Thursday, December 13, 2007


If you know what OLPC stands for, then you're cool. If not, you're still cool, just not as cool. However, do not fear. Read on and you very soon will increase your coolness 10 fold.

OLPC stands for One Laptop Per Child. The idea is we need to get laptops, and more importantly, information and access to the internet, to those that don't have it. Originally the cost was set at $100, but due to many countries backing out of their original orders, the cost has gone up to $188, still a pretty good deal.

Of course no good thing can go without controversy. Originally Intel and Microsoft had no interest in the project. No biggie, OLPC went with AMD and Linux. But now MS and Intel see OLPC as a direct competitor. Think of it, millions of kids growing up without the joy of using Windows. Millions of kids who will never get to use that friendly paper clip to help them navigate a Word document. The horror! The kids might just discover that there are plenty of open source applications and operating systems that do just as good a job as their paid for counterparts (think Open Office vs. MS Office).

Anyway, I just came across this review of the OX computer. From the article:

" I had returned from Nigeria not entirely convinced that the XO laptop was quite as wonderful an educational tool as its creators claimed.

I felt that a lot of effort would be needed by hard-pressed teachers before it became more than just a distracting toy for the children to mess around with in class.

But Rufus has changed my mind.

With no help from his Dad, he has learned far more about computers than he knew a couple of weeks ago, and the XO appears to be a more creative tool than the games consoles which occupy rather too much of his time.

The One Laptop Per Child project is struggling to convince developing countries providing computers for children is as important as giving them basic facilities like water or electricity.

Unusually, Rufus does not have an opinion about that controversy, but he does have a verdict on the laptop. "It's great," he says. "

Currently, OLPC has a deal where you 'give one, get one'. You get a laptop, and a second laptop is sent to a school or a child that could benefit from it. If you want to be the coolest person on the block, plunk down a few hundred, get a really cool laptop, and spread the joy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You've gotta be kidding me.
What next?

When there's still starving kids in the world, why are we hyper-focused on providing luxuries?

Just goes to show where the rich have no real ideas of reality and what those who are poverty-stricken in these countries really need: Immunizations, from AIDS to smallpox, CLOTHES, SHOES, SHELTER....

This news is just plain frustrating.

Thanks for the blog, though. Now I am officially more cool than I was two minutes ago, which is always good.