libraries | play | information | media | policy | culture



More than a year ago I switched from PC to Mac. It wasn't a political move against Microsoft. Nor did I act out of the belief that Justin Long is cooler than John Hodgeman, because really he's not.

My working life, like most people's, has been dominated by PCs. And at the time I had a job in which I was responsible for fifteen library computers that seemed to have been assembled by a chimp and could barely cope with XP processing bloat. I simply got fed up with PCs and decided to emancipate my home computing environment from them.

I won't add another treatise to the Internets about how superior Macs are. Let's just say I've never regretted my choice. However, my choice ruled out another option, for the time being: Linux.

I seriously considered making the switch to one of the Linux flavors, but I was—again, like most people—put off by the relative lack of system support and user manuals. I did not relish the thought of having to become my own self-taught tech support, and the great design and plug-and-play approach of Apple proved too good to pass up.

I think that gate barring my entry into Linux may have just lifted, however, with the introduction of this computer. It seems to be a capable alternative to the OLPC XO, one that could help poor schools and first-time older users learn computing, without the evangelical baggage of One Laptop per Child, which still has not satisfactorily studied the cultural effects of dropping computers among people who need water more than electronics.

The Asus Eee has got my geek flag flying. And at $400, even a Playful Librarian could afford it.

1 comment:

The.Effing.Librarian said...

I have an XO and so far it feels more like a toy than a computer. I have similar "the gods must be crazy" questions about this social engineering project. Lots of them. (...)