One Laptop Per Child

Incredible how far this project has come. It reminds me very distinctly of the Cybiko. Of course, there are differences, but it’s striking enough that I did a short write-up on it. I’ll write more about that if anyone wants. I’m seriously considering getting one of these, even at $300 for a $100 device. It’s a noble effort, and very neat too.

Interesting comments on Slashdot:

These look great! by Whiney Mac Fanboy

The final photo [] in the set shows three different colours – they all look fantastic – this photo shows the fedora desktop []. Also looks great!It should be noted that the ‘horns’ are for directional wireless (and also cover USB ports when not in use) – remember that if you want to mock them!

I say kudos to AMD, Brightstar, Google, News Corporation, Nortel, and Red Hat for making this possible. It’s a pity Gates & Jobs couldn’t join in rather then attempting to downplay the fine efforts of this group.

It’s a pity Gates & Jobs couldn’t join in rather then attempting to downplay the fine efforts of this group.

Which Jobs are you talking about? The only one I am familiar with (Steve), offered free Mac OS X licenses to this group for all the laptops. His offer was declined []. You can argue all you want about his motives, but you really can’t say that he “downplayed” anything.

Gates, on the other hand, mocked [] the group’s effort.

by cwgmpls:

1) You can’t run OSX on a 400 MHz AMD processor with 128 Meg of RAM. (If you know how, please let me know!)

2) Apple would never allow an OSX laptop to retail at $300 in the U.S., which is what OLPC is doing.

3) One of the design goals of OLPC was to be totally open source, to allow third parties to tinker with it and improve the entire system at will. I don’t see how OSX could be part of a purely open-source project.

by harrkev:

Well, a lot of problems can be traced back to lack of education. The solution to AIDS is obvious. Abstinence is guaranteed to be effective. Condoms help a lot. There is no magic drug that will make people practice either of these. Focusing on AIDS drugs is like working on a better way to put out a fire — much better to not have a fire in the first place. Simply stated, AIDS is spread by behavior. Education can help to change behavior.

Let’s look at other problems. Many countries in Africa are politically unstable. Certain tribes/countries/ethnic groups want to kill the others. They are raised to think of the “other group” (whoever that may be) as the enemy/evil/not-to-be-trusted. It has been proven that the Internet can break down borders. On a forum (including ones like this), you can have people from dozens of countries putting in their opinion. It helps people to understand their near and distant neighbors.

Finally, some countries have a culture of corruption. When aid gets sent from foreign countries, there is sometimes lots of “palm greasing” just to get the supplies to those who need them the most. And even if the supplies get there, sometimes a few guys with guns take it all away. This is “just the way things are.” So, what happens if the children are educated to realize that things do not have to be that way? It is possible that in a decade or two, opinions could start to change.

This is not just about reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic. This is about changing the way that people see the world.

I do admit that this OLPC is not LIKELY to do all of that. But if it changes the life of even a few children, maybe those children will grow up to be the next president/prime minishter/grand poobah of their countries.

One Response to “One Laptop Per Child”

  1. […] have actually blogged about One Laptop Per Child before– over one year ago– back when people thought it might debut as the “$100 laptop”. Great to see that […]

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