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Venezuela Purchases a Million Intel Classmates 275

Posted by timothy
from the olpc-opened-the-way dept.
An anonymous reader submits news of the million-laptop order from Venezuela of Intel's version of the kid-friendly laptop. The computers are produced in Portugal. "The machines, rebranded 'Magellan,' will also come with Linux pre-installed as opposed to Windows XP. This order alone is 50% bigger than the entire OLPC project has managed to sell worldwide."
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Venezuela Purchases a Million Intel Classmates

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  • by Centurix (249778) <centurix AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:15AM (#25183423) Homepage

    If so, maybe give one to Miss Venezuela? I'd guess her IM nick would be WorldPeace69...

  • lolwut (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:19AM (#25183429)

    So now OLPC comes with windoze and classmates come with Linux? o_O

    Tables have turned I gather!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by aliquis (678370)

      And 2008 is the year of the Linux third world notebook / Linux desktop for children!?!

    • Re:lolwut (Score:5, Informative)

      by DrSkwid (118965) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @10:27AM (#25184277) Homepage Journal

      > The machines, rebranded 'Magellan,' will also come with Linux

      I tracked down an attribution [theinquirer.net] - with pictures of the device

      "This is effectively a second-generation Classmate PC, and integrates a Celeron ULV part and uses Linux, although down the line it is expected to migrate to a fully Atom-based system with a "lighter version of Windows" (whatever that is)."

      The Portuguese have also bought 500,000 of the same devices. [eweek.com]

      • The official details on the BOM state the computer costs 180 to manufacture, although a source told us 369 total

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Cyclops (1852)

        No, they don't. The government assured JP SÃ Couto that they would buy at least 500.000 units.

        BTW, JP SÃ Couto was one of the companies that added to the shameful situation in Portugal about Microsoft's OOXML, by only showing up to vote in favour like a good lapdog partner.

        This could perhaps be best viewed like a nice reward...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why order them with Windows when you can just install bootleg copies for free before deploy. You save money,thumb your nose at capitalism and your students gain valuable experience learning to make the OS work firsthand

    • by muszek (882567)

      How in the world does installing bootleg copies gives anyone a "valuable experience learning to make the OS work firsthand"?

      On the other note, I wonder what made them choose Linux. Was it a choice based on merits or did Hugo Chavez'es political stance (anti-US/capitalism) made an impact?

      Damn,

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by lysergic.acid (845423)

        rational people make rational choices. his socialist stance probably has something to do with his choosing an open source OS based on its merits. i mean, he had no problem ordering laptops from Intel. so i don't think he was trying to make a political statement with this purchase.

        and in the interviews i've watched of Chavez, he comes off as a surprisingly intelligent person--i had no idea national leaders could be like that.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by MrNaz (730548)

          The ironic thing is that Chavez is actually a good leader and a very intelligent person, while the western media does its best to make him look foolish. Bush has the mental capacity of a ball peen hammer, but the western media does its best to make him look smart.

          • by puto (533470) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @12:29PM (#25185181) Homepage
            As someone who has relatives in Venezuela, and who has been there before and after the Chavez regime. He is hardly a good leader. Crowd control with rubber bullets and Cuban interregators for those who choose to protest, again that makes a good leader? I was born in the US but have lived in several south american countries. I hold citizen ship in Colombia and Panama due to family ties. Venezuela is much worse for the wear than it was 10 years ago. Chavez funds Farc in Colombia, and as someone who has been on his knees, assault rifle at his head, explaing why he spoke spanish with an american accent, I cannot say anything good about the man, or his peers. Colombia is taking a stand against the guerillas, they are bringing themselves up, and Chavez does not want to have his people see prosperity in democracy when it is right next door. Go to both countries, and tell who is better off.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by lysergic.acid (845423)

              well, the wealthy minority may have enjoyed more privileges under the rule of his predecessors, but the majority of Venezuelans are not the ones driving in mercedes or bmws and banging pots and pans in the streets of their upper class suburban neighborhoods.

              it's almost farcical watching the anti-Chavez protesters wearing their Gucci sunglasses as they denounce the first leader in Venezuelan history to actually act in the interest of the lower-class majority rather than simply marginalize the poor to cater t

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Grishnakh (216268)

                but maybe he should adopt the American model and simply lock up the poor, or let them die from lack of health care.

                I'm not disagreeing with you about Venezuela's reforms (I really don't know much about the country to be honest), but the above is definitely not the "American model". Poor people here live pretty long lives, and get plenty of healthcare. Unlike normal people, who go to the doctor when they might have a problem, and have to pay via insurance and co-pays, poor people (especially illegal immigr

              • by Walkingshark (711886) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @05:12PM (#25187217) Homepage

                god forbid Venezuelan people actually get to eat.

                Ever since his price controls went into effect, certain staple foods have become harder and harder to find. Milk is hit or miss, same with eggs and the like. Hugo is a weird case, he seems to be trying to do some good things, but unfortunately his actions are based on a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature and economics, much in the same way that opposite end of the spectrum small government no-regulation types do.

        • by introspekt.i (1233118) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @11:06AM (#25184535)

          and in the interviews i've watched of Chavez, he comes off as a surprisingly intelligent person--i had no idea national leaders could be like that.

          Funny, I've watched some interviews of him, too. I think he sounds stark raving mad. I had no idea national leaders could be like that, either. XD

          • by Alioth (221270)

            You have to hand it to him though, he's the only national leader I've ever seen say 'shit' on live TV. (Specifically, 'yanquis de mierda')

            • by LocoMan (744414)

              That was the second time. First time was shortly after the elections last year (for a new constitution, which he lost), he appeared unnanounced on a military event, which was being transmitted live, and on a speech he made he called the opposition's victory a "shitty victory" (victoria de mierda)

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Gavagai80 (1275204)

            I think he sounds stark raving mad. I had no idea national leaders could be like that

            You must not have seen a national leader before. Most of them are like that.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:34AM (#25183469)
    This paragraph in the submission:

    "The machines, rebranded 'Magellan,' will also come with Linux pre-installed as opposed to Windows XP. This order alone is 50% bigger than the entire OLPC project has managed to sell worldwide."

    But despite the quotemarks, this is NOT in TFA. No mention of Linux, or the name "Magellan". Hopefully the anonymous submitter didn't just make it up, it would be nice the source was cited. We all know how carefully Slashdot is in vetting its articles, after all, so I'm sure it's all verifiable.

    • by zeraeiro (946048) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:39AM (#25183481)
      Part is true. I'm from Portugal and all over the media you hear everyday everywhere "The first Portuguese computer ever made (...)". They don't even mention it's a Intel Classmate. http://ww1.rtp.pt/noticias/index.php?headline=98&visual=25&article=356756&tema=29 [ww1.rtp.pt] Not sure about the scale of the order in comparison to OLPC.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by weetabeex (1065032)
        Indeed, Intel Classmate was rebranded 'Magellan' in Portugal for some government funded laptops for students. I wonder if it really will be rebranded the same in Venezuela.
      • "Part is true. I'm from Portugal and all over the media you hear everyday everywhere"

        Seeing as you are from Portugal, do you mind providing a translation for these:

        "O portátil português aguenta bombardeamentos [aeiou.pt]", quem o diz é Hugo Chávez. O polémico presidente fez o teste, deixou cair um exemplar ao chão, e diz-se fã do portátil português a baixo custo. Um milhão de máquinas vão ser adquiridas pela Venezuela

        O disco rígido está pa
    • by The Dotmeister (1043252) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @08:00AM (#25183577)
      Actually the name isn't "Magellan" but "Magalhães", and it dual boots (at least in Portugal) Windows XP and Linux CaixaMágica (a portuguese distro) as you can see here http://www.eescolinha.gov.pt/equipamento.html [eescolinha.gov.pt].
      It's being sold to kids in primary school for 50 euros and it comes with an option for mobile internet, which you can buy from mobile carriers. If you're not a primary school student, well you've got to pay 285 euros for one.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        It's being sold to kids in primary school for 50 euros and it comes with an option for mobile internet, which you can buy from mobile carriers. If you're not a primary school student, well you've got to pay 285 euros for one.

        Proof that Hugo Chavez is a dangerous Commie terrorist like the Bush administration says.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by blind biker (1066130)

        It's being sold to kids in primary school for 50 euros and it comes with an option for mobile internet, which you can buy from mobile carriers. If you're not a primary school student, well you've got to pay 285 euros for one.

        The little I know about Portuguese culture brings me to expect a lot of these machines will be sold for %= EUR, but not to kids only. There's ways to abuse the system, and I suspect it will be abused.

        • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @10:08AM (#25184177) Homepage

          oh c'mon. you don't think if the same deal were offered in the U.S., U.K., or any other western nation that you wouldn't also have people abusing the system?

          i mean, 285 euros is pretty affordable for most Americans, but i still see people going into stores to buy these for their "kids" and then just keeping the laptop for themselves. consumers want the best deal possible as well. that's the flip side of capitalism.

          • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @10:10AM (#25184199) Journal

            It's just more likely to happen in Portugal than in Sweden or Finland. I don't know enough about the US to say one way or the other. And in fact, the post you are attacking does not mention anything regarding the US.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by lysergic.acid (845423)
              it doesn't have to. i'm pointing out that you're attributing a universal human trait to the Portuguese people. either you're incredibly naive or just incredibly self deluded. i guarantee it's just as likely to happen in Sweden or Finland or any other nation for that matter as it is to happen in Portugal. the likelihood of people abusing the system for a better deal is 100% in any capitalist country.
              • by blind biker (1066130) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @11:16AM (#25184605) Journal

                I think it's you who is naive, if you think it's just as likely to happen in Sweden or Finland. Your naivity can be explained with lack of knowledge. I have lived in various parts of Europe, and have lived for almost 40 years. And I have seen the level of corruption in southern and eastern europe. I have learned the various cultural traits of the people of Europe. Each has its pros and cons. I just prefer living in Finland, after seeing the rest. A culture that leads to corruption also leads to a weaker economy (which may or may not be important for you) and a general lack of order and accountability. It's really stupid to say that there are no cultural differences between countries, and that those cultural differences don't contribute to certain behavioural patterns - like, for example, gaming the system. I was born in a country where everyone tries to game the system, to screw up his/her fellow. I have seen other countries, seen shades of grey. One can see a lot of stuff, if he/she travels and lives in various places in his/her lifetime, like I did.

                But you know what: your kind of delusion is popular around here. A lot of people who are just as naive as you are. So, you're preaching to the choir and perhaps you get kicks out of that. You're still wrong, though. There are differences between cultures, differences conducive to behavioural patterns, whether that fits into your worldview or not.

                • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @11:32AM (#25184731) Homepage

                  did i say there were no cultural differences? i'm simply saying that the trait you're describing is a universal _human_ trait, not a Portuguese one.

                  granted, i've never traveled to Europe, but i've traveled to different parts of Asia and spent a significant part of my life outside of the U.S. i've even spent most of childhood adjusting to the cultural differences between Taiwan and the United States. i know very well how different cultural values can affect a society's development. but some things are constant. as much as you'd like to look down on another society for what you perceive as cultural shortcomings, people are generally more alike than they are different. we're just socialized to not see the corruption which goes on in our own society. that is the result of your cultural lens.

                  some governments are indeed more corrupt than others, but people in capitalist societies possess certain traits regardless of what culture they were raised in. do you honestly think that greed and corruption are distinctly Portuguese characteristics? you don't think Swedish or Finnish CEOs embezzle from their companies or exploit the economic system to their advantage?

                  • This is what you said:

                    i guarantee it's just as likely to happen in Sweden or Finland or any other nation for that matter as it is to happen in Portugal.

                    I copy/pasted this quote verbatim from your post in which you tried to refute me [slashdot.org]

                    So you have never been to Europe, but you "guarantee that it's just as likely to happen" in countries you have never been to, than in another country you have never been to - let alone lived in.
                    To any neutral observer will, at this point, be clear that you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. But that's OK, because there's little to no neutral observers around here, so your BS gets a pass.

                    Also, no

                  • do you honestly think that greed and corruption are distinctly Portuguese characteristics? you don't think Swedish or Finnish CEOs embezzle from their companies or exploit the economic system to their advantage?

                    I don't like it when people distort my words, especially in such flagrant way. I did not say corruption is a distinct Portuguese characteristic. I said it's more likely to happen in Portugal than Finland or Sweden.

                    Finnish, Swedish or Norwegian CEOs are less likely to embezzle or corrupt, or be corrupted (you can argue that it's all the same) than one from southern Italy, Spain or Bosnia. And the interesting thing is, most Italians, Spaniards or Bosnians will admit that, themselves.

                    I probably would have more

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          The little I know about Portuguese culture brings me to expect a lot of these machines will be sold for %= EUR, but not to kids only. There's ways to abuse the system, and I suspect it will be abused.

          There's always ways to abuse the system, but as far as I know, to be eligible to buy one for 50 euros you need to go into your kids school, fill a form, wait for verification and then wait for a notice to receive your "Magalhães".

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The name has been translated, the portuguese name is "Magalhaes" (actually there should be a "~" above the second "a", but when I post it looks strange, damn language coding confusions).

      There are news here http://waterseven.universebox.com/?p=128, here http://sol.sapo.pt/PaginaInicial/Economia/Interior.aspx?content_id=109149 and here http://www.correiomanha.pt/noticia.aspx?contentid=604E90A9-501B-4A0B-AB89-67561B30D7B1&channelid=00000011-0000-0000-0000-000000000011.

      All in portuguese. You can try to auto

    • by Chemicalscum (525689) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @08:28AM (#25183699) Journal
      Here we are in Portugese from a Portugese IT site is says that Magellan will be sold to Venezuela with Canaimo Linux installed:

      "na Venezuela o sistema operativo Canaima (baseado em Linux)"

      http://ciberia.aeiou.pt/?st=10098 [aeiou.pt]

      Linux is the operating system of the Bolivarian Revolution.

      "Canaima is a GNU / Linux distribution based on Debian which is emerging as a solution to meet the needs of end users office of the Venezuelan National Public Administration (APN) and to comply with the presidential decree no. 3.390 sobre el uso de TecnologÃas Libres en la APN. 3390 on the use of Open Technologies in APN."

      http://canaima.softwarelibre.gob.ve/ [softwarelibre.gob.ve]

  • by xzvf (924443) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:40AM (#25183489)
    Technology in education has a great deal of potential when you put a computer in each kids hands. The important part is ~$300 million is being spent on hardware. How much will the national government spend on infrastructure that will make it a success. Teacher training and lesson plans, maintenance and support, internet access.... It could be political, your kid now has a computer, but I doubt it will be a success as an educational tool without spending another chunk of money on making it work. By the way OLPC is the reason the classmate exists, and while some zealots will be angry that it isn't their piece of hardware, the real supporters of the OLPC project's mission will be happy to hear this.
    • by burnitdown (1076427) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:57AM (#25183563) Homepage Journal

      Technology in education has a great deal of potential when you put a computer in each kids hands.

      Computers don't change the intelligence of kids, but they may help their motivation.

      You cannot educate a congenital idiot into being a genius. You can make him flip burgers faster however.

      I think people are hoping that buying computers for kids is the "magic bullet" to somehow turn them all into middle-class level performers.

      No scientific evidence exists that shows that will work.

      Some useful research:

      * The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature [amazon.com], by Stephen Pinker -- proves beyond a doubt that intelligence and personality are almost exclusively heritable.

      * The Bell Curve [amazon.com], by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray -- although the portion about race attracted the most media attention, the real point of the book is that intelligence in populations follows a distribution curve so that only a few are actually all that smart.

      You can see why people go into "cognitive dissonance" when they see this evidence. We all like to think we can be anyone we want to be. But just like few are as handsome as Paul Newman, few are smart enough to achieve the kind of results that are desired.

      Just as only one out of 100,000 has the talent to be an engineer or an acrobat, only a few are those truly capable of managing the matters of a nation or mankind as a whole.
      Pentti Linkola [penttilinkola.com]

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        It's a good thing you only cited really solid sources. I was about to say that you were a flamebaiting scumbag.

        "The Bell Curve"? Are you fucking kidding me? Where do you get your reading list, the Josef Mengele Book Club?

        • "The Bell Curve"? Are you fucking kidding me? Where do you get your reading list, the Josef Mengele Book Club?

          Godwin's law [wikipedia.org] in action: if you can't beat 'em, call them fascists.

          The Bell Curve is still widely regarded as the definitive tome on an unpopular but valid scientific pursuit. Why are you trying to censor science for your personal preferences of what you think reality should be? What are you afraid of?

          It's the new Scopes trial: can you accept thinkers like Pinker or Herrnstein/Murray, or must we find some way to shut science out of the debate?

  • OLPC (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eukariote (881204) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:46AM (#25183509)

    This order alone is 50% bigger than the entire OLPC project has managed to sell worldwide.

    And guess who is to blame for OLPC failing to gain much traction? http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4472654.ece [timesonline.co.uk] Yes, Intel mostly. Can't allow there to be so many AMD chips out there...

    • That's capitalism (Score:3, Insightful)

      by burnitdown (1076427)

      Can't allow there to be so many AMD chips out there...

      That's fair play under the rules of capitalism.

      And if we want "freedom," we probably don't want a whole bunch of rules about what's fair play.

      Then again, maybe we can do better than a capitalist system.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Eukariote (881204)

        That's fair play under the rules of capitalism.

        Is it? This is not free competition in an open market with a free flow of information. This is specifically targetting and trying to undo deals for the acquisition of a competitor's products using backroom machinations, bribes, and threats. Anti-trust legislation exists for a reason: to avoid cartels and monopolies and allow an open market to function and thereby protect the consumer. Some rules that are enforced are required. Unfortunately, monopolist corpor

        • by aurispector (530273) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @09:21AM (#25183907)

          The OLPC is a nice toy and Negroponte gets credit for creating the netbook category, but that's it. Face it, the hardware is slow and not really special - oops sorry, the case has pretty kiddie colors. You could make the case that the OS is something new, but I don't see a huge clamor to bring it into every classroom everywhere. My kids use whatever OS is put in front of them. They take a while to find how to do stuff, then they do it. Where's the demand for the OLPC? They want to put nonstandard hardware and software in the hands of kid's in the 3rd world. Apparently, Secretaries of Education everywhere are scratching their heads wondering why they would put their kids on a different track than the rest of the world. And somewhere down the road the kids would have to be retrained to use standard PC's. Why?

          The OLPC project should return to it's original vision of giving one laptop per child and get out of the hardware & software market. Change the mission to helping fund computer acquisitions. If they took all the money they wasted on hardware and software development they could have put more laptops out there by now.

          OLPC is a classic example of why the market is better at developing and bringing products to market - better, faster, cheaper. Don't put the blame on Intel.

          • by kisrael (134664)

            I think you are too dismissive of the software they're doing;
            a basic computer w/ connectivity and a browser and some document handling is a 2/3 of the battle, and opens up whole new worlds. But there's another 1/3 of software that really encourages active constructive learning.

            (that said, much of the the OLPC learning software is clunky + unfriendly in UI, but they are working to make it better as a learning platform)

            People can pick up officedrone-ware later. Diversity from "standard" might be a worthwhile

          • by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @11:59AM (#25184957) Homepage
            Since when was an x86 cpu and linux "nonstandard hardware and software?" I'm going to assume you've never actually used an XO.

            The hardware is "special" for several reasons. Mesh networking mitigates the lack of networking infrastructure in most of the places these are getting deployed. The absurdly high resolution screen also supports dropping into transflective grayscale for use in sunlight. Under normal load, it pulls around 4w, and goes below 1w in ebook mode (cpu, wifi, and backlight off). Of course, theres also the sealed keyboard, rugged design with no moving parts, LiFePO4 battery, security LEDs on the webcam and microphone, and so on. All of these things add up to show the key difference between the XO and the Classmate. The Classmate is a laptop made as cheaply as possible; the XO was designed from the ground up for education in the developing world.

            You've also contradicted yourself about the software. On one hand, you say kids will figure out how to use whatever is on front of them, but then it must be some huge effort to retrain kids to use Windows down the line? Beyond the obvious contradiction there, you are also assuming that the XO exists to teach kids how to use computers. That is a secondary goal at most. The goal is to provide educational tools. I agree that Sugar is far from perfect, but it is improving every day. (And I mean that literally, the development builds seem to be released on a daily basis). The OS was designed largely to maximize the benefit of networking for collaboration. Pretty much anything that exists on one laptop, from Activities to content, to specific sessions done in an Activity can be shared with other XOs on the network. In addition, many Activities allow for multiple kids to be using it cooperatively.

            Regardless, politics seems to come into play more than the merits of either program in bulk orders like this. In this case, Venezuela would much rather make friends with the Portuguese government than an American non-profit.
          • by Yfrwlf (998822)
            My kids use whatever OS is put in front of them.

            And somewhere down the road the kids would have to be retrained to use standard PC's.

            I smell contradiction.

            The point of OLPC is to try to get the cheapest laptop available for those without anything, and I credit them for really starting the push in the mindset of OEMs, perhaps even more than Asus did, for focusing on making cheap laptops. OLPC was seen as a danger to the market which is why you're on here reading this article about the Classmate i
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 28, 2008 @07:48AM (#25183525)
    As a Portuguese concerned about the education of the young and concerned about the economy, I must that these Magellan computers (named after Ferdinand Magellan, a very famous portuguese maritime explorer) are nothing but a huge scam based on portuguese tax holders. We are talking about a 900 MHz refurbished Intel Classmate PC that is both ugly, heavy, and marketed as "built in Portugal", which is _not_! And the choice of operating systems is appalling! We can either stick with Window XP or Caixa Mágica, a portuguese GNU/Linux distribution that is horribly produced, horrible to use, horrible to maintain, but thrown around at every state sponsored GNU/Linux deployment. No wonder people dislike GNU/Linux after using Caixa Mágica...
    • by aussie_a (778472) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @08:06AM (#25183605) Journal

      , I must that these Magellan computers (named after Ferdinand Magellan, a very famous portuguese maritime explorer)

      Yeah we all know who he is. There's a Civilization Wonder named after him (Magellen's Expedition, increases the amount ships can move per turn).

    • by 16384 (21672)
      Well, our prime minister thinks he can jump start our economy, and get us into the new technological era by throwing computers around. This is not the first laptop plan this government tried, and I think it'll mostly be wasted money. The sad part is that we lack the money to do some really important things, but at the same time we blow millions at the drop of the hat on things like this, or the deal with MIT, as if it would magically solve everything.

      To make everything worse is the amount of propaganda goi

    • by fsmunoz (267297) <fsmunoz&member,fsf,org> on Sunday September 28, 2008 @10:13AM (#25184207) Homepage

      Hello,

      While I disagree with the usefulness of this programme as stated I have some comments on your remarks:

      "We are talking about a 900 MHz refurbished Intel Classmate PC that is both ugly, heavy, and marketed as "built in Portugal", which is _not_!"

      They are partially made in Portugal, which is better than not made in Portugal at all - from a Government POV companies that develop and build here should be favoured, and I agree. As for the ugly and heavy, so is the OLPC and pretty much every laptop in the segment, they're ultimate value is utilitarian.

      "And the choice of operating systems is appalling! We can either stick with Window XP or Caixa Mágica, a portuguese GNU/Linux distribution that is horribly produced, horrible to use, horrible to maintain, but thrown around at every state sponsored GNU/Linux deployment. No wonder people dislike GNU/Linux after using Caixa Mágica..."

      I disagree with your descrition. Instead of a Portuguese distribution that has been developed for years now and to some extent commercially successful and fully localised - not only language-wise but also in terms of local available ISPs and other peculiarities - they should have used something else? Like, let me guess, Ubuntu - which seems what everyone and their dog propose nowadays whenever they hear that something else is available?

      This is exactly part of the reason why GNU/Linux user distributions more often then not fail when bundled: there is always a distro-du-jour that describes the one included as "horrible", and people just say "Fuck *this*, if even Linux users say this is braindead [because it uses apt/yum/emerge instead of yum/emerge/apt and other really life-defining stuff] I will just use Windows". Which, more often than not, they do.

    • by Glonoinha (587375)

      I hate to point this out, but the most amazing era of technical prosperity and growth (the tech boom, circa about 1998~2001) happened using computers that were less powerful than the machine in question.

      In both 1999 and 2000 I was issued a new laptops, the one I got in 1999 was top of the line - it was a Pentium II running at 366MHz with a 6G hard drive. Maybe 128M of memory.

      These 900MHz Celeron based machines are 3x more powerful than the best machine I had during the tech boom, and the work I did on tha

    • "As a Portuguese concerned about the education of the young and concerned about the economy"

      01. A personal anecdote is always nice, add that much more credibility to the FUD ..

      "these Magellan computers .. are nothing but a huge scam based on portuguese tax holders"

      02. Linux steals from the tax payer ..

      "Caixa Mágica, a portuguese GNU/Linux distribution that is horribly produced"

      03. Linux distros are horribly produced ..

      "thrown around at every state sponsored GNU/Linux deployment"

      04.
  • by lejerdemayn (823082) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @08:20AM (#25183663)
    Even though TFA doesn't mention it, it's true that the computer being sold is called Magellan. It's basically a rename of Intel Classmate, with 1/3 of it being produced in Portugal. It was launched a few days ago over here (Portugal). The computer is being given (almost free) to kids in the 5th grade, and sold to the public for ~285 euros. Imo, it's just sad to see what I believe is a waste of public funds! First, the government is pouring cash into Intel's pocket for a sub-product, when it could've allied itself with the OLPC. Second, they think that by throwing fishing sticks at people, they'll learn how to fish. The computers will most likely be used for IM (MSN), social network (hi5) and warez. As for this deal with Venezuela, Chavez and Socrates (portuguese prime minister) are having some deals, and this is just another one. Portugal also has a huge community in Venezuela (around 1 million iirc).
    • by fsmunoz (267297)

      Hi,

      While I agree with you on the waste of money part - I am in general highly suspicious of the "throwing computers at the problem" strategy and actually think it has been having detrimental effects in several educational areas - I also disagree somewhat with some of you points:

      "the government is pouring cash into Intel's pocket for a sub-product, when it could've allied itself with the OLPC."

      The current state of the OLPC is a bit distant from the initial promise, so I don't actually think it would make suc

    • Oh, you're from Portugal as well, what does this say ?

      "O portátil português aguenta bombardeamentos [aeiou.pt]", quem o diz é Hugo Chávez. O polémico presidente fez o teste, deixou cair um exemplar ao chão, e diz-se fã do portátil português a baixo custo. Um milhão de máquinas vão ser adquiridas pela Venezuela

      O disco rígido está particionado, sendo que 10GB são para o Linux Caixa Mágica [eescolinha.gov.pt], 10GB para o Windows XP e 10GB para os dados d
  • Chavez! (Score:4, Funny)

    by saterdaies (842986) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @08:39AM (#25183765)

    Damn right-wing reactionaries and their mega-corporations! When will they realize that they should be purchasing from friendly non-profits like OLPC. I say we all move to Venezuela and start a socialist revolution!

  • Good for Venezuela (Score:5, Insightful)

    by damburger (981828) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @08:39AM (#25183767)

    Although its popular on both left and right to demonise Chavez, I think his rule will have a long term positive effect. Regardless of the current state of Venezuela, the Missions he created are contributing to a healthier and better educated population which is the foundation of future success.

    I predict he will be out in a few years, and Venezuela will continue on a roughly social democratic route. The idea that he is turning it into another Cuba is just absurd hysterical screeching from the elite he has pissed off by treating the Venezuelan poor like human beings for a change.

    • by pmsr (560617)

      The left demonizes Chavez? In some parallel universe no doubt.

      /Pmsr

    • by Zeros (1016135) on Sunday September 28, 2008 @10:07AM (#25184163)
      No, Chavez is trying to make Venezuela like Cuba. No poor people in Venezuela are now even worse than they where before. Anyone that thinks Chavez is doing something good has definitely never lived there. (I'm Venezuelan and middle class). I know defending Chavez has become cool among some people but no, he is a horrible human being that is doing MUCH MUCH worse damage than bush did in this 8 years.
    • lol.

      That's pretty much how everyone was viewing Castro in the 'early days'.

      Socialism is screwed, US isn't a democracy. You might be right in that Chavez might be out in a few years, but I highly doubt his "legacy" will be a good one.

      Just because he is putting missions out in the field and educating the general populace in his ideals doesn't mean he isn't brainwashing them and / or leading them to the future revolucion (spelling intentional) against the tyrannical Norte.

      Bin Laden educated his followers, for

    • by KGIII (973947) *

      The listing of the citizen's constitutional rights on products that they buy in the store daily and the advances made in adult education so that they can read them may well be the start of what makes his name go down as legend even though the USA doesn't like him but, a bit of history will show that we don't like ANYONE in the region that we don't own. We have gone to great measures to ruin entire democracies in South America.

      As a person who is a citizen of the United States of America I'd like to hope that

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Alioth (221270)

      No, Chavez has aspirations of dictatorship. You can now go to jail for over 3 years for simply saying 'Chavez is a crank' in Venezuela. He's cracking down on freedom of speech, and his hobby of trying to provoke the United States has turned from an amusing hobby to a bogeyman to blame everything on. When he silences a political opponent, he simply says the opponent was an agent of the United States and throws them out of the country or jails them.

      Chavez might once have had promise for doing something great

  • Just the effect that a million or more kids will grow up realizing that computers are something that can have different operating systems, that is, that they're not inherently connected to that monopoly product such as Windows, is very beneficial.

    There's a whole generation out there that grew up thinking computers equal Microsoft, which suits them fine, but is just horrible for a free market economy.

    It's strange how Linux gets easily picked up by leftists, who end up upholding free market principles as a si

    • by damburger (981828)
      What "free market principles" are there in Linux? Going on strict "free market principles" it wouldn't even exist, as people are being economically irrational giving away their labour (which has amounted to billions of dollars worth now) for free?
      • Free markets are about choice. You can sign a contract with Red Hat or you can sign a contract with Microsoft.

        BTW, I am not pro-Linux. I think BSD-licensed systems achieve a nicer balance between open-source and marketing your product. But I do think it's healthier to have, e.g., IBM pushing Linux than having a Microsoft-only world.

    • "It's strange how Linux gets easily picked up by leftists"

      Linux & IBM .. [ibm.com]

      "There are now more than 15000 IBM Linux customer engagements worldwide, allowing customers to reduce their computing costs with solutions .."

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman

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