[Edu-sig] OLPC vs. CP4E

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue May 1 20:31:59 CEST 2007

Just to clear up what might have seemed confusing, this editorial by
John Dix in NetworkWorld (4.30.07 pg 26), other public sources, clears
up a few things.


Cheap laptops:

OLPC XO laptop: 433 MHz AMD Geode LX-700 x86 Processor, 256 MB RAM,
1GB NAND Flash storage, 3 USB Ports, 2w power usage during nominal
load, 802.11b/g-based WiFi Mesh networking, Dual Mode Display 800X600
in color and 1200X900 in monochrome mode.

Intel Classmate laptop: Celeron M processor at 900MHz, 7" 800 x 480
display, 256MB of DDR2 memory, 1GB of flash memory, 802.11b/g, GM915


According to John, Negroponte says 5000 X0s have been made, with a
production rate of ~1 million/mo targeted for December of this year.

Both models will run Windows, though XO's native platform is Sugar on
Matchbox window manager on Linux.  FORTH gets mentioned as a teaching
language, not just Python.  Some kids'll have Google accounts that
back up everything centrally.

As I've tried to make clear:  my CP4E roadshow and teaching gigs
aren't premised on any particular model of laptop and/or desktop,
though I heartily welcome their advent, especially in the developing

If an XO and/or Classmate shows up on my doorstep, I'll add it to my
show and tell.[1]  Until then, all I need is Python on any OS (IDLE
works fine) plus some essential add-ons, such as VPython for OpenGL,
PIL for stills, a few other bells and whistles (POV-Ray always a
favorite), with Internet connectivity an obvious plus.

But mostly what I need is access to a rich tradition of mathematics,
which of course I've got [2], thanks to so many who've come before me
in so many walks of life.

I hope this clears up any lingering confusions about my recent postings.


[1]  example of a current rap:

[2]  http://www.4dsolutions.net/ocn/cp4e.html

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