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OLPC systems available for developers

We have received a note from the One Laptop Per Child project saying that the current build of beta-test systems is going well - well enough that they have some systems available to expand their developer program. If you have a project which you think might help out the OLPC folks and would like a cute green laptop to run it on, have a look at the OLPC Developers Program page and let them know what you are thinking.
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OLPC systems available for developers

Posted Mar 8, 2007 22:21 UTC (Thu) by xuelin (guest, #29647) [Link]

Honestly, I don't think $100 is low enough for lots (most?) of poor people in third world.

OLPC systems available for developers

Posted Mar 8, 2007 22:39 UTC (Thu) by ikm (subscriber, #493) [Link]

The governments are going to pay for them, the kids themselves are going to receive the devices for free.

OLPC systems available for developers

Posted Mar 8, 2007 22:44 UTC (Thu) by dennsmi (guest, #43969) [Link]

Remember that the supply vs. demand curve is continuous.

A larger portion of the world population can afford a $100 computer than can afford a $200 computer. OLPC will provide more access to technology than is currently the case. That's a good thing.

OLPC systems available for developers

Posted Mar 8, 2007 23:17 UTC (Thu) by iabervon (subscriber, #722) [Link]

I don't think the purchase price is really that big of an issue; it's a one-time cost and can be covered by donations or governmental grants. The main issue is having hardware that can be provided usefully to the children, such that it will keep working when kids beat on it in a non-climate-controlled environment with sporadic and noisy electrical service. Also, there's not necessarily adaquate law enforcement in the area to protect anything with significant resale value.

$100 is just the price that they thought would be feasible for a laptop for each child, rather than for each class or each school, either of which would have been helpful anyway. But an off-the-shelf ruggedized laptop with a power source and fuel is going to be closer to $10000, which is a bit too expensive, as well as too tempting a target for armed robbers.

How many times do we have to go over this?!?

Posted Mar 9, 2007 0:52 UTC (Fri) by felixfix (subscriber, #242) [Link]

Jeez this cost baloney is getting old. Everyone always brings up that no third worlder can afford it, that it is better spent on medicine, that they would be better studying than playing with computers. It's all a bunch of hooey.

The cost replaces physical textbooks. Not only will it pay for itself in just a year or two, but the textbooks can be up to date and in their native language, not years-old castoffs from foreigners. That's the economic justification.

The kids can carry around all their textbooks at no additional weight penalty. They can even use the display light at home as a regular light.

How many times do we have to go over this?!?

Posted Mar 9, 2007 7:42 UTC (Fri) by rafdz (guest, #41427) [Link]

I think the main question is about the pedagigical concept, not the price.is the concept really proved, can the laptop really be a viable replacement for textbooks.also what about children's sight; if children begin use computers at 5 years could mean that their sight could weaken even earlier in their life.i am using my computer 4 or 5 hours a day and i am myself fearing for my eyes.also when i have some long and complicated document i prefer to print it so i can read it much more comfortably.indeed reading paper documents is much more comfortable than reading on a computer.

How many times do we have to go over this?!?

Posted Mar 9, 2007 8:45 UTC (Fri) by niner (subscriber, #26151) [Link]

"indeed reading paper documents is much more comfortable than reading on a computer."

Speak only for yourself.

You have to hold a paper (or book) all the time with your hands.
Paper has low contrast.
You cannot change the font size to a size that fits you well.
You need an additional light to read at night.

The only advantage of paper is, that people are used to paper and it's paper. And there's no reason that computer monitors weaken your sight that would not apply to paper, too.

How many times do we have to go over this?!?

Posted Mar 9, 2007 8:49 UTC (Fri) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

one of the reasons you prefer to read things on paper is that most video displays have what the print media would consider horrible resolution (and color displays are even worse, with the different colors at different points in space, relying on your eyes to blur them togeather) the fact that the monitor is generating light (and everything accociated with that) just makes it worse.

a good monochrome monitor can be far easier to read then a color one at the same claimed resolution.

the OLPC has a very high resolution monochrome screen that's designed for displaying text and to be easy to read. it's still not as good as a high-quality printed page, but if conventional displays (LCD's) are dot-matrix, the OLPC display is a low-end laser printer

Where did you find that $100?

Posted Mar 15, 2007 5:30 UTC (Thu) by proski (subscriber, #104) [Link]

I don't see that number anywhere in the article. In fact, the article doesn't talk about the money at all. I assume the developers will get the systems for free if they provide reasonable plans.

It's unfortunate to see all the discussion carried away by a single post.


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