XOs will be given to people in the USA & Canada (not including Mexico & non-USA Carribean islands as sometimes reported) who donate $400 during a short period in November 2007.
See also: Retail, Pricing Models, Market FAQ
Availability outside the U.S.
There's no definitive answer at the moment as to whether non-North Americans may take part in this. There are rumours on this site saying that it is restricted to the USA & Canada and that this is due to concerns about supply, or legal complications in exporting.
However, the OLPC official site, and FAQ, give no clear answer on this issue. This has led to resentment among many, particularly in Europe, Australia and East Asia, who suspect that the heads of OLPC simply forgot about the world outside of the USA & Canada (e.g: "What about Europe", "The Theory"). -- 184.108.40.206 19:16, 2 November 2007
- I think this is speculation. The front page of the XO Giving site explicitly says "Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time in North America."... I think that fairly eliminates the possibility of it being available elsewhere during that time. And I think it's unlikely that the "heads of OLPC forgot about the world outside", considering that that is where their primary market is. You have given two other possible reasons for the restriction; why make up a new, malicious one? —Joe 17:35, 2 November 2007 (EDT)
Charging an OLPC in Europe
Does anyone know if an OLPC can run/be charged from European mains? The European electricity grid delivers 220 volts at 50 cycles (somewhat different from the American system). — Ronan Murphy 22nd November 2007
- Yes, I've tested it does in Portugal.HoboPrimate 12:00, 22 November 2007 (EST)
- Works okay at 240V AC 50Hz in Australia. --Quozl 18:02, 22 November 2007 (EST)
- Works in the UK :-)
- Power plug from XO from G1G1 states INPUT-100-240V~0.8A 50-60Hz, OUTPUT-12V~1.42A. I put a Germany plug adapter (two circles) on the American plug and it charges with no problem.
- Works in The Netherlands too! Works even better at the EUR :D
Similar retail products
Other similar products exist or are planned, and competition would likely to keep the price down even in first world markets.
The product most likely to be compared to OLPC (but is 50% more expensive) is Intel's Classmate PC. A computer based on Intel's design, is now being sold in Europe and some Asian countries. The ASUS eee PC is a smaller than normal laptop, with flash-drive instead of a hard drive, and a smaller than normal LCD screen to conserve battery power. It also runs Linux as its standard OS.
India has plans for a OLPC competitor currently pegged at $47.
Another is mobile computer that could compete with a commercial OLPC-based laptop (and is currently available) is the PepperPad (version 3) (AMD Geode x86, camera, and portable). It also adds blue tooth, so you can connect to your cell phone for Internet access. Of course, priced at $620 it is significantly more expensive.
Or make your own. Although most people don't have access to the very cheap hardware that make the OLPC laptops so enticing, the software is already available and can be run on many current computers. You can start by running a low-power Linux environment. Then test the Sugar software releases or develop additions. Take a look at the development systems that people are talking about if you want to use the applications. Don't let the lack of a unit keep you from helping, getting something, or emulating.
--220.127.116.11 00:15, 21 May 2007 (EDT)
MAKE THEM AVAILABLE!!
The competition is coming. Intel has announced a reference design similar to the OLPC called 'CLassMate'. They expect manufacturers can make such a device for under $400. ASUS is the first manufacturer to bring one of these to the market.
There is a program that will allow US consumers to buy an XO for themselves if they donate the same amount to give one to a child in countries where governments cannot afford even the current low price of the computer. More information on the Give 1, Get 1 program is available at the OLPC's donation website. Initially orders will only be accepted from customers with US addresses during a two week period in November.
There are rumours that eBay is negotiating with OLPC to set up more extensive consumer sales, or that OLPC will be working with a retail partner to start selling XOs in 2008.
- Absolutely, OLPC making itself a sitting duck and waiting to be swamped by the cavernous competition servers no one, least of all children in developing countries. No matter what happens, becoming a large and profitable organisation will serve everyone better. What good will it do to have created a new market and then sit by and see it consumed by Intel and the like? Get them on sale! Get them in shops, at $200, or $400 or whatever! It'll raise their profile and and benefit consumers in both the first and the third world much more than the current plan of watching it all get eaten up by others!
An Artificial Shortage
The launch plans for the laptops are mainly via the governments of the individual countries involved.
This is creating an artificial shortage for the countries where private sector is the main driving force behind identifying and funding innovative technology to improve the skills of their own people.
I would like to take my own country, South Africa, as an example.
Due to the extreme lack of skilled and computer-literate people, many companies in South Africa have been trying and failing to bring computer training to schools in underprivileged communities.
Currently, the cost of a PC is no less than $400. Forcing distribution to take place through our government effectively renders attempts of the private sector even more futile and impotent.
Even if you do not distribute it to us at a discounted rate, at least make it available to us.
Please consider using a minimum order size, rather than specific organizations, as your barrier to entry.
--Jaco Vosloo 15:52, 3 April 2006 (EDT)
I would like to add my voice to Jaco's above. I would personally be interested in bringing a number of computers to South Africa to distribute in my local community (to start creating a mini mesh), and am sure I can find other individuals or companies to make similar pledges. Please make them available to us. In fact, private individuals should be able to order them for less than what governments pay, so that private sponsorship is encouraged and takes off.
-- Volker Butow
If nothing else, they should be avalible to Non-Governmental Aid Organizations (NGOs) such as CARE and World Vision, that often focus on the same goals as the OLPC program and have their own funding sources. Such orginzations are often better equiped to distribute and monitor educational materials than local governments in developing nations.
As Platform for Telemedicine and Elder care
There are some other potential user that could take advantage of the OLPC, and I do not known if they have been considered. I am thinking about the disabled and the elderly. Why technical aids are so priced? On the one hand, If you could use the OLPC as an stantard platform for the development of technical aids (such as communicators and input peripherals emulators) these could be afordable for most users. On the other hand, telemedicine (or telehealth) products could be developed for supporting different illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and so on. Making the OPLC available to both users and the technical community would contribute to get a new definition of wellness.
-- Joaquin Roca
- You could have a look at Measure and TeleHealth_Module --Arjs 10:56, 24 September 2007 (EDT)
Make it for us, too
There is a constant chorus of voices asking for a version of the OLPC to be sold in the Western world at a higher price with the profits being use to fund the distribution of more OLPCs in the target areas. This could be done by spinning off a separate charitable organization to engage in the manufacture and sale of these devices. Ideally, there would be some small and cheap physical differences as well so that OLPCs from the target area cannot be economically transformed into sellable ones.
I agree with the others you should sell them or make them avaiable to the open public but my reason isn't about how the money they could make could help fund the project. My reason is that you may get a lot of feed back from computer people. If many people waste there time turning the xbox into a linux computer. I'm sure they will have tons of fun with this.
--- Nicholas Fugett, United States, CA
If the purpose of the project is to provide educational access in the most destitute regions of the developing world, or even to provide technology to the most underserved of populations, one would not have to look hard in America to find a community rivaling its African or Asian counterpart. Katrina and other natural disasters gave America a glimpse into so many Africans' daily reality of poverty and hopelessness, and rural America has many communities where poverty is not uncommon.
Charitable organizations and communities need to be given access to this valuable tool which changes children's lives. A public school student in rural Kentucky or Alabama would experience a life change no less miraculous than his Lao or Rwandan counterpart.
--Yitz Jordan, Brooklyn, New York, USA (homepage)
Why has nobody mentioned Baygen? (Commercial name:Freeplay Radio)
I'm editing this page on the morning of 7/7/06, and I'm amazed that to date there is not a comment on this page mentioning the Baygen clockwork radio. There was a revolutionary power technology, harnessed to a powerful educational tool (a radio), distributed entirely for free to third world communities that could use it. And how was this financed? By selling exactly the same thing to people in the first world, at a pretty vastly inflated price. Consider: I can buy an FM radio the size of my thumbnail for $5, or I can pay $100 for something that does the same thing but is the size of a toaster, heavier, and needs winding up... BUT, the latter is a fundamentally cool gadget, it has a charismatic "eccentric" inventor (Trevor Baylis), and when I do buy it I get that priceless fuzzy feeling of doing some good because I know the inflated price is there so that other people who can't afford one will get one too.
I strongly believe that the "$100 laptop" would sell in helpful numbers in the West EVEN IF it was significantly MORE expensive than more powerful "conventional" laptop computers, simply because of the altruism factor. This model has been demonstrated to work by the Baygen radio. Also, I can see their "stripped down" simplicity as a selling point to the significant number of people in the west who consider complexity in their computer to be a hindrance, not a help. Witness the massive success in Japan of the mobile phone that is *just* a mobile phone, not a web browser/mp3 player/camera/personal organiser/pc/videogame console/giant robot.
I agree with the point that "one laptop per child" is a desirable endpoint. One laptop per village would be a start, then one laptop per family. But any given area would have to be deluged with these things FAST to remove the incentive to steal them. They'd need to be as ubiquitous as rocks on the ground, overnight.
Suggested modifications for commercial model
- Commercial version should be without the symbol of OLPC on plastic case, which means OLPC is a symbol for the non-commercial model
- I think it should say "OLPC commercial version" or something of the sort to maintain the attractiveness of getting the same thing.
- Bigger sreen size (e.g. 9"-10")
- I strongly disagree. One of the major attractive features of the laptop to me is its small screen size, which would make it easier to carry around - my current laptop, with a 12" screen, is about twice as large as I'd like it to be, and its screen already goes right to the edge.- GE Wilker
- I strongly disagree as well, strictly because of the engineering effort required. Hardware differences should be restricted to upgrades that can be done without any redesign. That might mean 256 MB RAM, 2 GB flash, and zero dead pixels. Availability of laptops with that type of low-effort upgrade would completely destroy the grey market. Any screen size change (a nice idea IMHO) should be for everybody, starting with the second generation or third generation. AlbertCahalan 20:47, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
- Grey colored case similar to most laptops, or maybe a Baja Blue or Burgundy coloured case, different from most laptops. An interesting webspace with lots about colour is the http://www.pantone.com webspace. Maybe the laptop could be made in a custom Pantone colour. Or even a customer-specified gradient of Pantone colours. With stripes.
- Avoid the bright colours for models sold in first-world countries, that should help to prevent grey market sales of models intended for children in developing countries.
- Keyboard marked for any European language that uses a Latin or Cyrillic script. This is typically done by putting both a Latin and a Cyrillic letter on each key. All accented characters can be supported using dead-key accents, i.e. the keyboard driver requires you to press an accent key, followed by the letter. For example, the keystrokes "'e" produce a single e-acute character. This is the strategy used in MS-Windows US-International keyboard driver.
- Upgraded ram - should have >= 256 mb.
- Flash upgrade to 1 gb - not essential since SD slot was added
- Package it with a power brick. Westerners who want to be off the grid can buy a Freecharge portable charger or their own solar charging kit.
- Unique features on the case identifying it as a commercial model that are very difficult to replicate. Primarily this should be moulded into the lid or inset into the lid with different-colored plastic.
- Include Bluetooth for Mobile Phone internet function.
Just remove the OLPC logo, re-brand it and make a few small differences. I like the laptop and it's colours & design the way they are! --RZ
I agree, that probably was asking for too much (core 2 duo chip, ddr2 ram, hard drive, cell phone, etc.). It would be fine if it was basically the same, just modestly enhanced (such as more flash memory and ram, different color, and a faster processor). I really think it's a very bad idea for this project to not sell these at retail (and use profits to fund more laptops in target countries), or relegate it to the future as a non-essential priority. I think many people would buy these, not just because of activism, but it would be nice to have a very durable, inexpensive computer that can be used for basic needs, like taking notes in classes. Also, even people with expensive, powerful laptops might like a secondary one they can take around. Both because it's designed for durability and if something happens to it, they've just lost $200-$300, not $1500
I love this project but I love this laptop as well - I want to have one :)! But honestly: Thid product is NOT shit (as Mr. Gates states) at all - but high tech: It is a high quality product inbetween a notebook and a PDA and could be something very usefull to anybody in the world. Please consider to develop a slightly diffrent version in adult colors, with a little bit more of memory - flash and/or RAM - or with a little bit faster CPU ... (or whatever), give it a serial number (or even the child versions too, if needed), make it easy distinguishable from the "child" version, and sell it to earn money to give more children the possibility to get an OLPC laptop.
But please consider another thing: What about poor children (or people in general) living in a "rich western" country? They might not be poor compared to people living in a developing country - but could be not rich enough to buy a "normal" laptop anyway - for them such a commercial version of this laptop could help decreasing the digital divide as well.
-- Michal Voigt, Germany
Developing a seperate version other than in relatively superficial ways like case changes would likely bring up prices far too much to be worth it, the focus should be on producing the same cheap product in such a way that the most proffit can be garnered through the same process, said proffit could then be passed on to the countries. -- Tiak
And the whole thing runs off the static energy delivered by stroking the plastic shell with a piece of woolen cloth. sure ....
I've been playing with a XO-1 G1G1 - I added a 20gB HDD (Adaptec), Tk/Tcl for the IDLE Python, VTCL, and Tkcon development environments. I also added a web server with CGI (tcl) and it actually works (not in Sugar - in Xterm). The XO-1 is almost as powerful as a TiVO as a development and server platform:-) What I have done is complete misuse of the XO-1 platform!! I just wanted to know if it could be done.
I got a refurbished IBM Thinkpad (titanium composite T41 with 802.11b) for the same price as the G1G1. It runs FC-7, just as the XO-1 does; but with the full Gnome desktop, OpenOffice.org, and KDE games. All the power management functions work. It shouldn't be that difficult to place a Sugar UI on it; but, then to what end? The XO-1 and the XS servers do what they are supposed to - as is. What needs to be added is additional appropriate tools (oops, sorry -- activities) not more energy wasting hardware --- Bruce vanNorman, Seattle WA USA
- Make better protection agains the water. After OLPC exposed to ligth rain the water kept in the keyboard bottom compartment causing corrosion of the mouse PCB. Use conformal coating of this PCB.
The $300 pledgebank sign-up
A price point that is often mentioned is $300. There was a sign-up page at pledgebank.com where you could pledge to purchase the olpc laptop for $300 US, with the understanding that the additional money will fund machines for the third world. This has now expired far short of its goal. More information is available on the Retail page.
Sell them! Make them a symbol of global activism
I suggest that the decision not to sell these to the general public be reconsidered. Sales of these laptops could help fund their global (charitable) distribution. For a purchase price of $200, consumers would actually be buying two computers - one to own/use and one for a needy child somewhere in the world. Among first world consumers, these laptops could become quite popular as a meaningful symbol of global activism. Widespread usage of the devices would, in turn, fuel innovation, enhance infrastructure and make the devices that much more useful to the global community for which they were originally intended.
-- suggested by Don Ferris, San Diego, CA
In the UK there are many families who could use a basic machine capable of (alas) Word compatible wordprocessing and Web access. I'd pay a factor of three to four for a machine like this on a sponsorship basis, provided I knew the surplus was providing screens in target countries.
I think that the only way of avoiding a violent "black market" for olpc laptops is to saturate the market quickly, at least within each region. The trick is to lower the perceived value to a point where it is not worth stealing them.
-- Simon Vogt, UK
I think Simon has hit the nail on the head. If you don't make them avaialable to non 3rd world conmsumers, then you may end up undermining the program - rich westerners could simply offer cash money - possibly less than the cost price - since the owner probably won't have paid for it - and quite possibly gain themselves an OLPCC.
I mean you offer some one the opportunity to feed their family for a week or two or more or say to buy warm clothes or medicine by selling their OLPC and I think a number might take that offer up. And who can blame them?
Sure that's short term thinking, but I suspect it is probably kind of hard to keep a long term perspective when you are starving, cold or sick and the solution to your problem is selling your (or maybe even your child's) OLPC.
Or as Simon alludes, the local gang simply knicks them off the local kids and pops them on ebay.
On the other hand we western gadget geeks would probably prefer a new one if we can over a grubbby second hadn one so we would probalby be happy to pay full price rather than buy a cheap black market one.
Even better offer us a slightly up specced version fo r more money and there is no way we will want a basic OLPC.
-- Jason Au
Buy One, Give One Free
Before getting too excited about this idea, it is best to read the Retail page to understand why this is happening for 12 days in November 2007. Also, read this article.
This section is largely historical now that the OLPC is running a trial of Give 1, Get 1.
When a first-world consumer buys a laptop, they buy one for a third-worlder and they become ePen/eMail pals.
"Today the OLPC program has laid down the framework for the assurance of it's success, the team led by Nicholas Negroponte have created a plan for all companies which are not currently involved in the OLPC project to get some 'street credentials' in their local community and for the Developing World to be assured of a ready supply of these Mean Machines. The launch of the Buy one, Give one Free program is simple, Companies to invest in the education of children in the local communities each company buys units of educational laptops at $200 a piece, in bundles of 1,000-10,000, for each laptop they buy to invest in the education of their local community of children a further laptop is sent to a developing country to be used by that child's future laptop buddy or email friend, a child in a developing nation who will hopefully get equal benefit from the use of this education device.
Buy One, Get One Free will be coming soon, do the companies in your local area care enough about educating the community in which they are based, lets find out. Companies complain about vandalism and Graffiti and a lack of community spirit when it comes to theft, well here is a chance to create some real community relations, permanently!"
I came here to submit exactly this idea. Pay two, get one!
I feel it is important that the OLPC hardware is freely available on the market at low price. If not there will immediately a black market being established, where the hardware is sold at much more than 200$.
The OLPC Laptop can be more than consumer electronics. It serves very well as client device for distributed applications even in large companies or public institutions. I were proud to deliver those applications to my customers.
-- Dominik Dahl, Tunisia
I could easily see buying one at $200 with the knowledge that I was also buying another for a child elsewhere. I think that to really give the program a chance a rollout within the poor in the U.S./Europe would give a big boost in cost reduction (more laptops less cost) and it would provide for greater addoption and awareness.
--Nick Acks, Baltimore, MD
Agree with all posters above. Demand for the laptop in affluent parts of the world will be huge too, because, lets face it, we are addicted to gadgets, and this is the coolest one to come along since the powerbook. This demand is a double edged sword though. Buy 2 (or more! I'd pay $300+ for this) get 1 is a great concept, but what if demand from the affluent outstrips supply? the "black" (I prefer the word open - the first world have been trying to smash the concept of democracy/free trade into the heads of the third world for centuries now, they can't rightly turn around and complain, using the sinister term "black" market when the third world finally does exactly what they have been suggesting all this time) market scenario is, unfortunately, a highly plausible one. On the other hand, a larger user base of developers would mature the software platform faster, and if the laptop does eventually get connected to backbone "in the wild" instead of just a local ad hoc network, knowledge transfer can happen in a more open way.
-- Ben Tobias, Australia
The $200 dollar open market version idea is fantastic. These special laptops could be produced in limited numbers so as not to produce too big of a demand on the manufacturers. At that price it would be an impulse buy, especially for us techies and poor college students. I would probably open the thing up and mod the heck out of it.
-- Ulysses Rodrigues, United States, Ca
I would like to add a little tweak to the above - target the initial $200 laptop at NGOs. When an NGO (especially an educational NGO, but not limited to those) goes into an area the laptops will be cost effective enough for them to supply all of their staff with the units, and have an equal number (or more) to distribute to local kids. This has the added benefit of doubling the numbers of laptops in an area, thus increasing the size of the local network. At $200 the units are cheap enough that some NGOs could reasonably leave them behind if their project ended. Make them laptops available in lots of 10, for the price of 1 mid-range standard laptop.
Imagine an organization like Medicins sans Frontiers equipping all their staff with OLPC units and seeding their areas of operation with the extras. If a mobile clinic was going to be at a village, a network broadcast could be sent to notify local laptops that the clinic was coming, or when new vaccines arrived, or if services at a clinic were going to change.
There are literally thousands of active NGOs working in the areas OLPC is targeting. They provide not just a huge market, but a very effective way to further distribute these laptops and increase their penetration of any given area.
-- Todd Raine, Canada
I just came here to give my opinion about selling and donation together. You can never block off commercial version of OLPC forever since the human being is the animal of desire. The black ways of selling OLPC like making fakes or reselling from poor children etc, are just over there. Those days can come much earier than we expect, actually.
-- Alum Hwang, South Korea
Since also in western country there are large area of poverty the need to access to cheap computer must be granted also in all Europe ,at least for students from poor family,economic and political refugees and so on and in European country as Kosovo, Albania, Croazia, Montenegro, Romania, Hungary.
I would also like to contribute to a Buy one - Give one kind of deal. Ideally, it would be great if you could specify the country - having done voluntary work in Papua New Guinea, I know that it's a country that could well benefit; however, I also know that there's no point in just one child having one, you need enough to have a community. (Much of my work now involves looking at online community development)
--Emma DW, UK
I see that something has gone to benefit the children for once and am currently saving money to assist that cause. If anybody comes across my message, take the XO-1 into consideration. IT will definitely benefit your child. It has benefitted many already.
Don't sell them
Write everywhere in lots of languages: "If you buy or sell this computer or parts
of this computer you will go to jail for 20 years".
On the other hand, finding and punishing a thief in a country loosely governed by competing warlords is not practical at all. The only practical way to prevent a black/grey market of these is to make them available to people who want to buy them.
- How would a loose set of competing warlords get the planning and money needed to get them into the country? I think they are only going to be in the stable poor states.
The laptop should have a serial number. Maybe the mac-address is ok. If the laptop makes a wifi connection it should send this serial numbers. If it is stolen it should be easy to find them again if there is a database with serial numbers of stolen laptops.
Btw. in South East Asia thefts aren't a big problem.
A serial system ist preety nice tool to observe the user of a laptop. And we are speaking about countries like china...
- I know people who will pay $500 for a new 2B1 when they become available regardless of whether the unit is a stolen one. They won't be flashing them around in public so no serial number is going to make a difference. Recorded serial numbers just push the sales of stolen stuff into the black market and that is already where sales of 2B1's will be so there is no net impact.
- There's a problem with privacy. --ElfQrin 10:00, 5 January 2007 (EST)
- I propose that each laptop could have the child's name to whom it is assigned to embedded in the firmware along with the serial number so that if it is stolen the other members of the mesh can disable the laptop and render it useless. ---Gustavo, Chile
They already have serial numbers. The numbers are more commonly recognized as MAC addresses. Bruce vanNorman Seattle, WA USA
Remember that most of the african countries have not yet been involved in the project.
The targeted community is very very far from being basic computer users. Start distributing devices first to those who already know the concept of a computer; students, public administration, companies administration. One Laptop per Child is the final goal, not the first step.
The whole concept need to be seen in the context of how networking and distribution of data is going to be performed. In the poorest countries, the ideas may need to be modified due to limited scope for immediate networking.
The role of charity will be a major driving force in distributing the hardware to the poorest individuals. Small companies and public institutions even in poor countries are capable of buying basic hardware.
For adults, with limited postal service or reliability, a major application of importance would be political and private communications. To provide privacy and delivery certification a publik key infrastructure is required.
In some targeted countries authority wants to read, manipulate or intercept any communication. A policy is needed to cooperate with such authorities: Either not introduce means of communications in these areas or provide authorities with read/write access to all communications.
There will immedately established a black market where OLPC devices are sold. That means these devices will be valuable, even if they are given for free.
Consequences are: widespread corruptions, laptops illegaly sold by schools to parents, laptops sold by parents. People express their "rights" to sell what is "given" to them. And the worst: Children robbed or otherwise forced to hand over the hardware.
Think about the consequences, when providing value to the weakest.
To assure the flawless implementation of this project first eliminate black market by establishing a legal market. Enforcements about buying/ownership or that only those appropriate could carry/operate will be overcome by criminals.
-- This is an edit of an original post of user Ma -- http://wiki.laptop.org/wiki/User:Ma -- see the link for original post.
This project is too cool to ignore capitalism
The OLPC laptop is a first rate techno gadget and I want one, every geek on the block will, and not just the famed "$100" but the duel-use screen, the crank power. The project needs to face the fact that we constitute market demand, and third world kids "losing" their laptops and ending up with $200US to feed their familes constitutes supply. OLPC needs to realize this and that crating a "with OLPC Tax" supply chain is a necessary part of meeting their goal. I am not going to run of to some impoverished nation and bribe some kid out of his laptop, but if somone else "aquires" these machines and puts one up on e-bay, I'm bidding.
Terrific idea! I'd buy one for $200 in a minute. If this idea could be more widely floated (Tim O'Reilly, you listening?), I'm sure the response would be very strong.
-- Tim Lynch, NY
Open Source Design
I don't understand why OLPC doesn't want to sell in open markets, and why the manufacturing contract has to be exclusive to specific manufacturer(s). By doing this, OLPC is not unleashing the power of the markets. Such a sound concept as $100 laptop, when complemented by the market, will work exponentially well. I suggest a system where the design is made close to open source, and any manufacturer can use the design, and they can make improvements. However, the manufacturers should agree to submit any design or function improvements to the project, in return for the original design & collect a royalty. Then use it to fund free or subsidized laptops for children of poor countries.
-- Subhas Chilumula, Rutherford, NJ, USA.
Many people love to mod devices such as these, but I don't like spending at minimum of $1000 to get a laptop with a good battery life without fooling around with it. I'm just a hapless college student who doesn't like to have his fancy laptop run out of batteries midway through the third class of the day while he's trying to take notes. A no-frills laptop like this is worth $200-300 to own. The fact that this extra cost is allowing some kid to get a free laptop is a wonderful bonus. If I weren't a poor college student, I'd pay the price I would pay for a good laptop on one of these just for the charity aspect. Considering that I've spent a lot of money on some pretty crappy laptops, I could be persuaded to spend a lot of money on a good laptop if I knew that it was for charity.
--- David Barron, Jacksonille, FL, USA.
Get a refurbished IBM Thinkpad from Tiger Direct, IBM, and other sources. Install FC-7 on it (the XO-1 runs FC-7). Bruce vanNorman Seattle WA USA.
If there is a commercial demand for these units, then Quanta, the manufacturer, should be able to make them for commercial sale as well. The ideal for this would be for a charitable organization to be the reseller of the units with all profits plowed back into putting more units in the hands of kids in countries, like South Africa, where there is no special government deal. This allows the normal capitalist system of charitable organizations to function. The thing is that the OLPC folks need to spin-off this function into a separate organization so as not to distract them from their main goals.
I'd buy one for $200 in a second. Just give it a different coloured case to distinguish it from others.
Child Education is Global
Giving children the tools to educate themselves is a global endeavor -- not only for the very poorest countries and there is no better educational tool than peer support. I live in Canada, and I know that 99% of the families that I went to school with could not afford to buy a computer of this ability for their children.
I am a father of two in Canada and I want my children to have access to this technology. I would love them to be able to communicate with other children in their school and other parts of the world... all parts of the world. I don't care if it comes through their schools, through a retail outlet or though a website I put my visa information into but I do care if I can't provide them to my children simply because I live in Canada.
Being a software developer I'd also be interested in developing community software for them that would allow the children to share their ideas and work... but I'm waiting to see if the program meets my own moral standard in terms of being a truly global tool before I put thousands of hours of work into it.
--Brill 22:21, 26 August 2006 (EDT)
Brill, I am a software developer from Switzerland with two kids, and agree with you - my kids won't get a laptop simply because I live in Switzerland. I cannot blame OLPC - but OLPC should know that our government or the public will never join the OLPC project (the average Swiss is so superior - he does not need that! Or only with extra luxury addons).
I would buy OLPC's readily, but the only change, extra, upgrade or improvement I could accept to the original hardware would be a price premium - I would be willing to pay say 30% more. I suspect that modifications would be badly supported (e.g. lack of power management in some driver for extra jardware, killing the battery) and decrease the utility. After all, we are speaking of a small market - support would be too expensive.
- Upgrades of simple commodity parts should not be harmful. RAM and flash could be bigger; these do not require drivers and do not require much power. The displays could be selected to be free of dead pixels. A laptop without such upgrades will only wound the grey market, not kill it. AlbertCahalan 20:54, 16 March 2007 (EDT)
I cannot see how people want to improve the standard by adding to it (thus destroying it).
Sponsoring Child in Africa - Allow individuals to buy
My family sponsors a child in Africa and we adopted a child from China. We would welcome the opportunity to buy one of these laptops for our sponsored child as well as buy several for the chinese orphanages. I would think many other families either directly or indirectly would be willing to pay the cost and shipping to have these units sent out to specific people in need. Please consider the request to allow individuals the opportunity to purchae these systems for people in need.
--Matic4 21:19, 20 December 2006 (EST)
YES! Our church goes to villages in Central America every year and I would love to purchase 10 of these computers myself (through our Church organization if required). We could ship them and install them ourselves. What an opportunity for us!
I sponsored a child through World Vision as well. I want her to have an XO laptop. I send a request to World Vision. So far, their reaction is less than ethusiatic. They don't want kid to have laptop. Is it wrong?
I would like 3 for my kids
I don't really care what they cost (ok I would start to care a bit if they got much over $1000) these look like excellent laptops which are designed for children. They are better for children than a regular laptop. They are designed from the ground up to be educational. They are streets ahead of all the clamshell speak-n-spell type toys. There is certainly a retail first world market for these, and they don't need to be cheap. The folks who want one as a cheap laptop for a grown-up don't appreciate the size of the keyboard I think. I think it would be fairly easy to get sponsorship from parents to kit out all the kids at our local school with laptops. They seem much more useful than all the interactive whiteboards which the school has at the moment (about $10,000 per classroom - cost of 100 XOs at $100 per unit)
I want one for my two year old
This is a great learning opportunity for my son. I would love to get one for him and would love to sponsor... get this... children in my own city!!! i live in an urban are where chldren do not get the educational support they need to be successful. Mediocrity is rewarded and functional illiteracy is allowed to progress. I would be willing to sponsor one or two children within my city EACH YEAR. Please consider working with educationally derprived children in the US.
For those "I want one for my kid..."
There are lots of low-end PCs covered in dust in your closets. Make them run, install a free linux distro (like Edubuntu), buy some cheap LCDs and you have a learning tool.
Total cost: >200$ + a few hours.
The OLPC machine's ruggedness and child friendly size make it very attractive as a child's machine. I have a three year old and I have been down the dust off an old portable route - disaster !
My 2 1/2 year old loves to play with grown-up computers, especially laptops. He also broke a key off my MacBook by accident, and he routinely stabs his greasy little fingers into its glossy screen. He just doesn't understand what "expensive and delicate" means! His older cousins are only a little better about that. Ruggedness is essential for a child's machine. I'm not sure that an old laptop would survive very long. -- Bouncey
What about non-governmental schools?
I think it would be a great idea to make the give 1 get 1 program permanent for non-governmental educators. In the USA many children go to private schools or are home schooled, for a variety of reasons. These private schools and home schoolers are a very large potential market for OLPC devices. But because private school administrators and homeschooling parents aren't any of those fabled mysterious "ministers of education" that we keep hearing about, they will have no opportunity to provide these tools to their students after the 2 week window for G1G1. Please give this some thought...
Regarding the "just use linux" response: True, that could work. Sounds fun to me. But many home schoolers aren't that technically inclined! They need something that simply works without a lot of maintenance. Just like at any other school. Also, currently available "cheap LCDs" cost roughly the same as a complete XO unit. After figuring in what it would take to fix up and maintain old PC hardware with that LCD monitor, buying a real XO would make more effective use of money and time. Even including the "give one" cost.
--- XO is powered by a large group of volunteers. so "just use Linux" with an equally large group of volunteers should work just fine :-) Look at the ASUS EEEEEEeeeeePC. It comes preloaded with Linux and is much more powerful. Costs about the same as a G1G1. Where the XO and XS machines get their umph is from their open & sharing environment. They are kid amplifiers. I wonder how many XO-1's have to be interlinked in real time before "emergence" happens? 10, 20, 40? --- Bruce vanNorman Seattle WA USA
I don't know Sugar, but many Linux-based operating systems now do
"simply work". You certainly don't have to be technically inclined to use Ubuntu! —Toby Bartels