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One reason I’m glad I don’t own an OLPC

Hackzine has a blog post on using a SD card as swap space for the OLPC to handle the following situation:

Most of the time, the 256MB in the XO Laptop is sufficient. But I use yum to install software, and it can be very memory hungry. I often run out of RAM when installing more than a few packages at once

While the hack is definitely a good one to get around a system limitation in the OLPC, it is yet another reason I’m glad that the OLPC is not on my desk being fiddled with. For the others who are having fun with it, that’s great however I have gotten a little tired of dealing with trying to get Linux to behave like a system that I want it to be on resource-constrained systems.

I’ve had enough experience dealing with it on the Zaurus. In general you end up having to have a specialized toolchain / user environment in order to deal with things and this can be a fun challenge when you want to use ‘standard’ system components to upgrade or install something since you’ll get into dependency hell.

Another issue with running outside the rails is the community can sometimes fall out from under you and you’re left with the choice of keeping your system at its current state with tweaking or rebuilding your system again.

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