Dear OLPC, Please Don't Stop Give One Get One

   
   
   
   
   
olpc fight
XO fighting already started

Has anyone considered the safety of children owning XO's? No I am not talking about internet porn, I am Erwin Hermann and I am talking about what will happen if OLPC makes good on its threat to end the sale of XO's to consumers on December 31.

Consider for a moment what will happen after hundreds of thousands of kids get their XO's in the US and Canada. Most of them will probably want to show their friends and teachers. What will happen then?

Unmet XO Demand

By this time in January several million children will be clamoring for XO's of their own. Demand for the XO is going to skyrocket right at the point that OLPC cuts off supply. With no retail supply of XO's the only supply will be online auctions.

Will your child be safe carrying around one of the hottest, and scarcest pieces of consumer electronics ever released? Now I can hear someone saying "But it's not a consumer product- it's an educational mission!" As if this will somehow protect children from getting robbed, beaten, or even killed for having in their possession something that will be even more of a neon sign for theft than an iPod.

If there is one thing that has been shown over and over, when demand is much greater than supply, the gap between supply and demand can be violent. A consumer product is not defined by the manufacturer, it is defined by the consumer.

Any product where there is a demand among a significant number of consumers - it doesn't matter if it's iPods, Playstation 3's, drugs, or XO's - if there is a demand for it, someone will try to supply it.

Another Supply Route

I also wonder what will happen in third world countries if consumer demand for XO's skyrockets after the supply is cut off from OLPC. If XO's average selling price tops $1,000 on eBay (or elsewhere) how long will it be before we start seeing them disappearing in schools in the third world and start seeing eBay auctions with phrases like "XO Laptop - No Reserve, Guaranteed Unlocked- with free shipping from Nigeria!"

I bet faster than you can say "eBay sales are inevitable".

Yes I know about Bitfrost. But will the eager bidders know about it? They might find out after they receive it (or not- all security can be broken) but by then it will be too late. And the seller will be on to his next mark.

Will governments want to purchase millions of XO laptops for their children if they see thefts and robberies and black market trading in the devices proliferate? Perhaps they will decide to go with the safer Intel machine which has no consumer demand.

I can only hope that someone in the OLPC ivory tower is aware of the dangerous scenario they will create if they stop the G1G1 program with no other supply in the works after that. I hope that OLPC has the good sense to be the primary supplier to the first world, and not leave it to the black market.

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75 Comments

Remember the stories of people going nuts over Cabbage Patch dolls?

Seriously, this is extreme thinking, but I also would like OLPC to continue selling or else announce they have sales planned for the future.

Yes! Please extend G1G1!

I don't agree with the extreme price spike theory though, the real risk is that the XO will join the list of interesting technological offshoots with cutting-edge technology but withers and dies before it could take root.

My kids are homeschooled and are doing good stuff with the XO's that Santa left them already. We are in touch with a lot of other homeschool families that will be very impressed. Once our kids start working with their kids, I'm sure that they will want XO's of their own.

I concur -- especially the point that the kids who've received them now haven't had a chance to show them off yet. I can see a lot of demand coming for this.

What's more, what reason could there be to cut off such a source of funding?

I know this may appear extreme thinking, but I have seen my share of news of violence due to consumer demand for a hot product that has spiraled out of control. The XO certainly has all the makings of a hot consumer product. It contains all 3 parts of the successful product triangle.

1.Design. It is cute as a button. From all reports it is a total kid magnet. From a child's perspective to see one is to want one. From its cute little ears to its Kermit Green color it is a marvel of child magnetism. On the technology side it is the slickest thing since the iPhone. Read the hundreds of reviews. Everyone that has one just can't stop talking about it- that's dangerous.

2. It fills a need. It may actually have educational value! That right there means it does more than every other educational product or toy out there in the marketplace. What parent doesn't want the best education for their child. What parent doesn't want their child to "learn learning"? Every parent wants their children to learn how to learn. Considering the fact I've forgotten over 90% of everything I ever learned in school, I wouldn't mind a helping or two of that myself!

3. Hype. With a certain MIT professor calling it a "Classroom in a box", New York Times columnists David Pogue giving it rave reviews, XO appearing on everything from 60 Minutes to The Disney Channel, and now aprox 150,000 consumers in the US talking about it, OLPC is riding a wave of publicity.

For something that is not a consumer product, it certainly appears to have broad consumer appeal. And for better or worse the XO has been released to the masses. I see nothing wrong with that so long as they keep the floodgates open and fix their distribution problems.

KenH
Maybe you can help this person.
http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=402.0

BTW, I think homeschoolers should be a primary market for this tool.

Re: extending the program, they should wait a couple of months to clear up the existing problems, or make it clear that the machines ship in 6-8 weeks. But they should definitely use North American sales to subsidize the program.

The author needs to drink a large dose of reality.

How can this be "one of the hottest, and scarcest pieces of consumer electronics ever released"?

How can anyone talk about a "gap between supply and demand [that] can be violent" without a shred of evidence to justify the hysterical claims?.

So far, most sellers on Ebay are losing money trying to unload a product that does not meet their expectations.

Look at the following link to see how "hot" the XO really is, as of Dec 28, 12noon EST:

http://search.ebay.com/xo-olpc_W0QQ_trksidZm37QQdfspZ1QQfromZR40QQfsooZ2QQfsopZ34QQsbrsrtZd

Check Ebay after the new year starts and G1G1 ends. Right now people can still buy/donate them and get the T-Mobile deal themselves.

The Wii wasn't developed with the graphics or the games to kill Xbox 360s, but it out-sells even though they haven't made enough to meet demand.

Maybe the XO is the Wii of the laptop world...

Eden wrote:

"Check Ebay after the new year starts and G1G1 ends."

Perhaps something magically dramatic will happen after Dec. 31st, but, at least for now, it doesn't look like the XO is "the Wii of the laptop world".

Selling at an average price of $231, a whopping 42% below the regular price, the XO is definitely *not* a hot commodity in the real world.

I think that, if anything, the Ebay price is a clear signal that the original buyers are quite disappointed with the product.

I feel bad for Prof. Negroponte. He obviously needs someone to tell him to start dealing with reality. That the ship is sinking and that the real people in the real world are not the average geek willing to overlook the most obvious problems with the OLPC Project.

Those who say "yes" to everything you say are often your worst enemies, and Prof. Negroponte seems incapable of finding a person who will stand up and say "What the hell are you doing? You're not fooling anyone! Stop it!"

This is just a crazy nonsense scenario. It helps no one. This is the equivalent of my crazy aunt forwarding me emails about fake viruses and scams.

I checked your eBay link - 33 items found out of what, 150,000 sales? Yeah, sounds like all those 150,000 buyers are just falling over themselves to sell their XO because they are so disappointed with it!

Lots of those eBay sales are also pretty obviously scalpers (Buy it now for $600!) and nothing gives me greater joy than seeing them take a bath. Fact is that pretty much anyone who followed the XO over the last year+ bought one through G1G1. Once the word gets out about how amazing these devices are then i would expect that prices on ebay will be higher, once G1G1 ends that is. For the present, why buy off eBay when you can get one from the source, know that half that money bought one for charity too AND get $350 of T-Mobile hotspot access thrown in?

Is Irvin the new name for Robert, by the way?

Andy wrote:

"I checked your eBay link - 33 items found out of what, 150,000 sales? "

Where did you get the 150,000 sales number? Care to share the source of your data? I don't doubt your number is correct - it may very well be. I'm curious because the exact number of units sold to date has not been published anywhere. I'm pretty sure you're extrapolating some unverified claim by Prof. Negroponte from the early days of the G1G1 program; please, correct me if I'm wrong.

"Fact is that pretty much anyone who followed the XO over the last year+ bought one through G1G1."

Fact? Care to share the source?

"Is Irvin the new name for Robert, by the way?"

No, Andy. Irvin is the real name. The arguments - and data to support them - are real, too. :-)

$231 is not 42% below the selling price. Remember, the $400 is the price of *two* laptops, and the G1G1 donor is getting a $200 tax credit for the donated laptop.

Even if you factor in the shipping charge, $231 for one XO is a small profit.

I'm not ready to brace myself for a rash of XO thefts in North American schools. (It's entirely possible that we'll see cases of some kids being bullied out of their XOs, unfortunately, but I hope it doesn't become a widespread problem.)

However, I believe that we will see a surge in demand as more G1G1 kids receive their laptops and other kids see them and want one. (And as more adult geeks see XOs in various wifi hotspots and come down with a raging case of Gadget Fever. ;o) ) The unfortunate thing is that if G1G1 ends in a few days, there will be no way for OLPC to take advantage of that demand surge because the devices will no longer be for sale.

IMO, G1G1 should continue indefinitely as a source of funding for the rest of OLPC's projects. I realize that the XO was not designed with the developed world in mind, but if people want to take part in G1G1, by all means let them. This needs to include non-North-American countries too,IMO.

It would be a poor business decision to stop selling a popular item while there is a strong demand for it. I realize that OLPC is a non-profit organization, but even non-profits have to be run enough like a business to keep them solvent. If their stated intention was to see the price of manufactuirng drop as the number of orders rises, then G1G1 is a viable way to keep those orders coming in, and perhaps this will hasten the day when the cost does drop to the (in)famous $100 price point that was originally hoped for.

If you're a child, and educator, or a certain class of geek; I can see this machine having tremendous appeal. And none of those groups are going to be exceptionally violent.

There may be a few other demographics who would be interested in this machine, but let's be serious here: the OLPC is hobbled by a number of design decisions that will exclude the cash rich and tech crazed market of young to middle aged adults. The small keyboard is going to be a big problem. Some women with small hands will like it, but most touch typists are going to be reduced to hunting and pecking. The screen is tiny and the reflective mode is very low contrast. At 200 dpi and being readable in sunlight, some people will love it. But seeming as most people want big and shiny machines, the OLPC is going to look very sad on that front. On top of all of that, it won't run most common software. Even if there is a linux variant to that software, you are bound to crash the machine as it runs out of memory. RAM isn't the only problem. The "hard drive" is going to seem tiny to those who are obsessed with their MP3s.

At the end of the day, there is going to be a North American market for the OLPC. And I'm happy to say that I'm in it. But I'm not about to let my enthusiasm for the machine to spill over into (what I think of as) irrational hopes for mass hysteria.

Besides, if the OLPC is a big hit someone will produce a clone that takes the best features and incorporates them into mass-market laptops for western markets. And I seriously hope low memory consumption and that screen are part of those new generation of machines.

Saying that there's no demand for the XO because ebay hawkers aren't (at the moment) making a profit off of them is like saying the iPhone is a failure for the same reasons. Like the iPhone, the XO currently does have an official retail channel. Nobody in their right mind is going to pay more from some unknown person selling on ebay for a product they could get direct and also receive $350.00 worth of T-mobile hotspot access, and know that their purchase/donation is helping a child in a developing country. Not to mention the 30 day warranty and the tax deduction that goes along with it. Believe it or not, some of these freebies might have a dollar amount atached to them in the minds of most people considering purchasing one. And as Andy pointed out, nothing gives me greater pleasure than watching them take a bath.
Sorry Andy, I am not Robert. But I wouldn't mind meeting him.

Donna wrote:

"Even if you factor in the shipping charge, $231 for one XO is a small profit."

Hi, Donna

Perhaps this is one of those "the more you spend, the more you save with our 10% discount" type of brain twisters, but it isn't very clear to me how anyone could turn a profit buying at $400 and then selling at $231, all perks included. I may be wrong, though...

G1G1 Purchase Benefits:

$200 - laptop
$40 - possible tax deduction on $200 @ 20% tax
$375 - T-Mobile HotSpot value (may negate tax deduction)

Priceless - feel good factor of doing good AND geeking out

I 100% agree with the idea to continue the G1G1 program. My wife and I purchased two machines (one for each of our children) as their Christmas present, and NOW I have people coming to me saying "where can I get one", "what's the website?", etc. And I'm forced to tell them that they're only going to continue this program through Dec. 31st, which disheartens some of them, and also sounds very "I have one (actually two) and you don't....ptttthhhbbbtt".

Unless they can find some way to quickly resolve the distribution snafus of the G1G1 program (which they haven't as near as I can tell), I hope they don't continue it and I don't see how they can do it again logistically. They have managed to infuriate the people who were initially the most enthused about the project. I'm sure they've had to re-allocate resources to help deal with all the problems that are probably taking away from the main OLPC project. I think they should license out the technology to other commercial projects with the proceeds going back to the OLPC instead. For instance, I think it would be neat if they could use the technology to make devices like low cost internet appliances for senior citizens. And the other things to spin-off from the OLPC, like the yo-yo generator are the type of things that can be applied to other technology besides the OLPC and get people enthused about it. I'm sure by the end of next year, there will probably be a lot similar, if not cooler gadgets like the OLPC XO and I doubt the demand will be there for it like it was this year since the novelty factor will probably have worn off by then and the other devices will also probably be a lot more usable by those adults who were disappointed by the OLPC. There is definitely a demand for a device like the OLPC with more adult functionality (i.e. bigger keyboard).

Irvin, to answer your question of where I got the 150,000 laptops, it came from an article from the New York Times titled "Laptop Project Enlivens Peruvian Hamlet" dated Dec 24, 2007. Paragraph 10 on the first page of the article. I would give you the link but I'm writing this on my iPhone and there's no copy/paste. There is however a link to it from the main page of the wiki. http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Main_Page
I find the NY Times to be a fairly reputable source, however they did get that figure from Negroponte, so believe what you will.

As far as ebay profit margins, it occured to me as I was waiting in line at Starbucks that there is always a number of customers there that are on their laptops, online, presumably using T-mobile. Many are the same faces I see every day. It occurs to me that some of these people actually pay 350.00 a year for wifi access. To them the G1G1offer probably looks like "Pay for one year of T-mobile wifi access and get an XO laptop for only $49.00 more!" Now if you turned around and sold that $49.00 XO on ebay for 231.00 you've not only pocketed over 400% profit, to look at it another way you just got your wifi access for less than half what all those other T-mobile customers are paying.

They can't "license out" any part of the XO project. It is open-source, both hardware and software.

I also hope that they extend G1G1, and can't see any reason not to. Distribution of ordered units has been pretty disorganized, but I'm not sure it has been that big a disaster -- mostly just a long delivery time.

But I don't see any danger to current owners by the XO becoming scarce, and in the long run the Ebay market will probably stabilize at a reasonable price, too. Quanta will probably produce an XO clone in the next year or so to meet the demand, if OLPC drops G1G1 at the end of the year like they say they will.

I want one. I don't have the money to take part in the G1G1.
I will after it's over.

There. Supply not meeting demand. I'm sure I'm not alone.

Also, the point raised that they're selling "42% less" than the selling price, that's just not true. They cost $200, you're buying two of them and donating one. Above $200 is above sales price.
They get a $200 tax deduction as well.

Quanta may produce an XO clone- but only if a major consumer product company places an order for them to do so. Quanta is not a retailer- they are a wholesale manufacturer of electronic devices for other companies. So if Dell, or Apple, or Sony were to place an order with them for an XO clone, then I could see them building one- however I don't see any retail electronic giants doing that. At best they'd want their own interpretation of a childs laptop- something that would have their branding all over it, something they could sell each additional activity or game that goes on it, something they could charge for when a new version of the OS came out, etc. Would that be the same as owning an XO?

Jordan nails it.

Erwin, the XO is demonstrably NOT "one of the hottest, and scarcest pieces of consumer electronics ever released" (and I'm an owner and a fan).

It'll have some appeal for 5-9 year olds in developed countries. Most likely a steady flow of parents of those kids' friends will seek to buy one.

G1G1 was/is worthwhile, but far less important than the original OLPC mission. As they get the large orders from Departments of Education, I'd far rather OLPC focus on them rather than struggling to meet the expectations of a bunch of whiny North American consumers. If OLPC doesn't get those orders, I'm sure G1G1 will continue.

G1G1 doesn't need to continue if every child in the USA is going to get one, there is nothing stopping that from happening, other than one bunch of senators signing into law the spending the cost of 2 days in Iraq on getting one laptop per child in the USA.

Very soon, the first mass deployments will have gone into effect in Uruguay, Peru, Alabama, add to that tens of thousands of decision makers, IT people, geeks who got one through G1G1 in the USA and Canada, and you've got a definite foundation to an immense rush into ordering one laptop per child in every country of the world.

Ebay is impossible on school laptops, those are ALL unhackable, digitally signed encrypted BIOS hardware system makes it absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to sell the government distributed laptop on Ebay, it WILL not work without being authenticated through a secured Bitfrost key. Buyers will know that on Ebay, Ebay will know it, Ebay doesn't allow sales of illegal things on Ebay, so forget about your reselling on Ebay theories.

You can resell the commercial laptop people received on G1G1, but that is because those are not Bitfrost protected in the same way as the one distributed through governments to schools. Read it up on the official OLPC wiki.

It is time for OLPC to change its business strategy and open the laptop market to all consumers in all nations. The G1G1 program is a great idea and enthusiast like myself don’t mind spending $400 on the XO and the sales will last awhile, but for consumers that are looking for the best laptop for $400 certainly wouldn’t buy the XO. However for $300 it would be the best laptop on the market at that price and for $250 not only would the XO be a great laptop but it would also compete against learning computers sold as children’s toys. Perhaps as sales slow for the G1G1 OLPC should lower the price to match market demand. I know the intention of OLPC wasn’t to make a commercial product but to produce a cheap laptop for poor children, but the production numbers of the XO help to keep the production cost of the XO down enabling more third world countries to purchase the laptop. If selling to the consumer market helps to raise the production numbers, so much the better, if the consumer is charged a premium which is then used to subsidize poor nations, so much the better. In addition to selling the laptop to the public OLPC should reconsider selling the laptop to American schools, except for the schools the laptop should be sold at cost. I know many think American schools can pay more then cost but the OLPC has strong disadvantages, 1 limited support, 2 no training manual on activities, 3 lack of core developers, and most importantly no PDF text books that are not DRM protected. DRM PDFs like ebooks will not work on the XO nor any other linux OS. The advantage that OLPC gets by selling the XO to American schools is the ordering of laptops, which thus far have been well below projection. Another advantage would be having an American market that will force book makers to produce unencrypted PDFs that will work on the XO.

Charbax: One laptop per child in the US will never happen for exactly the reasons you specified. A bunch of Senators sitting around figuring out how to appropriate money to those major campaign contributors that got them elected in the first place. 2 days of war in Iraq, or giving every child in America an educational laptop? The war of course- there's big money in it. Plenty of defense contractors have big budgets for lobbyist, campaign contributions, etc. How much has olpc spent on getting their local senator elected? Education always takes a backseat to military spending.

Now if the laptop in question was manufactured by Intel, and ran Microsoft Windows, and it cost three times as much, then maybe, there'd be a slight glimmer of hope of something like that getting debated. Microsoft and Intel both have lobbyist on their payroll. You'd have more luck doing it state by state- but even then I'd bet olpc would lose to Wintel the majority of the time.

PLEASE EXTEND THE G1 G1 PROGRAM AGAIN. THERE ARE STILL MANY PEOPLE WANTING TO HELP AND JUST FINDING OUT ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM. THAT BEING SAID, MANY ARE STRAPPED FINANCIALLY (DUE TO THE SEASON,ETC.) AND NEED A BIT LONGER TO REGROUP AND PARTICIPATE IN THIS VERY BENEFICIAL PROGRAM. PLEASE PROVIDE THEM THE CHANCE TO CONTRIBUTE AND BENEFIT FROM G1 G1!

Irvin: In my mind, I paid for one $200 laptop plus made one $200 donation for another laptop. So if the price of ONE laptop is $200, and it sells for $231, that's a profit. Even if you include the fact that there is a shipping charge for G1G1 of $24, $231 is a small profit over $224.

I didn't even add in the tax credit that one gets for making that $200 donation, since I'm not sure how much that would amount to for any particular individual, nor the free year of T-Mobile wifi which is worth $350. However, that combination is nearly enough, by itself, to counterbalance the $400 G1G1 donation.

The value of the tax credit plus the value of the T-Mobile wifi plus the $231 eBay auction income (minus eBay fees) is sure to be a total greater than the total G1G1 donation + shipping ($424).

If G1G1 ceases,and the ONLY place to get hold of an XO is via eBay, I expect the eBay auctions to start closing at values significantly higher than what they are going for now. I won't be surprised in the least if the totals begin to outstrip the amount it would cost to take part in G1G1. I hope G1G1 continues, since I would rather see those funds being directed toward OLPC's efforts instaed of eBay scalpers.

Woohoo! I just checked FedEx's site and my OLPC XO was shipped today to be delivered on 1/2!!!!

Congratulations Con. Enjoy your new XO. I'm posting this on my daughter's XO and can tell you I haven't had this much fun or excitement over a piece of electronics in a long time. I'm thinking of getting a third one just for me- my daughter doesn't want me to keep taking it to work with me ;) Just an fyi you may want to update the OS from version 650 to 653 when you get it- that was the only thing that solved the trackpad cursor constantly jumping to the side of the screen on our two XO's
Have fun!

I agree with Jeremy. Currently, OLPC needs to increase the production volume to the point it gets closer to the original $100 figure. If this can be done by G1G1, they should be foolish not to continue this program.

However, increasing the volume would be better served by a G1G1/2 program in order to sell the laptops for ~250 and extended to the remaining parts of the developed world. That would result in HUGE orders (I would certainly buy at least three units) driven by the current hype.

By the way: if they have a professional distributor (Brighstar), why can't they run the program worldwide? The XOs are manufactured in China aren't they? It shouldn't be any harder to ship to Europe than to the US.

I hope that they close G1G1 on January first and reopen G1G1 after they've straightened out their order system.

However, OLPC would need to make a few changes, at minimum, to reap the benefits described below. OLPC would need to change their interface to make it VERY CLEAR during the online purchase that they do NOT offer product/tech support beyond the one month warranty, and that the XO comes with programs the customer will probably not be familiar with. I'd put it in big bold red letters, single sentence, during the purchase process online, and then: "Do you still want to continue?" Consumers trying to sue for technical support is the primary negative consequence I can see. On the other hand, this could also be viewed as a benefit, as it would allow OLPC fodder to test their current return model.

Other posters have already described potential positive consequences of extending the G1G1 program, but I'll mention them again in agreement, as well as add some more.

1) Many people just found out about the program, and/or lack the money to participate due to the season.
2) The possibility exists that as XOs become visible to the public, more people will want one. We don't want those people to go searching EBay for reasons already mentioned.
3) If they 'force' consumers to participate in the G1G1 program to get an XO, the consumers are also 'forced' to help an underprivileged child. At the same time, the XOs child-focused design vs 400.00 price is a sales deterrent.
4) Governments and educators may view the XO theory more favorably if citizens of developed nations are sold on the idea, and if there's a dedicated online community.
5) More G1G1 participants = more free 'beta testers' and community assistance with whom communication is relatively cheap and easy for OLPC

And last, but most importantly:

6) If the above poster is completely wrong, and six months from now, no one in a developed nation is interested in getting their kid an XO, I don't see how it would hurt OLPC. Economically, they may need cut down on their customer service staff, but taking orders online is more efficient anyway.

On the other hand, hiring a business consultant with experience with in NPOs before deciding either way may be a good way for OLPC to go.

Why I want one:
I want an e-book reader without DRM , a durable WiFi enabled machine (coffee has damaged laptops of yore), and something that makes it easy to learn Python.

Granted, I wish it was Lisp, but Python is useful as well.

Name something under 1k that does all that, and isn't an XO.

Sorry to be the sour grapes here, but I would like to point out that cheaper OLPCs for westerners would simply satiate our desire for cheap goods and would not necessarily serve the needs of education mission.

There is such a thing as an optimum price for profitability (in this case, profitability translates into laptops for kids). Assume that it costs $188 to make a laptop, and you are charging $400 for that laptop. That represents a profit of $212 per laptop. Now you cut the price from $400 to $250. That represents a profit of $62 per laptop. You would have to sell 3.4 times as many laptops in order to make an equivalent profit at the lower price. If the price cut increases sales over that magic number, then they would be better off. If the price cut increases sales, but the increased sales don't meet that magic number, they are worse off. It is a matter of optimization.

Economies of scale may reduce the manufacturing costs, but it suffers from diminishing returns. Increased sales does a great job of reducing one-time costs, like research and development or retooling factories. It does a good job at reducing some other forms of expenses, but at the end of the day some costs are not reduced terribly much. (Transportation, materials, and labour may see some added efficiencies but they will always exist.) So the first 100,000 units may cut $10 off of the cost per unit, simply because you are mostly recouping the one-time expenses. The next 100,000 units may cut $1 off of the cost per unit, because you are approaching the material costs of production. (Those are by no means real numbers.)

Anyone here with a background in economics to flesh out these ideas?

Jordan, I am working on a master in economics... hopefully that qualifies me for a background. I would agree with your statement that increasing sales numbers might not have a scaleable affect on the cost of the product. However I would say that the major problem facing OLPC isn’t realizing net profit from wealthy countries but restoring supplier confidence in the product. Originally OLPC had anticipated 10 million laptops by the end of this year, that number hasn’t even been reached in fact 1 million hasn’t even been reached. OLPC needs to raise sales numbers quickly to help restore the confidence of suppliers in the XO product. To loose a major supplier now because of lack of sales would deal a crippling blow the XO and become a serious set back to OLPC. Remember the economic impact of the product isn’t only in realized profits to OLPC but in the workers (through the whole process of making and selling), materials, suppliers, distributors and the end users of the XO. The laptop must be profitable to the suppliers and manufactures of the XO, otherwise you loose the suppliers and manufactures. OLPC made large promises for XO orders which thus far have not been fulfilled which has created much tension for all those that produce XO parts. To release the pressure OLPC needs to sell more laptops.

TheGZeus,
Perhaps I didn't make myself clear the XO will not run PDF files that are DRM protected, which means all ebooks that you purchase online will not work with the XO. Currently adobe reader is working to create a reader with DRM protection for LINUX, but who knows if that will work with XO. One of the main reasons I purchased my XO was for the ereader.

My guess is that they will end the OLPC sale in the United States and Canada at the end of the year and catch up on the orders they ahve now.

During that time they might get ready to open sales of them in Europe an ither places around the globe. I know a few people from England that I met at SXSW in Austin, TX, want to get them and are willing to donate.

It would make sense to keep it going, but let it be in other places around the world. This will then get the price down and let people here in the U.S. see and use them.

Why not introduce a new G2G1 program. Give 2, get one. Pay $600 and feel good that you can get one in 2008. (a) This will slow down the orders, (b) satisfy those people who really, really want one; and (c) provide an option to get one if you missed out on the G1G1 program.

Alternatively, for the person that wants something less than $1000 to learn programming, get yourself a cheap machine, install Ubuntu linux, Qemu, Kqemu, and one of the stable XO builds, and use that. On my 1.6GHz Thinkpad, the emulation runs well enough to see YouTube videos smoothly. You won't have a built-in camera, but the rest of the Activities seem to work well enough.

If you want a version safe enough for young children, set Qemu to run automatically and startup in full screen mode. Adults can use Ctrl-Alt-F to get out of full screen mode, but unless your kid knows that, she will be safe in the Sugar environment.

I spent the month of November and fisrt half of December trying to convince all my co-workers to get one. Many were luke warm due to specs and lack of demo.
Now that I have mine and have installed Full screen movie playback, popular games (DOOM, CIV), along with the robust wireless, I'm sure they will be dying to get one.
The problem is, I won't be back to the office till after the end of the year.
I'm sure if OLPC gave us a month longer to demo these out in public they'd see and signifigant increase in US orders.
I hope the G1G1 program has been a successful enough fundraiser that they plan on doing it again.

It's funny, in a sad way, to see people ripping the OLPC laptop or the people who make it. In a world dominated by corporate greed and wave after wave of gadgets designed to make the comfortable lives of westerners one level more comfortable, it's refreshing to have someone focusing their energy trying to educate the world's children.

I'll also say this. When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to have a TRS-80, with a floppy disk drive, a few K of memory, and a 2 mhz CPU. The only software I had was a word processor and a BASIC interpreter. These simple tools kept me occupied for hundreds of hours, and taught me enough about computers to launch me into a career in software development without even bothering to go to college. By those standards, an OLPC is a supercomputer. Just imagine what a curious kid could do with one of these things. Imagine a whole generation of people entering the workforce, ten or fifteen years from now with those skills. The possibilities are breathtaking.

I think the G1G1 program should be continued, but announce it a week or so after January 1, so scalpers lose out on eBay sales at the start of the month. Then continue it indefinitely for another two months and see where it goes. Hopefully supply can meet the demand, or the author is right that kids will have them stolen, even if there is Bitfrost.

What will happen in January, is that tens of thousands of children in the USA and Canada will be showing the laptop around to friends and teachers at school, the concept will be explained, positive experiences will circulate to cover the whole of the USA within few weeks, everyone will know how huge a potential introducing laptops in school could have. Then what happens is schools, city mayors, governors, senators all embrace OLPC and will be ordering many times 10 thousand units since 10 thousand XOs cost a piece of cake really, $10M is a piece of cake for most school districts, counties and states. What happens is there will be waves of massive orders of the XO in the USA, and all countries in the world will be confident about the project. OLPC just needed to show everyone that the laptop project is fantastic, and that's what they are doing now when the first thousands of people and their children are starting to use it. School XOs are impossible to steal, their monetary value is absolutely zero. Unless the plan is to hold stolen laptops hostage for a ransom towards the school, which I think is so far fetched, no criminal in their right mind will use stolen bricked school laptops for ransom. You CAN NOT sell stolen bricked goods on ebay, that is illegal, ebay can easilly block that and buyers will know that stolen XOs are by definition bricked and unusable.

Actually $10M is more than 50 thousand laptops. A piece of cake really which many regions will be able to order once positive experiences from Birmingham Alabama and G1G1 are spread around the country.

The G1G1 project should continue to keep the manufacturer at work and happy and to raise the stock of laptops for negotiating (sort of Buy 1 get 2.) with the countries and educational ministries who should get off their asses and empower their children. It is not an adult machine, but everyone I have shown this to, some very smart people, have been impressed. (Frankly, the screen and print is to small for me and it interferes with my other wireless devices, its almost unusable, but I love this thing.) Remember the local implementation is not just about laptops, but the server, central wireless radios and assorted systems of support. Teacher training is important so they don't freak out when their little ones begin surging forward.

OLPC could be a very big deal, given time and effort. The US consumer who bought the G1G1 units are but a cog in the wheel.

Jeremy wrote:
"the XO will not run PDF files that are DRM protected, which means all ebooks that you purchase online will not work with the XO"

Thankfully OLPC has a strong software freedom component. The default configuration must NOT support DRM, that will just tempt companies to sell textbooks and media for it. Kids shouldn't have to purchase learning materials!

Read http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Literature for various free literature that runs fine on the XO, I'm reading from Project Gutenberg.

Frank: You just brought back memories! My parents bought me a TRS-80 when I was around 9 years old. We couldn't afford the 5 1/4 inch floppy- it was a 500.00 option, so I only had the cassette tape drive and 8k Ram. That was my intro to BASIC- which I still don't understand to this day ;)

You are right though, compared to what we grew up with the XO is a supercomputer- Even if you compare it to what I had just 8 years ago- a Gateway with 350Mhz Intel 2 with a whopping 128Mb of Ram running Windows 98. The XO is more than powerful enough for it's mission. People need to stop trying to run Halo on it and realize what it's designed for- You don't need 2Ghz Core Duo's to display text, images, wikipedia, or the front page of the New York Times.

Jeremy,
The DRM comment was more the flip-side, than using DRMed PDFs(not that isn't a way around that...). I wouldn't buy DRMed ANYTHING.
The issue is the free/libre books I download/make cannot be used on a Kindle without hacking and monkeying with the files, and blah blah...
I just want to carry On Lisp and SICP and browse basic websites...

Kityoko
5) More G1G1 participants = more free 'beta testers' and community assistance with whom communication is relatively cheap and easy for OLPC

---OLPC should make it clear that these are "beta machines", not Negroponte's "schoolhouse in a box".

Charbax - I'm not sure where you're from but I don't know of any American school system that has $10 million dollars lying around. Birmingham, Alabama isn't supposed to get theirs until April, I'd be surprised if they distributed them that late in the school year, and results won't be in for a year. Also, we don't know what those tens of thousands of schoolkids will say about the OLPC.

If XOs were sold though the school system, with the school system getting a cut, that would fly. Parents would pay for them and the school would take a cut. This serves OLPC mission: Our goal: To provide children around the world with new opportunities to explore, experiment and express themselves.

TheGzues,
I downloaded a ebook and I have been trying to break the encryption. I have broken older PDFs but the new stuff has a different encryption. I have been viewing and changing the HEX code but thus far without luck... any tips.

I am aware of the Project Gutenberg but the books are only public domain meaning most books are not on the site.

current ebooks -

http://search.overdrive.com/

(Assuming you have a library card)

Charbax:
Your rosy scenario isn't going to happen without a serious fight for it. Look at the XO laptop from Microsoft and Intel's perspective. What is the XO teaching parents and the next generation of consumers about computers? That you don't need an Intel processor for a computer to work? That you don't need Microsoft to view the web? That software should be free? That you should be able to view the underlying code of your software and even be able to make changes to it? That an OS should be inherently secure and not need antivirus software and firewalls to get on the net safely??? OMG the HORROR of it all!!! Microsoft and Intel have worked very hard to make sure consumers know that the only way a PC is even a PC is if it has an Intel processor running a Microsoft OS browsing the net with Microsoft Internet Explorer. To do otherwise is unthinkable!

Alabama was a fluke that only happened because Wintel was blindsided before they could react. Believe me, if other school districts start thinking its a good idea, Intel will be in there lobbying for their Classmate, showing their powerpoint presentation comparing the XO to their machine. And Microsoft will be in there showing some $10.00 Windows/Activity bundle. Who will be in the District boardrooms lobbying for olpc? Does olpc even care about selling to US schools?

Charbax wrote:

"What will happen in January, is that tens of thousands of children in the USA and Canada will be showing the laptop around to friends and teachers at school, the concept will be explained, positive experiences will circulate to cover the whole of the USA within few weeks, everyone will know how huge a potential introducing laptops in school could have. Then what happens is schools, city mayors, governors, senators all embrace OLPC and will be ordering many times 10 thousand units since 10 thousand XOs cost a piece of cake really, $10M is a piece of cake for most school districts, counties and states. What happens is there will be waves of massive orders of the XO in the USA, and all countries in the world will be confident about the project. OLPC just needed to show everyone that the laptop project is fantastic, and that's what they are doing now when the first thousands of people and their children are starting to use it."

Absolutely delusional, bordering on retarded, to be frank.

The reality is very different: the OLPC Project has been terribly mis-managed. What is, on paper, a good idea (improving children's education) has been implemented through a non-stop barrage of lies, mis-representations and gross over-promising.

Under those conditions, the poor XO has no chance to compete.

Fact is this has been a *hardware* project from the beginning. How do I know? Because there is no educational angle whatsoever.

Constructivism has been a *prop* from the very beginning, its purpose being to provide the perfect answer to any questions dealing with the XO's role on education: "children will learn learning".

Intelligent people immediately realize that if that's true, then ANY computer will provide an immediate "constructivist school-in-a-box" solution to any educational problem in the world.

After all, what does the XO have, in terms of educational software or learning opportunities, that can't be put into a Windows or Mac or Linux laptop/desktop?

A browser? Any computer in the world has at least one...
Instant messaging. chatting, video-conferencing, "collaboration"? There is Skype, MSMessenger, AIM, IRC, and a million others..

Music software? Thousands of them in any shareware site...

Learnig Python? This one makes me laugh and truly shows the world how disconnected the OLPC manangement is from reality. First of all, why does anyone think that kids ages 6-12 (the announced target group) would want or even need to learn that? To become "great programmers" that will change the world? What about teaching them surgery to develop the "open-source surgeons" that will treat the poor for free? Absolutely insane. But I digress...fact is ANY computer can be used to learn virtually any programming language, if so desired.

A word processor? Any computer can get one...


The list goes on and on, and the pattern is the same: anything that the XO has or does (from an educational standpoint), any regular computer has or does better. So, should we conlclude that *any" and all computers are a "constructivist school-in-a-box"?

After all, you can communicate, collaborate, explore and everything else with any run-of-the-mill computer...

So the question remains: how is the XO going to improve children's education in a meaningful way?

When Negroponte answers that question in a serious, clear manner his project will have a xhance. Until then, it will remain what it is today: a curiosity item with some potential for good and the perfect toy for delusional people who think that a little $200 gadget can perform miracles by virtue of touching kids' hands.

Irvin:
If you could show me one computer, designed from the ground up, for children aged 6-12 then I might agree with some of your points. The fact remains though that except for the XO, that computer doesn't exist- at ANY price point. The Classmate? Please. That was something Wintel threw together after they saw the XO- as a last ditch effort to stop the progress of olpc. Try giving a Macbook or a off-the-shelf Windows laptop to a 6 year old and see what happens. Have you seen what happens when a child accidentally knocks a Macbook off a table and onto the floor? I have. A shattered screen and a 600.00 repair bill. Give Wondows XP to a 6 year old. Do you even realize how ludicrous that is? Don't get me started.

G1G1 needs to be modified. There are a number of things they could do but I'm sort of thinking the biggest change needs to be selling a vastly differently color scheme for 1st world laptops. It seems the reason this didn't happen was logistics, well as with anything logistics problems can be overcome with money so why not increase the donation price by $50 for the consumerized version. I would have paid it. That said I do think that they need to allow supply to expand to fill all of the demand.

Another way they could go is "sell" the consumerized (color and shape different) version of the XO for 150% of cost ($300 when it scales?) and use the profit off those sales to supply even more devices to the children that need them. As Asus has shown with the Eee PC there is a demand for small and cheap laptops. With the OLPC being targeted for kids through teens it covers a market where there really aren't devices to fill the gap. American isn't poor so don't take this wrong, but there are millions of children in our own country that could take advantage of a cheap laptop for learning. The westernized OLPC could be the TI-82 of the new millenium if it were just marketed.

Erwin wrote:

"Irvin: If you could show me one computer, designed from the ground up, for children aged 6-12 then I might agree with some of your points. The fact remains though that except for the XO, that computer doesn't exist- at ANY price point. The Classmate? Please. "

The Classmate nad Asus Eee are *supposedly* designed with kids and education in mind. They, like the XO, have yet to make a valid case that they can make a significant impact on kids' education.

"Try giving a Macbook or a off-the-shelf Windows laptop to a 6 year old and see what happens. Have you seen what happens when a child accidentally knocks a Macbook off a table and onto the floor? I have. A shattered screen and a 600.00 repair bill. Give Wondows XP to a 6 year old. Do you even realize how ludicrous that is? Don't get me started."

Did you even bother reading and thinking about my post - the one you're responding to?

I'll repeat: FROM AN EDUCATIONAL STANDPOINT the XO has *nothing* that can't be done with any other laptop. Your post proves my point: plenty of praise for the hardware, with no honest, serious questioning of the XO's actual educational value.

Does anyone even remember why the G1-G1 program was created? Because there were no sales!

And why isn't the entire world rushing to Negroponte's door to buy this wonderful devices? Because there is *nothing* beyond the shiny new screen. The limitations are many and well documented, while the educational benefits are nowhere to be found; a sure recipe for failure in light of the grandiose promises made by Negroponte and Co.

The unnecessary, unethical hype and outright lies are killing the XO. It is not Intel, Microsoft, Hitler or the Devil.

When it comes to Prof. Negroponte, the real and only enemy lives in the mirror.

As I have said before, some serious soul-searching is necessary to save the OLPC Project. I sincerely hope it is not too late!

Irvin wrote: "FROM AN EDUCATIONAL STANDPOINT the XO has *nothing* that can't be done with any other laptop. Your post proves my point: plenty of praise for the hardware, with no honest, serious questioning of the XO's actual educational value"

Ok, but from an Educational standpoint show me one other laptop that was designed for children- that is kid proof? Sure you could take another laptop, load it up with educational software, a Linux distribution, and design an interface designed for children, then sel it to schools and goverments- but who else is DOING it? I have seen the EeePC, and what comes preloaded on it does not appear to be designed for children. If you want to see what positive effects the XO is having, all you have to do is read any of the results coming in from the various trials that are going on. Many are posted right here on OLPC News. Alternately you could try reading the various articles published on olpc by the New York Times, the BBC, the Associated Press, etc. Yes, I know- all these independent news organizations are in Negroponte's back pocket. They've sold out. It's all a big XO conspiracy to rip off 3rd world countries.

Erwin wrote:

"I have seen the EeePC, and what comes preloaded on it does not appear to be designed for children."

First of all, let me make it clear that I don't favor ANY particular computer over the XO, so what I'm about to say *should not* be construed as an endorsement of the Eeee.

That said, let me show you how "designed for children" the XO really is by pointing out the absurd level of difficulty in accomplishing the run-of-the-mill little tasks that any person takes for granted these days:

1. OUT-OF-THE-BOX PRINTING: non-existent in the XO.

Instructions for "children-designed" printing:

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/InsideSystemStorage?entry=printing_on_xo_laptop_with


2. PLAYING MUSIC: a royal pain - see this forum thread for instructions on how to do it:

http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=861.0

3. USING BROWSER BOOKMARKS:

http://olpcnews.com/forum/index.php?topic=518.0

4. Video playback is choppy at best.


The list goes on and on...

In the real world, most people would quickly conclude that the Eeee is the good laptop and the XO is a crude, unfinished product. However, because the XO is, so far, being used mostly by geeks and anti-Microsoft lunatics, those major issues are glossed over while strident screams of "great!!!!" are heard when the simplest of tasks are accomplished - joining a wireless network, powering up, creating a document, etc. etc.

Hey, those things are *supposed* to happen and *supposed* to be easy! The days of people having to do most tasks from the terminal are long gone, if you didn't know...

Late last summer we, Americans, argued whether our children deserve healthcare. We decided they don't. I don't think the same group of people are going to decide they need laptops.

Scott said, "The westernized OLPC could be the TI-82 of the new millenium if it were just marketed." If the OLPC had a specific function, like a graphing calculator, you may have a chance of convincing schools to put them on the supply list and make parents purchase them through the school system (to avoid the XO shipping headache). Notice I'm talking about middle-schoolers and up. You'd still have a selling job to convince people that elementary school kids 'need' a laptop.

Irvin:
Actually a number of my responses to you on this thread were done from my daughter's XO, from a Starbucks in Burbank, using my free T-Mobile. I was unaware that there was supposed to be some difficulty using wifi hotspots till you just now mentioned it. The XO browser brought me to a T-mobile logon screen automatically- I entered my username and password, and I was online! I find the wifi experience on the XO to be incredible. Usually when I'm parked somewhere looking for wifi, my iPhone will show 2 or 3 hotspots with 1 bar, and the XO will show a dozen or more with mostly full signal strength. So as not to offend your sensibilities I will tone down my strident scream of GREAT! to just one exclamation point. ;) Also I am not a "anti-microsoft fanatic". I actually do own an Gatway PC running Windows 98. At my work I use a Panasonic laptop running Windows XP Professional Service pack 2 running on an Intel Pentium M with 504 MB of Ram. It is only because of these twin headaches (and the ones previous) that when I upgraded my home PC 5 years ago, I decided to no longer take the headache home with me. I bought an iMac 1Ghz G4- which I still enjoy using to this day.

Maddie:
I would disagree with your assertion that " we Americans decided that children in America don't deserve healthcare" ( please forgive my paraphrasing)
I would argue that a bunch of Senators and elected representatives in Washington decided that after listening to their drug company and HMO lobbyist. There seems to be a wide gulf and a disconnect between what we as a people want, and what our governent is giving us.

On the main topic requesting that OLPC extend G1G1... I hope they do.

In my opinion, the XO is already more kid friendly than any computing product ever released. The XO is proportioned to fit a child, resilient, reliable, open-source, has a support community, and comes with software offering many avenues of exploration. If you don't agree, that's okay, but I still hope OLPC keeps G1G1 going for the rest of us.

As for the XOs underlying educational value, some people don't see the value inherent in the XO, or in encouraging children to explore and learn on their own. Some people do. When I was a child, having a computer to learn and experiment with taught me invaluable problem solving skills, and eventually provided me with a comfortable job. I would be far less educated if I had not had computer access, or been able to read books of my choosing. Other people may not have had those experiences, and I can see how they may be skeptical of the program and concerned that purchasing XOs for kids is a waste.

Regardless of whether you agree with OLPC’s plan, the only certainty is that there is no miracle process in education that will work for every child. The best that adults can do for their children is to provide them with the opportunity to learn in the fashion that works best for them. To do otherwise is a waste of human potential. I think OLPC is providing a fantastic option for our world’s children.

I hope that OLPC continues the G1G1 program so that other people in developed countries have access to this brilliant interactive tool.

time is a-wasting, buy your XO quickly!

Thats right. Less than 24 hours left till G1G1 is over. Till no more growing ranks of US developers. No more growing numbers of north american promoters. No more classroom size US trials. And no more children in America who's eyes will fill with wonder when they receive their first laptop and discover they hold in their hands the answers to every question ever asked, and find in themselves the ability to answer every question which has yet to be asked.

"That said, let me show you how "designed for children" the XO really is by pointing out the absurd level of difficulty in accomplishing the run-of-the-mill little tasks that any person takes for granted these days:"

Anyone here able to warn all those delusional children that flock to XOs like bees to honey?

Irvin, all children I know use network printers and none, really none has ever installed a printer driver in their life. So I don't see what the problem is. I have installed printer drivers too often for Windows. But I almost never had to do that for Linux.

And regarding proprietary codecs, as long as it is illegal (a crime really) to distribute these codecs in the USA, you should not complain to the OLPC, but to the patent holders.

But I know, now these USA children have to convert their legally obtained CDs all to OGG again. But according the the RIAA, that is a crime too. So we must feel sorry for those millions and millions of consumers that will be unable to buy online music because no one will be willing to encode music in Ogg ;-)

I really can see why the OLPC refuses to bother themselves with this copyright FUD in a computer designed for children that do not even HAVE the money to legally buy music. In my book, playing music is a lot about playing an instrument. Try to do that with an out-of-the-box Wintel computer.

But Irvin, you will certainly be able to find a child that doesn't want a XO for these reasons, don't you? That would be the proof of the pudding.

Winter

Winter wrote:

"But Irvin, you will certainly be able to find a child that doesn't want a XO for these reasons, don't you? That would be the proof of the pudding."

A very good question, Winter.

The answer is YES! I know where those kids are; they exist in the millions, living in the dozen of countries who listened to Mr. Negroponte's sales pitch and said "Sorry, no, we don't want your computer because it is not what you make it out to be and we see no discernible educational benefit to it".

They are the kids in India, China, Russia, Argentina, Colombia, Libya, Nigeria and all other countries where Negroponte announced sales a couple of years ago!

The fact is, even in poor countries, people will not accept a heavily crippled product like the XO in its current incarnation (no printing, no music playing, no browser boookmarks, etc.). Thus the lack of orders and the emergence of desperado moves like the G1G1 program.

I would agree with everyone that the XO has some problems, like the file structure in Journal... what were the developers thinking? However the laptop cost under $200 and is running all new software, problems should be expected. In addition to new software OLPC has created a new type of GUI that is different then all others, but has a learning curve that is less then windows.

Given all the problems with the XO and software the question to be asked is "is the XO worth the investment." I say yes. I would also point out that if OLPC had not brought the XO to market then the Classmate would not exist. The XO is an invention that is changing the world and I am happy to be part of it in my own small way.

Irvin wrote:
"...we see no discernible educational benefit to it"
Oh really? And which child in one of these pilot programs said that? Can you please post a link to it? Because I have seen quite a few of the videos where they interview children and teachers from the XO pilots and have not seen a single child or adult say that they refuse to accept one and that they see no educational value to it.

How about the reports of attendance being the highest ever since some of these schools received XO's- Is children showing up and participating in school who used to spend all day in the fields an educational benefit? How about making learning fun, interesting, and dynamic by giving them an interactive tool to research the most up to date information on whatever subject they are studying, versus a static, most likely out of date, dry textbook- does that have educational value?

Children who don't have a tv, many of whom don't even have electricity in their home, when even their teachers have probably never even seen a computer before are all going to rise up in their millions and denounce the XO because they can't play the music they bought off of iTunes and it doesn't come with printer drivers??? LOL!!!!! Thanks for that, I needed a good laugh!

If the people at OLPC are paying attention they should be getting a lot of valuable feedback on the good, the bad and the ugly of the XO.

Once they get themselves together they should give G1G1 another try.

Why don't the OLPC offer the G1G2 too?
Because the bigger families (more then 1 child) would like to buy more then one X0 (enjoy the mesh and prevent the fights:)), but in my opinion to spend 800 boxes for two laptop is a bit expensive.

Irvin wrote:
"The answer is YES! I know where those kids are; they exist in the millions, living in the dozen of countries who listened to Mr. Negroponte's sales pitch and said "Sorry, no, we don't want your computer because it is not what you make it out to be and we see no discernible educational benefit to it"."

This is revolutionairy information, Irvin. Really, no one had realized that it was the children that took those decisions. We were all in the false believe the OLPC was refused by old politicians. But it was the children who tested and rejected the XO.

Brilliant.

Winter

Winter wrote:

"We were all in the false believe the OLPC was refused by old politicians."

Well, if we are going to get ultra-technical, you'll admit that not a single child in the world has made the decision that it is in his best interest to buy and XO with money allocated for his education.

Until today, child representatives have made the decision for them: the "old politicians" you mention and the very few parents who have bought into Prof. Negroponte's techno-dream.

That said, I think we have contributed enough to this debate and now it's time to move onto the fascinating ramifications of Mary Lou Jepsen's departure...I'll see you on a better thread, my friend. Thank you for your input!

"That said, I think we have contributed enough to this debate and now it's time to move onto the fascinating ramifications of Mary Lou Jepsen's departure...I'll see you on a better thread, my friend. Thank you for your input!"

Using the same name?

Anyhow the question you so elaborately dodged was:
>>>>>>>>>>>
Irvin wrote:
"In the real world, most people would quickly conclude that the Eeee is the good laptop and the XO is a crude, unfinished product."

Winter wrote:
"But Irvin, you will certainly be able to find a child that doesn't want a XO for these reasons, don't you? That would be the proof of the pudding."

Irvin wrote:
A very good question, Winter.
<<<<<<<<<<<

Indeed, and one you do not seem to want to answer.

Anyhow, we would all very much like to see your arguments for celebrating the Eee. Please, Irvin, write us a contribution. Wayan would love to publish it.

Winter

Irvin:
It was fun chatting with you. I wish you the very best of luck in your mission to convince the worlds poorest children that they need a 100.00 HP Deskjet photo printer to go with their $100.00 laptop- so they can print 20 pages of homework on 160lb Bond paper before they run out of ink and need to run down to their local Best Buy to purchase another 30.00 ink cartridge! I can see them lining up now- "Ink for sale! Only $6000.00 a gallon!" LOL! ;-)

Incidentally, please don't forget that the entire world outside of the US is still waiting for a G1G1 program... I know tons of people here in Europe who would have been delighted to participate, but they were excluded by design. And the choice to limit G1G1 to the US didn't put the OLPC effort in a particularly good light, by the way.

vbertola: couldn't agree more, although I admit that G1G1 limited to North-America may have made their job easier. (However, they screwed up Canadian shipments badly).

I hope there will be a G1G1 for Europe.

I hope even more strongly that the XO becomes available widely to everyone for the costs only.

By the way, OLPC itself writes in its FAQ that they are working on making the XO available to everyone. Not that it seems like.

Awaiting second (and third?) shipment "before January 15"

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