[Ma-linux] One Laptop per Child: Give one, Get one
truegsegger at csc.com
Mon Nov 12 06:46:10 EST 2007
For those who don't already know, the One Laptop per Child initiative
has a "give one, get one" program where you can, well, what it says.
It just opened today and will run until November 26, 2007 assuming
they don't run out sooner.
Why would you want one? Well, it's
(a) A technological marvel that can do many things "normal" laptops
can't (admittedly it can't do some things they can). A device I'd
like to study to see what it can do.
(b) A novel human-engineering feat, designed to appeal to children who
may be illiterate and in any case have no language in common. A
device I'd like to study to see what it feels like to use it.
(c) A historical artifact. I believe this is a historically-important
project; a nonprofit project to get computers into the hands of
children in developing countries all over the world. A cool thing
to show grandchildren who were born after computers stopped being
physically-distinct hardware and simply merged with everything,
including our own bodies...
The laptop itself is ingenious, designed to work where there's no
electric power and no Internet. Uses very little power, so it can
charged by a hand-crank. It's a wireless router, automatically
creating a mesh network with nearby laptops and, whenever any laptop
in the mesh has Internet access, they all do! Even has an integrated
The website is a bit weird (obviously designed by artists) but it's
loaded with fascinating stuff.
Disclaimer: Although I studied with Nicholas Negroponte and Seymour
Papert long ago, I have no connection with the OLPC initiative or any
of its projects. In fact, the last time I spoke with Nicholas, he
threatened me with bodily harm ;-)
One Laptop per Child:
Give One Get One:
ps. If you don't want one yourself, you might still consider donating
one or more. Besides being a good thing in itself, it's
pps. ObGNU/Linux: well it sure doesn't run Windows! Last I checked,
all is Free Software except some part of the wireless driver they
claimed they couldn't get any other way.
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