Official OLPC FAQ

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How can I buy a laptop?

As a non-profit organization, OLPC is not selling the XO laptops on the retail market nor can we give the laptops away as grants--although we certainly admire the many deserving humanitarian efforts inquiring about the XO. (Keep up the fantastic work!) In order to keep logistics simple and to get laptops in the hands of children in a non-profit manner, we are concentrating on large bulk orders made by governments or non-profit organizations. If you are a government entity or organization interested in purchasing 10,000 or more XO laptops to distribute to children in a non-profit manner, please email: countries@laptop.org


There was a brief Give One Get One program in 2007--for a $399 donation, enabling an XO laptop to be sent to a needy child and you, the donor, also receiving one for yourself. A new progressively more global program is beginning November 17, 2008, and details will be announced on these sites: http://laptop.org, http://amazon.com/xo, and G1G1 2008


Almost all of the tens of thousands of 2007's Give One Get One orders have been filled. Only a few orders with issues remain unfilled, so if you still have not received your laptop, please DO check on the order by emailing help@laptop.org


If you email about your Give One Get One order, please make sure you get the automated reply soon after. If you do not see this automatically generated email, please check the Bulk or Spam folders in your email program to see if the reply was caught there. As long as you've received this auto-reply, a real live human will get back to you with an answer to your inquiry as soon as possible.


If you participated in the 2007 Give One Get One, thank you!

Will OLPC be offering Give One Get One (G1G1) again?

One Laptop per Child will sell its XO Laptops at Amazon.com/xo starting November 17 for $399 plus shipping and handling. We hope this will become a progressively more global offering over time. For more information and updates on the progress of the new Give1Get1 program, keep an eye on http://laptop.org. It will definitely be talked about on our Community News page, which you can see here and even subscribe to: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/News

There was a brief Give One Get One program in 2007---for a $399 donation, an XO laptop was sent to a needy child and you, the donor, could also receive one for yourself.

Thank you to all those who participated! You helped the start-up of the manufacturing of the XO *and* helped a child in need.

Who do I contact if I have a question about my 2007 Give One Get One order?

Almost all of the tens of thousands of Give One Get One orders have been filled. Only a few orders with issues remain unfilled, so if you still have not received your laptop, please DO check on the order by emailing help@laptop.org. Emailing is by far the best way to reach us because of the large number of wonderful volunteers who attend to these emails. We do not have nearly the capacity to answer the phone.


If you email about your Give One Get One order, please make sure you get the automated reply soon after. If you do not see this automatically generated email, please check the Bulk or Spam folders in your email program to see if the reply was caught there. As long as you've received this auto-reply, a real live human will get back to you with an answer to your inquiry as soon as possible.


If you participated in the 2007 Give One Get One, thank you!

For some tax related FAQ's please see farther down in this list, for example here: #Is donating to OLPC, either outright, or by participating in Give One Get One tax deductible?


To get technical help with your XO laptop please email OLPC’s volunteer-driven Tech Support line: help@laptop.org (See next question for many useful XO technical support links.)

If I have a technical question about the XO laptop I received, what can I do?

Some helpful technical links for your XO:

OLPC Support, volunteer-driven: http://support.laptop.org

XO Laptop Manual: http://laptop.org/manual

Technical Support FAQ: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_FAQ

XO Troubleshooting Guide: (older) http://laptop.org/start/troubleshooting.shtml


Please understand that since the XO is not a commercially available product, if you need technical help in using it, we strongly encourage you to seek support from friends, family, bloggers and the links provided here. One goal of the G1G1 initiative is to create an informal network of XO laptop users in the developed world who will provide feedback about the technical aspects of the XO and its utility as an educational tool for children. People may also want to participate in the worldwide effort to create open-source educational applications for the XO laptop. (See Contributing content) We urge participants in the G1G1 initiative to think of themselves as members of an international educational movement rather than as “customers.”


If you still have questions, please email help@laptop.org The team there, comprised almost entirely of volunteers, has done an amazing job answering questions.

Will these laptops be available for purchase in retail stores?

No, we have no plans for conventional retail sale of the XO at this time. In order to keep logistics simple and to fulfill our mission to get laptops in the hands of children in a non-profit manner, we are concentrating on filling large bulk orders from governments and other non-profit entities.

Please understand that launching the laptop is an ongoing process. Have patience, hopefully the price of laptops will continue to decline in general. Someday the XO laptop may be more widely available at the cost of production: around $180 right now and decreasing over time. Surely it will be noted on our website if the laptop does become commercially available. http://www.laptop.org


Can I or my organization be a recipient of the XO laptop?

One Laptop per Child is a non-profit organization which manufactures the XO laptop to sell directly to governments or agencies willing to purchase the XO in bulk and then donate them to a worthy cause. We regret we cannot give the laptops away (we could not afford to do that since we are making no profit), nor do we sell them individually or commercially at this time. Perhaps in the future there may be an application process to be granted an XO laptop, or a way to buy only a few machines, but we are sorry that for now, there is not. If any of the above options someday become available, surely they will be noted on our website at: http://www.laptop.org

Because of the Give One Get One campaign that ran through the end of 2007, we did indeed, through the generous donations of participants, gather funds to manufacture a number of laptops to give away.

We regret to say there is no application process to receive these laptops. They are simply being donated to the governments of a few of the poorest countries on earth: Haiti, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Cambodia and Mongolia. If you were interested in the XO's going to a specific school in one of these countries, it would be best for you to lobby the government of that country to that effect. We regret we do not have the personnel to assist you with this lobbying.

Industrialized countries are by no means excluded. Government or non-profit large purchase inquiries should be sent to countries@laptop.org.

The answer to many other questions you might have can be found on our FAQ here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Official_OLPC_FAQ


How will the laptop computers be marketed?

Our policy at the moment is to sell the laptops directly to governments or non-profit endeavors willing to order in volume. Developing countries are the most actively engaged with OLPC but we have not excluded wealthier nations, states or cities. We certainly understand that there are underprivileged children in all corners of the globe; indeed, all children are deserving. The idea in the long run is to have one laptop per child (the concept) everywhere!


It is up to the relevant officials of a government entity or organization to contact us by e-mailing countries@laptop.org to start a dialogue. The participating governments or organizations will then distribute the XO laptops in a non-profit manner to their schools or participants. (The link below shows which countries are in what stages of negotiation.) You are welcome to lobby any government or organization you wish on behalf of our XO laptop or simply the concept of one laptop per child. We regret we cannot assist you in this lobbying, but we appreciate the efforts of those who share our vision.


Bulk orders will get the manufacturing process rolling and drive the price down. Please have patience: the launch and distribution of the XO laptop is a process. We hope that our efforts, along with market forces in general, will contribute to affordable laptops being widely available in the near future so that everyone may benefit.


We receive many inquiries from worthwhile causes and lone individuals from around the world, doing amazing and noble humanitarian work. We applaud all these efforts and regret we cannot fully collaborate or donate laptops at this time. Hopefully, the government of the region you are interested, or a non-profit working in the area may be purchasing the laptops. Again, feel free to lobby.


To see which countries are involved, go to:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Countries

To see a map of these countries:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Map


Why do children in developing nations need laptop computers?

The Founder and Chairman of One Laptop per Child, Nicholas Negroponte, thinks of the XO laptop as not merely a piece of equipment, but as an educational opportunity. Laptop computers can be a window and a tool — a window into the world and a tool with which to think. Computers are a wonderful way for all children to learn through independent interaction and exploration.


Why are these laptops going to children in developing nations when there are needy children in the U.S.?

In the U.S., the average expenditure for education is $7,500 dollars per child. In developing countries, the average expenditure is typically less than $300 dollars per child. One Laptop per Child is initially focused on where the need is most urgent.


However, wealthier nations and organizations are most certainly not excluded. A number of U.S. states and cities have approached OLPC and expressed interest in the program. It is up to the relevant officials of a government entity or organization to contact us by emailing countries@laptop.org to start a dialogue. The participating governments or organizations will then distribute the XO laptops in a non-profit manner to their schools or participants. You are welcome to lobby any government or organization you wish on behalf of our XO laptop or simply the concept of one laptop per child. We regret we cannot assist you in this lobbying, but we appreciate the efforts of those who share our vision.

Please see also #How will the laptop computers be marketed?.


Why not a desktop computer, or even better, a recycled desktop machine?

While desktops are cheaper, mobility is important, especially with regard to taking the computer home at night. Children in the developing world need the newest technology, especially rugged hardware and innovative software.


Why is it important for each child to have a computer? What's wrong with community access computer centers?

One does not think of community pencils — kids have their own. They are tools with which to think, sufficiently inexpensive to be used for work and play, drawing, writing, and mathematics. A computer can be the same, but far more powerful. Furthermore, there are many reasons it is important for a child to own something, like a football, doll, or book, not the least of which being that these belongings will be well maintained through love and care.


What is the laptop called and what can it do?

It is an amazing machine, designed for children, called XO. It is quite rugged, GNU/Linux based, has 3 USB ports, gets the internet wirelessly, has a built in camera, a sunlight readable screen, and many other interesting features. It runs on very little power and there will be peripherals that will allow the laptop to run on solar or human power for regions off-grid. (These peripherals will be available to governments buying them in bulk, not to individuals who participated in Give One Get One. We have no plans to sell the peripherals commercially.) We regret we do not have time to answer technical questions or lists of questions about the XO's specs; our engineers are too busy perfecting the XO.

Please browse pages of information about the XO’s specs here: http://www.laptop.org/en/laptop/


Or check out the Technical Support FAQ: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_FAQ


Can the XO connect to the internet?

Yes, the XO comes with wifi compatible networking capabilities. If there is an open access point within range, you can click on it to connect. If you have a password for a WEP access point, you can connect to that as well. If a wired Ethernet connection to the internet is desired, a "USB to Ethernet adapter" must be purchased. These are commonly available in the electronics retail market. The XO does not have an internal modem and cannot connect to a telephone line for dial-up internet access.


Our Connectivity Quick Start Guide will answer most questions about Internet Connectivity.

Give1Get1 donors can activate their T-Mobile offer when their XO is confirmed received.


Can I load Microsoft Windows or my own software onto the XO laptop?

At this exact moment in time, no, but possibly in the near future.

OLPC maintains a firm and unequivocal commitment to open source software. Having an open system is fundamental to OLPC's mission, please see: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Core_principles/lang-en

Any software developed by or for OLPC is released under GPL v2. The open source community remains a critical success factor in the one laptop per child mission.

Microsoft is developing a version of its XP operating system that will be able to run on the XO laptop. OLPC will continue to develop its Linux-based OS and distribute it on all its XO laptops. Future distributions may include both open and proprietary software; however, the choice of what to use will remain the child's and the default will remain open source.

For more detail, see here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/MS_FAQ


Can I print from the XO?

For the first shipment of XOs from December 2007, there is no built-in Printer Support. The XO Community has created the instructions below for G1G1 donors:

Documents can be saved to a USB drive or SD card and printed from another computer. Click on the general steps for saving a document here:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Printer_Support#CUPS


How do I get upgrades for the operating system of my XO?

OLPC provides OS upgrades on a regular basis. You can get the upgrade directly from us, or possibly from a local country server or school server. For more details please see here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_FAQ#Software_Update.2C_Restore_to_Factory_Default


Can I load flash on the XO?

As of September 2008, the Browse activity includes the open source Gnash plug-in that has some compatibility with the .swf Flash file format. The Adobe Flash proprietary plug-in itself is not officially supported but you can install it.

Can I load java on the XO?

This is NOT officially supported. See Java and RestrictedFormats#Sun_Java.

What can a $1,000 laptop computer do that the XO Laptop cannot?

The XO laptop is a computer built for learning and designed specifically with children in mind. Because of this, the features deemed most valuable for its purposes are as good (and in many cases, better) than comparable features on a $1000 laptop. For instance, the XO’s screen can be viewed as clearly as a newspaper in broad daylight, and the wireless range of the XO is several times farther than your average laptop. It's also more rugged, resilient and power efficient than most other laptops on the market. While other features, such as power and speed, cannot compare to a $1000 machine, they are excellent for the XO’s $200 price point and meet the necessary requirements for learning.


What comes with a Give One Get One order? Can I get the solar panel or hand crank?

Participants in Give One Get One should have received one XO laptop, the battery, and a US/Canadian electrical power cord. At this time, none of the peripherals, such as the solar panel or hand crank are for sale by OLPC--possible solutions may exist by other companies. (Off-grid power solutions will be available for the bulk orders made by governments and organizations in the future.)

Check here for news about peripherals for the XO:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Peripherals


Can I get replacement parts for my XO laptop?

Unfortunately, replacement parts such as keyboards, batteries and power cords are not available directly from OLPC at this time, but we hope to get a program running to take care of these needs in Spring 2008. Please check back then at the Support FAQ at: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_FAQ


Specifically this question: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Support_FAQ#How_do_I_obtain_replacement_parts.2C_e.g._batteries_and_chargers.3F_Repair.3F


If am a skilled technical person or content developer and want to help the project, what can I do?

If you are thinking of offering your help - thank you! Please explore the olpc wiki for collaboration possibilities. You can find project suggestions and projects under development for the XO laptop. The following links may be of particular interest:

Home page: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home

Getting involved with OLPC: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Getting_involved_in_OLPC

Software projects under development or completed: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Software_projects

Guidelines for developing activities: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_Human_Interface_Guidelines

Our test runner and test result reporting tool, Tinderbox: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Tinderbox

Ideas about contributing content: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributing_content

There is a process for serious Developer applicants to go through to be reviewed to receive a test machine. Please fill out the application thoroughly, including all the contact information asked for and follow the directions carefully about where to email.

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Developers_program


May we work with OLPC on a research project or collaborative venture?

We are very grateful for your offer, but need to concentrate on the launch of the laptop and regret we do not have the human resources available to collaborate in the many creative ways that are suggested. Feel free to lobby your government officials or other organizations who may be able to purchase a large bulk order of XO laptops. They may email countries@laptop.org to start a dialogue with OLPC.

If you are a vendor, marketer, manufacturer, importer, wholesaler or distributor, we have filed your company information and will get back to you if we need your services. Thank you.

Please see this question for collaboration possibilities as well:

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Official_OLPC_FAQ#If_am_a_skilled_technical_person_or_content_developer_and_want_to_help_the_project.2C_what_can_I_do.3F

One Laptop per Child's main website is: http://www.laptop.org/

OLPC's wiki is at: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home


May we fundraise on behalf of OLPC?

Thank you very much for your very kind thoughts of fundraising! We truly appreciate it.

Because we are such a small team and are entirely concentrated on launching the laptop, we regret we have no personnel to monitor, assist or collaborate in such endeavors. Nor do we have any printed material we can send you, but you are welcome to print out pages for yourself from our website: http://www.laptop.org and http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home


Please remember that all materials must be reproduced with proper attribution and none of the information, images or other content can be use for commercial purposes or for your personal benefit.


There are some pictures you may use here: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Pictures


There are some presentations here, scroll down to where it says Slides, posters and materials: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/XO_roadshows


There is a growing archive of presentations(slides & video) as well at http://download.laptop.org/content


If the idea you have proposed raises funds for us, we are very grateful!

Checks for simple donations, *not* related to receiving any computers, can be sent to:


One Laptop per Child Foundation

PO Box 425087

Cambridge, MA 02142


It is also possible to give directly with a credit card through the link here on our website, *not* related to receiving any computers:

http://laptopfoundation.org/en/participate/

At this time, any donations made in the above manner cannot be designated to a specific school or country.


If I have a question about content, or want to contribute to it, what should I do?

Please direct your well summarized email to content@laptop.org

Or visit this web page: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributing_content

The content team will get back to you if they are able to collaborate. Otherwise, they thank you very much for the idea and will keep your email on file.


Can someone from OLPC come speak with us or participate in our event?

If you email OLPC and do not receive an additional email from us other than the automated reply within a few weeks, then we regret we will be unable to attend or participate. We are sorry that, for now, our staff is simply too small to be able to attend all the interesting events to which we are invited, as much as we would like to.


Good luck with your event and we do thank you very much for thinking of us!


May I (or my group or institution) visit your office?

Unfortunately, no, we are not set up for public visits.


Who is the manufacturer of the XO laptop computer?

Quanta Computer Inc. of Taiwan is the original design manufacturer (ODM) of the XO laptop. Quanta is the world’s largest laptop manufacturer and makes laptops for Apple, HP, Dell among many others. AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) makes the chip that is put in the XO laptop.


How is it possible to get the cost of the laptop so low?

First, by dramatically lowering the cost of the display. The first-generation computer will have a novel, dual-mode display that represents improvements to the LCD displays commonly found in inexpensive DVD players. Second, we have also worked to get the fat out of our software systems. In other words, our laptop computers operate more efficiently. The XO’s operating system is based on a free and open source version of GNU/Linux. Third, One Laptop per Child is a non-profit organization that is not obligated to any investors. Finally, One Laptop per Child uses large scale orders to minimize marketing and distribution costs and to bulk order components to drive prices down.


Why is the laptop over $100?

$100 is our target price and “The $100 Laptop” is a nickname. Currently, the XO’s cost around $180 to make. The manufacturer (Quanta) makes a small profit of a few dollars since they are a commercial business. However, One Laptop per Child is a non-profit organization and will not make any profit on the laptop. The price fluctuates depending on the cost of materials and the occasional addition or subtraction of a feature. We expect the price to fall with mass production, hopefully reaching $100 within the next few years.


How do I make a donation? Can a donation be made for a specific country or school?

Donating over the internet: Simple monetary contributions of any dollar amount in which you do *not* receive any XO laptops may be made here: http://laptopfoundation.org/en/participate/ Please see where it says "Amount to donate" and insert in the box next to it the amount you desire to donate securely through Google.

If you wanted to Simply Give in $200 increments, signifying one laptop per $200, also *not* receiving any XO laptops, please go to the link below and click on "Donate now": http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/give-a-laptop.php


Donating by snail-mail: Outright contributions by check or money order in which you will *not* recieve any XO laptops may be mailed to:

OLPC Foundation

P.O. Box 425087

Cambridge Massachusetts, 02142

U.S.A.


We regret, to keep our logistics simple, any donations made by the above methods cannot be designated to a specific school or country. The laptops will go to recipients in one of these countries: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Countries


For large bulk purchases, in which you may donate the laptops to a designated country or organization, please email countries@laptop.org to start a dialogue with OLPC.


The first Give One Get One campaign ended December 31st, 2007. We *will* be offering Give One Get One again, hopefully later this year, so stay tuned!

We are a 501(c)(3) organization and our EIN# is 20-5471780.


Are you a non-profit and do you have a Federal Tax ID number?

One Laptop per Child Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization and our EIN# is: 20-5471780 If you make a donation and your company has a matching gift program, please see if they would be willing to match your gift to us. Thank you!


Do you accept group or corporate donations?

Yes, please see the questions directly above this one about how to donate. To donate stock, please email stockdonations@laptop.org


Is donating to OLPC, either outright, or by participating in Give One Get One tax deductible?

The OLPC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and our EIN# is 20-5471780. As such, financial contributions may be deductible for federal income tax purposes. If you gave a straight donation, the entire amount should be deductible. Please consult with your financial advisor to determine the full extent of all tax deductibility.

Note that for Give One Get One, only half ($200) of the donation is generally tax deductible, because you are receiving one of the laptops. The XO laptop is a material item considered "goods" and therefore cannot be deducted.

We apologize that OLPC is not currently registered as a non-profit outside of the USA.

To donate your XO laptop back to OLPC, details are directly below.


What if I participated in Give One Get One and would like to donate my laptop back to OLPC?

We thank you for your generous thought of donating back your XO laptop. Click Here for details.


If I have donated money to OLPC prior to the Give One Get One program, can I get an XO now?

We regret not. We sincerely thank you for your previous donation. Due to limited availability, we are only providing XO laptops to the general public who participated during the Give One Get One program, which ran from November 12th through December 31st, 2007. We will hopefully have the Give One Get One program again in 2008, so stay tuned!


Do you accept donations of stock?

Yes. Please instruct your broker to transfer stock to the OLPC Foundation through our broker, AG Edwards. DTC Clearing #0201. For the Benefit Of (FBO): OLPC Foundation; Account 70038685. For more details and to receive the appropriate acknowledgment from the OLPC Foundation, please send an email to stockdonations@laptop.org.


Are there volunteer opportunities with OLPC?

We appreciate the generous offer of your time! Please see these links for ideas about volunteering:

http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/support-gang

http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Participate

Also check out this Frequently Asked Question: #If am a skilled technical person or content developer and want to help the project, what can I do?.

Feel free to email volunteer@laptop.org as well. Thank you!


Is it possible to intern at OLPC?

Please check this link: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Internships


Does OLPC have any job openings?

Please check this career page link and apply as instructed there: http://www.laptop.org/en/jobs.shtml


Is the laptop environmentally friendly?

It may be the “greenest” laptop in existence. We hope to make it even “greener” as it evolves. See here for details: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Environmental_Impact


Who is behind these XO laptop computers?

The XO laptop computer has been developed by One Laptop per Child, a non-profit organization founded by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte and a team of educators, developers and technologists dedicated to educating children with the goal of eradicating poverty. One Laptop Per Child is based on principles expressed by MIT Media Lab Professor Seymour Papert in the 1960s, and later elaborated upon by Alan Kay, and complemented by the principles articulated by Nicholas Negroponte in his book, Being Digital. Partner corporations including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Brightstar, eBay, Google, Marvell, News Corporation, Nortel, Quanta, Chi Mei Group, Red Hat, and SES Astra are involved in this initiative.


I am a journalist. Who do I contact to do a story about One Laptop per Child?

Please send a concise email to press@racepointgroup.com, or call Jackie Lustig at (781) 487-4664. This is the office that handles OLPC's press and it is the only way to get an interview from a spokesperson of OLPC for your media outlet.

If you must mention a hard deadline in your email, please do so.


Can you send me pamphlets or other printed material?

We do not have any printed material to distribute, information about our organization is online. One Laptop per Child's official website is at: http://www.laptop.org/


Are there news updates I can follow about OLPC?

Official periodic news updates from the OLPC Team can be found at: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/News

Or you can even subscribe to the OLPC community news mailing list by clicking on http://lists.laptop.org/mailman/listinfo/community-news

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