CyberTech Rambler

December 7, 2007

Academic question: Should OLPC add a SD Slot for Microsoft?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:27 am
Tags: , ,

Microsoft had asked OLPC to modify its specs to include a SD slot to allow Microsoft can run Windows on OLPC. Or did it? According to OLPC specs, there is already a SD slot.

However, there is an academic question to be answered. The question is, if OLPC did not have the SD slot, should it add it for Microsoft?

Microsoft reason for needing the SD slot is it finds it difficult to use only 1GB of flash memory in OLPC (OLPC has no harddisk to cut cost down). Microsoft needs 2GB, and it hope to achieve that by using a 2GB SD card.

OLPC had mentioned a long time ago that it has no problem with OLPC running Windows. (I support this decision, afterall, it is not OLPC’s role to dictate what software is run on OLPC.) This means we can cast aside the irrelevent question on whether should OLPC runs Windows.

I am also going to ignore the question of the other possible usage of SD card and assume that, even after considering the other possible usage, OLPC decided that SD slot is simply not worthwhile. This is intended to narrow this thought exerciese to the question I want to post.

My answer to the theoritical question will be a resounding no. It is not a decision against Microsoft, but a decision against anyone who asked for SD slot to allow their software to run. In the first instance, I will tell them to run it off the USB instead. However, the main reason is that it is the vendors’ responsibility to make sure their software fit OLPC, not the other way round. To add an additional component to OLPC, thus increasing its cost, for a vendor requested it will be OLPC subsidising the vendor. Expecially in the light that this is an unnecessary expenditure as OLPC already have alternative software tha is fit for purpose. The fact that the vendor did extra work to prepare its software for OLPC is irrelevent, coz it has to play fair like everyone else and fit its software into existing OLPC specs.

If, however, the vendor is willing to foot the cost of adding the SD slot, then it may be worthwhile considering, provided that the power consumption etc is worth the trouble.

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