The group behind the third-world oriented $100 (ish) laptop will also offer consumers in developed countries the chance to buy its machine later this year. OLPC OLPC's XO laptop Dubbed Give 1 Get 1, the programme will run from 12 November and allow consumers to purchase two of the OLPC organisation's XO laptops, one for …
Unfortunately this two week sales period seems to be 'US only' - a shame from a company that tries so hard to be global. I'd quite happily pony up the money plus shipping costs to the UK.
Mind you, I suspect there's limited value in having just one of these - one of the biggest selling points is its group features. Maybe I should suggest we change our office computers to these.
US Only, according to BBC
The BBC is reporting that this offer will only be available to US residents. I'm sure many of us would like the offer extended to other countries, as it seems an ideal way to get my hands on an innovative bit of kit and help poor kids too.
Differentiating bought and gift PCs
I hope the OLPC foundation will make it easy to tell a bought PC from a PC donated or otherwise given to a child in a developing country. Otherwise, most donated PCs will end up on the black market.
An easy way to do this would be to use a different colour (say, blue) for all the green plastic bits. This would cost nearly nothing extra in production, but it would be very difficult for a black marketeer to fake. The OLPC foundation would have to make it very clear that only the blue (or whatever) versions are commercially sold, so if you get offered one of the green PCs you know you is has been diverted from its original purpose.
Have I missed details of what O/S it is going to run? I remember something about it being Windows compatible (dear God, no!) but won't that add another £100 or so on it or have we had previous comments on that thread in the dim and distant past...?
Only two weeks?
Please tell me that the 'two weeks' is a joke, or that they're planning a similar sale after christmas.
(I'm busy spending all my available cash on a new apartment, and won't be able to afford it until next year)
WTF is the "third world"? Is the Cold War on again?
About bloody time
I could never understand why OLPC were so obsessive about not selling the XO to the public. Quite apart from using sales in the developed world to subsidise XO provision in the developing world, surely higher production volumes mean greater economies of scale and lower costs?
Would love to buy two...
But I'm sure I read somewhere that only residents of the US and Canada will be able to get them.
I guess they could always follow Apple and Microsofts strategy, and offer it here in Blighty for £400 ... <sigh>
... uh ... Shouldn't that be $300 per laptop.
I thought they were going to sell these for $100 each. If I give one to a disadvantaged child won't he just trade it to a 419er for $2 worth of food? I'd prefer it if I could require the spammers to pay the $102 tax.
OS is Linux
Box runs a RedHat derived linux, with a desktop named Sugar or XO see:
Me, I would buy one to have a disposable laptop. Add some extra flash, repaint it brown, use it at Starbux.
A rugged little laptop I can take along when travelling (seeing as I don't have any children, but still want to support the project). Sure, it won't replace a more sophisticated machine, but for light-duty word processing and internet access for e-mail, it fits the bill quite smartly. I even love the colour.
Sign me up!
"won't he just trade it to a 419er for $2 worth of food"
If you'll do some basic research you'll see the answer is no. If the laptop goes away from its "base station" for a period of time it completely self destructs. Each OLPC also shows a photo of the owner on boot-upso that bullys can't take somebody else's machine after they break theirs, etc., etc. .
These things are actually well designed for their target market. They have a security model which puts Windows to shame, see: http://dev.laptop.org/git?p=security;a=blob;f=bitfrost.txt
"What OS do they run?"
They run a brand new OS called "Sugar". It's loosely based on Linux. Foisting Windows on them would be a tremendous mistake. Windows and all its maintenance troubles is the very last thing a child in a developing country needs.
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