Talk:Predecessors of OLPC
I included again the Maine Learning Technology Initiative project remember that the OLPC project is NOT a laptop project it is an educational project like the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, in this sense the Maine Learning Technology Initiative is a predecessor of the OLPC. I'm quoting from here:
- Negroponte pointed out, we must not forget that this is "not a laptop project, but an education project."
Returned the Maine project
After reading the web pages of the Maine Project, I agree and have returned it to the page.
OLPC vs $100 Laptop
I am not sure why there are pages for both Predecessors of OLPC and Predecessors of $100 Laptop. I understand that the laptop is the vehicle for achieving the mission of the association, but the pages don't make that distinction very clear. Walter 19:20, 6 June 2006 (EDT)
- I created this page and quite frankly, I don't understand why Bz created another page and tried to shift some content to it. I restored this page and added a bit more text to explain the purpose of it.
- While the device is not the same as the organization, I don't think it hurts to have the predecessors all jumbled together. The point is that many people who have come to this site seem to be ignorant of the broader context of the OLPC device and this page is to help give them a few pointers to show the lineage.
- Surely Predecessors of OLPC should be about organizations which have tried to help educate children in developing countries and Predecessors of $100 Laptop should be about equipment. Unfortunately there has been a trend in this wiki to refer to the OLPC laptop as an OLPC. This could lead to long-term confusion so that if one means OLPC one would need to explain that one means the legal entity rather than the machine. Perhaps a pronounceable acronym is needed to describe the machine: any ideas?
- I disagree. First of all, according to the OLPC FAQ, the OLPC is a PC, i.e. it is a Personal Computer intended for the personal use of one child. It is certainly an innovative design but the history of the PC is full of innovative designs from the Macintosh to the first laptop, etc. In addition, the English language is created by the collective of English speakers, not by a committee. That collective has decided that the device is an OLPC. At this writing, Google shows 78,900 hits for the term: "the OLPC". The wise man goes with the flow, bends with the wind, and moves on.
- That said, if someone really wants to write a substantial article on organizational predecessors of the laptop.org or technology predecessors of the OLPC, then please feel free. If that happens, then this page will still remain, as the briefest of overviews with a set of pointers to outside documents where people can research all kinds of predecessors of the OLPC.
- Actually, these days, a PC does not mean "a personal computer", it means, by sheer force of usage over the last quarter century, a "personal computer which is compatible with the IBM PC personal computer". Is a Macintosh a PC? It is a personal computer, yet I think that it is not a PC. Certainly the English language is as you say, yet there are also legal provisions such as trademarks and registered trademarks and copyright considerations. You claim that the wise man goes with the flow, bends with the wind, and moves on. The television news in England often uses the words firm and company interchangeably, possibly as part of the journalistic practice of striving not to repeat words. However, firm and company have different meanings, so precision is lost. In England there is objection to dumbing-down of things. If the OLPC laptop becomes called the OLPC then someone could ask for what the initials stand, that is the O? Laptop Personal Computer. The bit about children being helped is not mentioned. I feel that it needs the OLPC project management to consider this situation and decide.
- This sort of thing has happened before.
- The web page http://www.bbc.co.uk/ is for the BBC (in speech "the bee bee sea") which is the acronym for its formal name of "The British Broadcasting Corporation". The BBC is the public service broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It is funded by a licence fee, paid by people for having television reception equipment installed, regardless of whether they watch the BBC channels at all. Please notice on the web page, both at the top and the bottom, the logo, consisting of three black filled squares, with the letters BBC, one on each square.
- Back in the early 1980s the BBC had television programmes about home computing and computer literacy and supporting this was the BBC microcomputer, a machine which one could purchase from a company named Acorn Computers which had an arrangement with the BBC. This machine was enormously popular and was deployed in many schools and colleges as well as being used for home computing.
- Well, the BBC microcomputer soon came to be called a BBC in some quarters. Soon some other, independent, organizations were selling software to run on the BBC microcomputer. This came to be known as BBC software and Software for the BBC and so on. Advertisements in magazines, where software for various microcomputers was advertised, soon came to have the three black filled squares with the letters BBC on them in the advertisements. Thus the BBC logo (that is, the logo of the British Broadcasting Corporation) was everywhere in the advertisement pages of the magazines, used by various organizations to publicise their products for use in conjunction with the BBC microcomputer!
- Now, OLPC is just doing the laptop, not just having it as a spin-off from a television programme series as did the BBC with the BBC microcomputer. Yet please be aware that if OLPC encourages the OLPC laptop to be called an OLPC and confusion arises as between OLPC and OLPC then some people might start selling OLPC software and some consumers might think that they are buying that software to help the project. Or even OLPC tee-shirts, meaning a tee-shirt with a picture of an OLPC upon it, not a tee-shirt the marketing of which helps to fund the work of OLPC.
- So, the OLPC laptop needs a name of its own, then using the name OLPC will be using the name of the organization and using the name of the laptop will not imply the organization.
Please let us not be pedantic
There is no point in quibbling over the difference between the organisation and the device. Language has always been filled with ambiguities and as already mentioned on this page, The OLPC has become widespread usage in the greater world.
This page does not exist to correct English usage. It exists to provide some small amount of education (background information) to those people who want to volunteer their skills to the project. This is not merely another technical project. It's primary goals are educational and developers must know this and keep it in mind as they do their work. This project is also not entirely new. People have done previous work in developing software for kids, devices for kids and educational projects for kids. This project lives in that context and it can only help developers to understand this.