It was supposed to be the laptop that saved the world.
In late 2005, tech visionary and MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte pulled the cloth cover off a small green computer with a bright yellow crank. The device was the first working prototype for Negroponte’s new nonprofit One Laptop Per Child, dubbed “the green machine” or simply “the $100 laptop”. And it was like nothing that Negroponte’s audience – at either his panel at a UN-sponsored tech summit in Tunis, or around the globe – had ever seen.
The OLPC was all the rage and hype for a few years back then, but it never materialised. Still, while not nearly the same thing, cheap mobile phones and smartphones have played a somewhat similar role.
Um… YES IT DID! I had one from their “buy one, get one” program, where you paid for two and one was donated on your behalf. It was an interesting little machine, but I ended up selling it.
It never materialized? They shipped 1.4 million XO-1 units to Peru and Uruguay alone. I mean, that’s pretty incredible numbers.