[Sugar-devel] Vision

Dave Crossland dave at lab6.com
Wed Apr 20 17:22:21 EDT 2016

On 20 April 2016 at 16:46, James Cameron <quozl at laptop.org> wrote:

> the performance ratio between our low-cost
> low-power hardware and the competition was already evident on Fedora
> Linux; it didn't need Windows to expose it

Sorry if this is an obvious question, but, can anything done to make Sugar
feel faster on XO-1s today?

I understood 8 years ago when I got an XO-1 in early 2008 that it was slow,
and I guessed the hardware would - like 80s/90s games console - become
better understood and optimized for over time.

The arguments that "There's no slow software, only slow programmers" and
"Kids who have never seen a computer before won't know its slow" seemed
kind of silly to me :) I wondered at the time that shipping it with some
1990s-grade stuff would make it _seem_ fast, and that being perceived as
fast is a key to being delightful.

I was reminded of the importance of that over the weekend reading
http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html - Stewart Brand
writing in 1972 about the super early hackers, including Alan Kay:

Spacewar as a parable is almost too pat. It was the illegitimate child of
the marrying of computers and graphic displays. It was part of no one's
grand scheme. It served no grand theory. It was the enthusiasm of
irresponsible youngsters. It was disreputably competitive ("You killed me,
Tovar!"). It was an administrative headache. It was merely delightful.

Yet Spacewar, if anyone cared to notice, was a flawless crystal ball of
things to come in computer science and computer use:

It was intensely interactive in real time with the computer.

It encouraged new programming by the user.

It bonded human and machine through a responsive broadband interface of
live graphics display.

It served primarily as a communication device between humans.

It was a game.

It functioned best on, stand-alone equipment (and diarupted multiple-user

It served human interest, not machine. (Spacewar is trivial to a computer.)

It was delightful.

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