back to article 40,000 XO PCs destroyed in Peru fire

40,000 XO computers, the model used in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, have gone up in flames in Peru. The computers were in a Peruvian Education Ministry warehouse, along with 20,000 conventional laptops. That warehouse burned down last Friday. The OLPC project says that no-one was hurt and quotes Peruvian President …

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Does that smell fishy to anyone but me? Just checking.

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Devil

Who'd have thought that silicon burned so well. Solar panels as well as laptops. Who knew? More to the point, who profits?

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You fucking idiot

Tinfoil hat Tinfoil hat!!!

Oh yeah I forgot it's only impossible for First World politicians to be corrupt. Carry on.

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Yeah. A shitload of government pork in an insured warehouse. Call me a cynic but....well call me a cynic.

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This is all just pure speculation but I imagine right now, sitting in a nearby office there's an Apple-Peru office staffer with a bunch of empty gas cans scattered around him and the burned out left-over stub of a safety flare in one hand.

In a day or so, we'll all be reading about Apple starting a huge lobbying campaign in Lima to put iPads in all the schools down there.

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Yes

All of the laptops from the OLPC program are donated, right? So if they're insured, it's free money when they go up in flames. I always thought about what I would do if I won a high-end sports car when what I really need is money. Now I know :)

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And here *I* though...

Well *I* am a bit surprised to find that was any flammable material left, as I thought that the OLPC project crashed and burned a long time ago.

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Re: And here *I* though...

Some of us thought that of many big companies...

Apple, prior to Steve Jobs' return...

Microsoft, prior to Windows 7's release which was a narrow escape IMO... whether Windows 8 will be anywhere near the success it needs to be for Microsoft to continue long term remains anyone's guess...

Maybe it's because the OLPC isn't wasting money with sales droids and putting out lots of press releases and instead is devoting its time with getting the job done... it has dropped off people's radar.

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Re: And here *I* though...

I still don't understand why they couldn't just sell the laptops worldwide for $99 + shipping. Surely the more of them they make, the lower the price of manufacturing becomes.

Sure they had a short period where you could buy one for yourself and one for someone else, which came in at like $240. But come on, just sell them to the masses at a dirt cheap price and it will eventually help the whole goal of the company.

Hell, If you offered us geeks one of those laptops for $99 plus shipping, I'm sure most of us would jump on it. Just for the sake of seeing how well a laptop really can run on solar+winding power!

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Re: And here *I* though...

Absolutely, economies of scale and all that. It's why I have much higher hopes for the Raspberry PI.

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Re: And here *I* though...

Sadly, the built-in hand-cranked charger, despite being the single most remembered feature of the XO, never made it past the first prototype unit in 2005; it was judged to be too unergonomic and inefficient, particularly for use by poorly-nourished children. FreePlay Energy have one that clamps on to a table (http://www.freeplayenergy.com/page-view.php?pagename=Clamp-Charger).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FreePlay Energy have one that clamps on to a table

I have one that clamps to my bicycle - much more convenient as it leaves both hands free.

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Re: And here *I* though...

I decided not to support the OLPC project because I found them to be a bit shady. I really wanted a laptop that didn't never needed to be plugged in. However, I read the fine print on that "buy one for you and someone else" thing. I bet a lot of people were really disappointed when they found out that they did *not* include the crank with it. In fact, the entire mechanism for powering it with a crank was removed so you couldn't even make your own crank. And I don't recall them being powered by solar back then. So you basically got a really crappy, regular laptop.

I agree. If they really sold these laptops I think they would get a lot of buyers. Just look at the response the Raspberry Pi got, and it's not even a full computer powered by clean, renewable energy!

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Re: And here *I* though...

@dotdavid

"the fire won't slow Peru's plan to roll out one million Xos"

Maybe they don't have the production capacity to sell a paltry few 100,000 to some geeks who'd like one just for the sake of it to ramp up production so as to benefit from the economies of scale.

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Joke

MS?

All the hallmarks of MS?

Embrace,Extend, Extinguis.. oh wait.

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Childcatcher

Shame

Any idea how long they were stored in the Peruvian Education Ministry warehouse? May be if they dished them out a bit quicker, this wouldn't have been such a big problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Mr Auditor ?

Senor Auditor : Where are those Laptops / Computers and Solar Panels ?

El Presidente: In the Warehouse, sadly we had a fire, but we are insured.

Mr Auditor : All that equipment, the children will be sad.

El Presidente: Have a box of Cuban cigars. Don't worry about it. We have plenty of warehouses.

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