In the August 13, 2007 issue of eWeek, Jim Rapoza has done an in depth study on the One Laptop Per Child [OLPC] system which I found to be very informative. Jim has included his observations of the new laptop as well as his own first hand experience while at the OLPC headquarters. I have been interested in the OLPC since its inception and believe that OLPC is doing a great job in trying to bring computer technology to child around the world. There have been many hurdles from some of the major technology companies, which hopefully OLPC has been able to circumvent, since some of the companies have appeared to have been trying to destroy the OLPC concept.

In his article Jim states:

When you first see the XO the thought that immediately jumps to mind is “kid’s toy.” With its bright green color, built-in carrying handle, funny rabbit ears and rubber membrane keyboard, it looks like something that Fisher-Price might produce.

But when you pick it up, you realize how sturdy and well built the XO is. And when you turn it on, you discover that you are connecting wirelessly to the Internet and to other XO users that are creating a local network. You find lots of software designed for kids but also find some groundbreaking collaboration tools that let you work with others in ways that outshine some of the best corporate groupware.

Oh yeah, even though bright sunshine is beating down upon the laptop screen, you’re having no trouble reading the display. But the sunlight is OK since it’s powering your system through a small, low-cost solar cell. And the XO doesn’t need much power since it runs at a fraction of what laptops that are considered “green” run at.

This is the XO, a system that was born when MIT legend Nicholas Negroponte set out to build a $100 laptop, in order to make it possible to deliver computers to kids and schools in developing countries. And while the XO didn’t make the $100 target price (instead it’s currently coming in at around $175), it does now sit nearly ready to be deployed around the world.

For those who are interested in the OLPC as I am, this is a great article. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Thanks Jim for a job well done and for the insight you have provided into this great project.

Complete article here.

Comments welcome.

[tags]olpc, article, laptop, world, children, [/tags]