The OLPC are doing some fantastic work, with the XO and the sugar interface I have a couple of thoughts though about the transition of using an XO , its sugar interface and Linux.
I guess the concept of the sugar interface is that that the usual GUI of most operating systems is too intimidating for children. I can see that , yet when I see my four year old daughter start fiddling with the dvd player when my wife & I , turn our backs makes me wonder! When she has the motivation because she wants to start a new dvd , she will just figure out the controls & just DO IT! In other words I wonder if we are under estimating children and should maybe present a stripped down but “usual format” GUI instead of the sugar interface on PC’s
The other thing is going from using a Linux system to another Linux system , I’m not keen on the XO with a fedora core since the command line codes are not compatible with the command line for the main stream Linux OS Ubuntu. Eg “apt-get” for Ubuntu as opposed to “yum” for Fedora. I see the use of the XO not just as a learning tool but as a stepping stone to main stream Linux, avoiding other very costly operating $ystems.
Anyway I have been playing around with sugar on old pc hardware because I can appreciate the idea of continuity. http://www.nkran.net/sugar.jsp shows my attempts at installing sugar on Simply Mepis Linux operating system; what I like about this idea it that it gives the opportunity of being able to use the sugar interface for children, or the Simply Mepis interface for older children. Also the core is Debian and under the hood has many similarities to Ubuntu, at least on the command line they both use “apt-get instal …”