Official OLPC FAQ
How can I obtain an laptop?
See Buying XOs.
Will OLPC be offering Give One Get One (G1G1) again?
We have no plans to do so at this time, sorry. You can get an OLPC Tablet though.
How will my donation be used?
Your donation will be used to cover the cost of manufacturing, sending and setting-up laptops in some of the most remote and isolated parts of the world. This may also include power and connectivity infrastructure, teacher preparation and other technical and educational support.
Who do I contact if I have a question about my 2007 Give One Get One order?
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org (our OLPC technical staff).
Will these laptops be available for purchase in retail stores?
No, we have no plans for retail sale of the XO laptop at this time. The OLPC Tablet is available for retail sale though.
Can I or my organization be a recipient of the XO laptop?
Yes, but there is a minimum order quantity, see Buying XOs.
How will the laptop computers be marketed?
Our policy at the moment is to sell the laptops directly to governments or non-profit endeavors willing to order in volume.
Volume orders will get the manufacturing process rolling and drive the price down. Please have patience: the launch and distribution of the XO laptop is a process. We hope that our efforts, along with market forces in general, will contribute to affordable laptops being widely available in the near future so that everyone may benefit.
We receive many inquiries from worthwhile causes and lone individuals from around the world, doing amazing and noble humanitarian work. We applaud all these efforts and regret we cannot fully collaborate or donate laptops at this time. Hopefully, the government of the region in which you are interested, or a non-profit working in the area, may be purchasing the laptops. Again, feel free to lobby.
Why do children in developing nations need laptop computers?
The XO laptop as not merely a piece of equipment, but as an educational opportunity. Laptop computers can be a window and a tool: a window into the world and a tool with which to think. Computers are a wonderful way for all children to learn through independent interaction and exploration.
Why are these laptops going to children in developing nations when there are needy children in the U.S.?
In the U.S., the average expenditure for education is $7,500 dollars per child per year. In developing countries, the average expenditure is typically less than $300 dollars per child per year. One Laptop per Child is initially focused on where the need is most urgent.
However, wealthier nations and organizations are certainly not excluded. A number of U.S. states and cities have approached OLPC and expressed interest in the program. It is up to the relevant officials of a government entity or organization to contact us by emailing email@example.com to start a dialogue. The participating governments or organizations will then distribute the XO laptops in a non-profit manner to their schools or participants. You are welcome to lobby any government or organization you wish on behalf of the XO laptop or simply the concept of one laptop per child. We regret that we cannot assist you in this lobbying, but we appreciate the efforts of those who share our vision.
Why not a desktop computer, or even better, a recycled desktop machine?
While desktops are cheaper, mobility is important, especially with regard to taking the computer home at night. Children in the developing world need the newest technology, especially rugged hardware and innovative software.
Why is it important for each child to have a computer? What's wrong with community access computer centers?
One does not think of community pencils—kids have their own. They are tools with which to think, sufficiently inexpensive to be used for work and play, drawing, writing, and mathematics. A computer can be the same, but far more powerful. Furthermore, there are many reasons it is important for a child to own something, like a football, doll, or book, not the least of which being that these belongings will be well maintained through love and care.
What is the laptop called and what can it do?
The laptop is an amazing machine, designed for children, called XO. It is quite rugged, GNU/Linux based, has 2 or 3 USB ports, wireless connectivity, a built in camera, a sunlight readable screen, and many other interesting features. It runs on very little power and there will be peripherals that will allow the laptop to run on solar or human power for regions off the grid.
Please browse pages of information about the XO’s specs here: http://one.laptop.org/about/hardware
Can the XO connect to the internet?
Yes, the XO comes with wifi.
Can I load Microsoft Windows onto the XO laptop?
OLPC maintains a firm and unequivocal commitment to open source software. Having an open system is fundamental to OLPC's mission, please see: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Core_principles/lang-en
Any software developed by or for OLPC is released under GPL v2. The open source community remains a critical success factor in the our mission.
Can I print from the XO Laptop?
No, there is no built-in support. Some deployments add support from the Fedora Linux operating system.
How do I get upgrades for the operating system of my XO?
Can I load flash on the XO?
An Adobe Flash proprietary plug-in may be available, but is not supported by OLPC.
Can I load java on the XO?
Yes, a Java environment is available as part of Fedora Linux.
What can a $1,000 laptop computer do that the XO Laptop cannot?
The XO laptop is a computer built for learning and designed specifically with children in mind. Because of this, the features deemed most valuable for its purposes are as good (and in many cases, better) than comparable features on a $1000 laptop. For instance, the XO’s screen can be viewed as clearly as a newspaper in broad daylight, and the wireless range of the XO is several times farther than your average laptop. It's also more rugged, resilient and power efficient than most other laptops on the market. While other features, such as power and speed, cannot compare to a $1000 machine, they are excellent for the XO’s $200 price point and meet the necessary requirements for learning.
Can I get replacement parts for my XO laptop?
Deployments can order parts from OLPC in bulk, and would normally do so as part of the initial purchase.
Individuals should see obtaining replacement parts and repairs.
If am a skilled technical person or content developer and want to help the project, what can I do?
If you are thinking of offering your help, thank you! Please explore the wiki for collaboration possibilities. You can find project suggestions and projects under development for the XO laptop. Our Participate and "How to Volunteer" pages are the best places to start. The following are of particular interest to tech & content developers:
Home page: http://wiki.laptop.org
Getting involved with OLPC: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Getting_involved_in_OLPC
Software projects under development or completed: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Software_projects
Ideas about contributing content: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributing_content
May we work with OLPC on a research project or collaborative venture?
We are very grateful for your offer, but need to concentrate on the launch of the laptop and regret we do not have the human resources available to collaborate in the many creative ways that are suggested. Feel free to lobby your government officials or other organizations who may be able to purchase a large bulk order of XO laptops. They may email firstname.lastname@example.org to start a dialogue with OLPC.
If you are a vendor, marketer, manufacturer, importer, wholesaler or distributor, we have filed your company information and will get back to you if we need your services. Thank you.
Please see this question for collaboration possibilities as well:
May we fundraise on behalf of OLPC?
Thank you very much for your very kind thoughts of fundraising! We truly appreciate it.
Because we are such a small team and are entirely concentrated on launching the laptop, we regret we have no personnel to monitor, assist or collaborate in such endeavors. Nor do we have any printed material we can send you, but you are welcome to print out pages for yourself from our website: http://www.laptop.org and http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home
Please remember that all materials must be reproduced with proper attribution and none of the information, images or other content can be use for commercial purposes or for your personal benefit.
There are some pictures you may use here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Pictures
There are some presentations here, scroll down to where it says Slides, posters and materials: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO_roadshows
There is a growing archive of presentations(slides & video) as well at http://download.laptop.org/content
If the idea you have proposed raises funds for us, we are very grateful!
Checks for simple donations, *not* related to receiving any computers, can be sent to:
One Laptop per Child Foundation
PO Box 425087
Cambridge, MA 02142
It is also possible to give directly with a credit card through the link here on our website, *not* related to receiving any computers:
At this time, any donations made in the above manner cannot be designated to a specific school or country.
If I have a question about content, or want to contribute to it, what should I do?
Please direct your well summarized email to email@example.com
Or visit this web page: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributing_content
The content team will get back to you if they are able to collaborate. Otherwise, they thank you very much for the idea and will keep your email on file.
Can someone from OLPC come speak with us or participate in our event?
If you email OLPC and do not receive an additional email from us other than the automated reply within a few weeks, then we regret we will be unable to attend or participate. We are sorry that, for now, our staff is simply too small to be able to attend all the interesting events to which we are invited, as much as we would like to.
Good luck with your event and we do thank you very much for thinking of us!
May I (or my group or institution) visit your office?
Unfortunately, no, we are not set up for public visits.
Who is the manufacturer of the XO laptop computer?
Quanta Computer Inc. of Taiwan is the original design manufacturer (ODM) of the XO laptop. Quanta is the world’s largest laptop manufacturer and makes laptops for Apple, HP, Dell among many others.
How is it possible to get the cost of the laptop so low?
First, by dramatically lowering the cost of the display. The first-generation computer will have a novel, dual-mode display that represents improvements to the LCD displays commonly found in inexpensive DVD players. Second, we have also worked to get the fat out of our software systems. In other words, our laptop computers operate more efficiently. The XO’s operating system is based on a free and open source version of GNU/Linux. Third, One Laptop per Child is a non-profit organization that is not obligated to any investors. Finally, One Laptop per Child uses large scale orders to minimize marketing and distribution costs and to bulk order components to drive prices down.
Why is the laptop over $100?
$100 is our target price and “The $100 Laptop” is a nickname. Currently, the XO’s cost around $180 to make. The manufacturer (Quanta) makes a small profit of a few dollars since they are a commercial business. However, One Laptop per Child is a non-profit organization and will not make any profit on the laptop. The price fluctuates depending on the cost of materials and the occasional addition or subtraction of a feature. We expect the price to fall with mass production, hopefully reaching $100 within the next few years.
How do I make a donation? Can a donation be made for a specific country or school?
Donating over the internet: Simple monetary contributions of any dollar amount in which you do *not* receive any XO laptops may be made here: http://laptopfoundation.org/en/participate/ Please see where it says "Amount to donate" and insert in the box next to it the amount you desire to donate securely through Google.
If you wanted to Simply Give in $199 increments, signifying one laptop per $199, also *not* receiving any XO laptops, please go to the link below and click on "Donate now": http://www.laptop.org/xo.
Donating by snail-mail: Outright contributions by check or money order in which you will *not* recieve any XO laptops may be mailed to:
OLPC Foundation P.O. Box 425087 Cambridge Massachusetts, 02142 U.S.A.
We regret, to keep our logistics simple, any donations made by the above methods cannot be designated to a specific school or country. The laptops will go to recipients in one of these countries: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Countries
For large bulk purchases, in which you may donate the laptops to a designated country or organization, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to start a dialogue with OLPC.
We are a 501(c)(3) organization and our EIN# is 20-5471780.
Are you a non-profit and do you have a Federal Tax ID number?
One Laptop per Child Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and our EIN# is: 20-5471780 If you make a donation and your company has a matching gift program, please see if they would be willing to match your gift to us. Thank you!
Do you accept group or corporate donations?
Yes, please see the questions directly above this one about how to donate. To donate stock, please email email@example.com
Is donating to OLPC tax deductible?
The OLPC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and our EIN# is 20-5471780. As such, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. If you gave a straight donation, the entire amount should be deductible. Please consult with your financial advisor to determine the full extent of all tax deductibility.
We apologize that OLPC is not currently registered as a non-profit outside of the USA.
To donate your XO laptop, details are below.
Can OLPC send me a letter verifying my donation?
Unfortunately, OLPC cannot provide donation verification letters. For tax purposes, the e-mail containing your donation information and OLPC's EIN #20-5471780 should be sufficient.
What if I participated in Give One Get One and would like to donate my laptop back to OLPC?
We thank you for your generous thought of donating back your XO laptop. Click Here for details.
Do you accept donations of stock?
Yes. Please instruct your broker to transfer stock to the OLPC Foundation through our broker, AG Edwards. DTC Clearing #0201. For the Benefit Of (FBO): OLPC Foundation; Account 70038685. For more details and to receive the appropriate acknowledgment from the OLPC Foundation, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there volunteer opportunities with OLPC?
We appreciate the generous offer of your time! Please see these links for ideas about volunteering:
Also check out this Frequently Asked Question: #If am a skilled technical person or content developer and want to help the project, what can I do?.
Feel free to email email@example.com as well. Thank you!
Is it possible to intern at OLPC?
Please check this link: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Internships
Does OLPC have any job openings?
Please check this career page link and apply as instructed there: http://www.laptop.org/en/utility/people/opportunities.shtml
Is the laptop environmentally friendly?
It may be the “greenest” laptop in existence. We hope to make it even “greener” as it evolves. See here for details: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Green_Machine
Who is behind these XO laptop computers?
The XO laptop computer has been developed by One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization founded by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte and a team of educators, developers and technologists dedicated to educating children with the goal of eradicating poverty. One Laptop Per Child is based on principles expressed by MIT Media Lab Professor Seymour Papert in the 1960s, and later elaborated upon by Alan Kay, and complemented by the principles articulated by Nicholas Negroponte in his book, Being Digital. Partner corporations including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Brightstar, eBay, Google, Marvell, News Corporation, Nortel, Quanta, Chi Mei Group, Red Hat, and SES Astra are involved in this initiative.
I am a journalist. Who do I contact to do a story about One Laptop per Child?
Please send a concise email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Jackie Lustig at (781) 487-4664. This is the office that handles OLPC's press and it is the only way to get an interview from a spokesperson of OLPC for your media outlet.
If you must mention a hard deadline in your email, please do so.
Can you send me pamphlets or other printed material?
We do not have any printed material to distribute, information about our organization is online. One Laptop per Child's official website is at: http://www.laptop.org/
Are there news updates I can follow about OLPC?
Official periodic news updates from the OLPC Team can be found at: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/News
Or you can even subscribe to the OLPC community news mailing list by clicking on http://lists.laptop.org/mailman/listinfo/community-news