Man, that takes me back.I had a buddy at college that wrote a COBOL compiler in COBOL. The listing was about 6" thick.
COBOL - The real meaning of the acryonym is "Completely Overrated Bastard Of a Language"
2 posts • joined 14 Jul 2007
You just don't seem to get it. Nicholas Negoponte hit it on the head on the OLPC wiki page "It's an education project not a laptop project". To help the poor in this world get out of abject poverty, they need education. Getting a laptop in their hands is probably the most ideal way to do this. Instantly, they have access to a vast amount of information (either by direct internet connection or by a proxy server, the school server, containing cached web pages).
You can give people food, but they will come back later for more. If you give them some food and the tools to grow or make more, then they will come back less.
As for drinking water, and safe food, the way you get this is by making wells and educating people on the safe storage of foods. Also, agricultural advice, weather and climate information (not real time if not connected to the net, of course) are all important on getting people out of poverty.
As for generating the electricity for doing this, well, I'm sure there's a few web pages out there that show how to generate electricity cheaply and, hopefully, with local resources.
This project is a start. I think a lot of people see it and assume that's all it's going to be. It's going to evolve over time but it has to get a start somewhere and I think this is the right way to go. Educate the children first, they will then be the educators and parents of the future with far more knowledge than their parents had before them. Sitting on your hands doing nothing gets us nowhere. Just giving out nothing but the food to eat saves people from starving but does not allow them to become self sufficient. Knowledge does. In the LONG TERM it is much more cost and resource effective to educate. This is not a short term project.
As the OLPC goes as a laptop, I have not yet handled one, but I know that I would not mind having a light, small, low heat, long battery lived notebook to sit and surf the net.
As for the original article, what a load of gobshite. Fire this "reporter". The article was just crap. Just nothing but a teardown of a project that, if anything, should be getting supported by an "I.T." web site. To the editor "Come on, wake up!, did you not read this bullcrap before it was published?"
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