David Findlay

a man, a plan, a cake: nirvana

Bye Bye OLPC XO

So, I ended up putting my OLPC XO up on eBay. Some nice chap from Mexico picked it up for far too much.

I felt good about the donation part of the Give One Get One program, but not so good about adding $400 to my ever mounting AMEX bill. I had some grand ideas for working on some Python apps for it, playing with the Sugar frontend, and some other stuff. But, I realized over the Christmas break that I really wasn't going to have the kind of time to dedicate to it that would be required. Also, my kids are spoilt by access to nothing slower than a PowerMac G4, and so there wasn't much to offer on the XO that they didn't already have quicker access to, with better input devices, and a better screen, on the Mac.

Now, that's not to say that I don't think that the XO is a worthwhile device. I think it will be useful to its target audience: children who likely would not have the opportunity to be directly exposed to information technology otherwise. And as the interfaces get a little more polished, and the selection of applications expands, it will become more and more useful. I saw recently that John Negraponte intends to sell the XO officially in the US, as opposed to just via the Give One Get One program that I acquired it through. The success of the
Asus Eee PC shows that at least some portion of the populous has cotton on to the fact that they don't need the resources of the supercomputers-in-PC-clothing that are now available from Dell et al. I do think they will still want something a little swifter than the XO, but perhaps in the educational setting it might just do okay.

I wish it well.