Well … I had to do it. For multiple reasons. First, I really want to see what one of these machines looks like. Second, I’ll be able to watch my son play with it, and see just how usable the software is. Lastly … and somewhat the deal closer … when I bought one, some child somewhere else on the planet will get a new laptop.
The One Laptop Per Child project has finally reached fruition … and for the next 14 days they are offering a Give One Get One offer … if you pay $399 you can give a OLPC to a child somewhere, and also get one for yourself. Oh yeah … and $200 of that is a tax deductible donation.
The OLPC is a Linux machine with some pre-packaged software for kids. From their website:
A real world laptop for real world change. The XO laptop.
Many years and an infinite amount of sweat equity went into the creation of the XO laptop. Designed collaboratively by experts from academia and industry, the XO is the product of the very best thinking about technology and learning. It was designed with the real world in mind, considering everything from extreme environmental conditions such as high heat and humidity, to technological issues such as local-language support. As a result, the XO laptop is extremely durable, brilliantly functional, energy-efficient, responsive, and fun. Come take a look.
I’m a little bummed that some of the features appear to be most useful when a bunch of kids have these in the same area … but we’ll see how it goes.
Social and sharing
The XO laptop was designed to provide the most engaging wireless network possible. The children can connect, chat, share information on the Web, gather by videoconference, make music together, edit texts, read e-books, and enjoy the use of collaborative games online.
I’m excited to see exactly what change this device causes around the world … we are living in interesting times …