I am a resident of the Southeastern U.S., and while I have been a One Laptop Per Child enthusiast for months, my only tangible involvement with the project started when I participated in the Give One, Get One program by donating two computers on Monday, November 12, 2007.
I received my two G1G1 XO's on Wednesday, December 19. I am looking forward to Christmas morning, when I shall introduce my children to the joys and worries of being beta-testers. Maybe they'll dip in and out of beta-testing for the rest of their lives....
I have been a close observer of how this wiki, the public listserv, and the underlying network of staffers and volunteers who comprise OLPC have adapted to the more active participation of G1G1 participants. For my own part, I don't see my participation in G1G1 as analogous to ordinary consumption -- I'm not buying two XO's, I'm helping OLPC help the world, and they're acknowledging my help with a reciprocal gift. But it may be the case that not all the other G1G1 participants will see it this way.
General Thoughts about the OLPC Project and about this Wiki
The OLPC Project
- The Harvard Business School's Working Knowledge program frequently updates its influential series of case studies. As you might imagine, HBS focuses on management of for-profit corporate management, but they do dip into the non-profit world every so often. Read their suggestions for marketing the OLPC here, in their latest case study. It's very meta, really: having HBS, in its role as the flying fickle finger of fate, choose OLPC is a way of marketing the project. Does every institution on the banks of the Charles River have an opinion about what every other institution is up to?
- As of Friday, December 14, Nadine, Drew, and David report here that (1) they have their G1G1 XO's; (2) they ordered the first day by phone; and (3) they were not charged shipping. I can't imagine NN or WB losing any sleep over this, but the apparent inequity is really bothering me. Assuming that it turns out to be the case that many of the by-phone G1G1 participants didn't have to pay shipping, that means that they are getting their G1G1 XO's for 6.25% less than I am. What would be the best remedy if this turns out to be true? Should phoners be charged? Should onliners be given a refund? There may be reasons why Brightstar might bear the liability, depending on the terms of OLPC Foundation's contract with them.
- On December 12, 2007, the BBC published Rory Cellan-Jones's appreciative take on the XO. Nice. Mysterious, that bit about Chat.
- On December 11, 2007, the BBC published Bill Thompson's pro-OLPC essay "Give me rice, but give me a laptop too." A nice riposte to John Dvorak's tendentious screed.
- High-resolution unboxing photos of a G1G1 production unit were posted by Morgan Collett on Wednesday, December 5, 2007. Here's a direct link to the flickr set. Looks nice. I check planet.laptop.org every so often, which is where I learned of this. Thanks, Morgan!
- The 11/24/07 WSJ article paints a picture of some missed opportunities, but so what? WSJ journalists can't not think of sales volume as being equal to success. But what Negroponte says in the interview is truly true, it's not just making the best of a bad situation: "if the world were to have 30 million laptops made by competitors in the hands of children at the end of next year, that to me would be a great success." At any rate, folks who haven't experienced an open-source environment don't realize what they're missing; see Timothy Faloner's tabula rasa post. If the XO really is the best laptop for the developing world, then that should become clear during deployment. The cream will rise to the top.
- If there are fewer initial country orders than anticipated, and if there are plenty of Give One, Get One orders, then G1G1 users will be a more prominent part of the OLPC community than was thought at first. Does that necessarily mean that G1G1 will end up being a big pain in the butt for OLPC? Not necessarily. With any luck the core team at OLPC will be able to stay focused on their mission, and those of us in the G1G1 community will be able to take care of ourselves.
- Extremely caustic, funny takes on OLPC can be found on the "Fake Steve Jobs" blog, a screed by Forbes magazine editor Daniel Lyons. Most of the OLPC posts are tagged as such, but some aren't so to read them all you'll need to go to the main page. If you're not used to this kind of layered irony, just keep in mind that you should assume that all the "conversations" Fake Steve Jobs reports are made up. This isn't journalism, not even Jon Stewart "Daily Show" journalism, but stuff like this it may save Forbes's butt when people stop reading magazines completely. Damn funny. "How do I make the rival gangs attack each other?" I do have to say I, too, was pretty startled by Bender's 11/27 BBC interview and by Negroponte openly discussing the non-disparagement agreement with the WSJ. Cynic, n. Definition: a wounded idealist.
- How many firm XO orders are there? CNET"s "Between the Lines" blogger Larry Dignan say there will be 490,000 by the end of the year, in this informative post. Not that I think people should should have to do estimates; I think the laptopgiving website should post daily and cumulative G1G1 and direct XO giving order totals for all to see on its front page. Whyever not?
- The recent reconfiguring of the "Ask A Question" process was certainly needed. But it has had the perverse effect of making the page, and so this wiki, less useful to me -- or at least less interesting to me. Still, I hope to be able to devote some time to organizing the negleted questions and answers that are now in the dusty corners: Ask_OLPC_a_Question/New, and Ask_OLPC_a_Question/Archive.
- The de facto central convening point on the internet for OLPC information sharing had been Olpcnews.com, but now that Vota has established the olpcnews forum the de facto central convening point is the forum, not the blog. Compare the number of posts per day to the olpcnews forum to olpcnews itself, and to the actual OLPC Foundation Community Support Forum. Not only did Vota steal a march on OLPC, he stole a march on himself -- he thought folks were mainly interested in his opinions, but it turns out they were mainly interested in having a convening point. At least that's what I take away from this plea for help.
- It's not bad form to pose a question and then answer it on a FAQ page; after all, that's how most FAQ's start. Still, if you pose a question, then as you answer it, say "Great question!" -- well, that's kinda tacky.
- There is a valid distinction between "XO Giving" and "Give One, Get One": direct donations -- XO giving -- were something you could do before the G1G1 window, are something you can do now, and will be something you can do after G1G1 closes. Many contributors to this wiki, including OLPC core team members, obscure this important distinction in their posts.
- While lots of G1G1 questions seem to be being asked by folks who have participated, many are also being asked by folks who are seriously considering participating in G1G1 but have not yet done so. Clean answers will encourage them to do so. Most questions can be put into these categories:
- Questions about world XO deployment
- General Philosophical Questions
- Questions about Laptop Giving Not Related to Give One, Get One
- Questions about Give One, Get One
- North American Ordering and Shipping Details
- Participating in G1G1 from Countries not in North America
- What Will Ship With the XO
- Warranty and Support
- Hardware and Networking Questions
- Internet Security and Filtering
- What Accessories Will Be Available to G1G1 Participants
- What Peripherals Will We Be Able to Hook Our G1G1 XO's Up To
- Questions about the Software That's Actually Included
- What Other Software Applications Might We Be Able To Use
- There don't seem to be many questions along the lines of "what can I do with an XO that I can't already do?"; most seem to be variations of "I do this; can I do this with an XO?"
- Update the Glossary to include jabber, pootle, git, and other terms XO developers are using that I don't know.
- Ideally, the three sets of "ask a question" archives should be consolidated. Not sure I'm the one to do that....
- Many of the questions or parts of questions I've posted at Ask_OLPC_a_Question have been answered (at least to my satisfaction). To indicate that the questions have been answered I've moved the questions I posed to the archive. Note that there seem to be three unconnected archives.
- Revising the main "Ask a question" pages into the categories above. User:Hexagonal/draft is a possible way to go.
E-Mails (and laptops) from OLPC
1. In October, soon after seeing the NYT XO review, I signed up to receive a reminder e-mail at the start of the Give One, Get One window, but I never got that e-mail.
2. I signed up to participate in G1G1 the morning of the first day, 11/12/07. Soon after completing the transaction I got a confirmatory e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line "Receipt for Your Payment to OLPC Foundation":
- Dear _____,
- This email confirms that you have paid OLPC Foundation (email@example.com) $847.90 USD using PayPal.
- This credit card transaction will appear on your bill as "PAYPAL *OLPCFOUNDAT".
- Transaction ID: *******
- Item Price: $798.00 USD
- Total Shipping: 49.90 USD
- Total: $847.90 USD
- Order Description: G1G1 program donation
- It may take a few moments for this transaction to appear in the Recent Activity list on your Account Overview.
- Business: OLPC Foundation
- Contact E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shipping Info: <my address>
- Shipping Method: Standard Shipping
- If you have questions about the shipping and tracking of your purchased item or service, please contact OLPC Foundation at email@example.com.
3. On Thursday, November 15, 2007 I received this e-mail acknowledging my G1G1 contribution. It was sent from "OLPC Customer Care", which is what firstname.lastname@example.org seems to be calling itself.
- Subject Line: Thank You for Donating to One Laptop per Child
- Thank you for participating in the One Laptop per Child "Give One Get One" program. Your donation of $798.00 will bring education and enlightenment to children of the developing world. $200 of each $399 "Give One Get One" Donation is tax-deductible (your donation minus the fair market value of each laptop you receive). With Shipping and Handling, the total charge to your credit card is $847.90.
- As a "Give One Get One" donor, you will receive one of the first XO laptops to be distributed in North America. Laptops will be delivered on a first come, first served basis. While early purchasers have the best chance of receiving their XO laptops in time for the holidays, quantities are limited and we cannot guarantee timing. We will provide you with regular email updates.
- If you have any questions about your donation, please contact OLPC at email@example.com or call 1-800-201-7144. Should your employer wish to match your donation, we are a 501(c)(3) organization and our EIN# is 20-5471780.
- T-Mobile USA is proud to offer you one-year complimentary access to T-Mobile HotSpot in recognition of your support to the One Laptop per Child "Give One Get One" program. As you help children in developing countries stay connected, educated and enlightened, T-Mobile is supporting you! You will receive an email message close to the time that your laptop ships containing instructions on how to begin your complimentary year of T-Mobile HotSpot service. Please refer to http://hotspot.t-mobile.com for additional information on T-Mobile HotSpot Wireless broadband Internet service.
- To find out more about the mission of One Laptop per Child, please visit www.laptop.org. To review "Give One Get One" terms and conditions, please click here <http://laptopgiving.org/en/terms-and-conditions.php> .
- Thanks again for your generous support, and welcome to the One Laptop per Child community!
- Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman, OLPC Foundation
- One Laptop per Child Foundation is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent provided by U.S. law. This receipt is not valid if your donation is refunded for any reason. Additional information about the foundation is available from www.laptop.org or the foundations registration office of your State. / One Laptop per Child / P.O. Box 425087 / Cambridge, MA 02142 / U.S.A.
4. On November 20, 2007, I got an e-mail with the subject line "One week left to Give One Get One" from One Laptop per Child (LaptopGiving@mail.laptopgiving.org).
- You are receiving this email because you signed up for a reminder about One Laptop per Child's "Give One Get One" Program. There is just one week left to participate. For a donation of just $399 ($200 of which is tax-deductible), you will be giving the gift of education to a deserving child in the developing world, and also receiving an XO laptop in recognition of your donation. Once "Give One Get One" ends, the XO laptop will no longer be available to the general public.
- T-Mobile is generously offering everyone who participates in "Give One Get One" one year of complimentary access to T-Mobile HotSpot broadband Internet service, available at more than 8,500 locations throughout the United States. This complimentary year of service is valued at over $350! Just use any Wi-Fi enabled device, such as the XO, your laptop computer, or a Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone, and you can connect and communicate your way. Find out more at www.laptopgiving.org/en/t-mobile-hotspot.php .
- To donate, or to find out more about the XO laptop, please visit www.laptopgiving.org. You can also donate by calling toll-free 1-877-70-LAPTOP (1-877-705-2786). We hope you'll join us in our mission to bring education and connection to children in even the most remote regions of the globe.
- Thank you.
- If you have already participated in Give One Get One, thank you very much for your donation. / One Laptop per Child / PO Box 425087 / Cambridge, MA 02142
- You have received this email because you requested a reminder from One Laptop per Child. If you no longer wish to receive emails from One Laptop per Child, unsubscribe here.
So, I would have thought that since I got this e-mail, I ought to have gotten the first tickler e-mail. But no worries.
5. On or before 11/28/07, many other early G1G1 participants received a "first day donor" e-mail, but I did not. Interesting but not troubling.
6. It was at first asserted that when the G1G1 laptops ship, UPS will send tracking information to donors by e-mail.
7. My two XO laptops arrived on Wednesday, December 19, 2007, in good condition. Both were shipped in one box by FedEx.
8. Late on Thursday, December 20, OLPC Customer Care [firstname.lastname@example.org] sent me this e-mail: Subject: Coming soon: Your XO laptop
- Your XO laptop is on its way.
- We're happy to inform you that your XO laptop has shipped. In order to help you get the most out of your experience with the XO and One Laptop per Child (OLPC), here are some important links. Please save this email for reference.
- To find out everything you need to know to get started with your XO laptop, please click here <http://www.laptopgiving.org/start> or visit www.laptopgiving.org/start.
- Your order reference number: 70000xxxxx
- You can track your shipment on the FedEx web site http://www.fedex.com/Tracking
- Your FedEx tracking number: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- If your laptop is a gift for a child, click here <http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/gift-cards.php> to download a gift card that explains that a child in the developing world will receive an XO laptop, too, as part of this program. For Terms and Conditions of the Give One Get One initiative, click here http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/terms-and-conditions.php>. To learn more about T-Mobile USA's offer to provide one year of complimentary access to T-Mobile HotSpot, click here <http://184.108.40.206/get_ref.html> . Please note that to activate this offer, you will need to enter your Give One Get One order reference number: 70000xxxxxxx.
- From all of us at OLPC, thank you for your participation in Give One Get One. Your gift will help give children around the globe amazing, new opportunities to grow, explore, learn and express themselves. We hope you enjoy your XO laptop!
- OLPC Foundation / P.O. Box 425087 / Cambridge, MA 02142
I really like the printable gift cards. One version is written for use if your laptops won't arrive Christmas. The main one includes a keyed map to the G1G1 recipient countries. Here's what it says:
- Meet your new XO laptop.
- Because someone who cares about you donated to One Laptop per Child, you are now bringing learning and connection to children all over the world. One of the same laptops you are receiving today will soon be in the hands of a child in Rwanda, Haiti, Cambodia, Mongolia, or Afghanistan. As you explore the XO and discover all the amazing things it can do, that child will be doing the same thing.
- There is a lot to learn about the XO, the children receiving them, and the One Laptop per Child community at www.laptopgiving.org. For more information about One Laptop per Child, visit www.laptop.org.
- Happy Holidays!
On December 22, 2007, OLPC Customer Care sent an e-mail with the subject "Thank You and Welcome to the OLPC Community!". The body follows:
- Dear OLPC Donor,
- Thank you for participating in our Give One Get One program. Thanks to your generosity, thousands of XO laptops will be delivered in early 2008 to children in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Haiti, Mongolia and Rwanda.
- You have either received or will be receiving your XO laptop. In order to help you get the most out of your experience with the XO and One Laptop per Child (OLPC), here are some important links. Please save this email for reference.
- To find out everything you need to know to get started with your XO laptop, click here <http://rm.resultsmail.com/route.cfm?mid=4f0d5054-334a-4155-bb55-b855113877d2&uid=89f65729-79b2-4cd9-90bb-dc991d11e4b4&route=http%3A%2F%2Frm%2Eresultsmail%2Ecom%2Froute%2Ecfm%3Fmid%3Dc55f8485%2D7a92%2D47ee%2D850d%2Da61b5139241b%26uid%3Dd29e4a4e%2Df5bb%2D48ae%2Dabd1%2D21f7dafcb16b%26route%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Elaptopgiving%252Eorg%252Fstart> or visit www.laptopgiving.org/start <http://rm.resultsmail.com/route.cfm?mid=4f0d5054-334a-4155-bb55-b855113877d2&uid=89f65729-79b2-4cd9-90bb-dc991d11e4b4&route=http%3A%2F%2Frm%2Eresultsmail%2Ecom%2Froute%2Ecfm%3Fmid%3Dc55f8485%2D7a92%2D47ee%2D850d%2Da61b5139241b%26uid%3Dd29e4a4e%2Df5bb%2D48ae%2Dabd1%2D21f7dafcb16b%26route%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Elaptopgiving%252Eorg%252Fstart>
- Your Order Reference Number is: 70000xxxxx
- You can track your shipment on the FedEx web site http://www.fedex.com/Tracking <http://rm.resultsmail.com/route.cfm?mid=4f0d5054-334a-4155-bb55-b855113877d2&uid=89f65729-79b2-4cd9-90bb-dc991d11e4b4&route=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Efedex%2Ecom%2FTracking>
- Your FedEx Tracking Number is: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- If your laptop is a gift for a child, click here <http://rm.resultsmail.com/route.cfm?mid=4f0d5054-334a-4155-bb55-b855113877d2&uid=89f65729-79b2-4cd9-90bb-dc991d11e4b4&route=http%3A%2F%2Frm%2Eresultsmail%2Ecom%2Froute%2Ecfm%3Fmid%3Dc55f8485%2D7a92%2D47ee%2D850d%2Da61b5139241b%26uid%3Dd29e4a4e%2Df5bb%2D48ae%2Dabd1%2D21f7dafcb16b%26route%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Elaptopgiving%252Eorg%252Fen%252Fgift%252Dcards%252Ephp> to download a gift card that explains that a child in the developing world will receive an XO laptop, too, as part of this program.
- For Terms and Conditions of the Give One Get One initiative, click here <http://rm.resultsmail.com/route.cfm?mid=4f0d5054-334a-4155-bb55-b855113877d2&uid=89f65729-79b2-4cd9-90bb-dc991d11e4b4&route=http%3A%2F%2Frm%2Eresultsmail%2Ecom%2Froute%2Ecfm%3Fmid%3Dc55f8485%2D7a92%2D47ee%2D850d%2Da61b5139241b%26uid%3Dd29e4a4e%2Df5bb%2D48ae%2Dabd1%2D21f7dafcb16b%26route%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww%252Elaptopgiving%252Eorg%252Fen%252Fterms%252Dand%252Dconditions%252Ephp>
- To learn more about T-Mobile USA's offer to provide one year of complimentary access to T-Mobile HotSpot, click here <http://rm.resultsmail.com/route.cfm?mid=4f0d5054-334a-4155-bb55-b855113877d2&uid=89f65729-79b2-4cd9-90bb-dc991d11e4b4&route=http%3A%2F%2Frm%2Eresultsmail%2Ecom%2Froute%2Ecfm%3Fmid%3Dc55f8485%2D7a92%2D47ee%2D850d%2Da61b5139241b%26uid%3Dd29e4a4e%2Df5bb%2D48ae%2Dabd1%2D21f7dafcb16b%26route%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252F64%252E34%252E176%252E239%252Fget%255Fref%252Ehtml> Please note that to activate this offer, you will need to enter your Give One Get One order reference number: 70000xxxxx and the email address you used when your placed your order.
- From all of us at OLPC, thanks again for your participation in Give One Get One. Your gift will help give children around the globe amazing, new opportunities to grow, explore, learn and express themselves. Enjoy your XO laptop! / OLPC Foundation / P.O. Box 425087 / Cambridge, MA 02142
A very noisy e-mail for those of us who read e-mails in plain text.
G1G1 Sales Volume
The Give One, Get One program has been extended to December 31, 2007.
According to an 11/24/07 Wall Street Journal article ( currently found here, though this may be an expiring link), "Mr. Negroponte says there were about 45,000 two-laptop orders in the first nine days, with nearly half coming on the first day." That means 90,000.
In this informative post, CNET"s "Between the Lines" blogger Larry Dignan says that in the first two weeks of G1G1 "OLPC has sold roughly 140,000 units. In other words, 70,000 units would go to developing nations" and 70,000 to G1G1 participants in North America. Dignan predicts 245,000 G1G1 orders by the end of the year (490,000 units)
Discussing an 11/19 phone conversation with a donor services supervisor, one G1G1 participant reports here that "She also told me that the response to the G1G1 has been incredible."
A poster on an external website just shared an e-mail he received from OLPC donor services:
- Dear ____:
- We are currently producing laptops as they are requested. The first phase is expected to ship out just prior to the Holiday's (mid December). The following ship times can range up to 4 months. We will be using UPS as our shipping carrier.
- No Solar Panel will be sent with the laptops, this item is not yet available but should be within the next 12 months. All the laptops will come with an AC Adapter. It will also come with 2 more power sources it can either be a foot pedal, pull cord, or a crank. At this time we are not able to inform our donors which one their laptop will have.
- Thank you for your interest in One Laptop Per Child.
- OLPC Donor Services