Nick, Pick a Laptop Name & Stick With It!

   
   
   
   
   

Nick, it's your favorite website here, One Laptop Per Child News, with a bit of advice. While you like to change the name of your $100 $208 dollar laptop every month or so, and each change brings us a few thousand new readers, would you pick one name and stick with it?

First they were just unnamed $100 laptops, but once the price started to rise, like we all knew it would, we broke the news that Walter Bender was calling it CM1: The Children's Machine 1.

While that event was still reverberating around the blogshpere, you switched the name again, to the 2B1 Children's Machine, in honor of Dimitri's 2B1 Foundation. And 2B1 is a cool name, evoking the power of Internet-based communication to unite children into a global community.

But now we just noticed that your CNN Money/Forbes article has yet another new name for the little green laptops:

Now called XO, the device has evolved into something both practical and sleek. Gone is the second prototype's hand-cranked generator, meant to free students from the need for an electric plug. (One broke off in Kofi Annan's hands when he demonstrated it at a UN tech conference last year.) Instead, the XO comes with a separate fist-sized generator. You pull a cord to make juice, like starting an old lawn mower.

Or did you mean this XO?
XO, Nicholas Negroponte?! Now really. We were okay that 2B1 was named after your son, even if we felt the "Children's Machine" tag line was a little dull (okay, maybe head-slapping boring), but XO?!

Have you done a Google Search on XO? Did you check out the Wikipedia XO entry? Do you realize that besides a hug and kiss, what our Mom's think an "XO" means, others are gonna wonder if you're in bed with XO Communications, an American telco, or maybe the XO Project, a photometric search for Jovian planets, or even worse, a military executive officer.

Mr. Negroponte, do us all a favor, go with XO - XO Publicity, that is, a self-described "damn fine publicity company," and get yourself one name for the One Laptop Per Child computer product. And get the name fast. You don't have much time before Quanta starts stamping labels on laptop cases.

PS: Oh and you might wanna give the OLPC team a heads-up next time. XO isn't even mentioned on the OLPC Wiki.

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12 Comments

For me, XO means extra old, it's a mark on cognac bottles meaning that it has been stored at least six years in a wat. Not exactly a great name for a computer meant for kids. Unless the kids/the computer has been stored six years in a wat that is. Silly Nicholas.

You are absolutely kidding me....

If only! Check out this little snippet I just found on the OLPC website:

4. Rebecca Allen is currently designing and directing a project to transform the XO logo into a three-dimensional computer-generated character. The character may appear as the laptop is first turned on, welcoming new users and providing a friendly, helpful presence to introduce the laptop and its features.
http://laptop.org/pipermail/community-news/2006-July/000015.html

> You pull a cord to make juice, like starting an old lawn mower.

The legacy of OLPC: RSI for an entire generation.

I have not got a clue why people slate this laptop i think it is very cool looking and kids will love it, kids normally come up with their own pet names for their stuff so i do not think the name XO is going to bother them.

No one here is slating the laptops - they're cool! I want one. Wayan wants one. However, what we are critical of is the sketchy implementation plan and distinctly elastic figures bandied around whenever the topic turns turns to costs.

Moreover, OLPC seem to be suffering a serious disconnect between their roving spokesman - Nicholas Negroponte - and the development team; how else to explain how your product burns through 3 different names in just 2 months.

I'm no minister of education, mind, but this behaviour hardly would instil unquestioning faith in the project if I were.

Not to mention the fact that all of these name changes make tagging blog entries about the Laptop-of-Many-Names a real pain in the butt.

Andy, you're telling me! I think we'll wait until they're made and sold before we bother going back and re-tagging, I'm not sure OLPC are entirely done with the re-naming yet - the laptops aren't due out until second quarter 2007.

OLPC could rename it at least another 10 names by then...

And now it's official: Walter Bender has erased 2B1 from the OLPC Wiki (the page content if not the title)
http://wiki.laptop.org/index.php?title=2B1:_The_Children%27s_Machine&curid=2813&diff=15248&oldid=11259

Nick, what are you going to do to power these computers? You know the batteries don't last that long on any of the pricey machines, how long will your batteries last? How about solar power for those regions without power. I have some suggestions (very inexpensive) ways to power the machines.

I don't understand all the complains, criticism is a perfect tool to improve this great idea. Negative and denigrating noise is really the worse you all could do!

My gues is that indeed this product needs to be improved, also the name giving indeed one name. Stick with it.

Hope you guys bring next time the criticism in a more positive way and applaud for all the people who give all their possibilities to this project for the benefit of the education-less child.

Did this ever come off??

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