OLPC Differences in Palestine, Lebanon, and Israel


Maybe you noticed the recent press release that One Laptop Per Child has donated 5,000 XO laptops to the United Nations Relief and Workers Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugee children in Gaza. Interestingly enough, OLPC's original donation happened back in November:

olpc Palestine
Lucky Palestinian children
The big news out of Washington last week was the announcement on November 20th that American Charities for Palestine (ACP), the Palestinian ministry of education and USAID will distribute 1,000 XOs to Palestinian students in the Occupied Territories.

Regardless of timing, I still wonder how XO's will be rolled out to school children and when there will be teacher training, if 37 schools were damaged or destroyed and 6 are being used as emergency shelters according to UNRWA.

But that's not the only Palestinian donation that United Nations Relief and Works Agency has organized. Through the Sabra-Shatila Memorial Scholarship Fund, 400 XO laptops were donated to children living in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps for Palestinians in South Beirut, Lebanon. Those camps should also receive an additional 800 computers.

Yet not all Middle East laptop distributions are so lucky. You might actually pity the children of Israel who are stuck with dusty B2 laptops. As Guysoft explains:

olpc israel
B4 laptops collecting dust
To our great surprise, the [Perez Center for Peace] had 24 B2 laptops, which were laying there for more than a year without any use (if you are yelling "but why?!" then the quick answer is that none had the technical ability to get them truly working). So to sum up: the pilot can start! .. but wait, there is a catch.

That would be the graphics adapter on the B2 XO's which will not load Sugar Release 8.2.0. And since a SJ denied their replacement request OLPC Israel needs help compiling the old driver on the new system just to get these old XO's working.

What juxtaposition with the children of Palestine.

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I might just note that its not really SJ's choice. He really helped our project get off the ground. He just my official spokesmen from OLPC.

Higher ranks in OLPC have denied this option too.

Maybe I am missing something, but can't OS656 work on B2 XO's?

I use it and use Ubuntu for the XO, too!

Hey Greg,
Even 711 works on the B2 laptops, however after it boots you are left with 5MB of free ram or so (swap does not help).

We are building our own Debian disro for the project. At the moment our main drawback is speeding up the boot sequence. If you have a B2 laptop It might interest you.

You can see the OLPC Israel’s New Debian Based System, and its download-able :-) .

OLPC Israel needs help compiling the old driver on the new system just to get these old XO's working.

These guys don't understand the wonders of Constructionist learning. Assign the kids to re-compile the driver. That's how it works, right? Or if nothing else "the community" provides endless support, right?