Category talk:Hardware ideas
Along the lines of the discussion people have been having about detachable bits, replacement parts, and lifetime, I think the whole thing really has to be modular, to allow incremental upgrades or repairs. Something along the lines of computer Lego, where after opening the case with a screw driver the main components are in user friendly separable modules and can be snapped in and out. Also the “black boxing” should be minimalised, and the bits all labelled with what it is and what it does, and if possible, how to fix it. These machines should each come with a blueprint, so someone determined enough can do what they like with it, improve it or prevent damage. Perhaps the generator could have meccano type customizability, running from a paddle wheel in a stream, a windmill, off the back of a bike wheel, or whatever the end user can think of (hmm, a manual merry-go-round that kids could play on and charge their machines at the same time). The actual device should encourage innovation for the end user and empowerment beyond just the educational content on the display. Users should not feel alienated by an amazing technology they might feel they can never grasp, or shy away from, due to its perceived mystery. -Jakub
 True Third World Compatibilty
Most children tend to be rather rough with their belongings.
Will the housing and internals be able to withstand being dropped in a puddle or covered in dirt?
From the photos I have seen it looks like the housing could easily absorb the inadvertant residue of a child's daily activity and totally fry it, at which point the whole attempt would be void.
The whole housing needs to be able to withstand the varibles associated with a child living under extreme conditions.
 OLPC Kit For Kids. Teach a Kid to OLPC First .........
This is user "RaviOfUSA". I read John C. Dvorak's commentary on 'MarketWatch" about the OLPC. He was not enthusiastic. My thoughts on negativity are that it can go back where it came from. This is what got me to join the OLPC Wiki. The OLPC is in my opinion the only one chance to do reach and uplift children everywhere. Why $100? Great goal. Are we telling ourselves that we will shoot for $100 and be happy with $150 or more. Keep it $100 and way less. Yes these projects carry a lot of whining but are the real opportunities for Leaps of Paradigms and Thinking.
Any way who needs this gadget? Everyone. But let us focus on the CHILDREN first. Children learn by having fun. Other OLPC Wikiers seem to have spelled out several critieria. I want to add to all this by saying that we need to pull this off as a kit that a two or three year old shall snap together or piece together. Don't insult the children by saying they can't do this. They can do it. Let us get a kit together that they can assemble it and have fun and also go on to use it.
Open Frame Design/Architecture for both Hardware and Software, "Tablet PC Format", Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/WLAN/Radio, Several I/O Capability, SERIOUS ABUSE RESISTANCE, AND SERIOUS BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY AND INTEROPERABILITY
This is what could happen. We will have kits. These can come as assemblable modules from everywhere. Just like resistors and capacitors etc. This will prevent your LDC Distribution Channel Mishaps. The goal is noble and everyone has to give up the money angle and just watch the elevation of Childrens' Minds Worldwide. How much will the Kit cost? How about $25? If someone or even a Big Company has doubts, I will personally dispel them. What is the big picture here. How about Human Future and also the Computer's evolution to its next step. This project will cause everyone to rethink everything. Leaps of Paradigms and Thinking will happen. And then faith in everything grows.What will come out of it? I don't know. All wonderful and good things I hope. Well enough said. I think that you get the idea.
There is a product that is fast approaching these goals in a commercial setting. The Cell Phone that is transforming itself into a Cell Phone Computer.
My disappointment so far. The $100 OLPC Project was announced in January 2005. Today it is November 18, 2006. I am sorry that feet have been dragged. When should we have had the $100 Laptop? March 2005. Work has not happened fast enough. DO NOT MISTAKE ME. TWO(2) MONTHS IS ALL THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALLOCATED FOR THIS PROJECT. YOU CAN STILL DO IT. AND HAVE PRODUCED A $25 OLPC KIT. PLEASE DO IT.
Now why would I make such bold statements? Because I know it can be done. I am personally working to help Mel Bartholomew get THREE (3) BILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE to grow their own food. No I am not interested in Governments or United Nations helping people accomplish this. People need to do it themselves. No United Nations Help. No Government Help. Just Simple Gandhian Efforts.
Here is what you need to do to achieve the $25 OLPC Kit. USE PLAIN OLD COMMONSENSE (THAT IS SO UNCOMMON NOWADAYS). IN USA, IT IS CALLED AMERICAN INGENUITY. I think what has happened is that everyone has got hung up on standards and so on that they lost track of the forest and got stuck in the trees. Standards have historically come after the product. First the tinkerer puts out a little gizmo very quickly. Then the bureaucrats and "Know Better Than Thou" folks jump in.
Great opportunities and moments like this do not come along. John C. Dvorak's Commentary would have been praising the OLPC and how happy children are with it. He would then have gone on at that point to paint the future of computing; Optical computers, true seamless low power wirelesss communications etc., and maybe would have ended his piece with a hint of how the OLPC was ushering in Nanotechnology, String Theory, Human/Bio Interfaces etc.
TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS. ALL THAT WAS NEEDED TO PUT THIS GIZMO INTO THE FIELD IN LESS THAN THREE MONTHS WOULD HAVE BEEN A COUPLE OF TECHNICIANS, PROGRAMMERS AND A $100,000 BUDGET. I dont see how you could spend that much in two months when all the stuff is available off the shelf.
BUT ANYWAY. IT CAN BE DONE. GOOD LUCK AND CONGRATULATIONS ON THE GREATEST IDEA TO HELP CHILDREN WORLDWIDE. MAY YOU MEET WITH GREAT SUCCESS SO THAT EVERYONE SHALL SING PRAISES OF THE OLPC.
Note to edit guys. Don't change my original stuff. Add to it. Criticize it. And redistribute it. Fire at will commanders. Maybe something good will come out of it.
 Third World Compatibility - Solar panel cover
The question of electrical energy supply might be a major issue in many countries of the world.
I think that the battery life of the OLPC could be greatly improved by equipping the cover with solar panels.
I don't have any specific technical qualification, but considering the extremely limited power consuption of such computers, a low-efficiency / low-cost solar panel could be a great add-on.