I am Eden Krehbiel, a fan of the OLPC project and the Give 1, Get 1 program. Like many others, I also received my First Day Donor Email. I rolled out of bed to order online in the pre-dawn darkness of November 12. I know I am not alone in wanting to know the details for when XO laptops will be in the hands of ordinary folks here in North America.
We've been told by Donor Services they will be shipped UPS, and that the first batch comes early enough to begin arriving in the Americas between December 14 and 24. My supposition is that packing and direct shipping will be done by the manufacturer, Quanta.
The OLPC developers posted a schedule with a " Ship.1" date of November 20 and "Ship.2" date of December 1. Could it be that some are already on the way? I got on the UPS website and used their "Calculate Time and Cost" feature to guesstimate length of time needed for transit to my area, in the Western USA.
Even the longest option for air freight took less than seven days from Taiwan. What I don't know yet is how OLPC ships to the donor recipient countries (Rwanda, Mongolia, Haiti, Cambodia, and Afghanistan) nor how many will be going to each place. Most of these will be localized into languages other than English and may come with extra goodies that we won't see on this continent, at least not yet.
It appears that neither of these items come to North American buyers, but they may be going with the donated laptops to other countries. I contacted Potenco, the maker of the round little pull-cord charger. They directed me to sign up for their newsletter and said they expect that the charger will be retailed next summer.
The little information I found on the "$12 solar panel" didn't tell me the manufacturer nor how to obtain one. I hope it doesn't end up as the "$112 panel" because every other design I found online cost hundreds of dollars. What is available now for those of us planning to go off the grid with the XO are the portable chargers from Freeplay, combined with an adapter for a car cigarette lighter.
XO Battery Charger Update: A commenter got this email from OLPC Support when asked what alternate power supplies would come with the XO in G1G1:
"No Solar Panel will be sent with the laptops, this item is not yet available but should be within the next 12 months. All the laptops will come with an AC Adapter. It will also come with 2 more power sources it can either be a foot pedal, pull cord, or a crank. At this time we are not able to inform our donors which one their laptop will have. "If given the choice, which human power option would you choose for your G1G1 XO?
Updated by Wayan