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Comparison of Windows XP and Linux/Sugar On the OLPC XO 203

griffjon writes "OLPCNews has a comparison of Windows XP to the Sugar/Linux OS on the One Laptop Per Child XO-1, based on the Microsoft Unlimited Potential video, touching on video recording, power usage, boot times, and mesh networking. An interesting, if saddening, read."
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Comparison of Windows XP and Linux/Sugar On the OLPC XO

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  • by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) * on Saturday July 26, 2008 @08:55PM (#24353245) Journal
    I thought MS was determined to kill XP, so what point are they trying to make showing how well it can run on the XO? I find this a bit confusing, like MS is talking out both sides of their mouth or something. Are they really going to stop selling XP as they keep claiming, or are they going to build a "new" windows netbook edtion based on XP, or are they just going to keep offering XP alongside Vista? Seems to me either the second or third options would be the most realistic, but they keep saying the opposite. What gives, MS? TFA also links to a blog containing a claim of an XP RTM for the Intel Classmate [technet.com]
  • by belmolis ( 702863 ) <{billposer} {at} {alum.mit.edu}> on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:17PM (#24353441) Homepage

    Well, if I put my tin-foil hat on, I figure that Microsoft hopes to make the OLPC dependent on XP. With XP no longer available anywhere else, people who really want it will have to get it from OLPCs, rendering them unusable. In this way, MS will satisfy customers who really want XP, while destroying the OLPC.

  • by magsk ( 1316183 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:47PM (#24353649)
    Firstly let me just say I purchased my olpc to use while I travel to third world countries and off the grid (as mot of them are), I like the olpc for its battery life its ability to be recharged without an outlet, and most of all its ruggedness. Now while I understand that xp is a great operating system and modern. I must say that I would be thrilled to use windows 98' on my olpc. . For a few reasons... 1)Suger is very boring, its like using a graphing calculator. 2) I would prefer to use word 97 and excel, along with IE (or ideally firefox, but beggars be choosers) 3) I am more familiar with windows and do believe that my ability to connect to other computers and receive files will be much more successful than using sugar. 4) hopefully will not need to load from SD card Let me finish by saying I know what the olpc was made for, but as someone who did the whole give 1 get 1 because they genuinely appreciate the innovations of the laptop I am an adult and do use it for work.
  • Re:Negroponte (Score:4, Interesting)

    by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @09:56PM (#24353719)

    Amazing how one can take pieces of disparate information, couple it with nonsensical comments and very flimsy commonality and turn it into a conspiracy theory.

    Remember, just because someone is paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get them ...

  • Biased Write (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:00PM (#24353743)

    The author of the article was clearly biased in his opinion. I won't take a position in the matter, but the author doing so made the facts more difficult to grasp when reading the article.

  • by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:19PM (#24353853) Homepage

    Note that this is only an outside opinion, but your whole paragraph equates to someone being served a a nice wet-n-sloppy dog-shit sandwich, and quickly getting back in line for seconds. Though myself a unix dev, I'm sure any Windows user would prefer Windows 2000 to a horribly coded frontend to DOS. Hell, I still use 2000 (either Windows 2000 or Windows FLP [wikipedia.org]) on a VM in OS X, *BSD, or Linux.

    What am I saying? You would like Win2000/WinFLP more, since it's up-to-date and doesn't require heavy memory. But me telling you to use an NT OS instead of a DOS/9x one isn't really help at all; it's about as equivalent to telling a Heroin user to give morphine a try as a better alternative. ;)

  • by AlgorithMan ( 937244 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:31PM (#24353945) Homepage
    god, that article is crap! first of all he compares his XO to A VIDEO!? wtf!?
    • i read the conclusion first (which i always do, to save reading time, since usually everything else is just explanations on why the conclusion is the way it is) but the conclusion basically says "sugar encourages learning, windows wants to be idiot-proof"
    • so after the conclusion was useless i wondered how the mentioned battery-life comparison went out - but that section says "Microsoft claims 20 hours of battery life while watching movies - and I didn't really test, how long it runs with sugar"... great comparison, really - comparing a marketing statement (yes, with our cars we all get as far on one fuel filling as the commercials tell us...) to nothing!?
    • recording audio is easier to find in sugar, as is video recording (well, you don't get options on quality-vs-size, but who cares about disk space, right? everyone has 1tb nowadays, right? the XO has 3-5 gb online storage - not much and slow...)
    • then he rants about how horrible sharing files is on windows-XO - you have to pass around a data storage medium - OMG!... oh btw it's the same thing with sugar, unless you have a file-server nearby...
    • wifi probably might be shitty on windows - although they barely sayd anything in the video about that... but windows sucks anyways...
    • security will be an issue, because kids might believe lies... anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-malware, anti-phishing will eat up battery life and performance

    now i really hate microsoft and wish them all the worst, but this article is just plain ridiculous! nothing to see here, move along!

  • Ubuntu on the XO (Score:5, Interesting)

    by P3Ed ( 631257 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @10:36PM (#24354003)
    I had to pry my wife's XO out of her lap to post this. Sugar may be good for kids & education or not, but I found it to come up short. Ubuntu on the XO works well, even plays SD video recorded on Myth TV with out stuttering. It's damn hard to type on this little keyboard.
  • by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @11:06PM (#24354231) Homepage

    Well a video is all Microsoft has provided, while doing their best to push their operating system onto the XO. And a video is likely all they are using to convince people that Windows XP is the only thing that can make the XO work. I guess the author could have waited for an actual working instance of XP on the XO. But there is no reason to be confident that such will ever come to past. In the meantime, just being to claim that XP on the XO is better is all Microsoft need to achieve their assumed goals.

    I personally use Linux as my OS of choice, however, I think that any operating system that can meet the technical requirements AND meet the "open" (as in open software) requirement would be a good choice for the XO. Assuming that the XO works, someday locals could be writing their own software, and customizing and maintaining the operating system and desktop environment. Unless things change radically in the future, this is an impossibility with Windows XP -- ie. owners of Windows XP on XO, regardless of geography, will be forever dependent on Microsoft.

  • by nawcom ( 941663 ) on Saturday July 26, 2008 @11:21PM (#24354353) Homepage

    I know xp drivers usually use the same resources as windows 2000, it's just that the installers might check to see what OS you are using, and freak out if you aren't using XP. I usually use WinRAR to pull these files out of the EXEs, and if i can't I run the installer and then copy all of the extracted files from your $TEMP folder before closing the installer app. I was checking out AMDs site for geode level support for windows, and it's pretty low, so I would personally depend on the drivers that came with the OS. There's always Windows FLP too, I prefer that over regular XP since its XP without the unneeded bloat. Also I feel bad for sounding harsh, just had a bad night so far; and putting it on someone else was wrong - so I apologize for that.

    The main reason I suggested 2k is because the amount of memory that OS needs is considerably lower than XP; if you install it on an updated PC or laptop right now, you'll see a big difference. Same with Windows FLP, but not as much. Anyways, good luck with whatever your end goal with your Eee ends up being ;)

  • Re:Negroponte (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Stephen Ma ( 163056 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @12:12AM (#24354693)
    By it's very definition, it can be called a coincidence until there is more than simple causal connections.

    Tell that to the military then. As they say, "three times is enemy action". When death squads appear wherever Negroponte shows up, without exception, a reasonable conclusion -- not ironclad proof mind you, just a reasonable conclusion -- is that one is a consequence of the other.

    And then linking two people together simply by an accident of birth takes it just beyond conspiracy theory in my opinion.

    Yeah, you're probably one of those who believe George W. Bush earned his presidency by merit, not because he was the son of George H. W. Bush.

  • What amazes me is that nobody at the OLPC seems to be even thinking this through. You are putting WinXP,which can be hijacked in no time flat if it isn't running AV,anti-malware,firewall,and patched up(and the patches can take up a TON of space). Since we know that a machine with specs as low as the OLPC can't run all those,not unless they run something ultra stripped like "XP Beast Edition" to make room for the extra software and to cut down on the avenues of attack,which of course MSFT isn't about to give them, we can assume that it will be no time at all until the XP OLPCs will be hijacked.

    As someone who fixes Windows machines for a living I can tell you that no matter how much RAM and CPU you have the average virus or malware is going to thrash the hell out of the drive,that is just the nature of the beast. Since the OLPC uses SSD for storage the XP machines will burn through the write cycles pretty damned fast once they get pwned. And unless they are planning to give out read only flash drives containing the OS I'm guessing the hacked together version of XP they are getting is going to be a royal PITA to reinstall once it burns up the SSD. So they are going to end up with a bunch of dead OLPCs,and since we are talking third world and I doubt they have crates of SSDs to replace all the burnt ones from viruses, the OLPC goes from being a tool for schoolkids to learn with to just another piece of dead Windows junk.

    Maybe when the OLPC goes out of business someone will buy the fab and the design and sell them to everyone so the economies of scale will kick in and we can all have cheap Linux Netbooks. Because going with XP on the OLPC seems to me to be a recipe for failure.

  • I'm not dead yet! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Joseph_Daniel_Zukige ( 807773 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @02:39AM (#24355569) Homepage Journal

    (Sugar says.)

    Run over to the sugar and other OLPC mailing lists, if you're worried that somebody has killed sugar off.

  • by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @03:24AM (#24355807)
    Obviously, you have not been to rural Africa! Ability to use MS Word is a highly marketable skill there.

    Since a high proportion of the adults are functionally illiterate, they need to employ someone else to write for them. This applies most especially to those who control the money and power - and in the best position to pay for your services.

    Furthermore, if you have plans to go to the big city and get a job with the government (who have stolen most of the money from the people), you will need a good working knowledge of MS Word to construct a credible CV.

    Your post should be modded "-1 Rubbish"

  • Re:I'm not dead yet! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Sunday July 27, 2008 @07:22AM (#24356703) Journal

    Who said anything about Sugar? The article may have called it Linux/Sugar,but the Sugar interface was not the big deal about OLPC IMHO,it was Linux. In fact,after reading on some of the major problems with Sugar,like the temp file bug,I wonder if they wouldn't have been better off going with either Edubuntu or the EEE Xandros. Either one could have been made VERY kid friendly with very little work instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with Sugar.

    I also think that the management of OLPC,first by not selling to the first world except for the "give one get one" forced charity,and now by switching the main OS from one made for children to a MSFT OS running Office,is really running themselves right out of business. And yes,they need to treat this as a business,at least if they want to be around long enough to do some real good. In the first case by selling to the first world they could have easily gotten the economies of scale needed to drive down the production costs associated with the OLPC,and might have even gotten it down to the original $100,thus making it better for everyone. I know a whole lot of families that couldn't afford the "give one get one" but could have scraped up the $188 so their child could have a learning laptop.

    In the second case they are tying the OLPC to an OS that not only needs several extra programs running as well as monthly patches to keep from being hijacked,but whose parent company has a long history of supporting the main competitor to the OLPC,to the point of hurting their own customers so Intel could keep selling underpowered chips. Do they really think if it comes down to the OLPC or the classmate that given the history of "Wintel" that MSFT isn't going to do everything it can to give an advantage to its old buddy Intel?

    In conclusion,I thought the OLPC was a great idea,not only for third world children,but for ALL the worlds children. Having a low cost laptop that every family could afford loaded with educational software and running an OS that was secure and could be easily added to and encouraged tinkering would have been a truly great thing. But it seems more and more likely that the OLPC will simply flounder for awhile before finally dropping off the radar and quietly dying. But with the price of netbooks steadily climbing it could have taken a large chunk of the market and made itself affordable for the masses. I only hope that when it does go under that someone will buy the plans and the back stock and turn them into a true "laptop for all the worlds kids". And as always this is my 02c,YMMV

  • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Sunday July 27, 2008 @11:48AM (#24358411) Homepage Journal

    the dummies around here tested it on crappy old hardware for 5 seconds when it works perfectly fine on modern hardware made in the last 2-3 years.

    Would that be the dummies that sold me a brand new low-end Gateway in 2007 that, because it was saddled with Vista, was literally the slowest personal computer I've ever used and that counts my floppy-based Amiga 500? Ironically, when I bought the machine I bought an extra gig of RAM, so I never even tried it with the meager half gig of RAM it came with. If you are calling Gateway a dummy, then I would have to agree. It is absolutely insane that they would saddle a perfectly nice sub-$500 machine with a really bright display (but a somewhat cheap-feeling keyboard) with the Vista boat anchor. I pity the poor people who don't realize there's nothing wrong with the product, just the abominable choice of software. Gateway foolishly caved in to the Evil Empire and made, by any objective standards, an insanely stupid business decision. They are dummies indeed.

    However, the real dummy here is Microsoft. The fact of the matter is that Vista offers absolutely nothing for the insane amount of resources it consumes. An OS is a means, not an end, and when I have to upgrade my hardware for a new OS that doesn't do anything fundamentally new, something is very, very wrong. By your standards, finding this situation ridiculous is the fault of the user? Vista, in demanding almost an order of magnitude more power than would adequately run XP offers what? Eye candy? Meh. It's not half as nice looking what Compiz was doing a couple years ago. More security? I got hit by a virus once... in 1989. No problems since then... and you still need anti-virus software and a hardware firewall for the best protection. A new snazzy filesystem? No wait, that got cut. Support for new peripherals and media hardware? OK, that's the only significant thing Vista has to offer (don't forget the DRM performance penalty!), but that's not applicable to people upgrading their hardware... and consider yourself lucky if drivers exist in Vista for what you already have. Oh, and be prepared to upgrade a lot of your applications because a lot of big name, mainstream Windows apps from before 2007 don't work in Vista.

    By the way, that Gateway laptop, which my wife uses, is perfectly usable and snappy running either Ubuntu or XP, and with those OSes, it can do everything that it can do with Vista, more really because it was literally not usable with Vista. For instance, I could double-click to launch Firefox, and 30 seconds would pass, not before the app would launch, but before I would even see an hourglass. This was on "modern hardware" not from the last 2-3 years but less than a year old.

    It's funny. I've been using Linux on and off for almost 10 years, and in the last couple years, more on than off, and in the past couple months, exclusively. There are hot 'n' fancy new Linux distros showing up almost weekly, and yet every one of them will run adequately on a machine that is not 2 or 3 years old but 8 or 10 years old. You see Linux is modular enough that you can turn off the parts you don't need or can't use. If you can't run KDE or Gnome then there are a dozen or more windows managers that will get the job done, even on a 486. In fact, Linux runs on practically anything that has a processor. Windows, in its latest incarnation, being the great big monolithic loaf that it is, needs what would have been a supercomputer only a few years ago just to boot up. For what? So you can browse the Web, read your e-mail and write a letter? That's what 95% of people use Windows for... something I did perfectly well on a 486 back in the early 90's, and you could still do (minus things like Flash) today. XP was big and bloated compared to Windows 2000, and there was a performance hit, but it was nowhere near the quantum leap between XP and Vista.

    I started using computers with Microsoft operating systems with DOS 1.1 out and I've used every non-server version

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus