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The XO has got too much Sugar

The XO’s default user interface, Sugar, is very interesting. Its goal is to allow for kids to collaborate, and in doing so, enhance their learning. It is a wonderful idea. The only problem is that it leaves them with a computer that has got barely any memory and no swap (XOs haven’t got swap).

I did a little testing tonight, booting the computer cold, connecting to wifi, and then checking the memory with the ‘free’ command. Here is what I found:

Total MB Used MB Free MB
Sugar 232 220 12
FVWM 232 113 118

I suspect that the result of this is that kids have to be extremely diligent about how many programs they are running. In my experience it is pretty easy to bog the thing down to a stop; just hand it to someone used to operating any other computer; they start three programs, and the operating system will out of memory.

This decision must have been made for a good reason, though. It would be interesting to find it out. I won’t pursue that right now. Anyone happen to know?

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  1. Sugar went on a diet | Wisdom and Wonder on Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 23:19

    […] one of the recent builds of Sugar for the OLPC XO, I found that “out of the box” the machine barely has enough memory to run programs. Tonight I […]

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