Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 15th Sep 2007 19:57 UTC, submitted by Bobthearch
Hardware, Embedded Systems The vaunted 'USD 100 laptop' that Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers dreamed up for international schoolchildren is becoming a slightly more distant concept. The USD 100 laptop has many innovative features including a pull cord for recharging by hand. Leaders of the nonprofit One Laptop Per Child that was spun out of MIT acknowledged Friday that the devices are now slated to cost USD 188 when mass production begins this fall. The last price the nonprofit announced was USD 176; it described USD 100 as a long-term goal.
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Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

"How would I recommend the children learn." - Are you joking.....wtf!?! You're right, the obvious problem with education today is that not every kid has a laptop. 20 years ago, how did kids learn? Here's a hint: NOT ON LAPTOPS!

So let me be crystal clear with this proposal, these kids can't afford shoes or running water, but they'll be able to plug in their shiny-new rugged laptops into their electrical outlets to charge up, and then connect to their local ISP because their families obviously have the income to afford that? Am I getting this right?

Seriously, though, you can't get the impoverished too smart; they might just figure out how our great nation has been f'ing them for all this time.

Reply Parent Score: 1

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Phloptical,

You are being crude. You are being shortsighted. And I am embarrassed for you.

I can tell you how I, as a child, learned 30 or 40 years ago: from books.

But I'm tasking you with the responsibility to get books to these children. Do you want to raise the money to send them in paper form, year after year? Or would it make more sense to make it possible for them to receive all the books that they will need for their ongoing education in electronic form? Your choice.

The devices do not require electrical outlets. The mesh networking means that the Internet connection can be shared by the members of the community in which the children live. No need for the family to pay for a broadband connection.

Reply Parent Score: 4

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Your still thinking of this project as servicing US and other first world countries; It doesn't. Stop focusing on the hardware component and consider the overall goals.

In places that this project is targeting Food, Water and Sanitation is just barely covered. Books or expensive luxuries that only the schools can afford to stock. That means no lending books out for students to carry home and back. That means the information source (books) turn to mush when they get soaked in monsoons and distroyed when they get left to sand storms.

Gee, for all the books that these schools have available; they're still not doing so well now are they? There'd be no call for such a project as the OLPC if they where doing well. Third world farmers would not be getting offered below market value for there harvest. Third world children would be engineering there nations out of national poverty. This is not happening.

"20 years ago, how did kids learn? Here's a hint: NOT ON LAPTOPS!"

Stop thinking of this as a technology project. Stop thinking of this in terms of American over-privaledged schools. Just for a moment, consider this as an education project. Just for a moment, consider the benifits of text books destributed as PDF and housed inside a ruggedized, power efficient, dailight readable box.

This is not issuing cell phones to over-privaledged American pre-teens. This is not big corporations saturating an untapped market with products to boost there gross profit and hook another generation of consumers. This is not Microsoft pushing for a cellphone/tv/keboard combination to open a new market to it's OS lock-in strategies. The hardware is purely to support the end goal wich is EDCATION WHERE BOOKS, PAPER and PENCIL are expensive and poorly suited to the tasks.

Again, I ask.. given villages in jungles, deserts and other harsh environments where access to a school house may mean a days walk in cases; how would you provide information efficiently to the broadest possible student body in a manner not easily destroyed by weather conditions?

Come on now, we'll wait.. give us a few alternatives to the OLPC.

You show a distinct bias against laptops and in a first world nation with our generaly spoiled younger generations that's a very valid sentiment. By applying that sentiment to the OLPC *you* miss the whole point and ignore the true goals and challenges. That's your loss.

(edit); I missed resonding to some of your ignorance.

"
So let me be crystal clear with this proposal, these kids can't afford shoes or running water, but they'll be able to plug in their shiny-new rugged laptops into their electrical outlets to charge up, and then connect to their local ISP because their families obviously have the income to afford that? Am I getting this right?
"

First, the machines are power efficient; they run for a few days off a battery charge without needing sleep mode. You maybe know of another general purpose notebook that does the same? They can be charged by solar cell, crank generator or wall socket in the very few places that may offer a luxury such as wired electricity.

Second, they primarily use an ad-hoc networking method. The school may have a server with all text books digitally available. Each OLPC will link together extending it's own small network cloud which may or may not reach that school server; it will join multiple students together though.

Third, students who can't afford shoes are not expected to pay for the machienes. A) That's why they are targeting a 100$~200$ price point. B) That's why they are only selling them to *GOVERNMENTS* who will then distribute them to schools and children.

Security considerations have been addressed in both the case of the ad-hoc networking and potential for thieft. That's why they are a nice bright and noticable colour; by the way.

Seriously, you've demonstraited that you know nothing about the project at all. You saw the word "notebook" and "children" in the same paragraph and decided to have a little rant and troll with your uneducationed opinion.

Do some reading and actually understand the hardware, project and reasoning behind it before you open your mouth again. Here, I'll help cause I hate to see a potentially intelligent mind go to waste:

The root page
http://olpc.com/

The quick overview (note: "intended for use by children *in developing nations*. The laptop is poised *to empower and educate* children through the use of technology")
http://olpc.com/quick-facts.html

The FAQ you should read before opening your mouth again:
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Category:OLPC_FAQ

Edited 2007-09-17 14:26

Reply Parent Score: 1