Tuesday, August 14, 2007

OLPC and The Only Computer You Have

So, I read this review of a beta2 OLPC laptop. Putting aside the actual language, the content of the review is definitely from a twelve year old. The big complaint is "it's slow, and needs rebooting every few hours".

I'm thinking back to my childhood... my old Apple II wouldn't run for more than a few hours. It would overheat and start randomly scrambling RAM. Rebooting didn't help, because rebooting didn't magically cool the chips.

This isn't a complaint about modern kids being spoiled. It's about what you're willing to put up with when you don't have any alternatives. You don't even really notice the limits and problems, because you aren't aware of better tools.

Frankly, I don't care how slow or balky the OLPC is. The only thing I care about is that it can be distributed easily and is durable enough to last a long time. If it runs out of power every hour, if it crashes every ten minutes... that's a big deal to us, but that's because we're all spoiled brats.

Of course, the beta4 is much faster and more reliable than the beta2, so I guess it's mostly moot.


Cam said...

Well said that man, spoiled brats! Guilty as charged your honour, OLPC rules!!

David said...

Slow? The c64 was slow. We would wait 20 minutes (a lifetime for a 9 year old) for RoboCop to load. (Often we would forget about it long before that happened.)

Craig Perko said...

Yo' mamma's computer soooo slow...

By the time it finished booting, the warranty was up!

She was typin' her name, and by the time she got to her LAST name, it'd changed!

She used to time share an ABACUS for extra cycles!

... and so forth. ;)