[Etoys] A Hero for One Laptop Per Child (RE: OLPC mass production started)

SmallSqueak smallsqueak at rogers.com
Mon Nov 19 03:24:04 EST 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org [mailto:squeak-dev-
> bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org] On Behalf Of Alan Kay
> Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 10:16 AM
> To: The general-purpose Squeak developers list; 'The general-purpose Squeak
> developers list'
> Cc: 'Squeakland list'; 'etoys'
> Subject: Re: A Hero for One Laptop Per Child (RE: [Etoys] OLPC mass
> production started)
> I would be very disappointed, even appalled, to see my name as a hero
> here. 
> The notion of a "Hero" seems to be partly built into human
> nervous systems 

This is especially true for children mind.

> and is a favorite trope in stories. 

Children stories are filled with all kinds of heroes.

Many a child brings her unfulfilled wishes into her dreams where the heroes come
along to give her "dream come true", in the dreams.

Think of the scenario where tens of millions of these children are empowered
with those XO (pre-loaded with all those 'dream come true'.) One wouldn't be
surprised to see them invoking the incantation "Google, Google on the screen,
who is the Hero for OLPC".

> This idea seriously distorted and masked how Xerox PARC actually worked, 
> for example.
> OLPC has been making progress because quite a few talented people
> decided to take responsibility for different needs of the project. I
> am very proud of the Viewpoints researchers who really got behind
> this because they believed in it.
> So there are a lot of heros, if that is the word. I think of it more
> as "there are a lot of enlightened people" and it bodes well for
> humanity when they decide to take action.

That sounds like what's described in this ancient Oriental proverb: 
"Following The Elephant's footsteps". 

> Cheers.
> Alan




There is also another proverb, to reflect the facts of life: 
"Following The Elephant's footsteps, to collect bagasse".

And it's so hard to separate the wheat from the chaff!


>From your point of view (I am assuming that XO is a PC), how far is that OLPC XO
going with the vision:

"The PC Must Be Revamped-Now"  (February 14, 2007)


OLPC XO must be your best bet to see your dream come true, yes ?

In that article, there was a mention to Squeak as "an object-oriented operating
system" and another "operating system for children" :


Squeak, an object-oriented operating system and authoring environment, is
actually the Xerox PARC Smalltalk operating system, upgraded to 32-bit graphics
with other things added. My research group at Apple did it about ten years ago,
because we were afraid that Java wasn't going to be compatible from computer to
computer. Because we made our own software tools at Xerox PARC, and we had some
of the same people who had done these tools, we decided we'd be much safer if we
just made our own vehicle. At Viewpoints and Hewlett-Packard, we built an
operating system for children, and also did many experiments in user-interface
design and built new kinds of object models and other kinds of things called


I am utterly confused with the terminology here. 

Squeak is an OOOS, built on top of SOS? 
What makes it so?
(or did you mean SqueakNOS, NOT Squeak ?)

What is this "Children Operating System" ?
Is it built on top of Squeak OOOS ? 
(It isn't Etoys, is it?)

Was it your original vision that Smalltalk 
be Children Programming Language ?

Is this COS written in the CPL ?

Would you please elaborate on this COS. 
It sounds very interesting.
It is especially so in the context of OLPC.


SOS stands for  Suckers' Operating Systems 
(like Bluebottle, Fedora, Leopard, Vista ... ;-)

> At 07:42 PM 11/10/2007, SmallSqueak wrote:
> >Hi Alan,
> >
> >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: squeak-dev-bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org [mailto:squeak-dev-
> > > bounces at lists.squeakfoundation.org] On Behalf Of Alan Kay
> > > Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 9:33 AM
> > > To: jg at laptop.org; Bert Freudenberg
> > > Cc: Squeakland list; etoys; The general-purpose Squeak developers list
> > > Subject: Re: [Etoys] OLPC mass production started
> > >
> > > Yay!
> > >
> > > Cheers to all!
> > >
> > > Alan
> > >
> >
> >I searched for "One Laptop Per Child Hero" and expected to see your name
> or
> >Negroponte.
> >
> >To my dismay, Google returned a complete stranger to me, Masi Oka.
> >
> >Do you know why OLPC appointed Masi Oka, an actor and special effects
> >specialist, as its Global Ambassador to sell its 400US$ "Give One Get One"
> >computers.
> >
> >Is the campaign "Give One Get One" the hero's idea?
> >
> >Cheers,
> >
> >PhiHo.

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