TORONTO. Remember the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project?
I sure do. Back in 2006, I remember very well watching Nicholas Negroponte take the stage at LinuxWorld to pitch the effort.
The effort was supposed to be provide a Linux based operating system and easy desktop environment for children around the world. The Linux used ended up being Red Hat’s community led Fedora distribution with a user interface known as Sugar. The actual OLPC hardware is known as the XO.
At the FUDcon Fedora conference held in Toronto (and wrapping up today), I sat in on a key session where software developer Steve Parrish (pic above, credit: Sean M. Kerner) explained one of his key goals in working on the Sugar interface.
“My biggest goal is to make sure the first gen XOs don’t end up in
landfills, Parish said. “I want to make sure they stay current and we get as much
life as we can out of the platform.”
I thought that statement was astounding. Here we are with an effort trying to help the world’s children and there is a legitimate concern that the platform (or at least the first gen) could end up as garbage.