Saturday, January 05, 2008

Silicon Forest News

:: an XO atop my Ubuntu Dell laptop ::
We made it back from LA just in time, as winter storms closed around us in the following days. We're hunkering down, telecommuting between power flickers, UPSs often called upon.

I was somewhat amused that when Intel announced it was peeling off from the OLPC project, it was my phone that started ringing (I'm sure others' did too). I'm not all that surprised though, as OLPC has figured in my writings and slide presentations for some time now, plus I even quit an important Fuller Schooler committee to make time for this work (staying friends with the chairman though, plus now I'm back on committee, as the OLPC work is mostly done).

Somewhere between "Quaker animism" (me) and "Pierce's existentialism" (Terry), I inserted a reassuring write-up for Wanderers (#1954). The campaign to get an Intel Inside logo pasted on some flavors of XO was more of a marketing gimmick than anything, to draw attention to some smokin' new chips we're all looking forward to (yum, new Intel chips).

But the default AMD chip is working just fine from the point of view of our clients. Plus Intel has every freedom to inject its own offerings in the market (Classmates or whatever). The XO is highly specialized, customized for a niche demographic, which leaves the field wide open to other $100 laptops (closer to $200 as of this posting).

From my vantage point in Python Nation, the XO is a robust little platform stuffed with goodies: lots of literature, lots of programs, lots of pointers back to MIT and its infamous OpenCourseWare, and back to Hollywood, where G1G1 helped with many a fun party.

"What's important to sales is sales people who really believe in what they're selling" goes the old maxim, and there's lots to like in this picture.