I haven’t attended WYLUG for quite a while due to holidays and other things outside of my control. I was particularly fed up this month as an XO from OLPC was being demonstrated. So I did the next best thing and caught a google tech talk on the topic by Ivan Krstic, OLPC chief security adviser. I’m still not sold on the idea and I taught IT in africa for a while but the technical aspects were certainly interesting. How to stop viruses running on the machine for example? You don’t. You just make sure each application runs in its own virtual machine sandbox so any compromised program can’t infect any others. How do you save on battery power? By making the machine suspend every few seconds if it hasn’t been used and utilise a hardware frame buffer to hold the display contents. “Ah”, I hear you say, “but then the famous OLPC mesh networking won’t operate!” Not true, you see the wireless chip has its own ARM processor which stays active and holds the routing tables.
The project have just launched a buy-one-give-one scheme in North America and I would love to get one to see what some young troublemakers I know think of it.