Back in June of this year, René Seifert, entrepreneur and global citizen, had a vision to create OLPC for Vatsalya Girls Orphanage in Bangalore, India. As an internet-entrepreneur and sublime nerd who spends a big chunk of the day in front of the computer, he felt that bringing children from an early age in touch with technology as part of their fundamental education was an imperative mission.
But his vision turned into a nightmare of dead ends and foolish tangents with OLPC India. His quest for 11 XO laptops ended in failure - OLPC India never delivered the computers.
Today we solemnly celebrated in the traditional Indian way the inauguration of something new. This novelty felt like two well crafted pieces of a puzzle came together to form a harmonious whole. One the one side, the phenomenal preparation of the Vatsalya team with setting up the room, installing broadband internet connection and putting tables with chairs in place.This event should upset anyone who believes in OLPC. Here was a committed believer in the power of the XO laptop to change the world, but due to OLPC arrogance or mismanagement (pick one, suggest your own), he had to turn to a commercial netbook - one inspired by OLPC, to gain satisfaction.
From the other side the delivery and installation of the Wipro netbooks. Plug and play. And it just worked. Connected to the internet, connected to view through this window of the word. From Bangalore to anywhere. Therefore, to symbolize these limitless possibilities, I set Wikipedia in English as the home page on each of the 12 browsers.
All the pictures of the inauguration here on my Flickr-set.