Archive for Portable Computers

The XO Laptop, Cynics Hate It [UPDATED]

xo-sad-face.jpgOriginally called “the $100 laptop,” the XO is a computer built by the OLPC non-profit started by MIT-guy Nicholas Negroponte with the intent to provide One Laptop Per Child across the entire planet. Lofty goal? Sure. Impossible? Definitely. Still worth trying? What do you think? The problem is–well, what is always the problem when someone tries to do something good without any apparent ulterior motive? People hate you for it. In this case, everyone is going nuts about how the $100 laptop has “just” had its price hiked to $200.

Just yesterday, Jim Finkle wrote an article for Reuters pointing out, quite cynically how “A computer developed for the world’s poor children, dubbed “the $100 laptop,” has reached a milestone: It is now selling for $200.

The catch is that the XO had it’s price hiked a couple of weeks ago and despite that has already been put in front of handfuls of poor kids in poor countries, runs on a tiny amount of power, is environmentally friendly, has a huge battery life, can do all the basic stuff you expect from computers and has inspired copycats like the eeePC from Asus. So why the hate?

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Cats and Coffee: How OSX Leopard Doesn’t Like Java

applenojavalogo.jpgReinforcing the classic pessimistic argument against upgrading, “if it isn’t broken don’t fix it,” early adopters of Apple’s OSX “Leopard” are discovering that the operating system won’t run Java. Java, in case you weren’t aware, is a kind of programming language. The reason people like it so much is because it is cross-platform. That is, it’s supposed to be cross-platform.

Now, it turns out that a lot of people actually use Java on Macs. I, myself, use it to manage music on a Sony thumb drive Walkman I picked up on sale. However, programmers who work in Java are now thoroughly screwed until Apple can put out a fix and since Apple isn’t used to putting out fixes as often as good old Microsoft is, who knows when a patch will become available?

As a article points out, “Apple marketing monkeys, trying to woo developers to OS X, like to refer to the OS as “the only major consumer operating system that comes complete with a fully configured and ready-to-use Java runtime and development environment.”


Kind of tough when one of the very things you put in bold face on the brochure you end up being unable to deliver.


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