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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Monday June 05, 2006
04:16 PM

one (laptop|hundred and twenty eight meg) per child

[ #29815 ]

There was a thread on the SoC admin list about sample hardware for the One Laptop Per Child project becoming available, so that organisations could test how well their software ran on it. Dan Kegel observed that you could already emulate it quite effectively:

A useful first step for those interested in working well on low-resource systems would be to make sure their app works well on a machine booted with, say, mem=96M. If you make progress on that, and are eager for more punishment, try the same thing on an old, slow box.

He referred to a study he'd made of Linux desktop performance on low memory machines over at

The first generation machine will have 128M according to the hardware spec. This set me thinking. How well does (say) Mono manage on a machine with 128M? Java? Compared with (say) Perl? Is it possible to write interesting and useful educational Perl programs that would run sweetly on such a machine? Can Perl find itself another niche here?

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  • FWIW, I've run a pretty useful and responsive server application (no Swing) on a Gumstix with 64 MB, limiting the Java process to 5 MB. This was under a J2ME/CDC 1.0 VM, similar to a standard 1.3 but without all the GUI stuff.