Psst... Want a Thai OLPC Children's Machine XO-1?


November has not been a good month for OLPC Thailand. After Caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who pushed the Children's Machine laptops as a way to replace books was removed by a military coup, we all knew that his programs, like OLPC, were at risk.

Then Thailand ICT Minister, Professor Sitthichai Pokai-udom announced that Thailand wasn't buying OLPC's on a grand scale in 2007, as envisioned by Prime Minister Thaksin.

Next, Education Minister Wijit Srisa-arn, presumably Dr. Sitthichai's boss, said "No" to One Laptop Per Child again, slamming all of Thaksin's technology in education programs.

And now according to Chris Preimesberger in eWeek:

Apparently, Thailand, which only a few weeks ago endured a political coup, no longer wants [the test OLPC XO's], "even at $100 per box," [Christopher Blizzard] added, directing blog readers to a story on the Bangkok Post Web site about the recent upheaval.

"This, by the way, has more to do with repudiating the last government's policy than open source," Blizzard added.

So that means, by my calculations from this photo, there are at least 40 OLPC Children's Machine XO's with no place to go. Even with Thai keyboards, and my utter inability to read Thai, let me be the first to say:
I'll pay $100 for each of them, so $4,000 for the lot. Cash, check, PayPal, or even Western Union. And I'll even go up to Boston myself to pick the computers up (I have a Chinatown Bus standing by..).

Why? Because of the amazing demand to buy a OLPC via eBay XO sales for use in American educational systems. A demand heightened, whetted, and unquenched. I'll even pledge all profits to subsidize others; more Children's Machine XO-1's for students in the developing world.

If you, like me, want a OLPC XO-1, and would pay more than $100, with the mark-up going to subsidize laptops for poor children, add your order to the comments section below.

Of course I'll keep a few for testing to develop dozens of different uses for such amazing technology like Sugar, AbiWord, dual mode screens, and mesh networks. Testing and development in environments as diverse as Timbuktu or Vientiane or Sinjuku to push the OLPC XO-1's limits.

The limits of its use cases, of its roles in society, of its possibilities to democratize information. And of course the ability to run DOOM on the OLPC XO-1.

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I don't know how my name keeps getting added to this quote. I've never said anything about Thailand like that.

Does that mean that Thailand still wants the test OLPC XO's? Or that you didn't say they didn't want them, but have no comment on if they do or not? Or they do want the test OLPC's?

Yo quiero una! One OLPC for me, please.

Count me for one OLPC.

So why doesn't someone like Mark Shuttleworth sign up for 1 million of them, sell off 1/2 them at double (not triple) the price, and then give half a million Ubuntufied versions to needy Africans. I would If I had a spare $100M sitting around. This would get 1/2 million into potential developers (including content, not just core software devel) and provide and "extra" 1/2 million to needy folks without relying on the whims of politicians trying to get reelected or facing coups.

I'll buy two at least. I've been dying for one, the VMWare image just isn't cutting it.

what is the logic for not making these available to the private/domestic sector, anyway? i know i'm not the only one who would love to pay 200-300$ bucks for a 100$ laptop, it seems like not offing the option is self-defeating..


Negroponte has said that to make his (so far unachieved) $100 price point, he needs to sell in 1 million+ units - government orders. In addition, he wants the laptops to achieve critical mass in the developing world in massive quantities, not sprinkled over America.

I think the real reason is that domestic laptop manufacturers would turn on him in a single CPU cycle if he sold domestically and undercut their already razor-thin profit margins.

I'd take one... :)

Well, we'll see how OLPCNews' latest "We're entitled to our 100$ laptops and we want them now" scheme works out :-)

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate OLPCNews and eventually I'd like to get one of those MIT laptops, too. It's just that I don't want to get ahold of one by all means necessary. For example, I wouldn't want to encourage theft or worse by buying machines illicitly from ebay. (Apart from that, I suppose that OLPC can quickly put an end to hypothetical XO auctions, especially if they are able to enlist user help.)

BTW: Guess who's going to get an early version of the XO? (It's someone who certainly deserves it very much.) To find out, see,1

After all our sharp commentary about Negroponte, I wouldn't be surprised if he had a "Not to be shown to OLPC News - ever!" clause in all the OLPC distribution agreements. The steep price of honesty.

And with a price of $450+ (per Negroponte) of a possible eBay sale I can see a poor family who makes $300 a year thinking the laptop is green for a practical reason: it would represent all the money they could make selling it.

$450 buys many units of production, from cows to land, that would be an immediate increase in wealth, prosperity, and economic security that a child's eduction maybe, possibly deliver many years in the future.

Not the choice you or I would make, but then again, we're the top tiny percent of the world's wealth.

I thought I'd read somewhere that even though the Thai Government may not take them, groups in Thailand will be doing some evaluations anyway.

I'd rather they go to people that can make educational use of them and later convince the Thai Government of their importance in educating children.

I would pay USD$200 for one of these laptops.
Ok, here's an idea... We need a website that takes orders for OLPC machines at USD$200 + shipping. That pays for one laptop for the customer and one laptop for a kid in the 3rd world. All we need then is 500,000 orders at $200 to get to the magic 1 million machines mark. The website puts the cash in a holding account until the 500,000 orders are taken. I think it would take less than a month to reach 500,000. I know I'd buy about 5.


Great idea! But it was already attempted by Mike Liveright at $300 for 1 with 2 for the needy. Negroponte dismissed it as "a bad idea"

i would like to buy one of that laptops to test it in peru... thanks

I would like one for carrying it to Bolivia and start a little project there.

Hi there,

i would like to buy one, for 200$, to test it, but i have to know: the programs and the OS language is thai? (i dont know how to say it in english, im hungarian, im sorry) how can i change it to english or how can i translate to hungarian? pls contact me, im really excited about OLPC XO-1, so pls write me a mail, or something!
thx, peter

I'd suggest that everyone wanting an OLPC laptop read through the Wiki.

This page on retail sales might be useful.

Hello !

I allready posted the entry to the previous edit from September, if you browse there you will see me. I am interested to purchase the OLPC laptop with the price up to 300 USD, so If you can sell me two with the price of 150 USD, I will be happy to take them. Keep me posted.

Regards, Jan

si esto es verdad por favor por ese precio como docente necesitaria una, si esto es verdad no se oviden de mi

thanks wayane, i knew there had to be some kind of reason.

it still seems self-defeating to me to not harness the power of the buying public on this, but i guess it isn't up to me

*wayan, sorry

Negroponte is crazy for not selling to demand. If he doesn't the recipients will. If I was poor and I had two kids and got two laptops I would sell one. Kids can share and we can eat and everyone happy.

I want a laptop for my, just let my know when.-

Calm down, people! We are talking about a x86 laptop with very low power, a cool form factor and a new LCD. Except for this last item this is also the description of the Intel Classmate which you will be able to buy for $250. If you don't like the Windows system it will come with, just dump it and use the OLPC software (which is open source).

Of course Intel won't be selling this themselves, just like Microsoft isn't selling the Origami. But I am sure that if you can prove to Intel's partners that there is a real demand they will be happy to make them for you.

Search for "intel classmate" for specs, photos and more information. Or see a previous story in this site.

I could use more than one, since my Thai is a little bit better than yours. And especially since for now I am trying to build something as cheap as I can to support my family-in-law and their neighbourhood for as much as I can.

I would be interested. please respond. Jane C.

Sign me up for 6, with Spanish/English keyboards for use in Central and South America.

Is anyone working on convincing countries to provide free/low cost, high speed satelite internet service? I'd like to help. Putting high speed, wireless internet connections every where would produce universal literacy and access to needed medical and social services.

If they were smart, OLPC would allow Oprah and Bono to market RED laptops through their (Product)Red project!! They'd make enough money to provide 'em all over the place!

Sure, I'll buy a few! Better than a Blackberry, PDA or Dell! Lose it, buy another one, no big deal.

C. Stack, Vice-President, 2Ci

I've been intrigued by this machine ever since I first heard of it. Would love to have one.

count me in

Sign me up!

I would like to buy several of these machines. Where could I buy them?

I'll take three. Shoot me an e-mail. How about a Thai-learning software package deal?