[Oberon] OLPC - One Laptop Per Child

Douglas G. Danforth Danforth at GreenwoodFarm.com
Wed Dec 13 19:49:17 MET 2006

It wasn't so much the machine that caught my attention but the goals
for the software.  At Stanford in the early '70's Seymour Papert
interacted with our group on Computer Assisted Instruction.
Papert is the creator of Logo and Turtle graphics.  Unfortunately
Dr. Papert is in a coma having been hit by a motor cycle while
crossing a street on the way to a conference in Hanoi.
Papert (I understand) has been associated with the OLPC
project at MIT.
-Doug Danforth

Aubrey.McIntosh at Alumni.UTexas.Net wrote:
> There was the NIC computer that used Linux and booted from a CD, and
> there was no "disk".  It did have ethernet.  I booted BlueBottle onto
> that machine.  They appear to be defunct.
> I also have a LEX CV860A machine on my desk and it runs BlueBottle.  I
> love this machine.  This machine is available for about $250, and has
> no mechanical parts (heat sink, no cpu fan, cflash, USB memory stick)
> I thought there would be some advantage to the Oberon community to
> focus on this class of machines, and I even corresponded some directly
> with some of the BlueBottle group.
> I guess I feel jaded after maybe 15 years of wondering how to make
> Oberon more accepted.  What was your sense of something new or
> compelling about the OLPC machine?
> On 12/11/06, Douglas G. Danforth <Danforth at greenwoodfarm.com> wrote:
>> http://slashdot.org/ had a recent article about the MIT project
>> "One Laptop Per Child"
>> (see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_Human_Interface_Guidelines)
>> In that documentation the following caught my attention since this
>> aspect is similar to Dr. Wirth's design for Oberon.  Is anyone at
>> ETHZ interacting with the MIT group on OLPC?
>> "Simplicity
>> We designed the entire laptop interface with a goal of simplicity. It
>> can be tempting—and also quite easy—to add an overabundance of features
>> to software: the abundance of MIPS and memory exacerbate the
>> software-bloat phenomenon. The laptop hardware "limitations" lead toward
>> a more concise direction and aid in designing for simplicity.
>> Keep in mind that simple doesn't necessarily mean limited. OLPC hopes to
>> demonstrate to the world that simple—even minimal—controls can have
>> great expressive power. Avoid bloated interfaces that do too much, and
>> limit the controls to those immediately relevant to the task at hand.
>> Rather than creating a "Swiss Army knife" of an activity, think of the
>> laptop itself as the knife, and instead develop a particular tool for
>> that knife that does one thing, and does it very well. When all the
>> activities on the laptop embrace this idea, the true power of the laptop
>> will emerge."
>> -Doug Danforth
>> -- 
>> Oberon at lists.inf.ethz.ch mailing list for ETH Oberon and related systems
>> https://lists.inf.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/oberon

More information about the Oberon mailing list