One Laptop Per Child


It has taken more than two years, but the One Laptop Per Child initiative has finally released its much-anticipated laptop: the OLPC XO-1.

The XO-1 costs $200 each to donate, but for a limited time — until Dec. 31, 2007 — people can avail themselves of the "Give One, Get One" promotion to give a $399 donation ($200 of which is tax-deductible).

One laptop goes to a disadvantaged child in a developing nation, while OLPC gives you another one as a thank-you gift of sorts.

Just be advised, this limited-time offer is the only way you'll be able to get your hands on the XO-1 for the foreseeable future. After the end of the year, people can still donate the laptops, but they won't be getting one as a gift.

The OLPC XO-1 has an LED backlit screen; it's compatible with 802.11b/g Wi-Fi; and it also offers 802.11s "mesh networking" — a type of peer-to-peer ad hoc networking that requires zero configuration. And it uses so little power that an external hand generator or a solar panel can power the system.


A drop from child height is unlikely to break the impact-resistant plastic case.

The keyboard has a lot of new symbols on it, including a row of buttons representing the neighborhood, classroom and individual.

These buttons modify the GUI so that you see the world in general (over Wi-Fi or mesh networks), local users (if you are in a classroom environment with an OLPC XS school server) or the activities you are working on now or in the past.

So far it's up to the individual countries' respective departments of education or local organizations to get the laptops actually into students' hands.

You don't get to choose what country your charitable laptop goes to if you buy an individual unit, but if you donate 100 to 10,000 units or more, you get to choose where they go.

Our Stories was founded by UNICEF, One Laptop per Child (OLPC), and Google, and to help collect, preserve, and share online the stories of the world's people and their cultures and communities. The OLPC initiative, partnered with existing UNICEF projects, gives children the tools to interview, record, and share the stories of their parents, grandparents, and others in their families and communities. The focus during this phase is on children in developing countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia where OLPC computers are available. Eventually, children and others will be able to share and access recorded stories directly through the Our Stories Children's site.


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