One Laptop Per Child

Ha! And there you were, thinking I was all blogged out! And in fact I was, but then someone bought one of the XO-1 machines into Osmosoft Towers. They're the laptops being used for the One Laptop Per Child program, the noble cause that aims to improve education in developing countries by reducing the cost of laptops to US$100.

As you'd expect at that cost, the laptops run open source software (including Red Hat Linux), and the front end has been tailored to make them more accessible to children. They have USB inputs, web cameras and wi-fi antennae. I know there are all sorts of arguments that we should first focus on the people that need basic food and sanitation, and there are plenty who don't have electricity. Obviously that deserves effort and attention. But I think using technology to help people to educate themselves is a worthy, parallel long term solution to the same problem.

I'm pretty sure TiddlyWiki will run just fine on the XO-1 browser (based on the Gecko engine used by Mozilla Firefox), although we had some issues with USB stick detection. This would definitely complement the educational aspects of the project.

It looks pretty funky too. Ironically it got more attention here than the brand new chunky iPod nano that Jeremy bought, which is about 1/50th the size and probably more powerful. Perhaps Nicholas Negroponte has his own reality distortion field? Anyway, click through to see the photos:
One Laptop Per Child


Bersi said…
Hi Phil,

is there a chance that you could showcase the laptop somewhere sometime. There is loads of interest on this end :)
Phil Whitehouse said…
Absolutely, we're looking to get a few XO-1s for TiddlyWiki experiments, will let you know when they're available to check out!