely rampant. Huge numbers of people would rather pirate Windows in the developing world than run Linux, and I think that says something about Microsoft's sustainability strategy.

          Ultimately, I think Microsoft's attempts here, and in various other places across the globe is merely an attempt by the organization to replace its pirated software with licensed software, by making it clear what benefit partnership with Microsoft brings, including huge rebates and funding sponsorships. The problem is that Linux doesn't bring huge wads of cash with it. The value of open source software is intangible and arguably non-existent to a lot of these people.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rolfwind (528248)

            The vast majority of users, in fact, do not pay these fees on anything but an irregular basis, and the fees they do pay, which are rolled into OEM machines, are so low when spread across the time involved that Microsoft's 'raping license fees' work out for your average user somewhere between $20-$30 per year, I would imagine.

            Why, as a consumer, can I not buy Windows for a similiar low price, or a low multiple? Why is it in the hundreds of $$$? Why are there over 6 versions of Vista now? Why not just 2?

            Po

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              Why, as a consumer, can I not buy Windows for a similiar low price, or a low multiple? Why is it in the hundreds of $$$? Why are there over 6 versions of Vista now? Why not just 2?

              For much the same reason as large organizations get deep, deep discounts on anything else and individuals don't. Economies of scale.

              As for the versioning, it's worth nothing that while there are... six? versions of Windows, Microsoft has not attempted, nor expects, that all of those versions of windows can be bought by all people.

              • For much the same reason as large organizations get deep, deep discounts on anything else and individuals don't. Economies of scale.

                Economy of scale refers primarily to production. The savings come from manufacturing 1 million identical widgets, whether you sell them to 1 million individuals or 100 large companies is not as important. It's how Ikea can offer cheap furniture, even though most of us buy one table at a time.

                Now, sure, there are some savings in delivering large orders, but discount bulk pricing is more an issue of marketing and leverage than 'economy of scale'.

                • It's also a case of preferring defined revenue (although I argue there certainly are economies of scale involved in software licensing- Microsoft can sell you ten million software licenses at absolutely no cost to itself, but there is a definite cost to putting ten million boxes of Windows Vista on the shelf) over undefined revenue.

                  Microsoft knows that Dell will buy 50 million licenses a year- that's a much better deal for Microsoft than hoping that the 60 million boxed copies of Vista they put on the shelf

              • Information in that sense can be a weapon, but it is only a true weapon when coupled with censorship.

                • Why? Does having a gun somehow make someone else with a gun less capable of killing you?

                  Your argument (as far as I can establish from one line, admittedly) appears to be that information is only a weapon if one party has it, which seems quite obviously false.

                  Having twice as many guns does not make them less dangerous.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            > of users, in fact, do not pay these fees on anything but an irregular basis, and the fees they do pay,
            > which are rolled into OEM machines, are so low when spread across
            > the time involved that Microsoft's 'raping license fees' work out
            > for your average user somewhere between $20-$30 per year, I would imagine.

            It's not just about the Microsoft tax but the fact that Microsoft
            conspires against you in order to make it nearly impossible to
            use anything else. It doesn't matter what your requirement

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              It's not just about the Microsoft tax but the fact that Microsoft conspires against you in order to make it nearly impossible to use anything else. It doesn't matter what your requirements. It doesn't matter how poorly Microsoft's product meeds those requirements. If they get their way, you will be forced to use their crap whether you want to or not.

              Firstly, it's linguistically incorrect to call it a tax. A tax, by definition, is a charge imposed by a government.

              However, that point aside, your argument is n

          • by orasio (188021)

            Open Source is not about freedom. Open source is a technical issue, about building better software through open source and open standards.

            You are talking about the free software philosophy. Free software is about users, not developers.

            When you use free software, as a user, you are free to buy updates and improvements from whoever you like, and even hire people to do it for you. Proprietary software comes with lock in, which is not important for throwaway software, but if very important for mission critical

            • Open source comprises both a technical and an ideological component, of course.

              But, at least in my opinion, the number of people who get into flame wars over the technological advantages or disadvantages of open source are relatively minimal... because it quite depends on, more than anything else, what your goals are. Without defining specific goals, it is impossible to establish 'best'.

              Value requires a metric for valuation, after all.

              Proprietary software is part of an era that came about after the Enlighte

          • I have a problem with the first statement you made... "I'm not necessarily convinced that free and open access to information is necessary... or even useful"

            So what you're saying is that things like libraries aren't useful? Please explain that statement in clearer terms...
            • I explained in a sibling comment... information is a weapon.

              I don't go around handing out M-16s to people on the street, why should I go around handing out copies of "The prepatory manual of explosives"?



          • I hate getting into internet arguments, and I'm only replying to this comment because Atlantis seems like a thoughtful person who has presented a reasoned, but off-mark perspective here.

            Open Source has really never been terribly important for your average person; all of its important freedoms relate to developers.

            The freedoms that Open Source brings to developers directly impacts users. Support for hardware and software provided by corporations can only last as long as there is a commercial interest in p

            • The freedoms that Open Source brings to developers directly impacts users. Support for hardware and software provided by corporations can only last as long as there is a commercial interest in people using a given product. Old peripherals don't get drivers coded by their vendor for new OS releases and new peripherals don't get drivers bundled for old OS installations. Open source has thankfully picked up the slack for these users. Microsoft intentionally is withholding additional development on fixes, updat

      • by pembo13 (770295)
        So people not using Windows is a problem now?
      • by Bert64 (520050)

        Yes, but the linux option will benefit the kids more...

        Linux gives them a system which is open, allowing those kids who are technically minded to learn about it in depth and provide support to their peers. When they grow up, those kids will be able to sell such services to others, while the non technical kids will be able to buy support services from the others. So you end up with an IT industry that's locally based, rather than having to pay for expensive foreign services and additional software (what seem

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yes, but the linux option will benefit the kids more...

          Perhaps, but you certainly haven't proven such a claim.

          Linux gives them a system which is open, allowing those kids who are technically minded to learn about it in depth and provide support to their peers. When they grow up, those kids will be able to sell such services to others, while the non technical kids will be able to buy support services from the others. So you end up with an IT industry that's locally based, rather than having to pay for expens

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Toll_Free (1295136)

          I call bullshit.

          Accordingly, your theory would say that nobody in IT today would have learned on MS platforms.

          I did.

          And most people in the industry, outside of *nix and OS/400 types, also did. Or migrated from other machines to PC based hardware when the other machines (Commodores, etc) disappeared.

          So saying that open source will breed tech types is complete bullshit. Tech types will figure out how to work on their machines as well as modify them, no matter what the operating system is.

          --Toll_Free

      • by Draek (916851)

        The difference is, OSS supporters would be happy if students knew both, Microsoft wouldn't.

    • Re:hmmm. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:20AM (#25720713) Homepage

      The funny part is, it's the OSS advocates referenced in the article who have been pushing "get 'em while they're young" under the guise of "offering a better etc..." as a feature while insisting the same behavior by Microsoft is a bug.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Tubal-Cain (1289912) *
        OSS advocates don't have financial motivation for their suggestion. And I don't see any "under the guise of..."-type posts.
        • It doesn't matter that they don't have a financial motivation - it matters that they have a political agenda they've been pushing under the guise of a charitable effort. If you haven't seen any "under the guise of" type posts, all I can think is that you haven't been reading the coverage of the OLPC here on /. - because those posts have been abundant.

          • The posters here seem to be advocating legitimate reasons (mostly) for using FOSS. It isn't being pushed as being superior because of deception, it is being pushed as superior because it the poster feels that it really is superior. Contrast with MS, which has a reason to be biased in saying it's product is better.
        • OSS advocates don't have financial motivation for their suggestion.

          You mean, RedHat (for example) is a non-profit?

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Informative (1347701)
        Not quite, because OSS also often runs on windows. You have a choice. M$ wants lock-in. Think schoolyard drug dealer.
      • by ignavus (213578)

        And you cannot tell the difference between "get them while young *to pay money all their lives*" versus "get them while young *to be free from having to pay money all their lives*"?

        The MS shills are out in droves tonight I see.

        • Just because you think your cause is righteous is no excuse for forcing your political agenda on another. One need not be a shill to have a conscience.

  • Cool (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rik Sweeney (471717) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:05AM (#25720511) Homepage

    Now they won't need drugs mules anymore because they can simply email us the cocaine!

    • by dtokra (1404893)
      what a jerk-oker..... your ignorance makes me laugh
    • by Alsee (515537)

      I think the funniest part is that most of us will likely live to see the day it comes true.

      There already exist 3D printers. Someone can email you any 3D model data and you can print out that actual object in plastic or metal. They are still too expensive for home use, but they exist and will be coming to the home market.

      There already exist electronic circuit printers. Someone can email you a circuit design and you can print out that actual electric circuit with special conductive inks. They are still too ex

  • The hope is kids become more interested in computers than joining the rebels, though the organization Human Rights Watch notes that many kids in the area are forced into the group and shot if they try to leave.

    OK, anyone thinks that old Bill is exaggerating this time? I think maybe this could get him in trouble. Or I am underestimating his lawyers?

  • by js_sebastian (946118) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:26AM (#25720811)
    From TFA:

    The groups did not say how many laptops would be handed out as part of the trial nor when it would start.

    So it's an unspecified number of laptops at an unspecified point in the future. In the mean time, the linux version of the OLPC is a step or two ahead, and will be deploying 110,000 laptops running sugar:

    Last month, OLPC announced that several towns in Colombia were in the process of buying or deploying its XO laptops, most of which use a Red Hat Fedora Linux OS core customized by OLPC and a graphical user interface aimed at kids called Sugar.

    An initial 20,000 laptops will be handed out at schools in the capital, Bogota, thanks to several Colombian foundations and private donors. Another 90,000 laptops will be deployed in Cartagena.

    Why will this pilot use windows laptops? easy, because Microsoft is paying for a big chunk of it:

    Microsoft and OLPC will donate the XO laptops

    This is quite interesting, after Bill Gates said the OLPC project was the wrong thing to spend charity money on, which should be spent on more fundamental things like food and healthcare. Clearly, this is not charity, it is fighting for the marketshare of the future.

    The official excuse:

    The decision to put Windows on the laptops came about because officials in some countries feared a non-Windows laptop would ill prepare students for the real world, in which Microsoft software dominates.

    ..is totally retarded. Anyone who has had a decent education can learn to use basic office programs in a day if needed. And anyhow, by the time these kids will enter the workforce, windows will be on version 15 (we're talking primary school kids!) and anything specific they learn about the system would be totally useless.

    • "...totally retarded"? Right. Don't take your "decent education" for granted. Only about half the Colombians go to high school and it may not even be free down there.

      And anyhow, by the time these kids will enter the workforce, windows will be on version 15 (we're talking primary school kids!) and anything specific they learn about the system would be totally useless.

      Someone who learned how to use Office 95 13 years ago can probably work their way around the latest version of office. And it's smart to tar

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by js_sebastian (946118)

        "...totally retarded"? Right. Don't take your "decent education" for granted. Only about half the Colombians go to high school and it may not even be free down there.

        I don't take decent education for granted. I just don't think "using *office" (microsoft's or any other version) should be anywhere near a kid's education, at all, except as a tool to write reports essays and stuff (and for that, OLPC-sugar offers abiword). Just like you don't teach them to operate a cash register, or to build walls, just because that's the work they might end up doing. Education (especially early education) is NOT about giving pupils the tools for today's job market. It is about giving the

  • Running Windows on an OLPC is like buying a Corvette with a Volkswagen engine in it.

    What a waste. Very sad.
    • Actually it depends on the engine, check this out W16 [wikipedia.org]
      • by SaDan (81097)

        Show me a Volkswagen that uses that engine.

        Also, from one of the external links in your Wikipedia article: "The only short-coming of W-engines is that they require very thin connecting rods, as the crankshaft is much shorter than V-engines. While VR6 uses con-rods with 20mm thickness, the W-engines run with 13mm ones. This prevent it from becoming racing engines. Tight cylinder heads may also limit its breathing and ventilation."

        So, while a marvel of technology that Bugatti did manage to use in a very limi

    • by Nixoloco (675549)

      Wouldn't it be more like buying a pretty little, colorful Scooter with an elderly hamster in a wheel under the hood?
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      You're seriously trying to compare ANY Chevy to ANY german car?

      What are you smoking?

      A volkswagen engine is bound to be an IMPROVEMENT.

      Over there across the pond they don't just try to paint a turd a pretty color and try to sell that to you...

  • Interesting that it is a right-wing nation like Columbia that chooses to get it's OLPC laptops with Windows installed. There's no good reason why the choice of software should be a political decision (that goes for you too, Stallman), yet so often that is the case.

    I'd like to invite some of the government officials who balked at a commie OS to my office where they can see that real business is done with open source products all the time.

    • Interesting that it is a right-wing nation like Columbia that chooses to get it's OLPC laptops with Windows installed.

      Colombia (not Columbia) made no such choice. This is a future pilot program of unspecified size that microsoft is at least partially paying for. In the meantime, 110000 sugar-base OLPCs are already scheduled for deployment in Colombia (according to TFA). Summary is totally misleading.

  • I thought about sponsoring the OLPC project once... and now I'm glad I didn't do anything like that.

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