One Laptop Per Child Overview in 2009: By OLPC News

   
   
   
   
   

During the Davos World Economic Forum in early 2005, then-secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, joined Nicholas Negroponte in presenting the children's learning laptop design to the world as the "$100 laptop". Negroponte's idea of computer-facilitated constructionist learning on a mobile platform became an instant international sensation.


President Lula loved XO laptops

Developing-world presidents from Brazil to Nigeria to Thailand were captivated by Negroponte's dream that they could revolutionize education, the very act of learning, with an inexpensive yet rugged laptop specifically designed for children that negated the need to construct schools or hire teachers.

In just 4 years, Nicholas Negroponte's idea has grown into the non-profit organization, One Laptop Per Child, an international consortium of leading technology companies and gifted computer programmers and designers who have produced an actual working laptop, the XO-1 based on constructionist learning.

OLPC has distributed over 500,000 XO-1 laptops that could open a window onto the world for the children and by extension their families and community. And once the children outgrow the laptops, the technology can be repurposed in ways we can only imagine.

Yet, there is still much confusion around the progress of OLPC and the impact of the XO in eduction. And with the recent refocusing, a few too many premature program obituaries. So to provide a comprehensive status of the One Laptop Per Child program, and the XO-1 laptop impact, OLPC News is proud to publish:


One Laptop Per Child Overview
The status of OLPC and its iconic XO-1 laptop in March 2009
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Featured OLPC Image

This resource, developed with the combined knowledge of the OLPC News editors, and informed by the vibrant debate on OLPC News and OLPC News Forum, should serve as a reference guide and knowledge resource for those interested in the one laptop per child idea and its incarnation as OLPC's XO-1 laptop.

In addition, your input is requested to improve and expand the document. Suggest changes in the comments section below and we'll incorporate them into subsequent versions.



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In a surprise declaration, I am still trying to process, President Barack Obama has announced a massive deployment of XO laptops to every public school student in America - to both improve education and stimulate the American economy. While that's gam... [more]

10 Comments

Nicely written, but misses to mention the promises, successes, and failures of relying on open-source development. This did have a significant impact on the project's progress.

Could you please elaborate on these points and how you think the effected the overall project. Thanks.

I have no XO, and nobody talks any more about the instant suspend and improved battery live. Does it works now?. How much does battery last?

I downloaded XO for my ubuntu. It doesn't work well with my screen (height>width).

I simply can't understand why eliminate the linux experience completely. Kids are kids, not stupid. If you did a wonderful collaborative suite of programs(I doubt that, sugar seems designed by programmers(total lack of aesthetic sense)), good for you, but ban the gtk and qt apps already done?. Completely nonsense.

The suspend and resume works and works well. Its quite fast. I haven't seen anything in the Linux world suspend and resume this fast. The suspend/resume cycle happens in several modes. You can push the power button for a brief period and it goes into suspend. You can also close the lid and it suspends. Additionally, if the automatic power saving is enabled, the XO will suspend after a few seconds of inactivity (power light goes blink-blink), while keeping its screen on. Think of it as being asleep with its eyes open :-)

How much does the suspend/resume improve battery life? That varies. I tried it out today (sample size=1). I charged an XO completely and left home at 8:15am. The XO was suspended with its radio turned off. I opened it up again at 9:15am and turned on the radio. I used the XO to take notes at a conference for the next one hour. Suspended it, resumed, it, suspended, it... I'd say I used the XO with backlight + radio in power-saving mode (self suspend-resume) for two-and-a-half hours and suspended it the rest of the time. At 3pm, it started blinking red, which means it needs a recharge. Now, I don't know if the use pattern I had today would match the use pattern of a child in a village, but it was quite useful to have a machine that suspends every few seconds and wakes up quickly to get back to work. I was brave enough to not carry the power adapter today and made it home by 3:30pm to plug it back in.

As for your "XO on Ubuntu", you probably meant Sugar on Ubuntu. It does have the 1200x900 resolution dependency for now. Hopefully that will change in the near future. As for the "Linux experience" its all there. Fire up the terminal, and it will betray its Linuxy guts right there!

cheers,
Sameer

An excellent overview -- clear, balanced and well-organized.

Smooth, "walk on eggshells" writing! :-)

A question though. At page 9 under "New Software options" you state

"Microsoft NOW offers the Windows XP operating system for the XO-1"

Can you elaborate?....

Mavrothal,

Microsoft has offered Windows XO to Peru and Colombia - that would be XO's that Microsoft adapted to run Windows XP. To the best of my knowledge, OLPC doesn't offer a dual-boot Sugar machine yet - which can then boot an SD card XP OS - though there is talk this will be a standard XO configuration sometime this year.

I've had a good deal to do with XO power needs (which average nearer 6 Watts rather than the quoted 3),& solar recharging. A minimum 10W solar PV was found to be needed in even clear bright sun skies,with charging taking up to 3 hours for the ~22Wh battery. Such a PV costs at least US$50 & has proven beyond the budgets of many off grid schools in Africa. CIGS PVs (which work better than Si in hazy skies & off angle sunshine) may offer some hope however.

Typical XO student use with webcam & WiFi on(which they WILL USE)gives only 3 hours running time, meaning only 1/2 a school day will normally be possible.

Quite aside from anything else,the XO weak point seems to be it's off grid charging demands.

The hope for battery life measured in days not hours is still a hope. Albeit a distant one. But you're right about the power draw. I'll change the report to say "3-6 Watts" as there is a range of use and power draw.

i want free olpc laptop i live in pakistan and i belong to very poor family i don't have money to buy laptop
plz send me the laptop as soon as posible

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