The $200 Linux laptop, fully loaded

This baby is amazing. More photos of my new XO laptop are now on Flickr.

XO Laptop from OLPC

Previous post about the One Laptop Per Child program here. Buy two, give one, and you get a $200 tax deduction (U.S. residents).

11 Comments on “The $200 Linux laptop, fully loaded

  1. Curious what you think about this. I can’t help but think this is a program that will be ripe with corruption.

    While we have kids in the world that are starving, need shoes, are dying of malaria, and don’t even have electricity… we think that laptops are the answer? Really?

    The only thing a laptop has done for me has provided me a lazy job with great pay where I can buy more toys, get fatter, and die stressed out from a heart attack. This is our plan?

    Doesn’t anyone see any arrogance (and perhaps ignorance) in this?

  2. I wrote why I think it’s a great idea in my earlier post. Giving people a bowl of rice or a pair of shoes doesn’t change anything. Giving them access to ideas and tools? That can change everything.

  3. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    This laptop can give them the knowledge to feed themselves one day. And the knowledge to transform their societies. Knowledge is power.

  4. After your play and amazement, I hope you plan on donating the pictured laptop to a needy kid. It seems outside the purpose of the program for you to have the laptop when it could be in the hands of needy child. The “give one get one” program should be “donate two”. Why do you need this when I’m sure you already have several computers?

  5. @Randall: You make a very good point. However, the community of G1G1 users of the XO laptop are hard at work exploring, de-bugging and troubleshooting, as you can see at the users’ forum:

    The kind of generous crowdsourcing described in Henry Jenkins’s book “Convergence Culture” is already under way as a bunch of people in the developed world contribute tips and help, both to the developers officially working for OLPC and to the kids far away who will be using the XOs in the ways they were intended.

  6. I didn’t know this and I’m sorry if I saw the purchase as excessive. However, even with your points and the forum, I just see these computers in the hands of needy kids exploring, debugging and troubleshooting.

  7. I agree, the kids themselves will do a lot to improve the operating system and the applications, but their learning curve will be a little longer/steeper than that of a bunch of people here who are already computer-literate. It merely speeds up the process to allow non-needy people to own the XO laptop — although I do agree that at this early stage, every XO in the big hands of a U.S. adult means one less XO in the small hands of a child in a developing country.

  8. That’s a great write-up, Chuck. Thanks! I like picturing the Peruvian village kids: “At breakfast, they’re already powering up the combination library/ videocam/ audio recorder/ music maker/ drawing kits. At night, they’re dozing off in front of them — if they’ve managed to keep older siblings from waylaying the coveted machines.”

    This is a million times better than bringing in TV.

  9. Pingback: Teaching Online Journalism » Microsoft doesn’t want world peace

  10. Pingback: Teaching Online Journalism » Laptops for everyone: OLPC repeats ‘Give One, Get One’

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