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Who articulated this "need"? The local communities or the MIT?

Please provide details on the quantity and conditions under which chiefs, local leaders and/or community decision makers expressed the need for such a laptop. Additional details on the consultations, focus groups and design meetings that must have occurred world-wide are are also welcomed.

The Peace Corps has for a number of years encouraged volunteers to take laptops and leave them behind. They leave those laptops with technically inquisitive individuals. This program has shown a good bit of promise, despite infrastructure shortcoming in many host nations. *Peace corps distributes laptops *Every single problem is solved with education -Jeff 21:39, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Thanks Jeff, I understand many countries and organizations in the north have a long history of "leaving behind" goods because they assume "poor" people need them. However, I am afraid this does not answer my question. There are two ways in which the answer is misleading:

1. The peace corps article talks about what seems to be a very focused project (GLOBE) involving particular schools in a particular community within a local program for a particular purpose. Thus, it is more likely that local user groups were directly involved in its deployment. The OLPC project does not seem to share these qualities. So I don't think the Guinea's GLOBE project justifies OLPC at all. Also, the second link has no information that may help to answer the question... perhaps you posted the wrong link?
2. When compared to a "leaving behind" philosophy, the OLPC may be considered a "top-down" approach to aid. There is a long history of costly "interventions" with only marginal gains related to this paradigm. I was assuming the OLPC was aware of one the most important lessons learned in the las century regarding aid and international development: that top-down approaches rarely have long lasting effects in developing the capacity of the host country and, in many cases, they even help exacerbate the local processes of exploitation. The OLPC project goes a long way in ensuring that children will truly own the technology they are given by using open-source software, but it seems to have failed to take into account the needs as expressed by the local user groups.

In conclusion, from your answer, I can only assume that:

1. No local chiefs, leaders of community representatives were consulted and,
2. No focus groups and/or design meetings took place with local user groups.

is this correct?

Look, the OLPC has a vision. You can argue the vision, thump your chest, demand study groups and research, and provide negative opinions. I don't know about these meetings you are concerned about, I'm not an official OLPC representative (and they probably won't rise to the bait you offer). Your questions seem focused towards discrediting OLPC rather than providing positive guidance. In my experience, consulting potential system users is a mixed bag. While users can articulate how things work, they often can not envision or articulate how things could work differently. If you want to help OLPC, create an account on the wiki and we can discuss your concerns on discussion pages. I'm just one man who would like to see OLPC suceed. -Jeff 11:12, 13 March 2007 (EDT)

Jeff, I am sorry if my questions made you think that I am "focused on discrediting the OLPC rather than providing positive guidance". Please accept my apologies, I tried to frame my questions/comments clearly so there would be no space for misunderstandings. I am not demanding any study groups and/or research, nor offering any bait (regarding thumping your chest, I don't know what you mean). I simply asked if these studies existed and commented on the related historical lessons learned in the field of international development. I also understand official OLPC representatives have better things to do than responding to anonymous criticism, so thank you for the time you have spent responding to mine. I still hope it may be considered constructive.

That said, I will comment on just one of the many examples of "my concerns" with top-down approaches. The following link provides some general information:

The following paragraph is particularly interesting:

The 1980s were designated the International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade by the United Nations. Despite the efforts of this campaign, however, in many countries more than half the rural populations are without adequate water supply access and sanitation. Many of the failures can be explained by weaknesses in the design and implementation of projects, as evidenced by many abandoned water and wastewater treatment plants. Such weaknesses often stem from a lack of maintenance caused by failures in equipment or training. A widespread lack of community participation in projects also helps explain failures.

I have experience from one of such projects in Haiti: a group of highly qualified engineers was hired to design a local water distribution system for a small farming community. Before then, people had to walk for hours to a nearby river and walk back home with their buckets filled. The facility built for them included different levels with water tanks of varying qualities to fulfill a variety of needs: human drinking water, animal drinking water and water for farming. The design was phenomenal and very promising. However, a few months after its construction, evaluation documents reported that people were not using the facilities. Moreover, they were significantly run down, taps had been knocked out of place, and because of that, the tanks had been emptied. When asked about these findings, local farmers mentioned the design was completely incompatible with their practices. They had to knock off the taps because otherwise they could not let their animals drink by themselves. They were also more used to running water, rather than stationary water, so it didn't make sense to them to keep the water in the tanks. Women stated they preferred walking to the river because it was the only opportunity they had in the day to talk to each other and exchange recipes.

Another View You seem like a person that has a lot of interest and knowledge about Developing Nations! Part of the many issues of sustainability is progress. Just 10 years ago think of all the tribal leaders that shunned the 40E program for TB of years before and other vaccination program as saying, “This was no good.” But today the world is changing, many things that years ago people did not think they needed they have come to rely upon greatly! I guess computers are part of the world and there those that believe that this part of progress could be useful to those local Chieftains and Clan leaders too. I personally think this will be good for the world in general. You never know one of the future inventors of something important or useful might be the little one lappy olpc laptop child of today!

Before or after the fact?

Which of the targeted regions/communities did the design team engaged with BEFORE starting the project? How long did consultations last BEFORE a single design sketch was made? Please provide details.

Is it easier to promote "aid" when children are involved?

How many children from the targeted regions/communities were consulted PRIOR to the design of this tool? How many of them continue to actively participate in the process? I presume MIT researchers are aware that not all children in the world are equal, just as no individual in the world is. Thus, I assume you were humble enough to ask a few dozen non-US kids if they thought the "idea" would fly, perhaps you went as far as asking for their advice? Please provide details.

A broad Answer Since several people have asked similar questions one answer could be that's why the governments of each nation have to decide. Because there is always criticism in the business of aid and sustainability programs here was where the OLPC sponsors did not want to deal with this type of burden baring. The computers from what I have heard are an excellent value for the money , as inexpensive as they could be produced for. They are much more than a toy and they are designed for certain types of nations to deliver a forum to that nations children at risk that might never get a chance ever in their lives to own a computer. The local and national community can contribute to the laptops internet as each nation allows. I guess since people did buy the lap top as leaders of their nations, they thought it was a good idea having a lot more facts. From what I have heard many more nations want to buy them too! So I guess you have to be in that position to decide if this is a good deal for your nations population. By the way what's the name of the nation you are in charge of?

Image about the World Summit in Tunisia, showing Nicholas Negroponte and Kofi Annan when presenting the laptop

Hello, I am writing an article in the german Wikipedia on the "100-Dollar-Laptop" aka "Children's Machine" (link: I would like to add an image showing Nicholas Negroponte and Kofi Annan in Tunisia on the World Summit. Unfortunately on flickr there is no photo, which is compatible zu the gnu-licence. Only Creative Commons 2.5. with the right of commercial use and of course the gnu-licence are allowed to be uploaded in Wikipedia.

Do you have such a picture in your portfolio? Can you upload this picture with compatible licence on Wikipedia?

In my opinion such a picture would have positive impact on OLPC's image. If you google for "Children's Machine" the german Wikipedia-article has the best page rank. You can contact me on the german Wikipedia, search word "Betbuster".

Thanks, Wikipedia user: Betbuster 09:20, 19 December 2006 (EST)

Maximum Altitude Spec

According to the Hardware specification the Maximum altitude: -15m to 3048m (14.7 to 10.1 psia) (operating), -15m to 12192m (14.7 to 4.4 psia) (non-operating... would it be possible to operate (safely) above that altitude? After all, in the Andes (and I'll assume the Himalayas) many people live higher... El Alto 4150m, Potosi 3967m, etc... --Xavi 12:47, 30 November 2006 (EST)

This is a very interesting question. This question may have some answers in a recent article In CNN Money.


--Hunter 09:55, 10 February 2007 (EST)

Usability and User Testing

There is very little public information about requirements gathering, usability and user testing. In other words, how do you know whether the OLPC (i) will meet your users' needs and (ii) is easy enough for them to use? Have the target user groups been characterized? What ongoing plans do you have for this? I`d Like test the OLPC in Argentina, Please contct with me to know how. Thanks.

As far as I know, there are two local groups in Argentina with test boards (don't know if anybody has the 2B1/XO prototypes though). They are Ututo and Tuquito. I know Ututo had some explicit arrangements to let other people use/test the boards. If anybody knows about other groups (or about any local XOs) please let me know (or post in the OLPC Argentina pages. --Xavi 07:23, 6 December 2006 (EST)
There is more to life and education than requirements gathering. Usability and testing are of course important, and on-going. Research is often just trial, error, and adjustment. If you want, you can participate by setting up an emulator and seeing how the software works now. The research is going on now, and you can participate. Exciting, don't you think? -Jeff 21:47, 9 March 2007 (EST)

What about usability testing for children? A recent article quoted the OLPC chairman as saying: "Granted, I'm not a child. I don't know if it's going to be intuitive to children." Was there research?

Deployment Criteria & Metrics

Although these issues are basically 'national' prerogatives, is there anything being done at the OLPC level? In many countries, 1 million laptops will either be too little or too much. All along, before, during and after the deployment they should be able to assess the result of the effort (metrics), be it to keep the course, or change things, or try new things, etc.

We do not believe there is such a thing as too little. In countries where 1 million laptops is too many, we won't be able to do an early deployment, but we do expect that after a few million units are in the field, there will be other organizations who will deploy smaller quantities to smaller countries, such as many island nations. In fact, Libya has announced their intention to buy laptops for some poorer African nations.
I think that spanish speaking latin american countries do fit in a gray-zone there; there are many that individually would have to wait for later stages, but together they could probably put something - ie: central american countries.
As far ans metrics are concerned, we take that very seriously both in the design of the laptops and in the whole deployment process. We are constantly measuring, analysing and making course corrections based on the data. We will continue to do so.
Seriousness is good. Transparency too.  :) I've somehow managed to reach the Pilot Projects#Diversity Matrix, which I find a bit shallow and unstructured for my taste, so I'm assuming that more structured guidelines are being thought out, planned and to be published, right? After all, as the proposers of the idea, the performance analysis and other measurements should be your domain of expertise. For example, which population segment is known to make the most out of the laptop experience? Is income considered a (key) factor? People with very-low, low, medium, high, or very-high income are 'all equal' or they somehow 'profit' differently in respect to their original educational levels? Under all circumstances?
I'm well aware that these are mostly unanswered questions (I'm not looking for an answer here) and will be subject to many factors and variables; notwithstanding, what kind of information is being thought as necessary to evaluate or consider? All I'm asking is to be able to see the guidelines - and hopefully a way to collaborate.--Xavi 17:04, 9 December 2006 (EST)

Support for Self-Learners

However, what about those children who cannot attend to schools and have no teachers, which is not uncommon in really poor 3rd world countries? I still cannot imagine how illiterate kids (probably having illiterate parents) teach themselves the usage of the OLPC laptop and moreover teach themselves basic reading, writing and math.

The goal of the project is to provide/propose to governments a laptop that is (financially) cheap enough to be massively distributed to kids while being powerful enough to do all sorts of things. It'll be upto those governments to decide how they'll be deployed, what content will be included (and/or developed), etc. In some target countries schooling is so widespread making your scenario a marginal one (but nevertheless important). In other countries, I agree, things are quite the opposite. An interesting reading is the Learning Vision and its reference to the CREATE project in Costa Rica, where some families moved into a town that had 1:1 computer education just so that their kids would have access to that kind of education. IOW, the population pro-actively flocked to that schooling system.
If you can't imagine how kids can use a computer for learning in the absence of teachers then you need to read about the Hole In The Wall Project in India.


What mechanism olpc is going to adopt to make it accessable for child with physical disabilities? Will there be seperate keyboards for blind with braile? Will there be alternate input methods for child with dysfunctioning hands?

--Ankur Sharma, olpc Nepal

As far as I know, OLPC keybords are standardized for each country's language/s, but not braille. The OLPC has 3 USB ports to which external (braille) keyboards may be connected (quick search and sample result or alternative method). In order to better gauge the dimension of the issue, the World Health Organization (WHO) has some statistics on the incidence of blindness.
I have posted some observations about Dasher as an alternative input method, not only for physical disabilities but general use too. --Xavi 09:45, 21 December 2006 (EST)

Further to the question above, does the OLPC initiative include distributing laptops to children who are currently going through patient care in a hospital setting? And if so do you have links to devices that can allow a child to utilize a laptop from a hospital bed (i.e., wall mounted mechanical laptop ARM)? This is a great initiative!!!

Regards CReid

Technically, it's the governments buying the laptop that will distribute them (not the OLPC), and while I see no difference between a child in a hospital bed or a cabin in the mountains (from a distribution PoV), my guess is that hospitals in these countries have other priorities to allocate their budgets instead of fancy trays (as cool as they might be ;) --Xavi 08:05, 23 January 2007 (EST)

As a representative of an NGO type organization I just recently commented to a UN officer about a similar subject. “Fancy Trays”' are not always at the request of the country or donor agency in general. Part of what makes these items or services that may not at first glance seem functional is the vision of the donor. Just like the water go round in Africa sponsored by Ex US president Bill Clinton and the water see saw in another nation that promotes the washing of your hands. It is not always up to the receiver in what it is they are to receive . There are also many sites that go in-depth about theses issues and the how and why's of the matters. If you are interested in finding out more you can direct searches about: third world programs, world aid and I am sure you can find more information as to why a fancy tray may have been purchased or donated as well as many other interesting things.

I question whether there is some benefit for us or you by getting involved

We are a St. Louis MO based charity doing Health Related activity in many poor parts of the world including Ecuador, Africa, Asia etc. We have recently been asked by Ecuador officials to assist in several different activates, including build schools, clinics, furnish computers etc.(we have a current request for 100 computers that we are trying to fulfill.

Or name is Wings of Hope and you can view our website at to get some idea of what we do and who we do it for, both locally and around the world. We are a volunteer organization with pilots, nurses and support people stationed in many countries in poverty stricken areas. We are non political, non religious based, have no ethnic motivations nor any other motivation based issues except to help people in need.

We furnish air transport service to poor people in the central part of the United States to get them to health care facilities. We set up health clinics in poor areas of the US and we Donate aircraft to many areas of the world to be used as Air Ambulances. The website above will reveal a lot about Wings of Hope activates.

I saw the article in Popular Science about your computers and I just feel there is something that we can offer that will advance your cause. Our relationships appear to be with the kind of folks you are trying to reach. If you feel we can be of any assistance to your efforts, we would like to discuss the issue(s).

Please Contact our Director, MR. Douglas Clements, or,.

Keith Barbero, WOH Board Member

--Hunter 10:45, 28 December 2006 (EST)

From what has been publicly displayed this is mainly a government program that has to have approval from the hosting country to be implemented. Depending on the type of services you are offering this may or may not be a a program that could fit in to your NGO's aim. But if you are intrested from the stand point of ONE LAP TOP FOR EVERY CHILD then you should keep in touch and ask more questions as they come to you. Thanks Hunter

Self-winding generator

Regarding the energy source for the machine - I would love to imagine children walking or running to school or home with their machines swinging along. Since The Crank is out, how about self-winding, through movement? I have a 40-year old watch that does it. Have you thought about using self-winding as some part of the power question? Creators, commence!

This is brilliant! My niece and nephew recently gave me a flashlight that is charged by shaking a weight back and forth through windings where the D cell batteries would go in handle of "normal" flashpoint. It is very low power LED bulb but the accumulated energy could be significant. Something similar but maybe with steel balls to roll around a racetrack or arc designed for ergonomic motions in a couple of different walking "games" would charge the power storage all the way home or to school! We need to find an ergonomics specialist to help (and maybe a child pyschologist or game specialist) and an electrical engineer to design the circuits for the generator ..... maybe we could find some soon at Wikiversity? ... or we could track down someone knowledgeable from the power summit recently held. Power summit for One Laptop Per Child project[2] .... I am not sure how to proceed. I am currently trying to get a pedagogy project going I do not have time for this but the kids need power to access the internet and get to Wikiversity. 8( Maybe someone will pick your idea up. It is a really good one. Mirwin 13:59, 11 February 2007 (EST)

Contribution towards Programming


I am really interested in contributing towards the programming efforts in linux kernel and python. Please let me know how shall I proceed and start contributing towards it?

Suresh, Bangalore, India.

Suresh, check this page "Getting involved in OLPC" and this page"OLPC Python Environment" -Jeff


How does a computer science professional contact OPLC about volunteering their time to help deploy the laptops and train new users? Is there an affliation with GeekCorps?

See the section about Ask OLPC a Question about Distribution#Training & Capacity Building... but in general, that is upto the deploying countries to decide how it'll work - you should contact that side of the equation (or any organizations they name when the time comes).--Xavi 17:54, 13 January 2007 (EST)

Where can I see an OLPC in the UK?


I'm really interested in the OLPC project, and often add things to the wiki... But I've never actually seen one in real life... How many are there in the UK, and what are the chances of actually viewing one? Maybe you should do a grand tour?!

Well, you can try the alpha software in emulation: Using QEMU on Windows XP. If you run into problems, you'll have to research and learn. --Jeff 27 Feb 2007

What about American Senior Citizens?

Why are American Senior Citizens being excluded from this very worthwhile project? As a computer-literate senior citizen I have found that most wives (mine included) in the senior age category will be computer-helpless when they become widowed. Please, puhleeeeze consider opening the OLPC program to American seniors who have been left behind in the current computer obsessed world. Thanx, M. Zipes, Poughkeepsie, NY (Moved question originally posted by in Image talk:Contentatlaptop.png.

Uh? Not only this question was out of place, but also, dare say, conceptually. OLPC = One Laptop Per CHILD. In the best of worlds, it would be One Laptop Per CITIZEN—regardless of nationality, age, etc. but it's not the case. Children are the priority, and in developing countries.
A more congenial answer would be to point you to OLPC4USA and ask you to lobby your government with them.--Xavi 09:59, 2 January 2007 (EST)

there are classes available almost anywhere in the US for any adult, and specifically seniors, to take. in addition, US seniors, as a group, are the wealthiest people on the planet. your wife has a computer in the house and does not learn. puhleeeeze think of others who do not have the resources and try to help them. dee pearson

-- I think that there are some related questions for Seniors where at least referals to other organizations or resources would be useful. There are a lot of seniors out there that are afflicted with alzheimers or other dementia that have earlier been used to using computers, even if only playing games such as solitaire. When they get into this state, finding almost anything to help keep their mind occupied and exercised is a blessing. Trying to get them to learn to do anything different than what they are used to doing is a challenge, even if very simple, so something like this device dedicated to being used for one software app they've used in the past would be ideal.

It's hard to justify spending top dollar for a computer this day and age that isn't designed for simplicity of doing single, simple programs designed more for exercising one's aging brain, than to help encourage kids to start simple and be conditioned to grow to more heights later. Therefore the physical needs for a device is very similar to what the OLPC provides, even if the goal and usage objectives are very different than that of children. It would be helpful to know if there are plans for selling used OLPC devices for seniors, or other projects that are more targeted to use by seniors in this fashion. Not all seniors are wealthy and those afflicted by dementia often are institutionalized and costing their families quite a bit, and aren't able to afford the additional expense of such a device. Our rest home is already complaining about how my father is becoming too much of a pest using their computer to play solitaire on. I'd like to find something affordable to keep him occupied instead. OLPC seems to be the only thing close out there to what would be an ideal machine. I suspect that there are many concerned relatives like myself out there with similar needs. (mike n.)

Theft of laptops from children

Perhaps it would be possible to use facial/voice recognition software and the laptop camera/microphone to ensure that the laptop will only work if one child (selected by an administrator using a complex password) is using it. (This would avoid situations where the child might give up a password under duress)?

Wouldn't adding those extra features also significantly increase the price of the OLPC as well? Why not use the OLPC's built-in wifi adapter to track the signal and MAC address instead?

Wifi adapter as an anti-theft device?

yes I agree. I also think it would be useful to turn the built-in wifi adapter as an anti-theft device. The adapter should be made to start mandatorily at boot up and not allowed to disable it so that in the event that the laptop is stolen it will be trackable by using war driving software.


For information about such security topics, see the Bitfrost specification. --Jacobolus 19:20, 17 February 2007 (EST)

Nicholas Negroponte

Hello - how can I get involved and help Nicholas with his $100 laptop project? I am an accountant by trade and am looking to get involved in the voluntary sectory. I should be grateful if you would pass this message on to him. Many thanks -

Wish there was a version of Fedora with the Sugar os, so they could be put on existing low end laptops and desktops. That would be great for schools that have older hardware, so they do not have to purchase newer machines. Great budget saver and great pr for RedHat also. just a thought...

Using QEMU on Windows XP --Jeff

Is there a better alternative?

Could the children be better prepared for life learning to use, as I and MILLIONS of others had, with a BIG CHEIF tablet and a pencil (yet somehow I am computer literate now)? Total cost for pad and pencil: $2.75 ... left over for food and medical from the initial $150: $147.50.

This question ignores a very important part of the economic equation. Textbooks. The cost of primary school textbooks is kept hidden from most of us but a trip to a college bookstore will show you that textbooks cost a lot of money. The primary economic enabler of the OLPC laptops is that they allow textbooks to be distributed very cheaply. Compared to physical textbooks, electronic ones don't have to be printed and they can be shipped on very low-weight media such as CD-ROMs. Of course, in order to realize the economic benefit of electronic textbooks, you first have to invest in an e-book reader. That is the core of the OLPC project. If you investigate existing e-book reader projects you will dicsover that they are all based around a general-purpose computer with some software that restricts the capabilities to only reading books. The OLPC project goal is to create an e-book reader that exploits as many of the capabilities of the hardware as possible. The end-result is a single device that can serve many different educational functions and is versatile enough to be used throughout the student's educational life and beyond. --Memracom 05:15, 13 January 2007 (EST)
This goes beyond textbooks. Computers are one of the most fundamental learning tools available to the modern world. Children do need to learn reading and writing with crayons, paper, pencils, and all that good stuff. But millions of children have already grown up learning with the assistance of computers. In my own education, computers have leant a fluidity to my work that I can not acheive with a pencil eraser. "The end-result is a single device that can serve many different educational functions and is versatile enough to be used throughout the student's educational life and beyond." Memracom's words are spot on. -Jeff 21:55, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Beyond education

These machines could be used by adults as well as kids. Surely selling crafts on ebay, checking which markets have the best prices for livestock and downloading info on AIDS would be a great use for these. Why the exclusive ocus on education, and the consequential skew to mesh networking?

--And if the IT companies can offer the kids after-school paid assignments like light programming and data entry tasks for like 1-2 hrs a day, it will also solve the problem of the kids or their parents selling the laptops for food money


First, the OLPC laptops have no Internet access and the users likely will not speak English. Forget ebay. Second, you point out that the devices would be great for educating about AIDS and then ask, "Why the focus on education?". Thirdly you suggest that kids could do "light programming" to earn money but you ignore the fact that education is required to be a programmer. India is an example of this. It has a good education system producing many skilled programmers who were unable to find work locally. This was exploited by foreign companies who offshored their programming needs. But it all began with "education". Now, perhaps you see why the OLPC project focus is on education first. --Memracom 05:14, 13 January 2007 (EST)

---Yes but you cant ignore Maslow's hierarchy of needs. A starving kid with a starving family at home will not see OLPC as an education tool but instead as something he can sell to buy food. Exploitation in India by international IT companies may be morally wrong by the developed world standards but the alternative for indian programmers to that kind of exploitation is unemployment. I'm not ignoring the fact that one needs education to be a programmer, OLPC can provide that education. "Education first" slogan sounds great, but realistically speaking you can't skip the layers in Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

The interesting thing about Maslow and technology is that it sometimes results are counter-intuitive. For example, many reports have been written about how cell-phone technology actually has improved the standard of living for subsistence farmers, fishermen, etc. because they extend one basic need: communication & mobility (two things targeted by the laptop). --Xavi 08:58, 17 January 2007 (EST)

I am asking the same question as JK. What happens once the kids have bridged the technological gap? Some might consider this question to be beyond the scope of this project but surely it is the next vital step. Its also in my mind that old chicken and egg situation. Unless there is a real opportunity the chances are that a hungry child will sell their heritage for a crust of bread.

I have been asking this question for the last couple of years and not having much faith in government and the system believe the answer is to empower an individual within a community and to rely on the natural process of things to bring about a situation where one mentors their peers. Theoretically it is possible for anyone with a reasonable grasp of English to make themselves useful on the net and to earn $200 or $250 a month. All thats needed to make this work is a vision and the structure to drive it. rainchild ZA

Basic concept

Isn't the idea of this as a laptop a bit limiting? Why can't it be a phone, a lamp, a radio or whatever too? All this could be added very cheaply, and features like the swivelly screen seem such a distraction compared to such basics. Cellphone technology would also enable this to be networked over much larger distances.

because a phone, a lamp, or a radio doesn't make a great learning tool like a laptop does. Cellphones have limited capabilities like the screensize, lack of fullsize keyboard, costly airtimes, data storage etc. A radio doesn't allow interactive learning like a laptop does. A lamp is a necessity but with the LCD screen in the laptop the child will be able to read and do his homework in dark. OLPC project isn't about providing them with life's basic necessities, it's about giving children a great tool for education so that they can learn skills to end povery and hunger in their communities in future.


Indeed the idea of this as a laptop is a bit limiting. The OLPC project has put a considerable effort into making this much more than a laptop. If a student wants to use it as a lamp, they can because they are the producers of the electricity required. If they want to communicate with their friends, not only can they send text messages and SVG drawings, they can also record messages and share activities that they have programmed. This is far more flexible than existing cellular phones. The main thing missing is the long range communications ability of cellular but since that comes with a very steep fee per minute of use, it won't be missed. Because the OLPC laptop is an open system it will allow people to build low-cost cellular bypass systems like Motoman.--Memracom 05:21, 13 January 2007 (EST)

Science curriculum

I do not see any content related sections for the sciences (physics, chemistry, biology) and math. Can you please point me to that section or include this in your curriculum?

Every page has a search section in the column on the left. If you don't see something in the table of contents then use the search capabilities to find it. If you still can't find something which you think should be on the wiki, then start a new page and write an outline of what you think we should have. Others will fill in that outline for you. If you return in a week or two, you will have your answer. --Memracom 05:23, 13 January 2007 (EST)

does OLPC not serve to widen the gap between the haves and have nots?

My question is, by not supporting any of the common technology in the first world, and forcing a totally unique paradigm of user interface and technology, how is it that these disadvantaged societies will become more "advantaged"? It seems that a proprietary system will only serve to make a greater distinction between the poor and the rich.

--Ryan Cameron, Haberman Educational Foundation

the OLPC and its Sugar User Interface are NOT a proprietary System. The technologies are open source and built on a tried and tested Kernel and Operating System. in fact, the OLPC's use of Free/Open Source technology will serve to ensure that children are not forced to think like the ms drones of today who believe that computer literacy is knowing how to operate MS Excel. These children are being given a computer where nothing is hidden from them, the internals of the operating system are there for them to inspect, learn from, and hopefully learn to improve. the sugar ui only serves to simplify things for the children until they are ready to look further into the OS and see what makes it tick. ideally in 10 years or so, these children will have an understanding of computers that greatly exceeds the children in our own developed countries because they are not forced into a proprietary paradigm of computing. If we gave these children a copy of windows on every laptop, what purpose would that serve? they could learn to use the applications that they are given, but that is NOT What this is about. the children need to learn how computers work and why they work the way they do, this cannot be accomplished with a closed-source proprietary operating system. I believe it is especially important that these children are able to see and improve the source code of these systems, that way, when they are older and have learned enough, they will have a new outlook on computing, much different from our own. their ideas of how to interact with computers will lead to new innovative software that will benefit everyone. diversity is important and we are giving these children the opportunity to progress in their own direction without the preconcieved notions that the rest of us have from being exposed to Windows and Mac OS for so long.

to Summarize, since I rambled so much, your question is completely backwards. the disadvantage is OURS, the RICH have suffered from the proprietary nature of the Operating System that has been forced on many of us. these children are being given freedom to do as they please with their operating System, and at the same time, it will give them a firm understanding of the linux kernel and the underlying OS that will be much more beneficial to them in the future that anything microsoft or other proprietary software vendors can offer.

Understanding sugar code was written to educate people like you on how you can get into the guts of an OLPC laptop. Any children who have an OLPC could potentially do exactly that, and learn a lot about computing at a very low level. OLPC volunteers will develop curiculum in all languages, in civic, sciences, and arts. This is an opportunity to diminish the divide. -Jeff

Adaptation of Musical Editor for local music systems

Hello, While browsing through the software that will be put on the B2 release, I remarked the screenshot of the Musical Editor, and I saw that it was based on the western notes system (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si, do). These notes have more or less fixed frequencies ('la' has 440 Hz, and going from one note to another happens by stepping of halve tones where the frequencies need to be multiplicated or divided by 1.059, the twelfth root of 2).

The OLPC project is ment for children in third world countries, like for instance India and China and other countries, where different music systems are used. Therefore I propose to foresee these adaptations within the Musical Editor (after all, it can't be the intention of forcing children to abandon their own musical culture :-?).

In case OLPC people are interested, I am willing to do some investigation in order to figure out which are the mostly used music systems with corresponding frequencies in order to facilitate the work. I can be reached via my e-mail address under my OLPC subscription account 'scampsd'.

The OLPC includes csound software which can be adapted to work with any type of musical system. If you want to document these systems and any csound software that works with them, feel free to start a new page on this wiki. --Memracom 05:30, 13 January 2007 (EST)

Best regards and good luck with the project Dominique

Hey "scampsd" i couldnt work out how to contact you about this, I am interested in alternative scales, mail me, simon att simon chadwick dt net

Random generator entropy

Hi, we came up with this issue at the 23c3 in a lecture about the /dev/(u)random generator in Linux. The algortihm gets most of its entropy from the harddisk. Because the OLPC lacks a hdd, this could be an issue, when you need a random number for cryptography at boot time. Of course the algorithm is still strong and sufficient enough for most applications (or at least i think so), but not as good as some people maybe think. (Other entropies: camera, microphone,...) (DustyDingo)

Your question is confusing, as I'm not versed in random number generators based on hard disk... Isn't the built in Flashdrive good enough? It acts like a conventional hard drive, but it's all memory. --Jeff
No, the flash is not good at all. Hard drives have unpredictable timing, and thus the kernel uses them to supply /dev/random data. The DCON chip really should be modified to include a random number generator that works based on electrical noise such as the thermal stuff in a semiconductor junction. (note: NOT a pseudorandom number generator) 19:40, 27 February 2007 (EST)
Hmm... Chaos Communication Congress... OK! So you are looking for a way to seed a random number generator from an on board OLPC component (mostly for cryptography a boot time). OLPC doesn't seem to prioritize encryption as a core value (it seems to go against the BitFrost mantra of transparency). That said, you've got a pair of WiFi like transmitters, a monitor, keyboard, touchpad, battery, etc. Does hard drive access time really provide an evenly distributed random number? I find that hard to believe. Also, is this topic really critical to the goals of OLPC as a project? --Jeff
The very first thing an OLPC XO does is generate a long-term public/private key pair. All the over-the-air stuff is at least cryptographically signed. If a kid publishes a Sugar XO bundle, it gets signed with his key. Hard drives are decent; the fast-moving air inside the drive provides randomness. The WiFi may be a tolerable choice; it's both public and subject to lack of input though. The monitor is no good. The keyboard and touchpad are OK, though very slow. The battery is unlikely to help. The digital camera may be the best choice. The microphone is tolerable. Use of many of these devices will require lots of power and/or background daemons. It's just way easier to do as Intel did with their motherboard chipsets. VIA put a random number generator right in the CPU. AlbertCahalan 22:14, 28 February 2007 (EST)
This is a serious issue. There's a paper on the quality of the linux kernel RNG, and how it has relied on obscurity. When people wanted to find out how it works, they got no help from the developers; after analyzing it, they found serious weaknesses, and published.
In a nutshell:
  1. Linux RNG is overly complicated, and could be made much simpler at no loss of quality if a random source is available.
  2. Linux RNG is predictable with no random source
  3. A "must" for diskless systems is to save the RNG state across shutdown/bootup. At the very least, each laptop should ship with a 512 byte file fetched from (or similar) so that they can initialize to an unknown state on first boot.
  4. Instead of using the linux RNG, perhaps consider a better one. Apple claims that its RNG -- "Yarrow" -- is better than Linux's, however it warns that a lack of random input will degrade it without warning (versus linux's estimate of entropy remaining in the main pool).
I do **REALLY** hope that this is fixed before any "for end user" machines are shipped. --Keybounce 21:36, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
It is a serious issue, but that stuff about Yarrow being better is wrong. People get recognition by publishing alarmist "research" about supposed defects in important software. The Linux developers have little time to help clueless people who won't study the history behind the Linux /dev/random and /dev/urandom devices. Yarrow has one feature of dubious value: it recovers quickly from an attacker who somehow exposes the content of the pool. If an attacker can do that, you have bigger issues to worry about because the attacker is reading your kernel memory! Yarrow does have two weaknesses. First, it assumes that there will not be a successful attack against the cryptographic operations it uses. The Linux /dev/random and /dev/urandom instead assume that such attacks will be somewhat successful, and thus does not depend greatly on the cryptographic operations being unbreakable forever. Second, Yarrow fails to track entropy. Even if no data goes into the pool, you can pull infinite data out. This makes Yarrow a pseudo-random number generator. Linux makes a conservative estimate of the amount of true randomness available in the pool and will cause /dev/random to block (stall) if there is not enough available. 00:26, 1 April 2007 (EDT)

About emulating the OLPC disk Image

I am not sure where to post this as it's a rather technical support like question. I am emulating the OLPC image (I am using in a intel iMac using VMWare tools beta. The emulations runs well, but with a limited size (640 x 480) and I know the laptop goes way beyond this. I have read somewhere an email from the OLPC mailing list that this was a recurring issue and many of the blog posts with screenshots and reviews of the SUgar interface where getting it wrong because of this.

I wanted to investigate this further (and help correct those blog reviews) and posted this question to the VMWare foruns, but they believe it's a problem with the OS image.

Any insights on this?

thank you

Alexandre Van de Sande alexandrevandesande (at) the email provided by google

Please refer to the emulation section of this wiki, specifically OS images for emulation and User Feedback on Images. --Walter 08:43, 8 January 2007 (EST)

I just want to try the software

I've read about the software and the UI online. I want to try the software. I want something like a "liveCD" that I can stick in my computer to try it out and show other people. a) Is it possible? b) If possible, is it explained anywhere on this eiki? c) if yes, why is it so hard to find? A nice big link on the homepage might be nice.

Don't know if there's a LiveCD, but you can try an emulator. On the left there's a navigation bar with a section titled "about the laptops", and under it you'll find the emulation link that'll take there... That wasn't so hard, was it? Enjoy!--Xavi 07:05, 5 January 2007 (EST)

I would desperately want to get such a computer, eventhough I'm not eligible and could easely afford a usual computer


I've heard about your project on the program "Click" at BBC World. I think the idea of a 100$ computer is absolutely marvelous!

I would desperatly like to get one of these computers myself, eventhough I can afford usual computers. The problem is, that I'm living in Switzerland, which is still tinted grey on your world map.

I would be prepared to pay double the price (200$) to get one of these computers. That way, you could actually build two of them and donate one of them to a child that really needs it.

I think it would actually be a great idea to allow people who aren't eligible to own one of these computers, to get one for double its price - thus financing a free notebook for a child who really needs it.

It would also prevent people who are eligible to get one to put it on an auctioning site to sell them to people who don't really need them.

Thanks for a reply!

Best Regards

C.Beeli - Switzerland

It's good to read about your enthusiasm, but alas, quite some people had similar ideas before as the "Ask OLPC a Question about Distribution#Availability - Can XXX in YYY get one paying ZZZ ?" section shows, and to which the short answer is no. A longer answer is that you can still participate and collaborate with time and effort to make the project a reality. And a full answer would be this whole wiki, your government, local NGOs, etc. --Xavi 07:23, 5 January 2007 (EST)

Food For Children

Shouldn't we be making sure that there is at least one meal per child rather than one laptop?


there are plenty of organizations that already do this, and you are free to contribute to their cause, there is no need for yet another red-cross or whatever other NPO, the goals of the OLPC have not been addressed before and many people consider education a very important cause. "teach a man to fish"

I'm all for it! But what about drinking water? That too! And medicines? No doubt! Shelter? Peace? Love? Education? We is a lot of people (sometimes, the whole 6.5 billion)... much in the same way that specific organizations try to bring medicine to the dispossessed (ie: Medecins sans frontieres), or fight for their human rights (ie: Amnesty International), provide better feeding and agriculture technologies (or emergency rations) (ie: FAO / UN), and education (ie: UNESCO), the OLPC is trying to get this 'simple gadget' (a full blown laptop) into the hands of kids for them to learn, communicate, interact, and many other things...
Not one of the aforementioned organizations can make a better world by itself, each one is needed in their domain of expertise and competence. So let the specialized organizations do what they are good for: battle the odds to make a better world in their 'little' areas of competence. They are all needed, in an interconnected set of efforts that together they stand, divided they fail... (I know, it should read 'fall', but in development issues, it usually and nonchalantly fails).--Xavi 12:27, 5 January 2007 (EST)

Can we look at them as two approaches to solve short-term and long-term problems of the developing world? Giving basic needs to the poor & needy in the 3rd world = helping them with their immediate needs while giving them OLPCs = investing in a better future for them and their societies. While I agree with Maslow's hierarchy of needs we must also realize that teaching IT to children in the 3rd world countries is equally important so that hopefully one day they can use that knowledge/skills to get out of poverty and hunger.


Request for direction to power generation discussion

I am having a hard time finding a discussion about the power generator for the XO. Can you please direct me to the appropriate person or place? I have noticed that while my wife computes, her knee often bounces. And I wonder if that natural movement might be harnessed to generate power for the XO.

I have calculated that such a movement of 2 to 5 cm twice a second under 100 to 200 Newtons of tension (or more naturally 1 to 2 cm at 4 Hz and 50 to 100 Newtons) could input 2 to 40 Watts depending on the level of conscious effort vs. habituated movement and the ability to harness both legs. This is an old concept that was employed for treadle sewing machines and pump organs. The only difference in the case of the XO is the challenge to build it extremely portable for a few dollars, using such things as nylon straps and plastic pieces.

Anyway, I would like the opportunity to follow the discussion of these concepts with the project team if possible if you would be so kind as to direct me. If it wouldn't be too much trouble, you could e-mail me using my gmail address and my first name dot last name.

Thanks. Tom Haws

Most of this is discussed on the Battery and power page. The OLPC laptop doesn't have a built-in power generator. Instead, it has a DC power input that will accept a wide range of voltage with protection against polarity reversal. This means that any number of alternate power sources can be used. We will be shipping a hand-powered generator with the initial devices but we are open to any new ideas, especially if they are backed up with prototypes and with some solid research showing how they are used by kids in the field. In addition, if a device can be built by the kids (with the help of their teachers) then it would be appropriate to provide detailled building instructions in one of the Ebook formats that we support. --Memracom 05:37, 13 January 2007 (EST)

What about OUR children in the US?

I am tired of us giving and giving to other countries. What children right here in the United States? I teach in a poor Appalachian school district in Eastern Ohio and our children don't have computers. I have 2 computers in my classroom and one is very, very old. My own students do not get to use a computer, so why are we giving to other countries?

Nobody is asking you to give anything! As a matter of fact, the 'other countries' are investing. So, if you're tired, sit back, relax, and read this or you can lobby together with OLPC4USA your government to invest... --Xavi 16:02, 7 January 2007 (EST)

May be a project similar to OLPC can be initiated to narrow the digital divide in the US. But instead of inventing a whole new laptop like the OLPC old PCs and laptops can be recycled and install linux to save cost? You'll find that when you run Linux on old computers they're not so "old." :-)

Black Market

How do you plan to fight the black market of this computers? They more or less cost $100 each, and in many of the countries mentioned, families could try to sell them to buy food or fullfill any other basic need.

  • This will be the responsibility of the country in which the laptops are deployed. They are more familiar with local culture, local social issues and local laws.

about the ic 321j50

What is the purpose IC 321j50 manufactured by your company?

I am not aware of any such IC associated with OLPC. Can you please cite a source of reference for this question?

Who is Nicholas Negroponte?

Prof. Negroponte is the CEO of OLPC (Please refer to for more details).

What is an XO machine?

Please refer to The Children's Machine in this wiki.

What school-focused framework is this article talking about?

I am not sure what article you refer to when you say "this article." There is an introduction to the OLPC Learning Vision in this wiki. --Walter 08:40, 8 January 2007 (EST)

Can any one ask a question here or is this just for computer programers? If not where can the avarage person find out more about OLPC?

I'd like to help teach.

I think your idea is marvelous! I heard recently about how cell phones are benefitting rural peoples in Africa, where landlines are almost non existent. and I can see how OLPC could be similarly beneficial -- perhaps more so.

Are you are recruiting folks yet to help train teachers or children to use the laptops? I've worked as a newspaper journalist, writing instructor, and am now in marketing and public relations for a community college. But I'd like to do something more meaning and helpful on a larger scale. How can I find out if there is a use for my skills in your organization? I am willing to work oversees and in primative conditions.

The OLPC does not actually deploy the computers in these countries. If you want to work in the field, then start by reading our news section to see where the first computers are headed. Then contact the ministry of education in one of these countries to offer your services. They will likely be working together with one or more charitable organizations who operate in their country. Currently, Brazil, Libya and Rwanda are target countries. --Memracom 05:40, 13 January 2007 (EST)

Governments & schools - a western construct

Schools are nothing more than a western construct which the developed world seems hellbent on imposing on the devloping world even if the result is social destruction. Governments of all complections have a vested interest in exploiting this project. It seems to me that there is a desperate need to develop a new pedogogy involving non-traditional formal educational structures, possibly working with NGOs. Governments in developing countries will go the same way as many western governments and impose a nationalised curriculum which will be delivered via these laptops.

First, the OLPC project is not developing new schools to be delivered to these countries. We are developing laptop computers to be delivered to children. The laptops themselves will be a rich educational environment even in the absence of teachers. In addition, the philosophy that we follow is a constructivist educational philosophy which focuses on leading the child to discover knowledge for themselves. --Memracom 05:45, 13 January 2007 (EST)

I think the "Buy two get one free" idea is great because consumer demand for the OLPC will drive the production to mass numbers and it will help the future availability of used spare parts for service needs. I would also like to suggest for the creation of an online database where OLPC users in need of replacement parts can find donors and order them online.

There is no "Buy two get one free" idea. Check the Retail page for details. As for spare parts, the OLPC project is recommending that recipient countries maintain a reasonable level of spares for the computers that they receive. --Memracom 05:45, 13 January 2007 (EST)

Rugged Laptops

There is a huge market for basic rugged laptops for use "in the field" in a number of industries. These would be cases that don't need the full functionality of e.g. a Panasonic Toughbook, and where basic will do and cost is critical. Develop a suite of work-related applications and/or provide certification for apps developed by others, and sell those on CD at reasonable cost, to bring in more money for free laptops for kids.

The basic arrangement would be: Companies buy laptops at e.g. $200 per unit plus a required $200 per unit tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit foundation. Thus the effective cost is $400 per unit, but half of it is a tax deduction. If you do this, companies will buy these things in huge numbers and thereby pay for equivalent numbers of machines to be given away to kids.

'Huge' is relative, you can measure it in number of units or monetary value. And given that the market is a niche, it implies a small volume and high monetary value—the opposite of what the OLPC target market is (afaik). I see your point in 'overpricing' this 'commercial rugged laptops', but that would only create incentives to divert machines to the black/grey market. --Xavi 15:10, 13 January 2007 (EST)

School Gateways follow follow up

Thank you very much for the response on School Gateways -- I had a big misconception about the internet. I am still curious, however, about how the School Gateways for the mesh networks are intended to be powered, and how much energy they will require. I looked at the power page, and it mentioned microbial fuel cells, which is what I was going to ask about. Are the gateways going to require a lot more power than a microbial fuel cell could provide? Thank you!

---(JK, USA) There ought to be a sister project of the OLPC to bring internet connection to schools in the developing world. One internet connection per school wouldn't be a bad name for such project. Wireless Gateway/APs powered by environmentally friendly and renewable energy sources like solar or wind power, perhaps linked to a bidirectional satellite internet receiver, and then use [3]WifiPaypal so that donors in the developed world can donate mothly Satellite connection bill direct to the schools using Paypal.

  • I think you should develop your idea and get about doing it. Gus, Chile

Yes, that would be great to get internet capabilities, I agree -- I hope you do start that up!

Does anybody know about the approximate power needs for the gateways? I know somebody working on microbial fuel cells and he asked me to find out what the power needs would be, and I just have no idea. I'm assuming that power is going to be a biggish issue for the gateways, as many of them will be in areas with no elecricity -- Am I wrong? Thank you!

This question might be bettered answered on one of the Tech pages.

One Laptop Per how old? Child

We're saying One Laptop Per Child, but how old does a child have to be to qualify? Attending school? How old is that? I know, personally, of 3 year old children who could make good use of this device.

Generally ages 6 to 17. (First grade to the end of high school in the US.) The emphasis is ages 6 to 10 or so. A careful look at OLPC pictures indicates that they are really sized for 6 to 10 year olds. --tef 13 Jan 2007
I hope you aren't serious. The keyboard is way too small for a 10 year old. Just forget about age 17. The keyboard is about right for a toddler, but tolerable for a 5 year old. 7 year olds could use it for brief periods of time. AlbertCahalan 00:18, 20 February 2007 (EST)

Regular Laptops as OLPC Clones?

I think the OLPC OS and all the software should be made to run on regular x86 laptops and distributed freely. One benefit of making the OS and software opensource and multiplatform compatible will be that the kids will be able to run it on donated used laptops until there are enough OLPCs for everychild :-)

The software being developed looks like it will run reasonably well on a conventional laptop, through emulation. My laptop doesn't have a camera, mic, or wifi, and it's behind a firewall, so I only have some peripherals. OLPC software is distributed freely (I think it's GNU V2), just search the emulation pages. That's how I got my copy of the software.

Is the 'buy 2 and get 1' scheme going to happen?

Hi there, Is the 'buy 2 and get 1' scheme going to happen or not? There have been many reports that suggested that it was planned for next year.

There is no "buy 2 get 1" scheme. If you would read the Retail page then you would know this.

I think this whole idea of connecting receipient with donor and the distribution over ebay is a really fresh and clever idea of you.

This is not an OLPC idea. The OLPC project has no intention to distribute laptops over Ebay and if people started to sell stolen laptops on Ebay we would work to shut that down.

Relaunching software as freeware

We are reviving ChipWits - an award-winning iconic programming game - and would like to encourage a freeware version to be developed for the OLPC. Is there a forum to discuss it?

There are several mailing lists (note the link in the 'about olpc' box at the top-left of the page. Also, there's a section on how to get around Sharing your content with OLPC.
BTW, the OLPC is commited to Open Source, so 'free' would probably not be enough, methinks.--Xavi 16:43, 13 January 2007 (EST)
ChipWits will be open source. Thanks for the pointer to the mailing list.

Tested with destructive children?

Regardless of cultural background, everywhere these laptops will go there will be some children who'll break anything they get their hands on within a few days or even minutes.

Have these two tests been conducted with actual children?

Rotate the screen 90 degrees then have various children attempt to push the screen down as if it was going to be closed normally or in e-book position. If the hinge breaks then it's not strong enough.

The angry child test. Anyone who has ever seen kids get upset at not being able to figure out a toy or game or puzzle and *has not* seen at least one kid hurl the thing across the room or swat it off a table hasn't been around enough children. With the screen in various positions, test it from merely dropping to the floor from table height to being shoved off at various speeds. To gather velocity data, have various children push and throw test objects of size and weight similar to the current BTest laptop design, then use that data with a pusher device on an actual BTest laptop.

One possibility may be to build in some amount of flexibility, similar to spring hinges on eyeglasses, or make a non-twist design for the youngest children. Put some glasses frames on some kids then have them play volleyball. Mix the frames half with spring hinges, half without. Observe the effect of a volleyball to the head and what happens to the frames. (Having your frames broken three times in three consecutive games is a great way to convinve the parents to spend the extra $ on frames with spring hinges!)

Another possible way to reduce damage potential is to make the hinge with a cam action so that it can only be twisted around when it's open to 90 degrees, and attempting to turn it when it's open more or less will push the screen to 90 degrees before allowing it to rotate very far. Joints like this are used in many products already, to ensure the joint can only be manipulated in paths that will work properly. Examine as many existing twist screen laptops as possible to see if any already have such 'forced path' screen hinges. Couple this with a simple spring loaded, double acting "saloon door" type hinge between the screen and the twist and fold hinge already on the BTest laptops could make the hinge system extremely tough.

What could be a bit of a compromise system is to design the screen to 'breakaway' from the top of the hinge, with a reinforced data cable and a braided steel cable for extra durability. The screen could be easily snapped back on, but durability of the snap joint could be an issue, especially if the snap together parts are plastic.

The idea that all or most children who're growing up with next to nothing will give these laptops super loving care is major 'blue sky'. The twist hinge is a big potential failure point. One big thing anyone working on any complex system has to keep in mind is that the more points of potential failure there are, the more likely there will be failures.

Design the screen hinge to take abuse and there will be minimal problems with the abuse it will definately recieve. Leave it with the current hinge design and you'll be seeing plenty coming back with broken hinges.

True but... I would like to add that based on the statement “Cultural Background” there is in some ways a much more stronger type life style that many that will be eligible for the lap top live. But because it is a learning program with a parable infrastructure their has to be in the distribution and training of those who will hand them out a part about responsibility. It should be explained to each child in their groups of receiving the Laptop that if it breaks there is a chance that they may not get another ,as only one lap top per child or family. Since it is the government and their sponsors that are to foot the bill, this is a very serious consideration. Creating a lesson plan with in the training material about the ups and downs of the unit if it brakes. Can One: Move the government too, with in their budget to acquire parts and as well as service contracts in how long they will support the Laptop if it breaks. Two: Where locally will they be able to bring the laptop in for service. Three: be prepared for local people to get in on the act and tinker with the laptop if it is a hinge and find ways to fix it. I also think your expression about child anger was some what misleading and misinformed. I think the possibility of a goat or farm animal stepping on the lap top that belonged to a child that had brought the lap top along to do family chores could be a better scenario I believe this is much more realistic. I don't think presenting such negative leads towards aggression ,as to have faith in the little children that they are good and can handle the responsibility of caring for their new computer friend. I hope in the future to share my experience based on countless hours of research in to the presentation of third world issues that there are some inconsistencies in what is presented by media in general and the real life of that matter. This is also a generalization as in all walks of life the real truth can only be known by the

actors  and witness of the fact at hand. 

That's for every one too!--Hunter 08:53, 19 January 2007 (EST)

LiveCD OS Images

I downloaded a few of the recent LiveCD image builds (231), but for some reason the system does not load up and run. Obviously in this case you need a PC that has a CD/DVD reader etc. I may not be burning the CD correctly although Grub seems to start ok. Is there any particular hardware needed that a typical PC does not have, or something that I am not doing properly? Anyone out there that has this working and can share some ideas would be great. Thanks in advance.

This question might be bettered answered on one of the Tech pages.

Color Coded Maps and Color Blind People

Would you please consider a written list of country status for those of us that are colorblind and can't make heads nor tails of your map?

There's an OLPC Status by Country page with a table - but darn! It too is color coded! ...just checked :(
I'll update it to make it text AND color coded.
It covers Africa, the Americas and Asia, and it's NOT official (iow, the coding of some countries could be wrong).
And yes, there should be a link to that table in the Countries section above and in the Map page.--Xavi 18:30, 21 January 2007 (EST)
Bad netiquette, answering to self, but it's already done! See OLPC Status by Country.
This question and it's answer will soon be moved to the #Country section above.--Xavi 18:58, 21 January 2007 (EST)

Chrekula Uganda

We are opening aprivate school in the village of Cherekula Uganda. I was going to provide two laptop computers but we are facing a problem with the lack of electrical power. We are exploring the purchase of a gas generator. I have bee folling the OLPC project for seceral years and am now convinced this is a better alternative. How do I enlist the Ugandan government so that I can take sveral OLPC computers to the choll when we visit this March (2007). We are completely willing to purchase them and we can transport the or have them shipped. I know that these would be pilots (beta?). We just want to try and get moving ahead on providing internet access to some very deprived children. This school is a high school. The first one ever in this village. It is located about 250 km from Kampala. Can you advise me on how to proceed. We can document the school i required. THanks ./Jim May Farmington Hills Mi. USA 48336

You are going at this the wrong way. The first thing you need to do is find someone who is an expert in electrical power generation and storage to give you advice. They are unlikely to suggest buying a gas-powered generator for two laptops. Ten years ago people in Africa were running laptops off car batteries that were charged up by bicycle-driven generators. You should be doing something similar today. That means choosing older laptops with lower power consumption, choosing laptops that run off 12 volts DC (like RV owners and yachtsmen do) and then getting a generator rigged from old car parts. The one thing different today from 10 years ago is that solar panels are a viable source for charging the batteries.
Forget the OLPC. You cannot buy them (Retail) and you need to get your government's support in order to get access to them.

Website woes

Am I the only one having a problem with It seems to be formatted for those using widescreen computers. I suggest you reformat the page so that it can be accessed by any computer user. The verbage also seems to be targeted toward the academic community. While I can read what was written, it isn't user-friendly.

Have you considered your target audience? It's difficult to build support for your movement if you make it difficult for potential supporters to access your information.

L. Mundschau

Scroll your screen to the left to find the Contact link in the upper left hand corner.

Either send an email or write a letter with your concerns. If you can include a screenshot of your screen that would help.


How can an individual make an investment in the stock options?

There are no stocks or stock options to invest in.

This also depends on what type of investment you are talking about. If it is an investment for profit you might be out of luck. But if it is an investment for the children of the world then you might could research further how you can get involved.


What about students k-12 and college students in the USA?

Do I qualify? I filled out the fafsa forms do you need those to determine those for financial need? If so, is there a way I can pass the computer to another "financial need base" student? I see that your organization goes around the world but didn't know if you were including the United States.

There are no plans to distribute the OLPC computers in the USA. If you want to lobby for this to happen, then read OLPC4USA.

can i get one for my 2 kids???

dear sir/madam;

i am a mother of two from the Philippines, my eldest son is only 4 yrs. old, he's now at the nursery level, and i notice that he is interested about computers, he even know how to operate my laptop and start his educational game and i am proud of it. that is why i am asking you a question if i can get one for my eldest son so he can pursue his interest in studying by using laptop, and soon will teach his baby brother to use it.

thank you very much,

laarni muldong

As explained in several places, the short answer is no.
See volunteers

I wrote an e-mail to ten days ago, which has not been replyed to yet. I will submit this mail here just for making sure it reaches you:

Deleted this private letter. If you do not get a reply to your email, either wait patiently, or send another email. This wiki is not a mailbox!

We noticed that you are looking for people from the community for implementing the BATMAN software into your system.

---Konstantin 09:27, 27 January 2007 (EST)---

The OLPC OS already has a built-in mesh networking system. It is highly unlikely that your BATMAN mesh networking system will be of any use. There is already a Developers program where you can offer your services.

Information about OLPC for people in pure countries

There is lots of written material about OLPC for people in rich countries. The newspapers are full of OLPC stories. People in pure counties don't know much about OLPC but maybe the children will receive a laptop in near future.

I will be in SO Asia for some month and will be in contact with teachers (as I am), mayors, children,... I like it to talk about this project with these people. There is lots of information about the project like technical specification, pedagogic methods,...

But the thing I'm looking for is a simple description of the project in easy English that is use full for the local people.

2-3 Pages in PDF would be great - does this already exist? --Bz 21:23, 29 January 2007 (EST)

It is up to each nation to order the OLPC laptops. It cannot be a decision made by groups or private citizens even of great means. If you like you can contact your governments Education Ministry and start from there.

Hello, I'm Laura Barsottini, an italian journalist. I would like to know if is true that the laptop will be distribuited in april 2007. If not, when will be distribuited? At 130$ at the beginning? When it will be possible to begin the 2 for 1? Thenk you Laura Barsottini

As far as what has been made public they are supposed to be going out some time this year. I think that 2 for the price of $300 or so is a very good deal.

RealPlayer in OPLC and applications download

We are developing some applications that can be used to education purpose and we have some doubts: - Is it possible to make applications download using the OLPC ? - Is it possible to run the RealPlayer in OLPC ? Thanks in advance Vivian (

The OLPC is based on downloadable activities, not applications. It will not have any RealPlayer support so you will need to encode in an open-source format. Ogg/Vorbis is good for music while Ogg/Speex is better for pure voice recordings. Read the Activity bundles page to see how to program a downloadable activity in Python.
What format do you require? RealPlayer can play many different formats. Quicktime can be played with GStreamer through OpenQuicktime and Gnash is mostly SWF v7 compliant (this makes Flash an open-source format). Gnash can play Flash movies from local files. If you would like to see either GStreamer or Gnash included you could add them to Category:Feedback. Thin client explains about use of the OLPC as a web client or thin client. --Fasten 11:40, 31 January 2007 (EST)

See also: Flash Player

Economies of scale?

How would it not be in your interests if you hired a non-profit-org to sell laptops to citizens of more rich countries?

You claim that it has to do with scale and all, but do you understand how many of these would sell? I'm sitting in front of a dual AMD turion laptop, yet I'd love the idea of having a laptop for my room and car both. You could sell millions of these here in the states. Would that not be scale for you? What # are you looking at would be for "scale" to occur?

This is not so much of answer given that I ignore the details, thus I'm assuming.
It would seem that the deal struck between the OLPC and Quanta is ~USD 135 per unit EXW / FOB for a minimum order of 5 million units. So the OLPC has to ensure at least a 5 million order, before Quanta pushes the go button. Afaik, that is the "scale" needed.

Preventing Porn/Adult Content?

At launch time will the laptop include any software for content controls (to prevent porn, etc). I realize that one's definition of "acceptable content" varies over regions, but isn't most content filtering software for the client Win-based?

This will, as far as I know, be left up to countries. Because the hardware and software OLPC will provide is as open as possible, there is no real way to implement such filtering on the laptops themselves; the kids could just change the software to get around such restrictions. -- 19:16, 17 February 2007 (EST)
Since most computers will be used with no Internet access whatsoever, this is a minor problem. In areas where there will be Internet access it will be provided by a school gateway. The filtering will either be implemented on the school gateway or at a central regional gateway.
Sorry, but lack of the Internet won't matter. OLPC is all about locally-produced content. This laptop has a camera. Having an Internet connection is only required for worldwide sales and distribution.
The laptops will have Internet access. Children will be both exploring and producing content. --Walter 11:40, 2 April 2007 (EDT)

This question has not yet been answered with sufficient care Please click here for a comment (on another talk page within this wiki) about the machines being used to create pornography. The OLPC team will be making a grave error if they expect developing world governments to address this issue without guidance.

My guess is that considering that the XOs will basically access the Internet through the mesh (connecting to the School server—acting as the gateway) a simple filter or proxy can be configured... it is (imho) a worthy preocupation, but must not be taken as the issue; most kids will not care about such things, and when they do, they'll manage to get their hands on it regardless of how adults feel about it... --Xavi 00:39, 23 March 2007 (EDT)
Are you talking about a particular already existing sort of image filter? Please elaborate. What sort of proxy? The reason that I am stressing this issue is because the reactionary element within a developing country will see this as "the" issue when it hits the press and they can keep these computers out of the hands of their children. Even if computer literate people can look past this sort of issue, large traditional populations are not likely to. Again, I'm not concerned about people looking at pornography. Every single internet cafe that I visited in 24 African countries last year had at least two young men looking at porn and nobody cared. I am concerned about the video camera being used to exploit poor young women and children. Whoever is putting this project together doesn't seem to know enough about the resourcefulness of the people who they will equip with these machines. Why isn't someone from the actual OLPC project bothering to respond. Have any of those guys actually lived in the marginal areas of the developing world? --[User:Onlinementor] 24 March 2007.
The School server can be used for content filtering; the extent to which it will be is based upon a country-by-country decision. In regard to the children being exploited in the creation of pornographic content, it is certainly a concern, one we are trying to address through a number of mechanism, some technological, but most of a societal nature. The camera and microphone are hardwired to LEDs and are protected against remote access (See BitFrost for details). The Journal logs all activities, including picture-taking. But neither of these measures is adequate if the family and community turn their backs on their children. We are striving to engage all community members in the program, which includes guidance about the exploitation of children. --Walter 11:40, 2 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks for the feedback, Walter. Is there somewhere on this site where I could track the conversation about how to create a suitably vigilant societal mechanism to protect against the creation of exploitative content? It's a huge challenge and while it is particularly relevant to the OLPC initiative, it is an OLD, often-confronted, unbested challenge. To paint it as a question of family and communal back-turning is somewhat misleading, as it suggests that any shortcoming on behalf of the responsible community will be committed with purposeful disregard. It is much more likely that they will be ignorant of the situation, powerless to do anything about it or coerced into accepting it.
I'm sure you are familiar with the fact that it is not uncommon for teachers in the developing world (especially in Sub-Saharan Africa) to use their students sexually--indeed the notion of what constitutes "exploitation" is rather variable. If you cannot have a meaningful allegiance with educators, I don't know how you hope to engender this new breed of social responsibility. I don't mean to sound glib. I would just love to hear, in reassuring detail, what sort of local and regional expertise is being applied to the question.
On the other page, I suggested a possibility that is less trusting of the local community; but productive of jobs and, perhaps more reliable.

A possible suggestion: Whenever someone is uploading pictures or video (via the mesh) to the internet, it must be approved by human eyes. Those eyes should belong to women in another part of the world. For instance, Uruguayan women, approve every image and video that Nigerian computer users upload. Libyan women approve every image and video that Uruguyans upload etc. It will be harder to corrupt the filter if it exists further away, speaks another language and is built of women.

The countries where you are going to pilot this program are full of women who would happily take an image filtering job for $50/month or thereabouts (and that, in many cases, would be a generous salary). Invest an extra $60,000 in each country towards the power of external, female filtering and you might be able to save yourselves considerable embarassment. In the context of this project, $60,000 sounds like a very modest investment; but it could create scores of jobs in each country and help to protect young people from the world's thirsty perversion. --[[User:Onlinementor] 2:20, 9 April 2007 (EST)

Mesh Network Emulation

I'd like to try running a mesh network with emulation software; using say several laptops and a server (they could all be on one physical machine). I can't figure out how to create a mesh network using the qemu image, and don't see any images for the server. Thanks.

(I am a graduate student in Computer Science and Education, and would like to contribute to this project; but need to evaluate a working environment first)

Could this Virtualized Sugar page be what you're looking for? --Xavi 08:26, 6 February 2007 (EST)

Thanks... maybe. I fired up two instances of olpc on moka5, on separate machines in the same LAN, but couldn't them in the neighborhood. What more tinkering is required?

Looks like it didn't work, uh? I would suggest then that you raise the issue in one of the mailing lists probably networking. If you find an answer (solution or reason on why not) please post it here, so that we may then add it somewhere. Thanks and good luck! --Xavi 00:45, 7 February 2007 (EST)

Environmental End-of-life considerations

The environmental impacts and economic costs of disposing of obsolete/broken ICT hardware are well-known. The energy-efficiency of the laptop helps minimise it's impact during operational life. Can some details be given on steps that have or will be taken in the manufacturing and "ultimate disposal" stages of the hardware lifecycle to minimise environmental costs? I'm thinking here of embedded energy in manufacture, and disposal costs. Will recycling costs/incentives be built into the purchase cost? Will a recovery program be up to the individual government , or part of the agreement between OLPC and clients?

That is a very valid concern, but with in reason. When you buy clothing, or you buy furniture, or computers do you take that issue up with the manufactures everytime? Yes I am sure each government has a program that addresses these issues or there program is they do not. I suggest that you take this issue up with your locall EPA and request information on what you can do. You may be able to start or join a group based on your concern. I believe the OLPC knows about conservation and most likely the subject has come up.-- 12:09, 24 March 2007 (EDT)


I notice that Marvell is the provider of the wireless solution, but there's no hyperlink to the company. Is this the same company? Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. 5488 Marvell Lane Santa Clara, CA 95054 Phone: Fax: A search on their website: Does not show a "Libertas" product, which is what is mentioned on the hardware page: Wireless: Marvell Libertas 88W8388+88W8015, 802.11b/g compatible; dual adjustable, rotating coaxial antennas; supports diversity reception

The reason for the question is if this wireless product draws such low power, it seems like a good fit for other applications? Just wondering...

It would seem so. Particularly noting that the drivers mentioned in the wireless page link to that site, and other info in the Libertas page. I'm guessing, but 802.11s (mesh) is still fuzzy, so it probably hasn't made it to the 'product' level yet. See also Category:Network. --Xavi 15:48, 8 February 2007 (EST)

autoreinstalation image through usb is not

i have successfully update image from this site...(olpc/manuals%20notes/Auto re installation_image.htm)...but after giving response ok at the end of setup...machine didn't reboot or shutdown... after waiting long time i shutdown the machine and then turn on .. then message comes : trying startup script disk:\boot\olpc-boot.fth..........and then no response for 5 minutes...after 5 minutes again a 4 lines message comes....

boot-file = ro root=mtd0 rootfstype=jffs2 console=ttys0, console =tty0 fbcon=font:sun12*22 pci=nobios video=gxfb:1024*768-16 boot-device = nand ..... and machine held with this message....and no response ....

can any body help me in this issue ?? -- Salman Minhas System Administrator Electronic Government Directorate

We have seen a few cases of auto-installer failures apparently due to "botched" downloads onto USB disks. We plan to mitigate that by including a manifest in the installer image, with checksums/hashes. In the interim, please try downloadinga new build image. --Walter 20:21, 17 February 2007 (EST)

What are the costs of implementation? Economic costs of not implementing? Who will pay?

I am doing an economics project regarding the OLPC as an economic policy to solve third world education. I was just wondering if you could provide me with answers regarding these questions, espsecially about the long-term and short-term costs including social, political, and economic, domestic and international.

Thanks, Kevin, Toronto

The costs of implementation are just those you'd expect: infrastructure, hardware, distribution, etc. I'm not sure what you're asking about "economic costs of not implementing"; the idea is that economic benefits of education vastly outweigh the costs of laptops. National governments will pay, for the moment, though other schemes, such as one nation helping to pay for another's laptops, etc. will undoubtedly be explored as the program expands. --Jacobolus 19:34, 17 February 2007 (EST)

computers for children?

yes having a computer is great.but shouldnt we all make certain everyone is fed,first of all.people in every country go hungry each day.where is your 100$ technological advancement for that?

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Corruption and Extreme Poverty

I understand that it is the responsibility of the country to contact you, but what about countries that are too poor to afford millions of laptops even if they are only $100? and how are you addressing highly corrupt nations where the leaders interests are not aligned with those of the population they govern? Arguably the corrupt nations are ones that would benefit the most seeing as there population could see how there leader compared to others around the world.

That is a good question. The OLPC program has already handed out laptops throughout out the world in small markets. From the information has been made publicly available a big launch will be coming up very soon in several nations around the world but not every nation. I would think, that as the laptops become more of a common item the market might open up and different types of Governmental Organizations, that are sponsored by United Nations.UN programs may then have a chance to create programs to distribute the laptop to different nations based on a OLPC Around the World Program. This could very well be the future of the program that any nation may be able to see OLPC laptops in their countries based on a UN initiative.-- 19:21, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

minimum order

NGOs and retailers are supposedly excluded based on quantity, but that really doesn't make sense. In theory, an NGO or retailer could order many millions of laptops.

Some countries are initially excluded because they are too small. It seems you want quantities of 1 million.

Is that the magic number? If an NGO could buy a million, would you then work with them? What if Walmart wanted a million?

Would 5 million do the job? How about 10 million?

It'd be nice to replace all the "NO YOU CAN'T BUY ONE" stuff with a more-understandable "minimum order 1 million", or whatever it is.

AlbertCahalan 00:42, 20 February 2007 (EST)

OS languages that OLPC will release

What are the languages that OLPC will be released with? What are the first Priority ones?

Financial support for OLPC?

How is OLPC supported? How does one make a financial contribution?

You can make a financial contribution to the OLPC foundation, which is not the same as the OLPC association. Contributions will be used for "grants and loans for the development and use of open educational resources and grassroots learning innovations that enhance the effectiveness of the XO" and for the Special Laptop Program. --Fasten 17:30, 27 February 2007 (EST)

Proxy configuration

Is there any way to configure a proxy in the OLPC Firefox?

The web activity is just a version of firefox. As such, you can get to the firefox configuration by typing "about:config" in the location bar. Once there, you can narrow the settings to "network.proxy". Now, edit the fields to configure things properly from behind your corporate firewall :) -Jeff 12:06, 12 March 2007 (EDT)

Trade and market considerations

Considering the initial limits on distribution, do you anticipate extensive legitimate trade or black market trade in these devices? It will be interesting to observe the reaction to the initial distribution. (I can see people getting $500 or $1000 for the first ones). I think the open source concept suggests an unrestricted distribution as soon as practical. Would not the free-and-open-source development of code and content be greatly enhanced by general distribution? Will proprietary content appear in the marketplace, or government controlled and distributed content? --Dfourer 11:05, 25 February 2007 (EST)

Yes and no. The OLPC laptops have their own internet that is for learning and a social structure designed for children in the region where they are distributed to. If lets say a large amount of the laptops were taken most likely the ID numbers will be noted and the OLPC laptops will be rendered useless. Keep in mind they are mini computers with a lot of features designed for children. Just having one stolen OLPC laptop might end you up in jail and prove to be useless out side the classroom or the use of a child.Hunter

East Africa in the picture?

Im a kenyan who has been in computer trainning for the last 10 Years. I really would like to be involved in laying the OLPC ground work and later trainning to the youngsters. The East African countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) are not Participating in the OLPC programme at the momment. Is there a way I can be involved?.

Also, how often does a child need to wind the laptop to keep it working for say, one hour session?.

Yes and No. You can stay involved by keeping up with the OLPC news and find out more information as it becomes available about the distribution of the OLPC laptop. But if your nation is not at this time ready to commit to the purchase of the laptops then you will have to wait and see. Look at it this way the OLPC laptop could take off and be a must have for every developing nation and Walla they will come to East Africa too! As far as how many winds I do not know that. Maybe ten seconds worth or less.I thnk it last longer then and hour through.-- 19:36, 19 March 2007 (EDT)

Paulo de cruz roja argentina

Ante todo impresionante la idea...

 Lo que me gustaria saver es si llegara a lugares como los que 

estamos acostubrados a trabajar el personal voluntario de cruz roja argentina y en mi caso en particular de la localidad de Quilmes al sur de Buenos Aires.La mayoria de los chicos no save ni siquiera como prender una computadora por lo cual estaria bueno que sea lo mas practico posible.

 mi email es

Photo use suggestion

Apologies if this is the wrong place; I couldn't find a better spot on the wiki to suggest this. I hope someone can route it for me.

As I understand it, the OLPC system takes a photo of the laptop's owner at an early stage, and uses that in various UI elements to identify the child (e.g. the "neighbourhood" view).

Suggestion: this photo should also be displayed during startup, so that a teacher can work out who owns a laptop left behind in the classroom immediately, instead of needing to wait for the entire boot sequence.

It should also be displayed when/if the laptop is locked out due to a failure to contact the authentication server inside 21 days, or because it's been explicitly disabled due to theft.) This would allow a stray laptop to be reunited with its owner far easier, and/or make it simple for the police to ascertain that the person holding the laptop is not the owner.

That may well be the case.-- 11:39, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

About internet access

I am very interested about the OLPC. I am a pc programmer too and I am interested on programming for other plataforms, like the Playstation2, cellphones, and now, to the OLPC, too. I know almost all about he OLPC, ecxept one thing: What are the plans about the Internet access on the OLPC particulary on Brazil?

You can find informations about this, in portuguese, at the DMU site

I think the platform is similar to all the other nations except the language is different. The subject matter is to reflect each nations individual lifestyle and customs. Brazil is also one of the first nations to receive the proto types.-- 11:54, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

A little question

The user install other programs on the pc, like on a normal pc using linux? If not, there is a way to run programs on the OLPC? The programs that I am referring are other programs, developed by users, etc...

The OLPC has a pretty small footprint. The OLPC Redhat distribution is very small, and has few program. There is an OLPC Redhat Development distribution which has a few more Linux programs, but it's still small. Sugar is the GUI interface, and has special activity programs. Activities are inherently networkable and sharable. -Jeff 21:45, 6 March 2007 (EST)

Internet access

How is internet connectivity achieved?

OLPC laptops talk to each other in an ad-hoc mesh network. Each school has a server which connects laptops on the mesh to the internet. -Jeff 21:28, 9 March 2007 (EST)

Egypt - GILO

USAID/Egypt issued a request for proposal (RFP) entitled Girls Inhanced Learning Opportunities 263-097-003GILOFeb 19, 2007 that calls for provision 30 computers and one lap top to 300 schools in seven (7) governates. The source/origin code for this procurement is 000 (United States). Assuming the OLPC laptops are not of US sources/origns, are you willing to provide princing information so this approach can be reflected in technical and cost responses to USAID/Egyupt's RFP(assuming a waiver can be obtained from USAID)?

The nation of Egypt from what I have read thus far, has to sign up it they are interested in the OLPC lap tops. --Hunter 21:22, 14 March 2007 (EDT)



No! It's for schools.

Which Unix-like Operating System?

I can find no link among section sub-headings to give me any clue as to where I find information about all the Operating Systems under consideration for this OLPC machine. It will be a Unix-like Operating System I am sure but that could be a Linux Distro, a version of FreeBSD or some other OS such as Minix. Or will this machine be a platform capable of running a wide range of Unix-like OS's? Should there not be a a sub-heading under 'about the laptop' for 'operating system'? One assumes that the sub-heading 'software' would have to cover Operating Systems but I can find no mention whatsoever there!

A question:

What is wrong with Unix? In most First World programs where computers are offered to users as a service or aid for no or little cost. They most times give older programs or updated version of older programs like Windows 98. Why should this be any different for third world children?


Not an official answer, but it will be a small linux distribution, I think based on RedHat. One big goal is free and open software; a second goal is secure software. That rules out Microsoft Windows in both counts. See Bitfrost for information on the security model.

--Keybounce 21:52, 31 March 2007 (EDT)

Whats the name of the small distribution at Red Hat? As from what I have read they seemed to have already made up their mind. No it rules out on one count Microsoft and one count the User. Users are sometimes not secure not the systems. One more question: Do you think Red Hat over all aside from the desgined for the OLPC programs or picked up by, can deal with mass sites for kids? Do you have any data about how many sites for children with G-rated content RED Hat hosts in their systems to answer the last question? I think UNIX is still used at Libaries. Bakersdz

Assistive Technology Software on the OLPC Laptop

In regards to accessibility, I think the 3 USB prots are a great idea. But what kind of assistive technology will be avaliable on the computer itself? Will synthesized speech, for example, have to be provided by an external synthesizer? Or, will a separate Nraille display and Braille keyboard have to be connected for a blind user to use the machine? Will the system have the necessary drivers built into the kernel or provided by external programs (such as Brltty)? What about support for mouse alternatives such as switches and head mice? Will the laptop be capable of playing sounds on events? I appologize for all the questions, but these are questions we are still trying to answer in mainstream operating systems.

The OLPC system has it's own set of rules and computing factors as mentioned on the many pages devoted to that subject.USB is also answered on this page. The answer to main stream operating systems would be Yes they have servers that are cross coded to allow them to give a limted out put via these servers. Will you beable to directly recive taged pages? Not at first but because from what has been said and the feed back they seem to work well and have few glitchs that will end up in

the main stream if any at all.-- 23:04, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

Has there been any News stories this year about the programa?

I found a page that has some news stories [4] If i find any more I'll add the link. -- 11:10, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

A Question about site submission

I was reading on one of the Wiki pages that you are looking for articles. But in the question and answer section you said the local communities will be adding things to the laptops internet mesh. Once the Laptops are received do you think it would be better to write to the government directly and submit sites based on simple graphics and texts that they can add them selves. I would like to submit but I wrote you people before and no one answered me and it is easier to get the Governments address and phone number . What do you think?

Well I think your idea sounds great! But you should hold off for right now in contacting the governments about submission ideas. If you look around the OLPC Wiki there are some ways you can make suggestions. But I am sure in the future once the program is off and running there will be ways to submit lessons and other suggestions to each OLPC location as well as to the OLPC program itself.



I'm not sure if the information about accessibility on this WIKI answers the questions we have received about the laptop/program. So here goes: Someone asked me if the device would work for children with disabilities? And if you been designing this device with disability accessibility in mind from the outset? For instance, most persons with vision disability are not Braille readers so might need font enlarging capacity or some sort of audio outputs? Likewise for children with fine motor skills disabilities (e.g., one hand or less than the usual number of fingers or dexterity impacted by other neurological damage) would the keyboard design work for them? Likewise, for children with intellectual disabilities, is the interface usable for children who are not average? We've heard that 10% of the world's population, or more than 600 million people, live with life altering disabilities, and two thirds of those persons are in developing countries (UN statistics). We assume many of these are children. Would you give me a heads-up if you are designing, developing and fabricating this $100 laptop with disability accessibility needs in mind? Thanks! J. Simpson Senior Director, Telecommunications & Technology Policy, American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) 1629 K Street, N.W., Suite 503 Washington, DC 20006 Tel Ext 31 Website

We are thinking about this; there are certainly significant disabled populations who will hopefully be using the laptop. You can sign up for our accessibility mailing list: accessibility at laptop. Thank you for your interest. Sj talk 16:51, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

Well in some ways many of the children will not be average to First World standards. Their is a UBS(USB) port which makes the possibilities endless depending on what you want to add. Right now as far as has been publicized some of the developers have been working on accessibility in theory with in the structure of the OLPC laptops system. So yes I would say in the future there is the possibility of adding features that would make the OLPC laptop user friendly to those who have disabilities. The major presentation of the program will be launching in a few more weeks. So right now the main focus is to get the lap tops delivered to the nations that have already ordered them as well as get them up and running in the hands of the many children that will benefit form this program. You can always check back and stay posted and once the OLPC laptops have been received and in use you can ask agian. Hunter

error 51330

I have one OLPC.when i am trying to connect this pc through wireless access point(Linksys) for internet ,it is showing error 51330 . please find a solutions

Yes you failed to mention that you are linking Nintendo try their homepage.--Bakersdz 21:34, 24 March 2007 (EDT)

OLPC and eyes

What about OLPC screen? Doesn't it damage eyes of a child? Especially if it is used as textbook's substitution and children will have to spend many hours reading from the screen

Why would you assert that it is harmful? In ebook mode it is nonemissive and rivals the resolution of paper. --Walter 15:38, 6 April 2007 (EDT)

I'm Russian. I noticed that many laptop manufacturers, as well as the majority of dealers oppose to the OLPC idea. Analysts usually describe OLPC disadvantages in mass media. Such apparently unexplicable hate is, in my opinion, the strongest demonstration of OLPC potential utility for millions of people. Expensive laptops manufacturers and dealers are afraid the majority of potential consumers will prefer such low-cost device. I am uneable to understand why OLPC manufacturers don't plan a parallel production for people who are ready to pay more (some USD200) and to credit production beforehand. In some countries away from OLPC distribution plan there are - I'm sure - millions of people who are ready to pay these USD200 or even more just now and receive laptop in some 6-8 months

Related Projects

There is a need for a directory list of related projects. Who else is working in this field? What is being done? Would a 'Useful Links' page not make sense?

Visit To Thailand from Mozambique

As a resident American in Mozambique but former teacher of computer skills, I am interested in seeing OLPC in operation. I will be traveling to Thailand next week and would appreciate meeting a teacher or visiting a school in Bangkok where OLPC is presently working. Thanks. Phil Gray


My church would like to do some mission work (5-10 people) in Damongo, Ghana where we know some one who has done extensive mission work. There is a school with approximately 800 students at this time. Our small Minnesota church would like to buy 20-30 computers (or pay the government in Ghana for 20-30 of them). Are you allowing the government to give these computers to some schools and not others at this time? Could you give 20-30 to a school with 800 students or does every student need to have their own?

I have e-mailed the US Embassy in Ghana to see if we could pay for 20-30 if they were to apply to get the OLPC laptops (and were accepted). Is this possible?

Barb Tonn

Local version of SUGAR (particularly, Korea for me)

I want to make a Korean Version of SUGAR UI. I know the fact that currently you are making local versions for participating countries and, unfortunately, Korea is not one yet.

However, I think there is no reason to block writing local versions of SUGAR. Having one's own local version will help people persuade their governments to participate in OLPC.


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