3 minute read

The OLPC laptop
is fading for me. Not only is it being a bit vaporware-y, they've dropped the hand-crank, and are planning on running it on WinCE, because Linux is "too bloated".

Excuse me?

Sure, the latest Ubuntu comes with lots of bells and whistles that you don't need. Heck. Even Knoppix, the grand master of a full OS on a CD, came with a lot of random junk -- even on the level that a not-particularly experience Linux user could see and get rid of (my favorite was that it came with a command line program made to rip MP3s (ok, OGGs) from your vinyl records (with gap detection for track splitting). There's a LOT of room to cut it down just at the package level -- find a desktop for example that suits your needs but isn't KDE or Gnome.

Then, you can start getting fancy. For known hardware, you can do a lot of kernel module manipulation, recompiling, and so on. I really find it hard to believe that WinCE provides a technically better solution; and even if it did... what percent of the $100 is going to be paying for licensing fees? Oh, or do you have a special deal with MS? ....How long does it last? What are the terms? What's the lock-in?

Though not built for portability, there is a Chinese designed, sourced and soon to be in production $150 miniPC that is running on a Linux variant.

Should be fun. I'm just waiting for ANYONE to come out with a sub-$200 full PC. Preferably closer to the design spec of the OLPC. But me, I want the crank. Having been a Dell laptop user for many years, I want a laptop that with sunlight or some handpower, has no need for a battery.

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